Jim Vander Wall
[Interview] Jim Vander Wall FBI's Secret Wars
 The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI's Secret War Against Domestic Dissent by Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall.
 Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement by Ward Churchill, Jim Vander Wall
See: FBI COINTELPRO
Most people, when they think of the FBI, have an image from movies like Mississippi Burning and characters like Clarice Sterling from Silence of the Lambs. The media image of the CIA and NSA is much more sinister, but most people think of the FBI purely as a crime fighting organization.
The FBI has been very successful at disrupting and destroying perfectly legitimate organizations involved in dissent - They would like to project the image of crime fighters, but it is not really their principal role.
......What they have been very successful at is disrupting and destroying perfectly legitimate organizations involved in dissent: civil right organizations, women's organizations, generally organizations on the left. So while they would like to project the image of crime fighters, it is not really the principal role of the FBI. [Interview] Jim Vander Wall
In many ways, the stark unwillingness of the federal government to accord
Leonard Peltier even a modicum of elementary justice is symbolic of the entire
AIM experience during the 1970s and, more broadly posed, of the U.S.
relationship to American Indians since the first moment of the republic. The
message embedded, not only in Peltier's imprisonment, but in the scores of
murders, hundreds of shootings and beatings, endless show trials and all the
rest of the systematic terrorization marking the FBI's anti-AIM campaign on Pine
Ridge, was that the Bureau could and would make it cost-prohibitive for Indians
to seriously challenge the lot assigned them by policy-makers and economic
planners in Washington, D.C. The internal colonization of Native America is
intended to be absolute and unequivocal.
.......In 1953, just prior to the passage of PL-280, Felix Cohen, one of the foremost scholars of Indian law compared the role of the Indians in America to that of the Jews in modem Germany. He noted that, "Like the miner's canary, the Indian marks the shift from fresh air to poison air in our political atmosphere ... our treatment of Indians, even more than our treatment of other minorities, reflects the rise and fall of our democratic faith." 213 Given that all that happened on and around Pine Ridge occurred long after COINTELPRO allegedly became no more than a "regrettable historical anomaly," 214 Cohen's insight holds particular significance for all Americans. In essence, if we may ascertain that COINTELPRO remained alive and well years after it was supposed to have died, we may assume it lives on today. And that, to be sure, is a danger to the lives and liberties of everyone.  The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI's Secret War Against Domestic Dissent by Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall.
COINTELPRO was an acronym that the FBI had for its counter intelligence
programs. Now normal counter intelligence is something carried out by most
intelligence organizations and it basically means looking for spies in your own
organization or looking for spies in the populace as a whole. So counter
intelligence in its normal parlance would mean activities designed to detect and
combat espionage. Within the FBI, it was actually a code word for their programs
to infiltrate and disrupt legitimate legal organizations engaged in activities
that the government found objectionable. It
can range simply from sowing dissent within the organization to, at the other
extreme, assassination of the leadership of the organization or the framing of
key personnel in the organization on bogus criminal charges and supporting those
with fabricated evidence to obtain convictions. [Interview]
Jim Vander Wall
Officially, it ended in 1973, but what apparently ended was the use of the term COINTELPRO, because the same sort of activities were conducted against the American Indian movement by the same personnel in the period from 1973 to 1977, for example. [Interview] Jim Vander Wall
So that if you're talking about first oil in Oklahoma, and then low-sulfur
coal and uranium in the West, those mineral deposits lay principally on the
lands of indigenous people. This led to an outright war on the Pine Ridge
Reservation with a group called the Goons, being sponsored by the FBI and the
U.S. government and the American Indian movement and local organizations like
the Independent Oglala Nation supporting native sovereignty and traditional ways
During the period from 1973 to 1975, at least 60 people were killed by the Goon squads on the Pine Ridge Reservation, and I say at least because these are reported homicides. It is probably much larger than that because the agency to which you would report a homicide was the FBI, who were of course sponsoring the people committing the homicides. So a lot of assaults and murders went unreported. On June 25, 1975, the FBI went on to a property called the Jumping Bull Compound on Pine Ridge supposedly looking for Jimmy Eagle, who was a young Native American man, on charges of having stolen a pair of cowboy boots.
The real reason for them being there was that there was an AIM encampment there and when they encountered people from the encampment, a firefight ensued and the two FBI agents who went in - Ron Williams and Jack Coler were killed in the firefight, as well as AIM member, Joseph Stuntz. Leonard Peltier wound up being framed for those murders and when I say framed, I mean that the FBI coerced witnesses and fabricated evidence in order to obtain a conviction.
.....Peltier has now been down in federal prisons since 1976 on bogus charges and fabricated evidence. [Interview] Jim Vander Wall
One of the other operations the FBI was into was people working for social
justice in Central America in the 80s. I was working with a group who was
helping mainly Salvadoran and Nicaraguan refugees find jobs in the Bay Area and
I remember our offices being broken into with nothing being takenů Later, I
found that seemed to be happening across the country with similar groups.
Basically what we had going on was the U.S. supporting a massive terrorist campaign against the people of El Salvador. And I mean terrorism in the very specific narrowly defined sense of the word. We're talking about tens of thousands of political murders, torture and so on. Rather than investigate the supporters of this terrorism in the U.S., the FBI of course investigated those people who opposed this terrorism and then tried to help the victims of it. They did this by infiltrating the organizations, attempting to indict people on immigration charges simply for helping political refugees from terror that was being sponsored by the United States. [Interview] Jim Vander Wall