Effort was made to gather evidence of Communist beliefs and sexual impropriety to discredit Civil Rights leader.
Among the treasure trove of CIA and FBI files released by America’s National Archive last week were documents relating to the assassinated civil rights leader, the Reverend Martin Luther King.
The FBI’s director at the time, Edgar Hoover, detested King and suspected him of being a Communist. His spies discovered evidence to support that.
But far more explosive for a man of God was King’s sexual behaviour, which the FBI discovered was promiscuous and even divided some of his followers. It included an affair with at least one celebrity, the folk singer and former girlfriend of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez.
The Reverend King would never see some of his dreams realised, as he was shot dead just weeks after the FBI report was made, in April 1968.
It is unclear why the Archive has released the King documents as they were not included in President Trump’s recent order to publish files relating to the Kennedy assassination.