On Martin Luther King Day, we can remember a great American--and one who was subjected to the most notorious kompromat exploit in US history--Martin Luther King Jr.
I'm re-upping a post I did last year on the FBI sextape/suicide campaign against King.
I'd also like to point out that the most successful kompromat dossier assembled on a US president was Monica Lewinsky's blue dress.
You know, the dress spotted with Bill Clinton's semen that she put at the back of her closet and forgot to take to the cleaners?
The blackmail element, though denied and ignored by loyal liberals by myself and softpedaled during the impeachment hearings, was there as well. If you think it was a matter of disinterested benevolence that caused President Clinton to set up a job interview for Monica Lewinsky with Vernon Jordan, well...
A president yielding to sexual blackmail and lying about it was stone impeachable. Didn't happen, though.
The best we got was Peggy Noonan enriching the vocabulary of American political ratf*ckery with her allegation that Castro was blackmailing Clinton with tapes of his phone sex sessions with Lewinsky, justified by the statement--which seems to be the lodestar for current discourse-- "Is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to."
Presidential semen, one might think, is the best kompromat there is but, as readers of thrillers such as Primal Fear and Gone Girl will tell you, there are ways even to mess with that!
Once the security services get involved, we're all the way down the rabbit hole.
As an illustration, consider this:
There is plausible speculation that the US government forged a typewriter to convict Alger Hiss. The typewriter was in question was convincingly identified as Hiss's (he'd gotten rid of it but the FBI tracked it down) and shown to be the same machine that produced the notorious "pumpkin papers" produced by Whitaker Chambers.
But the scuttlebutt (including an alleged statement by Richard Nixon that "we built [a typewriter] on the Hiss case") is that the FBI couldn't find the Hiss typewriter; instead, a similar model was obtained and modified so it could reproduce the "fingerprint" of the original machine that typed the pumpkin papers. Wikipedia has an excellent account of the case and the typewriter controversy.
But this rumor is layered on top of the conclusion that the FBI had identified Hiss as a Soviet agent thanks to the Venona intercepts, whose existence it did not want to reveal in open court as the price of nailing Hiss.
As someone once commented in the case of the TV show "Making of a Murderer" sometimes the cops frame guilty people...
...or people they think are guilty...
...or people they hope are guilty.
Something to remember!
As in don't let the IC push a particular political agenda, maybe.
So shoulda woulda Buzzfeed published the MLK sextapes? Remember, it published the Trump dossier not because it could vouch for the accuracy of the allegations; release was justified by the fact that the dossier was circulating throughout official Washington and the media and the public had a right to know, even if was the last to know.
Apparently, lots of people in Washington got a listen to the MLK tapes, just as multitudes pored over the Trump dossier. The authenticity of the events on the Martin Luther King tapes--if not the sexually heroic composite generated by the FBI--is, as far as I can tell, challenged by no-one.
As for the public interest/puppet of Moscow angle, the proximate justification for surveilling King and trying to destroy him with sex tape was Hoover's conviction--never successfully documented by the FBI, at least in the public realm-- that a key King adviser was a Soviet agent.
Gosh, should the American public have a right to judge for itself as to whether America's top civil rights leader was vulnerable to Soviet manipulation by listening to a mixtape of his alleged sexual exploits provided by an intelligence service?
The assumption is, however, that all copies of the King tapes were destroyed when Hoover died, sparing Buzzfeed the heartburn of a genuine, real-life choice.
But we can appreciate the bizarre spectacle of Donald Trump appearing as Martin Luther King's 21st century doppelganger if only in the matter of deep state sexually-tinged kompromat campaigns.
Here's a reup of my original post, trimmed a touch, with a couple grafs added from another Hoover post of mine, “Everybody Wants Their Own Stasi.”
Friday, January 15, 2016
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
In the case of Martin Luther King, America's deep state intersected with politics and civil rights and Thurgood Marshall's strategy for African American legal equality in some ugly and dangerous ways.
And they intersect at a most unpleasant and unhappy point, one that is largely ignored when putting an optimistic, feel-good gloss over Dr. King's struggle for civil rights: the infamous MLK sex tape gambit cooked up by the FBI.
The most uncomfortable issue raised by the existence of tapes is not the matter of Dr. King's human appetites and deficiencies in the area of marital fidelity. It is the potential for blackmail, the leverage that the FBI and the US government could have brought to bear against Dr. King and his direction of the civil rights movement by exploiting the tapes.
And the case of the tapes also shines an awkward light on the relationship between America's deep state and another African-American civil rights giant: Thurgood Marshall.
Readers can judge for themselves, with this excerpt from interviews recorded by Marshall’s biographer, Juan Williams:
Q: Did (Hoover) fear that King was a communist?
A: He just had an absolute blur on communism. It's unbelievable. I don't know what happened to him, I don't know what happened but something happened.
No, it was personal. He bugged everything King had. Everything. And the guy that did it was a friend of a private detective in New York who's a good friend of mine, Buck Owens. He called up and said, Buck, do you know Martin Luther King? And he said, no. He said do you know anybody that goes? He said yes. He said well you please tell him, don't use my name but I'm in the group that's bugging everything he's got. Even when he goes to the toilet. I mean we've bugged everything and I think it's a dirty damn trick and he ought to know about it.
So Buck called me and I called Brother King. He was in Atlanta then. And I told him about it and he said, oh forget it, nothing to it. Just didn't interest him. That's what he said. He didn't care, no.
Q: How do you interpret that?
A: I don't and I've never been able to. That he wasn't doing anything wrong. Well they ain't nobody who can say that. Right. Right. And when I called him up and told him that his house was bugged and all, he said so what? Doesn't bother me. That's what he said.
Q: Did you guys know about all this sex stuff that they talk about these days?
A: I knew that the stories were out. And I knew who was putting them out.
Q: Mr. Hoover?
A: No, it was a private police business. They used to settle strikes and everything. [Pinkertons] I'm not saying whether, I don't know, I don't know whether he was right or Hoover was right. I don't know which one was right.
Q: What did you think about the fact that he didn't care about being bugged?
A: Well, the answer was simple. I don't know if a man can humanly do all the things. Five and six times a night with five and six different women. We add it all up, I mean he just couldn't be all them places at the same time. I don't believe in it personally. But I don't know, when I was solicitor general, a lot of things came by, arguments between the attorney general and the director of the FBI and I, by internal rules, had to get copies of all of it. And we had to have a special safe and I know that of all the things that I listened to and read, I never found Mr. Hoover to have lied once. Not once. I don't know, I'm not saying he always told the truth -
Q: You never found him to have lied?
A: That's right. I mean he was never proved to be a liar. He always came up with the right stuff, usually it would be a taped thing. You can tell by the tape. I don't know. But that's between him and, I think the only way to do it would be him and King and put 'em in the same room. And it's too late to do that.
Who made Jesse Jackson? The press. Who made Martin Luther King? The press, they do it. Because it writes good, it writes well. And you know Martin Luther King didn't have a publicity person. No sir. The press did it all. The press did it all.
And perhaps, with the sex tapes in his safe--and serving as a sword of Damocles over King's head--Hoover believed he could regard King as something of a beholden asset that could be accessed, guided, cajoled, bullied, and if need be publicly discredited in the course of the Bureau's operations involving the African American civil rights movement.
Hoover and Marshall were two insiders “present at the creation”, their exalted status and power the result of a hard-won, superior understanding of the contradictions and potentialities of American government "as it is".
Their lives--and services to the state--followed different paths.