William Pepper: US Government Killed MLK Jr. + Truth Troubadour: An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King

Dandelion Salad

Martin Luther King Jr, Walk to Freedom Detroit Michigan, 1963

Image by farlane via Flickr

Joe Friendly on Jan 20, 2014

William Pepper details the responsibility of the US government for the assassination of Martin Luther King after more than 30 years’ investigation. As he explains here, he won a jury verdict against the US government for that assassination in a civil suit he brought for Coretta Scott King, widow of MLK Jr. Although there were 2 snipers and their spotters in place, employed by the US, a 3rd shooter in bushes, a hired off-duty Memphis policeman, fired the fatal shot.

Introduced by Episcopal Priest Rev. Frank Morales.

Camera: Joe Friendly


Truth Troubadour: An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King (2013)

TruthTroubadour on Jun 9, 2013

The song is based on the book of the same title by King family lawyer, William Pepper. The book tells the story of the trial that Pepper won on behalf of the King family in 1999 in a Memphis court where a jury of 6 black and 6 white jurors unanimously found Loyd Jowers and unnamed government conspirators guilty of murdering Martin Luther King. The King family had long determined that James Earl Ray was not the lone gunman in an act of hate, but rather that Ray was a patsy in a conspiracy to decapitate the unifying justice movement that Dr King represented. Loyd Jowers, a former Memphis cop, was the owner of the restaurant across the street from the Lorraine Motel where MLK was gunned down in broad daylight while in support of the struggle of the sanitation workers union for decent wages. Rather than an act of hate, the execution of Martin Luther King was an act of state. The soundtrack was recorded in Berkeley by Sammy Fielding of Robot Envy Studio. The beautiful viola work is by Eric Golub. Singer-songwriter Vic Sadot is on the vocals and acoustic guitar using a gentle finger picking style. Lyrics and guitar chords below.

An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King

G C Em Am
William Pepper was a young man when he first met Dr. King D7 G
Who read his war reporting on Viet children suffering (1)
G C Em Am
Martin asked young William Pepper to speak about the war
D7 G
To come to his congregation. And they were friends forevermore…

Then William went to law school to put his talents to the task
To fight for social justice! To answer questions we must ask!
It was April 4, 1968 when Martin Luther King
Was murdered in the broad day light… It was a devastating thing!

There was a mighty “Rush to Judgment” (2)…To blame it on James Earl Ray
There was agreement in the government to tell the media what to say
The media called it “a crime of hate”… A “lone-nut” simple thing…
Now we know it was “An Act of State” (3), the execution of Dr. King

James Earl Ray was just a patsy, an escaped prisoner for sure…
With a top security identity for the whole 9 months before…
Some rogues within the government shielded James as “Eric Galt”
Gave him a car and a driver’s license to secure him ’til the assault…

To protect this petty criminal… To put the patsy into place
His handler sent him to Memphis where like a pawn he showed his face
Well, Martin marched for Civil Rights! And he stood against all war!
He spoke for truth and justice, and non-violence. That’s for sure!

When Martin stood with the workers… in solidarity with the poor…
That high class oligarchy hated Martin all the more!
Earl Clark was one of the Memphis cops meeting at Loyd Jowers Grill
Across from the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was killed

Two military snipers teams would have also fired
If the police team from Memphis failed to do what was required
Next day cops cleaned the crime scene… Hauled the brush and the proof away
They avoided all the witnesses that might have some truth to say

Too many unanswered questions still blowin’ in the wind
In a murder investigation so deliberately ruined
Too many disturbing answers still came out in the trial
Enough to prove conspiracy to a nation in denial

Six white and six black jurors unanimously agreed
The facts presented at the trial proved who really did the deed
Yes, it all came out in the trial that in ’99 they won!
When the government was convicted of the conspiracy they’d done

William Pepper was the lawyer who won the case in court
But when he went to the press conference no reporters came to report
So here’s to William Pepper! The King Family, brave and wise!
For standing for the truth for us! For “overcoming” all the lies!

William Pepper, keep on struggling! You know you’re following…
The teachings, and the vision, and the dream of Dr. King!
William Pepper wrote a book about the trial and everything…
An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King (3)
An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King

Repeat the last line slowly to end.

Copyright August 12, 2009 Victor Rene Sadot, BMI, Orbian Love Music

Footnotes: 1 Ramparts magazine 1967; 2 Rush To Judgment, a book by Mark Lane; 3 An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther, a book by William Pepper 2003 Verso Press.

From the archives:

Spirit of MLK Launches Worldwide Wave of Action + Lee Camp: Is A Worldwide Wave Of Action On The Horizon?

Glen Ford: Direct Action Must Be Remembered As Part of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy + Dayvon Love: King’s Teachings on US Imperialism Opened My Eyes to Radical Thought

Dr. Martin Luther King: Where Do We Go From Here + The Radicalization of Martin Luther King

Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence By Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967)

William Pepper: The Execution of Martin Luther King (2003)

7 thoughts on “William Pepper: US Government Killed MLK Jr. + Truth Troubadour: An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King

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  5. I’d say William Pepper is quite an exceptional individual, a man of high principle and great determination.

    To get some more background on this topic I listened to a long 2 hr talk he gave about his book back in 2003.

    The case he makes is extremely compelling. The US he reveals is an incredibly scary place, a nightmare country run by gangsters and despots. That a man of King’s exceptional moral stature should be executed in this utterly glib and gratuitous fashion is truly terrifying.

    In fact, the conduct of the United States in most every respect is so blatantly despicable, we can only marvel that it has not yet completely imploded. The vulgarity and bigotry of those who could plan and implement such base acts should be forever condemned and they must never be allowed to be ignored or elided.

    All the European powers and every empire that ever existed have more than enough to answer for, but the United States should in no wise be exempt, & be made thoroughly accountable for all of its criminal history ~ and in full measure.

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