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    Tuesday
    Jan302018

    The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King – Lingering Questions and Lines that Won’t Be Crossed

    Then, Martin was killed on April 4, 1968, but not by a gunshot wound that was fired from the bushes.  He was hit by a bullet fired by the best shot on the Memphis police force name Frank Strausser, who still is alive, who had lunch with me, but he wouldn’t eat…  And then the final straw:  Martin King was not killed by that bullet but he was seriously wounded, gravely wounded, and might have died but he was alive on the operating table in the emergency room when the head of neurosurgery, Dr. Breen Bland, came in with two men in suits and said to the operating working team: “Stop working on that nigger and let him die, and now get out of here.”  And he threw them all out of the room.  And as they were leaving the room the surgical nurse, who is the last one out, heard them gather up some spit in their mouths - that caught her attention.  She turned around and she saw the three men spit on the body of Martin King, and then she saw Dr. Bland take a pillow and suffocate him - put it over his face and deny him life at that point.  So Martin King was killed in the emergency room of St. Joseph’s Hospital, though he might have died from the bullet wound, but he was still alive at that point in time. 

                                                                                                                                -Dr. William Francis Pepper, Attorney for the family of Martin Luther King, Jr.

     

     

    Several years ago I came across a collection of audio files of the speeches and sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  After listening to these speeches (some over and over again), I realized that what I had been taught in school and thought I knew about the philosophies, spiritual beliefs, and political positions of Dr. King were but a small fraction of his overall perspectives.  The audio files provided thorough insight into the mind of Reverend King, whose message of brotherhood, love, and freedom was much more revolutionary (e.g. Beyond Vietnam), visionary, and imperative that I had previously known.  I tried to distribute these speeches and sermons by burning them as MP3 files onto discs and giving them away, as well as uploading them to make available as Google Drive files available for public download.  While I still listen to the files of Dr. King, somewhere along the way I lost my vigor to disseminate his message.  (I had also come across other audio files of men I respect, and had tried to distribute those as well.  I would joke to my friends that sometimes I’d be driving along in my car and would imagine that Alan Watts, Carl Sagan, Ron Paul, and Dr. Martin Luther King were in my car too, and we’d all just be goofing around.)

    The result of listening to all those speeches and sermons was that I developed a deep reverence for Martin Luther King, Jr.  Like many people, I came to respect him and wished that he would had never had been assassinated (if he were still alive he would be 86 years-old today).  Like many people, I did some cursory research into his assassination and learned out that the official story – that a lone gunman, James Earl Ray, was solely responsible for the death of Martin Luther King – had some holes in it, but that any attempt to bring the probable truth of this matter (that men in agencies of the American government killed him) to light was hopeless.

    Then last week I was driving to work and listening to Guns and Butter, a radio program on the ever-important publically-funded radio station KPFA.  The program, called Political Assassinations and the Criminal Justice System, featured a lecture that Dr. King’s family attorney had given at a conference last year.  The attorney, Dr. William F. Pepper, represented Dr. King’s family in the 1999 King v. Jowers trial, a wrongful death civil action which lasted for four weeks, and at the end of which the jury found that James Earl Ray was a scapegoat, and that Jowers and government agencies assassinated Dr. King.  After the trail, the wife of MLK, Coretta Scott King, said:

    There is abundant evidence of a major high level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. And the civil court's unanimous verdict has validated our belief. I wholeheartedly applaud the verdict of the jury and I feel that justice has been well served in their deliberations. This verdict is not only a great victory for my family, but also a great victory for America. It is a great victory for truth itself. It is important to know that this was a swift verdict, delivered after about an hour of jury deliberation. The jury was clearly convinced by the extensive evidence that was presented during the trial that, in addition to Mr. Jowers, the conspiracy of the mafia, local, state and federal government agencies, were deeply involved in the assassination of my husband. The jury also affirmed overwhelming evidence that identified someone else, not James Earl Ray, as the shooter, and that Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame. I want to make it clear that my family has no interest in retribution. Instead, our sole concern has been that the full truth of the assassination has been revealed and adjudicated in a court of law.

    In the lecture, Dr. Pepper (author of The Plot to Kill King) describes what he believes occurred after Dr. King was shot as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel and thereafter taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Memphis.  Instead of doctors failing to successfully resuscitate Dr. King after having opened his chest, which is the official story, Dr. Pepper contends that Martin Luther King’s operation was interrupted by the head of neurosurgery, Dr. Breen Bland, who entered the room with two men in suits.  Dr. Pepper describes the death of MLK as such:

    And then the final straw:  Martin King was not killed by that bullet but he was seriously wounded, gravely wounded,  and might have died but he was alive on the operating table in the emergency room when the head of neurosurgery,  Dr. Breen Bland, came in with two men in suits and said to the operating working team, “Stop working on that nigger and let him die, and now get out of here.”  And he threw them all out of the room.  And as they were leaving the room the surgical nurse, who is the last one out, heard them gather up some spit in their mouths - that caught her attention.  She turned around and she saw the three men spit on the body of Martin King, and then she saw Dr. Bland take a pillow and suffocate him - put it over his face and deny him life at that point.  So Martin King with killed in the emergency room of St. Joseph’s Hospital, though he might have died from the bullet wound, but he was still alive at that point in time.

    I realize that it’s heresy to question our government and mainstream media opinions in this day and age, and I recognize the dangerous slide toward irrationality exhibited by those that wholeheartedly give themselves over to conspiracy theories, so I won’t go down a road that I’m unfamiliar with and call bullshit on the government’s version of MLK’s assassination until I learn more about it.  Yet, if there was a conspiracy, Dr. Pepper give his two-cents as to how and why American news networks may have swept it under the rug:

    Carl Bernstein… back in 78’ did a Rolling Stone piece which indicated that the publishing might of the Central Intelligence Agency will make sure that these cases are not brought forward, they are not heard.  So that is the reality on the media side.  It’s not just mainstream media, it’s progressive media as well.  Democracy Now, Amy Goodman, people like Noam Chomsky will not deal with these political assassinations, neither will they deal, of course, with 9/11 to the extent that they should deal with them, they just simply don’t.  And why is that?  Well, funding comes from the Ford Foundation, which has been a CIA channel for a very long time, or Bill Moyers’ entity.  And there’s a line that they don’t cross, and they won’t cross.  I’ve come to believe that these are not bad people because a lot of the stuff they put out there that is stuff the American people should know about, and it’s good and it’s useful…

    In addition to listening to the Guns and Butter lecture linked above, I would encourage you to listen to this 'Corbett Report' interview with Willaim F. Pepper:

     

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