NSA spied on Martin Luther King

This video is about Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington.

By Chris Gentilviso in the USA:

NSA Spied On Martin Luther King Jr., Declassfied Documents Reveal

09/26/2013 11:36 am EDT

Newly-declassified documents reveal that the National Security Agency targeted one of America’s most revered civil rights icons.

The National Security Archive at George Washington University released the information Wednesday, showing that Martin Luther King Jr. was on the agency’s watch list during the 1960s. Also mentioned as targets in the report were fellow civil rights leader Whitney Young, boxer Muhammad Ali, and two prominent members of Congress, Sens. Frank Church (D-Idaho) and Howard Baker (R-Tennessee). The program was also viewed by some officials as “disreputable if not outright illegal,” the report adds.

According to the report, knowledge of King as an NSA target first emerged in the 1970s, but Wednesday’s release marks the first time that the documents were classified. The FBI had him as a wiretap target shortly after the 1963 March on Washington, thanks to worries over his connections to chief adviser and former Communist Party member Stanley Levison.

Back in July 2002, The Atlantic analyzed Levison’s role in drawing FBI attention to King. Communist informants by the names of Jack and Morris Childs had provided firsthand details that Levison was a chief financier for the party for a period of time before he met King. By 1956, he was no longer tied to the Communist Party, and the FBI learned of his work with King by 1962, according to the magazine.

Fast forward to Oct. 10, 1963, where the Atlantic report added that the man behind the authorization of FBI wiretapping on King was none other than U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. The magazine noted that Kennedy’s decision was a reluctant one, remaining a secret until May 1968. That year proved to be a tragic time as King (April 4) and Kennedy (June 6) were both assassinated.

By 1969, the spying program involving King was known officially known as MINARET, the Washington Post noted Wednesday. According to the National Security Archive report, it was an effort designed to create lists of threats to the president, drug dealers and “domestic terrorism.” President Lyndon B. Johnson spurred the concerns in the fall of 1967, worrying that “the major threat we have is from the doves” and consequently ordering the FBI to check security on all writers of critical letters and telegrams of one of his speeches.

Dr. King spoke out against the genocide of Native Americans: here.

As the French are fond of saying, The more things change, the more they stay the same. This year’s thirtieth anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Observance seems to be a good time to assess his legacy, and progress (or lack of progress) towards Dr. King’s goals and aspirations for America. That legacy is rather mixed: here.

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44 thoughts on “NSA spied on Martin Luther King

  1. When one person can draw that many people to Washington DC and have them congregate by the president, etc. etc. don’t you think it was logical for them to keep on eye on him and the people following him? If something awful had happened, the nation would have been up in arms that no one was watching.


    • Hi, there is a difference between “”keeping an eye” on someone and spying on someone. Dr Martin Luther King and the civil rights marchers did not intend anything awful, and nothing awful happened because of them … The awful thing which did happen was the murder of Martin Luther King by a racist.


        • Anytime someone points out the racism of the state, you folks complain about the so-called “race card” that exists only in your heads. The FBI and the CIA targeted Civil Rights groups and Black leaders from the beginning and that always had to do with racism. Saying that truth has nothing to do with any “race card.” And “one person” didn’t “have all those people congregate by the president”. This was a march of hundreds of thousands of ordinary people. He was just ONE speaker at the event. I gather from your comment that you know little about this period in history, so I guess I should go easy on you.


          • I grew up during this time and I remember the tents in Washington when the March arrived and I remember when the group of Native-Americans entered the main Black tent and offered to joined forces. They were thrown out on threat of violence and accused of trying to distract from the Black thunder. – so DON’T try to tell me what’s what!


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