The War on the Black Panthers

There’s a feature documentary on the Black Panthers on Netflix that covers a lot of important ground, although I can’t help but notice some significant facts were strangely left out of the script. I didn’t realize until I watched this that the overwhelming bulk of COINTELPRO activity was focused directly on the Panthers, who had become the younger generation’s most influential and charismatic force for change. When I was 15, I bought a black, double-breasted lambskin jacket and took it off as little as possible. Soon, I would be living in the Berkeley flats, just a few blocks from the Panther birthplace.

The original concept had been to monitor police radio traffic and respond to police activity in an effort to stem the tide of police violence against blacks in Oakland. For this mission they were heavily armed. However, soon the Panthers would be feeding kids free breakfasts and would put down the weapons and issue a ten-point program that wanted an end to police violence as well as the draft. The Panthers pioneered the idea that education, housing, food and health care should be free to anyone who couldn’t afford it.

One of the primary missions of COINTELPRO was to work divisions inside the Panthers, and pit leaders against each other. So the first big split occurred over the issue of weapons and need for violent revolution. Obviously, the FBI wanted the Panthers to be as violent as possible. The strategy for turning Panthers violent may have involved handing out gobs of free cocaine and turning them into addicts. There was only one other organization on the same level of prominence as the Panthers at the time, and that was Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), so simultaneous missions were undertaken to turn both organizations violent to justify a police crackdown. The easiest way to neutralize a revolution is to outflank the revolution on the left and lead it farther and farther left until all support from the populace at large disappears. This is essentially what happened with the Panthers and the SDS.
The SDS was destroyed through the creation of the Weather Underground, a violent splinter group that was no doubt a project of the national security state. The Weather Underground took their name from a Bob Dylan song during a time the CIA feared Dylan might ignite a revolution, so Dylan was being closely monitored and he withdrew from public view no doubt in order to escape the multiple ops and scams being run against him. The purpose of the Weather Underground was inciting violence against police. They killed a few on their own to spark the confrontation.

When Fred Hampton successfully merged the Panthers, the Young Lords and the SDS in Chicago, he instantly emerged as the greatest revolutionary leader in America, and was offered the position of national director of the Panthers. Fred came up with a name for the new group he was assembling: The Rainbow Coalition. But Fred was swiftly assassinated, and his rainbow legacy passed off and watered-down by deep state operative Jesse Jackson.

Obviously, the documentary covers Fred’s assassination in detail, but the most important clues were strangely left out. The police who murdered Fred while he was sleeping were the same officers who had years earlier been sent to interview a former Marine involved in a plot to assassinate JFK in Chicago. Both officers ended up rising rapidly through the ranks: Daniel Groth and Peter Schurla. Had that Chicago plot succeeded, the name Lee Harvey Oswald would have been replaced by Thomas Arthur Vallee, who was one of Oswald’s dopplegangers as he was posted at the same base in Japan, one notorious for MK/Ultra experiments. Vallee was a member of the John Birch Society and (like Oswald) had affiliations with Cuban mercenaries.

What’s interesting is not that some CIA-connected cops shot up Fred Hampton, but that the crime scene was bizarrely left wide open and unguarded and the first person to arrive was Bernadette Dorhn (real last name: Ornstein), the first student organizer hired by the National Lawyer’s Guild, a Communist organization infiltrated, if not supervised, by operatives of the deep security state. Dorhn led Chicago press on a guided tour and correctly identified the scene not as a gun battle (as asserted by the police), but as a one-sided massacre. Media coverage was deployed around the country to incite the counterculture peace movement into supporting an open season on cops as the best response to Fred’s death, while scaring the rest of the country into thinking a civil war was becoming imminent.

None of this unfolded by accident. The reason the crime scene was not secured was to allow Dohrn to deploy Fred’s assassination as her springboard to national fame and assist the National Lawyer’s Guild takeover of the non-violent SDS. Soon Dohrn would be feeding gobs of LSD to dozens of recruits while forcing them into group orgies.