(legislative day, April 14), 1976
The resolution creating
this Committee placed greatest emphasis on whether intelligence
activities threaten the "rights of American citizens." 1
The critical question before the Committee was to determine how
the fundamental liberties of the people can be maintained in the
course of the Government's effort to protect their security. The
delicate balance between these basic goals of our system of
government is often difficult to strike, but it can, and must,
be achieved. We reject the view that the traditional American
principles of justice and fair play have no place in our
struggle against the enemies of freedom. Moreover, our
investigation has established that the targets of intelligence
activity have ranged far beyond persons who could properly be
characterized as enemies of freedom and have extended to a wide
array of citizens engaging in lawful activity.
Americans have rightfully been concerned since before World War
II about the dangers of hostile foreign agents likely to commit
acts of espionage. Similarly, the violent acts of political
terrorists can seriously endanger the rights of Americans.
Carefully focused intelligence investigations can help prevent
such acts. But too often intelligence has lost this focus and
domestic intelligence activities have invaded individual privacy
and violated the rights of lawful assembly and political
expression. Unless new and tighter controls are established by
legislation, domestic intelligence activities threaten to
undermine our democratic society and fundamentally alter its
We have examined three types of "intelligence" activities
affecting the rights of American citizens. The first is
intelligence collection -- such as infiltrating groups with
informants, wiretapping, or opening letters. The second is
dissemination of material which has been collected. The third is
covert action designed to disrupt and discredit the activities
of groups and individuals deemed a threat to the social order.
These three types of "intelligence" activity are closely related
in the practical world.
Information which is disseminated by
the intelligence community 2 or used in disruptive programs has
usually been obtained through surveillance. Nevertheless, a
division between collection, dissemination and covert action is
analytically useful both in understanding why excesses have
occurred in the past and in devising remedies to prevent those
excesses from recurring.
A. Intelligence Activity: A New
Form of Governmental Power to Impair Citizens' Rights
A tension between order and liberty is inevitable in any
society. A Government must protect its citizens from those bent
on engaging in violence and criminal behavior, or in espionage
and other hostile foreign intelligence activity. Many of the
intelligence programs reviewed in this report were established
for those purposes. Intelligence work has, at times,
successfully prevented dangerous and abhorrent acts, such as
bombings and foreign spying, and aided in the prosecution of
those responsible for such acts.
But, intelligence activity in the past decades has, all too
often, exceeded the restraints on the exercise of governmental
power which are imposed by our country's Constitution, laws, and
Excesses in the name of protecting security are not a recent
development in our nation's history. In 1798, for example,
shortly after the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution,
the Allen and Sedition Acts were passed. These Acts, passed in
response to fear of proFrench "subversion", made it a crime to
criticize the Government. 3 During the Civil War, President
Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus.
Hundreds of American citizens were
prosecuted for anti-war statements during World War I, and
thousands of "radical" aliens were seized for deportation during
the 1920 Palmer Raids. During the Second World War, over the
opposition of J. Edgar Hoover and military intelligence, 4
120,000 Japanese-Americans were apprehended and incarcerated in
Those actions, however, were fundamentally different from the
intelligence activities examined by this Committee. They were
generally executed overtly under the authority of a statute or a
public executive order. The victims knew what was being done to
them and could challenge the Government in the courts and other
forums. Intelligence activity, on the other hand, is generally
covert. It is concealed from its victims 5 and is seldom
described in statutes or explicit executive orders. The victim
may never suspect that his misfortunes are the intended result
of activities undertaken by his government, and accordingly may
have no opportunity to challenge the actions taken against him.
It is, of course, proper in many circumstances -- such as
developing a criminal prosecution -- for the Government to
gather information about a citizen and use it to achieve
legitimate ends, some of which might be detrimental to the
citizen. But in criminal prosecutions, the courts have struck a
balance between protecting the rights of the accused citizen and
protecting the society which suffers the consequences of crime.
Essential to the balancing process
are the rules of criminal law which circumscribe the techniques
for gathering evidence 6 the kinds of evidence that may be
collected, and the uses to which that evidence may be put. In
addition, the criminal defendant is given an opportunity to
discover and then challenge the legality of how the Government
collected information about him and the use which the Government
intends to make of that information.
This Committee has examined a realm of governmental information
collection which has not been governed by restraints comparable
to those in criminal proceedings. We have examined the
collection of intelligence about the political advocacy and
actions and the private lives of American citizens. That
information has been used covertly to discredit the ideas
advocated and to "neutralize" the actions of their proponents.
As Attorney General Harlan Fiske
Stone warned in 1924, when he sought to keep federal agencies
from investigating "political or other opinions" as opposed to
"conduct . . . forbidden by the laws":
When a police system passes
beyond these limits, it is dangerous to the proper
administration of justice and to human liberty, which it
should be our first concern to cherish.
. . . There is always a possibility that a secret police may
become a menace to free government and free institutions
because it carries with it the possibility of abuses of
power which are not always quickly apprehended or
Our investigation has confirmed that
warning. We have seen segments of our Government, in their
attitudes and action, adopt tactics unworthy of a democracy, and
occasionally reminiscent of the tactics of totalitarian regimes.
We have seen a consistent pattern in which programs initiated
with limited goals, such as preventing criminal violence or
identifying foreign spies, were expanded to what witnesses
characterized as "vacuum cleaners"," sweeping in information
about lawful activities of American citizens.
The tendency of intelligence activities to expand beyond their
initial scope is a theme which runs through every aspect of our
investigative findings. Intelligence collection programs
naturally generate ever-increasing demands for new data. And
once intelligence has been collected, there are strong pressures
to use it against the target.
The pattern of intelligence agencies expanding the scope of
their activities was well described by one witness, who in 1970
had coordinated an effort by most of the intelligence community
to obtain authority to undertake more illegal domestic activity:
The risk was that you would get
people who would be susceptible to political considerations
as opposed to national security considerations, or would
construe political considerations to be national security
considerations, to move from the, kid with a bomb to the kid
with a picket sign, and from the kid with the picket sign to
the kid with the bumper sticker of the opposing candidate.
And you just keep going down the line. 9
In 1940, Attorney General Robert
Jackson saw the same risk. He recognized that using broad labels
like "national security" or "subversion" to invoke the vast
power of the government is dangerous because there are "no
definite standards to determine what constitutes a 'subversive
activity, such as we have for murder or larceny." Jackson added:
Activities which seem benevolent
or helpful to wage earners, persons on relief, or those who
are disadvantaged in the struggle for existence may be
regarded as 'subversive' by those whose property interests
might be burdened thereby. Those who are in office are apt
to regard as 'subversive' the activities of any of those who
would bring about a change of administration. Some of our
soundest constitutional doctrines were once punished as
subversive. We must not forget that it was not so long ago
that both the term 'Republican' and the term 'Democrat' were
epithets with sinister meaning to denote persons of radical
tendencies that were 'subversive' of the order of things
then dominant. 10
This wise warning was not heeded in
the conduct of intelligence activity, where the "eternal
vigilance" which is the "price of liberty" has been forgotten.
B. The Questions
We have directed our investigation toward answering the,
Which governmental agencies have
engaged in domestic spying?
How many citizens have been
targets of Governmental intelligence activity?
What standards have governed the
opening of intelligence investigations and when have
intelligence investigations been terminated?
Where have the targets fit on
the spectrum between those who commit violent criminal acts
and those who seek only to dissent peacefully from
To what extent has the
information collected included intimate details of the
targets' personal lives or their political views, and has
such information been disseminated and used to injure
What actions beyond surveillance
have intelligence agencies taken, such as attempting to
disrupt, discredit, or destroy persons or groups who have
been the targets of surveillance?
Have intelligence agencies been
used to serve the political aims of Presidents, other high
officials, or the agencies themselves?
How have the agencies responded
either to proper orders or to excessive pressures from their
To what extent have intelligence
agencies disclosed, or concealed them from, outside bodies
charged with overseeing them?
Have intelligence agencies acted
outside the law?
What has been the attitude of
the intelligence community toward the rule of law?
To what extent has the Executive
branch and the Congress controlled intelligence agencies and
held them accountable?
Generally, how well has the
Federal system of checks and balances between the branches
worked to control intelligence activity?
C. Summary of the Main Problems
The answer to each of these questions is disturbing. Too many
people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and
to much information has been collected. The Government has often
undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of
their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat
of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign
The Government, operating primarily
through secret informants, but also using other intrusive
techniques such as wiretaps, microphone "bugs" surreptitious
mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of
information about the personal lives, views, and associations of
American citizens. Investigations of groups deemed potentially
dangerous -- and even of groups suspected of associating with
potentially dangerous organizations -- have continued for
decades, despite the fact that those groups did not engage in
unlawful activity. Groups and individuals have been harassed and
disrupted because of their political views and their lifestyles.
Investigations have been based upon
vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection
inevitable. Unsavory and vicious tactics have been employed --
including anonymous attempts to break up marriages, disrupt
meetings, ostracize persons from their professions, and provoke
target groups into rivalries that might result in deaths.
Intelligence agencies have served the political and personal
objectives of presidents and other high officials. While the
agencies often committed excesses in response to pressure from
high officials in the Executive branch and Congress, they also
occasionally initiated improper activities and then concealed
them from officials whom they had a duty to inform.
Governmental officials -- including those whose principal duty
is to enforce the law --have violated or ignored the law over
long periods of time and have advocated and defended their right
to break the law.
The Constitutional system of checks and balances has not
adequately controlled intelligence activities. Until recently
the Executive branch has neither delineated the scope of
permissible activities nor established procedures for
supervising intelligence agencies. Congress has failed to
exercise sufficient oversight, seldom questioning the use to
which its appropriations were being put. Most domestic
intelligence issues have not reached the courts, and in those
cases when they have reached the courts, the judiciary has been
reluctant to grapple with them.
Each of these points is briefly illustrated below, and covered
in substantially greater detail in the following sections of the
1. The Number of People Affected
by Domestic Intelligence Activity
United States intelligence agencies have investigated a vast
number of American citizens and domestic organizations. FBI
headquarters alone has developed over 500,000 domestic
intelligence files, 11 and these have been augmented by
additional files at FBI Field Offices. The FBI opened 65,000 of
these domestic intelligence files in 1972 alone. 12
In fact, substantially more
individuals and groups are subject to intelligence scrutiny than
the number of files would appear to indicate, since typically,
each domestic intelligence file contains information on more
than one individual or group, and this information is readily
retrievable through the FBI General Name Index.
The number of Americans and domestic groups caught in the
domestic intelligence net is further illustrated by the
-- Nearly a quarter of a million
first class letters were opened and photographed in the
United States by the CIA between 1953-1973, producing a CIA
computerized index of nearly one and one-half million names.
-- At least 130,000 first class letters were opened and
photographed by the FBI between 1940-1966 in eight U.S.
-- Some 300,000 individuals were indexed in a CIA computer
system and separate files were created on approximately
7,200 Americans and over 100 domestic groups during the
course of CIA's Operation CHAOS (1967-1973). 15
-- Millions of private telegrams sent from, to, or through
the United States were obtained by the National Security
Agency from 1947 to 1975 under a secret arrangement with
three United States telegraph companies. 16
-- An estimated 100,000 Americans were the subjects of
United States Army intelligence files created between the
mid 1960's and 1971. 17
-- Intelligence files on more than 11,000 individuals and
groups were created by the Internal Revenue Service between
1969 and 1973 and tax investigations were started on the
basis of political rather than tax criteria. 18
-- At least 26,000 individuals were at one point catalogued
on an FBI list of persons to be rounded up in the event of a
"national emergency". 19
2. Too Much Information Is
Collected For Too Long
Intelligence agencies have collected
vast amounts of information about the intimate details of
citizens' lives and about their participation in legal and
peaceful political activities. The targets of intelligence
activity have included political adherents of the right and the
left, ranging from activist to casual supporters.
Investigations have been directed
against proponents of racial causes and women's rights,
outspoken apostles of nonviolence and racial harmony;
establishment politicians; religious groups; and advocates of
new life styles. The widespread targeting of citizens and
domestic groups, and the excessive scope of the collection of
information, is illustrated by the following examples:
(a) The "Women's Liberation
Movement" was infiltrated by informants who collected
material about the movement's policies, leaders, and
individual members. One report included the name of every
woman who attended meetings, 20 and another stated that each
woman at a meeting bad described "how she felt oppressed,
sexually or otherwise". 21 Another report concluded that the
movement's purpose was to "free women from the humdrum
existence of being only a wife and mother", but still
recommended that the intelligence investigation should be
(b) A prominent civil rights leader and advisor to Dr.
Martin Luther ing, Jr., was investigated on the suspicion
that he might be a Communist " sympathizer". The FBI field
office concluded he was not. 23 Bureau headquarters directed
that the investigation continue using a theory of "guilty
until proven innocent:"
The Bureau does not agree with the expressed belief of the
field office that - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 24 is
not sympathetic to the Party cause. While there may not be
any evidence that - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - is a
Communist neither is there any substantial evidence that he
is anti-Communist. 25
(c) FBI sources reported on the formation of the
Conservative American Christian Action Council in 1971. 26
In the 1950's, the Bureau collected information about the
John Birch Society and passed it to the White House because
of the Society's "scurillous attack" on President Eisenhower
and other high Government officials. 27
(d) Some investigations of the lawful activities of peaceful
groups have continued for decades. For example, the NAACP
was investigated to determine whether it "had connections
with" the Communist Party. The investigation lasted for over
twenty-five years, although nothing was found to rebut a
report during the first year of the investigation that the
NAACP had a "strong tendency" to "steer clear of Communist
activities." 211 Similarly, the FBI has admitted that the
Socialist Workers Party has committed no criminal acts.
Yet the Bureau has investigated
the Socialist Workers Party for more than three decades on
the basis of its revolutionary rhetoric-which the FBI
concedes falls short of incitement to violence-and its
claimed international links. The Bureau is currently using
its informants to collect information about SWP members'
political views, including those on "U.S. involvement in
Angola," "food prices," "racial matters," the "Vietnam War,"
and about any of their efforts to support non-SWP candidates
for political office. 29
(e) National political leaders fell within the broad reach
of intelligence investigations. For example, Army
Intelligrnce nee maintained files on Senator Adlai Stevenson
and Congressman Abner Mikva because of their participation
in peaceful political meetings under surveillance by Army
agents. 30 A letter to Richard Nixon, while he was a
candidate for President in 1968, was intercepted under CIA's
mail opening program. In the 1960's President Johnson asked
the FBI to compare various Senators' statements on Vietnam
with the Communist Party line 32 and to conduct name checks
on leading antiwar Senators. 33
(f) As part of their effort to collect information which
"related even remotely" to people or groups "active" in
communities which had "the potential" for civil disorder,
Army intelligence agencies took such steps as: sending
agents to a Halloween party for elementary school children
in Washington, D.C., because they suspected a local
"dissident" might be present; monitoring protests of welfare
mothers' organizations in Milwaukee; infiltrating a
coalition of church youth groups in Colorado; and sending
agents to a priests' conference in Washington, D.C., held to
discuss birth control measures. 34
(g) In the, late 1960's and early 1970s, student groups were
subjected to intense scrutiny. In 1970 the FBI ordered
investigations of every member of the Students for a
Democratic Society and of "every Black Student Union and
similar group regardless of their past or present
involvement in disorders." 35 Files were opened on thousands
of young men and women so that, as the former head of FBI
intelligence explained , the information could be used if
they ever applied for a government job. 36
In the 1960's Bureau agents were instructed to increase
their efforts to discredit "New Left" student demonstrators
by tactics including publishing photographs ("naturally the
most obnoxious picture should be used"), 37 using
"misinformation" to falsely notify members events had been
cancelled '18 and writing "tell-tale" letters to students'
(h) The FBI Intelligence Division commonly investigated any
indication that "subversive" groups already under
investigation were seeking to influence or control other
groups. 40 One example of the extreme breadth of this
"infiltration" theory was an FBI instruction in the
mid-1960's to all Field Offices to investigate every "free
university" because some of them had come under "subversive
influence. " 41
(i) Each administration from Franklin D. Roosevelt's to
Richard Nixon's permitted, and sometimes encouraged,
government agencies to handle essentially political
intelligence. For example:
-- President Roosevelt asked
the FBI to put in its files the names of citizens
sending telegrams to the White House opposing his
"national defense" policy and supporting Col. Charles
-- President Truman received inside information on a
former Roosevelt aide's efforts to influence his
appointments, 43 labor union negotiating plans, 44 and
the publishing plans of journalists. 45
-- President Eisenhower received reports on purely
political and social contacts with foreign officials by
Bernard Baruch, 46 Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, 47 and
Supreme Court Justice William 0. Douglas. 47a
-- The Kennedy Administration had the FBI wiretap a
Congressional staff member , 48 three executive
officials, 49 a lobbyist, 50 and a, Washington law firm.
51 Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy received the
fruits of a FBI "tap" on Martin Luther King, Jr. 52 and
a "bug" on a Congressman both of which yielded
information of a political nature. 53
-- President Johnson asked the FBI to conduct "name
checks" of his critics and of members of the staff of
his 1964 opponent, Senator Barry Goldwater. 54 He also
requested purely political intelligence on his critics
in the Senate, and received extensive intelligence
reports on political activity at the 1964 Democratic
Convention from FBI electronic surveillance. 55
-- President Nixon authorized a program of wiretaps
which produced for the White House purely political or
personal information unrelated to national security,
including information about a Supreme Court justice. 56
Covert Action and the Use of
Illegal or Improper Means
(a) Covert Action. -- Apart from
uncovering excesses in the collection of intelligence, our
investigation has disclosed covert actions directed against
Americans, and the use of illegal and improper surveillance
techniques to gather information. For example:
(i) The FBI's
counterintelligence program -- was designed to "disrupt"
groups and "neutralize" individuals deemed to be threats
to domestic security. The FBI resorted to
counterintelligence tactics in part because its chief
officials believed that the existing law could not
control the activities of certain dissident groups, and
that court decisions had tied the hands of the
Whatever opinion one holds
about the policies of the targeted groups, many of the
tactics employed by the FBI were indisputably degrading
to a free society.
-- Anonymously attacking
the political beliefs of targets in order to induce
their employers to fire them;
-- Anonymously mailing letters to the spouses of
intelligence targets for the purpose of destroying
their marriages; 57
-- Obtaining from IRS the tax returns of a target
and then attempting to provoke an IRS investigation
for the express purpose of deterring a protest
leader from attending the Democratic National
-- Falsely and anonymously labeling as Government
informants members of groups known to be violent,
thereby exposing the falsely labelled member to
expulsion or physical attack; 59
-- Pursuant to instructions to use "misinformation"
to disrupt demonstrations, employing such means as
broadcasting fake orders on the same citizens band
radio frequency used by demonstration marshalls to
attempt to control demonstrations, 60 and
duplicating and falsely filling out forms soliciting
housing for persons coming to a demonstration,
thereby causing "long and useless journeys to locate
these addresses"; 61
-- Sending an anonymous letter to the leader of a
Chicago street gang (described as "violence-prone")
stating that the Black Panthers were supposed to
have "a hit out for you". The letter was suggested
because it "may intensify . . . animosity" and cause
the street gang leader to "take retaliatory action".
(ii) From "late 1963" until
his death in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the
target of an intensive campaign by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation to "neutralize" him as an effective civil
rights leader. In the words of the man in charge of the
FBI's "war" against Dr. King, "No holds were barred." 63
The FBI gathered information about Dr. King's plans and
activities through an extensive surveillance program,
employing nearly every intelligence-gathering technique
at the Bureau's disposal in order to obtain information
about the "private activities of Dr. King and his
advisors" to use to "completely discredit" them. 64
The program to destroy Dr. King as the leader of the
civil rights movement included efforts to discredit him
with Executive branch officials, Congressional leaders,
foreign heads of state, American ambassadors, churches.
universities, and the press. 65
The FBI mailed Dr. King a tape recording made from
microphones hidden in his hotel rooms which one agent
testified was an attempt to destroy Dr. King's
marriage.66 The tape recording was accompanied by a note
which Dr. King and his advisors interpreted as
threatening to release the tape recording unless Dr.
King committed suicide. 67
The extraordinary nature of the campaign to discredit
Dr. King is evident from two documents:
-- At the August 1963
March on Washington, Dr. King told the country of
his "dream" that:
all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews
and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be
able to join hands and sing in the words of the old
Negro spiritual, "Free at last, free at last, thank
God Almighty, I'm free at last."
The Bureau's Domestic Intelligence Division
concluded that this "demagogic speech" established
Dr. King as the "most dangerous and effective Negro
leader in the country." 68 Shortly afterwards, and
within days after Dr. King was named "Man of the
Year" by Time magazine, the FBI decided to "take him
off his pedestal," reduce him completely in
influence," and select and promote its own candidate
to "assume the role of the leadership of the Negro
-- In early 1968, Bureau headquarters explained to
the field that Dr. King must be destroyed because he
was seen as a potential "messiah" who could "unify
and electrify" the "black nationalist movement".
Indeed, to the FBI he was a potential threat because
he might "abandon his supposed 'obedience' to white
liberal doctrines (non-violence) ." 70
In short, a non-violent
man was to be secretly attacked and destroyed as
insurance against his abandoning non-violence.
(b) Illegal or Improper Means.
-- The surveillance which we investigated was not only
vastly excessive in breadth and a basis for degrading
counterintelligence actions, but was also often conducted by
illegal or improper means. For example:
(1) For approximately 20
years the CIA carried out a program of indiscriminately
opening citizens' first class mail. The Bureau also had
a mail opening program, but cancelled it in 1966. The
Bureau continued, however, to receive the illegal fruits
of CIA's program. In 1970, the heads of both agencies
signed a document for President Nixon, which correctly
stated that mail opening was illegal, falsely stated
that it had been discontinued, and proposed that the
illegal opening of mail should be resumed because it
would provide useful results.
The President approved the
program, but withdrew his approval five days later. The
illegal opening continned nonetheless. Throughout this
period CIA officials knew that mail opening was illegal,
but expressed concern about the "flap potential" of
exposure, not about the illegality of their activity. 71
(2) From 1947 until May 1975, NSA received from
international cable companies millions of cables which
had been sent by American citizens in the reasonable
expectation that they would be kept private. 72
(3) Since the early 1930's, intelligence agencies have
frequently wiretapped and bugged American citizens
without the benefit of judicial warrant. Recent court
decisions have curtailed the use of these techniques
against domestic targets.
But past subjects of these
surveillances have included a United States Congressman,
a Congressional staff member, journalists and newsmen,
and numerous individuals and groups who engaged in no
criminal activity and who posed no genuine threat to the
national security, such as two White House domestic
affairs advisers and an anti Vietnam War protest group.
While the prior written
approval of the Attorney General has been required for
all warrantless wiretaps since 1940, the record is
replete with instances where this requirement was
ignored and the Attorney General gave only
Until 1965, microphone surveillance by intelligence
agencies was wholly unregulated in certain classes of
cases. Within weeks after a 1954 Supreme Court decision
denouncing the FBI's installation of a microphone in a
defendant's bedroom, the Attorney General informed the
Bureau that he did not believe the decision applied to
national security cases and permitted the FBI to
continue to install microphones subject only to its own
"intelligent restraint". 73
(4) In several cases, purely political information (such
as the reaction of Congress to an Administration's
legislative proposal) and purely personal information
(such as coverage of the extra-marital social activities
of a high-level Executive official under surveillance)
was obtained from electronic surveillance and
disseminated to the highest levels of the federal
(5) Warrantless break-ins have been conducted by
intelligence agencies since World War II. During the
1960's alone, the FBI and CIA conducted hundreds of
break-ins, many against American citizens and domestic
organizations. In some cases, these break-ins were to
install microphones; in other cases, they were to steal
such items as membership lists from organizations
considered "subversive" by the Bureau. 75
(6) The most pervasive surveillance technique has been
the informant. In a random sample of domestic
intelligence cases, 83% involved informants and 5%
involved electronic surveillance. 76 Informants have
been used against peaceful, law-abiding groups; they
have collected information about personal and political
views and activities. 77
To maintain their
credentials in violence-prone groups, informants have
involved themselves in violent activity. This phenomenon
is well illustrated by an informant in the Klan. He was
present at the murder of a civil rights worker in
Mississippi and subsequently helped to solve the crime
and convict the perpetrators.
Earlier, however, while
performing duties paid for by the Government, he had
previously "beaten people severely, had boarded buses
and kicked people, had [gone] into restaurants and
beaten them [blacks] with blackjacks, chains, pistols."
Although the FBI requires
agents to instruct informants that they cannot be
involved in violence, it was understood that in the
Klan, "he couldn't be an angel and be a good informant."
4. Ignoring the Law
Officials of the intelligence agencies occasionally
recognized that certain activities were illegal, but expressed
concern only for "flap Potential." Even more disturbing was the
frequent testimony that the law, and the Constitution were
For example, the author of the
so-called Huston plan testified:
Question. Was there any person
who stated that the activity recommended, which you have
previously identified as being illegal opening of the mail
and breaking and entry or burglary -- was there any single
person who stated that such activity should not be done
because it was unconstitutional?
Question. Was there any single person who said such activity
should not be done because it was illegal?
Answer. No. 80
Similarly, the man who for ten years
headed FBI's Intelligence Division testified that:
... never once did I hear
anybody, including myself, raise the question: "Is this
course of action which we have agreed upon lawful, is it
legal, is it ethical or moral." We never gave any thought to
this line of reasoning, because we were just naturally
Although the statutory law and the
Constitution were often not "[given] a thought", 82 there was a
general attitude that intelligence needs were responsive to a
higher law. Thus, as one witness testified in justifying the
FBI's mail opening program:
It was my assumption that what
we were doing was justified by what we had to do . . . the
greater good, the national security. 83
5. Deficiencies in Accountability
The overwhelming number of excesses continuing over a
prolonged period of time were due in large measure to the fact
that the system of checks and balances -- created in our
Constitution to limit abuse of Governmental power -- was seldom
applied to the intelligence community. Guidance and regulation
from outside the intelligence agencies -- where it has been
imposed at all -- has been vague.
Presidents and other senior
Executive officials, particularly the Attorneys General, have
virtually abdicated their Constitutional responsibility to
oversee and set standards for intelligence activity. Senior
government officials generally gave the agencies broad, general
mandates or pressed for immediate results on pressing problems.
In neither case did they provide guidance to prevent excesses
and their broad mandates and pressures themselves often resulted
in excessive or improper intelligence activity.
Congress has often declined to exercise meaningful oversight,
and on occasion has passed laws or made statements which were
taken by intelligence agencies as supporting overly-broad
On the other hand, the record reveals instances when
intelligence agencies have concealed improper activities from
their superiors in the Executive branch and from the Congress,
or have elected to disclose only the less questionable aspects
of their activities.
There has been, in short, a, clear and sustained failure by
those responsible to control the intelligence community and to
ensure its accountability. There has been an equally clear and
sustained failure by intelligence agencies to fully inform the
proper authorities of their activities and to comply with
directives from those authorities.
6. The Adverse Impact of Improper Intelligence Activity
Many of the illegal or improper disruptive efforts directed
against American citizens and domestic organizations succeeded
in injuring their targets. Although it is sometimes difficult to
prove that a target's misfortunes were caused by a
counter-intelligence program directed against him, the
possibility that an arm of the Untied States Government intended
to cause the harm and might have been responsible is itself
The Committee has observed numerous examples of the impact of
intelligence operations. Sometimes the harm was readily apparent
-- destruction of marriages, loss of friends or jobs. Sometimes
the attitudes of the public and of Government officials
responsible for formulating policy and resolving vital issues
were influenced by distorted intelligence. But the most basic
harm was to the values of privacy and freedom which our
Constitution seeks to protect and which intelligence activity
infringed on a broad scale.
(a) General Efforts to
Discredit. -- Several efforts against individuals and groups
appear to have achieved their stated aims. For example:
-- A Bureau Field Office
reported that the anonymous letter it had sent to an
activist's husband accusing his wife of infidelity
"contributed very strongly" to the subsequent breakup of
the marriage. 84
-- Another Field Office reported that a draft counsellor
deliberately, and falsely, accused of being an FBI
informant was "ostracized" by his friends and
-- Two instructors were reportedly put on probation
after the Bureau sent an anonymous letter to a
university administrator about their funding of an
anti-administration student newspaper. 86
-- The Bureau evaluated its attempts to "put a stop" to
a contribution to the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference as "quite successful." 87
-- An FBI document boasted that a "pretext" phone call
to Stokeley Carmichael's mother telling her that members
of the Black Panther Party intended to kill her son left
her "shocked". The memorandum intimated that the Bureau
believed it had been responsible for Carmichael's flight
to Africa the following day. 88
(b) Media Manipulation. -- The
FBI has attempted covertly to influence the public's
perception of persons and organizations by dissemminating
derogatory information to the press, either anonymously or
through "friendly" news contacts.
The impact of those articles is
generally difficult to measure, although in some cases there
are fairly direct connections to injury to the target. The
Bureau also attempted to influence media reporting which
would have any impact on the public image of the FBI.
-- Planting a series of
derogatory articles about Martin Luther King, Jr., and
the Poor People's Campaign. 89
For example, in anticipation of the 1968 "poor people's
march on Washington, D.C.," Bureau Headquarters granted
authority to furnish "cooperative news media sources''
an article "designed to curtail success of Martin Luther
King's fund raising." 90 Another memorandum illustrated
how "photographs of demonstrators" could be used in
discrediting the civil rights movement. Six photographs
of participants in the poor people's campaign in
Cleveland accompanied the memorandum with the following
show the militant aggressive appearance of the
participants and might be of interest to a
cooperative news source." 91 Information on the Poor
People's Campaign was provided by the FBI to
friendly reporters on the condition that "the Bureau
must not be revealed as the source." 92
-- Soliciting information
from Field Offices "on a continuing basis" for "prompt .
. . dissemination to the news media . . . to discredit
the New Left movement and its adherents." The
Headquarters directive requested, among other things,
specific data should be furnished depicting the
scurrilous and depraved nature, of many of the
characters, activities, habits, and living conditions
representative of New Left adherents.
Field Offices were to be exhorted that: "Every avenue of
possible embarrassment must be vigorously and
enthusiastically explored." 93
-- Ordering Field Offices to gather information which
would disprove allegations by the "liberal press, the
bleeding hearts, and the forces on the left" that the
Chicago police used undue force in dealing with
demonstrators at the 1968 Democratic Convention. 95
-- Taking advantage of a close relationship with the
Chairman of the Board -- described in an FBI memorandum
as "our good friend"-- of a magazine with national
circulation to influence articles which related to the
FBI. For example, through this relationship the Bureau:
"squelched" an "unfavorable article against the Bureau"
written by a free-lance writer about an FBI
investigation; "postponed publication" of an article on
another FBI case; "forestalled publication" of an
article by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and received
information about proposed editing of King's articles.
(c) Distorting Data to Influence
Government Policy and Public Perceptions
Accurate intelligence is a prerequisite to sound government
policy. However, as the past head of the FBI's Domestic
Intelligence Division reminded the Committee:
The facts by themselves are
not too meaningful. They are something like stones cast
into a heap. 97
On certain crucial subjects the domestic intelligence
agencies reported the "facts" in ways that gave rise to
For example, the FBI's Domestic Intelligence Division
initially discounted as an "obvious failure" the alleged
attempt's of Communists to influence the civil rights
movement. 98 Without any significant change in the
factual situation, the Bureau moved from the Division's
conclusion to Director Hoover's public congressional
testimony characterizing Communist influence on the
civil rights movement as "vitally important." 98a
FBI reporting on protests against the Vietnam War
provides another example, of the manner in which the
information provided to decision-makers can be skewed.
In acquiescence with a judgment already expressed by
President Johnson, the Bureau's reports on
demonstrations against the War in Vietnam emphasized
Communist efforts to influence the anti-war movement and
underplayed the fact that the vast majority of
demonstrators were not Communist controlled. 99
(d) "Chilling" First Amendment
Rights. -- The First Amendment protects the Rights of
American citizens to engage in free and open discussions,
and to associate with persons of their choosing.
Intelligence agencies have, on occasion, expressly attempted
to interfere with those rights. For example, one internal
FBI memorandum called for "more interviews" with New Left
subjects "to enhance the paranoia endemic in these circles"
and "get the point across there is an FBI agent behind every
More importantly, the government's surveillance activities
in the aggregate -- whether or not expressly intended to do
so -- tends, as the Committee concludes at p. 290 to deter
the exercise of First Amended Rights by American citizens
who become aware of the government's domestic intelligence
(e) Preventing the Free Exchange of Ideas. -- Speakers,
teachers, writers, and publications themselves were targets
of the FBI's counterintelligence program. The FBI's efforts
to interfere with the free exchange of ideas included:
-- Anonymously attempting to
prevent an alleged "Communist-front" group from holding
a forum on a midwest campus, and then investigating the
judge who ordered that the meeting be allowed to
-- Using another "confidential source" in a foundation
which contributed to a local college to apply pressure
on the school to fire an activist professor.
-- Anonymously contacting a university official to urge
him to "persuade" two professors to stop funding a
student newspaper, in order to "eliminate what voice the
New Left has" in the area.
-- Targeting the New Mexico Free University for teaching
"confrontation politics" and "draft counseling
7. Cost and Value
Domestic intelligence is expensive. We have already
indicated the cost of illegal and improper intelligence
activities in terms of the harm to victims, the injury to
constitutional values, and the damage to the democratic process
itself. The cost in dollars is also significant. For example,
the FBI has budgeted for fiscal year 1976 over $7 million for
its domestic security informant program, more than twice the
amount it spends on informants against organized crime. 103
The aggregate budget for FBI
domestic security intelligence and foreign counterintelligence
is at least $80 million. 104 In the late 1960s and early 1970s,
when the Bureau was joined by the CIA, the military, and NSA in
collecting information about the anti-war movement and black
activists, the cost was substantially greater.
Apart from the excesses described above, the usefulness of many
domestic intelligence activities in serving the legitimate goal
of protecting society has been questionable. Properly directed
intelligence investigations concentrating upon hostile foreign
agents and violent terrorists can produce valuable results. The
Committee has examined cases where the FBI uncovered "illegal"
agents of a foreign power engaged in clandestine intelligence
activities in violation of federal law. Information leading to
the prevention of serious violence has been acquired by the FBI
through its informant penetration of terrorist groups and
through the inclusion in Bureau files of the names of persons
actively involved with such groups. 105
Nevertheless, the most sweeping
domestic intelligence surveillance programs have produced
surprisingly few useful returns in view of their extent. For
-- Between 1960 and 1974, the
FBI conducted over 500,000 separate investigations of
persons and groups under the "subversive" category,
predicated on the possibility that they might be likely to
overthrow the government of the United States. 106 Yet not a
single individual or group has been prosecuted since 1957
under the laws which prohibit planning or advocating action
to overthrow the government and which are the main alleged
statutory basis for such FBI investigations. 107
-- A recent study by the General Accounting Office has
estimated that of some 17,528 FBI domestic intelligence
investigations of individuals in 1974, only 1.3 percent
resulted in prosecution and conviction, and in only "about 2
percent" of the cases was advance knowledge of any activity
-- legal or illegal -- obtained. 108
-- One of the main reasons advanced for expanded collection
of intelligence about urban unrest and anti-war protest was
to help responsible officials cope with possible violence.
However, a former White House official with major duties in
this area under the Johnson administration has concluded, in
retrospect, that "in none of these situations . . . would
advance intelligence about dissident groups [have] been of
much help," that what was needed was "physical intelligence"
about the geography of major cities, and that the attempt to
"predict violence" was not a "successful undertaking" 109
-- Domestic intelligence reports have sometimes even been
counterproductive. A local police chief, for example,
described FBI reports which led to the positioning of
federal troops near his city as:
. . . almost completely
composed of unsorted and unevaluated stories, threats,
and rumors that had crossed my desk in New Haven. Many
of these had long before been discounted by our
Intelligence Division. But they had made their way from
New Haven to Washington, had gained completely
unwarranted credibility, and had been submitted by the
Director of the FBI to the President of the United
States. They seemed to present a convincing picture of
impending holocaust. 110
In considering its recommendations,
the Committee undertook an evaluation of the FBI's claims that
domestic intelligence was necessary to combat terrorism, civil
disorders, "subversion," and hostile foreign intelligence
activity. The Committee reviewed voluminous materials bearing on
this issue and questioned Bureau officials, local police
officials, and present and former federal executive officials.
We have found that we are in fundamental agreement with the
wisdom of Attorney General Stone's initial warning that
intelligence agencies must not be "concerned with political or
other opinions of individuals" and must be limited to
investigating essentially only "such conduct as is forbidden by
the laws of the United States."
The Committee's record demonstrates
that domestic intelligence which departs from this standard
raises grave risks of undermining the democratic process and
harming the interests of individual citizens. This danger weighs
heavily against the speculative or negligible benefits of the
ill-defined and overbroad investigations authorized in the past.
Thus, the basic purpose of the recommendations contained in Part
IV of this report is to limit the FBI to investigating conduct
rather than ideas or associations.
The excesses of the past do not, however, justify depriving the
United States of a clearly defined and effectively controlled
domestic intelligence capability. The intelligence services of
this nation's international adversaries continue to attempt to
conduct clandestine espionage operations within the United
States. 111 Our recommendations provide for intelligence
investigations of hostile foreign intelligence activity.
Moreover, terrorists have engaged in serious acts of violence
which have brought death and injury to Americans and threaten
further such acts. These acts, not the politics or beliefs of
those who would commit them, are the proper focus for
investigations to anticipate terrorist violence. Accordingly,
the Committee would permit properly controlled intelligence
investigations in those narrow circumstances. 112
Concentration on imminent violence can avoid the wasteful
dispersion of resources which has characterized the sweeping
(and fruitless) domestic intelligence investigations of the
past. But the most important reason for the fundamental change
in the domestic intelligence operations which our
Recommendations propose is the need to protect the
constitutional Rights of Americans.
In light of the record of abuse revealed by our inquiry, the
Committee is not satisfied with the position that mere exposure
of what has occurred in the past will prevent its recurrence.
Clear legal standards and effective oversight and controls are
necessary to ensure that domestic intelligence activity does not
itself undermine the democratic system it is intended to
1 S. Res. 21, see. 2 (12). The
Senate specifically charged this Committee with investigating
"the conduct of domestic intelligence, or counterintelligence
operations against United States citizens." (See. 2(2) ) The
resolution added several examples of specific charges of
possible "illegal, improper or unethical" governmental
intelligence activities as matters to be fully investigated
(See. (2) (1)-CIA domestic activities; See. (2) (3)-Huston Plan:
See. (2) (10)-surreptitous entries, electronic surveillance,
2 Just as the term "Intelligence activity" encompasses
activities that go far beyond the collection and analysis of
information, the term "intelligence community- includes persons
ranging from the President to the lowest field operatives of the
3 The Alien Act provided for the deportation of all aliens
judged "dangerous to the peace and safety" of the nation. (1
Stat. 570, June 25, 1798) The Sedition Act made it a federal
crime to publish "false, scandalous and malicious writing"
against the United States government, the Congress, or the
President with the intent to "excite against them" the "hatred
of the good people of the United States" or to "encourage or
abet any hostile designs of any foreign nation against the
United States." (1 Stat. 596, July 14, 1798) There were at least
25 arrests, 15 indictments, and 10 convictions under the
Sedition Act. (See James M. Smith, Freedom's Fetters: The Alien
and Sedition Laws and American Civil Liberties (Ithaca: Cornell
U. Press, 1956).)
4 Francis Biddle, In Brief Authority (Garden City; Doubleday,
1962), p. 224; Roger Daniels, Concentration Camps USA: Japanese
Americans and World War II (New York: Holt, Rinehart. and
Winston, 1971), p. 66.
5 Many victims of intelligence activities have claimed in the
past that they were being subjected to hostile action by their
government. Prior to this investigation, most Americans would
have dismissed these allegations. Senator Philip Hart aptly
described this phenomenon in the course of the Committee's
public hearings on domestic intelligence activities:
"As I'm sure others have, I have
been told for years by, among others, some of my own family,
that this is exactly what the Bureau was doing all of the
time, and in my great wisdom and high office, I assured them
that they were [wrong]-it just wasn't true. it couldn't
happen. They wouldn't do it. What you have described is a
series of illegal actions intended squarely to deny First
Amendment rights to some Americans. That is what my children
have told me was going on. Now I did not believe it.
"The trick now, as I see it, Mr. Chairman, is for this
committee to be able to figure out how to persuade the
people of this country that indeed it did go on. And how
shall we insure that it will never happen again? But it will
happen repeatedly unless we can bring ourselves to
understand and accept that it did go on." Senator Philip
Hart, 11/18/75, Hearings, Vol. 6, p. 41.
6 As the Supreme court noted in
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 483. 486 (1966), even before
the Court required law officers to advise criminal suspects of
their constitutional rights before custodial interrogation, the
FBI had "an exemplary record" in this area-a practice which the
Court said should be emulated by state and local law enforcement
agencies." This commendable FBI tradition in the general field
of law enforcement presents a sharp contrast to the widespread
disregard of individual rights in FBI domestic intelligence
operations examined in the balance of this Report.
7 New York Times, 5/13/24.
8 Mary Jo Cook testimony, 12/2/75), Hearings, Vol. 6, p. 111;
James B. Adams testimony, 12/2/75. Hearings, Vol. 6, p. 135.
9 Tom Charles Huston testimony, 9/23/75, Hearings, Vol. 2, p.
10 "The Federal Prosecutor", Journal of the American Judicature
Society (June, 1940), p. 18.
11 Memorandum from the FBI to the Senate Select Committee,
12 Memorandum from the FBI to the Senate Select Committee,
13 James Angleton testimony, 9/17/75, p. 28.
14 See Mail Opening Report: Section IV, "FBI Mail Openings."
15 Chief, International Terrorist Group testimony, Commission on
CIA Activities Within the United States, 3/10/75, pp. 1485-1489.
16 Statement by the Chairman, 11/6/75; re: SHAMROCK, Hearings,
Vol, 5, pp. 57-60.
17 See Military Surveillance Report: Section 11, "The Collection
of Information about the Political Activities of Private
Citizens and Private Organizations."
18 See IRS Report: Section II, "Selective Enforcement for
19 Memorandum from A. H. Belmont to L. V. Boardman, 12/8/54.
Many of the memoranda cited in this report were actually written
by FBI personnel other than those whose names were indicated at
the foot of the document as the author. Citation in this report
of specific memoranda by using the names of FBI personnel which
so appear is for documentation purposes only and is not intended
to presume authorship or even knowledge in all cases.
20 Memorandum from Kansas City Field Office to FBI Headquarters,
10/20/70. (Hearings, Vol. 6, Exhibit 54-3)
21 Memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters,
5/28/69, P. 2. (Hearings, Vol. 6, Exhibit 54--1)
22 Memorandum from Baltimore Field Office to FBI Headquarters,
5/11/70, P. 2.
23 Memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters,
24 Name deleted by Committee to protect privacy.
25 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to New York Meld Office
4/24/64, re CPUSA, Negro question.
26 James Adams testimony, 12/2/75, Hearings, Vol. 6, p. 137.
27 Memorandum from F. T. Baumgardner to William C. Sullivan,
28 Memorandum from Oklahoma City Field Office to FBI
Headquarters. 9/19/41. See Development of FBI Domestic
Intelligence Investigations: Section IV, "FBI Target Lists."
29 Chief Robert Shackleford testimony, 2/6/76, p. 91.
30 Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights.
Report. 1973. p. 57.
31 Senate Select Committee Staff summary of HTLINGUAL File
32 FBI Summary Memorandum, 1/31/75, re: Coverage of TX.
33 Letter from J. Edgar Hoover to Marvin Watson, 7/15/66.
34 See Military Report: See. II, "The Collection of information
About the Political Activities of Private citizens and Private
35 Memorandum from FBI headquarters to all SAC's, 11/4/70.
36 Charles Brennan testimony, 9/25/75, Hearings, vol. 2 p. 117.
37 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to all SAC's, 7/5/68.
38 Abstracts of New Left Documents #161, 115, 43. Memorandum
from Washington Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 1/21/69.
39 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Cleveland Field Office,
40 FBI manual of Instructions, See. 87, B (2-f).
41 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to San Antonio Field Office,
42 Memorandum from Stephen Early to J. Edgar Hoover, 5/21/40;
43 Letter from J. Edgar Hoover to George Allen, 12/3/46.
44 Letter from J. Edgar Hoover to Maj. Gen. Harry Vaughn,
45 Letter from J. Edgar Hoover to M. T. Connelly, 1/27/50.
46 Letter from J. Edgar Hoover to Dillon Anderson, 11/7/55.
47 Letter from J. Edgar Hoover to Robert Cutler, 2/13/58.
47a Letters from T. Edgar Hoover to Robert Cutler,
48 Memorandum from J. Edgar Hoover to the Attorney General,
49 Memorandum from J. Edgar Hoover to the Attorney General,
50 Memorandum from J. Edgar Hoover to the Attorney General,
51 Memorandum from J. Edgar Hoover to the Attorney General
52 Memorandum from Charles Brennan to William Sullivan,
53 Memorandum from J. Edgar Hoover to the Attorney General,
54 Memorandum from T. Edgar Hoover to Bill Moyers, 10/27/64.
55 Memorandum from C. D. DeLoach to John Mohr, 8/29/64.
56 Letter from J. Edgar Hoover to H.R. Haldeman, 6/25/70.
57 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters, to San Francisco Field
58 Memorandum from [Midwest City] Field Office to FBI
Headquarters, 8/l/68; memorandum from FBI Headquarters to
[Midwest City] Field Office, 8/6/68.
59 Memorandum from Columbia Field Office to FBI Headquarters,
11/4/70, re: COINTELPRO-New Left.
60 Memorandum from Cbarles Brennan to William Sullivan. 8/15/68.
61 Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters,
62 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Chicago Field Office,
1/30/69 re: COINTELPRO, Black Nationalist-Hate Groups.
63 William C. Sullivan testimony, 11/1/75, p. 49.
64 memorandum from Baumgardner to Sullivan, 2/4/64.
65 Memorandum from Chicago Field Office to FBI Headquarters,
12/16/68; memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Chicago Field
Office, 1/30/69, re: COINTELPRO, Black Nationalist-Hate Groups.
66 William C. Sullivan, 11/1/75, pp. 104-105.
67 Andrew Young testimony, 2/19/76. p. 8.
68 Memorandum from Sullivan to Belmont, 8/30/63. Memorandum from
Sullivan to Belmont, 1/8/64.
70 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to all SACs, 3/4/68.
71 See Mail Opening Report: Section II, "Legal Considerations
and the 'Flap' Potential."
72 See NSA Report: Section I. "Introduction and Summary."
73 Memorandum from Attorney General Brownell to J. Edgar Hoover,
74 See finding on Political Abuse. To protect the privacy of the
targeted individual, the Committee has omitted the citation to
the memorandum concerning the example of purely personal
75 Memorandum from W. C. Sullivan to C. D. DeLoach 7/19/66, p.
76 General Accounting Office Report on Domestic intelligence
Operations of the FBI. 9/75.
77 Mary Jo Cook testimony. 12/2/75, Hearings, Vol. 6. p. 111.
78 Gary Rowe deposition, 10/17/75, p. 9.
79 Special Agent No. 3 deposition, 11/21/75, p. 12.
80 Huston testimony 9/23/75, Hearings, Vol. 2,1).
81 William Sullivan testimony, 11/1/75, pp. 92-93.
82 The quote is from a Bureau official who had supervised for
the "Black Nationalist Hate Group"
"Question. Did anybody at
any time that you remember during the course of the program,
discuss the Constitutionality or the legal authority, or
anything else like that?
"Answer. No, we never gave it a thought. As far as I
know, nobody engaged or ever had any idea that they were
doing anything other than what was the policy of the Bureau
which had been policy for a long time." (George Moore
deposition, 11/3/75, p. 83.)
83 Branagan, 10/9/75, p. 41.
84 Memorandum from St. Louis Field Office to FBI Headquarters,
85 Memorandum from 'San Diego Field Office to FBI Headquarters,
86 Memorandum from Mobile Field Office to FBI Headquarters,
87 Memorandum from Wick to DeLoach, 11/9/66.
88 Memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters,
89 See King Report: Sections V and VII.
90 Memorandum from G. C. Moore to W. C. Sullivan, 10/26/68.
91 Memorandum from G. C. Moore to W. C. Sullivan, 5/17/68.
92 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Miami Field Office,
93 Memorandum from C. D. Brennan to W. C. Sullivan, 5/22/68.
94 omitted in original.
95 Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Chicago Field Office,
96 Memorandum from W. H. Stapleton to DeLoach, 11/3/64.
97 Sullivan. 11/1/75, p. 48.
98 Memorandum from Baumgardner to Sullivan. 8/26/63 p. 1. Hoover
himself construed the initial Division estimate to mean that
Communist influence was "infinitesimal."
98a See Finding on Political Abuse, p. 225.
99 See Finding on Political Abuse. p. 225.
100 "New Left Notes -- Philadelphia." 9/16/70, Edition #1.
101 Memorandum from Detroit Field Office to FBI Headquarters
10/26/60; Memorandum from P13T Headquarters to Detroit Field
Office 10/27, 28, 31/60; Memorandum from Baumgardner to Belmont,
102 See COINTELPRO Report: Section 111. "The Goals of COINTELPRO:
Preventing or disrupting the exercise of First Amendment
103 The budget for FBI informant programs includes not only the
payments to informants for their services and expenses, but also
the expenses of FBI personnel who supervise informants, their
support costs, and administrative overhead. (Justice Department
letter to Senate Select Committee, 3/2/76).
104 The Committee is withholding the portion of this figure
spent on domestic security intelligence (informants and other
investigations combined) to prevent hostile foreign intelligence
services from deducing the amount spent on counterespionage. The
$80 million figure does not include all costs of separate FBI
activities which may be drawn upon for domestic security
intelligence purposes. Among these are the Identification
Division (maintaining fingerprint records), the Files and
Communications Division (managing the storage and retrieval of
investigative and intelligence files), and the FBI Laboratory.
105 Examples of valuable informant reports include the
following: one informant reported a plan to ambush police
officers and the location of a cache of weapons and dynamite;
another informant reported plans to transport illegally obtained
weapons to Washington. D.C.: two informants at one meeting
discovered plans to dynamite two city blocks. All of these plans
were frustrated by further investigation and protective measures
or arrest. (FBI memorandum to Select Committee, 12/10/75; Senate
Select Committee Staff memorandum: Intelligence Cases in Which
the FBI Prevented Violence, undated.)
One example of the use of information in Bureau files involved a
"name check" at Secret Service request on certain persons
applying for press credentials to cover the visit of a foreign
head of state. The discovery of data in FBI files indicating
that one such person bad been actively involved with violent
groups led to further investigation and ultimately the issuance
of a search warrant. The search produced evidence, including
weapons, of a plot to assassinate the foreign head of state.
(FBI memorandum to Senate Select Committee, 2/23/76)
106 This figure is the number of "investigative matters" handled
by the FBI in this area, including as separate items the
investigative leads in particular cases which are followed up by
various field offices. (FBI memorandum to Select Committee,
107 Schackelford 2/13/76, p. 32. This official does not recall
any targets of "subversive" investigations having been even
referred to a Grand Jury under these statutes since the 1950s.
108 FBI Domestic Intelligence Operations -- Their Purpose and
Scope: Issues That Need To Be Resolved," Report by the
Comptroller General to the House Judiciary Committee, 2/24/76,
pp. 138-147. The FBI contends that these statistics may be
unfair in that they concentrate on investigations of individuals
rather than groups. (Ibid., Appendix V)
In response, GAO states that its
"sample of organization and control files was sufficient to
determine that generally the FBI did not report advance
knowledge of planned violence." In most of the fourteen
instances where such advance knowledge was obtained, it related
to "such activities as speeches, demonstrations or meetings-all
essentially nonviolent." (Ibid.. p, 144)
109 Joseph Califano testimony. 1/27/76, pp. 7-8.
110 James Ahern testimony, 1/20/76, pp. 16, 17.
111 An indication of the scope of the problem is the increasing
number of official representatives of communist governments in
the United States. For example the number of Soviet officials in
this country has increased from 333 in 1961 to 1,079 by early
1975. There were 2,683 East-West exchange visitors and 1,500
commercial visitors in 1974. (FBI Memorandum, "Intelligence
Activities Within the United States by Foreign Governments,"
112 According to the FBI, there were 89 bombings attributable to
terrorist activity in 1975, as compared with 45 in 1974 and 24
in 1973. Six persons died in terrorist-claimed bombings and 76
persons were injured in 1975. Five other deaths were reported in
other types of terrorist incidents. Monetary damage reported in
terrorist bombings exceeded 2.7 million dollars. It should be
noted, however, that terrorist bombings are only a fraction of
the total number of bombings in this country. Thus, the 89
terrorist bombings in 1975 were among a total of over 1,900
bombings, most of which were not, according to the FBI ,
attributable clearly to terrorist activity. (FBI memorandum to
Senate Select Committee, 2/23/76.)
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