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(A young John Hoover)
In 1919, Hoover targeted Pan-African leader Marcus Garvey, naming him a "notorious negro agitator," and began searching for any evidence that would allow Garvey to be charged with a crime. In December of 1919, afraid of Garvey's growing influence, Hoover hired the first black agent in the Bureau's history: James Wormley Jones. Jones was sent to gather intelligence on Garvey, and the resulting information led Hoover and his group to sabotage Garvey's Black Star Line, a series of ships meant to transport goods between the black communities of North America, the Carribbean and Africa. As a result, Garvey's Black Star service went bankrupt, and the leader began entertaining thoughts of self-harm.
Worried by the revolution that had taken place in Russia, Palmer became convinced that Communist agents were planning to overthrow the American government. His view was reinforced by the discovery of thirty-eight bombs sent to leading politicians and the Italian anarchist who blew himself up outside Palmer's Washington home. Palmer recruited John Edgar Hoover as his special assistant and together they used the Espionage Act (1917) and the Sedition Act (1918) to launch a campaign against radicals and left-wing organizations.
A. Mitchell Palmer claimed that Communist agents from Russia were planning to overthrow the American government. On 7th November, 1919, the second anniversary of the Russian Revolution, over 10,000 suspected communists and anarchists were arrested. Palmer and Hoover found no evidence of a proposed revolution but large number of these suspects were held without trial for a long time. The vast majority were eventually released but Emma Goldman and 247 other people, were deported to Russia.
On 2nd January, 1920, another 6,000 were arrested and held without trial. These raids took place in several cities and became known as the Palmer Raids. A. Mitchell Palmer and John Edgar Hoover found no evidence of a proposed revolution but large number of these suspects, many of them members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), continued to be held without trial. When Palmer announced that the communist revolution was likely to take place on 1st May, mass panic took place. In New York, five elected Socialists were expelled from the legislature.
In 1886, the Supreme Court, in Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway Company v. Illinois, found that the states had no power to regulate interstate commerce. The resulting Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 created a Federal responsibility for interstate law enforcement. The Justice Department made little effort to relieve its staff shortage until the turn of the century, when Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte reached out to other agencies, including the Secret Service, for investigators. But the Congress forbade this use of Treasury employees by Justice, passing a law to that effect in 1908.
So the Attorney General moved to organize a formal Bureau of Investigation (BOI or BI), complete with its own staff of special agents. The Secret Service provided the Department of Justice 12 Special Agents and these agents became the first Agents in the new BOI. Thus, the first FBI agents were actually Secret Service agents. Its jurisdiction derived from the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887.
The FBI grew out of this force of special agents created on July 26, 1908 during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. The first Chief (the title has since been changed to Director) was Stanley W. Finch. Its first official task was visiting and making surveys of the houses of prostitution in preparation for enforcing the "White Slave Traffic Act," or Mann Act, passed on June 25, 1910. In 1932, it was renamed the United States Bureau of Investigation. The following year it was linked to the Bureau of Prohibition and rechristened the Division of Investigation (DOI) before finally becoming an independent service within the Department of Justice in 1935. In the same year, its name was officially changed from the Division of Investigation to the present-day Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI.
When Hoover took over, the Bureau of Investigation had approximately 650 employees, including 441 special agents who worked in field offices in nine cities. By the end of the decade, there were approximately 30 field offices, with divisional headquarters in New York, Baltimore, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Portland. He immediately fired those agents he considered unqualified and proceeded to professionalize the organization. For example, Hoover abolished the seniority rule of promotion and introduced uniform performance appraisals. At the beginning of the decade, the Bureau of Investigation established field offices in nine cities. He also scheduled regular inspections of the operations in all field offices.
Then, in January 1928, Hoover established a formal training course for new agents, including the requirement that new agents had to be in the 25-35 year range to apply. He also returned to the earlier preference for special agents with law or accounting experience.
Almost from the start, there were problems between the NYPD and the FBI. It was agreed that raid would take place that afternoon at 2:00 pm, when it was believed that Brunette would be asleep. However, federal agents moved ahead with the raid and stormed the apartment building at midnight. Confused police detectives, still on stakeout, watched as the raid began 14 hours ahead of schedule. When police officers at the scene questioned Hoover, according to the New York Times, the director "merely shrugged his shoulders".
Within a few minutes, Brunette was alerted when a federal agent unsuccessfully attempted to shoot the lock off his door and immediately returned fire. Gas grenades were tossed into his room, inadvertently starting a fire, and the New York City Fire Department was called.
(John Hoover and Clyde Tolson)
(Notorious bank robber John Dillinger)
(The Famous Bonny and Clyde)
A "valuable weapon" against these criminal rings, Agent Sackett thoughtfully stated in his article, was "accurate information"—details on the key players, their interlocking connections, their tactics and capabilities. He talked about how Chicago agents had begun building this base of knowledge, through informants and other contacts and through an extensive index of pictures and background on more than "three hundred of the notorious criminals and members of their gangs."
At the same time Hoover virtually ignored organized crime and his investigations into political corruption was mainly used as a means of gaining control over politicians in powerful positions. In 1959 Hoover had 489 agents spying on communists but only 4 investigating the Mafia. As early as 1945 Harry S. Truman complained how Hoover and his agents were "dabbling in sex life scandals and plain blackmail when they should be catching criminals".
In October 1963, Valachi had testified before Arkansas Senator John L. McClellan's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate Committee on Government Operations that the Mafia did exist.
Although Valachi's disclosures never led directly to the prosecution of many Mafia leaders, he was able to provide many details of its history, operations and rituals, aiding in the solution of several uncleared murders, as well as naming many members and the major crime families. His testimony, which was broadcast on radio and television and published in newspapers, was devastating for the mob, still reeling from the November 14, 1957 Apalachin Meeting, where state police had accidentally discovered several Mafia bosses from all over the United States meeting at the Apalachin home of mobster Joseph Barbara. Following Valachi's testimony, the mob was no longer invisible to the public.
As the threat became clearer, Congress began giving us more tools to combat it—including jurisdiction over more mobster related crimes like gambling and, in 1968, the ability to use court-authorized electronic surveillance in cases involving organized crime.
As a result of these intelligence efforts and new tools, our campaign against the mob turned a corner. The next key piece of the puzzle would come in the early ‘70s, with the passage of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations or “RICO” statute that would enable us to take down entire mob families.
Mafia boss, Joseph Bonanno, articulated the principles of the game. It was a strict underworld rule, he said, never to use violent means against a law enforcement officer. "Ways could be found," he said in his memoirs, "so that he would not interfere with us and we wouldn't interfere with him." The way the Mafia found to deal with Edgar [Hoover], according to several mob sources, involved his homosexuality.
The mob bosses had been well placed to find out about Edgar's compromising secret, and at a significant time and place. It was on New Year's Eve 1936, after dinner at the Stork Club, that Edgar was seen by two of Walter Winchell's guests holding hands with his lover, Clyde [Tolson]. At the Stork, where he was a regular, Edgar was immensely vulnerable to observation by mobsters. The heavyweight champion Jim Braddock, who also dined with Edgar and Clyde that evening, was controlled by Costello's associate Owney Madden. Winchell, as compulsive a gossip in private as he was in his column, constantly cultivated Costello. Sherman Billingsley, the former bootlegger who ran the Stork, reportedly installed two-way mirrors in the toilets and hidden microphones at tables used by celebrities. Billingsley was a pawn of Costello's, and Costello was said to be the club's real owner. He would have had no compunction about persecuting Edgar, and he loathed homosexuals.
Fratianno knew numerous other top mobsters, including Jack and Louis Dragna of Los Angeles and Johnny Roselli, the West Coast representative of the Chicago mob. All spoke of "proof" that Edgar was homosexual. Roselli spoke specifically of the occasion in the late twenties when Edgar had been arrested on charges of homosexuality in New Orleans. Edgar could hardly have chosen a worse city in which to be compromised. New Orleans police and city officials were notoriously corrupt, puppets of an organized crime network run by Mafia boss Carlos Marcello and heavily influenced by Meyer Lansky. If the homosexual arrest occurred, it is likely the local mobsters quickly learned of it.
Other information suggests Meyer Lansky obtained hard proof of Edgar's homosexuality and used it to neutralize the FBI as a threat to his own operations. The first hint came from Irving "Ash" Resnick, the Nevada representative of the Patriarcha family for New England, and an original owner-builder of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. As a high-level mob courier, he traveled extensively. In Miami Beach, his Christmas destination in the fifties, he stayed at the Gulfstream, in a bungalow next to the one used by Edgar and Clyde. "I'd sit with him on the beach every day," Resnick remembered. "We were family."
In 1971, Resnick and an associate talked with the writer Pete Hamill in the Galeria Bar at Caesars Palace. They spoke of Meyer Lansky as a genius, the man who "put everything together,"--and as the man who "nailed J. Edgar Hoover." "When I asked what they meant," Hamill recalled, "they told me Lansky had some pictures--pictures of Hoover in some kind of gay situation with Clyde Tolson. Lansky was the guy who controlled the pictures, and he had made his deal with Hoover--to lay off. That was the reason, they said, that for a long time they had nothing to fear from the FBI."
If Edgar's eyes met Lansky's, though, there was surely an involuntary flicker of fear. "The homosexual thing," said Pollock, "was Hoover's Achilles' heel. Meyer found it, and it was like he pulled strings with Hoover. He never bothered any of Meyer's people. . . . Let me go way back. The time Nevada opened up, Bugsy Siegel opened the Flamingo. I understand Hoover helped get the okay for him to do it. Meyer Lansky was one of the partners. Hoover knew who the guys were that whacked Bugsy Siegel, but nothing was done." (Siegel was killed, reportedly on Lansky's orders, in 1947.)
According to Pollock, Lansky and Edgar cooperated in the mid-fifties, when Las Vegas casino operator Wilbur Clark moved to Cuba. "Meyer brought Clark down to Havana," Pollock said. "I was against him coming. But I understand Hoover asked Meyer to bring Clark down. He owed Clark something. I don't know what. . . . There was no serious pressure on Meyer until the Kennedys came in. And even then Hoover never hurt Meyer's people, not for a long time."
There was no serious federal effort to indict Lansky until 1970, just two years before Edgar died. Then, it was the IRS rather than the FBI that spearheaded the investigation. Even the tax evasion charges collapsed, and Lansky lived on at liberty until his own death in 1983.
New information indicates that Lansky was not the only person in possession of compromising photographs of Edgar. John Weitz, a former officer in the OSS, the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency, recalled a curious episode at a dinner party in the fifties. "After a conversation about Hoover," he said, "our host went to another room and came back with a photograph. It was not a good picture and was clearly taken from some distance away, but it showed two men apparently engaged in homosexual activity. The host said the men were Hoover and Tolson. . . ."
Weitz would not say who his host was on the evening he saw the picture. He implied, however, that the host also had intelligence connections. A source who has been linked to the CIA, electronics expert Gordon Novel, claimed he was shown similar pictures by another OSS veteran, CIA Counter-Intelligence chief James Angleton. [Note: In 1994, after publication of Anthony Summers' book, Official and Confidential, Weitz confirmed to Summers that his host was James Angleton.]
"What I saw was a picture of him giving Clyde Tolson a blowjob," said Novel. "There was more than one shot, but the startling one was a close shot of Hoover's head. He was totally recognizable. You could not see the face of the man he was with, but Angleton said it was Tolson. I asked him if they were fakes, but he said they were real, that they'd been taken with a fish-eye lens. They looked authentic to me. . . ."
According to Novel, the CIA Counter-Intelligence chief showed him the pictures in 1967, when Novel was involved in the furor swirling around the probe into the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. "I was pursuing a lawsuit against Garrison, which Hoover wanted me to drop but which my contacts in the Johnson administration and at CIA wanted me to pursue. I'd been told I would incur Hoover's wrath if I went ahead, but Angleton was demonstrating that Hoover was not invulnerable, that the Agency had enough power to make him come to heel. I had the impression that this was not the first time the sex pictures had been used. Angleton told me to go see Hoover and tell him I'd seen the sex photographs. Later, I went to the Mayflower Hotel and spoke to Hoover. He was with Tolson, sitting in the Rib Room. When I mentioned that I had seen the sex photographs, and that Angleton had sent me, Tolson nearly choked on his food. Hoover told me something like, 'Get the hell out of here!' And I did. . . ."
With Angleton dead, there is no way to follow up this bizarre allegation. While Novel is a controversial figure, his account of seeing compromising pictures must be considered in light of other such references--not least that of former OSS officer John Weitz. For Novel added one other significant detail, that "Angleton told me the photographs had been taken around 1946, at the time they were fighting over foreign intelligence, which Hoover wanted but never got."
The forces which are most anxious to weaken our internal security are not always easy to identify. Communists have been trained in deceit and secretly work toward the day when they hope to replace our American way of life with a Communist dictatorship. They utilize cleverly camouflaged movements, such as peace groups and civil rights groups to achieve their sinister purposes. While they as individuals are difficult to identify, the Communist party line is clear. Its first concern is the advancement of Soviet Russia and the godless Communist cause. It is important to learn to know the enemies of the American way of life.
Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and too much information has been collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power. The Government, operating primarily through secret informants, but also using other intrusive techniques such as wiretaps, microphone "bugs", surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of information about the personal lives, views, and associations of American citizens. Investigations of groups deemed potentially dangerous -- and even of groups suspected of associating with potentially dangerous organizations -- have continued for decades, despite the fact that those groups did not engage in unlawful activity.
Groups and individuals have been harassed and disrupted because of their political views and their lifestyles. Investigations have been based upon vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection inevitable. Unsavory and vicious tactics have been employed -- including anonymous attempts to break up marriages, disrupt meetings, ostracize persons from their professions, and provoke target groups into rivalries that might result in deaths. Intelligence agencies have served the political and personal objectives of presidents and other high officials. While the agencies often committed excesses in response to pressure from high officials in the Executive branch and Congress, they also occasionally initiated improper activities and then concealed them from officials whom they had a duty to inform.
Governmental officials -- including those whose principal duty is to enforce the law --have violated or ignored the law over long periods of time and have advocated and defended their right to break the law.
The Constitutional system of checks and balances has not adequately controlled intelligence activities. Until recently the Executive branch has neither delineated the scope of permissible activities nor established procedures for supervising intelligence agencies. Congress has failed to exercise sufficient oversight, seldom questioning the use to which its appropriations were being put. Most domestic intelligence issues have not reached the courts, and in those cases when they have reached the courts, the judiciary has been reluctant to grapple with them.
The Rainbow Coalition was a coalition active in the late 1960s and early 1970s, founded in Chicago, Illinois by Fred Hampton of the activist Black Panther Party, along with William "Preacherman" Fesperman, Jack (Junebug) Boykin, Bobby Joe Mcginnis and Hy Thurman of the Young Patriots Organization and Jose (Cha-Cha) Jimenez, the Puerto Rican founder of the Young Lords. It later expanded to include various radical socialist groups. It was associated with the rising Black Power movement, which mobilized some African-American discontent and activism by other ethnic minority groups after the passage of the mid-1960s civil rights legislation under Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The coalition also included members of various local ethnic gangs, among whom Hampton, Rising Up Angry, the Young Patriots, and the Young Lords had brokered treaties to end violence between them. The leaders worked to reduce conflict by the treaties, as they believed that poor youths' fighting each other in gang wars achieved little benefit for them. Hampton and his colleagues believed that the Daley Machine in Chicago and the American ruling class used gang wars to consolidate their own political positions by gaining funding for law enforcement and dramatizing crime rather than underlying social issues.
Although Hampton was not known to take drugs, Cook County chemist Eleanor Berman would report that she ran two separate tests which each showed a powerful barbiturate had been introduced into Hampton's blood. An FBI chemist would later fail to find similar traces, but Berman stood by her findings.
The Hayer affidavits are two sworn affidavits made by Talmadge Hayer—also known by the name Thomas Hagan—one of the convicted assassins of Malcolm X. The statements give Hayer's account of his involvement in the planning and execution of the murder.
Three men were convicted of the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X: Talmadge Hayer, Norman 3X Butler, and Thomas 15X Johnson.
At first, Hayer denied any involvement, but during the trial, he confessed to having fired shots at Malcolm X. He testified that Butler and Johnson were not present and were not involved in the shooting, but he declined to name the men who had joined him in the attack. Nonetheless, all three men were convicted.
In 1977 and 1978, Hayer submitted two sworn affidavits re-asserting his claim that Butler and Johnson were not involved in the assassination. In his affidavits Hayer named four men, all members of the Nation of Islam's Newark, New Jersey, Temple Number 25, as having participated with him in the crime. Hayer asserted that a man he knew as "Wilbur" or "Kinly", later identified as Wilbur McKinley, shouted and threw a smoke bomb to create a diversion. Hayer said that a man named "Willie", later identified as William Bradley, had a shotgun and was the first to fire on Malcolm X after the diversion. Hayer asserted that he and a man named "Lee" or "Leon", later identified as Leon Davis, both armed with pistols, fired on Malcolm X immediately after the shotgun blast. Hayer also said that a man named "Ben", later identified as Benjamin Thomas, was involved in the conspiracy. Hayer's statements failed to convince authorities to reopen their investigation of the murder.
Hoping to prove the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was under the influence of Communists, the FBI kept the civil rights leader under constant surveillance.
The agency's hidden tape recorders turned up almost nothing about communism.
But they did reveal embarrassing details about King's sex life -- details the FBI was able to use against him.
The almost fanatical zeal with which the FBI pursued King is disclosed in tens of thousands of FBI memos from the 1960s.
The FBI paper trail spells out in detail the government agency's concerted efforts to derail King's efforts on behalf of the civil rights movement.
The FBI's interest in King intensified after the March on Washington in August 1963, when King delivered his "I have a dream speech," which many historians consider the most important speech of the 20th century. After the speech, an FBI memo called King the "most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country." The bureau convened a meeting of department heads to "explore how best to carry on our investigation [of King] to produce the desired results without embarrassment to the Bureau," which included "a complete analysis of the avenues of approach aimed at neutralizing King as an effective Negro leader."
Ray later claimed that somebody planted that there to frame him, and a witness named Guy Canipe said the package was actually dropped in the doorway to his store around 10 minutes before the shot was fired. Another witness, Olivia Catling, saw a guy in a checkered shirt run out of the alley beside a building across from the Lorraine soon after the killing, and speed away in a green '65 Chevy. Ray was said to be seen fleeing the scene in a white Mustang.
"You want to say that a three-time loser, an escaped convict with no obvious financial resources and no technical knowledge, is going to not only miraculously learn how to become a good marksman:This one individual is able to acquire the resources to get identities of deceased individuals, come up with very good forgeries for passports and fake identification, and somehow acquire funds for a very expensive itinerary and travel schedule? Now be real!...What you've got in this case was a stooge whose task was to throw everybody off the trail"
Rumours began circulating that Baker was involved in corrupt activities. Although officially his only income was that of Secretary to the Majority in the Senate, he was clearly a very rich man. Baker was investigated by Attorney General Robert Kennedy. He discovered Baker had links to Clint Murchison and several Mafia bosses. Evidence also emerged that Lyndon B. Johnson was also involved in political corruption. This included the award of a $7 billion contract for a fighter plane, the F-111, to General Dynamics, a company based in Texas. On 7th October, 1963, Baker was forced to resign his post. Soon afterwards, Fred Korth, the Navy Secretary, was also forced to resign because of the F-111 contract.
As soon as Lyndon B. Johnson became president he contacted B. Everett Jordan to see if there was any chance of stopping this information being published. Jordan replied that he would do what he could but warned Johnson that some members of the committee wanted Reynold's testimony to be released to the public. On 6th December, 1963, Jordan spoke to Johnson on the telephone and said he was doing what he could to suppress the story because " it might spread (to) a place where we don't want it spread."
Abe Fortas, a lawyer who represented both Lyndon B. Johnson and Bobby Baker, worked behind the scenes in an effort to keep this information from the public. Johnson also arranged for a smear campaign to be organized against Don B. Reynolds. To help him do this J. Edgar Hoover passed to Johnson the FBI file on Reynolds.
Of course today, the Hoover legend is not just about crime fighting. It has as much to do with playing fast and loose with civil liberties, with collecting vast secret files on innocent people — a powerful man with secrets of his own, including rumors of bizarre sexual behavior. Finding the real J. Edgar Hoover has been the passion of author Richard Hack for nearly two decades, leading him to write the book, “Puppet Master: The Secret life of J. Edgar Hoover."
Richard Hack: “He certainly knew how to keep a secret, which was really the key to his success. Not only did he know the secrets, but nobody knew which secrets he knew.”
John Hockenberry: “So his towering profile in Washington was based in part on nobody calling his bluff?”
Hack: “Oh definitely.”
Hoover played his signature high stakes poker with an astounding eight presidents from 1924 until his death in 1972. No FBI head will ever again have the power Hoover had. For his book, Hack interviewed dozens of Hoover's acquaintances and poured over thousands of Hoover's documents. The portrait that emerges is of Hoover the good, Hoover the bad, and Hoover a man with a taste for the ugly side of power. It was the good Hoover whose experience as a clerk at the Department of Justice helped him turn a disorganized federal agency into a true crime fighting organization.
“The moment [Hoover] would get something on a senator,” said William Sullivan, who became the number three official in the bureau under Hoover, “he’d send one of the errand boys up and advise the senator that ‘we’re in the course of an investigation, and we by chance happened to come up with this data on your daughter. But we wanted you to know this. We realize you’d want to know it.’ Well, Jesus, what does that tell the senator? From that time on, the senator’s right in his pocket.”
Lawrence J. Heim, who was in the Crime Records Division, confirmed to me that the bureau sent agents to tell members of Congress that Hoover had picked up derogatory information on them.
“He [Hoover] would send someone over on a very confidential basis,” Heim said. As an example, if the Metropolitan Police in Washington had picked up evidence of homosexuality, “he [Hoover] would have him say, ‘This activity is known by the Metropolitan Police Department and some of our informants, and it is in your best interests to know this.’ But nobody has ever claimed to have been blackmailed. You can deduce what you want from that.”
Reading the Official and Confidential files that survived makes it clear they could have been gathered for no other purpose than blackmail. For example, on June 13, 1958, the head of the Washington field office informed Hoover that, prior to marrying a member of Congress, the member’s wife had been “having an affair with a Negro [and] also at one time carried on an affair with a House Post Office employee.” More recently, the report said, the congressman’s wife “endeavored to have an affair with [an] Indonesian, who declined.”
In response to this tidbit, Hoover wrote back on June 25 that it was “certainly thoughtful of you to advise me of matters of current interest, and I am glad to have the benefit of this information.”
“This was a way of putting congressmen on notice that we had something on them and therefore they would be more disposed to meeting the bureau’s needs and keeping Hoover in power,” says John J. McDermott, who headed the Washington field office and eventually became deputy associate FBI director.
All in all, there were 167 folders. Three of them concerned Bureau officials and disappeared. The remaining 164 files represented some 17, 750 pages of material, spanning fifty years. Just over half of these folders had derogatory material, much of which was of a sexual, moral or ethical nature.
Curt Gentry in J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and His Secrets describes the nature of the files: " ... their contents included blackmail material on the patriarch of an American political dynasty, his sons, their wives, and other women; allegations of two homosexual arrests which Hoover leaked to help defeat a witty, urbane Democratic presidential candidate; the surveillance reports on one of America's best-known first ladies and her alleged lovers, both male and female, white and black; the child molestation documentation the director used to control and manipulate one of the Red-baiting proteges; a list of the Bureau's spies in the White House during the eight administrations when Hoover was FBI director; the forbidden fruit of hundreds of illegal wiretaps and bugs, containing, for example, evidence that an attorney general (and later Supreme Court justice) had received payoffs from the Chicago syndicate; as well as celebrity files, with all the unsavory gossip Hoover could amass on some of the biggest names in show business."
COINTELPRO was discovered in March, 1971, when secret files were removed from an FBI office and released to news media. Freedom of Information requests, lawsuits, and former agents' public confessions deepened the exposure until a major scandal loomed. To control the damage and re-establish government legitimacy in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate, Congress and the courts compelled the FBI to reveal part of what it had done and to promise it would not do it again. Much of what has been learned, and copies of some of the actual documents, can be found in the readings listed at the back of this pamphlet.
Originally posted by Klassified
Awesome thread as usual Rising! I've read a fair amount about Hoover, but you managed to get some stuff in there I don't remember seeing previously.
I think Hoover set the precedent, and its been followed ever since. S&F sir.
BTW. Any thoughts on the "relationship" between John Lennon and Hoover?edit on 2/23/2012 by Klassified because: ETA
I'm sure he wasn't 'torn up' about Lennon's death at all.
Originally posted by Klassified
reply to post by TiM3LoRd
I'm sure he wasn't 'torn up' about Lennon's death at all.
It was probably the other way around. I'm sure Lennon was not torn up about Hoover's death at all.
Lennon died 1980. Hoover died 1972. The two didn't hold one another in high esteem to say the least.
The FBI found two Klansmen, brothers Alton Roberts and Raymond Roberts, who were willing to cooperate. Alton Roberts was out on appeal from the conviction of murdering the three famed civil rights activists in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1964. On June 19 the Roberts brothers approached Danny Joe Hawkins - who helped Tarrants in the bombing of the Meridian synagogue on May 26 - and convinced him the next target should be ADL head Meyer Davidson. Davidson led a drive to raise $75,000 for information on the bombing of the synagogue. Hawkins decided not to participate suspecting he was under surveillance. Kathy Ainsworth at the last minute agreed to help Tarrants with the next bombing.
On June 30, 1968, Kathy Ainsworth and Thomas Tarrants drove to the home of Meyer Davidson planning to place the bomb on his front porch. The FBI had moved the Davidson family out of their home earlier and occupied the house across the street as a command post with 8 to 10 agents. That night 12 members of "Joyner's Guerillas" wearing black polo shirts were hiding in the bushes across from the Davidson home. Reporter Jack Nelson was later told by police their objective was to kill Klan bomber Thomas Tarrants, "We had in mind killing him, I don't mind telling you."
Ainsworth remained in the car as Tarrants approached the ranch-style yellow brick home on 29th Avenue. He carried a box containing 28 sticks of dynamite wired to a clock set for 2 a.m. The police opened fire with a hail of gunfire reminiscent of a scene from the 1967 film, Bonnie and Clyde. Ainsworth died, shot through the neck as she leaned over to open the door for Tarrants. Tarrants was hit 19 times but survived.
Do you supposed Hoovers modus operandi could have been in operation after his death to the point of taking our Lennon? I certainly wouldn't put it past them.
Originally posted by Rising Against
See, it's very possible that there was a Polka dot dress women present at that time and in my opinion it's very possible her name was Kathy Ainsworth. The man she was with however was, again IMO, going by the name of Thomas A. Tarrants. Two civil rights haters who were known for some rather famous and nasty bombings in the USA. All of this is also discussed in this thread of mine here: The Peculiar Death Of Bobby... It's just a "Out there theory" at this stage but I think it's possible they could've been recruited much like John Ali and William O’ Neal was recruited, these being the two men responsible for the deaths of Fred Hampton and Malcolm X.
I'm glad to see you finally got around to posting this without getting interrupted this time.
I've recently watched the movie J Edgar, which was rather interesting as well. You did not - by chance - watch it as well and got inspired by it in regards to your thread ? He's an interesting figure and besides knowing about him and the FBI and the Dam they named after him I know next to nothing, so that'll make an educating read. Cheers.