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How the FBI spied on the civil rights movement
Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | September 12, 2010 | Marc Perrusquia

Posted on 09/15/2010 10:11:46 AM PDT by gandalftb

Ernest Withers raised his camera. This wasn't just a murder. This was history. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood here a few hours earlier chatting with aides when a sniper squeezed off a shot from a hunting rifle. Now, as night set over Memphis, Withers was on the story.

A veteran freelancer for America's black press, Withers was known as "the original civil rights photographer," an insider who'd covered it all, from the Emmett Till murder that jump-started the movement in 1955 to the Little Rock school crisis, the integration of Ole Miss and, now, the 1968 sanitation strike that brought King to Memphis and his death.

The grief-stricken aides photographed by Withers on April 4, 1968, had no clue, but the man they invited in that night was an FBI informant -- evidence of how far the agency went to spy on private citizens in Memphis during one of the nation's most volatile periods.

The April 10, 1968, report, which identifies Withers only by his confidential informant number -- ME 338-R -- is among numerous reports reviewed by The Commercial Appeal that reveal a covert, previously unknown side of the beloved photographer who died in 2007 at age 85.

Those reports portray Withers as a prolific informant who, from at least 1968 until 1970, passed on tips and photographs detailing an insider's view of politics, business and everyday life in Memphis' black community.

As a foot soldier in J. Edgar Hoover's domestic intelligence program, Withers helped the FBI gain a front-row seat to the civil rights and anti-war movements in Memphis.

(Excerpt) Read more at commercialappeal.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: civilrights; martinlutherking
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Fascinating. I always wondered how the FBI could have had such a constant, detailed and timely surveillance of the civil rights movement.
1 posted on 09/15/2010 10:11:49 AM PDT by gandalftb
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To: gandalftb

Infiltration is the only sure way to get humint.
Wait til we find out how much they have on the
Tea party.


2 posted on 09/15/2010 10:16:04 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: gandalftb

The problem was the FBI, not the spying.


3 posted on 09/15/2010 10:21:25 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (Sarah and the Conservatives will rock your world.)
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To: gandalftb

“..I always wondered how the FBI could have had such a constant, detailed and timely surveillance of the civil rights movement.”

I am confident Withers was only one of a number of sources.


4 posted on 09/15/2010 10:22:23 AM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda" and its allies.)
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To: Navy Patriot

“The problem was the FBI, not the spying”

what are you suggesting??


5 posted on 09/15/2010 10:24:10 AM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda" and its allies.)
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To: tet68
"Wait til we find out how much they have on the
Tea party."

True dat!

6 posted on 09/15/2010 10:27:19 AM PDT by haywoodwebb (Islam is a violent political ideology masquerading as a religion . . . Black & Humble)
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To: gandalftb

Didn’t I hear somewhere years ago that J Edgar Hoover used to personally play for LBJ lurid tapes of MLK Jr having sex with various women (other than Coretta) that were recorded via bugs implanted in hotel rooms? Imagine that, a voyeur’s club meeting in the White House.


7 posted on 09/15/2010 10:30:18 AM PDT by CardCarryingMember.VastRightWC (If my kids make a mistake in the voting booth, I don't want them punished with a community organizer)
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To: gandalftb

We are a much more monitored society thn we realize. Better our FBI be in on it than to leave it to the KGB.


8 posted on 09/15/2010 10:30:49 AM PDT by Waco (From Seward to Sarah)
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To: gandalftb
I'm sure there's no mention of the fact that this "spying" went on under the direction and order of the Bobby Kennedy Justice Dept. and the John F. Kennedy presidency.

We went thru this yesterday.

9 posted on 09/15/2010 10:33:39 AM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: Navy Patriot

What “problem”?


10 posted on 09/15/2010 10:34:40 AM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: gandalftb

Oh, by the way, these ‘’spies’’ and ‘’informants’’ are our soldiers too, just as much as the boys in uniform. Take note that it is almost always the RATS who are trying to expose them, stab them in the back, put their lives in danger, etc.


11 posted on 09/15/2010 10:36:32 AM PDT by Waco (From Seward to Sarah)
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To: Navy Patriot

If you really knew what was going on with MLK and his commie cohorts you wouldn’t make a statement like that.

Of course MLK’s files have been sealed, just like his comrade Ted Kennedy.

My uncle worked in Hoover’s FBI and he knew plenty.


12 posted on 09/15/2010 10:37:06 AM PDT by Ammo Republic 15
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To: Ammo Republic 15
If you really knew what was going on with MLK and his commie cohorts

Well, don't leave us hanging. Details, man, details.
13 posted on 09/15/2010 10:41:09 AM PDT by randomhero97 ("First you want to kill me, now you want to kiss me. Blow!" - Ash)
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To: gandalftb
Withers helped the FBI gain a front-row seat to the civil rights and anti-war movements in Memphis.

More like two Democrat administrations gained that front-row seat.

14 posted on 09/15/2010 10:41:17 AM PDT by Dahoser (Separation of church and state? No, we need separation of media and state.)
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To: Ammo Republic 15

“...My uncle worked in Hoover’s FBI and he knew plenty.”

Ditto my uncle.


15 posted on 09/15/2010 10:42:37 AM PDT by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American than a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
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To: elpadre

Surveillance of operations.


16 posted on 09/15/2010 10:47:35 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: randomhero97

I you are a conservative, and I’m sure you are, then I think you would probably trust the words of Senator Jesse Helms. Research his comments during the vote for the MLK Federal holiday. You can find it in the Congessional Record, Oct 3rd, 1983.

Frankly, it is quite well known of King’s communist associations...he also had associations with some of America’s worst enemies. He and the Kennedy’s worked hand in hand passing the Civil Rights Act and also the 1965 Immigration Act.


17 posted on 09/15/2010 10:51:40 AM PDT by Ammo Republic 15
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To: elpadre

>>“The problem was the FBI, not the spying”
>
>what are you suggesting??

If I might make a stab at it: the basics of this ‘spying’ is simply human-intelligence. Human-Intel covers a lot of things, political polling (as an example) could be considered a form thereof. Human-Intelligence isn’t, in itself, a bad or undesirable thing; rather how it is implemented is: such as the common story of a government-agent instigating some illegal action to bust the people in that group (commonly called ‘entrapment’).

The FBI is somewhat notorious for the aforementioned entrapment-style of ‘intelligence’ which *does* do one notable thing: generate result/convictions. In the world of the justice-system/bureaucracy the only quantitative metric they have is convictions (esp as related to charges/accusations and costs via ratio).


18 posted on 09/15/2010 10:52:42 AM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Monterrosa-24

“Ditto my uncle”

Good chance they knew one another. My uncle’s office was just a few doors down from Hoover’s...


19 posted on 09/15/2010 10:55:54 AM PDT by Ammo Republic 15
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To: Ammo Republic 15
If you really knew what was going on with MLK and his commie cohorts you wouldn’t make a statement like that.

I do, and of course I would.

Of course MLK’s files have been sealed, just like his comrade Ted Kennedy.

This is Captain Obvious' department.

My uncle worked in Hoover’s FBI and he knew plenty.

I'm sure HE did, again, see the Captain.

20 posted on 09/15/2010 11:02:18 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (Sarah and the Conservatives will rock your world.)
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