A couple of weeks ago my friend (and co author) Stu Wexler and I spend two hours with Chuck Ochelli discussing the Martin Luther King assassination – our most recent research and study of that murder is in our book Killing King. Its most definitely a different view of that tragedy than you find in most books on the subject, if you are interested you can find the exchange online at:
However Killing King was actually our second book on the MLK assassination, our first work was The Awful Grace of God, a much broader look at the context and multi-year backstory of the activities which ultimately led to Dr. King’s death.
During the conversation with Chuck, we did touch on the point that much of that story involved a deep dive into both the racial and religious terrorism of the late 1950’s and 1960’s. Telling the full story of the King murder had taken us into the networks, alliances, political covers and extremely sophisticated practices of several groups – some ostensibly religious, others political, but in both instances with what could only be called a terrorist (and hidden) core.
Going beyond the background in The Awful Grace of God, Stu had researched and authored a much broader look at the interconnections of religious and racial terrorism in his book America’s Secret Jihad.
The outcome of our two hour conversation was an invitation for us both to come back on the air this week, and divide a two hour segment to specifically address our work on domestic terrorism and its relevance to contemporary events. I’ll lead off with context and Stu will follow on to extend to story into today’s headlines.
If that sounds interesting, join us on the Ochelli effect this Thursday evening, April 15. I virtually certain it will be a lively session.
Postscript: After some interesting discussions on this post and some re-education, I think its important to distinguish what Stu and I talk about in these books as something we see as distinct from violent protests, demonstrations, activities which are basically anarchistic, or even violent reactions to specific events.
What we explore is what I might call strategic terrorism, the use of “propaganda of the deed” (an old, old tool of anarchism resurrected by al Qaeda). It involves extreme violence on a national scale, violence intended to paralyze a government, to provoke overreaction, and ultimately to bring about regime change in accordance with the perpetrators own world views.
Anyone who has The Awful Grace of God can find dialog pertaining to this subject in Chapters 4 and 5. In rereading our work from a few years ago I find it eerily descriptive in regard to what we recently saw and our now learning about the insurrection at the U.S. Capital.
Certainly there are other aspects and forms of political violence and terrorism (past and present), with different types of targets. I don’t want to diminish that, just to make clear what we explore in our books and what we will be talking with Chuck about on Thursday night.