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The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI's Secret Wars Against Dissent in the United States (South End Press Classics Series) Paperback – November 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0896086487 ISBN-10: 0896086488 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: South End Press Classics Series (Book 8)
  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: South End Press; 2 edition (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896086488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896086487
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,200,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ward Churchill is a member of the Governing Council of the Colorado chapter of the American Indian Movement, Coordinator of American Indian Studies for the University of Colorado/Boulder, and author of From a Native Son. Jim Vander Wall is an active supporter of the struggles of Native People for sovereignty and has written several articles on FBI. He is co-author, with Ward Churchill, of Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars on the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement (1988) and an editor of New Studies on the Left.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth R. Kahn on May 6, 2003
Format: Library Binding
Ward Churchil and Jim Vander Wall have done an outstanding and meticulous job in assembling and explaining the FBI's secret war on dissent in America, no wonder America is plagued with criminals, the supposed "good guys" are all out on black bag jobs committing their own crimes!!
Since it is a well known historical fact that J. Edgar Hoover, America's semen stained supercop, was blackmailed by the mafia into silence, it stands to reason that he would need a new enemy to focus the attention of the American people. What better enemy than home grown political dissenters who would destroy the genteel American order--white men first.
The book focuses upon the FBI's most notorious episodes--the COINTELPRO efforts against the Communist Party USA, Socialist Workers Party, the New Left, the American Indian Movement and the Black Panthers as demonstrative proof of the Bureau's efforts to undermine and destroy the constitutional rights of all Americans.
It is, for me, the concluding chapter that ties everything together and offers some real life solutions to the peristent cancer that is the FBI. From 1956 to the "offical end" of COINTELPRO in 1971, the FBI committed:
* 2,218 separate actions.
*2,305 admitted warrantless telephone taps.
*697 "bugs against domestic political targets."
*57,486 CIA mail intercepts.
"During the various Congressional committee investigations, the Bureau carefully hid the facts of its involvement in the 1969 Hampton-Clark assassinations. Simultaneously, it was covering up its criminal witholding of exculpatory evidence in the murder trial of LA Panther leader Geronimo Pratt." page 303.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Charles M. Nobles VINE VOICE on December 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
For readers who may have forgoten what can happen when government intelligence agencies are given free rein, legally or not, to investigate and harass American citizens who question governmental policies, this is the primary source for a reminder.Tracing the long history of political repression in this country from the 1950s through the Vietnam era and the Civil Rights movement and examining recent FBI activities, this book belongs on any reader's shelf that values political freedom.
It is not a question of which political party you belong to or whether you are considered left or right on the political spectrum. If you are anxious about the future of civil liberties given the unprecedented power given to the government as the result of the Patriot Act and other recent legislation, this book should be required reading. It is indeed a fine balance between civil liberties and national security and this book will give the reader an idea of what is at stake and what unrestrained government is capable of doing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall on July 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Cointelpro Papers should be required reading for high school graduation. It is more important than ever for people to understand the long history of GOVERNMENT spying on American dissidents. The problem of wire tapping, stalking, infiltration of community and political groups and clandestine murders did not start when all this stuff became legal with the Patriot Act in 2002. In fact it is well documented that it was going on in the mid-twenties and possibly earlier.

The part of the book I found most illuminating was the death squad activity that occurred on the Pine Ridge Sioux reservation during the 1970s - murders that were never even investigated, much less prosecuted. Americans tend to assume this type of extrajudicial murder only occurs in third world countries. Learning of scores of documented instances on US soil is really quite scary. The book also details the FBI ambush and murder of the Black Panther leader Fred Hampton and the attempted murder (in a similar ambush) of Geronimo Pratt. As well as the scores of Black Panther and American Indian Movement leaders (with Leonard Peltier being the most prominent) who remain in prison on trumped up charges.

Relying on letters and memos obtained under the Freedom of Information act (and a few obtained when activists turned the tables and broke into an FBI office), the authors make it clear that Hoover's FBI infiltrated and did their best to sabotage every left of center group that ever held public meetings in the US.

The saddest part was the sadistic campaign of personal harassment Hoover undertook against actress Jean Seberg, a white actress who provided the Black Panthers with financial support. As a result of rumor campaigns and vicious gossip columns planted by the FBI, Seberg and her partner ultimately committed suicide.

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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Elmo Oxygen on July 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
In The COINTELPRO Papers, Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall chronicle decades of disruptive and secretive attacks by the FBI on those with whom they do not feel ideologically aligned¡Xnamely, those who are a threat in any way to capitalism or to the current power structures within the United States and abroad. The authors contend that the FBI has launched seemingly countless attacks upon peaceful and law-abiding organizations and their members for no reason other than their philosophical deviance from the political mindset of the American status quo. The authors chronicle case after case after case of the FBI engaging in illegal and unsettling practices and activities in their ongoing efforts to discredit any organization or individual espousing radical or alternative socio-economic views.

Every allegation made by the authors is backed up by copies of original FBI documents and memos chronicling the activities of our nation¡¦s ¡§political police¡¨ in the words of the agents themselves, lest the authors should be accused of ridiculous and unfounded accusations (as conservative apologists and spinners of propaganda are so apt to maintain¡Xan issue addressed in the introduction to the text). The points argued in this book lend tremendous credibility to a radical elitist stance on American politics¡Xin that they shine light on the terrible extremes to which conservative authorities will go to eliminate any expression of political opposition.
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