The FBI's (i.e. J. Edgar Hoover's) COunterINTELligence PROgram. An early goal was to divide-and-conquer black nationalism in the US. A month after the program began, Martin Luther King was murdered - ruling out the possibility of MLK becoming a rudder for that ship. Within a few years, many young black leaders (e.g. members of The Black Panthers) were dead, in jail, or exiled. COINTELPRO expanded over the years, even after Hoover's death, to attack and infiltrate other segments of dissent, including the American Indian Movement and Students for a Democratic Society.

COINTELPRO was the FBI's secret program to undermine the popular upsurge of political opposition groups which swept the country during the 1960s and 1970s.

Though the name stands for "Counterintelligence Program," the targets were not enemy spies. The FBI set out to eliminate "radical" political opposition inside the United States. The Bureau used every dirty trick in the book, including blatant harassment, prosecution for political crimes, fraud, and sabotage to crush constitutionally-protected political activity, behaving in much the way that we have come to expect from the CIA.

The FBI's chief COINTELPRO tools included infiltrating organizations to discredit and disrupt operations, often encouraging members to commit crimes for which they could be arrested; poison pen letters, fake publications, and harrassing phone calls; false arrests, frame jobs, and physical violence, including assassination; evictions, job loss, vandalism, grand jury subpoenas, and much more.

Most operations were directed against the Black Panthers and other black civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr.. The FBI also targeted alternative newspapers, the Communist Party of the USA, groups seeking independence for Puerto Rico, and the "New Left", including anti-war, feminist, and student groups, as well as Native Americans, Hispanics, and Arab-Americans. In fact, the FBI also funnelled covert aid to groups like the Ku Klux Klan, with the stipulation that they limit their activities to COINTELPRO targets.

The existence of COINTELPRO was revealed in the early 1970s, when it was (supposedly) shut down, although the government rarely completely shuts down a successful program.

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