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King's FBI files may be opened to public view


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"U.S. Sen. John Kerry plans to introduce legislation next week that would pave the way for the release of thousands of FBI documents

on the life and death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Kerry, D-Mass., said the bill, which failed in 2006, can pass this year in honor of King. 'I want the world to know what he stood for,' Kerry said.

'And I want his personal history preserved and examined by releasing all of his records.'

The bill calls for creating a Martin Luther King Records Collection at the National Archives that would include all government records related to King.

The bill also would create a five-member independent review board that would identify and make public all documents from agencies including the

FBI — just as a review board in 1992 made public documents related to the 1963 John F. Kennedy assassination."

Full story:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-0...fbi-files_N.htm

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"U.S. Sen. John Kerry plans to introduce legislation next week that would pave the way for the release of thousands of FBI documents

on the life and death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Kerry, D-Mass., said the bill, which failed in 2006, can pass this year in honor of King. 'I want the world to know what he stood for,' Kerry said.

'And I want his personal history preserved and examined by releasing all of his records.'

The bill calls for creating a Martin Luther King Records Collection at the National Archives that would include all government records related to King.

The bill also would create a five-member independent review board that would identify and make public all documents from agencies including the

FBI — just as a review board in 1992 made public documents related to the 1963 John F. Kennedy assassination."

Full story:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-0...fbi-files_N.htm

Thanks for that story Michael.

It's hard to believe that its happening.

At one of the first public hearings in Congress on the JFK Act, before it was passed, Oliver Stone was called as a witness since the law being written (primarily by G. Robert Blakey), didn't include the HSCA records on the assassination of Martin Luther King.

"What do I have to do, make a movie about the King assassination before you will release these files," Stone asked.

Originally, after the HSCA closed up shop and its second chief counsel and third committee chairman declared the committee's records "Congressional Records" that are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (Congress exempted itself from the law), the committee's records would be sealed for 50 years.

"I can live with the historian's verdict 50 years from now," Blakey was quoted as saying, and thus began our quest to free the files.

I first went to the NARA and met with an official there who gave me the law that secures all Congressional records for 50 years and I asked him why 50? Why not 25 or 75 years, and he said that 50 years was the time estimated that most of the people mentioned in the records would be dead.

That's so they can't be questioned anymore.

So originally we started a campaign to get that law reversed, which nobody in Congress wanted to do - they liked their records being sealed, but we did get to make it an issue, primarily with Stone mentioning the sealed records at the end of JFK.

Putting that little trailer at the end of the movie mentioning the fact that Congress sealed the HSCA records was a strategic bullet that was done on purpose - and it worked. While Gus Russo takes credit for coming up with the idea, when John Judge and I met with Oliver Stone in his DC hotel room before the movie was out, we mentioned the effect that the end trailer of Executive Action called attention to the mysterious deaths issue. If he did the same with the HSCA records, we could get some public support to free the files. We handed out flyers and "Free the Files" buttons at the movie theaters (Gus did this too) and enough people did call and write their Congressmen that they knew they had to do something.

But instead of changing the law that sealed the HSCA records - and all Congressional records for 50 years, Blakey and Rep. Stokes drew up the JFK Act that freed not only the HSCA JFK Assassination records, BUT ALL GOVERNMNET records related to the JFK Assassination - an unprecidented act. But since it was written by the same lawyer who was the chief cover-up counsel to the HSCA - they exempted the medical photos and x-rays AND didn't include the MLK records of the HSCA.

So when John Judge got a job as a special projects coordinator for Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Judge wrote the MLK Act that was based on the JFK Act, and McKinney introduced it and they got the support of the Black Caucus and most of the King family but someone in the King family didn't want it, suposidly because that within the files are the surveillance photos of King and other women. So that was the reason why the MLK Act didn't pass the first time around.

Now that most of the King family opposition is dead and McKinney is gone, Judge had to get another Congressman to re-introduce it, and the MLK Act is now being given serious consideration by the Information Policy, NARA and Census Subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee - the same subcommittee that we are trying to get to hold JFK Act Oversight Hearings.

As the primary author of the MLK Act, Judge has met with the subcommittee staff and he is trying to get them to combine the hearing necessary before they vote on the MLK Act with JFK Act oversight hearings, both at the same time, which they might do.

While the bill has many co-sponsors, Kerry's public support on the Senate side is really important, and I too like the idea of expanding it to include all the government records on the civil rights murders of that era.

But seeing the convoluted course this law has taken so far, it still has a ways to go, though they might now put it on the fast track since the health reform is out of the way.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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