“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” — The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the United States, the third Monday in January is celebrated in honor of the great Nobel Prize-winning advocate for social justice, noted theologian, eloquent speaker and civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  It ironic that in the same week, a bombastic racial bigot, who also just happens to be a bullying billionaire and thus capable of buying his way into the White House, is to be sworn in as president of the United States.
Dr. King was gunned down in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968 at the Lorraine Motel allegedly by a lone racist gunman, James Earl Ray. However, investigations into the shooting since that time have revealed that, in fact, Dr. King was assassinated by the United States government, as was found to be the case in a civil trial in 1999.  Testimony at the trial indicated that not only was he a threat to the systemically racist white power structure but also posed a threat to the earnings of the armament makers who, at that time, were making obscene profits from the U.S. war on Vietnam.
On April 4, 1967, exactly one year prior to the date of his assassination, Dr. King gave a stirring anti-war speech, which some say sealed his fate, to a crowd gathered at New York’s Riverside Church. Attorney William Francis Pepper, who represented Dr. King’s widow, Coretta, and family at the 1999 wrongful death court proceedings, said, “When Martin King opposed the war, when he rallied people to oppose the war, he was threatening the bottom lines of some of the largest defense contractors in this country.” 
Dr. King was committed to non-violent campaigning for social justice, which consisted of four steps: 1- Collection of the facts to determine whether injustices are factual. 2- Negotiation with those committing the injustices. 3- Self-purification by an unshakeable commitment to nonviolence, and 4- Direct action including sit-ins and marches.  But convincing the oppressed Black youth of America to join him in his non-violent campaigns proved exceedingly difficult against a backdrop of “massive doses of violence” perpetrated by the U.S. against the Vietnamese people allegedly to defend their freedoms against communist aggression.
After much reflection and introspection, Dr. King came to the inescapable conclusion that he must speak out against the war on Vietnam. “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.” Stokely Carmichael, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, warned Dr. King, “The man don’t care [if] you call ghettos concentration camps, but when you tell him his war machine is nothing but hired killers, you got trouble.” 
At the Riverside Church, Dr. King condemned the U.S. war on Vietnam in the strongest of terms. Lamenting over the passage and then evisceration of the social programs to fight poverty, he said that he “was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.” Pointing to the demographics of the conscript army waging the U.S. aggression against Vietnam, King said, “We were taking the Black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem.” 
However, the FBI had targeted Dr. King long before he had received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. It was disclosed in 1993 that he had been under surveillance since his college days in 1947. From 1963 onward, he was threatened and repeatedly urged by FBI operatives to take his own life apparently due to director J. Edgar Hoover’s personal repugnancy towards him. “King, there is one thing left for you to do. You know what it is,” an FBI agent wrote in a note suggesting suicide. 
No opportunity to defame the beloved minister was overlooked by U.S. authorities, as can be seen from a declassified FBI memo dated December 21, 1964. After accusing Dr. King of being “a heavy consumer of alcoholic beverages” and “extremely loose in his moral behavior,” the formerly top secret memo presents wild allegations of lewd sexual misconduct to include the hiring of prostitutes by individuals accompanying him to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. 
Moreover, the FBI had set up a program of internal surveillance “to prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups.” A March 4, 1968 memo by FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover made clear that he was fearful of such a coalition becoming “a beginning of true black revolution.” Hoover wrote that through counterintelligence, the FBI should be able “to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence.”  And “neutralize” Dr. King they did exactly one month later.
Evidence of U.S. government complicity in the assassination of Dr. King revealed during testimony by witnesses at the 1999 civil trial included:
– James Earl Ray was being handled by the 902nd Military Intelligence Group and had been given the code name of Eric S. Galt in order to move about freely. 
-The U.S. army 20th Special Forces Group had dispatched eight men to Memphis from the Alpha 184 sniper team. 
– Photographers from the U.S. 111th Military Intelligence Group were on the roof of a fire station near the Lorraine Motel to record the assassination. 
– Memphis Police special body guards were advised they “weren’t needed” on the day of the assassination.
– Police protection for Dr. King had been called off an hour before the assassination.
– In place of his usual secure 1st-floor room, Dr. King was given an exposed balcony room.
-Memphis police gave orders at the scene to cut down bushes, which could have hidden a sniper and, in fact, multiple witnesses reported as the location from where gunshots came.
-Along with sanitizing a crime scene, police neglected investigative procedure to interview witnesses who lived near the scene of the shooting. 
– Tests could not conclusively link the fatal bullet to the alleged murder weapon, a Remington 30-06 rifle purchased by James Earl Ray. 
The civil trial that found the U.S. government guilty of assassinating Dr. King must have been sufficiently unsettling to prompt the Washington regime to launch another “investigation” to clear its besmirched name. Unsurprisingly, the existence of Ray’s handler, Raul or Raoul, was denied by the U.S. government, which accused Ray of having made up the story. In any case the elusive Raul, who had been identified by Ray and another witness, Lloyd Jowers, was in fact located in New York, yet the government investigators insisted that the Raul they found could not speak English at the time of the assassination. 
The U.S. government report conceded that it “could not positively determine whether the fatal shot was or was not fired from the rifle recovered” near the crime location. While insisting Ray had shot Dr. King from the second floor bathroom of a rooming house overlooking the Lorraine Motel, it failed to mention that the bathroom was not private: it served all tenants on the floor. This would hardly be an ideal lair for a sniper bent on patiently waiting for the ideal moment to pull the trigger. Also overlooked was the improbability of anyone crouched holding a rifle on the window sill, with one foot in an old-fashioned bathtub with steeply sloping sides and the other foot on the floor, being able to hit a target over 200 feet away  with an unsighted rifle. 
“From that day to this time I have never had any doubt that the fatal shot, the bullet which ended Dr. King’s life, was fired by a sniper concealed in the brush area behind the derelict buildings,” testified eyewitness Reverend James Orange, a member of the Executive Staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Reverend Orange was in the parking lot of the Lorraine Motel just below the balcony where Dr. King stood at the time of the assassination. “I also noticed quite early the next morning, around 8 or 9 o’clock, that all of the bushes and brush on the hill were cut down and cleaned up,” he continued. “It was as though the entire area of the bushes from behind the rooming house had been cleared.” 
Dr. King is perhaps remembered best for his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which he delivered in Washington on the National Mall before a crowd of 250,000 people on August 28, 1963. While speaking from a prepared text, he was interrupted by famous Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, who hollered, “Tell ’em about the ‘Dream,’ Martin, tell ’em about the ‘Dream’!” Upon hearing her, Dr. King pushed aside his notes and adlibbed what was perhaps the most powerful example of oratory in American history. 
“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream,” declared Dr. King. “It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.” Referring to the text of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, he said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’.”  With the ascendency of the pompous prejudiced Trump and the reemergence of virulent white supremacy there is no question that Dr. King’s vision for America remains a dream unfulfilled.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in a conspiracy orchestrated by the devious, scheming and venomous U.S. government, which has carefully covered its tracks to this day. What better way for the murderous Washington regime to mask its culpability in slaying Dr. King than to designate a national holiday in his honor?
 Liam Stack, “Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Still Faces Pushback,” The New York Times, January 16, 2017, accessed January 17, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/us/martin-luther-king-jr-the-confederacy.html.
 Edward Curtin, “Martin Luther King’s Death Disappears Down the Memory Hole. ‘He Was Assassinated by a U.S. Government Conspiracy’,” Global Research, January 16, 2017, accessed January 17, 2017, http://www.globalresearch.ca/martin-luther-kings-death-disappears-down-the-memory-hole-he-was-assassinated-by-a-u-s-government-conspiracy/5568783.
 “Excerpt of Proceedings, Coretta Scott King, et al. VS. Loyd Jowers, et al.,” The King Center, last modified March 26, 2012, accessed January 17, 2017, http://www.thekingcenter.org/civil-case-king-family-versus-jowers/.
 Ralph F. Young, Dissent in America: The Voices That Shaped a Nation (New York: Pearson Longman, 2006), 552.
 Stephen G. Tompkins, “Army feared King, secretly, Spying on blacks started 75 years ago,” Commercial Appeal, March 21, 1993, accessed January 17, 2017,
 Martin Luther King, Jr., “Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence,” Speech by Dr. King at Riverside Church, April 4, 1967, American Rhetoric, accessed January 17, 2017, http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm.
 Allan M. Jalon. “A break-in to end all break-ins,” Los Angeles Times, March 8, 2006, accessed January 17, 2017,http://articles.latimes.com/2006/mar/08/opinion/oe-jalon8.
 “Martin Luther King, Jr.: His Personal Conduct,” FBI Memo, on CIA CREST, December 21, 1964, accessed January 18, 2017,https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP80M00165A002000020010-0.pdf.
 J. Edgar Hoover, “Counterintelligence Program, Black Nationalist-Hate Groups, Racial Intelligence,” FBI Memo via Airtel, on George Washington University National Security Archives, March 4, 1968, accessed January 17, 2017,https://nsarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/pages-from-churchv6_12_exhibits.pdf.
 Edward Curtin, “’Orders to Kill’ Dr. Martin Luther King: The Government that Honors MLK with a National Holiday Killed Him,” review of The Plot to Kill King, by William Pepper, Global Research, January 16, 2017, accessed January 17, 2017,http://www.globalresearch.ca/orders-to-kill-martin-luther-king-the-government-that-honors-mlk-with-a-national-holiday-killed-him/5559300.
 Stephen G. Tompkins, ibid.
 MLK The Truth LLC, The 13th Juror: The Official Transcript of the Martin Luther King Assassination Conspiracy Trial (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2009), 724.
 Carl Herman, “Martin King assassinated by US Govt: King Family civil trial verdict demands arrests of today’s ongoing complicit criminal liars,” Washington’s Blog, January 11, 2016, accessed January 17, 2017, http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/01/martin-king-assassinated-us-govt-king-family-civil-trial-verdict-demands-arrests-todays-ongoing-complicit-criminal-liars.html.
 John Judge, “The Alleged Murder Weapon in the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Coalition on Political Assassinations on Ratville Times, accessed January 17, 2017, https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJudge/MLKrifle.html.
 “United States Department of Justice Investigation of Recent Allegations Regarding the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,”U.S. Department of Justice, June 2000, accessed January 17, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/crt/list-attachments-0.
 Philip H. Melanson, The Murkin Conspiracy: An Investigation Into the Assassination of Dr. Martin .Luther King (New York: Praeger, 1989), 104-105.
 Richard Belzer and David Wayne, Dead Wrong: Straight Facts on the Country’s Most Controversial Cover-Ups (New York; Skyhorse Publishing, 2012), accessed January 17, 2017, https://books.google.com/books?id=Mk94BwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false.
 “Complete Transcript of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassination Conspiracy Trial,” Vol. 6, The King Center, November 23, 1999, 1068-1070, accessed January 18, 2017,http://www.thekingcenter.org/sites/default/files/KING%20FAMILY%20TRIAL%20TRANSCRIPT.pdf.
 Michiko Kakutani, “The Lasting Power of Dr. King’s Dream Speech,” The New York Times, August 27, 2013, accessed January 17, 2017,http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/28/us/the-lasting-power-of-dr-kings-dream-speech.html.
 Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream,” Speech delivered at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., August 28, 1963, American Rhetoric, accessed January 17, 2017, http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm.