Spook Activism: The FBI is already inside your activist movement and there’s nothing you can do about it
The Bureau infiltrated feminist groups, anti-war groups, environmentalist and animal rights organizations and independence movements, using blackmail, lies, propaganda and rumors to undermine them.
It’s a fact that the FBI has its tentacles hentai-deep in every one of these United States–Colorado included. Denver has a bureau field office. Fort Collins has an office, too. And Boulder is working on getting its very own FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
It’s also a fact that there are a lot of good reasons to be skeptical when the Bureau comes to town. So many, that it’s hard to pick any one project or operation that wraps the FBI’s whole deceitful ethos, mission, means and methods into a neat 700-word package. But there is one that gets pretty close.
Operation “COINTELPRO.” This series of covert (illegal) projects encapsulates everything the FBI stands for, blueprinting their modus operandi of infiltrating American activist, grassroots and political groups, and corrupting them from the inside, eliminating their leaders, and weaponizing right-wing extremist groups against them.
Sound familiar? That’s because the spirit of COINTELPRO is still very much alive and well today. The project officially “ended” in 1972. But in reality, it was just integrated into the FBI’s handbook of standard practices.
The activist intelligence organization
There was a lot of activist activity going on when COINTELPRO (short for “Counter Intelligence Operation”) was coined. MLK was preaching for peace in America, JFK and RFK were preaching for peace abroad, and Lennon was preaching for peace across the universe. African Americans were marching for equal rights and social justice, hippies were peddling free love, and people were condemning violence, picking up environmentalism, feminism and rock and roll instead.
And the FBI had to do something about it.
So it devised a means of waging a war on this domestic wave of progress. An operation designed to twist the public image of its target activist groups; to create internal conflicts within them and dissension between them; to restrict their ability to organize protests; and to “cancel,” arrest or assassinate their leaders. The Bureau infiltrated feminist groups, anti-war groups, environmentalist and animal rights organizations and independence movements, using blackmail, lies, propaganda and rumors to undermine them. In 1969 Fed Hampton, a spokesperson for the Black Panthers, was assassinated during a COINTELPRO raid on his home. In 1971 COINTELPRO financed, armed, and weaponized an extreme right-wing group (called the “Secret Army Organization”) that violently targeted groups, activists, and leaders of the Anti-War Movement.
It was so effective, the Bureau continued these operations, even after the program was revealed in documents stolen from an FBI field office (like Denver’s) in 1971.
Operation: Modus Operandi
COINTELPRO became the FBI’s formula—its signature tool for hampering change.
By 2014 the FBI was already balls deep in surveilling Black Lives Matter leadership. So when it really took off in 2020 with the murder of George Floyd the FBI was likely already embedded within the movement. And of course, who could forget “Umbrella Man” and all the other agent provocateurs breaking windows and inciting violence at those protests? Or what about the mysterious pallets of bricks that showed up overnight in some cities, prior to BLM protests?
There was also that plot to kidnap and torture Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020. Turns out, 12 of the 13 men involved in that conspiracy were FBI informants trying to entrap other conspirators. Even the Proud Boys’ own Enrique Tarrio turned out to be an FBI informant, guiding and directing the right wing extremist group.
Then there’s QANON and the January 6 Capitol riot. I don’t have much room left to get into it, but that sad saga of misinformation and gullible Q-LARPers had COINTELPRO psy-op written all over it. And it led to the Capitol riots, which, just like BLM protests, were riddled with FBI provocateurs fanning the flames of madness.
The J. Edgar Hoover (gay) bar
You might already know that J. Edgar Hoover was the director of the FBI from its inception in 1924 to 1972. You might also know that he was famous for exceeding the jurisdiction of the FBI, amassing a huge bank of blackmail on powerful people, and for threatening, intimidating and harassing multiple sitting presidents.
What you may not know about Ol’ Edgar, was that he was a cross-dresser who organized lavish all-men parties at fancy hotels throughout the 1950’s. Or that his long-time assistant and associate director of the FBI, Clyde Tolson, was also his gay lover and partner. Or that they often used FBI funds to vacation at hotels where big-time crime families and celebrities partied like it was … well, the sixties.
There’s nothing wrong with any of that, of course. Except, that Hoover was also responsible for creating the FBI’s “Sexual Deviant Program” that collected blackmail on prominent closeted homosexual men (like Hoover himself). Not only did he persecute gays, but he disliked black Americans and had a special kind of hate for Dr. Martin King Jr. He sent MLK letters encouraging him to kill himself, called him the “most dangerous negro in America,” distributed sexual audio recordings of Dr. King allegedly banging his wife, and masterminded the preacher’s assassination.
But that’s a column for another month.