15 February 2006

Black Alabama Burns... and the FBI Helps

In 1963, after the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham was burned to the ground by arsonist Klansmen, the FBI mounted an 'investigation' in which former Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley accused the team of "concealing evidence and aiding the Klan for decades afterwards.".

In the years prior to the 16th St. Baptist Church bombing the Klan staged dozens of attacks which were usually not investigated. Instead, the FBI busied themselves spying on Martin Luther King, Jr. and other national security threats.

We've learned in the years following these bombings that FBI informants, in particular a man named Gary Thomas Rowe, not only knew of them, but even participated in a few! It is in this context that we must analyze the recent bombings of Alabama churches.

Today's New York Times reports that
BATF agents, teamed with the F.B.I., the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, the office of the state fire marshal and local sheriffs' departments, have fanned out across western and central Alabama, where all 10 fires were set. And, in hopes that the arsonists will contact them, the investigators have set up a phone line and an e-mail address.
Taking a break from their usual duties as Uncle Sam's secret police force, the FBI are at it again. And, like the 1960s, we must assume that the FBI has people on the inside. We also must consider the possibility of FBI complicity in these attacks just as they were complicit 4 decades ago.

Based on the historical record of the federal agencies involved in the 'investigation', can we afford to assume otherwise?
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