Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Letter of Shame How the FBI Tried to Silence Martin Luther King

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Letter of Shame How the FBI Tried to Silence Martin Luther King

Article excerpt

It was no secret that J. Edgar Hoover, the late director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, hated Martin Luther King Jr. Because of his personal animus toward blacks in general and the civil rights leader in particular, Hoover devoted much of the resources of the FBI to proving that MLK was a Communist pawn.

No amount of hatred for King could turn up evidence that he took his marching orders from Moscow, but FBI wiretaps and surveillance did turn up evidence of the civil rights leader's extramarital affairs.

For the prudish and hypocritical Hoover, King's failings as a husband were more than a consolation prize. He believed that the damaging information was enough leverage to intimidate his quarry into either silence or suicide. Hoover didn't care which option MLK chose just as long as another March on Washington could be averted.

The extent of Hoover's mendacity is laid bare in an unredacted, recently released letter the FBI sent to King. …

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