1973 December 6

NBC Reporter Carl Stern Reveals Secret FBI COINTELPRO Documents

 

NBC reporter Carl Stern, through a Freedom of Information Act request, obtained the first set of documents related to the FBI’s secret and illegal COINTELPRO program. COINTELPRO involved wiretapping, burglaries, thefts, forgeries of documents, and other actions against targeted left-wing political groups. (It did add the KKK to its list of targets on July 30, 1964). COINTELPRO was approved at a meeting of the National Security Council on March 8, 1956, with President Dwight Eisenhower and Attorney General Herbert Brownell in attendance, neither of whom objected to the planned illegal activities.

The existence of COINTELPRO was first discovered in a single document among thousands stolen by a group of anti-Vietnam War activists, who raided the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, on March 8, 1971 and stole about 1,000 documents. Carl Stern pursued the cryptic reference to the program and diligently pursued it through a FOIA request. The full extent of COINTELPRO was revealed by the Senate Church Committee in 1975–76 (see the report, below).

Read: Betty Medsger, The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI (2014)

Read the Senate Church Committee report on COINTELPRO (pp. 1-77): http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/contents/church/contents_church_reports_book3.htm

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