Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Who wiretapped MLK?

During his interrogation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Monday, Sen. Patrick Leahy lectured the witness:

"Now, a couple generations of Americans are too young to know why we passed this [FISA] law. It was enacted after decades of abuses by the executive, including the wiretapping of Dr. Martin Luther King and other political opponents of early government officials, after some of the so-called White House "enemies" in the Nixon White House enemies list. And during that time, another president asserted he did what was legal because he was president and, being president, he could do whatever he wanted to do."

But ... MLK was assassinated in April 1968, and Nixon wasn't inaugurated until January 1969. So ... who wiretapped King?

King biographer David J. Garrow writes: "On October 10, 1963, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy committed what is widely viewed as one of the most ignominious acts in modern American history: he authorized the Federal Bureau of Investigation to begin wiretapping the telephones of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr."