FBI Letter To MLK Shows Sinister Side Of Government Spying
The FBI's threatening letter to the civil rights activist shows government surveillance is nothing new.By Jamal Andress | November 13, 2014
One of the larger stains the FBI has ever had to endure on its not-so-spotless record was revealed in its entirety Thursday. A letter asking Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to kill himself — signed, sealed and delivered by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI.
The letter was discovered by a Yale history professor who penned an op-ed for The New York Times. Beverly Gage notes the letter occupies "a unique place in the history of American intelligence — the most notorious and embarrassing example of Hoover's F.B.I. run amok."
The letter — now known as the "suicide letter" — refers to the leader of the civil rights movement as "sexually psychotic," "a dissolute abnormal imbecile" and a "fraud." It ends with the famous warning, "You have just 34 days. ... There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation."