Media Blog

MLK and Wiretapping

The Los Angeles Times wishes us a happy MLK day with this op-ed comparing the FBI’s surveillance of Martin Luther King to the NSA’s surveillance of al-Qaeda:

But what we didn’t know during this period was that Hoover was doing a lot more than tapping King’s phones. As King’s criticism of the FBI continued, and as Hoover became more and more convinced there must be communist influence even though no evidence ever materialized, he determined to discredit and destroy King. He went further, putting bugs in King’s hotel bedrooms across the country. (He claimed that Atty. Gen. Herbert Brownell had authorized him to use such listening devices in cases involving “national security” back in the 1950s, and that he did not require further permission from the current attorney general, who in any case had no idea that the FBI was doing it.) […]

Today we are again engaged in a debate over wiretapping for reasons of national security

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