The Outdoor Insane Asylum: COINTELPRO Revisited.

Exploration of Conspiracy Theories from Perspective of Esoteric Traditions

Moderator: yorick

The Outdoor Insane Asylum: COINTELPRO Revisited.

Postby wsduncanb » Fri May 13, 2005 12:04 am


"COINTELPRO" was the FBI's secret program to undermine the popular
upsurge which swept the country during the 1960s. Though the name
stands for "Counterintelligence Program," the targets were not enemy
spies. The FBI set out to eliminate "radical" political opposition
inside the US. When traditional modes of repression (exposure,
blatant harassment, and prosecution for political crimes) failed to
counter the growing insurgency, and even helped to fuel it, the
Bureau took the law into its own hands and secretly used fraud and
force to sabotage constitutionally- protected political activity. Its
methods ranged far beyond surveillance, and amounted to a domestic
version of the covert action for which the CIA has become infamous
throughout the world.


COINTELPRO was discovered in March, 1971, when secret files were
removed from an FBI office and released to news media. Freedom of
Information requests, lawsuits, and former agents' public confessions
deepened the exposure until a major scandal loomed. To control the
damage and re-establish government legitimacy in the wake of Vietnam
and Watergate, Congress and the courts compelled the FBI to reveal
part of what it had done and to promise it would not do it again.
Much of what has been learned, and copies of some of the actual
documents, can be found in the readings listed at the back of this


The FBI secretly instructed its field offices to propose schemes
to "misdirect, discredit, disrupt and otherwise neutralize "specific
individuals and groups. Close coordination with local police and
prosecutors was encouraged. Final authority rested with top FBI
officials in Washington, who demanded assurance that "there is no
possibility of embarrassment to the Bureau." More than 2000
individual actions were officially approved. The documents reveal
three types of methods:

1. Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political
activists. Their main function was to discredit and disrupt. Various
means to this end are analyzed below.
2. Other forms of deception: The FBI and police also waged
psychological warfare from the outside--through bogus publications,
forged correspondence, anonymous letters and telephone calls, and
similar forms of deceit.
3. Harassment, intimidation and violence: Eviction, job loss, break-
ins, vandalism, grand jury subpoenas, false arrests, frame- ups, and
physical violence were threatened, instigated or directly employed,
in an effort to frighten activists and disrupt their movements.
Government agents either concealed their involvement or fabricated a
legal pretext. In the case of the Black and Native American
movements, these assaults--including outright political
assassinations--were so extensive and vicious that they amounted to
terrorism on the part of the government.


The most intense operations were directed against the Black movement,
particularly the Black Panther Party. This resulted from FBI and
police racism, the Black community's lack of material resources for
fighting back, and the tendency of the media--and whites in general--
to ignore or tolerate attacks on Black groups. It also reflected
government and corporate fear of the Black movement because of its
militance, its broad domestic base and international support, and its
historic role in galvanizing the entire Sixties' upsurge. Many other
activists who organized against US intervention abroad or for racial,
gender or class justice at home also came under covert attack. The
targets were in no way limited to those who used physical force or
took up arms. Martin Luther King, David Dellinger, Phillip Berrigan
and other leading pacifists were high on the list, as were projects
directly protected by the Bill of Rights, such as alternative

The Black Panthers came under attack at a time when their work
featured free food and health care and community control of schools
and police, and when they carried guns only for deterrent and
symbolic purposes. It was the terrorism of the FBI and police that
eventually provoked the Panthers to retaliate with the armed actions
that later were cited to justify their repression.

Ultimately the FBI disclosed six official counterintelligence
programs: Communist Party-USA (1956-71); "Groups Seeking Independence
for Puerto Rico" (1960-71); Socialist Workers Party (1961-71); "White
Hate Groups" (1964-71); "Black Nationalist Hate Groups" (1967-71);
and "New Left" (1968- 71).The latter operations hit anti-war,
student, and feminist groups. The "Black Nationalist" caption
actually encompassed Martin Luther King and most of the civil rights
and Black Power movements. The "white hate" program functioned mainly
as a cover for covert aid to the KKK and similar right-wing
vigilantes, who were given funds and information, so long as they
confined their attacks to COINTELPRO targets. FBI documents also
reveal covert action against Native American, Chicano, Philippine,
Arab- American, and other activists, apparently without formal
Counterintelligence programs.


COINTELPRO's impact is difficult to fully assess since we do not know
the entire scope of what was done (especially against such pivotal
targets as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, SNCC and SDS),and we have
no generally accepted analysis of the Sixties. It is clear,however,

-COINTELPRO distorted the public's view of radical groups in a way
that helped to isolate them and to legitimize open political

-It reinforced and exacerbated the weaknesses of these groups, making
it very difficult for the inexperienced activists of the Sixties to
learn from their mistakes and build solid, durable organizations.

-Its violent assaults and covert manipulation eventually helped to
push some of the most committed and experienced groups to withdraw
from grass-roots organizing and to substitute armed actions which
isolated them and deprived the movement of much of its leadership.

-COINTELPRO often convinced its victims to blame themselves and each
other for the problems it created, leaving a legacy of cynicism and
despair that persists today.

-By operating covertly, the FBI and police were able to severely
weaken domestic political opposition without shaking the conviction
of most US people that they live in a democracy, with free speech and
the rule of law.



Public exposure of COINTELPRO in the early 1970s elicited a flurry of
reform. Congress, the courts and the mass media condemned
government "intelligence abuses." Municipal police forces officially
disbanded their red squads. A new Attorney General notified past
victims of COINTELPRO and issued Guidelines to limit future
operations. Top FBI officials were indicted (albeit for relatively
minor offenses), two were convicted, and several others retired or
resigned. J. Edgar Hoover--the egomaniacal, crudely racist and sexist
founder of the FBI--died, and a well-known federal judge, William
Webster, eventually was appointed to clean house and build a "new

Behind this public hoopla, however, was little real improvement in
government treatment of radical activists. Domestic covert operations
were briefly scaled down a bit, after the 60s' upsurge had largely
subsided, due in part to the success of COINTELPRO. But they did not
stop. In April, 1971, soon after files had been taken from one of its
offices, the FBI instructed its agents that "future COINTELPRO
actions will be considered on a highly selective, individual basis
with tight procedures to insure absolute security." The results are
apparent in the record of the subsequent years:

-A virtual war on the American Indian Movement, ranging from forgery
of documents, infiltration of legal defense committees, diversion of
funds, intimidation of witnesses and falsification of evidence, to
the para-military invasion of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South
Dakota, and the murder of Anna Mae Aquash, Joe Stuntz and countless

-Sabotage of efforts to organize protest demonstrations at the 1972
Republican and Democratic Party conventions. The attempted
assassination of San Diego Univ. Prof. Peter Bohmer, by a "Secret
Army Organization" of ex-Minutemen formed, subsidized, armed, and
protected by the FBI, was a part of these operations;

-Concealment of the fact that the witness whose testimony led to the
1972 robbery-murder conviction of Black Panther leader
Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt was a paid informer who had worked in the BPP
under the direction of the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department;

-Infiltration and disruption of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War,
and prosecution of its national leaders on false charges (Florida,

-Formation and operation of sham political groups such as "Red Star
Cadre," in Tampa, Fla., and the New Orleans "Red Collective" (1972-

-Mass interrogation of lesbian and feminist activists, threats of
subpoenas, jailing of those who refused to cooperate, and disruption
of women's health collectives and other projects (Lexington, KY.,
Hartford and New Haven,Conn., 1975);

-Harassment of the Hispanic Commission of the Episcopal Church and
numerous other Puerto Rican and Chicano religious activists and
community organizers (Chicago, New York City, Puerto Rico, Colorado
and New Mexico, 1977);

-Entrapment and frame-up of militant union leaders (NASCO
shipyards,San Diego, 1979); and

-Complicity in the murder of socialist labor and community organizers
(Greensboro, N.C., 1980).

All this, and maybe more, occurred in an era of reform. The use of
similar measures in today's very different times cannot be itemized
in such detail, since most are still secret. The gravity of the
current danger is evident, however, from the major steps recently
taken to legitimize and strengthen political repression, and from the
many incidents which are coming to light despite stepped-up security.

The ground-work for public acceptance of repression has been laid by
President Reagan's speeches reviving the old red-scare tale of
worldwide "communist take-overs" and adding a new bogeyman in the
form of domestic and international "terrorism." The President has
taken advantage of the resulting political climate to denounce the
Bill of Rights and to red-bait critics of US intervention in Central
America. He has pardoned the FBI officials convicted of COINTELPRO
crimes, praised their work, and spoken favorably of the political
witch hunts he took part in during the 1950s.

For the first time in US history, government infiltration
to "influence" domestic political activity has received official
sanction. On the pretext of meeting the supposed terrorist threat,
Presidential Executive Order 12333 (Dec. 4, 1981) extends such
authority not only to the FBI, but also to the military and, in some
cases, the CIA. History shows that these agencies treat legal
restriction as a kind of speed limit which they feel free to exceed,
but only by a certain margin. Thus, Reagan's Executive Order not only
encourages reliance on methods once deemed abhorrent, it also
implicitly licenses even greater, more damaging intrusion. Government
capacity to make effective use of such measures has also been
substantially enhanced in recent years:

-Judge Webster's highly-touted reforms have served mainly to
modernize the FBI and make it more dangerous. Instead of the back-
biting competition which impeded coordination of domestic counter-
insurgency in the 60s, the Bureau now promotes inter-agency
cooperation. As an equal opportunity employer, it can use Third World
and female agents to penetrate political targets more thoroughly than
before. By cultivating a low-visibility corporate image and
discreetly avoiding public attack on prominent liberals, the FBI has
regained respectability and won over a number of former critics.

-Municipal police forces have similarly revamped their image while
upgrading their repressive capabilities. The police "red squads" that
infiltrated and harassed the 60s' movements have been revived under
other names and augmented by para-military SWAT teams and tactical
squads as well as highly-politicized community relations and "beat
rep" programs, in which Black, Hispanic and female officers are often
conspicuous. Local operations are linked by FBI-led regional anti-
terrorist task forces and the national Law Enforcement Intelligence
Unit (LEIU).

-Increased military and CIA involvement has added political
sophistication and advanced technology. Army Special Forces and other
elite military units are now trained and equipped for counter-
insurgency (known as"low-intensity warfare"). Their manuals teach the
essential methodology of COINTELPRO, stressing earlier intervention
to neutralize potential opposition before it can take hold.

The CIA's expanded role is especially ominous. In the 60s, while
legally banned from "internal security functions," the CIA managed to
infiltrate the Black, student and antiwar movements. It also made
secret use of university professors, journalists, labor leaders,
publishing houses, cultural organizations and philanthropic fronts to
mold US public opinion. But it apparently felt compelled to hold back-
-within the country--from the kinds of systematic political
destabilization, torture, and murder which have become the hallmark
of its operations abroad. Now, the full force of the CIA has been
unleashed at home.

-All of the agencies involved in covert operations have had time to
learn from the 60s and to institute the "tight procedures to insure
absolute security" that FBI officials demanded after COINTELPRO was
exposed in 1971. Restoration of secrecy has been made easier by the
Administration's steps to shield covert operations from public
scrutiny. Under Reagan, key FBI and CIA files have been re-
classified "top secret." The Freedom of Information Act has been
quietly narrowed through administrative reinterpretation. Funds for
covert operations are allocated behind closed doors and hidden in CIA
and defense appropriations.

Government employees now face censorship even after they retire, and
new laws make it a federal crime to publicize information which might
tend to reveal an agent's identity. Despite this stepped-up security,
incidents frighteningly reminiscent of 60s' COINTELPRO have begun to

The extent of the infiltration, burglary and other clandestine
government intervention that has already come to light is alarming.
Since the vast majority of such operations stay hidden until after
the damage has been done, those we are now aware of undoubtedly
represent only the tip of the iceberg. Far more is sure to lie
beneath the surface.

Considering the current political climate, the legalization of
COINTELPRO, the rehabilitation of the FBI and police, and the
expanded role of the CIA and military, the recent revelations leave
us only one safe assumption: that extensive government covert
operations are already underway to neutralize today's opposition
movements before they can reach the massive level of the 60s.

Domestic covert action has now persisted in some form through at
least the last seven presidencies. It grew from one program to six
under Kennedy and Johnson. It flourished when an outspoken liberal,
Ramsey Clark, was Attorney General (1966-68). It is an integral part
of the established mode of operation of powerful, entrenched agencies
on every level of government. It enables policy-makers to maintain
social control without detracting from their own public image or the
perceived legitimacy of their method of government. It has become as
institutional in the US as the race, gender, class and imperial
domination it serves to uphold.

Under these circumstances, there is no reason to think we can
eliminate COINTELPRO simply by electing better public officials. Only
through sustained public education and mobilization, by a broad
coalition of political, religious and civil libertarian activists,
can we expect to limit it effectively.

In most parts of the country, however, and certainly on a national
level, we lack the political power to end covert government
intervention, or even to curb it substantially. We therefore need to
learn how to cope more effectively with this form of repression.

The next part of this pamphlet examines the methods that were used to
discredit and disrupt the movements oft he 60s and suggests steps we
can take to deflect or reduce their impact in the 80s.

-Check out the authenticity of any disturbing letter, rumor, phone
call or other communication before acting on it.

-Document incidents which appear to reflect covert intervention, and
report them to the Movement Support Network Hotline: 212/477- 5562.

-Deal openly and honestly with the differences within our movements
(race, gender, class, age, religion, national origin, sexual
orientation, personality, experience, physical and intellectual
capacities, etc.) before the FBI and police exploit them to tear us

-Don't rush to expose a suspected agent. Instead, directly criticize
what the suspect says and does. Intra-movement witch hunts only help
the government create distrust and paranoia.

-Support whoever comes under government attack. Don't be put off by
political slander, such as recent attempts to smear radical activists
as "terrorists." Organize public opposition to FBI investigations,
grand juries, show trials and other forms of political harassment.

-Above all, do not let them divert us from our main work. Our most
powerful weapon against political repression is effective organizing
around the needs and issues which directly affect people's lives.


Agents are law enforcement officers disguised as activists.

Informers are non-agents who provide information to a law enforcement
or intelligence agency. They may be recruited from within a group or
sent in by an agency, or they may be disaffected former members or

Infiltrators are agents or informers who work in a group or community
under the direction of a law enforcement or intelligence agency.
During the 60s the FBI had to rely on informers (who are less well
trained and harder to control) because it had very few black,
Hispanic or female agents, and its strict dress and grooming code
left white male agents unable to look like activists. As a modern
equal opportunity employer, today's FBI has fewer such limitations.

What They Do: Some informers and infiltrators quietly provide
information while keeping a low profile and doing whatever is
expected of group members. Others attempt to discredit a target and
disrupt its work. They may spread false rumors and make unfounded
accusations to provoke or exacerbate tensions and splits. They may
urge divisive proposals, sabotage important activities and resources,
or operate as "provocateurs" who lead zealous activists into
unnecessary danger. In a demonstration or other confrontation with
police, such an agent may break discipline and call for actions which
would undermine unity and detract from tactical focus.

Infiltration As a Source of Distrust and Paranoia: While individual
agents and informers aid the government in a variety of specific
ways, the general use of infiltrators serves a very special and
powerful strategic function. The fear that a group may be infiltrated
often intimidates people from getting more involved. It can give rise
to a paranoia which makes it difficult to build the mutual trust
which political groups depend on. This use of infiltrators, enhanced
by covertly-initiated rumors that exaggerate the extent to which a
particular movement or group has been penetrated, is recommended by
the manuals used to teach counter-insurgency in the U.S. and Western

Covert Manipulation to Make A Legitimate Activist Appear to be an
Agent: An actual agent will often point the finger at a genuine, non-
collaborating and highly-valued group member, claiming that he or she
is the infiltrator. The same effect, known as a "snitch jacket," has
been achieved by planting forged documents which appear to be
communications between an activist and the FBI, or by releasing for
no other apparent reason one of a group of activists who were
arrested together. Another method used under COINTELPRO was to
arrange for some activists, arrested under one pretext or another, to
hear over the police radio a phony broadcast which appeared to set up
a secret meeting between the police and someone from their group.

l. Establish a process through which anyone who suspects an informer
(or other form of covert intervention) can express his or her fears
without scaring others. Experienced people assigned this
responsibility can do a great deal to help a group maintain its
morale and focus while, at the same time, centrally consolidating
information and deciding how to use it. This plan works best when
accompanied by group discussion of the danger of paranoia, so that
everyone understands and follows the established procedure.
2. To reduce vulnerability to paranoia and "snitch jackets", and to
minimize diversion from your main work, it generally is best if you
do not attempt to expose a suspected agent or informer unless you are
certain of their role. (For instance, they surface to make an arrest,
testify as a government witness or in some other way admit their
identity). Under most circumstances, an attempted exposure will do
more harm than the infiltrator's continued presence. This is
especially true if you can discreetly limit the suspect's access to
funds, financial records, mailing lists, discussions of possible law
violations, meetings that plan criminal defense strategy, and similar
3. Deal openly and directly with the form and content of what anyone
says and does, whether the person is a suspected agent, has emotional
problems, or is simply a sincere, but naive or confused person new to
the work.
4. Once an agent or informer has been definitely identified, alert
other groups and communities by means of photographs, a description
of their methods of operation, etc. In the 60s, some agents managed
even after their exposure in one community to move on and repeat
their performance in a number of others.
5. Be careful to avoid pushing a new or hesitant member to take risks
beyond what that person is ready to handle, particularly in
situations which could result in arrest and prosecution. People in
this position have proved vulnerable to recruitment as informers.

Bogus leaflets, pamphlets, etc.: COINTELPRO documents show that the
FBI routinely put out phony leaflets, posters, pamphlets, etc. to
discredit its targets. In one instance, agents revised a children's
coloring book which the Black Panther Party had rejected as anti-
white and gratuitously violent, and then distributed a cruder version
to backers of the Party's program of free breakfasts for children,
telling them the book was being used in the program.

False media stories: The FBI's documents expose collusion by
reporters and news media that knowingly published false and distorted
material prepared by Bureau agents. One such story had Jean Seberg, a
noticeably pregnant white film star active in anti-racist causes,
carrying the child of a prominent Black leader. Seberg's white
husband, the actual father, has sued the FBI as responsible for her
resulting still-birth, breakdown, and suicide.

Forged correspondence: Former employees have confirmed that the FBI
and CIA have the capacity to produce "state of the art" forgery. The
U.S. Senate's investigation of COINTELPRO uncovered a series of
letters forged in the name of an intermediary between the Black
Panther Party's national office and Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver,
in exile in Algeria. The letters proved instrumental in inflaming
intra-party rivalries that erupted into the bitter public split that
shattered the Party in the winter of 1971.

Anonymous letters and telephone calls: During the 60s, activists
received a steady flow of anonymous letters and phone calls which
turn out to have been from government agents. Some threatened
violence. Others promoted racial divisions and fears. Still others
charged various leaders with collaboration, corruption, sexual
affairs with other activists' mates, etc. As in the Seberg incident,
inter-racial sex was a persistent theme. The husband of one white
woman involved in a bi-racial civil rights group received the
following anonymous letter authored by the FBI:

--Look, man, I guess your old lady doesn't get enough at home or she
wouldn't be shucking and jiving with our Black Men in ACTION, you
dig? Like all she wants to integrate is the bedroom and us Black
Sisters ain't gonna take no second best from our men. So lay it on
her man--or get her the hell off [name]. A Soul Sister

False rumors: Using infiltrators, journalists and other contacts, the
Bureau circulated slanderous, disruptive rumors through political
movements and the communities in which they worked.

Other misinformation: A favorite FBI tactic uncovered by Senate
investigators was to misinform people that a political meeting or
event had been cancelled. Another was to offer non- existent housing
at phony addresses, stranding out-of-town conference attendees who
naturally blamed those who had organized the event. FBI agents also
arranged to transport demonstrators in the name of a bogus bus
company which pulled out at the last minute. Such "dirty tricks"
interfered with political events and turned activists against each

Fronts for the FBI: COINTELPRO documents reveal that a number of
Sixties' political groups and projects were actually set up and
operated by the FBI.

One, "Grupo pro-Uso Voto," was used to disrupt the fragile unity
developing in l967 among groups seeking Puerto Rico's independence
from the US. The genuine proponents of independence had joined
together to boycott a US-administered referendum on the island's
status. They argued that voting under conditions of colonial
domination could serve only to legitimize US rule, and that no vote
could be fair while the US controlled the island's economy, media,
schools, and police. The bogus group, pretending to support
independence, broke ranks and urged independistas to take advantage
of the opportunity to register their opinion at the polls.

Since FBI front groups are basically a means for penetrating and
disrupting political movements, it is best to deal with them on the
basis of the Guidelines for Coping with Infiltration (below).

Confront what a suspect group says and does, but avoid public
accusations unless you have definite proof. If you do have such
proof, share it with everyone affected.

1. Don't add unnecessarily to the pool of information that government
agents use to divide political groups and turn activists against each
other. They thrive on gossip about personal tensions, rivalries and
disagreements. The more these are aired in public, or via a telephone
which can be tapped or mail which can be opened, the easier it is to
exploit a groups' problems and subvert its work. (Note that the CIA
has the technology to read mail without opening it, and that the
telephone network can now be programmed to record any conversation in
which specified political terms are used.)
2. The best way to reduce tensions and hostilities, and the urge to
gossip about them, is to make time for open, honest discussion and
resolution of "personal" as well as "political" issues.
3. Don't accept everything you hear or read. Check with the supposed
source of the information before you act on it. Personal
communication among estranged activists, however difficult or
painful, could have countered many FBI operations which proved
effective in the Sixties.
4. When you hear a negative, confusing or potentially harmful rumor,
don't pass it on. Instead, discuss it with a trusted friend or with
the people in your group who are responsible for dealing with covert
5. Verify and double-check all arrangements for housing,
transportation, meeting rooms, and so forth.
6. When you discover bogus materials, false media stories, etc.,
publicly disavow them and expose the true source, insofar as you can.

Pressure through employers, landlords, etc.: COINTELPRO documents
reveal frequent overt contacts and covert manipulation (false rumors,
anonymous letters and telephone calls) to generate pressure on
activists from their parents, landlords, employers, college
administrators, church superiors, welfare agencies, credit bureaus,
licensing authorities, and the like.

Agents' reports indicate that such intervention denied Sixties'
activists any number of foundation grants and public speaking
engagements. It also cost underground newspapers most of their
advertising revenues, when major record companies were persuaded to
take their business elsewhere. It may underlie recent steps by
insurance companies to cancel policies held by churches giving
sanctuary to refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala.

Burglary: Former operatives have confessed to thousands of "black bag
jobs" in which FBI agents broke into movement offices to steal, copy
or destroy valuable papers, wreck equipment, or plant drugs.

Vandalism: FBI infiltrators have admitted countless other acts of
vandalism, including the fire which destroyed the Watts Writers
Workshop's multi-million dollar ghetto cultural center in 1973. Late
60s' FBI and police raids laid waste to movement offices across the
country, destroying precious printing presses, typewriters, layout
equipment, research files, financial records, and mailing lists.

Other direct interference: To further disrupt opposition movements,
frighten activists, and get people upset with each other, the FBI
tampered with organizational mail, so it came late or not at all. It
also resorted to bomb threats and similar "dirty tricks".

Conspicuous surveillance: The FBI and police blatantly watch
activists' homes, follow their cars, tap phones, open mail and attend
political events. The object is not to collect information (which is
done surreptitiously), but to harass and intimidate.

Attempted interviews: Agents have extracted damaging information from
activists who don't know they have a legal right to refuse to talk,
or who think they can outsmart the FBI. COINTELPRO directives
recommend attempts at interviews throughout political movements
to "enhance the paranoia endemic in these circles" and "get the point
across that there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox."

Grand juries: Unlike the FBI, the Grand Jury has legal power to make
you answer its questions. Those who refuse, and are required to
accept immunity from use of their testimony against them, can be
jailed for contempt of court. (Such "use immunity" enables
prosecutors to get around the constitutional protection against self-

The FBI and the US Dept. of Justice have manipulated this process to
turn the grand jury into an instrument of political repression.
Frustrated by jurors' consistent refusal to convict activists of
overtly political crimes, they convened over 100 grand juries between
l970 and 1973 and subpoenaed more than 1000 activists from the Black,
Puerto Rican, student, women's and anti-war movements. Supposed
pursuit of fugitives and "terrorists" was the usual pretext. Many
targets were so terrified that they dropped out of political
activity. Others were jailed without any criminal charge or trial, in
what amounts to a U.S. version of the political internment procedures
employed in South Africa and Northern Ireland.

False arrest and prosecution: COINTELPRO directives cite the
Philadelphia FBI's success in having local militants "arrested on
every possible charge until they could no longer make bail"
and "spent most of the summer in jail." Though the bulk of the
activists arrested in this manner were eventually released, some were
convicted of serious charges on the basis of perjured testimony by
FBI agents, or by co-workers who the Bureau had threatened or bribed.

The object was not only to remove experienced organizers from their
communities and to divert scarce resources into legal defense, but
even more to discredit entire movements by portraying their leaders
as vicious criminals. Two victims of such frame-ups, Native American
activist Leonard Peltier and 1960s' Black Panther official
Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, have finally gained court hearings on new
trial motions.

Others currently struggling to re-open COINTELPRO convictions include
Richard Marshall of the American Indian Movement and jailed Black
Panthers Herman Bell, Anthony Bottom, Albert Washington (the "NY3"),
and Richard "Dhoruba" Moore.

Intimidation: One COINTELPRO communique urged that "The Negro youths
and moderates must be made to understand that if they succumb to
revolutionary teaching, they will be dead revolutionaries."

Others reported use of threats (anonymous and overt) to terrorize
activists, driving some to abandon promising projects and others to
leave the country. During raids on movement offices, the FBI and
police routinely roughed up activists and threatened further
violence. In August, 1970, they forced the entire staff of the Black
Panther office in Philadelphia to march through the streets naked.

Instigation of violence: The FBI's infiltrators and anonymous notes
and phone calls incited violent rivals to attack Malcolm X, the Black
Panthers, and other targets. Bureau records also reveal maneuvers to
get the Mafia to move against such activists as black comedian Dick

A COINTELPRO memo reported that "shootings, beatings and a high
degree of unrest continue to prevail in the ghetto area of southeast
San is felt that a substantial amount of the unrest is
directly attributable to this program."

Covert aid to right-wing vigilantes: In the guise of a COINTELPRO
against "white hate groups," the FBI subsidized, armed, directed and
protected the Klu Klux Klan and other right-wing groups, including
a "Secret Army Organization" of California ex-Minutemen who beat up
Chicano activists, tore apart the offices of the San Diego Street
Journal and the Movement for a Democratic Military, and tried to kill
a prominent anti-war organizer. Puerto Rican activists suffered
similar terrorist assaults from anti-Castro Cuban groups organized
and funded by the CIA.

Defectors from a band of Chicago-based vigilantes known as
the "Legion of Justice" disclosed that the funds and arms they used
to destroy book stores, film studios and other centers of opposition
had secretly been supplied by members of the Army's 113th Military
Intelligence Group.

Assassination: The FBI and police were implicated directly in murders
of Black and Native American leaders. In Chicago, police assassinated
Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, using a floor plan
supplied by an FBI informer who apparently also had drugged Hampton's
food to make him unconscious during the raid.

FBI records show that this accomplice received a substantial bonus
for his services. Despite an elaborate cover-up, a blue-ribbon
commission and a U.S Court of Appeals found the deaths to be the
result not of a shoot out, as claimed by police, but of a carefully
orchestrated, Vietnam-style "search and destroy mission".

1. Establish security procedures appropriate to your group's level of
activity and discuss them thoroughly with everyone involved. Control
access to keys, files, letterhead, funds, financial records, mailing
lists, etc. Keep duplicates of valuable documents. Safeguard address
books, and do not carry them when arrest is likely.
2. Careful records of break-ins, thefts, bomb threats, raids,
arrests, strange phone noises (not always taps or bugs), harassment,
etc. will help you to discern patterns and to prepare reports and
3. Don't talk to the FBI. Don't let them in without a warrant. Tell
others that they came. Have a lawyer demand an explanation and
instruct them to leave you alone.
4. If an activist does talk, or makes some other honest error,
explain the harm that could result. But do not attempt to ostracize a
sincere person who slips up. Isolation only weakens a person's
ability to resist. It can drive someone out of the movement and even
into the arms of the police.
5. If the FBI starts to harass people in your area, alert everyone to
refuse to cooperate (see box). Call the Movement Support Network's
Hotline:(2l2) 614-6422. Set up community meetings with speakers who
have resisted similar harassment elsewhere. Get literature, films,
etc. through the organizations listed in the back of this pamphlet.
Consider "Wanted" posters with photos of the agents, or guerilla
theater which follows them through the city streets.
6. Make a major public issue of crude harassment, such as tampering
with your mail. Contact your congressperson. Call the media.
Demonstrate at your local FBI office. Turn the attack into an
opportunity for explaining how covert intervention threatens
fundamental human rights.
7. Many people find it easier to tell an FBI agent to contact their
lawyer than to refuse to talk. Once a lawyer is involved, the Bureau
generally pulls back, since it has lost its power to intimidate. If
possible, make arrangements with a local lawyer and let everyone know
that agents who visit them can be referred to that lawyer. If your
group engages in civil disobedience or finds itself under intense
police pressure, start a bail fund, train some members to deal with
the legal system, and develop an ongoing relationship with a
sympathetic local lawyer.
8. Organizations listed in the back of this pamphlet can also help
resist grand jury harassment. Community education is important, along
with legal, financial, child care, and other support for those who
protect a movement by refusing to divulge information about it. If a
respected activist is subpoenaed for obviously political reasons,
consider trying to arrange for sanctuary in a local church or
9. While the FBI and police are entirely capable of fabricating
criminal charges, any law violations make it easier for them to set
you up. The point is not to get so up-tight and paranoid that you
can't function, but to make a realistic assessment based on your
visibility and other pertinent circumstances.
10. Upon hearing of Fred Hampton's murder, the Black Panthers in Los
Angeles fortified their offices and organized a communications
network to alert the community and news media in the event of a raid.
When the police did attempt an armed assault four days later, the
Panthers were able to hold off the attack until a large community and
media presence enabled them to leave the office without casualties.
Similar preparation can help other groups that have reason to expect
right-wing or police assaults.
11. Make sure your group designates and prepares other members to
step in if leaders are jailed or otherwise incapacitated. The more
each participant is able to think for herself or himself and take
responsibility, the better will be the group's capacity to cope with

A BROAD-BASED STRATEGY: No one existing political organization or
movement is strong enough, by itself, to mobilize the public pressure
required to significantly limit the ability of the FBI, CIA and
police to subvert our work. Some activists oppose covert intervention
because it violates fundamental constitutional rights. Others stress
how it weakens and interferes with the work of a particular group or
movement. Still others see covert action as part of a political and
economic system which is fundamentally flawed. Our only hope is to
bring these diverse forces together in a single, powerful alliance.

Such a broad coalition cannot hold together unless it operates with
clearly-defined principles. The coalition as a whole will have to
oppose covert intervention on certain basic grounds--such as the
threat to democracy, civil liberties and social justice, leaving its
members free to put forward other objections and analyses in their
own names. Participants will need to refrain from insisting that only
their views are "politically correct" and that everyone else
has "sold out."

Above all, we will have to resist the government's maneuvers to
divide us by moving against certain groups, while subtly suggesting
that it will go easy on the others, if only they dissociate
themselves from those under attack. This strategy is evident in the
recent Executive Order and Guidelines, which single out for
infiltration and disruption people who support liberation movements
and governments that defy U.S. hegemony or who entertain the view
that it may at times be necessary to break the law in order to
effectuate social change.

DIVERSE TACTICS: For maximum impact, local and national coalitions
will need a multi-faceted approach which effectively combines a
diversity of tactics, including:

l. Investigative research to stay on top of, and document, just what
the FBI, CIA and police are up to.
2. Public education through forums, rallies, radio and TV,
literature, film, high school and college curricula, wall posters,
guerilla theater, and whatever else proves interesting and effective.
3. Legislative lobbying against administration proposals to
strengthen covert work, cut back public access to information, punish
government "whistle-blowers", etc. Coalitions in some cities and
states have won legislative restrictions on surveillance and covert
action. The value of such victories will depend our ability to
mobilize continuing, vigilant public pressure for effective
4. Support for the victims of covert intervention can reduce somewhat
the harm done by the FBI, CIA and police. Organizing on behalf of
grand jury resisters, political prisoners, and defendants in
political trials offers a natural forum for public education about
domestic covert action.
5. Lawsuits may win financial compensation for some of the people
harmed by covert intervention. Class action suits, which seek a court
order (injunction) limiting surveillance and covert action in a
particular city or judicial district, have proved a valuable source
of information and publicity. They are enormously expensive, however,
in terms of time and energy as well as money. Out-of-court
settlements in some of these cases have given rise to bitter disputes
which split coalitions apart, and any agreement is subject to
reinterpretation or modification by increasingly conservative,
administration-oriented federal judges.
The US Court of Appeals in Chicago has ruled that the consent decree
against the FBI there affects only operations based "solely on the
political views of a group or an individual," for which the Bureau
can conjure no pretext of a "genuine concern for law enforcement."

6. Direct action, in the form of citizens' arrests, mock trials,
picket lines, and civil disobedience, has recently greeted CIA
recruiters on a number of college campuses. Although the main focus
has been on the Agency's international crimes, its domestic
activities have also received attention. Similar actions might be
organized to protest recruitment by the FBI and police, in
conjunction with teach-ins and other education about domestic covert
action. Demonstrations against Reagan's attempts to bolster covert
intervention, or against particular FBI, CIA or police operations,
could also raise public consciousness and focus activists' outrage.
PROSPECTS: Previous attempts to mobilize public opposition,
especially on a local level, indicate that a broad coalition,
employing a multi-faceted approach, may be able to impose some limits
on the government's ability to discredit and disrupt our work. It is
clear, however, that we currently lack the power to eliminate such
intervention. While fighting hard to end domestic covert action, we
need also to study the forms it takes and prepare ourselves to cope
with it as effectively as we can.

Above all, it is essential that we resist the temptation to so
preoccupy ourselves with repression that we neglect our main work.
Our ability to resist the government's attacks depends ultimately on
the strength of our movements. So long as we continue to advocate and
organize effectively, no manner of intervention can stop us.

by Linda Lotz, American Friends Service Committee

Organizations involved in controversial issues -- particularly those
who encourage or assist members to commit civil disobedience --
should be alert to the possibility of surveillance and disruption by
police or federal agencies.

During the last three decades, many individuals and organizations
were spied upon, wiretapped, their personal lives disrupted in an
effort to draw them away from their political work, and their
organizations infiltrated. Hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence
from agencies such as the FBI and CIA were obtained by Congressional
inquiries headed by Senator Frank Church and Representative Otis
Pike, others were obtained through use of the Freedom of Information
Act and as a result of lawsuits seeking damages for First Amendment

Despite the public outcry to these revelations, the apparatus remains
in place, and federal agencies have been given increased powers by
the Reagan Administration.

Good organizers should be acquainted with this sordid part of
American history, and with the signs that may indicate their group is
the target of an investigation.

HOWEVER, DO NOT LET PARANOIA immobilize you. The results of paranoia
and overreaction to evidence of surveillance can be just as
disruptive to an organization as an actual infiltrator or disruption

This document is a brief outline of what to look for -- and what to
do if you think your group is the subject of an investigation. This
is meant to suggest possible actions, and is not intended to provide
legal advice.

Possible evidence of government spying

Obvious surveillance
Look for:

Visits by police or federal agents to politically involved
individuals, landlords, employers, family members or business
associates. These visits may be to ask for information, to encourage
or create possibility of eviction or termination of employment, or to
create pressure for the person to stop his or her political
Uniformed or plainclothes officers taking pictures of people entering
your office or participating in your activities. Just before and
during demonstrations and other public events, check the area
including windows and rooftops for photographers. (Credentialling
press can help to separate the media from the spies.)
People who seem out of place. If they come to your office or attend
your events, greet them as potential members. Try to determine if
they are really interested in your issues -- or just your members!
People writing down license plate numbers of cars and other vehicles
in the vicinity of your meetings and rallies.
Despite local legislation and several court orders limiting policy
spying activities, these investigatory practices have been generally
found to be legal unless significant "chilling" of constitutional
rights can be proved.

Telephone problems
Electronic surveillance equipment is now so sophisticated that you
should not be able to tell if your telephone conversations are being
monitored. Clicks, whirrs, and other noises probably indicate a
problem in the telephone line or other equipment.

For example, the National Security Agency has the technology to
monitor microwave communications traffic, and to isolate all calls to
or from a particular line, or to listen for key words that activate a
recording device. Laser beams and "spike" microphones can detect
sound waves hitting walls and window panes, and then transmit those
waves for recording. In these cases, there is little chance that the
subject would be able to find out about the surveillance.

Among the possible signs you may find are:

Hearing a tape recording of a conversation you, or someone else in
your home or office, have recently held.
Hearing people talking about your activities when you try to use the
Losing service several days before major events.
Government use of electronic surveillance is governed by two laws,
the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act and the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act. Warrants for such surveillance can be
obtained if there is evidence of a federal crime, such as murder,
drug trafficking, or crimes characteristic of organized crime, or for
the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence information available
within the U.S. In the latter case, an "agent of a foreign power" can
be defined as a representative of a foreign government, from a
faction or opposition group, or foreign based political groups.

Mail problems

Because of traditional difficulties with the U.S. Postal Service,
some problems with mail delivery will occur, such as a machine
catching an end of an envelope and tearing it, or a bag getting lost
and delaying delivery.

However, a pattern of problems may occur because of political
intelligence gathering:

Envelopes may have been opened prior to reaching their destination;
contents were removed and/or switched with other mail. Remember that
the glue on envelopes doesn't work as well when volume or bulk
mailings are involved.
Mail may arrive late, on a regular basis different from others in
your neighborhood.
Mail may never arrive.
There are currently two kinds of surveillance permitted with regards
to mail: the mail cover, and opening of mail. The simplest, and lest
intrusive form is the "mail cover" in which Postal employees simply
list any information that can be obtained from the envelope, or
opening second, third or fourth class mail. Opening of first class
mail requires a warrant unless it is believed to hold drugs
or "ticks." More leeway is given for opening first class
international mail.

A common practice during the FBI's Counter- Intelligence Program
(COINTELPRO) was the use of surreptitious entries or "black bag
jobs." Bureau agents were given special training in burglary, key
reproduction, etc. for use in entering homes and offices. In some
cases, the key could be obtained from "loyal American" landlords or
building owners.

Typical indicators are:

Files, including membership and financial reports are rifled, copied
or stolen.
Items of obvious financial value are left untouched.
Equipment vital to the organization may be broken or stolen, such as
typewriters, printing machinery, and computers.
Signs of a political motive are left, such as putting a membership
list or a poster from an important event in an obvious place.
Although warrantless domestic security searches are in violation of
the Fourth Amendment, and any evidence obtained this way cannot be
used in criminal proceedings, the Reagan Administration and most
recent Presidents (excepting Carter) have asserted the inherent
authority to conduct searches against those viewed as agents of a
foreign power.

Informers and Infiltrators
Information about an organization or individual can also be obtained
by placing an informer or infiltrator. This person may be a police
officer, employee of a federal agency, someone who has been charged
or convicted of criminal activity and has agreed to "help" instead of
serve time, or anyone from the public.

Once someone joins an organization for the purposes of gathering
information, the line between data gathering and participation blurs.
Two types of infiltrators result -- someone who is under "deep cover"
and adapts to the lifestyle of the people they are infiltrating.
These people may maintain their cover for many years, and an
organization may never know whom these people are.
Agents "provocateur" are more visible, because they will deliberately
attempt to disrupt or lead the group into illegal activities. They
often become involved just as an event or crisis is occurring, and
leave town or drop out after the organizing slows down.

An agent may:

Volunteer for tasks which provide access to important meetings and
papers such as financial records, membership lists, minutes and
confidential files.
Not follow through or complete tasks, or else does them poorly
despite an obvious ability to do good work.
Cause problems for a group such as committing it to activities or
expenses without following proper channels; urge a group to plan
activities that divide group unity.
Seem to create or be in the middle of personal or political
difference that slow the work of the group.
Seek the public spotlight, in the name of your group, and then make
comments or present an image different from the rest of the group.
Urge the use of violence or breaking the law, and provide information
and resources to enable such ventures.
Have no obvious source of income over a period of time, or have more
money available than his or her job should pay.
Charge other people with being agents, (a process called snitch-
jackets), thereby diverting attention from him or herself, and
draining the group's energy from other work.

Courts have consistently found that an individual who provides
information, even if it is incriminating, to an informer has not had
his or her Constitutional rights violated. This includes the use of
tape recorders or electronic transmitters as well.

Lawsuits in Los Angeles, Chicago and elsewhere, alleging infiltration
of lawful political groups have resulted in court orders limiting the
use of police informers and infiltrators. However, this does not
affect activities of federal agencies.

If you find evidence of surveillance: Hold a meeting to discuss
spying and harassment

Determine if any of your members have experienced any harassment or
noticed any surveillance activities that appear to be directed at the
organization's activities. Carefully record all the details of these
and see if any patterns develop.
Review past suspicious activities or difficulties in your group. Has
one or several people been involved in many of these events? List
other possible "evidence" of infiltration.
Develop internal policy on how the group should respond to any
possible surveillance or suspicious actions. Decide who should be the
contact person(s), what information should be recorded, what process
to follow during any event or demonstration if disruption tactics are
Consider holding a public meeting to discuss spying in your community
and around the country. Schedule a speaker or film discussing
political surveillance.
Make sure to protect important documents or computer disks, by
keeping a second copy in a separate, secret location. Use fireproof,
locked cabinets if possible.
Implement a sign-in policy for your office and/or meetings. This is
helpful for your organizing, developing a mailing list, and can
provide evidence that an infiltrator or informer was at your meeting.
Appoint a contact for spying concerns

This contact person or committee should implement the policy
developed above and should be given to authority to act, to get
others to respond should any problems occur.

The contact should:

Seek someone familiar with surveillance history and law, such as the
local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, the American Civil
Liberties Union, the National Conference of Black Lawyers or the
American Friends Service Committee. Brief them about your evidence
and suspicions. They will be able to make suggestions about actions
to take, as well as organizing and legal contacts.
Maintain a file of all suspected or confirmed experiences of
surveillance and disruption. Include: date, place, time, who was
present, a complete descriptions of everything that happened, and any
comments explaining the context of the event or showing what impact
the event had on the individual or organization. If this is put in
deposition form and signed, it can be used as evidence in court.
Under the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy act, request any
files on the organization from federal agencies such as the FBI, CIA,
Immigration and Naturalization, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms, etc. File similar requests with local and state law
enforcement agencies, if your state freedom of information act
Prepare for major demonstrations and events

Plan ahead; brief your legal workers on appropriate state and federal
statutes on police and federal official spying. Discuss whether
photographing with still or video cameras is anticipated and decide
if you want to challenge it.
If you anticipate surveillance, brief reporters who are expected to
cover the event, and provide them with materials about past
surveillance by your city's police in the past, and/or against other
activists throughout the country.
Tell the participants when surveillance is anticipated and discuss
what the group's response will be. Also, decide how to handle
provocateurs, police violence, etc. and incorporate this into any
affinity group, marshall or other training.
During the event:

Carefully monitor the crowd, looking for surveillance or possible
disruption tactics. Photograph any suspicious or questionable
Approach police officer(s) seen engaging in questionable activities.
Consider having a legal worker and/or press person monitor their
actions. If you suspect someone is an infiltrator:
Try to obtain information about his or her background: where s/he
attended high school and college; place of employment, and other
pieces of history. Attempt to verify this information.
Check public records which include employment; this can include voter
registration, mortgages or other debt filings, etc.
Check listings of police academy graduates, if available.
Once you obtain evidence that someone is an infiltrator:

Confront him or her in a protected setting, such as a small meeting
with several other key members of your group (and an attorney if
available). Present the evidence and ask for the person's response.
You should plan how to inform your members about the infiltration,
gathering information about what the person did while a part of the
group and determining any additional impact s/he may have had.
You should consider contacting the press with evidence of the
If you can only gather circumstantial evidence, but are concerned
that the person is disrupting the group:

Hold a strategy session with key leadership as to how to handle the
troublesome person.
Confront the troublemaker, and lay out why the person is disrupting
the organization. Set guidelines for further involvement and
carefully monitor the person's activities. If the problems continue,
consider asking the person to leave the organization.
If sufficient evidence is then gathered which indicates s/he is an
infiltrator, confront the person with the information in front of
witnesses and carefully watch reactions.
Request an investigation or make a formal complaint

Report telephone difficulties to your local and long distance
carriers. Ask for a check on the lines to assure that the equipment
is working properly. Ask them to do a sweep/check to see if any
wiretap equipment is attached (Sometimes repair staff can be very
helpful in this way.) If you can afford it, request a sweep of your
phone and office or home form a private security firm. Remember this
will only be good at the time that the sweep is done.
File a formal complaint with the U.S. Postal Service, specifying the
problems you have been experiencing, specific dates, and other
details. If mail has failed to arrive, ask the Post Office to trace
the envelope or package.
Request a formal inquiry by the police, if you have been the subject
of surveillance or infiltration. Describe any offending actions by
police officers and ask a variety of questions. If an activity was
photographed, ask what will be done with the pictures. Set a time
when you expect a reply from the police chief. Inform members of the
City Council and the press of your request.
If you are not pleased with the results of the police chief's reply,
file a complaint with the Police Board or other administrative body.
Demand a full investigation. Work with investigators to insure that
all witnesses are contacted. Monitor the investigation and respond
publicly to the conclusions. Initiate a lawsuit if applicable federal
or local statues have been violated.
Before embarking on a lawsuit, remember that most suits take many
years to complete and require tremendous amounts of organizers' and
legal workers' energy and money.

Always notify the press when you have a good story

Keep interested reporters updated on any new developments. They may
be aware of other police abuses, or be able to obtain further
evidence of police practices.

Press coverage of spying activities is very important, because
publicity conscious politicians and police chiefs will be held
accountable for questionable practices.

Prepared by: Linda Lotz American Friends Service Committee 980 North
Fair Oaks Avenue Pasadena, CA 91103

TIP SHEET for Staff Organizers

Common Sense Security
by Sheila O'Donnell
As the movements for social change become more sophisticated, the
techniques of the state, corporations and the right wing have also
become more sophisticated. Historically this has always been the
case; caution in the face of the concerted effort to stop us,
however, is both prudent and necessary.

Here are some useful suggestions:

If you wish to have a private conversation, leave your home and your
office and go outside and take a walk or go somewhere public and
notice who is near you. Never say anything you don't want to hear
repeated when there is any possibility of being recorded.
Never leave one copy of a document or list behind; take a minute to
duplicate an irreplaceable document and keep the duplicate in a safe
place. Back up and store important computer disks off-site. Sensitive
data and membership list should be kept under lock and key.
Keep your mailing lists, donor lists and personal phone books away
from light-fingered people. Always maintain a duplicate.
Know your printer if you are about to publish.
Know your mailing house.
Know anyone you are trusting to work on any part of a project that is
Don't hire a stranger as a messenger.
Sweeps for electronic surveillance are only effective for the time
they are being done, and are only effective as they are being done if
you are sure of the person(s) doing the sweep.
Don't use code on the phone. If you are being tapped and the
transcript is used against you in court, the coded conversation can
be alleged to be anything. Don't say anything on the phone you don't
want to hear in open court.
Don't gossip on the phone. Smut is valuable to anyone listening; it
makes everyone vulnerable.
If you are being followed, get the tag number and description of the
car and people in the car. Photograph the person(s) following you or
have a friend do so.
If you are followed or feel vulnerable, call a friend; don't "tough
it out" alone. They are trying to frighten you. It is frightening to
have someone threatening your freedom.
Debrief yourself after each incident. Write details down: time, date,
occasion, incident, characteristics of the person(s), impressions,
anything odd about the situation. Keep a "weirdo" file and keep notes
from unsettling situations and see if a pattern emerges.
Write for your file under the FOIA and pursue the agencies until they
give you all the documents filed under your name.
Brief your membership on known or suspected surveillance.
Report thefts of materials from
"I´ve already been executed,
I´m just waiting to die." -wsdb

W.S. Duncan-Binns
Apartado 0815-00349
Cuidad Panama
Republica De Panama
Central America
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Postby yorick » Tue May 24, 2005 2:47 pm

>>>>Ultimately the FBI disclosed six official counterintelligence
programs: Communist Party-USA (1956-71); "Groups Seeking Independence for Puerto Rico" (1960-71); Socialist Workers Party (1961-71); "White Hate Groups" (1964-71); "Black Nationalist Hate Groups" (1967-71); and "New Left" (1968- 71).The latter operations hit anti-war, student, and feminist groups. <<<<<

Now lets look at what really happened, as recorded in history:

New Left - tastes changed and Disco Music took over the scene

Black Nationalists - these guys took over Sports, Music and Entertainment Industry. Hell, you couldnt surf the television dial without seeing at least 5 programs with all-black casts.

White Hate Groups - invested heavily in remote Idaho real estate, established Church of Christ Christian.

Socialist Workers Party - are rumored to have teamed up with Libertarians and fielded a few Presidential Candidates of their own.

Puerto Rican Independence Groups - had the pleasure of thumbing their noses at President Ronald Reagan who proposed statehood which Commonwealth Puerto Rico refused. And you can still buy Budweiser beer on street corner, coin operated, soda style machines at San Juan....... something that can never happen in the USA.

Communist Party USA - looking back on McCarthism of the early 1950's it appears these guys seized control of Hollywood with authors, playwrites, poets and college professors on their payroll.

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