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 Bernadine 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.
The USA was undergoing a zeitgeist shift in the 1960s. Large numbers of teenagers were slipping off the mind control leash and questioning their parent’s knee-jerk support for the Pentagon’s Cold War. The operations put into play to derail and deflect this emerging zeitgeist were immense. Fifty years later, I’m still trying to untangle the complex threads. All it takes is identifying who was pushing violence as their primary solution in the 1960s, and then seeing if that person achieved mysterious mainstream success later on in life.
As a general rule, left-wing terrorists are not given professorships with tenure and pensions by major universities, a trajectory reserved exclusively for spooks. And keep in mind, not all spooks know who they work for, and even the few who do are provided information on a need-to-know basis. When people say 9/11 can’t be an inside job because someone would have talked, keep in mind the CIA was manipulating the student youth movement for decades before anyone spilled any beans. And derailing the student youth movement was a bigger operation involving more conspirators than 9/11.
William Kunstler, he must have been one of the “good guys,” right? After all, he was director of the American Civil Liberties Union and leader of the National Lawyer’s Guild. Unfortunately, both associations are infested with spooks. The ACLU was founded by Roger Baldwin, Crystal Eastman and Felix Frankfurter.
Felix became personal assistant to New York district attorney Henry Stimson in 1906, who became famous for his trust-busting investigations. Stimson was a Yale Bonesman who eventually served as Secretary of War for both Republicans and Democrats. Most important, he created the Black Eagle Fund to distribute trillions in stolen WWII loot into covert accounts, funds used to foment false flags, manipulate elections and arrange coups favorable to Wall Street around the world. Some of the money was used for operations on the right, some funded operations on the left. Left and right are wings of the same bird, manipulated for a predetermined dialectical outcome.
Felix eventually became a Supreme Court Justice. Clearly, these two men were on the establishment’s inside track. Crystal was sister to Max Eastman, who ran the primary Communist propaganda organ, The Masses, which assisted spook John Reed’s takeover of the socialist movement in America. Later in life, Eastman became a supporter of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch-hunt, certainly a dramatic flip-flop. Roger Baldwin began as a devoted Communist as well, once claiming “Communism, of course, is the goal,” although ten years later, he led the purge of Commies out of the ACLU, when his execs were secretly meeting with the FBI and leaking names of members suspected to be red.
Sherman Skolnick was a Chicago investigator who learned how to locate copies of IRS 990-AR tax forms in public libraries, a document filled out by foundations and available to the public if you knew where to look. Sherman discovered the CIA was routinely using a variety of foundations for financing the radical left. Very soon, he was accusing Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden, Lee Weiner and Jerry Rubin, leaders of the student youth movement, of accepting funds from CIA sources, specifically the Carnegie Foundation, the Student Health Organization, the Institute for Policy Studies, J.M. Kaplan Fund, Aaron E. Norman Fund, New World Foundation, and the Roger Baldwin Foundation. Skolnick claimed the Chicago 7 trial was a staged event and that the Nation magazine, Pacifica Radio, National Public Radio, and Democracy Now were all at least partially CIA-financed. Very few took Sherman seriously at the time and he was branded a conspiracy kook, even though he did manage to take down a string of corrupt judges in Illinois connected to organized crime.
But if you examine the pro bono lawyers representing the Chicago 7, the trajectories into national fame become somewhat suspicious. Aaron Sorkin’s Chicago recreation on Neflix has problems, especially when it comes to the Black Panthers. In the film Bobby Seale is shown taking direction from Fred Hampton. Seale is large and well-built, while Hampton shorter and less athletic. This is the reverse of the truth: Seale was a short, skinny dude compared to Hampton. Seale is bound and gagged only for a few minutes because he erupts following a police assassination of Hampton. In fact, Hampton was not assassinated by police until December, while Seale was gagged in October for multiple days in court before his case was severed from the other seven. The correct chronology is crucial to understanding events.
The film makes it seem Hampton was killed for giving legal advice to Seale, when, in fact, he was killed much later because he was about to become chief-of-staff for the central committee. Hampton was leading the Panthers into non-violence. Only William Kunstler is shown as the group’s lawyer, when, in fact a team of litigators was involved, including Michael Kennedy and his mentor Michael Tigar, both ardent Communists, (or so they claim). This trial was carefully stage-managed and there were multiple intel “influencers” placed in crucial positions. The left and right have always been under supervision, and influencers like Tom Hayden, Jerry Rubin, Jane Fonda, Bill Ayers, and Gloria Steinem behave suspiciously like operatives. In the case of Steinem, the CIA connection has been proven. All social movements of any size are penetrated by alphabet agencies. But no where are intel influences more crucial than among the pro bono lawyers themselves, which is why I suspect Kunstler and Kennedy were operatives, which would explain why they always supported terror while actively encouraging an intel takeover of the SDS.
“The world is a better place without the Kennedy brothers….two of the most dangerous people who ever lived….Any black guy who shoots six cops, and puts the fear of god in police officers, I think is great….If it comes to a revolution, all of my moral scruples would have to go out the window…” –William Kunstler
They missed Kunstler’s combover and hulking gait and made him look way too reasonable. Why was this case dragged on for months on the front pages? The judge was doing a Roland Freisler imitation and it was clear any ruling could be overturned upon appeal, which is exactly what happened. In the sixties the KGB put a huge effort into recruiting leftwing lawyers as secret operatives. You’d be foolish to think the CIA wouldn’t counter that operation by embedding double agents into that sphere, something easily accomplished. The Panthers were infested with agents from a variety of alphabet agencies. Hampton did not rise to the level of “needs execution” until he became nationally known, and his murder was instantly deployed by the Weather Underground to turn the counterculture toward violence, the very thing Hampton was trying to avoid, calling such action “Custeristic.” The trial of the Chicago 7 is a window on the real world once you figure out who the agents are (hint: they push violence as the solution.)
While the FBI was turning black activists against each other, the CIA was providing automatic weapons and C4 to violent blacks and creating groups like the Symbionese Liberation Army to spark race war, same mission their MK/Ultra Charlie Manson was promoting. Hampton was a serious obstacle because he was one of the few counterculture leaders intelligent enough to denounce the tactics of the Weather Underground. They were able to use his murder as the excuse why people needed to “bring the war home.” Dohrn was leading the press on tours of Hampton’s blood-stained apartment a few hours after his murder. It catapulted her into national fame. By taking out the leadership of the counterculture and student revolutions, putting them in jail for months after an excessively long and protracted trial that served to polarize the nation, a leadership vacuum was created. And when Fred Hampton stepped in to fill it, they used his murder to anoint a new leadership in blood.
Today, Rennie Davis is a venture capitalist who runs the Foundation for a New Humanity; Tom Hayden is a former California State Senator who works for Harvard’s Institute of Policy Studies; while Lee Weiner went from the Mossad-infested Anti-Defamation League to becoming Vice President of AmeriCares. “Do-good” organizations make the best covers and fulfilled that role long before John Reed was employed by the Red Cross in Russia.
But this story runs wider and deeper than just the Chicago 7.
In 1969, Fred Hampton was fully illuminated and enlightened, a man with a brain on fire, but tragically he would soon die. In fact, his death was the fulcrum around which the CIA launched an epic attack on the peace movement with coordinated operations from within and without. Examination of the crime yields an understanding of deep politics. At one time, Hampton, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. were all viewed as potential black messiahs. All were assassinated by the state just for achieving that status, and spooks like Jesse Jackson inserted in their place. In hindsight we can see Hampton’s premeditated murder was mined by counterintelligence.
Hampton had just ended the bitter internal street-gang warfare in Chicago by uniting the various gangs into his “rainbow coalition,” a term he coined. He was a tremendous athlete who could have gone professional in several sports, although he yearned to play center field for the Yankees. He built sports groups instead of gangs, and encouraged multi-cultural activities and ceremonies. He was a tremendous inspiration, especially for James “Chef Ra” Wilson, who deployed Hampton’s tactics to combat racism at Urbana High School, uniting jocks, longhairs, blacks and greasers.
Hampton was not murdered because he was giving legal advice to Bobby Seale, he was murdered because he was the first pacifist elected to a national leadership role the Black Panthers and was leading the organization down a different path.
Six years earlier, on October 31, 1963, an anonymous tip from “Lee” a confidential FBI informant, revealed some men in Chicago were planning to kill JFK, who was due to visit the following day. At the same time, a landlady called police to report four rifles with telescopic sights had been discovered in a room she’d just rented (a room overlooking the route JFK was soon due to follow). The Secret Service was notified and JFK’s trip to Chicago was cancelled. Strangely, Arthur Thomas Vallee was one of the men at the apartment, and he had been previously posted to the CIA’s secret base in Atsuki, Japan, along with Lee Harvey Oswald. The base launched the U-2 spy planes. Both Vallee and Oswald had since been involved with anti-Castro Cubans in New Orleans, and both were moved into offices overlooking imminent presidential parade routes. A Secret Service agent in Chicago blew the whistle on the cover-up of these facts, but he was swiftly silenced and threatened with jail. His name was Abraham Bolden. But the important name to remember is the policeman assigned to spy on Valle: Daniel Groth.
Six years later, Groth arrived at the house where Hampton and several other Black Panthers were asleep. They arrived by firing into the front and back doors simultaneously and then crashed into the apartment. Over 90 shots were fired, from revolvers, machine guns and rifles, and all but one round came from a police weapon, and it hit the ceiling after the Panther holding the gun was fatally wounded. So the police took no incoming fire during the raid. Hampton was sleeping with his pregnant fiance Deborah Johnson (due in 2 weeks) when they were awakened by gunshots coming through the walls. He had been previously drugged by an FBI informant inside the group, who disappeared before the raid began. Consequently, he could not respond to the crisis. The bedroom door flung open and bullets began zipping into room, striking the mattress and walls. Deborah rolled on top of Hampton to shield him, but she was quickly pulled off by two officers, one of whom dragged her to the kitchen. She heard two shots fired from inside the bedroom, and an officer asked, “Is he dead? To which Groth laughed, “he’s good and dead.” Groth had executed the black messiah with two bullets to his head.
Terror is the primary tool of counterintelligence ops, and the murder of Fred Hampton terrorized the counterculture peace movement. Although Hampton was a devoted pacifist, his death would be instantly exploited to turn the peace movement violent. And the steps down that garden path were led by two fringe members of the Students for a Democratic Society who orchestrated a takeover.
Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn pulled off their takeover of the SDS and it was not unlike the takeover John Reed supervised over the socialist movement many decades earlier. Funny how some people with the same last name were involved with both ops. And wasn’t it convenient Ayers and Dorhn were located in Chicago, and could arrive at Fred Hampton’s murder site and lead the press on tours of the kill zone the following day. Dorhn had graduated from the University of Chicago and become the first law student organizer for the spook-infested National Lawyers Guild.
“We felt that the murder of Fred required us to be more grave, more serious, more determined to raise the stakes and not just be the white people who wrung their hands when black people were being murdered,” Dorhn would later remark. But she didn’t talk like that until years later. In the sixties, she mostly spouted rhetoric like “kill the pigs!” In fact, she celebrated Charlie Manson as a counterculture hero, and declared 1970 the year of the fork and created a three-fingered “fork salute” after the stabbings of the pregnant Sharon Tate by Susan Atkins. “They even shoved a fork into pig Tate’s stomach! Wild!” said Dorhn, comments her husband now contests.
You can’t imagine a more dishonorable act than celebrating the memory of peacemaker Fred Hampton by deploying his death to foment violence, but that’s exactly what the Weather Underground did. They soon declared war on the United States and announced a plan to exterminate all those who supported the government, a sort of insane mass ethnic cleansing of hippies perpetrated against straight people that never had any prayer of success, yet the rhetoric continued for years while the Weather Underground orchestrated terror attacks. Never once have the two leaders expressed regret for lives lost or the ramifications of their evil rhetoric.
Now fast forward and realize despite well-publicized meetings with enemy agents from foreign lands, despite fomenting hundreds of bombings and encouraging blacks and other activists to go violent, despite providing explosives, guns and training to criminally insane characters, and despite being the most wanted domestic terrorists of their time, Dohrn and Ayers walked straight from a life in the underground to university jobs and pensions.
Dohrn and Ayers always had a reputation for the high life. Most of their time in hiding was apparently spent at a luxurious California beach house, sleeping between clean sheets, drinking expensive wines, living a life of relative luxury in comparison to the Weather Underground rank and file they were leading down the CIA dialectical rabbit hole.
“I don’t regret setting bombs,” says Bill Ayers today (even though one killed an innocent San Francisco policeman). “I feel we didn’t do enough.”
Didn’t do enough? The Weathermen disgraced the memory of Fred Hampton, murdering innocent people in his name, and were responsible for co-opting his visionary, peaceful, rainbow coalition.
Meanwhile, Timothy Leary was soon railroaded into jail on trumped up charges, and the Weather Underground were brought in to bust him out. During that episode many press releases went out indicating Leary was now armed and dangerous and supporting the Weather Underground tactics. They wanted him to join forces with Eldridge Cleaver in Algeria to foment an armed insurrection led by black militants. But Cleaver didn’t trust Leary, and after decamping to Switzerland, and then Afghanistan, a letter written by Leary’s wife outlining their future itinerary was discovered by an Orange County police officer who’d made tracking Leary his personal vendetta. Soon Leary was in solitary confinement, being worked over, and eventually agreed to spill the beans on everything he knew about the Weather Underground.
Strangely, spilling the beans never amounted to an arrest of anyone, although it did spurn William Kunstler to make a public plea for Leary’s assassination after Leary fingered Michael Kennedy as the secret leader of the Weather Underground. Kennedy had to go into hiding until he smoke cleared, although he would soon go on to steal High Times magazine from the employees. There are other characters involved with the magazine who also deserve close examination, most notably Ron Rosenbaum, Chip Berlet and AJ Weberman.