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John S. McCain POW CIA-Defense Department Documents

 Martin Luther King Jr. FBI Files


A total of 3165 pages of FBI files.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

221 pages of files copied from FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., covering Martin Luther King. Files are the contents of a 201 page 1977 report by a Department of Justice task force summarizing the FBI's Martin Luther King, Jr., security and assassination investigations. On November 1st, 1975, former FBI Assistant Director, Domestic Intelligence Division, William C. Sullivan said King was the target of an intensive campaign by the FBI to neutralize him as an effective civil rights leader. Sullivan stated that in the war against King, "no holds were barred." This in part lead to a Department of Justice investigation. Report coverage includes: events surrounding April 4th, 1968, FBI investigation of the assassination, James Earl Ray, FBI surveillance and harassment of King, his associates and family, and audio "bugs."

Stanley Levison

1977 pages of files copied from FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and archived on CD-ROM covering Stanley Levison. The FBI conducted a security investigation of Stanley Levison from the 1950's through the early 1970's. Levison was a close and key advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr. In time the FBI used surveillance of Levison to gather information on King. The files indicate that Levison's office was bugged. Memos reports on discussions between King and Levison. Files give insight on planning and strategy of various events in King's life, including the March on Washington and King's Nobel Peace Prize speech preparation. The FBI expressed concern on how close Levison, who the FBI constantly referred to as a "secret member of the Communist Party," and King had become. Files indicated that sometime after the Department of Justice contacted King about Levison's communist ties, King ended direct contact with him. The files show heightened concern when Levison began to advise King on the Vietnam conflict. Internal security memos indicate that soon there after Levison's home was also bugged. Memos detail information learned about King through a tap on Levison's phone. After King's assassination, the files chronicle Levison's dealings with Coretta Scott King, and other civil rights leaders.

Roy Wilkins

967 pages of files copied from FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and archived on CD-ROM covering Roy Wilkins. Roy Wilkins was an influential member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He was a civil rights advocate who became affiliated with Martin Luther King, Jr. Files contain information concerning Wilkins proximity to various civil right events from 1950's through the 1970's. The FBI investigated threats against Wilkins' life and proposed extortion plots. Files contain circumscribed information on King.

Files chronicle a meeting between Wilkins and an agent at FBI headquarters concerning threats by J. Edgar Hoover to expose King as a "sexual degenerate." The agent told Wilkins that Hoover did not want to destroy the entire civil rights movement, but that the FBI, "deeply and bitterly resented lies and falsehoods told by King." The agent told Wilkins that the FBI was not responsible for the rumors against King, but said, "were certainly in a position to substantiate them." The agent intimated that if Kings' criticism of the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover did not end, this would be the result.


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