The FBI's counterintelligence program COINTELPRO, which dates back to the 1950s, may have a new target and a new chapter in its long history of undermining political movements in America. Originally instituted to disrupt communist party activities in the US, COINTELPRO operations officially ceased in 1971. Between 1956 and 1971, however, COINTELPRO targeted many other domestic groups, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the civil rights movement, as well as groups protesting the Vietnam War. Recently, BORDC and its executive director Shahid Buttar have shed light on the emergence of a COINTELPRO 2.0. And, now, it seems the Occupy Wall Street movement is in its sights.
Alternet reports that the FBI has "launched a war of entrapment" against Occupy. A close examination of the "Cleveland 5" and Chicago NATO arrests paints a frightening picture reminiscent of the original COINTELPRO. As Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red, a book analyzing FBI entrapment plots, explained, the two incidents are "a reflection of an ongoing pattern of behavior from the FBI of singling out political activities and having a direct influence in creating so-called terrorist plots for the purpose of proclaiming a victory in the war on terrorism." In an op-ed for the New York Times, David Shipler writes that of the 22 most serious attacks planned against America after September 11, 2001, "14 were developed in sting operations."
The mechanics of COINTELPRO remain the same. These tactics, beginning with infiltration, have been used against Leftists and Muslim Americans alike. The thousands of Occupy members or anyone with political agendas such as environmental or animal rights activists are at risk. In fact, Occupy is reportedly plagued by other infiltrators, in addition to the FBI.
While COINTELPRO may have formally ended in 1971, it is undoubtedly functioning in 2012.