INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES AND
THE RIGHTS OF AMERICANS
FINAL REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE TO STUDY
GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS WITH RESPECT TO INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES
(CHURCH COMMITTEE REPORT)
UNITED STATES SENATE TOGETHER WITH ADDITIONAL,
SUPPLEMENTAL, AND SEPARATE VIEWS
APRIL 26 (legislative day, April 14), 1976
I. INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY
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 nature.
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 detention camps.
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
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 understood. 7
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 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, following
Which governmental agencies have engaged in domestic spying?
How many citizens have been targets of Governmental intelligence
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 Government policy?
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 superiors? 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
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 power.
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 apropriations 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
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 following
-- 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. 13
-- At least 130,000 first class letters were opened and photographed
by the FBI between 1940-1966 in eight U.S. cities. 14
-- 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
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 activitist 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 continued. 22
(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
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
(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
(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' parents. 39
(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.
-- 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
3. 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 COINTELPRO -- 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 intelligence community. 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. COINTELPRO tactics included:
-- 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". 62
(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"
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.
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 people."
-- 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
(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 after-the-fact authorization.
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
(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 government. 74
(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." 78 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." 79
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 simply ignored.
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 testifed 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 pragmatic. 81
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
It was my assumption that what we were doing was justified
by what we had to do . . . the greater good, the national security.
5. Deficiencies in Accountability and Control
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 investigations.
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 abhorrant.
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.
-- 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 associates. 85
-- 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.
-- 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.
(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. Examples
-- 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 note attached: "These [photographs]
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, that:
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
-- 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
-- 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. 96
(c) Distorting Data to Influence Government Policy and Public
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 misleading
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
(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 program.
(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 proceed.
-- 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 training". 102
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
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 example:
-- 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.
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
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
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 protect.
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, mail opening.)
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 intelligence
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,
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 Non-tax Purposes."
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. Presentation.
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.
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, 4/21/53-4/27/53.
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, 12/19/66.
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
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 information.
75 Memorandum from W. C. Sullivan to C. D. DeLoach 7/19/66,
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" COINTELPRO.
"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,
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
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, 10/26/60.
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 issuanoe 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," 3/20/75.)
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,