COPA v. Pentagon on King Files – press release, 05/14/01

The original FOIA request for records, in 1998, specified a full range of Army Intelligence units that were reportedly involved in surveillance of Dr. King up to and including the day of his assassination. Early responses from the Department of Defense FOIA office indicated that there was not a single file in their records regarding the controversial civil rights and anti-war activist.COPA persisted in its efforts to retrieve records that reportedly existed in military intelligence files. Veterans of Army Intelligence were reported to have seen photographic surveillance records of the events of the assassination on April 4, 1968. COPA pursued the matter in the courts, and the Pentagon conceded that one file had been sent to the National Archives for review, as part of a large collection of civil rights era records that remain classified. An expedited declassification led to release of an “after-action summary” of the 111th and 112th Military Intelligence Groups activities in the days surrounding the murder of Dr. King, and confirmed that these units were in Memphis and had him under close surveillance as part of Operation Lantern Spike. The Pentagon also claimed that only records that had “historical significance” would have been preserved and sent on to the National Archives, and that others had been routinely destroyed.

 

via COPA v. Pentagon on King Files – press release, 05/14/01.

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