Thursday, July 27, 2017

Apostles of Non-Violence and Racial Harmony Viewed As Political Enemies?


maebrussell |   Why were Hippies such a threat, from the President on down to local levels, objects for surveillance and disruptions?

Many of the musicians had the potential to become political. There were racial overtones to the black-white sounds, the harmony between people like Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, and Jimi Hendrix. Black music was the impetus that got the Rolling Stones into composing and performing.

The war in Vietnam was escalating. What if they stopped protesting the war in Southeast Asia and turned to expose domestic policies at home with the same energy? One of the Byrds stopped singing at Monterey Pop to question the official Warren Report conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was a "lone assassin."
  
Bob Dylan's "Bringing it All Back Home" album has a picture of Lyndon Johnson on the cover of Time.
    
By 1966, LBJ had ordered all writers and critics of his Commission Report on the JFK murder to be under surveillance.
    
That research was hurting him. Rock concerts and Oswald. What next?
While preacher preach of evil fates
teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have
to stand naked.
Bob Dylan
"It's Alright Ma"
Bringing it All Back Home album
John and Yoko Lennon were protesting the Vietnam war. The State Department wrote documents describing them as "highly political and unfavorable to the administration." It was recommended their citizenship be denied, and they be put under surveillance.
   
Mick Jagger, before he was offered Hollywood's choicest women and heavy drugs, was concerned about the youth protests in Paris, 1968, and the anti-war demonstrations at the London Embassy.
"War stems from power-mad politicians and patriots. Some new master plan would end all these mindless men from seats of power and replace them with real people, people of compassion."
Mick Jagger

July, 1968, the FBI's counterintelligence operations attacked law abiding American individual's and groups.
    
The stated purpose of these assaults was to disrupt large gatherings, expose and discredit the enemy, and neutralize their selected targets.
    
Neutralization included killing the leaders,if necessary. Preferably, turn two opposing segments of society against each other to do the dirty work for them.
   
Remember that among these dangers to the security of the United States were persons with "different lifestyles" and also "apostles of non-violence and racial harmony."
    
CIA Director Richard Helms warned National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, Feb. 18, 1969, that their study on "Restless youth" was "extremely sensitive" and "would prove most embarrassing for all concerned if word got out the CIA was involved in domestic matters."
    
The FBI sent out a list of suggestions on how to achieve their goals. They can all be applied to what happened to musicians, youngsters at folk rock festivals, and hippies along the highway.
Gather information on their immorality. Show them as scurrilous and depraved. Call attention to their habits and living conditions. Explore every possible embarrassment. Send in women and sex, break up marriages. Have members arrested on marijuana charges. Investigate personal conflicts or animosities between them. Send articles to the newspapers showing their depravity. Use narcotics and free sex to entrap. Use misinformation to confuse and disrupt. Get records of their bank accounts. Obtain specimens of handwriting. Provoke target groups into rivalries that may result in death.
"Intelligence Activities and Rights of Americans"
Book II, April 26, 1976
Senate Committee Study with Respect to Intelligence

Huge CIA Operation Reported in US Against Antiwar Forces, Other Dissidents in Nixon Years


NYTimes |  Mr. Colby refused comment on the domestic spying issue. But one clue to the depth of his feelings emerged during an off‐the‐record talk he gave Monday night at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

The C.I.A. chief, who had been informed the previous week of the inquiry by The Times, said at the meeting that be had ordered a complete investigation of the agency's domestic activities and had found some improprieties.

But he is known to have added, “I think family skeletons are best left where they are—in the closet.”
He then said that the “good thing about all of this was the red flag” was raised by a group of junior employes inside the agency.

It was because of the prodding from below, some sources have reported, that Mr. Colby decided last year to inform the chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence Oversight Committees of the domestic activities.

Mr. Schlesinger, who became Secretary of Defense after serving less than six months at the C.I.A., similarly refused to discuss the domestic spying activities.

Anguish Reported
But he was'described by an associate as extremely concerned and disturbed by what he discovered at the C.I.A. upon replacing Mr. Helms.

“He found himself in a cesspool,” the associate said. “He was having a grenade blowing up in his face every time he turned around.”

Mr. Schlesinger was at the C.I.A. when the first word of the agency's involvement in the September, 1971, burglary of the office of Dr. Daniel Ellsberg's former psychiatrist by the White House security force known as the “plumbers” became known.

It was Mr. Schlesinger who also discovered and turned over to the Justice Department a series of letters written to a Mr. Helms by James W. McCord Jr., one of the original Watergate defendants and a former C.I.A. security official. The letters, which told of White House involvement in the Watergate burglary, had been deposited in an agency office.

The associate said one result of Mr. Schlesinger's inquiries into Watergate and the domestic of the C.I.A. operations was his executive edict ordering a halt to all questionable counterintelligence operations inside the United States.

During his short stay at the C.I.A., Mr. Schlesinger also initiated a 10 per cent employe cutback. Because of his actions, the associate said, security officials at the agency decided to increase the number of his personal bodyguards. It could not be learned whether that action was taken after a threat.

Many past and present C.I.A. men acknowledged that Mr. Schlesinger's reforms were harder to bear because he was an outsider.

Mr. Colby, these men said, while continuing the same basic programs initiated by his predecessor, was viewed by some as “the saving force” at the agency because as a former high‐ranking official himself in the C.I.A.'s clandestine services, he had the respect and power. to ensure that the alleged illegal domestic programs would cease.

Some sources also reported that there was widespread paper shredding at the agency shortly after Mr. Schlesinger began to crack down on the C.I.A.'s operations.

Asked about that, however, Government officials said that they could “guarantee” that the domestic intelligence files were still intact.

“There's certainly been no order to destroy them,” one official said:
When confronted with the Times's Information about the C.I.A.'s domestic operations earlier this week, high‐ranking American intelligence officials confirmed its basic accuracy, but cautioned against drawing “unwarranted conclusions.”

Espionage Feared
Those officials, who insisted on not being quoted by name, contended that all of the C.I.A.'s domestic activities against American citizens were initiated in the belief that foreign governments and foreign espionage may have been involved.

“Anything that we did was In the context of foreign counterintelligence and it was focused at foreign intelligence and foreign intelligence problems,” one official said.

The official also said that the requirement to maintain files on American citizens emanated, in part, from the so‐called Huston plan. That plan, named for its author, Tom Charles Huston, a Presidential aide, was a White House project in 1970 calling for the use of such, illegal activities as burglaries and wiretapping to combat antiwait activities, and student turmoil that the White House believed was being “fomented” —as the Huston plan stated—by black extremists.

Operation CHAOS - CIA Started 60's Riots


wikipedia |  Operation CHAOS or Operation MHCHAOS was the code name for an American domestic espionage project conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency from 1967 to 1974, established by President Johnson and expanded under President Nixon, whose mission was to uncover possible foreign influence on domestic race, anti-war and other protest movements. The operation was launched under Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Richard Helms, by chief of counter-intelligence, James Jesus Angleton, and headed by Richard Ober. [1][2] The "MH" designation is to signify the program had a worldwide area of operations.[3]

The CIA began domestic recruiting operations in 1959 in the process of finding Cuban exiles they could use in the campaign against communist Cuba and Fidel Castro. As these operations expanded, the CIA formed a Domestic Operations Division in 1964. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson requested that the CIA begin its own investigation into domestic dissent—independent of the FBI's ongoing COINTELPRO.[4]
The CIA developed numerous operations targeting domestic dissent, many operating under the CIA's Office of Security. These included:[2]
  • HTLINGUAL – Directed at letters passing between the United States and the then Soviet Union, the program involved the examination of correspondence to and from individuals or organizations placed on a watchlist.
  • Project 2 – Directed at infiltration of foreign intelligence targets by agents posing as dissident sympathizers and which, like CHAOS, had placed agents within domestic radical organizations for the purposes of training and establishment of dissident credentials.
  • Project MERRIMAC – Designed to infiltrate domestic antiwar and radical organizations thought to pose a threat to security of CIA property and personnel.
  • Project RESISTANCE – Worked with college administrators, campus security and local police to identify anti-war activists and political dissidents without any infiltration taking place
  • Domestic Contact Service – Focused on collecting foreign intelligence from willing Americans.
When President Nixon came to office in 1969, existing domestic surveillance activities were consolidated into Operation CHAOS.[5] Operation CHAOS first used CIA stations abroad to report on antiwar activities of United States citizens traveling abroad, employing methods such as physical surveillance and electronic eavesdropping, utilizing "liaison services" in maintaining such surveillance. The operations were later expanded to include 60 officers.[3] In 1969, following the expansion, the operation began developing its own network of informants for the purposes of infiltrating various foreign antiwar groups located in foreign countries that might have ties to domestic groups.[2] Eventually, CIA officers expanded the program to include other leftist or counter-cultural groups with no discernible connection to Vietnam, such as groups operating within the women's liberation movement.[1] The domestic spying of Operation CHAOS also targeted the Israeli embassy, and domestic Jewish groups such as the B'nai B'rith. In order to gather intelligence on the embassy and B'nai B'rith, the CIA purchased a garbage collection company to collect documents that were to be destroyed.[6]
Targets of Operation CHAOS within the antiwar movement included:[5]
Officially, reports were to be compiled on "illegal and subversive" contacts between United States civilian protesters and "foreign elements" which "might range from casual contacts based merely on mutual interest to closely controlled channels for party directives." At its finality, Operation CHAOS contained files on 7,200 Americans, and a computer index totaling 300,000 civilians and approximately 1,000 groups.[8] The initial result of investigations lead DCI Richard Helms to advise then President Johnson on November 15, 1967, that the agency had uncovered "no evidence of any contact between the most prominent peace movement leaders and foreign embassies in the U.S. or abroad." Helms repeated this assessment in 1969.[1] In total 6 reports were compiled for the White House and 34 for cabinet level officials.[2]

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America


larryrothsblog |  I grew up in the pre-Vietnam era. Our high schools taught a sanitized version of American history. I was in college before I learned about the country’s incarceration of ethnic Japanese, many of whom were citizens, during World War II. I was shocked. Our country had concentration camps, and we put our own people in them.

I had a bit of the same feeling when I was reading The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein. I’d known that the GI Bill offered financing for veterans returning from World War II to buy homes, and how that financing led to suburban developments like Levittown on Long Island. What I didn’t know is that the federal government, through both Veterans Administration (VA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, secured financing only for white veterans. And, as I’ll soon discuss, both VA and FHA went beyond merely not providing financing for black veterans. Further, the educational opportunities for black veterans were often limited to vocational schools. Some benefit administrators refused to process applications to four-year colleges for black veterans. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. Black veterans, like their white counterparts, had just returned from fighting a nearly four-year war only to be treated like second-class citizens.
  
The book goes back to post-Civil War era and especially the end of Reconstruction, but I’ll start with a 1917 Supreme Court ruling in Buchanan v. Worley, which ruled that racial zoning violated the Fourteenth Amendment, not because of protections granted freed slaves, but because of a business rule—the freedom to contract, or the right of a property owner to sell to whomever he wanted.
 
In our day, a Supreme Court decision would be final, but not in the 1920s. Buchanan was not only ignored, but flouted. As it would turn out, in the post-War housing boom, which was largely financed by VA and FHA loans, subdivisions were not only encouraged, but required to include covenants restricting the subdivisions to “Caucasians.” Our government, in other words, enforced segregation in any area where VA or FHA loans were used to finance homes. In one example, a man in Berkley, California bought a house financed by FHA and was not able to move into the house. He let a black teacher rent the house until he could move in. As a result he was advised he’d lost his participation in the FHA insurance program and that he’d never again be able to obtain a government-backed mortgage. And this was in 1959. In Berkley.
 
The result of black people’s not being able to get financing was they often paid more than white people would in areas less desirable. Additionally, they frequently bought using a contract for deed, meaning the house was theirs only after all payments were made. These contracts for deed were frequently at high interest rates, and one missed payment meant the loss of everything they’d invested in the house. Because they paid higher prices for the homes and higher interest rates, they frequently subdivided the homes and deferred maintenance. The neighborhoods looked bad. Whites feared blacks’ moving in or even near their neighborhoods (when, had black families had the same access to mortgages whites did, their neighborhoods would have looked just as good). Realtors took advantage of white fears. They started moving black families into white neighborhoods and going door to door spreading fear among the white residents that their neighborhood was about to be “taken over.” Whites sold at a loss. Racial prejudice was a lose-lose proposition. Whites lost money on their homes. Blacks paid more for their homes, both initially and in interest, than whites. Unscrupulous Realtors made out like bandits.   
 

Another Democratic Turd Drug Warrior In Need Of a Repeated Flushing: Joe Biden


Counterpunch |  I will never forget an encounter I had back in the ‘90s with then-Senator Joe Biden from Delaware. I was working as the house photographer for Widener University, which is just south of the Philly airport and just north of the Delaware line. Biden was then working hard in the Senate to fund more cops and prisons. He came to Widener to speak on the topic, and I was assigned to photograph him. After taking a few shots, I decided to stay to listen to the man and his pitch for the Drug War, something that personally interested me, beyond my job as a flak photographer.

I forget exactly what the beloved working-class senator from the corporate state of Delaware said. But it didn’t sit right with me. I had been spending my vacation time as a photographer in places like El Salvador and Nicaragua, in the middle of the Reagan Wars. I’d also been photographing addicts on the street through a needle exchange program in inner city Philadelphia and had been reading on Harm Reduction research. Later, I become aware, from a book by Ted Gest called Crime & Politics: Big Government’s Erratic Campaign for Law and Order, that when Ronald Reagan won the presidency in 1980, Democrats were freaked out: they feared they were finished politically. 

According to Gest, it was Joe Biden who saved the day by saying, “‘Give me the crime issue and you’ll never have trouble with it in an election.’” Crime bills were the way for Democrats to stay in the political game.

“How did so much crime legislation pass during the partisan 1980s?” Gest asks. “A key element was important personal relationships in the Capital, especially between Biden and the new Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.” This is the famous racist Dixiecrat who, following the Nixon Strategy, had changed his party affiliation to Republican, keeping his Senate seniority. It was the beginning of a fruitful political friendship — “fruitful” that is, if you were a politician willing to pander and fuel the Drug War fears of the time. The result was money for more cops and more prisons. It was part and parcel with what Michelle Alexander has dubbed “the new Jim Crow,” where the stigma of being a felon replaced the old stigma of being a nigger. Bill Clinton went on to pursue a similar strategy to stay in the political game.

It was thus that I encountered Senator Biden in a Widener University auditorium shilling for the Drug War. I was in the second row and raised my hand. Biden called on me, stepping toward me as I stood up. We were maybe ten feet apart. My question focused on why he seemed to dismiss addressing the demand problem in the United Stares. I mentioned Harm Reduction. The important word I used was decriminalization. My point was why couldn’t we try something other than using the military and police and prisons to address our very real drug problem?

I might as well have said something about his children. He knew I was there as some kind of working PR person, and he lit into me with vicious glee. He turned to address the audience, avoiding both me and my question.

“This fellow thinks he’s smart. He cleverly uses the term ‘decriminalization’ — when he really means legalization. He wants to make drugs legal, folks.” He went on some more. All the time I wanted to  say: “Listen — SIR! — would you answer my question.”

It was personal. But it made the man’s huge investment in the Drug War very clear. He knew very well that decriminalization and all the very reasonable Harm Reduction research was the Achilles heel of the Drug War. If the well-respected Ted Gest is correct, the Drug War virtually made Joe Biden’s political career; working with Strom Thurmond to put away black people made him who he is today. Is this unfair to Joe Biden? No doubt, his bi-partisan cooperation with Thurmond to some degree mitigated the South Carolina senator’s Old South racism. It did nothing, however, to ease up the trend that led to the mass incarceration of African Americans; and some would add it did nothing to mitigate the current dysfunctional national bruise caused by the ideological struggle between the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements.

We all know Joe Biden’s well-nourished public persona as the working man’s politician, the guy all of us want to sit down and have a beer with. The fact is, I would have loved to sit down and have a beer with Joe. I’d ask him to answer the question he parried away in that auditorium. What do we have to do now to undo what you and your bi-partisan allies created back in the ’80s? We all may have the opportunity to ask him these questions, since it feels like he’s running for 2020. But let’s hope the Democrats get their act together and do better than running good ol’ Joe.

Can the FBI Get ISI Douche Imran Awan to Squeal Before He Gets Arkancided?


thehill |  A House IT aide working for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, was arrested Tuesday on bank fraud charges while trying to leave the country.

Fox News reported that Imran Awan was arrested at Dulles International Airport.

Awan, an IT staffer who has worked for many House Democrats and is currently employed by Wasserman Schultz, was allegedly at the center of a scheme that involved double-charging the House for IT equipment, and may also have exposed House information online, according to Fox.

Awan and his family have reportedly worked for House Democrats for years. He declared bankruptcy in 2012, but has made millions of dollars on the House payroll over at least a decade of work for various members, according to a Politico report.

In March, a group of House Democrats fired Awan and one other staffer over their alleged involvement in the scheme and the looming criminal investigation. However, Fox News reported Tuesday that Wasserman Schultz still has Awan on her staff's payroll despite him being barred from accessing the House's computer system since February.

At the time, Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Martha Fudge (D-Ohio) both defended Awan.
“As of right now, I don’t see a smoking gun,” Meeks told Politico in March. “I have seen no evidence that they were doing anything that was nefarious.”

“He needs to have a hearing. Due process is very simple. You don’t fire someone until you talk to them,” Fudge added

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

U.S. Police Forces Mimic Israeli/South African Minority-Colonizer Survivalism


unz |  The various levels of government that make up the United States seem to be preparing for some kind of insurrection, which may indeed be the case somewhere down the road if the frustrations of the public are not somehow dealt with. But there is another factor that has, in my opinion, become a key element in the militarization of the police in the United States. That would be the role of the security organs of the state of Israel in training American cops, a lucrative business that has developed since 9/11 and which inter alia gives the “students” a whole different perspective on the connection of the police with those who are being policed, making the relationship much more one of an occupier and the occupied.
 
The engagement of American police forces with Israeli security services began modestly enough in the wake of 9/11. The panic response in the United States to a major terrorist act led to a search for resources to confront what was perceived as a new type of threat that normal law-and-order training did not address.

Israel, which, in its current occupation of much of Palestine and the Golan Heights as well as former stints in Gaza, southern Lebanon and Sinai, admittedly has considerable experience in dealing with the resistance to its expansion manifested as what it describes as terrorism. Jewish organizations in the United States dedicated to providing cover for Israeli’s bad behavior, saw an opportunity to get their hooks into a sizable and respected community within the U.S. that was ripe for conversion to the Israeli point of view, so they began funding “exchanges.”

Since 2002 there have been hundreds of all-expenses-paid trips including officers from every major American city as well as state and local police departments. Some have been sponsored by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has also been directly funding trips since 2008, explaining that “As a people living under constant threat of attack, the Israelis are leading experts in security enforcement and response strategies.” The intent? To “learn” and “draw from the latest developments” so the American cops can “bring these methods back home to implement in their communities.”

AIPAC has several pages in its website dedicated to security cooperation between the two countries. It asks “Did you know? In May 2010, 50 retired Generals and Admirals wrote to President Obama, highlighting the value of U.S. Israeli cooperation.” It goes on to cite an Alabama sheriff who enthuses that “There is no other country [Israel] that shares the same values and overarching goal to allow others to live in peace.” Regarding airport security, it also quotes a U.S. “security expert” who states “We should move even closer to an Israeli model where there’s more engagement with passengers…We’ve just stated to do that at TSA…” Indeed. That’s called profiling and pre-boarding interrogations.

Black Women and Police Brutality


WaPo |  From 1980 to 2014, the rate of growth in the number of women in prison outpaced that of men by more than 50 percent (and black women continue to be incarcerated at twice the rate of white women). Women are particularly vulnerable to the drug enforcement tactics acclaimed by Steven H. Cook, the former prosecutor who leads Mr. Sessions’s task force: “We made buys from individuals who were lower in the organization. We used the mandatory minimums to pressure them to cooperate.”

As is true in most industries, women are largely relegated to the lower echelons of the drug trade. They have been aggressively prosecuted on the theory that they would lead law enforcement to elusive “drug kingpins.” Yet because they had little information to trade, they were often saddled with sentences much longer than those of men higher up in the industry.

Then there are the police encounters that lead to these sentences, which are often characterized by physical, sexual and sometimes deadly violence.

The infamous former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw — convicted in 2015 of 18 counts, including the rape and sexual battery of black women — often ordered women to lift their shirts or open their pants to show him they were not carrying any drugs. In another notorious case, four women arrested on drug-related charges came forward to accuse two Los Angeles police officers of coercing sex from them. Research suggests that drug law enforcement is too often accompanied by such sexual shakedowns, in which women — who may or may not be using, carrying or dealing drugs — are given the choice between performing sexual acts or facing what could be decades in prison.

A Government Accountability Office report on contraband searches at airports, released in 2000, reflected another form of violation. Black, Asian-American and Hispanic women, it found, were almost three times as likely as men of the same race to be subject to humiliating strip-searches. Black women in particular were more likely than any other group to be X-rayed in addition to being frisked, though they were less likely to be actually carrying drugs. The report also mentioned instances in which travelers were subjected to body cavity searches and monitored bowel movements.

Such intrusive procedures are not limited to airports. In 2015 Charneshia Corley was pulled out of her car at a gas station after a police officer claimed he smelled marijuana during a traffic stop. Two female officers then forced her legs apart and probed her vagina in full view of passers-by.

Three years earlier, two other black women, Brandy Hamilton and Alexandria Randle, were also subjected to a roadside cavity search by officers who claimed to have smelled marijuana. These incidents eventually prompted the Texas Legislature to pass a bill banning cavity searches during traffic stops absent a warrant.

You may now be asking yourself: Can police officers actually get a warrant to search someone’s vagina? The answer is yes.

Fake Cops Get $1.2 Million of Real DoD Weapons


themarshallproject |  When you think of a federal sting operation involving weaponry and military gear, the Government Accountability Office doesn’t immediately jump to mind. The office is tasked with auditing other federal agencies to root out fraud and abuse, usually by asking questions and poring over paperwork. 

This year, the agency went a little more cowboy. The GAO created a fictitious law enforcement agency — complete with a fake website and a bogus address that traced back to an empty lot — and applied for military-grade equipment from the Department of Defense.

And in less than a week, they got it. 

A GAO report issued this week says the agency’s faux cops were able to obtain $1.2 million worth of military gear, including night-vision goggles, simulated M-16A2 rifles and pipe bomb equipment from the Defense Department’s 1033 program, which supplies state and local law enforcement with excess materiel. The rifles and bomb equipment could have been made functional with widely available parts, the report said.

“They never did any verification, like visit our ‘location,’ and most of it was by email,” said Zina Merritt, director of the GAO’s defense capabilities and management team, which ran the operation. “It was like getting stuff off of eBay.” 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Open Thread: Disclosures of Government Drug Complicity a Limited Hangout for Much Worse?


bibliotecapleyades |  We’ve got a lot to cover today and let me give you a rough approximate outline of the the things that I’d like us to get into. First, let me ask how many of you have had at least one course or workshop on hypnosis? Can I see the hands? Wonderful. That makes our job easier.

Okay. I want to start off by talking a little about trance-training and the use of hypnotic phenomena with an MPD dissociative-disorder population, to talk some about unconscious exploration, methods of doing that, the use of imagery and symbolic imagery techniques for managing physical symptoms, input overload, things like that. Before the day’s out, I want to spend some time talking about something I think has been completely neglected in the field of dissociative disorder, and that’s talking about methods of profound calming for automatic hyper-arousal that’s been conditioned in these patients.

We’re going to spend a considerable length of time talking about age-regression and abreaction in working through a trauma. I’ll show you with a non-MPD patient -- some of that kind of work -- and then extrapolate from what I find so similar and different with MPD cases. Part of that, I would add, by the way, is that I’ve been very sensitive through the years about taping MPD cases or ritual-abuse cases, part of it being that some of that feels a little like using patients and I think that this population has been used enough. That’s part of the reason, by choice, that I don’t generally videotape my work.

I also want to talk a bunch about hypnotic relapse-prevention strategies and post- integration therapy today. Finally, I hope to find somewhere in our time-frame to spend on hour or so talking specifically about ritual abuse and about mind-control programming and brainwashing -- how it’s done, how to get on the inside with that -- which is a topic that in the past I haven’t been willing to speak about publicly, have done that in small groups and in consultations, but recently decided that it was high time that somebody started doing it. So we’re going to talk about specifics today.

[Applause]

In Chicago at the first international congress where ritual abuse was talked about I can remember thinking, "How strange and interesting." I can recall many people listening to an example given that somebody thought was so idiosyncratic and rare, and all the people coming up after saying, "Gee, you’re treating one, too? You’re in Seattle"...Well, I’m in Toronto...Well, I’m in Florida...Well, I’m in Cincinnati." I didn’t know what to think at that point.

It wasn’t too long after that I found my first ritual-abuse patient in somebody I was already treating and we hadn’t gotten that deep yet. Things in that case made me very curious about the use of mind-control techniques and hypnosis and other brainwashing techniques. So I started studying brainwashing and some of the literature in that area and became acquainted with, in fact, one of the people who’d written one of the better books in that area.

Then I decided to do a survey, and from the ISSMP&D [International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality and Dissociation] folks I picked out about a dozen and a half therapists that I though were seeing more of that than probably anyone else around and I started surveying them. The interview protocol, that I had. got the same reaction almost without exception. Those therapists said, "You’re asking questions I don’t know the answers to. You’re asking more specific questions than I’ve ever asked my patients." Many of those same therapists said, "Let me ask those questions and I’ll get back to you with the answer." Many of them not only got back with answers, but said, "You’ve got to talk to this patient or these two patients." I ended up doing hundred of dollars worth of telephone interviewing.

What I came out of that was a grasp of a variety of brainwashing methods being used all over the country. I started to hear some similarities. Whereas I hadn’t known, to begin with, how widespread things were, I was now getting a feeling that there were a lot of people reporting some similar things and that there must be some degree of communication here.

OFFICIAL STORY / LIMITED HANGOUT / BEST EVIDENCE / DISINFORMATION (REDUX Original Post Date 8/20/16)


Mark Robinowitz has a chart showing many examples of Limited Hangout in his book Peak Choice, Cooperation or Collapse: an Uncensored Guide to Earth, Energy, and Money 

Understanding of each topic is broken down as Official Story, Limited Hangout, Best Evidence, and Disinformation and Distractions. This analysis technique helps one to make sense of topics where someone is deliberately blowing smoke. The Limited Hangout is a professional Information Warfare method of which Rabinowitz provides a number of examples.

On the topic of *Limits to Growth* the Official Story is that Growth is Always Good, the Limited Hangout is that technology will solve the Limits to Growth problem, the Best Evidence is that Limits to Growth are already biting and will result in Collapse, while the Disinformation pertaining to *Limits to Growth* includes Climate Change Denial.

On the topic of *Oil and Energy*, the Limited Hangout is that we are addicted to oil but can kick the addiction with windmills and solar panels, the Best Evidence is that Industrial Civilization is utterly dependent upon oil for such basics as food, while the Disinformation teaches that the energy crisis is a scam to make money.

Mark uses the same approach for Oilempire.us

On *Peak Oil* the Official Story is the world can keep increasing oil extraction for decades, the Limited Hangout is that we may have a problem but technology will save us, the Best Evidence is that collapse is likely, while the abiotic oil theory is an example of Disinformation.

On the topic of *9/11*, the Official Story is that Al Queda attacked us because they hate our freedom, the Limited Hangout is that mistakes were made which might have prevented the attacks, the Best Evidence is that the 9/11 attacks were allowed and assisted as a pretext to invade Iraq and establish Homeland Security, while the Disinformation includes stories like "no plane hit the Pentagon".

On the topic of *Election Fraud* in the USA the Official Story is USA elections are honest and fair, the Limited Hangout involves 'fixing' the existing laughably insecure voting system, the Best Evidence is that paper ballots counted by hand remains the most secure and effective voting system, while the Disinformation includes mostly true claims about Election Fraud by unsavory organizations whom no one wants to be seen agreeing with.

On the topic of the *JFK Assasination* the Official Story is that the president was murdered by a lone gunman, the Limited Hangout is that the Mafia or Cubans killed JFK, the Best Evidence is that JFK was killed by his own security apparatus, while the Disinformation is so expansive that the term 'conspiracy theorist' became media short hand for 'crackpot'.  Fist tap Woodensplinter.

The History Channel America's War on Drugs Documentary


theintercept |  That core truth is: The war on drugs has always been a pointless sham. For decades the federal government has engaged in a shifting series of alliances of convenience with some of the world’s largest drug cartels. So while the U.S. incarceration rate has quintupled since President Richard Nixon first declared the war on drugs in 1971, top narcotics dealers have simultaneously enjoyed protection at the highest levels of power in America.

On the one hand, this shouldn’t be surprising. The voluminous documentation of this fact in dozens of books has long been available to anyone with curiosity and a library card.
Yet somehow, despite the fact the U.S. has no formal system of censorship, this monumental scandal has never before been presented in a comprehensive way in the medium where most Americans get their information: TV.

That’s why “America’s War on Drugs” is a genuine milestone. We’ve recently seen how ideas that once seemed absolutely preposterous and taboo — for instance, that the Catholic Church was consciously safeguarding priests who sexually abused children, or that Bill Cosby may not have been the best choice for America’s Dad — can after years of silence finally break through into popular consciousness and exact real consequences. The series could be a watershed in doing the same for the reality behind one of the most cynical and cruel policies in U.S. history.

The series, executive produced by Julian P. Hobbs, Elli Hakami, and Anthony Lapp√©, is a standard TV documentary; there’s the amalgam of interviews, file footage, and dramatic recreations. What’s not standard is the story told on camera by former Drug Enforcement Administration operatives as well as journalists and drug dealers themselves. (One of the reporters is Ryan Grim, The Intercept’s Washington bureau chief and author of “This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America.”)

There’s no mealy mouthed truckling about what happened. The first episode opens with the voice of Lindsay Moran, a one-time clandestine CIA officer, declaring, “The agency was elbow deep with drug traffickers.”

Then Richard Stratton, a marijuana smuggler turned writer and television producer, explains, “Most Americans would be utterly shocked if they knew the depth of involvement that the Central Intelligence Agency has had in the international drug trade.”

Next, New York University professor Christian Parenti tells viewers, “The CIA is from its very beginning collaborating with mafiosas who are involved in the drug trade because these mafiosas will serve the larger agenda of fighting communism.”

For the next eight hours, the series sprints through history that’s largely the greatest hits of the U.S. government’s partnership with heroin, hallucinogen, and cocaine dealers. That these greatest hits can fill up most of four two-hour episodes demonstrates how extraordinarily deep and ugly the story is.



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Gestapo Surveillance Invented in America's Conquest of the Philippines



NPS |  Following the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Spanish American War in December of 1898, the United States took control of the former Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.

Companies from the segregated Black infantry regiments reported to the Presidio of San Francisco on their way to the Philippines in early 1899. In February of that year Filipino nationalists (Insurectos) led by Emilio Aguinaldo resisted the idea of American domination and began attacking U.S. troops, including the 24th and 25th Infantry regiments.

The 9th and 10th Cavalry were sent to the Philippines as reinforcements, bringing all four Black regiments plus African American national guardsmen into the war against the Insurectos.

Within the Black community in the United States there was considerable opposition to intervention in the Philippines. Many Black newspaper articles and leaders supported the idea of Filipino independence and felt that it was wrong for the United States to subjugate non-whites in the development of what was perceived to be the beginnings of a colonial empire. Bishop Henry M. Turner characterized the venture in the Philippines as "an unholy war of conquest." (21)

But many African Americans felt a good military showing by Black troops in the Philippines would reflect favorably and enhance their cause in the United States.

Race, Surveillance, and Empire


isreview |  The following month, Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux published another story for The Intercept, which revealed that under the Obama administration the number of people on the National Counterterrorism Center’s no-fly list had increased tenfold to 47,000. Leaked classified documents showed that the NCC maintains a database of terrorism suspects worldwide—the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment—which contained a million names by 2013, double the number four years earlier, and increasingly includes biometric data. This database includes 20,800 persons within the United States who are disproportionately concentrated in Dearborn, Michigan, with its significant Arab American population.2

By any objective standard, these were major news stories that ought to have attracted as much attention as the earlier revelations. Yet the stories barely registered in the corporate media landscape. The “tech community,” which had earlier expressed outrage at the NSA’s mass digital surveillance, seemed to be indifferent when details emerged of the targeted surveillance of Muslims. The explanation for this reaction is not hard to find. While many object to the US government collecting private data on “ordinary” people, Muslims tend to be seen as reasonable targets of suspicion. A July 2014 poll for the Arab American Institute found that 42 percent of Americans think it is justifiable for law enforcement agencies to profile Arab Americans or American Muslims.3

In what follows, we argue that the debate on national security surveillance that has emerged in the United States since the summer of 2013 is woefully inadequate, due to its failure to place questions of race and empire at the center of its analysis. It is racist ideas that form the basis for the ways national security surveillance is organized and deployed, racist fears that are whipped up to legitimize this surveillance to the American public, and the disproportionately targeted racialized groups that have been most effective in making sense of it and organizing opposition. This is as true today as it has been historically: race and state surveillance are intertwined in the history of US capitalism. Likewise, we argue that the history of national security surveillance in the United States is inseparable from the history of US colonialism and empire. 

The argument is divided into two parts. The first identifies a number of moments in the history of national security surveillance in North America, tracing its imbrication with race, empire, and capital, from the settler-colonial period through to the neoliberal era. Our focus here is on how race as a sociopolitical category is produced and reproduced historically in the United States through systems of surveillance. We show how throughout the history of the United States the systematic collection of information has been interwoven with mechanisms of racial oppression. From Anglo settler-colonialism, the establishment of the plantation system, the post–Civil War reconstruction era, the US conquest of the Philippines, and the emergence of the national security state in the post-World War II era, to neoliberalism in the post-Civil Rights era, racialized surveillance has enabled the consolidation of capital and empire.  

It is, however, important to note that the production of the racial “other” at these various moments is conjunctural and heterogenous. That is, the racialization of Native Americans, for instance, during the settler-colonial period took different forms from the racialization of African Americans. Further, the dominant construction of Blackness under slavery is different from the construction of Blackness in the neoliberal era; these ideological shifts are the product of specific historic conditions. In short, empire and capital, at various moments, determine who will be targeted by state surveillance, in what ways, and for how long.

Racial Surveillance As American As Apple Pie


thehill |  The McDonald killing also reflects a larger injustice that afflicts our society. This injustice manifests itself in a system of behaviors, norms, laws and technologies ostensibly put in place to maintain public order but is most often directed against people Victorian-era authorities called the “dangerous classes” — minorities and the poor, who are treated as a persistent threat to the established social order.

In the U.S., this system of structural surveillance emerges from a history of racism and white supremacy that links the use of deadly force by police against young black men and women to our systems of criminal justice, social programs and public health. Its reach, as well as its near invisibility to those privileged enough to escape its gaze, makes it especially difficult to address in its entirety, and we are often left to deal with its effects in piecemeal, incident by sickening incident.

This complex system of overlapping surveillance regimes did not emerge overnight but through reactions to moments of crisis, eventually becoming permanent aspects of government and society over time. In 18th century New York, for example, the fear of armed insurrection by enslaved people led to a series of ordinances strictly regulating the movement of blacks and Indians within the city. One such class of statutes required all unattended slaves to carry lighted lanterns after dark so that they could be easily identified and monitored by white authorities. Any person of color found in violation of these lantern laws was sentenced to a public flogging of up to 40 lashes, the actual number left to the discretion of the slaveholder.

Fast-forward to the late 20th century, and we continue to see the instantiation of surveillance mechanisms in response to perceived public crises. These laws and practices were enacted seemingly to maintain public order generally, but disproportionately targeted minorities and the poor.

techcrunch |   Then I attended an event called The Color of Surveillance at Georgetown Law and the hair on my arms stood up straight.

I’d missed it completely.

I’d missed the entire reason privacy isn’t just a concern for those who logged into Ashley Madison or researched something more nefarious than the difference between starches. I missed that it should matter to me because there are people for whom it has to matter, by virtue of their socioeconomic or racial status. And while I have the luxury, by virtue of my own socioeconomic status and race, of ignoring reality and letting this not be my problem, that’s not how wrongs are righted.

I finally saw surveillance not as something mildly offensive to my own sense of civil liberties, but as a tool of institutional racism. It suddenly became clear to me — and I’m so embarrassed it didn’t prior — that the people most stripped of their privacy rights in this surveillance age are the people who are already vulnerable.

But the powerful surveilling the powerless, and I’m specifically talking about race here, is nothing new. It existed even in the earliest days of slavery. Surveillance and power have long been closely linked to institutional racism, from slave owners branding their slaves so they couldn’t move freely and privately, to plantation owners building homes tall enough to surveil the entire plantation. Slavery may have been abolished, but now we see racism and oppression in a new power structure in which the powerful hold the data on the less powerful.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Fuggedabout CoIntelpro - I Want To Know About That Ubiquitous Bee Dee or "Black Desk"


slate | The FBI has a lead. A prominent religious leader and community advocate is in contact with a suspected sleeper agent of foreign radicals. The attorney general is briefed and personally approves wiretaps of his home and offices. The man was born in the United States, the son of a popular cleric. Even though he’s an American citizen, he’s placed on a watchlist to be summarily detained in the event of a national emergency. Of all similar suspects, the head of FBI domestic intelligence thinks he’s “the most dangerous,” at least “from the standpoint of … national security.”

Is this a lone wolf in league with foreign sponsors of terrorism? No: This was the life of Martin Luther King Jr. That FBI assessment was dated Aug. 30, 1963—two days after King told our country that he had a dream.

We now find ourselves in a new surveillance debate—and the lessons of the King scandal should weigh heavy on our minds. A few months after the first Edward Snowden revelation, the National Security Agency disclosed that it had itself wiretapped King in the late 1960s. Yet what happened to King is almost entirely absent from our current conversation. In NSA reform debates in the House of Representatives, King was mentioned only a handful of times, usually in passing. And notwithstanding a few brave speeches by senators such as Patrick Leahy and Rand Paul outside of the Senate, the available Senate record suggests that in two years of actual hearings and floor debates, no one ever spoke his name.

There is a myth in this country that in a world where everyone is watched, everyone is watched equally. It’s as if an old and racist J. Edgar Hoover has been replaced by the race-blind magic of computers, mathematicians, and Big Data. The truth is more uncomfortable. Across our history and to this day, people of color have been the disproportionate victims of unjust surveillance; Hoover was no aberration. And while racism has played its ugly part, the justification for this monitoring was the same we hear today: national security.

'Negro Subversion' : The Investigation of Blacks by the United States Government, 1917-1920


ethos |  The United States entered World War I in April, 1917, amid a German spy scare. There were persistent allegations that Blacks were opposed to the war, in spite of their declarations to the contrary. "ProGermanism among the negroes" was investigated by the Justice Department's Bureau of Investigation and the Military Intelligence Branch (MIB) of the War Department's General Staff. 

Efforts were made to discover disloyal motives behind orgnnisatione such as the NAACP and the National Equal Rights League; in the contents of publications such as the Crisis, the Messenger and the Chicago Defender; and in the activities of Black spokesmen such as W E B Du Bois, and Monroe Trotter, Kelly Miller, A Philip Randolph, Chandler Owen, and Hubert Harrison. No firm evidence was found to support claims that Blacks were disloyal, but investigation of what MIB called "Negro Subversion" became a regular part of domestic intelligence gathering during the war. Reports filed about Blacks were often inaccurate and the resulting misinformation was self-perpetuating. Black draft evasion, which was common, but not always deliberate, and rumours about harsh conditions and high casualty rates endured by Black troops were the subject of numerous reports by the Bureau and MIB, enhancing the misleading impression that there was a well-co-ordinated enemy plan to foment racial discord. The behaviour of Black soldiers was monitored by MIB. Particular attention was given to camp race riots and to the political views of Black YMCA staff. 

Joel E Spingarn, the white chairman of the NAACP, served as a military intelligence officer for 21 months in 1918. He attempted to persuade the General Staff to sponsor federal anti-lynching legislation and began to set up a subsection within MIB to identify those instances of racial discrimination which most damaged Black morale. Spingarn was ousted from MIB after his proposal that Du Bois be brought into military intelligence aroused bitter Black criticism. Had he remained in Washington, the subsequent attitude of federal government toward intervention in the field of race relations might have been different. In the final months of the war, MIB was re-organised and re-named the Military Intelligence Division (MID). 

Efforts of Blacks to travel to Paris to raise the question of race during the peace conference were in most cases foiled by the State Department's refusal on spurious grounds to grant them passports. At the same time, the return from France of Black troops with greater political and racial awareness than before the war was anticipated with some concern by military intelligence officers. The menace of the German agent was swiftly replaced in the American mind by the spectre of Bolshevism. In 1919 radical Black protest and organisation began to be attributed to the influence of the new alien threat. Randolph, Owen and Marcus Garvey were among those leaders watched by the federal investigative agencies in attempts to discover evidence of Bolshevik influence among Blacks. Race riots in Washington, UDC, and Chicago in July served to convince many officials, notably J Edgar Hoover, head of the Bureau's Radical Division, that some link must exist between Black protest, racial violence and Bolshevism. MID work on "Negro Subversion" was being scaled down, but the Radical Division maintained its interest in this area in the light of further riots. The climax of the Red Scare was accompanied by statements from the Justice Department that Blacks were part of the radical tide which threatened to sweep America. Blacks did not, in fact, adopt radical politics in significant numbers. However, in the minds of those who ran the investigative agencies of federal government, Blacks were now firmly established as a potentially disloyal and revolutionary element in American society - ever susceptible to, and the likely target of, the advances of subversive propagandists.

fas |   Prior to our declaration of war with Germany this essential general staff agency which is charged with gathering, collating, and disseminating the military information necessary as a basis for correct military decisions existed only in a rudimentary form. In April, 1917, it consisted of a section of the War College Division comprising a total personnel consisting of two officers and two clerks and supplied with only $11,000 by congressional appropriation for the performance of duty vital to the interests of the Army and the Nation. Every other army of importance was provided with a far-reaching military intelligence service directed by a well-equipped general staff agency recognized as a par with agencies charged with military plans, operations, and supplies. As a result of our neglect of this service, the valuable information gathered by the officers whom we had attached to European armies during the first year and a half of the war was never properly used. We were also without accurate data as to the powerful and insidious espionage , propaganda, and sabotage methods with which Germany at once attempted to thwart our military effort.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Dictatorship of Celebrity: Glorification and Promotion of Criminal Behavior


pigeonsandplanes |  Throughout the 80's, 90's and 2000's, I wore many hats as a talent scout, freelance journalist, publisher, promoter and publicist trying to use my influence to promote rap music with substance. I was so committed to using Hip Hop as a form of empowerment that I even created one of the nation's first full time educational Hip Hop program for middle and high school students. Everyday for five years, I taught six periods of Hip Hop culture education to hundreds of students who never imagined that Hip Hop could be offered as a regular class. It was magic! Lives were changed, students were motivated to better themselves and I became an award winning teacher in the process. California's economic crisis put an end to the magic in 2011 when my program lost its funding.

I returned to the entertainment industry as a freelance publicist with the goal of promoting quality Hip Hop. How foolish I was! Between 2011 and 2012, I found myself turning down more potential clients then I was bringing in. The idea of working with aspiring artists who sounded just like Big Sean, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj or 2 Chainz disgusted me. And those few artists who did have something of substance to offer had little to no money or lacked the drive to take their music to the next level. Everyday my inbox would fill up with rappers requesting my services to help promote their songs about ass, weed, guns, cars, strippers, sex and money. As a freelancer striving to establish myself, I should have been thankful for generating so much business and could have watched my bank account grow, regardless of the musical quality. But as a husband, father and all around socially conscious person, I couldn't. As a man, I couldn't.

Behind every mainstream rapper glorifying money, sex and violence, there is a cast of managers, publicists, lawyers, program directors, DJ's, bloggers, journalists, producers and other industry executives working hard to make that artist a household name. Behind every Chief Keef, Tyga and Trinidad James, there are college educated men and women whose job it is to promote music that contributes to the dumbing down of our youth. Behind every music video full of half naked girls, there are casting agents and directors who would never allow their own daughters to portray themselves in such light. Behind every rapper who claims to be a thug, there are countless professionals who send their kids to private schools while promoting music which sends our kids to prison. Behind every mainstream rapper on BET, MTV, Hot 97, Power 106 and any other popular station in your city, there's a Clear Channel, Viacom, Emmis Communications and Radio One made up of powerful decision makers who would never in a million years listen to the kind of music they get rich promoting. And behind every rapper with a criminal record, there's a publicist spinning a story to make crime more marketable.

Dictatorship of Celebrity: Manager, Coach, Director, Psychiatrist, Cheerleader, Manipulator [and] Guide


salon |  More than three decades ago, as I was winding up a major investigation of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and its leader Huey Newton, I received a call from Abbie Hoffman, the antic anti-Vietnam War activist, then a fugitive from criminal charges for selling cocaine to a nark. Abbie and I had been friends and fellow street-fighting buddies on the Lower East Side in numerous demonstrations of the antiwar Yippies. His purpose, he said, was to talk me out of publishing that 1978 investigation in New Times. It would hurt the left and the struggle for black justice, he warned.
 
My story exposed Newton’s bizarre leadership (for a time he carried a swagger stick √† la Idi Amin). Far worse was the extortion racket he presided over that shook down pimps, drug dealers, after-hours clubs and even a theater owner. Non-compliance left one club owner dead and undiscovered for days in the trunk of his car, which was parked at the San Francisco airport. The theater owner, Ed Bercovich, declined the tithe and refused to give jobs to Panther thugs. The theater burned down — it was arson. Murders of rivals were also carried out on orders from above for perceived disloyalty to the Panthers; vicious beatings of lower-rank Panther males were regular punishments, along with turning out Panther women as prostitutes in the Panther-owned bar and restaurant the Lamp Post. The Panthers always needed cash for themselves and their programs. Paranoia was rampant, with internal schisms fanned by the FBI and local red squads of the police but also anchored in the egos and fear of rivals.

Newton had a way of being tough on the streets, the mean streets of Oakland he grew up in, but he managed to conceal it from his respectable friends, black and white. He cultivated liberal politicians such as U.S. Rep. Ron Dellums and state Rep. Tom Bates; a host of celebrities, including Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda and Dennis Hopper; and opinion leaders such as Yale president Kingman Brewster, author Jessica Mitford and conductor Leonard Bernstein, all of whom became supporters of the Panthers.

At first, I was puzzled as to why Abbie would call me from the underground after a long silence — he was a fugitive, after all. Suddenly, in a flash, I knew: “Did Bert put you up to this?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he admitted sheepishly. Bert Schneider, I already knew, had underwritten Abbie’s fugitive existence, just as he had for Huey Newton. I turned Abbie — and Bert — down: The Panther investigation would run.

Was the Ghetto Deliberately Narcotized to Destroy the Black Panthers?


independent |  Melvin Van Peebles says he believes ''people of goodwill can go with him". He also deliberately veered away from focusing on Seale or Newton: "I wanted people to look at the forest, not the tree.

"You have to remember this is based on my novel. But I didn't just make it all up." Yet isn't he on thin ice? If it's a novel, why should his critics not assume that he had indeed made up vast swathes of the story? He replies: "By calling it fiction I hoped I could sidestep questions like 'Oh, and where in the FBI files did you establish this? Where's your corroboration?' ''

Clearly he miscalculated media reaction on this point. But the film's most remarkable claim is that in response to the militancy in America's cities, FBI boss J Edgar Hoover ordered black ghettoes to be flooded with cheap drugs to pacify their inhabitants. That decision, says the film, led to a tenfold increase in addiction.

"The Panthers had a lot of community support," says Van Peebles Snr. "It was their power base. Hoover, knowing he couldn't destroy the Panthers, decided to destroy the community itself. He had the people medicated."

This sounds an outlandishly paranoid alle-gation. Do you really believe this, I asked Melvin Van Peebles? Is there no question at all in your mind? Do you feel no need for corroborating evidence?

"No," he says simply. "It's like the 18 missing minutes in the Nixon tapes. I'm not saying Hoover personally went round and sowed weeds in the garden. I'm saying all you had to do was give the gardener a couple of days off and the weeds would grow. You follow?''

Evidence for the charge is scant. Certainly the FBI was mobilized to harass the Panthers, black FBI informants infiltrated their ranks and Hoover urged his men to neutralize the Panthers. A Hoover memo dated 4 March, 1968, outlines one specific goal: "Prevent the rise of a 'Messiah' who could unify and electrify the militant black nationalist movement."

"Right," says Mario Van Peebles, as if this proved all the film's claims. "And who do we have 25 years after Martin Luther King and Malcolm X? A bunch of rappers."

Yet this is poor proof that the FBI systematically narcotised entire communities. The Van Peebles' case appears to rest on a 1974 conversation, reported to them, between Newton and Elaine Brown, who by this time was leader of the Panthers. She complained to Newton that drugs were rampant.

"There were white guys driving into Oakland in Rolls-Royces, and not dealing with the old gangster drug dealers, but going straight to the kids," said Mario. "What Elaine didn't know at the time was that this was happening nationally. It's not a new concept. You're British, right? Your people did the same thing in the Boxer rebellion. Gave the people opium."