Category Archives: Baiting and entrappment

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Criticizing Patriot Act Lands Manlin Chee, Asian American Lawyer, in Jail

Criticizing Patriot Act Lands Manlin Chee, Asian American Lawyer, in Jail

News Report, Yu-Yee Wu,
Asian Week, Jun 29, 2005

Having spent almost three decades offering legal service to immigrants, Chinese American immigration attorney Manlin Chee is now getting used to serving time instead.

 Chee had been a nationally recognized lawyer for her work with immigrants, some of it pro bono, and much of it for Muslims, but things soured for her soon after she appeared on a panel discussing the PATRIOT Act in March 2003.

 The public forum at the main library in Greensboro, North Carolina was televised and attracted a large audience. Chee argued passionately that the PATRIOT Act violated the Bill of Rights and threatened the civil rights of immigrants and U.S. citizens.

I’ll never forget when Manlin joked that she had good news and bad news for the audience,” recalls Tim Hopkins, an attendee. “She said that the bad news is that those people taking pictures of the audience are from the FBI. The good news is that they are coming after the panelists first. It was prophetic.”

 Indeed, within weeks the FBI began investigating Chee, says her attorney Locke Clifford. Clifford says the FBI had no record of complaints against her. But the agency began combing through thousands of Chee’s case files. They even went back to her own citizenship application. The agents interviewed her clients and employees for over a year, until they indicted Chee for immigration fraud on June 26, 2004.

 It was a dramatic fall for the successful attorney who once had offices in three cities and thousands of clients. The American Bar Association awarded Chee its public service award in 1991, which was presented to her by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She also received the 1990 William L. Thorp Pro Bono Award by the North Carolina Bar Association. The Triad Business News called her “one of the foremost immigration attorneys in North Carolina if not the country.”

 Many think that it was her political views that caused Chee’s troubles.

“She was outspoken about the impact of the PATRIOT Act on the Muslim community and American citizens,” says Badi Ali, President of the Islamic Center of the Triad and Muslims for a Better North Carolina. Chee also demonstrated her support of the Muslim community by wearing Muslim garb on Fridays, says Chee’s youngest daughter, Leia Forgay. Forgay says it was symbolic. “She was letting people know that she will stand with them figuratively and literally.”

 However, fellow Greensboro immigration attorney, Gerry Chapman, questions whether Chee was targeted for her views. “There are attorneys in North Carolina who have spoken out against the PATRIOT Act and against targeting of Muslims, and the vast majority of them have not been investigated and indicted.” He adds that he thinks Chee overextended herself. “Manlin’s got a good heart, but she was trying to do too much for too many people.”

Attorney Anita Earls, director of Advocacy of the University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights in Chapel Hill, points out that other immigration attorneys have engaged in worse practices… and they were not investigated. She believes Chee was “singled out because of a combination of the clients she served and the fact that she was outspoken in her opposition to the war.”

The FBI’s strongest evidence came from two sting operations, the first one within weeks after Chee had participated in the PATRIOT Act forum, says Clifford. The informants posed as needy Muslims. One informant wanted to pretend he was gay so he could seek asylum, and the other informant wanted a sham marriage to get his green card. Chee was indicted for filing papers on behalf of both.

According to Forgay, the informants wouldn’t stop asking for Chee’s help: “My mom told them that there’s nothing I can do, but they kept coming back to her and she couldn’t say no. She always tries to help… she went ahead and submitted the papers to try. She would feel worse if she didn’t try.”

Chee’s former client and good friend, Melinda Macasero agrees. “Manlin had a hard time when she first came to the U. S., so she knows how hard it can be,” Macasero says. “If you’re an immigrant and you’re a client of hers, she would go the extra mile to help.”

Says Clifford, “Manlin never said no to anybody and the FBI probably said to themselves that if we run someone in there with a sad story, Manlin will probably take the bait.”

Chee now admits she was “foolish” for succumbing to the sham entreaties. She describes one informant as being “intimidating,” constantly calling, going to her office, and badgering her when she avoided filing the papers for months. Feeling “pushed” and suffering from an anxiety disorder, Chee finally relented under the pressure.

“Manlin did have some depression,” says her close friend, Amelia Leung. “Her mental health does affect her sense of judgment sometimes.”

During Chee’s prosecution, a diverse group of community members rallied around her and formed the Manlin Chee Defense Committee, taking out a full-page ad in the local paper in her support (see sidebar). Notably missing, however, was a public outcry from the local Chinese community.

Meiling Yu, cultural promotion director of the Greensboro Chinese Association, says her organization just didn’t know enough. “Because the charges are about her practice, which we are not familiar with, we didn’t feel we had enough information to speak out in support of her.” She notes the impression that Chee was targeted for her outspokenness, but as a nonprofit, they did not feel they could make a political statement.

“I can understand why they wouldn’t speak out,” says Macasero. “You are dealing with the government, and [people] are afraid they are going to get in trouble.”

Ultimately, Chee pleaded guilty to the charges from the stings. Her daughter Leia, insists Chee pleaded guilty to keep her family together. The FBI had also indicted and charged Chee’s oldest daughter, Chernlian, because she was a paralegal in Chee’s office. Chernlian, who has an upcoming wedding, decided to cooperate with the prosecution: She would get probation if she pleaded guilty, but she would have to testify against her mother.

The anger in Leia’s voice is palpable when she discusses the effect of her sister’s decision. “My mom did the selfless thing and pleaded guilty to keep our family from tearing apart because she felt that this was a time when we needed to stick together…. The hardest thing is not living without my mom, but living with the tension in the house because of my older sister and what happened.”

Chee, however, fought all charges involving her work for real clients. Calling those charges “horsefeathers,” Chee states, “I would rather rot in jail than to plead to charges where I prepared documents like every other lawyer in the country.” Immigration expert Ira Kurzban agreed, testifying at Chee’s sentencing hearing that her labor certification filings were like those of other attorneys.

Chee never went to trial. The federal prosecutor suddenly dropped all remaining charges against her, after she decided to plead guilty. On March 3, 2005, Judge James A. Beaty sentenced Chee to a year and a day in prison beginning April 22 at Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia, better known as Martha Stewart’s prison. Chee will be unable to attend her daughter Chernlian’s wedding in September.

A former U. S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights attorney, Earls believes the government was making an example of Chee.

“The U. S. Attorney’s office was certainly trying to send a message,” she says. “Bringing down someone who previously had a strong reputation as an aggressive advocate is much more attractive to the U. S. Attorney’s office than someone who doesn’t aggressively stand up for immigrant rights.”

Chee has been on disability inactive status since April 2004 with the State Bar of North Carolina due to her mental health issues and cannot practice law. However, her youngest daughter, Leia, seems fiercely determined to take up her mother’s torch and fight for the rights of immigrants. “Immigrants are often neglected in the law and in the community,” Forgay observes. “You can’t just leave out certain groups just because there are tensions with their community.”

The sixteen-year-old admits that previously, she did not want to be a lawyer because she hardly saw her mother, who was working all the time. Forgay has changed her mind. “Now, after seeing what happened to my mom, they may be able to stop her, but they can’t stop me from helping people who need it.”

Manlin Chee’s Struggle

March 2003

* Manlin Chee criticizes the government at a public forum in Greensboro, North Carolina.

* Undercover FBI agent, John Doe I, appears at Chee’s office seeking assistance for a sham marriage and begins taping conversations.

May 2003

* A second undercover FBI agent, John Doe II, seeks Chee’s help for asylum and begins taping conversations.

September 2003

* Chee begins receiving calls from clients who say that they are being interviewed by the FBI.

* She retains Locke Clifford as her attorney.

October 2003

* Clifford writes a letter to the U. S. Attorney’s office about the investigation and informing them that due to mental health issues, Chee has been planning to close her law practice.

Late October/Early November 2003

* Chee and daughter Chernlian receive “target” of investigation letters from the FBI.

* Chee’s office manager also receives a “subject” of an investigation letter.

November 2003

* Clifford meets with the U. S. attorney. He is told the investigations are not yet complete.

February 2004

* Clifford asks if Chee can go to Singapore to see her gravely ill mother and her sister who just gave birth. U.S. Attorney’s office approves.

Early March 2004

* Chee leaves for Singapore.

Late April 2004

* Clifford calls her in Singapore to return immediately for indictment. Chee rushes back to the United States but is not indicted.

* Chee goes on disability inactive status with the North Carolina State Bar.

Mid-May 2004

* Clifford again asks the prosecutor when the indictments will come down, and is told the government is still investigating. He is given assurance that Chee and her daughter, Chernlian, will be allowed to present themselves to authorities without being taken into custody, and released without bond.

Early June 2004

* Chee’s mother’s health worsens and Chee returns to Singapore. Chee’s mother dies within hours of Chee’s arrival.

Late June 2004

* Chee and her daughter, Chernlian, are indicted. Without prior notice, federal officers arrive at Chee’s home before 7:30 a. m. and take Chernlian into custody, handcuffing her and keeping her until she is able to contact her attorney.

* Chee’s attorney calls her in Singapore to tell her to return for the indictments. Chee is unable to catch a flight back due to the summer season rush, tries to go stand-by, but does not get a seat. The government threatens extradition proceedings.

September 8, 2004

* Chee returns to the United States as scheduled, landing at San Francisco International Airport. She is met at the gate, handcuffed and taken into custody.

September 9, 2004

* Chee returns to Greensboro, North Carolina.

November 22, 2004

* Chernlian, agrees to plea deal in exchange for testimony against he mother.

* Chee gives notice that she will voluntarily change her plea to guilty for the charges involving only the sting informants.

November 23, 2004

* Before Federal Judge James A. Beaty in the U. S. District Court in Winston-Salem, U.S. Attorney’s office voluntarily drops all remaining charges.

March 2-3, 2005

* Chee appears for the sentencing hearing. Ira Kurzban and a witness from the North Carolina Dept. of Labor verify Chee’s legal work as acceptable and following legal practice norms. Under federal sentencing reduction guidelines Chee’s term will be about 10 months.

April 22, 2005

* Chee reports to Alderson Federal Prison Camp in Alderson, West Virginia.

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Right-wing party in Germany led by police informants

Quest to ban neo-Nazis ends in farce
(Informants galore in NPD)

"‘This was a banana skin episode of the highest order’ German intelligence source"
Published Date: 19 March 2003

THE GERMAN government’s concerted bid to rid itself of a neo-Nazi party accused of promoting race attacks and tarnishing the country’s international image collapsed in farce yesterday.

Germany’s highest court threw out an effort to ban the party in a process that has taken nearly two years and cost millions of pounds in legal fees.

It reached the ruling because the National Democratic Party (NPD) was full of paid informers for
Germany’s domestic intelligence services.

Top-ranking figures, including the publisher of the party’s newspaper, were secretly on the government’s payroll for decades.

Germany’s federal constitution court threw out the government’s case to outlaw the NPD, a far-Right party that was accused of whipping up racist violence and spreading neo-Nazi propaganda.

The ruling delivered an embarrassing defeat to the chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s government, which invested considerable political capital in the drive to outlaw the party following a wave of hate crimes in 2000.

There is speculation that it may cost the interior minister, Otto Schilly, his job.

The case has been stalled for more than a year after it emerged that the government’s case rested, at least partly, on a network of informants in the National Democratic Party. This raised the question of whether any acted as provocateurs.

German media began reporting in February that judges mulling the bid to ban on the NPD had concluded the government’s case was "hopelessly compromised" because at least nine, possibly as many as 30, leading party figures were also paid agents and informers for the BND, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency.

Mr Schilly’s ministry helped rally individual German states to join the government in pursuing the NPD ban. Sources within the government say he knew early on about the informants but didn’t submit that fact to the court for almost a year.

When the court suspended its hearings as a result, rival politicians heaped scorn on Mr Schilly.

Germany took action against the party, largely composed of neo-Nazi worshippers, immigrant hating skinheads, disaffected, jobless east Germans and ultra-nationalists, early in 2001 after a rise in attacks on foreigners and Jewish property that resulted in several deaths.

Horst Mahler, a former member of the left-wing Red Army Faction terrorist group, is the NPD’s lead lawyer. He said informers "distorted" information and said the party was targeted "merely because it stood up for national values".

Although the NPD has no parliamentary seats the government now fears the wrong message has been sent. It is unclear if or when there will be another attempt to ban it.

German officials acknowledge many NPD officials acted as paid informants from 1997-2002. They have refused to identify them in court unless the public and NPD representatives are excluded.

The BND had two types of spy within the party ranks – government agents posing as recruits and disaffected party members who were eager to report back for money. One of the informants was alleged to have been on the party’ s leadership committee.

The intelligence operation against it, however, ended in at least one instance of informers telling on fellow informers. Only when controllers compared their notes did they discover where things had gone badly wrong.

For Mr Mahler and party chiefs, the discovery of clumsy spies clambering over each other to expose far-Right plots was manna from heaven. Mr Mahler said the spies were "steering" party members to excessive behaviour.

Wolfgang Frenz, 66, the vice-leader of the NPD’s vital North Rhine-Westphalia region, was paid up to £260 a month by the intelligence services between 1962 and 1995.

Mr Frenz, a co-founder of the party, had a relationship with the intelligence services he described as "particularly intensive" in the 1970s and 1980s. Udo Holtmann, 64, Mr Frenz’s superior and the editor and publisher of the party’s newspaper, was paid by the government for 24 years and is said to have told his party colleagues about his informer status, acting as a double agent.

"This was a banana skin episode of the highest order," said a source within the BND. "The government created a legal loophole wide enough for the NPD to drive a tank through," he added.

Snipers Baited and Killed Iraqis, Soldiers Testify

Snipers Baited and Killed Iraqis, Soldiers Testify

New York Times, September 25, 2007

Under a program developed by a Defense Department warfare unit, Army snipers have begun using a new method to kill Iraqis suspected of being insurgents, using fake weapons and bomb-making material as bait and then killing anyone who picks them up, according to testimony presented in a military court.

The existence of the classified “baiting program,” as it has come to be known, was disclosed as part of defense lawyers? efforts to respond to murder charges the Army pressed this summer against three members of a Ranger sniper team. Each soldier is accused of killing an unarmed Iraqi in three separate shootings between April and June near Iskandariya, and with planting “drop weapons? like detonation wires or other incriminating evidence on the bodies of the victims.

In sworn statements, soldiers testifying for the defense have said the sniper team was employing a “baiting program? developed at the Pentagon by the Asymmetrical Warfare Group, which met with Ranger sniper teams in Iraq in January and gave equipment to them.

The Washington Post described the baiting program on Monday.

An Army spokesman, Paul Boyce, said Monday that the Army did not publicly discuss specific methods for “targeting enemy combatants,” and that no classified program authorized the use of “drop weapons? to make a killing appear justified. Army officers involved in evidentiary hearings in Baghdad in July did not dispute the existence or use of a baiting program.

The court-martial of one accused soldier, Specialist Jorge G. Sandoval Jr., is scheduled to begin in Baghdad on Wednesday. The two other soldiers facing premeditated murder charges are Staff Sgt. Michael A. Hensley, the sniper team squad leader, and Sgt. Evan Vela. All three are part of the headquarters of the First Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, Fourth Brigade (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

None of the soldiers deny that they killed the three Iraqis they are charged with murdering. Through their lawyers and in court documents, the soldiers say the killings were legal and authorized by their superiors. But defense lawyers raised the issue of the baiting program in response to prosecutors? allegations that the soldiers had planted items, like wire for making bombs, on the bodies of the victims.

A transcript of the hearing was provided by a family member of an accused soldier.

Snipers are among the most specialized of soldiers, using camouflage clothing and makeup to infiltrate enemy locations, and high-powered rifles and scopes to stalk and kill enemy fighters. The three snipers accused of murder had for months ventured into some of the most dangerous areas of Iraq, said lawyers for Sergeant Vela.

“Snipers are special people who are trained to shoot in a detached fashion, not to see their targets as human beings,” said James D. Culp, one of Sergeant Vel lawyers. “Snipers have split seconds to take shots, and he had a split second to decide whether to shoot.”

After visiting the sniper unit in Iraq, members of the Asymmetrical Warfare Group gave soldiers ammunition boxes containing so-called “drop items? like bullets, plastic explosives and bomb detonation cords to use to pinpoint Iraqis involved in insurgent activity, according to Capt. Matthew P. Didier, a sniper platoon leader who gave sworn testimony in the accused soldiers? court hearings.

Captain Didier, in a sworn statement about the program that was obtained by The New York Times, described baiting as “putting an object out there that we know they will use, with the intention of destroying the enemy.”

After placing the bait, snipers observed the area around it, Captain Didier said in his statement. “If someone found the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item,” he said, “we would engage the individual, as I saw this as a sign that they would use the item against U.S. forces.” (Engage is a military euphemism for firing on or killing an enemy.)

The Asymmetrical Warfare Group, based at Fort Meade, Md., grew out of a task force created after the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 to develop methods to defeat roadside bombs. Not all of the group?s tactics were meant for sniper units, and most of them have not been publicly disclosed.

For instance, the group last year advised “kill teams? from the Third Brigade, Second Infantry Division, to dig holes resembling those used by insurgents to hide roadside bombs, and to shoot Iraqis who tried to place things in the holes, said a soldier who was briefed on the program and who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid retribution.

The kill teams used the tactic not to kill people, but to wound them with gunshots and then capture and interrogate them, the soldier said. “It’s pretty common, and it’s pretty effective,” the soldier said in an interview. The soldier lamented the disclosure of the baiting and other anti-insurgent combat tactics because “it’s probably saving a lot of soldiers? lives.”

James Ross, the legal and policy director for Human Rights Watch, said using fake weapons and ammunition as bait to attract and kill insurgents creates blurry ethical boundaries for soldiers fighting in Iraq, and great risk to civilians who are not legal targets in war. International law recognizes that killing “any individual who is directly or indirectly taking part in hostilities? can be justified, Mr. Ross said, but it is not precise about how such distinctions should be applied.

Mr. Ross said the dispersal of ammunition and explosives by American forces as part of an effort to attract insurgents would present obvious human rights problems.

“It seems to me that there are all sorts of reasons that civilians would want to pick up ammunition that is sitting on the ground,” he said.

Specialist Sandoval is the first of the three suspects to be tried in a court-martial. He and Sergeant Hensley were accused of leaving a spool of wire that could be used to detonate roadside bombs in a pocket of the man whom Specialist Sandoval shot in April, on Sergeant Henslex’s command.

U.S. Army’s ‘baiting’ program in Iraq comes to light

U.S. Army's 'baiting' program in Iraq comes to light
By Paul Von Zielbauer
International Herald Tribune, September 24, 2007

Under a program developed by a Defense Department warfare unit, U.S. Army snipers have begun using a new method to kill Iraqis suspected of being insurgents, planting fake weapons and bomb-making material as bait and then killing anyone who picks up them up, according to testimony presented in a military court.

The existence of the classified "baiting program," as it has come to be known, was disclosed as part of defense lawyers' efforts to respond to murder charges the army pressed this summer against three members of a Ranger sniper team. Each soldier is accused of killing an unarmed Iraqi in three separate incidents between April and June near Iskandariya.

In sworn statements, soldiers testifying for the defense have said the sniper team was employing a baiting program developed by the Pentagon's Asymmetrical Warfare Group, which met with and gave equipment to Ranger sniper teams in Iraq in January.

The Washington Post first described the baiting program in an article Monday.

An army spokesman, Paul Boyce, said Monday that the army did not discuss specific methods for "targeting enemy combatants" publicly, and that no classified program authorized the use of "drop weapons" to make a killing appear justified.

The court martial of one of the accused soldiers, Specialist Jorge Sandoval Jr., is scheduled to begin in Baghdad on Wednesday. The two other soldiers facing premeditated murder charges are Staff Sergeant Michael Hensley, the sniper team squad leader, and Sergeant Evan Vela. All three are part of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, based in Fort Richardson, Alaska.

None of the three soldiers denies that they killed the three Iraqis they are charged with murdering. Through their lawyers and in court documents, the soldiers argue that the killings were legal and authorized by their superiors. A transcript of the hearing was provided by a member of an accused soldier's family.

Snipers are among the most specialized of soldiers, using camouflage clothing and makeup to infiltrate enemy locations and high-powered rifles and scopes to stalk and kill enemy fighters. The three snipers accused of murder had for months ventured into some of the most dangerous areas of Iraq, said lawyers for Vela.

"Snipers are special people who are trained to shoot in a detached fashion, not to see their targets as human beings," said James Culp, one of Vela's lawyers. "Snipers have split seconds to take shots, and he had a split second to decide whether to shoot."

After visiting the sniper unit in Iraq, members of the Asymmetrical Warfare Group gave soldiers ammunition boxes containing so-called drop items, like bullets, plastic explosives and bomb detonation cords, to use to target Iraqis involved in insurgent activity, according to Captain Matthew Didier, a sniper platoon leader who gave sworn testimony in the accused soldiers' court hearings.

Pentagon Won’t Comment on Reports of Iraq Sniper Baiting Program

Pentagon Won't Comment on Reports of Iraq Sniper Baiting Program

25 September 2007

The Pentagon is refusing to comment directly on news reports in the United States about a classified program encouraging some military snipers in Iraq to use fake weapons and bomb-making materials as bait, and then killing anyone who picks up the items. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has details from Washington.

News reports on the classified sniper program are based on information described in documents related to recently filed murder charges against three members of a U.S. Army sniper team.

Each soldier is accused of killing an Iraqi in separate shootings and then planting incriminating evidence, such as wire for making bombs, on the bodies of the victims.

Lawyers for the soldiers say the killings were legal and authorized by their superiors.

In sworn statements, soldiers testifying for the defense say the sniper team was employing a so-called baiting program developed at the Pentagon by the Asymmetrical Warfare Group. That group advises commanders on how to fight unconventional conflicts such as the insurgency in Iraq.

In the statements the baiting was described as putting items, including plastic explosives, ammunition and detonation cords on the battlefield then killing suspected insurgents who picked up the objects.

During a briefing at the Pentagon, Major General Richard Sherlock declined to comment directly on the existence of the program or the cases against the three snipers.

"I can't discuss this case specifically for a couple of reasons," he said. "First of all there is a court martial that is about to convene and the soldiers connected with this case and subsequent cases deserve due process. Second of all, we don't normally discuss specific, tactics, techniques and procedures. However, I will say we base all of our actions on the laws of land warfare and the rules of engagement and our rules of engagement apply in all circumstances, which does not include simply picking something up on the battlefield."

An Army spokesman, Paul Boyce, says there are no classified programs at the Pentagon that authorize the murder of Iraqi civilians or planting evidence to make killings appear to be legally justified.

US blackmails Muslims to become FBI informers

FBI to Muslims: ‘Become informant or face deportation’


Published: Tuesday July 11, 2006

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been detaining Muslim immigrants, holding their green cards hostage, and threatening deportation unless the detainee agrees to become a government informant, today’s WALL STREET JOURNAL is reporting.

In one case reported by the paper, a man was detained at a Canadian-U.S. border crossing and forced to travel to California by bus. He was given instructions on what he was to do after arriving in San Francisco. Once meeting an FBI agent, the gentleman was given the choice of becoming an informant or being deported back to Morocco.


(…) Last November, when Yassine Ouassif crossed into Champlain, N.Y., from Canada, border agents questioned him for several hours. Then they took away his green card and sent him home to San Francisco by bus, with strict instructions: As soon as he got there, he was to call a man named Dan.

Dan, it turned out, was Daniel Fliflet, a counterterrorism agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Ouassif met the agent at an Oakland subway station on Nov. 30, and the two men walked the streets together for 90 minutes.

Mr. Fliflet told the 24-year-old Moroccan that he’d been monitoring his friends and him for many months, Mr. Ouassif recalls. Mr. Fliflet made him an offer: Become an informant and regularly report to the FBI on what his Muslim friends in San Francisco were saying and doing. In exchange, he would get back his green card. He could resume his education, bring his Moroccan wife to America, and pursue his dream of buying a car, moving to Sacramento and becoming an engineer.

If he refused? asked Mr. Ouassif. “I will work hard to deport you to Morocco as soon as possible,” Mr. Fliflet responded, according to an account written by Mr. Ouassif soon after the meeting. “I want you to know something important,” the FBI agent added, according to Mr. Ouassif. “America is just like a bus, and you have a choice to make: Either you board the bus or you leave.”

U.S. prepares long-term plan for jailing indefinitely terror suspects

San Francisco Chronicle

U.S. prepares long-term plan for jailing of terror suspects
More permanent approach sought for indefinite detainment

Dana Priest, Washington Post

Sunday, January 2, 2005

Washington — Administration officials are preparing long-range plans for indefinitely imprisoning suspected terrorists whom they do not want to set free or turn over to courts in the United States or other countries, according to intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials.

The Pentagon and the CIA have asked the White House to decide on a more permanent approach for potentially lifetime detentions, including for hundreds of people now in military and CIA custody whom the government does not have enough evidence to charge in courts. The outcome of the review, which also involves the State Department, would also affect those expected to be captured in the course of future counterterrorism operations.

One proposal under review is the transfer of large numbers of Afghan, Saudi and Yemeni detainees from the military’s Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center into new U.S.-built prisons in their home countries. The prisons would be operated by those countries, but the State Department, where this idea originated, would ask them to abide by recognized human rights standards and would monitor compliance, the senior administration official said.

As part of a solution, the Defense Department, which holds 500 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, plans to ask Congress for $25 million to build a 200-bed prison to hold detainees who are unlikely to ever go through a military tribunal for lack of evidence, according to defense officials.

The new prison, called Camp 6, would allow inmates more comfort and freedom than they have now and would be designed for prisoners who the government believes have no more intelligence to share, the officials said. It would be modeled on a U.S. prison and would allow socializing among inmates.

"Since global war on terror is a long-term effort, it makes sense for us to be looking at solutions for long-term problems," said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. "This has been evolutionary, but we are at a point in time where we have to say, ‘How do you deal with them in the long term?’ ”

The administration considers its toughest detention problem to involve the prisoners held by the CIA. The CIA has been scurrying since Sept. 11, 2001, to find secure locations abroad where it could detain and interrogate captives without risk of discovery and without having to give them access to legal proceedings.

The CIA is believed to be holding fewer than three dozen al-Qa’ida leaders in prison. The agency holds most if not all of the top captured al-Qa’ida leaders, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, Abu Zubaida and the lead Southeast Asia terrorist, Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin, known as Hambali.

The CIA had floated a proposal to build an isolated prison with the intent of keeping it secret, one intelligence official said. That was dismissed immediately as impractical.

One approach used by the CIA has been to transfer captives it picks up abroad to third countries willing to hold them indefinitely and without public proceedings. The transfers, called "renditions," depend on arrangements between the United States and other countries, such as Egypt, Jordan and Afghanistan, that agree to have local security services hold certain terror suspects in their facilities for interrogation by CIA and foreign liaison officers.

"Renditions are the most effective way to hold people," said Rohan Gunaratna, author of "Inside al-Qa’ida: Global Network of Terror." "The threat of sending someone to one of these countries is very important. In Europe, the custodial interrogations have yielded almost nothing" because they do not use the threat of sending detainees to countries where they are likely to be tortured.

COINTELPRO – FBI surveillance system

COINTELPRO is an acronym for a series of FBI counterintelligence programs designed to neutralize political dissidents. Although covert operations have been employed throughout FBI history, the formal COINTELPRO’s of 1956-1971 were broadly targeted against radical political organizations. In the early 1950s, the Communist Party was illegal in the United States. The Senate and House of Representatives each set up investigating committees to prosecute communists and publicly expose them. (The House Committee on Un-American Activities and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy). When a series of Supreme Court rulings in 1956 and 1957 challenged these committees and questioned the constitutionality of Smith Act prosecutions and Subversive Activities Control Board hearings, the FBI’s response was COINTELPRO, a program designed to "neutralize" those who could no longer be prosecuted. Over the years, similar programs were created to neutralize civil rights, anti-war, and many other groups, all said to be "communist front organizations." As J. Edgar Hoover, longtime Director of the FBI, put it

The forces which are most anxious to weaken our internal security are not always easy to identify. Communists have been trained in deceit and secretly work toward the day when they hope to replace our American way of life with a Communist dictatorship. They utilize cleverly camouflaged movements, such as peace groups and civil rights groups to achieve their sinister purposes. While they as individuals are difficult to identify, the Communist party line is clear. Its first concern is the advancement of Soviet Russia and the godless Communist cause. It is important to learn to know the enemies of the American way of life.

The FBI conducted more than 2000 COINTELPRO operations before the the programs were officially discontinued in April of 1971, after public exposure, in order to "afford additional security to [their] sensitive techniques and operations."

“FBI freely sells its information and services to selected bidders”

The Dickheads Are Still Desperate

by J. Orlin Grabbe

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "dickhead" means "a stupid person" as in "But I lost that job, it was alright, I deserved to lose it, I was a dickhead" (A. Bleasdale, Shop thy Neighbour, 1983). The FBI employs a lot of dickheads, such as Special Agent David "Killer" Keller, whose recent pronouncements include these gems:


  • "Well, it’s pretty singular in nature when you pull all of the data from the J. Orlan Grabbie internet, the things that he has published over the last–well, just since it has been–that I have been able to retrieve. But the–a lot of the information has been singular in nature. It has been information that has been recently developed, as recently as within the last seven to 10 days that all of the sudden appear on the–on the internet under the name of J. Orlan Grabbie."


  • "I have been in–I have been in touch with the U.S. Customs as early as yesterday. . . . I didn’t even talk to them. I was getting my information through facsimile. I was in communication with the facsimile, and also with Bob Rawlins, the Assistant U.S. Attorney that is handling that particular litigation, was the go-between between me and the U.S. Customs yesterday. . . . There were a series of telephone calls facsimiled between our office and U.S. Customs within last two days that centered on the internet publications."
  • What makes the FBI dangerous is not just that it employs stupid people–dickheads–but that it is an un-Constitutional organization, not chartered by Congress, that harbors malevolent people with guns who lie and kill and falsify evidence.

    Although the FBI in recent years has specialized in beating the drums for ever more authority to spy on, and wiretap, American citizens, the evidence continues to mount that the FBI is itself an out-of-control domestic terrorist organization . What are some of the facts in this regard?

  • The World Trade Center in New York City was bombed on February 26, 1993, killing six people and injuring more than a thousand. (When the explosion occurred, I was one block away at 222 Broadway, in a room with a view of one of the World Trade Center towers.) Subsequently I learned that the bombing was done by a group already under FBI surveillance. The FBI did not need more powers to spy on citizens: what it needed was a sense of responsibility and morality. The person who built the bomb was an FBI informer. Either the FBI negligently allowed the bombing to take place, or else allowed it as a deliberate act for their own purposes:


    Two cassette tape recordings, obtained by SHADOW reporter Paul DiRienzo of telephone conversations between FBI informant Emad Salem and his Bureau contacts reveal secret U.S. Government complicity in the February 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City….

    After careful deliberation, the SHADOW believes the question regarding the bombing boils down to the following: Did the FBI do the bombing, utilizing informant Salem as an "agent provocateur" or did it allow to fail or prevent an independent Salem and his associates from doing it? The taped conversations obtained by the SHADOW seem to indicate the former:


    FBI Informant Edam Salem: "…we was start already building the bomb which is went off in the World Trade Center. It was built by supervising supervision from the Bureau and the DA and we was all informed about it and we know that the bomb start to be built. By who? By your confidential informant. What a wonderful great case!"


    (combined report by Paul DeRienzo, Frank Morales and Chris Flash, Who Bombed the World Trade Center?" The Shadow, Oct. 1994/Jan. 1995).


  • At the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, the FBI utilized guns and a tank to shoot, crush, and burn more than 80 men, women and children. An FBI spokesman said the Branch Davidians were "thumbing their nose at the law". So the FBI taught them a good lesson by killing all of them. David Koresh was supposedly guilty of a firearms violation. So the FBI even more guiltily marshaled firearms to kill him and those around him. Someone spread the rumor that there was child abuse going on at the compound. So the FBI put a stop to that by burning the children to death. You can view the pictures in the Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum, made available by Carol A. Valentine on the Internet at This is one Internet page that David Keller seems to have missed. But perhaps he thinks Carol Valentine is also Chuck Hayes.


  • At Ruby Ridge, Idaho, the FBI brazenly murdered a woman armed with nothing more dangerous than her child. They killed Randy Weaver’s fourteen-year old son, the family dog Striker, and Randy’s wife Vicky. The FBI shot Vicky Weaver in the doorway of the Weaver cabin as she cradled her baby in her arms. "It was as if her skull had exploded. She was almost unrecognizable. Her jaw was blown half off, and blood seemed to be pumping out from everywhere on her head. Elisheba [her baby] was covered in blood …" (Jess Walter, Every Knee Shall Bow: The Truth & Tragedy of Ruby Ridge & The Randy Weaver Family, HaperCollins, 1995, p. 198). I do not apologize for referring to FBI agents as "murderous bastards".


  • PhD chemist and FBI agent Frederic Whitehurst has complained about sloppy practices, evidence contamination, slanted reports and inadequate training at FBI laboratories. "Science," he said, "cannot be a whore to the political process" ("Explosive Charges," Time, Nov. 4, 1996). He was moved to make this statement not only because of an FBI record of evidence fabrication and falsification, but also due to the quite obvious fact that the FBI is a whore to the political process. Anyone who doubts this can read the books Break-ins, Death Threats and the FBI, by Ross Gelbspam, and FBI Secrets: An Agent’s Expose, by M. Wesley Swearington.


  • In the more recent Filegate affair, the FBI admits to having turned over more than 900 confidential FBI files to the White House. (Around 900 is the acknowledged count. Private information I have says the number of files turned over to the White House was actually in the neighborhood of 2045. These files were contained in the White House "Big Brother" Data Base- -WHODB). These supposedly confidential files were made available for political purposes to various individuals, most of whom did not even have security clearances.


  • Not that the security clearances mean that much, anyway. In a related matter, an FBI agent named Gary Harlow admitted to police that he faked White House security clearances. Harlow was sentenced in May of this year to six months in jail for stealing over 100,000 rounds of ammunition, plastic explosives, hand grenades and night vision gear from the FBI. Agent Harlow was arrested one night after his house burned down under mysterious circumstances. He was caught cruising the neighborhoods, looking for his wife, with nearly a dozen fully automatic machine guns in his car with him. One needs to protect oneself from FBI lunatics like Agent Harlow.


  • The House Judiciary Committee has recently said it will investigate the operations of the FBI, including its handling of a news leak about Richard Jewell, when it secretly informed newspapers he was a suspect in the Olympic bombing in Atlanta ("House Judiciary panel to probe FBI operations," USA Today, Dec. 27, 1996).


  • The simple fact is that the FBI freely sells its information and services to selected bidders. Consider the matter of the FBI giving the Colombian Cali cocaine cartel access to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) files. As reported by The New York Post:


    "The head of the FBI’s Bogota, Colombia, office is under scrutiny because sensitive intelligence was leaked to drug lords running the infamous Cali cartel, The Post has learned.

    "FBI Special Agent Dwight Denny is suspected of misconduct that led to the cartel’s infiltration of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s central computer about nine months ago, federal law enforcement officials said. . . .

    "The Naddis computer contains top-secret information dating back to 1973 about hundreds of thousands of suspected drug traffickers, as well as leads on drug operations and files on current investigations, the sources said.

    "DEA agents worldwide rely on the centralized computer system, which also stores details of arrests, memos and teletypes the agency receives, the sources said." ("Colombian cartel mole burrowed into DEA computer files," The New York Post, August 22, 1996).


  • The FBI appears to view the American public with contempt as one large playground for its own amusement. Former FBI informer Frank Varelli explains how he was asked to seduce a nun as part of his infiltration of a group called CISPES. According to Varelli,


    "I was told that the Bureau wanted to get an apartment. So I could start seducing this nun that is the head of the CISPES group. Her name is Linda Hay and they wanted to-

    "Q: They wanted you to seduce a nun?

    "A: Yes. Yeah. Because she was the head of CISPES and one of the most outspoken persons that I’ve known. . . . And-and that the Bureau was going to provide an apartment with cameras and you know…With sound equipment and everything. So we could film the nun in very compromising position because as Dan Flannigan put it, `Once we do it, we have her in our hand.’" (From New York On-Line, A Radical Electronic Resource).


    Not long ago, Clinton political advisor James Carville said, in reference to Paula Jones, "You drag $100 bills through trailer parks, and there’s no telling what you’ll find." Carville’s insult implied that women in rural America who live in trailer parks are whores, that there was no telling what they will do for $100.

    Yet, more recently, in the FBI fabrication of its case against Chuck Hayes, an unidentified undercover FBI agent– according to the Affidavit of David "Killer" Keller–said he had killed a man (John Anthony Hayes) for a minimal advance payment of $100 in expenses. Now this unidentified undercover agent really hadn’t done that (which makes him an admitted liar). Yet, at the same time, he apparently expected to have credibility when he said he had done the dastardly deed. He expected someone to believe he was slimy enough to kill for $100.

    And why shouldn’t we believe him? When you drag a hundred dollar bill in front of an FBI agent, you’re likely to attract the services of a social maggot who will sell his soul for something far more contemptible than simple sex.

    Earlier this year the astute, knowledgeable payroll computer in Oklahoma terminated FBI Director Louis Freeh because the "FBI is an unchartered organization". It is time an equally knowledgeable and astute U.S. Congress put this terrorist organization out of business.

    January 12, 1997
    Web Page:

  • Nothing Vague About FBI Abuse: Here are the Dossiers


    Nothing Vague About FBI Abuse:
    Here Are the Dossiers

    excerpted from the book

    Wizards of Media OZ

    by Norman Solomon and Jeff Cohen

    Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)

    May 10, 1995

    As the White House pushes to expand FBI powers, some press reports are sounding cautionary notes usually vague allusions to the FBI’s history of harassing political groups and movements.

    Missing from most accounts are specifics. This column offers a few of the many horrifying details.

    Although President Clinton says stepped-up FBI infiltration will help prevent violence, the record shows that FBI spying has actually abetted violence.

    * DICK GREGORY: In 1968, the activist/comedian publicly denounced the Mafia for importing heroin into the inner city. Did the FBI welcome the anti-drug, anti-mob message? No. Head G-man J. Edgar Hoover responded by proposing that the Bureau try to provoke the mob to retaliate against Gregory as part of an FBI "counter intelligence operation" to "neutralize" the comedian. Hoover wrote: "Alert La Cosa Nostra (LCN) to Gregory’s attack on LCN."

    * FREEDOM RIDERS: In 1961, black and white civil rights workers boarded interstate buses in the North and headed south in an effort to desegregate buses nationwide. The FBI learned that when the freedom riders reached bus depots in Alabama, the state police were going to give the Ku Klux Klan "15 uninterrupted minutes" to beat activists with baseball bats, clubs and chains. The Bureau allowed the violence to occur; activist Walter Bergman spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair, partially paralyzed.

    * VIOLA LIUZZO: The white civil rights volunteer from Detroit-a mother of five-joined Martin Luther King’s 1965 Selma (Ala.) campaign aimed at securing the right to vote for blacks. She was shot and killed after being chased 20 miles at high speed by a carload of four Klansmen. In the car was Gary David Rowe, a well-paid FBI informant inside the Klan; the violence-prone Rowe had played a big role in the beatings of freedom riders years earlier. "He couldn’t be an angel and be a good informant," commented one of his FBI handlers.

    * FRANK WILKINSON: A lifelong civil libertarian who led the campaign to abolish the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities, his FBI surveillance file spans 30 years and 132,000 pages. Estimated cost to us taxpayers: $17 million. Wilkinson never advocated or committed violence, but the file shows that the Bureau burglarized his offices and encouraged beatings of him. The FBI once heard of a right-wing scheme to assassinate Wilkinson-but took no action to inform him or protect him.

    * MARTIN LUTHER KING: For years, the FBI used spying and infiltration in a relentless campaign to destroy King- to wreck his marriage, undermine his mental stability and encourage him to commit suicide. The Bureau created dissension among King’s associates, disrupted fundraising efforts and recruited his bookkeeper as a paid agent after learning the employee was embezzling.

    The FBI utilized "media assets" to plant smear stories in the press – some insinuating that King was a Soviet agent. One FBI media asset against King in the early 1960s was Patrick Buchanan, then an editorial writer in St. Louis.

    The FBI once hatched a scheme to "completely discredit" King and have him replaced by a civil rights leader the Bureau could control. The one individual named by the Bureau as "the right kind of Negro leader" was lawyer Samuel Pierce-who years later became the only black in President Reagan’s cabinet.

    King was hated and regularly threatened by white supremacists and extremists-but the FBI developed a written policy of not informing King about threats to his life. Why? Because of his "unsavory character," "arrogance and "uncooperative attitude."

    * PETER BOHMER: For months in the early 1970s, this economics professor and other antiwar activists in San Diego were terrorized-with menacing phone calls, death threats and fire-bombings-by the Secret Army Organization, a right-wing paramilitary group. On Jan. 6, 1972, gunshots were fired into Bohmer’s house, wounding a friend.

    After a bombing months later, a trial revealed that Howard Barry Godfrey, co-founder of SAO in San Diego and one of its most active and violent members, had all along been a paid FBI informant. Godfrey testified that he had driven the car from which the shots were fired; afterward, he took the weapon to his FBI supervisor, who hid it.

    * BLACK PANTHER PARTY: Some critics are denouncing the new movie Panther as an anti-FBI fantasy. But the hard facts about the FBI’s war on the Panthers were published in 1976 by the Senate Intelligence Committee chaired by Frank Church. Using paid infiltrators and faked documents, the Bureau routinely tried to goad militant groups or street gangs to commit violence against the Panthers.

    In southern California, FBI agents helped provoke Ron Karenga’s militant US group into attacks on Panthers and boasted about it in memos to headquarters. When the FBI learned that the Panthers and US were trying to talk out their differences, agents did their best to reopen the conflict. Four Panthers were ultimately killed by US members, two on the UCLA campus.

    In Chicago, the FBI office forged and sent a letter to the Blackstone Rangers gang leader saying the Panthers had a "hit out" on him. The FBI’s stated hope was that he "take reprisals against" the Panther leadership.

    Although that plan failed, Chicago Panther chief Fred Hampton (age 21) was killed months later in a predawn police assault on his apartment. Hampton’s bodyguard turned out to be an FBI agent-provocateur who, days before the raid, had delivered an apartment floor-plan to the Bureau-with an "X" marking Hampton’s bed. Most bullets were aimed at his bedroom. The infiltrator received a $300 bonus: "Our source was the man who made the raid possible," stated an FBI memo.

    Among the hundreds of schemes detailed in FBI memos were plans to contaminate the Panther newspaper’s printing room with a noxious chemical; to inject a powerful laxative into fruit served to kids as part of the Panthers’ free breakfast program; and to target smear campaigns at various Hollywood celebrities who had come to the Panthers’ defense.

    * CENTRAL AMERICA ACTIVISTS: Many recent news accounts say that FBI abuse pretty much ended with J. Edgar Hoover’s death in 1972, and that the Bureau has been in check since the Justice Department issued new guidelines in 1976. Not true. FBI disruption of lawful dissent has continued-though the terminology has changed, from counterintelligence (COINTELPRO) to "counterterrorism."

    During the 1980s, groups critical of U.S. intervention in Central America were surveilled, infiltrated and disrupted by the FBI. Political break-ins occurred at churches, offices and homes-and material from the burglaries ended up in FBI files. In the guise of monitoring supporters of foreign terrorists, the FBI compiled files on clergy, religious groups and thousands of nonviolent anti-intervention activists. The investigation produced not a single criminal charge. The whole sordid story is detailed in Break-ins, Death Threats and the FBI, a book by former Boston Globe reporter Ross Gelbspan.

    At the center of this spying was FBI official Oliver "Buck" Revell. Today, Revell (now retired) makes the rounds of TV news shows, complaining that the FBI is too hamstrung to track terrorists.

    The truth is that the FBI has always had the power to infiltrate terrorist groups. The problem has been the Bureau’s diversion of resources to monitor and harass activists whose only "crime" was working for social change.

    Lynne Stewart Convicted of Collusion with CIA Created Terrorists

    Friday, February 11, 2005

    Lynne Stewart Convicted of Collusion with CIA Created Terrorists

    By Kurt Nimmo

     The following sends a message on the heels of Ward Churchill’s timely persecution: the attorney Lynne Stewart was convicted yesterday “of helping the mastermind [Omar Abdel-Rahman] of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing spread terror messages to his jihadi warriors around the globe,” as the New York Post characterizes it.

    Here’s the message sent, via the corporate media: there are terrorists and radical, “anti-American” traitors in our midst.

    Considering the history lesson below, the New York Post should have written: Lynne Stewart convicted of passing messages to the CIA.

    If we know anything about Omar Abdel-Rahman, it is that he was heavily involved with the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service in Afghanistan. “He became famous traveling all over the world for five years recruiting new mujaheddin,” explains Wikipedia. “But he never hid his prime goals, which were to overthrow the governments of the US and Egypt.”

    In other words, the CIA and the U.S. government had a good idea what this guy was all about but used him anyway. “One of the big problems here is that many suspects in the World Trade Center bombing were associated with the Mujahadeen,” investigator Jack Blum told a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee. “And there are components of our government that are absolutely disinterested in following that path because it leads back to people we supported in the Afghan war.”

    See The CIA’s “Operation Cyclone” – Stirring the Hornet-‘s Nest of Islamic Unrest.

    So important was Abdel-Rahman, the CIA made sure he was issued a visa and entered the United States in 1990, the country he supposedly hated. Abdel-Rahman went on to head the al-Salaam Mosque in Jersey City. Consider the following quote from The Covert Cowboys (see the Jack Blum link above and page citation):

    During a conversation between a 20-year veteran FBI agent and one of his top undercover operatives, the operative asked:

    “Why aren’t we going after the Sheik [Adbel Rahman]”?demanded the undercover man.

    “It’s hands off,” answered the agent.

    “Why”? asked the operative.

    “It was no accident that the Sheik got a visa and that he’s still in the country,” replied the agent, visibly upset. “He’s here under the banner of national security, the State Department, the NSA, and the CIA.”

    The agent pointed out that the Sheik had been granted a tourist visa, and later a green card, despite the fact that he was on a State Department terrorist watch-list that should have barred him from the country. “He’s an untouchable,” concluded the agent.

    An Egyptian by the name El Sayyid Nosair, who was jailed in 1995 for the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane, leader of the Jewish Defense League, was connected to Adbel-Rahman and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. “At his trial, Mr. Nosair claimed that the reason he had military manuals was that he was being trained by the US, not because he was intent on terrorism,” Andrew Marshall wrote for the Independent on November 1, 1998.

    It is said Nosair was trained by a former Egyptian soldier named Ali Mohamed, allegedly with connections to al-Qaeda. “Yet Mr. Mohamed, it is clear from his record, was working for the US government at the time he provided the training: he was a Green Beret, part of America’s Special Forces. … [Mohamed’s recruits, under the auspices of Operation Cyclone] received brief paramilitary training and weapons instruction in the New York area, according to evidence in earlier trials, before being sent to fight with [Gulbuddin] Hekmatyar [a major CIA asset in Afghanistan]. Even Sheikh Abdel-Rahman had, apparently, entered the US with the full knowledge of the CIA in 1990. (For more on Hekmatyar, see Gary Leupp’s Meet Mr. Blowback: Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, CIA Operative and Homicidal Thug.)

    As for the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, the FBI knew about the plot and allowed it to happen.

    “Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer [Emad Salem, a former lieutenant colonel in the Egyptian Army] said after the blast,” Ralph Blumenthal reported for the New York Times.

    But according to Paul DiRienzo, based on recorded telephone conversations between FBI informant Emad Salem and his Bureau contacts, it is possible Salem was an “agent provocateur” who allowed the bombing to go forward, at the behest of the government. In the recording, Salem admits that the bomb used in the plot was “built by supervising supervision from the Bureau and the DA and we was all informed about it and we know that the bomb start to be built.” As an informant, Salem was close to Abdel-Rahman. “Informant Salem organized the bomb plot with the ‘supervision’ of the FBI and the District Attorney as part of a classic entrapment setup,” DiRienzo speculates.

    According to Ron Kuby, a partner of the late William Kunstler, who defended El Sayyid Nosair, Salem served as a classic agent provocateur. “The FBl officially acknowledges that Emad Salem began to work for them in November 1991, during the trial of Sayyid Nosair, at which Nosair was found not guilty of murdering Rabbi Meir Kahane,” Kuby told Husayn al-Kurd. “It was at that point that he infiltrated himself into the group supporting Sayyid Nosair. It was Emad Salem, as early as December of 1991, who was telling groups of these people that they should become more militant. At one point Emad Salem suggested they throw Molotov cocktails at a synagogue, at which the people listening were absolutely horrified and refused to have anything to do with him. After that, he toned down his rhetoric.” The FBI is famous for such tactics, most notably during the reign of its notorious COINTELPRO. Moreover, as Kunstler told Paul DeRienzo during a radio interview in 1993, “[Salem] also received money from Kahane Chai, Rabbi Meir Kahane’s group. Probably from a lot of other people. [Israel’s secret service,] the Mossad is not someone to exclude.”

    “The New York Times reported that the evidence that Sheikh Rahman even knew of the plan to bomb the World Trade Center, and other buildings in New York, is scant,” Enver Masud writes for the Wisdom Fund. “The government’s primary witness against Sheikh Rahman is an FBI informant, Mr. Emad Salem, who confessed to lying under oath in a previous trial.”

    Andreas von Bulow, former State Secretary at the Ministry Of Defense in Germany from 1976-1980, summarizes:

    In the middle was the bombmaker, a former Egyptian officer. He had pulled together some Muslims for the attack. They were snuck into the country by the CIA, despite a State Department ban on their entry. At the same time, the leader of the band was an FBI informant. And he made a deal with the authorities: At the last minute, the dangerous explosive material would be replaced by a harmless powder. The FBI did not stick to the deal. The bomb exploded, so to speak, with the knowledge of the FBI. The Official story of the crime was quickly found: The criminals were evil Muslims.

    Of course, in the barrage of corporate media reports and op/ed pieces over the next few days, excoriating Lynne Stewart as a terrorist collaborator, none of these shady connections and dealings “between Omar Abdel-Rahman, El Sayyid Nosair, Ali Mohamed, Emad Salem and the CIA, NSA, FBI, Egyptian intelligence and possibly Mossad” will be mentioned.

    It is, I believe, no mistake that the “radical” lawyer Stewart was framed for conspiring with “evil Muslims,” as it was no mistake Ward Churchill was accused of carrying a torch for al-Qaeda, itself a CIA contrivance.


    Kurt Nimmo is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is the author of Another Day in the Empire: Life in Neoconservative America, a collection of essays published by Dandelion Books. Visit his weblog at

    Wrong conviction of Black Panther leader

     "We have a common enemy … that’s the biggest criminal gang in the history of the United States, and it’s called the FBI." ? Geronimo ji jaga

    Geronimo ji jaga’s release after 27 years, imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, was a landmark moment in the fight against FBI disruption.  It was Richard Held who masterminded the attack on the Los Angeles Black Panther Party that ended in Geronimo’s imprisonment and the deaths of a number of Panther party members.

    Geronimo vows that the settlement of his civil case against the FBI is only the beginning.  He and attorney Johnny Cochran are working to open up hearings not only on the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation against the Panthers, but also the CIA’s Operation CHAOS and the National Security Agency’s mind-control operation (dubbed Operation MINARET) which also targeted the Black Panthers.


    Final Report on Governmental Covert Operations






    OF THE






    APRIL 26 (legislative day, April 14), 1976



    The Committee finds that covert action programs have been used to disrupt the lawful political activities of individual Americans and groups and to discredit them, using dangerous and degrading tactics which are abhorrent in a free and decent society.


    (a) Although the claimed purposes of these action programs were to protect the national security and to prevent violence, many of the victims were concededly nonviolent, were not controlled by a foreign power, and posed no threat to the national security.

    (b) The acts taken interfered with the First Amendment rights of citizens. They were explicitly intended to deter citizens from joining groups, "neutralize" those who were already members, and prevent or inhibit the expression of ideas.

    (c) The tactics used against Americans often risked and sometimes caused serious emotional, economic, or physical damage. Actions were taken which were designed to break up marriages, terminate funding or employment, and encourage gang warfare between violent rival groups. Due process of law forbids the use of such covert tactics, whether the victims are innocent law-abiding citizens or members of groups suspected of involvement in violence.

    (d) The sustained use of such tactics by the FBI in an attempt to destroy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., violated the law and fundamental human decency.

    Elaboration of the Findings

    For fifteen years from 1956 until 1971, the FBI carried out a series of covert action programs directed against American citizens. 1 These "counterintelligence programs" (shortened to the acronym COINTELPRO) resulted in part from frustration with Supreme Court rulings limiting the Government’s power to proceed overtly against dissident groups. 2

    They ended formally in 1971 with the threat of public exposure. 3  Some of the findings discussed herein are related to the findings on lawlessness, overbreadth, and intrusive techniques previously set forth. Some of the most offensive actions in the FBI’s COINTELPRO programs (anonymous letters intended to break up marriages, or efforts to deprive people of their jobs, for example) were based upon the covert use of information obtained through overly-broad investigations and intrusive techniques. 4 Similarly, as noted above, COINTELPRO involved specific violations of law, and the law and the Constitution were "not [given] a thought" under the FBI’s policies. 5

    But COINTELPRO was more than simply violating the law or the Constitution. In COINTELPRO the Bureau secretly 6 took the law into its own hands, going beyond the collection of intelligence and beyond its law enforcement function to act outside the legal process altogether and to covertly disrupt, discredit and harass groups and individuals. A law enforcement agency must not secretly usurp the functions of judge and jury, even when the investigation reveals criminal activity. But in COINTELPRO, the Bureau imposed summary punishment, not only on the allegedly violent, but also on the nonviolent advocates of change. Such action is the hallmark of the vigilante and has no place in a democratic society.

    Under COINTELPRO, certain techniques the Bureau had used against hostile foreign agents were adoped for use against perceived domestic threats to the established political and social order. 7

    Some of the targets of COINTELPRO were law-abiding citizens merely advocating change in our society. Other targets were members of groups that had been involved in violence, such as the Ku Klux Klan or the Black Panther Party. Some victims did nothing more than associate with targets. 8

    The Committee does not condone acts of violence, but the response of Government to allegations of illegal conduct must comply with the due process of law demanded by the Constitution. Lawlessness by citizens does not justify lawlessness by Government.

    The tactics which were employed by the Bureau are therefore unacceptable, even against the alleged criminal. The imprecision of the targeting compounded the abuse. Once the Government decided to take the law into its own hands, those unacceptable tactics came almost inevitably to be used not only against the "kid with the bomb" but also against the "kid with the bumper sticker."

    Subfinding (a)

    Although the claimed purposes of these action programs were to protect the "national security" and to prevent violence, many of the victims were concededly nonviolent, were not controlled by a foreign power, and posed no threat to the "national security."

    The Bureau conducted five "counterintelligence programs" aimed against domestic groups: the "Communist Party, USA" program (1956-71); the "Socialist Workers Party" program (1961-69); the "White Hate" program (1964-1971); the "Black Nationalist-Hate Group" program (1967-71) ; and the "New Left" program (1968-71).

    While the declared purposes of these programs were to protect the "national security" or prevent violence, Bureau witnesses admit that many of the targets were nonviolent and most had no connections with a foreign power. Indeed, nonviolent organizations and individuals were targeted because the Bureau believed they represented a "potential" for violence — and nonviolent citizens who were against the war in Vietnam were targeted because they gave "aid and comfort" to violent demonstrators by lending respectability to their cause. 11

    The imprecision of the targeting is demonstrated by the inability of the Bureau to define the subjects of the programs. The Black Nationalist program, according to its supervisor, included "a great number of organizations that you might not today characterize as black nationalist but which were in fact primarily black." 12 Thus, the nonviolent Southern Christian Leadership Conference was labeled as a Black Nationalist-"Hate Group."

    Furthermore, the actual targets were chosen from a far broader group than the titles of the programs would imply. The CPUSA program targeted not only Communist Party members but also sponsors of the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee 14 and civil rights leaders allegedly under Communist influence or not deemed to be "anti-Communist". 15 The Socialist Workers Party program included non-SWP sponsors of antiwar demonstrations which were cosponsored by the SWP or the Young Socialist Alliance, its youth group. 16 The Black Nationalist program targeted a range of organizations from the Panthers to SNCC to the peaceful Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and included every Black Student Union and many other black student groups. 17 New Left targets ranged from the SDS 18 to the InterUniversity Committee for Debate on Foreign Policy, 19 from Antioch College ("vanguard of the New Left") 20 to the New Mexico Free University and other "alternate" schools, 21 and from underground newspapers 22 to students protesting university censorship of a student publication by carrying signs with four-letter words on them. 23

    Subfinding (b)

    The acts taken interfered with the First Amendment rights of citizens. They were explicitly intended to deter citizens from joining groups, "neutralize" those who were already members, and prevent or inhibit the expression of ideas.

    In achieving its purported goals Of protecting the national security and preventing violence, the Bureau attempted to deter membership in the target groups. As the supervisor of the "Black Nationalist" COINTELPRO stated, "Obviously, you are going to prevent violence or a greater amount of violence if you have smaller groups. 24 The chief of the COINTELPRO unit agreed: "We also made an effort . . . to deter recruitment where we could. This was done with the view that if we could curb the organization, we could curb the action or the violence within the organization." 25 As noted above, many of the organizations "curbed" were not violent, and covert attacks on group membership contravened the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom to associate.

    Nor was this the only First Amendment right violated by the Bureau. In addition to attempting to prevent people from joining or continuing to be members in target organizations, the Bureau tried to "deter or counteract" what it called "propaganda" 26 — the expression of ideas which it considered dangerous. Thus, the originating document for the "Black Nationalist" COINTELPRO noted that "consideration should be given to techniques to preclude" leaders of the target organizations "from spreading their philosophy publicly or through various mass communication media." 27

    Instructions to "preclude" free speech were not limited to "black nationalists;" they occurred in every program. In the New Left program, for instance, approximately thirty-nine percent of all actions attempted to keep targets from speaking, teaching, writing, or publishing. 28

    The cases included attempts (sometimes successful) to prompt the firing of university and high school teachers; 29 to prevent targets from speaking on campus; 30 to stop chapters of target groups from being formed; 31 to prevent the distribution of books, newspapers, or periodicals; 32 to disrupt or cancel news conferences; 33 to interfere with peaceful demonstrations, including the SCLC’s Poor People’s Campaign and Washington Spring Project and most of the large anti-war marches; 34 and to deny facilities for meetings or conferences. 35

    As the above cases demonstrate, the FBI was not just "chilling" free speech, but squarely attacking it.

    The tactics used against Americans often risked and sometimes caused serious emotional, economic, or physical damage. Actions were taken which were designed to break up marriages, terminate funding or employment, and encourage gang warfare between violent rival groups. Due process of law forbids the use of such covert tactics whether the victims are innocent law-abiding citizens or members of groups suspected of involvement in violence. The former head of the Domestic Intelligence Division described counterintelligence as a "rough, tough, dirty, and dangerous" business. 36 His description was accurate.

    One technique used in COINTELPRO involved sending anonymous letters to spouses intended, in the words of one proposal, to "produce ill-feeling and possibly a lasting distrust" between husband and wife, so that "concern over what to do about it" would distract the target from "time spent in the plots and plans" of the organization. 37 The image of an agent of the United States Government scrawling a poison-pen letter to someone’s wife in language usually reserved for bathroom walls is not a happy one. Nevertheless, anonymous letters were sent to, among others, a Klansman’s wife, informing her that her husband had "taken the flesh of another unto himself," the other person being a woman named Ruby, with her "lust filled eyes and smart aleck figure;" 38 and to a "Black Nationalist’s" wife saying that her husband "been maken it here" with other women in his organization "and than he gives us this jive bout their better in bed then you." 39 A husband who was concerned about his wife’s activities in a biracial group received a letter which started, "Look man I guess your old lady doesn’t get enough at home or she wouldn’t be shucking and jiving with our Black Men" in the group. 40 The Field Office reported as a "tangible result" of this letter that the target and her husband separated. 41

    The Bureau also contacted employers and funding organizations in order to cause the firing of the targets or the termination of their support. 42 For example, priests who allowed their churches to be used for the Black Panther breakfast programs were targeted, and anonymous letters were sent to their bishops; 43 a television commentator who expressed admiration for a Black Nationalist leader and criticized heavy defense spending was transferred after the Bureau contacted his employer; 44 and an employee of the Urban League was fired after the FBI approached a "confidential source" in a foundation which funded the League. 45

    The Bureau also encouraged "gang warfare" between violent groups. An FBI memorandum dated November 25,1968 to certain Field Offices conducting investigations of the Black Panther Party ordered recipient offices to submit "imaginative and hard-hitting counterintelligence measures aimed at crippling the BPP." Proposals were to be received every two weeks. Particular attention was to be given to capitalizing upon differences between the Panthers and US, Inc. (an other "Black Nationalist" group), which had reached such proportions that "it is taking on the aura of gang warfare with attendant threats of murder and reprisals." 45 On May 26,1970, after U.S. organization members had killed four BPP members and members of each organization had been shot and beaten by members of the other, the Field Office reported:

    Information received from local sources indicate[s] that, in general, the membership of the Los Angeles BPP is physically afraid of US members and take premeditated precautions to avoid confrontations.

    In view of their anxieties, it is not presently felt that the Los Angeles BPP can be prompted into what could result in an internecine struggle between the two organizations. . . .

    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. 46 [Emphasis added.]

    A second Field Office noted:

    Shootings, beatings and a high degree of unrest continues to prevail in the ghetto area of Southeast San Diego. Although no specific counterintelligence action can be credited with contributing to this overall situation, it is felt that a substantial amount of the unrest is directly attributable to this program. 47

    In another case, an anonymous letter was sent to the leader of the Blackstone Rangers (a group, according to the Field Offices’ proposal, "to whom violent-type activity, shooting, and the like are second nature") advising him that "the brothers that run the Panthers blame you for blocking their thing and there’s supposed to be a hit out for you." The letter was intended to "intensify the degree of animosity between the two groups" and cause "retaliatory action which could disrupt the BPP or lead to reprisals against its leadership." 48

    Another technique which risked serious harm to the target was falsely labeling a target an informant. This technique was used in all five domestic COINTELPROs. When a member of a nonviolent group was successfully mislabeled as an informant, the result was alienation from the group. 49 When the target belonged to a group known to have killed suspected informants, the risk was substantially more serious. On several occasions, the Bureau used this technique against members of the Black Panther Party; it was used at least twice after FBI documents expressed concern over the possible consequences because two members of the BPP had been murdered as suspected informants. 50

    The Bureau recognized that some techniques used in COINTELPRO were more likely than others to cause serious physical, emotional, or economic damage to the targets. 51 Any proposed use of such techniques — for example, encouraging enmity between violent rival groups, falsely labeling group members as informants, and mailing anonymous letters to targets’ spouses accusing the target of infidelity — was scrutinized carefully by headquarters supervisory personnel, in an attempt to balance the "greater good" to be achieved by the proposal against the known or risked harm to the target. If the "good" was sufficient, the proposal was approved. For instance, in discussing anonymous letters to spouses, the agent who supervised the New Left COINTELPRO stated:

    [Before recommending approval] I would want to know what you want to get out of this, who are these people. If it’s somebody, and say they did split up, what would accrue from it as far as disrupting the New Left is concerned? Say they broke up, what then. . . .

    [The question would be] is it worth it? 52

    Similarly, with regard to causing false suspicions that an individual was an informant, the chief of the Racial Intelligence Section stated:

    You have to be able to make decisions and I am sure that labeling somebody as an informant, that you’d want to make certain that it served a good purpose before you did it and not do it haphazardly…. It is a serious thing … As far as I am aware, in the black extremist area, by using that technique, no one was killed. I am sure of that. 52a

    This official was asked whether the fact that no one was killed was the, result of "luck or planning." He answered: "Oh, it just happened that way, I am sure." 52b

    It is intolerable in a free society that an agency of the Government should adopt such tactics, whether or not the targets are involved in criminal activity. The "greater good" of the country is in fact served by adherence to the rule of law mandated by the Constitution.

    Subfinding (d)

    The sustained use of such tactics by the FBI in an attempt to destroy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., violated the law and fundamental human decency.

    The Committee devoted substantial attention to the FBI’s covert action campaign against Dr. Martin Luther King because it demonstrates just how far the Government could go in a secret war against one citizen. In focusing upon Dr. King, however, it should not be forgotten that the Bureau carried out disruptive activities against hundreds of lesser known American citizens. It should also be borne in mind that positive action on the part of high Government officials outside the FBI might have prevented what occurred in this case. 53

    The FBI’s claimed justification for targeting Dr. King — alleged Communist influence on him and the civil rights movement — is examined elsewhere in this report. 54

    The FBI’s campaign against Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began in December 1963, four months after the famous civil rights March on Washington, 55 when a nine-hour meeting was convened at FBI Headquarters to discuss various "avenues of approach aimed at neutralizing King as an effective Negro leader." 56 Following the meeting, agents in the field were instructed to "continue to gather information concerning King’s personal activities … in order that we may consider using this information at an opportune time in a counterintelligence move to discredit him." 57

    About two weeks after that conference, FBI agents planted a microphone in Dr. King’s bedroom at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. 58 During the next two years, the FBI installed at least fourteen more "bugs" in Dr. King’s hotel rooms across the country. 59 Physical and photographic surveillances accompanied some of the microphone, coverage. 60

    The FBI also scrutinized Dr. King’s tax returns, monitored his financial affairs, and even tried to determine whether he had a secret foreign bank account. 61

    In late 1964, a "sterilized" tape was prepared in a manner that would prevent attribution to the FBI and was "anonymously" mailed to Dr. King just before he received the Nobel Peace Prize. 62 Enclosed in the package with the tape was an unsigned letter which warned Dr. King, "your end is approaching . . . you are finished." The letter intimated that the tape might be publicly released, and closed with the following message:

    King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance). You are done. There is but one way out for you . . . 63

    Dr. King’s associates have said he interpreted the message as an effort to induce him to commit suicide. 64

    At about the same time that it mailed the "sanitized" tape, the FBI was also apparently offering tapes and transcripts to newsmen. 65 Later when civil rights leaders Roy Wilkins and James Farmer went to Washington to persuade Bureau officials to halt the FBI’s discrediting efforts, 66 they were told that "if King want[s] war we [are] prepared to give it to him." 67

    Shortly thereafter, Dr. King went to Europe to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The Bureau tried to undermine ambassadorial receptions in several of the countries he visited 68 and when he returned to the United States, took steps to diminish support for a banquet and a special "day" being planned in his honor. 69

    The Bureau’s actions against Dr. King included attempts to prevent him from meeting with world leaders, receiving honors or favorable publicity, and gaining financial support. When the Bureau learned of a possible meeting between Dr. King and the Pope in August 1964, the FBI asked Cardinal Spellman to try to arrange a cancellation of the audience. 70 Discovering that two schools (Springfield College and Marquette University) were going to honor Dr. King with special degrees in the spring of 1964, Bureau agents tried to convince officials at the schools to rescind their plans. 71 And when the Bureau learned in October 1966 that the Ford Foundation might grant three million dollars to Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, they asked a former FBI agent who was a high official at the Ford Motor Company to try to block the award. 72

    A magazine was asked not to publish favorable articles about him. 73 Religious leaders and institutions were contacted to undermine their support of him. 74 Press conference questions were prepared and distributed to "friendly" journalists. 75 And plans were even discussed for sabotaging his political campaign in the event he decided to run for national office. 76 An SCLC employee was "anonymously" informed that the SCLC was trying to get rid of her "so that the Bureau [would be] in a position to capitalize on [her] bitterness." 78 Bureau officials contacted members of Congress, 79 and special "off the record" testimony was prepared for the Director’s use before the House Appropriations Committee. 80

    The "neutralization" program continued until Dr. King’s death. As late as March 1968, FBI agents were being instructed to neutralize Dr. King because he might become a "messiah" who could "unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement" if he were to "abandon his supposed ‘obedience’ to ‘white liberal doctrines’ (nonviolence) and embrace black nationalism." 81 Steps were taken to subvert the "Poor People’s Campaign" which Dr. King was planning to lead in the spring of 1968. 82 Even after Dr. King’s death, agents in the field were proposing methods for harassing his widow 83 and Bureau officials were trying to prevent his birthday from becoming a national holiday. 84

    The actions taken against Dr. King are indefensible. They represent a sad episode in the dark history of covert actions directed against law abiding citizens by a law enforcement agency.


    1.  Before 1956 the FBI engaged in activities to disrupt and discredit Communists and (before World War II) Fascists, but not as part of a formal program. The Bureau is the only agency which carried on a sustained effort to "neutralize" domestic groups, although other agencies made sporadic attempts to disrupt dissident groups. (See Military Surveillance Report; IRS Report.)

    2.  The Bureau personnel involved in COINTELPRO link the first formal counterintelligence program, against the Communist Party, USA, to the Supreme Court reversal of the Smith Act convictions, which "made it impossible to prosecute Communist Party members at the time". (COINTELPRO unit chief, 10/16/75, p. 14.) It should be noted, however, that the Court’s reversal occurred In 1957, the year after the program was instituted. This belief in the deficiencies of the law was a major factor in the four subsequent programs as well: "The other COINTELPRO programs were opened as the threat arose in areas of extremism and subversion and there were not adequate statutes to proceed against the organization or to prevent their activities." (COINTELPRO Unit Chief, 10/16/75, p. 15.)

    3.  For further information on the termination of each of the programs, see The Accountability and Control Findings, p. 265 and the detailed reports on the Black Panther Party and COINTELPRO.

    Although the programs have been formally terminated, Bureau witnesses agree that there is a "grey area" between "counter-intelligence" and investigative activities which are inherently disruptive. These investigative activities, continue. (See COINTELPRO Report: "Command and Control — The Problems of Oversight.")

    4.  Information gained from electronic surveillance, informant coverage, burglaries, and confidential financial records was used in COINTELPRO. p. 275.)

    5.  Moore, 11/3/75, p. 83.

    6.  Field offices were instructed that no one outside the Bureau was to know that COINTELPRO existed, although certain persons in the executive branch and in Congress were told about — and did not object to — efforts to disrupt the CPUSA and the Klan. However, no one was told about the other COINTELPRO programs, or about the more dangerous and degrading techniques employed. (See p. 275.)

    7.  As the Chief of the Racial Intelligence Section put it:

    "You can trace [the origins of COINTELPRO] up and back to foreign intelligence, particularly penetration of the group by the individual informant. Before you can engage in counterintelligence you must have intelligence. . . . If you have good intelligence and know what it’s going to do, you can seed distrust, sow misinformation. The same technique is used, misinformation, disruption, is used in the domestic groups, although in the domestic groups you are dealing in ’67 and ’68 with many, many more across the country … than you had ever dealt with as far as your foreign groups." (Moore, 11/3/75, pp. 32-33.)

    Former Assistant Director William C. Sullivan also testified that the "rough, tough, dirty business" of foreign counterintelligence was "brought home against any organization against which we were targeted. We did not differentiate." (Sullivan, 11/1/75, pp. 97-98.)

    8.  For example, parents and spouse, of targets received letters containing accusations of immoral conduct by the target. (Memorandum from St. Louis Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/30/70; memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Minneapolis Field Office, 11/4/68.)

    9.  Huston, 9/23/75, Hearings, Vol. 2, p. 45.

    10.  Moore, 11/8/75, p. 37.

    11.  New Left supervisor, 10/28/75, p. 69.

    12.  Black Nationalist Supervisor, 10/17/75, p. 12.

    13.  omitted in original.

    14.  For example, the entire Unitarian Society of Cleveland was targeted because the minister and some members circulated a petition calling for the abolition of HUAC, and because the Church gave office space to the "Citizens for Constitutional Rights". (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Cleveland Field Office, 11/6/64.)

    15.  See Finding on "Overbreadth" p. 181.

    16.  For instance, the Bureau targeted two non-member students who participated in an anti-war "hunger strike" at Oberlin, which was "guided and directed" by the Young Socialists Alliance. The students’ parents received anonymous letters, purportedly from a friend of their sons. One letter expressed concern that a group of "left wing students" were "cynically using" the boy, which would lead to "injury" to his health and "damage to his academic standing". The other letter also stated that it was motivated by concern for "damage" to the student’s "health and personal future" and "the belief that you may not be aware of John’s current involvement in left-wing activities." (Memorandum from FBI headquarters to Cleveland Field Office, 11/29/68.)

    17.  One proposal sought to expose Black Student Union Chapters as "breeding grounds for racial militancy" by an anonymous mailing to "all institutions where there are BSU chapters or incipient chapters". (Memorandum from Portland Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/3/68.)

    18.  For example Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Antonio Field Office, 10/31/68.

    19.  An anonymous letter was sent to "influential" Michigan political figures, the mass media, University of Michigan administrators, and the Board of Regents, in an attempt to "discredit and neutralize" the "communist activities" of the IUCDFP. The letter decried the "undue publicity" given anti-war protest activities which "undoubtedly give ‘aid and comfort’ to the enemy" and encourage the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese in "refusing to come to the bargaining table". The letter continued, "I wonder if the strategy is to bleed the United States white by prolonging the war in Vietnam and pave the way for a takeover by Russia?" (Memorandum from Detroit Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/11/66; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters, to Detroit Field Office 10/26/66.)

    20.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Cincinnati Field Office, 6/18/68.

    21.  The New Mexico Free University was targeted because it taught such courses as "confrontation politics" and "draft counselling". (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Albuquerque Field Office, 3/19/69.) In another case, an "alternate" school for students "aged five and beyond", which was co-sponsored by the ACLU, was targeted because "from the staff being assembled, it appears that the school will be a New Left venture and of a radical revolutionary nature". The Bureau contacted a confidential source in the bank financing the school so that he could "take steps to discourage its developments". (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Antonio Field Office, 7/23/69.

    22.  See e.g., Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Pittsburgh Field Office, 11/14/69.

    23.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Minneapolis Field Office, 11/4/68.

    24.  Black Nationalist supervisor, 10/17/75, p. 24.

    25.  COINTELPRO unit chief, 10/12/75, p. 54.

    26.  COINTELPRO unit chief, 10/12/75, P. 54.

    27.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to all SAC’s, 8/25/67.

    28.  The FBI was not the only intelligence agency to attempt to prevent the propagation of ideas with which it disagreed, but it was the only one to do so in any organized way. The IRS responded to Congressional and Administration pressure by targeting political organizations and dissidents for audit. The CIA Improperly obtained the tax returns of Ramparts magazine after it learned that the magazine intended to publish an article revealing Agency support of the National Student Association. The CIA saw the article as "an attack on CIA in particular and the Administration in general." (CIA memorandum re: "IRS Briefing on Ramparts," 2/2/67.)

    29.  For instance, a high school English teacher was targeted for inviting two poets to attend a class at his school. The poets were noted for their efforts in the draft resistance movement. The Bureau sent anonymous letters to two local newspapers, the Board of Education, and the school board. (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Pittsburgh Field Office, 6/19/69.)

    30.  In one case, the Bureau attempted to stop a "Communist" speaker from appearing on campus. The sponsoring organization went to court and won an order permitting the lecture to proceed as scheduled; the Bureau then investigated the judge who issued the order. (Memorandum from Detroit Field Office to FBI Headquarters. 10/26/60; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Detroit Field Office, 10/27/60, 10/28/, 10/31/60; Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to A. H. Belmont, 10/26/60.)

    31.  The Bureau tried on several occasions to prevent the formation of campus chapters of SDS and the Young Socialist Alliance. (See, e.g., Memorandum from San Antonio Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/1/69; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Antonio Field Office, 5/1/69.)

    32.  For example, an anonymous letter to a state legislator protested the distribution on campus of an underground newspaper’s "depravity", (Memorandum from Newark Meld Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/23/69; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Newark Field Office, 6/4/69) and the Bureau anonymously contacted the landlady of premises rented by two "New Left" newspapers in an attempt to have them evicted. (Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/9/68; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Los Angeles Field Office, 9/23/68.)

    33.   For example, a confidential source in a radio station was contacted In two successful attempts to cancel news conferences. (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Cleveland Field Office, 10/1/65; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Cleveland Field Office 10/4/65; Memorandum from Boston Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/5/64; Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 6/25/64.)

    34.  For instance, the Bureau used the standard counterespionage technique of "disinformation" against demonstrators. In one case, the Chicago Field Office duplicated blank forms soliciting housing for demonstrators coming to Chicago for the Democratic National Convention, filled them out with fictitious names and addresses and sent them to the organizers. Demonstrators reportedly made "long and useless journeys to locate these addresses." (Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters. 9/9/68.) The same program was carried out by the Washington Field Office when housing forms were distributed for demonstrators coming to the 1969 Presidential inaugural ceremonies. (Memorandum from ]FBI Headquarters to Washington Field Office. 1/10/69.) Army Intelligence agents occasionally took similar, but wholly unauthorized action, see Military Surveillance Report: Section Ill: "Domestic Radio Monitoring by ASA: 1967-1970."

    35.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Diego field office, 9/11/69.

    36.  Sullivan, 11/1/75, pp. 97-98.

    37.  Memorandum from St. Louis Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/14/69.

    38.  Memorandum from Richmond Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 8/26/66.

    39.  The wife who received this letter was described in the Field Office proposal as "faithful . . . an intelligent respectable young mother who is active in the AME Methodist Church." (Memorandum from St. Louis Meld Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/14/69.)

    40.  Memorandum from St. Louis Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/30/70.

    41.  Memorandum from St. Louis Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/19/70.

    42.  When the targets were teachers, the intent was to prevent the propagation of ideas. In the case of other employer contacts, the purpose was to stop a source of funds.

    43.  Memorandum from New Haven Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 11/12/69; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Diego Field Office, 9/9/69.

    44.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Cincinnati Field Office, 3/28/69.

    45.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Pittsburgh Field Office, 3/3/69.

    45a.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Baltimore Field Office, 11/25/68.

    46.  Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI headquarters, 5/26/70, pp. 1-2.

    47.  Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI headquarters, 9/15/69.

    48.  Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI headquarters, 1/12/69; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Chicago Field Office, 1/30/69.

    49.  See, e.g., Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 4/30/69.

    50.  One proposal to label a BPP member a "pig informer" was rejected because the Panthers had recently murdered two suspected informers. The victims had not been targets of a Bureau effort to label them informants. (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Cincinnati Field Office, 2/18/71.) Nevertheless, two similar proposals were implemented a month later, (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Washington Field Office, 3/19/71; Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Charlotte Field Office, 3/31/71.)

    51.  At least four assaults — two of them on women — were reported as "results" of Bureau actions, (See COINTELPRO Report, Section IV: Wartimes Technique Brought Home.)

    52.  New Left supervisor 10/28/75, pp. 72, 74.

    52a. Moore, 11/3/75, p. 62.

    52b.  Moore, 11/3/75, p. 64.

    53.  See pp. 275-277 and 205-206 of this Report for a detailed discussion of which officials were aware or should have been aware of what the Bureau was doing to Dr. King and how their action or inaction might have contributed to what went on.

    54.  See Martin Luther King Report, Section III, "Concern in the FBI and the Kennedy Administration Over Allegations of Communist Influence in the Civil Rights Movement Increases, and the FBI Intensifies the Investigation: October 1962-October 1963." See generally, Finding on Overbreadth, p. 175.

    55.  The August 1963 march on Washington was the occasion of Dr. Kings "I Have a Dream" speech, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. (See memorandum from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 8/30/63, characterizing the speech as "demagogic".)

    56.  Memorandum from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 12/24/63. Although FBI officials were making derogatory references to Dr. King and passing personal information about Dr. King to their superiors. (Memorandum from Hoover to Deputy Attorney General Katzenbach, 8/13/63.) Prior to December 1963, the Committee had discovered no document reflecting a strategy to deliberately discredit him prior to the memorandum relating to the December 1963 meeting.

    57.  Memorandum from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 12/24/63.

    58.  The microphone was installed on January 5, 1964 (Memorandum from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 1/6/64.), just days after Dr. King’s picture appeared on the cover of Time magazine as "Man of the Year." (Time Magazine, January 3, 1964.) Reading of the Time magazine award, the Director had written, "They had to dig deep in the garbage to come up with this one." (Note on UP release, 12/29/63.)

    59.  FBI memoranda make clear that microphones were one of the techniques being used in the effort to obtain Information about Dr. King’s private life. (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan 1/28/64.) The microphones were installed at the following places: Washington: Willard Hotel (Jan. 1964) ; Milwaukee: Shroeder Hotel (Jan. 1964) ; Honolulu: Hilton Hawaiian Village (Feb. 1964) ; Detroit: Statler Hotel (March 1964) ; Sacramento: Senator Motel (Apr. 1964) ; New York City: Park Sheraton Hotel (Jan. 1965), Americana Hotel (Jan. and Nov. 1965), Sheraton Atlantic Hotel (May 1965), Astor Hotel (Oct. 1965), New York Hilton Hotel (Oct. 1965).

    60.  FBI summary memorandum, 10/3/75; memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 3/26/64; memorandum from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 2/22/64; and unsigned memorandum, 2/28/64.

    61.  Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 3/27/64; memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/2/64; memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William Sullivan, 7/14/65.

    62.  Sullivan 11/1/75, pp. 104-105, staff summary of a special agent interview, 7/25/75. Three days before the tape was mailed, Director Hoover had publicly branded Dr. King "the most notorious liar in the country" and Dr. King had responded with a criticism of the Bureau. (Memorandum from Cartha DeLoach to John Mohr, 11/18/64; telegram from Martin Luther King to J. Edgar Hoover 11/19/64.)

    63.  This paragraph appears in a document in the form of a letter which the FBI has supplied to the Committee and which the Bureau maintains was discovered in the files of former Assistant Director Sullivan. (FBI memorandum to the Select Committee, 9/18/75.) Sullivan stated that he did not recall the letter and suggested that it may have been "planted" in his files by his former colleagues. (Sullivan 11/1/75, p. 104.) Congressman Andrew Young has informed the Committee that an identical paragraph was contained in the letter which was actually received by Dr. King with the tape, and that the letter the committee had, supplied by the Bureau, appears to be an "early draft." (Young, 2/19/76, P. 36.)

    Sullivan said that the purpose of sending the tape was "to blackmail King into silence . . . to stop him from criticising Hoover; . . . to diminish his stature. In other words, if it caused a break between Coretta and Martin Luther King, that would diminish his stature. It would weaken him as a leader." (Sullivan, 11/1/75, 11/26/75, p. 152.)

    64.  Young, 2/19/76, p. 37, Time magazine had reported earlier in the year that Dr. King had attempted suicide twice as a child. [Time magazine, Jan. 4, 1964.]

    65.  Several newsmen have informed the Committee that they were offered this kind of material or that they were aware that such material was available. Some have refused to Identify the individuals who made the offers and others have said they could not recall their identities. Former FBI officials have denied that tapes or transcripts were offered to the press (e.g., DeLoach testimony, 11/26/75, p. 152) and the Bureau maintains that their files contain no documents reflecting that this occurred.

    66.  Staff interviews of Roy Wilkins, 11/23/75, and James Farmer, 11/13/75.

    67.  Memorandum from Cartha DeLoach to John Mohr, 11/27/64; staff interview of James Farmer, 11/13/75. Three days after Wilkins’ meeting with DeLoach, Dr. King asked to see the Director, telling the press "the time has come to bring this controversy to an end." (UPI release, 12/1/64) Dr. King and Hoover met the following day; the meeting was described as "amicable." (Memoranda from Cartha DeLoach to John Mohr, 12/1/64 and 12/2/64.) Despite the "amicable" meeting, the Bureau’s campaign against Dr. King continued.

    68.  Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 11/30/64; memorandum from Legat to FBI Headquarters, 12/10/64. Steps were also taken to thwart a meeting which Dr. King was planning to have with a foreign leader during this same trip (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 11/10/64; memorandum, from FBI Headquarters to Legat, 11/10/64), and to influence a pending USIA decision to send Dr. King on a ten-day lecture trip in Africa after receiving the Nobel Prize. (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 11/12/64.)

    69.  The Bureau was in touch with Atlanta Constitution publisher Ralph McGill, and tried to obtain the assistance of the Constitution’s editor, Eugene Patterson, to undermine the banquet. (Memorandum from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 12/21/64; staff summary of Eugene Patterson interview, 4/30/75.) A governor’s assistance was sought in the effort to "water down" the "King day." (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 3/2/65.)

    70.  The Bureau had decided it would be "astounding" for Dr. King to have an audience with the Pope and that plans for any such meeting should be "nipped In the bud." (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 8/31/64.) When the Bureau failed to block the meeting and the press reported that the audience was about to occur, the Director noted that this was "astounding." (FBI Director’s notation on UPI release, 9/18/64). FBI officials took immediate steps to determine "if there could possibly have been a slip-up” (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 9/17/64.)

    71.  The Bureau had decided that it would be "shocking indeed that the possibility exists that King may receive an Honorary Degree from the same Institution (Marquette) which honored the Director with such a Degree in 1950." With respect to Springfield College, where the Director had also been offered an honorary degree, the Bureau’s decision about whom to contact included the observation that "it would not appear to be prudent to attempt to deal with" the President of the college because he "is very close to Sargent Shriver." (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 3/4/64; and 4/2/64; memorandum from Cartha DeLoach to John Mohr, 4/8/64.)

    72.  Memorandum from Cartha DeLoach to Clyde Tolson, 10/25/66 and 10/26/66. At about the same time, the Bureau leaked a story to the press about Dr. King’s intention to seek financial assistance from Teamsters Union President James R. Hoffa because "[d]isclosure would be mutually embarrassing to both men and probably cause King’s quest for badly needed funds to fail in this instance” (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 10/28/66.)

    The Bureau also tried to block the National Science Foundation (NSF) from dealing with the SCLC. "It is incredible that an outfit such as the SCLC should be utilized for the purpose of recruiting Negroes to take part In the NSF program, particularly where funds of the U.S. Government are involved." (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 12/17/64.)

    73.  Memorandum from Special Agent to Cartha DeLoach, 11/3/64.

    74.  "It is shocking Indeed that King continues to be honored by religious groups." (Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 2/1/65.) Contacts were made with representatives of the National Council of Churches of Christ, the Baptist World Alliance, the American Church in Paris, and Catholic Church, (Memoranda from William C. Sullivan to Alan Belmont, 6/12/64, 12/15/64 and 2/16/64; memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 2/18/66; memorandum from Chicago Meld Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/24/66, and memorandum from Legat, Paris, to FBI Headquarters, 4/14/66 and 5/9/66.) The Director did disapprove a suggestion that religious leaders be permitted "to listen to sources we have" (FBI Director’s note on memorandum from Jones to Thomas Bishop, 12/8/64.)

    75.  Memorandum from Charles Brennan to William C. Sullivan, 3/8/67. The Bureau also disseminated to "friendly media sources" a newspaper article which was critical of Dr. King’s position on the Vietnam war. The stated purposes were to "publicize King as a traitor to his country and his race," and to "reduce his income," (memorandum from George C. Moore to William C. Sullivan, 10/18/67.) "Background information" was also given to at least one wire service (memorandum from Sizoo to William C. Sullivan, 5/24/65).

    76.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to New York Field Office 5/18/67. There had been rumors about a "peace ticket" headed by Dr. King and Benjamin Spock.

    77.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to New York Field Office, 4/13/64; memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 4/2/64.

    78.  Memorandum from Cartha DeLoach to John Mohr, 8/14/65; memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 1/10/67.

    ‘Memorandum from F. J. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan, 1/22/64; memorandum from Nicholas Callahan to John Mohr, 1/31/64. On one occasion the testimony leaked to other members of Congress, prompting the Director to note, "Someone on Rooney’s Committee certainly betrayed the secrecy of the ‘off the record’ testimony I gave re: King." (Director’s note on memorandum from Cartha DeLoach to John Mohr, 3/16/64.)

    81.  Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to all SACs, 3/4/68.

    82.  Memorandum from George C. Moore to William C. Sullivan, 3/26/68.

    83.  Memorandum from Atlanta Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/18/69.

    84.  Memoranda: From George C. Moore to William C. Sullivan, 1/17/69; and from Jones to Thomas Bishop, 3/18/69. Steps were even taken to prevent the issuance of "commemorative medals." (Memorandum from Jones to Thomas Bishop, 5/22/68.)

    Informants and agents provocateurs

    Official Misconduct in Indian Country:

    The U.S. Department of Justice



    Most if not all of the tactics identified in exhibit 2 were used against the American Indian Movement in the 1970s.  With AIM, however, the tactics used took unique twists & turns.

    Malicious or Vindictive Prosecution

    Records show that activists in the 1960s & 1970s were repeatedly arrested “on any excuse” until “they could no longer make bail”. 

    In the case of AIM, however, virtually every known AIM leader in the United States was incarcerated in either state or federal prisons since (or even before) the organization’s formal emergence in 1968, some repeatedly.  Organization members often languished in jail for months as the cumulative bail required to free them outstripped resource capabilities of AIM & supporting groups.

    After the 1973 siege of Wounded Knee in South Dakota (Part 2), the FBI caused 542 separate charges to be filed against anyone thought connected with the Wounded Knee occupation.  This resulted in only 15 convictions.  Most charges were dismissed because of court rulings that the U.S. military was illegally used to suppress the occupation. Organization members were tied up in criminal prosecutions that were intended to destroy the Movement. This in part caused Amnesty International to call for investigations into the use of the criminal justice system by the FBI for political purposes.


    The most pervasive surveillance technique traditionally used by the FBI is the informant.  

    In a random sample of domestic intelligence cases in 1976, as reported to the Church Committee, 83 percent involved the use of informants.  Informants often were used against peaceful, law-abiding groups; they collected information about personal & political views & activities.  Not surprisingly, the FBI also used informants in their domestic intelligence operation against the American Indian Movement.

    However, as revealed by the Church Committee & subsequent congressional inquiries, there were concerns about the conduct of informants & their FBI handlers.

    FBI informants, often quite violent & emotionally disturbed individuals, were used to present false testimony to the courts & frame COINTELPRO targets for crimes the FBI knew they did not commit.  In some cases the charges were quite serious, including murder.

    In addition, to maintain their credentials in violence-prone groups, some informants involved themselves in violent activity.  This phenomenon is well illustrated by informants in the Ku Klux Klan.  One such informant was present at the murder of a civil rights worker in Mississippi & subsequently helped to solve the crime & convict the perpetrators. Earlier, however, while performing duties paid for by the FBI, he had previously “beaten people severely, had boarded buses & kicked people, had [gone] into restaurants & beaten them [blacks] with blackjacks, chains, [and] pistols”.  Although the FBI requires agents to instruct informants that they cannot be involved in violence, it was understood that in the Klan, “he couldn’t be an angel & be a good informant”.

    This misuse of informants wasn’t limited to the FBI?s investigations & surveillance of political dissidents, however.  For example, in November 20, 2003, a congressional report issued by the House Committee on Government Reform detailed misconduct by agents of the FBI & their supervisors (right up to former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover), in the 1965 murder of Edward “Teddy” Deegan.  Evidence had emerged that showed that the FBI cultivated a Mafia hit man as a star informant & government witness, & then silently watched as he falsely accused four innocent men of the Deegan murder.  Internal FBI documents showed that agents & their supervisors knew the identities of the real killers.  Not only did the FBI & federal prosecutors fail to prevent the wrongful conviction of the four innocent men, but they also took “affirmative steps” to make sure that they “would not obtain post-conviction relief & that they would die in prison”.  As a result, murderous government informants were protected over a 38-year period and, tragically, two innocent men died in prison.  When asked by the congressional committee how he felt about the wrongful imprisonment of one of the four men, i.e., Joseph Salvati, for more than 30 years, retired FBI agent H. Paul Rico replied, “What do you want?  Tears?”

    The Agent Provocateur

    As with many dissident groups, the FBI relied on the use of informants to “neutralize” AIM, but also used a different type of informant, the agent provocateur, to cause disruption within the organization & by so doing render it ineffective.

    These informants played a wider & more insidious role within organizations the Bureau investigated.  At the direction of FBI handlers, agent provocateurs raised controversial issues at meetings to take advantage of ideological divisions; promoted enmity with other groups; or incited the group to violent acts, even to the point of providing them with weapons.  More importantly, over the years, this type of informant repeatedly urged & initiated violent acts such as forceful disruptions of meetings & demonstrations, attacks on police, bombings, etc.


    Douglass Durham ? who showed up at the siege of Wounded Knee in 1973 (see page 11) claiming he was of Indian descent (one-quarter Chippewa) & carrying press credentials from a leftist newspaper ? was one such agent provocateur. 

    Durham was immediately suspected by many AIM members of being an informant.  This was largely a matter of style, but also because he had what was considered unusual contacts & methods.  He also was familiar with airplanes & electronics, as well as firearms & cameras. 

    However, Durham proved useful & even invaluable on a number of occasions to AIM co-founder Dennis Banks who came to rely on Durham’s resourcefulness.  Durham then was able to isolate Banks from the rest of the AIM members & slowly interject himself to the activities of & policy decisions made by AIM.

    Durham often encouraged rash & inflammatory acts that might have destroyed AIM.  Failing this, given the opportunity, Durham created what bad press that he could for AIM, & also disrupted fundraising efforts.

    As AIM?s first security director & the coordinator of the WKLDOC (Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee, see Part 2) office during the trial of Dennis Banks & Russell Means for charges stemming from the Wounded Knee takeover, Durham had been the only person besides the defendants & their lawyers who was privy to stratagems of the defense ? information that made its way into the hands of government prosecutors.  It is believed that the FBI, in appreciation, raised Durham’s salary from $900 to $1,100 a month; this money was in addition to the $100,000 that AIM people estimate he stole from the Movement while in charge of all incoming contributions. 

    As it happened, rampant FBI & prosecutorial misconduct led not to a mistrial in the Banks-Means case, but to Judge Nichols? dismissal of all remaining charges against the defendants.  The judge chastised the prosecutor for over an hour, & voiced his bitter disappointment at the behavior of FBI agents.

    During the Banks-Means trial, federal prosecutors & FBI agents had steadfastly denied the presence of an informant.  In late 1974, however, irrefutable evidence (a report signed by Durham related to another WKLDOC case) was discovered by one of the WKLDOC attorneys. 

    In 2003, attorneys for Leonard Peltier discovered ? amongst documents withheld by the FBI for 26 years ? evidence that, despite Durham’s presence, the FBI in fact had another informant (as yet unidentified) who was a member of the actual WKLDOC legal team.

    AIM leaders watched Durham very carefully during the next several months, even following him to a FBI debriefing in Miami during December 1974.

    In March 1975, AIM leaders confronted Durham who eventually admitted to working for the FBI.  He was then publicly exposed as an FBI informant by the AIM leadership at a press conference on March 12, 1975.

    Durham had a history of being a blackmailer, thief, & cheat.  A former police officer in Iowa, Durham had been dismissed from the force when a police psychiatrist diagnosed him as a “paranoid schizoid” personality with “violent tendencies” & termed him “unfit for employment involving the public trust” after the unexplained death of his first wife, in 1964.  Durham also had been the major culprit in a police corruption scandal in 1972, according to the findings of a Des Moines grand jury.

    Durham’s public exposure as an agent provocateur attracted the attention of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, headed by Senator Frank Church.  The Church Committee staff questioned Durham on May 2, 1975.  Durham was then subpoenaed to appear before the full committee, but he never did so.  Events during the summer of 1975 suddenly ended the Committee’s investigation of COINTELPRO & AIM.

    “Snitch Jacketing”

    Another COINTELPRO tactic was “snitch jacketing” where the FBI intentionally made the target look like a police officer, federal agent, or an informer.  This served the dual purposes of isolating & alienating important leaders, often, as well as increasing the general level of fear & factionalism in the group.  “When a member of a nonviolent group was successfully mislabeled as an informant, the result was alienation from the group.  When the target belonged to a group known to have killed suspected informants, the risk was substantially more serious.  On several occasions, the Bureau used this technique against members of the Black Panther Party (BPP); it was used at least twice after FBI documents expressed concern over the possible consequences because two members of the BPP had been murdered as suspected informants.”

    Effects of COINTELPRO Tactics

    Any one of these three approaches (standard informant, agent provocateur, or “snitch jacketing”) alone might have been effective in “neutralizing” AIM.  But the concurrent use of these COINTELPRO tactics had a particularly deleterious effect on the Movement. 

    External oppression, i.e., the unjust exercise of authority & power by one group over another, was (and some would argue, still is) a fact of life for American Indians.  The belief systems, values & life ways of the dominant U.S. population were imposed on Native Americans daily over the course of their lifetimes, generation after generation.  In psychological terms, over time, external oppression became “internalized oppression” when the Indigenous people came to believe & act as if the dominant culture’s beliefs, values, & way of life were reality.  “Internalized oppression” ? or “internalized racism” (also known as “self-hatred”) ? resulted in shame & the disowning of individual & cultural reality.  

    Despite the cultural reawakening that AIM represented to Native peoples in the U.S. during the 1970s, on an individual level, “internalized oppression” meant that the government often had to exert only minimal pressure to achieve the desired effect.  The FBI discovered that Native Americans would readily destroy themselves & each other.  Why?  Divide & conquer worked.  The FBI understood this all too well. 

    “Snitch jacketing” was a particularly effective device when combined with “internalized oppression” & produced severe paranoia among some AIM members.  The discovery of FBI operatives, informants, & agent provocateurs in their midst intensified that fear.  This fear led to tragic events that all but destroyed the American Indian Movement.  The impact of such events is still felt today.


    Official Misconduct in Indian Country

    Official Misconduct in Indian Country:

    The U.S. Department of Justice



    In recent years, throughout the entire United States, miscarriages of justice have been uncovered at an alarming rate.  Many wrongful convictions are the result of simple human error.  However, many instances of official misconduct also have come to light with respect to wrongful convictions (exhibit 1, parts A & B).

    Law enforcement personnel are most often the first to investigate crimes.  Through the use of improper techniques, coercive tactics, poor investigation, & sometimes fabrication of evidence, police officers & federal agents can & do contribute to the incidence of wrongful conviction.

    Forensic laboratories play an integral role in developing cases for prosecution & also have been shown to engage in misconduct.  State laboratories across the nation have come under scrutiny for poor scientific techniques & handling of evidence, providing misleading data to juries or skewing data to support prosecution claims, or providing completely false testimony & fabricated evidence. 


    Overzealous & untruthful prosecutors also have caused wrongful convictions. 


    While the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is generally assumed to be the model for Americ criminal justice systems, the Department is not immune to such official misconduct.  It has its own problems ? also at all levels.


    Given the incidence & prevalence of such official misconduct, it can no longer be argued that these are isolated occurrences perpetrated by misguided individuals.  Instead, in many instances, the clusters of occurrences indicate the presence of a systemic problem at the DOJ ? top-down & widespread.


    In the case of the DOJ, the misconduct exhibited today often has its roots in attitudes that emerged between 1956 & the mid-1970s, when formal covert operations were used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  Such operations were investigated by the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, known as the "Church Committee" (named after its chairman Frank Church), during the post-Watergate period.

    Beginning in January 1975, the Church Committee took public & private testimony from hundreds of people, collected huge volumes of files from the FBI & many other federal agencies, & issued 14 reports. 


    Since the passage of the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act in 1992, over 50,000 pages of Church Committee records have been declassified & made available to the public.  These files contain testimony & information on the FBI?s counter-intelligence programs & related topics.


    As discovered by the Church Committee & reported in 1976, the goals of the COunter INTELligence PROgrams of the period from 1956 to the mid-1970s were to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" those persons or organizations that the FBI decided were "enemies of the State".  


    The COINTELPROs were designed to "disrupt" groups & "neutralize" individuals deemed to be threats to domestic security.  The law ? in particular, the U.S. Constitution ? was simply ignored.  There was a general attitude that intelligence needs were responsive to a higher law.  "Whatever opinion one holds about the policies of the targeted groups, many of the tactics employed by the FBI were indisputably degrading to a free society."


    Sometimes the harm caused by intelligence operations was readily apparent ? destruction of marriages, alienation from friends, or the loss of jobs.  Sometimes the attitudes of the public & of government officials responsible for formulating policy & resolving vital issues were influenced by distorted intelligence.  But the most basic harm was to the values of privacy & freedom which the Constitution seeks to protect & which intelligence activity infringed upon on a broad scale.


    The most notable exclusion from the list of dissident groups targeted by the FBI & investigated by the Church Committee was the the American Indian Movement (AIM) ? an Indigenous rights group founded in 1968 & committed to uniting all Native Peoples in an effort to uplift their communities, promote cultural pride, & ensure tribal sovereignty.  Nearly three decades later, the work first undertaken by the Church Committee can be complete only if a full investigation of the intelligence operation launched by the FBI against AIM is conducted, as the Committee had intended to do in 1975.


    To make a start, a case study of the FBI?s activities vis-

    Examples of Official Misconduct

    Official Misconduct in Indian Country:

    The U.S. Department of Justice

    EXHIBIT 1A: 

    Examples of Official Misconduct

    at the State & Local Levels

    • Since the late 1990s, the Innocence Project (founded by Barry Scheck & Peter Neufeld) has been responsible for over 100 exonerations using DNA evidence.  Many of the convictions had occurred before DNA techniques became available.  However, alarmingly, the Innocence Project has reported that over half of its first 70 exonerations also had involved police misconduct & nearly 50 percent of them had involved prosecutorial misconduct.

    • However, most occurrences of wrongful conviction do not involve DNA evidence.  According to a recent study by the Center for Public Integrity, since 1970, individual judges & appellate court panels cited prosecutorial misconduct as a factor when dismissing charges, reversing convictions or reducing sentences in over 2,000 cases.  In another 500 cases, appellate judges offered opinions ? either dissents or concurrences ? in which they found misconduct warranted a reversal.  In thousands more cases, judges labeled prosecutorial behavior inappropriate, but upheld convictions using a doctrine called "harmless error".  The nature of the questionable conduct includes:  courtroom misconduct; mishandling of physical evidence (hiding, destroying or tampering with evidence, case files or court records); failing to disclose exculpatory evidence; threatening, badgering or tampering with witnesses; & using false or misleading evidence.

    • In January 1999, the Chicago Tribune published a five-part series of articles that found, in the paper’s own words, "nearly 400 cases where prosecutors obtained homicide convictions by committing the most unforgivable kinds of deception.  They hid evidence that could have set defendants free.  They allowed witnesses to lie.  All in defiance of the law.  Prosecutors swear to seek the truth but instead many pursue convictions at any cost. The premium is on winning, not justice."  The series, reported & written by Maurice Possley & Ken Armstrong, documented 381 cases, going back to 1963, in which courts reversed murder convictions because prosecutors presented evidence they apparently knew to be false, or concealed evidence suggesting innocence, or both.

    • Then, in November 1999, the Tribune published another in-depth series by Armstrong & reporter Steve Mills that examined murder cases in which Illinois prosecutors, mostly in Cook County (Chicago), had charged a defendant with a capital crime & asked for the death penalty.  The journalists identified 326 reversals attributed in whole or part to the misconduct of the prosecutors.  As in the first series, the reporters named names ” of prosecutors, forensic scientists, & others within the criminal justice system.  They wrote about how prosecutors used confessions extracted through police torture, used perjured testimony of jailhouse informants seeking rewards, or used unreliable analyses from law enforcement forensic laboratories.  In addition to changing perceptions, these reporters & their editors changed public policy.  Most notably, in 2003, Illinois Governor George Ryan took the unprecedented action of commuting the sentences of everyone on death row to life imprisonment.