How did the FBI get started? What is the history of the FBI and why did it even get started? In 2019, we are exploring what could have been a movie, but is actually the truth, The Shady Secret History of the USA FBI.
The FBI has maintained files on numerous people, including celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, John Denver, John Lennon, Jane Fonda, Groucho Marx, Charlie Chaplin, the band MC5, Lou Costello, Sonny Bono, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, and Mickey Mantle. The reason for the existence of the files varied. Some of the subjects were investigated for alleged ties to the Communist party (Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marx), or in connection with antiwar activities during the Vietnam War (John Denver, John Lennon, and Jane Fonda). Numerous celebrity files concern threats or extortion attempts against them (Sonny Bono, John Denver, John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Mickey Mantle, Groucho Marx, and Frank Sinatra).
A 1985 wiretapping and civil liberties report by the U.S. Congress found that the FBI had “installed over 7,000 national security surveillances,” including many on American citizens, from 1940 to 1960.
COINTELPRO tactics have been alleged to include discrediting targets through psychological warfare, smearing individuals and/or groups using forged documents and by planting false reports in the media, harassment, wrongful imprisonment, and illegal violence, including assassination. The FBI’s stated motivation was “protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order.”
FBI records show that 85 percent of COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed “subversive”, including communist and socialist organizations; organizations and individuals associated with the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Congress of Racial Equality and other civil rights organizations; black nationalist groups (e.g., Nation of Islam and the Black Panther Party); the American Indian Movement; a broad range of organizations labeled “New Left“, including Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen; almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, as well as individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation; the National Lawyers Guild; organizations and individuals associated with the women’s rights movement; nationalist groups such as those seeking independence for Puerto Rico, United Ireland, and Cuban exile movements including Orlando Bosch‘s Cuban Power and the Cuban Nationalist Movement. The remaining 15% of COINTELPRO resources were expended to marginalize and subvert white hate groups, including the Ku Klux Klan and the National States’ Rights Party.
The FBI also spied upon and collected information on Puerto Rican independence leader Pedro Albizu Campos and his Nationalist political party in the 1930s. Abizu Campos was convicted three times in connection with deadly attacks on US government officials: in 1937 (Conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States), in 1950 (attempted murder), and in 1954 (after an armed assault on the US House of Representatives while in session; although not present, Abizu Campos was considered the mastermind). The FBI operation was covert and did not become known until U.S. Congressman Luis Gutierrez had it made public via the Freedom of Information Act in the 1980s.
In the 2000s, researchers obtained files released by the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act revealing that the San Juan FBI office had coordinated with FBI offices in New York, Chicago and other cities, in a decades-long surveillance of Albizu Campos and Puerto Ricans who had contact or communication with him. The documents available are as recent as 1965
This list goes on much longer, and we are in the process of posting it in the near future. That is once we’ve verified it is as all being true.