Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King (January 15 1929 – Assassinated April 4 1968) — The FBI Suicide Letter

“The debate over how much the government should know about our private lives has never been more heated: Should intelligence agencies be able to sweep our email, read our texts, track our phone calls, locate us by GPS? Much of the conversation swirls around the possibility that agencies like the N.S.A. or the F.B.I. will use such information not to serve national security but to carry out personal and political vendettas. King’s experience reminds us that these are far from idle fears, conjured in the fevered minds of civil libertarians. They are based in the hard facts of history.”

Beverly Gage — Professor of American history at Yale

On November 21 1964, a letter — and a tape recording allegedly of King’s sexual indiscretions — was delivered to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The author appears to suggest that King should commit suicide or else… Although the letter was anonymously written, King suspected the FBI had sent the package He was not wrong. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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“There is only one thing left for you to do,” the author warns vaguely in the final paragraph. “You know what it is.”

“King was certain the letter had come from the F.B.I. Its infamous director, J. Edgar Hoover, made no secret of his desire to see King discredited.

A little more than a decade later, the Senate’s Church Committee on intelligence overreach confirmed King’s suspicion.”  [NYT]

Former F.B.I. director James Comey kept a copy of the King wiretap request on his desk as a reminder of the bureau’s capacity to do wrong. It is hard to miss the irony.

‘You Are Done’: The letter sent to King by the F.B.I. (One person’s name has been obscured because The New York Times could not verify or disprove the claims about her.) Credit National Archives, College Park, Maryland

 

Hoover’s ‘Suicide Letter’ To MLK

Historian Beverly Gage uncovered an “anonymous” FBI letter to Martin Luther King Jr. telling him to “kill himself.”

REFERENCES

FBI–King suicide letter — Wikipedia

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Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King (January 15 1929 – Assassinated: April 4 1968) — The FBI Suicide Letter

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