|COINTELPRO -- Black Nationalist Groups 1967-1971|
|Written by Westside ID113|
|Friday, 24 September 2004 11:30|
DISCREDITING GROUPS TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC
CREATING AND EXPLOITING "SPLITS"
The purpose of this new counterintelligence endeavor is to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist, hate-type organizations and groupings, their leadership, spokesmen, membership, and supporters, and to counter their propensity for violence and civil disorder.
The pernicious background of such groups, their duplicity, and devious maneuvers must be exposed to public scrutiny where such publicity will have a neutralizing effect. Efforts of the various groups to consolidate their forces or to recruit new or youthful adherents must be frustrated. No opportunity should be missed to exploit through counterintelligence techniques the organizational and personal conflicts of the leaderships of the groups and where possible an effort should be made to capitalize upon existing conflicts between competing black nationalist organizations. When an opportunity is apparant to disrupt or neutralize black nationalist, hate-type organizations through the cooperation of established local news media contacts or through such contact with sources available to the Seat of Government, in every instance careful attention must be given to the proposal to insure the targeted group is disrupted, ridiculed, or discredited through the publicity and not merely publicized.
Intensified attention under this program should be afforded to the activities of such groups as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Revolutionary Action Movement, the Deacons for Defense and Justice, Congress of Racial Equality, and the Nation of Islam. Particular emphasis should be given to extremists who direct the activities and policies of revolutionary or militant groups such as Stokely Carmichael, H. "Rap" Brown, Elijah Muhammad, and Maxwell Stanford. Director to 23 Field Offices, Aug. 26, 1967 2/?
The Counterintelligence Program is now being expanded to include 41 offices. ... For maximum effectiveness of the Counterintelligence Program, and to prevent wasted effort, long range goals are being set.
1. Prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups. In unity there is strength; a truism that is no less valid for all its triteness. An effective coalition of black nationalist groups might be the first step toward a real "Mau Mau" in America, the beginning of a true black revolution.
2. Prevent the rise of a "messiah" who could unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement. Malcolm X might have been such a "messiah;" he is the martyr of the movement today. Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael and Elijah Muhammed all aspire to this position. Elijah Muhammed is less of a threat because of his age. King could be a very real contender for this position should he abandon his supposed "obedience" to "white, liberal doctrines" (nonviolence) and embrace black nationalism. Carmichael has the necessary charisma to be a real threat in this way.
3. Prevent violence on the part of black nationalist groups. This is of primary importance, and is, of course, a goal of our investigative activity; it should also be a goal of the Counterintelligence Program. Through counterintelligence it should be possible to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence.
4. Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining respectability, by discrediting them to three separate segments of the community. The goal of discrediting black nationalists must be handled tactically in three ways. You must discredit these groups and individuals to, first, the responsible Negro community. Second, they must be discredited to the white community, both the responsible community and to "liberals" who have vestiges of sympathy for militant black nationalists simply because they are Negroes. Third, these groups must be discredited in the eyes of Negro radicals, the followers of the movement. This last area requires entirely different tactics from the first two. Publicity about violent tendencies and radical statements merely enhances black nationalists black nationalists to the last group; it adds "respectability" in a different way.
5. A final goal should be to prevent the long-range growth of militant black nationalist organizations, especially among youth. Specific tactics to prevent these groups from converting young people must be developed. (sent by Director to Field Offices on March 4, 1968) G.C. Moore to W.C. Sullivan, Feb. 29, 1968
NEUTRALIZING INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
On November 19, 1969, CG T-1, who has furnished reliable information in the past, advised that allegedly the following items are being kept in the first-floor apartment at 2337 West Monroe Street, Chicago: 5 carbines with 50,000 rounds of ammunition; 1 case of 30 shot clips for the carbines; 3 gas masks; 3 smoke bombs, non-explosive type; 2 or more loud speakers; 5 Ithaca riot shot guns plus ammunition; 4 38 revolvers, plus ammunition; 1 357 magnum, plus ammunition... Black Panther Party (BPP), Nov. 21, 1969
A detailed inventory of the weapons and also a detailed floor plan of the apartment were furnished to local authorities. In addition, the identities of BPP members utilizing the apartment at the above address were furnished. This information was not available from any other source and subsequently proved to be of tremendous value in that is subsequently saved injury and possible death to police officers participating in the raid at the address on the morning of 12/4/69. The raid was based on information furnished by informant. During the resistance by the BPP members at the time of the raid, the Chairman of the Illinois Chapter, BPP, FRED HAMPTON, was killed and a BPP leader from Peoria, Illinois, [Mark Clark] was also killed. It is felt that this information is of considerable value in consideration of a special payment for informant requested in re Chicago letter. SAC, Chicago to Director, Dec. 12, 1969
For the information of the Bureau, in view of PRATT's adamant expression of hatred toward law enforcement personnel in general, no consideration is being given to reinterview PRATT for the purpose of development as a PRI. It is noted, however, that constant consideration is given to the possibility of the utilization of counterintelligence measures with efforts being directed toward neutralizing PRATT as an effective BPP functionary. SAC, Los Angeles to Director, June 26, 1970 (fragment)
Chicago airtel and [?] dated 5/2/68 and captioned "Richard Claxton Gregory" concern a speech by Gregory on 4/28/68 where he noted that "Syndicate hoods (are living all over. [sic] They are the filthiest snakes that exist on this earth." Referenced Bulet instructed you to develop counterintelligence action concerning militant black nationalist Dick Gregory. Consider the use of this statement in developing a counterintelligence operation to alert La Cosa Nostra (LCN) to Gregory's attack on LCN. It is noted that other speeches by Gregory also contain attacks on the LCN. Director to SAC, Chicago, May 15, 1968
It is suggested that consideration be given to convey the impression that CARMICHAEL is a CIA informant. One method of accomplishing the above would be to have a carbon copy of informant report reportedly written by CARMICHAEL to the CIA carefully deposited in the automobile of a close Black Nationalist friend. The report should be so placed that it will be readily seen. It is hoped that when the informant report is read it will help promote distrust between CARMICHAEL and the Black Community. It is suggested that carbon copy of report be used to indicate that CARMICHAEL turned original copy into CIA and kept carbon copy for himself. It is also suggested that we inform a certain percentage of reliable criminal and racial informants that "we heard from reliable sources that CARMICHAEL is a CIA agent". It is hoped that these informants would spread the rumor in various large Negro communities across the land. Fragment of FBU Memorandum, July 10, 1968 1/?
Authority is granted to mail anonymous letter to Jeff Fort, as suggested in relet, in care of the First Presbyterian Church, 6401 South Kimbark, Chicago, Ill.
Brother Jeff: I''ve spent some time wiht some Panther friends on the west side lately and I know what's been going on. The brothers that run the Panthers blame you for blocking their thing and there's supposed to be a hit out for you. I''m not a Panther or a Ranger, just black. From what I see these Panthers are our for themselves not black people. I think you ought to know that their up to, I know what I''d do if I was you. You might hear from me again. -- A black brother you don''t know Director to SAC, Chicago, Jan. 30, 1969
... Accordingly, it has been determined by solidity representative elements of the Tougaloo College Student Body that you are directed to remain away from this campus until such time as your conduct and general demeanor reach the desired level. This directive also applies to your bringing any of your unruly and undisciplined associates to the campus. Should you feel that this is a hollow directive and not heed our diplomatic and well thought out warning we shall consider contacting local authorities regarding some of your activities or take other measures available to us which would have a more direct effect and which would not be as cordial as this note. Tougaloo College Defense Committee
It is hoped that this letter, if approved and forwarded to JACKSON, will give him the impression that he has been discredited at the Tougaloo College campus and is no longer welcomed there. SAC, Jackson, MS to Director presumed, date unknown
The following counter-intelligence activity is being proposed by the St. Louis Division to be directed against [Reverend Charles Koen]. He is [two lines deleted] The activity attempts to alienate him from his wife and cause suspicion among the BLACK LIBERATORS that they have a dangerous troublemaker in their midst. SAC, St. Louis to Director, Feb. 14, 1969
St. Louis is authorized to send anonymous letter set out in relet and Springfield is authorized to send the second anonymous letter proposed in relet. Use commercially purchased stationary and take the other precautions set out to insure this cannot be traced to this Bureau. Director to SAC, St. Louis, Feb. 28, 1969
DISCREDITING GROUPS TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC
TV and Print Media
The Miami Division developed a source at a local television station and the source produced a news special on black nationalists and on the New Left. As you are aware publicity about New Left and black nationalist groups, especially television coverage, sometimes enhances the stature of these groups. At the same time, Miami has demonstrated that a carefully planned television show can be extremely effective in showing these extremists for what they are. Local New Left and black nationalist leaders were interviewed on the show and seemed to have been chosen for either their inability to articulate or their simpering and stupid appearance. Miami furnished a film of this show for Bureau review and it was apparent that the television source used the very best judgement in editing comments by these extremists. He brought out that they were in favor of violent revolution without their explaining why. But he also brought out that they, personally, would be afraid to lead a violent revolution, making them appear to be cowards. The interview of black nationalist leaders on the show had the leaders seated, ill at ease, in hard chairs. Full-length camera shots showed each movement as they squirmed about in their chairs, resembling rats trapped under scientific observation. Each counterintelligence office should be alert to exploit this technique both for black nationalists and New Left types. ... Success in this case resulted from hard work and acumen on the part of the Agents who handled the matter. Especially important was the choice of individuals interviewed as they did not have the ability to stand up to a professional newsman. Director to 42 Field Offices, August 5, 1968
In [ ] Florida, a television source was helped in the preparation of a program exposing the Nation of Islam. ... To show the criminal nature of the BPP a write-up concerning the convictions of its members was prepared and received publicity in a Robert S. Allen and John A. Goldsmith syndicated column of March 31, 1970. Previously we exposed the BPP Breakfast for Children Program in these writers'' column of June 14, 1969. ... Articles concerning the BPP based on information furni[shed to] a news media source in Mississippi resulted in the closing of a BPP Chapter in Cleveland, Mississippi. G.C. Moore to W.C. Sullivan, May 14, 1970
Pursuant to Bureau authority received in letter from the Bureau to St. Louis on 4/14/69, the St. Louis Division prepared 200 copies of BLACKBOARD, an alleged underground newspaper of the black students of Southern Illinois University (SIU). It was mailed anonymously by Special Agents of the St. Louis Division at Edwardsville, Ill., and copies of it were sent to virtually every black activist organization and Black Nationalist leader in the bi-state area. ... Midway through his column and recitation of local events, WILSON said, "There is an absolutely scandalous ''underground'' sheet floating around both sides of the river that devotes an entire section of its first page to some real dangerous allegations about a few of our ''blacker'' black brothers and sisters and some so-called ''bed mating'' sure hope that whoever is printing that jazz is prepared to back it up." ... He stated that although no one could publicly speak out against the [ ] "the word was out" that [ ] would be punished for his participation in it. [ ] also advised that [ ] was extremely angry about the newspaper, and he had told several people that he was going "to get" [ ] . . . . Detective [ ] advised that his sources stated that [ ] had been told to "get out of town" by several black leaders as a result of his tirades against the BLACKBOARD newspaper and his outburst at the ACTION meeting. The St. Louis Division feels, on the basis of the above, that the publication of BLACKBOARD was a most successful counterintelligence endeavor. It is felt that the effectiveness of [ ] has been blunted, and it is unlikely that they will ever be able to regain their former stature. Document from St. Louis Division, May 26, 1969 p. ?
Bureau approval is requested in the creation of an anonymous paper underground to attack, expose, and ridicule the image of the BPP in the community and to foment mistrust and suspicion amongst the current and past membership, through publication and dissemination of information embarrassing to the BPP. Operation Number One is designed to challenge the legitimacy of the authority exercised by ELMER GERARD PRATT, BPP Deputy Minister of Defense for Southern California, and JOHN WILLIAM WASHINGTON, an active member of the BPP in Los Angeles. Operation Number Two is utilized to publicize the illicit sexual activities allegedly encouraged and engaged in by [ ] SAC, Los Angeles to Director, Jan. 28, 1970
The Black Panther Coloring Book (FBI-authored)
A review has been made of referenced airtel which contains your thoughts on the Counterintelligence Program (CIP). Your reasoning is not in line with Bureau objectives as to our responsibilities under the CIP. ... You state that the Bureau under the CIP should not attack programs of community interest such as the BPP "Breakfast for Children." You state that this is because many prominent "humanitarians," both white and black, are interested in the program as well as churches which are actively supporting it. You have obviously missed the point. The BPP is not engaged in the "Breakfast for Children" program for humanitarian reasons. This program was formed by the BPP for obvious reasons, including their efforts to create an image of civility, assume community control of Negroes, and fill adolescent children with their insidious poison. Director to SAC, San Francisco, May 27, 1969
Jewish Defense League
It is noted the Rabbi KAHANE's background as a writer for the NY newspaper "Jewish Press" would enable him to give widespread coverage of anti-Semetic statements made by the BPP and other Black Nationalist hate groups not only to members of JEDEL but to other individuals who would take cognizance of such statements. ... In view of the above comments the following is submitted as the suggested communication to be used to establish rapport between the anonymous source and the selected individual associated with JEDEL:
Dear Rabbi Kahane: ... I have always thought that Jewish people are good and they have helped me all my life. That is why I became so upset about my oldest son who is a Black Panther and very much against Jewish people. My oldest son just returned from Algers in Africa where he met a bunch of other Black Panthers from all over the world. He said to me that they all agree that the Jewish people are against all the colored people and that the only friends the colored people have are the Arabs. I told my child that the Jewish people are the friends of the colored people but he calls me a Tom and says I''ll never be anything better than a Jew Boy's slave. Last night my boy had a meeting at my house with six of his Black Panther friends. From the way they talked it sounded like they had a plan to force Jewish store owners to give them money or they would drop a bomb on the Jewish store. Some of the money they will get will be sent to the Arabs in Africa. They left books and pictures around with Arab writing on them and pictures of Jewish soldiers killing Arab babys. I think they are going to give these away at Negro Christian Churchs. I thought you might be able to stop this. I think I can get some of the pictures and books without getting myself in trouble. I will send them to you if you are interested. I would not like to use my real name at this time. -- A friend
It is further suggested that a second communication be sent to Rabbi KAHANE approximately one week after the above described letter which will follow the same format, but will contain as enclosures some BPP artifacts such as pictures of BOBBY SEALE, ELDRIDGE CLEAVER, and a copy of a BPP newspaper, etc. It is felt that a progression of letters should then follow which would further establish rapport with the JEDEL and eventually culminate in the anonymous letter writer requesting some response from the JEDEL recipient of these letters. SAC, New York to Director, Sept. 10, 1969
On 5/7/70, [ ] both of whom have furnished reliable information in the past, advised that on that date approximately 35 members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) picketed the Harlem Branch of the BPP in NYC. The purpose of this demonstration was to show that the JDL feels the BPP is anti-Semetic in its acts and words. Also on the above date approximately 50 members of the JDL demonstrated outside of the Bronx, New York BPP Headquarters for the aforementioned reasons. In view of the above actions by the JDL it is felt that some of the counterintelligence measures of the NYO have produced tangible results. SAC, New York to Director, May 21, 1970
CREATING AND EXPLOITING "SPLITS"
Black Panther Party Factionalism
The extremist BPP of Oakland, California, is rapidly expanding. It is the most violence-prone organization of all the extremist groups now operating in the United States. This group has a record of violence and connections with foreign revolutionaries. It puts particular emphasis on not only verbal attacks but also physical attacks on police. These suggestions are to create factionalism between not only the national leaders but also local leaders, steps to neutralize all organizational efforts of the BPP as well as create suspicion amongst the leaders as to each others sources of finances, suspicion concerning their respective spouses and suspicion as to who may be cooperating with law enforcement. In addition, suspicion should be developed as to who may be attempting to gain control of the organization for their own private betterment, as well as suggestions as to the best method of exploiting the foreign visits made by BPP members. We are also soliciting recommendations as to the best method of creating opposition to the BPP on the part of the majority of the residents of the ghetto area. G.C. Moore to W.C. Sullivan, Sept. 27, 1968 2/?
To create friction between Black Panther Party (BPP) leader Eldridge Cleaver in Algiers and BPP Headquarters, a spurious letter concerning an internal dispute was sent to Cleaver, who accepted it as genuine. As a result, the International Staff of the BPP was neutralized when Cleaver fired most of its members. Bureau personnel received incentive awards from the Director for this operation. G.C. Moore to W.C. Sullivan, May 14, 1970
The second Detroit proposal to consider directing an anonymous communication to Newton accusing David Hilliard of stealing BPP funds and depositing them in foreign banks does have merit and the Bureau does not concur with San Francisco's observation that this would have little effect since there is no record that Hilliard is skimming large amounts of money. Purpose of counterintelligence action is to disrupt BPP and it is immaterial whether facts exist to substantiate the charge. If facts are present, it aids in the success of the proposal but the Bureau feels that the skimming of money is such a sensitive issue that disruption can be accomplished without facts to back it up. With respect to two anonymous letters proposed by Los Angeles, Bureau concurs with San Francisco that to include the card of a member of a rival black extremist group in a letter to Hilliard indicating Newton is marked for assassination could place the Bureau in the position of aiding or initiating a murder by the BPP. Accordingly, Los Angeles'' proposal identified as "letter A" is not approved. Los Angeles should reword this letter to convey the same thought without directly indicating that it is from a specific member of a rival group. The letter could imply that the writer would soon get in touch with Hilliard to see what he would pay to have Newton eliminated. Fragment of memo from Director, Sept. 16, 1970
Increasing evidence points to rising dissension within BPP causing serious morale problem and strained relationship among Panther hierarchy. ... This dissension coupled with financial difficulties offers an exceptional opportunity to further disrupt, aggravate and possibly neutralize this organization through counterintelligence. In light of above developments this program has been intensified by selected offices and should be further expanded to increase measurably the pressure on the BPP and its leaders. San Francisco and New York are already involved in counterintelligence actions and should continue to be alert for further opportunities. All other recipients should devise at least two counterintelligence proposals and submit same to Bureau by 2/10/71. First proposal should be aimed strictly at creating dissension within the local branch. Second proposal should be aimed at creating dissension or problems between local branch and/or its leaders and BPP national headquarters. In order for these proposals to be effective it is imperative that a close analysis be made of weaknesses and problems within the local BPP branch and that all proposals submitted be imaginative and timely. No proposal should be implemented without specific Bureau approval. Director to 29 Field Offices, Feb. 2, 1971
To further exploit dissension within the BPP and suspicions regarding various leaders, the following letter is proposed by the San Francisco office:
D.C. -- By now you have heard about poor Fred. I have warned Huey of the possible consequences. It seems to be getting worse. J.B. and Robert are now also missing. In view of this situation you better have a long talk with Eldridge before he lets Kathleen come here. G. is really up tight. Big man is just jiving and no help at all. -- A.C.
Inasmuch as the first A.C. letter could possibly have been taken by Newton as a warning from the dissidents, this letter will further this belief if there is any discussion by Newton with BPP representatives in Algeria. If successful, this might further split the BPP and prevent the possibility of the return to the U.S. of Kathleen Cleaver who might attempt to unify the dissident factions in the party if she appears. SAC, San Francisco to Director, Feb. 17, 1971
For the information of recipient offices a serious struggle is taking place between the Black Panther Party and the US organization. The struggle has reached such proportions that it is taking on the aura of gang warfare with attendant threats of murder and reprisals. In order to fully capitalize upon BPP and US differences as well as to exploit all avenues of creating further dissension in the ranks of the BPP, recipient offices are instructed to submit imaginative and hard-hitting counterintelligence measures aimed at crippling the BPP. Director to SAC, Baltimore, Nov. 25, 1968 fragment
The Los Angeles Office is currently preparing an anonymous letter for Bureau approval which will be sent to the Los Angeles Black Panther Party (BPP) supposedly from a member of the "US" organization in which it will be stated that the youth group of the "US" organization is aware of the BPP "contract" to kill RON KARENGA, a leader of "US", and they, "US" members, in retaliation, have made plans to ambush leaders of the BPP in Los Angeles. It is hoped this counterintelligence measure will result in an "US" and BPP vendetta. SAC, Los Angeles to Director, Nov. 29, 1968
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 over-all situation, it is felt that a substantial amount of the unrest is directly attributable to this program. In view of the recent killing of SYLVESTER BELL, a new cartoon is being considered in the hopes that it will assist in the continuance of the rift between BPP and US. Fragment of FBI Memorandum, Aug. 20, 1969
In San Diego, an anonymous telephone call to the landlord of the US organization resulted in the group being evicted from its Headquarters. G.C. Moore to W.C. Sullivan, May 14, 1970
BPP - SNCC Split
There is a feud between the two most prominent black nationalist extremist groups, The Black Panthers and SNCC. Attached item notes that the feud is being continued by SNCC circulating the statement that: "According to zoologists, the main difference between a panther and other large cats is that the panther has the smallest head." This is biologically true. Publicity to this effect might help neutralize Black Panther recruiting efforts. ACTION: That attached item, captioned "Panther Pinheads," be furnished to a cooperative news media source by the Crime Records Division on a confidential basis. We will be alert for other ways to exploit this item. G.C. Moore to W.C. Sullivan, Oct. 10, 1968 1/?
Nation of Islam
Over the years considerable thought has been given, and action taken with Bureau approval, relating to methods through which the NOI could be discredited in the eyes of the general black populace or through which factionalism among the leadership could be created. Serious consideration has also been given towards developing ways and means of changing NOI philosophy to one whereby the members could be developed into useful citizens and the organization developed into one emphasizing religion - the brotherhood of mankind - and self improvement. Factional disputes have been developed - the most notable being MALCOLM X LITTLE. SAC, Chicago to Director, Jan. 22, 1969
Republic of New Africa
Per suggestion set forth in re Bureau airtel, Detroit requests mailing letters prepared on commercially purchased paper to various members of the Republic of New Africa (RNA) with the exception of RICHARD HENRY, signed by a concerned RNA brother. The letter will read as follows:
Dear Brother and Sister: Lately I have been concerned about the lack of funds of the RNA. I know that many brothers and sisters have paid taxes and have donated on various occasions to the Republic. Where has the money gone, and why haven''t we purchased our land with it? I do not make any direct accusation at any brother or sister but I would like to know how Brother Imari owns a house, supports a family, and travels all over the country when he is not even working. I think we all deserve an explanation of the use of the RNA money, and I think we are foolish to donate and pay taxes to support one man, when the Republic is in such dire need of money. I think this question should be raised at the next Wednesday meeting. I''m not signing my name because I do not want to create a personal conflict among us. -- A Concerned Brother
This letter will be mailed to Detroit members of the RNA only and if a favorable response is received, a similar letter will be prepared for nationwide RNA member circulation. SAC, Detroit to Director, Nov. 22, 1968
Detroit is authorized to send the anonymous letter set out in relet to selected members of the Republic of New Africa (RNA) using commercially purchased stationery. Criticism of leaders of black nationalist extremist groups, such as the RNA, for misusing funds, is an effective method of neutralizing those leaders. Since this is an anonymous letter, there is no possibility of embarrassment to the Bureau. Director to SAC, Detroit, Dec. 3, 1968
Since March, 1968, the Republic of New Africa (RNA) has been attempting to start a separate black nation in five southern states, starting with Mississippi. In this regard, the RNA has been trying to buy and lease land in Mississippi in the Jackson Division on several past occasions. (Counterintelligence measures has been able to abort all RNA efforts to obtain land in Mississippi.) [sic] In late July, 1970, RICHARD HENRY, aka Brother Imari, leader of the RNA, came to Jackson, Mississippi, accompanied by many out-of-state supporters to hold a national RNA meeting "on the land of the nation in Mississippi". This conference was disruptive and ineffective due to Jackson Division, Bureau-approved counterintelligence measures. Fragment of Memorandum, Dec. 2, 1970
Copyright Paul Wolf, 2002-2004. No copyright to original government works.
"I would rather be a member of this race than a Greek in the time of Alexander, a Roman in the Augustan period, or Anglo-Saxon in the nineteenth century." - Edward Wilmot Blyden