Book: King Assassination Was a Government Plot

| February 24, 2003

?Yes?others, including governmental agencies, were parties to this conspiracy??or so ruled a Memphis jury in the 1999 case of Kings v. Jowers. This verdict was the culmination of 20 years of research by William F. Pepper, a long-time friend and confidant of the King family, in his attempt to exonerate James Earl Ray, the man the government accused and convicted of the assassination. Pepper uncovered evidence of a conspiracy that was, he said, ?coordinated by the U.S. government with the assistance of state and local officials and . . . local organized crime operatives? to assassinate Martin Luther King, Jr. He details his version of events in the new book An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King (Verso, 2003). A review on the Web site of San Diego?s Current Affairs Bookstore argues that Pepper?s efforts convincingly establish a case for ?how the United States government effectively shut down one of the most promising movements for social change by stopping its leader dead in his tracks.? The review calls Pepper?s book ?an explosive record of one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history? that carries with it ?enormous implications for the progress of social and economic change in the U.S.?
-Amelia Bauerly

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