COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveiling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations.
COINTELPRO tactics included discrediting targets through psychological warfare; smearing individuals and groups using forged documents and by planting false reports in the media; harassment; wrongful imprisonment; and illegal violence, including assassination. Covert operations under COINTELPRO took place between 1956 and 1971; however, the FBI has used covert operations against domestic political groups since its inception. The FBI's stated motivation at the time was "protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order."
FBI records show that 85% of COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed "subversive," including communist and socialist organizations; organizations and individuals associated with the civil rights movement, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Congress of Racial Equality and other civil rights organizations; black nationalist groups; the American Indian Movement; a broad range of organizations labeled "New Left", including Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen; almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, as well as individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation; the National Lawyers Guild; organizations and individuals associated with the women's rights movement; nationalist groups such as those seeking independence for Puerto Rico, United Ireland, and Cuban exile movements including Orlando Bosch Wp→'s Cuban Power and the Cuban Nationalist Movement; and additional notable Americans, such as Albert Einstein (who was a member of several civil rights groups). The remaining 15% of COINTELPRO resources were expended to marginalize and subvert "white hate groups," including the Ku Klux Klan and the National States' Rights Party.
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives governing COINTELPRO, ordering FBI agents to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" the activities of these movements and their leaders.
- 1 History
- 2 Intended effects
- 3 Range of targets
- 4 Methods
- 5 Illegal surveillance
- 6 Post-COINTELPRO operations
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
COINTELPRO began in 1956 and was designed to "increase factionalism, cause disruption and win defections" inside the Communist Party U.S.A. (CPUSA). However, the program was soon enlarged to include disruption of the Socialist Workers Party (1961), the Ku Klux Klan (1964), the Nation of Islam, the Black Panther Party (1967), and the entire New Left social/political movement, which included antiwar, community, and religious groups (1968). A later investigation by the Senate's Church Committee (see below) stated that "COINTELPRO began in 1956, in part because of frustration with Supreme Court rulings limiting the Government's power to proceed overtly against dissident groups..." Congress and several court cases later (Date needed)concluded that the COINTELPRO operations against communist and socialist groups exceeded statutory limits on FBI activity and violated constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and association.
The program was successfully kept secret until 1971, when the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI burglarized an FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania, took several dossiers, and exposed the program by passing this information to news agencies. Many news organizations initially refused to publish the information. Within the year, Director Hoover declared that the centralized COINTELPRO was over, and that all future counterintelligence operations would be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Further documents were revealed in the course of separate lawsuits filed against the FBI by NBC correspondent Carl Stern, the Socialist Workers Party, and a number of other groups. A major investigation was launched in 1976 by the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities of the United States Senate, commonly referred to as the "Church Committee" for its chairman, Senator Frank Church of Idaho. However, millions of pages of documents remain unreleased, and many released documents have been partly, or entirely, redacted.
In the Final Report of the Select Committee, COINTELPRO was castigated in no uncertain terms:
- Many of the techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all of the targets had been involved in violent activity, but COINTELPRO went far beyond that...the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propagation of dangerous ideas would protect the national security and deter violence.
The Church Committee documented a history of use of the agency for purposes of political repression as far back as World War I, through the 1920s, when agents were charged with rounding up "anarchists and revolutionaries" for deportation, and then building from 1936 through 1976.
- create a negative public image for target groups (e.g. by surveiling activists, and then releasing negative personal information to the public)
- break down internal organization (e.g. by having agents exacerbate racial tensions, or send anonymous letters to try to create conflicts)
- create dissension between groups (e.g. by spreading rumors that other groups were stealing money)
- restrict access to public resources (e.g. by pressuring non-profit organizations to cut off funding or material support)
- restrict the ability to organize protests (e.g. agents sending letters promoting violence against police at protests)
- restrict the ability of individuals to participate in group activities (e.g. by character assassinations, false arrests, surveillance)
Range of targets
In an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr, MIT professor of linguistics and political activist Noam Chomsky spoke about the purpose and the targets of COINTELPRO saying, "COINTELPRO was a program of subversion carried out not by a couple of petty crooks but by the national political police, the FBI, under four administrations... by the time it got through, I won't run through the whole story, it was aimed at the entire new left, at the women's movement, at the whole black movement, it was extremely broad. Its actions went as far as political assassination." 
According to the Church Committee:
- 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.
- 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." 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 and civil rights leaders allegedly under Communist influence or deemed to be not sufficiently "anti-Communist". The Socialist Workers Party program included non-SWP sponsors of anti-war demonstrations which were cosponsored by the SWP or the Young Socialist Alliance, its youth group. 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. New Left targets ranged from the SDS to the InterUniversity Committee for Debate on Foreign Policy, from Antioch College ("vanguard of the New Left") to the New Mexico Free University and other "alternate" schools, and from underground newspapers to students' protesting university censorship of a student publication by carrying signs with four-letter words on them.
Examples of surveillance, spanning all presidents from FDR to Nixon, both legal and illegal, contained in the Church Committee report:
- President Roosevelt asked the FBI to put in its files the names of citizens sending telegrams to the White House opposing his "national defense" policy and supporting Col. Charles Lindbergh.
- President Truman received inside information on a former Roosevelt aide's efforts to influence his appointments, labor union negotiating plans, and the publishing plans of journalists.
- President Eisenhower received reports on purely political and social contacts with foreign officials by Bernard Baruch, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.
- The Kennedy administration had the FBI wiretap a congressional staff member, three executive officials, a lobbyist, and a Washington law firm. US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy received the fruits of an FBI wire tap on Martin Luther King, Jr. and an electronic listening device targeting a congressman, both of which yielded information of a political nature.
- President Johnson asked the FBI to conduct "name checks" of his critics and members of the staff of his 1964 opponent, Senator Barry Goldwater. He also requested purely political intelligence on his critics in the Senate, and received extensive intelligence reports on political activity at the 1964 Democratic Convention from FBI electronic surveillance.
- President Nixon authorized a program of wiretaps which produced for the White House purely political or personal information unrelated to national security, including information about a Supreme Court Justice.
The COINTELPRO documents show numerous cases of the FBI's intentions to prevent and disrupt protests against the Vietnam War. Many techniques were used to accomplish this task. "These included promoting splits among antiwar forces, encouraging red-baiting of socialists, and pushing violent confrontations as an alternative to massive, peaceful demonstrations." One 1966 Cointelpro operation attempted to redirect the Socialist Workers Party from their pledge of support for the antiwar movement.
The FBI claims that it no longer undertakes COINTELPRO or COINTELPRO-like operations. However, critics claim that agency programs in the spirit of COINTELPRO targeted groups such as the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, the American Indian Movement, Earth First!, the White Separatist Movement, and the Anti-Globalization Movement.
According to attorney Brian Glick in his book War at Home, the FBI used four main methods during COINTELPRO:
- Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. Their main purpose was to discredit and disrupt. Their very presence served to undermine trust and scare off potential supporters. The FBI and police exploited this fear to smear genuine activists as agents.
- Psychological warfare: The FBI and police used myriad "dirty tricks" to undermine progressive movements. They planted false media stories and published bogus leaflets and other publications in the name of targeted groups. They forged correspondence, sent anonymous letters, and made anonymous telephone calls. They spread misinformation about meetings and events, set up pseudo movement groups run by government agents, and manipulated or strong-armed parents, employers, landlords, school officials and others to cause trouble for activists.
- Legal harassment: The FBI and police abused the legal system to harass dissidents and make them appear to be criminals. Officers of the law gave perjured testimony and presented fabricated evidence as a pretext for false arrests and wrongful imprisonment. They discriminatorily enforced tax laws and other government regulations and used conspicuous surveillance, "investigative" interviews, and grand jury subpoenas in an effort to intimidate activists and silence their supporters.
- Illegal force: The FBI conspired with local police departments to threaten dissidents; to conduct illegal break-ins in order to search dissident homes; and to commit vandalism, assaults, beatings and assassinations. The object was to frighten, or eliminate, dissidents and disrupt their movements.
The FBI specifically developed tactics intended to heighten tension and hostility between various factions in the black militancy movement, for example between the Black Panthers, the US Organization and the Blackstone Rangers. This resulted in numerous deaths, among which were the US Organization assassinations of San Diego Black Panther Party members John Huggins, Bunchy Carter and Sylvester Bell.
The FBI also conspired with the police departments of many U.S. cities (San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Philadelphia, Chicago) to encourage repeated raids on Black Panther homes—often with little or no evidence of violations of federal, state, or local laws—which resulted directly in the police killing of many members of the Black Panther Party, most notably the assassination of Chicago Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton on December 4, 1969.
In order to eliminate black militant leaders whom they considered dangerous, the FBI conspired with local police departments to target specific individuals, accuse them of crimes they did not commit, suppress exculpatory evidence and falsely incarcerate them. One Black Panther Party leader, Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, was incarcerated for 27 years before a California Superior Court vacated his murder conviction, ultimately freeing him. Appearing before the court, an FBI agent testified that he believed Pratt had been framed because both the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department knew he had been out of the area at the time the murder occurred. 
In 1969 the FBI special agent in San Francisco wrote Hoover that his investigation of the Black Panther Party (BPP) revealed that in his city, at least, the Panthers were primarily feeding breakfast to children. Hoover fired back a memo implying the career ambitions of the agent were directly related to his supplying evidence to support Hoover's view that the BPP was "a violence-prone organization seeking to overthrow the Government by revolutionary means".
Hoover was willing to use false claims to attack his political enemies. In one memo he wrote: "Purpose of counterintelligence action is to disrupt the BPP and it is immaterial whether facts exist to substantiate the charge."
In one particularly controversial 1965 incident, civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo was murdered by Ku Klux Klansmen who gave chase and fired shots into her car after noticing that her passenger was a young black man; one of the Klansmen was acknowledged FBI informant Gary Thomas Rowe. Afterward COINTELPRO spread false rumors that Liuzzo was a member of the Communist Party and abandoned her children to have sexual relationships with African Americans involved in the civil rights movement. FBI informant Rowe has also been implicated in some of the most violent crimes of the 1960s civil rights era, including attacks on the Freedom Riders and the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. In another instance in San Diego the FBI financed, armed, and controlled an extreme right-wing group of former Minutemen, transforming it into a group called the Secret Army Organization which targeted groups, activists, and leaders involved in the Anti-War Movement for both intimidation and violent acts.
The final report of the Church Committee concluded:
- Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and too much information has been collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power. The Government, operating primarily through secret informants, but also using other intrusive techniques such as wiretaps, microphone "bugs", surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of information about the personal lives, views, and associations of American citizens. Investigations of groups deemed potentially dangerous -- and even of groups suspected of associating with potentially dangerous organizations -- have continued for decades, despite the fact that those groups did not engage in unlawful activity.
- Groups and individuals have been harassed and disrupted because of their political views and their lifestyles. Investigations have been based upon vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection inevitable. Unsavory and vicious tactics have been employed -- including anonymous attempts to break up marriages, disrupt meetings, ostracize persons from their professions, and provoke target groups into rivalries that might result in deaths. Intelligence agencies have served the political and personal objectives of presidents and other high officials. While the agencies often committed excesses in response to pressure from high officials in the Executive branch and Congress, they also occasionally initiated improper activities and then concealed them from officials whom they had a duty to inform.
- Governmental officials -- including those whose principal duty is to enforce the law --have violated or ignored the law over long periods of time and have advocated and defended their right to break the law.
- The Constitutional system of checks and balances has not adequately controlled intelligence activities. Until recently the Executive branch has neither delineated the scope of permissible activities nor established procedures for supervising intelligence agencies. Congress has failed to exercise sufficient oversight, seldom questioning the use to which its appropriations were being put. Most domestic intelligence issues have not reached the courts, and in those cases when they have reached the courts, the judiciary has been reluctant to grapple with them.
While COINTELPRO was officially terminated in April 1971, continuing FBI actions indicate that post-COINTELPRO reforms did not succeed in ending COINTELPRO tactics. Documents released under the FOIA show that the FBI tracked the late Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author David Halberstam for more than two decades.
“Counterterrorism” guidelines implemented during the Reagan administration have been described as allowing a return to COINTELPRO tactics. Some radical groups accuse factional opponents of being FBI informants or assume the FBI is infiltrating the movement.
The FBI improperly opened investigations of American activist groups, even though they were planning nothing more than peaceful civil disobedience, according to a report by the inspector general (IG) of the U.S. Department of Justice. The review by the inspector general was launched in response to complaints by civil liberties groups and members of Congress. The FBI improperly monitored groups including the Thomas Merton Center, a Pittsburgh-based peace group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and Greenpeace USA, an environmental activism organization. Also, activists affiliated with Greenpeace were improperly put on a terrorist watch list, even though they were planning no violence or illegal acitivities. The IG report found the "troubling" FBI practices between 2001 and 2006. In some cases, the FBI conducted investigations of people affiliated with activist groups for "factually weak" reasons. Also, the FBI extended investigations of some of the groups "without adequate basis" and improperly kept information about activist groups in its files. The IG report also found that FBI Director Robert Mueller III provided inaccurate congressional testimony about one of the investigations, but this inaccuracy may have been due to his relying on what FBI officials told him.
Several authors have accused the FBI of continuing to deploy COINTELPRO-like tactics against radical groups after the official COINTELPRO operations were ended. Several authors have suggested the American Indian Movement (AIM) has been a target of such operations. A few authors go further and allege that the federal government intended to acquire uranium deposits on the Lakota tribe's reservation land, and that this motivated a larger government conspiracy against AIM activists on the Pine Ridge reservation. Others believe COINTELPRO continues and similar actions are being taken against activist groups.
Caroline Woidat argued that with respect to Native Americans, COINTELPRO should be understood within a historical context in which "Native Americans have been viewed and have viewed the world themselves through the lens of conspiracy theory."
- Agent provocateur
- H. Rap Brown, targeted by COINTELPRO
- COINTELPRO targets
- Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI
- Cold war
- The COINTELPRO Papers
- Cuban Nationalist Movement
- William Mark Felt, also known as Deep Throat served as chief inspector of COINTELPRO field operations
- Howard Bruce Franklin, targeted by COINTELPRO
- David Halberstam, targeted by COINTELPRO
- Ernest Hemingway, targeted by COINTELPRO
- Fred Hampton, targeted by COINTELPRO
- Viola Liuzzo, murdered by a shot from a car used by four Ku Klux Klansmen, one of whom was a COINTELPRO informant
- NSA call database
- NSA warrantless surveillance controversy
- Operation Mockingbird
- Orlando Bosch
- Police brutality
- Red squad - Police intelligence/anti-dissident units, later operated under COINTELPRO
- Security culture
- Morris Starsky, early target of COINTELPRO
- State Terrorism
- US Patriot Act
- The FBI'S Covert Action Program to Destroy the Black Panther Party
- FBI Secrets: An Agent's Expose. M. Wesley Swearingen. Boston. South End Press. 1995. Special Agent Gregg York: "We expected about twenty Panthers to be in the apartment when the police raided the place. Only two of those black nigger fuckers were killed, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark."
- Churchill, Ward, and Jim Vander Wall, (1990), The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI’s Secret Wars Against Domestic Dissent, Boston: South End Press Wp→, pp. xii, 303.
- COINTELPRO: The FBI's Covert Action Programs Against American Citizens, Final Report of the Senate Committee to Study Governmental Operations with respect to Intelligence Acti...
- Jeffreys-Jones, Rhodri. THE FBI, Yale University Press, 2008, p. 189
- Ken Gewertz. Albert Einstein, Civil Rights activist. Harvard University Gazette. URL accessed on 2007-06-11.
- Various Church Committee reports reproduced online at ICDC: Final Report, 2A; Final Report,2Cb; Final Report, 3A; Final Report, 3G. Various COINTELPRO documents reproduced online at ICDC: CPUSA; SWP; Black Nationalist; White Hate; New Left; Puerto Rico.
- COINTELPRO Revisited - Spying & Disruption - IN BLACK AND WHITE: THE F.B.I. PAPERS
- "A Huey P. Newton Story - Actions - COINTELPRO", PBS Wp→. Retrieved on 2008-06-23.
- Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports on Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans. United States Senate. URL accessed on 2010-12-01.
- See, for example, Hobson v. Wilson, 737 F.2d 1 (1984); Rugiero v. U.S. Dept. of Justice, 257 F.3d 534, 546 (2001).[dead link]
- A Short History of FBI COINTELPRO. Retrieved July 13, 2007. Archived September 28, 2007 at the Wayback Machine Wp→
- Deflam, Mathieu (2008). Surveillance and governance: crime control and beyond. Emerald Publishing Group. pp. 182. . http://books.google.com/books?id=zBgDPupR_lMC&pg=PA182.
- Deflam, Mathieu (2008). Surveillance and governance: crime control and beyond. Emerald Publishing Group. pp. 184–185. . http://books.google.com/books?id=zBgDPupR_lMC&pg=PA184.
- Video at YouTube
- Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans, Final Report of the Senate Committee to Study Governmental Operations with respect to Intelligence Activities
- Blackstock, Nelson. COINTELPRO: The FBI's Secret War on Political Freedom, Pathfinder, New York. 1975. p. 111.
- Gelbspan, Ross. (1991) Break-Ins, Death Threats, and the FBI: The Covert War Against the Central America Movement, Boston: South End Press.
- Churchill, Ward; and James Vander Wall. Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement, 1988, Boston, South End Press.
- Pickett, Karen. "Earth First!(The RedWood Tree Activists on the West Coast) Takes the FBI to Court: Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney’s Case Heard after 12 Years," Earth First Journal, no date.
- The Railroading of Matt Hale by Edgar J. Steele
- "The Black Panther Toll is Now 28, NYT The Week in Review, 7 Dec 1969, p.E4
- "The Black Panther Toll is Now 28," NYT, The Week in Review, 7 Dec 1969, p.E4
- Brown, Elaine. A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story. (New York: Doubleday, 1992, pp204-06
- "Former Black Panther freed after 27 years in jail", CNN. Retrieved on April 30, 2010.
- In re Pratt, 82 Cal
- Alexander Cockburn; Jeffrey St. Clair (1998). Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press. Verso. p. 69. . http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=s5qIj_h_PtkC&printsec=frontcover.
- FBI document, 19 July 1966, DeLoach to Sullivan re: "Black Bag" Jobs.
- [dead link]
- FBI document, 27 May 1969, Director FBI to SAC San Francisco. Available at the FBI reading room.
- FBI document, 16 September 1970, Director FBI to SAC's in Baltimore, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Haven, San Francisco, and Washington Field Office. Available at the FBI reading room.
- Gary May, The Informant: The FBI, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Murder of Viola Luzzo, Yale University Press, 2005.
- "Jonathan Yardley", The Washington Post. Retrieved on April 30, 2010.
- Joanne Giannino. Viola Liuzzo. Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography. URL accessed on 2008-09-29.
- Kay Houston. The Detroit housewife who moved a nation toward racial justice. The Detroit News, Rearview Mirror.
- Error on call to template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified Mary Stanton (2000). University of Georgia Press.
- planting media cash advance debt at plantingseedsmedia.com
- Triumphs of Democracy, by Noam Chomsky (Excerpted from Language and Responsibility)
- Watergate and the Secret Army Organization - msg#00404 - culture.discuss.cia-drugs
- [dead link]
- OpEdNews - Article: J. Edgar Hoover personally ordered FBI to initiate COINTELPRO dirty tricks against Black Panthers in 'Omaha Two' case
- Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans Book II, Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmmental Operations with respect to Intelligence Activities United States Senate (Church Committee). United States Senate. URL accessed on May 11, 2006.
- Tapped Out Why Congress won't get through to the NSA.. Slate.com. URL accessed on May 11, 2006.
- David Cunningham. There's Something Happening Here: The New Left, the Klan, and FBI. University of California Press, 2005: "However, strong suspicions lingered that the program's tactics were sustained on a less formal basis—suspicions sometimes furthered by agents themselves, who periodically claimed that counterintelligence activities were continuing, though in a manner undocumented within Bureau files."; Hobson v. Brennan, 646 F.Supp. 884 (D.D.C.,1986)
- Bud Schultz, Ruth Schultz. The Price of Dissent: Testimonies to Political Repression in America. University of California Press, 2001: "Although the FBI officially discontinued COINTELPRO immediately after the Pennsylvania disclosures "for security reasons," when pressed by the Senate committee, the bureau acknowledged two new instances of "Cointelpro-type" operations. The committee was left to discover a third, apparently illegal operation on its own."
- Athan G. Theoharis, et al. The FBI: A Comprehensive Reference Guide. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999: "More recent controversies have focused on the adequacy of recent restrictions on the Bureau's domestic intelligence operations. Disclosures of the 1970s that FBI agents continued to conduct break-ins, and of the 1980s that the FBI targeted CISPES, again brought forth accusations of FBI abuses of power — and raised questions of whether reforms of the 1970s had successfully exorcised the ghost of FBI Director Hoover."
- The Associated Press, "FBI tracked journalist for over 20 years", Toronto Star, November 7, 2008. Retrieved on November 23, 2008.
- [dead link]
- Bud Schultz, Ruth Schultz. The Price of Dissent: Testimonies to Political Repression in America. University of California Press, 2001: "The problem persists after Hoover…."The record before this court," Federal Magistrate Joan Lefkow stated in 1991, "shows that despite regulations, orders and consent decrees prohibiting such activities, the FBI had continued to collect information concerning only the exercise of free speech."
- Mike Mosedale, "Bury My Heart," City Pages, Volume 21 - Issue 1002 - Cover Story - February 16, 2000
- "FBI Probes of Groups Were Improper, Justice Department Says", The San Jose Mercury News, September 20, 2010. also reported at democracynow.org
- Weyler, Rex. Blood of the Land: The Government and Corporate War Against First Nations.
- Matthiessen, Peter, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, 1980, Viking.
- Woidat, Caroline M. The Truth Is on the Reservation: American Indians and Conspiracy Culture, The Journal of American Culture 29 (4), 2006. Pages 454–467
- McQuinn, Jason. "Conspiracy Theory vs Alternative Journalism", Alternative Press Review, Vol. 2, No. 3, Winter 1996
- Horowitz, David. "Johnnie's Other O.J.", FrontPageMagazine.com. September 1, 1997.
- Woidat, Caroline M. "The Truth Is on the Reservation: American Indians and Conspiracy Culture", The Journal of American Culture 29 (4), 2006. pp. 454–467.
- Berlet, Chip. “The X-Files Movie: Facilitating Fanciful Fun, or Fueling Fear and Fascism? Conspiracy Theories for Fun, Not for False Prophets”, 1998, Political Research Associates
- Berlet, Chip; and Matthew N. Lyons. 1998, "One key to litigating against government prosecution of dissidents: Understanding the underlying assumptions", Parts 1 and 2, Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Law Report (West Group), 5 (13), (January–February): 145–153; and 5 (14), (March–April): 157–162.
- Blackstock, Nelson (1988). Cointelpro: The FBI's Secret War on Political Freedom. Pathfinder Press. .
- Carson, Clayborne; Gallen, David, editors (1991). Malcolm X: The FBI File. Carroll & Graf Publishers. .
- Churchill, Ward; Vander Wall, Jim (2001). The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI's Secret Wars Against Dissent in the United States. South End Press. .
- Cunningham, David (2004). There’s Something Happening Here: The New Left, The Klan, and FBI Counterintelligence. University of California Press. .
- Davis, James Kirkpatrick (1997). Assault on the Left. Praeger Trade. .
- Garrow, David (2006). The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Revised ed.). Yale University Press. .
- Glick, Brian (1989). War at Home: Covert Action Against U.S. Activists and What We Can Do About It. South End Press. .
- Halperin, Morton; Berman, Jerry; Borosage Robert; Marwick, Christine (1976). The Lawless State: The Crimes Of The U.S. Intelligence Agencies. .
- Olsen, Jack (2000). Last Man Standing: The Tragedy and Triumph of Geronimo Pratt. Doubleday. .
- Perkus, Cathy (1976). Cointelpro. Vintage.
- Theoharis, Athan, Spying on Americans: Political Surveillance from Hoover to the Huston Plan (Temple University Press, 1978).
- Drabble, John. "The FBI, COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE and the Decline of Ku Klux Klan Organizations in Mississippi, 1964–1971", Journal of Mississippi History, 66:4, (Winter 2004).
- Drabble, John. "The FBI, COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE and the Decline Ku Klux Klan Organizations in Alabama, 1964–1971", Alabama Review, 61:1, (January 2008): 3-47.
- Drabble, John. "To Preserve the Domestic Tranquility:” The FBI, COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE, and Political Discourse, 1964–1971", Journal of American Studies, 38:3, (August 2004): 297-328.
- Drabble, John. “From White Supremacy to White Power: The FBI’s COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE Operation and the “Nazification” of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s,” American Studies, 48:3 (Fall 2007): 49-74.
- Drabble, John. "Fighting Black Power-New Left coalitions: Covert FBI media campaigns and American cultural discourse, 1967-1971," European Journal of American Culture, 27:2, (2008): 65-91.
U.S. government reports
- U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Internal Security. Hearings on Domestic Intelligence Operations for Internal Security Purposes. 93rd Cong., 2d sess, 1974.
- U.S. Congress. House. Select Committee on Intelligence. Hearings on Domestic Intelligence Programs. 94th Cong., 1st sess, 1975.
- U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Government Operations. Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Hearings on Riots, Civil and Criminal Disorders. 90th Cong., 1st sess. - 91st Cong., 2d sess, 1967–1970.
- U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. Hearings — The National Security Agency and Fourth Amendment Rights. Vol. 6. 94th Cong., 1st sess, 1975.
- U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. Hearings — Federal Bureau of Investigation. Vol. 6. 94th Cong., 1st sess, 1975.
- U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. Final Report — Book II, Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans. 94th Cong., 2d sess, 1976.
- U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. Final Report — Book III, Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports on Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans. 94th Cong., 2d sess, 1976.
- "Me and My Shadow": A History of the FBI's Covert Operations and COINTELPRO - Part 1". 34:21 minute Real Audio. Produced by Adi Gevins, Pacifica Radio. 1976. Rebroadcast by Democracy Now! Wednesday, June 5, 2002. Retrieved May 12, 2005.
- "'Me and My Shadow': A History of the FBI's Covert Operations and COINTELPRO - Part 2". 13:43 minute Real Audio. Produced by Adi Gevins, Pacifica Radio. 1976. Rebroadcast by Democracy Now! Thursday, June 6, 2002. Retrieved May 12, 2005.
- COINTELPRO videos on African American History Channel
- COINTELPRO STILL LIVES by Sista Shiriki Unganisha
- COINTELPRO: The Untold American Story - presented to U.N. World Conference Against Racism 2001 by the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus
- Nation of Islam website's section on COINTELPRO, includes an assortment of documents, links and references.
- The Judi Bari case, COINTELPRO in the 1990s. Retrieved April 19, 2005.
- COINTELPRO: the Sabotage of Legitimate Dissent, What Really Happened, June 5, 1998.
- Fake Black Panther Party coloring book distributed by the FBI
- COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE Operation Against the Ku Klux Klan
- WIKILEAKS: Corrupted Oracle or Cointelpro Asset of the Establishment?
- McKinney, Cynthia. Article regarding COINTELPRO on CounterPunch
- Jakopovich, Dan. The COINTELPRO programme against the Socialist Workers' Party
U.S. government reports
- Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. United States Senate, 94th Congress, 2nd Session, April 26 (legislative day, April 14), 1976. [AKA "Church Committee Report"]. Archived on COINTELPRO sources website. Transcription and HTML by Paul Wolf. Retrieved April 19, 2005.
- Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans, Book II
- I. Introduction and Summary
- II. The Growth of Domestic Intelligence: 1936 to 1976
- III. Findings
- (A) Violating and Ignoring the Law
- (B) Overbreadth of Domestic Intelligence Activity
- (C) Excessive Use of Intrusive Techniques
- (D) Using Covert Action to Disrupt and Discredit Domestic Groups
- (E) Political Abuse of Intelligence Information
- (F) Inadequate Controls on Dissemination and Retention
- (G) Deficiencies in Control and Accountability
- IV. Conclusions and Recommendations
- Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports, Book III
- COINTELPRO: The FBI's Covert Action Programs Against American Citizens
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Case Study
- The FBI's Covert Action Program to Destroy the Black Panther Party
- The Use of Informants in FBI Intelligence Investigations
- Warrantless FBI Electronic Surveillance
- Warrantless Surreptitious Entries: FBI "Black Bag" Break-ins And Microphone Installations
- The Development of FBI Domestic Intelligence Investigations
- Domestic CIA and FBI Mail Opening
- CIA Intelligence Collection About Americans: CHAOS Program And The Office of Security
- National Security Agency Surveillance Affecting Americans
- Improper Surveillance of Private Citizens By The Military
- The Internal Revenue Service: An Intelligence Resource and Collector
- National Security, Civil Liberties, And The Collection of Intelligence: A Report On The Huston Plan
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