Manage episode 277852402 series 2825472
J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was a paranoid monster. So great were his delusions, he managed to convince the government to conduct one of the largest and most devastating domestic espionage rings in history, one which the FBI is still dealing with the consequences to this day. The Counter Intelligence Program, better known as COINTELPRO, was designed to spy on, infiltrate, and destroy groups and individuals suspected of going against the ordinary way of American life, whatever that means.
Thousands of lives were ruined, peaceful activists were targeted for threats and violence, and some of the greatest American heroes were attempted to be discredited by the project. Even Martin Luther King, Jr. and his fellow civil rights activists were not safe from Hoover's wrath. Furthermore, the actions of COINTELPRO soon devolved into political assassination.
Frustrated by years of unchecked violations, a group of ordinary academics decided to take matters into their own hands. Using similar intelligence gathering methods, these activists single handedly blew the whistle on the whole operation, and opened the larger can of worms of the American intelligence community as a whole.
Stealing People's Mail, The Dead Kennedy's
Lift Every Voice and Sing