Black People : War Against The Panthers: A Study Of Repression In America HUEY P. NEWTON

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War Against The Panthers:
A Study Of Repression In America

HUEY P. NEWTON / Doctoral Dissertation / UC Santa Cruz 1jun1980



WAR AGAINST THE PANTHERS:
A STUDY OF REPRESSION IN AMERICA

A Dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the
requirements for the degree of:

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
in
HISTORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS

by
Huey P. Newton

June 1980

PREFACE



There has been an abundance of material to draw upon in researching and writing this dissertation. Indeed, when a friend recently asked me how long I had been working on it, I almost jokingly replied, "Thirteen years—since the Party was founded." 1 Looking back over that period in an effort to capture its meaning, to collapse time around certain significant events and personalities requires an admitted arbitrariness on my part. Many people have given or lost their lives, reputations, and financial security because of their involvement with the Party. I cannot possibly include all of them, so I have chosen a few in an effort to present, in C. Wright Mills' description, "biography as history."2

This dissertation analyzes certain features of the Party and incidents that are significant in its development. Some central events in the growth of the Party, from adoption of an ideology and platform to implementation of community programs, are first described. This is followed by a presentation of the federal government's response to the Party. Much of the information presented herein concentrates on incidents in Oakland, California, and government efforts to discredit or harm me. The assassination of Fred Hampton, an important leader in Chicago, is also described in considerable detail, as are the killings of Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter and John Huggins in Los Angeles. Supporting evidence for a great deal of this dissertation has come from two federal civil rights lawsuits filed by the Party: one initiated in 1976 in Washington, D.C., and still pending against the FBI and other federal agency officials,3 and another which ended after a nine-month trial in Chicago, Illinois.4

It is logical that Oakland, California, should be the focus of hostile government actions against the Party because it is the place where the Party was founded, and it is the center of its organizational strength. In discussing Party leaders, including myself, and events in which they were involved, there has been a persistent temptation to write personally and emotionally. Individuals, with all their strengths and weaknesses, make significant differences in the outcome of political struggles; however, their roles are too often romanticized, clouding an understanding of the political forces propelling them into struggle. I have tried to maintain an objectivity consistent with scholarly standards by placing the roles of the involved personalities in proper political perspective. To aid in this effort, I will be referred to throughout this study in the third person. This dissertation is then, by necessity, illustrative, not exhaustive; a history in brief, not a biography of the Black Panther Party [BPP].

What is perhaps most significant about [this study] is that it suggests how much we still do not know. How many people's lives were ruined in countless ways by a government intent on destroying them as representatives of an "enemy" political organization? What "tactics" or "dirty tricks" were employed, with what results? Perhaps we shall never know the answers to these questions, but this inquiry about the BPP and the federal government will hopefully help us in our search for "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

1 The Black Panther Party is referred to throughout this dissertation as "The Party," "the Panthers," and "the BPP." All [these] terms are used interchangeably and refer to the same organization.

2 C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination (New York: Grove Press, 1961), p. 173.

3 On January 25, 1980 the court dismissed our lawsuit because we refused to disclose the names and addresses of BPP members and provide additional information concerning criminal charges ending against certain members. We did provide the government with the names and addresses of all Central Committee members, i.e., the governing body of the Party, who are publicly known. Since the purpose of our lawsuit was to seek redress against unlawful government actions a gains our members, we had an obligation to protect their right of anonymity as an integral part of [a] minority political association that seeks through litigation to halt the government from illegally harassing its members. This will now be resolved by an appellate court. The Black Panther Party v. Levi, No. 76-2205, U.S. Dist. Ct. (D.C.). See also, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 January 1980, p. 2, col. 2.

4 Iberia Hampton v. City of Chicago, No. 70-C-1384, U.S. Dist. Ct. (N.D. I11., 1977). On June 2, 1980, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way to reopen this case.



I. INTRODUCTION

From the point of its founding, democratic government in the United States of America has faced the challenging need to overcome certain obstacles inherent in both its organization and general structure before many of its basic assumptions could be actualized.1 Learned and astute observers of the founding and development of American democracy noted the threatening nature of a number of these obstacles during the early days of the new republic.2 The study proposed here finds its importance and justification in the concept that several of the original problems of American democracy have endured with increasing ominous consequences for the full realization of democratic government in the United States. In particular, two of the most crucial problems which have hindered the development of truly democratic government in America are treated here:

1. class and racial cleavages, which have historically been the source of division and bitter antagonism between sectors of American society, and

2. the inherent and longstanding distrust held by the American ruling class of any institutionalized democracy involving the mass population.3

The continuing existence of these two problems—compounded, of course, by companion evils—has from one time to another enlarged and set in motion a debilitating dialectic which has kept full democracy at bay, and the very fabric of American society in rather constant peril. What is hoped for here is an examination of specific responses and events related to the aforementioned major problems that is capable of shedding an enlightening beacon of light on the nature and progression of maladies related to these problems and what is thereby portended for American society in terms of present results and future possibilities. There is, in other words, the intent to forge an analysis capable of informing and instructing those who are devoted to and must continue to grapple with these outstanding problems, problems in need of being resolved if ever democratic government in America is to achieve any degree of substance consistent with its theoretical suppositions and ideals.

The first problem in American democracy set forth here was offered the summary justification by the Founding Fathers that it was a "limited" representative or republican form of democracy that was best suited and most desirable for the new country's governance.4 This intent, "limited" though it is, was mocked by the peculiar contradiction that the populace to be served by the new government included sizeable sectors which were not to be regarded as beneficiaries of even the most "limited" promise of democracy. African Americans, Native Americans, and, to a lesser extent, women were never presumed to be within the pale of either hopes or guarantees related to the practice of democracy. This marked exclusion in the idealism of America's founders might well be regarded as the original wellspring of dissent in America, for what is all too apparent is the fact that democracy is a dynamic and infectious idea. It is an idea which inspires the hope of universal inclusion. Thus, it may subsequently have been predicted that the arbitrary, capricious, and sinister exclusion of large sectors of the American population from the hopes inspired by the rhetoric of a fledgling democracy would give rise to the most determined forms of human struggle imaginable, including those which resort to force of arms, and resolve to face death before capitulation. The deliberately designed and nurtured class and racial cleavages of American society, present from its beginning, have fostered such extreme antagonisms during every period in the development of American society.5

This study draws upon a course of events taking place during the latter half of the twentieth century, which exemplifies the ultimate form of struggle born of this contrived contradiction, a contradiction which is as old as the life of the American republic itself. The contradiction which provides much of the source material for this study would doubtless have never existed nor reached such dastardly and volatile proportions if it were not for the societalwide ingestion of a class—and racially-biased social philosophy, which stemmed from the original premise of American social organization, a deeply ingrained belief that society [is] by nature divided into superior and inferior classes and races of people. This vision of the "natural order" of society, rationalized by those who have a vested interest in its maintenance, has kept Americans of different classes and races either directly engaged in social warfare, or forever poised in a position of battle. There has been, in other words, from the very beginning of the American republic as we know it, a systematically cultivated polarization, which has predisposed the population to varying but continuous levels of warfare. This sinister and carefully maintained die of social antagonism has been recast with the changing mold of each different epoch of American society.

Always, the rulers of an order, consistent with their own interests and solely of their own design, have employed what to them seemed to be the most optimal and efficient means of maintaining unquestioned social and economic advantage.6 Clear-cut superiority in things social and economic—by whatever means—has been a scruples-free premise of American ruling class authority from the society's inception to the present. The initial socioeconomic advantage, begotten by chattel slavery, was enforced by undaunted violence and the constant threat of more violence. In other times, there has been political repression, peonage (debt slavery), wage slavery, chicanery, and the like, but always accompanied by the actual or threatened force of violence.

The import of the combined forces of industrialization and urbanization [has] been [a] principal contributor in the twentieth century to the need of the American ruling class to develop newer, less obvious, and more effective means of retaining its control of and domination over the mass of Americans. Direct and unconcealed brute force and violence—although clearly persisting in many quarters of society—are today less acceptable to an increasingly sophisticated public, a public significantly remote from the methods of social and economic control common to early America. This is not a statement, however, that there is such increased civility that Americans can no longer tolerate social control of the country's under classes by force of violence; rather, it is an observation that Americans today appear to be more inclined to issue endorsement to agents and agencies of control which carry out the task, while permitting the benefactors of such control to retain a semidignified, clean-hands image of themselves. This attitude is very largely responsible for the rise of the phenomenon to which systematic attention is given in the study undertaken here: the rise in the 1960s of control tactics heavily reliant upon infiltration, deliberate misinformation, selective harassment, and the use of the legal system to quell broad based dissent and its leadership.7

Such tactics are, of course, closely identified with the presidency and administration of Richard M. Nixon, although many of these tactics were used prior to the Nixon years.8 However, it was under the leadership of Nixon that Americans in their majority—when they were confronted by widespread protest over both domestic and foreign policies—issued to the government and its agencies what appeared to be blanket approval of the squelching of dissent by means legal or illegal. This led inexorably to a vast and pernicious campaign of no-holds-barred conspiracies and extralegal acts designed by law enforcement agencies to "neutralize", contain, and/or destroy organizations and individuals thought to be "enemies" of the American government (or the status quo), merely because they dared to disagree openly with the existing order and its policies. Such campaigns were tragically successful in too many cases for too many years before Americans began to realize the true extent of the victimization.

It is a fundamental assertion of this study that the majority society, in its fear-provoked zeal to maintain and assure its inequitable position in American society, flirted with and came dangerously close to total abandonment of the particular freedom upon which all others are ultimately dependent, the right to disagree. Moreover, it is an ancillary claim of this study that the danger has not yet passed, for few if any of society's major problems have been solved, and a large number of Americans seem yet inclined to believe that special treatment and different rules can be applied to Americans who dare to disagree without consequence for those who are in agreement with the powers and policies that be. This [belief] is to be specifically denied, and the claim to be made is that repression of selected sectors of mass society is extremely difficult to carry out, if not impossible, without a resulting loss of cherished freedoms for the entire society.9 This premise constitutes a seminal focal point and objective of the analysis to be undertaken.



A. The Importance of the Problem

The Black Panther Party (BPP) was formed in this country in 1966 as an organization of Black and poor persons embracing a common ideology, identified by its proponents as "revolutionary intercommunalism.10 Since its inception, the Party has been subject to a variety of actions by agencies and officers of the federal government intended to destroy it politically and financially. It is the major contention of this dissertation that this official effort to destroy the BPP was undertaken precisely because of the Party's political ideology, and potential for organizing a sizeable group of the country's population that has been historically denied equal opportunity in employment, education, housing, and other recognized basic needs. A corollary to this theory is that governmental efforts at destruction of the Party, successful in varying degrees, were only thwarted or held in abeyance when they reached their logical consequence: destruction of the right of dissent for all groups, a right indispensable to the functioning of a democratic society.

The method employed to substantiate this theory is an examination of numerous measures undertaken by the government to, in the words of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize" the BPP.11 For the most part, records and documents of relevant government agencies initiating and participating in this campaign of destruction against the BPP provide the evidentiary basis for the dissertation. These records and documents, many revealed herein publicly for the first time, have been discovered in litigation between the BPP and government agencies, as well as through congressional investigations, scholarly studies, and media reports. In addition, firsthand knowledge of the author as a witness or participant to certain events, interviews with persons knowledgeable about relevant matters, and secondary sources of information (e.g., other studies and news reports) are used and identified. Most of the evidence of government efforts to destroy the Party focuses on the FBI because it was the major known offender in terms of intensity and severity of actions, but brief sections on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are also included.

The result of this study is an analysis of what happened, and still can happen, to a dissident political organization that explicitly challenges the policies and practices of a government intent on controlling the pace and degree of integration for a sizeable group of persons seeking equal socioeconomic participation. Moreover, this study shows the lengths to which, so far at least, a government can go in a constitutional democracy before it must choose between destroying a dissident political organization, or in the process of doing so, the very fabric of constitutional democracy.

It is the conclusion of this dissertation that the federal government was forced to suspend temporarily its most egregious actions directed at destroying the BPP, but that these measures pose an ever-present danger of recurrence to dissident political organizations with perceptions of the government similar to those of the BPP.



B. Methodology

The basic methodological approach to the problem to be examined is one requiring the identification of a number of particular response patterns to particular forms of dissent. The basic materials used are over 8,000 250-page volumes of recently released reports and "intelligence" information. This information was collected by various police and government agencies and has been used against a number of activists and dissenters who were believed to pose a threat to the existing order. An effort is made to compare empirical evidence accrued from the writer's own participation and observation to the statements and recorded experiences of similarly situated participant-observers.

Objectivity is in every instance strived for, but it is in no instance guaranteed due to the observer's proximity to much of what is found to be characteristic of those patterns most fruitful to observe. A substantial amount of material gathered in personal interviews and taken from sworn depositions and trial statements made under oath is used in the construction of analyses.

As stated above, this study is presented in a historical manner. This style was chosen in order to develop an analysis of repression by the use of chronological fact. In this way, repression cannot be viewed as a new and unsophisticated set of tactics developed for only an isolated group or individual.

It is germane to this study, however, that of the dissident groups which were established in the last twenty years, the Black Panther Party was singled out for concerted, consistent, and violent attack, harassment, and media abuse. In early 1969, then U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell stated that the Justice Department would "wipe out the Black Panther Party by the end of 1969."12 Edward V. Hanrahan, Cook County's former state attorney in Chicago, when asked about the murder of Fred Hampton, which Hanrahan authorized, stated that it was "justified because of the vicious activities of the Black Panther Party."13

These pages do not reflect the personal pain and anguish, the resulting physical and emotional disabilities, as well as the continual financial setbacks the writer has suffered. However, a sensitive person can infer these things from the study. Such an overwhelming number of incidents occurred that it is difficult to imagine that anyone living during this period of history was not affected. The participant-observer has been shot, ambushed, followed, and verbally and physically threatened and abused. His wife and family are under constant surveillance and also have been attacked and threatened. In every apartment or home in which he has lived since 1966, the premises have been burglarized, searched, and bugged (as was his bedroom in an apartment in Oakland, California, in 1974). In addition, mail has been intercepted or received already opened. Far more devastating are the brutal deaths of the writer's personal friends: Bobby Hutton, murdered by the Oakland police in 1968; Alprentice Carter, murdered in Los Angeles in 1969 by men working in association with the FBI; and George Jackson, who was murdered at San Quentin Prison in 1971. The participant-observer has spent a total of three years (1967—1970) in prison, has been arrested numerous times, has spent the last thirteen years in court (an average of two trials per year), and from 1974 to 1977 was in involuntary exile as a protection from physical abuse and death. All of these incidents of the writer's knowledge of repression are intended to substantiate the chronology's factual information from a personal view. The participant-observer, in addition, is the leading and founding member of the organization, said to be "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country."14 Although it may seem that the writer is somewhat disadvantaged because of his proximity to the events discussed in this study, it is this very proximity that gives clarity to the specific conflict discussed. Finally, this study attempts to explain why the beliefs of the Black Panther Party and those of the American government and its intelligence agencies have resulted in continuing conflict.

1 The most concisely stated and meaningful assumptions of American democracy having a direct bearing on the well-being and future of the American people were manifested in the first ten amendments to the Constitution, upon which the new American government was founded. Consistent with their importance, the new government, it is generally agreed, may have faced ratification problems of indefinite duration without the inclusion of the ten amendments to the Bill of Rights. As it were, their inclusion eased and finally assured the ratification of the new Constitution.

2 Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, trans. George Lawrence (New York: Harper & Row, 1966).

3 See the debate on this issue at the Constitutional Convention. (Richard Hofstadter, The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It, New York: Knopf, 1948).

4 Ibid. See also "To the Revolutionary People's Constitutional Convention: September 5, 1970," in Huey P. Newton, To Die for the People (New York: Random House, 1972), pp. 156—162. [Publisher's note—New York: Writers and Readers, 1995.]

5 Hugh Davis Graham and Ted Robert Garr, eds., The History of Violence in America: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (New York: Praeger, 1969).

6 See e.g., Oliver C Cox, Caste, Class, and Race: A Study in Social Dynamics (New York Monthly Review Press, 1959).

7 See Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days (New York: Simon & Shuster, 1976) for both a detailed and general account of the use of such tactics against American dissenters. See also U.S. Congress. House. United States Presidents, 1969—1974 (Nixon). Submission of Recorded Presidential Conversations to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives by President Richard M. Nixon: April 30, 1974 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1974), 1308.

8 Both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson are known to have made use of unlawful and unfair "tricks" designed to undermine and/or deceive those in opposition to their policies.

9 William Kornhauser, The Politics of Mass Society (Glencoe, Illinois: Free Press, 1959).

10 For a fuller explanation of revolutionary intercommunalism, see p. 33—36. See also, Newton, To Die for the People, pp. 22—32, and Erik H. Erikson and Huey P. Newton, In Search of Common Ground (New York: W.W. Norton ,1973), pp. 23—36.

11 FBI Memorandum from Headquarters to All Special Agents in Charge, August 25, 1967. Hereinafter "Hqtrs" and "SAC" will be used to refer to Headquarters and Special Agents in Charge, respectively.

12 Newsweek February 1969.

13 Time, December 12, 1969, p. 20.

14 J. Edgar Hoover, quoted in U.S. Congress. Senate. Book III: Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, 94th Cong., 2nd sess.,1976, p. 187.
 

Omowale Jabali

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Ankhur

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One of the many beautiful things about Destee.com, other then being an ideal place to post solutions and information to assist and uplift the global Black community, and keep the focus on the common good of all poeple of African descent is that this site is a microcosm of Black America

and one can take a simpe test to see that the same techniques used by COINTELPRO to harm positive Black orgnizations are used here also to sow division and negativity

like the east coast /west coast animosities used to divide the Black Panther Parties efforts, and harm the national unified intead of regional power they could have had


The simple test goes like this and may take some time


take a look at the last 50 posts of some folks here,

and see what the focus is :em0200:


 

skuderjaymes

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Here's the whole thing in text..

War Against The Panthers: A Study Of Repression In America
HUEY P. NEWTON / Doctoral Dissertation / UC Santa Cruz 1jun1980

WAR AGAINST THE PANTHERS: A STUDY OF REPRESSION IN AMERICA A Dissertation submitted in
partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of: DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in
HISTORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS by Huey P. Newton June 1980 PREFACE

There has been an abundance of material to draw upon in researching and writing this
dissertation. Indeed, when a friend recently asked me how long I had been working on
it, I almost jokingly replied, "Thirteen years—since the Party was founded." 1 Looking
back over that period in an effort to capture its meaning, to collapse time around
certain significant events and personalities requires an admitted arbitrariness on my
part. Many people have given or lost their lives, reputations, and financial security
because of their involvement with the Party. I cannot possibly include all of them, so
I have chosen a few in an effort to present, in C. Wright Mills' description,
"biography as history."2 This dissertation analyzes certain features of the Party and
incidents that are significant in its development. Some central events in the growth
of the Party, from adoption of an ideology and platform to implementation of community
programs, are first described. This is followed by a presentation of the federal
government's response to the Party. Much of the information presented herein
concentrates on incidents in Oakland, California, and government efforts to discredit
or harm me. The assassination of Fred Hampton, an important leader in Chicago, is also
described in considerable detail, as are the killings of Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter
and John Huggins in Los Angeles. Supporting evidence for a great deal of this
dissertation has come from two federal civil rights lawsuits filed by the Party: one
initiated in 1976 in Washington, D.C., and still pending

against the FBI and other federal agency officials,3 and another which ended after a
ninemonth trial in Chicago, Illinois.4 It is logical that Oakland, California, should
be the focus of hostile government actions against the Party because it is the place
where the Party was founded, and it is the center of its organizational strength. In
discussing Party leaders, including myself, and events in which they were involved,
there has been a persistent temptation to write personally and emotionally.
Individuals, with all their strengths and weaknesses, make significant differences in
the outcome of political struggles; however, their roles are too often romanticized,
clouding an understanding of the political forces propelling them into struggle. I
have tried to maintain an objectivity consistent with scholarly standards by placing
the roles of the involved personalities in proper political perspective. To aid in
this effort, I will be referred to throughout this study in the third person. This
dissertation is then, by necessity, illustrative, not exhaustive; a history in brief,
not a biography of the Black Panther Party [BPP]. What is perhaps most significant
about [this study] is that it suggests how much we still do not know. How many
people's lives were ruined in countless ways by a government intent on destroying them
as representatives of an "enemy" political organization? What "tactics" or "dirty
tricks" were employed, with what results? Perhaps we shall never know the answers to
these questions, but this inquiry about the BPP and the federal government will
hopefully help us in our search for "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
truth."

1 The Black Panther Party is referred to throughout this dissertation as "The Party,"
"the Panthers," and "the BPP." All [these] terms are used interchangeably and refer to
the same organization. 2 C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination (New York:
Grove Press, 1961), p. 173. 3 On January 25, 1980 the court dismissed our lawsuit
because we refused to disclose the names and addresses of BPP members and provide
additional information concerning criminal charges ending against certain members. We
did provide the government with the names and addresses of all Central Committee
members, i.e., the governing body of the Party, who are publicly known. Since the
purpose of our lawsuit was to seek redress against unlawful government actions a gains
our members, we had an obligation to protect their right of anonymity as an integral
part of [a] minority political association that seeks through litigation to halt the
government from illegally harassing its

members. This will now be resolved by an appellate court. The Black Panther Party v.
Levi, No. 76-2205, U.S. Dist. Ct. (D.C.). See also, San Francisco Chronicle, 26
January 1980, p. 2, col. 2. 4 Iberia Hampton v. City of Chicago, No. 70-C-1384, U.S.
Dist. Ct. (N.D. I11., 1977). On June 2, 1980, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the
way to reopen this case.

I. INTRODUCTION From the point of its founding, democratic government in the United
States of America has faced the challenging need to overcome certain obstacles
inherent in both its organization and general structure before many of its basic
assumptions could be actualized.1 Learned and astute observers of the founding and
development of American democracy noted the threatening nature of a number of these
obstacles during the early days of the new republic.2 The study proposed here finds
its importance and justification in the concept that several of the original problems
of American democracy have endured with increasing ominous consequences for the full
realization of democratic government in the United States. In particular, two of the
most crucial problems which have hindered the development of truly democratic
government in America are treated here: 1. class and racial cleavages, which have
historically been the source of division and bitter antagonism between sectors of
American society, and 2. the inherent and longstanding distrust held by the American
ruling class of any institutionalized democracy involving the mass population.3 The
continuing existence of these two problems—compounded, of course, by companion
evils—has from one time to another enlarged and set in motion a debilitating dialectic
which has kept full democracy at bay, and the very fabric of American society in
rather constant peril. What is hoped for here is an examination of specific responses
and events related to the aforementioned major problems that is capable of shedding an
enlightening beacon of light on the nature and progression of maladies related to
these problems and what is thereby portended for American society in terms of present
results and future possibilities. There is, in other words, the intent to forge an
analysis capable of informing and instructing those who are devoted to and must
continue to grapple with these outstanding problems, problems in need of being
resolved if ever democratic government in America is to achieve any degree of
substance consistent with its theoretical suppositions and ideals. The first problem
in American democracy set forth here was offered the summary justification by the
Founding Fathers that it was a "limited" representative or republican form of
democracy that was best suited and most desirable for the new country's governance.4
This intent, "limited" though it is, was mocked by the peculiar contradiction

that the populace to be served by the new government included sizeable sectors which
were not to be regarded as beneficiaries of even the most "limited" promise of
democracy. African Americans, Native Americans, and, to a lesser extent, women were
never presumed to be within the pale of either hopes or guarantees related to the
practice of democracy. This marked exclusion in the idealism of America's founders
might well be regarded as the original wellspring of dissent in America, for what is
all too apparent is the fact that democracy is a dynamic and infectious idea. It is an
idea which inspires the hope of universal inclusion. Thus, it may subsequently have
been predicted that the arbitrary, capricious, and sinister exclusion of large sectors
of the American population from the hopes inspired by the rhetoric of a fledgling
democracy would give rise to the most determined forms of human struggle imaginable,
including those which resort to force of arms, and resolve to face death before
capitulation. The deliberately designed and nurtured class and racial cleavages of
American society, present from its beginning, have fostered such extreme antagonisms
during every period in the development of American society.5 This study draws upon a
course of events taking place during the latter half of the twentieth century, which
exemplifies the ultimate form of struggle born of this contrived contradiction, a
contradiction which is as old as the life of the American republic itself. The
contradiction which provides much of the source material for this study would
doubtless have never existed nor reached such dastardly and volatile proportions if it
were not for the societalwide ingestion of a class—and racially-biased social
philosophy, which stemmed from the original premise of American social organization, a
deeply ingrained belief that society [is] by nature divided into superior and inferior
classes and races of people. This vision of the "natural order" of society,
rationalized by those who have a vested interest in its maintenance, has kept
Americans of different classes and races either directly engaged in social warfare, or
forever poised in a position of battle. There has been, in other words, from the very
beginning of the American republic as we know it, a systematically cultivated
polarization, which has predisposed the population to varying but continuous levels of
warfare. This sinister and carefully maintained die of social antagonism has been
recast with the changing mold of each different epoch of American society. Always, the
rulers of an order, consistent with their own interests and solely of their own
design, have employed what to them seemed to be the most optimal and efficient means
of maintaining unquestioned social and economic advantage.6 Clear-cut superiority in
things social and economic—by whatever means—has been a scruples-free premise of
American ruling class authority from the society's inception to the present. The
initial socioeconomic advantage, begotten by chattel slavery, was enforced by
undaunted violence and the constant threat of more violence. In other times, there has
been political repression, peonage (debt slavery), wage slavery, chicanery, and the
like, but always accompanied by the actual or threatened force of violence. The import
of the combined forces of industrialization and urbanization [has] been [a] principal
contributor in the twentieth century to the need of the American ruling class to
develop newer, less obvious, and more effective means of retaining its control of and

domination over the mass of Americans. Direct and unconcealed brute force and
violence—although clearly persisting in many quarters of society—are today less
acceptable to an increasingly sophisticated public, a public significantly remote from
the methods of social and economic control common to early America. This is not a
statement, however, that there is such increased civility that Americans can no longer
tolerate social control of the country's under classes by force of violence; rather,
it is an observation that Americans today appear to be more inclined to issue
endorsement to agents and agencies of control which carry out the task, while
permitting the benefactors of such control to retain a semidignified, clean-hands
image of themselves. This attitude is very largely responsible for the rise of the
phenomenon to which systematic attention is given in the study undertaken here: the
rise in the 1960s of control tactics heavily reliant upon infiltration, deliberate
misinformation, selective harassment, and the use of the legal system to quell broad
based dissent and its leadership.7 Such tactics are, of course, closely identified
with the presidency and administration of Richard M. Nixon, although many of these
tactics were used prior to the Nixon years.8 However, it was under the leadership of
Nixon that Americans in their majority—when they were confronted by widespread protest
over both domestic and foreign policies— issued to the government and its agencies
what appeared to be blanket approval of the squelching of dissent by means legal or
illegal. This led inexorably to a vast and pernicious campaign of no-holds-barred
conspiracies and extralegal acts designed by law enforcement agencies to "neutralize",
contain, and/or destroy organizations and individuals thought to be "enemies" of the
American government (or the status quo), merely because they dared to disagree openly
with the existing order and its policies. Such campaigns were tragically successful in
too many cases for too many years before Americans began to realize the true extent of
the victimization. It is a fundamental assertion of this study that the majority
society, in its fear-provoked zeal to maintain and assure its inequitable position in
American society, flirted with and came dangerously close to total abandonment of the
particular freedom upon which all others are ultimately dependent, the right to
disagree. Moreover, it is an ancillary claim of this study that the danger has not yet
passed, for few if any of society's major problems have been solved, and a large
number of Americans seem yet inclined to believe that special treatment and different
rules can be applied to Americans who dare to disagree without consequence for those
who are in agreement with the powers and policies that be. This [belief] is to be
specifically denied, and the claim to be made is that repression of selected sectors
of mass society is extremely difficult to carry out, if not impossible, without a
resulting loss of cherished freedoms for the entire society.9 This premise constitutes
a seminal focal point and objective of the analysis to be undertaken.

A. The Importance of the Problem The Black Panther Party (BPP) was formed in this
country in 1966 as an organization of Black and poor persons embracing a common
ideology, identified by its proponents as "revolutionary intercommunalism.10 Since its
inception, the Party has been subject to a

variety of actions by agencies and officers of the federal government intended to
destroy it politically and financially. It is the major contention of this
dissertation that this official effort to destroy the BPP was undertaken precisely
because of the Party's political ideology, and potential for organizing a sizeable
group of the country's population that has been historically denied equal opportunity
in employment, education, housing, and other recognized basic needs. A corollary to
this theory is that governmental efforts at destruction of the Party, successful in
varying degrees, were only thwarted or held in abeyance when they reached their
logical consequence: destruction of the right of dissent for all groups, a right
indispensable to the functioning of a democratic society. The method employed to
substantiate this theory is an examination of numerous measures undertaken by the
government to, in the words of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), "expose,
disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize" the BPP.11 For the most part,
records and documents of relevant government agencies initiating and participating in
this campaign of destruction against the BPP provide the evidentiary basis for the
dissertation. These records and documents, many revealed herein publicly for the first
time, have been discovered in litigation between the BPP and government agencies, as
well as through congressional investigations, scholarly studies, and media reports. In
addition, firsthand knowledge of the author as a witness or participant to certain
events, interviews with persons knowledgeable about relevant matters, and secondary
sources of information (e.g., other studies and news reports) are used and identified.
Most of the evidence of government efforts to destroy the Party focuses on the FBI
because it was the major known offender in terms of intensity and severity of actions,
but brief sections on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) are also included. The result of this study is an analysis of what
happened, and still can happen, to a dissident political organization that explicitly
challenges the policies and practices of a government intent on controlling the pace
and degree of integration for a sizeable group of persons seeking equal socioeconomic
participation. Moreover, this study shows the lengths to which, so far at least, a
government can go in a constitutional democracy before it must choose between
destroying a dissident political organization, or in the process of doing so, the very
fabric of constitutional democracy. It is the conclusion of this dissertation that the
federal government was forced to suspend temporarily its most egregious actions
directed at destroying the BPP, but that these measures pose an ever-present danger of
recurrence to dissident political organizations with perceptions of the government
similar to those of the BPP.

B. Methodology The basic methodological approach to the problem to be examined is one
requiring the identification of a number of particular response patterns to particular
forms of dissent. The basic materials used are over 8,000 250-page volumes of recently
released reports and "intelligence" information. This information was collected by
various police and

government agencies and has been used against a number of activists and dissenters
who were believed to pose a threat to the existing order. An effort is made to compare
empirical evidence accrued from the writer's own participation and observation to the
statements and recorded experiences of similarly situated participant-observers.
Objectivity is in every instance strived for, but it is in no instance guaranteed due
to the observer's proximity to much of what is found to be characteristic of those
patterns most fruitful to observe. A substantial amount of material gathered in
personal interviews and taken from sworn depositions and trial statements made under
oath is used in the construction of analyses. As stated above, this study is presented
in a historical manner. This style was chosen in order to develop an analysis of
repression by the use of chronological fact. In this way, repression cannot be viewed
as a new and unsophisticated set of tactics developed for only an isolated group or
individual. It is germane to this study, however, that of the dissident groups which
were established in the last twenty years, the Black Panther Party was singled out for
concerted, consistent, and violent attack, harassment, and media abuse. In early 1969,
then U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell stated that the Justice Department would
"wipe out the Black Panther Party by the end of 1969."12 Edward V. Hanrahan, Cook
County's former state attorney in Chicago, when asked about the murder of Fred
Hampton, which Hanrahan authorized, stated that it was "justified because of the
vicious activities of the Black Panther Party."13 These pages do not reflect the
personal pain and anguish, the resulting physical and emotional disabilities, as well
as the continual financial setbacks the writer has suffered. However, a sensitive
person can infer these things from the study. Such an overwhelming number of incidents
occurred that it is difficult to imagine that anyone living during this period of
history was not affected. The participant-observer has been shot, ambushed, followed,
and verbally and physically threatened and abused. His wife and family are under
constant surveillance and also have been attacked and threatened. In every apartment
or home in which he has lived since 1966, the premises have been burglarized,
searched, and bugged (as was his bedroom in an apartment in Oakland, California, in
1974). In addition, mail has been intercepted or received already opened. Far more
devastating are the brutal deaths of the writer's personal friends: Bobby Hutton,
murdered by the Oakland police in 1968; Alprentice Carter, murdered in Los Angeles in
1969 by men working in association with the FBI; and George Jackson, who was murdered
at San Quentin Prison in 1971. The participant-observer has spent a total of three
years (1967— 1970) in prison, has been arrested numerous times, has spent the last
thirteen years in court (an average of two trials per year), and from 1974 to 1977 was
in involuntary exile as a protection from physical abuse and death. All of these
incidents of the writer's knowledge of repression are intended to substantiate the
chronology's factual information from a personal view. The participant-observer, in
addition, is the leading and founding member of the organization, said to be "the
greatest threat to the internal security of the country."14 Although it may seem that
the writer is somewhat disadvantaged because of

his proximity to the events discussed in this study, it is this very proximity that
gives clarity to the specific conflict discussed. Finally, this study attempts to
explain why the beliefs of the Black Panther Party and those of the American
government and its intelligence agencies have resulted in continuing conflict.

1 The most concisely stated and meaningful assumptions of American democracy having a
direct bearing on the wellbeing and future of the American people were manifested in
the first ten amendments to the Constitution, upon which the new American government
was founded. Consistent with their importance, the new government, it is generally
agreed, may have faced ratification problems of indefinite duration without the
inclusion of the ten amendments to the Bill of Rights. As it were, their inclusion
eased and finally assured the ratification of the new Constitution. 2 Alexis De
Tocqueville, Democracy in America, trans. George Lawrence (New York: Harper & Row,
1966). 3 See the debate on this issue at the Constitutional Convention. (Richard
Hofstadter, The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It, New York: Knopf,
1948). 4 Ibid. See also "To the Revolutionary People's Constitutional Convention:
September 5, 1970," in Huey P. Newton, To Die for the People (New York: Random House,
1972), pp. 156—162. [Publisher's note—New York: Writers and Readers, 1995.] 5 Hugh
Davis Graham and Ted Robert Garr, eds., The History of Violence in America: Historical
and Comparative Perspectives (New York: Praeger, 1969). 6 See e.g., Oliver C Cox,
Caste, Class, and Race: A Study in Social Dynamics (New York Monthly Review Press,
1959). 7 See Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days (New York: Simon &
Shuster, 1976) for both a detailed and general account of the use of such tactics
against American dissenters. See also U.S. Congress. House. United States Presidents,
1969—1974 (Nixon). Submission of Recorded Presidential Conversations to the Committee
on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives by President

Richard M. Nixon: April 30, 1974 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office,
1974), 1308. 8 Both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson are known to have made use
of unlawful and unfair "tricks" designed to undermine and/or deceive those in
opposition to their policies. 9 William Kornhauser, The Politics of Mass Society
(Glencoe, Illinois: Free Press, 1959). 10 For a fuller explanation of revolutionary
intercommunalism, see p. 33—36. See also, Newton, To Die for the People, pp. 22—32,
and Erik H. Erikson and Huey P. Newton, In Search of Common Ground (New York: W.W.
Norton ,1973), pp. 23—36. 11 FBI Memorandum from Headquarters to All Special Agents in
Charge, August 25, 1967. Hereinafter "Hqtrs" and "SAC" will be used to refer to
Headquarters and Special Agents in Charge, respectively. 12 Newsweek February 1969. 13
Time, December 12, 1969, p. 20. 14 J. Edgar Hoover, quoted in U.S. Congress. Senate.
Book III: Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with
Respect to Intelligence Activities, 94th Cong., 2nd sess.,1976, p. 187.

II. HISTORY OF REPRESSION IN AMERICA The use by law enforcement agencies of
disinformation, under-cover agents, provocateurs, harassment, and informants did not
begin with the war against the Black Panther Party. Repression based on race,
religion, and radicalism has a long history in the United States, and the tactics and
strategies used against the BPP have been employed by the government since the
nation's founding. This chapter will briefly outline examples of government repression
and disregard for the constitutional rights of dissident groups in America since the
turn of the century. A. The Haymarket Incident

After the Civil War, American workers, led by social revolutionaries, focused their
struggle on the eight-hour day. By 1867, six states had adopted the shorter work day
and in 1868 Congress passed the first federal law giving the eight-hour day to federal
employees. The state laws, however, did not provide for enforcement, and in 1876 the
U.S. Supreme Court nullified the federal law.1 Labor recognized that it would have to
win its own battle, and by mid 1886, 250,000 industrial workers were involved in the
movement. In Chicago, which had become the center of the labor movement as well as of
socialism in the United States, 400,000 workers had struck for the eight-hour day.2 A
mass meeting in support of the eight-hour day was held on May 3, 1886; joining in the
meeting were workers from the McCormick Harvester Machine Company, who had been on
strike since February. While August Spies of the Social Revolutionary Club was
speaking to the crowd, strikebreakers began to leave the nearby McCormick plant, and
the striking workers began to demonstrate against the scabs. "A special detail of 200
police arrived and, without warning, attacked the strikers with clubs and revolvers,
killing at least one striker, wounding five or six others, and injuring an
undetermined number."3 A protest meeting was called for May 4 at Haymarket Square. As
the final speaker, Samuel Fielden, addressed the small group, police suddenly began to
disperse it. A dynamite bomb was thrown. One policeman was instantly killed. Six later
died; about seventy were wounded. The police opened fire on the crowd, killing and
wounding an unknown number. A nationwide wave of repression followed the Haymarket
incident. Socialists and anarchists were rounded up indiscriminately Raids were
staged, homes were broken into and searched without warrants, suspects were beaten,
and "witnesses" were bribed and coerced. Thirty-one persons were indicted; eight stood
trial: August Spies, Albert Parsons, Samuel Fielden, Michael Schwab, Adolph Fischer,
George Engel, Louis Lingg, and Oscar Neebe. Although only two of the defendants, Spies
and Fielden, were at Haymarket Square when the bomb exploded (Fielden with his wife
and child), and although the state never established any connection of the defendants
with the incident, an openly biased, handpicked jury convicted them solely on the
basis of their political ideas. Worldwide efforts to free them failed, and on November
11, 1887, Parsons, Spies, Engel, and Fischer were hanged. Lingg had committed suicide.
It was not until 1893 that Neebe, who had been sentenced to fifteen years
imprisonment, and Fielden and Schwab, who had had their death sentences commuted, were
pardoned by Governor John Peter Altgeld.4

B. Domestic Intelligence, 1908-1936 In 1908, the attorney general under President
Theodore Roosevelt created the Bureau of Investigation within the Justice Department
to fill the gap caused by congressional prohibition of using the Secret Service for
investigation and intelligence activities.

Although there was no formal Congressional authorization for the bureau, once it was
established its appropriations were regularly approved by Congress. It was not until
1916 that an amendment to the appropriations statute came to serve as an indirect
congressional authorization for bureau investigations.5 During World War I, the
bureau, aided by the volunteer American Protective League, began to operate as a
secret political police force. With the Justice Department, the Bureau investigated
the activities of thousands of German immigrants as well as thousands of Americans
accused of draft resistance. The 1918 "slacker raids" in New York and New Jersey
involved the "mass round-up of 50,000 persons (without warrants) to discover draft
evaders. "6 The Espionage and Sedition Acts were invoked, resulting in 2,000
prosecutions for "disloyal utterances and activities,"7 aimed mainly at socialist and
labor groups critical of the government and its policies.8 During 1917-1918, bureau
agents raided offices of the Socialist Party and the Industrial Workers of the World
(IWW—the Wobblies) across the country in a concentrated effort to gather evidence for
a mass trial of 166 IWW leaders.9 In late 1919, strikes spread throughout America. In
Europe there were socialist- and communist-led uprisings. Using these events as
justification for increased funding for the bureau, Attorney General A. Mitchell
Palmer told Congress, " ... the bureau is confronted with a very large and important
task in connection with social and economic unrest . . . and radicalism. . . . " As
the Bureau shifted its attention from critics of the war to the activities of
political groups, a special division on radical activities was organized. ... Instead
of performing their statutory mission of tracking down and apprehending criminals,
federal directives were mounting a massive and unfocused intelligence gathering
operation involving the whole field of left wing dissent. 10 Information collected by
bureau agents was given to the Justice Department's General Intelligence Division
(GID), an office established by Palmer after a series of bombings in 1919. J. Edgar
Hoover was appointed as head of the new division. One of the bombings referred to
above took place on June 2, 1919 near the White House. Two anarchists were taken into
custody without formal charges. One was deported and the other, Andrea Salsedo, was
held incommunicado by the bureau. A few days later, Salsedo "fell" to his death from
the fourteenth floor of the building where he had been incarcerated. Bartolomeo
Vanzetti, a comrade of Salsedo, began an investigation into the death of his friend.
Vanzetti, a Boston shoemaker, quickly came under bureau surveillance. On June 4, he
and Nicola Sacco, a fish peddler, organized a protest meeting in Brockton,
Massachusetts. On June 5, the two men were arrested on capital charges of which they
were later convicted. A nationwide legal struggle for their release was waged for
seven years without success, and Sacco and Vanzetti were executed in 1926.11 The GID
compiled a massive card index containing 450,000 entries on individuals, groups,
publications, and, "special circumstances,"12 and also collected information on

"matters of an international nature" as well as "economic and industrial
disturbances". Since the only federal law enforceable in noncriminal cases was the
deportation statute, the main target of the bureau's drive was aliens and, without
congressional authorization, the Justice Department (through the GID) and the Bureau
of Investigation jointly planned and organized a nationwide drive to deport foreign
radicals from the U.S.. Among the deportees were Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman.
American citizens, however, were not left out since prosecution might be possible
under state or existing federal law or under legislation "which may hereinafter be
enacted."13 The drive to deport radicals culminated in the Palmer Raids of late 1919
and early 1920. The first of these raids took place on November 7, 1919, when 450
people in eighteen cities were arrested.14 On the night of January 2, 1920, bureau
agents, along with Immigration officials, rounded up some 10,000 persons in
thirty-three cities.15 Following the Palmer Raids, every major American city police
department created intelligence divisions. From 1919 until 1925, the Los Angeles
Police Department (LAPD) arrested 504 union organizers and political activists on
charges of "criminal syndicalism." These arrests resulted in 124 convictions, most of
which were obtained through the perjured testimony of police informants. The LAPD "Red
Squad" became a model intelligence division whose tactics were used by other police
agencies across the country 16 When Warren G. Harding took office in 1921, William J.
Burns became director of the bureau. Burns, the former head of the International
Detective Agency (IDA), a company specializing in labor spying, aided IDA in its
campaign against the IWW, whose destruction was sought by southern California
businessmen and southwest copper interests. Four days after taking office, Burns made
Hoover assistant director of the bureau. Although the Red Scare had virtually died in
the United States, Burns testified before congressional hearings that radicalism was
growing in the country. As a result, the bureau's budget rose from $2 million to $2.25
million dollars in 1923.17 Despite the protests of such groups as the American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU), the bureau continued its illegal activities. It increasingly
relied on the use of agents and paid informants, especially between 1921 and 1924.18
On August 2, 1923, President Harding died in office and was succeeded by Calvin
Coolidge. And on March 28, 1924, Coolidge named Harlan Fiske Stone to succeed Harry
Daugherty as attorney general. In May, Stone asked Burns to resign as bureau director.
The new attorney general told the Senate that he opposed the repressive, lawless
activities of the bureau under Daugherty's leadership, and that he, Stone, would
reorganize the Bureau, abolishing the GID. He pledged that Justice Department agents
would limit their investigations to violations of law.19 On December 10, 1924, Hoover
was appointed director, having convinced Stone and the previously critical ACLU that
he was an "unwilling" participant in the Palmer raids.20

While the bureau's domestic political intelligence function was greatly curtailed
from 1924 to 1936, efforts to gather such information were continued by state,
private, and military intelligence agencies. [In addition], the bureau retained the
massive files it had accumulated in the period from 1916 to 1924 and readily
transmitted data to other agencies to pursue. In 1936, the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) became by presidential directive "the primary civilian charged
with domestic intelligence responsibilities."21 Events in Europe provided the
rationale for resumption of domestic political investigations when President Franklin
Roosevelt asked the FBI to gather intelligence on "subversive" political
organizations. There still was no federal law authorizing the kind of probe Roosevelt
wanted, but Hoover cited the obscure provision of the 1916 appropriations act to
launch a new wave of FBI suppression of radicalism.22

C. Post-War Domestic Intelligence In 1938, with World War II under way in Europe,
Congress created a Special Committee to Investigate Un-American Activities and
Propaganda in the United States. In 1941, the Alien Registration Act (also known as
the Smith Act) was passed. This act, which made it a crime to teach or advocate the
"duty, desirability, or propriety" of overthrowing the American government by
violence, has been described by one of the country's bestknown authorities on the law
of free speech, Professor Zechariah Chafee, Jr., as the "most drastic restriction on
freedom of speech ever enacted in the United States during peace."23 A closely related
act, the Voorhis Act of 1941, required registration of all "subversive organizations
having foreign links and advocating the violent overthrow of the government."24 These
sanctions inevitably were extended to include supporters and even latent sympathizers,
facilitated by the use of wiretapping which had been authorized by presidential
directive in 1940.25 Following the end of World War II in 1945, the arrest and
deportation of radicals and "undesirable" aliens increased. A major target of
repression during the postwar years continued to be the Communist Party; between 1918
and 1956, U.S. Senate investigations of communism were conducted by eighteen standing
committees and one select committee, and House investigations by sixteen standing
committees. In 1951, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Communist Party
leaders under the Smith Act. "The Crime of the Century," in the words of Director
Hoover,26 was the espionage case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were tried and
convicted without any convincing evidence of their guilt. Worldwide demonstrations and
appeals failed during this period of "spy" hysteria, and they were executed on June
19, 1953. On July 24, 1950, a month after the outbreak of the Korean War, President
Harry Truman approved an order written by Attorney General J. Howard McGrath, which
served as the authority for FBI activities relating to espionage, sabotage, subversive
activities, and

"related matters. "27 In the early 1950's, Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, as
well as then Congressman Richard M. Nixon of California, readily seized the
opportunity to promote the Red Scare. McCarthy conducted indiscriminate witch hunts,
aided by the FBI, and on the basis of falsified information held press conferences and
congressional hearings to expose Communists.

D. The Repression of Black America African slaves were first brought to America in
1619. These slaves and their descendants vehemently resisted their oppression, and for
this resistance, they have suffered beatings, torture, castration, lynching, and other
forms of violence. In 1910, two years after the FBI was founded, Jack Johnson, the
first Black heavyweight world boxing champion, became the first Black American to be
hounded and harassed by the FBI. The Mann act was passed in 1910 for the alleged
purpose of preventing vice; the legislation outlawed the transportation of women
across state lines for immoral purposes. The language of the law was deliberately
vague and the prosecution of offenders appears to have been loosened or tightened
according to their importance. Reportedly, Johnson had induced a former prostitute to
give up her profession and enter into a personal relationship with him. Their travels
took them across a state border before their marriage, and Johnson was arrested by
federal authorities under the terms of the Mann Act and sentenced to prison.28 In the
following years, numerous Black political leaders were harassed by the government.
Marcus Garvey, who founded the popular Universal Negro Improvement Association in
1919, was convicted of using the mails to defraud. Garvey, who advocated that American
Blacks return to Africa, served a federal prison term and died in poverty.29 Dr. W. E.
B. DuBois30 and Paul Robeson31 were singled out for harassment for their association
with the U.S. Communist Party. Harlem Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, chairman of the
powerful House Education Committee, was forced out of office because of his outspoken
views on the oppression of American Blacks.32 Malcolm X, whose political views changed
following his split with the Nation of Islam, [and who] helped to inspire the founding
of the Black Panther Party33 was under constant police surveillance in the last year
of his life. The two men convicted of his assassination in February 1965 have demanded
a new trial on the grounds that they were framed. The Congressional Black Caucus has
called for a congressional investigation into Malcolm's death.34 A main target of the
FBI COINTELPRO operation during the late 1950's and early 1960's was the civil rights
movement. Among the groups singled out for persecution were the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Deacons for Defense, the Republic of New
Africa (RNA), and the Nation of Islam. Targeted individuals included H. "Rap" Brown,
Stokely Carmichael, Elijah Muhammed, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.35

From December 1963 until his assassination on April 4, 1968, Dr. King was the subject
of an intensive COINTELPRO campaign. In the testimony of William Sullivan, who was in
charge of the FBI campaign against Dr. King: No holds were barred. We have used
[similar] techniques against Soviet agents. [The same methods were] brought home
against any organization which we targeted. We did not differentiate.36 Using its
authority to investigate legitimate noncommunist groups suspected of being infiltrated
by communists, the FBI sought to discredit and destroy Dr. King and the entire civil
rights movement.37

E. United Farm Workers The United Farm Workers (UFW), founded and led by Cesar Chavez,
has fought for over a decade for decent wages and living conditions for American farm
workers. The strong opposition of business interests to the work of the UFW has made
the union a constant target of government and intelligence repression. Informants,
undercover agents, and provocateurs have continuously infiltrated the UFW in an effort
to destroy the union. On several occasions, union headquarters in California have been
burglarized and files stolen by FBI and other intelligence agents.38

F. American Indian Movement American Indians have been murdered, tortured, and
isolated by the United States government longer than any other group of people in
America. After launching numerous wars against Native Americans and forcing them from
their lands in the latter part of the nineteenth century, the government forcibly
moved them to reservations operated by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 1970, the
American Indian Movement (AIM), a nationwide political organization of Native
Americans, was founded by Russell Means and Dennis Banks. Means, Banks, and other
Native American leaders and activists have been a prime target of the FBI COINTELPRO
campaign, a campaign which has led to numerous false charges, imprisonment, and
murder.39 As the preceding pages point out, the war against the Black Panther Party
was a logical extension of ongoing police intelligence practices intensified by the
explosive situation in American cities during the last sixteen years. Not only are the
tactics of infiltration, harassment, and disinformation time-tested, but the
tacticians are veterans.

1 Philip S. Foner, ed., The Autobiographies of the Haymarket Martyrs (New York: Monad
Press, 1977), pp. 1-2.

2 Ibid. 3 Ibid., p. 5. 4 Ibid., p. 10.

III. FORMATION AND PURPOSE OF THE PARTY: WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT? By 1966, the United
States had experienced a recent series of disruptions in several of its major urban
Black population centers—Harlem, Watts, Chicago and Detroit1 Numerous organizations
and leaders representing groups of Black people—e.g., SCLC (Martin Luther King, Jr.),
the Black Muslims (Elijah Muhammed and Malcolm X), CORE (James Farmer), NAACP (Roy
Wilkins)—had repeatedly articulated the causes of these riots or urban rebellions:
high unemployment, bad housing, police brutality, poor health care, and inferior
educational opportunities. Their consensus on the ills that caused or contributed to
the violent explosions in inner cities was confirmed by official investigating bodies
such as the Kerner and McCone Commissions.2 While all groups were generally in
agreement on the specific maladies of the society affecting Blacks, they were in
disagreement as to the best solution for ending them. The Black nationalists favored
separatism; traditional liberals, integration and passage of new legal guarantees; and
some of the more activist-oriented demanded "revolution now." Amidst this clamor for
social justice, the Black Panther Party was formed in Oakland, California, in 1966. A.
Ideology of Revolutionary Intercommunalism The Party differed from other organizations
representing Black and poor persons in several respects. First, the Panthers embraced
from the outset an explicitly socialist ideology, which it soon named "revolutionary
intercommunalism." In essence, the Party acknowledged that it was, despite certain
differences, basically socialist or Marxist because it followed the dialectical method
and sought to integrate theory and practice. As the founder of the Panthers observed:
We are not mechanical Marxists and we are not historical materialists. Some people
think they are Marxists when they are actually following the thoughts of Hegel. Some
people think they are Marxist-Leninists but they refuse to be creative, and are,
therefore, tied to the past. They are tied to a rhetoric that does not apply to the
present set of conditions. They are tied to a set of thoughts that approaches
dogma...If we are using the method of dialectical materialism we don't expect to find
anything the same even one minute later because "one minute later" is history. If
things are in a constant state of change, we cannot expect them to be the same. Words
used to describe old phenomena may be useless to describe the new. And

if we use the old words to describe new events we run the risk of confusing people
and misleading them into thinking that things are static.3 This espousal of
revolutionary intercommunalism by the BPP obviously influenced the perception of
others about it, especially, as will be shown, the federal government. Of equal
importance, however, is the effect this ideology has upon the actions of the Party and
the decisions of its leadership. Revolutionary intercommunalism provided an important
paradigm for interpreting the world, much as a belief in laissez-faire capitalism
affects the actions of corporate decision makers who embrace it. Thus, to the BPP,
government opposition to its existence was expected as partial confirmation of its
raison d' etre. On a more personal level, the BPP leadership felt toward their
ideology and its likely opponents that "truth made you a traitor as it often does in a
time of scoundrels."4 "Revolutionary intercommunalism" not only served to pit the BPP
and government law enforcement against each other in ideological struggle, [but also]
it gave the Party a perhaps unexpected asset in its struggle for survival. The popular
conception of ideology, especially one embracing terminology that seems foreign to
traditional democratic politics, is that it is rigid and doctrinaire. Yet to the BPP
leadership, its ideology, despite the sound of dogma it may have conveyed to others,
served it as a pragmatic methodology for interpreting events. A central tenet of
revolutionary intercommunalism, for example, is that "contradiction is the ruling
principle of the universe," that everything is in a constant state of transformation.
Recognition of these principles gave Party leaders an ability to grow through a
self-criticism that many other radical political organizations seemed to lack. Thus,
in 1970, Newton could say of the Party: In 1966 we called our Party a Black
Nationalist Party (BNP). We called ourselves Black Nationalists because we thought
that nationhood was the answer. Shortly after that we decided that what was really
needed was revolutionary nationalism. That is, nationalism plus socialism. After
analyzing conditions a little more, we found that it was impractical and even
contradictory. Therefore we went to a higher level of consciousness. We saw that in
order to be free we had to crush the ruling circle and therefore we had to unite with
the peoples of the world. So we called ourselves Internationalists. . . We sought
solidarity with what we thought were the nations of the world. But then what happened?
We found that because everything is in a constant state of transformation, because of
the development of technology, because of the development of the mass media . . . and
because of the fact that the United States is no longer a nation but an empire,
nations could not exist, for they did not have the criteria for nationhood. Their
self-determination, economic determination, and cultural determination has been

transformed by the imperialists and the ruling circle. They were no longer nations.
We found that in order to be Internationalists we had to be also Nationalists, or at
least acknowledge nationhood. Internationalism . . . means the interrelationship among
a group of nations. But since no nation exists, and since the United States is in fact
an empire, it is impossible for us to be Internationalists. These transformations and
phenomena require us to call ourselves "intercommunalists" because nations have been
transformed into communities of the world. The Black Panther Party now disclaims
internationalism and supports intercommunalism.5

B. Strategy for Building Community Institutions: The Survival Programs A second
distinguishing characteristic of the Party has been its specific strategy to achieve
revolutionary intercommunalism: the building of "survival" or community service
programs.6 The purpose of these programs is to enable people to meet their daily needs
by developing positive institutions within their communities and to organize the
communities politically around these programs. This, of course, is nothing new when
one thinks of certain minority or ethnic communities in the United States, such as the
Jews or Chinese. Historically, one way these groups have affected their rise from
deprivation is by developing communal associations, ranging from fraternal and
religious bodies to political machines. The function of these community associations
or institutions has been described by Cloward and Piven as "provid[ing] a base from
which covert ethnic solidarity evolves into the political force required to overcome
various forms of class inequality. They are therefore an important device by which the
legitimate interests of particular groups are put forward to compete with those of
other groups."7 Unfortunately, as Cloward and Piven concede, "the Black community"—and
this was especially true in 1966 when the Party was forming—"lack[ed] an institutional
framework in private social welfare [as well as in other institutional areas], and the
separatist agencies of other ethnic and religious communities [were] not eager to see
this deficiency overcome.... "8 Hence the BPP emphasized the importance of its
survival programs.

1. The Police Patrols An early survival program focused on the issue of police
brutality, which was a major concern, nationally and in Oakland, California. Applying
knowledge of California law, Party founders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale organized
police patrols to respond to arrests of citizens that were regularly broadcast over
the police officers' short-wave radio.

Several Party members equipped with a shortwave radio in a car intercepted the calls,
rushed to the scene of the arrest, and, armed with a law book, informed the person
being arrested of his constitutional rights. Party members also carried loaded
weapons, publicly displayed but not pointed toward anyone, and dressed in leather
jackets and berets. The patrol participants were careful to stand no closer than ten
feet from the arrest, to stay within the presumption that they were not interfering
with the arrest.9 These initial contacts between Panther patrols and Oakland police
resulted in the arrests of Party members and [in] considerable publicity.10 Media
portrayals of these confrontations gave the impression that the Panthers were
primarily an armed insurrectionary group. One of the reasons for this distorted image
was astutely noted by Erik Erikson: You have all seen the now traditional picture of
young Huey Newton like a latter day American revolutionary with a gun in his hands,
held not threateningly, but safely pointing upward. To a man of my age, it was, not
too long ago, almost impossible to imagine black men carrying guns openly—black
vigilantes, black nightriders in automobiles, keeping an eye on (of all things) the
law. Most readers of the news, of course, did not and do not know that according to
California law, every citizen then had the right to carry a gun, one gun for
self-defense and joint defense. But those who created that law certainly did not
envisage anybody but white men doing so, nor did they envisage anybody but potential
lawbreakers as the ones to be patrolled vigilant citizens in an ill-defined and
frontier territory. . . . [What the BPP did] was to show how the black man's territory
has never outlived the frontier state and is still the land of undefined laws; and
that arbitrary violence in this territory often comes not from roving outlaws but from
those charged with the enforcement of the law. Inclined to disregard the rights of
black citizens, they break the law under the guise of defending it. [The BPP] made of
the police, then, the symbol of uniformed and armed lawlessness. But [it] did so by
ingeniously turning the white man's own imagery (especially dear to the American West
and the Western) around against the white world itself. And in arming [themselves] and
[their] brothers against that world, [the BPP] emphasized a disciplined adherence to
existing law. In fact, [the BPP] patrol member traveled equipped not only with a gun
but also with a law book. The book and the fire—it cannot escape us—what an elemental
pair of symbols this has been in revolts as far removed from each other as that of the
Germans in Luther's day and that of the Zionists in our own.11

The image of Blacks armed for self-defense against police brutality catapulted the
Party nationally into the public consciousness and gave an erroneous impression that
it advocated armed confrontation. Ironically, however, the single event most
responsible for projecting this violent image was itself a pristine case of a group
legally petitioning the government for redress of grievances. The BPP learned in April
1967 of the shooting by Richmond, California police of Denzil Dowell, a
twenty-two-year-old Black. Official police accounts claim that the youth was running
from the police after they had flagged him down in a stolen car. He reportedly jumped
one fence, ran across an automobile junkyard, and was about to jump another fence when
an officer shot him. No one claimed that Denzil Dowell was armed. Since he was shot
while in the commission of a felony, the police claimed that it was justifiable
homicide. But the police account suffered from factual inconsistencies. The victim
suffered a hip injury, which made him an unlikely fence-jumper. Moreover, no oil or
debris was found on his shoes or clothes, which, had he really run through the
automobile junkyard near where he was found, would almost certainly have been present.
Finally, several people had witnessed previous threats made by the police to Denzil
Dowell, who was apparently viewed by some Richmond law enforcement personnel as a
troublemaker. When BPP members went with Denzil Dowell's family to the sheriff of
Contra Costa County to complain about the shooting, they were advised to go to the
state capitol in Sacramento and get the law changed that permitted officers to shoot
at suspects fleeing the scene of a felony. Party leaders saw this buck-passing as
further confirmation of their belief that armed citizen patrols of the police and the
arming of the citizenry as guaranteed by the Constitution were the most effective
deterrents to excessive use of police force.12 Soon after the shooting of Denzil
Dowell, an East Bay legislator, Don Mulford, gave the BPP another reason to carry
their grievances to the state capitol. Mulford introduced a bill to repeal the law
that permitted citizens to carry loaded weapons in public places so long as the
weapons were openly displayed.13 Obviously, the law Mulford sought to repeal was
integral to the BPP's police patrols, which was why it was tagged the "Panther Bill"
in numerous media reports. Passage of Mulford's bill, which the Panthers viewed as
almost certain, would make it a crime for a citizen, not otherwise licensed, to carry
a loaded weapon in a public place, whether openly displayed or concealed. In response
to the introduction of this legislation, the BPP sent a delegation to the capitol to
protest this attempted disarming of the citizenry. The delegation carried loaded
rifles and shotguns, which they publicly displayed. They entered the state capitol, a
public place, to make their protest by delivering Executive Mandate No. 1.14 The
legislature responded to this protest by promptly passing the law, which was signed by
Governor Ronald Reagan. But the gathering of armed Black men on the capitol steps was
photographed and published in newspapers and on television throughout the nation.
These photographic representations served as a stimulus for Party popularity and
growth among young Blacks, hostility by the government, and fear by much of the white
citizenry recently racked by a series of Black urban riots.

What never became clear to the public, largely because it was always deemphasized in
the media,15 was that the armed self-defense program of the Party was just one form of
what Party leaders viewed as self-defense against oppression. The Party had always
urged self-defense against poor medical care, unemployment, slum housing,
underrepresentation in the political process, and other social ills that poor and
oppressed people suffer.16 The Panther means for implementing its concept of
self-defense was its various survival programs, symbolized best by the police patrols
and the free breakfast program for school children. In addition to these programs,
however, the Party early initiated health clinics providing free medical and dental
service, a busing program to take relatives of prisoners on visiting days, and an
escort and transportation service for residents of senior citizen housing projects, as
well as a clothing and shoe program to provide for more of the needs of the local
community. It was these broad-based programs, including the free food programs where
thousands of bags of groceries were given away to the poor citizens of the community,
that gave the Party great appeal to poor and Black people throughout the country.17
For one of the first times since the organized slave rebellions before the Civil War,
Blacks were responding to an organization that tried to build community institutions
and did so under the banner of a political ideology that directly challenged
democratic capitalism.

2. Use of Democratic Reforms by the Party to Build Community Institutions The
Panthers, despite their explicit repudiation of democratic capitalism as a system that
was inherently incapable of permitting Black and poor people from enjoying full and
equal participation in it, did not eschew democratic means of reform, nor did they
discourage Black capitalism. To the contrary, from its very inception, the Party
utilized existing legal machinery in order to bring about social change and encouraged
indigenous Black financial enterprises. In addition to the legal police patrols
already mentioned, the Party frequently filed civil law suits seeking relief for its
members, wand Black and poor people generally, from various injustices.18 The Panthers
also turned to the ballot box, first by running members for mayor and city council in
Oakland in 1972 and 1974, and comings surprisingly close to victory. In 1976, Party
involvement was admittedly credited by two successful Black candidates for their
elections, to the offices of Mayor of Oakland and Supervisor of Alameda County, the
first two Black persons to be elected to these positions in Oakland's history, despite
a sizeable Black population that had resided there since World War II.19 Moreover, the
Party incorporated some of its main survival programs such as its Intercommunal Youth
Institute and Seniors Against a Fearful Environment (SAFE). The Youth Institute, a
school for more than one hundred Party and other children from the first through the
eighth grades, was incorporated as the Educational Opportunities Corporation.20 SAFE
was an escort and busing program in which young Blacks took seniors out into the
community—a combination of Black and gray power that to some extent provides both
groups what they need and desire—people power.21 The device of incorporation allowed
both survival programs to avail themselves of tax-deductible contributions and some
limited government benefits.

The Party also advocated growth of indigenous community businesses, even though they
were capitalistic. This is because the Party recognized that Black capitalism has come
to mean to many people Black control of another one of the institutions in t thee
community. This positive quality of Black capitalism should, the Party felt, be
encouraged. Since the people see Black capitalism in the community as Black control of
local institutions, this is a positive characteristic because the people can bring
more direction and focus to the activities of the capitalist. At the same time, the
Black capitalist who has the interest of the community at heart will respond to the
needs of the people because this is where his true strength lies. So far as capital
[in] general is concerned, the black capitalist merely has the status of a victim
because the big capitalists have the skills, make the loans„ and in fact control the
Black capitalist. If he wants to succeed in his enterprise, the Black capitalist must
turn to the community because he depends on them to make his profits. He needs this
strong community support because he cannot become independent of the control of the
corporate capitalists who control the large monopolies. The Black capitalist will be
able to support the people by contributing to the survival programs of the Black
Panther Party. In contributing to such programs he will be able to help build the
vehicle which will eventually liberate the Black community. He will not be able to
deliver the people from their problems, but he will be able to help build the strong
political machine which will serve as a revolutionary vanguard and guide the people in
their move toward freedom.22 A practical application of the Party's view toward Black
capitalism and the use of legal means of reform occurred in Oakland, California, in
1971. A group of small Black-owned retail liquor stores and taverns asked the BPP for
support in a boycott against Mayfair Supermarkets because Mayfair purchased alcoholic
beverages from companies that excluded Black truck drivers. The BPP joined in the
boycott, and within a period of days, Mayfair ended its discriminatory practices. The
Party then asked the group of Black businessmen who had solicited Party help to make a
nominal continuing contribution to one or more survival programs. The businessmen, who
had approached the Party initially through an organization called the California State
Package Store and Tavern Owners Association (Cal-Pak), declined to contribute except
via a single gift. The Party rejected Cal-Pak's offer, stating, . . . a continuing
trickle of support is more important to the community than a large, once-only hush
mouth gift. We will not be paid off; we will not be quiet. We will not go away. . .
Why should the Black community nourish a Black profiteer who has no concern for his
brother?23 It was considered important to the Party's concept of building community
institutions that contributions from the Black businesses not only be continuing, but
that they come from the association representing them. This would, in the Party's
view, constitute participation through a united front and build Cal-Pak as a community
institution along with the survival programs. Since the Party had been asked for
assistance in the Mayfair boycott

by representatives of Cal-Pak, it also followed logically that Cal-Pak should support
the survival programs. When Cal-Pak refused, the Party called for a boycott of the
liquor stores of the president of Cal-Pak, Bill Boyette, and picketed the two liquor
stores he owned. Five months later, Cal-Pak and the Party reached an agreement.
Congressman Ronald Dellums, who helped negotiate the settlement, announced at a press
conference in January 1972 that: . . . an agreement has been reached of great
importance to all of the people in the Bay Area and, in particular, the Black
population of this area. This agreement, between the Black Panther Party and the Ad
Hoc Committee for Promotion of Black Business, officially ends the boycott of
Boyette's Liquor Stores by the Black Panther Party. . . The United Fund of the Bay
Area, Inc., sponsored and created by the Ad Hoc Committee for the Promotion of Black
Business and the Cal-Pak Liquor Dealers, has already begun the task of collecting
funds from Black businesses and individuals for programs of special need in the Black
community. Operating as a nonprofit social vehicle for the Black community, this new
organization will make disbursements to various significant organizations in the Black
community on a regular and continuing basis. Among the programs that will benefit are
the survival programs of the Black Panther Party.24 This willingness by the Party to
use democratic means of reform and to support Black capitalism was criticized by some
as inconsistent with the Panther ideology of revolutionary intercommunalism. This is
partly because progressive people quite correctly observe that "It is very clear, upon
reflection, what function law serves within any culture. It protects the culture's
ideology. Under capitalism it protects property, the men who own it and guard it."25
From this observation, it is only a brief inferential step to the conclusion that,
because law is a product and perpetuator of corporate interests in this country, it
cannot be a force for significant socioeconomic change. But while this conclusion is
logical in a mechanistic-sense, it is illogical, and therefore wrong, in a dialectical
sense: According to the materialist conception of history, the ultimately determining
element in history is the production and reproduction of real life... f somebody
twists this into saying that the economic element is the only determining one, he
transforms that proposition into a meaningless, abstract, senseless phrase. The
economic situation is basis, but the various elements of the super-structure:
political forms of the class struggle . . . constitutions established by the
victorious class . . . judicial forms, had even the reflexes of all these actual
struggles in the brains of the participants . . . also exercise their influence upon
the course of the historical struggles and in many cases preponderate in determining
their form.26

In sum, the Panthers combined a unique blend of elements that set them apart from
traditional civil rights and minority organizations: a revolutionary ideology that
argued for the necessity of fundamental socioeconomic change, a practical series of
survival programs that served the community and fostered institutional growth and
consciousness, and a willingness to employ creative legal means within the democratic
system to achieve their ends. It was these unique elements that made the Panthers
popular with many Blacks and, at the same time, a nemesis to the federal government.

1 See, e.g., James Reston, "The Shame of the Cities," New York Times, 24 July 1966, p.
10E, col. 5. 2 For example, Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil
Disorders, 1968; California Governor's Commission on the Los Angeles Riots, "Violence
in the City—End or Beginning," 1965. 3 Huey P. Newton, To Die for the People (New
York: Random House, 1972), pp. 25-26; see also Appendix C. [Publisher's note—New York:
Writers and Readers, 1995.] 4 Lillian Hellman, Scoundrel Time (New York: Bantam Press,
1977), p. 82. 5 Newton, To Die for the People, pp. 31-32. 6 At a seminar at Yale
University in 1971, Newton was asked by a student, "What [do] you do to relate to
People on the human level, how [do] you set yourselves up as examples as the kind of
thing you are talking about. I mean, what do you actually do?" He answered that the
Party has "a series of survival programs—survival until the people become more
self-conscious and mature. . . These programs are open to everyone in the community.
We have health clinics; we have a busing program for parents and relatives and friends
of prisoners who would not be able to visit the prison. . . because they do not have
the money. . . Now these are reformist kinds of programs, but they have been
integrated into the rest of our revolutionary program. . . We know they won't solve
the problem. But because we are interested in the People, we serve the People." (Erik
H. Erikson and Huey P. Newton, In Search of Common Ground [New York: W. W. Norton &
Co., 1973], pp. 87-

88.) The Party's platform and program, originally adopted in 1966, and amended in
1976, are reprinted in Appendices A and B. 7 Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven,
The Politics of Turmoil (New York: Pantheon Books, 1974), p. 195. 8 Ibid. 9 Huey P.
Newton, Revolutionary Suicide (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973), pp.
120-121.[Publisher's note— New York: Writers and Readers, 1995.] 10 Ibid. 11 Erickson
and Newton, In Search of Common Ground, pp. 45-46. 12 A detailed account of this
incident is found in the chapter entitled "Denzil Dowell," in Newton, Revolutionary
Suicide, pp. 137-144. 13 California Penal Code, Sections 12031 and 171.c. 14 The full
text of Executive Mandate No. is found in Newton, To Die for the People, pp. 7-8. 15
To be sure, the media was often assisted in emphasizing the violent image of the Party
by the FBI and other federal agencies. See Chapter IV. 16 Affidavit of Huey P. Newton,
filed in Black Panther Party v. Donald C Alexander, Commissioner of the Internal
Revenue Service, No. C-74-1247, U.S. Fed. Ct. (N.D. Cal. 1974) 17 Newton,
Revolutionary Suicide, pp. 163-170. 18 For example, Black Panther Party v. Kehoe, 42
C.A.3d 645, 117 Call. Rept. 6 (1974) (public records act suit to compel state agency
to make "public" complaints it receives from consumers concerning abusive collection
agency practices); Black Panther Party v. Granny Goose, No. 429566, Alameda I Superior
Ct. (1972) (suit against ten major employers in Oakland, California to compel them to
comply with California's "pay while voting" statute, which requires employers to post
notices before certain elections

informing their employees that they are entitled to up to two hours off work with pay
in order to vote). 19 A confidential IRS memorandum candidly noted that, "as early as
1968 the Black Panther Party supported and ran candidates. . . . In 1972 the political
machinery of the BPP proved its effectiveness with a massive registration drive. This
campaign was conducted through the BPP newspaper. . . . Success was achieved when six
of the nine candidates running on the BPP slate were elected to the board of directors
of Model Cities in Oakland. Four other Panther members were also elected to [the]
antipoverty council in Berkeley. Two BPP officers, Bobbie [sic] Seale and Elaine
Brown, ran for the positions of Mayor and Councilwoman of Oakland, respectively.
Although they were defeated, the BPP had attained enough votes to demonstrate that
they could be a viable force." (Memorandum from IRS Revenue Agent Chinn to Group
Manager and District Director of San Francisco District, No. FA-1464, December 1,
1975.) 20 The IRS noted that "although some of the [BPP] programs have been terminated
. . . or cut back due to lack of funds, a major step has been achieved through the
construction of the Community Learning Center building [i.e., EOC]. Most of the
Panther activities are now concentrated at the Center." (Ibid., Appendix, p. iv.) 21
Hager, "Panthers, New Image—Joining the System," Los Angeles Times, 5 December 1972,
p. 1, col. 1. 22 Newton, To Die for the People, p. 106. 23 Ibid., p. 111. 24 Ronald
Dellums, quoted in Newton, To Die for the People, p. 109. 25 George Jackson, "From
Dachau, Soledad Prison, California," in Robert Lefcourt, ed., Law Against the People
(New York: Vintage Books, 1971), p. 227. 26 Friedrich Engels, Letter to J. Bloch,
quoted in William Franklin Ash, Marxism and Moral Concepts (New York: Monthly Review
Press, 1964), p. 124. A more contemporary

revolutionary has affirmed this same principle: "Some people think . . . that in the
contradiction between the productive forces and the relations of production, the
productive forces are the principal aspect; . . . and in the contradiction between the
economic foundation and its super-structure, the economic foundation is the principal
aspect; and there is no change in their respective positions. This is the view of
mechanistic materialism, and not of dialectical materialism. True, the productive
forces . . . and the economic foundation generally manifest themselves in the
principal and decisive role; whoever denies this is not a materialist. But under
certain conditions, such aspects as relations of production theory and the
superstructure in turn must manifest themselves in the principal and decisive role,
this must also be admitted..." (Mao Tse-tung, "On Contradiction," quoted in Ash,
Marxism and Moral Concepts, p. 124.)

IV. RESPONSE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY

A. The Administration's Propaganda War Against the Panthers: Making the Political
Criminal Upon Richard M. Nixon's election as president in 1968, the administration
addressed itself, in the words of former White House Counsel John Dean, to the matter
of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be
active in their opposition to our Administration. Stated a bit more bluntly—how we can
use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.1 A "White House
Enemies List" was drawn up by officials of the Nixon administration. In its original
form, this list contained the names of only a few minority political parties or
organizations, among them the Panthers, whom the administration linked with "Hughie
[sic] Newton," and "George Wallace" of the American Independent Party.2 Interestingly,
though their expressed ideologies were quite opposite, both organizations shared the
common feature of having strong grassroots support and active involvement by [their]
members, in contrast to the established Democratic and Republican parties.3 The
Enemies List was then incorporated into a detailed plan, commonly known as the Huston
Plan, after its White House designated coordinator, Tom Charles Huston.4 This plan was
approved in 1970 by the former director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, in cooperation
with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and
the National Security Agency (NSA).5 It advocated blanket presidential authorization
for

such practices as wiretapping, mail covers, and black-bag jobs or break-ins. Its main
purported function was to improve interagency cooperation among the major intelligence
agencies.6 Although this proposed plan was first approved, but allegedly later
disapproved by President Nixon because J. Edgar Hoover decided not to continue to
cooperate,' the tactics advocated had already been employed by various federal
agencies, particularly the FBI, against the Panthers. Just why the FBI and other
federal law enforcement agencies focused early on the Party as an "enemy" organization
is not difficult to understand. At the start of World War II, President Roosevelt
directed the bureau to refocus its resources on priorities it had purportedly given up
in 1924—the investigation of political organizations and affiliations.8 Distinctions
between foreign espionage and domestic dissident groups became blurred during the
height of the war; in fact, "vigilance and caution grew into xenophobia and distrust
of anyone who veered noticeably from the political mainstream."9 The Cold War
followed, with President Truman's establishment of the Federal Employee Loyalty
Program.10 The bureau, having built up a large contingent of agents to guard the
nation's internal security, channeled them into loyalty/security investigations. Thus,
the FBI took on officially "the role of a kind of ideological security police, an
arbiter of what was inside the boundaries of legitimate political discourse and what
[was] outside."11 In the absence of any effective challenge to this role, the bureau
continued, essentially unabated. Not surprisingly, when the Panthers became publicly
visible in 1967 and 1968, the FBI felt justified, if not compelled, to devote their
full panoply of resources to investigating the organization. In part, this was in
response to the BPP's ideology. As the chief of the FBI's counterintelligence program
admitted in describing the genesis of the program within the bureau that concentrated
on the Panthers: We were trying first to develop intelligence so we would know what
they were doing [and] second, to contain the threat . . . . To stop the spread of
communism, to stop the effectiveness of the Communist Party as a vehicle of Soviet
intelligence, propaganda and agitation.12 A more flamboyant assessment was provided by
Edward Miller, former assistant director of the FBI in charge of the Intelligence
Division, upon his retirement in 1974: Rome lasted for six hundred years, and we are
just coming on to our twohundredth. That doesn't mean that we have four hundred to go.
We have to step back and look at ourselves protectively. . . . How much of this
dissent and revolution talk can we really stand in a healthy country? Revolutions
always start in a small way. ... Economic conditions are bad; the credibility of
government is low. These are the things that the home-grown revolutionary is
monitoring very closely. The FBI's attention must be focused on these various
situations. If it weren't, the Bureau wouldn't be

doing its job for the American people.... The American people don't want to have to
fool around with this kind of thing and worry about it; they don't want to have to
worry about the security of their country. . . . We must be able to find out what
stage the revolution is in.13 The FBI was also aware of and disturbed by the Panther's
efforts to build community institutions. Indeed, the one survival program that seemed
most laudatory—that of providing free breakfasts to children—was pinpointed by J.
Edgar Hoover as the "real longrange threat to American society.14 The ostensible
reason for this was that children participating in the program were being
propagandized, which simply meant they were taught ideas, or an ideology, that] the
FBI and Hoover disliked. Yet Hoover was not so naive as to believe an overt
ideological war was any longer sufficient to garner the support or noninterference
necessary for the bureau to destroy the Panthers. A better rationale or cover for the
public would have to be employed. This new cover for secret police operations was, as
the Huston Plan suggested, a crusade against criminals and terrorists. Now, the
administration would fight "crime," not ideologies. This technique for destroying
controversial political organizations is, of course, not new: History should teach us
. . . that in times of high emotional excitement, minority parties and groups which
advocate extremely unpopular social or governmental innovations will always be typed
as criminal gangs and attempts will always be made to drive them out.15 Internal FBI
and other police agency documents make clear this objective of pinning the label
"criminal" on the BPP and its leaders, and trying to link criminal activity to the
Party's efforts at getting support for various survival programs. A 1974 memorandum to
the director of the FBI from the special agent in charge of the San Francisco office
stated that the local FBI office has continued to follow Newton's and his associates'
activities. ". . . Primarily, the . . . office has been pursuing Hobbs Act and/or
ITAR-Extortion cases on Newton and/or his associates. Although investigations to date,
including contacts with other law enforcement agencies," . . . has failed to develop
information indicating that Newton and his associates are extorting funds from
businesses. . . . This office is of the opinion that Newton is or has been extorting
funds from legitimate businesses. . . . In addition to the contacts noted above [i.e.,
the Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Firearms Section of the Department of Justice in
Oakland, California, the Oakland Police Department, the Berkeley Police Department and
various informants], the San Francisco Office is selectively

contacting pimps and narcotics pushers in the Oakland area in an attempt to develop
further intelligence and positive information concerning possible Federal violations
on the part of Newton and his associates. This matter will continue to receive
vigorous investigative attention. 16 Interestingly, the bureau and others seem to feel
that any contribution from a business, whether considered legitimate or not, to the
BPP survival programs could not be voluntary; it would have to come from extortion.
Despite a failure to obtain any evidence of extortion, the bureau continued to hold
the opinion that it took place and to try to develop information for a Hobbs' Act
prosecution. In 1973, for instance, the assistant attorney general who figured
prominently in the Watergate investigations, Henry E. Peterson, wrote the acting
director of the FBI regarding Newton and the BPP: During the course of filming a movie
in Oakland, California, Harvey Bernhard [a film director], was contacted by Huey
Newton and Bobby Seale who threatened to picket the filming site unless a $5,000
contribution was made to the Black Panther Party. We note that Bernhard now states
that while he gave $5,000 to Newton, he does not feel that he was extorted in any way
and that he did not wish to testify. In light of this, and considering that Max Julian
[an actor in the film], who was present when Bernhard met Newton, cannot recall any
discussion of money or picketing, there is insufficient evidence to warrant
prosecution and further investigation is not warranted.17 Extortion was not, of
course, the only crime federal law enforcement agencies tried to pin on the BPP. In
his book Agency of Fear, Epstein described how high-level intelligence officers in the
Nixon administration used a narcotics cover to expand domestic counterintelligence
operations: Under the aegis of a "war on heroin," a series of new offices were set up,
by executive order, such as the Office of National Narcotics Intelligence, which, it
was hoped, would provide the president with investigative agencies having the
potential to assume the functions of "the Plumbers" on a far grander scale. According
to the White House scenario, these new investigative functions would be legitimized by
the need to eradicate the evil of drug addiction.18

The Nixon administration's exploitation of the narcotics menace to justify expansion
of federal investigative agencies achieved extraordinary success: Between 1968 and
1974, the federal budget for enforcing narcotics laws rose from $3 million to more
than $224 million—a seventyfold increase. And this in turn gave the president an
opportunity to create a series of highly unorthodox federal agencies.19 The utility of
a narcotics cover appears in numerous internal law enforcement documents concerning
the BPP. Various agencies claim within their reports, in fact, to be investigating
narcotics use by Panther leaders, especially Huey Newton. When, for example, Newton
and some close friends took a one-week Caribbean cruise for a vacation, the FBI sent
at least one clandestine agent, who submitted the following report: [An unidentified
informant] stated that his company has recently experienced a heavy increase in
bookings aboard the "Starward" [the cruise ship taken] by Blacks, and he suspicions
[sic] that this increase is due in part to the availability of narcotics at Porte
Prince [sic] and Port Antonio. He stated that his suspicions have been buttressed by
the recent confiscation of several pieces of luggage filled with narcotics from a
"Starward" passenger. Inasmuch as reliable sources have identified Newton as a user of
cocaine and he is possibly the user of other narcotics, will alert customs personnel
to be on the lookout for narcotics in the possession of Newton and any of his party
upon their return to Miami.20 Not content merely to alert Customs, the FBI noted that
"the information has been disseminated to State Department and CIA. Copies of attached
being furnished to the Department (Internal Security and General Crimes Section) and
Secret Service."21 Indeed, in April 1973, the FBI requested that "all San Francisco
agents be aware of either the purchase or use of cocaine by Huey Newton. Any
information obtained in this regard should be immediately furnished to both the OPD
[Oakland Police Department] and the appropriate Federal Narcotics agency. "22 Six
months later, the bureau seemed less interested in Newton's possible use of cocaine
than they were about narcotics dealers he might have been hitting-up for contributions
to community survival programs. Source reports from contacts with various and
unidentified Negro dope dealers that the big time dope dealers in the Berkeley and
Oakland area are out to get Huey Newton. Source reports that Huey is apparently
ripping off certain dealers, pimps and whores for large amounts of money and the talk
is that "they" are going to get Huey. Source was instructed to determine some hard
facts concerning these rumors and to report same immediately.23

B. The Superagency Approach to Crushing Dissent By 1973, this process of employing
the narcotics and crime covers reached its climax with the creation of a new
intelligence super-agency, the Drug Enforcement Agency. At the time of its formation,
the DEA employed more than 4,000 agents and analysts— including some fifty-three
former (or detached) CIA agents and a dozen counterintelligence experts from the
military or other intelligence agencies. The DEA had the authority "to request
wiretaps and no-knock warrants, and to submit targets to the Internal Revenue
Service."24 With its contingent of former CIA and counterintelligence agents, it had
the talent to enter residences surreptitiously, distribute "black" (or misleading)
information, plant phony evidence, and conduct even more extreme clandestine
assignments. The origin of DEA and its intended purpose are explained by Epstein as
follows: According to [those] familiar with the plan, [G. Gordon] Liddy proposed . . .
to detach agents and specialists who could be relied upon by the White House from the
BNDD [Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs], the IRS, the Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms division, and the Bureau of Customs. This new office would operate directly
out of the executive office of the president. The beauty of the Liddy plan was its
simplicity: it did not even need approval from Congress. The president could create
such an office by executive decree, and order all other agencies of the government to
cooperate by supplying liaisons and agents. Congress would not even have to
appropriate funds, according to those familiar with the Liddy plan: The Law
Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA), which was located in John Mitchell's
Department of Justice, could funnel monies via local police departments to finance
these new strike forces. The new office would have . . . wiretappers from the BNDD;
Customs agents, with their unique "search authority"; IRS agents who could feed the
names of suspects into the IRS's target-selection committee for a grueling audit; and
CIA agents for "the more extraordinary missions." In addition, since it would control
grants from LEAA, this new office could mobilize support from state and local police
forces in areas in which it desired to operate. The most important feature of the
Liddy plan, however, was that the White House agents would act under the cloak of
combating the drug menace. Since public fears were being excited about this deadly
threat to the children of American citizens and their property, few would oppose

vigorous measures even if its agents were occasionally caught in such excesses as
placing an unauthorized wiretap. On the contrary, if the dread of drugs could be
maintained, the public, Congress, and the press would probably applaud such determined
actions. Krogh and the White House strategists immediately saw the advantages to
having the new office operate its agents under the emblem of a heroin crusade ... and
Liddy's option paper, much modified in form to remove any embarrassing illegalities,
was sent to the president with the recommendations of Krogh and Ehrlichman. Finally,
in December 1971, the president ordered Ehrlichman and Krogh to create the permanent
White House-controlled investigative unit envisioned in the option paper drawn up by
Liddy. The new unit was to be known as the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement.25 On
January 28, 1972, the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement (ODALE), the permanent
investigative force which ostensibly would operate against narcotics traffickers, was
officially created by an executive order of the President: Since there was virtually
no precedent for an agency like the Office of Drug Abuse and Law Enforcement, [ODALE
director Myles J.] Ambrose had to proceed step by step, in assembling his strike
forces. The first step was to appoint regional directors who would superintend and
select the federal agents and local police on each strike force in each of the
thirty-three target cities he selected. . . . Fifty other lawyers, many of whom
Ambrose knew personally, were deployed in instantly created field offices of the new
organization. Four hundred investigators were requisitioned from the Bureau of
Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs and the Bureau of Customs, and Ambrose requested more
than a hundred liaisons from the Internal Revenue Service, as well as specialists from
other agencies of the government. This was all accomplished during the first thirty
days of existence of this new office, in what Ambrose himself referred to as a
"monumental feat or organization." . .. The new strike forces had little resemblance
to more conventional law-enforcement forces. These highly unorthodox units, which were
being controlled from the White House through the president's special consultant Myles
Ambrose, included not only trained narcotics and customs officers but also Immigration
and Naturalization

Service officers; Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms control agents; probation officers;
state troopers; and local police officers. . . . With the authority of
court-authorized noknock warrants and wiretaps they could strike at will in any of the
target cities and against virtually anyone selected as a target. By March 1972, the
strike forces had become operational.26 There was some resistance to Law Enforcement
Assistance Administration officials to using LEAA money to finance ODALE operations.
They argued that Congress never intended for LEAA grants to be used to bypass the
appropriations process: So with White House assistance, the new office established a
series of local organizations, with such names as "Research Associates," through which
grants could be made by LEAA. The money was then channeled back to selected strike
forces, with these organizations acting, in effect, as money conduits.27 The
California conduit for these laundered funds was the Organized Crime and Criminal
Intelligence Branch (OCCIB) of the State Department of Justice, which had already been
set up in 1970 by California Attorney General Evelle Younger. A report circulated by
the OCCIB in 1972 identified among its prime targets the Black Panther Party.28 The
creation of a new superagency to direct the counterintelligence activities against the
BPP and other dissident groups was an indication of how badly the federal government
wanted to destroy the Panthers. The successful extent of coordination between law
enforcement agencies intent on getting the BPP is not yet clear, largely because
documents showing this direction have yet to be discovered. Still, the general method
of operation described by Epstein appears to have been employed against the Party, at
least if one focuses on just three agencies for which some documented information is
available: the FBI, IRS, and CIA.

C. FBI Declares War on Panthers: COINTELPRO Within one year of the formation of the
Party, the FBI formed a special counterintelligence program dubbed COINTELPRO.29 The
purpose of this program was, in the FBI's own words, to "expose, disrupt, misdirect,
discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of the Black nationalists."30 A
specific purpose of COINTELPRO was to prevent the rise of a "Messiah," a charismatic
Black leader who might "unify and electrify" Black people.31 Martin Luther King, Jr.,
was named as a potential Messiah in the FBI's own secret memorandum establishing
COINTELPRO, but after the assassination of King in 1968, the FBI shifted its focus to
the Party and its leadership, particularly Huey P. Newton.

J. Edgar Hoover, then director of the FBI, publicly stated that the Party constituted
"the greatest threat to the internal security of the country . . ." of any
organization.32 Of the 295 documented actions taken by COINTELPRO alone to disrupt
Black groups, 233—or 79 percent—were specifically directed toward destruction of the
Party.33 Over $100 million of taxpayers' money was expended for COINTELPRO; over $7
million of it allocated for 1976 alone to pay off informants and provocateurs, twice
the amount allocated in the same period by the FBI to pay organized crime
informants.34 Indeed, while COINTELPRO ostensibly targeted five domestic
organizations—which the Bureau dubbed, the Communist Party, the Socialist Workers'
Party, White Hate Groups, Black Nationalist Hate Groups (e.g., the Panthers), and the
New Left—it was Blacks, and the Panthers in particular, who received the brunt of the
damage. As the Senate Select Committee To Study Governmental Operations found, The
White Hate COINTELPRO also used comparatively few techniques which carried a risk of
serious physical, emotional, or economic damage to the targets, while the Black
Nationalist COINTELPRO used such techniques extensively.35 The vast arsenal of
techniques employed by the bureau against the BPP were tried and tested over the years
in foreign espionage. As William C. Sullivan, former assistant to the director,
stated: This is a rough, tough, dirty business, and dangerous. It was dangerous at
times. No holds were barred. . . . We have used [these techniques] against Soviet
agents. They have used [them] against us. . . . [The same methods were] brought home
against any organization against which we were targeted. We did not differentiate.
This is a rough, tough business.36 Specifically, the FBI engaged in or encouraged a
variety of actions intended to cause (and in fact causing) deaths of BPP members, loss
of membership and community support, draining of revenues from the Party, false
arrests of members and supporters, and defamatory discrediting of constructive Party
programs and leaders. What follows is an illustrative highlighting of some of these
unlawful actions undertaken by the bureau against the BPP.

1. Creating Dissension Within the Panthers: On Snitch-Jackets, Provocateurs, Bad
Media, and Other Techniques A major goal of COINTELPRO was to sow dissension within
the Party. A 1970 memorandum from Headquarters to the San Francisco field office of
the FBI, for example, proposed:

A wide variety of alleged authentic police or FBI material could be carefully
selected or prepared for furnishing to the Panthers. Reports, blind memoranda, LHMs
[letterhead memoranda] and other alleged police or FBI documents could be prepared
pinpointing Panthers as police or FBI informants; ridiculing or discrediting Panther
leaders through their ineptness or personal escapades; espousing personal philosophies
and promoting factionalism among BPP members; indicating electronic coverage where
none exists; outlining fictitious plans for police raids or other counteractions;
revealing misuse or misappropriation of Panther funds, pointing out instances of
political disruptive material and disinformation; etc. The nature of the disruptive
material and disinformation "leaked" would only be limited by the collection ability
of your sources and the need to insure the protection of their security. Effective
implementation of this proposal could not help but disrupt and confuse Panther
activities. Even if they were to suspect FBI or police involvement, they would be
unable to ignore factual material brought to their attention through this channel. The
operation would afford us a continuing means to furnish the Panther leadership true
information which is to our interest that they know and disinformation which, in their
interest, they cannot ignore.37 Obviously, falsely labeling people as informants in
any organization carries with it a serious potential risk to the reputation and, in
some situations, safety of that person. This is especially true if the combined
counterintelligence techniques employed convince the organization that their friends
have been imprisoned or harmed because of the targeted informant. Fully aware of this
obvious fact, the bureau nonetheless rationalized the placing of "snitch jackets" on
innocent people: You have to be able to make decisions and I am sure that labeling
somebody as an informant, that you'd want to make certain that it served a good
purpose before you did it and not do it haphazardly.... It is a serious thing. . . .
As far as I am aware, in the Black extremist area, by using that technique, no one was
killed. I am sure of that.38 When asked whether the absence of any deaths was the
result of "luck or planning," this same bureau official, George C. Moore, then chief
of the Racial Intelligence Section, answered, "Oh, it just happened that way, I am
sure."39 The certitude of Moore's assertion is unfortunately belied by the bureau's
own confidential memoranda, more than one of which claimed that the Party murdered
"members it suspected of being police informants."40 Indeed, the FBI worked closely
with Connecticut authorities in trying to convict two Party leaders, Bobby Seale and
Ericka Huggins, of conspiracy to murder

Alex Rackley, an alleged informant. Seale and Huggins were not convicted, but the
government's chief witness against them, the person who admittedly participated in
Rackley's killing, appears from facts disclosed during and after the trial to have
been an agent or informant. At the very least, this person's immediate enrollment in
an Ivy League institution after the murder trial, and subsequent employment by the
administration of an eastern university, raises serious questions.41 In any event, the
use of snitch-jackets by the bureau was widespread. The Senate Select Committee
reports several instances of this technique without any apparent follow-up as to the
consequences to the persons wrongly jacketed. Among the instances cited was one in San
Diego where a Black Panther leader was arrested by the local police with four other
members of the BPP. The others were released, but the leader remained in custody.
Headquarters authorized the field office to circulate the rumor that the leader "is
the last to be released" because "he is cooperating with and has made a deal with the
Los Angeles Police Department to furnish them information concerning the BBP." The
Target of the first proposal then received an anonymous phone call stating that his
own arrest was caused by a rival leader.42

Discrediting Newton Leaders of the BPP were frequently targeted as snitches or
sell-outs by the FBI in an effort to discredit or bring harm to them, especially Huey
Newton. Upon Newton's release from prison in 1970, for instance, after a court of
appeal reversed his conviction for manslaughter in the alleged shooting of an Oakland
policeman, a memorandum from the FBI director instructed FBI field offices across the
country to formulate COINTELPRO actions directed against Newton. FBI headquarters
would direct the campaign; its contours were defined as follows: To demythicise [sic]
Newton, to hold him up to ridicule, and to tarnish his image among BPP members can
serve to weaken BPP solidarity and disrupt its revolutionary and violent aims.
[COINTELPRO actions] should have the 3pronged effect of creating divisiveness among
BPP members concerning Newton, treat him in a flippant and irreverent manner, and
insinuate that he has been cooperating with police to gain his release from prison.43
Within a week, the New York FBI field office had drawn up three phony letters, which
attempted to discredit Newton. One message, to be mailed to the New York office of the
Black Panther Party by the San Francisco FBI field office, read as follows: Brothers,
I am employed by the State of California and have been close to Huey Newton while he
was in jail. Let me warn you that this pretty ****** may very well be working for pig
Reagan. I don't know why he was set free but I am suspicious. I got this idea because
he had

privileges in jail like the trustees get. He had a lot of privacy most prisoners
don't get. I don't think all his private meetings were for sex. I am suspicious of
him. Don't tell Newton too much if he starts asking you questions—it may go right back
to the pigs. Power to the People 44 FBI headquarters regarded this anonymous letter as
"excellent," but cautioned "Take usual precautions to insure letters cannot be traced
to Bureau. Advise Bureau and interested offices of positive results achieved."45 The
Philadelphia FBI field office prepared and sent to Newton a fictitious Black Panther
Party directive, supposedly prepared by the Philadelphia Black Panther office, which
questioned Newton's leadership abilities; accompanying it was a cover letter
purportedly from an anonymous Party supporter accusing the Philadelphia chapter of
"slandering its leaders in private."46 FBI headquarters, in approving this operation,
noted that prior COINTELPRO action which "anonymously advised the national
headquarters that food, clothing and drugs collected for BPP community programs were
being stolen by BPP members" had resulted in criticism of the Philadelphia chapter by
the national office, transfer of members, "and the national office has even considered
closing the Philadelphia chapter." The memorandum concluded, "we want to keep this
dissension going. "47 The Los Angeles FBI office suggested that a death threat against
Newton be sent to Black Panther leader David Hilliard, purportedly from a contract
killer.48 FBI headquarters stopped this action, however, in the belief that if Newton
were to be murdered then, the letter might be traced to the bureau by postal
authorities.49 When Angela Davis, then one of the FBI's ten most wanted fugitives, was
arrested in New York City in mid October 1970 and charged with conspiracy in the Marin
County Courthouse incident, the FBI falsely tried to cast Newton as the fingerman: In
view of the fact that there is suspicion in the Negro [sic] community that DAVIS was
"set up," NYO suggests that HUEY NEWTON ... be cast in the light as "fingerman." If
such a ploy could be successfully carried out it might result in disruption in the
Black Nationalist field as well as divorcing BPP from CPUSA and Militant New Left
groups.50 One handwritten letter was sent to Ebony magazine by the Chicago FBI field
office, "mailed from a Negro [sic] as follows: Dear Brothers and Sisters:

As of this writing, our lovely Sister Angela languishes in jail and her chances of
freedom seem remote. She's got to pay the man, right? But the question I put to you
is: Who did the money pay? You know and I know the pigs can't come up with a Black in
a Black community just by driving around the streets and hassling the Brothers. I tell
you that Sister Davis would still be free if her capture was left to the federal pigs
alone. Of course, it was not that way at all. There was bread— lots of pure cash
rye—put into an eager Black hand which in turn twisted the knife of treachery in our
Sister's back. Now, the big question is who? Who was the cat who dishonored his skin
and took the 30 pieces of silver? Some of the west coast cats are looking hard at
Brother Newton. ****, you say, Huey would never sell out to pig country. He's a
dedicated Nationalist, leader of the Brothers and Sisters and a cat with real soul.
Maybe it's bull****, but let's look at Huey a little closer. He gets sprung from a
stiff rap in August. The man suddenly turns kind and sets our Brother free. In that
same month Sister Angela is among the missing as the result of a frame the pigs laid
on her. What did Huey give for the sunlight and flowers? Or better still, what did the
man give sweet Huey? How come Huey's size 12 mouth has been zippered since our
Sister's bust? Nothing, he says. Absolutely nothing. Not one appeal for justice. No
TV, no papers, no radio, no nothing. He got five grand, so the cats say. It's enough
to make a man wonder. Wouldn't be surprised if Huey didn't split the scene soon. I,
for one, will be most interested. A Friend of Sister Angela 51 Another handwritten
letter was mailed to the Village Voice newspaper by the New York FBI field office:
Sister Angela is in jail. Poindexter is free. Huey Newton is free. David P. is a
dumb-head and a hop-head. Forget him. But Huey is smart. Gets along well with the MAN.
The question is: Did this cat bank five big bills lately ... as a gift from the
federal pigs? Concerned Brother 52 The bureau did not miss any chance to further its
disinformation campaign. Later, in the fall of 1970, the San Francisco FBI field
office sent an unsigned letter, purportedly from a "white revolutionary," to Newton
criticizing the Party-sponsored Revolutionary People's Constitutional Convention:
"You," the letter concluded, "must be held responsible for this fiasco and it is due
to your total incompetence for selecting stupid lazy ******* to do the job and you and
your whole party have set the revolution back five

years. "53 When the Howard University student newspaper printed a letter signed
"Concerned Students of Howard University," which was critical of Huey Newton and the
Party, the San Francisco FBI field office mailed Xerox copies to seventeen newspapers
in northern California; the letter had been prepared and sent to the student newspaper
in the first place by the Washington, D.C., FBI field office.54 When Newton's
conviction for allegedly shooting a policeman was reversed in 1970, FBI Director J.
Edgar Hoover immediately requested official authorization from Attorney General John
Mitchell for "a microphone surveillance and a telephone surveillance at apartment 25A,
1200 Lakeshore, Oakland"55—Huey Newton's new residence. Hoover considered it "likely
that high-level party-conferences will be held at this location," and he reminded
Mitchell "that existing telephone surveillance on certain Black Panther officers, all
of which have been authorized by you, have provided extremely valuable information on
Black Panther Party involvement in foreign matters and plans for violent acts against
top officials of this country and foreign diplomatic personnel."56 (The ending clause,
clumsily tacked on the sentence, was the requisite "national security" justification
for covert action.) Hoover's request concluded with the observation that "trespass
will be involved with respect to the microphone surveillance. "57 Mitchell approved
the request, and San Francisco FBI agents paid the building engineer, Roger DuClot, to
accompany them in breaking into Newton's apartment to install the microphone in the
wall.58 But the FBI was not content with surveillance. On November 24, 1970, the San
Francisco FBI field office proposed an additional COINTELPRO operation concerning
Newton's new apartment. The field office proposed a media campaign which would
characterize the apartment as a "luxurious lakeshore" penthouse, far more elegant than
"the ghetto-like BPP 'pads' and community centers" utilized by the Party.59 However,
the field office agreed to refrain "presently" from leaking "this information to
cooperative news sources" because of a "pending special investigative technique [i.e.,
the 'bug' and wiretaps]."60 Once the installation of the surveillance devices had been
completed, the FBI gave the "plush penthouse" story to one of the bureau's key media
"assets," reporter Ed Montgomery of the San Francisco Examiner.61 Shortly,
Montgomery's FBI-furnished article was featured on the front page of the Examiner.
Pleased with this quick success, the San Francisco field office mailed copies of the
feature article, anonymously, to "all BPP offices across the United States and to
three BPP contacts in Europe. "62 Additional copies were mailed to newspaper editors
in all cities where the BPP was active. To bolster the innuendos of lavish living and
misuse of Party funds, the FBI sent a fictitious letter from a national Black Panther
Party officer to Party chapters in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Los
Angeles, New Haven, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The message, mailed
from Oakland, read in part: Comrades:

Too many of your leaders have now turned this movement into something to line their
own pockets and have little regard for the man on the street selling "The Black
Panther." Ask the members of your chapter coming to the national where the Comrade
Commander and the Chief of Staff live. Huey Newton lives miles from another ****** and
you'll never find him in National Headquarters. If you're lucky you can see him buying
drinks for white freaks in Oakland supper clubs. ...63 In addition, FBI Headquarters
formulated a COINTELPRO plan to "embarrass BPP leader Huey Newton through use of a
fictitious bank account, indicating misappropriations of BPP funds."64 This plan
required that: a fictitious bank account record be created in the name of HUEY P.
NEWTON through an appropriate bank which will cooperate with the Bureau
confidentially. A photostat of a false ledger card could be prepared and mailed to
national headquarters anonymously along with an appropriate letter condemning NEWTON.
The account should show regular sizable deposits over a period of several years and
have a sizable balance existing.65 Beginning April 1, 1971, and for months thereafter,
the FBI paid "$540 per month . . . for the rental of apartment 25B, 1200 Lakeshore,
Oakland, California. "66 In this apartment, adjacent to the one in which Newton was
living, the FBI placed an undercover agent with instructions to keep Newton under
physical surveillance, as well as monitoring the electronic eavesdropping devices.
Subsequently, hardly a day passed when Newton was not followed or observed by a
plainclothes agent on all of his travels to and from the apartment building. One of
the undercover agents placed in apartment 25B was Don Roberto Stinnette, who was
described (in an FBI case report on Newton) as "involved with local drug traffic. "67
Stinnette, who professed to be on parole from a California prison, remained in the
apartment for several months while he spied on Newton, his associates, and guests. On
November 18, 1972, Newton's wife, Gwen Fountaine Newton, discovered several men
burglarizing and ransacking their apartment when she returned unexpectedly: After
leaving the apartment with Huey, I returned with Huey's niece, Deborah, because I had
forgotten something. I entered to find three men robbing the apartment. They held me
at gunpoint. Their pistols had silencers on them. Huey's documents and other papers
were strewn about on the floor.68 Files and records, along with clothes and heavy
furniture, were taken by these men from the apartment—a closed, supposedly secure
complex with a doorman and basement

garage that could be entered only with the aid of an apartment-supplied electronic
garagedoor opener. How and why did these men enter this complex, burglarize the
penthouse apartment, and leave undetected with so much stolen property? The Party
believes that the stolen records and materials were actually moved next door during
the robbery to the apartment of the FBI agent or informant. Later, when it was
convenient to go unnoticed, the materials were quietly but openly moved out in crates
and boxes from an art exhibit supposedly held in this same agent's apartment.69
Literally no tactic was too bizarre, unconscionable, or extreme for government
intelligence officials. On Saturday morning, February 18, 1973, at 5:30 a.m., a squad
of Oakland police officers conducted a raid on the twenty-fifth floor of Huey Newton's
apartment building. For cover, they had obtained a warrant, "authorized for night
service," for the arrest of Don Roberto Stinnette for unpaid traffic tickets. The
police team proceeded to engage in a shootout with Stinnette, who was equipped with a
semiautomatic rifle, in the hall outside Newton's apartment. Newton refused to take
the bait to open his door. Surprisingly, neither Stinnette nor police were injured.
Later, the media reported the news of gunfire at the "swank apartment . . . next door
to Black Panther leader Huey Newton's."70 But the press had missed what was perhaps
the real story: That the police and undercover agent had staged the entire shootout in
hopes that Newton could be drawn out of his apartment where he could be shot. It is
not difficult to divine the intended effect of these FBI actions, or just why the
bureau felt they might, through the aggregate of activity, neutralize the Party's
founder. In the words of one observer: Do you remember what it is like to have one
friend mad at you, against you, or even an enemy, or someone out to get you as may
have happened occasionally when you were a kid? But how many of us have this baring
experience now? Occasionally someone may be after our job or promotion, but not our
life or our freedom. We cannot even imagine what it is like to have one or all of the
major investigatory agencies against us. To have phones always tapped. To have no one
able to know you without that person also becoming a public enemy. To be watched for
minute traffic violations every time you drive to the store. To be under constant
observation. To never know who might be a paid informer or a fake next door neighbor.
And in the midst of this, to have a developing community strained by the very
pressures around you, around your friends, around a vision of the people which is
unbearable to our present society.71

Fostering a Newton-Cleaver Split In March 1970, the FBI zeroed in on Eldridge Cleaver,
then in exile in Algiers after he had been told to leave Cuba. The bureau learned that
the high-strung Cleaver had "accepted as bonafide" a fictitious letter "stating that
BPP leaders in California were seeking to undercut his influence."72

For the next year, FBI field offices supplied Cleaver with a steady stream of
messages containing erroneous information about various Black Panther Party leaders
and activities, especially about Huey Newton. After his release from prison in August
1970, Cleaver led a Black Panther Party-sponsored delegation of American activists to
North Korea and North Vietnam. After the conclusion of the tour, "the Los Angeles FBI
field office was asked to prepare an anonymous letter to Cleaver criticizing Newton
for not aggressively obtaining BPP press coverage of the BPP's sponsorship of the
trip."73 In December 1970, with the adoption of the Key Black Extremist program, the
FBI increased its COINTELPRO efforts to turn Cleaver against Newton. The Bureau issued
instructions to: write numerous letters to Cleaver criticizing Newton for his lack of
leadership. It is felt that, if Cleaver received a sufficient number of complaints
regarding Newton it might . . . create dissension that later could be more fully
exploited.74 One letter to Cleaver, written to appear as if it had come from Connie
Matthews, then Newton's personal secretary, read in part: I know you have not been
told what has been happening lately. . . . Things around headquarters are dreadfully
disorganized with the comrade commander not making proper decisions. The newspaper is
in a shambles. No one knows who is in charge. The foreign department gets no support.
Brothers and sisters are accused of all sorts of things... . I am disturbed because I,
myself, do not know which way to turn. . . . If only you were here to inject some
strength into the movement, or to give some advice. One of two steps must be taken
soon and both are drastic. We must either get rid of the supreme commander or get rid
of the disloyal members . . . Huey is really all we have right now and we can't let
him down, regardless of how poorly he is acting, unless you feel otherwise.75 More
flattery came from "Algonquin J. Fuller, Youth Against War and Fascism, New York,"
supposedly one of Cleaver's white admirers: Let me tell you what has happened to our
brothers in the Party since you have left and that "Pretty ****** Newton" in his funky
clothes has been running things... . Brother Eldridge, to me as an outsider but one
who believes in the revolution, it seems that the Panthers need a leader in America
who will bring the Party back to the People.

Brother Newton has failed you and the Party. The Panthers do not need a "day time
revolutionary, a night time party goer and African fashion model as a leader." They
need the leadership which only you can supply.76 The New York FBI field office mailed
another fictitious letter to Cleaver, supposedly from the "New York Panther 21," in
order to "further aggravate the strained relationship between Newton and Cleaver": As
you are aware, we of the Panther 21 have always been loyal to the Party and continue
to feel a close allegiance to you and the ideology of the party which has been
developed mainly through your efforts... . We know that you have never let us down and
have always inspired us through your participation in the vanguard party. As the
leading theoretician of the party's philosophy and as brother among brother, we urge
you to make your influence felt. We think that The Rage [i.e., Cleaver] is the only
person strong enough to pull this factionalized party back together... . You are our
remaining hope in our struggle to fight oppression within and without the Party.77 By
late January 1971, the bureau's COINTELPRO campaign had begun to achieve favorable
results. Cleaver was responding to the prompting of the disinformation campaign. One
bureau memorandum reported that Cleaver considered one of the fictitious letters to
contain "good information about the Party."78 Another COINTELPRO report ebulliently
noted that "Cleaver has never previously disclosed to BPP officials the receipt of
prior COINTELPRO letters."79 Now was the time for the bureau to "more fully exploit"
the dissension it had fostered. FBI headquarters directed the field office to
intensify the campaign against the Black Panther Party: The present chaotic situation
within the BPP must be exploited and recipients must maintain the present high level
of counter-intelligence activity. You should each give this matter priority attention
and immediately furnish Bureau recommendations . . . designated to further aggravate
the dissension within BPP leadership.80 On February 2, 1971, FBI headquarters directed
each of twenty-nine field offices to submit within eight days a proposal to disrupt
local Black Panther Party chapters and the Party's national headquarters in Oakland.
The bureau command believed its four-yearlong war against Huey Newton and the Black
Panther Party was nearing victory. The situation, field office supervisors were
reminded, offers an exceptional opportunity to further disrupt, aggravate and possibly
neutralize this organization through counter-

intelligence. In light of above developments this program has been intensified . . .
and selected offices should ... increase measurably the pressure on the BPP and its
leaders.81 For three solid weeks, a barrage of anonymous letters flowed from FBI field
offices in response to the urging from FBI headquarters. The messages became more and
more vicious. On February 19, 1971, a false letter, allegedly from a Black Panther
Party member in the Bay Area, was mailed to Don Cox, Cleaver's companion in Algiers.
The letter intimated that the recent disappearance and presumed death of Black Panther
leader Fred Bennett was the result of Party factionalism.82 On February 24, an urgent
teletype message from the FBI director authorized the most daring step in the
campaign—a falsified message to Cleaver from a member of the Party's Central
Committee. A letter over the forged signature of Elbert "Big Man" Howard, editor of
The Black Panther newspaper, told Cleaver: Eldridge, John Seale told me Huey talked to
you Friday and what he had to say. I am disgusted with things here and the fact that
you are being ignored. I am loyal to the Party and it makes me mad to learn that Huey
now has to lie to you. I am referring to his fancy apartment which he refers to as the
throne. I think you should know that he picked the place out himself, not the Central
Committee, and the high rent is from Party funds and not paid by anyone else. Many of
the others are upset about this waste of money. It is needed for other Party work here
and also in Algeria. It seems the least Huey could do is furnish you the money and
live with the rest of us. Since Huey will lie to you about this, you can see how it is
with him. You would be amazed at what is actually happening. I wish there was some way
I could get in touch with you but in view of Huey's orders it is not possible. You
should really know what's happening and statements made about you. I can't risk a call
as it would mean certain expulsion. You should think a great deal before sending
Kathleen. If I could talk to you I could tell you why I don't think you should. Big
Man 83 Eldridge Cleaver apparently believed the letter to be legitimate. Huey Newton
telephoned Algiers to ask Cleaver to participate in a long-distance telephone hook-up
on a San Francisco television talk show; Cleaver agreed to the plan. Three hours
later, when the TV station's call to Algiers went through, Cleaver launched into a
furious criticism of the Black Panther Party's Central Committee, and demanded that
Panther Chief of Staff David Hilliard be removed from his post, and attacked the
breakfast program as reformist.84

Cleaver had regained his place in the spotlight, if only for a moment. When the
Central Committee expelled him from the Black Panther Party for his behavior, Cleaver
announced that the "real" Black Panther Party would thereafter be directed from
Algiers. Like an ultra-left sorcerer's apprentice with a gift of verbal magic, Cleaver
frenetically tried to coalesce his own followers with transatlantic exhortations for
immediate guerrilla warfare. FBI officials were elated. In mid-March, FBI headquarters
declared its COINTELPRO operation aimed at "aggravating dissension" between Newton and
Cleaver a success. New instructions for the field offices were promulgated: Since the
differences between Newton and Cleaver now appear to be irreconcilable, no further
counter-intelligence activity in this regard will be undertaken at this time and now
new targets must be established. David Halliard and Egbert "Big Man" Howard of
National Headquarters and Bob Rush of Chicago B.P. Chapter are likely future
targets... . Hilliard's key position at National Headquarters makes him an outstanding
target. Howard and Rush are also key Panther functionaries . . . making them prime
targets.85 The Black Panther newspaper dated April 17, 1971, the last issue Party
member Samuel Napper was to distribute before his murder by alleged Cleaver
supporters, carried Huey Newton's assessment of the Eldridge Cleaver episode and the
difficulties it had brought upon the Party: I had asked Eldridge Cleaver to join the
Party a number of times. But he did not join until after the confrontation with the
police in front of the office of Ramparts magazine, where the police were afraid to go
for their guns. Without my knowledge, he took this as the Revolution and the Party.
But in our basic program it was not until Point 7 that we mentioned the gun, and this
was intentional. We were trying to build a political vehicle through which the people
could express their revolutionary desires. We recognized that no party or organization
can make the revolution, only the people can. All we could do was act as a guide to
the people, because revolution is a process, and because the process moves in a
dialectical manner .. . When Eldridge joined the Party it was after the police
confrontations, which left him fixated with the "either-or" attitude. This was that
either the community picked up the gun with the Party or else they were cowards and
there was no place for them. . . . Sometimes there are those who express personal
problems in political terms, and if they are eloquent, then these personal problems
can sound very political. We charge Eldridge Cleaver with this. Much of it is probably
beyond his control, because it is

so personal... . Under the influence of Eldridge Cleaver the Party gave the community
no alternate for dealing with us, except by picking up the gun... . Eldridge Cleaver
influenced us to isolate ourselves from the Black community, so that it was war
between the oppressor and the Black Panther Party, not war between the oppressor and
the oppressed community.86

2. Creating Discord Between the BPP and Other Black Groups: Murder and Mayhem from
Chicago to California. Chicago and Fred Hampton The Chicago office of the FBI, under
the direction of Marlin Johnson, responded energetically to the COINTELPRO directions
from headquarters. Soon after receipt of the memorandum instructing "recipient offices
. . . to submit imaginative and hard-hitting counter-intelligence measures aimed at
crippling the BPP,"87 they began sending letters to the leadership of a Chicago street
gang called the Blackstone Rangers, or P-Stone Nation, telling them that the Panthers
wanted to take away their territory.88 By December of 1968, this activity had
escalated. The Chicago office reported in a memorandum to headquarters that Jeff Fort,
the head of the Rangers, had said that he would "take care of" anyone saying bad
things about him. Chicago recommended that the bureau write Fort an anonymous letter
saying that several Panthers were spreading rumors about him.89 By January 1970, the
FBI's tactics became more straightforward. The Chicago office suggested sending Fort a
letter telling him that there was a "hit" out for him from the Panthers.90 This
effort, the FBI hoped, would occasion Fort to take retaliatory action which would
disrupt the BPP or lead to reprisals against its leadership. Fred Hampton was then the
head of the Chicago office of the Panthers. The memorandum explained why a similar
letter was not being sent to the Panthers: Consideration has been given to a similar
letter to the BPP, alleging a Ranger plot against the BPP leadership; however, it is
not felt this would be productive, principally since the BPP at present is not
believed as violence-prone as the Rangers, to whom violent type activity—shooting, and
the like—is second nature.91 The bureau's own internal memoranda make it clear that,
whatever their public rhetoric, their goal was to promote, rather than prevent,
violence. Fred Hampton became a prime target for this FBI-directed violence. Hampton
was only 18 when he became head of the Illinois chapter of the Panthers. He was an
extraordinary leader—a brilliant and charismatic speaker—with an exceptional ability
to deal with people and inspire confidence. His energy led the Chicago chapter of the
Panthers to be one of the most effective. Five different breakfast programs were

begun on Chicago's West Side, and a free medical center was begun in a neighborhood
which had an infant mortality rate more than twice that of White Chicago. Under his
direction, the Party also began a door-to-door program of health care which included
testing for sickle cell anemia and blood drives for Cook County Hospital, which served
much of the Black community. During the winter, the Party organized an emergency heat
program, which kept pressure on the landlords to repair furnaces and boilers. The
community was beginning to deal with its problems, and an atmosphere of optimism and
commitment was growing.92 Hampton was relentless; he could be found bustling around
the Panther headquarters, out in the streets talking to and organizing people, or at
one of an increasing number of speaking engagements throughout the Midwest. By the
summer of 1969, he was talking to thousands of people in the course of a month. He was
becoming a national figure both inside and outside the Party, and it was being
suggested that he be brought into the national BPP leadership. On March 4, 1968, the
Chicago office of the FBI received a memorandum advising them to keep close track of
those Black leaders on the "Rabble Rouser Index" who might be future targets of the
COINTELPRO.93 On March 7, 1968, an airtel was sent back to headquarters from Chicago
stating that Fred Hampton was "in the RRI Sources assigned. Liaison being maintained
with Maywood Police Department."94 The FBI assigned an informer to Hampton; the
Chicago office sent many memoranda to headquarters on him, and his travel was closely
watched. By September, headquarters was pressing for intensified investigations into
the leadership of the Party, and by this time, Hampton was being listed in FBI
memoranda as one of the BPP's leadership. In response, the bureau introduced a new
informer into the Panther leadership—William O'Neal, who had joined the Panthers in
late 1968, after being asked to do so by FBI Special Agent Roy Martin Mitchell.95
Besides his role as informer, O'Neal was also the classic agent provocateur. He at one
point devised an outrageous plan to blow up City Hall, but was soon told to forget it
by the Panther leadership. His most infamous invention, which was almost immediately
dismantled, was a homemade electric chair, which he, ironically enough, planned to use
to interrogate possible infiltrators into the Party.96 During the period from 1969 to
1970, O'Neal received over $17,000 from the FBI. In return, he provided the FBI with
almost daily information concerning the activities and, in particular, the leadership
of the Party. He became chief of security for the BPP, and in February of 1969, O'Neal
became Hampton's personal bodyguard. That same month, Mitchell wrote a memorandum
asking the bureau to raise O'Neal's pay from $300 to $600 a month.97 And O'Neal was
not alone; he was only one of several informers which the FBI had planted in the BPP.
O'Neal's role became more prominent as the FBI became more and more aggressive in its
activities against the BPP. In June of 1969, O'Neal's reports were used as an excuse
for a

raid on the Panther office in Chicago.98 Under the pretext of looking for a fugitive,
the police surrounded the office, almost causing a shootout. The fugitive, who later
turned out to be an FBI informer, was not found; but several Panthers were arrested,
and the office [was] ransacked. In mid-November, FBI Agent Mitchell and informer
O'Neal met.99 O'Neal told Mitchell that Hampton had just returned from a meeting in
California with the national leadership and that he would become BPP chief of staff if
Hilliard went to jail. O'Neal also informed Mitchell that Hampton's court date was
coming up and that Hampton seemed to be implying that he would not go to jail again
and that the Party would have to survive without his being around on a daily basis.
This was an indication that Hampton might go underground. O'Neal also reported that
there might be a drastic purge in the Panther Party in Chicago, expelling all members
but Hampton and Rush. Any one of these factors might have given the bureau a sense of
urgency in moving against Hampton. And the recent killing of two police officers by
Black people may have led the FBI to believe it could now get the police to do what it
had failed to get the Rangers to do.100 Mitchell apparently asked O'Neal to get him
the floor plan for the apartment where Fred was living because when the two met again
on November 9, Mitchell sketched out a diagram from O'Neal's description of the
apartment, including a detail labeled "Fred's bed." 101 O'Neal also told Mitchell that
there were weapons in the house, but according to all FBI documents, he said that the
weapons had been legally purchased. O'Neal's deposition, taken years later, noted that
there was nothing unusual about the fact that there [were] guns in the house.102 An
internal bureau memorandum indicates how unexceptional this information was: No [word
deleted] matter is being opened in the Chicago office concerning this matter inasmuch
as information indicates the weapons were apparently legally purchased under the terms
of existing Firearms laws, possession of some is apparently rampant throughout BPP
members and apartment rent is paid with BPP funds.103 Mitchell had known that the
Panthers had guns, but had never asked very much about it. However, on this occasion,
Mitchell was particularly interested. He asked exactly what guns were in the house and
also when Fred Hampton was usually there. O'Neal provided a list of weapons and
confirmed that Hampton both worked and lived in the apartment. Armed with the
information about the weapons, the floor plan, and the fact that Hampton lived there,
Mitchell began to peddle the raid. According to his own testimony, he met on the night
of November 19 with people from the Gang Intelligence Division of the Chicago Police
Department, and they talked about the possibility of a raid.104 In a November 21
memorandum from Mitchell to Marlin Johnson, the head of the Chicago FBI office,
Mitchell communicated the floor plan of 2337 Monroe Street and informed

Johnson that he had already given this information to both the Chicago Police
Department and the state attorney's office. 105 By December 3, the Chicago office of
the FBI was able to advise Washington that the local authorities were "currently
planning a positive course of action relative to this information."106 In other words,
when the Blackstone Rangers failed to take the bait, the FBI enlisted the state
attorney's office to carry out the job for them. At the same time, O'Neal met with
Mitchell and then wandered back over to the Panther office and finally over to 2337
Monroe to eat dinner with Fred Hampton, Deborah Johnson, and several others who were
then in the apartment. Meanwhile, the fourteenman squad of the Illinois State Police,
which was to carry out the raid, was being assembled by the State Attorney's Office.
By 3:00 a.m., the police raid squad was being briefed. The floor plan, which the FBI's
Mitchell had provided, was on the board, and the search warrant which was based on FBI
informer O'Neal's information was on hand. The men were armed with machine guns and
other heavy weapons; they had been hand-picked, and they were being psychologically
prepared for a combat mission.107 At 2337 Monroe Street, nine people were asleep in
the four-room apartment when suddenly the doors opened and a hail of bullets tore
through the walls, the beds, and the occupants. After nine minutes, the screams had
stopped; the volleys had ended, and silence had once again descended on the apartment,
where minutes before the police had been screaming, "We got 'em, we got 'em."108 Fred
Hampton lay dead on a blood-soaked bed. He had barely moved from where he had lain
asleep. According to later testimony by both an FBI informant and the occupants of the
apartment, it is probable that he had been drugged. Deborah Johnson, a BPP member,
stated that he had fallen asleep while talking on the phone earlier in the evening.
Maria Fischer, an FBI and Chicago Police Department informant in the BPP, said that
the FBI asked her to drug Hampton before the raid so that he wouldn't resist. He did
not resist; he never woke up. Mark Clark, 17 years old, was dead also. He had been
seated in the living room on a chair. He now lay on the floor. Five more people were
wounded. Four others escaped without injury. Ninety bullets had been shot into the
apartment in a period of less than ten minutes. According to the federal grand jury
report, only one of those shots had been fired by a Panther.109 Thirty-one of the
ninety shots entered the bedroom where Hampton slept. He had been shot four times—in
an arm and a shoulder, and twice in the head. Three other people had lain on the same
bed during the nine-minute hail of bullets, yet none of them had been hurt. Deborah
Johnson, then eight months pregnant with Fred Hampton's child, has said

that minutes after the firing stopped, and after she had been taken from the bedroom
to the kitchen, she heard two single shots and then a policeman say, "Now he's good
and dead." An independent commission headed by Roy Williams and Ramsey Clark concluded
that "the probability is that Hampton was alone in the bed when shot."110 Immediately
following the raid, a series of urgent teletypes were sent from Chicago to Washington,
D.C., which gave details of the events of December 4. The first of these teletypes was
quick to inform headquarters that the police had "positively identified Hampton as
being killed."111 What followed were a series of almost hourly bulletins reporting
that the area was calm. Obviously pleased with the results, Marlin Johnson sent the
following memorandum to FBI headquarters asking that William O'Neal receive a special
bonus: A detailed inventory of the weapons and also a detailed floor plan of the
apartment were furnished to local authorities. In addition, the identities of BPP
members utilizing the apartment at the above address were furnished. This information
was not available from any other source and subsequently proved to be of tremendous
value in that it subsequently saved injury and possible death to officers
participating in a raid at the address on the morning of 12/4/69. The raid was based
on the information furnished by informant. . .. During the resistance by the BPP
members at the time of the raid ... Fred Hampton was killed. It is felt that this
information is of considerable value in consideration of a special payment for
informant requested in the Chicago letter." 112 On December 11, 1969, the Chicago
office received the following airtel: Authority is granted to make captioned informant
special payment of $300 over and above presently authorized levels of payment for
uniquely valuable services which he rendered over the past several months.113

Carter and Huggins: A Case of FBI Assassination? The public is well aware, after the
publicity given the Senate Select Committee report in 1976, of the bureau's efforts to
create dissension between the BPP and other Black groups. Besides the Blackstone
Rangers in Chicago, the other principal Black group that reportedly clashed with the
Panthers in response to Bureau counterintelligence activities was the United Slaves
(US), which was founded by Ron Karenga in Los Angeles. The impression given from
official investigations is that the FBI merely took advantage of an existing state of
gang warfare between the two organizations. This was supposedly accomplished by the
sending of false death threats and derogatory cartoons in the name of one organization
to another.114

There is no doubt that the bureau desired violence to occur between the two
organizations. In 1970, for instance, after four BPP members had already been killed
by alleged members of US, the special agent in charge of the Los Angeles office wrote
to FBI Headquarters: The Los Angeles Division is aware of the mutually hostile
feelings harbored between the organizations and the first opportunity to capitalize on
the situation will be maximized. It is intended that US, Inc. will be appropriately
and discreetly advised of the time and location of BPP activities in order that the
two organizations might be brought together and thus grant nature the opportunity to
take her due course. 115 To be sure, promoting violence for political reasons is a
serious enough charge to be leveled and proved against a federal agency charged by law
with investigating crimes and preventing criminal conduct. Much more serious, however,
is the recently discovered evidence suggesting that the FBI participated in the
murders of two Panthers, John Huggins and Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter, at the
University of California, Los Angeles, in 1969, helped to cover up their role, and
sought to pin the blame on United Slaves. The main source for this information is a
former Black informant for the FBI named D'Arthard Perry, also known as Ed Riggs and,
according to him, [by] the code name "Othello" by bureau officials with whom he
dealt.116 Perry claims that he was first recruited into working as an informant for
the FBI in 1968 after being discharged from the army. Economic need and the treat of
having his state probation revoked if he failed to cooperate with the bureau were the
principal reasons he offers for agreeing to work with the bureau. Though he was
recruited while attending Sacramento State College, Perry reported directly to three
Los Angeles FBI agents: Brandon Cleary, Will Heaton, and Michael Quinn. He was
instructed to join the Party, which he did, and initially report on its activities.
Soon, however, he was requested to assume a more active role by stealing phone-address
books of members for copying by the bureau, providing floor lay outs of Panther
offices, and even stealing the infamous coloring book draft that the Party had
scrapped, but the FBI doctored and circulated in the Party's name. After successfully
completing and receiving increasing pay for these tasks, Othello was instructed by the
FBI to assist in promoting discord between members of US and the Party in Los Angeles.
He did so by, on at least one occasion, beating up a US member to give the impression
it was sanctioned by the Party.117 On January 17, 1969, Perry was instructed by Cleary
and Heaton to go to Campbell Hall at UCLA. There a debate was to occur between the
Panthers and US concerning the direction of the Black studies program on campus.
Huggins and Carter were the main representatives of the Panthers. What happened then,
is best explained in Perry's words: I arrived there in the late morning and observed
many members of the Black Panther Party and US organization present in the room as
well as other people not identified with either organization.

I observed the situation in the cafeteria—which seemed to be nothing more than a
meeting and left for a short time to go to a parking lot located near the building.
The parking lot is reached by proceeding down a pathway, across a street and then to
the parking lot. Shortly after my arrival in the parking lot I heard shots from the
direction of Campbell Hall. Within a few minutes I observed George Stiner, Larry
Stiner, and Claude Hubert also known as Chuchessa, jump into a 1967 or 1968 light tan
or white, four-door Chevrolet driven by Brandon Cleary of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation. I saw this car drive away from the parking lot of Campbell Hall. I left
the campus on foot and immediately went to FBI headquarters by bus. I inquired as to
the whereabouts of Brandon Cleary at this time, and, was told he was not available. I
am informed and believe that the four-door Chevrolet described above was the property
of a man called "Jomo," a known member of the US organization, now deceased. I
recognized George Stiner, Larry Stiner, and Claude Hubert from seeing them prior to
this date on the 14th floor of the Federal Bureau of Investigation building on several
occasions in the company of Brandon Cleary, the man I had seen drive them away from
the Campbell Hall area. I had been told to give a report within twenty-four hours of
the incident to my supervising agent, Will Heaton, on the 14th floor of the Wilshire
Blvd. Federal Bureau of Investigation building. A few hours later, I went to the
building and met with my supervising agent, Will Heaton. While in his company, I
observed George Stiner, Larry Stiner, and Claude Hubert in the company of Brandon
Cleary on the 14th floor of the Federal Bureau of Investigation building. I asked
Cleary, "what was happening" and was told that there had been a "**** up—no one was to
be killed by `our' people." I also learned that the car that had been driven by Cleary
was taken from the place Jomo Shambulia had parked it and returned to the same parking
space after the incident. I also learned that it was Claude Hubert who fired the shot
that killed John Jerome Huggins and the same Claude Hubert who fired the shot that
killed Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter and not George or Larry Stiner. Through information
and belief, I have knowledge that George Stiner and Larry Stiner were Intelligence
Gatherers for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and were working for Brandon Cleary
and others when John Jerome Huggins and Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter were murdered. I am
informed and believe that Claude Hubert was on January 17, 1969 at the time he
reportedly executed John Jerome Huggins and Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter, an agent in
the service of the Federal Bureau of

Investigation, Los Angeles office. I am further informed that this same Claude Hubert
was subsequently transferred to an east coast office of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, specifically New York, New York.118 The Stiner brothers, after
reportedly surrendering themselves to the police, were tried and convicted of the
murders of Carter and Huggins. They were sentenced to San Quentin, a maximum security
prison. Four years later, they were, as model prisoners, transferred to the minimum
security section of the prison. They were then both allowed a conjugal visit. At which
time, they escaped and have not been heard from to this date.119 Hubert has also never
been apprehended.

3. Discrediting Constructive Party Programs The FBI was most disturbed by the
Panthers' survival programs providing community service. The popular free breakfast
program, in which the party provided free hot breakfasts to children in Black
communities throughout the United States, was, as already noted, a particular thorn in
the side of J. Edgar Hoover. Finding little to criticize about the program
objectively, the Bureau decided to destroy it. The tactics employed to ruin the
breakfast program illustrate the lengths to which the bureau would go. In 1969, for
instance, party leaders rejected a so-called "comic book," without captions or words,
that was drawn by an alleged party member. It depicted police as caricature pigs and
was submitted by the member to party leaders for possible purposes of political
propaganda. After its rejection by party leaders, however, an informant for the FBI
stole one of the few drafts of this proposed publication and delivered it to the FBI.
Thereupon the FBI added captions advocating violence, printed thousands of copies
bearing the Party's name, and circulated them throughout the country, particularly to
merchants and businesses who contributed to the breakfast program.120 Those who
received these so-called Panther "comics" were falsely told and led to believe by the
FBI that they were given out by the Panthers to children participating in the
breakfast programs. Not surprisingly, many merchants who supported the program
withdrew from it, as did others who had lent their support. Churches assisting the
Panthers in the breakfast program were also harassed by the FBI in order to deter them
from continuing support. In San Diego, an FBI official placed telephone calls and
wrote anonymous letters to the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of the Catholic Church
in 1969 falsely claiming to be parishioners upset about the priest's support of the
breakfast program.121 Within one month of these calls, this priest was transferred
from the San Diego diocese to the state of New Mexico. The FBI reported in an internal
memorandum that the priest had been neutralized and that the breakfast program in San
Diego has been destroyed.122 Huey Newton noted of another constructive Party program:
"Our Intercommunal News Service and weekly paper The Black Panther, have become
central in the Black Panther

survival programs. " 123 The FBI apparently agreed, stating in a 1970 headquarters
memorandum to field offices, that: The Black Panther Party newspaper is one of the
most effective propaganda operations of the BPP. Distribution of this newspaper is
increasing at a regular rate thereby influencing a greater number individuals in the
United States along the Black extremist lines. Each recipient submit by 6/5/70
proposed counter-intelligence measures which will hinder the vicious propaganda being
spread by the BPP. The BPP newspaper has a circulation in excess of 100,000 and has
reached the height of 139,000. It is the voice of the BPP and if it could be
effectively hindered, it would result in helping to cripple the BPP. Deadline being
set in view of the need to receive recommendations for the purpose of taking
appropriate action expeditiously.124 The San Diego field office responded by noting
that, while the BPP newspaper presumably had the same legal immunity from tax laws as
other newspapers, three California might be selectively used against The Black
Panther. One was a state tax on printing equipment; the second, a "rarely used
transportation tax law"; and the third, a law prohibiting business in a residential
area.125 In addition, the San Diego field office suggested spraying the newspaper
printing room with a foul-smelling chemical: The Bureau may also wish to consider the
utilization of "Skatol," which is a chemical agent in powdered form and when applied
to a particular surface emits an extremely noxious odor rendering the premises
surrounding the point of application uninhabitable. Utilization of such a chemical of
course would be dependent upon whether an entry could be achieved into the area which
is utilized for the production of The Black Panther 126 Finally, the San Diego
division also thought that threats from another radical organization against the
newspaper might convince the BPP to cease publication: Another possibility which the
Bureau may wish to consider would be the composition and mailing of numerous letters
to BPP Headquarters from various points throughout the country on stationary [sic]
containing the national emblem of the Minutemen organization. These letters, in
several different forms, would all have the common theme of

warning the Black Panthers to cease publication or drastic measures would be taken by
the Minutemen organization. Utilization of the Minutemen organization through
direction of informants within that group would also be a very effective measure for
the disruption of the publication of this newspaper.127 The San Francisco field office
submitted an analysis of the local Black Panther printing schedules and circulation.
It discouraged disruption of nationwide distribution because the airline which had
contracted with the Panthers might lose business or face a lawsuit and recommended
instead a vigorous inquiry by the Internal Revenue Service to have The Black Panther
report their income from the sale of over 100,000 papers each week. Perhaps the Bureau
through liaison at SOG [seat of government] could suggest such a course of action. It
is noted that Internal Revenue Service at San Francisco is receiving copies of Black
Panther Party funds and letterhead memoranda. It is requested that the Bureau give
consideration to discussion with Internal Revenue Service requesting financial records
and income tax return for The Black Panther.128 On another occasion, however, FBI
agents contacted United Airlines officials and inquired about the rates being charged
for transporting The Black Panther newspaper. A Bureau memorandum states that the BPP
was being charged "the general rate" for printed material, but that in the future it
would be forced to pay the "full legal rate allowable for newspaper shipment." The
memorandum continued: Officials advise this increase . . . means approximately a forty
percent increase. Officials agree to determine consignor in San Francisco and from
this determine consignees throughout the United States so that it can impose full
legal tariff. They believe the airlines are due the differences in freight tariffs as
noted above for the past six to eight months, and are considering discussions with
their legal staff concerning suit for recovery of deficit. . . . [T]hey estimate that
in New York alone will exceed ten thousand dollars.129 In August 1970, the New York
field office reported that it was considering plans

directed against (1) the production of the BPP newspaper; (2) the distribution of
that newspaper and (3) the use of information contained in particular issues for
topical counter-intelligence proposals. The NYO [New York Office] realizes the
financial benefits coming to the BPP through the sale of their newspaper. Continued
efforts will be made to derive logical and practical plans to thwart this crucial BPP
operation.130

D. Internal Revenue Service and Selective Enforcement of Tax Laws Against the Panthers
The first notice the Panthers had that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may be
interested in their affairs was in 1969-1970, when the Committee on Internal Security
of the House of Representatives held a series of hearings about the Party. At one of
these hearings, a congressman inquired as to the tax status of the Party and what the
IRS knew about its financial affairs, specifically whether the Party filed tax returns
or paid taxes.131 The answer was that since the Pant hers were a political party, just
as the Democrats Republicans, they had no obligation to file returns or pay taxes.
Party leaders and their counsel believed that because political party was nowhere
defined in IRS regulations, the government had no basis for treating them differently
from the major established political parties.132 The government, particularly IRS,
indicated no explicit disagreement with this view. In fact, however, IRS was already
being responsive to the concerns of the administration and others about the Panthers.
On July 18, 1968, the assistant commissioner of the IRS directed a memorandum to
officers within the agency announcing that: A Committee is being established to
coordinate activities in all Compliance Divisions involving ideological, militant,
subversive, radical, and similar type organizations; to collect basic intelligence
data; and to insure that the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code concerning such
organizations have been complied with. It is expected that the Committee will function
indefinitely.133 The first meeting of this committee, called the Activist
Organizations Committee, and later ironically named the Special Services, or SS,
group, emphasized its mission: This is an extremely important and sensitive matter in
which the highest levels of government are interested and in which at least three
Congressional committees are currently conducting investigations. In addition, the
Internal Security Division, Department of Justice, and the

Federal Bureau of Investigation have files on many of these organizations.134 The
secretive nature of the committee was also spelled out in this organizational meeting:
... ts [i.e., the SS group's] activities should be disclosed generally only to
those persons who need to know, because of its semi-secretive nature. Indeed, action
is being taken to obtain top secret clearance for the fulltime Committee's members.
Our files will be protected with usual intelligence type security. We do not want the
news media to be alerted to what we are attempting to do or how we are operating
because the disclosure of such information might embarrass the Administration or
adversely affect the Service operations in this area or those of other Federal
agencies or Congressional Committees.135 In essence then, the IRS formed a covert
group within the agency for the purpose of selecting out organizations for special
enforcement of the tax laws solely on the basis of their political beliefs. While the
SS group focused its investigatory and enforcement efforts against a wide variety of
organizations and individuals, it is clear that the Panthers and its leaders were
singled out for special attention. The Party was one of the original twenty-two
organizations named by the SS group on March 25, 1969, for investigation to determine
"the sources of their funds, the names of ... contributors, whether the contributions
given . . . have been deducted as charitable contributions, [and] what we [i.e., IRS]
can find out generally about the funds of these organizations."136 An early briefing
paper from the chairman of the SS group, who held a top secret security clearance, to
another government official named only the Party and described it as a "highly
structured" organization, with allegedly thousands of soldiers, about whom the SS
"identified" approximately five hundred names holding "upperstructure positions" in
the Party.137 When the SS group met on July 29, 1969, they were "furnished several
charts concerning the Black Panthers . . . and offered additional material" by a staff
member of the Senate Committee on Government Operations.138 Even when the SS was
formally phased-out, and its substantive operations transferred to other divisions of
IRS, the Party was singled out, to wit: "Background, status and briefing papers on BPP
investigation discussed and materials left with Mr. Willsey."139 The BPP first learned
that it was an overt target of the IRS in 1974 when several administrative summonses
were served on third parties seeking information about the Party, its leaders, and
contributors. One summons was served on the Bank of America in Oakland, California,
for all records, whether open or closed accounts, relating to "Huey P. Newton, the
Black Panther Party, Free Huey or Defense Fund for Huey P. Newton, and the Huey P.
Newton Campaign Account." Another was issued to W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., in New
York, for all books and records relating to the transcribed conversation between
Newton and Harvard professor Erik H. Erikson, which conversation was published as a
book entitled In Search of Common Ground; a third was served on Playboy Enterprises,
Inc., in Chicago, Illinois, demanding "all books and

records pertaining to Huey P. Newton interview conducted by Mr. Lee Lockwood ...
[including] the transcript of the interview in its whole."140 The tactic of serving
third parties with summonses instead of the BPP directly made it more difficult for
the Party to assert any right to privacy of the records. Indeed, there was no legal
obligation on those served with summonses even to notify the Party; it learned of them
either fortuitously or because those served communicated voluntarily with the Party.
In any event, in 1974, the BPP promptly challenged this practice of IRS in federal
district court.141 Though the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed without prejudice, only
to be refiled in 1976 in Washington, D.C., as part of the Party's omnibus civil rights
lawsuit against numerous federal agencies, it had the immediate effect of deterring
IRS from serving additional summonses on third parties possessing information about
the Party.142 In addition to the serving of summonses on third parties, IRS also
audited Party leaders and contributors. Newton, for example, received formal notice of
a tax deficiency assessment by IRS in the Alameda County jail within one week of his
return to the United States from Cuba in July 1977.143 In fact, while Newton was
temporarily incarcerated by Immigration authorities in Toronto, Canada, en route from
exile in Cuba, IRS considered obtaining a Canadian address for pursuit of a civil
assessment action.144 Discovery in the Party's federal lawsuit shows that when police
and the Alameda district attorney searched Newton's residence after he had voluntarily
turned himself into the police in connection with assault charges in 1974, the
district attorney telephoned IRS agents, who came to Newton's home and examined his
personal papers and files in the hope of finding some evidence of a tax violation.145
No less than four IRS agents spent six hours in Newton's apartment with microfilm
equipment, rummaging through his personal files searching for evidence of any crime
for which he might be charged. The agents were so intent on obtaining a conviction
against Newton on any grounds that they were careful to rationalize their search in
internal memoranda in the event there were subsequent legal challenges to the
admissibility of whatever evidence they might use for prosecution: It was my
understanding that, if while executing a legal search, evidence of another crime is
discovered, it would be permissible to seize it. (Note: Normally I would have copied
such discovered evidence, but inasmuch as we were there and had been instructed by the
police they did not want it copied, we were obliged not to).146 Ultimately, after
expending tens of thousands of taxpayers' dollars to investigate the Party, its
leaders, and contributors, the agency concluded there was no evidence warranting
criminal charges, and the proposed civil assessment against Newton for past tax years
was settled in 1979.

E. CIA

When the CIA was formed in 1947, the statute creating it, the National Security Act,
provided that the agency shall have no police, subpoena, law enforcement powers, or
internal security functions."147 The Huston Plan, as already noted, proposed ignoring
this injunction. Though the Huston Plan was allegedly never formally adopted, it now
appears that the CIA did place operatives in the street, kept extensive files on
United States citizens, infiltrated political organizations, and pulled COINTELPRO
types of stunts.148 Most infamous, of course, is the CIA's admission that it provided
"technical assistance" in 1971 to its former employee, E. Howard Hunt, when he led the
White House "plumbers" in a burglary of the office of the psychiatrist who once
treated Daniel Ellsberg, the man who disclosed the Pentagon papers.149 In 1975, the
Rockerfeller Commission investigated abuses by the CIA and concluded that the agency
exceeded its authority. The Senate Select Committee reported in 1976 that the CIA had
a program of domestic spying, which primarily consisted of mail-covers—i.e., opening
and copying the mail of targeted political persons—and intelligence gathering on
dissidents. Neither official investigation discussed in any way what the New York
Times disclosed in 1978: The CIA "recruited American Blacks in the late 1960's and
early 1970's to spy on members of the Black Panther Party, both in the United States
and in Africa."150 Spying was not, however, solely for the purpose of gathering
information about the Party: One longtime CIA operative with direct knowledge of the
spying said, however, that there was an additional goal in the case of the Black
Panthers living abroad: to "neutralize" them; "to try and get them in trouble with
local authorities wherever they could.151 The kinds of activities engaged in by the
FBI to neutralize the Party, as has been shown, span the gamut of illegal dirty
tricks, not stopping even at murder. Direct evidence of CIA dirty tricks used against
the Panthers is, however, sparse. Neither the presidential commission nor the Senate
committee revealed any information about tactics directed at the Panthers. Perhaps
this was a cover-up in complicity with the committees, or maybe the CIA just acted as
a law unto itself, unaccountable to Congress or the president in disclosing or
explaining its actions. When the New York Times asked for an explanation of this
hiatus in the government investigations, it was told by one former CIA official that
the reason the committees didn't learn about these anti-Panther activities was because
They didn't ask. We treated the Senate inquiry as an adversary proceeding. Had they
asked, we would have dug out the answers.152 Undoubtedly, the CIA possessed much
incriminating information to dig out. When the BPP filed its federal civil rights
lawsuit against, inter alia, the CIA in 1976, agency officials submitted affidavits to
the court suggesting the extent of its recorded activities with respect to the Party:

Apart from cases where it is not possible to perform a record search . . . progress
has seen made in identifying .. . several thousand documents relating . . . to the
Black Panther Party.153 Another CIA official testified that ". . . certain portions
[of the Party's discovery request] can be addressed at the present time. This is being
done. However, a significant proportion of documents recovered to date bear
classification markings indicating that their contents include information which must
be protected in the interests of national security. "154 Perhaps because the CIA
equates national security with protection of its own image, the documents sought will
never be revealed. "A [Rockefeller] Commission investigator acknowledged [that] the
report [i.e., Rockefeller Commission report] did not [also] mention that between 150
and 200 CIA domestic files on Black dissidents had been destroyed before the
Commission's inquiry."155 Of those documents the CIA has admitted exist, only a couple
of hundred pages, at most, have been produced in the past four years in response to
the Party's formal litigation discovery efforts. Many of these pages are replete with
extensive white-outs or black-outs—i.e., deletion of so-called classified material—and
are, therefore, uninformative. Nonetheless, those few pages produced reveal that
within the United States, the CIA infiltrated the Party with informants and attended
meetings and public functions in order to identify Party members by taking their
photographs and compiling information on them. Overseas activities of the CIA focused
on Panthers in Africa and included one operative who became the owner of a small hotel
where Party supporters and associates lodged. The hotel's annual deficit was even made
up by the CIA.156 The likelihood that the truth about CIA efforts to neutralize the
Party will never be fully known is great. Aside from the admitted destruction by the
CIA of files concerning the BPP and failure to respond to civil discovery efforts, one
man who had first-hand knowledge of the operation noted, "If they i.e., CIA had gotten
exposed, then it would have been the CIA versus the Black Panthers and all Black
Americans—they've had a lot of Americans against them. The agency would have been
exposed, open to attack."157

1 "Dean Memorandum," Exhibit D to the original complaint filed in Black Panther Party
v. Donald C. Alexander, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, No. C-741247
(N.D. Cal. 1974). 2 "White House Enemies List," Exhibit F, Black Panther Party v.
Alexander. 3 Indeed, at least one commentator has noted that the popularity of
organizations like the Panthers, and probably also the

American Independent Party, was "a result of the vacuum of leadership among white
liberals; it was a reflection of confusion, of aimlessness, of guilt without political
purpose." Arthur Pearl, Landslide: The How and Why of Nixon's Victory (Secaucus, New
Jersey: Citadel Press, 1973), p. 69. 4 National Security, Civil Liberties, and the
Collection of Intelligence: A Report on the Huston Plan," reported in U.S. Congress,
Senate, Book III, Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental
Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, 94th Cong., 2d sess., 1976, pp.
923-986. (Hereinafter this report will simply be referred to as "Book III: Final
Report.") 5 Book III: Final Report, pp. 936-960. 6 Book III: Final Report, p. 938. 7
Book III: Final Report, pp. 957-960. 8 Stanford J. Ungar, FBI: An Uncensored Look
Behind the Walls (Boston: Little Brown, 1976), p. 123. 9 Ungar, FBI, p. 124. 10
Executive Order 9835, 12 Fed. Reg. 1935 (21 March 1947). 11 Ungar, FBI, p. 125. 12
Book III: Final Report, p. 5. 13 Ungar, FBI, p. 119. 14 The New York Times, 8
September 1968, cited in Book III: Final Report, p. 188, and Ungar, FBI, p. 121. 15
Barenblatt v. United States, 360 U.S. 109,150 (1959) (Black, J., dissenting). 16 FBI
airtel from SAC San Francisco to director FBI, February 4, 1974 (emphasis added). 17
Letter from Henry E. Peterson to Acting Director FBI, April 3, 1973.

18 Edward J. Epstein, Agency of Fear: Opiates and Political Power in America (New
York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1977), p. 8. 19 Ibid. 20 Teletype from FBI San Francisco to
director, February 16, 1974. 21 FBI "Informative Note," February 16, 1974, prepared
for "J. L. B." 22 FBI Memorandum from Supervisor Gary L. Penrith to SAC San Francisco,
April 13, 1973. 23 FBI memorandum from Special Agent Stephen Lee Kies to SAC San
Francisco, October 11, 1973. 24 Epstein, Agency of Fear, p. 252. 25 Ibid., pp.
201-202, 207. 26 Ibid., pp. 213-215. 27 Ibid., p. 214. 28 Statement and presentation
of OCCIB document by Sheldon Otis, attorney for Huey Newton, at August 15, 1977,
hearing in People v. Newton, No. 64624A and No. 65919, Alameda Mun. Ct., Oakland,
California. 29 COINTELPRO, a Bureau acronym for "counterintelligence program," was
first formally launched in 1956 against the Communist Party, U.S.A. The Black
Nationalist COINTELPRO began in 1967 and focused on the BPP. Book III: Final Report,
pp. 15-20. 30 FBI memorandum from director, hqtrs, to all SACs, August 25, 1967. 31
FBI memorandum from director, hqtrs, to all SACs, March 4, 1968, pp. 3-4. 32 See note
14. A major reason for the FBI Director's hostility toward the BPP was its popularity
among Blacks, particularly the young. "The most active and dangerous

Black extremist group in the United States is the Black Panther Party (BPP). Despite
its relatively small number of hard-core members . . . the BPP is in the forefront of
Black extremist activity today. Moreover, a recent poll indicates that approximately
25 per cent of the Black population has a great respect for the BPP including 43 per
cent of Blacks under twenty-one years of age." J. Edgar Hoover, Special Report,
Interagency Committee on Intelligence, quoted in affidavit of Sheldon Otis, attorney
at law, filed in People v. Newton, Nos. 64624A and 65919, Alameda Mun. Ct., Oakland,
California. 33 Book III: Final Report, p. 188. Estimates of federal investigators
vary, to wit: "During 1967-1971, FBI Headquarters approved 379 proposals for
COINTELPRO actions against 'black nationalists.' These operations utilized dangerous
and unsavory techniques which gave rise to the risk of death and often disregarded the
personal rights and dignity of the victims." (Ibid., p. 88.) 34 Book III: Final
Report, p. 260. 35 Ibid., p. 16. 36 Ibid., p. 7. 37 FBI memorandum from director,
hqtrs. to SAC San Francisco, May 11, 1970. 38 Book III: Final Report, p. 9. 39 Ibid.
40 Memorandum from FBI hqtrs. to Cincinnati field office, February 18, 1971. 41
Interview with Donald Freed on August 25, 1979. Freed is an author living in Los
Angeles who has written, inter alia, Agony at New Haven: The Trial of Bobby Seale and
Ericka Huggins and Executive Action (with Mark Lane and others). He is a long-time
supporter of the BPP who has, as a result, been personally targeted by the FBI for
COINTELPRO actions. For instance, the FBI printed and distributed at an Oakland,

California, Conference for a United Front Against Fascism, sponsored by the BPP,
leaflets accusing Freed of "being a possible informant." (FBI Airtel from SAC, San
Francisco to Director, July 28, 1969.) The extensive research Freed did on the New
Haven, Connecticut, prosecution of Seale and Huggins shows that the FBI was likely
instrumental in promoting and assisting an informant who participated in the
torture-murder of BPP member Alex Rackley. 42 FBI memorandum from San Diego field
office to FBI hqtrs., February 11, 1969; FBI memorandum from FBI hqtrs. to San Diego
field office, February 19, 1969. 43 FBI memorandum from hqtrs. to Los Angeles field
office, August 8, 1970. 44 FBI memorandum from hqtrs. to New York field office, August
2, 1970. 45 Ibid. 46 Memorandum from FBI hqtrs. to Philadelphia field office, August
19, 1970. 47 Ibid. 48 FBI memorandum from Los Angeles field office to FBI hqtrs.,
August 10, 1970. 49 FBI memorandum from director to SAC Los Angeles, September 30,
1970. There was a somewhat subtle method to the bureau's madness. The original
proposal noted that "by forwarding the letter to Hilliard . . . a measure of
Hilliard's loyalty to Newton may be more properly assessed. If Hilliard ... in fact
turn this letter over to Newton, then it can be assumed that efforts to drive a
wedge between Hilliard and Newton could prove futile. If, on the other hand, Hilliard
chooses to keep the contents of the letter to himself and fails to warn Newton of the
impending danger the letter reflects, then it . . . would be deemed appropriate to
direct further counterintelligence efforts towards polarizing these two
individuals.... If . . . Hilliard does make Newton aware of the letter . . . it may
then further add to Newton's paranoia and fear for his life which would serve to
demean his effectiveness, both as a leader of the BPP and as a public figure. (FBI

memorandum from Los Angeles field office to FBI hqtrs., August 10, 1970.) 50 FBI
memorandum from New York field office to hqtrs., October 29, 1970. 51 Ibid. 52 Ibid .
53 FBI Memorandum from hqtrs. to San Francisco field office, December 16, 1970. 54 FBI
memorandum from San Francisco field office to hqtrs., February 25, 1971. 55 Interview
with Charles R. Garry, February 21, 1978; Mr. Garry is an attorney in San Francisco
who has represented the Party for many years against false criminal charges. The
quotation in the text is from a memorandum dictated by Mr. Garry upon reviewing FBI
files made available to him pursuant to court order in Dellinger v. Mitchell, Civ.
Action No. 1768-69, Fed. Dist. Ct. (D.C. 1969). 56 Ibid. 57 Ibid. • 58 Declaration of
Walter W. Niles, August 30, 1977, and filed in People v. Newton, Nos. 64624A and
65919. Niles had overall responsibility for management of the apartment building in
which Huey Newton resided. He testified that "the rent for apartment 25B [the one next
to Newton] ... was being paid by the FBI. . . . A man named Roger M. DuClot was the
building engineer . . . he was being paid as an informant by the FBI, and ... he
assisted the FBI in installing various electronic devices in the walls of apartment
25B.... " 59 FBI memorandum from San Francisco field office to hqtrs., November 24,
1970. 60 Ibid. 61 In a February 1971 report on COINTELPRO activities, the San
Francisco division described the Examiner article as one of

its "counter-intelligence activities." FBI memorandum from San Francisco field office
to hqtrs., February 25, 1971. 62 Ibid. 63 FBI memorandum from SAC San Francisco to
director, FBI, January 4, 1971. 64 FBI memorandum from SAC New Orleans to director,
February 11, 1971. 65 Ibid. 66 Interview with Charles R. Garry (see note 55). 67 FBI
memorandum from Supervisor Gary L. Penrith to SAC San Francisco, December 5, 1973. 68
Declaration of Gwen Fountaine Newton, August 7, 1977, and filed in People v. Newton,
Nos. 64624A and 65919. 69 [Don Roberto] Stinnette held an alleged art auction at his
apartment to benefit prisoners shortly before Newton's was burglarized. He invited
Newton to look at the art, most of which was supposedly done by prisoners. While
Newton was there, Stinnette told him that he had been close" to Eldridge Cleaver when
they were both at Folsom Prison. Since the split between the Party and Cleaver was
fairly well known at that time, Newton was puzzled as to just why Stinnette would
boast of this particular connection. In retrospect, Newton concluded that Stinnette
was, either consciously or not, attempting to warn him of his real, nonfriendly
purpose in being Newton's neighbor. 70 Oakland Tribune, 22 February 1973, p. 1. The
FBI memoranda concerning this incident and their connection with Stinette are in
themselves interesting examples of deceit and selfdeception. In one memorandum, the
bureau refers to the arrest report of the Oakland Police Department as indicating that
"officers ... arrived at the apartment of Stinnette . . . at 5:30 a.m. to serve an
out-standing bench warrant authorized for night service. After repeatedly ringing the
doorbell and waiting . . . without receiving any response, officers inserted the
pass-key into the lock and identified themselves as `police officers.' At that point
two shots were fired through the door at the officers from inside

the room, one at waist height and the other at chest height. Both rounds passed
through the door, but failed to hit the officers. Officers then pushed the door
open... . Stinnette made himself visible and surrendered. . . . Officers examined the
rifle and found that an expended cartridge was jammed in the chamber, disabling the
rifle. When this fact was called to the attention of Stinnette, he said, 'Yeah, if it
hadn't jammed I would have emptied it on you' . . ." (FBI memorandum from Special
Agent Wilbert J. Weiskirch to SAC San Francisco, February 28, 1973.) Though this
memorandum does not acknowledge an informant relationship between the bureau and
Stinnette, a later memorandum admits that "there has been no indication that the BPP
was aware of our occupancy of the apartment next door to Newton's. . . ." (FBI
memorandum from J. G. Deegan to W. R. Wannall, August 26, 1974.) 71 Richard Baker,
Introduction to Insights and Poems by Huey P. Newton and Ericka Huggins (San
Francisco: City Lights, 1975), p. 8. The FBI was well aware of the intended effects of
its COINTELPRO efforts to get Newton. One confidential memorandum noted that "Newton
has recently exhibited paranoid-like reactions to anyone who questions his orders,
policies, actions or otherwise displeases him. His . . . hysterical reaction . . . has
very likely been aggravated by our present counter-intelligence activity.... It
appears Newton may be on the brink of mental collapse and we must intensify our
counter-intelligence." (FBI memorandum from director to SACS Boston, Los Angeles, New
York, and San Francisco, January 28, 1971.) 72 FBI memorandum from hqtrs. to Legat,
Paris, and San Francisco field offices, April 10, 1970. 73 FBI memorandum from hqtrs.
to Los Angeles field office, November 3, 1970. 74 FBI memorandum from Los Angeles
field office to hqtrs., December 3, 1970. 75 FBI memorandum from San Francisco field
office to hqtrs., January 18, 1971. 76 FBI memorandum from hqtrs. to New York and San
Francisco field offices, February 3, 1971.

77 Ibid. 78 FBI memorandum from San Francisco field office to hqtrs., January 18,
1971. 79 Ibid. 80 FBI memorandum from hqtrs. to Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and San
Francisco field offices, January 28, 1971. 81 FBI memorandum from hqtrs. to
twenty-nine field offices, February 2, 1971. 82 FBI memorandum from hqtrs. to San
Francisco field office, February 19, 1971. 83 FBI memorandum from hqtrs. to San
Francisco field office, February 24, 1971. 84 Newton, Revolutionary Suicide, pp.
301-303. 85 FBI memorandum from hqtrs. to San Francisco and Chicago field offices,
March 25, 1971. 86 Newton, "On the Defection of Eldridge Cleaver from the Black
Panther Party and the Defection of the Black Panther Party from the Black Community,"
April 19, 1971 (reprinted in Newton, To Die for the People, pp. 49–51). 87 FBI
memorandum from hqtrs. to fourteen field offices, November 25, 1968. 88 FBI memorandum
from Chicago field office to hqtrs., December 16, 1968. 89 Ibid. 90 FBI memorandum
from Chicago field office to hqtrs., January 13, 1969. 91 Ibid. 92 A generally fine
treatment of Hampton's contributions to the Chicago and national Black community is
found in "A Collective Dedication. Ten Years After the Murder of Fred

Hampton," Keep Strong, December 1979–January 1980, pp. 41–65. 93 Plaintiffs' Exhibit
No. 69 and Transcript 8985 in Hampton v. City of Chicago, No. 70-C-1384, U.S. Dist.
Ct. (N.D. Ill., 1977). 94 Ibid. 95 Plaintiffs' Exhibit Nos. 16 and 17 and Transcript
6558–9, 6566 in Hampton v. Chicago, No. 70-C-1384. 96 Transcript 29186-90, 28323 in
Hampton v. Chicago, No. 70–C– 1384. 97 Brief for Plaintiff-Appellants in Hampton v.
Chicago, U.S. Ct. of Appeals (7th Cir. 1978), p. 12. 98 Brief for Plaintiff-Appellants
in Hampton v. Chicago, U.S. Ct. of Appeals (7th Cir. 1978), pp. 10–11. 98 Plaintiffs'
Exhibits Nos. 50, 51, 53, and 55; Transcript 6682– 6705, 6212–6215 in Hampton v.
Chicago, No. 70–C-1384. 100 Ibid. 101 Plaintiffs' Exhibit No. 21; Transcript 6910–50
in Hampton v. Chicago, No. 70–C-1384. 102 Plaintiffs' Exhibit No. 21; Transcript
22429–36, 22440 in Hampton v. Chicago, No. 70–C–1384. 103 FBI internal memorandum by
Roy M. Mitchell, agent, FBI Chicago field office, November 21, 1969. 104 Plaintiffs'
Exhibits Nos. 21 and 23; Transcript 6988–9, Hampton v. Chicago, No. 70–C–1384. 105 FBI
internal memorandum by Roy M. Mitchell, agent, FBI Chicago field office, November 21,
1969. 106 Plaintiffs' Exhibit No. 25, Hampton v. Chicago, No. 70–C– 1384. 107
Transcript 25398, 25400, and 25406–7, Hampton v. Chicago, No. 70–C–1384.

108 Plaintiffs' Exhibit No. 450, Hampton v. Chicago, No. 70–C– 1384. 109 Ibid. 110
Commission of Inquiry into the Black Panthers' and the Police, Search and Destroy (New
York: Metropolitan Applied Research Center, 1973). 111 FBI memorandum from SAC Chicago
to director, December 8, 1969. 112 Ibid. 113 FBI memorandum from director to SAC
Chicago, December 8, 1969. 114 Book III: Final Report, pp. 190-192. 115 FBI memorandum
from Los Angeles field office to hqtrs., May 26, 1970. 116 An article about an
"Othello" was published in Penthouse magazine in April 1980, written by Ernest
Volkman. The information in that article is consistent with affidavits filed by
Charles Garry and Fred Hiestand, members of the Bar of the State of California, and
[by] Elaine Brown, former Chairperson of the BPP, in Black Panther Party v. Levi, No.
76–2205, U.S. Dist. Ct. (D.C.). 117 Ibid. 118 Perry gave two affidavits, one to
attorney Fred J. Hiestand and the other to attorney Charles R. Garry. After approving
both affidavits, Perry failed to show up at the agreed-upon time at the office of
either attorney to execute his sworn statement. He telephoned both Hiestand and Garry
to tell them that he was seeking to hide from the FBI [which was] after him.
Accordingly, the affidavit Perry had agreed to sign for Charles R. Garry was filed in
Black Panther Party v. Levi, No. 76-2205, as an attachment to the attorney's
affidavit. It is from this document that the long textual quotation is taken.
(Interview with Fred J. Hiestand, January 9, 1980.)

119 On April 11, 1977, an agent of the FBI called upon Elaine Brown, then chairperson
of the BPP, at her residence, for the alleged "purpose of discussing the more than
threeyear-old escape from prison of the accused murderers of John Huggins and
Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter. . . . The agent identified himself as Duke Dierich . . .
and ask[ed] a series of questions about Brown's knowledge of the whereabouts of these
convicted murderers." Affidavit of Elaine Brown, April 29, 1977, and filed in BPP v.
Levi. 120 The Director of the FBI was quite explicit about the reasons for his
opposition to the BPP breakfast programs. "The Breakfast for Children Program (BCP)
has been instituted by the BPP in several cities to provide a stable breakfast for
ghetto children. . . . The program has met with some success and has resulted in
considerable favorable publicity for the BPP. . . . The resulting publicity tends to
portray the BPP in a favorable light and clouds the violent nature of the group and
its ultimate aim of insurrection. The BCP promotes at least tacit support for the BPP
among naive individuals .. . and, what is more distressing, provides the BPP with a
ready audience composed of highly impressionable youths.. . . Consequently, the BCP
represents the best and most influential activity going for the BPP and, as such, is
potentially the greatest threat to efforts by authorities . . . to neutralize the BPP
and destroy what it stands for." (FBI airtel from director to SACs in twenty-seven
field offices, May 15, 1969. Emphasis added.) 121 FBI memorandum from San Diego field
office to hqtrs., August 29, 1969. 122 FBI memoranda from San Diego field office to
hqtrs., September 18, 1969, and October 6, 1969. 123 Newton, Revolutionary Suicide, p.
143. 124 FBI memorandum from hqtrs. to Chicago and seven other field offices, May 15,
1970. 125 FBI memorandum from San Diego field office to hqtrs., May 20, 1970. 126
Ibid, p. 2.

127 Ibid, p. 3. 128 FBI memorandum from San Francisco field office to hqtrs., May 22,
1970. 129 FBI memorandum from New York field office to hqtrs. and San Francisco Field
office, October 11, 1969. 130 FBI memorandum from New York field office to hqtrs.,
August 19, 1970. 131 For example, U.S. Congress. House. Black Panther Party, Part 1.
Hearings before the Committee on Internal Security. 91st Cong., 2d sess., March 4-10,
1970. 132 See, e.g., Complaint, par. 3, Black Panther Party v. Alexander, No.
C-74-1247. 133 Memorandum from IRS Assistant Commissioner D. W. Bacon to chief counsel
and other officers, re "Activist Organizations Committee," July 18, 1969. 134
Memorandum for file by D. O. Virdin, IRS, re "Activist Organizations Committee," July
24, 1969, p. 1. 135 Ibid. p.3 136 Memorandum from D. W. Bacon, assistant IRS
Commissioner, National Office, to all regional commissioners, requesting information
on "Activist Organizations," March 25, 1968. 137 Memorandum from Paul H. Wright (IRS)
to Leon Green, "Briefing Paper: Activist Organizations Committee," August 20, 1969.
138 Memorandum for file by D. O. Virdin, IRS, re "Activist Organizations Project,"
July 29, 1969. 139 Unsigned memorandum of understanding of meeting attended by IRS
officials: Messrs. Willsey, Portney, Snyder, and Wright, Washington D.C., August 15,
1973. 140 Exhibits Nos. L, M. and 0 to original Complaint, Black Panther Party v.
Alexander, No. C-74-1247.

141 Ibid. 142 Affidavit of Fred J. Hiestand, February 17, 1976, filed in federal
district court in Black Panther Party v. Alexander, No. C-74-1247. 143 Papers on file
with author and delivered to while in jail. 144 IRS Sensitive Case Report, No.
94740182H, by Tak Fukuchi, revenue agent, with note attached from Mary Ann Meagher
"called Jack Lahart (Justice Dept. Attorney) . . . to see if he thinks we should
attempt to find a Canadian address for Huey Newton in view of current news article
that TP [i.e., taxpayer] is in Canada en route back to the U.S.... " 145 Handwritten
notes (twenty-two pages) by IRS Agent Monty S. Day, August 17, 1974, 2:00 a.m. to 8:00
a.m.. 146 Ibid., pp. 14-15. 147 50 U.S.C. Sec. 403. 148 Ungar, FBI, p. 479 149 Ibid.
150 Hersh, "CIA Reportedly Recruited Blacks for Surveillance of Panther Party," New
York Times, 17 March 1978, p. Al. 151 Ibid., p. A16, col. 3-4. Cooperation between
local police departments, the FBI and, presumably, the CIA, to disrupt the BPP was
extensive, as evidenced, inter alia, by the official conspiracy to murder Fred
Hampton. The Senate Select Committee found that the FBI encouraged local police to
make "raids on the homes of BPP members, often with little or no apparent evidence of
violations of State or Federal law . . ." and that "BPP members . . . [were] followed
and arrested for violations of 'local Motor Vehicle Code laws.' " (Book III: Final
Report, pp. 220-221.) Undoubtedly, one purpose of these raids, arrests, and
prosecutions of BPP members was to force the Party to deplete its limited financial
resources on bail and lawyers. As a former federal prosecutor observed, "Viewed from
one perspective, the Panther 21 case (N.Y.) might be seen as a victory for the
prosecution in spite of the acquittals. . . . Almost all of the money and energy of
the Panthers in New

York was diverted to the defense of this one case. The stress which this case,
together with other serious criminal cases, put on the Party across the country,
exacerbated internal conflicts. . . . If the point of the Panther 21 trial was to help
destroy the Party, then the prosecution must be judged a success. Judged by other,
proper standards, though, the prosecution failed. It failed . . . as a symbol of
justice—as a symbol of what the criminal justice system should be." (Peter L. Zimroth,
Perversions of Justice: The Prosecution and Acquittal of the Panthers [New York:
Viking Press, 1974], pp. 397-398.) 152 Hersh, New York Times, 17 March 1968, p. A16.
153 Affidavit of Robert A. Barteaux, chief, Information Processing Group, Information
Services Staff, Directorate for Operations, CIA, July 5, 1977, filed in Black Panther
Party v. Levi, No. 76-2205. 154 Affidavit of Sidney D. Stembridge, deputy director of
the Office of Security of the CIA, July 5, 1977, filed in Black Panther Party v. Levi,
No. 76-2205. 155 Hersh, New York Times, 17 March 1968, p. A16. 156 Ibid. 157 Ibid.
Indeed, all three domestic security operations identified by Senate investigators
appear to have focused on the Panthers. "Project MERRIMAC [1967 to 1973] involved the
infiltration by CIA agents of . . . Black activist groups. . . . Project RESISTANCE
[1967 to 1973] was a broad effort to obtain general background information" about
radical groups across the country. In 1969, upon the recommendation of the official in
charge of the CIA's CHAOS program, the FBI began submitting "names of domestic
political radicals and Black militants" to the CIA for inclusion on its mail opening
"Watch List." (Book III: Final Report, pp. 682, 573.

V. CONCLUSION The foregoing actions undertaken by just three agencies of the federal
government against the Black Panther Party illustrate not only the nature and extent
of tactics the

government will employ to crush dissident groups, but the seriousness with which the
Party was perceived as a potential threat to those in power. There is no dispute that
the Party suffered from more hostile and severe government acts directed against it
than any domestic political organization in the twentieth century, including the
Communist Party. While the FBI rationalized that it took these neutralizing steps
against the BPP in order to curb its violent propensities, the truth is that what the
bureau felt most threatening were survival programs providing free breakfasts to
school children and other constructive services.1 No single feature of the Panthers
made them so feared or disliked by the government; many organizations possessed either
a revolutionary ideology, community service, or a willingness to engage in legal
struggle to achieve their goals. It was the combination of all of these features,
pitched to a group that had been historically and systematically excluded from full
participation in democratic capitalist America, that made the Party different, and
dangerously so. Not surprisingly, many of the tactics worked, in the sense that the
Party lost members, leaders, and supporters (financial and otherwise). Reports of the
BPP's demise, though, have always been premature. Of equal importance is the claimed
halt to these practices by the government once they had been publicly exposed. The
COINTELPRO was officially terminated for security reasons in 1971, though the Bureau
continues many of the same activities under different rubrics. Instead of recanting
the obvious abuses it engaged in, the FBI, through Director Clarence Kelley,
proclaimed that—"for the FBI to have done less under the circumstances would have been
an abdication of its responsibilities to the American people."2 A more apologetic tone
was struck by the IRS when, on August 9, 1973, Commissioner Donald Alexander announced
that the Special Service (SS) group would be abolished. He stated that "political or
social views, 'extremist' or otherwise, are irrelevant to taxation."3 Once again,
however, the function of the SS group was merely transferred to the Intelligence
Division of IRS.4 The CIA responded to revelations about its unlawful domestic
counterintelligence operations by destroying documents, rationalizing its activities
as necessary for national security, and, ultimately, asking for a new charter that
would, under the extraordinary conditions supposedly existing in the 1960s, permit CIA
intervention in limited situations. The danger inherent to democracy in any official
abuse of constitutional rights of a minority is, to be sure, always theoretically
recognized: Getting racketeers on a VA [Veterans Administration] application is like
getting civil rights workers for speeding," says Howard Glickstein, who was in the
Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice [under Robert Kennedy]. This time
it's the Mafioso, but next time it could be the Black Panthers or Goldwater
supporters.5

The gap between theory and practice is, however, rarely closed; witness the history
of American Indians, the Communist Party, and the Wobblies.6 What closed this gap, and
temporarily saved the Party from political annihilation, was the publicly revealed
expansion of some of these reprehensible tactics to traditionally accepted power
groups and their leaders. This is, as an eminent constitutional scholar has noted, an
almost inevitable result. The controls and apparatus necessary for the restriction of
associational expression— investigations, files, informers, constant surveillance—are
incompatible with a free society. Restriction of associational expression is likely to
become, in practice, an effort to suppress a whole social or political movement.
History and experience warn us that such attempts are usually futile and merely tend
to obscure the real grievances which society must, if it is to survive, face squarely
and solve.7 The veracity of the above observation is proved by the case history of the
war against the Panthers. The original White House Enemies List contained but a few
names, and the SS group within IRS began by focusing on twenty-two organizations. Both
were soon added to by the administration, and included liberals within the Republican
Party as well as leaders of labor, business, academia, and, as the Watergate break-in
revealed, even the Democratic National Headquarters. This transference of hostile and
illegal government actions from organizations which pose fundamental challenge to the
prevailing order to groups not ideologically at odds with democratic capitalism was
certainly related to the period of the 1960's. The anti-war movement coalesced, or at
least intersected and occasionally joined, with the civil rights, Black community, and
student movements to worry those who saw their role as "maintaining the existing
social order, and . . . combating those who threaten that order. "8 Yet these
circumstances are not so unique as to defy repetition or at least the perception of
[the] same by "federal law enforcement officers [who] look upon themselves as
guardians of the status quo. "9 Should this happen, there is, as former Senator Sam
Ervin acknowledged, "no real assurance that these programs would not be resumed."10
That the "existing social order" will be threatened again is certain; the real
question is what will be the future results. Fear that these agencies would in fact be
far more dangerous without some constraints than those groups and individuals they
surveil has led to legislation and higher governmental discussion about the FBI, the
CIA, and other intelligence agencies fostered by them. Revelations of extensive
governmental misconduct in the Watergate affair, and widespread charges of illegal FBI
and CIA spying on Americans in violation of law, existing charters, and the
Constitution caused the U.S. Senate to establish a special Select Committee to study
Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities in 1975. Prior to that
time, White House administrations and the intelligence agencies had succeeded in
stopping all attempts to create congressional intelligence committees to share
oversight powers with the Appropriations and Armed Services Committee, which had only
minimal supervision over the agencies.11 The task of the Senate select committee
(better known as the Church Committee after its chairman, Senator Frank Church of
Idaho) was to determine "the extent, if any, to which

illegal, improper, or unethical activities were engaged in" by the intelligence
agencies. The Select Committee was also authorized to investigate specific charges of
illegal domestic surveillance by the CIA, domestic intelligence and
counterintelligence operations carried out against Americans by the FBI, and the
origins and implementation of the Huston Plan.12 When the Select Committee issued its
Final Report on April 23, 1976, it had constructed a documented record of abuse that
was far more extensive than that which was known or even imagined when the
investigation began. "We have seen segments of our Government adopt tactics unworthy
of a democracy and occasionally reminiscent of the tactics of totalitarian regimes."13
Specifically criticizing the FBI COINTELPRO operation, the Select Committee said, ...
the chief investigative branch of the federal government [FBI], which was charged by
law with investigating crimes and preventing criminal conduct, itself engaged in
lawless tactics and responded to deep-seated social problems by fomenting violence and
unrest.14 After concluding its work, the Senate Select Committee unanimously
recommended that Congress develop and enact a comprehensive intelligence charter to
curb and control intelligence activities and create a body of statutory law that would
prevent future intelligence abuses: The Committee is not satisfied with the position
that mere exposure of what has occurred in the past will prevent its recurrence. Clear
legal standards and effective oversight and controls are necessary to ensure that
domestic intelligence activity does not itself undermine the democratic system it is
intended to protect.15 In March 1976, the Senate created a permanent Select Committee
on Intelligence. In February 1978, the committee introduced S.B. 2525, the National
Intelligence Reorganization Act of 1978. In the House of Representatives, a
counterpart bill, H.R. 11245, was introduced. S.B. 2525/H.R. 11245 included many of
the Church Committee recommendations, but also contained numerous proposals at odds
with those recommendations. For example, the legislation authorized the CIA to
investigate Americans overseas under a noncriminal code of "clandestine intelligence
activity." It included powers to engage in certain COINTELPRO types of activities,
including violations of law, and the use of counterespionage to prevent violence.
Although the bill established judicial warrants for wiretapping and break-ins, it
authorized judges to issue warrants for intelligence breakins in instances of less
than probable cause to believe a crime had been or was about to be committed.16
Following strong opposition from the intelligence agencies and their supporters in
Congress, S.B. 2525/ H.R. 11245 died at the end of 1978 and was not reintroduced in

1979. Then, on January 23, 1980, President Carter in his State of the Union message
called for removing unwarranted restraints on the CIA. Describing the effect and
importance of Carter's remark, David Wise, coauthor of The Invisible Government and
author of The American Police State, said: ... In that brief moment, one could easily
visualize the agency rising from the ashes of intelligence reform. The CIA's timing is
flawless. In the present hawkish atmosphere in Washington, intelligence reform has
become almost a dirty word, an X-rated idea whose time has come—and probably gone.17
On February 8, 1980, S.B. 2284/H.R. 6588, the National Intelligence Act of 1980, was
introduced in Congress as the successor to the 1978 National Intelligence
Reorganization and Reform Act. The name change was fitting because reform has been
eliminated from major parts of the legislation. The new bill: 1. authorized
counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations directed against Americans at
home and abroad under noncriminal, broad standards; 2. permitted the use of informants
and undercover agents in groups suspected of criminal activity; 3. authorized
unspecified COINTELPRO techniques against any American suspected of participating in
secret intelligence activity or who might threaten to engage in violent activity for
political motive; 4. established court warrants for national security mail opening and
physical searches in the United States directed at Americans, under guidelines of less
than probable cause to believe a crime is involved and without requiring notice to the
person(s) or group(s) who are subjects of the search; 5. failed to provide a mechanism
for citizens whose civil liberties have been violated to seek redress.18 As did its
predecessor, S.B. 2284/H.R. 6588 met opposition from the intelligence agencies, some
members of Congress, and the Carter administration. Consequently, on April 18, 1980,
the Senate Intelligence Committee moved to abandon charter reform for the CIA and
immediately held legislative sessions on "an abbreviated new proposal." The committee
said it would not hold hearings on the substitute for fear that any further debate
would prevent the bill from being enacted this year.19 The following day, April 19,
the committee agreed to drop its previous demand for prior congressional notice of all
CIA covert operations.20 The shortened S.B. 2284, which was described by some in the
news media as a compromise, was approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee on May
8, 1980. The bill established a broad congressional right to monitor the nation's
intelligence activities, focusing mainly on the oversight of the CIA. The revised S.B.
2284 provides the Senate and House Intelligence Committees with the sole authority to
oversee the intelligence community, in effect repealing the Hughes-Ryan Amendment of
1974 that allowed eight congressional committees to hear reports on covert activities.
The bill also creates a

complex reporting procedure that requires the president to keep the two committees
"fully and currently" informed of a wide variety of activities. However, the
legislation recognizes and encourages the declaration of an inherent presidential
right to avoid such reporting in some situations.21 Senator Edward Kennedy has
introduced legislation called the FBI Charter (S.B. 1612/H.R. 5030). There is
considerable debate by civil liberties groups as to whether S.B. 1612 will prevent
future COINTELPRO types of actions by the FBI or whether it would, in fact, authorize
the bureau legally to carry out activities that were formerly illegal. The bill: 1.
authorizes FBI investigations of terrorism, defined as acts of violence; 2. outlaws
investigations of individuals and organizations solely because of their political or
religious views; 3. permits wiretapping, mail opening, and the use of undercover
agents under certain circumstances; 4. permits the use of journalists, clergymen, and
others as informants who, although they cannot initiate crimes, can participate in
crimes to protect their covers; 5. provides new FBI exemptions from the Freedom of
Information Act, including a statutory ban on the release of the names of FBI
informants; 6. permits increased access to credit and insurance records of citizens,
without securing subpoenas; 7. fails to provide a mechanism for citizens whose civil
liberties have been violated to seek redress.22 Due to the current 1980 presidential
election campaign, no action has yet been taken on S.B. 1612/H.R. 5030. Lobbying
efforts, however, continue (see, e.g., Appendix D). With the CIA unleashed and the
possibility that the Kennedy bill, if enacted, will do the same for the FBI, it would
seem that the actions described in this study by government agencies to destroy the
Black Panther Party and other dissident groups may, in the future, become entrenched
in the U.S. government. Tom Wicker has noted that the new CIA charter will more than
ever make the agency into an "invisible government. "23 Former CIA agent Philip Agree,
who is now literally a man without a country because of his public revelations of
illegal CIA activities, has uncovered the core of the problem surrounding CIA abuses,
actions that can be equally applied to the FBI and other intelligence agencies: ...
the main concern is not really with the CIA, but with the people who run the U.S.—the
CIA acts as their instrument—these are the people who run the multinational
corporations, who own the banks, who control the traditional political process, the
professionals who service all of them and the military-industrial interlock. This
relatively small group of people have a need for the CIA and what it's been doing over
the years. And until changes occur in the U.S. in terms of political power and
economic

control, there will be a need for the CIA from the point of view of this small
minority.24 The philosopher George Santayana warned, "Those who cannot remember the
past are condemned to repeat it." If illegal government abuses as have occurred in the
past against the Black Panther Party and other dissident groups are legalized in the
future, as now seems likely, the western world will not be "safe for democracy."

1 See pp. [84-88]. 2 Testimony of Clarence M. Kelley, director, FBI (U.S. Congress.
House. Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings before a Subcommittee on Civil Rights and
Constitutional Rights [November 20, 1974] 93rd Cong., 2d sess., 1974, pp. 4445.)
Kelley also stated his "feeling that the FBI's counterintelligence programs had an
impact on the crises of the time and, therefore, that they helped to bring about a
favorable change in this country." Testimony of Clarence M. Kelley, director, FBI,
December 10, 1975 (U.S. Congress, Senate. Select Committee to Study Governmental
Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. Hearings, 94th Cong., 1st sess.,
1975. Vol. 6. FBI), pp. 283-284. 3 IRS News Release (IR-1323), August 9, 1973. 4 See
p. [89]. 5 Victor S. Navasky, Kennedy Justice (New York: Atheneum, 1971), p. 58. The
reference to "getting racketeers on a VA application" is about "the notorious Louis
Gallo and his father," who "were indicted for submitting false income statement on a
VA loan application for a home mortgage." (Ibid., p. 57.) This book details the
history of the Department of Justice under Robert Kennedy, documenting the vigor with
which alleged organized crime figures were prosecuted and the comparatively lackluster
enforcement of civil rights laws under the same administration. 6 See, e.g., generally
Sidney Thomas Lens, Radicalism in America (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1969). 7
Thomas I. Emerson, The System of Freedom of Expression (New York: Random House, 1970),
pp. 432-433.

8 U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with
Respect to Intelligence Activities. Final Report: Book III. (Washington: U.S. Govt.
Print. Off, 1976) (94th Cong., 2d sess., Senate Rept. No. 94-755), p. 7. [pp. 185-223]
9 Ibid. 10 U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on
Constitutional Rights, Political Intelligence in the Internal Revenue Service: The
Special Service Staff A Documentary Analysis (Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off, 1974)
(93rd Cong., 2d session.), p. 51. 11 Center for National Security Studies. "The
National Intelligence Act and the Rights of Americans." First Principles: National
Security and Civil Liberties 5 (March/April 1980): 1. 12 Ibid. 13 Ibid., p. 2. 14 Book
III: Final Report, p. 75 15 Ibid. p. 5. 16 "The National Intelligence Act," First
Principles, p. 217 Wise, "Free Again," Los Angeles Times, March 9, 1980. 18 "The
National Intelligence Act," First Principles, p.3 19 Washington Post, April 18,1980.
20 Ibid., April 19, 1980. 21 Charles Mohr, "Panel Backs Review Over Intelligence," New
York Times, May 9, 1980. 22 Campaign for Political Rights, Organizing Notes, 3 (June
1979): 1. 23 Tom Wicker, "The C.I.A. Triumphant," New York Times, May 6, 1980, p. A27.

24 "Interview with Ex-CIA Agent Philip Agee," Guardian, April 30, 1980, p. 9.
APPENDICES APPENDIX A THE TEN-POINT PROGRAM (October 1966) 1. We Want Freedom. We Want
Power To Determine The Destiny Of Our Black Community. We believe that Black people
will not be free until we are able to determine our own destiny. 2. We Want Full
Employment Of Our People. We believe that the federal government is responsible and
obligated to give every man employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the
White American businessmen will not give full employment, then the means of production
should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of
the community can organize and employ all of its people, and give a high standard of
living. 3. We Want An End To The Robbery By The Capitalists Of Our Black Community. We
believe that this racist government has robbed us, and now we are demanding the
overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules [were] promised
100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will
accept the payment in currency, which will be distributed to our many communities. The
Germans are now aiding the Jews in Israel for the genocide of the Jewish people. The
Germans murdered six million Jews. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter
of over fifty million Black people; therefore, we feel that this is a modest demand
that we make. 4. We Want Decent Housing Fit For Shelter Of Human Beings. We believe
that if the White landlords will not give decent housing to our Black community, then
the housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that our community, with
government aid, can build and make decent housing for its people. 5. We Want Education
For Our People That Exposes The True Nature Of This Decadent American Society.

We Want Education That Teaches Us Our True History And Our Role In The Present-day
Society. We believe in an educational system that will give our people a knowledge of
self. If a man does not have knowledge of himself and his position in society and the
world, then he has little chance to relate to anything else. 6. We Want All Black Men
To Be Exempt From Military Service. We believe that Black people should not be forced
to fight in the military service to defend a racist government that does not protect
us. We will not fight and kill other people of color in the world who, like Black
people, are being victimized by the White racist government of America. We will
protect ourselves from the force and violence of the racist police and the racist
military, by whatever means necessary. 7. We Want An Immediate End To Police Brutality
And Murder Of Black People. We believe we can end police brutality in our Black
community by organizing Black selfdefense groups that are dedicated to defending our
Black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The Second Amendment to
the Constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We, therefore,
believe that all Black people should arm themselves for self-defense. 8. We Want
Freedom For All Black Men Held In Federal, State, County, And City Prisons And Jails.
We believe that all Black people should be released from the many jails and prisons
because they have not received a fair and impartial trial. 9. We Want All Black People
When Brought To Trial To Be Tried In Court By A Jury Of Their Peer Group Or People
From Their Black Communities, As Defined By The Constitution Of The United States. We
believe that the courts should follow the United States Constitution so that Black
people will receive fair trials. The Fourteenth Amendment of the United States
Constitution gives a man the right to be tried by his peer group. A peer is a person
from a similar economic, social, religious, geographical, environmental, historical,
and racial background. To do this the court will be forced to select a jury from the
Black community from which the Black defendant came. We have been, and are being,
tried by all-White juries that have no understanding of the "average reasoning man" of
the Black community. 10. We Want Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice,
And Peace.

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve
the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the
powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and
nature's God entitle them, a decent respect of the opinions of mankind requires that
they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these
truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by
their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted
among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever
any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the
people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its
foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them
shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will
dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and
transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more
disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing
the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and
usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them
under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such
government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

APPENDIX B THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY PROGRAM (March 29, 1972 Platform) 1. We Want
Freedom. We Want Power To Determine The Destiny Of Our Black And Oppressed
Communities. We believe that Black and oppressed people will not be free until we are
able to determine our destinies in our own communities ourselves, by fully controlling
all the institutions which exist in our communities. 2. We Want Full Employment For
Our People. We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to
give every person employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the American
businessmen will not give full employment, then the technology and means of production
should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of
the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of
living. 3. We Want An End To The Robbery By The Capitalists Of Our Black And Oppressed
Communities.

We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the
overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100
years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will
accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The
American racist has taken part in the slaughter of our fifty million Black people.
Therefore, we feel this is a modest demand that we make. 4. We Want Decent Housing,
Fit For The Shelter Of Human Beings. We believe that if the landlords will not give
decent housing to our Black and oppressed communities, then housing and the land
should be made into cooperatives that the people in our communities, with government
aid, can build and make decent housing for the people. 5. We Want Decent Education For
Our People That Exposes True Nature Of This Decadent American Society. We Want
Education That Teaches Us Our True History And Our Role In The Present-day Society. We
believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of the self
If you do not have knowledge of yourself and your position in the society and in the
world, then you will have little chance to know anything else. 6. We Want Completely
Free Health Care For All Black And Oppressed People. We believe that the government
must provide, free of charge, for the people, health facilities which will not only
treat our illnesses, most of which have come about as a result of our oppression, but
which will also develop preventive medical programs to guarantee our future survival.
We believe that mass health education and research programs must be developed to give
all Black and oppressed people access to advanced scientific and medical information,
we may provide ourselves with proper medical attention and care. 7. We Want An
Immediate End To Police Brutality And Murder Of Black People, Other People Of Color,
All Oppressed People Inside The United States. We believe that the racist and fascist
government of the United States uses its domestic enforcement agencies to carry out
its program of oppression against Black people, other people of color and poor people
inside the United States. We believe it is our right, therefore, to defend ourselves
against such armed forces and that all Black and oppressed people should be armed for
selfdefense of our homes and communities against these fascist police forces. 8. We
Want An Immediate End To All Wars Of Aggression.

We believe that the various conflicts which exist around the world stem directly from
the aggressive desire of the United States ruling circle and government to force its
domination upon the oppressed people of the world. We believe that if the United
States government or its lackeys do not cease these aggressive wars, it is the right
of the people to defend themselves by any means necessary against their aggressors. 9.
We Want Freedom For All Black And Oppressed People Now Held In U.S Federal, State,
County, City And Military Prisons And Jails. We Want Trials By A Jury Of Peers For All
Persons Charged With So-called Crimes Under The Laws Of This Country. We believe that
the many Black and poor oppressed people now held in United States prisons and jails
have not received fair and impartial trials under a racist and fascist judicial system
and should be free from incarceration. We believe in the ultimate elimination of all
wretched, inhuman penal institutions because the masses of men and women imprisoned
inside the United States or by the United States military are the victims of
oppressive conditions, which are the real cause of their imprisonment. We believe that
when persons are brought to trial they must be guaranteed, by the United States,
juries of their peers, attorneys of their choice, and freedom from imprisonment while
awaiting trial. 10. We Want Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice, Peace,
and People's Community Control Of Modern Technology. When, in the course of human
events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have
connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the
separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them,
a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the
causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their
just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government
becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to
abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such
principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely
to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments
long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and,
accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are most disposed to suffer, while
evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they
are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpation, pursuing invariably
the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, their
right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for
their future security.

APPENDIX C ON INTERCOMMUNALISM ...we say that this technology can solve most of the
material contradictions people face, that the material conditions exist that would
allow the people of the world to develop a culture that is essentially human and would
nurture those things that would allow the people to resolve contradictions in a way
that would not cause the mutual slaughter of all of us. The development of such a
culture would be revolutionary intercommunalism. Some communities have begun doing
this. They have liberated their territories and have established provisional
governments. We recognize them, and say that these governments represent the people of
China, North Korea, the people in the liberated zones of South Vietnam, and the people
in North Vietnam. We believe their examples should be followed that the order of the
day would not be reactionary intercommunalism (empire) but revolutionary
intercommunalism. The people of the world, that is, must seize power from the small
ruling circle and expropriate the expropriators, pull them down from their pinnacle
and make them equals, and distribute the fruits of our labor that have been denied us
in some equitable way. We know that the machinery to accomplish these tasks exists and
we want access to it.1

Erik H. Erickson and Huey P. Newton, In Search of Common Ground (New York: W. W.
Norton & Co., 1973), p. 31.

1

APPENDIX D Intelligence Lobbying Efforts Albuquerque, New Mexico December 4, 1979 The
Honorable Senator Frank Church Room 204, Senate Office Building United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510 Dear Senator Church: As your records will disclose, I testified
before your Committee, and in addition was interrogated by members of the Committee
staff. All of this allegedly related to my past assignments, which deeply involved me
in the operations of the FBI and CIA. I naturally

have followed developments since the "exposes" of your Committee and I am making some
observations which probably have come to your attention, and I am confident that they
are shared by thousands of Americans who have participated in discharging
responsibilities relating to the security of the U.S., but I doubt that you would have
received the observations from anyone whose experience closely conformed to mine. I do
not speak as an expert but as one whose day to day experiences gave me the opportunity
to observe much not available to the average officer. One could have hoped that your
examinations would have led to constructive improvement in the capabilities of U.S.
intelligence and internal security agencies to cope with the threats in a nuclear age.
I strongly emphasize "nuclear age" because that's what it is all about and I really
didn't see this as a major point of reference in your investigations. Apparently
quality and/or need of intelligence was not a priority. As you know your Committee,
with the additional outlet of the Freedom of Information Act, exposed and exposed
leading to the dissemination of volumes of sensitive intelligence; literally tearing
apart the operational effectiveness of agencies such as FBI and CIA; severely damaging
morale; destroying the absolute need of cooperation from friendly governments; and
above all providing the Soviet intelligence services with the gifts of the Century. As
I examine the foregoing I could qualify my observations by stating they are too harsh
because there have been other factors. I recognize that there have been defects in our
intelligence system just because of the glaring deficiencies in the existing law. I
also realize that we have failed in areas simply because we are not producing high
quality intelligence. However, at no time did I see evidence of your Committee's
motivation to get answers to "Why aren't we producing better intelligence,
particularly in the human intelligence field?" If my observations are harshly
presented they largely stem from the development of international events. I cite the
deplorable situation in Iran. I refer to the "Russian brigade" in Cuba. Admiral
Turner, Director, CIA, is quoted as stating "in 1963 we estimated the ground combat
forces which the Soviets had introduced into Cuba had all been withdrawn. It was not
until 1978 that we began to have strong suspicions that this was no longer the case."
I look at a 32 year history of CIA development and I view the statement of Admiral
Turner as being almost unbelievable. My point is that your Committee should have spent
more time looking at operational deficiencies of the intelligence agencies with a
thrust of bringing improvements leading to production of intelligence quality which
could be of immeasurable value in formulating policy and decisions in an obviously
turbulent world. If one is shaken by the statement of Admiral Turner and if we look at
Cuba and Iran, we would be most naive if we didn't look ahead to areas where in the
not too distant future we may be faced with additional agonizing decisions. I only
mention the entire Middle East, Indonesia, Philippines [sic], Central America, South
America, and possibly outbreaks of revolutionary type of activity in Eastern Europe.
By now we must acknowledge that wherever there is a political eruption we can't
separate the security of this country from such an event, and contrary to the views of
many, we can't neglect internal threats from individuals or groups who may directly or
indirectly have ties with organizations in foreign countries, and I refer to those who
are dedicated to the political,

social and economic destruction of the U.S. Let us not forget the proliferating
expansion of terrorism coupled with kidnappings and hostage black-mail. Let us not
overlook the area of those individuals who, although having noble intentions, become
unwitting but effective tools of those whose goal is to undermine if not destroy the
strength of this country. So there is no misunderstanding, I am not implying that the
"unwitting" be punished in some way. Damage from this direction can be greatly
minimized by guidance and direction from leaders such as you. I believe you will agree
that our position in the world today is such that, like never before, we need
capabilities of the highest quality to collect and analyze intelligence; to use the
products to maximum efficiency; and to protect our assets with the best
counterintelligence. So we do not forget, we are talking about survival and with
survival the protection of freedoms which we have taken for granted. This, of course,
demands a price to be paid for preserving freedom. Will the price include the
maintenance of an intelligence and internal security structure compatible with the
preservation of our freedoms and operationally adequate to assure survival in the
nuclear world? This is, and always will be, a continuing challenge but it is a goal
which can be achieved. Striving for such achievement falls heavily on shoulders such
as yours. You possibly may get the impression that I am one of those advocating a
massive police state type of operation. Of course this is ridiculous, but if we do not
awaken and do the necessary repairs, as a nation we could degenerate and permit an
overwhelming penetration, if not domination, by reactionaries who seek a dictatorial
government. Starting with your Committee and since, there has been a prevailing
approach to the alleged "sins" of the intelligence community by evaluating on a
foundation or precepts of high morality. Accepting that this was honestly motivated,
it is commendable. However, just the events of this year clearly establish that such
an approach places us virtually in a dream world. Needless to say the Soviets,
Khomeni, and certainly others do not apply the same ground rules. Do you not agree
that to survive in this nuclear world our policy and decision-making should be
executed in the context of strategy? If this is accepted, I believe you will agree
that we will be lost in developing and executing strategic actions without a
continuing output of knowledge of a quality which greatly reduces the areas of the
unknowns and radically minimizes the guessing in our estimates. When you examine the
findings of your Committee, you and your associates may have fallen into a course so
often followed by inspection directed individuals or groups. There can be a tendancy
[sic] to become parasitic, i.e. feeding on the mistakes or errors of judgement of
people to the point of literally "feasting" and doing so at the expense of destroying
existing valuable assets. Do you not feel that it is time to terminate the "feasting?"
It is possible that when your Committee examined the operations of the FBI and CIA you
encountered individuals such as myself who were heavily influenced by past history
starting with Pearl Harbor. I do not know if anybody on your Committee staff who spent
anytime reviewing the history of Soviet penetration of U.S. government and the U.S.

society from the Twenties through the Thirties and Forties. Those were not
fly-by-night Soviet operations. The penetrations were most extensive. We probably will
never know the true extent of the damage because it was not until WWII and
particularly after the War that we developed an assessment of the Soviet activity, and
there still is a question, if we really identified all or most of the penetration. It
is unfortunate that much of this has never been revealed to the public because of
restrictions applied to sensitive data. The foregoing is being emphasized because the
deterioration of our capabilities, the restrictions imposed on agencies such as the
FBI and CIA, and the wide exposure to sensitive data from proliferating growth of
Congressional oversight, all provide a bonanza type of atmosphere for Soviet
infiltration. It is true that the years gave the U.S. Intelligence a high respect for
Soviet recruitment of agents in foreign countries; for penetration of government
agencies; for very skillful application of what we commonly refer to as "covert
action"; and most importantly for the highest capability in the history of
civilization in the utilization of deception. My message above might suggest that I,
and others, may have exaggerated assessment of Soviet capabilities. This could be true
if the U.S. today possessed a reliable assessment which, in any way, described a
deterioration of Soviet intelligence; which depicted a severe breakdown in its
capabilities; which reflected a significant change leading to a drastic minimization
of direction against U.S. targets; which to any degree was abandoning clandestinity as
an atmosphere for maintaining relations with foreign governments. I strongly doubt
that in 1979 we have acceptable evidence to provide accurate evaluation of
organization, identification of agents, planning, intentions, and decision-making. I
doubt very much that we have the needed agent penetrations in Moscow. I doubt that our
sophisticated technical coverage, admittedly productive and necessary, is producing
the answers. We certainly do not have the benefit of public "exposes" or the
revelations that might be surfaced in a free society. The point is, "What do we really
know when one thinks of plans and intentions?" How can we know when it took us until
1978 "when we began to have strong suspicions" regarding Soviet combat forces in Cuba,
90 miles from our shores. If there is a theme of harshness in my communication maybe
it is needed, just as you undoubtedly felt when you initiated your investigations.
Only now it would appear that there is a critical need for rebuilding. If the
legislation currently being introduced to establish a charter is the answer, you can
look forward to continuing intelligence disasters and to unmanageable internal
security crises. I wish you would accept this as an appeal to seriously examine the
state of our intelligence system, not concentrating on "why certain operations were
initiated" but rather "why don't we have a far greater capability to produce needed
knowledge?" Are you satisfied that the CIA, FBI, and other agencies can adequately
provide the necessary security to this country operating under current restrictions
and guide lines? Do you believe that we can cope with our adversaries in today's world
without the knowledge which can only be acquired by a sophisticated intelligence
system? I ask if you will give consideration to assessing the issue described above.
If you are satisfied with our present state of capabilities, would you say so
publicly? If not, would you take a public stand directed toward significant
improvement?

You, sir, because of your important position and responsibilities delegated to you,
can provide a valuable service to our country in these very critical times. Sincerely,
Sam J. Papich SJP/mw SECURITY and INTELLIGENCE FUND Suite 500, 499 South Capitol St.,
S.W. Washington, D.C. 20003 April 28, 1980 Dear: None of the straw-grasping that
passes for decision-making in the government of the hour is more revealing of the
collapse of reasoned purpose in the pursuit of national strategic interests than the
Administration's stubborn efforts to ram down the throat of a troubled Congress a bad
charter allegedly intended to "reform" the national intelligence services. If the
defeats and humiliations to which American defense and foreign policies have been
subjected in Iran and Afghanistan, not to mention the contemptuous plucking of the
American eagle's tail feathers now in shameful progress throughout the Caribbean and
Central America, should have taught us anything, it is that no first-class nation can
rightly expect to operate reliable foreign intelligence in a fish bowl. Yet in the
face of these calamitous lessons President Carter and the strange company of
leftwingers, neo-isolationinsts and pacifists whom he stationed at the gateways into
the national security formulation processes remain unconvinced. They are determined to
hold the already gravely crippled intelligence functions, foreign and domestic, under
too many of the damaging constraints imposed on the intelligence community in part by
the President's own misguided directive of January 19, 1978, and further in part by
the reckless exposure of intelligence operations under the Freedom of Information Act
and the uncontrollable surveillance of the Congress. The straightforward purpose of
this letter is to ask for your continued support in helping us turn the Congress back
from this folly. Accurate and timely foreign intelligence and sleepless
counter-intelligence in defense of the intelligence services themselves are crucial to
the successful management of foreign and military policies against the outer threats.
Vigilant and resolute internal security is the only sure protection against espionage,
subversion, sabotage and terrorism inside our frontiers. Yet at an hour of clear and
present danger all three functions have been gravely weakened and, in certain
respects, all but decimated.

Lately, there has been talk of ambitious schemes for assembling Fast Deployment
Military forces that would enable the President to project effective power into far
places in defense of imperiled American interests. But preparing such forces is going
to take time and their usefulness in a test at the far margins of power will depend
acutely on whether the intelligence will be good enough for them to be moved to the
right places, in the right numbers, at the right time. Yet a full understanding of
this elementary requirement seems not to have penetrated the inner councils of the
Presidency. The Ship of State gropes aimlessly in a fog of contradictions, but the men
on the bridge are bent on blinding their own radar, stuffing the ears of their sonar
gear and calling the look-outs down from their lofty posts. Let it be noted in
fairness, as our Fund has already done in its Winter Quarterly Situation Report, that
the President and some of his more politically sensitive lieutenants have sensed the
rising concern in the Congress over the magnitude of the Soviet threat. By way of
compromise, they have loosened somewhat the more extreme controls which they intended
to fasten on the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
when they first set out to write new charters for both agencies two years ago. But
they are still driving hard toward their principal objectives. The new charters if
enacted in their present forms, will in fact put into law most of the stifling
constraints sought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and be the
improvident, hand wringing catalogue of the faults and failures of the intelligence
service brought out in 1976 by the Senate Committee of Inquiry under the chairmanship
of Senator Church of Idaho. No doubt some reform was called for. The CIA was not yet
three decades old—hardly out of the apprenticeship stage as long established foreign
intelligence services measure their experience—when Senator Church marked it as a
prime target. In hindsight, the scattered misdeeds and misjudgments which he
uncovered, though embarrassing enough, are seen to have hardly merited the
sensationalism with which the press and opportunistic politicians exploited the
products of Senator Frank Church's Snake River Valley evangelism. But there's no
underestimating the damage that was done and the losses. You can number the failures
in Afghanistan and Iran among the casualties [sic]. The pending prosecutions of the
former senior executives in the FBI still cast a somber shadow over the FBI's
reputation. But, as we advised our members in the Winter Situation Report, there has
been some slight lightening on the otherwise dark horizon. Thanks to your past help,
echoed by the courage and foresight of a number of influential Senators who were
determined to begin to repair the harm done to the CIA and the FBI, a bill cosponsored
by Senator Moynihan (D-New York), Senator Malcolm Wallop (RWyoming) and five others is
now under active consideration by the upper house. This is a badly needed first step
in unshackling the CIA. If enacted, it will basically:

—Exempt the CIA from the Freedom of Information Act. —Make it a crime to reveal the
identity of Intelligence Agents, and —Repeal the Hughs-Ryan Amendment—a 1974 Law which
requires that all CIA covert operations be reported to eight Congressional Committees.
This is a good bill. It is an essential step in restoring sanity and realism to the
nation's intelligence functions. Its fate is of vital importance to you as a citizen.
Help us get it passed by writing to your Senators, insisting that they vote for it
rather than the restrictive charter which the men around the President want. Sound
Counsel from an Experienced Source. There is another matter that we urge upon you. One
of the most knowledgeable [sic] intelligence officers in the service of the FBI since
the onset of the Cold War is Mr. Sam Papich, who retired ten years ago. He is a
founding member of our Fund. The other day, he sent to us a copy of a letter that he
had mailed to Senator Church. The letter was sent in December. Mr. Papich waited a
respectful interval for a reply. None came. The letter went unacknowledged. Mr. Papich
decided the topic was too important to be allowed to lie fallow. He felt it was one
that our membership should be made aware of. We are honored to pass it on to you to
let you decide for yourself why Senator Church, who could act the tiger when the
television cameras had him in their sights as an aspiring Presidential candidate,
found Sam Papich's letter too hot to handle. Sam Papich served the FBI for 30 years.
He was an advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to the President's Foreign
Intelligence Advisory Board. While in the FBI he spent 18 years as its senior liaison
officer with the CIA. Few Americans can match Sam Papich in the breadth of his
experience in both foreign intelligence and internal security, yet if the wisdom that
he passed on to the Senator from Idaho, whose expertise in these matters is that of
scourge and gadfly, was not accorded even an acknowledgment that his letter had been
received. Good people in the CIA and the FBI, however resolute, cannot by reason of
their vulnerability in career hierarchies, hope to stand off their political overlords
for long. But Sam Papich is telling us that there is a way to preserve the integrity
and quality of the professional intelligence services. It is to rally on the side of
the professionals the support of the enlightened members of Congress, the press and
organizations like our own. People of influence who are united in

their determination to restore order, purpose, objectivity, and devotion to the
intelligence functions in their service to the Nation. We look to you to stand with us
in mobilizing support in the Senate for the passage of the Moynihan-Wallop bill. The
pressing need is to clear the way for a return to the CIA of its now all but lost
capabilities for effective political action with friendly nations. Toward this end, we
are bringing forward expert witnesses who will help articulate the logic of that bill
before the appropriate Members of Congress. We have another collateral objective. It
is to persuade the Congress to reestablish the Senate Internal Subcommittee which was
capriciously scattered into oblivion by Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts. It was the
only instrumentality in the government empowered to conduct serious investigations
into the penetration of our society by the Soviet bloc spies, and to expose in open
hearings the techniques of subversion, deception, and disinformation being practiced
in our midst by the swarms of KGB agents and their Bloc confederates who come and go
at will. We can't do this job alone. The Intelligence Services are themselves all but
muted. We need your support—in your communities, in the press of your communities, and
with the Members of Congress who represent you. So please help us move toward the
achievement of our objectives by renewing your membership in our Fund for 1980 if you
have not already done so. Sincerely, James Angleton, Chairman Elbridge Durbrow Former
Chief President Counterintelligence, CIA U.S. Ambassador (Ret.) Robert C. Richardson,
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New York Times, July 24, 1966; March 17, 1978; May 6, 1980; May 9, 1980. Oakland
Tribune, February 22, 1973; June 2, 1980. San Francisco Examiner, June 2, 1980. Time,
December 12, 1969. Washington Post, April 18, 1980. Court Cases Barenblatt v. United
States, 360 U.S. 109,150 (1959) Black Panther Party v. Alexander, No. C–74–1247, U.S.
Fed. Ct. (Cal. 1974). Black Panther Party v. Granny Goose, No. 429556, Alameda
Superior Ct. (1972). Black Panther Party v. Kehoe, 42 C.A. 3d 645, 117 Cal. Rept.
Black Panther Party v. Levi, No. 76–2205, U.S. Dist. Ct. (D.C. 1976) Dellinger v.
Mitchell, Civ. Action No. 1768–69, Fed. Dist. Ct. (D.C. 1967) Hampton v. City of
Chicago, No. 70–C–1384, U.S. Dist. Ct. (N.D. Ill. 1977) People v. Newton, Nos. 64624A
and 65919, Alameda Mun. Ct. (1977)

Public Documents American Bar Association' of the City of New York. Committee on Civil
Rights. Intelligence Agency Abuses. New York: Association of the Bar of the City of
New York, 1976. • Committee on Federal Legislation. Legislative Control of the FBI.
New York: Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 1977.

Commission of Inquiry into the Black Panthers and the Police. Search and Destroy. New
York: Metropolitan Applied Research Center, 1973. U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act regarding the Black Panther
Party and its members, dating from 1967 to the present time (1980). U.S. Federal
Bureau of Investigation. Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act
relating to the Black Panther Party and its members, dating from 1967 to the present.
U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Internal Security. The Black Panther Party. Its
Origins and Development As Reflected in Its Official Weekly Newspaper, The Black
Panther— Black Community News Service (91st Cong., 2d sess., 1970) Washington:
Government Printing Office, 1970. • Gun Barrel Politics: The Black Panther Party,
1966– 1971. Report by the Committee on Internal Security (92nd Cong., 1st sess.,
1971). • Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings Before a Subcommittee on Civil Rights
and Constitutional Rights (November 20, 1974) (93rd Cong., 2d sess., 1974). • United
States Presidents, 1969–74 (Nixon). Submission of Recorded Presidential Conversations
to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives by President Richard
M. Nixon: April 30, 1974. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1974. • Committee on
the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Constitutional Rights. FBI
Counterintelligence programs. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1975. •
Committee on Governmental Operations. Subcommittee on Government Information and
Individual Rights. FBI Compliance with Freedom of Information Act. Washington:
Government Printing Office, 1978. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Subcommittee on Oversight (95th Cong., 1st & 2d sess., 1978). Washington: Government
Printing Office, 1978.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Education and Labor. Industrial Espionage (75th
Cong., 2d sess., 1937). Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Constitutional
Rights. Political Intelligence in the Internal Revenue Service. The Special Service
Staff A Documentary Analysis. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1974. Committee
on the Judiciary. FBI Statutory Charter. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1978.
Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence
Activities. Books I—VI. (94th Cong., 2d sess., 1976). Washington: Government Printing
Office, 1976. Select Committee on Intelligence. National Intelligence Reorganization
and Reform Act of 1978. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1978.

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