"Understand that COINTELPRO was not just surveillance, it was active disruption. It was putting agents into the movement to incite rivalries, a jealousy, to try to get people fighting against each other and not trusting each other." -- Danny Schecter, Journalist, quoted COINTELPRO and the History of Domestic Spying
New FBI Director Comey is making noises like wants to avoid another COINTELPRO scandal: "FBI orders new agents to see Martin Luther King memorial."
The new FBI chief on Monday ordered all new agents and analysts to visit the national memorial to late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. as a reminder not to repeat the abuses of the U.S. investigative bureau's past. . .FBI Director James Comey said in a speech to FBI employees that he wanted to add a similar reminder from the bureau's own history."It will serve as a different kind of lesson - one more personal to the bureau - of the dangers of becoming untethered to oversight and accountability," Comey said.The FBI kept files on King as a potential security threat in the 1950s and 1960s - even wiretapping his phones - because of what the bureau said were suspected ties to communism. Comey called the King investigation an example of "abuse and overreach" in the FBI's history.
Here's the transcript of the speech. The full money quote:
There is a tension reflected in those two aspects of fidelity, those two values that I see in that word, and I think that tension is reflected in the 10-year term that I’ve just begun. The term is 10 years to ensure independence. But it is a fixed term of years to ensure that power does not become concentrated in one person and unconstrained. The need for reflection and restraint of power is what led Louis Freeh to order that all new agent classes visit the Holocaust Museum here in Washington so they could see and feel and hear in a palpable way the consequences of abuse of power on a massive almost unimaginable scale. Bob Mueller continued that practice. And I will again, when we have agents graduating from Quantico.The balance reflected in my term is also a product of lessons hard learned from the history of this great institution. Our first half-century or so was a time of great progress and achievement for this country, and for the Bureau. But it also saw abuse and overreach—most famously with respect to Martin Luther King and others, who were viewed as internal security threats.As I think about the unique balance represented by fidelity to independence on the one hand, and the rule of law on the other, I think it also makes sense for me to offer those in training a reminder closer to our own history. I’m going to direct that all new agents and analysts also visit the Martin Luther King Memorial here in Washington. I think it will serve as a different kind of lesson — one more personal to the Bureau — of the dangers in becoming untethered to oversight and accountability.
Here's the Wikipedia citation for Director Comey and here's the Pravda-on-the-Potomac write-up: "Obama says he interviewed many candidates to lead FBI, but picked Comey based on his character." Which, coming from the greatest domestic enemy of the constitutional republic to sit in the Oval Office in its history, is no comfort whatsoever.
On the other hand, Comey does have a history of doing the right thing as he sees it, unlike the Nuremberg Man, the new director of the ATF, B. Toad Jones. So, on the fragile theory that Obama may just have screwed up and given us an honest man in the job, I took keyboard in hand and wrote him the following:
An Open Letter to FBI Director James Comey.
"Cherish your enemies for they teach you the best lessons." -- Ho Chi Minh, 19 May 1890 – 2 September 1969.
Director James ComeyFBI Headquarters935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NWWashington, D.C. 20535-0001Director Comey,Your speech upon the occasion of your official installation as Director was quite impressive, particularly your warning of "dangers in becoming untethered to oversight and accountability." Your orders that every new FBI agent and analyst visit the Martin Luther King monument as a caution against getting involved in any new COINTELPRO operations is an excellent one. Even so, it strikes me that you ought to similarly parade EVERY FBI employee no matter their experience or seniority because there are many in your bureau who were silently laughing behind your back when you made that well-intentioned statement.You see, according to my sources the FBI continues to run COINTELPRO-type operations to this day and now, on your watch, you will be held accountable when they go south if you do not identify them as soon as possible and shut them down.I suppose some introductions are in order. In confirmation of what I'm about to say, the best I can suggest is to have your analysts pull my files for the period 1994 to date. It may take a couple of carts because I am proud to say that I have been on the "Enemies List" of the last three White Houses, including the one you risked your career to confront over domestic spying. I am no friend of the hyper-political, militarized bureaucracy that is the current FBI and I never have been. I have spent the better part of my time these past two decades exposing their anti-constitutional high crimes and misdemeanors, from Waco to the Oklahoma City bombing to the PATCON operation to Fast and Furious. But if I may I'd like to quote the late President of North Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, who once said "Cherish your enemies for they teach you the best lessons." Old Uncle Ho may be burning in Hell right now, but he was right about that.As the signature indicates, my name is Mike Vanderboegh and I have been in active opposition to your agency since the immolation of the Branch Davidians on 19 April 1993. Later, I was drawn into the private investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing when a law enforcement source gave me the Social Security number and Virginia driver's license number of Andreas Carl Strassmeier, one of the FBI informants/provocateurs inside the Aryan Republic Army at Elohim City, Oklahoma. My source also gave me a post-bomb itinerary for Strassmeier and his protector, another FBI snitch Kirk Lyons. It was Lyons who smuggled Strassmeier out of the country through Mexico when he was mentioned in Time magazine as an acquaintance of McVeigh and my friend Oklahoma attorney and journalist J.D. Cash began asking questions about him.After it became obvious that the FBI was giving Strassmeier's former roommate at Elohim City, the ARA gang member Michael Brescia, a pass and allowing him to walk the streets of Philadelphia armed and dangerous without interference, I made up a poster "Unwanted by the FBI" and asked my militia buddies to post it around Philly in Brescia's neighborhood and at the college he attended. This was covered by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph. Shortly thereafter, the FBI was finally embarrassed into arresting Brescia and the rest of his ARA buddies. Although he was proven to have carried bombs into three banks (each a mandatory life sentence), the DOJ gave him a sweetheart deal of five years and he was out in four. While he was in jail I was told that a snitch reported that Brescia promised to slit the throats of my wife and children while I was forced to watch, then he would kill me. Nice guy to give a deal to, don't you think?
Brescia wasn't the only one who got a sweetheart deal from the FBI. The neo-Nazis acted as if they had free passes from your agency and were, we were told, supremely unafraid of it. So, after the Brescia arrest, the constitutional militias began Operation White Rose, designed to get across the message that any more terror incidents would be held against the personal accounts of the participants by us. We got this message across in a variety of ways. Your agency wasn't doing its job to protect the innocent so we did it for you. Did we break the law? Since the statute of limitations is up I can assure that we did. Did anybody get killed? No, but then nothing else was blown up by the evil malefactors we warned, either.Later we learned that the OKC bombing was part of a much larger FBI operation known as PATCON, short for "Patriot Conspiracy." I wrote about this on my blog, Sipsey Street Irregulars in 2011 in an article entitled "Hiding mass murder behind 'national security.' What Newsweak & the FBI didn't want you to know about PATCON and the OKC Bombing."Unfortunately the FBI has used its considerable resources to make sure that the story went nowhere, just as it continues to fight Jesse Trentadue's lawsuits to get the bottom of the murder of his brother Kenny in federal lockup after the OKC bombing.More successful was our expose of the Fast and Furious scandal, which my friend David Codrea and I broke news of on the Internet in late December 2010, after the murder of BORTAC team member Brian Terry. We not only broke the story, we used our sources to vector the staffers of Senators Jeff Sessions and, later, Charles Grassley to the whistleblowers, including John Dodson. CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson also was put in touch with them through our efforts.We were making quite a bit of headway on that investigation in the Congress when in March of last year I announced "William LaJeunesse makes the connection -- the Miramontes brothers -- on the payroll of the FBI -- are finally outed." You might want to check out the Miramontes brothers' files as well. They were the middlemen whom the ATF wasn't allowed to follow. It was your agency, apparently, that was entrusted with getting the firearms across the border. Shortly after this news broke, we were told, John Boehner increased the pressure on Congressman Issa to prevent the investigation "from getting out of hand." Rumor had it that Boehner's FBI file came into play, delivered no doubt by the ghost of J. Edgar Hoover.All of these things can be corroborated by your files on me and the operations I mention. As Director, there is nothing you cannot look into. As I have said often in the past, "You may doubt my ancestry, you may doubt my sanity, but don't doubt my footnotes." So kindly believe me when I tell you that it has come to our attention that the DHS and your agency are currently running an operation that might be called "Son of PATCON, Grandson of COINTELPRO."One of my friends, when he asked a source about one particular aspect of this, was told:
"maybe you do not want to kick this hornet nest
all questions met with dumb looks. . .this is someone's operation stay away"One of my sources likewise told me: "Stay away from this one. It will get you killed." He added, "You're not f-cking around with the ATF here. This is the FBI. They'll kill your ass."So here we are, at the juncture of your announced principles and the ugly reality of the agency you have had the ill-luck to be made the Director of. How then will you react when you dig into this? IF you dig into it, that is. The choice is yours.Mike VanderboeghP.O. Box 926Pinson, AL 35126