Forty-six years after the assassination of Malcolm X, a large segment of Black America believes the FBI played a part in the Black leader’s death. But the first Black U.S. attorney general refuses to reopen the case, and the FBI has claimed for 30 years – amazingly – that it never investigated Malcolm’s murder.
If the FBI is to be believed, “there can be only one reasonable conclusion: that they knew exactly what happened at the Audubon Ballroom, and either facilitated it or criminally failed to prevent a capital crime from occurring.”
The Obama administration’s Justice Department says there is no compelling reason to reopen the investigation into the assassination of Malcolm X. More precisely, Attorney General Eric Holder’s people claim “the matter” of Malcolm’s death “does not implicate federal interests sufficient to necessitate the use of scarce federal investigative resources.” With such cold, contemptuous bureaucratese, the first Black Attorney General, serving at the pleasure of the first Black President, dismisses the 1965 murder of the guiding spirit of Black America’s 1960s Freedom Movement as not worth the cost.
In flat-out denying that the case could “implicate federal interests” the Justice Department is engaged in stonewalling that is equal to a coverup of its institutional involvement in Malcolm’s elimination. It is a matter of settled public record that FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover hated Black freedom fightere and that his agents had thoroughly infiltrated the Nation of Islam in the period that Malcolm was its lead spokesman and after he split with the organization.
If anyone could provide evidence as to who really killed Malcolm at the Audubon Ballroom, it is the FBI. Yet the last we heard from the Bureau on the matter was in 1980, when the FBI claimed that it had never investigated the assassination of a man they followed around the country and the world until his dying day. A man who was the central personality in a movement they were attempting the “neutralize” under the COINTELPRO political police program.
If we are to believe that the FBI did not investigate Malcolm’s murder, there can be only one reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the Bureau’s conduct: that they knew exactly what happened at the Audubon Ballroom, and either facilitated it or criminally failed to prevent a capital crime from occurring. There is no statute of limitation on such crimes. The Justice Department’s statement that the limitations have passed is erroneous, because they do not allow for the possibility of either direct FBI involvement in the Malcolm’s murder, or criminal facilitation of murder, or homicide by depraved indifference, which is equivalent to murder. Yet the vast bulk of Black opinion strongly suspects one of these three murder scenarios involving the FBI. To dismiss these fact-based, reasonable suspicions out of hand amounts to a whitewash, 46 years after the crime.
Attorney General Holder, the top federal lawman, has no moral or legal right to arbitrarily absolve his Department of involvement in Malcolm’s death. What is already known of the FBI’s activities – including, and especially, the 1980 denial that it ever investigated Malcolm’s death – is grounds for ample suspicion for any reasonable person, on its face.
The Bureau also claims that Malcolm X’s murder was not a civil rights violation because the killers were Black. But the point is, millions of people suspect that the guys who pulled the strings for the hit, or who made the killers job easier, or who watched with satisfaction and did nothing, were white officers of the law. Attorney General Holder, and his boss in the White House, are determined to allow the question to remain buried, along with Malcolm – which makes them no better than J. Edgar Hoover.