Function: Coordinates U.S. Government Intelligence activities; analysis and production of reports to the President; collection of Foreign Intelligence; and covert action abroad.269 National Security Agency:
Functions: Maintenance of secure code systems for all U.S. Government communications systems; breaking codes of foreign countries.270 Defense Intelligence Agency:
5,000 employees, $130-200 million estimated annual budget.
Functions: Provision of intelligence to the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff; maintenance of defense attaches in embassies abroad.271 Army Intelligence
35-38,000 employees; 700-750 million estimated annual budget
Functions: Collection of tactical intelligence for Army Forces in the field.272
10-15,000 employees, $600-775 million estimated annual budget.
Functions: Collection of information about opposition Naval Forces, tactical Naval Intelligence, maintenance of some "spy ships" at sea.273 Air Force Intelligence:
56-60,000 people; $2.8 million estimated annual budget.
Functions: Collection of intelligence on opposition Air Forces; tactical intelligence; National Reconnaissance Office manages the "spy satellite" programs for the entire intelligence community.274 State Department (Bureau of Intelligence and Research):
350 people; $8 million estimated annual budget
Functions: Intelligence analysis of information collected; represents State on Interagency Intelligence Committees.275
Federal Bureau of Investigation (Int. Security Division):
800 people; $40 million estimated annual budget.
Functions: Internal security in the United States.276 Atomic Energy Commission:
300 people; $20 million estimated annual budget
Functions: Monitors nuclear developments in foreign countries and maintenance of listening posts for atomic tests.277 Treasury Department:
150-300 people; $10 million estimated annual budget.
Functions: Economic Intelligence, some international narcotics work.278 CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT:
House Armed Services (Intelligence Subcommittee), Chairman: Nedzi (D-Mich)
House Appropriations Subcommittee), Chairman: Mahon (D-Texas)
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities, Chairman: Frank Church (D-Idaho); Min. Leader: John Tower (A-Texas)
House Select Committee on Intelligence, Chairman: Nedzi (D-Mich); Min. Leader: McClory (R-Ill).
House Judiciary Committee (Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights), Chairman: Edwards (D-Cal).
The Historical Context: Analysis of Historical Patterns of Regression 1945-1965 The history of the American state is one of continuous repression against Third World peoples and progressive movements. But of particular concern in this study is the transformation of the American state apparatus and the expansions of its repressive practices since 1945
During WWII, basic structural changes began to occur within the American state. Due to the nature of war, involving foreign espionage, 'national security' became the catch word in the intelligence community, whose role was to preserve the interest of the American government. 'National security' included Domestic Intelligence as well as foreign intrigue. Control of internal dissent as well as overseas operations became a major preoccupation of the American government in wartime.
Because of the interlocking that developed with government contracts to big business for war production, the military industrial complex began to take on new dimensions. Employment of most of the labor force and subsidy of corporations were tied to a wartime economy.
As a result of the centralization of the economy to the wartime production, two separate networks began to develop. One was the military research network; a network of scientist and social researchers in universities under contract of the military industrial complex. The other was the industrial-police intelligence complex; a network of police intelligence coordinated by the FBI to investigate domestic and foreign Intelligence and internal dissent. The specter of a 'third front or fifth column within U.S. borders were the concerns of the American Government.
The proposed march on Washington originally scheduled for July 1, 1941 by A. Philip Randolph and supported by the NAACP to protest discrimination in hiring at defense plants brought immediate concessions from the Federal Government. President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 outlawing discrimination in government and defense industries. During the war the American Government instituted concentration camps, rounding up American s of Japanese descendant detaining them in camps for the duration of the war. Elijah Muhammad was indicted in 1942 and imprisoned for Japanese sympathies and supposedly evasion of the draft. The 1943 Detroit race riot was cause for alarm of the government as Roosevelt dispatched 6,000 federal troops to maintain law and order.
After the end of WWII, the United States became the leader of the western capitalist world. The major priority of the foreign policy planners was to maintain the existing world capitalist empire. This took the form of the American state's becoming the policeman of the world. The OSS was reorganized into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The CIA act was passed by Congress in 1947. The military was reorganized under the Military Unification Plan drafted by Clark Clifford in 1947, which established three military departments, Army, Navy and Air Force, which were made subordinate to the centralized command of The Department of Defense. The state centralized its military intelligence community for its next role as head of the capitalist system. By 1949, a large section of the American economy had been Decentralized into a permanent war economy; a state of readiness against the new enemy of extended communism. The Pentagon developed a 'domino theory' of containing communism in Europe and the Third World.
Provisions hindering communist or a member of any organization advocating the overthrow of the U.S. Government from working for the Federal Government had been passed during the late 1930's. By the late 1940's the American state was openly opposing the spread of communism (an economic and political system in opposition to the capitalist system) in various parts of the world. This warfare became known as the Cold War.
In 1949 the late infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy went on his mad, anti-communist tirade. The rise of McCarthyism served the interest of the monopoly capitalist and re-entrenched the military industrial-police-intelligence research network.
Much of Eastern Europe was in the socialist camp. Being taken out of the capitalist sphere, national liberation movements were rising in Africa and socialist revolution had just been victorious in China and North Vietnam and was threatening to sweep all of Korea.
The American capitalist state consolidated its entire intelligence community to serve the interest to the military industrial complex. Under the pretext 'to fight for democracy, to stop communism', the war of imperialist aggression against the Korean people was started.
The political atmosphere created McCarthyism the largest massive 'red scare' and witch hunt the U.S. had witnessed against all Americans, including whites.
Tied to the rise of McCarthyism was the defeat of the liberal left labor coalition which formed the Progressive party in late 1948 with Henry Wallace running for president. This coalition, which often took the form of peace movements, of keeping America out of an imperialist plunder of aggression, was attacked after the Progressive Party challenge was defeated.
As the American State obtained hegemony of the capitalist world and prepared to play policeman of the world; an outright aggressive imperialist power, the intelligence communities was turned loose to crush the domestic movement for social change. The Communist Party is outlawed by the Smith Act. In 1951 the McCarren Act was passed allowing for mass detention of a million people if classified as communists in case of a national emergency.
During this time, black progressives came under attack. Dr. DuBois was purged from the NAACP in 1948 for his openly anti-imperialistic position and his support for the Progressive party. Due to pressure from the 'intelligence community and from an internal battle the NAACP voted in its 1950 convention to purge its communist members. Dr. DuBois was falsely accused and imprisoned for being an agent of a foreign power. Both DuBois and Paul Robeson of the Council of African Affairs were brought before the House Un American Activities Committee. The black liberation movement was under attack for being communist or communist inspired.
In December of 1955, the Montgomery bus boycott started and the Civil Rights Movement was born.
Immediately the black community in Montgomery came under surveillance by the U.S. Army and FBI.
Hoover began his mad search for communist influence of Dr. King and began its content analysis of the new stage of the struggle.
“In March, 1956, with racial tensions intensifying throughout the South in the wake of the school desegregation decision, Attorney General Herbet Brownell proposed to President Eisenhower's Cabinet, a civil rights legislative program designed to protect voting rights and remedy other violations of constitutional rights”.279 Hoover was part of the briefing in which he presented a paper on racial tensions and civil rights. Much of Hoover's report was centered around how the Communist Party was trying to infiltrate the NAACP.
It is important to note somewhat how the military-policeintelligence apparatus works and began to be centralized. The intelligence community though it has semi-autonomous units designed for specific functions had been centralized on a national level, through the FBI controlled by Hoover since 1936.
Through Hoover's memos to the National Security Agency and various military intelligence agencies, the general directive, or strategy of what to concentrate on domestically would be given.
For instance the Internal Security Section of the FBI intelligence division would at times concentrate on a group's political position; whether it closely coincided with the communist line and whether the group was influenced by communists. Through FBI informants in the group, persons advocating a progressive political position would be identified. Eventually, the person's dossier would find its way to the radical index or internal security index.
While the FBI COINTELPRO Program concentrated on destroying the black liberation and the new left movement; the FBI's broadest intelligence collecting program was carried out under COMINFIL, for Communist infiltration.
“An example of one such investigation was the FBI's COMINFIL case on the NAACP. In 1957, the New York Field Office prepared a 137 page report covering the intelligence gathered during the previous year. Copies were disseminated to the three military intelligence agencies. The report described the national section of the NAACP, its growth and membership, its officers and directors, its national conventions, its stand on communism and the role in its state and local chapters of alleged Communists, members of Communist front groups, and the Socialist Workers Party”.280 Through it COINFIL program the FBI watched the civil rights movement and particularly Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The FBI had informants in Civil Rights organizations and at demonstrations.
An aspect of the military-police-intelligence apparatus that has received little attention is the cooperation of local and state police agencies and the FBI.
For instance the State of Alabama has its own Bureau of Investigation, the ABI, which is patterned after the FBI.
In the late 1950's and early 1960's local and state police agencies placed more emphasis on intelligence and counterintelligence. Traditionally called "red squad". The intelligence units began taking pictures of people in demonstrations, at public rallies/meetings, leaving meetings and at all gatherings identified with political protest. Sometimes photographers for newspapers were approached and asked for copies of photographs taken at various events.
Consistent activists if not all participants, were indexed in local and state "radical" dossiers and information was shared nationally through the L.E.I.U. (Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit) which consisted of 150 police departments. The FBI had close communication and liaison with the L.E.I.U. Files from the L.E.I.U. often ended up in the radical index of the FBI.
In this sense, a national intelligence system was established by the mid-1960's from major local urban areas to the national government.
In 1956, the FBI started it's secret COINTELPRO program. Much of the COINTELPRO program was concentrated on disrupting the Communist Party. As the Civil Rights Movement began to increase in tempo the FBI became more engaged in subversive activities to crush it.
For instance in 1961, the FBI passed information to the Klan through Sgt. Thomas Cook, an officer in the Birmingham Police Department's intelligence branch a complete itinerary of two bus loads of Freedom Riders. Cook, who was a member of the KKK had been instructed by Klan leader Robert Shelton to keep him informed of the Freedom Riders plans. The FBI knew that the KKK planned to attack the Freedom Riders and that the Birmingham Police were not going to attempt to halt the attack.281 From 1963 until 1968, the FBI targeted Dr. Martin Luther King282 to "neutralize" him as an effective civil rights leader. The FBI had Dr. King under extensive surveillance since the late 1950's through it's program called "Racial Matters". In October of 1962, the FBI opened its investigation of SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) and Dr. King. By May, 1962, the FBI had put Dr. King in Section A of its "Reserve Index", as a person to be rounded up and detained in the event of a "national emergency".
The FBI tapped Dr. King's home telephone, SCLC telephones and the home and office phones of Dr. King's close advisors. The FBI wired and taped recorded Dr. King's hotel and motel rooms on at least 16 occasions in an attempt to obtain information about him and his advisors' private activities to use discredit" them.283 The FBI mailed Dr. Ing’s wife, to "completely King a tape recording made from its microphone coverage. According to the Chief of the FBI's Domestic Intelligence Division, the tape was intended to precipitate a separation between Dr. King and his wife in the belief that the separation would reduce Dr. King's stature. The tape recording was accompanied by a note which Dr. King and his advisers interpreted as a threat to release the tape recording unless Dr. King committed suicide. The FBI also made preparations to promote someone "to assume the role of leadership of the Negro people when King has been completely discredited".284 The FBI also attempted to destroy SCLC by cutting off its sources of funds. The FBI's plot to destroy Dr. King's code name was Operation Zorro which included the spending of $7.5 million of government
The urban rebellions (riots) in the north, in 1964 led to a substantial change in FBI intelligence dealing with black "extremists" and civil disorders. President Johnson instructed the FBI to investigate origins of the rebellions. The FBI surveyed nine cities and published a report. In the report the FBI referred to Progressive Labor a Marxist Leninist group with offices based in Harlem and without mentioning his name described the activities of Malcolm X as a leader urging blacks to abandon the doctrine of non-violence.
FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, testified before the House Appropriations Committee that the FBI was following the racial situation.
"The Justice Department reported that this intelligence had already made it possible for the Civil Rights Division to keep 'a close and continuing watch' on civil rights demonstrations which totaled 2,422 in almost all states during the year ending April, 1964".286 In 1966, the FBI instituted a program of preparing semi monthly summaries of possible racial violence in major urban areas. Field offices were instructed to conduct "a continuing survey to develop advance information concerning racial developments..."
The Gestapo (FBI) concentrated its investigations on black nationalists organizations described as "hate type organizations," with a propensity for violence and civil disorder.
"Leaders and members of 'Black Nationalist' groups were investigated under the Emergency Detention Program for placement on the FBI's Security Index".287 Dr. King and SCLC were included because Dr. King might 'abandon his supposed obedience to white, liberal doctrines' (nonviolence) and embrace black nationalism.
By the mid-1960's much of America's entire intelligence community had zeroed in on the black liberation and anti-war movements. America's Intelligence community employs approximately 153,000 people in at least ten agencies. It's annual budget runs about 6.2 billion. Some of the important agencies are the CIA, National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Intelligence Agency, Army Intelligence, Navy Intelligence, Air Force Intelligence, State Department (Bureau of Intelligence and Research), Federal Bureau of Investigation (Internal Security Division), Commission and Treasury Department.288 While the present release of public information concerning COINTELPRO, The FBI Secret War Against the black liberation movement, mentions very little concerning Malcolm X, though he was under surveillance since the early 1950's. J. Edgar Hoover sent several letters to the Attorney General requesting legal action be taken against the Nation of Islam.
Leaders of the N.O.I. were put in the FBI Security Index.
Malcolm X's break from the Nation of Islam caused great alarm in the "invisible government", (Intelligence Community). Malcolm's organization's; the Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the OAAU (Organization of Afro-American Unity) were infiltrated by various intelligence and police agencies. The infamous highly secretive NY Bureau of Special Services (BOSS), which was responsible for the Statue of Liberty bomb plot (1965), the Roy Wilkens/Whitney Young Assassination plot (1967) and the Panther 21 plot 1969) had infiltrated Malcolm's organizations.
Malcolm had also been a victim of poisoning while in the Middle East, possibly at the hand of the CIA. The State Department issued a memo on Malcolm in 1965 stating that he was detrimental to U.S. foreign policy. Malcolm remarked about a tall thin dark, olive skin man followed him in his world travels and returned to the United States when he returned.289 Gene Roberts, a body guard for Malcolm later turned up in the Panther 21 case as a police agent. McKinley Welch an Afro-Puerto Rican, a BOSS agent in the New York Black Panther Party, confessed to Max Stanford in 1967 that he had infiltrated, Mosque (NOI) Number Seven in New York and had become secretary. When Malcolm left the Nation of Islam, Welch was ordered by his superiors to infiltrate the OAAU. He said agents from every agency were in the OAAU. From recorded reports of accounts given to the Herald Tribune, February 23rd, stated that several members of (BOSS) were present in the audience at the time of Malcolm's assassination.
Also, the second man caught by the audience at the time of the assassination outside of the Audubon Ballroom and turned over to police, mysteriously disappeared.290 Malcolm X's home had been firebombed a couple of weeks before his assassination. Since he was under constant surveillance and was on the FBI Security Index where were the New York Police and FBI?
James Forman in the Making of Black Revolutionaries states numerous accounts of how the FBI did nothing to stop attacks against civil rights workers in the South. He also shows how through economic intelligence, using the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the racists attempted to break the back of SNCC.
"The American Government has many ways to fight those opposed to its policies, and one of the most powerful is the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The bureau zeroed in on SNCC in September, 1966 - shortly after we began calling for Black Power - and plagued us steadily for two years. Its excuse was that SNCC had not filed an income tax return as an organization, although it had always paid personal income tax on the subsistence pay of staff members. The bureau also demanded that SNCC produce its complete financial records - including the names of people who had made donations to the organization. SNCC's battle against the Bureau of Internal Revenue became time - consuming, expensive and harassing-which was clearly the intention of the bureau, or powers behind it."291 SNCC soon began to have financial problems as supporters withdrew support because of unfavorable publicity.
"At the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the FBI also planted a microphone in the joint headquarters of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Congress on Racial Equality".292 The FBI targeted "key figures" and "top functionaries" for special attention but the scope of its security intelligence investigations was much wider.
"Individuals were investigated if they were members in basic revolutionary organizations or were 'espousing the line of revolutionary movements”.293 If any individual planned to travel abroad, the FBI had "subversive" information or information concerning the person's proposed travel plans, including information concerning their activities would be forwarded by the FBI to the Central Intelligence Agency. In late semimonthly summaries of racial motivated activity in urban areas the reports included: the name of the community; general racial conditions; current evaluation of violence; potential identities of organizations involved in local racial situations; identities of leaders and individuals involved; the identify of leaders and individuals in the civil rights movement, including personal background data. Information on the existence of channels of communication between minority leaders and local officials, objectives sought by the minority community, the number, character and intensity of demonstrations, and reactions of leaders and members of the white community to the minority demands. These reports concentrated on black nationalist groups.
"The urban riots of the summer of 1967 greatly intensified FBI domestic intelligence operations. Equally important, the Detroit and Newark riots brought other agencies of the Federal government into the picture. A Presidential Commission was established to study civil disorders, the Attorney General re-examined the intelligence capabilities of the Justice Department and the use of Federal troops in riot torn cities led to widespread military intelligence surveillance of civilians."294 The Army instituted a massive intelligence operation against the movement for social change in the 1960's. Army Intelligence Agents penetrated major protest demonstrations. All forms of political dissent were routinely investigated in virtually every city within the United States. Army Intelligence reports were circulated to law enforcement agencies at all levels of Government and other intelligence agencies. Army agents posed as newsmen, students and free lance photographers. Army agents posing as newspaper reporters interviewed Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown in New York in 1967, and the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1968.
"In Chicago, during the 1960's military organizations to the Chicago police, were invited to participate in police raids, and routinely exchanged intelligence reports with the police. In Washington, D.C., Army Intelligence participated in an FBI raid on a civilian rooming house and provided funds for the police department's intelligence division."295 Intelligence information was gathered by the Army through liaison with local police and the public media. The Army sent 1500 investigators into communities to report on different types of political activity.
"All of the information collected by Army agents on civilian political activity was stored in 'scores' of data banks throughout the United States, -some of which the Army had computerized. The reports were routinely fed to the FBI, the Navy, and the Air Force, and were occasionally circulated to the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. In all, the Army probably maintained files on at least 100,000 Americans from 1967 until 1970."296 Army agents penetrated the Poor Peoples' March to Washington in April, 1968, as well as "Resurrection City," Army agents infiltrated into groups coming from Seattle, Washington to the Poor People's campaign. The Army monitored protests of welfare mother's organization in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Army agents posed as students monitor classes in 'Black Studies' at New York University, where James Farmer, former head of C.O.R.E., was teaching. About 58 Army agents infiltrated demonstrations in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention in 1968. Army agents attended meetings of a Sanitation Workers' Union in Atlanta, Georgia in 1968. An Army agent infiltrated the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1968. This is just a small review of Army intelligence activities against the black liberation movement.
During the mid-1960's urban rebellions that took place in America's major cities alarmed Army Intelligence. The Army drew up formal contingency plans. Army Intelligence began collecting information on individuals and organizations, without authorization, as part of its overall mission to support military commanders with information regarding possible deployments in civil disturbances. In 1965, there were four major urban rebellions: in 1966, 21 and in 1967, 83. The National Guard was deployed 36 times during this period and the Army once in Detroit for 8 days in 1967. The Army developed a Civil Disturbance Plan on February 1, 1968.
"The plan identified as 'dissident elements' the 'civil rights movement' and the 'antiVietnam/anti-draft movements', and stated that they were 'supporting the stated objectives of foreign elements which are detrimental to the USA.”297 On March 31, 1968, the Army circulated a classified message to all domestic commands of the Army. The message authorized the Army Security Agency, which intercepts communications for both national and tactical purposes to participate in the Army's Civil Disturbance Collection Plan. The communique stated the ASA could be used to monitor domestic communications, conduct jamming and deception in support of Army forces committed in civil disorders and disturbances. ASA personnel were to be "disguised" either in civilian clothes or as members of other military units. The authorization of the use of ASA units in civil disturbances was issued 4 days before Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. On April 5, 1968 ASA units were directed by the Army to begin monitoring civilian radio transmissions as part of riot control operations.298 Investigations are still in process to determine the scope and nature of the plot to assassinate Dr. King.
From the late Congressman Adam Clayton Powell's autobiography we got some idea of the nature of the plot.
"King later visited me several times at Bimini. One night we were with a crowd of Biminians and went into a restaurant for something to eat. After we were settled -all of us Black; one of the younger fellows with us said, 'Do you think Dr. King would preach us a little sermon? We've never heard him'. I said, 'How about it Martin? These young people have never heard you preach. So he leaned back and preached an old-fashioned Baptist sermon. While he was preaching, a stranger, whose identity we were never able to discover, came up to one of the men in our group and said to him, 'Please tell Dr. King not to go to Memphis because if he does, he will be killed".299 During the time Black Panther Party leader, Huey P. Newton, was brought to trial in Alameda, California, ASA (Army Security Agency) ordered its fixed stations near Warrenton, Virginia and Monterrey, California, to monitor domestic radio communications to determine if there were any groups around the country planning demonstrations in support of Huey. ASA conducted a general search of all amateur radio bands from September 6 through September 10, 1968.
In August, 1967, the FBI initiated its secret COINTELPRO program - to disrupt and "neutralize" so called "Black Nationalist Hate Groups."
The FBI memorandum expanding the program described its goals as:
Prevent a coalition of nationalist groups.
Prevent the rise of a "Messiah" who could unify, and electrify, the militant Black Nationalist Movement.
Prevent violence on the part of Black Nationalist groups…Thorough counterintelligence it should be possible to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence.
Prevent militant Black Nationalist groups and leaders from gaining respectability, by discrediting them to three separate segments of the community.
A final goal should be to prevent the long-range growth of militant Black Nationalist organizations, especially among youth.300
The FBI instructed 41 Field Divisions to implement COINTELPRO against black organizations in major cities in the United States.
"Over 2,300 known proposals for disruptive activities were approved by the Bureau and implemented from the time of the program's inception to 1971 when FBI files were stolen from the Media, PA., office and exposed to the Press.301 In the Fall of 1967, the FBI intensified its Black Nationalist Groups PINPOINT Informant-Program.
Local police were encouraged by the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders to establish intelligence programs both for their use and to feed into a federal intelligence gathering process.
The FBI Ghetto Informant Program begun in 1967 had some 7,402 informants by September, 1972.
The ghetto informant originally conceived was to act as a 'listening post', "an individual who lives or works in a ghetto area and has access to information regarding the racial situation and racial activities in his area which he furnishes to the Bureau on a confidential basis".
The role of the ghetto informant was expanded to attend public meetings held by so-called extremists, to identify so-called extremists passing through or locating them into the ghetto area, to identify who were the distributors of extremist literature, etc.
A Philadelphia FBI Field Office Director instructed ghetto informants to:
"Visit Afro-American type bookstores for the purpose of determining if militant extremist literature is available therein and, if so to identify the owners, operators and clientele of such stores."302 The FBI's COINTELPRO campaign against black nationalist groups went into full swing in 1967.303 The Revolutionary Action Movement was active in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the Summer of 1967.
"The SA contacting the Intelligence Unit secured spot check coverage of Stanford by Negro officers as a personal favor after explaining RAM and Stanford's position in it to police officials.
"When activity started with the appearance of known Negro extremists native to Philadelphia at the Stanford residence, a full-time surveillance by police went into effect. Police disruptive action was also initiated."
"Cars stopping at the Stanford residence were checked as to license numbers. When they left the residence area they were subject to car stops by uniformed police. The occupants were identified. They then became target for harassment..."
"Any…excuse for arrest was promptly implemented by arrest. Any possibility of neutralizing a RAM activist was exercised…When surveillance reflected the arrival of a new group in town, they were brought in for investigation and their residence searched."
"Certain addresses used by Stanford as mail drops in Philadelphia had been determined to be addresses of known extremists. When a young Negro was arrested for passing out RAM printed flyers and was charged with inciting to riot these addresses appeared in his statements to the police."
"While the search of the first four only eliminated their use as mail drops, the fifth contained RAM and Communist literature and a duplicating machine with a RAM leaflet on the plate. Three persons were arrested at the last address."
"RAM people were arrested and released on bail, but were re-arrested several times until they could no longer make bail.”304 In 1968, the FBI COINTELPRO campaign stepped up against the black liberation movement and more drastic measures began to be implemented.
"During the Winter of 1967-1968, the Justice Department and the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders reiterated the message that local police should set up 'intelligence units' to gather and disseminate information on 'potential' civil disorders. These units would use 'undercover police personnel and informants' and draw on 'community leaders, agencies, and organizations in the ghetto."
The Commission also urged that these local units be linked to 'a national center and clearing-house' in the Justice Department. The unstated consequence of these recommendations was that the FBI, having regular liaison with local police, served as the Channel (and supplementary repository) for this intelligence data.305
The FBI's most extensive war was the counter-insurgency plan waged against the Black Panther Party. In September, 1968, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover described the Black Panther Party as:
"the greatest threat to the internal security of the country. Schooled in the Marxist-Leninist ideology and the teaching of Chinese Communist Leader Mao Tse-Tung, its members have perpetrated numerous assaults on police officers and have engaged in violent confrontations with police throughout the country. Leaders and representatives of the Black Panther Party travel extensively all over the United States preaching their gospel of hate and violence not only to ghetto residents but to students in colleges, universities and high schools as well".
By July, 1969, the Black Panther Party was under constant attack by police and FBI actions coordinated from Washington, D.C.
The BPP was the target of 233 of the total 295 black nationalist COINTELPRO actions
The conspiracy against the Black Panther Party took on mammoth proportions bordering on outright fascist terror tactics. The FBI fostered rivalries between the Black Panthers and Ron Karenga's US organization sending derogatory cartoons and death threats to both groups. The FBI sent an anonymous letter to the leader of the Black Stone Rangers informing him that the Chicago Panthers had a hit on him. In 1969, there were 113 arrests of BPP members in Chicago with only a handful resulting in convictions.
"In the year 1969 alone, 348 Black Panther Party members across the country were arrested. for serious crimes including murder, armed robbery, rape, bank robbery, and burglary, the FBI Director informed Congress.”306 Contrary to Hoover's statement to Congress, recent evidence has given light to the FBI's involvement in murders against Black Panthers.
"A Black former agent-provocateur, admittedly employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1968 through 1975 to 'inform on and observe the activities of the Black Panther Party', has stated in a sworn affidavit that the FBI plotted 'to eliminate local and national leadership of the BPP during the month of December, 1969".
The fact the FBI planned murders of Black Panther leaders is a clear case of genocide fascism. Roy Wilkens and Ramsey Clark in their book Search and Destroy: A Report by the Commission of Inguiry Into The Black Panthers and the Police, (Metropolitan Applied Research Center, Inc., 1973), provide a detailed account of a police raid that was pre-mediated murder on December 4, 1969; police under the pretense of a weapons search raided the Panther's apartment in Chicago at 4:45 a.m. pumping over 80 rounds into the bodies of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, killing them and wounding 4 others. A detailed inventory of weapons and a floor plan of the apartment had been supplied to the FBI by an informant before the raid. The FBI gave this information to the local police conducting the raid.
According to a black former agent provocateur who was employed for the FBI:
"The chief of the Los Angeles FBI Office, Brandon Cleary, told him that a Black agent-provocateur in Chicago put seco-barbital sleeping power in some kool-aid he knew Fred Hampton was going to drink the night the 21-year old BPP leader was slain on December 4, 1969. The seco-barbital had been given to him by his supervising agent of the FBI.”307 Party members had tried to wake Hampton repeatedly in the opening rounds of the raid.
"Hampton's personal bodyguard; Tom O'Neal, turned out to be an FBI infiltrator who made more than $10,000 on the deal, having fed information to the FBI on the Panthers from January, 1969 through July, 1970.”308 The ex-FBI informant who confessed to the Black Panther Party in affidavit asserted he provided the FBI with a layout of the Southern California Chapter's BPP Office in Los Angeles, prior to a police raid on December 8, 1969.
"It was my work and the work of known informant Melvin 'Cotton' Smith which caused the raids to happen," the affidavit asserts."309 On December 8, 1969, 500 cops from the L.A. Police Department, led by SWAT, laid siege on the Southern California Black Panther Party Chapter's headquarters for over eight hours (while simultaneously 18 party members were arrested throughout Los Angeles).
In Los Angeles, murder was committed by both the L.A. Police and the FBI. Steve Bartholomew, Tommy Lewis and Robert Lawrence, of the Black Panthers were sitting in a parked car at a gas station on August 25, 1968, when members of the LAPD's metro squad opened fire, killing them almost instantly. The L.A. FBI was constantly at work to destroy the Panthers by promoting the war between the Panthers and the US organization.
"The Los Angeles Division is aware of the mutually hostile feelings harbored between the organizations and the first opportunity to capitalize on the situation will be maximized. It is intended that US Inc. will be appropriately and discreetly advised of the time and location of BPP activities in order that the two organizations might be brought together and thus grant nature the opportunity to take her due course.310 In January, 1969, the FBI plan went into action.
". . .Black ex-agent has turned over to Attorney Garry several 3" x 5" file cards, each with a set of instructions on them, which he says is the way the FBI contacted him. All the file cards are signed with the name "Will Heaton", once the No. 2 man in the Los Angeles FBI hierarchy. One of these cards, dated January 15, 1969 reads: "(name) make sure on the 17th that you are on UCLA campus to observe a meeting between Panthers and U.S. Organization. Make sure to call US. Southern California BPP Leaders Apprentice "Bunchy" Carter and John Jerome Huggins were slain by three members of the Ron Karenga-led US Organization at the meeting referred to. The ex-agent has previously declared that he saw L.A. FBI Chief Brandon Cleary drove the three away from UCLA in the getaway car."311 The assassins were eventually arrested and convicted but later mysteriously escaped from prison and haven't been seen since. Bobby Seale, former Chairman of the BPP, recalls the COINTELPRO tactics:
"I remember the times following John Huggins' and Bunchy Carter's deaths. They would post a couple of cars at this corner, a couple of cars at that one, the Black Panther office in the middle of the block. US, in a carload, would come by, throw a Molotov cocktail right at the door, hoping to get the Black Panthers to run out of the office, blasting at them while the police were there waiting, ambulances around the corner, everything. "312 The intelligence community resorted to all kinds of tactics to destroy the Black Panther Party. Financial supporters of the Party were harassed. The FBI contacted newspapers having negative articles written about the party and supporters. The IRS constantly harassed the Party.
"The Black Panther paper on February 21, 1970 listing some of the arrests of Panthers on charges ranging from petty theft to criminal conspiracy to commit murder, insisted: "The total amount of money we have paid on bails and fines since the beginning of the Black Panther Party until 1969 is approximately: $5,240,568.00!"313 Hoover order FBI agents to use discreet counterintelligence action against the BPP Free Breakfast Program.
Financial Donators to the program were harassed, ministers and churches hounded. The FBI worked day and night to create internal dissension in the party. One tactic was agent baiting.
"The FBI also resorted to anonymous phone calls. The San Diego Field Office placed anonymous calls to local BPP members as "police agents". According to a report from the field office, these calls, reinforced by rumors spread by FBI informants within the BPP, induced a group of Panthers to accuse three Party members of working for the police.314 Repression took many forms against the Panthers. Repression of the Panthers by local police reached its peak shortly after the Nixon Administration took office. From April to December, 1969, police raided Panther headquarters in San Francisco, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Indianapolis, Denver, San Diego, Sacramento and Los Angeles, including four separate raids in Chicago, two in San Diego, and two in Los Angeles.”315 In New York, in 1969, the "Panther Twenty-One" were arrested on charges of having conspired to bomb department stores, blowup police stations and murder policemen. The Panthers were held under $100,000 ransom each and a number of them were held in jail for over two years, when in May, 1971 they were acquitted.
"In August, 1969, three Black Panthers were arrested while riding in a car with a New York City undercover agent, Wilbert Thomas, and charged with a variety of offenses including conspiracy to rob a hotel, attempted murder of a policeman and illegal possession of weapons. During the trial, it developed that Thomas had supplied the car, had drawn a map of the hotel -the only tangible evidence tying the Panthers to the alleged robbery scheme - and had offered to supply guns. The Panthers were eventually convicted only on a technical weapon charge, based on the fact that a shotgun, which the Panthers said had been planted by Thomas, was found in the car."316 The FBI in 1970 started a program to create a permanent division between Black Panther Party leader Eldridge Cleaver who was in Algeria and BPP headquarters in the United States. The FBI sent an anonymous letter to Cleaver stating that BPP leaders in California were undermining his influence. Cleaver thought the letter was from Connie Matthews who was a Panther representative in Scandinavia and expelled three members from BPP international staff. As a result of the success of the tactic Bureau personnel received incentive awards from J. Edgar Hoover.317 By February, 1971, the FBI had directed each of its 29 field offices to submit proposals of how to disrupt local BPP chapters and cause dissension between local BPP chapters and BPP national headquarters. As a result of the confusion caused by the FBI, on February 26, 1971, Eldridge Cleaver called Huey Newton from Algiers, while Newton was on a T.V. program being interviewed. Cleaver criticized the expulsion of BPP members and suggested that Chief of Staff David Hilliard be removed from his post. Huey responded by expelling Cleaver and the international section of the party in Algiers.
The FBI also attempted to "neutralize" the Black Panther Party by putting pressure on its financial supports. Actress Jane Fonda was targeted for character assassination. Various actors and/or their wives were victims of the same types of tactics. The FBI considered the BPP's free "Breakfast for Children" Program a threat because it was winning support for the Party in various communities. The FBI zeroed in on anyone or companies, even supporting the BPP Breakfast Program.
"Churches that permitted the Panthers to use their facilities in the free breakfast program were also targeted. When the FBI's San Diego office discovered that a Catholic Priest, Father Frank Curran, was permitting his church in San Diego to be used as a serving place for the BPP Breakfast Program, it sent an anonymous letter to the Bishop of the San Diego Diocese informing him of the Priest's activities. In August, 1969, the San Diego Field Office requested permission from headquarters to place three telephone calls protesting Father Curran's support of the BPP Program to the Auxiliary Bishop of the San Diego Diocese."318 The FBI called the Bishop, pretending to be "parishioners" of the church. As a result of the efforts of the COINTELPRO activities, the San Diego office reported a month later that Father Curran had been transferred from the San Diego Diocese to somewhere in the State of New Mexico for "permanent assignment".
The FBI also sent anonymous mailings to public officials and people who might sway public opinion against the BPP. The FBI destroyed community support for individual BPP members by spreading rumors that they were immoral. The San Diego field office reported it had been successful in this aspect of COINTELPRO by anonymously informing the parents of a teenage girl that she was pregnant by a local BPP leader. The parents of the girl forced her to resign from the BPP and return home to live. As a result, it became general knowledge throughout the African American community that the BPP leader was responsible for the difficulty experienced by the girl.
"The field office also considered the operation successful because the mother of another girl questioned the activities of her own daughter after talking with the parent the agents had been anonymously contacted. She learned that her daughter, a BPP member, was also pregnant, and had her committed to a reformatory as a wayward juvenile.319 The FBI also on several occasions developed schemes to create friction between the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam. The FBI war against the black liberation movement was very extensive. In a July 10, 1968, FBI memorandum, it was suggested that consideration be given to convey the impression Stokely Carmichael is a CIA agent. The report suggested that the FBI inform a certain percentage of criminal and racial informants that "we heard from reliable sources that Carmichael is a CIA agent." It was proposed that the informants would spread the rumor throughout the African American community nationwide.320 A FBI memorandum stated in mid-September, 1970, the FBI upon finding out Brother Imari of the RNA was going to purchase land in Hinds Country, Mississippi, went to the owner of the land harassing him for one and one-half hours. As a result, the memorandum said the owner said he would not sell the RNA land.321 The FBI in Milwaukee infiltrated the RNA consulate there with a paid informer, named Thomas Spells. Spells became a close friend of a brother named Sylee who had committed a filling station robbery-murder in Michigan. Spells informed the FBI of Sylee's fugitive status in 1971. Instead of arresting Sylee, the FBI waited until Sylee went to an RNA convention in Jackson, Mississippi on July 16, 1971 with informer Spells, instructing Spells to contact the Jackson FBI when he got there to tell him Sylee had arrived. Sylee stayed in Jackson after the conference but was asked to leave the RNA Headquarters because of erratic behavior. The FBI raided RNA Headquarters in August, 1971.
By 1971, the FBI had an estimated two thousand agents assigned to political intelligence operations, and they in turn supervised about seven thousand "ghetto informants" and seventeen hundred "regular" domestic intelligence informants, and received information from another fourteen hundred "confidential sources" such as bankers, telephone company employees and landlords not on the FBI payroll.322 Probably one of the most blatant forms of repression has been the increase of African American prisoners in prison and their treatment while in prison. Most notably was the assassination of Black Panther Party Field Marshall George Jackson on August 21, 1971 and the mass murder of 49 brothers at Attica the same year.
From some studies the prison population seems to grow and subside according to the war economy and recessions in the economy. For instance, the prison population between 1941 and 1945 declined by 4,659, enough people to fill ten prisons dropping some 23 percent.
But, by 1946, when unemployment rates again rose and the country no longer needed "patriotic" soldiers, the prison population again increased by more than 20 percent in the year and a half following the war.
During the Korean War, the population declined by more than 1,000 prisoners, only to rise again after the troops came home. Between the end of the Korean War and 1963, federal prisoners increased by 33 percent. but beginning in 1964, with the massive escalation in Vietnam the prison population again declined. By 1968, it had shrunk by 4,800. The Tet offensive in 1968-signalled not only our eventual defeat in Vietnam, but the beginning of the biggest boom in prison construction in our history. Reduced to 19,815 prisoners in 1968, the Federal Bureau of Prisons is today responsible for 33,029 people, an increase of 67 percent in 10 years.323 Prisons are profit making ventures. In Pennsylvania alone prison shops sales net 13 million. Per COR the name under which products produced by inmates are marketed puts out over 700 different items, in 47 shops at eight state prisons.324 As a result in the growth in prison population and repression of the black liberation movement a mechanized computerized intelligence system has grown.
The largest computerized intelligence system is the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC). NCIC was established in 1967 as a national index of wanted persons, stolen autos, and stolen property, consisting of less than 500,000 entries that could be retrieved by only 15 computer terminals throughout the country. By 1974 there were links to 94 law enforcement agencies plus all 55 FBI field offices. The system contains 400,000 computerized criminal histories, 4.9 total entries, and handles about 130,000 transactions daily. In many cases, NCIC is linked to state and regional terminals which are entire systems in themselves. For example, in Michigan, NCIC links with the Law Enforcement Intelligence Network (LEIN) which holds 150,000 entries and links to 225 terminals, including the Michigan Secretary of State's files.
Federal agencies which contribute and receive information with NCIC include the Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service, Alcohol and Tax Division of the Treasury Department, Customs Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Courts, Attorneys and Marshals, and the Bureau of Prisons.
The NCIC system is an outgrowth of an earlier LEAA computer information project SEARCH (System for Electronic Analysis and Retrieval of Criminal Histories), initiated in 1969 out of Sacramento, California.325 Recent events and recent exposures of governmental violations of human rights raises fears of the ominous spectre of COINTELPRO lingering on.
Proof has continued to accumulate that the notorious COINTELPRO operations, has still functioned beyond April of 1971, when it was supposedly officially discontinued. Whether or not COINTELPRO continues to exist under its original code name, there is always the strong possibility that a similar program with a different name, or no name at all, has surfaced in place.326 The magazine, Seven Days reported last-year that incomplete research indicates that there are a least 200 American political prisoners in American prisons. A generally accepted term for political prisoner is an activist who has been involved in political work in the community and who is framed by various law enforcement agencies. Besides political prisoners there are a growing number of prisoners of war. Prisoners of war are usually defined as one captured while fighting a war of national liberation against United States imperialism or committing a crime for political reasons. America leads the western world in the number of persons in prison. There are approximately 600,000 people in jail in America.