Sunday, April 11, 2010

MLK Records Act - News - Your Help Is Needed

My friend Debra Conway of JFK Lancer has sent this out as an email. I made some minor changes to it.

I support this call to action. 


Martin Luther King, Jr.
April 4, 2010, marked the 42nd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.  But this year, we're finally on the verge of getting access to long-withheld records about Dr. King's assassination--and to find out which have been destroyed.

In a recent letter Senator John Kerry wrote to the head of the National Archives saying he wants to release "all records related to the...death of Dr. King, including inquiries by federal, state, and local agencies." In his letter to David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, Senator Kerry wrote,

"Dr. King challenged the conscience of my generation, and his words and legacy continue to move young Americans to action today. His love and faith is alive in the millions of Americans who volunteer each day in soup kitchens or in schools. His vision and his passion are alive in churches and on campuses when millions stand up against the injustice of discrimination or the indifference that leaves too many behind."

The goal of the new King Act is to build on the successes of the JFK Act, while avoiding its problems. There is some support in the House for holding a hearing about the new King Act that would not only identify unreleased King assassination records but would also point out JFK assassination files that have still not yet been released or that were routinely destroyed after the JFK Act was passed.

Back on January 18, 2010, a Boston Globe article entitled "US cloaks case files involving civil rights" revealed that Senator John Kerry planed to introduce a new law requiring the release of all files about the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. The law will be modeled on the 1992 JFK Act.

The Globe article said that King's associate, Rep. John Lewis, will introduce the new King Act in the House. Also supporting the new King Act is Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, originally a staff member on the House Select Committee on Assassinations(HSCA).

Court Records
Many of the FBI's King assassination records (known as the MURKIN files) have been released over the years, and can be seen on the Mary Ferrell Foundation website. But some of those files were withheld from the HSCA, and others talk about investigations and interviews that have never been released.
Mary Ferrell Foundation MLK Page

What You Can Do Now
The most important thing you can do to get all the files released is to help get members of Congress to co-sponsor the new Martin Luther King Records Act. The more co-sponsors the King Act has, the more quickly a hearing can be held and the new law passed.  You can ask your Senators to contact Sen. Kerry, and your Representative to contact Rep. Lewis, to express their willingness to co-sponsor the new legislation.

This is an election year for all of the House and many in the Senate, and it's hard to think of any legitimate reason a member of Congress or any Senator would not want to see all the King assassination files released. While many of us don't always agree on exactly who killed JFK and Dr. King, we believe everybody wants to see the King assassination files released and for Congress to hold a hearing about why so many JFK and MLK assassination files (and tapes) remain secret.

Please take a few minutes to write to your member of Congress a short, polite letter or email including the idea that you want the 1992 JFK Act fully enforced and help to get both JFK and MLK assassination files released.

The more co-sponsors the MLK Records Act gets, the better, so please copy this to anyone you think might be helpful.

If you'd like to get the remaining JFK assassination files released before the year 2017, and the congressional King assassination records before 2029, you can find and contact your members of Congress by following this link to

Dr. King at the National Mall in Washington DC
Dr. King at the National Mall in Washington DC

Remember the Dream...
Senator Kerry concluded his letter to the National Archives by writing,

"One of the best ways to honor the memory of Dr. King is to ensure that future generations will be able to learn from this incredible leader. I hope you will join me in this very important effort: to preserve these precious records relating to the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."

Thank you,

Debra Conway,
and also on behalf of Lamar Waldron, Larry Hancock, Stuart Wexler, Joseph Backes, and Rex Bradford.

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