Book Wars

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.” — Thomas Jefferson  

“If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” — George Orwell

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There are certain ways to think about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and death that are acceptable to mainstream newspapers, TV, radio, movies, magazines, opinion periodicals, book publishers, book distributors, and booksellers. These tend to be the ways acceptable to the populace in an increasingly manipulated, regimented, propagandized and spied-upon permanent-warfare state.

Try to find a copy of William F. Pepper’s comprehensive The Plot to Kill King: The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (2016) in a public library in central or western Massachusetts (CWMARS). None exists.

One may find Pepper’s two previous books: Orders to Kill: The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King (1995) and An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King (2003) — four and eight copies, respectively, in the region’s public libraries.

By contrast, at least 13 of the region’s libraries already have a copy of Killing King: Racial Terrorists, James Earl Ray, and the Plot to Assassinate Martin Luther King Jr., by Stuart Wexler and Larry Hancock (2018), seemingly designed to appear around the 50th anniversary of King’s murder last April.

From the dust jacket of Killing King: Wexler “has long been considered one of the top investigative researchers on domestic terrorism and radical religious activities … lives and teaches in New Jersey, where he won the prestigious James Madison Teaching Fellowship in 2010.” Hancock “is considered one the top investigative researchers on [sic] the areas of intelligence and national security. Hancock’s books have received praise from former House Select Committee on Investigations staff members and the former Joint Historian for the State Department and Central Intelligence Agency.” Each is a previously published author.

Pepper* is a lawyer and a dogged investigator. In 1999, representing the King family, he got a Memphis jury to exonerate the small-time professional criminal James Earl Ray of guilt in King’s assassination, posthumously, finding involvement in it by governmental agencies. I found Pepper’s The Plot to Kill King, which builds on his previous work on the subject, first rate and compelling.

In late March 2018 The Washington Post featured Pepper in a Page One story, breaking with the rest of the establishment media on King’s murder. It probably helped that Washington is a majority black city where many of all colors in the federal government had long given up on the government/media coverup.

Pepper** is the real goods. But try to find a copy of his latest book in a bookstore or library. To me, Wexler and Hancock seem to be state historians, hacks. In the United States an author whose work conflicts with the wishes of the shadow powers who run things may get something published, somewhere, but getting it reviewed or read is another matter.

— Mark

* He is also a “truther” on the mass murder and destruction of Sept. 11, 2001. And since 2012 he has been contesting the conviction of Sirhan Sirhan for the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy on June 5, 1968, contending that a second gunman killed Kennedy at a Los Angeles hotel that evening. Pepper is 81 years old.

** Pepper is one of 66 signers of a joint appeal announced this long weekend by the Kennedy and King families for new investigations into the assassinations of President Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Sen. Robert Kennedy.

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