COINTELPRO: Counterintelligence Program
Co-Intel list of civilrights violations by the FBI and others in which they were busted violating the civil rights of "political activists"
FYI - The 1991 Gulf War Vets have more on this and "other programs" including medical research abuse on unsuspecting American's, bioweapons and a thing about "Beyound Treason" at
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Vol. 8 No 51...Dedicated to the Dialogue on Race... 12-23-05
Table of Contents
1. Intuit's Vibe...The Spying Spider...By Don Tidwell
2. Hood Notes...Counterintelligence Program
3. Bit of History...John Edgar Hoover (1895-1972)
5. It's Just A Piece of Paper...By John Burl Smith
6. Politics Y2K5...Abramoff's Aria
7. News You Use...Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
Intuit's Vibe The Spying Spider By Don Tidwell -snip- This guy killed a spider in his bathroom. That's not cool. Spiders deserve to live. Put them outside.
Hood Notes: Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO)
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover spied on hundreds of blacks and civil rights groups in an effort "to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" their activities. After the landmark Supreme Court school desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Hoover launched his Counter Intelligence Program
(COINTELPRO), which targeted civil rights groups and others.
By 1957, FBI agents routinely spied on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). FBI "black bag" operations and dirty tricks included unauthorized wiretaps, break-ins, planted news articles, the dissemination of false information, inciting street warfare between rival groups, and using the IRS to harass targeted individuals and organizations.
On March 4, 1968, FBI Headquarters issued a memo expanding its domestic surveillance activities. It warned that Dr. King, among others, could emerge as a 'messiah' that could unite and electrify the black nationalist movement. The memo called for the use of "imaginative" techniques and required a progress report within 30 days. On April 4, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
Conservative Judge Laurence H. Silberman, who recently co-chaired the bipartisan presidential commission on intelligence failures, called for Hoover's name to be removed from the FBI building. According to Silberman, Hoover allowed the Bureau to be used by presidents for nakedly political purposes. He maintained secret files with bits of dirt on political figures and used this information to blackmail his political enemies. Hoover offered Bureau files to presidents, including Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson.
Ironically, the explanation offered by the Bureau for its illegal activities was that the agency found them to be necessary to protect national security and to prevent violence. For "security reasons, the FBI announced it was terminating COINTELPRO as of April 27, 1971.
Bit of History: John Edgar Hoover (1895-1972)
Born in Washington, D.C., on January 1, 1895, John Edgar Hoover was valedictorian of his Central High School class (1913). After high school, Hoover worked for the Library of Congress and attended night classes at George Washington University Law School. In 1916, he earned his LL.B. The following year he received his LL.M and was admitted to the bar. On July 26, 1917, Hoover began his lengthy service with the United States Department of Justice.
Until November 1918, when he was named Assistant to the Attorney General, Hoover led the Department's General Intelligence Division
(GID). In 1921, the GID moved to the Bureau of Investigation (BOI) and Hoover became Assistant Director of the BOI. On May 10, 1924, Attorney General Harlan Fiske Stone appointed Hoover as Acting Director of the BOI. By the end of 1924, Hoover was FBI Director. At that time, the agency had a bad reputation for political corruption.
Director Hoover reorganized the department, fired political appointees and/or unqualified agents, and instituted rigorous selection and training methods for FBI agents. He ordered background checks, interviews, and physical examinations for new applicants. Hoover also required agents to be trained in the law or accounting. In 1928, Hoover established the school for FBI personnel training.
In 1932, Hoover set up the FBI Laboratory to provide forensic analysis. He established the world's largest fingerprint file and introduced the most up-to-date scientific criminology and research programs as the agency went to war against violent criminals. Under Hoover, many of the nation's most notorious gangsters were captured, incarcerated, or killed.
In 1933, he formed the Civil Identification Section to supply information on missing persons. Several years later, the FBI National Academy was opened for training policemen from all parts of the country in the latest methods of crime detection.
Hoover wrote Persons in Hiding (1938), several other books and numerous articles on crime and crime detection. From the 1940s and after WWII, the FBI became the nation's lead agency on counterintelligence, counterespionage, and counter-sabotage. President Roosevelt tasked the FBI with running the Special Intelligence Service or SIS, a foreign intelligence service in the Western Hemisphere.
Early in the Cold War, the Bureau conducted background checks of government employees to ensure that foreign agents did not infiltrate the government. During the 1960s and early 1970s, the FBI expanded its investigations to include civil rights organizations and organized crime. The threat of political violence occupied many of the Bureau's assets, as did the threat of foreign espionage.
Hoover received numerous awards and honorary degrees. A lifelong bachelor, Hoover headed the FBI for 48 years; he died May 2, 1972. Through Public Law 92-520, which President Richard Nixon signed May 4, 1972, the FBI building became the J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. Building. President Gerald Ford dedicated the building September 30, 1975.
Disgruntled feels: Incredulous! The evening news recently featured a teenager that audaciously robbed a bank to pay off his gambling debt. Gambling, like NASCAR auto racing, is romanticized and packaged as a sport, similar to tennis and golf. In commercials and television programs, they are great American past-times. It is simply incredulous that the public can still act surprised when impressionable young people die in car crashes as a result of speeding and get deep in debt from gambling. They are simply imitating what the media and industry push as "sports."
Disgruntled wants to know: An effective dirty trickster requires great intelligence. Karl Rove's political savvy has no other contemporary equal. His reputation for political character assassination suggests Rove enjoys access to a wealth of reliable information. Known as George W. Bush's Brain, Rove has been very successful in using dirty tricks against his boss' political opponents. While Bush takes the moral high ground feigning born-again innocence, Rove ravages his opponents. One cannot help but wonder, does Rove enjoy access to spy information collected by Bush authorized illegal surveillance on U.S. citizens?
Disgruntled says: In an impassioned speech before the Senate in support of a measure calling for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) forthrightly stated, "Oil is a matter of national security!" For those unwilling to accept previous assertions that oil played a vital role in the war in Iraq, now you know better. When U.S. leaders claim we were defending our national security interest there, you know they are referring to Iraq's oil.
It's "Just A Piece of Paper" By John Burl Smith
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, is a Fourth Amendment right granted by the US Constitution. Last week (12-15-05), U.S. citizens learned that following September 11, 2001 George W. Bush unilaterally suspended the Constitution (4th Amendment) and became a dictator. The New York Times revealed and Bush admitted he authorized the National Security Agency (NSA), without probable cause or a court order, to spy on U.S. citizens. Although he claimed to have the authority to do so, Bush forced the New York Times to keep quiet about his actions for more than a year.
A year after learning of this illegal government operation, the New York Times says, following 9-11, Vice President Dick Cheney called congressional leaders of both parties, which included the chairman and ranking members of the Senate and House intelligence committees, to the White House and briefed them on their plans to suspend the 4th Amendment to spy on U.S. citizens. It was not until 2003, when Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) became vice-chairman did anyone on the intelligence committee express concern.
Bush claims Congress' resolution supporting the war on terror, a
2002 Justice Department brief claiming "the Constitution vests in the President inherent authority to conduct surveillance of foreign powers or their agents" and a decision by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review allowing cooperation between prosecutors and intelligence officers granted him powers to violate citizens' constitutional rights and spy on them without any court's authorization. To the contrary, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who oversees the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court, questioned whether information obtained in this manner could be used, since it was illegally obtained. Some officials believe warrantless wiretaps inside the U.S. are unlawful and unconstitutional; they amount to illegal searches. However, like the war of aggression in Iraq, Bush proceeded over their cogent objections.
The problem some members of Congress, watchdog groups, immigrants and civil rights advocates have with any search without a warrant is it erodes personal protections guaranteed by 4th Amendment civil liberties and intrudes on privacy rights. These concerns are at the heart of opposition to the USA Patriot Act, which expanded domestic surveillance by the FBI to collect information from libraries and the Internet. Moreover, this is another "foot-in-the-door" that makes spying on protestors easier. It negates the court ban against the government using public and private databases to spy on US citizens.
As a survivor of COINTELPRO, Bush's contempt for the Constitution surpasses the dirty tricks of Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover. The lack of an outcry from those who profess to believe in "the rule of law" is most troubling. Those who were victims of COINTELPRO see others reliving the nightmare of having their rights violated by government officials, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges, while the media spins government concocted stories of conspiracies to commit terrorist acts, fund terrorist groups and disseminate erroneous information. Even though the truth about COINTELPRO is known, many victims are still imprisoned (Mumia Abu Jamal) or on the run (Shakur Assata). Back then, everyone was like George Bush today, "Damn the Constitution, it's just a fucking piece of paper!"
Politics Y2K5 Abramoff's Aria
According to recent reports, former lobbyist Jack Abramoff might be talking with federal prosecutors to cut a deal in the Justice Department investigation of allegations that he defrauded his American Indian clients and conspired to corrupt public officials. In November, Abramoff's business partner Michael Scanlon pleaded guilty to plying public officials with gifts and defrauding his clients. Scanlon's singing makes things difficult for Abramoff.
The possibility of Abramoff joining the chorus puts pressure on politicians that have taken campaign contributions from his former lobbying firm and helped promote favorable legislation for his clients. If Abramoff sings, a number of congressmen will be asked to furnish notes to explain how they came to be in Abramoff's lyrics.
Having joined Abramoff on expensive excursions, accepted campaign contributions and promoted his clients' interests, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, former Majority Leader Tom DeLay and others will have some serious explaining to do to escape charges of political corruption. Abramoff has said he is broke and might sing to avoid an expensive trial. Political junkies eagerly await Abramoff's aria.
News You Use Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (F.I.S.A.)
"Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."-- Benjamin Franklin
In general, the Fourth Amendment protects U.S. citizens from unwarranted searches and seizure. To obtain a search warrant, there must be probable cause that a crime has been or is being committed. Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978 to established procedures for legally conducting "foreign intelligence" surveillance. Basically, FISA grants the government the right to spy on people in the United States in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Initially limited to electronic eavesdropping and wiretapping, FISA was amended in 1994 to permit secret searches in connection with "security" investigations. In 1998, it was amended to permit pen/trap orders. A pen register collects outgoing phone numbers placed from a specific telephone line, and a trap and trace device captures the incoming numbers placed to a specific phone line. In addition, FISA can be used to obtain certain business records.
To adjudicate surveillance requests, FISA established the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which is composed of federal district court judges that are appointed by the Chief Justice. FISC judges review surveillance applications, which must be personally approved by the Attorney General. Since its inception, FISC has approved more than 18,000 warrants. Rarely does the FISC deny a search warrant request. A few were denied in 2003 for the first time in the court's history.
Passed by Congress in 2001, the USA Patriot Act expanded the government's ability to use FISA to obtain the personal records of ordinary U.S. citizens from libraries and Internet Service Providers, to conduct secret searches of their homes and offices, obtain a pen register/trap and trace device "for any investigation to gather foreign intelligence," and use "roving wiretaps" to intercept communications made to or by a target without specifying the particular telephone line, computer, or facility to be monitored.
The use of "generic" surveillance orders could significantly impact the privacy rights of large numbers of innocent users, particularly those who access the Internet through public facilities such as libraries, university computer labs, and cybercafes. All communications transmitted can be monitored, if the FBI suspects an intelligence target might use those facilities.
With the revelation that the Bush Administration engaged in domestic surveillance without FISC approval, concerns about potential constitutional rights violations under the USA-Patriot Act are justified. Coupled with a 2002 FBI memo, which "reveals that agents illegally videotaped suspects, intercepted e-mails without court permission, recorded the wrong phone conversations, and allowed electronic surveillance operations to run beyond their legal deadline, we should all question whether we give up too much liberty for whatever temporary safety is achieved in trashing the Constitution. For more about FISA and the USA-Patriot Act, see: http://www.epic.org
Mailbox: E-Mails, Faxes, and Telephone Calls
Email==> johnb ga.net The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. No congressional act supersedes it. George Bush claims the congressional resolution supporting the war on terror authorized him to spy on U.S. citizens without a court order, but it did not amend the Constitution. If Bush can suspend constitutional rights, he can dissolve Congress, as Adolf Hitler did the Reichstag. Guilty of either breaking the law or suspending it, if he is not held accountable for this high crime, Bush is an American Hitler. As such, the interloper should be flushed.
U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, sent a letter to Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. late Monday notifying him of his resignation without providing an explanation. Associates familiar with his decision said that Robertson expressed deep concern about Bush's warrantless surveillance program.
WASHINGTON -- The Senate on Wednesday passed a six-month extension of the terror-fighting USA Patriot Act as a last resort after Democrats and a small group of GOP senators blocked the Republican attempt to make most of the anti-terrorism law permanent. Approval of the six-month extension came on a voice vote, and cleared the way for a final vote in the House possibly as early as Thursday. Sixteen provisions in the current law expire Dec. 31 unless the Congress and White House acts. Patriot Act critics said White House-pushed legislation did not provide enough civil liberty safeguards and blocked the Republican-controlled Senate from approving it last week.
Informant: Scott Munson