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The FBI's Covert Program
To Destroy the Black Panther Party

Page 1 | Page 2

Continued

Anonymous FBI mailings were also sent to public officials and persons whose help might sway public opinion against the BPP. In December 1969, the FBI mailed Bureau-reproduced copies of BPP "Seasons Greetings" cards to ten FBI field offices 120 with the following instructions:

Enclosed for each office are 20 copies of reproductions of three types of Black Panther Party (BPP) "seasons greetings cards" which depict the violent propensities of this organization. You should anonymously mail these cards to those newspaper editors, public officials, responsible businessmen, and clergy in your territory who should be made aware of the vicious nature of the BPP. 121

The San Francisco office mailed its cards to several prominent local persons and organizations. 122

The Bureau also targeted attorneys representing Black Panther members. In July 1969, the Los Angeles Field Office suggested that a break between the BPP membership and Charles Garry, an attorney who frequently represented BPP members, might be accomplished by planting a rumor that Garry, Bobby Seale, and David Hilliard were conspiring to keep BPP leader Huey Newton in jail. 123 This proposal was rejected by FBI headquarters out of concern that the Bureau might be recognized as the source of the rumor. 124 Headquarters did suggest, however:

Los Angeles should review the ideas set forth ... especially as they pertain to Charles Garry, Bobby Seale, and David Hilliard, and prepare a specific counterintelligence proposal designed to create a breach between the BPP and Garry. Consider such things as anonymous communications and anonymous telephone calls as well as cartoons and other logical methods of transporting your idea. 125

When the San Francisco Division learned that Garry intended to represent Bobby Seale at the Chicago 7 trial, it sent the Chicago office transcripts of hearings before the House Committee on Un-American Activities and the California State Senate's Report on Un-American Activities, which allegedly showed that Garry was connected with the Communist Party. It was intended to distribute this material "to cooperative news media in that City." 126

Similarly, when two local BPP leaders filed suit against the San Diego Police Department charging harassment, illegal arrest, and illegal searches, the San Diego Field Office reviewed its files

to determine if any public source information is available which describes [the attorney's] activities in behalf of CP (Communist Party) activities. If so, an appropriate request will be forwarded to the Bureau concerning a possible letter to the editor and/or an editorial. 127

The FBI also sought to destroy community support for individual BPP members by spreading rumors that they were immoral. This idea was originally advanced in an August 1967 memorandum from FBI headquarters to all major field offices:

Many individuals currently active in black nationalist organizations have backgrounds in immorality, subversive activity, and criminal records. Through your investigation of key agitators, you should endeavor to establish their unsavory backgrounds. Be alert to determine evidence of misappropriation of funds or other types of personal misconduct on the part of militant nationalist leaders so any practical or warranted counterintelligence may be instituted. 128

An example of "successful" implementation of this program was a 1970 report from the San Diego Field Office that it had anonymously informed the parents of a teenage girl that she was pregnant by a local Panther leader:

The parents showed extreme concern over a previously unknown situation and [name deleted] was forced to resign from the BPP and return home to live. It also became general knowledge throughout the Negro community that a BPP leader was responsible for the difficulty being experienced by [name deleted]. 129

The field office also considered the operation successful because the mother of another girl questioned the activities of her own daughter after talking with the parent the agents had anonymously contacted. She learned that her daughter, a BPP member, was also pregnant, and had her committed to a reformatory as a wayward juvenile. 130

Efforts To Promote Criticism of the Black Panthers in the Mass Media and To Prevent the Black Panther Party and Its Sympathizers from Expressing Their Views

The FBI's program to destroy the Black Panther Party included a concerted effort to muzzle Black Panther publications to prevent Panther members and persons sympathetic to their aims from expressing their views, and to encourage the mass media to report stories unfavorable to the Panthers.

In May 1970, FBI headquarters ordered the Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New Haven, New York, San Diego, and San Francisco field offices to advance proposals for crippling the BPP newspaper, The Black Panther. Immediate action was deemed necessary because:

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 of individuals in the United States along the black extremist lines.

Each recipient submit by 6/5/70 proposed counterintelligence 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. 131

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 company which had contracted with the Panthers might lose business or face a law suit 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." 132

The San Diego Field Office, while noting that the BPP newspaper had the same legal immunity from tax laws and other state legislation as other newspapers, suggested three California statutes which might be 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. 133

The San Diego Field Office had a more imaginative suggestion however; spray 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." 134

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. 135

On another occasion, however, FBI agents contacted United Airlines officials and inquired about the rates being charged for transporting the Black Panther magazine. 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 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. 136

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 counterintelligence 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. 137

A few months later, FBI headquarters directed 39 field offices to distribute copies of a column written by Victor Riesel, a labor columnist, calling for a nationwide union boycott against handling the BPP newspaper.

Enclosed for each office are 50 reproductions of a column written by Victor Riesel regarding the Black Panther Party (BPP).

Portions of the column deals with proposal that union members refuse to handle shipments of BPP newspapers. Obviously if such a boycott gains national support it will result in effectively cutting off BPP propaganda and finances, therefore, it is most desirable this proposal be brought to attention of members and officials of unions such as Teamsters and others involved in handling of shipments of BPP newspapers. These shipments are generally by air freight. The column also deals with repeated calls for murder of police that appear in BPP paper; therefore, it would also be desirable to bring boycott proposal to attention of members and officials of police associations who might be in a position to encourage boycott.

Each office anonymously mail copies of enclosed to officials of appropriate unions, police organizations or other individuals within its territory who could encourage such a boycott....

Handle promptly and advise Bureau of any positive results noted. Any publicity observed concerning proposed boycott should be brought to attention of Bureau.

Be alert for any other opportunities to further exploit this proposal. 138

Bureau documents submitted to the Select Committee staff do not indicate the outcome of this plan.

On one occasion the FBI's Racial Intelligence Section concocted a scheme to create friction between the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam by reducing sales of the NOI paper, Muhammed Speaks:

While both papers advocate white hate, a noticeable loss of revenue to NOIT due to decreased sales of their paper caused by the BPP might well be the spark to ignite the fuel of conflict between the two organizations. Both are extremely money conscious.

We feel that our network of racial informants, many of whom are directly involved in the sale of the NOI and BPP newspapers, are in a position to cause a material reduction in NOI newspaper sales. Our sources can bring the fact of revenue loss directly to NOI leader, Elijah Muhammad, who might well be influenced to take positive steps to counteract the sale of BPP papers in the Negro community. We feel that with careful planning and close supervision an open dispute can be developed between the two organizations. 139

FBI headquarters promptly forwarded this suggestion to the field offices in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco with the express hope that Elijah Muhammed might be influenced "to take positive steps to counteract the sale of BPP newspapers in the Negro community." 140 The following month, the Chicago Field Office advised against using informants for this project because animosity was already developing between the BPP and NOI, and any revelation of a Bureau attempt to encourage conflict might serve to bring the BPP and NOI closer together. 141

Numerous attempts were made to prevent Black Panthers from airing their views in public. For example, in February 1969, the FBI joined with the Chicago police force to prevent the local BPP leader, Fred Hampton, from appearing on a television talk show. The FBI memorandum explaining this incident states:

the [informant] also enabled Chicago to further harass the local BPP when he provided information the afternoon of 1/24/69 reflecting that Fred Hampton was to appear that evening at local TV studio for video tape interview. . . . The tape was to be aired the following day.

Chicago was aware a warrant for mob action was outstanding for Hampton in his home town and the above information . . . was provided the Maywood Police Department with a suggestion that they request the Chicago Police Department to serve this arrest warrant. This was subsequently done with Hampton arrested at television studio in presence of 25 BPP members and studio personnel. This caused considerable embarrassment to the local BPP and disrupted the plans for Hampton's television appearance. 142

Headquarters congratulated the Chicago Field Office on the timing of the arrest "under circumstances which proved highly embarrassing to the BPP." 143

The Bureau's San Francisco office took credit for preventing Bobby Seale from keeping a number of speaking engagements in Oregon and Washington. In May 1969, while Seale was traveling from a speaking engagement at Yale University to begin his West Coast tour, a bombing took place in Eugene, Oregon which the FBI suspected involved the Black Panthers. The San Francisco Field Office subsequently reported:

As this was on the eve of Seale's speech, this seemed to be very poor advance publicity for Seale. . . . It was . . . determined to telephone Mrs. Seale [Bobby Seale's mother] claiming to be a friend from Oregon, bearing the warning that it might be dangerous for Seale to come up. This was done.

Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Seale reported this to BPP headquarters, claiming an unknown brother had sent a warning to Bobby front Oregon. Headquarters took this very seriously and when Bobby arrived shortly thereafter, he decided not to go north with "all the action going on up there." He subsequently cancelled a trip to Seattle. It is believed that the above mentioned telephone call was a pivotal point in persuading Seale to stay home. 144

The San Francisco office reported that not only had Seale been prevented from making his appearances, but that he had lost over $1,700 in "badly needed" fees and that relations between Seale and "New Left" leaders who had been scheduled to appear with him had become strained.

In December 1969, FBI headquarters stressed to the San Francisco Field Office the need to prevent Black Panther speaking engagements:

Several recent communications received at the Bureau indicate tile BPP is encouraging their branches to set up speaking engagements at schools and colleges and the showing of films in order to raise money . . . San Francisco should instruct [local FBI] office covering to immediately submit to the Bureau for approval a counterintelligence proposal aimed at preventing the activities scheduled. . . .

The BPP in an effort to bolster its weak financial position is now soliciting speaking engagements and information has been developed indicating they are reducing their monetary requirements for such speeches. We have been successful in the past through contacts with established sources in preventing such speeches in colleges or other institutions. 145

In March 1970, a representative of a Jewish organization contacted the San Francisco FBI Field Office when it learned that one of its local lodges had invited David Hilliard, BPP Chief-of-Staff, and Attorney Charles Garry to speak. San Francisco subsequently reported to headquarters:

Public source information relating to David Hilliard, Garry, and the BPP, including "The Black Panther" newspaper itself, was brought to [source's] attention. He subsequently notified the [FBI] office that the [name deleted] had altered their arrangements for this speech and that the invitation to Hilliard was withdrawn but that Charles Garry was permitted to speak but his speech was confined solely to the recent case of the Chicago 7. 146

The FBI exhibited comparable fervor in disseminating information unfavorable to the Black Panthers to the press and television stations. A directive from FBI headquarters to nine field offices in January 1970 explained the program:

To counteract any favorable support in publicity to the Black Panther Party (BPP) recipient offices are requested to submit their observations and recommendations regarding contacts with established and reliable sources in the television and/or radio field who might be interested in drawing up a program for local consumption depicting the true facts regarding the BPP.

The suggested program would deal mainly with local BPP activities and data furnished would be of a public source nature. This data could be implemented by information on tile BPP nationally if needed. . . .

All offices should give this matter their prompt consideration and submit replies by letter. 147

Soon afterward, the Los Angeles office identified two local news reporters whom it believed might be willing to help in the effort to discredit the BPP and received permission to

discreetly contact [name deleted] for the purpose of ascertaining his amenability to the preparation of a program which would present the true facts about the Black Panther Party as part of a counterintelligence effort. 148

Headquarters also suggested information and materials to give to a local newsman who expressed an interest in airing a series of prograins against the Panthers. 149

In July 1970, the FBI furnished information to a Los Angeles TV news commentator who agreed to air a series of shows against the BPP, "especially in the area of white liberals contributing to the BPP." 150 In October, the Los Angeles Division sent headquarters a copy of an FBI-assisted television editorial and reported that another newsman was preparing yet another editorial attack on the Panthers. 151

In November 1970, the San Francisco Field Office notified the Director that Huey Newton had "recently rented a luxurious lakeshore apartment in Oakland, California." The San Francisco office saw "potential counterintelligence value" in this information since this apartment was far more elegant than "the ghetto-like BPP 'pads' and community centers utilized by the Party." It was decided not to "presently" leak "this information to cooperative news sources," because of a "pending special investigative technique." 152 The information was given to the San Francisco Examiner, however, in February 1971, and an article was published stating that Huey P. Newton, BPP Supreme Commander, had moved into a $650-a-month apartment overlooking Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, under the assumed name of Don Penn. 153 Headquarters approved anonymously mailing copies of the article to BPP branches and ordered copies of the, article for "divisions with BPP activity for mailing to newspaper editors." 154

The San Francisco office informed FBI headquarters later in February that

BPP Headquarters was beseiged with inquiries after the printing of the San Francisco Examiner article and the people at headquarters refuse to answer the news media or other callers on this question. This source has further reported that a representative of the Richmond, Virginia, BPP contacted headquarters on 2/18/71, stating they had received a xeroxed copy of . . . the article and believed it had been forwarded by the pigs but still wanted to know if it was true. 155

D. Cooperation Between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Local Police Departments in Disrupting the Black Panther Party

The FBI enlisted the cooperation of local police departments in several of its covert action programs to disrupt and "neutralize" the Black Panther Party. The FBI frequently worked with the San Diego Police Department, supplying it with informant reports to encourage raids on the homes of BPP members, often with little or no apparent evidence of violations of State or Federal law. 156

Examples are numerous. In February 1969, the San Diego Field Office learned that members of the local BPP chapter were following each other to determine if police informants had infiltrated their organization. The field office passed this information to the San Diego police with the suggestion that BPP members engaged in these surveillances might be followed and arrested for violations of "local Motor Vehicle Code laws." 157 When the San Diego Field Office received reports that five BPP members were living in the local BPP headquarters and "having sex orgies on almost a nightly basis," it informed the local police with the hope that a legal basis for a raid could be found. 158 Two days later, the San Diego office reported to headquarters:

As a result of the Bureau-approved information furnished to the San Diego Police Department regarding the "sex orgies" being held at BPP Headquarters in San Diego, which had not previously been known to the Police Department, a raid was conducted at BPP Headquarters on 11/20/69. [Name deleted], San Diego Police Department, Intelligence Unit, advised that, due to this information, he assigned two officers to a research project to determine if any solid basis could be found to conduct a raid. His officers discovered two outstanding traffic warrants for [name deleted], a member of the BPP, and his officers used these warrants to obtain entry into BPP Headquarters.

As a result of this raid [6 persons] were all arrested. Seized at the time of the arrests were three shotguns, one of which was stolen, one rifle, four gas masks and one tear gas canister.

Also as a result of this raid, the six remaining members of the BPP in San Diego were summoned to Los Angeles on 11/28/69.... Upon their arrival, they were informed that due to numerous problems with the BPP in San Diego, including the recent raid on BPP Headquarters, the BPP Branch in San Diego was being dissolved.

Also, as a direct result of the above raid [informants] have reported that [name deleted] has been severely beaten up by other members of the BPP due to the fact that she allowed the officers to enter BPP Headquarters the night of the raid. 159

A later memorandum states that confidential files belonging to the San Diego Panthers were also "obtained" during this raid. 160

In March 1969, the San Diego Field Office informed Bureau headquarters:

information was made available to the San Diego Police Department who have been arranging periodic raids in the hope of establishing a possession of marijuana and dangerous drug charge [against two BBP members]. . . .

The BPP finally managed to rent the Rhodesian Club at 2907 Imperial Avenue, San Diego, which will be utilized for a meeting hall. A request will be forthcoming to have the San Diego Police Department and local health inspectors examine the club for health and safety defects which are undoubted by [sic] present. 161

The San Diego office also conducted "racial briefing sessions" for the San Diego police. Headquarters was informed:

It is also felt that the racial briefing sessions being given by the San Diego Division are affording tangible results for the Counterintelligence Program. Through these briefings, the command levels of virtually all of the police departments in the San Diego Division are being apprised of the identities of the leaders of the various militant groups. It is felt that, although specific instances cannot be attributed directly to the racial briefing program, police officers are much more alert for these black militant individuals and as such are contributing to the over-all Counterintelligence Program, directed against these groups. 162

The Committee staff has seen documents indicating extensive cooperation between local police and the FBI in several other cities. For example, the FBI in Oakland prevented a reconciliation meeting between Huey Newton's brother and former Panthers by having the Oakland police inform one of the former Panthers that the meeting was a "set up." The San Francisco office concluded:

It is believed that such quick dissemination of this type of information may have been instrumental in preventing the various dissidents from rejoining forces with the BPP. 163

Another Bureau memorandum reflected similar cooperation in Los Angeles:

The Los Angeles office is furnishing on a daily basis information to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office Intelligence Division and the Los Angeles Police Department Intelligence and Criminal Conspiracy Divisions concerning the activities of the black nationalist groups in the anticipation that such information might lead to the arrest of these militants. 164

Information from Bureau files in Chicago on the Panthers was given to Chicago police upon request, and Chicago Police Department files were open to the Bureau. 165 A Special Agent who handled liaison between the FBI's Racial Matters Squad (responsible for monitoring BPP activity in Chicago) and the Panther Squad of the Gang Intelligence Unit (GIU) of the Chicago Police Department from 1967 through July 1969, testified that he visited GIU between three and five times a week to exchange information. 166 The Bureau and Chicago Police both maintained paid informants in the BPP, shared informant information, and the FBI provided information which was used by Chicago police in planning raids against the Chicago BPP. 167

According to an FBI memorandum, this sharing of informant information was crucial to police during their raid on the apartment occupied by several Black Panther members which resulted in the death of the local Chairman, Fred Hampton, and another Panther:

[Prior to the raid], 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 police officers participating in a raid ... on the morning of 12/4/69. The raid was based on the information furnished by the informant . . . " 168 [Emphasis added.]





Footnotes:


1 For a description of the full range of COINTELPRO programs, see the staff report entitled "COINTELPRO: The FBI's Covert Action Programs Against American Citizens."

2 Memorandum from G. C. Moore to W. C. Sullivan, 2/29/68, pp. 3-4.

3 New York Times, 9/8/68.

4 This figure is based on the Select Committee's staff study of Justice Department COINTELPRO "Black Nationalist" summaries prepared by the FBI during the Petersen Committee inquiry into COINTELPRO.

5 Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/13/69.

6 Ibid.

7 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Baltimore Field Office (and 13 other offices), 11/25/68.

8 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/16/70.

9 James Adams testimony. 11/19/75, Hearings, Vol. 6, p. 76.

10 Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/26/70, pp. 1-2.

11 Memorandum from a. C. Moore to W. C. Sullivan, 11/5/68.

12 Ibid. An earlier FBI memorandum had informed headquarters that "sources have reported that the BPP has lot a contract on Karenga [the leader of US] because they feel lie has sold out to the establishment.'' (Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/25/68, p. 1.)

13 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Baltimore Field Office (and 13 other field offices), 11/25/68.

14 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/20/69.

15 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/20/69.

16 Ibid.

17 See memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/12/69.

18 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters. 3/12/69, p. 4.

19 Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/17/69.

20 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters. 4/10/69.

21 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/27/69.

22 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 4/10/69, p. 4.

23 Ibid.

24 Ibid.

25 memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/5/69, p. 3.

26 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/13/69.

27 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Diego Field Office, 6/17/69.

28 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/6/69.

29 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 8/20/69.

30 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/18/69.

31 Ibid, p. 3.

32 Ibid., p. 1.

33 Ibid., p. 2.

34 Memorandum from San Diego Meld office to FBI Headquarters, 9/3/69.

35 Memorandum from San Diego Meld Office to FBI Headquarters, 11/12/69.

36 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/23/70.

37 Ibid., P. 1.

38 Ibid., p. 2.

39 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Diego Field Office, 1/29/70.

40 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Los Angeles and San Francisco Field Offices, 5/15/70.

41 Ibid.

42 Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/26/70.

43 Ibid., pp. 1-2.

44 Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 8/10/70.

45 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Los Angeles Field Office, 9/30/70.

46 There is no question that the Blackstone Rangers were well-armed and violent. The Chicago police had linked the Rangers and rival gangs in Chicago to approximately 290 killings from 1965-69. Report of Captain Edward Buckney, Chicago Police Dept., Gang Intelligence Unit, 2/23/70, p. 2. One Chicago police officer, familiar with the Rangers, told a Committee staff member that their governing body, the Main 21, was responsible for several ritualistic murders of black youths in areas the gang controlled. (Staff summary of interview with Renault Robinson, 9/25/75.)

47 Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/16/68. Forte also had a well-earned reputation for violence. Between September 1964 and January 1971, he was charged with more than 14 felonies, including murder (twice), aggravated battery (seven times), robbery (twice), and contempt of Congress. (Select Committee staff interview of FBI criminal records.) A December 1968 FBI memorandum noted that a search of Forte's apartment had turned up a .22 caliber, four-shot derringer pistol. (Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/12/68, p. 2.)

48 Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/16/68, p. 2.

49 Letter Head Memorandum, 12/20/68.

49a From confidential FBI interview with inmate at the House of Correction, 26th and California St. in Chicago, 11/12/69.

49b Letterhead Memorandum, 12/20/68,

49c Ibid., pp. 3-4.

49d FBI Special Agent Informant Report, 12/30/68.

49e Ibid.

50 Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/10/69.

51 Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/13/69, p. 1.

52 Ibid.

52a Memorandum from Special Agent to SAC, Chicago, 1/15/69.

52b Ibid.

52c Memorandum from Special Agent to SAC, Chicago, 1/28/69, reporting on informant report.

53 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Chicago Field Office, 1/30/69.

54 There are indications that a shooting incident between the Rangers and the Panthers on April 2, 1969, in a Chicago suburb may have been triggered by the FBI. According to Bobby Rush, coordinator of the Chicago BPP at the time, a group of armed BPP members had confronted the Rangers because Panther William O'Neal -- who has since surfaced as an FBI informant -- had told them that a Panther had been shot by Blackstone Rangers and had insisted that they retaliate. This account, however, has not been confirmed. (Staff summary of interview with Bobby Rush, 11/26/75.)

55 The various COINTELPRO techniques are described in detail in the Staff Report on COINTELPRO.

56 Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/24/69.

57 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Chicago Field Office, 4/8/69.

57a Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/28/69.

58 Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/30/68.

59 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Chicago Field Office, 1/30/69.

60 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/12/69.

The FBI had success with this technique in other eases. For example, the FBI placed another anonymous call to Stokely Carmichael's residence in New York City. Carmichael's mother was informed falsely that several BPP members were out to kill her son, and that he should "hide out." The FBI memorandum reporting this incident said that Mrs. Carmichael sounded "shocked" on hearing the news and stated that she would tell Stokely when he came home. The memorandum observed that on !the next day, Stokely Carmichael left New York for Africa. (Memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/9/68, p. 2.)

61 Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/17/69, p. 1.

62 Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/3/69.

63 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/8/69. The FBI discovered that the Indianapolis BPP would have difficulty in new quarters because of its financial plight, a fact which was discovered by monitoring its bank account. (Memorandum from Indianapolis Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/23/69.)

64 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/15/69.

65 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/21/70.

66 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/22/70.

67 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 11/26/68.

68 The Bureau documents presented to the Committee do not record of this contact.

69 In September 1969, FBI Headquarters had encouraged the field offices to undertake projects aimed at splitting the BPP on a nationwide basis. (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Newark, New York, and San Francisco Field Offices, 9/18/69.)

70 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Legat, Paris and San Francisco Field Office, 4/10/70.

71 Ibid., pp. 1-2.

72 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/8/70.

73 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters 5/28/70.

74 Memorandum from Philadelphia Field Office to FBI Headquarter,,;, 8/13/70.

75 Ibid. pp. 1-2.

76 Memorandum from FBI Headquarter,,, to Philadelphia and San Francisco Field Offices, 8/19/70.

77 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 8/31/70.

78 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco Field Office, 9/9/70.

79 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/21/70.

80 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco and New York Field Office, 10/29/70

81 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Los Angeles Field Office, 11/3/70.

82 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/28/70.

83 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco and New York Field Offices, 2/5/71.

84 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington Field Offices, 12/15/70.

85 Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/3/70, p. 2.

86 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington Field Offices, 12/15/70. A list of 10 organizations whose members attended the RPCC was forwarded to the FBI offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York, and San Francisco. (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Atlanta (and 5 other Field Offices), 12/31/70.) There is no indication concerning how the Bureau obtained this list.

86a Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco Field Office, 12/16/70.

86b Memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/14/70.

86c Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco Field Office, 1/6/71.

87 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/18/70. FBI headquarters authorized this letter on January 21, 1971 stating that the Bureau must now seize the time and "immediately" send the letter, (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco Field Office, 1/21/71, p. 2.) Shortly afterward, a letter was sent to Cleaver from alleged Puerto Rican political allies of the BPP in Chicago, The Young Lords.

What do we get. A disorganized Convention, apologetic speakers and flunkys who push us around, no leadership, no ideas, no nothing.... [Y]our talk is nice, but your ideas and action is nothing.... You are gone, those you left behind have big titles but cannot lead, cannot organize, are afraid to even come out among the people. The oppressed of Amerikka cannot wait. We must move without YOU.... (Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/19/71; memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Chicago and San Francisco Field Offices, 1/27/71.)

88 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco Field Offices, 1/28/71.

89 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to 29 Field Offices, 2/2/71.

90 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to New York and San Francisco Field Offices, 2/3/71.

91 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to New York Field Office, 2/3/71.

92 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco Field Office, 2/10/71.

93 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/12 71.

93a The FBI was able to be specific because of its wiretaps on the phones of Huey Newton and the Black Panther headquarters.

94 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco Field Office, 2/19/71.

95 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco Field Office, 2/24/71. The phone call from Cleaver to Newton mentioned in this letter had been intercepted by the FBI. An FBI memorandum commented that the call had been prompted by an earlier Bureau letter purporting to come from Connie Matthews: "The letter undoubtedly provoked a long distance call from Cleaver to Newton which resulted in our being able to place in proper perspective the relationship of Newton and Cleaver to obtain the details of the Geronimo [Elmer Pratt] Group and learn of the disaffections and the expulsion of the New York group." (Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters. 2/25/71.)

96 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/25/71.

96a Kathleen Cleaver testimony, 4/8/76, p. 34.

97 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/2/71. FBI headquarters instructed the SAC, San Francisco to mail Cleaver a copy of the March 6 edition of the BPP newspaper which announced his expulsion from the BPP, along with an anonymous note saying, "This is what we think of punks and cowards." (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco Field Office, 3/10/71.)

98 This letter was contained in a memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/16/71, pp. 1-2.

99 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco and Chicago Field Offices, 3/25/71.

100 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Los Angeles Field Office, 7/25/69.

101 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 7/28/69.

102 Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/24/69.

103 Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/29/69, p. 1.

104 Memorandum from G. C. Moore to W. C. Sullivan, 12/27/68.

105 Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office, to FBI Headquarters, 6/3/70.

106 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Los Angeles Field Office, 6/25/70.

107 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/3/70.

108 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/2/70.

109 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco Field Office, 3/5/70.

110 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/22/70. The name "T. F. Ellis" is completely fictitious and the Post Office Box could not have been traced to the FBI.

111 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/1/70.

112 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco Field Office, 7/30/69.

113 Ibid.; Memorandum from San Francisco Meld Office to FBI Headquarters, 11/30/70.

114 K. Cleaver, 4/8/76, p. 16.

115 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 8/29/69; memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Diego Field Office, 9/9/69.

116 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 8/29/69.

117 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/18/69.

118 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/6/69, p. 3.

119 Memorandum from New Haven Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 11/12/69, p. 3.

120 The offices were Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Newark, New Haven, New York, San Diego, and San Francisco.

121 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Baltimore (and 9 other Field Offices), 12/24/69, p. 1.

122 These included the Mayor; the Glide Foundation (church foundation) Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco; Episcopal Diocese of California; Lutheran Church; Editor, San Francisco Chronicle; Editor, San Francisco Examiner; United Presbyterian Church, San Francisco Conference of Christians and Jews; San Francisco Chamber of Commerce; San Francisco Bar Association; and San Francisco Board of Supervisors. (Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/12/70.)

123 Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 7/1/69.

124 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Los Angeles Field Office, 7/14/69.

125 Ibid.

126 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/6/69.

127 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/2/70.

128 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Albany (and 22 other Field Offlees), 8/25/67, p. 2.

129 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/17/70, p. 3.

130 Ibid., p. 5.

131 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Chicago (and seven other Field Offices), 5/15/70.

132 memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/22/70.

133 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/20/70.

134 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/20/70, p. 2.

135 Ibid., p. 3.

136 Memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters and San Francisco Field Office, 10/11/69.

137 Memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 8/19/70.

138 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to SAC's in 39 cities, 11/10/70.

139 Memorandum from G. C. Moore to W. C. Sullivan, 6/26/70.

140 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Chicago, New York, and San Francisco Field Offices, 6/26/70.

141 Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 7/15/70.

142 Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/10/69.

143 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Chicago Field Office, 2/20/69.

144 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/26/69.

145 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco Field Office, 12/4/69.

146 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/18/70.

147 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco Field Office (and 8 other offices), 1/23/70. The San Diego office had already made efforts along the lines proposed in this memorandum. In November 1969 it requested permission from headquarters to inform two newscasters "for use in editorials" that the sister and brother-in-law of a Communist Party member were believed to be members of the local Black Panthers. The office also proposed preparing "all editorial for publication in the Copley press." (Airtel from SAC, San Diego to Director, FBI, 11/12/69.) The San Francisco office had also leaked information to a San Francisco Examiner reporter, who wrote a front-page story complete with photographs concerning "the conversion by the BPP of an apartment into a fortress." (Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/21/70.)

148 Memorandum from Los Angeles Meld Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/6/70; memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Los Angeles Field Office 3/5/70 (this memorandum bears Director Hoover's initials).

149 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Los Angeles and San Francisco Field Offices, 5/27/70.

150 Memorandum front Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/10/70, p. 2.

151 Memorandum from Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/23/70.

152 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 11/24/70.

153 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/12/71.

154 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Francisco Field Office, 2/8/71.

155 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/18/71. In a February 1971 report on recent COINTELPRO activity, the San Francisco Division described the San Francisco Examiner article as one of its "counterintelligence activities." This report said that because of the article, Newton had given an interview to another San Francisco daily to try to explain his seemingly expensive lifestyle. The report also states that copies of the article were sent to "all BPP and NCCF [National Committee to Combat Fascism] offices in the United States and to three BPP contacts in Europe." (Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/25/71.)

156 The suggestion of encouraging local police to raid and arrest members of so-called "Black Nationalist Hate Groups" was first put forward in a February 29, 1968 memorandum to field offices. This memorandum cited as an example of successful use of this technique: "The Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), a pro-Chinese Communist group, was active in Philadelphia, Pa., in the summer of 1967. The Philadelphia office alerted local police who then put RAM leaders under close scrutiny. They were arrested on every possible charge until they could no longer make bail. As a result, RAM leaders spent most of the summer in jail and no violence traceable to RAM took place." (Memorandum from G. C. Moore to W. C. Sullivan, 2/29/68, p. 3.)

157 The San Diego office reported to headquarters: "As of one week ago, the BPP in San Diego was so completely disrupted and so much suspicion, fear, and distrust has been interjected into the party that the members have taken to running surveillances on one another in an attempt to determine who the 'Police agents' are. On 2/19/69, this information was furnished to the San Diego Police Department with the suggestion that possibly local Motor Vehicle Code laws were being violated during the course of these surveillances.' " (Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters 2/27/69.)

158 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 11/10/69. Headquarters told the San Diego office that if there was no legal basis for a raid, it should "give this matter further thought and submit other proposals to capitalize on this information in the counterintelligence field." (Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Diego Field Office, 11/18/69, p. 1.)

159 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/3/69, pp. 2-3.

160 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 2/17/70.

161 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/26/69.

162 Memorandum from San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/15/69.

163 Memorandum from San Francisco Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 4/21/69.

164 Memorandum Los Angeles Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/1/69.

165 Special Agent deposition, 2/20/75. p. p. 90.

166 Special Agent deposition, 2/26/75, p. 84. The Agent also testified that other FBI agents in the Racial Matters Squad were also involved in the "free flow of information between the Racial Matters Squad and GIU," and that at one time or another, every agent had exchanged information with GIU.

167 Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/3/69. p. 2; memorandum from Special Agent to Chicago Field Office, 12/12/69.

168 Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/8/69.

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Transcription by Paul Wolf, 2002.

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