September 24, 2006
REP. McKINNEY INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO RE-OPEN CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS INTO COINTELPRO PAST AND PRESENT
(Washington, DC) Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA 4^th ) has introduced legislation calling for a re-opening of the
investigations of the 1970's by the United States Select Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to
Intelligence Activities chaired by Senator Frank Church which led to startling revelations concerning federal, state and
local intelligence and law enforcement agency violations of Constitutional rights of privacy, limits on search and
seizure, surveillance, wiretapping and disruption of dissent and protected activities, and massive collection of
dossiers by FBI, CIA, NSA, Pentagon, Defense Intelligence Agencies and other local agencies, targeting the civil rights,
Native American and anti-war movements of the period and "neutralizing" their leadership and discrediting the efforts
for social change over decades.
The most infamous of these abuses was the FBI's COINTELPRO operations, or counter intelligence program, and victims of
those attacks remain wrongfully imprisoned to this day. CHAOS, GARDEN PLOT, CABLE SPLICER, LANTERN SPIKE, REX 84 and
other programs were carried out by agencies ranging from the CIA to FEMA, including planning for massive arrests and
martial law, suspending the Constitution. New laws countered many of these excesses and abuses following from the Church
Committee revelations, but not all. Surveillance and disruption, as well as planning and exercises for detention and
suspension of civil liberties continued through the 1980s and 1990s against legal domestic organizations supporting
democratic movements abroad.
Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, there were immediate calls to renew COINTELPRO-style surveillance, go to
Continuity of Government, release intelligence agencies from the restrictions of the Church Committee era laws (which
included the establishment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court to pre-approve Presidential surveillance
programs), calls to end the principle of Posse Comitatus, which separates police and military functions, and renewed
surveillance and disruption by the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),
National Security Agency (NSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),
Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Transportation Security Agency (TSA), Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and
by certain provisions of the USA PATRIOT ACT and related.
House Resolution 1056, introduced on September 21, provides for release of all undisclosed government files on similar
past and present abuses which do not compromise an existing intelligence, agent, source or method, for judicial relief
for the past victims of COINTELPRO and other programs, and for the re-opening of Congressional hearings into the
historical abuses as well as the current renewal and expansion of similar programs that violate human, civil and
Constitutional rights. The bill has been referred to both House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.
"We still to this day do not know the full scope of the abusive surveillance, targeting, discrediting and disruptive
tactics and plans of the past," said Representative McKinney, "and a look back the Nixon era Tom Charles Houston plan,
referred to as Œfascist' by Congressional investigators, shows us it is being implemented in full since 9/11. Congress
has a responsibility to open oversight hearings into the new abuses as well as their historical context, and to
acknowledge and give relief to its victims then and now."
Contact: John Judge 202-225-1955