|Federal Bureau of Investigation|
|Common name||Federal Bureau of Investigation|
|Seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation|
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'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.
- "Quick Facts". Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
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- 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, 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 (2007-04-12). "Albert Einstein, Civil Rights activist". Harvard University Gazette. Archived from the original on 2007-05-29. Retrieved 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. Archived from the original on 2010-11-18. Retrieved 2008-06-23.