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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:34 AM

Anyone else old enough to remember when COINTELPRO was murdering citizens by the dozen?

http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/cointelpro.html

COINTELPRO Again?

From John Adams' Alien and Sedition Acts to the Cold War and Joseph McCarthy, civil liberties and national security have had a delicate and troubled relationship in American history. Notorious among these is the case of the domestic surveillance program run by the FBI between 1956 and 1971 (after the censure of Joseph McCarthy by the Senate) under the name COINTELPRO (counterintelligence program). COINTELPRO was a secret FBI program designed to monitor and "neutralize" domestic groups deemed by the FBI to be a danger to national security. Such groups included anti-war groups and civil rights groups and individuals like Martin Luther King, Jr. and even Eleanor Roosevelt.

Some fear that something like COINTELPRO may again be at hand. There are undercover agents infiltrating peaceful protests in America. Pretending to be political activists, local law enforcement officials are monitoring the activities of advocacy and protest groups based on what one judge calls those organizationsí "political philosophies and conduct protected under the First Amendment." The tactic has come about as a result of the relaxation of guidelines first put into place after the COINTELPRO scandal investigation. Learn more about the history and the new guidelines below.


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I am old enough to remember this like it was yesterday. I don't remember the media getting their noses all bent out of shape over it either. They acted like it was no big deal when it was happening. Like it was completely normal back then. No outrage. They were scared of black men with guns. So they had no complaints. This precedent was set decades ago.

Anyone else remember that?

62 replies, 6222 views

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Arrow 62 replies Author Time Post
Reply Anyone else old enough to remember when COINTELPRO was murdering citizens by the dozen? (Original post)
NNN0LHI Feb 2013 OP
jberryhill Feb 2013 #1
leveymg Feb 2013 #5
cliffordu Feb 2013 #7
Octafish Feb 2013 #33
leveymg Feb 2013 #34
Octafish Feb 2013 #36
hootinholler Feb 2013 #40
Octafish Feb 2013 #41
hootinholler Feb 2013 #42
Octafish Feb 2013 #45
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #49
Octafish Feb 2013 #51
leveymg Feb 2013 #54
MinM Feb 2013 #50
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #44
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #46
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #53
NNN0LHI Feb 2013 #35
el_bryanto Feb 2013 #2
Fuddnik Feb 2013 #18
NBachers Feb 2013 #26
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #47
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #56
Coyotl Feb 2013 #3
Octafish Feb 2013 #4
Historic NY Feb 2013 #9
Octafish Feb 2013 #13
ReRe Feb 2013 #6
dotymed Feb 2013 #31
ReRe Feb 2013 #32
dotymed Feb 2013 #37
ReRe Feb 2013 #39
dotymed Jun 2013 #61
ReRe Jun 2013 #62
HiPointDem Jun 2013 #60
justiceischeap Feb 2013 #8
leveymg Feb 2013 #10
justiceischeap Feb 2013 #11
leveymg Feb 2013 #14
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #57
leveymg Feb 2013 #58
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #59
RoccoR5955 Feb 2013 #12
leveymg Feb 2013 #16
bemildred Feb 2013 #15
Arctic Dave Feb 2013 #17
leveymg Feb 2013 #23
mopinko Feb 2013 #19
leveymg Feb 2013 #22
mopinko Feb 2013 #24
leveymg Feb 2013 #25
heaven05 Feb 2013 #20
booley Feb 2013 #21
napi21 Feb 2013 #27
Jackpine Radical Feb 2013 #28
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #29
loudsue Feb 2013 #30
Dash87 Feb 2013 #38
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #43
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #48
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #52
Hotler Feb 2013 #55

Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:39 AM

1. List a dozen to refresh my memory

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:16 AM

5. Malcolm X, Viola Liuzzo, Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, Greensboro '79 (5 dead), plus about 50 Native

American members of AIM during the 1970s.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:50 AM

7. Exactly right.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:22 AM

34. As I understand it, COINTELPRO was a series of FBI operations starting in the 1950s. The victims

you name above seem to have been targeted or exploited by other federal agencies and/or private entities:

Olson - CIA Operation Artichoke LSD experiments
Lagarreta - AEC, and later DOE
Silkwood - Kerr McGee Corp. or its security contractors

COINTELPRO, granted, has become a generic term for dirty tricks operations against dissidents and whistleblowers. In that sense, you are right to include these names, but we would have to vastly expand the list of casualties.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #34)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:33 AM

36. Thank you for the excellent observation, leveymg. I stand corrected re COINTELPRO.

My intention was precisely that -- demonstrate that members of the national security state have committed murder and who knows what else to maintain power, COINTELPRO run by FBI just being one instrument. Other programs, as you know, include CIA's CHAOS, developed after the Domestic Operations Division was formed in 1964, contrary to the agency's charter.

I truly appreciate you setting things straight for the record, my Friend. Author Seth Rosenfeld provides something most relevant about our favorite managed democracy that seems to have dropped from consciousness:

Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power

It's almost weird how the dot things connect, despite MOCKINGBIRD's best efforts.



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Response to Octafish (Reply #36)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:18 AM

40. CHAOS? Really?

Did they never watch Get Smart?

One has to wonder why the Tea Party and militias never seem to have been infiltrated.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #40)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:42 AM

41. Don Adams of the FBI deserves to be seen and heard by billions.

Guy is the real deal, a brave agent who stepped forward. Among his assassination-connected work, FBI Special Agent Don Adams interviewed racist Joseph Adams Milteer, a guy an FBI informant had taped detailing a pre-Dallas plot in Miami.



He wrote a book on the experience:

http://adamsjfk.com/?page_id=30

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Response to Octafish (Reply #41)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:47 AM

42. This is just, just, fuck, I have no words



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Response to hootinholler (Reply #42)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:00 AM

45. Joseph Adams Milteer



A rabid right-wing racist who was tape-recorded by FBI detailing the assassination of JFK "with a high-powered rifle from a high-rise office building," then a couple of weeks later appears in photographs in Dealey Plaza should make the front page and lead every broadcast, but it doesn't, for some reason.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #45)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:30 AM

49. A couple of prominent people were in Dallas that day or in the days previous....

...to the assassination, people who denied being there (Nixon) or claimed they couldn't remember where they were (Poppy Bush).

Speaking of Milteer, the circumstances of his death in March 1974 at the age of 72 were a bit hazy. His stove had exploded several weeks before his death resulting in burns to his legs. While undergoing treatment for his burns, which were healing, he appears to have died suddenly. Loose end, perhaps? Any thoughts?

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #49)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:14 PM

51. Poppy Bush told the FBI he was in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

George Herbert Walker Bush was in Dallas that day, according to what he told the FBI.





Here's a transcript of the text:

TO: SAC, HOUSTON DATE: 11-22-63

FROM: SA GRAHAM W. KITCHEL

SUBJECT: UNKNOWN SUBJECT;
ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT
JOHN F. KENNEDY

At 1:45 p.m. Mr. GEORGE H. W. BUSH, President of the Zapata Off-Shore Drilling Company, Houston, Texas, residence 5525 Briar, Houston, telephonically furnished the following information to writer by long distance telephone call from Tyler, Texas.

BUSH stated that he wanted to be kept confidential but wanted to furnish hearsay that he recalled hearing in recent weeks, the day and source unknown. He stated that one JAMES PARROTT has been talking of killing the President when he comes to Houston.

BUSH stated that PARROTT is possibly a student at the University of Houston and is active in political matters in this area. He stated that he felt Mrs. FAWLEY, telephone number SU 2-5239, or ARLINE SMITH, telephone number JA 9-9194 of the Harris County Republican Party Headquarters would be able to furnish additional information regarding the identity of PARROTT.

BUSH stated that he was proceeding to Dallas, Texas, would remain in the Sheraton-Dallas Hotel and return to his residence on 11-23-63. His office telephone number is CA 2-0395.

Which, of course, makes me wonder about this memo, from a week later:




Here's a transcript of the above:


Date: November 29, 1963

To: Director
Bureau of Intelligence and Research
Department of State

From: John Edgar Hoover, Director

Subject: ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY
NOVEMBER 22, 1963

Our Miami, Florida, Office on November 23, 1963, advised that the Office of Coordinator of Cuban Affairs in Miami advised that the Department of State feels some misguided anti-Castro group might capitalize on the present situation and undertake an unauthorized raid against Cuba, believing that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy might herald a change in U. S. policy, which is not true.

Our sources and informants familiar with Cuban matters in the Miami area advise that the general feeling in the anti-Castro Cuban community is one of stunned disbelief and, even among those who did not entirely agree with the President's policy concerning Cuba, the feeling is that the President's death represents a great loss not only to the U. S. but to all of Latin America. These sources know of no plans for unauthorized action against Cuba.

An informant who has furnished reliable information in the past and who is close to a small pro-Castro group in Miami has advised that these individuals are afraid that the assassination of the President may result in strong repressive measures being taken against them and, although pro-Castro in their feelings, regret the assassination.

The substance of the foregoing information was orally furnished to Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency and Captain William Edwards of the Defense Intelligence Agency on November 23, 1963, by Mr. W. T. Forsyth of this Bureau.

# # #



Professor Donald E. Wilkes, Jr. has more on Milteer:

"Everything ran true to form.† I guess you thought I was kidding you when I said he (Kennedy) would be killed from a window with a high-powered rifle."

http://www.law.uga.edu/dwilkes_more/jfk_4did.html

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Response to Octafish (Reply #45)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:58 PM

54. He appears to be carrying something under a white coat or towel. FBI, SS knew about his threat,

started an investigation, but somehow never passed the information along to the detail assigned to guard Kennedy in Dallas. Curiouser and curiouser. http://www.law.uga.edu/dwilkes_more/jfk_4did.html

On the morning of Nov. 9, 1963, two weeks before the Kennedy assassination, Milteer engaged in a conversation in a Miami hotel room with a man named Willie Somersett. Apparently unknown to Milteer, Somersett (who died in 1970), was an informer for the police who surreptitiously tape-recorded the conversation. The tape was promptly turned over to local Miami police, who then forwarded it to federal authorities. The taped conversation was revealed for the first time publicly in the Miami News in February 1967, although Milteer's named was not mentioned. The Miami News article was quoted at length (again without mentioning Milteer's name) in Harold Weisberg's Oswald in New Orleans, also published in 1967. In 1971 in Frame-Up Weisberg published a transcript of the taped conversation, together with various FBI documents relating to Milteer. This time Milteer's name was given. In 1979 the House Assassinations Committee included information on Milteer in several of its published volumes, and quoted verbatim an excerpt from the transcript of his Nov. 9, 1963 conversation with Somersett.

According to the House Committee transcript, Milteer told Somersett that the killing of Kennedy "was in the working," that the president could be killed "rom an office building with a high-powered rifle," that the rifle could be "disassembled" to get it into the building, and that "hey will pick up somebody within hours afterward, if anything like that would happen just to throw the public off." He also mentioned "the Cubans."

When Miami police turned the tape-recorded conversation over to the Secret Service and FBI, there was a flurry of activity and extra security precautions were taken to protect the president on his trip to Miami, which took place on Nov. 18, the Monday before the Friday assassination. However, information about the Milteer remarks apparently was not passed on to Secret Service officials responsible for the trip to Dallas.

Here, then, is a second possible Georgia connection to the JFK assassination: less than two weeks before the president's death, a Georgia political extremist on the far right was recorded saying things that indicate--at least in retrospect--that he knew not only of a plot to kill the president but also some of the details of the plot. Milteer's statements, as noted, were taken seriously by federal authorities; and the Secret Service's Miami office filed on Milteer was entitled "Alleged Possible Threat Against the President."



Interesting. I'll have to look closer. Thnx.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #40)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:56 AM

50. keyword hijacking?

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Response to leveymg (Reply #34)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:56 AM

44. I've never thought that those operations were as compartmentalizes..........

as all that. All the alphabet governmental orgs and business groups PROBABLY worked together and, at the very least, shared info.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #44)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:08 AM

46. They rarely shared info with each other unless they absolutely had to do so....

....Unless they stumbled across another intel agency's operation they rarely knew they were spying on the same people. Sometimes they infiltrated the same groups and didn't even know they were in the same meetings.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #46)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:50 PM

53. I'm sure that's true on a certain level, but remember.......

that many undercover operations have SEVERAL levels where ONLY THE PEOPLE AT THE TOP KNOW EVERYTHING THAT'S GOING ON! That's the whole premise behind "need to know".

Frankly it's all speculation on our parts, BUT because of the things that HAVE come out from FOIA requests, at least there's an element of education to the speculation.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:28 AM

35. John Huggins and Bunchy Carter

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:39 AM

2. The media may not have put pieces together

I am familiar with their shameful history - but thought it was mostly illegally surveying and harassing people. A short review finds they encouraged radical groups to go to war with each other, and also encouraged police raids that lead to deaths. Since they acted through other, the media might not have seen the pattern (then again, they might have been encouraged not to see the pattern).

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:37 AM

18. The media was actively complicit with the FBI.

There's a new book out called "Subversives", by Seth Rosenfeld, based on over 20 years of FOIA lawsuits about the FBI's actions during the Free Speech and anti-war movements in the 60's.

Hoover and CIA director McCone considered many Bay area reporters, and the Hearst Family as "assets, and leaked classified defamatory information to discredit people like Robert Scheer, Mario Savio, etc. They clandestinely backed Ronald Reagans campaign for Governor.

After an innocent construction worker was shot and killed, by police, on a rooftop observing the Peoples Park protests, scumbag Ed Meese said in a recent interview, that he deserved to die.

An ex-Army informant for the FBI, Richard Aoki, admits to his role in arming and training the Black Panther Party in firearms.

Same shit is going on today.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:20 AM

26. The day James Rector was killed, Reagan went on TV & said the shooting had been done by protesters

Local TV had an interview with horrified emergency room doctors who had removed double-ought buckshot from Rectors heart. They had the bullets in their hands for the camera to see.

Reagan went on TV and said the shooting had been done by protesters, not the cops.

At the time Rector was shot, I was a block away on Telegraph Avenue, running for my life and dodging bullets. The guy running next to me fell into the street, his back peppered by buckshot.

It's hard to describe the shock we felt as volley after volley of shots rang out from the lines of police. Things immediately changed at that point. There was no place to hide.

I learned that night what a facile, reassuring, pathological liar Reagan was.

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Response to NBachers (Reply #26)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:13 AM

47. Reagan was a very good actor and delivered his lines well....

....but the man behind the curtain was pulling the strings....Poppy Bush.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #18)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:01 PM

56. "Richard Aoki, admits to his role" = ? richard aoki is dead, and was a panther. he 'admitted'

 

helping the panthers get arms in the context of being a panther supporter.

the information that he was an informant came out after his death, and even former members dispute the meaning.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:57 AM

3. Wasn't the covert policy to kill leftists south of the border, but not U.S. citizens?

I was stabbed nine times in Central America. Had I NOT been a U.S. citizen, who knows where I would have disappeared to.

They would just shoot you at the checkpoints, back then. This even happened to the son of one of the generals in El Salvador, mistaken for a leftist and executed beside the road.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:02 AM

4. The Chicago police who killed Mark Clark and Fred Hampton helped 'investigate' plot against JFK.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:56 AM

9. Except JFK wasn't ever going to Chicago to see the Army Navy game...

on Nov. 2 1963......because it was going to be held in the usual place in Philadelphia. The game was only played in chicago once in 1923. It was normally played on the Sat after Thanksgiving, in 63 its was played on Dec 7th because of JFK's death.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:10 AM

13. Army-Air Force. And for some reason, SS cancelled the trip to Soldier Field.

Here's what Abraham Bolden, the first African American to serve on the White House Secret Service detail, had to say:



Former agent says Kennedy assassination thwarted weeks before president's death

By Chuck Goudie
WLS-TV, Tuesday, November 27, 2007

EXCERPT...

Right-wing radical and Kennedy denouncer Thomas Vallee, had arranged to be off work for JFK's visit, Vallee, an expert marksman, was arrested with an M1 rifle, a handgun and 3,000 rounds of ammo. But then there was the phone call to federal agents from a motel manager concerning what was she saw in a room rented by two Cuban nationals.

"Had seen lying on the bed several automatic rifles with telescopic sights, with an outline of the route that President Kennedy was supposed to take in Chicago that would bring him past that building," said former Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden.

Chicagoan Bolden, now 72, was a young agent in 1963. After a few years as an Illinois state trooper, Bolden had joined he Secret Service and was invited by President Kennedy onto the prestigious White House detail - the first black agent ever assigned to protect a president.

Bolden recalled how agents bungled surveillance of those two suspected Cuban hitmen. They disappeared and were never even identified.

"No one was sent to the room to fingerprint it or get an I.D. The case was lost and that was the end of it," Bolden said.
On November 2, the president was about to leave the White House for Chicago, and Bolden says a Cuban murder squad here was unaccounted for.

"The morning of the game, the special agent in charge of the Chicago office called the White House and recommended the president cancel his trip to Chicago," Bolden said.

CONTINUED...

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news&id=5778871



Who cares what teams? The point is JFK was under threat and changed plans. What bothers me more than how few know about these things is how many seem to think the assassination 50 years ago doesn't matter for our present political situation.

For those interested in learning more about the Chicago plot, an excellent article by Edwin Black:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/49710299/The-Chicago-Plot-to-Kill-JFK


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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:44 AM

6. Yip...

...but you won't find one of those kinds of committees today. Just think what they would have done to GW & Dick and their whole entire cabal. "Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end...." when politicians were all Americans and all knew knew right from wrong.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:45 AM

31. Cointelpro was made-up of "people"

just like "w" and cheney..g h bush was in the CIA and eventually ran it. Their rw world vision is embodied in organizations like this.
I can't imagine that this organization was ever disbanded.

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Response to dotymed (Reply #31)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:06 PM

32. Are you talking about the Church Committee?

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Response to ReRe (Reply #32)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:21 AM

37. Cointelpro was an FBI operation used to discredit

politicians, organizations, people..anyone that threatened the existing status quo of America. The status quo is a rw greed machine that promotes war and inequality. Exactly like the CIA does (supposedly outside of our borders) IMO, to think that the CIA operates only non-domestically, is rather naive. The 2000 "election" is a perfect example of how the CIA has manipulated the leadership of Latin American countries for decades.
The people who participate in these operations propagate an extreme rw agenda, as shown by their actions. IMO, they are people (just not as elite as bush and cheney) with very similar world and domestic agenda's.
I am confused about how you thought I was writing about the Church Commission, a body made to cover-up the Kennedy assassination facts.

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Response to dotymed (Reply #37)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:05 AM

39. It's my Seniorness...

I was a young adult with a mountain of responsibility sitting on my shoulders when all this was going on and was not really plugged into anything but myself and my children. Then came 1984. Literally. I knew something was definitely akilt when I heard what was coming out of Reagan's mouth. Went to the library and started studying history. I went all the way back to the beginning and came forward in time. I see that I need to go back to cointelpro and brush up. Thank you for straightening my thinking out. Is there a definitive source you can recommend to get me started? One replete with full index and bibliography? Thanks a bunch for replying to my confusing question.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #39)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 01:06 PM

61. IMO...

Howard Zinn"s, History of the United States is a must read and covers cointelpro.

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Response to dotymed (Reply #61)

Sun Jun 30, 2013, 03:46 PM

62. Absolutely...

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Response to dotymed (Reply #37)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 03:13 AM

60. church commission was investigation of the intelligence agencies. i think you mean the

 

warren commission was 'a body made to cover up the kennedy assassination facts'


The Church Committee was the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, a U.S. Senate committee chaired by Senator Frank Church (D-ID) in 1975. A precursor to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the committee investigated intelligence gathering for illegality by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after certain activities had been revealed by the Watergate affair.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:51 AM

8. I was actually targeted by Post-COINTELPRO operations

I worked at PETA at the time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO#Post-COINTELPRO_operations

Like or dislike PETA, that's your prerogative, but what happened there in 2005 was just wrong. I was nothing more than a web designer, mostly padding my resume for future gigs, but I believed in some of what PETA is trying to do and to be targeted because PETA didn't disavow ALF (Animal Liberation Front) and would sometimes give bail money to ALF-accused activists, is wrong IMO. When we aren't allowed to dissent without being investigated, that's something I take issue with because I've been through it personally.

I don't know, because of my past history with PETA, if I'd ever be able to get any kind of job that needs security clearance, because I don't know what, if anything, is in my FBI file.

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:01 AM

10. Have you been formally denied a security clearance? What makes you think it was the PETA work?

Not challenging you, but curious to hear the details of what happened. Yes, PETA was (is?) a COINTELPRO (type) target.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:06 AM

11. I haven't tried for any kind of security clearance

but it's always been a concern in the back of my mind since it's within my employment history and specifically because of the illegal investigation by the FBI while I was employed there.

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:20 AM

14. Did agents ever come to your workplace and talk to your employer about you?

They did with me. That happened at two (short-lived) jobs in a row about ten years ago after DU Front-paged my series, "How US Counterterrorism Failed on 9/11": http://www.democraticunderground.com/articles/02/09/26_failed.html

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Response to leveymg (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:06 PM

57. seriously? agents were sent to your workplace for something you wrote at DU? If so, that is

 

horrifying.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #57)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 12:47 PM

58. I, too, was surprised. But, it is was strangely gratifying and confirms what I already knew.

Last edited Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:01 AM - Edit history (6)

Not the first time I had received similar treatment.

In college, I studied with Howard Zinn for several years. One of my class assignments was to organize a peaceful demonstration at Reagan's First Inauguration. I must have talked to every liberal left trouble-maker on the East Coast from Congresswoman Bella Abzug to the NYC Yippies. We ended up part of a larger coalition that filled several dozen protest buses with students from schools in Boston and New England.

I learned several things from that experience. A rather dismissive Nov. 1, 1980 Harvard Crimson article is still on-line about a press conference I put together. Twenty people showed up, which isn't bad for such events. But, the reporter harped on how we had expected a better turnout. http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1980/11/4/coalition-for-peace-ptwenty-people-attended/ That told me a lot about the attitude of some elitist media and institutions. They don't like agitators, particularly outside agitators (I went to another university on the "wrong side" of the Charles River -- the one with Howard Zinn on the faculty -- but dared to also organize students at Harvard and MIT where Howard's buddy, Noam Chomsky, taught).

It also taught me that gatekeepers of mainstream organizations discourage grassroots organizing. It taught me that the media isn't really so "liberal," even at the collegiate level. The people who are worth following and keeping in one's heart are often the least concerned about protocol and pecking orders, and I learned why Noam Chomsky seems to hate The New York Times so much.

Affirmation of that insight also came after my own college newspaper declined to publish an article I wrote about the lessons of nonviolent civil resistance at the Seabrook nuclear plant occupation on October 6, 1979. After the school editor told me, "we've already covered that event enough," I took it elsewhere. The Boston Globe published it on the Op-ed page.

Howard gave me an A. That was most gratifying.



During that time, I had an interesting encounter with the Boston FBI while I was involved with the Clamshell Alliance organizing anti-nuclear protests. A strange, little homeless man showed up at a meeting and attached himself to me. He was very persistent, but friendly. One afternoon, we were alone together in a side room at the Clamshell offices and he spotted a pile of computer print-outs with names and addresses, what seemed to be the org's mailing list. He suggested that we should take them. I asked why I would to do such a thing, and he said we could sell them or I could use the list for my own organizing. I didn't take him up on either suggestion, and said we should leave. As we walked down a Back Bay side street, I turned around and spotted a man following about 100 feet behind us - he suddenly stopped and looked in a store window for no apparent reason. A bit further down the street, I looked over my shoulder, and the figure darted away down an alley. I didn't see the little homeless man again after that.

I can only speculate about how my life would have changed if I had followed the man's suggestion. Classic agent provocateur - classic attempt at recruitment by entrapment.

Perceiving that you're being followed doesn't necessarily mean the FBI is on your tail. But, it soon became perfectly clear that's exactly who I was dealing with. Shortly thereafter my step-father received a telephone call at home. My step-father was at the time a mucky-muck Supergrade federal executive. A man who identified himself as a Special Agent with the Boston FBI Office said he wanted to discuss my activities. Whether it was an attempt at intimidation or just a courtesy call between two federal employees, it didn't work - I didn't care much for my step-father or his politics or job, and he divorced my mother shortly thereafter. Not entirely because of me.

But, those incidents taught me something about the FBI. They really are the national political police, and have been for a long time. I also learned a thing or two about the way the FBI deals with dissent - there are many ways to try to put a cork in it. Some more forceful than others. I got the easy treatment, and the Inaugural protest in 1981 was peaceful. Everyone was cheerful -- it was a beautiful, unseasonably warm day in Washington. Everyone seemed to be in a Springtime mood, except Vice President George H.W. Bush, who popped up out the sunroof of his armored limo as it passed the demonstrators standing in the designated protest area in the shadow of the J. Edgar Hoover Bldg a series of sharp, sideways jabbing thumb gestures. I still remember his smirk - his son inherited that same expression of masked hostility and adolescent Tom Foolery. What a classy family.

Professor Zinn taught non-violent resistance with a genuine smile.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #58)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 01:54 PM

59. interesting, thanks.

 

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:09 AM

12. They have been doing this for as long as I can remember.

I have been an "activist" for over 40 years, and as long as I can remember, police, or others infiltrated our organizations. Many times inciting violence.
After a while, we had to have our meetings less public, so that the infiltrators, who we knew about, wouldn't know.

This was in NYC around the time of the Viet Nam War protests, and the first environmental demonstrations.

They probably have 339 Lafayette St. bugged permanently.

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Response to RoccoR5955 (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:24 AM

16. The War Resisters League building. Permanently bugged? Definitely.

But, then again, just about everybody else is over the age of 12, these days. Total Information, Groundbreaker, and all that.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:20 AM

15. Yep same old shit.

Because Obama is doing it, the Republicans will now "investigate" it.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:27 AM

17. Kind of like this.

 

http://www.adn.com/2013/01/11/2749217/william-fulton-miller-bodyguard.html


Now I am no fan of miller but I think it is a bit strange that an FBI informant had such an impact on an election. Remember, this guys action got miller national notoriety and help sink miller.

So the question I have is, what other politicians is the FBI spying on?

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:12 AM

23. Obviously, if they hack CIA Director David Petraeus' email, EVERYONE is being watched . . .

if they have any importance at all.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:39 AM

19. cispus (sp?) headquarters broken into

yeah, ssdd.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:10 AM

22. CISPES. No need to break in, really, the org was penetrated at multiple levels.

Most of the burglaries were simply intimidation to let the members know the Feds were watching, and not afraid to break the law.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:14 AM

24. yup.

thx for the spelling. i wasn't active, but many friends were.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #24)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:17 AM

25. I have a campaign ribbon from that group, too. ;-)

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:45 AM

20. uuummmm

let me think: Ahhh. Yep, yepper.:

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:49 AM

21. not sure it matters

yes the US through the CIA and proxies is responsible for many deaths.

But the Obama Admin is saying it has the legal justification to do so now and even on American soil.

IF it was wrong when it was being done secretly, it becomes no less wrong now.

And yes I agree the right's outrage is selectively timed and convenient.

Ours should not be.

What people did in the past doesn't not excuse what people are doing now.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:26 AM

27. The longest media show on TV was "60 Minutes" back then. Not the may 24 hour cable now.

I think a lot of things have been grossly exadurated as the various networks try to fill up 24 hrs a day!

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:27 AM

28. Hell yes, I remember it.

I clearly remember the "paranoia" of a lot of movement people in the late 60's, early 70's. Every phone was imagined to be tapped. We KNEW we were infiltrated.

I remember walking over to the wall phone (remember those) in one commune house where I lived for a while, picking up the receiver & saying "Hi, put me through to J. Edgar, please." Nobody else thought it was funny.

I also remember, after returning to the STates after Vietnam, having Army Intelligence guys going around circulating pictures of demonstrations, asking if we could identify anybody (e.g. soldiers demonstrating while out of uniform).

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:31 AM

29. Yeah, I was old enough then to remember some of it ... I remember Joseph McCarthy and

even as a little kid he scared the shit outta me. Then, I remember well the targeting of peaceful individuals in the 60's. Yep, I think we have much the same going on today. The US boasts about civil liberties, peace and all, but when you stand up for civil liberties and peace you end up on a list. Way back then it was the commies, today it's the terrorists. Yet the RW crazies in the US often get a free pass. And OWS is smeared by the political machine.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:44 AM

30. What a lot of people don't know is that they target people in business, also.

Certain business deals are subject to "approval" by our government, and when the dealing doesn't go the way it's supposed to, there is trouble for the person responsible.

I will NEVER forget how society is infiltrated against the constitution's right to free assembly and free speech. It's just that, now, we have the internet. It's amazing how little we had to work with in the 60's and 70's, but got a lot done. No cell phones, internet, home printers. And yet, now, we organize less. Go figure!

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:09 AM

38. COINTELPRO is still a dirty secret.

Nobody likes to talk about that.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:53 AM

43. Well, sure.......

It wasn't that long ago. Was it?

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #43)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:18 AM

48. My educated guess is that it still operates under a different name or names. nt.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:43 PM

52. Was? n/t

 

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:02 PM

55. Kicking. n/t

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