Murder of political leaders is a common problem, according to noted historian and human rights attorney William Pepper, who believes that a continuing cover-up ruins the legacy of his friends Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

William Pepper and Martin Luther King Jr."Assassinations didn't start in the 1960s," says Pepper, author of explosive investigations that include a new book due June 21 exposing King's murderers in detail. "They have been part of our society for a very long time."

Even more remarkable than Pepper's listing of political victims from Socrates, Julius Caesar and Jesus up to modern times, he has provided legal representation for both of his friends’ convicted killers.

Pepper believes the late James Earl Ray, King's convicted killer, and RFK's still-imprisoned convicted slayer Sirhan Sirhan have been patsies framed by authorities to take the blame for the real assassins hired by still-powerful entities.

Update: Gary Null Show, New Evidence On Martin Luther King Murder, Gary Null interviews Dr. William Pepper, a King family friend and author who published a new book June 21 naming the murderers, June 21, 2016. We present new evidence that demands a revision of the history behind the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. An exclusive live press conference happened today over the radio, June 21, at the studios of the Progressive Radio Network.

William Pepper Act of StatePepper (shown in a 1967 photo with King) has spent decades attempting to expunge the convicted men's guilt in their separate cases.

Pepper's work has included his courageous and creative successes in persuading several of those allegedly complicit in King’s murder to confess at least part of their guilt. Overcoming obstacles by so-called law enforcement, Pepper has revealed, most notably so far in his 2003 book An Act of State. a chilling plot perpetrated by rogue officials, who sometimes used Mafia or military gunmen, 

His explosive new book The Plot To Kill King is scheduled for release this month. Setting the stage, Pepper shared his insights May 21 in a panel discussion about American assassinations and Deep State intrigue held at the annual Left Forum at John Jay Criminal Justice College in Manhattan.

Joining the panel were best-selling author Russ Baker, speaking on President John F. Kennedy’s death, and this editor.

Baker is working on a new book about the JFK murder and cover-up.

I previewed the Justice Integrity Project's comprehensive Readers Guide to the RFK Assassination that is being released today in preparation for the 48th anniversary of the late New York senator Robert Kennedy's 1968 death early in the morning of June 5, 1968.

The shooting came minutes after Kennedy won that year's California Democratic presidential primary. The victory positioned RFK as that cycle's most likely Democratic nominee and the favorite to win the presidency. The presidency would have given him also the clout to renew an investigative into his brother's assassination, and implement other progressive policies, including ending the Vietnam war and pursuing the kind of economic and social justice policies King had advocated.

Instead, Republican Richard Nixon won the election and two terms in office, putting the nation on a long-term authoritarian, Big Government course that continues to the present with a bipartisan consensus to engage in endless wars on grounds of national security.

 

No Lies Radio, a non-profit grassroots affiliate of the Pacifica Radio Network, documented our 110-minute panel (including Q&A moderated by Gregory Longo). This was part of six-panel series at the conference on "The Deep State" at the conference. No Lies Radio recorded all six of the panels, which are listed below with links to the speakers and now-archived radio coverage.

University of California historian and former diplomat Peter Dale Scott advanced the Deep State concept with his pioneering 1993 book Deep Politics and the Death of JFK.

Scott's compelling thesis and evidence, since endorsed by many others, are that the major 1960s assassinations represented a power grab by a hidden "Deep" government. The perpetrators' ability to suppress the truth of the JFK, MLK and RFK murders showed that rogue officials could eliminate the decade's three most important progressive leaders without accountability in courts or elsewhere.

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This "Readers Guide to the RFK Assassination" presents key books, videos, documents, websites and other archives most relevant to 1968 Democratic Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy's fatal shooting just after midnight June 5, 1968.

Robert F. KennedyThe materials focus heavily on remaining questions about responsibility and motive for Kennedy's shooting at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles shortly after his victory in the California Democratic primary appeared to pave the way for his presidential nomination. Shown below is his victory speech shortly before he was gunned down while leaving via a kitchen pantry to avoid crowds.

Included also in this guide compiled by our Justice Integrity Project is research that explores the assassination's current implications for the U.S. justice system and other governance.

The materials contain varied perspectives in a style common to other topics in our series, which includes guides to the assassinations of President Kennedy in 1963 and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968.

Readers of each can find abundant evidence of covert official involvement, including in the crimes and cover-up. But we provide also books and other evidence supporting Robert Kennedy Victory Speech Ambassador Hotel, June 6, 1968the official verdicts. In the case of RFK's murder, a jury found in 1969 that Sirhan Sirhan acted alone to kill Kennedy and wound five others with shots fired in the hotel's pantry.

Thus, our operative principle in this project is to raise informed questions aggressively but also to provide sufficient evidence for readers to reach your own conclusions.

The continued public suspicions about the deaths of JFK, MLK and RFK (as the victims were known) have been fostered by the highly irregular legal procedures involving each death, including suppression of relevant documents and fear among witnesses and investigators. 

One illustration of the continuing controversy was the dramatic but unsuccessful plea this year by Kennedy's friend Paul Schrade to California's parole board to Sirhan Sirhanfree Sirhan on the grounds of innocence in killing Kennedy.

Schrade, now 91, said he was undoubtedly shot by Sirhan in the forehead at the hotel. But, Schrade maintained, Sirhan could not possibly have shot Kennedy because the New York senator was killed from a point-blank shot from behind, according to medical evidence, whereas Sirhan was always several feet in the front of the senator. Sirhan's defenders say he was a patsy and victim of mind-control being unjustly held to enable the real killer to escape. Sirhan is shown in a mug shot soon after his arrest. He says he cannot remember relevant details.

Paul Schrade Associated Press pool

Schrade's reaction is shown during the February parole hearing, as illustrated by an Associated Press pool photograph of the proceedings, which have been marked for decades by unusual secrecy and arbitrary decision-making.

For such reasons, the new Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) has been created as a non-partisan citizen group advocating release of sealed records pertaining to major suspected political assassinations.

This editor is one of CAPA's founding directors. Information from these Readers Guides is expected to be summarized on CAPA's site, subject to CAPA's review procedures from its board of scientific, historical, and legal experts and reader feedback.

Another development the continued publication of new revelations, reflections and scholarship. Los Angeles reporter Fernando Faura will publish on June 6The Polka Dot File regarding his investigation immediately after the shooting of the mysterious woman in the polka dot dress who supposedly yelled "We shot him" and then disappeared.

Fernando FauraFaura said murder investigations completely disregarded his evidence when he presented it after the shooting, which he and others claim exemplified a pattern of stifling other leads to RFK's murder.

Among other recent and planned books (described below) are those of a more historical nature that illustrate the continuing importance of the RFK death, particularly after the JFK and MLK murders had wiped out the other two major progressive leaders of their era.

The goal here is to create a continually updated Readers Guide that provides perspective both on the 2016 elections and on other civic issues as the 50th anniversary of the RFK and MLK killings approaches in 2018.

Especially disturbing for this 2016 election season is the widespread notion promoted by the mass media that all three of the 1960s murders are long-settled issues that concern only wacko "conspiracy theorists" or history "buffs." Even minimal research would illustrate many major security, legal, and propaganda issues that are highly relevant to current affairs and decision-making by the next group of elected and appointed officials taking charge on the world stage.

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A new "Readers Guide to the MLK Assassination" provides key books, videos, documents, websites and other archives most relevant to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s murder on April 4, 1968.

Martin Luther King Measure of a Man coverIn a rare combination, the materials focus heavily on questions still remaining regarding responsibility and motive for King's shooting in Memphis, TN. Included also is research that explores the assassination's current implications for the U.S. justice system and other governance.

The materials contain varied perspectives. Readers can find evidence of injustice and official cover-up. But evidence is provided also for the official explanations and defenses of the official verdict that the late James Earl Ray, an ex-convict, acted alone to kill King with a single shot from a rooming house bathroom window.

The format thus parallels our 31-part Readers Guide to the JFK Assassination. Authorities have consistently maintained that Ray was a lone criminal, much like oft-disputed allegations against President John F. Kennedy's accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

William Pepper The Plot To Kill KingThe first installments of our MLK readers guide feature two timely elements as of this writing in mid-2016.

One is the announcement this spring of the new Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) as a non-partisan citizen group advocating release of sealed records pertaining to major suspected political assassinations, including of King ("MLK") and Kennedy ("JFK"). This editor is one of CAPA's founding directors. Information from this website is expected to be excerpted on CAPA's site, subject to CAPA's review procedures from its board of scientific, historical, and legal experts.

Another development this spring is the scheduled June 21 publication of The Plot To Kill King, the third and final volume in a series by King's friend Dr. William F. Pepper, an attorney and educator who represented the accused killer James Earl Ray beginning in 1978.

Pepper has long argued that Ray was the designated patsy in a plot by King opponents to use contract killers from the Mafia to kill the civil rights leader, with a back up plan for an Army sniper team to kill King under secret orders if the Mafia killer missed.

The reasons? Pepper maintains that the murder was ordered because King was expanding his advocacy against war and economic injustice in ways far more threatening to elite interests than King's opposition to civil rights abuses via segregation and voting rights restrictions.

In remarkable sleuthing that resulted in evidence from whistleblowers and suspects, Pepper documented his argument in part via confessions.

Pepper described the killing in two previous books, most notably An Act of State (first published in 2003) based on the successful civil suit King v. Jowers that he litigated on behalf of King's surviving family members. A Shelby County jury deliberated less than an hour in 1999 to find that restaurant owner Lloyd Jowers was liable in the case. Jowers was one of the conspirators that Pepper describes as being persuaded to confess, at least in part. Pepper said he and the family regretted that a suit against Jowers appeared to be the only way to pursue the case because authorities would not do so.

Pepper says the murder occurred with backup support from federal, state and local government operatives who perpetrated a cover-up that continues for the most part to the present.

Pepper has said he never would have represented Ray unless he were "one hundred percent certain" of the accused man's innocence.

Pepper's new book is reputed to include explosive new allegations against named individuals, with details still under wraps. In May, Pepper outlined on a panel with me in New York City the pervasive nature of political assassinations in history, including Socrates and Julius Caesar. We shall report separately on that panel as the next installment of this series. 

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The Obama State Department vigorously defended in a special briefing this week its proposed trade agreement and plans to assist migrants on a humanitarian basis.

During an all-day briefing May 16  for 30 opinion writers convened from across the country, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken took the lead in reiterating support for each policy, thereby rebutting opposition from many 2016 presidential candidates and state officials from both major parties.

Antony Blinken State Department JIPFirst, he rebutted criticisms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) tentative agreement. The TPP is pending before Congress after years of negotiation among 11 nations for a system of tariff-reductions and administrative policies.

“We see it here from a strategic position, not just trade,” said Blinken, shown in a Justice Integrity Project photo during his remarks. “Trade is going to happen. Who is going to write the rules? If it’s China the rules will not be to our liking.”

On the refugee issue, Blinken said war and other oppressive conditions are creating refugee conditions so dire that the United States and other advanced nations must address despite public opposition being voice against emigration policies, including President Obama's plan to allow some 10,000 refugees to enter the country from Syria after they are vetted as safe by the Department of Homeland Security.

Australian Ambassador to the U.S. Joe Hockey and Florida Sun Sentinel's Rosemary O'Hara (May 16, 2016 JIP Photo)He attacked "hateful rhetoric" by unnamed individuals who, he said, conflate "refugees with terrorists."

Eight other senior Obama administration officials amplified Blinken's overview in the all-day briefing delivered to the Association for Opinion Journalists for the 16th year. Australia's Ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey hosted an off-the-record discussion also at his 18-room official residence May 15. He is shown during a dialog that Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Page Editor Rosemary O'Hara conducted with him.

Association members, primarily editorial page editors at major regional newspapers, attended. This editor, a member of the association, attended each event on behalf of our project.  

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The nation faces an unprecedented threat to voter turnout in this fall’s elections according to civil rights advocates speaking at a National Press Club News Conference May 13 in Washington, DC.

“This is the first presidential election cycle to be conducted without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “The heart of it [the law] is preclearance for voting rights changes in states with a long history of voter suppression.”

The news conference was part of an ongoing series by the press club's Newsmakers Committee of about two topics a month regarded as especially important. 

Clarke (shown in a photo by Noel St. John) and others alleged that the Supreme Court’s 2013 party-line 5-4 decision in Shelby County v. Holder voiding the law has made it possible for partisan election officials to reduce voting by likely opponents.

In a suit by Alabama Shelby County officials, the high court’s Republican majority overturned as unconstitutional congressional requirements that the Justice Department preclear major changes in voting law by localities with a history of bias.

The court said preclearance could be legal if Congress renews its data. But GOP majorities have shown scant support for hearings and otherwise updating the law.

The stakes are high said Leadership Conference on Civil Rights President/CEO Wade Henderson. “In the United States, voting is the language of democracy,” he said. “If you don’t vote you don’t count.”

He and Clarke agreed that new requirements for photo identifications “are Public Enemy Number One” to those who would like to see the nation’s voting turnout rise from its current position of 31st in a global survey of 34 advanced industrial nations.

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Three journalists who helped break the "Panama Papers" secret asset scandal last month described May 12 at the National Press Club their year-long secret investigation of hidden assets, as well as innovative methods and future implications.  

ICIJ at NPC May 12, 2016 Noel St. JohnIn the largest leak probe in journalism history, some 376 investigative journalists from 80 countries worked collaboratively to report stories beginning April 3 on 11.5 million financial records from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The firm is one of the world's top creators of shell companies that hide the assets of the wealthy. The probe has prompted official resignations and ongoing investigations in several nations.

Also, the probe coordinated by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has created hope that a new model can augment traditional investigative reporting, which is so expensive and otherwise difficult that most news organizations have curtailed ambitious projects.

"Collaboration is the way to go," said ICIJ deputy director Marina Walker Guevara, "not the 'lone wolf' model." She is shown with her ICIJ colleagues Will Fitzgibbon (at left) and Kevin Hall (at far right), the chief economics correspondent for McClatchy chain of newspapers. Panel moderator Thomas Burr, press club president and Washington correspondent for the Salt Lake Tribune, is at center in the photo republished courtesy of photographer Noel St. John.

"The Panama Papers," she said, "show an array of behavior far beyond tax evasion," and include traffic in drugs, arms, and people (for sex).

Burr opened the discussion by noting that one of ICIJ's first meetings on its scoop occurred in secret nearly a year previous at the club in the room right behind where the panel was sitting. "Honestly," he said,"we at the club had no idea what they were talking about. Until now. That was one of the first meetings of the consortium of journalists who are investigating what we now call 'the Panama Papers.'"

Charles "Chuck" Lewis (American University)ICIJ began breaking its story, Giant leak of offshore financial records exposes global array of crime and corruption. April 3 on its site. Charles Lewis (shown in a file photo), an American University journalism professor, best-selling author and former ABC and CBS News producer, founded ICIJ in 1997.

Partner news organizations around the world published or broadcast their own versions under a plan whereby ICIJ controlled the timing, but participating outlets controlled the subject and approach.

ICIJ's story began:

A massive leak of documents exposes the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders and reveals how associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly shuffled as much as $2 billion through banks and shadow companies. The leak also provides details of the hidden financial dealings of 128 more politicians and public officials around the world.

The cache of 11.5 million records shows how a global industry of law firms and big banks sells financial secrecy to politicians, fraudsters and drug traffickers as well as billionaires, celebrities and sports stars.

These are among the findings of a yearlong investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and more than 100 other news organizations.

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