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There's Something Happening Here: The New…

There's Something Happening Here: The New Left, the Klan, and FBI…

by David Cunningham

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This is a sociological analysis of the FBI's campaign against dissident political organizations in the Sixties which seeks to examine the Bureau's limits as an intelligence organization, as opposed to acting as political police. These limitations included organizational infexibility, a lack of real analytic capacity, and a dearth of cultural imagination; this is over and above J. Edgar Hoover's own faults. To put it in perspective, while the Bureau found it a fairly easy task to destroy a semi-covert movement like the KKK, dealing with a true underground organization such as the Weathermen was a challenge that they never quite got their collective minds around. This suggests to the author that one should expect the FBI to have more "success" with the mission of harrassing unsightly political movements, rather than confronting actual security threats. Whether this country is ready for an actual national police force that could embody the needed characteristics to deal effectively with a true violent underground (let alone whether such a force could be effectively disciplined) is another question. ( )
  Shrike58 | Jun 16, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0520239970, Hardcover)

Using over twelve thousand previously classified documents made available through the Freedom of Information Act, David Cunningham uncovers the riveting inside story of the FBI's attempts to neutralize political targets on both the Right and the Left during the 1960s. Examining the FBI's infamous counterintelligence programs (COINTELPROs) against suspected communists, civil rights and black power advocates, Klan adherents, and antiwar activists, he questions whether such actions were aberrations or are evidence of the bureau's ongoing mission to restrict citizens' right to engage in legal forms of political dissent. At a time of heightened concerns about domestic security, with the FBI's license to spy on U.S. citizens expanded to a historic degree, the question becomes an urgent one. This book supplies readers with insights and information vital to a meaningful assessment of the current situation.
There's Something Happening Here looks inside the FBI's COINTELPROs against white hate groups and the New Left to explore how agents dealt with the hundreds of individuals and organizations labeled as subversive threats. Rather than reducing these activities to a product of the idiosyncratic concerns of longtime director J. Edgar Hoover, Cunningham focuses on the complex organizational dynamics that generated literally thousands of COINTELPRO actions. His account shows how--and why--the inner workings of the programs led to outcomes that often seemed to lack any overriding logic; it also examines the impact the bureau's massive campaign of repression had on its targets. The lessons of this era have considerable relevance today, and Cunningham extends his analysis to the FBI's often controversial recent actions to map the influence of the COINTELPRO legacy on contemporary debates over national security and civil liberties.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:04 -0400)

Cunningham explores the FBI's COINTELPROs against white hate groups and the New Left to examine how agents dealt with the hundreds of individuals and organizations labelled as subversive threats. The author focuses on the complex organizational dynamics which generated the thousands of COINTELPRO actions.… (more)

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