The following are my teaching assignments on critical thinking for California 12th grade students in the semester-long courses, “US Government” and “Economics.” I offer them for non-profit use:
- Information and recommendations for your child’s success (and overall introduction to this article series) 1 of 6
- Heart of social science (2 of 6)
- Critical thinking skills in government and economics (3 of 6)
- Case Study: Economics and policy of ending poverty (4 of 6)
- Critical thinking skills in action: policy analysis of ‘current events,’ past and present (US Government: 5 of 6)
- Critical thinking skills in action: economic analysis of ‘current events,’ past and present (Economics: 6 of 6)
This is the final action: students explore their interests with research, writing, and presentation to the class. At this point of the course, the previous sections from this article and my sharing of current events have opened students’ minds that the world they thought existed in government and economics was a fairy tale believed by the ignorant. This conclusion is justified from the objective and independently verifiable facts, and young-adult confidence that they really do know some things more powerfully than adults (please recall this fact from when we were their ages).
This last project for student research, writing, and class presentation is divided into four parts:
This is 5.3:
7. Past “current events”: US overthrow of Hawaii, Spanish-American War
“‘Tis strange — but true; for truth is always strange; Stranger than fiction.” – Don Juan, Canto XIV.
The US overthrew the Hawaiian government in 1893 (1) and then annexed the territory against Hawaiian will in 1898. This was in clear violation of treaty, admitted as an unlawful war by US President Cleveland in 1893, and that the “provisional government” created by US oligarchs was both wrong and racist:
“By an act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress, the Government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people has been overthrown. A substantial wrong has thus been done which a due regard for our national character as well as the rights of the injured people requires we should endeavor to repair. The provisional government has not assumed a republican or other constitutional form, but has remained a mere executive council or oligarchy, set up without the assent of the people. It has not sought to find a permanent basis of popular support and has given no evidence of an intention to do so. Indeed, the representatives of that government assert that the people of Hawaii are unfit for popular government and frankly avow that they can be best ruled by arbitrary or despotic power.”
Because Congress had the votes and approval of President McKinley in 1898, the US annexed Hawaii. One hundred years later, the US Congress and President Clinton passed Public Law 103-150 in full admittance that the US unlawfully overthrew Hawaii’s government:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
– apologizes to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the people of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 17, 1893
What was missing, of course, is the basis of democratic institutions: full communication of this admission to Hawaiians for their consideration and vote whether they prefer to remain within the US, or once again be an independent nation.
The Spanish-American War (2) in 1898 had US warfare in the Philippines and Cuba. Hawaii’s position as a naval base in the middle of the Pacific Ocean made the unlawful annexation of Hawaii a crime with apparent strong motivation.
The US unilaterally claimed sovereign military authority (3) in the Philippines after the Spanish-American War in 1898. Philippine leadership claimed the US promised independence on multiple occasions and reneged. Emilio Aguinaldo (4), the Philippine’s first president and leader of their revolution against Spanish imperialism:
“In reply, the [US] Consul said he would telegraph about this matter to Admiral Dewey, who was, he said, Commander-in-Chief of the squadron which would invade the Philippines, and who had, he also stated, full powers conferred on him by President McKinley.
Between 10 or 12 in the forenoon of the next day the conference was renewed and Mr. Pratt then informed me that the Admiral had sent him a telegram in reply to the wish I had expressed for an agreement in writing. He said the Admiral’s reply was–That the United States would at least recognize the Independence of the Philippines under the protection of the United States Navy. The Consul added that there was no necessity for entering into a formal written agreement because the word of the Admiral and of the United States Consul were in fact equivalent to the most solemn pledge that their verbal promises and assurance would be fulfilled to the letter and were not to be classed with Spanish promises or Spanish ideas of a man’s word of honour. In conclusion the Consul said, “The Government of North America, is a very honest, just, and powerful government.” ”
Philippine requests for political independence were refused by the US, or any vote of the people to discover their will of who should govern. The resultant War for Independence caused civilian deaths ranging from 250,000 to 1.5 million, and over 4,000 American military deaths. This US foreign policy choice against democracy and freedom provoked Mark Twain’s razor-sharp literary attention (5):
“I left these shores, at Vancouver, a red-hot imperialist. I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific. It seemed tiresome and tame for it to content itself with the Rockies. Why not spread its wings over the Phillippines, I asked myself? And I thought it would be a real good thing to do.
I said to myself, here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.
But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Phillippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. . .
It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.”
The US kept the Philippines as their imperial colony until after WW2.
The history after “independence” is poignantly understood with US military and economic support of dictator Ferdinand Marcos from 1965 to 1986. The World Bank estimates that Marcos embezzled up to $5 billion from this relationship (6). Marcos’ dictatorship included the usual elements of a police state, corruption, assassinations of political enemies, and poverty for the majority of the public. George Washington University now archives confirming US government documentation of their support of this vicious government (7).
The US also reneged on documented promise in the Teller Amendment for Cuban independence after the Spanish-American War:
“Resolved, First. That the people of the Island of Cuba are, of right ought to be, free and independent.
Second. That it is the duty of the United States to demand, and the Government of the United States does hereby demand, that the Government of Spain at once relinquish its authority and government in the Island of Cuba and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters.
Third. That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the United States, and to call into the actual service of the United States the militia of the several States, to such extent as may be necessary to carry these resolutions into effect.
Fourth. That the United States hereby disclaims any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said Island except for the pacification thereof, and asserts its determination, when that is accomplished, to leave the government and control of the Island to its people.”
The US violated the Teller Amendment by having the US military continue their occupation for five years after the war had ended (8). This, obviously, is a violation of US law and an impeachable offense.
The US unilaterally rescinded their legal promise to the Cuban people in 1901 with the Platt Amendment. This allowed US intervention into Cuban affairs at will, as long as the US said it was for “the preservation of Cuban independence.” Again, this is government by dictatorship (literally what is said) and not limited government under the law.
Forwarding into modern history, the US supported a vicious dictator, Fulgencio Batista, who provided oligarchic profits to US corporations, and a police state with poverty for Cubans from 1933 until the peoples’ revolution in 1958 put Fidel Castro in power.
The Spanish-American War transferred imperial domination from the Spanish to the Americans in the Philippines, and to a new dictator in Cuba with US military support that killed tens of thousands of Cubans. The purpose was a friendly environment for US businesses at the expense of the Cuban people. Senator John F. Kennedy explains in chilling and revealing details (9):
“Only a third of the homes in the island even had running water, and in the years which preceded the Castro revolution this abysmal standard of living was driven still lower as population expansion out-distanced economic growth.
Only 90 miles away stood the United States – their good neighbor – the richest nation on earth – its radios and newspapers and movies spreading the story of America’s material wealth and surplus crops.
But instead of holding out a helping hand of friendship to the desperate people of Cuba, nearly all our aid was in the form of weapons assistance – assistance, which merely strengthened the Batista dictatorship – assistance which completely failed to advance the economic welfare of the Cuban people – assistance, which enabled Castro and the Communists to encourage the growing belief that America was indifferent to Cuban aspirations for a decent life…
Secondly, in a manner certain to antagonize the Cuban people, we used the influence of our Government to advance the interests of and increase the profits of the private American companies, which dominated the island’s economy. At the beginning of 1959 United States companies owned about 40 percent of the Cuban sugar lands – almost all the cattle ranches – 90 percent of the mines and mineral concessions – 80 percent of the utilities – and practically all the oil industry – and supplied two-thirds of Cuba’s imports.
Of course our private investment did much to help Cuba. But our actions too often have the impression that this country was more interested in taking money from the Cuban people than in helping them build a strong and diversified economy of their own.
The symbol of this shortsighted attitude is now on display in a Havana museum. It is a solid gold telephone presented to Batista by the American-owned Cuban telephone company. It is an expression of gratitude for the excessive telephone rate increase which the Cuban Dictator had granted at the urging of our Government. But visitors to the museum are reminded that America made no expression at all over the other events which occurred on the same day this burdensome rate increase was granted, when forty Cubans lost their lives in an assault on Batista’s Palace.
The third, and perhaps most disastrous of our failures, was the decision to give stature and support to one of the most bloody and repressive dictatorships in the long history of Latin American repression. Fulgencio Batista murdered 20,000 Cubans in seven years – a greater proportion of the Cuban population than the proportion of Americans who died in both World Wars, and he turned Democratic Cuba into a complete police state – destroying every individual liberty.
Yet our aid to his regime, and the ineptness of our policies, enabled Batista to invoke the name of the United States in support of his reign of terror.
Administration spokesmen publicly praised Batista – hailed him as a staunch ally and a good friend – at a time when Batista was murdering thousands, destroying the last vestiges of freedom, and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the Cuban people, and we failed to press for free elections.
In October 1958 – just a few days before Batista held a rigged and fraudulent election – Secretary of State Dulles was the guest of honor at a reception held by the Batista Embassy in Washington. The reception made only the social pages in Washington; but it made Havana headlines- and it was used by Batista to show how America favored his rule.
We stepped up a constant stream of weapons and munitions to Batista – justified in the name of hemispheric defense, when in fact, their only real use was to crush the dictator’s opposition…”
The pattern of early 20th Century US military invasions of developing countries for the economic benefits of controlling resources and profits of US corporations was explained in the testimony of the most decorated general in US Marine Corps history, Smedley Butler. Congress later investigated the most damning of his charges and found them factually accurate (10):
“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes…
I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”
8. Past “current events”: World War 1, CIA wars, Vietnam War
To begin the century we were all born into, the US unconstitutionally crushed lawful 1st Amendment dissent from US war in Europe in WW1 through the Espionage Act of 1917 and Sedition Act of 1918. Let’s look at the “reason” given the US public to embrace war in the “current event” known at the time as the “Great War” and now as World War One.
The British were intercepting telegram communications, including spying on the US government. Among their interceptions was a message from German Foreign Secretary Zimmermann to Germany’s Mexican ambassador, advising that Germany would resume submarine attack of all trading ships approaching Great Britain, their enemy in war, beginning in February 1917. Germany would attempt to keep the US “neutral” in the war with the argument that American shipping companies were not trading with Germany because the British Navy prevented them, and that in wartime American shipping companies also must not trade with Britain. If that failed and the US declared war against Germany, Germany’s ambassador was to ask Mexico to join Germany in the war by attacking the US. Germany would promise money and regained territory they lost in 1848. The Mexican government quickly evaluated that an armed invasion by Mexico of the US was a completely unrealistic military goal that would end in certain defeat, and that Germany’s offer was a ruse for American military to occupy itself by killing Mexicans rather than fighting Germany.
Mexico declined Germany’s offer.
After British government revealed the message to the American government (but not the fact they also spied on all American communications), the US government used this as a reason for war and declared it against Germany and her allies on April 6, 1917.
Let’s apply critical thinking to the facts of the German offer and the American response for war.
Please recall the revealing lack of such thinking in the history you read on this topic.
The Zimmermann telegram’s offer was only active if the US declared war on Germany first, and Mexico rejected the offer. The German submarines were not attacking US territory, only private ships that chose to do business with Britain in a declared war zone, one that was already enforced by the British to prevent trade with Germany. If merchants from any nation wanted to avoid the risk of being attacked by a German submarine, that was as easy as staying away from Great Britain.
Therefore, there was no national security threat from Germany to the US. The actual threat, if any, was from British spying on secret US communications. There is also compelling analysis (11) that the story we have about the Zimmermann telegram covers-up actions by British and American actors working for the goal of American entry on the British side for WW1.
US political leadership didn’t present those facts, but instead promised a “war to end all wars,” and “a war to make the world safe for democracy.” The US declared war and a national draft.
US government made war opposition illegal, despite crystal-clear language in the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution to “make no law abridging the freedom of speech.” The US government arrested and indicted Eugene Debs, the Socialist Party presidential candidate, for this speech that questioned US motivation for war (4-minute video reading and full text):
“Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder. In the Middle Ages when the feudal lords who inhabited the castles whose towers may still be seen along the Rhine concluded to enlarge their domains, to increase their power, their prestige and their wealth they declared war upon one another. But they themselves did not go to war any more than the modern feudal lords, the barons of Wall Street go to war… The poor, ignorant serfs had been taught to revere their masters; to believe that when their masters declared war upon one another, it was their patriotic duty to fall upon one another and to cut one another’s throats for the profit and glory of the lords and barons who held them in contempt. And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose—especially their lives….
Yours is not to reason why;
Yours is but to do and die.
That is their motto and we object.”
In the trial of Eugene Debs, the transcript of the speech was the evidence against him (12). The judge read the text of the Sedition Act and instructed the jury to respect the law. Mr. Debs was sentenced to ten years in prison for his speech.
Over 100,000 Americans were killed in WW1, in just over a year of combat. At the war’s conclusion, the British and French empires stole and divided between them Germany’s colonies; making the world safe for expanded British and French empire rather than democracy. And as we know, the promise to “end all wars” was empty rhetoric.
So we must ask again: did a US president with complicity of a majority in Congress lie their way into another war, this time violating the US Constitution to silence political dissent?
Beginning with the invasion of Mexico in 1846, do we see a pattern of US wars to violate treaties, violate the US Constitution, and then lie to have wars of choice?
There is evidence that US government engaged is similar deception to declare war in WW2. This burden of proof is more complicated than showing the US had no national security threat for WW1, and I have not invested the time to research it sufficiently to have confidence in its comprehensive facts. Relevant facts include that US Naval Intelligence issued the McCollum Memo (13) a year before US entry into war in 1941. This plan was endorsed by two of President Roosevelt’s closest military advisors, and outlined eight actions the US could take to provoke Japan to attack the US. We know that all eight steps were implemented within a year, and that Japanese testimony agreed that those acts provoked their decision to attack the US. The memo was classified as “sensitive” to US national security and only declassified in 1994 after a Freedom of Information Request.
This is an example of the work historians and citizens have to engage in for factual discovery. It’s also a good example of your teacher honestly reporting the existence of interesting material, and the limitation of personal academic confidence in comprehensive factual accuracy to be comfortable making any conclusions.
Let’s now consider the CIA’s role in covert US operations.
Most US History texts now include sections of US illegal use of covert military and intelligence for “regime change” that include Iran in 1953. Operation Ajax (14) overthrew Iran’s democracy after their government demanded more than the 15% oil profits they were receiving from US and British oil corporations. Other disclosed unlawful and violent interventions include Guatemala in 1954, Cuba with the Bay of Pigs in 1961, South Vietnam in 1963 (15), Chile in 1970, and Panama in 1989 (16). Many college courses cover this material in depth, as do many history books (17).
One US policy, Operation Northwoods (18) of 1962 that was approved by the US Military Joint Chiefs of Staff, included provisions for the US military to kill Americans in a false-flag operation to create public support for an invasion of Cuba. “False flag” (and here) (19) means a covert operation, usually to organize an attack on one’s own country, and then blame another country in order to sell a “defensive war” to the public. Operation Northwoods was declassified and released from the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board in 1997 (20). Since the Cold War, dozens of so-called “conspiracy theories” have been revealed as conspiracy facts and entered into conservative history, including many covert CIA actions (21). President Johnson stated in an interview just before his death, “We were running a damned murder incorporated.” (22)
There are examples of virtuous US policy, such as the Marshall Plan after WW2. In 1947, the Marshall Plan replaced the punitive Joint Chiefs of Staff 1067 (JCS 1067) plan that restricted trade to Germany and caused a slow starvation diet of ~1,000 calories a day that deliberately killed German civilians (23). The Marshall Plan worked for the revitalization of participating European countries’ economies. By the end of the program in 1953, all countries’ economies except for Germany were performing higher than pre-war levels (24).
As you may know, many US activists in your world of the present request a “New Marshall Plan” for global development rather than expanding “wars on terror.” Many activists, including Dr. King, requested this rather than “wars on communism,” especially with the Vietnam War.
The following is conservatively accepted history of the Vietnam War; that is, information in agreement with admissions from our own government reports and unchallenged (as far as I know) by any professional historian. The understanding of this history by those of us who study it does not guarantee that many Americans will recognize the poignant facts. Please feel free to verify. In one paragraph:
After the “War to make the World Safe for Democracy,” Ho Chi Minh’s petition for a democratic Vietnam was denied by the victors of WW1. Vietnam remained under France’s dictatorship for economic and political colonial domination. The US supported Minh during WW2 in his guerilla warfare against Japan, only to deny his petition for Vietnam’s independence at the end of the war. The US paid for up to 80% of France’s military costs to keep Vietnam enslaved by the French. The US supported the cancellation of an election in Vietnam when it became clear that Minh’s socialistic economic plan was more popular than a Western-friendly leader. The Vietnam War exploded with SecDef McNamara’s contrived reporting of the Gulf of Tonkin incident; (25) manipulated intelligence at best (26) in first light, but then manipulated into an outright false-flag attack. The war escalated with unlawful invasions and attacks in Laos and Cambodia, dropping more bombs than from all sides of WW2 combined on a country smaller than California that killed perhaps 10% of their civilian population, ~3.5 million. The government’s stated goal at the time was to “defeat communism” by winning the hearts and minds of civilians while we killed over 1,000 civilian children, women and the elderly daily through high-altitude bombing. The war killed 58,000 Americans, and only ended through massive US demonstrations.
Let’s pause a moment and let these facts penetrate: the US government now admits that the Gulf of Tonkin incident that launched the Vietnam War was a contrived false-flag operation to manipulate public opinion for war. This conclusion seems irrefutable from the documentation, released phone conversations of President Johnson making that admission, and multiple public statements from SecDef McNamara, including the 2003 Academy Award-winning Feature Documentary, The Fog of War (27).
Does this mean exactly what it seems: that US leadership in the office of the president and Congress willfully lied about “self-defense” to begin a war, continued lying as long as they could to continue that war, and now lie by omission to not remind Americans about this history in light of current US wars?
Does the Vietnam War fit a pattern of intentional deceit from US political leadership to propagandize Americans to support wars of choice, and should this explanation be among our first to consider US wars in the present?
And you may have noticed: this history has progressed onto major current events in the lives of your grandparents and parents. Could that same history be occurring in your life of the present?
Welcome to the critical thinking required for engaged and historically-informed citizenry.
If you’re interested, you might want to consider this pattern of US history is similar to ancient Rome. In this brief article, I’ve tried to capture the conclusions of Antiquity’s most noted historians: Polybius, Sallust, Livy, and Tacitus.
Again, while this history is non-controversial in that I’m presenting crucial facts that I’m unaware are contested by professional historians, it’s all probably new to you. You might be coming to a similar conclusion to what my colleagues and I had working with US political and corporate media leadership: the usual practice that information for public consumption are lies of omission; that is, a “Disneyfied” version of events.
“Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? – Stupid.” – Arthur Sylvester, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, 1965, at a Vietnam press meeting as reported by: Hammond, William M. Reporting Vietnam: Media and Military at War, 1998.
I can also offer this analogy: if you were being tried in a court of law, you would see a prosecuting attorney. This person would wear a nice suit, be well-groomed, and show high levels of education and intelligence. You would, however, fully understand that everything coming out of that person’s mouth and all evidence presented would NOT be for the comprehensive facts to be known, but ONLY those facts and evidence to WIN.
That is, you would know up-front that this well-educated person would engage in a strategy of lies of omission. The attorney would also be tempted to tell lies of commission if the benefits outweighed risks. The reason attorneys work for the win rather than truth is to earn money from clients now and in the future who prefer to win legal decisions. You would understand that the attorney’s motivation to lie was that gaining money for himself was more important than the truth.
And yes, the former occupation of more politicians than any other is, you guessed it: attorney.
Although you understand this in a legal venue, most people do not see it in a political venue (at least not applied to “their” party). That is, politicians are tempted to lie in omission (and commission with managed risk) in order to gain money from large corporations who have a lot to gain or lose with the right laws. This personal gain would be more important than the truth. Under this view, politicians are the attorneys representing corporate interests and the American public are those being “prosecuted” to fund policies favorable to the attorneys’ clients.
I invite you to try this viewpoint on, like a jacket, to see if it fits. If so, keep it. If not, remove it.
Let’s conclude with our most powerful and game-changing current event.
9. King family’s civil trial for the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“What then is, generally speaking, the truth of history? A fable agreed upon.” – Napoleon Bonaparte (28)
“We have done what we can to reveal the truth, and we now urge you as members of the media, and we call upon elected officials, and other persons of influence to do what they can to share the revelation of this case to the widest possible audience.” – Coretta Scott King (Martin’s wife), King Family Press Conference, Dec. 9, 1999.
Anyone who wants the most important history of the Vietnam war, and American history, must be briefed of this stunning and game-changing “current event”:
Dr. Martin Luther King’s family and his personal friend and attorney, William F. Pepper, won a civil trial that found US government agencies guilty in the wrongful death of Martin Luther King. The 1999 trial, King Family versus Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators, (29) is the only trial ever conducted on the assassination of Dr. King. The King Center fully documents the case, with full trial transcript.
The King family’s attempts for a criminal trial were denied, as suspect James Ray’s recant of a guilty plea were denied. Mr. Ray said that his government-appointed attorney told him to sign a guilty plea to prevent the death penalty for his part in delivering the murder weapon for Dr. King’s assassination, and to prevent arrests of his father and brother as probable co-conspirators. Mr. Ray produced a letter (30) from his attorney stating the promise that Mr. Ray would receive a trial. When Mr. Ray discovered that he was solely blamed for Dr. King’s assassination and would never receive a trial, the King family’s and Mr. Ray’s subsequent requests for a trial were denied.
The US government also denied the King family’s requests for independent investigation of the assassination.
Therefore, and importantly, the US government has never presented any evidence subject to challenge that substantiates their claim that Mr. Ray assassinated Dr. King.
US corporate media did not cover the trial, interview the King family, and textbooks omit this information. Journalist and author, James Douglass (31):
“I can hardly believe the fact that, apart from the courtroom participants, only Memphis TV reporter Wendell Stacy and I attended from beginning to end this historic three-and-one-half week trial. Because of journalistic neglect scarcely anyone else in this land of ours even knows what went on in it. After critical testimony was given in the trial’s second week before an almost empty gallery, Barbara Reis, U.S. correspondent for the Lisbon daily Publico who was there several days, turned to me and said, “Everything in the U.S. is the trial of the century. O.J. Simpson’s trial was the trial of the century. Clinton’s trial was the trial of the century. But this is the trial of the century, and who’s here?” ”
For comparison, please consider the media coverage of O.J. Simpson’s trials (32):
“Media coverage of the Simpson trial, which began in January 1995, was unlike any other. Over two thousand reporters covered the trial, and 80 miles of cable was required to allow nineteen television stations to cover the trial live to 91 percent of the American viewing audience. When the verdict was finally read on October 3, 1995, some 142 million people listened or watched. It seemed the nation stood still, divided along racial lines as to the defendant’s guilt or innocence. During and after the trial, over eighty books were published about the event by most everyone involved in the Simpson case.”
The overwhelming evidence of government complicity introduced and agreed as comprehensively valid by the jury includes:
- US 111th Military Intelligence Group were at Dr. King’s location during the assassination.
- 20th Special Forces Group had an 8-man sniper team at the assassination location on that day.
- Usual Memphis Police special body guards were advised they “weren’t needed” on the day of the assassination.
- Regular and constant police protection for Dr. King was removed from protecting Dr. King an hour before the assassination.
- Military Intelligence set-up photographers on a roof of a fire station with a clear view to Dr. King’s balcony.
- Dr. King’s room was changed from a secure 1st-floor room to an exposed balcony room.
- Memphis police ordered the scene where multiple witnesses reported as the source of shooting cut down of their bushes that would have hid a sniper.
- Along with sanitizing a crime scene, police abandoned investigative procedure to interview witnesses who lived by the scene of the shooting.
- The rifle Mr. Ray delivered was not matched to the bullet that killed Dr. King, and was not sighted to accurately shoot.
The King family believes the government’s motivation to murder Dr. King was to prevent his imminent camp-in/Occupy at Washington, D.C. until the Vietnam War was ended and those resources directed to end poverty and invest in US hard and soft infrastructure.
Please watch this six-minute video of the evidence from the trial, (33) and this eight-minute video (34) on the FBI’s disclosures of covert operations against Dr. King, including confirmation from his closest friends and advisors.
Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s wife, is certain of the evidence after 30 years of consideration from the 1968 assassination to the 1999 trial:
“For a quarter of a century, Bill Pepper conducted an independent investigation of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. He opened his files to our family, encouraged us to speak with the witnesses, and represented our family in the civil trial against the conspirators. The jury affirmed his findings, providing our family with a long-sought sense of closure and peace, which had been denied by official disinformation and cover-ups. Now the findings of his exhaustive investigation and additional revelations from the trial are presented in the pages of this important book. We recommend it highly to everyone who seeks the truth about Dr. King’s assassination.” — Coretta Scott King.
The US Department of Justice issued a report in 2000 that explains their investigation into their own possible guilt in the assassination found no evidence to warrant further investigation. Dr. King’s son issued the following statement (35) rebuking a “self-study” rather than the independent investigation the King family assert the evidence demands:
“We learned only hours before the Justice Department press conference that they were releasing the report of their results of their “limited investigation,” which covered only two areas of new evidence concerning the assassination of Dr. King. We had requested that we be given a copy of the report a few days in advance so that we might have had the opportunity to review it in detail. Since that courtesy was not extended to us, we are only able at this time to state the following:
1. We initially requested that a comprehensive investigation be conducted by a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, independent of the government, because we do not believe that, in such a politically-sensitive matter, the government is capable of investigating itself.
2. The type of independent investigation we sought was denied by the federal government. But in our view, it was carried out, in a Memphis courtroom, during a month-long trial by a jury of 12 American citizens who had no interest other than ascertaining the truth. (Kings v. Jowers)
3. After hearing and reviewing the extensive testimony and evidence, which had never before been tested under oath in a court of law, it took the Memphis jury only one (1) hour to find that a conspiracy to kill Dr. King did exist. Most significantly, this conspiracy involved agents of the governments of the City of Memphis, the state of Tennessee and the United States of America. The overwhelming weight of the evidence also indicated that James Earl Ray was not the triggerman and, in fact, was an unknowing patsy.
4. We stand by that verdict and have no doubt that the truth about this terrible event has finally been revealed.
5. We urge all interested Americans to read the transcript of the trial on the King Center website and consider the evidence, so they can form their own unbiased conclusions.
Although we cooperated fully with this limited investigation, we never really expected that the government report would be any more objective than that which has resulted from any previous official investigation.”
Let’s summarize: Under US Civil Law, covert US government agencies were found guilty of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was the leading figure of the Civil Rights Movement, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and widely recognized as one of the world’s greatest speakers for what it means to be human. The family’s conclusion as to motive was to prevent Dr. King from ending the Vietnam War because the government wanted to continue its ongoing covert and overt military operations to control foreign governments and their resources.
It is therefore a factual statement that under US Civil Law, the US government assassinated Dr. King.
This is similar that under Criminal Law, both O.J. Simpson and the US government are not legally guilty for murder, but both parties are guilty for killing innocent victims under Civil Law.
People of sufficient intellectual integrity and moral courage to apply critical thinking skills will embrace the trial evidence and testimony, jury conclusion, and King family analysis as appropriate and helpful information in seeking the facts.
People who at least temporarily reject challenging information out of fear might say something like, “The government killed Dr. King? That’s a crazy conspiracy theory!”
Let’s consider that statement.
When someone says that a body of evidence is “crazy,” or a “conspiracy theory” (meaning an irrational claim easily refuted by the evidence) that’s a claim. With a claim comes a burden of proof. In this case, the person would have to demonstrate command of the facts to explain and prove why the evidence from the civil trial is somehow “crazy” and refute the evidence.
If the person can do this, it would be tremendously helpful in understanding the facts. However, we know from our experience that such statements almost always have zero factual support, and that the person making such a claim literally doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
We also know from our experience, a person making such a statement is really voicing an emotional reaction something closer to the spirit of, “The government killed Dr. King? Ok, I read and understood the paragraphs about the trial and evidence. I read Mrs. King’s and her son’s statement. I haven’t invested the time to verify how valid that information is. I’m not stupid, but because the implications of what that means is so disturbing, I’m going to deny anything about it could possibly be true as my first response. If I’m going to continue being in denial and refuse to discuss the evidence, I’ll attack the messenger.”
We also need to consider the lack of coverage by US corporate media of this compelling evidence, trial verdict, and King family testimony from over 30 years’ analysis of the facts. Recall the evidence of US corporate media reporting being infiltrated by CIA agents to propagandize Americans’ access to information. This included the Director of the CIA’s admission to Congress that they have over 400 agents working in corporate media to make the US public believe what the CIA wants them to believe.
In 2006, George Washington University used a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the US military’s “Information Operations Roadmap.” This formerly secret and approved document details present US government strategies to generate propaganda, and then attack Internet alternative media that provides dangerous facts and discussion. The military promoted the term, “Fight the net.” (36)
Although I won’t enter the burden of proof here, you may know that there are similar and related bodies of evidence that the US government assassinated other American leaders. The 1975 Senate Church Committee disclosed that the US government initiated and helped assassination attempts on multiple foreign heads of state (37).
If we were discussing how the population of some other nation could employ critical thinking skills to understand current events from anytime in history, we would certainly understand the importance to anticipate disinformation from government, danger of controlled media, and assassination as a political weapon.
Failure to do so would appropriately elicit the label attributed to the first dictator of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin. Such people who believe what their government tells them when the history and present have overwhelming objective evidence to explain, document, and prove that the government is typical of so many other historical self-serving oligarchies are:
To the extent the United States today is any different from all other nations and all other times is up to your exercise of critical thinking skills.
Your choice of a current event to research and consider will provide you with helpful evidence to answer that question for yourself.
Note: Examiner.com has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers). Some links in my articles are therefore now blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. Or, go to http://archive.org/web/, paste the expired link into the box, click “Browse history,” click onto the screenshots of that page for each time it was screen-shot and uploaded to webarchive. Then switch the expired URLs with webarchived ones of that same information. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (blocked author pages: here, here).
1 Hawaii Nation. The overthrow of the monarchy. Pitzer, P. May, 1994.
2 Library of Congress. The world of 1898: The Spanish-American War: http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/
3 Filipino.biz.ph. McKinley’s benevolent assimilation proclamation. Dec. 21, 1898.
4 True version of the Philippine Revolution. Aguinaldo, E. Chapter III: Negotiations.
5 Library of Congress. The world of 1898: Mark Twain. From the New York Herald: Oct. 15, 1900
6 The World Bank. The costs of corruption. April 8, 2004: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:20190187~menuPK:34457~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html
7 George Washington University. The Philippines: the Marcos years: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/publications/philippines/philippines.html
8 Fordham University. Modern History Sourcebook: The Platt Amendment, 1901.
9 The Cuban Revolution of 1958 led to Congressional investigation and reports of the damning facts. Among many sources for details, Senator John Kennedy in a speech on Oct. 6, 1960: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Search.aspx?nav=N:4294890250
10 From General Butler’s book and speeches on “War is a Racket”: http://www.rationalrevolution.net/war/major_general_smedley_butler_usm.htm . For additional information: Examiner.com. Most decorated US Marine General: “War is a racket; profits in dollars. losses in lives”. For a two-minute video that includes General Butler’s filmed public statement from his Congressional testimony: Smedley Butler excerpt from the movie “The Corporation”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQoBAc95tnw
11 The Zimmermann telegram hoax. MacGregor, A. March 4, 2014. The Rebel: http://therebel.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=747282:the-zimmermann-telegram-hoax&catid=318:andrew-macgregor&Itemid=2587
12 The Liberator. The Trial of Eugene Debs. Eastman, M. Nov. 1918 edition: http://www.marxists.org/history/usa/parties/spusa/1918/1100-eastman-debstrial.pdf
13 What Really Happened. The McCollum Memo: The smoking gun of Pearl Harbor.
14 Herman, C. Washington’s Blog. US overthrew Iran’s democracy 1953-1979, armed Iraq to invade 1980-1988, now lies for more war. Jan 8, 2012: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/01/us-overthrew-irans-democracy-1953-1979-armed-iraq-to-invade-1980-1988-now-lies-for-more-war.html
15 To hear President Johnson admit the US-sanctioned murder of Vietnam’s head of state: LBJ admits murder of Diem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeNv_62v6WQ&feature=related .
16 These are conservative and US government acknowledged historical facts today. Do some research to verify; one is Wikipedia’s list of Covert United States foreign regime change actions.
17 consider this YaleGlobalOnline review of bestselling author Stephen Kinzer’s Overthrow: America’s century of regime change from Hawaii to Iraq. Froetschel, S.: http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/about/overthrow.jsp
18 Wanttoknow.info. Operation Northwoods Information Center.
19 Among many with explanation and documentation: wanttoknow.info: False Flag Terrorism: http://www.wanttoknow.info/falseflag and Washington’s Blog. Updated list of admitted false flag attacks. Feb. 1, 2015
20 Alex Jones has a snappy three-minute video to walk you through Operation Northwoods: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rp3P2wDKQK4
21 Again, this is now encyclopedic knowledge: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cia
22 The Atlantic Monthly. The Last Days of the President: LBJ in retirement. Janos, L. July, 1973: http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/73jul/janos.htm , and analysis: Political ReviewNet. Book Review: “No basis for suspicion election may be rigged”: the Johnson Administration, the CIA, and the Caribbean, 1964-1968. Rabe, S. Oct. 4, 2008: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-7709.2007.00663.x/abstract .
23 consider the only book I know of that attempts to document the starvation effects of JCS 1067 over several years, James Bacque’s Crime’s and Mercies and his previous Other Losses. Here for analysis and links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Bacque
24 For background, consider Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_plan
25 Voltairenet.org. Robert McNamara deceived LBJ on Gulf of Tonkin, documents show (video). Porter, G. July 11, 2009.
26 Truthdig. McNamara’s Evil Lives On. Scheer, R. Jul 8, 2009.
27 Prison Planet. De-classified Vietnam-era transcripts show Senators knew Gulf of Tonkin was a staged false flag event. Watson, S. July 15, 2010: http://www.infowars.com/de-classified-vietnam-era-transcripts-show-senators-knew-gulf-of-tonkin-was-a-staged-false-flag-event/ . To hear then SecDef McNamara admit the attack never happened, here is his testimony from the film “Fog of War”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HODxnUrFX6k
28 Conversation with Emmanuel, comte de Las Cases (20 November 1816), Mémorial de Sainte Hélène, v. 4, p. 251.
29 The Martin Luther King Jr. Center. Civil Case: King Family versus Jowers. Transcript of closing statement: http://www.thekingcenter.org/civil-case-king-family-versus-jowers/ .
30 Pepper, William. 2007. Public lecture from the King Family Civil Trial evidence. 3-minute excerpt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2EE64XHcnI
31 Probe Magazine. The Martin Luther King Conspiracy exposed in Memphis. Douglass, J.: http://ctka.net/pr500-king.html . Mr. Douglass took what he learned from the MLK trial and wrote a book on the explanation and evidence that similar covert US government factions assassinated President Kennedy: JFK and the unspeakable: why he died and why it matters. Reviews for your consideration here and here. Because the evidence for JFK being murdered by interests in our own government is so strong, AP US History teacher John Hankey created this DVD: Dark Legacy.
32 One of many analyses: law.jrank. Media – The O.j. Simpson Case: http://law.jrank.org/pages/12147/Media-O-J-Simpson-Case.html
33 Documentation from the King family, trial information, and video resources: Washington’s Blog. Martin Luther King assassinated by US government: King Family civil trial verdict. Herman, C. Jan. 12, 2015: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/01/martin-luther-king-assassinated-us-govt-king-family-civil-trial-verdict.html . For further documentation of evidence: What Really Happened: The Death of Martin Luther King: http://whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/MLK/mlk.html
34 RevolutionNewz. MSM blackout – the US govt executed Martin Luther King…Proven in US court, 1999: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvLzcFdBQ-k
35 Global Research. Martin Luther King Day: King family statement on the Justice Department’s “Limited Investigation” of the MLK assassination. Jan. 15, 2007
36 George Washington University. The National Security Archive. Rumsfeld’s Roadmap to Propaganda. Jan. 26, 2006: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB177/ . BBC News analysis: US plans to ‘fight the net’ revealed. Brookes, A. Jan. 27, 2006: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4655196.stm
37 History matters. Church Committee Interim report: Alleged assassination plots involving foreign leaders: http://www.history-matters.com/archive/contents/church/contents_church_reports_ir.htm