William E. Pepper, in his book, Orders to Kill – The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., published in 1995 by Warner Books, reported what he learned of U.S. Government involvement as the perpetrator of the King assassination. Under direction from the White House, Army Chief of Staff General Harold K. Johnson and Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence General William P. Yarborough, with the help of other intelligence assets within the United States Government, assembled a sophisticated apparatus designed and used to infiltrate Black Militant organizations and Dr. King’s own non-violent protest organization, to develop anti-King propaganda and provide around-the-clock surveillance of Dr. King himself.
Information provided William Pepper’s consultant, Steve Tompkins, by two former Special Forces NCOs whom he called Warren and Murphy to hide their real identity, told the author of the activation and deployment of U.S. Army Special Forces personnel, including snipers, from the Reserve’s 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) to form a secret “Alpha” Team. Their mission was to deploy from Camp Shelby to Memphis on a covert operation posing as civilians. In their last briefing at Camp Shelby it was understood, from what Warren and Murphy told Tompkins, that the two snipers would “shoot to kill” Dr. King and Reverend Andrew Young. According to Steve Tompkins, the one condition demanded of him, as quid-pro-quo to their providing information pertinent to his investigation, by the Green Beret Sergeants was that he would never reveal their true identity. “If I broke my word on this issue,” Tompkins told William Pepper, it was likely they would all “be killed.”
Four days after the jury found our government complicit in the assassination plot that killed Dr. King, syndicated columnist Cynthia Tucker, in the 12 December 1999 edition of theSyracuse Herald American newspaper, believing the findings in the civil trial to be based on “far-fetched accounts of a plot to assassinate” and satisfied with her own twisted logic, wrote in judgment that the King family behavior seemed more concerned with being “busy helping further contort the events of his death” then being “pleased by a memorial honoring his life.” The memorial will stand and the family should always revere their departed family member and hero, but few are there in this present world who would lead the way in a courageous, selfless struggle to surface the truth of what happened that fateful day in Memphis when Dr. King was shot down in cold blood.
Interestingly enough, the many (100+) former U. S. issue military weapons, including M1D sniper rifles, that had been sent to the U.S. illegally in a Special Forces gun-running operation that I personally stopped on arrival at the 46th Special Forces in Thailand in 1967 in September 1967 (See Part Sixteen of this series) were thought to be possibly destined for use by Special Forces or CIA personnel to infiltrate black militant organizations as directed by a secret military intelligence unit located within the offices of ACSI General Yarborough. It was shortly after the SFA became aware that I had provided a copy of the complete investigation of that gun-running to William E. Pepper for use in the civil trial that they began a campaign to discredit and ultimately dismiss me from the organization.
If the truth is important to you, the complete transcript of that civil trial is available on line atwww.thekingcenter.com, for you to read and judge for yourself.
All I hope and pray for is that the truth be known, the innocent be freed, the guilty punished and systems established that would help to prevent future abuse of power, particularly that which results in heinous crimes of the sort that murdered Dr. King. A new book by William E. Pepper An Act of State – the Execution of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will hopefully be the floodlight of truth whose beam will shine brightly and draw forth the courage needed by men and women within our government to set the record straight. My dream is to publish, in a book to be titled The Devious Elite, facts that will, when coupled with William E. Pepper’s new work, add to the adrenaline surge needed to evoke national action by outlining in detail what I believe to be the complicity by much of the press and many in Congress that has resulted in the denying of the truth to the American people and the setting aside of justice in this matter. Typical was the reaction of Congressman John Lewis, author of the book Walking in the Wind – A Memoir of the Movement to my request to help put together a coalition to demand a reopening of the investigation into the murder of Dr. King. After receiving no response to my letters written to him in the spring of 2001, I called his office and spoke to a “senior aide.” She informed me that Congressman Lewis’s message was that he was “more interested in helping to chart the future than in revisiting the past.”
It is a travesty to ignore evil of this magnitude, thereby encouraging repetition of the same.
[Edited by Jeanne Calabretta]