What Our History Teaches Us About Government Spying On Its Citizens!

Posted By Levi

June 13th, 2013 7:07pm

Category: Civil Liberties

Allowing any government to spy on its citizens without meaningful restraints or oversight can be very dangerous. It’s more than just a question of having nothing to hide. The real power and danger of surveillance is not just to discover if you are doing something wrong. Rather, it’s in the ability of the government to blackmail and intimidate political enemies.

We should learn from our own history.

The FBI, in particular, has a sordid history of spying on Americans. See here.

Under its powerful director, J. Edgar Hoover, the agency became one of the most feared institutions in the country for a very little time.

Hover maintained secret files on many Americans, including powerful ones, ready to intimidate and blackmail whenever necessary. According to Ronald Kessler, the New York Times bestselling author, Hoover was so feared that President Lyndon B. Johnson once said of him, “I would rather have him [Hoover] inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.”

Hoover let presidents know that he had dirt on them, including President John F. Kennedy.

But the FBI was particularly vicious against Dr. Martin Luther King. The agency was convinced that Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement was inspired by communists and was out to destroy America from inside. Hoover set out to destroy Dr. King.

The agency tracked the movements of Dr. King and other civil rights leaders. It kept detail files on Dr. King’s sex lives which it used to blackmail himIn 1964, the FBI sent Dr. King a threatening letter. In order to avoid public embarrassment, the letter implied that Dr. King should kill himself. Here is the letter:


In view of your low grade… I will not dignify your name with either a Mr. or a Reverend or a Dr. And, your last name calls to mind only the type of King such as King Henry the VIII…

King, look into your heart. You know you are a complete fraud and a great liability to all of us Negroes. White people in this country have enough frauds of their own but I am sure they don’t have one at this time anywhere near your equal. You are no clergyman and you know it. I repeat you are a colossal fraud and an evil, vicious one at that. You could not believe in God… Clearly you don’t believe in any personal moral principles.

 King, like all frauds your end is approaching. You could have been our greatest leader. You, even at an early age have turned out to be not a leader but a dissolute, abnormal moral imbecile. We will now have to depend on our older leaders like Wilkins, a man of character and thank God we have others like him. But you are done. Your “honorary” degrees, your Nobel Prize (what a grim farce) and other awards will not save you. King, I repeat you are done.

No person can overcome facts, not even a fraud like yourself… I repeat — no person can argue successfully against facts… Satan could not do more. What incredible evilness… King you are done.

The American public, the church organizations that have been helping — Protestant, Catholic and Jews will know you for what you are — an evil, abnormal beast. So will others who have backed you. You are done.

King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do it (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance). You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.

On a recent segment of All In, Chris Hayes examines this episode in light of the recent NSA spying scandal. Excellent. Please watch.

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