Tag Archives: COINTELPRO

No support to James Comey or the FBI – Mortal Enemies of the US Working Class!

This week’s firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey by President Donald Trump has aroused the indignation of conservatives and liberals alike, who decry the Trump Administration’s alleged attempt at “politicization” of the FBI by interfering with the “work” of the agency as it investigated alleged collusion between members of the Trump for President campaign and the Russian Government of Vladimir Putin in order to “rig” the US Presidential election of 2016 in favor of Trump.

As revolutionary Trotskyists, we take as the fundamental basis of any analysis of any capitalist government and its agencies that the working class and its organizations must oppose all of the police agencies of the capitalist state and recognize that they are NOT designed “to protect and serve the people” nor are they “neutral arbiters” of the law – as the liberals and the fake-socialists would have you believe – but are in fact highly politicized and partisan in favor of the capitalist class and against the working class, its organizations and their supporters.  As revolutionary Trotskyists, though we do defend the very real gains of the bourgeois revolutions of 1776 and 1865 and though we defend and seek to extend the limited rights enjoyed by the workers which are enshrined in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, we do not defend or support the capitalist state, its police agencies, its military or its courts, as they are all weapons in the hands of the capitalist class which are used to suppress and destroy the workers movement as the working class struggles to emancipate itself from the capitalist system of wage slavery, racism, unemployment, poverty and war.

The FBI is nothing less than a US version of the same secret police agencies in every nation-state in the capitalist era that have terrorized and sought to “disrupt, discredit and destroy” every organization the working class has created to fight to defend workers rights against the depredations of the capitalist class and its greed-based economic system of capitalism. The FBI was designed, from its very inception, to be the federal police agency that would be responsible for crushing the militant and revolutionary socialist workers movement of the United States. Shamelessly propagandistic US television shows and movies portray the FBI as some kind of squeaky-clean utterly non-political honest and trustworthy police agency – nothing could be further from the truth! If “the truth is out there” – you can be sure that the FBI and its hordes of agents, informers, provocateurs and apologists are doing their best to find it, kill it and bury it where it will never be found! To hell with the FBI!

The FBI traces its origins to the Red Scare run by US Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, who organized the notorious “Palmer Raids” to round up suspected US radicals and labor militants who sympathised with or openly supported the Bolshevik Revolution of October, 1917, which was the very first successful revolution in world history that made the workers and peasants the ruling class of what was formerly Tsarist Russia. The militant labor movement in the US at the time was led largely by the Socialist Party of Eugene Debs, which had, along with the Bolsheviks and a handful of other revolutionary socialist parties, steadfastly refused to support the United States Government’s intervention in WWI; they were joined by the powerful anarcho-syndicalist trade union movement organized by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW); both organizations had opposed the war and many members of both came out in favor of the Bolshevik Revolution.  Debs was thrown into prison for giving anti-war speeches against the recruitment of US workers into the US military in WWI.

Fearing that the Russian Revolution was the beginning of a world-wide movement to overthrow the capitalist system, which had been massively discredited by the horrific mass slaughter of WWI caused by the inter-imperialist rivalries of the leading capitalist nation-states of the time, the US capitalist class , like its fellow capitalist ruling classes worldwide, was thrown into a state of panic at the prospect that here in the USA there would be a similar uprising of the working class to overthrow the capitalist class that had been responsible for the slaughter of millions of workers in WWI. To prevent this from happening, the US Attorney General Palmer unleashed the US Justice Department’s “Bureau of Investigation” to hunt down, brutalize and imprison – and even deport – “radicals” who sympathised with the Russian Revolution. Casting the widest net possible, the cops arrested, brutalized and murdered workers in every part of the US labor movement, from the AFL-CIO to the IWW. Union halls were destroyed; pro-union newspapers had their presses smashed. One of the things the US capitalist class hated the most about the socialists was that they welcomed into their organizations workers of every nationality and race, including immigrant workers. The socialists and IWWs (or Wobblies”) fought against racism and sought to organize all workers together in the same unions – black and white, native-born and immigrant. For all these reasons the infant Communist Party of the US as well as the pro-Soviet Socialist Party and the IWW were the main targets of the Palmer Raids and suffered the most from the attacks. It was an onslaught was so brutally “successful” (in the eyes of the US capitalist class) that it wasn’t until the 1930s that the trade union movement was able to get back on its feet once again with a militant communist and communist-sympathising leadership that built the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) and led the greatest rise in trade union membership and increase in the standard of living for workers that the US has ever seen (~1935-1948).

The forerunner organization that would later become the FBI was created by Palmer in August of 1919; it was organized as the Bureau of Investigation’s “General Intelligence Division”: its first leader was the notorious J. Edgar Hoover.

Palmer charged Hoover “with the responsibility of gathering and coordinating all information concerning domestic radical activities… through the unstinting zeal of Hoover, this unit rapidly became the nerve center of the entire Justice Department… by 1920 [it had] made its war on radicalism the department’s primary occupation.” (Source: “Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919-1920” by Robert K. Murray; McGraw-Hill, 1964).

Hoover, who had learned about organizing huge collections of files from his work at the Library of Congress, organized a file system in which he placed the names of over 200,000 US citizens and immigrant workers who were classified as “radicals”. This was the rotten foundation upon which the FBI was built.

From 1919 to the present day, every US citizen or resident who ever supported the Civil Rights Movement, the socialist movement or the Communist Party or any event organized by the various US revolutionary socialist parties thereby came under the scrutiny of the FBI.  From E.B. White to John Lennon every singer, artist, writer or political activist that ever opposed the US Government in any way or who criticised the FBI was added to the FBI’s voluminous files of “subversives”.  (See, for example “Dangerous Dossiers” by Herbert Mitgang, Ballantine, 1988)

Since its inception the FBI has been at the forefront of every attempt by the US capitalist class to infiltrate, disrupt and destroy the workers movement of the USA. The FBI attacked unions; it attacked socialist and communist parties; it attacked the Civil Rights Movement; it set up the infamous COINTELPRO conspiracy against those elements of the US working class it fears most: the communists and the black working class.

The FBI has sent its agents and placed informers in fascist and Ku Klux Klan organizations and then stood by and watched as those Klan and Nazi scum beat and murdered workers, including men, women and children. It has conspired to assassinate young leaders of the workers movement, like Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party.  In the 1960’s the NAACP’s Robert F. Williams was set up for summary execution by local, state and federal police agencies by the FBI’s lying slander that he was an “armed and dangerous” “kidnapper”.

The FBI was also instrumental in the frame-up and 20-year-plus imprisonments of class-war prisoners Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier – as well as the still-running persecution of such heroic US political activists as  Assata Shakur – and many others.

In 1993, the FBI, through its paid informer Emad Salem, organized and carried out the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City, in which 6 people were killed and a thousand injured.

It has organized mass murder of dissident workers like the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas; it has most recently been involved in the planning of attacks against antigovernment protestors, one of which resulted in the murder of LaVoy Finicum during the 2015-16 protest at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The FBI’s infamous “crime lab” was caught red-handed grossly exaggerating and falsifying evidence, tailoring it to suit state and federal prosecutors’ cases! FBI crime lab technicians and FBI agents have a long, long history of consciously committing perjury in US courtrooms. The FBI has framed up environmentalists and sent them to prison for decades; it has framed up anarchists and antifascistss and sent them to prison. The FBI has taken organized crime hitmen, put them on its payroll and helped them take over leadership of organized crime networks… and then looked the other way while they committed murders! The FBI has proven again and again to be the mortal enemy of the US working class and of anyone who dares to stand up to the continuous attacks on workers rights and the environment launched endlessly by the money-worshipping US capitalist class and its corporations. There is literally no crime which the FBI and its agents have not committed during its far-too-long malignant existence! Only a child, fool or a congenital liar can look you in the eye and call the FBI a pillar of impartial justice.

In short: we don’t give a rat’s ass what happens to the FBI – so long as it weakens that cesspool of reactionary intrigue and conspiracy against the working class! When the workers of the USA finally overthrow the capitalist class and take power, the FBI will be immediately dismantled, root and branch and its leaders – past and present – will be brought before the courts of the new workers republic to answer for their many, many crimes.

Two of the most disgusting developments of this Trump vs. FBI dog-and-pony show have been the statements made in support of the FBI by courageous whistleblower Edward Snowden and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks!

Snowden – who still imagines that he will one day be welcomed back to the NSA and CIA as a hero for exposing the “excesses” of the US domestic and international spying operations he revealed to the world – took the bizarre step of writing a series of Tweets in support of now-deposed former FBI head James Comey!

Snowden’s most recent “expose” is of his vast ignorance of how the political system of the United States works – and how the US capitalist class and its government views “traitors” like himself. It is likely that the only way Edward Snowden will ever be able to return to the US as a free man is in the wake of a workers socialist revolution in the USA. But if he keeps expressing his love for the FBI and keeps pining to get his old security clearance and desk back at Langley, he’ll still be “persona non grata” then as well!

Julian Assange went a step further, offering Comey a job working for WikiLeaks’ non-existent bureau in Washington D.C.!

He’d better be kidding.

Assange – whose politics are a somewhat milder version of repulsive pro-capitalist and reactionary libertarianism – also would do well to take a few months of his sequestration in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London to study the basics of Marxism. If nothing else, it would help to clarify what side of the class line he wishes to take his stand upon: that of the working class or of the capitalist class. We created the “Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago” organization to defend WikiLeaks from attacks launched against it by the US Government. In the event that Julkian Assange and WikiLeaks begin to hire “former” FBI agents to work for WikiLeaks, the days of our support for them will be over. Once they start hiring agents of US imperialism to work for them, WikiLeaks will quickly be transformed into another pro-US NGO like Human Rights Watch, that will be just another brick in the wall of US imperialism.

The Democrats are now posing as the great defenders of the FBI’s “independence” as a law enforcement agency against the alleged attacks being made against the FBI by the Trump administration. First of all, anyone who thinks that US billionaire real-estate swindler has ever given a moment’s thought to dismantling the FBI can just do everyone a favor and give up political analysis now and forever and get back to doing word-search puzzles or something. James Comey’s half-witted interference in the 2016 US Presidential election was enough to get him fired right then and there. He did more damage to the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton than all the hackers and Russian agents combined. If anything needs to be investigated it is the interference of the CIA and the rest of the US “deep state” into the US presidential elections, both before and after the election proper. The machinations of Comey and of the Pentagon and its agents who are the focus of the alleged connections between the Russian Government and the Trump campaign need investigation; as well as the CIA-Pentagon takeover of “Trump’s” National Security Council!

Unfortunately, since the US working class has not one elected official in the Congress to call for such an investigation, it will not happen. The Democrats – supposedly the “friends of the working class” – have proven time and time again their incapacity to carry out their oversight responsibilities over the US “Deep State”, as the various satraps of the NSA, CIA and Pentagon routinely “testify” falsely to Congress, get caught doing it and… nothing is done to them!

The US “Deep State” proved it actually runs the USA when the CIA was caught red-handed spying on US Senate staffers as they attempted to investigate the CIA’s secret torture camps set up to brutalize suspected “terrorists” into “confessing” their “sins” past and present.  (See: NY Times, “Inquiry by C.I.A. Affirms It Spied on Senate Panel”, 31 July 2014)  That was a clear-cut case of the CIA placing itself illegally and monstrously above and outside the purview of the highest legislative body in the land. What did the Democrats do about it? Absolutely nothing! The CIA’s director at the time as well as everyone involved in the spying operation against the Congressional investigators should be cooling their heels in prison cells these days – but they weren’t even disciplined! Having abdicated their responsibility to the public to bring the CIA leadership up on charges of illegally spying on Congress, the Democrats surrendered the last line of defense the nation had against the “Deep State” this side of workers revolution. Now the Democrats can be seen running around frantically trying to pass the hat to anyone who is willing to commit political suicide by launching an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the allegations of Russian meddling in the US Presidential election and the Trump campaign’s alleged involvement in that scheme. When Comey made his damning presentation to Congress regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails, stopping just short of issuing indictments for her criminal acts just weeks before the election, the Democrats were furious and many were screaming for Comey’s head to be placed on a platter and sent to the House of Repesentatives: now, when Comey is fired by Trump for his inability to testify before Congress without, essentially, committing perjury, the Democrats are ready to begin the process for impeaching Trump! The US Congress has become such a banal comedy act that it has become a national embarrassment – to the US’ allies. Here in the USA, the bourgeois press has become so insipid and the working class (for the most part) has become so sick of the political games being played there, that the prospects for anything other than a continuation of the long-term dysfunction of the federal government look bleak to say the least.

It is absolutely imperative that the US working class organize its own revolutionary Trotskyist workers party immediately, to begin the work necessary to eventually kick this sad capitalist political fraud to the curb and in its place to build a workers government that will take the responsibility to guarantee all the necessities of human life in the 21st century for every woman, man and child in this country and around the world. This phony “democracy” is a conspiracy against the working class designed to squeeze every penny of profit possible from each and every one of us, leaving us without the money to provide ourselves with decent housing, clothing, food and everything else we need. These capitalist cretins and their politicians promise us a “future” of endless wars against endless enemies who they will constantly be creating via their endless wars – until they finally set off the chain of events that leads to the next world war – a nuclear world war – in which, this time, many if not all of the US’ major cities will be totally destroyed! If this is your idea of the kind of future you want for you, your kids, and your grandkids then just keep on doing what you’re doing now – supporting the capitalist class and capitalism by voting for its bought-and-paid-for political parties – and your “American Dream(TM)” will undoubtedly come true (in a brief blaze of fascist “glory”)… and then it’ll be Berlin, 1945 for the fascist USA!  (Trust us: you don’t want to go there).

Unter den Linden, Berlin, 1945.  If the USA keeps heading in the direction of fascism, it will end up like Nazi Germany…. except with far more people dead and far fewer buildings left standing after a nuclear WWIII.

If you want to create a long-term future of peace and prosperity for future generations, then you must realize that capitalism is barring the door to that future, and until we overthrow it, the human race can not go one step further! To overthrow capitalism we must create a revolutionary Trotskyist workers party that will lead that revolution to success and to the establishment of an egalitarian socialist workers republic where we won’t just have the right merely “to PURSUE happiness” but for everyone to actually achieve it. Join us!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

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FBI Tried to Set Up Coretta Scott King for Assassination by Mississippi KKK in 1966

Happy Martin Luther King Day!  We honor the memory of Dr. King, a brave martyr in the long struggle to achieve equal rights for black workers in the racist hellhole of the United States of America.

As the recent worldwide protests against the wanton disregard for the lives of black workers by the US government and its police state agencies can attest, the struggle for equal rights for black workers in the USA is far from over.  The Independent Workers Party of Chicago seeks to create an integrated revolutionary Trotskyist workers party to organize the US working class to smash racism and the capitalist system that requires it in order to divide and conquer the workers movement and to maintain the class rule of the numerically tiny US capitalist class. The capitalist system needs to foment racism in order to function properly; it must keep the working class at each others’ throats so the capitalists can continue to exploit the workers effectively, squeezing profits from its wage-slaves while we fight among ourselves. Capitalism needs racism like a fish needs water! In order to smash racism we must first overthrow the capitalist system that creates, enforces and reinforces racism 24/7/365. To believe that we can smash racism while keeping capitalism is to believe in the impossible!

Every Martin Luther King Day workers in the US and all around the capitalist world are subjected to wall-to-wall propaganda from the US government and US capitalist enterprises cynically pretending to to pay “tribute” to MLK.  The racist, warmongering capitalists pay the tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. that vice always pays to virtue, wiping their bloodstained hands with the mantle of the civil rights movement led by MLK, while simultaneously subjecting black workers to the same old racist “last hired, first fired” treatment as well as by unleashing their murderous racist cops on the black population – beating, imprisoning and murdering any black worker who dares to stand up for her or his rights against the racist cops and government. In fact, in this supposedly egalitarian, democratic, anti-racist, capitalist US of A, a black worker is murdered every 28 hours by the capitalists’ racist cops, security guards or vigilantes! Who are they trying to kid?

The truth is, while they pretend today that they all loved him, in fact, while Martin Luther King was alive, the capitalists’ US Government and their police agencies did all they could to destroy Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement he led and they tried to either co-opt or assassinate its leaders.  The capitalists ordered the FBI to savagely attack the civil rights movement, setting up their infamous Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) operation to “disrupt, discredit and destroy” every element of the civil rights movement.  For Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta, this presented itself as a mysterious, savage campaign orchestrated by persons unknown (it turned out to be the FBI)

to destroy Martin Luther King, Jr. personally by driving him to commit suicide.  The FBI sent him and his family racist cartoons, death threats and did everything they could to make their lives a living hell.  The US Government’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. “lovefest” is in fact a cynical attempt to whitewash the true history of their decades-long and continuing attempts to keep the black population of the USA “in their place” as a reserve army of low-paid workers forced to live in segregated ghettoes patrolled by vicious, racist cops who think nothing of gunning down black workers of any age or sex.

Both Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King were the subject of illegal FBI wiretaps and surveillance throughout their careers as civil rights activists.  Their phones were tapped in their home and offices; their friends were approached to act as FBI informants; paid informants were directed to infiltrate the King entourage and to get as close to the family as possible in order that the FBI could be kept appraised of their every move, so as to be able to disrupt the civil rights movement as completely and effectively as possible.  Presidents from Democratic darling of the liberals John F. Kennedy to Republican Richard Nixon oversaw this wall-to-wall campaign of harassment and intimidation waged against the Kings before and after MLK was murdered in 1968.  After the murder, the US Army’s Intelligence Unit monitored the movements of the Kings as they exercised their Constitutional rights to conduct political activities around the US.

DOCUMENT: US Army Intelligence unit carried out domestic espionage against Coretta Scott King, 7 August 1968

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, we publish recently declassified FBI files which show that, in the 1960s, on at least one occasion, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informed police agencies in the Deep South in advance not only that Martin Luther King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, would be traveling by car through the jurisdictions of these notoriously racist cops but that the FBI was NOT requesting these police agencies to provide her with any protection at all.

This amounted to a clear attempt by the FBI to set up Mrs. King for arrest – or much worse – as she traveled across country on her way to participate in various Civil Rights Movement events taking place around the US.  In 1966 the police agencies of Mississippi were loaded with Ku Klux Klan members – and the FBI damned well knew this.  To inform these redneck cops in advance of Mrs. Kings itinerary was essentially setting her up to be murdered.  Two years later, with the assassination site itself swarming with undercover cops and FBI agents, Martin Luther King was murdered in broad daylight, right in front of their eyes – and they saw nothing.  It appears that as part of the FBI’s long-running attempts to destroy MLK personally, they gave the green light on at least one occasion to the Klan-ridden cops of Mississippi to “take out” his wife.

In November of 1966, Mrs. King planned to make a trip by car to Grenada, Mississippi car to to give a vocal recital at a benefit for the Grenada County Freedom Movement – and the FBI immediately knew about her trip and moved to set her up.  Today, it might not be a well-remembered name from the days of the Civil Rights era, but there is no way that Hoover and the FBI in 1966 would have been unaware of the deeply racist nature of the police in that part of Mississippi that Mrs. King would pass through on her way to Grenada.  Quite the contrary!

Grenada was one of the towns that had been on the route of James Meredith’s 220-mile-long “March Against Fear”  from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi which took place earlier that very same year.   Meredith was the man who had created a massive uproar when he, an Air Force veteran, dared to apply to attend the University of Mississippi in 1962.  It took a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, a threat to arrest the Governor of Mississippi, 500 U.S. marshals and a battalion from Fort Campbell, Kentucky to be deployed before the university would “allow” him to attend!  To say that the FBI “knew of” James Meredith would be a massive understatement: Meredith was internationally famous.

Originally, Meredith did not want any of the national civil rights organizations to be involved in the “March Against Fear” and he asked that only black men would participate in the march.  When Meredith was shotgunned 3 times by a white racist on the 2nd day of the march (- amazingly, he survived), the major civil rights organizations immediately came to his aid and took over the organization and leadership of the trek to Jackson.  According to the Wikipedia article on the “March Against Fear”, “The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Human Rights Medical Committee took part, with the Deacons for Defense and Justice from Louisiana providing armed protection.”  They combined the protest with voter registration drives in the towns they passed through.  When they got to Grenada and started their voter registration activities, the Grenada “town fathers” pretended to cooperate, and appointed black registrars to oversee the program.  However, as soon as the marchers left the town, the newly created registration rolls of the names and addresses of black voters were burned by the town’s racist leaders.

In spite of all this, when Mrs. King planned to drive to Grenada later that same year to give a vocal recital at a benefit for the Grenada County Freedom Movement, the FBI (which knew of her plans in advance thanks to the wiretaps US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy had ordered to be installed on the phones of key civil rights activists – especially Stanley Levison) informed the local Grenada cops as well as the Mississippi Highway Patrol that she was on her way – and that the FBI did not expect them to provide any protection for her!  The Jackson, MS office of the FBI was apparently given the green light to inform the local cops of detailed information the FBI had acquired about her planned movements, including the precise time that she was expected to be leaving the benefit!

DOCUMENT: FBI sets up Coretta Scott King in Grenada, MS, 13 November 1966

The evidence of this plot is contained in this November 12, 1966 document from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to the FBI office in Jackson, MS.  In it,  Hoover advises the FBI – in Jackson, Mississippi! – to “ADVISE MISS. HIWAY PATROL AND GRANADA [MISS. – IWPCHI] POLICE OF MRS. KING’S PRESENCE IN MISS. AND TAKE NO FURTHER ACTION.  THESE AGENCIES SHOULD BE ADVISED WE ARE MERELY PASSING ON THIS INFORMATION AND NOT REQUESTING PROTECTION FOR MRS. KING”.  Hoover quite pointedly did not order the Jackson office to inform the local racist cops that the FBI would be providing protection either, implying – not at all subtly – that the local crazies were free to launch an attack on Mrs. King and her entourage.  There really is no other way to interpret these orders from Hoover.

We have no idea if any members of the Mississippi police agencies that had been informed of Mrs. King’s travels to their state made any attempt to attack Mrs. King on or around November 13, 1966.  Maybe they did and we just don’t know about it; maybe they were suspicious that they were being set up by the Feds.  Maybe they just didn’t have enough advance notice of her itinerary to launch an attack.  But whatever the reason, it was not because the FBI was going out of its way to protect Mrs. King.

Capitalism uses racism to divide and conquer the working class, making it harder for workers to organize across racial lines in order to fight the capitalists endless attempts to smash unions, disrupt anti-racist and socialist workers parties and squeeze more profits out of us thereby.   The pro-capitalist political parties of the capitalist class – the Republicans and the Democrats, as well as the Green Parties and other reformist parties – all defend the capitalist system, which means that they can not be transformed into effective weapons in the workers struggle to smash racism.  We need to build an integrated revolutionary socialist workers party that understands that racism can’t be done away with under the capitalist system.  Capitalism needs racism in order to survive; it will take a workers socialist revolution to overthrow the capitalist system before we can even begin to wipe out racism here in the USA and around the world.  Join us!

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

 

UPDATED: Get your copy of the US Army’s New “Civil Disturbances” Manual for 2014

[Note: We have added another document – 2007’s “Military Intelligence – US Army Intelligence Activities”  to the end of the article – IWPCHI]

Until recently, US citizens have been spared the kind of savage military response to attempts by workers to defend their rights such as we have seen this year meted out so brutally by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) against the Palestinian people in Gaza. But as the State of Missouri’s response to the uprising against police state murder in Ferguson shows, it looks like this kind of military intervention is going to be increasingly used against dissidents here in the US as well.

It is a little-known fact that throughout the civil rights struggle in the US, the FBI, whose own savage COINTELPRO tactics wantonly violated the Constitutional rights of US workers who legally fought for their rights, routinely kept the US military districts all over the US informed of their plans and activities.

In this document, the FBI, which is spying on both the anti-Vietnam War Movement and the late wife of Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King, notes that the referenced memo (LHM means “Letterhead Memorandum” in FBI-speak) will be disseminated to several US military intelligence divisions in the various military districts…

as has been done with the rest of the world

(as has been done with the rest of the world)

…which the United States is divided into.

US Military Intelligence spied on Coretta King and antiwar activists

The U.S. Army Intelligence Command (USAINTC) is “the Army counterintelligence element formed in 1965 to conduct operations in the continental United States. The command had been allotted substantial personnel to carry out its mission. Its seven Military Intelligence groups controlled a network of 300 field and resident offices across the nation.” [Source: globalsecurity.org: “U.S. Army Intelligence Command and the Home Front“] In the FBI document above, we see that the 111th Military Intelligence Group, as well as the Naval Investigative Service [NIS – now known as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)] and the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) were being kept informed by the FBI as to the activities of the antiwar left and the key civil rights activists legally exercising their constitutional rights to protest and organize. Since the end of the Civil War, the US military has been used most significantly on behalf of the US capitalist class in order to smash labor strikes whenever the oligarchs’ private security forces have been overwhelmed by working class militancy.

The National Guard was famously used against black workers in the uprisings that broke out across the nation in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King as well as in the efforts to quell the antiwar protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968.

In a 2009 article for the US Army’s “Joint Center for Operational Analysis Journal” entitled “The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Law Enforcement“, Retired Col. John R. Brinkerhoff provided a concise historical overview with a couple of surprises:

“Federal military troops have been used often to enforce the laws of the Nation. In the past two hundred fifteen years, the Army and, to a lesser extent, the Marine Corps has enforced the laws in over 167 incidents, or about 0.75 times per year on the average. Federal troops have been called on to quell insurrections, enforce unpopular federal laws, govern the seven states of the defeated Confederacy, protect minorities from harm, quell race riots, police the lawless West, guard the borders, break strikes, protect key assets against sabotage, seize and operate war plants, enforce civil rights laws, operate the postal service, and protect the population from lawless elements. (See U.S. Army Center of Military History, The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1789-1878 (1988).)

[…]

“A major source of confusion is the Posse Comitatus Act, which many people believe-incorrectly-prohibits the use of federal troops to enforce the law in the United States.

“What was originally no more than a way to prevent US attorneys and local sheriffs to require federal troops to enforce the law has become, in popular myth, a general proscription of any use of federal troops to enforce the law. This general belief is belied by the fact that despite the Posse Comitatus Act, Presidents after 1878 have used federal troops to enforce the laws when they saw fit to do so. Presidents have used the Posse Comitatus Act as an excuse to reject or avoid actions they did not want to do, but have not hesitated to work around the act to do what they wanted to do. During the labor riots of the late 19th Century, Presidents used federal troops to intervene in labor disputes under the pretext of protecting federal property. During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson breached the actual terms of the Posse Comitatus Act by allowing his subordinates to use troops without first obtaining his authorization. During World War II and for three decades thereafter, federal troops were frequently involved in law enforcement actions, such as surveillance, search, detention, and arrest in the course of authorized domestic operations. Federal troops not only enforced the law of the land, including making arrests and detaining lawbreakers, but they were expected to do so by a generally grateful public. The real intent of the original Posse Comitatus Act was to restore to the President sole authority to authorize the use of federal military forces to enforce the law in the United States.

“The real effect of the Posse Comitatus Act has been to slow down the response time for the use of federal troops.” [ibid.]

More information on this subject can be had by looking up the term “Operation GARDEN PLOT” which is “the DoD Civil Disturbance Plan, the generic Operations Plan [OPLAN] for military support related to domestic civil disturbances.”

This April, the US Army published a new “Techniques Publication” on how to handle civil disturbances. This document lays out in no uncertain terms just how our “heroes in uniform” have been handling “disturbances” created by our working class brothers and sisters courageously fighting for their rights under US military occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

We have confirmed that this document is genuine and comes from the US Army’s own website. In it are described many of the most notorious tactics used by the military and cops against political activists, including “extraction teams” and methods to “establish lethal overwatch” by placing snipers on tall buildings overseeing the likely sites where “disturbances” might take place.

Army Techniques Publication 3-39.33 – Civil Disturbances

This all sounds very scary, but even this extreme example of police state terror has its limitations, as has been belatedly discovered by every despot who was overthrown in a revolution led by an enraged working class and/or peasantry. After all, the National Guard and the rest of the armed forces of the US are composed of our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, and and also of poor and minority workers, who join the military not out of love for the ruling class and its government but out of desperation to find means to survive, especially at times of high unemployment. The army, therefore is very unlike the cops who more consciously hire on as the front-line defenders of capitalist private property, knowing in advance that they will be used to break strikes and to brutalize workers on a daily basis as part of their “jobs”. To the rank-and-file members of the military appeals can be made that they refrain from opening fire on their fellow workers.

Using the military to quell domestic disturbances can very easily lead to a rapid demoralization of the working-class members of the armed forces, their joining the insurrection, arresting their officers and turning the heavy guns of the military against the ruling class itself. If led by a revolutionary socialist vanguard party dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system, this can lead to the collapse of the government and the accession of the working class to power. In the great Russian Revolution of 1917, almost the entire Czarist army went over to the side of the Bolsheviks, who alone among all the opposition parties had promised to end the bloodbath of WWI – and who followed through on that promise upon their seizure of power. Brute force is an effective deterrent to attempts at the overthrow of the government – until it finally fails to work… at which time, as we have seen repeatedly throughout history, the end finally comes for the hated government and ruling class that has dared to attempt to extend their tenacious hold on to power by slaughtering “their own” workers in the streets of “their own” cities.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

UPDATE:  We’ve run across another interesting unclassified US Army document entitled: “Military Intelligence – US_Army_Intelligence_Activities“.  It’s a good overview of the extent of the US Army’s domestic and international espionage activities. – IWPCHI

 

Declassified 1977 “Report of the Dept. of Justice Task Force to Review FBI Martin Luther King Jr. Security and Assassination Investigations”

Why is workers revolution necessary to completely overthrow the rule of the capitalist classes of the world and replace it with the rule of the working classes of the world – rather than merely reforming the system?

We publish here yet another expose of the “democratic process” in action.  It relates to how the US capitalist class reacts whenever the wage slaves of the United States – that is, YOU, dear reader – organize yourselves to fight for your rights.  In this case we expose the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s  use of its Counterintelligence Program (a.k.a. COINTELPRO) to destroy the leadership of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.  In stark contrast to the mythology that surrounds the US Government’s role which extols how “enlightened liberals” like John F. and Robert F. Kennedy courageously assisted the evolution of democracy and civil rights in the US, we see that in fact the US Government’s most “liberal” regime in the post World War II era – the Kennedy Administration – in fact unleashed the racist FBI of J. Edgar Hoover on the Civil Rights Movement, focusing first and foremost on destroying the credibility and effectiveness of one of the most charismatic leaders of that movement – the apostle of non-violence, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This internal Department of Justice review of the FBI’s “investigation” into the alleged “Communist” brain trust behind Martin Luther King (which was the pretext for FBI harassment, wiretapping and surveillance of Dr. King from 1963 up until his brutal murder in Memphis in April of 1968) proves that no matter how “nonviolent” or “pacifist” or even pro-capitalist a leader of the working class is, she or he will always be seen as a deadly threat to the capitalist class due to the simple calculation that ANYONE who is capable of inspiring the working class with a sense of their power to change the status quo presents a mortal threat to the continued existence of capitalist class rule.  The reaction of the capitalist class and their bought-and-paid-for politician-servants will be predictable: infiltrate, disrupt and destroy the threat – no matter how small – to the domination of the numerically tiny capitalist class over the vast working class majority of the population.

In the case of King, he was, like so many black civil rights leaders who had grown up through the massive class struggles of the 1930s and ’40s, not at all averse to working with Communists or ex-Communists.  Black workers from Harlem to Mississippi knew that the Communist Party of the United States of America had produced thousands of self-sacrificing workers who fought racism in the US and many of whom gave their lives in that struggle.  The CP as well as the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party had impressed black workers with their campaigns for full equality for black workers at work, in the military and at every level of society and had fought racist frame ups against blacks like the infamous Scottsboro Boys case.  Communist union organizers braved death threats from the Ku Klux Klan while attempting to organize black workers throughout the South into unions in which black and white workers would fight for their rights as workers together as sisters and brothers.  Martin Luther King Jr., like so many other people of color all over the world was no doubt inspired by the strong anti-racist side of the Communist program and supposedly studied basic Marxist philosophy to some extent – but he never became a Party member.

The basis of FBI head J. Edgar Hoover’s insistence that there existed a plot by the Communist Party of the US to infiltrate and control the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) of Dr. King was based on the fact that King’s top advisor in the SCLC was an ex-Communist named Stanley_Levison.  Levison was a large part of the reason for the rapid organizing success of the SCLC in the early to mid ’60s.  Levison had learned how to effectively organize mass movements while he was a member of the CP in the ’40s and this experience served Dr. King extremely well throughout his rise to international fame.  Shrewdly advising King as to how to maneuver more skillfully in the treacherous political waters of the US, Levison helped the SCLC leadership create a powerful organization to fight for civil rights for black workers – using non-violent means.  Though Levison appears to have quit the CP in 1957, Hoover used the fact of his former party membership and current role as close advisor to King to justify the launching of the entire suite of COINTELPRO attacks on Martin Luther King and his wife, Coretta Scott King.  Hoover’s anti-Communist paranoia regarding Levison led him to tag Levison as  “secret Communist” – and he forwarded reports to fellow red-hater Robert F. Kennedy linking Dr. King to the CP through Levison that convinced RFK to greenlight the wiretapping of phones in King’s home and the SCLC offices starting in early October of 1963.

The capitalist class had created COINTELPRO originally to fight the rise of the Communist Party in order to keep the Party from gaining a leadership role over the working class of the US, which would threaten to overthrow capitalist class rule and establish a socialist workers state in its place.  One of the most dangerous (to the capitalist class) outcomes of such organization would be the smashing of the segregationist system of the US that divided the working class along racial lines.  The Communist Party’s program called for complete integration of the workers movement, which would neutralize one of the most powerful weapons in the hands of the capitalist class – the domination of its ideology of racial superiority of whites over blacks and Hispanics, which enabled the capitalists to more easily divide and conquer the multiracial US working class.  Levison’s position at the top of the SCLC’s leadership appeared to Hoover to be the harbinger of this capitalist class nightmare.  Hoover unleashed a massive COINTELPRO investigation campaign against Levison – as evidenced by his massive FBI file, the released version of which runs to 190 separate sections!

After John F. Kennedy was murdered in the highly suspicious manner in which he was, a sense arose among the US working class that it was quite possible that sinister forces INSIDE the U.S. Government may have contributed to or even actually planned the murder of the relatively popular Kennedy.  Investigations into his assassination quickly led to the uncovering of many clues as to what elements of the U.S. Government might have had a hand in the Kennedy assassination: was it the C.I.A., which blamed Kennedy for the failure of the infamous Bay of Pigs fiasco that attempted to overthrow the Castro regime in Cuba?  Was it the Mafia who were angry at the Kennedys, both Bobby and Jack, for unleashing the hounds of the Justice Department against them, in violation of an alleged pact between the Mafia and the Kennedy clan before the 1960 election?  Or was it a combination of the two?  As the sixties wore on and more evidence leaked out of the US government regarding its secret operations to topple governments throughout Central and South America, in Iran and the Dominican Republic and elsewhere, the working class of the United States and the entire world came to doubt the veracity of any official statement coming out of the mouths of the politicians and government officials in Washington.

The police state attacks on the U.S. Civil Rights movement were obvious from the beginning.  Cops all over the United States, north and south attacked black and white civil rights activists wherever they emerged, beating them bloody in front of TV cameras from Birmingham to Chicago and from New York to Los Angeles.  The murder of Medgar Evers; the savage attacks on the Black Panther Party, the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in which 4 young Sunday School students were slaughtered – and the lackluster “investigations” of these crimes by the U.S, Government at all levels – all pointed to a sinister racist collaboration between the national, state and local governments to crush the civil rights movement  by any means necessary. (It was later discovered that a paid FBI informant working inside the Klan in Birmingham named Gary Thomas Rowe, Jr. who took part in several Klan attacks on Freedom Riders and who participated in the murder of civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo most likely – at the least –  had advance knowledge of the conspiracy to commit the 16th St. Baptist Church bombing).

The vast amount of police state surveillance and the maelstrom of violence that had enveloped the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and his family and fellow leaders of the Civil Rights movement (in “spite” of that massive surveillance) was obvious to everyone involved in the Civil Rights movement.  So it was that when the Reverend King was murdered in cold blood while carloads of cops sat in the parking lot of the Lorraine Motel like scarecrows, the politically conscious workers of the US immediately suspected that there was a conspiracy in US Government circles that aided and abetted this heinous crime against the entire working class.  The US government’s attempts to “investigate” the King assassination were met with incredulity and contempt.  Anger turned into massive uprisings as angry black workers attacked the police and National Guard units sent into black communities to “restore order”.   The US capitalist class, in a desperate attempt to head off what appeared to be a rapid radicalization of the black working class ordered their hired lackeys in the Democratic Party to immediately institute the most thorough APPEARING “investigations” into the murder of Martin Luther King.  From 1968 to 1977, several investigations were launched – internal investigations by the police agencies at the local, state and national levels, as well as Congressional investigations.  As the extent of the FBI’s COINTELPRO was slowly revealed in the late 60s and early 70s, it became clear that, like the Kennedy assassination, there was a very sinister backstory behind the superficial analysis provided by the bourgeois press and the government investigations into the attacks by the FBI on the entire civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movement as well as those inquiries into the possible involvement of the FBI in the murder of Dr. King.

The end of the Vietnam War – made possible by the victory of the Communist Viet Cong over the troops of U.S. imperialism – as well as the death of J. Edgar Hoover in May of 1972 suddenly opened a window of opportunity for the politicians and servants of the bourgeoisie to perform the Herculean task of attempting to con the working class into believing that the “bad old days” of COINTELPRO were over and that the “democracy-loving” liberal Democrats and Republicans would right the ship of state and ensure that such excesses would never again be allowed to happen.  Investigations were launched into the CIA’s assassination of foreign government leaders and their involvement in military coups all over the world.  The Watergate scandal and the investigation into the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation – which most likely could never have taken place so long as J. Edgar Hoover still drew breath – was begun.  The massive effort of the US government to convince the working class that the “excesses” of the Hoover-era COINTELPRO operation would heretofore be eliminated and abolished through reforms at the FBI and other US police state agencies was, after years of strenuous effort, finally largely successful.  The rising tide of worker militancy – especially that of black workers – peaked and rolled back – or rather was driven back by the continued use of COINTELPRO-type police state attacks on activists while the politicians in Washington put on their dog-and-pony shows like the Church Committee  investigation into CIA, NSA and FBI “excesses” from the 1950s through the early ’70s.

The recent exposes of torture programs run by the United States military in Iraq and Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, as well as the secret prisons run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the massive global police state espionage operations of the National Security Agency – which make the FBI’s domestic wiretapping efforts against Civil Rights activists and opponents of the Vietnam War of the ’60s look like child’s play – prove that in fact, nothing has changed when it comes to the US capitalist class police state operations against their working class political opponents.  It should be obvious to any intelligent worker that the long, sordid history of US capitalist class rule proves that there is only one way for the 1% to maintain the whip hand over the tens of millions of wage slaves who create all the profits that are systematically stolen by the capitalists.  The class rule of the capitalist class requires the complete suppression of any attempt by the worker-slaves to organize an effective fight for their rights, never mind making an actual bid to overthrow their capitalist masters.  Even those who steadfastly espouse the philosophy of non-violence are set up for harassment, blackmail, long jail sentences on trumped-up charges and – if none of that “cures” the uppity wage slave who dares to stand up to all those attacks – assassination.   What the United States Government did to Martin Luther King must be burned into the consciousness of every working man and woman in this nation.  THIS is why we call for the overthrow of the most murderous ruling class ever to rampage across the face of the planet – the U.S. capitalist class.

11jan77_Report of the DoJ Task Force to Review the FBI MLK Jr. Security and Assassination Investigations

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

Lies and Damned Lies: The US Government IS Collecting the FULL Content Every Email and Phone Call in the US and Abroad

The capitalist press of the entire world has been on a full-court press to spread the lie that the latest revelations about the US Government’s spy programs are NOT collecting every bit of information from every Internet and telephone communication made within the US and from the US to foreign countries.  The fact is that the NSA has been collecting all this information for YEARS and is, in fact, able to collect not just “metadata” – which would be bad enough – but every bit of every communication sent and received by US citizens.  This vast, police-state operation makes the East German Stasi’s unnecessary and overbearing domestic spying operation look like a joke.

The US Government, which had savagely attacked the USSR for running domestic surveillance operations against their citizens, has been shown to have been running a far more extensive spy operation in the US.  Make no mistake: you can take all the phony reassurances from the Democratic- and Republican-party scumbags who have signed off on these domestic spying operations over and over again under the pretense that they are only directed against “terrorists” – these vast spying operations are actually now – and will continue to be in the future – directed against “the usual suspects”: the workers movement inside the US and around the world.  The tiny US capitalist class, hated for its brutal repression of the workers movement all over the world, sees its number one enemy to be those workers who dare to organize unions and revolutionary parties dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist wage-slavery system.  To further its “sole superpower” status, this microscopic minority of filthy-rich billionaires – something less than 450 individuals who own more than 50% of the wealth of the US – think that they have the right to run the entire planet.  To further their self-aggrandizing plans – which they dare to call by the names of “freedom” and “democracy”, this tiny cabal of greedheads has bribed its wholly-owned Democratic and Republican Senators and Representatives to conspire to turn the United States into a mechanism to allow the capitalist government of the US to spy on everyone on planet Earth who owns a phone.  This is, in fact the only way that such a tiny minority as the US capitalist class can hope to maintain its savage class rule over the working classes of the world, who outnumber them by billions.  This vast spying operation, whose exposure has torn the phony “human rights” mask off the US ruling class – thanks to a mere handful of courageous whistleblowers WHO MUST BE DEFENDED BY THE INTERNATIONAL WORKERS MOVEMENT BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY! – shows how scared the US capitalist class is, and how tenuous their hold on “power” is as they continue to drive the standard of living of the US working class down to the level of mere subsistence, just as Karl Marx predicted would happen in the Communist Manifesto!

This “newly-revealed” NSA spying operation has been known by those who pay attention to these things – i.e. the .001% of the US population in the various socialist workers parties and the hacker community – for several years.  In 2006 a former AT&T technician named  Mark Klein revealed the existence of a probable NSA spy operation in a mysterious locked room in an AT&T facility in San Francisco dubbed “Room 614A”.

Klein courageously exposed the fact that in this facility, a high-tech splitter had been installed on the primary fiber-optic cables carrying all the data – phone and internet – running through AT&T.  This splitter – analogous to a prism used for manipulating beams of light – was dividing the fiber optic traffic in the form of light pulses into two streams; one was being sent on its way to users of AT&T’s networks and the other was being fed into “Room 614A”.   Several experts on the NSA’s operations assumed at the time of Klein’s revelations that “Room 614A” was most likely an NSA spying operation of some kind.  Investigative reporter  Kim Zetter  wrote a series of excellent articles for Salon in which she interviewed Klein and, later, learned of the existence of other, similar operations being run at AT&T facilities around the United States.  All of this historical fact has been swept under the rug by the bourgeois press news reports of these latest revelations of the US Government’s vast domestic and international spying ops.

Last year, several news reports described the NSA’s plans to build enormous  data storage facilities around the US.  The number of these huge facilities and the number and types of supercomputers believed to be installed in them are clearly not designed merely to collect “metadata”, as the bourgeois press would have us believe.  These vast assemblies of supercomputers are designed to collect, store and analyze EVERY BIT OF DATA perused, sent and received by every citizen of this planet.  The US Government is creating an Orwellian monster designed to intercept every communication of every worker who dares to oppose the capitalist class of the US and its wholly-owned US Government.

And is this really so surprising, after all?  How else can a tiny percentage of the US population continue to lord it over 300 million American citizens and the world’s 7 billion people without creating a vast police state apparatus to monitor dissent worldwide?  They are well aware just how tenuous their hold on power is; and so they spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on their global military and intelligence apparatus in the desperate, futile hope that through the sheer weight of their brutal military and police state operations they can somehow remain “the world’s sole superpower”!  What incredible arrogance!  And then to turn around and pose as the champions of human rights, as the US State Department does every day, including this week, when they hypocritically chastised their ally Turkey for brutalizing protesters in Istanbul!

This is why we call for workers revolution in the US to overthrow the capitalist class and their brutal system of exploitation and thievery.  The longer the working class allows this gang of thieves to run the United States as their own private plantation, the more of our brothers and sisters around the world will be murdered by the US military in defense of the foreign investments of the US capitalist class.  The chickens are coming home to roost right here in the US, where the attacks on the US workers’ standard of living are being carried out on a daily basis.  There is simply NO FUTURE for the workers of the world under capitalism – other than a future of declining standards of living and imperialist wars, leading up to the next “big one”: World War Three.  Is this the future you want to bequeath to your children and grandchildren?  It is high time that the US working class create its own workers parties to overthrow the rule of the insatiably greedy US capitalist class.  Every day we wait to do this is causing death and destruction for our sisters and brothers around the world – and sets us all here in the United States up for the same.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago