Tag Archives: US Department of Justice

Declassified 1977 “Report of the Dept. of Justice Task Force to Review FBI Martin Luther King Jr. Security and Assassination Investigations”

Why is workers revolution necessary to completely overthrow the rule of the capitalist classes of the world and replace it with the rule of the working classes of the world – rather than merely reforming the system?

We publish here yet another expose of the “democratic process” in action.  It relates to how the US capitalist class reacts whenever the wage slaves of the United States – that is, YOU, dear reader – organize yourselves to fight for your rights.  In this case we expose the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s  use of its Counterintelligence Program (a.k.a. COINTELPRO) to destroy the leadership of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.  In stark contrast to the mythology that surrounds the US Government’s role which extols how “enlightened liberals” like John F. and Robert F. Kennedy courageously assisted the evolution of democracy and civil rights in the US, we see that in fact the US Government’s most “liberal” regime in the post World War II era – the Kennedy Administration – in fact unleashed the racist FBI of J. Edgar Hoover on the Civil Rights Movement, focusing first and foremost on destroying the credibility and effectiveness of one of the most charismatic leaders of that movement – the apostle of non-violence, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This internal Department of Justice review of the FBI’s “investigation” into the alleged “Communist” brain trust behind Martin Luther King (which was the pretext for FBI harassment, wiretapping and surveillance of Dr. King from 1963 up until his brutal murder in Memphis in April of 1968) proves that no matter how “nonviolent” or “pacifist” or even pro-capitalist a leader of the working class is, she or he will always be seen as a deadly threat to the capitalist class due to the simple calculation that ANYONE who is capable of inspiring the working class with a sense of their power to change the status quo presents a mortal threat to the continued existence of capitalist class rule.  The reaction of the capitalist class and their bought-and-paid-for politician-servants will be predictable: infiltrate, disrupt and destroy the threat – no matter how small – to the domination of the numerically tiny capitalist class over the vast working class majority of the population.

In the case of King, he was, like so many black civil rights leaders who had grown up through the massive class struggles of the 1930s and ’40s, not at all averse to working with Communists or ex-Communists.  Black workers from Harlem to Mississippi knew that the Communist Party of the United States of America had produced thousands of self-sacrificing workers who fought racism in the US and many of whom gave their lives in that struggle.  The CP as well as the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party had impressed black workers with their campaigns for full equality for black workers at work, in the military and at every level of society and had fought racist frame ups against blacks like the infamous Scottsboro Boys case.  Communist union organizers braved death threats from the Ku Klux Klan while attempting to organize black workers throughout the South into unions in which black and white workers would fight for their rights as workers together as sisters and brothers.  Martin Luther King Jr., like so many other people of color all over the world was no doubt inspired by the strong anti-racist side of the Communist program and supposedly studied basic Marxist philosophy to some extent – but he never became a Party member.

The basis of FBI head J. Edgar Hoover’s insistence that there existed a plot by the Communist Party of the US to infiltrate and control the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) of Dr. King was based on the fact that King’s top advisor in the SCLC was an ex-Communist named Stanley_Levison.  Levison was a large part of the reason for the rapid organizing success of the SCLC in the early to mid ’60s.  Levison had learned how to effectively organize mass movements while he was a member of the CP in the ’40s and this experience served Dr. King extremely well throughout his rise to international fame.  Shrewdly advising King as to how to maneuver more skillfully in the treacherous political waters of the US, Levison helped the SCLC leadership create a powerful organization to fight for civil rights for black workers – using non-violent means.  Though Levison appears to have quit the CP in 1957, Hoover used the fact of his former party membership and current role as close advisor to King to justify the launching of the entire suite of COINTELPRO attacks on Martin Luther King and his wife, Coretta Scott King.  Hoover’s anti-Communist paranoia regarding Levison led him to tag Levison as  “secret Communist” – and he forwarded reports to fellow red-hater Robert F. Kennedy linking Dr. King to the CP through Levison that convinced RFK to greenlight the wiretapping of phones in King’s home and the SCLC offices starting in early October of 1963.

The capitalist class had created COINTELPRO originally to fight the rise of the Communist Party in order to keep the Party from gaining a leadership role over the working class of the US, which would threaten to overthrow capitalist class rule and establish a socialist workers state in its place.  One of the most dangerous (to the capitalist class) outcomes of such organization would be the smashing of the segregationist system of the US that divided the working class along racial lines.  The Communist Party’s program called for complete integration of the workers movement, which would neutralize one of the most powerful weapons in the hands of the capitalist class – the domination of its ideology of racial superiority of whites over blacks and Hispanics, which enabled the capitalists to more easily divide and conquer the multiracial US working class.  Levison’s position at the top of the SCLC’s leadership appeared to Hoover to be the harbinger of this capitalist class nightmare.  Hoover unleashed a massive COINTELPRO investigation campaign against Levison – as evidenced by his massive FBI file, the released version of which runs to 190 separate sections!

After John F. Kennedy was murdered in the highly suspicious manner in which he was, a sense arose among the US working class that it was quite possible that sinister forces INSIDE the U.S. Government may have contributed to or even actually planned the murder of the relatively popular Kennedy.  Investigations into his assassination quickly led to the uncovering of many clues as to what elements of the U.S. Government might have had a hand in the Kennedy assassination: was it the C.I.A., which blamed Kennedy for the failure of the infamous Bay of Pigs fiasco that attempted to overthrow the Castro regime in Cuba?  Was it the Mafia who were angry at the Kennedys, both Bobby and Jack, for unleashing the hounds of the Justice Department against them, in violation of an alleged pact between the Mafia and the Kennedy clan before the 1960 election?  Or was it a combination of the two?  As the sixties wore on and more evidence leaked out of the US government regarding its secret operations to topple governments throughout Central and South America, in Iran and the Dominican Republic and elsewhere, the working class of the United States and the entire world came to doubt the veracity of any official statement coming out of the mouths of the politicians and government officials in Washington.

The police state attacks on the U.S. Civil Rights movement were obvious from the beginning.  Cops all over the United States, north and south attacked black and white civil rights activists wherever they emerged, beating them bloody in front of TV cameras from Birmingham to Chicago and from New York to Los Angeles.  The murder of Medgar Evers; the savage attacks on the Black Panther Party, the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in which 4 young Sunday School students were slaughtered – and the lackluster “investigations” of these crimes by the U.S, Government at all levels – all pointed to a sinister racist collaboration between the national, state and local governments to crush the civil rights movement  by any means necessary. (It was later discovered that a paid FBI informant working inside the Klan in Birmingham named Gary Thomas Rowe, Jr. who took part in several Klan attacks on Freedom Riders and who participated in the murder of civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo most likely – at the least –  had advance knowledge of the conspiracy to commit the 16th St. Baptist Church bombing).

The vast amount of police state surveillance and the maelstrom of violence that had enveloped the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and his family and fellow leaders of the Civil Rights movement (in “spite” of that massive surveillance) was obvious to everyone involved in the Civil Rights movement.  So it was that when the Reverend King was murdered in cold blood while carloads of cops sat in the parking lot of the Lorraine Motel like scarecrows, the politically conscious workers of the US immediately suspected that there was a conspiracy in US Government circles that aided and abetted this heinous crime against the entire working class.  The US government’s attempts to “investigate” the King assassination were met with incredulity and contempt.  Anger turned into massive uprisings as angry black workers attacked the police and National Guard units sent into black communities to “restore order”.   The US capitalist class, in a desperate attempt to head off what appeared to be a rapid radicalization of the black working class ordered their hired lackeys in the Democratic Party to immediately institute the most thorough APPEARING “investigations” into the murder of Martin Luther King.  From 1968 to 1977, several investigations were launched – internal investigations by the police agencies at the local, state and national levels, as well as Congressional investigations.  As the extent of the FBI’s COINTELPRO was slowly revealed in the late 60s and early 70s, it became clear that, like the Kennedy assassination, there was a very sinister backstory behind the superficial analysis provided by the bourgeois press and the government investigations into the attacks by the FBI on the entire civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movement as well as those inquiries into the possible involvement of the FBI in the murder of Dr. King.

The end of the Vietnam War – made possible by the victory of the Communist Viet Cong over the troops of U.S. imperialism – as well as the death of J. Edgar Hoover in May of 1972 suddenly opened a window of opportunity for the politicians and servants of the bourgeoisie to perform the Herculean task of attempting to con the working class into believing that the “bad old days” of COINTELPRO were over and that the “democracy-loving” liberal Democrats and Republicans would right the ship of state and ensure that such excesses would never again be allowed to happen.  Investigations were launched into the CIA’s assassination of foreign government leaders and their involvement in military coups all over the world.  The Watergate scandal and the investigation into the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation – which most likely could never have taken place so long as J. Edgar Hoover still drew breath – was begun.  The massive effort of the US government to convince the working class that the “excesses” of the Hoover-era COINTELPRO operation would heretofore be eliminated and abolished through reforms at the FBI and other US police state agencies was, after years of strenuous effort, finally largely successful.  The rising tide of worker militancy – especially that of black workers – peaked and rolled back – or rather was driven back by the continued use of COINTELPRO-type police state attacks on activists while the politicians in Washington put on their dog-and-pony shows like the Church Committee  investigation into CIA, NSA and FBI “excesses” from the 1950s through the early ’70s.

The recent exposes of torture programs run by the United States military in Iraq and Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, as well as the secret prisons run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the massive global police state espionage operations of the National Security Agency – which make the FBI’s domestic wiretapping efforts against Civil Rights activists and opponents of the Vietnam War of the ’60s look like child’s play – prove that in fact, nothing has changed when it comes to the US capitalist class police state operations against their working class political opponents.  It should be obvious to any intelligent worker that the long, sordid history of US capitalist class rule proves that there is only one way for the 1% to maintain the whip hand over the tens of millions of wage slaves who create all the profits that are systematically stolen by the capitalists.  The class rule of the capitalist class requires the complete suppression of any attempt by the worker-slaves to organize an effective fight for their rights, never mind making an actual bid to overthrow their capitalist masters.  Even those who steadfastly espouse the philosophy of non-violence are set up for harassment, blackmail, long jail sentences on trumped-up charges and – if none of that “cures” the uppity wage slave who dares to stand up to all those attacks – assassination.   What the United States Government did to Martin Luther King must be burned into the consciousness of every working man and woman in this nation.  THIS is why we call for the overthrow of the most murderous ruling class ever to rampage across the face of the planet – the U.S. capitalist class.

11jan77_Report of the DoJ Task Force to Review the FBI MLK Jr. Security and Assassination Investigations

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

EXCLUSIVE: Florida States Attorney’s Report on FBI Murder of Ibragim Todashev Exposed as Tissue of Lies by Its Own Internal Evidence

After a review of both the 161 and over 600-page versions of Florida States Attorney Jeffrey L. Ashton’s report on the FBI murder of Ibragim Todashev, as well as a vitally important Boston magazine article on the Todashev murder, we have concluded that the Ashton Report is part of a massive cover-up and falsification of the events and circumstances which took place before, during and after the FBI interrogation and murder of Todashev.

Our primary concern is with the physical  impossibility of Todashev having been shot seven times at point-blank range by the sole FBI agent on the scene after Todashev allegedly attacked the FBI agent with a flimsy broom handle.  There are two problems with this story that leap out at anyone who has taken the time to review the just-released documents which we published yesterday, March 28th: first of all, THERE WAS ANOTHER FBI AGENT PRESENT AT THE MURDER SCENE – and this second agent’s presence at the scene has been completely “redacted” by all the law enforcement officers present at the time of the shooting as well as States Attorney Ashton’s report!  It is also impossible for us to believe that the FBI agent who was involved in the interrogation of Todashev, and who, according to the Ashton report, was the only officer to fire his weapon during the incident, could have been the only shooter, because Todashev was shot in the back several times – and it would have been physically impossible for those shots to have been fired by the FBI agent from the position he and the others present claim he took up during the shooting.  The Ashton Report concocts a fanciful account of how the FBI agent in the room, who faced Todashev during the shooting, managed to shoot Todashev in the back.  This tall tale of Ashton’s is wholly reminiscent of the “single gunman” and “magic bullet” theories propounded by the Warren Commission in their investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963.

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Excerpts from the 161-page version of the Ashton Report (censored): an autopsy report written by the (Florida) District Nine Medical Examiner’s Office’s Dr. Gary Utz (page 19):

The deceased suffered at [sic] total of seven gunshot wounds.  One projectile entered the top of the head, passed through the brain and the base of the skull. It was recovered.  Three projectiles entered the back; one exited and two were recovered in the body.  Two projectiles passed through the left upper arm and re-entered the left chest.  An additional projectile also entered the left chest. All three projectiles were recovered.  There is no evidence of close range firing in any of the gunshot wounds.   The manner of death is homicide.” [emphasis and italics in original – IWPCHI]

 

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The Ashton report claims that there were six people present at the interrogation scene on the night of Todashev’s murder:  Todashev; the two Massachusetts State Police officers; a tactical officer from an unidentified Florida police department, one FBI agent – and a friend of Todashev, a man named Khusen Taramov.  It is singularly suspicious that the FBI agent’s report as well as the other law enforcement officers reports of the incidents the night of the shooting claim that they did not know the last name of Todashev’s friend Taramov: the Florida Tactical Officer and the Ashton Report calls Taramov “Khusen LNU” – “LNU” standing for “last name unknown” – as if they had never met him before.  According to Taramov, he and other friends of Todashev had been repeatedly interviewed by FBI agent “Chris” and other FBI agents based in Florida.  According to an article by Susan Zalkind of Boston magazine, Taramov stated that he spent nearly four hours on the night of the murder talking to the Orlando tactical police officer and a second FBI agent named “Chris” outside Todashev’s apartment, while the other FBI agent and the two Mass. State troopers interrogated and kept their eyes on Todashev.   This second FBI agent named “Chris” was completely erased from the scene in all the sworn statements by all the police and the FBI agent present!

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Excerpts from Boston magazine article  “The Murders Before the Marathon” by Susan Zalkind (pages 5-6):

“On May 21, the last night of his life, Ibragim was hanging out with friends when the FBI called him again. It was an agent Ibragim’s friends were by now familiar with, but knew only by his first name: Chris” [emphasis added – IWPCHI]

“When Khusen and Ibragim got to the apartment, Chris was with three other officers—an FBI agent from Boston, and two Massachusetts state troopers. Orlando police were on the scene as well [emphasis added – IWPCHI]

“The officers took Ibragim into the apartment and Chris said he needed to interview Khusen outside” [emphasis added – IWPCHI]  It was 7:30 p.m. […]

“Agent Chris asked Khusen a few questions […] Khusen waited outside the house for four hours. Then at 11:30 p.m., he was told to leave”.

 

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The presence of the second FBI agent is important, because if, as the FBI agent who shot Todashev claims, he shot Todashev as Todashev ran towards him with a cheap wooden or metal kitchen broom handle, it would have been impossible for that FBI agent to have shot Todashev in the back several times.  Therefore, another person had to have shot Todashev in the back – another shooter with the same type of Glock handgun used by FBI agents, because all seven bullets that entered Todashev’s body were identified by FBI ballistics specialists as having come from a Glock 23, as were all the shell casings found at the murder scene  (the FBI agent who allegedly was the “sole shooter” carried a Glock 23 that night).

It appears to us that the most logical explanation for the bullet entry wounds in Todashev’s back is that they would have been fired by someone standing in the hallway behind Todashev as he allegedly moved (with the broom handle held in both his hands in front of him and raised in a menacing attack position) towards the FBI agent inside the apartment.  The fact that all six bullets recovered from the body of Todashev (and one mysterious bullet found later on the carpet in the murder room) were from Glock 23s – which are carried by FBI agents – indicates that the second shooter – presumably the “redacted” FBI agent “Chris” – also fired his weapon, hitting Todashev from behind.  The most straightforward explanation we can surmise is that the second Glock-23-carrying shooter would have been FBI agent “Chris”, who had been chatting outside the apartment with the Florida Tactical officer and Khusen Tamarov while the other three law enforcement officers interrogated Todashev inside the apartment – and who, presumably, rushed to his partner’s assistance when he heard his partner yelling after he was struck in the head by a coffee table that had been supposedly thrown at him by Todashev.

Corroboration of the existence of a second FBI agent having been present at the scene and having also fired his weapon was given by District Nine Medical Examiner Lora Zedick in her written reports and in statements to the Ashton inquiry.  She claimed that when she first arrived at the scene on the night of the murder, she was repeatedly told by officers securing the scene that there had been two FBI agents present and that both of them had fired their weapons.  Investigators from the Ashton inquiry repeatedly attempted to get M.E. Zedick to change her story by repeatedly questioning her about her memory of the involvement of “two” FBI agents.  She stuck to her version of the events at the scene for a long time, but eventually started to modify her earlier statements after probably having finally “got the message” the investigators were sending her about her troublesome insistence that not one but two FBI agents had been present at and had fired their weapons at murder victim Todashev.

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Excerpts of written statements made by District Nine Medical Examiner Lora Zedick, taken from 161-page version of Ashton Report (pages 101 and 102):

Case Summary

Positively identified 27 y/o male shot multiple times by FBI agents during a case related interview.  […]

FBI agents responded to the decedent’s apartment style residence for an arranged case interview.  At some point during the interview the FBI agents were physically threatened by the decedent.  FBI agents opened fire: decedent sustained multiple gunshot wounds.  

[…]

The FBI agents fired approximately seven times from their glock 23.”

[all emphasis and italics in original – IWPCHI]

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These are the most glaring flaws in the “official story” being trumpeted by States Attorney Ashton, the FBI and the US Department of Justice – but they are not the only ones.  Why was the Medical Examiner’s office denied access to the crime scene for hours while the FBI and perhaps other agencies pored over the evidence?  How is it that Todashev, who had allegedly been gripping that broom handle with both hands in a menacing manner left NO FINGER OR PALM PRINTS on it, according to the FBI crime lab?  How is it that the ornamental sword, which was hurriedly taken off the wall where it was displayed and placed behind a shoe rack in the entryway of the apartment by one of the Mass. State Police troopers, DID NOT HAVE FINGER OR PALM PRINTS OF THAT OFFICER ON IT when it was examined by the FBI crime lab?  These are some of the most glaring inconsistencies in the Ashton Report.

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Excerpts from 161-page version of Ashton Report (page 81):

FBI Laboratory Report of Examination, dated October 24, 2013 …

“Date Specimens received:  August 8, 2013

” The specimens listed below were examined in the Latent Print Operations Unit:

“Q24     Sword [next word or several words censored in original IWPCHI]

Q25     Broomstick [next word or several words censored in original – IWPCHI]

This report documents the friction ridge print examinations.

Results of Examinations:

One latent fingerprint of value was detected on Q24.  No latent prints of value were detected on the remaining specimen [Q25]

The latent fingerprint is not a fingerprint of IBRAGIM TODASHEV, … [Trooper Two] [Trooper One] or … [FBI Agent]. …”

[all emphasis and italics in original – IWPCHI]

 

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While it is true that what we propose is our own mere speculation (though it is based on the evidence as presented by the Ashton Report) it is extremely difficult either to believe the government’s “explanation” or to come up with a rational alternative explanation as to how all the bullet wounds to Todashev could have been inflicted by a shooter who was standing inside the apartment face-to-face with Todashev, as the alleged solo FBI shooter claims in his own statements.  We are asked to believe that a volley of bullets striking Todashev in the front of his chest spun him all the way around so that all of the shots that hit him in the back could be explained as coming from the same shooter – and then, those shots in the back somehow caused him to spin around again to face the FBI shooter and to fall face down on the rug in front of the FBI agent.  This simply does not make sense to us at all.

The Ashton Report will go down in history as one of the most deeply suspicious government investigations of a high-profile murder since the Warren Report.  We invite our readers to review the documentary evidence we published yesterday, as well as the Boston magazine article we refer to today and see if you can make sense of the “official story”.  We invite our readers to send in their comments and links to any other evidence you may have in your possession for us to review and publish here.

 

— IWPCHI