Civil Liberties Group Criticizes New FBI Profiling Authority -

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  Thursday, July 03, 2008  

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Civil Liberties Group Criticizes New FBI Profiling Authority

by Lara Jakes Jordan

WASHINGTON - Nearly 40 years ago, the FBI was roundly criticized for investigating Americans without evidence they had broken any laws. Now, critics fear the FBI may be gearing up to do it again.0703 05 1Tentative Justice Department guidelines, to be released later this summer, would let agents investigate people whose backgrounds - and potentially their race or ethnicity - match the traits of terrorists.

Such profiling faintly echoes the FBI’s now-defunct COINTELPRO, an operation under Director J. Edgar Hoover in the 1950s and 1960s to monitor and disrupt groups with communist and socialist ties.

Before it was shut down in 1971, the domestic spying operation - formally known as Counterintelligence Programs - had expanded to include civil rights groups, anti-war activists, the Ku Klux Klan, state legislators and journalists.

Among the FBI’s targets were Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and John Lennon, along with members of black extremist groups, Fidel Castro sympathizers and student protesters.

“These programs resulted in the bureau, at times, effectively stepping out of its proper role as a law enforcement agency,” the FBI acknowledges on its Web site.

The new proposal to allow investigations of Americans with no evidence of wrongdoing is “COINTELPRO for the 21st century,” said Barry Steinhardt of the American Civil Liberties Union. “But this is much more insidious because it could involve more people. In the days of COINTELPRO, they were watching only a few people. Now they could be watching everyone.”

A Justice official familiar with the guidelines disputed the ACLU’s view, saying the FBI authority will be much narrower than what was allowed under COINTELPRO.

The cover on COINTELPRO was blown in 1971, when a group calling itself the Citizens’ Committee to Investigate the FBI broke into an FBI office in Media, Pa., outside Philadelphia, and stole documents detailing parts of the operation. Hoover shut down the program a month later.

The documents led to the 1976 congressional Church Committee - named for its Democratic chairman, Sen. Frank Church of Idaho - and investigations into the FBI and CIA.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press.

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7 Comments so far

  1. luckylefty July 3rd, 2008 12:33 pm

    “COINTELPRO, an operation under Director J. Edgar Hoover in the 1950s and 1960s to monitor and disrupt groups with communist and socialist ties.” BULLSHIT. LIES AND BULLSHIT.

    First came Anslinger and the Palmer Raids. Then came the “Bureau of Investigation”. The appointed head was Hoover, who was Anslinger’s protege on the Palmer Raids. The “Bureau of Investigation” used the Klan for it’s wet-work on the east and west coasts against Bolshies, Wobblies, NAACP, union organizers of any stripe or ANYONE connected to any movement for economic or social justice. The “Bureau of Investigation” morphed into the “Federal Bureau of Investigation and continued exactly the same policies. No doubt the Klan was terribly shocked after decades of mutual support, when their friends in the Bureau prosecuted them for Goodwin, Shwerner, and Chaney. It was the “white kids” you see, and their parents made a lot of noise on the east coast. Here’s how I imagine the exchange went, after the Klan guys got popped.

    Klan Guy: “What the fuck are you guys doing? Prosecuting us? We work for you! My grandaddy used to work for you!”

    FBI Guy: “Heh! You killed white kids you stupid fucker. We told you. Hands off the white kids. If a mob does it, fine. But no direct action. But Nooooo. You gotta cap everybody. But it’s ok. Couple of you will do 5-6 years, early release, you know the drill, we fucked the forensics. J. Edgar’s between a rock and a hard place on this. A couple of you have to take the hit. We’ll take care them and their families, discreetly. And you guys go easy. Best we can do for you.”

    The work of COINTELPRO from the 60’s to the late 70’s was a primary attack to crush the extension of the Roosevelt Legacy of economic and social justice to ALL Americans. Their job from Day 1 has been to keep the races, the genders, and the classes in their place under Master. This war on dissidents broke the ice for Ronald Raygun and made his reign of terror and the subsequent POTUS Animals we have entertained ever since. That’s it. Jimmy Stewart and Glynnis Johns they are NOT. The people are thugs.

    Hoover never shut anything down. The ritual defamation, the false imprisonment, and the extra-legal executions continued into the late 70’s. By then every major movement for economic and social justice in this country was dead and the survivors learned to succeed by failing - a practice that continues to this day. The Gold or the Bullet. COINTELPRO has NEVER stopped and continues, on an as-needed basis to this day. How’s Paul Wellstone and his wife doing these days?

    Oh, yeah, about the Church Committee. God Bless Frank Church and all who rode with him. His hearings told the truth (based on documents that had to be stolen from the FBI)and he committed political suicide. He was targeted and defeated in his next election bid along with those who supported him, never to be seen or heard from again. NO REAL ACTION was ever taken to root out the evil he exposed and there have never been substantive hearings of this type EVER AGAIN.

    Iran-Contra hearings anyone? Farcical farces remain farces.

    Happy Great Shattering, the next tsunami should arrive shortly. That’s why there’s an extra 100′ of beach you never used to see….

  2. kent shaw July 3rd, 2008 12:46 pm

    We could use a few Frank Church’s today. Too bad they’re all either in on “the take” or are being blackmailed by the FBI/CIA/Mossad.

    Most eloquent, luckylefty.

    Kent Shaw

  3. alettow July 3rd, 2008 1:31 pm

    My understanding of this new FBI Authority is that it establishes the practice of not only using race to open an investigation but travel history and access to weapons. (The travel history being to places where terror activity is a major concern coupled with the ability to gain weapons easily.) I am curious as to how many NRA members who made a Christian pilgrimage to Israel will be suspect? Oh right, none, it is that whole race thing again because we have never had a white terrorist have we? I will try to remember that the next time I drive through Oklahoma.

  4. Downwinder July 3rd, 2008 1:54 pm

    If COINTELPRO was abandoned in the ’70s, what program was if effect in the 90’s when Judy Bari of earth first was bombed?

  5. jcrumb July 3rd, 2008 2:23 pm

    Great Info..BUT AGAIN I SAY:

    You are paying for all of it…it is NOT happening WITHOUT the disposable BILLIONS YOU PROVIDE!

    The only way to stop this to STOP paying the salleries of the SPIES, the TORTURERS..the MEN that order them to do these things…

    To look EVERYWHERE ELSE..but in the to RATIONALIZE away..YOUR responsiblitiy in all of this…you ARE paying for ALL of it…so STOP!

    If you do not want to have your freedoms RIPPED from your life..if you do not want CHECK POINTS….or a SURVIELLANCE SOCIETY LIKE THE U.K….then stop paying for it..


    So wake up! people…this “Power of the Purse” is our ONLY true power left..these federal CRIMES can ONLY happen if they are WELL FINANCED..they CANNOT happen without the BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars EVERY DAMN DAY!

    Please..I am beggin you to stop being join in a union of tax strikers to impose economic sanctions on this rogue state..and then DEEMAND a return to REPRESNTATIONAL GOVERNMENT..NOT LOBBYIST GOVERNMENT..NOT GOVERNEMNT FOR THE FEW..BUT FOR THE PEOPLE..


  6. ezeflyer July 3rd, 2008 2:45 pm

    Zero conservatives = zero terrorists

  7. piltdownman July 3rd, 2008 3:35 pm

    It is well documented that J. Edgar Hoover didn’t feel he needed any authority at all to investigate anyone. His file on Eleanor Roosevelt was 3000 pages! As long as thugs in positions of authority are allowed to operate in complete secrecy, no one is safe.

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