Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rewriting history

Ernest Withers, known by many as the "original Civil Rights photographer," who had access to the inner circles of the movement was a paid informer of the FBI.

He was there during the Emmitt Till trial, the sanitation workers strike in Memphis and at the Lorraine Motel on the night Dr. King was gunned down. The man who chronicled the movement toward equality was reporting back to the FBI on the activities of the men and women he betrayed.

Why he chose to betray Dr. King may never be known and, but for an FBI mistake, his treachery would not have been discovered.

"Once you get to this level if you're a criminal informant versus a source of information they're at a higher level. They're controlled. They're supervised...It speaks to the problem of secrecy. The government is able to do things in the shadows that are really questionable. That goes to the heart of our (democratic) society.'' -- Althan Theoharris, retired professor at Marquette

Rarely is anything what it seems.

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