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COINTELPROCounter Intelligence Program
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The FBI's secret operations were verified in the 1970s, when the Senate put together the Church Committee to investigate the FBI and COINTELPRO.
And it is also important to note that COINTELPRO's targets changed over the course of several decades; while COINTELPRO operations formally commenced as a vehicle for disrupting and disabling the US Communist Party and the Socialist Workers Party during the Eisenhower years, subsequent presidential administrations transformed its mission and its list of targets to suit their own ends.
Obama would likely argue that our modem day "war on terror" is unlike COINTELPRO because it targets real, rather than imagined, threats.
This is in some ways comparable to past COINTELPRO activities where
to FBI abuses embodied in programs such as COINTELPRO.
We need only consider the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts, the Red Scare and Palmer Raids of 1919-1920 (and President Wilson's call to "crush out" the immigrant Americans who had "poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life") (Kennedy 24), the FBI's COINTELPRO program of the 1960s and beyond, as well as our own political climate, to question whether the cold war cultural moment was all that unique, and whether such a thing as "the uncanniness of mid-century America" ever really existed.
Although reforms were implemented, decades later the Church Committee's inquiries revealed that covert operations conducted as part of the FBI's COINTELPRO investigations had targeted civil rights and anti-war groups because of their First Amendment-protected activities from the 1950s through the 1970s.
The harassment of King and other COINTELPRO abuses came to light toward the end of Hoover's career as the level of trust Americans had in their government was collapsing.
Four hundred years of momentum of White supremacist policy via COINTELPRO, Jim Crow laws, and slavery vs.
Fordham cautioned that this letter could not be casually discarded because while it may be considered "junk" or a painful reminder to many who personally experienced COINTELPRO, it was indeed a gold mine of information.
The Warren Commission's botched investigation into the Kennedy assassination inadvertently democratized conspiracy theories by promoting an implausible single gunman theory, and Americans later learned of numerous cover-ups associated with Vietnam, the FBI's COINTELPRO, and Watergate.