Monday, January 21, 2013


The January/February issue of The American Conservative will soon be out with my review of Manufacturing Hysteria. It is appropriate that it come out near the Martin Luther King holiday as the FBI' COINTELPRO harassment of King was one of my topics. I wrote:
The most famous target of Hoover and the FBI was Martin Luther King. The investigation of King was based the assumption that some of his associates were Communists, but the FBI’s level of attention suggests a more personal motivation. Hoover intervened to keep Marquette University from granting King an honorary degree and was especially agitated at King’s winning a Nobel Peace Prize. The bureau’s most egregious abuse of power in this case was a crude attempt to wreck King’s marriage by sending him illegally recorded tapes of his marital in"infidelities, accompanied by a crudely forged letter encouraging him to commit suicide before his “filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.”
Writing in the Guardian, Glenn Greenwald discusses King's opposition to militarism and the Vietnam war, which should be highlighted along with his views on racism, poverty and civil rights:
King argued for the centrality of his anti-militarism advocacy most eloquently on April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church in New York City - exactly one year before the day he was murdered. That extraordinary speech was devoted to answering his critics who had been complaining that his anti-war activism was distracting from his civil rights work ("Peace and civil rights don't mix, they say. Aren't you hurting the cause of your people, they ask?"). King, citing seven independent reasons, was adamant that ending US militarism and imperialism was not merely a moral imperative in its own right, but a prerequisite to achieving any meaningful reforms in American domestic life.
Here is audio of one of speeches on the war: