Saturday, January 16, 2010

King FBI documents may be opened to public

Legislation to open thousands of FBI documents about the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King will be introduced in the U. S. Senate by John Kerry.

Kerry, D-Mass., said the bill, which failed in 2006, can pass this year in honor of King. "I want the world to know what he stood for," Kerry said. "And I want his personal history preserved and examined by releasing all of his records."

The bill calls for creating a Martin Luther King Records Collection at the National Archives that would include all government records related to King. The bill also would create a five-member independent review board that would identify and make public all documents from agencies including the FBI — just as a review board in 1992 made public documents related to the 1963 John F. Kennedy assassination.

"This is personal for someone who came of age in the civil rights movement and was inspired by Dr. King," Kerry said. "He challenged the conscience of my generation and still moves a new generation of volunteers and activists to speak out against prejudice and suffering, wherever they might take place."

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