June 29, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.
Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.
Questions James Comey Should Be Asked About the FBI While He’s Under Oath
Posted on Jun 8, 2017
By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan
Square, Story page, 2nd paragraph, mobile
By association, the FBI itself has become the darling of Trump’s opponents. But this powerful, secretive federal police force, this domestic spy agency, has a long, dark and often violent history of suppressing dissent in the United States. It would be a shame to have Comey testify under oath and leave unasked important questions about FBI misconduct—both historical and up to this very day.
Four questions that the senators might consider asking Mr. Comey include:
1. How far-reaching is the FBI’s surveillance of journalists?
Square, Site wide, Desktop
Square, Site wide, Mobile
2. Why did the FBI label nonviolent water protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota, possible domestic terrorists? What about the FBI’s similar infiltration of Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter?
One of the most significant public protests in decades happened along a lonely stretch of highway on Standing Rock Sioux tribal land that was confiscated by the U.S. government, in violation of signed treaties. In February, The Guardian reported that “multiple officers within the FBI’s joint terrorism taskforce [JTTF] have attempted to contact at least three people tied to the Standing Rock ‘water protector’ movement.” The report added that “all three contacts were made in recent weeks after Trump’s inauguration,” while Comey was in charge. Subsequent leaks reported by The Intercept revealed that private paramilitary firm TigerSwan was hired to infiltrate and disrupt the anti-pipeline movement, labeling the nonviolent activists as “insurgents.” Comey and the FBI need to answer for this violation of First Amendment activity, and similar intrusions into the Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street movements.
3. Regarding the FBI’s illegal COINTELPRO suppression of dissent in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, how many of those targeted who are still incarcerated, such as American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier, and the many imprisoned former Black Panthers, were imprisoned based on FBI misconduct?
The FBI conducted a sophisticated, campaign against dissent in the U.S., under the corrupt leadership of J. Edgar Hoover. Peace activists, labor organizers and radical groups like the Black Panthers, the Young Lords and the American Indian Movement were targeted for arrest, imprisonment on false pretenses, infiltration and disruption by paid informants, and, in cases like Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Chicago, assassination. Many victims of COINTELPRO still languish in prison. The FBI has spent decades denying criminality in the cases, while obstructing Freedom of Information Act requests for documents and actively opposing parole or clemency requests. James Comey should answer for ongoing injustices wrought by the FBI’s criminal past.
4. Finally, where do you think we would be, as a country, if the FBI hadn’t targeted Martin Luther King Jr., with its unrelenting campaign of surveillance, intimidation and harassment, which very likely contributed to the climate of hate that led to his assassination?
Perhaps the darkest chapter in FBI history was its campaign to deter and damage the work of Martin Luther King Jr. Hoover called King “the most notorious liar in the country,” and actually tried to convince King to commit suicide. Comey knows more than most about the FBI’s active disruption of dissent in the U.S., and should reveal all he knows.
The Senate’s hearing with James Comey, and, no doubt, the many hearings to come in Congress and under former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s special investigation, will focus on Trump and his associates. But the FBI has a long history of secrecy and oppression, which those fighting for justice and democracy should never forget.
Banner, End of Story, Desktop
Banner, End of Story, Mobile
Watch a selection of Wibbitz videos based on Truthdig stories:
New and Improved Comments
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide