Friday, May 04, 2007

Coming next-week: 1995 Noam Chomsky interview, much of it covering domestic surveillance

J-7-It took a lot of searching through all the boxes of my personal archives, but I've finally located my Winter 1995 interview with Dr. Chomsky. It gives you an idea of how long-term the issue of domestic surveillance has been, and that the current political generation cannot be trusted to make genuine (fundamental) reforms without being pushed very-very hard by the public to end these activities by the FBI, the NSA, and military intelligence. It appears there are those at the Pentagon who want it too. The core operating-principle behind most of the sixteen intelligence agencies populating our government is to watch all of us.

The worst of these programs was--from 1956-1971--called "COINTELPRO" (counterintelligence program), and was run by the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover. There were several other programs run by the NSA and the Pentagon during this period as well, particularly "GARDEN PLOT", a Defense Department program that utilized domestic surveillance and the running of contingency plans in the case of a domestic insurrection. Now why would America's ruling-classes think we would want to do that? I cannot imagine why, they're just so good to us. A couple of other illegal surveillance programs were "CABLE SPLICER" and "OPERATION CHAOS," "CHAOS" being a program to subvert the anti-war movement.

Nearly ever major social movement group was spied-on by COINTELPRO, even Boy Scout dens (alright, these bastards are really dangerous), PTA boards, students, housewives (very dangerous to national security no-doubt), not just the Black Panther Party (for Self-Defense), Dr. King, the civil rights movement in-general, Puerto Rican nationalists, the American Indian Movement, feminists, the Socialist Workers Party, gay rights activists, communists, unions, private citizens, SDS, the antiwar movement, and-on-and-on.

In 1983, it was revealed that these activities continued under a different name, and it was the FBI who was caught spying-on CISPES (Committee In-Solidarity with the People of El Salvador), but there are numerous examples since the Church Committee's limp-wristed response to Watergate, COINTELPRO, Chile, and much more.

All these programs were run under the auspices of the Executive Branch, with Congress supplying cover (and a wink-and-a-nod) and tolerance of these activities. It was all to undermine to democratic movements within the territorial United States, and still is in other forms. Yet, Americans are only now remembering and learning about COINTELPRO, whereas Watergate is common currency. There are subtle reasons of social control at play here. It was easy for historians and news editors to sweep all this under the rug before the internet was widely-accessible. Since the original publication of this interview, all that has changed.

As Dr. Chomsky states in the interview, "Simply consider the relative attention given to Watergate and to COINTELPRO. It's a very revealing comparison. They were disclosed at the very same time. COINTELPRO was vastly more significant: it was a program by the national political police, acting on the highest authority through three administrations, to undermine and destroy independent thought and political action; its methods reached as far as Gestapo-style political assassination, under Nixon. The facts are not contested. In contrast, Watergate was a tea party."

Statement of intellectual-ownership: The upcoming interview with Dr. Chomsky is the intellectual-property of Dr. Chomsky and the editor & publisher of this blog, Matt Janovic. Reproduction of quotations are fine up-to four lines. After that, permission is required from the editor & publisher of this blog.