From COINTELPRO to Whitmer Kidnapping Plot: FBI 'Manufactures' Terrorism to Fight It, Journo Warns
12:56 GMT 23.07.2021 (Updated: 13:21 GMT 06.08.2022)
The FBI's extensive role in Governor Whitmer's case has once again raised the question of the bureau's possible infiltration of the Capitol riots, says independent American journalist Max Parry, citing the federal agency's long record of incitement, including the infamous COINTELPRO.
On 20 July, BuzzFeed reported
that at least 12 FBI informants had infiltrated the group behind the Governor Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot. What's more, these informants were not passively sitting there wearing wires but were actively involved with the group. One of them, an Iraq War veteran, rose to become the second-in-command of the Michigan militant group, taught the members of the militia military tactics, told them to convene with other potential suspects, and even paid for their transportation.
Yet another plotter who advised the militia on where to place explosives and offered to get them as much as the task would require turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, according to the media outlet.
Prior to this, members of the militia group stormed the State Capitol in April 2020 as part of a larger crowd that entered the building wearing protective gear and carrying rifles to protest against Whitmer's COVID restrictions.
At the time, the US mainstream media largely blamed Trump for the April riot and the kidnapping plot, citing his Twitter posts targeting the state's Democratic governor.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson picked up the BuzzFeed story raising the question as to what extent the FBI directed the Michigan militia's conduct in both cases and reiterated his earlier assumption that the agency could have infiltrated and instigated the January 6th protests as well.
Could the FBI Have Organised 1/6?
"The new revelations about the extent to which informants were involved in the devising of the plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer raises serious questions about 1/6", says independent American journalist Max Parry. "If they were encouraging, arranging, and directing the Michigan extremists to try and capture the governor, they very well could have planned, controlled, and engineered the storming of the US Capitol if the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and other groups were as heavily penetrated by law enforcement as believed".
This brings up the question: "Would the storming of Congress have happened without the instigations of undercover informants?", the journalist notes.
According to Parry, there are reasons to believe that the militia groups participating in the Capitol siege in DC could have been infiltrated by federal agents, given it is known that Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio used to be an FBI informant. For its part, on 30 June, Revolver News
that Stewart Rhodes, the founder and the leader of The Oath Keepers, America's largest militia, could possibly be in cahoots with the bureau.
Per the media, it appears suspicious that while the DoJ has enough evidence to jail the leader of "the most extensively prosecuted paramilitary group" in connection with the Capitol riots, he, unlike his group mates, has not been arrested.
In any event, the bureau cannot deny that they, at the very least, had foreknowledge of the apparent 1/6 plot, Parry notes. A US Senate report last month detailed the intelligence failures leading up to the Capitol attack where the FBI and DHS dismissed the credibility of online rhetoric calling for violence.
FBI's Long Record of Incitement
The mainstream media in America is dismissing the claims that the FBI could have played a role in the siege. Tucker Carlson, who suggested in June that federal agents may have helped organise the riot, was immediately called a conspiracy theorist. However, this assumption by no means sounds outlandish given the FBI's long record of incitement.
On 21 June, Revolver News listed
at least five cases when the bureau did just that, including the 1993 attempt to blow up the World Trade Centre and the agency's infamous 15-year Counter Intelligence Programme (COINTELPRO)
best-known for spying on Martin Luther King Jr.
COINTELPRO, which aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting political organisations and movements perceived as "subversive" by then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, officially ran from 1956-1971. The tactics included smearing individuals and groups by using forged documents and by planting false reports in the media, IRS audits, harassment, incitement, warrantless surveillance
and surreptitious entries, incarcerations on false pretexts, withholding exculpatory evidence, targeted assassinations, etc.
In June 1975, the American Civil Liberties Union submitted a report for Senate investigators on the Secret Army Organisation (SAO), a South California paramilitary group that was reportedly funded by the bureau to commit acts of violence and intimidation against left-wingers and their sympathisers between 1971 and 1972.
In 1976, American lawmakers detailed the methods of the FBI's covert operation in a 994-page report
and concluded that "many techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all its targets had been involved in violent activity but COINTELPRO went far beyond that"
. Still, the bureau insisted that all of these were for the greater good, i.e. to protect national security and deter violence by "preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propagation of dangerous ideas".
It appears, however, that COINTELPRO tactics have still been used by the FBI
, judging from the controversial Operation Crossfire Razor targeting General Michael Flynn
, the details of which was exposed during his trial, or the bureau's FISA abuses aimed at extending spying on Donald Trump aide Carter Page
. Likewise, the DoJ and FBI's extensive manhunt for January Sixers
accompanied with pre-dawn raids, interrogations without an attorney, harassment, and apparent human rights abuses of detained January 6th defendants evoke strong memories of the 15-year intelligence op. One might wonder whether a loose network of Antifa militants who harassed US citizens and clashed with conservative groups during the 2020 summer riots was also in some sense inspired by COINTELPRO.
"The common thread throughout these operations where federal law enforcement orchestrates and participates in terror plots is exploiting individuals who are an easy target and prone to militancy, be it religious fanaticism or political extremism at either end of the spectrum", highlights Parry. "Amid the current political climate in the country, the threat of right-wing extremism is most suitable to this particular time. During COINTELPRO, the target was the anti-war movement, the civil rights movement, and the political left. In the War on Terror, the aim was combating Islamic extremism. Recently we've seen how the bureau's mission has shifted its focus to right-wing militia groups".
What's happening now is that with the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 and USA Patriot Act's subsequent redefining of homegrown terrorism, "the national security apparatus is manufacturing the threats needed to broaden its surveillance state and unconstitutional powers at this particular historical moment", the journalists presumes.
The Left Should be Alarmed
The American Left should not be deluded by the government having shifted its focus to the right and pro-Trump groups, says Parry.
"Following January 6th we have seen Democrats leading the charge for new domestic terror laws", he stresses. "The left should have the sense to understand that these new expanded powers for the security state will inevitably be used against them and will backfire, especially given the precedent set by history and COINTELPRO. These are lawless and rogue agencies with no transparency or accountability and the FBI in particular routinely impedes oversight and goes totally out of bounds of the US Constitution".
According to the journalist, "it is particularly disturbing the way the national security complex has managed to rehabilitate its image overnight during the Trump era where high-ranking intelligence officials and FBI directors have become media darlings and liberal heroes".
Yet, in both the Whitmer case and, possibly, on 6 January, "the FBI has put the public at greater risk under the guise of protecting it and manufactured terrorism in the name of fighting it", Parry concludes.