The Black Muslims have published several articles suggesting that his own people set up Martin Luther King. The irony is that the Muslims are implicated in the only certain political assassination conspiracy of that time, that of Malcolm X. Several people shot at Malcolm, thus by definition a conspiracy. The intriguing issue in the Malcolm X killing is that only three men were convicted of the crime. Why didn’t the police do their normal job, the researching of the convicted men, offering them a deal, determining their associates and tracking down the ringleaders? What’s the difference between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King? Three years. On the principal that it takes one to know one, let us consider the possibility of conspiracy in King’s killing.
Dr. King had several remarkable qualities: He was fiscally honest: any money he received was spent on Civil Rights. He was pragmatic: he chose non-violence as the only possible way to achieve civil rights. The United States is the only nation in the world that has a holiday honoring civil disobedience and nonviolent protest. He was brave; everyone knew full well that his life would be short.
It’s not remarked on but while his declamations were deservedly famous he was also one of the most boring speakers to ever be a preacher. When he wasn’t given a cadence and speaking for the cameras he used a normal tone of voice, huge words, and went on forever.
He went where he was called, wherever local organizers felt that national attention and Dr. Kings staff, money and advice would do some good.
James Earl Ray could have acted alone. What this required is that he spend some length of time perched on top of a bathtub with his rifle pointed out the window at King’s motel room. First, he would have to know where Dr. Kings room was; then find the appropriate site to aim from; then he would have to identify his victim going in and out of the door. This would all be a lot easier with an inside man.
King and his friends went into the motel room. Ray didn’t shoot. Then they came out. Ray didn’t shoot. King was returning to the room for a jacket when Ray finally shot him. Apparently, that is when he finally was able to figure out which of the men was King. The official explanation is that Ray got lucky. The moment Ray looks out the window of his newly let room with his newly purchased binoculars; King is standing on the porch of his motel. Ray jumps up and runs to the shared bathroom, locks himself in, chambers a round, sticks his rifle out the window over the tub and shoots him. It is possible that someone in the group gave him guidance.
Part of the reason for suspicion is that the dog and hunter, or set up man and shooter is standard bushwhacker technique. One person calls them out and the other shoots them.
Ever since Judas, snitches and police have had systems of signals to communicate in crowds. If you see someone making an effort to stand out, perhaps with a hat, they may be a detective, auxiliary or interested observer. Identifying a perpetrator may be as simple as staring at him. Open hand means you got the wrong one, closed hand or raising your hat means you got him. Shaking hand means he's running. In this case a fist pump, for instance, could mean that King was approaching his room. It would be kind of scary for the setup man because the sniper may be observing through his scope.
If the King killing was an inside and outside job then it is likely that it was government. The primary function of the FBI is the care and feeding of informants. They are a much larger scale version of the normal police detective bureau. People usually don’t choose to become informants. When someone is vulnerable enough to be an informant, then that vulnerability is open for other purposes.
J. Edgar Hoover was portrayed as powerful. Instead, his own vulnerability may have endeared him to each president. The certainty that the FBI would carry out whatever task the president required could be irresistible.
It’s difficult for me to believe that anyone would cross Johnson or exceed their authority under his command. If the government killed King then Johnson ordered it. Why would Lyndon Johnson order King’s assassination? Johnson was complex yet simple. It doesn’t really explain anything, but Johnson loved the deal. It would have of be part of some deal, even if that deal was only in Johnson’s head.