In another class (HIST362 - Historiography) I am writing a research prospectus on the FBI's COINTELPRO operations. Briefly - COINTELPRO, short for counterintelligence program, was a large covert operation "officially" undertaken by the FBI between 1956 and 1971 (some scholars say that COINTELPRO tactics were used as early as the beginning of the 20th century and are still being used today). This campaign targeted all dissident groups but had an especially devastating impact on African American political movements. Prominent groups such as the Black Panther Party, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and other anti-racist protesters were targets of COINTELPRO.
Special Agents were instructed to disrupt activist groups such as the Black Panthers to protect the security of the United States. Agents used four main tactics to disrupt the groups: 1) Infiltration, 2) Psychological warfare from the outside, 3) Harassment through the legal system, and 4) Extralegal force and violence (including murder).
If anyone is interested in COINTELPRO, please let me know. I would like to have a small discussion outside of class.
- Ethan Pickett