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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

He Wanted Me to Commit Suicide

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

By Donald V. Watkins

©Copyrighted and Published on July 23, 2019

A friend called me three weeks ago with word he received from a source closely connected to my recently concluded criminal case. According to my friend, the “Swamp Creature” in Washington who is coordinating the persecution in my case from behind-the-scenes wanted me to commit suicide. If I did not kill myself, the Government was going to request the trial judge to sentence me to nearly 18 years in prison – which is a life sentence for a soon-to-be 71-year-old man.

My friend was angry and appalled. He knew I was not going to kill myself. He also knew that my son, Donald, Jr., and I were innocent of the charges lodged against us. My friend could not believe that the “Swamp Creature," who is a big-time politician in Washington with plenty of juice within the federal agencies involved in my case, wanted me to commit suicide.

I had to remind my friend about the persecution Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. suffered at the hands of J. Edgar Hoover and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from 1956 until Dr. King’s assassination in 1968. His persecution was ruthless, unrelenting, and lasted longer than mine.

In 1963, Hoover and the FBI declared that Dr. Martin Luther King was the “most dangerous Negro” in America simply because of his “powerful demagogic speech” at the 1963 March on Washington. Two days after it was publicly announced that Dr. King would receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent civil rights protests across the South, the FBI sent Dr. King a letter in which the Bureau urged Dr. King to commit suicide. The letter, which was written by FBI Internal Security Supervisor Seymore F. Phillips, called Dr. King “filthy," a “colossal fraud,” and an “evil, abnormal beast.”

Fast forward to 2019. At my sentencing hearing last Tuesday, prosecutors criticized my ability to speak well and write intelligent emails, letters, and company reports. Even though I am a lawyer by education and training, they bashed me for using legalese in my purchase contracts and corporate agreements with business partners/"victims.".

For the first time ever in American jurisprudence, a highly educated African-American’s ability to speak and write well, together with his mastery of the law, was used to (a) portray him as a “fraudster” and "criminal" and (b) seek an enhanced sentence that is usually reserved for murderers.

I Never Thought About Suicide

As was the case with Dr. King, I never thought about suicide and I obviously did not kill myself. My perseverance in the face of six years of unrelenting persecution by state and federal government agencies has irritated the “Swamp Creature” in Washington. He wanted me "neutralized" after I solved the murder of Army Private LaVena Johnson by retired four-star general Kevin Byrnes on a military base in Balad, Iraq in 2005.

Fortunately, the trial judge in my case rejected the Government’s request to imprison me for 17.5 years. She called this request “absurd” and sentenced me to a 60-month prison sentence.

My son and I will appeal our convictions to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. I firmly believe we will win our appeals.

Throughout our ordeal, the Government used every weapon in its law enforcement arsenal in an effort to destroy our good names, our businesses, our credibility, our family’s unity, and our willingness to stand up and fight for those who have no effective voice in society. Despite its best efforts, the Government did not succeed in its coordinated campaign of misinformation and destruction.

What the Government failed to realize is this: Men in the Watkins family never surrender their manhood to anybody for any reason. We fight for ourselves, our families, our communities, and for those who are bullied and abused in society. In the Watkins family, we call this fight, “Leadership.”

The Government also overlooked one crucial fact during its coordinated persecution campaign: The FBI’s notorious and well-documented reputation for labeling law-abiding African-American civil rights activists as “fraudsters” rings hollow in the aftermath of the Bureau’s unforgivable characterization of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as “filthy," a “colossal fraud," and an “evil, abnormal beast.” Simply put, the FBI is riddled with politics; its credibility is in tatters; and the Bureau is still shackled to the yoke of its racist past.

Kyle Whitmire Vows that He Will Destroy Me

The Birmingham News provided friendly media coverage to federal law enforcement agencies throughout my ordeal. The News’ job was to portray me in the most negative light possible.

The Birmingham News has been a willing participant in the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO program since 1956. After the FBI’s formal COINTELPRO program ceased in 1971, the Birmingham News soldiered on for decades with its job of bashing black and white civil rights activists.

In 2019, News reporter Kyle Whitmire gladly performed this vital COINTELPRO role. In fact, Whitmire knew about my indictment before I did.

Last Wednesday, Whitmire published a classic COINTELPRO propaganda piece that said I should have pleaded guilty in order to save Donald, Jr., from prosecution. That same day, Donald, Jr., body-slammed Whitmire in a blistering response that was published on my son's Facebook page.

On Friday, I learned that Kyle Whitmire has vowed that he and Bill Britt, editor of the Alabama Political Reporter, are going to destroy me. Whitmire made this comment while talking to a friend of mine about the nasty backlash he experienced from the story he wrote regarding a guilty plea for the sake of my son.

Meanwhile, Whitmire is still peddling an unauthorized book deal about my life story. All of his negative articles have been written with an eye toward drumming up interest for his book deal.

Whitmire is a closet racist who is dripping in conflicts of interest. He also wants to make money for himself by writing about my life.

A Plan of Action for Our Supporters

My son and I are putting together a plan of action for the 20,000 or more online supporters who want to help us win this case. We will announce this plan of action soon.

Finally, my son and I have been showered with unconditional love and support from so many well-wishers. We know what was done to us, and why. We survived our ordeal. Now, we can focus on winning the appeals in our case.

PHOTO: The FBI's suicide letter to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is pictured below. The Bureau called Dr. King "filthy," a "colossal fraud," and an "evil, abnormal beast." After Dr. King was assassinated, the FBI continued to trash his name in an unrelenting campaign to discredit him.


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