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article on MH Chaos draft that will be submitted to Truthout in a week or so.. any thoughts...
Memories of Fire: Remembering the Watts Rebellion, Operation Chaos and the National Security Fetish by. Kara Dellacioppa

Image of the Watts Rebellion, 1965

¿quién dijo que todo está perdido?,yo vengo a ofrecer mi corazón.
tanta sangre que se llevó el río, yo vengo a ofrecer mi corazón.
"Who is to say all is lost? I come to offer you my heart"
So much blood that the river has taken, I come to offer you my heart
~Mercedes Sosa, "Yo Vengo ofrecer mi corazón..

Fifty years ago, during the hot, dry days of early August, the city of Los Angeles erupted in flames in what was to become known as the Watts Rebellion of 1965. 2015 also marks 40 years since the revelations of the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission investigations of US intelligence's covert activity against American dissidents throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. In commemorating both legendary events, I'd like to reflect on their inter-relationship in order to see what can be learn about the relationship between growth of the National Security State and the vilification of American dissent.

The campus where I teach, California State University Dominguez Hills is a product of 1965 LA uprising. As our campus was slated to be a "Harvard of the West" and located in the nearby wealthy community of Palos Verdes. One of the outcomes of the rebellion was the decision to relocate Dominguez Hills to serve the black community of South Central Los Angeles, Compton, and surrounding areas. This was one of the state's modest concessions along with the passing of the Rumford Fair Housing Act of 1966, an acknowledgement of the historical deprivation and oppression suffered by the Black community. By the end of 1965, the McCone Commission released a report that concluded that the social conditions of the Black community (unemployment, discrimination in housing etc) are what led to the social explosion in Watts. But there was another set of extremely important yet largely unacknowledged consequences to the Watts rebellion. The Watts uprisings and those that followed in numerous American cities were a key factor in the development of covert counter-intelligence/counterinsurgency programs launched against American dissent by the US government. In 1975 and 1976, the Church Committee and the Rockefeller Commission, revealed the existence of these programs, though barely scratching the surface of the illegal activities of the FBI, CIA, NSA, Army Intelligence committed against the American people. Exposures of behavior modification/mind control programs, assassinations attempts of foreign leaders and domestic political leaders, unethical human experimentation, and far reaching domestic surveillance/disruption programs such as the FBI's COINTELPRO and Operation Chaos caused outrage among the American public.
The Watts Rebellion terrified the National Security Establishment. The Los Angeles Police Department was wholly unprepared to deal with such a wide scale social irruption. Something had to be done. The moment the ink was dry on the McCone and Kerner Commission reports and as the last embers flickered into ash in Los Angeles, the National Security state swung into action. The Church committee report states that President Johnson's assistant referred the effect of the Watts uprising as "shattering." Suddenly, the focus shifted from the social roots of the rebellion discussed in the McCone report to a "lack of coordinated intelligence" among US intelligence agencies, claiming a dire need to "predict" and "prevent" future unrest in the Black community. Also critical was the uncovering of communist/and or foreign influence in Black and student militancy which was increasing across the nation.
The Venerable Senator Frank Church

The Watts rebellion was a turning point in the civil rights movement as increasing numbers of Black activists began to position their fight for human rights alongside the global anti-colonial struggle. The Black Panther Party emerged in Oakland in 1966 and was the movement that most clearly articulated the anti-colonial orientation of the Black freedom struggle. This dovetailed on the rapid escalation of the Vietnam war and the equally rapid rise of opposition to that war. Since taking over Vietnam from the French in 1954, the US government was facing an implacable and elusive enemy. Unable to fathom the true roots of the Vietnamese resistance to US occupation, the US military developed several different counter-insurgency campaigns. As these campaigns failed to quell the growing civil resistance, Washington war makers understood that without defeating the political and civil resistance to the South Vietnamese government and the US military, the war would never be won. In order to accomplish this, the political infrastructure of the Viet Cong (VCI) needed to be dismantled. With this goal in mind, in 1967, previous counter-insurgency campaigns directed by various branches of the US military, the CIA, and US AID were woven into one overarching counter-insurgency project, a CIA directed and coordinated "Phoenix program." (Valentine 2000). The Phoenix program drew together - the Province Interrogation Centers (PIC), Intelligence Operations and Coordination Centers (IOCCs), the Census Grievance program, the Provincial Reconnaissance Units, among others in order to control the political environment of the Vietnamese people. Also key to Phoenix was the use of personnel from almost every branch of the military and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) among other supposedly more "diplomatic" agencies. The multiple strategies of Phoenix pacification included: collecting intelligence gathered in statistical form, creating blacklists, conducting targeted assassinations, using selected terror against Vietnamese civilians, indefinite detention of VCI suspects, the use of torture, and the promotion of criminality and corruption. The widespread use of informants, blacklists, selective terror and black propaganda defined the Phoenix program while mirrorring itself in its twister sister, Operation Chaos.
Original Six Original six Black Panthers (November, 1966) Top left to right: Elbert "Big Man" Howard; Huey P. Newton (Defense Minister), Sherman Forte, Bobby Seale (Chairman). Bottom: Reggie Forte and Little Bobby Hutton (Treasurer).
Operation Chaos or MH Chaos was developed in 1967, under CIA director Richard Helms and his Deputy Director of Plans, Richard Ober. One motivating factor for the development of Chaos was the revelations of CIA funding and control of the National Student Association that appeared in Ramparts magazine in 1967 and a 1966 Ramparts story about how the CIA used the University of Michigan as a cover to train Vietnamese police. Stanley K. Sheinbaum who had unwittingly worked for the CIA as a University of Michigan professor co-authored the article with Robert Scheer. This sent the CIA on the warpath against Ramparts. Leaks were becoming a huge problem and the way Chaos was organized was meant to prevent any future leaks about CIA operations. The other purpose of Chaos was to coordinate counter-intelligence and covert action projects of the FBI, IRS, all branches of the Armed Forces, and major metropolitan police departments' intelligence units into one clearing house for data on the political activity of Americans. The need to develop a Phoenix grew out of the failure of the previous counter-insurgency programs to "neutralize" political opposition to the South Vietnamese government. Just as the Phoenix program was deemed necessarily because of the failure to "neutralize" civilian support for the Viet Cong, CHAOS grew out of the failure of COINTELPRO and the CIA's other domestic programs run out of the CIA Office of Security, Project Merrimac and Resistance, to accomplish the same goal within the United States. Merrimac and Resistance had infiltrated groups such as: Women Strike for Peace (WSP), Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Congress on Racial Equality (CORE), and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) among others ostensibly to prevent attacks on CIA personnel or installations. COINTELPRO was launched by J Edgar Hoover in 1956 primarily against the Communist Party USA (CP-USA) and then in 1961 another campaign was launched against the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). In 1967, COINTELPRO launched a campaign against the Black Panther Party. It is estimated that one out of every five or six CP USA members was an FBI informant and one out of even ten members of the SWP were informants.
Richard Helms preciously guarded the secret existence of CHAOS through the compartmentalization of the program, deliberately keeping the Chaos program hidden from other departments of the CIA and through a special communications system that by passed normal CIA communication channels (Valentine 2001). Chaos also contained a computerized index of American dissidents called Hydra located in a sound-proof basement in Langley VA. By the end of the Chaos program in 1974, the lists of names in the database reached 300,000. In 1967, under President Johnson, the Interdivisional Information Unit (IDIU) was created in the Justice Department by Ramsey Clark to coordinate COINTELPRO and Chaos operations. As Doug Valentine points out, the fact that the IDIU was managed by senior White House staff reflects its concern with "politics" rather than "internal security." Under President Nixon, demands on the Chaos program intensified through a secret White House plan called the Huston Plan and then the highly secretive "Intelligence Evaluation Committee."(IEC).
Either Richard Ober or Richard Helms sat on virtual every white house committee formed to deal with dissent and social conflict in the US including the National Commission the Causes and Prevention of Violence and the Law Enforcement Assistance Organization (LEAA) which through block grants provided training for local police in the art of riot control, counter-insurgency and funding for criminology research on the social aspects of crime. The LEAA also included funding behavior modification research and programs in Veteran Hospitals and prisons.
The targets of the Chaos program were similar to Merrimac and Resistance (Women Strike for Peace(WSP) , The Black Panther Party (BPP), Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee(SNCC), Students for Democratic Society (SDS), and, Army deserters and importantly, the underground anti-war press.
The official rationale for the Chaos program was to detect "foreign influence' on the American peace, student, and black liberation movements. Defenders of Chaos claim that the program was to find out if foreign agents were controlling American dissidents (Rafalko 2011). Defenders claim that Chaos agents were gathering intelligence on Americans only inadvertently and minimally and that any intelligence gathered was only incidental (though admittedly this intelligence was always passed to the FBI). One key part of the program was a project one including 40 agents recruited and sheep dipped into Black power and peace groups to be deployed abroad and be used as "dangles" to flip agents of foreign governments overseas. Helms states that 40 agents were recruited, passed intelligence to FBI. The Rockefeller Commission report agreed with the CIA's that this aspect of CHAOs was a "legitimate counter intelligence function" because of its focus on the foreign aspect. However, as will be discussed later, declassified Chaos documents from a lawsuit filed by Women Strike for Peace against Richard Helms in 1976 revealed that the Rockefeller Commission and Church Committee were reports were misleading in that they gave the impression that almost all of the resources of Chaos were devoted to the antiwar movement. The findings of the Helms lawsuit "Halkin v. Helms, 1976" reveal that nearly half of the Chaos program was devoted to "Black Militants" in general and the Black Panther Party in particular (CNNS C-34, Box 6).
Angus Mackenzie's posthumously published account of the Chaos program and its legacy definitively demonstrates the "domestic" nature of MH Chaos. One agent infiltrated himself in the the 1971 May Day mobilization Committee. According to Angus Mackenzie, author of "Secrets", that CIA operative was Sal Ferrera. This agent also insinuated himself into the antiwar underground publications such as the "Quicksilver Times." As with the CIA's consternation with Ramparts, the CIA's concern with disrupting the underground anti-war press in general had to do with controlling access to information and leaks, not foreign influence. Ferrera's case shows that MH Chaos was not an objective intelligence gathering operation intending to prove foreign control of domestic dissent but to control the information about their operations. It was a campaign of active disruption and neutralization that took many forms. As Mackenzie states,
The importance of Ferrera's excellent intelligence work cannot be overestimated. It was espionage with a political bent, and it was relayed directly from the CIA. By this point in his administration Richard Nixon was extremely defensive about protests. With Ferrera's reports, local police and federal officials would be able to find a means of containment (1997:38).
Ferrera was also put on assignment to befriend Philip Agee, a CIA whistleblower living in Paris and writing the most explosive book that had been written about the CIA to date that included a list of CIA operatives in South America. After befriending Agee, Ferrera switched Agee's typewriter with one with a bug. Agee managed to publish his 1975 book "Inside the Company" without deletions and with a lists of scores of organizations that were controlled by the CIA.
What was the true objective of Operation Chaos and what does that objective tell us about the nature of National Security States' relationship with the American people?

Senator Gary Hart, one of the most aggressive investigators of the Church Committee, lamented that there was little interest in the committee in investigating the whole range of abuses that were committed against the American people by the intelligence community. He also states that the vast majority of the 600 page report compiled from CIA Director William Colby's testimony, the infamous, "Family Jewels" never made it into the final Church Committee report and never saw the light of day (Pease 2005).


The Church Committee not only excluded much of William Colby's testimony from the final record but other critical testimony as well. Darthard Perry, aka Ed Riggs codename "Othello" FBI and LAPD (Criminal Conspiracy Section, CCS) informant, provocateur and whistleblower testified before the Church Committee on his activities that helped to destroy the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panther Party (alongside other provocateurs Louis Tackwood, Ron Karenga, and Melvin Cotton Smith). However, he refused to testify a second time stating that the hearings were a cover up and sham and his testimony would be excluded from the final record (Noble 1980).
Perry racked up quite the resume while working for the FBI and the CCS of the LAPD. He first helped organize a raid on the BPP headquarters in LA leading to the arrests of 24 BPP members in December 1969. In a sworn statement found in the Halkin documents, Perry admits to conducting the following operations on behalf of the FBI from 1968 through 1975: he worked with FBI agents Brenden Cleary and Will Heaton and a Lt Castretes of the Criminal Conspiracy section of the LAPD. Perry states that Castretes was the LAPD-CIA liaison. The goal Perry states was to "eliminate" the leadership of the BPP. This plan included assassinations of Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. In a 1977 Mother Jones magazine interview, Perry states that he was coerced into being an informant for FBI because they threatened him with prison (Rappaport 1977: 20). Perry formerly worked in Army intelligence. After decimating the LA BPP, he went on to infiltrate the Watts Writers Workshop destroying that organization, creating financial problems for the organization and eventually burning it to the ground. After this, he infiltrated the Los Angeles Community Freedom School where entrapped one their leaders on false id charges when attempting to purchase a weapon. He also stole BPP comics gave them to FBI so that they could put inflammatory "off the pigs" message and then print thousands of them. He infiltrated the Los Angeles Pacifica Station KPFK leading to an FBI raid of the station. After destroying the Watts Writers Workshop, he began to feel remorse and tried to escape the informant life and came clean to Harry Dolan and Donald Freed, and has been on the lam since 1977. At that time, FBI had 1,500 informants nation-wide (Rappaport 1977: 60).
In 1974-5, he met with Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt in prison posing as a NBC newsman from the Watts Writers Workshop. Perry passed messages between two Black Liberation Army (BLA) members and Pratt and eventually to make a plan to break Pratt out of prison with the help of the BLA and then follow Pratt into the Black revolutionary underground. Why were these documents in with the Halkin lawsuit documents? What was the CIA's role in these types of operations? Had the two BLA members taken the bait (they wisely did not), Pratt could have led the CIA to the global Black liberation underground to make contact with agents abroad. Wouldn't that be within the scope of the officially sanctioned objectives of the Chaos program outlined in the Rockefeller report?
One of the best documentaries on COINTELPRO was produced by veteran Black journalist Gil Noble in 1980 entitled "How the FBI Sabotaged Black America.' Included is an extensive interview with Darthard Perry. Young people interested in any kind of activism today need to be aware of the methods of infiltration, disruption and neutralization. Along with Louis Tackwood's explosive revelations in his book the Glasshouse Tapes (1973), Perry's revelations exposed the depth of the profiling and study of the target.
Excerpts of transcript of "The FBI's Sabotage of Black America"
On Cultural and Psychological Profiling used in Operations
Perry: See you can take their culture and use it against them..
Noble: How? How extensive is the collection on our culture the FBI? Would you rate as large as the library in Harlem?
Perry: I would rate it better.. because they go into details that we would probably overlook… Will Heaton (FBI agent) used to meet me in different places. There was bar in Los Angeles were people into black cultural things met. Will Heaton used to meet me there and he would go into long, tiring conversations with some very articulate brothers about culture.. African culture and Afro-american culture…
On the FBI burning down the Watts Writers Workshop
Noble: What cultural groups did you infiltrate?
Perry: .. the Watts Writers Workshop, one of the oldest established writer workshops in Los Angeles
Noble: That place was burned down..
Perry: Yeah, the Bureau had it burned down.
Noble: How do you know that?
Perry: I know because I participated.. I did the arson..
Noble: Why did they want it burned down?
Perry: Well funding had been cut to the workshop and at the time there was a possibility of a grant coming through and if there was no theater there would be no grant.
Noble: How did you do it?
Perry: Uhh, two cans of kerosene… a purex bottle… gasoline and a flare
Noble: Why didn't you use more sophisticated stuff?
Perry: Oh no, no, no, no no, you are never overly sophisticated, its too obvious… this way you can make it look like maybe somebody in the neighborhood did it because they got kicked out of the theater
On Perry's experience with the Church Committee Investigations
Noble: You've been called to testify in Washington
Perry: Yes in the Senate, I did testify and I want to say right now that the Committee is full of smack. They got loads and loads of information and didn't even use it. They didn't release it. I had tapes I offered to them in evidence and they said they couldn't use them because I got them illegally.
Noble: What would you say about the composition of the committee that questioned you?
Perry: I can say that that was for the birds too because the same people that I was talking about were the same people on the panel.
Noble: What do you mean?
Perry: When I came into the interviewed by the so called Church committee, representatives of the FBI were also in the room.
Noble: Members of the FBI were members of the Church Committee panel?
Perry: Yes they were on the panel asking questions just like the other members of the Church committee. This is another thing I find fault with. This is another reason that I am not going to Washington DC… I am not going again for the simple reason that when I went up there I went up there with the idea that there were agencies investigating the Federal Bureau of Investigation not the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigating the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The fact that the Watts Writers was targeted and destroyed reveals what exactly the FBI finds a threat, Black cultural and political autonomy. This points back to the Church Committee report where the FBI testified that while they found no direct control of American dissent by foreign powers, the ideological links that led to the spread of "dangerous ideas" (US Senate 99) became the reason to target groups like the Watts Writers Workshop.
James Jarrett CIA/LAPD provocateur
James Jarrett with his LAPD buddies Photo by Gilbert Weingourt
The July 10, 1970 issue of the LA Free Press ran an expose entitled "CIA in the LAPD?" The first line read, "A CIA Penetration agent?" The story is that James Jarrett approached Donald Freed, author and playwright and founding member of "Friends of the Panthers" about joining his group. Jarrett had formerly served in Vietnam in the Phoenix Program and openly discussed atrocities he committed there. Before learning of his role as LAPD-CIA provocateur, Jarrett was regarded as someone who was mentally unstable but at the same time offered to help out with many tasks of the group. This is very similar to the case of Darthard Perry who offered to do things like rebuild the stage of the Watts Writers Theater.
Freed did not want Jarrett rejected from the group because he regarded Jarrett as a victim of the CIA-military war machine. Jarrett helped out the group by making himself useful and providing self-defense classes for members of the group. Then after a member of the Friends of Panthers was raped, Jarrett promised to get the women of the group mace. On Oct 2, 1969, Jarrett instead delivered a box of explosives that he had stolen from a nearby naval arsenal and delivered those explosives to Freed's home at 4:15 pm and at 4:30pm, LAPD detectives burst into the home of Donald and Barbara Freed and the home of Shirley Sutherland, guns drawn pointing at the Freeds and Sutherland and her children. Freed said of Jarrett, "I almost could say that the LAPD probably wasn't aware that Jarrett was a CIA man," Freed, commented to the Free Press, "Maybe that's being naive. Jarret has been a 'hit' manthe leader of political assassination teamsin Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. He had worked for the CIA in Latin America. He had come to the LA police to help train the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) squad, which was responsible for the raid on the Black Panther Party headquarters last December." The Freed's were charged and facing a 10 year sentence.
Freed attorney's investigator had been previously employed with the LAPD. While awaiting trial, it came to light that their attorney's investigators assistant Sam Bluth, previously fired from the LAPD, provided information about the Freed's defense strategy and taped conversations about Jarrett between the Freeds and their investigator. Bluth later broke into their home to retrieve more information. In January of the following year, the Freeds sued the city of Los Angeles for one million dollars for among other things, invasion of privacy, theft of property, and abridgement of the Freeds' civil and constitutional rights.
What government program was Jay Region Jarrett working for? The LEAA?, MH/Chaos?
The Halkin Lawsuit.
I found sworn statements of Perrys' in a series of documents located at the National Security Archive that were released from a Lawsuit against Richard Helms by Adele Halkin, Women Strike for Peace activist on behalf of numerous individuals and organizations who were targeted by Chaos. The Lawsuit took place in 1976 and the documents were released in 1979. About 500 pages included Situation Reports on Women Strike for Peace demonstrating that the CIA had infiltrated WSP as far back as January 1962 (WSP was founded in July of 1961). WSP was an incredibly important peace organization that have been overlooked by historians of the 60s. WSP certainly weren't overlooked by the CIA though. WSP has been largely written out of history of the 1960s. There is one book about them written by a former WSP member and academic Amy Swerdlow entitled "Women's Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s." (1993).
WSP was a loosely knit non-hierarchical groups of women across the country. At the apex of the Cold War, WSP brought over 50,000 women in 60 different cities to march against nuclear weapons. Founding members included Bella Azbug and Dagmar Wilson. WSP challenged the entire rationale of the cold war apparatus meeting with mothers and women in the Soviet Union and Vietnam. They were central to the fall of the House of Un-American Activities (HUAC), the president's signing of a limited test ban treaty in 1963 and were among the first to voice opposition to the Vietnam War. They also created a space for the emergence of SDS to become the radical force it did and to a certain extent mid-wived the emergence of new left politics more generally.
When motherhood is organized in a political way, it can move mountains and bring down dictatorships as in the case of the Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina. This fact was surely not lost on the CIA. WSP couldn't be smeared with communism like the CP or SWP or the student movement. They were mostly middle aged mothers. The image of motherhood taps into primal fears and wonders of life itself. Motherhood is universal and transcends nations. I'm sure the CIA was worried that Americans might start relating to the message of WSP on a more broad-based way thereby undermining their cold war scam. I mean after all, everyone has a mother.
Aside from the Halkin documents, there are 2,600 pages of declassified files on of Chaos, Merrimac, and Resistance files. I had to share this one because it made me laugh. Due to the difference in font and the fact that most of the Chaos docs tend to be more illegible than the Merrimac docs, I believe this is a Chaos Situation Report. Chaos began in August of 1967 and this Situation report was from September 1967. The CIA would have already been on top of WSP since they had already been infiltrating them since 1962.
Telephonically received from .(Blacked out).. on 22 September 1967.
. . - .
"Telephonically Received:
visited 2111 Florida Avenue, "Friends meeting house" on
21 September. 1967
... The purpose of the meeting was a critique of the demonstration
held at the White House on 20 September 1967. The jist of the critique was
that there was confusion and lack of instruction which culminated in the .
infraction of the police. Also they felt 'that the police were baffled and will
not do anything to them. They are debating using cabs..en masse and go .
-I.to_ the White House and get out ~t 'A woman around 20 years
of age, last name"'f:J~~ ..A Women came to the registration desk and said she
was on the mailing list but.. did not want to pay the registration fee but wanted
·all literature she could get. · After she left, (blacked out) said, "I bet she
is from the CIA because we know we are being infiltrated by the CIA and we
are glad because CIA is afraid of WSP!"
I read this cable and thought to myself, "Yeah, they were afraid of you. "
This series of documents included in the Halkin collection reveal Chaos being more concerned with domestic dissent than had been previously disclosed in the Church and Rockefeller reports. One document refers to the need for "joint operations" between the CIA-FBI for "mutual benefit." As is pointed out in a memo summarizing this material to Mort Halperin, Director of the ACLU, this isn't just a case of one agency helping out another but focusing on the same task and same target (CNSS C-34 Box 7). Also in line with the research of Angus Mackenzie that demonstrates that Chaos was a program of disruption and not just intelligence gathering focused on "foreign influence."

As stated earlier, the Halkin documents point out that Chaos had been focused more on the "Black Militants" than previously understood by official government reports. Many members of the Black liberation movement conducted FOIA requests to understand the totality of US intelligence's role in the destruction of their movements. In Huey Newton's dissertation, he quotes an affidavit from a lawsuit filed against the CIA by the BBP in 1976. (1980:61)
One longtime CIA operative with direct knowledge of the spying said,
however, that there was an additional goal in the case of the Black
Panthers living abroad: to "neutralize" them; "to try and get them in
trouble with local authorities wherever they could.151
Newton also found that before the Rockefeller Commission hearings began the CIA had destroyed between 150 and 200 files kept by the CIA on Black Militants. The BBP lawsuit produced very few pages of BPP files as the CIA claimed it refused to release them on the grounds of "National Security."

Why was it so important to downplay the CIA's role in disrupting and neutralizing the Black Panther Party? The late Political Science professor Philip Melanson asks the same question in his book about the Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination. He asks why the investigations of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. never went beyond the FBI. Melanson had released several hundred pages of CIA documents on King which contrast the widely held view that CIA's interest in King was merely cursory and routine. One 1967 that was released stated that King (along with was becoming a problem and a "threat" to CIA operations abroad its "image of the United States." ) (128-129). Was the CIA daft and just did not know that the BPP saw itself as a part of a larger anti-colonial struggle? Did it not know that indigenous chapters of the BPP started to pop up in several different countries including a chapter in India called the "Dalit Panthers?" Did it not see that the BPP inspired many other groups in the United States to autonomously organize around the needs of their communities? I doubt it. The "image" of the United States and its relationship with the rest of world has been paramount to maintaining its hegemonic position after it displaced the British Empire at the turn of the 20[SUP]th[/SUP] century. In the post-civil war era, the struggle for Black freedom has always been an "image" problem for the United State long before the CIA ever existed. After all, negative images of American racism can and have gotten in the way of "exporting our democracy" all over the world. As Huey Newton states in the final pages of his dissertation, the real reason for the CIA holding the vast majority of documents on the BPP in the name of "National Security" was that for the CIA to admit how it targeted the BPP would be to admit that it is at war with Black America.
On the one hand, the image of the CIA's interest in the Black liberation movement must seem "cursory and routine." On the other hand, the historical image of the BPP must be downgraded to the status of a quasi-political gang in order to justify their lack of interest and to continue a war of disinformation against the Black liberation movement. The focus of the CHAOS program on the BPP is much larger than previously understood. With dozens of political assassinations committed against the BPP, 100s of false imprisonments, 1000s of false arrests, harassment and massive surveillance, families torn apart, lives destroyed, what happened to the Black Panther Party was nothing short of a dirty war.'
Marshall Eddie Conway, founding member of the Baltimore BPP release from prison in April 2014 after 44 years after being falsely convicted of killing a Baltimore Police Office in 1970 (with his lawyers Robert Boyle and Phil Dantes).
Speaking of a dirty war in the CNSS docs, I also found a CHAOS memo entitled "American Indian Movement" (AIM) which said there several members of AIM that were in the "Extremist Photograph Album," even though the FBI had not "leveled any requirements yet." AIM was another movement like that Panthers that clearly positioned themselves as a part of a larger anti-colonial movement[i][/FONT] Again, wouldn't that be within the CIA charter? There were a couple of memos as well referring to "low-level" members of SDS being recruiting and trained in the Chaos program to be deployed overseas and that these agents were ultimately not that successful because they were not high profile members of the New Left (CNSS C-34 Box 7).
America's Image, the CIA and the Cultural Cold War
Since the founding of the CIA in 1947, maintaining a positive image of America to the rest of the world has been central to its global hegemonic position. The CIA has accomplished this in a variety of ways including launching a massive propaganda campaign in Western Europe in the post-World War 2 era through funding arts and culture activities organized by the "Congress of Cultural Freedom" (CCF) in order to create a "non-communist" left that could woo away Western European intellectuals from their romance with Soviet communism. Through secret pass through foundations, the CIA funded journals, art exhibits, and organized conferences. CIA- related foundations funded music and art movements such as "abstract expressionism" in order to 1. Counter the influence of socialist realism in the arts and literature and 2. To position the United States as a beacon of cultural enlightenment in the world (Stonor Saunders 2000). I bring up Stonor Saunders landmark book "The Cultural Cold War" because the it supports the claims of Huey Newton and Philip Melanson that the CIA is in the business of generating images and illusions into order to maintain America's ability to export democracy" abroad and manage dissent at home. This central strategy of the CIA is to engage in "psychological warfare," a mutated translation of the term Weltanschauugskrieg, or a literal translation of "world-view warfare" a theory of social control developed in Nazi Germany and turned into a science of social engineering by Wild Bill O'Donovan of the Office of Strategic Services (later to be formed as the CIA) (Simpson 1994). Later on, world-view warfare or psychological warfare was turned in "applied science" by the CIA and the larger National Security Establishment.
Referring back to the beginning of this essay, recall one of the main motivating factors for the creation of MH Chaos was the 1967 Rampart revelations that the CIA was funding and controlling the leadership of the National Student Association (NSA). The student association funding was also part of the CIA's "secret war" against the Soviet Union. In a review of a soon to be released book on the subject, Tom Hayden, founding members of SDS writes, both a heartfelt and revelatory review of this book while providing reflections of how he interfaced unknowingly with agents of the CIA penetration agents during his student-activism phase (Hayden 2014). He recalls spending a summer in Berkeley meeting Donald Hoffman of the NSA who had invited Hayden to the following NSA conference. Hayden recalled the student editor of the Michigan Daily that preceded him was also working for the CIA. This editor recruited students to send to Europe. Hayden tells of being invited to the Helinski youth festival as part of an American and anti-communist delegation who were sent to provide a positive image of American democracy while refusing any possible co-existence between communism and capitalism. The whole efforts of the cultural cold war described above were designed to defeat "neutralism" which was regarded a politically dangerous by the CIA created cold war liberal left. The NSA delegation's task was to categorically parrot the Congress of Cultural Freedom's anti-neutralist line. Hayden goes on to talk about Gloria Steinem's role in that very conference and in fact she is the one that originally interviewed Hayden as a potential festival participant. This was in 1962. By 1969, Steinem has become America's best known spokesperson for the American Feminist movement. During her participation in the 1959 Vienna Youth Festival, Hayden tells of Steinem "disrupting the festival through dirty tricks" and Steinem did the same in another youth festival in in Helinski in 1962.
Hayden tells of having tried to enter some of these CIA front groups "unwittingly" and talks about how the CIA recruited him to write a pamphlet on the student civil rights movement in Mississippi in 1961 for global distribution. He applied for an International Student Research Seminar in Philadelphia for which he was rejected. He later found it out it was a major recruiting ground for CIA agents. Hayden states that he later organized a "campaign against the secret elite" at the NSA. A split occurred in the organization leading Hayden to work full time for SDS.
According to a few memos I saw in the Halkin Collection, SDS was also a recruiting ground for MH Chaos. The CIA, you just can't get away from them, can you?
Hayden points out that the story of the NSA's relationship with the CIA is so timely today as movements can be "steered" in certain directions.
The important takeaway from this section, I hope, is that infiltration by the CIA is very sophisticated and manipulative. Gloria Steinem went on to become a major spokesperson for the feminist movement. Off and on during her career she has been at times forthcoming and at other times secretive about her relationship with the CIA.
In the world of "world-view" warfare, any idea can be a weapon. The concepts of human rights and feminism can turn into responsibility to protect and humanitarian intervention which they did in the 1990s and in the post 911 period, as good old fashion anti-imperialism fell by the wayside.

A New Church Committee?
The recent disclosures of massive spying by the National Security Agency had led some national security commentators to call for the formation of a "new Church committee." Aside from the extreme limitations of the original Church committee process discussed in this essay, the current political environment seems to be even a less favorable climate for getting to the facts about what really happened. At least some members of Congress had the chutzpah to take on the National Security Establishment. I mean can anyone imagine for a minute that anyone in today's Congress would introduce a "Boland" amendment (limiting the CIA's funding of terrorist groups)? Or placing ANY limitations on US intelligence agencies at all? Call me cynical, but I can't. I mean where in today's Congress are the Gary Harts? the Bella Azbugs? The Leo Ryans?
In 1976, George H.W. Bush was called to testify before the House Subcommittee on Government Operations and Individuals Rights. Congresswoman Bella Abzug, founding member of WSP, had served on that committee and had recently received part of her Chaos 201 (sensitive files) from the CIA (other notables who had 201 files included: Congressman Ron Dellums, Senator Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King). Bella Abzug had the privilege of questioning George Bush on behalf of the committee about the CIA's "solution" which was to destroy all files on Americans they had created. How I imagine Bush HATED having to answer to Battling Bella'! That woman was nothing short of fierce. Abzug begins her line of questions of Bush:
The subcommittee today begins with the consideration of an extremely timely and important subject- the rights of individuals who were subject to surveillance and harassment by programs such as the FBI's COINTELPRO and the CIA's CHAOS… Another subject is the impending resumption by the intelligence agencies' destruction of documents. We are frankly concerned that before Congress can act the agencies must depose of the evidence of past wrongdoing (Mackenzie 68-69).

Abzug demanded that individuals should have the right to see the information collected on them. Bush apparently blustered at the potential for exposing the secrets of the CIA to the light of day. Bush remarked (I imagine with clenched teeth and a scowl), "CHAOS was a proper foreign intelligence activity… but there may have been some improper accumulation of domestic material." Bush's solution again was to destroy all the documents.
Abzug replied, "In light of the enormous harm done to individuals and the admitted evasion of both criminal law and the Constitution in the maintenance of these files.. we must notify these individuals and make amends!' Eventually, he CIA agreed to allow individuals to file FOIA requests but the CIA, as in the case with requests from the BPP, fought releasing the documents for individual requests every step of the way (71).

In the post Church committee period, according Mackenzie, the CIA went to work on legislation to criminalize government employees from leaking information to the press. Mackenzie laments the fact that Mort Halperin, director of the ACLU, did not mobilize the 250,000 ACLU membership against this legislation. After the election of Reagan, the passage of National Security Decision Directive 84 made it mandatory for government employees to sign non-disclosure agreements who have access to "classifiable information" which eventually comes to mean that ANYTHING could POTENTIALLY classifiable, even retroactively, alongside a CIA publications review board, a "prepublication censorship body" (71) designed to prevent current or former CIA personnel from disclosing embarrassing or illegal activity of the CIA.
Mackenzie surmises that the passage of the secrecy laws emboldened the CIA, the Pentagon and the National Security Council and made them cocky enough to pull off "Iran-Contra." Arms for Hostages, Selling crack in South Central Los Angeles. One dirty war serves another. Wait a minute! We are now right back where we started!
From Managing Dissent to Manufacturing "Terror"
In 1973, Richard Helms turned the CI/Special Operations Group codename MH Chaos into "International Terrorism Group (ITG), to give it a more legitimate spin. Legitimate dissent turns into terror. The 1996 anti-terrorism was built upon by the 2002 Homeland Security Act paving the way for the FUSION centers, little chaos centers in every state gathering massive amounts of data on Americans and originally modeled after the IOCC centers that served the CIA's Phoenix Program in Vietnam. The manipulation of language, government propaganda black grey and white (along with economic austerity) have brow beaten the American people into regarding many forms of dissent as terror. COINTELPRO and CHAOS never ended although officially disbanded in 1974. The FBI has expanded its use of informants in "counter terror" efforts including the 1993 WTC bombing. From the height of the 60s rebellion to today, the number of FBI informants has increased from 1,500 to some 15,000! (Aaronson, 2013). Imagine that! Imagine the damage done by Darthard Perry and that's just one guy! The fact that history has been so distorted by the media, the government and academia and the fact that we were never allowed to know the truth is what led us to where we are today.
Provocateurs like Perry are not a thing of those "crazy" times of the 60s. They are with us today. A 2011 documentary "Better this World" tells the story of longtime FBI provocateur and sociopath, Brandon Darby. His story came to light as he testified against two young men from Midland Texas, David Mackay and Bradley Crowder, lifelong friends who travelled to protest the Republican National Convention in 2008. Darby befriended them and convinced them to get supplies to make 8 homemade bombs. Darby used psychological tactics to entrap them. Both Crowder and Mackay did time. (Crowder and Mackay are both out of prison now). Both of the trials led to the disclosure of Darby's FBI status which also revealed his previous work against long time anarchist and political prisoner advocate Scott Crow. Darby had befriended Scott Crow through a friend of his sometime around 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit. Darby and Crow travel armed to rescue Robert King Wilkerson a former Black Panther. Some people seriously mistrusted Darby. However:
But that changed after Hurricane Katrina, when he learned that Robert King Wilkerson, one of the Angola Threeformer Black Panthers who endured decades of solitary confinement at Louisiana's Angola Prisonwas trapped in New Orleans. Darby and Crow drove 10 hours from Austin towing a jon boat. When they couldn't get it into the city, Darby somehow harangued some Coast Guard personnel into rescuing Wilkerson. The story became part of the foundation myth for an in-your-face New Orleans relief organization called the Common Ground Collective.
It would eventually grow into a national group with a million-dollar budget. But at first Common Ground was just a bunch of pissed-off anarchists working out of the house of Malik Rahim, another former Panther. Rahim asked Darby to set up an outpost in the devastated Ninth Ward, where not even the Red Cross was allowed at first. Darby brought in a group of volunteers who fed people and cleared debris from houses while being harassed by police, right along with the locals who had refused to evacuate.
Darby went on to use every FBI tactic in the book to help destroy Common Ground after he became its leader.
Photo of David Mackay and Bradley Crowder, the Austin Two

Scott Crow and Brandon Darby 2007 Photo:

As the National Security State continues to distort the notion of dissent, knowing the truth of what happened during the COINTELPRO/CHAOS period become increasingly urgent. Over the course of the last year, a new wave of protest has arisen in Ferguson and across America against the hyper militarized, quasi-nazified police and intelligence agencies and their ability to murder with impunity. This new movement has manifested itself in groups like Lost Voices and Black Lives Matter. This nation-wide movement is the first movement in a long time that challenges the police state in a direct and grassroots way, probably the most important one since the BPP was formed in 1966. They rightly understand that the state-sanctioned alternative leaders have led them astray. They have determined to take the center stage of their movement. It is so vital for young activists and the American people more generally to understand what happened in the 60s and 70s. And I don't mean just reading the reports but understanding the fact that much of what happened was never revealed publicly. I think it's vital to know to what extent was that assassination was an integral part of both Chaos and Cointelpro. I mean, would it be that surprising? Obama sits in his office every Tuesday now giving orders to kill, orders that include Americans. It's vital to know the tactics and strategies of infiltration, disruption and neutralization. It's vital to understand the how white, black, and grey propaganda are employed against movements.
A new Church Committee? No I don't think that would solve anything. Instead, I propose that the American people demand a "Peoples' Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the Activities of Intelligence Agencies of the 1960s and 1970s". Let's invite international observers. It can be non-prosecutorial. Immunity from Prosecution for the truth. The remaining Victims and perpetrators are in their twilight years. Our society could gain enormously from the knowledge of what really happened to them. And those who struggle for justice today would be better equipped to face the challenges of what we are up against.
In the 1980s and 1990s, across the world in countries like Guatemala, Argentina, Uruguay, and South Africa, Truth Commissions (both prosecutorial and non-prosecutorial) were essential to the process of re-democratization of their societies. In Brazil and Chile, two former victims of State terror Michele Bachelet of Chile and Dilma Rousseff of Brazil became president of their respective countries. There is a wide-ranging literature about the cultural and political construction of memory and the process of democratization in the Southern Cone countries in the aftermath of the "dirty wars." The psychic wounds and destroyed lives of our little dirty war in America need to come to light. Not just the COINTELPRO AND CHAOS programs but the major political assassinations as well. Come to think of it, Mexico could use one of those too. (Their dirty war, beginning with October 2, 1968 Tlatleloco Student Massacre and subsequent official dirty war of the early 1970s have never been fully excavated).
As I look at the images of the young BPP members, the faces of Brad Crowder and David Mackay, and the faces of the Lost Voices of Ferguson activists, it just chokes me up, literally. Maybe it's the mother in me, but they're just kids! Little Bobby Hutton was murdered at the tender age of 17 after having joined the Party at 16. Young people know instinctively what's wrong with the world. Not unlike the fires of Watts, a fire in their hearts burns for justice, a justice that the previous generations have failed to deliver. Walter Benjamin in his essay "Theses on the philosophy" takes on the problem of history and memory and its revolutionary and repressive potential in the following words:
To articulate what is past does not mean to recognize "how it really was." It means to take control of a memory, as it flashes in a moment of danger. For historical materialism it is a question of holding fast to a picture of the past, just as if it had unexpectedly thrust itself, in a moment of danger, on the historical subject. The danger threatens the stock of tradition as much as its recipients. For both it is one and the same: handing itself over as the tool of the ruling classes. In every epoch, the attempt must be made to deliver tradition anew from the conformism which is on the point of overwhelming it. For the Messiah arrives not merely as the Redeemer; he also arrives as the vanquisher of the Anti-Christ. The only writer of history with the gift of setting alight the sparks of hope in the past, is the one who is convinced of this: that not even the dead will be safe from the enemy, if he is victorious. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious (Benjamin 1934).

I close by dedicating this essay to two central heroes of the period, Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt and Bella Abzug.
Rest in Power, Geronimo Ji Jaga
Rest in Power, Battling Bella

Aaronson, Trevor. 2013. The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism. New York: NY: LG Press.
Benjamin, Walter. 1968. "Theses on the Philosophy of History." Illuminations: Essays and Reflections Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Pp. 253-264
Center for National Security Studies. C-34 Chaos Merrimac Resistance collection Box 6 and 7
Donner, Frank. 1990. Protectors of Privilege: Red Squads and Police Repression in America. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activitie, United States Senate, (94[SUP]th[/SUP] Congress, Second Session, Report No. 94-755) (Government Printing office; April 23, 1976
Harkinson, Josh. 2011. How a Radical Leftist become the FBI's BFF. Mother Jones September/October
Hayden, Tom. 2014. "The CIA's Student-Activism Phase." The Nation. November 26
Mackenzie, Angus. 1997. Secret's: The CIA's War at Home. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Marshall, Sue. 1970. "CIA in the LAPD?" LA Free Press. July 10.
Melanson, Philip. 1994. The Martin Luther King Assassination: New Revelations of the Conspiracy and Cover-up. S.P.I. Book: New York, New York.
Newton, Huey P. 1980. The War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America. Disseration. UC Santa Cruz, California
Noble, Gil. 1980, The FBI's Sabotage of Black America. Documentary
Pease, Lisa. 2005. "The Enduring JFK Mystery." November 22.
Rafalko. Frank. 2011. MH/CHAOS the CIA's Campaign Against the Radical New Left and the Black Panther Party. Annapolis, MD: U.S. Naval Institute Press.
Rappaport, Roger. 1977. "Meet America's Meanest Dirty Trickster". Mother Jones Magazine. 2(3) 19-23, 59-61
Rockefeller Commission. Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States, June 1975.
Stonor Saunders, Frances. 2000. The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters. London: The New Press.

Madga, Peter, Jan, David and Nathaniel Lisa Pease for talking to me about this project.. this is just a starting point and it sucks that my images didnt go through
Great summary piece on Operation CHAOS! It was one nasty operation - as pointed out, above, that never ended...only changed name and form...and is with us still in a more virulent form.

Try putting in the photos again - contact me by PM if you need help. Try moving them to a more standard folder [such as a folder in 'documents' before trying to upload and use the image upload 'button' in middle row in Reply to edit window.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Peter Lemkin Wrote:Great summary piece on Operation CHAOS! It was one nasty operation - that never IMO ended...only changed name and form.

Try putting in the photos again - contact me by PM if you need help. Try moving them to a more standard folder [such as a folder in 'documents' before trying to upload and use the image upload 'button' in middle row in Reply to edit window.

Peter, I IM'ed KD about the possibility of saving as a .pdf. That would include the photos and help out with the formatting. Either way.
"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

"We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl
There's a small typo on the following, Kara. It's the only one I've found, but be gentle on me - I'm still blinking in the dawn light with my first cup of tea, and dribbling in a semi stupor.

I always used to find when I was actively writing that having someone sub a piece for me was something I instinctively disliked but actually longed for in the end. It's always a very difficult task to do the research, then write the piece and then do your own subbing. Big media journos are really spoiled, right.

Anyway, here we go:

Quote:Abzug demanded that individuals should have the right to see the information collected on them. Bush apparently blustered at the potential for exposing the secrets of the CIA to the light of day. Bush remarked (I imagine with clenched teeth and a scowl), "CHAOS was a proper foreign intelligence activity… but there may have been some improper accumulation of domestic material." Bush's solution again was to destroy all the documents.
Abzug replied, "In light of the enormous harm done to individuals and the admitted evasion of both criminal law and the Constitution in the maintenance of these files.. we must notify these individuals and make amends!' Eventually, The CIA agreed to allow individuals to file FOIA requests but the CIA, as in the case with requests from the BPP, fought releasing the documents for individual requests every step of the way (71).
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Thanks for the tip Lauren, will do! i want the pictures there, its gives deeper feeling to the story...

Lauren Johnson Wrote:
Peter Lemkin Wrote:Great summary piece on Operation CHAOS! It was one nasty operation - that never IMO ended...only changed name and form.

Try putting in the photos again - contact me by PM if you need help. Try moving them to a more standard folder [such as a folder in 'documents' before trying to upload and use the image upload 'button' in middle row in Reply to edit window.

Peter, I IM'ed KD about the possibility of saving as a .pdf. That would include the photos and help out with the formatting. Either way.
I knew i had some typos.. I just wanted you guys to look over the ideas.. I have someone helping me with editing... and will send you all the final one as I send it to

David Guyatt Wrote:There's a small typo on the following, Kara. It's the only one I've found, but be gentle on me - I'm still blinking in the dawn light with my first cup of tea, and dribbling in a semi stupor.

I always used to find when I was actively writing that having someone sub a piece for me was something I instinctively disliked but actually longed for in the end. It's always a very difficult task to do the research, then write the piece and then do your own subbing. Big media journos are really spoiled, right.

Anyway, here we go:

Quote:Abzug demanded that individuals should have the right to see the information collected on them. Bush apparently blustered at the potential for exposing the secrets of the CIA to the light of day. Bush remarked (I imagine with clenched teeth and a scowl), "CHAOS was a proper foreign intelligence activity… but there may have been some improper accumulation of domestic material." Bush's solution again was to destroy all the documents.
Abzug replied, "In light of the enormous harm done to individuals and the admitted evasion of both criminal law and the Constitution in the maintenance of these files.. we must notify these individuals and make amends!' Eventually, The CIA agreed to allow individuals to file FOIA requests but the CIA, as in the case with requests from the BPP, fought releasing the documents for individual requests every step of the way (71).
I ll send a pdf when i finalized the paper.. btw Constatine did send me an article about chaos he did that i didnt include in this draft.. will see if i can fit it in..

Peter Lemkin Wrote:Great summary piece on Operation CHAOS! It was one nasty operation - as pointed out, above, that never ended...only changed name and form...and is with us still in a more virulent form.

Try putting in the photos again - contact me by PM if you need help. Try moving them to a more standard folder [such as a folder in 'documents' before trying to upload and use the image upload 'button' in middle row in Reply to edit window.
Thanks for this Kara. I've been away and haven't had a chance to catch up with this unti now. Good work and very pleased to see Truthout publishing it. More people need to know about this.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Truthout had me turn it into three separate essays. Today the first one is out... at least you can see the pictures if you follow the link.. thanks everyone on DPF..

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