[*******PNEWS CONFERENCES*********]
From: Tom Burghardt 

The FBI, COINTELPRO and Far-Right Vigilante Networks
By Tom Burghardt, BACORR-North
*              *              *              *              *
     Over the years, our approach to investigative problems in
the intelligence field has given rise to a number of new
programs, some of which have been most revolutionary, and it can
be assumed that with a continued aggressive approach to these
problems, new and productive ideas will be forthcoming.  These
ideas will not be increased in number or improved upon from the
standpoint of accomplishments merely through the institution of a
program such as COINTELPRO which is given another name, and which
in fact, only encompasses everything that has been done or will
be done in the future.1
-- J. Edgar Hoover, FBI Director:  Memorandum, July 15, 1964
     Now that the Christian Right's anti-abortion, "national
cultural and holy war"2 has evolved into a campaign of arson,
murder and terror, mainstream "feminist" groups tied to the
capitalist Democratic Party -- NOW, NARRAL, and The Feminist
Majority Foundation -- are demanding that the FBI investigate
anti-choice violence.
     In the wake of Rev. Paul Hill's assassination of Dr. John
Bayard Britton; clinic escort, James Barrett; and the wounding of
clinic escort, June Barrett, July 29 in Pensacola, FL, the
drumbeat for federal intervention has reached deafening
     Armed U.S. Marshals, FBI agents using "special investigative
techniques," and police SWAT teams, however, will neither defend
women seeking reproductive health care nor abortion providers;
rather, such intervention will transform women's clinics into
armed camps.  The net result of such a massive show of firepower
by the State will not guarantee women's safety at clinics. 
Neither will such intervention increase women's access to
reproductive health care.  
     Rather, police intervention on such a grand scale, plays
into the hands of anti-choice terrorists.  They believe that such
displays of State power only assist their own propaganda efforts
and tend to buttress their assertion that "abortion is murder,"
and that women who control their bodies are doing something
     Despite U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno's statement that
clinic violence, "is a problem throughout the nation" and that
"it is appropriate to address an issue of deep concern,"3 two
more women's clinics have been fire-bombed since Rev. Paul Hill's
murderous rampage.  
     A clinic in Falls Church, VA sustained more than $10,000 in
damage, July 30, while a Planned Parenthood facility in Brainerd,
Minnesota, was burned to the ground on August 10; the Minnesota
facility did not perform abortions.  During the same period these
two clinics were attacked, a right-wing vigilante was arrested in
Philadelphia outside a women's clinic; six molotov cocktails were
seized from the trunk of his car.  Reports of death threats
against patients, doctors and health care workers since the
Pensacola murders have skyrocketed.  
     While the State is poised through the Freedom of Access to
Clinic Entrances Act (the FACE law), to legitimize anti-abortion
thugs who "sidewalk counsel" and engage in other forms of
harassment against women, gangsters such as convicted clinic
bomber, Rev. Michael Bray, an endorser of Hill's Defensive Action
"Declaration" insist:
     "Anyone who truly believes that the slaughter of innocent
children is what we have with abortion could go out and shoot an
     Similarly, other supporters of the "justifiable homicide"
position, go further.  According to the Rev. David Trosch, even
pharmacists might eventually become targets.  "I would see no
problem with shooting a pharmacist," who provided a "morning
after pill" to women who seek to terminate their pregnancies.5 
Trosch, in a July 16 letter that predicted the "massive killing
of abortionists and their staffs," pointedly warned that clinic
defenders and reproductive rights activists "will be sought out
and terminated as vermin are terminated."6
     Rev. Trosch and C. Roy McMillan, Executive Director of the
Christian Action Group in Jackson, Mississippi, believe that
clinic escorts and clinic defenders act as "accomplices," and
therefore, are fair game for right-wing, anti-abortion
     McMillan, a weapons specialist who served two tours of duty
in Vietnam, believes that, "Twenty five years later I have not
changed my opinion as to the justification of the U.S.
intervention in Vietnam...I assume the enemy I killed were not
Christian like me."7
     Today, McMillan believes that the killing of unarmed escort,
James Barrett, was no more than so-called "collateral damage."8 
Apparently, McMillan's ideological fervor will come in handy as
he, and other zealots wage "cultural civil war" on the home
     Recent protests in Jackson/Gulfport, Mississippi targeted
Black physician, Dr. Joseph Booker, the sole abortion provider
for the entire state.  American Coalition of Life Activists
(ACLA), a violent front group founded by Andrew Burnett,
publisher of "Life Advocate" magazine and Joseph Foreman, a
founder of Operation Rescue and current Director of Missionaries
to the Preborn (MTP) have vowed to drive Dr. Booker from his
practice.  Both Burnett and Foreman were signers of Rev. Hill's
Defensive Action "Declaration."
     Daniel Ware, a Rescue America member, and friend of Paul
Hill's, was arrested in Pensacola last March for having a cache
of weapons and more than 400 rounds of high velocity ammunition
in his car.  Ware had vowed to "terminate" abortion providers who
had gathered in Pensacola for a memorial service for Dr. David
Gunn, assassinated last year by another Rescue America member,
Michael Griffin.  Although prosecuted for having made statements
that he intended "to take out as many child-killers in a Beirut-
style massacre," Ware was released after a Florida jury found him
not guilty.9
     During the Mississippi protests, Ware declared, "If you sow
death and destruction, you shall reap death and destruction.  If
you kill by the sword, then you must be killed by the sword."10
     According to a recent Planned Parenthood news conference,
anti-abortion leaders, Randall Terry, the founder of Operation
Rescue, and Matthew Trewhella, a top leader of Missionaries to
the Preborn and a Defensive Action supporter, have joined forces
with the far-right U.S Taxpayers Party (USTP).
     Planned Parenthood released videotaped excerpts of Terry and
Trewhella's speeches to a USTP meeting held in Appleton,
Wisconsin last May.  The footage had been obtained by clandestine
anti-fascist researchers.  "We're living in terror," said Pamela
Maraldo, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of
     While one speaker urged conference participants to "arm
their children," another asserted that "abortionists should be
put to death."  The USTP distributed a 100 page manual,
"Principles Justifying the Arming and Organization of a Militia."
The USTP was founded in 1992 by "New Right" guru, Howard
Phillips.11  Early supporters of the organization have included
Larry Pratt, President of Gun Owners of America and Julie
Makkima, Director of the anti-abortion group, Fortress
     Meanwhile, night-riding fascists from five separate Ku Klux
Klan groups plan to demonstrate outside the Aware Woman Center
for Choice, August 20, in Melbourne, Florida.  The clinic,
targeted by Operation Rescue National's (ORN) 12 week long IMPACT
team, paramilitary "boot camp" for "Christian warriors" in 1993,
has been under siege for years.
     According to J.D. Alder, imperial advisor to a Florida unit
of the Klan, said that the group listed Rev. Paul Hill as "the
hero of the month."  Alder added, "I put an abortionist in the
same category as John Wayne Gacy."
     Ostensibly, the Klan groups are gathering to protest the
presence of U.S. Marshals outside women's clinics.  "It's big
brother.  It's a government who tries to control people through
fear and intimidation," said "former" Klansman, John Baumgardner.
     However, the real agenda of these racist hyenas was revealed
when Alder stated, "We consider abortion to be tantamount to
racial suicide because it's primarily white people killing their
babies.  I am selectively opposed to abortion.  I don't care if
blacks and Jews have abortions.  It is white babies that are our
primary concern."12
     The convergence of Christian Right Reconstructionist anti-
abortion theocrats, far-right vigilante outfits such as the U.S.
Taxpayers Party, an organization with extensive ties to the
quasi-fascist "posse comitatus" movement of the 1970's, and
racist night-riding Klan thugs should not surprise us in the
least.  Such a fascist united front of terror, has been spawned
by a system of class exploitation, racism, sexism, and deadly
homophobia -- capitalism.
     The bourgeois State, unsurprisingly, will utilize fascist
and clerical-fascist gangs such as Operation Rescue, Defensive
Action and the Ku Klux Klan to terrorize and crush opposition to
the State and their "post-modern" corporate employers. 

*              *              *              *              *
     State intervention by the FBI, BATF, and the U.S. Marshals
at women's clinics however, will only serve to marginalize -- and
potentially criminalize -- one force that has kept the Christian
Right terrorists at bay:  community-based, direct action clinic
defense groups.
     Those, such as Feminist Majority Foundation president,
Eleanor Smeal, who call on the FBI "to form a special task
force," to investigate anti-abortion terror, consciously delete
from history the role played by this repressive agency throughout
its existence.13
     Far from being a "neutral" investigative agency concerned
with uncovering the depredations of organized crime or "domestic
terrorism," the FBI has been the vanguard federal force that has
targeted labor, minority groups struggling against racism, the
women's movement, queer activists and the Left. 
     The sordid history of the FBI is littered with the bodies of
activists murdered to maintain the status quo.  During the
1960's, the FBI's role was not to "protect" civil right's
workers, but rather, through its utilization of informers and
other far-right "assets" inside the Ku Klux Klan, the Bureau
actively assisted the K.K.K. in their campaign of racist murder
and terror.
     Unlike slick Hollywood popularizations of the period, such
as Alan Parker's film, "Mississippi Burning," the FBI was
instrumental in re-building the Ku Klux Klan in the south,
     "...setting up dozens of Klaverns, sometimes being leaders
and public spokespersons.  Gary Rowe, an FBI informant, was
involved in the Klan killing of Viola Liuzzo, a civil rights
worker.  He claimed that he had to fire shots at her rather than
'blow his cover.'  One FBI agent speaking at a rally organized by
the Klavern he led, proclaimed to his followers, 'We will restore
white rights if we have to kill every negro to do it.'"14
     The Bureau's not-so-secret war against the Industrial
Workers of the World (IWW), the Communist Party (CP), the
Socialist Workers Party (SWP), the Black Panther Party (BPP), the
American Indian Movement (AIM), the Committee In Solidarity with
the People of El Salvador (CISPES), and most recently, the
attempted frame-up of Judi Bari and Earth First! span the
decades.  Will the clinic defense movement be the FBI's next
target, the recipient of an "active measures" campaign?  The
women's liberation movement has been targeted more than once by
the Bureau.
     During the 1980's as the FBI waged an "active measures"
campaign against CISPES, a former FBI informant, Frank Varelli,
became disillusioned with the Bureau's attempt to destroy CISPES.
Acting on disinformation supplied by the murderous Salvadoran
National Guard, false information was forwarded by the FBI to the
Defense Intelligence Agency.
     The National Guard claimed that one FMLN coalition member,
the Armed Revolutionary Group (GAR), "were to promote in North
America a strong and violent campaign of agitation and propaganda
on behalf of FMLN-FDR, having obtained immediate support from
different sectors of North American society.  Among the groups
providing support were labor unions, Gay Power groups, Pro-
Abortion groups, groups involved in the women's liberation
movement, and organizations that are opposed to the strengthening
of the military forces of the US."15
     Although not a shred of evidence existed linking these North
American organizations to the GAR, the groups were included in
the National Guard communique -- at the direct request of the
     According to Varelli, "Can you imagine if gay rights groups,
abortion rights groups, the Equal Rights Amendment groups were
known to support a group that had killed more than 20 police and
soldiers in a year?"  The informant added, "Once the FBI had this
data in their files, they could proceed to investigate all these
other groups.  What is even worse, the FBI knew that this
material from the National Guard was strictly disinformation. 
But they passed the same material along to the Secret Service,
the Defense Intelligence Agency and other agencies in the
intelligence community without alerting them to the fact that it
was completely fabricated."16
*              *              *              *              *
     My purpose here is to review the Bureau's history of
employing far-right, racist and neo-Nazi operatives in their   
on-going war against the American Left, including the women's
movement.  While the "Cold War" may be over, the search for
"enemies" continue.  Where "threats to national security" cannot
be found, they are created; this is the legacy bequeathed by J.
Edgar Hoover to the FBI and its current Director, Louis J. Freeh.
     One can only speculate that the Bureau's "reluctance" to
investigate far-right advocates of anti-choice violence, may stem
from their utilization of Christian Right "assets" during the
1980's as the Reagan administration and the Bureau prosecuted
their own "dirty war" at home to buttress the terrorist Central
American death-squad states propped-up by the U.S. Government.
     In this writer's view, it is inconceivable that the FBI, the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), and other federal
investigatory agencies, have no knowledge of the interconnections
among far and Christian Right terrorists waging their "holy war"
against women's rights; a campaign that now spans three decades.
     Since 1977, according to the National Abortion Federation
(NAF), there have been 128 bombing/arson attacks; 573 incidents
of clinic vandalism; 66 attempted bombing/arson attacks; 199
incidents where doctors or health care workers have been stalked;
and 197 death threats leveled against patients, physicians or
health care workers.17   
     In the majority of cases, these serious incidents of
domestic terror are treated like unconnected acts of mayhem by
local, state and federal authorities -- with much complicity by
"mainstream" media.  Rather, such heinous acts of violence
against women are evidence of a broad campaign waged by the
direct action anti-abortion movement; a program designed to
destroy abortion access through low-intensity war.
     As I have written elsewhere, the direct action anti-abortion
movement and the broader Christian Right have temporarily ceded
the legislative and judicial domain to their opponents.  Having
lost in the courts and in the legislatures, they have turned to a
broad campaign of arson, bombing, selective violence, and once
again, murder, against abortion provider's:  Randall Terry's
"weak link."
     I will repeat; as a strategic orientation, low-intensity
warfare rests on a simple premise:  in order to achieve political
objectives by "extraordinary" means, a comprehensive, coordinated
set of tactics are required.  Such tactics are intended to
guarantee that prolonged economic sabotage and the cumulative
effects of propaganda, espionage, psychological terror and
violence will eventually wear the "enemy" down and achieve the
desired goal:  destruction of access and the loss of reproductive
health care for women.18
*              *              *              *              *
     The cases I have chosen to explore present only a partial
index of the Bureau's role as agents of repression.  The massive
infiltration and disruption by the FBI of the Black Panther Party
(BPP) and the American Indian Movement (AIM) is beyond the scope
of the present survey.  Suffice it say, the Bureau conspired,
with the active assistance and collaboration of local and state
police agencies, to destroy these organizations.
     Between 1968-1971, FBI-initiated terror and disruption
resulted in the murder of more than 38 BPP activists.  When the
smoke cleared in the mid 1970's the Black Panther Party was
destroyed, hundreds of activists were in prison, and thousands of
lives lay in ruins.19
     The same can be said for the FBI's reign of terror in South
Dakota during the 1970's, against the Oglala Sioux Nation and the
American Indian Movement. A similar pattern of lies,
disinformation, selective targeting of activists for harassment,
as well as outright political assassination, murder and mayhem
initiated by the Bureau, resulted in the weakening of AIM.20
     Similar to the lesser-known cases I do survey, the FBI
utilized right-wing vigilantes in order to disrupt AIM and
selectively terrorize and murder the Oglala Sioux people and AIM
     While we turn our sights and survey the FBI's utilization of
far-right "assets," we must remember those who continue to rot in
America's dungeons as political prisoners:  Geronimo (Ji Jaga)
Pratt, Leonard Peltier, and Mumia Abdul-Jamal, as well as
countless other class war prisoners of the American nightmare.22
     Clinic defense and reproductive rights activists are urged
to study the Bureau's history of political violence, the better
to be able to recognize the unmistakable signs of political
     Subversion hunters do not require evidence in order to
bolster their paranoid world-view.  The contemporary Christian
Right, like earlier McCarthyite "red hunters," inhabit a
conspiratorial netherworld which permits the discovery -- or
fabrication -- of "evidence" for the malignant plot they believe
will destroy "God's nation, set upon on a hill," the United
     Sharing much in common with earlier nativist or anti-
communist organizations such as the 19th century "Know Nothing
Party" or Father Charles E. Coughlin's proto-fascist, National
Union for Social Justice, there is an unmistakable thread of
racism, sexism and nostalgia for a non-existent middle class
"paradise" where "men were men and women knew their place," that
link such groups together.
     The contemporary hunt for the "Red Menace" has been
transmuted by theocratic, clerical-fascist alchemists such as
Gary North, Rousas John (R.J.) Rushdoony, and Randall Terry into
an insidious plot to destroy the family.  Similar to earlier
manifestations of nativist paranoia, the search for Christian
rightist "fool's gold," relies on an international plot by
communists, Jews, Satanists, feminists, environmentalists and
homosexuals in order to weave their repressive webs.  Thus
Christian Coalition President, Pat Roberstson, can write:
     "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. 
It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that
encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children,
practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians."23
      The search for endless enemies has a darker side; many of
the paranoid declarations of the Christian Right are shared by
the FBI and the "private" intelligence agencies who serve them.
     The Bureau and affiliated federal, state, and local law
enforcement agencies are riddled with agents who have much in
common with earlier witch hunters.  Today however, "The Witch's
Hammer" of the 16th century, used by the notorious Spanish
Inquisition to burn women alive, has been replaced by the
"Information Digest," of John and Louise Rees, or similar
publications of the far-right, such as the John Birch Society's
"The New American," or Lyndon LaRouche's "Executive Intelligence
     Countless "private" sources for intelligence gathering are
used by the Bureau to justify massive COINTELPRO-style
operations.  Included here, are the publications of the Council
for Inter-American Security (CIS); the American Security Council
(ASC);  Western Goals, founded by the late Rep. Larry McDonald, a
top leader of the John Birch Society; the organization of neo-
fascist, Lyndon LaRouche; and the massive intelligence network of
Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church.24  I will profile three
of these entities.
     INFORMATION DIGEST:  John Rees is a journalist who emigrated
to the United States from Britain in 1963.  He was fired from the
"London Daily Mirror," when officials at the paper discovered
Rees' had used his professional standing to obtain unethical
gratuities from London hotels and restaurants.25
     Rees moved to Newark, New Jersey and launched "New Careers,"
a program designed to provide jobs for black residents.  City
officials however, discovered that Rees had overcharged the city
$7,500 for services.  They also blocked payment for another
$12,000 to a job training firm for which Rees was a consultant.26
     Moving to Chicago in 1968, Rees next worked as an undercover
informant for the Chicago Police Department, infiltrating and
targeting groups opposed to the Vietnam war.  At the time, the
FBI dismissed Rees as "an opportunist who operates with self-
serving interest."  However, Rees continued to trade spurious
information to state police agencies across the country.27
     During the early 1980's, trading on his relationship with
Rep. McDonald and Western Goals, Rees began writing a column for
the Moon-owned "Washington Times."  It was during this period
that he began to sell political disinformation to the FBI.28
     Rees was the author of the slander-filled, "The War Called
Peace," which targeted the Women's International League for Peace
and Freedom (WILPF), charging that the group was "thoroughly-
penetrated by the Moscow-line Communist party."  Rees' brand of
political yellow-journalism, was widely-reported by the "New York
Times," and other media outlets.  His false allegations,
innuendos, and slander were used by the Reagan administration to
discredit the nuclear freeze movement.29
     Rees' booklet was incorporated in FBI files and passed to
the State Department.  In 1982, the State Department included
WILPF on its index of "communist-fronts," on the basis of Rees'
     Apparently, the collaboration between the Bureau and John
Rees was of long-standing duration.  The nature of the
relationship with the former "self-serving opportunist" and the
Bureau surfaced during a lawsuit initiated by the National
Lawyers Guild.  Rees' wife, S. Louise Rees, had infiltrated the
NLG, working as a secretary.  An assistant United States Attorney
in New York testified that:  "Some federal agencies received
information...from John Rees or S. Louise Rees or both, sometimes
in the form of "Information Digest," and from time to time they
were compensated by the FBI for furnishing information."31 
     WESTERN GOALS:  Founded in 1982, by Rep. Larry McDonald, a
top leader of the John Birch Society and a board member of the
World Anti-Communist League (WACL).  Before his death in 1983,
aboard KAL flight 007, shot down over the Soviet Union, McDonald
described the purpose of the Foundation as defending the United
States against Marxist subversion and terrorism.  McDonald wrote,
     "In the field of Marxists, terrorism and subversion, Western
Goals has the most experienced advisors and staff in the United
States... The Foundation has begun the computerization of
thousands of documents relating to the internal security of our
country and the protection of government and institutions from
Communist-controlled penetration and subversion."32
     One of the key figures of Western Goals was John Rees. 
Using falsified documents passed by the Salvadoran National
Guard, Rees penned an article for the Birchite publication, "The
Review of the News."  Rees' article found its way into the FBI's
files and served as their pretext to target CISPES.33
     Other key Western Goals figures included former U.S. Army
Major General John "Blackjack" Singlaub, the North American
Director of the World Anti-Communist League.  Founded in 1967,
WACL has been described as the "Fascist International."  The
League's members have included arch-conservatives, reactionaries,
a number of former Nazis and Nazi collaborators.  
     Among its regional affiliates in Central America were, Mario
Sandoval Alarcon, a former Guatemalan vice president known as the
"Godfather of the death squads," and cashiered Salvadoran Army
Major, Roberto D'Aubisson, described by former U.S. Ambassador to
El Salvador, Robert White, as a "pathological killer."34
     League members were invited to Taiwan's Political Warfare
Cadres Academy for training in counter-insurgency and police
techniques.  Many members also traveled to Argentina for training
in police torture techniques by members of the Argentine military
during the "dirty war" which annihilated the Argentine Left,
"disappering" more than 25,000 people during the 1970's.35
     After McDonald's death in 1983, Singlaub, Rees and others
continued Western Goals' primary mission:  destroy the North
American Left through a campaign of slander and political
disinformation.  Their publications were routinely routed to the
FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), and
other U.S. intelligence agencies.36  
     In 1983, a portion of the public-private intelligence
interchange surfaced when Los Angeles Police Department
intelligence division detective, Jay Paul, was found to have
removed more than 180 boxes of files from division headquarters. 
The files contained extensive dossiers on West Coast political
activists.  Environmentalists, opponents of nuclear power, legal
Left groups and political parties found their way into Paul's
house as well as his wife's law office in Long Beach.37
     Internal LAPD investigators learned that the information
removed by Paul had been transmitted via computer directly into
the database of the Western Goals Foundation, controlled by John
Rees.  It was subsequently learned by investigators that Paul's
activities had been approved by a former Intelligence Division
     Among the material that Paul supplied to Rees were lists of
demonstrators arrested in Florida and California and a
confidential LAPD domestic security report.39  It was learned
that Rees had published some of this material in a Western Goals
publication as well as his own "Information Digest."  The
information was also passed to federal, state and local police
agencies around the country.40
     Additionally, selected materials were passed to board
members of Western Goals, some of whom were involved with Lt.
Col. North's criminal "enterprise" to aid the Nicaraguan contra
     Key players of the U.S. Christian Right, including Pat
Robertson and Jerry Falwell were instrumental allies of the
Reagan State Department's illegal "Public Diplomacy" operation
which targeted the American people with propaganda and
disinformation; all in the name of "stamping out Marxist
     THE UNIFICATION CHURCH:  Perhaps the most prominent American
off-shoot of WACL was Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. 
A destructive religious cult that purports that "Our Master,"
Rev. Moon is a reincarnation of Jesus Christ sent to rid the
world of communism, Moon's empire was a key element of the FBI's
"active measures" campaign against CISPES.43
     Operating through a front-group, the campus-based Collegiate
Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), Moon activists
began plying the Bureau with information that it obtained through
its infiltration of CISPES chapters throughout the country.44
     CARP supplied the FBI with information on CISPES leaders and
activists.  Bureau files contained hundreds of entries and names
provided by Moon's theocratic network.  The 48 pages of CARP
materials released by the FBI, contain only a small portion of
the Bureau's CARP index.  Pointedly, the FBI refused to release
any of the entries held in the Bureau's main file on the Moon
     Bureau informant, Frank Varelli, stated that "The Moonies
were a major support group."  Varelli reported that in 1982,
agents in the FBI's Washington Field Office trained a Moon
contingent to hold a demonstration in support of Salvadoran
President, Jose Napoleon Duarte.46
     Other FBI-initiated "active measures" campaigns, recalling
earlier COINTELPRO operations, utilized "private" Moon "assets"
for a national campaign of political harassment and disruption. 
Varelli's FBI handler, Special Agent Daniel Flanagan, would
regularly go to the SMU campus in Dallas once a month to pay the
Moonies for their support services to the FBI.  Moon cadres would
start fights on the SMU campus whenever CISPES held a rally or
demonstration.  After a series of violent incidents, CISPES moved
off campus.  Such scenarios were duplicated across the country.47
*              *              *              *              *
     Inside the FBI there is a core of agents with authoritarian,
if not quasi-fascist tendencies, who are integral to the far-
right network of spies and political operatives that continue to
operate with impunity.  Across the decades, such agents freely
pass back and forth between government service and employment as
security consultants and union-busters.  
     As we will see below, in the two case studies I present as
evidence of the Bureau's employment of far-right and neo-Nazi
"assets," J. Edgar's Hoover's legacy lives on.  Knowledge of this
deadly partnership between the FBI, BATF, state and local police
agencies and the violent fringe of the far-right, is of vital
importance to the women's movement today.  
     Despite tens of thousands of pages of documentary evidence
of on-going State repression by the FBI, the idea that the Bureau
would utilize "private" right-wing operatives and terrorists is a
chilling, alien concept to most Americans.
     During the Red Scare period, 1918-22, and during the 1920's
and 1930's, the FBI made considerable use of Pinkertons and "off-
the-shelf" vigilante groups, in order to destroy labor and
radical organizations.
     The FBI has systematically utilized "private" right-wing
operatives in order to carry out their fundamental mission:  to
maintain the power and profits of their corporate employers.  One
notorious case is the Secret Army Organization (SAO).
     The Secret Army Organization was a surrogate of the FBI.  An
ex-Bureau informant, Nanda Zocchino, writing in the "Los Angeles
Times," recounted how,
     "...the Bureau had created and financed this 'crypto-
fascist' group in San Diego during 1969-70.  During the early-
1970's the SAO engaged in a range of activities including
burglary, mail thefts, bombings, assassination plots and
attempted murder."48
     According to Zocchino, the SAO's criminal activities were
supervised directly by the FBI.  A second informant attached to
the San Diego Bureau office, Howard Berry Godfrey, has
substantially corroborated Zocchino's story of State-directed
terror against the Left.49
     The Citizens Research and Investigation Committee (CRIC),
documented that the SAO was established specifically,  " use
violence against radicals and, at its peak had cadres in eleven
western states."50
     According to CRIC's chilling report, a primary target of the
SAO was San Diego State University economics professor, Peter G.
Bohmer.  The professor had received more than forty death threats
before SAO operative, George M. Hoover, fired a 9mm pistol into
his home on the night of January 9, 1972.51
     Although Bohmer was not at home that evening, the SAO
assassin, wounded a house-guest, Paula Tharp, in the right elbow,
permanently disabling her.  Despite the fact that the attempted
murderer was accompanied by FBI-infiltrator Godfrey, who informed
his handler, Special Agent Steve Christianson, Hoover was not
arrested for more than six months.52
     The FBI's primary motivation in "chilling out" their
terrorist "assets" was not the serious injury to Ms. Tharp, but
the sense that they were "losing control" of the SAO.  They
became alarmed by the bombing of San Diego's Guild Theater on
June 19, 1972.  Hoover and eight other SAO members carried out
the raid, allegedly "without the Bureau's knowledge."53
     In the wake of this escalating series of right-wing
terrorist incidents, and the ensuing public outcry, San Diego
police raided the homes of SAO members.  The police netted a huge
cache of "illegal explosives, handguns and rifles, including an
unpacked case of M-16 rifles.  The market value of these weapons
was estimated at more than $60,000."54
     American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney Frederick
Hetter discovered during a subsequent investigation "that [FBI
infiltrator] Godfrey supplied 75% of the money for the SAO" in
order for the terrorist army to acquire the weapons.55
     Further evidence of the leading role played by the Bureau
for launching the SAO was revealed by "San Diego Door" reporters,
Doug Porter and Ric Reynolds.  Their investigation revealed that
Godfrey had also infiltrated the radical Message Information
Center under an assumed name, as well as the Movement for a
Democratic Military.  The FBI's point man, Godfrey, was also
assembling a list of "priority people" in the Peace and Freedom
Party; a legal, socialist party with ballot status in
     Drawing on their extensive experience and expertise as a
repressive arm of the U.S. Government, the FBI's paid informant
was well-placed to assign targets to the fascist SAO for
     In the wake of Watergate, the Church Committee in the U.S.
Senate and the Pike Commission in the House, uncovered a
systematic campaign by the FBI to neutralize and disrupt movement
building and organizing by a broad array of socialist, left,
anti-war, black, native American, queer and women's groups.
     While witness after witness testified to the chilling
effects of murderous programs such as COINTELPRO, the FBI had
accomplished their primary mission.  
     By 1976, the broad movements created by the radical upsurge
of the 1960's had been destroyed.  COINTELPRO, "given another
name," continued to operate; standard practice in the advanced
capitalist "democracies."    
     Another case which, after all, "only encompasses everything
that has been done or will be done in the future," occurred in
Greensboro, North Carolina in 1979.
     On November 3, 1979, a terrorist posse organized by Klansmen
and neo-Nazis murdered five members of the Communist Workers
Party (CWP) in broad daylight.  Their "crime" had been to
organize a "Smash the Klan" demonstration in Greensboro among the
city's heavily black and working class mill workers.  CWP members
were also union organizers and activists who had upset "the
fundamental order of things."58
     An essential component for the operation organized by night-
riding Klan killers was U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and
Firearms (BATF) agent, Bernard Butkovich.  The BATF agent, a
Vietnam veteran and demolitions expert undercover in the local
branch of the American Nazi Party, helped the fascists obtain
automatic weapons.  After the smoke cleared and five people lay
dead, the BATF "asset" assisted the Klansmen and Nazis in making
their escape.59
     This anti-communist death squad, had been recruited,
organized and led on its mission of murder by an FBI infiltrator,
Edward Dawson.  Dawson was also a paid informant for the
Greensboro Police Department.60
     Dawson reported to his handlers that eighty-five Klansmen
meeting in near-by Lincolnton had expressed their intent to
counter-demonstrate on November 3.61
     The night-riders had stated they intended to arm themselves
for their counter-demonstration and that Klan leader, Virgil
Griffin, was actively calling out Klansmen from other states to
participate.  It was also rumored that fascists and neo-Nazis
from the Winston-Salem area had obtained a machine gun and other
weapons.  They planned to come to Greensboro on November 3, "in
order to shoot up the place."62
     Dawson reported to Greensboro detective Jerry Cooper, that
Klansmen and neo-Nazis were assembling at the home of a local
Klan member and that they were armed.  Grand Dragon, Virgil
Griffin was present.63
     The police/FBI informant had received a copy of the parade
route the day before the CWP-initiated march; a map had been
supplied by Detective Cooper.  Dawson had driven over the parade
route three hours earlier with a contingent of out-of-town
Klansmen.  Dawson also alerted Cooper that the Klansmen and neo-
Nazis possessed three handguns and nine long-barrelled rifles,
including automatic weapons supplied by BATF agent, Bernard
     Prior to the beginning of the CWP's march and demonstration,
Cooper and other police officials drove by the house where the
Klansmen and neo-Nazis were assembling.  They jotted down some
license plate numbers and then declared a lunch break -- at
approximately 10 a.m.!65
     Less than an hour later, Cooper, trailing behind the fascist
caravan reported, "shots fired" and then "heavy gunfire;" however
the tactical squad assigned to monitor the march were still out
to lunch.66
     Two other officers responding to a domestic disturbance
call, noted the absence of patrol cars usually assigned to the
area.  They arrived at the Morningside projects, the site of the
CWP march.  Officer Wise later reported having received a most
unusual call from the police communications center.  The officers
were asked how long they anticipated being at their call; they
were subsequently advised to "clear the area as soon as
     Moments later, five demonstrators lay dead, murdered in
broad daylight by members of the Ku Klux Klan and the American
Nazi Party.68  According to anti-racist researcher, Michael
Novick, the Greensboro massacre "set the tone for neo-Nazi
organizing by the KKK and other white supremacists in the ensuing
     A subsequent civil suit brought against the neo-Nazis, the
Klan and the Greensboro police resulted in a partial award to the
surviving family members murdered by the fascists.  However, the
FBI and BATF agents walked away scott-free.  
     FBI Director William Webster, labelled the charge of federal
complicity "utterly absurd," even though the killers had been
recruited, organized and led on their murderous rampage by Bureau
informant, Edward Dawson and that automatic weapons supplied by
BATF agent, Bernard Butkovich, were used in the deadly attack.70
     As we have seen, however, this is simply standard operating
procedure; what Noam Chomsky has termed, the "demonstration
effect" for those who dare to challenge the hegemony of U.S.
corporate elites and their fascist and clerical-fascist allies.
     The search for "endless enemies" by the FBI and other
government agencies will continue; of this we can be certain.  It
is critical that grass roots organizations continue to defend
women's clinics and health care providers from the deadly attacks
of the Christian Right.  
     The clinic defense movement, if it is to remain a vital
source of strength and empowerment for women -- and by its heroic
example of militant mass struggle, to all who fight against every
vestige of capitalist oppression -- must begin an active campaign
that directly challenges and defeats the Christian Right.  
     Any "partnership" with repressive government agencies,
however provisional, would be a grave political error with
consequences impossible to foresee.
     Even before the smoke cleared in Pensacola, however, the
drum-beat of violence-baiting and specious comparisons between
"extremists on both sides of the abortion issue," have begun to
reverberate in the bourgeois press.71  
     As with other cases of institutional state repression cited
in this report, the media played a pivotal role in legitimizing
attacks by the FBI and other federal agencies on radical and
progressive movements.72  By uncritically presenting Bureau
disinformation as unadulterated facts, despite evidence to the
contrary, the media are witting and unwitting accomplices for the
FBI's on-going COINTELPRO operations against the Left.
     Progressive researcher, Chip Berlet, has described this as a
process he terms "paradigm shift."73  Through "paradigm shift,"
progressive organizations are transformed into shadowy terrorist
networks by the media.  Oftentimes, political disinformation on
groups targeted for repression is passed to the media by
reactionary right-wing opponents or state agencies themselves;
the ubiquitous "unnamed government sources."
     According to Berlet's definition, "The perceptual shift from
dissent to criminality first goes public with unsubstantiated
allegations and conclusions in the media of the reactionary and
paranoid political Right.  Eventually, the right-wing media
attempt to re-frame the public's perception of the dissident
group as subversive or criminal spills over into more mainstream
media...The dissidents are seen as non-rational, unstable, alien,
and capable of odious crimes because of their zealous mindset. 
Lists of potential crimes are discussed, and finally actual
crimes are blamed on the political movement.  Ideas that were
once merely marginalized are thus criminalized...In some cases,
the re-framing is so successful that there is widespread
sentiment supporting the attacks.  When this process of re-
framing is successful, paradigm shift has occurred."74
     BACORR and Refuse & Resist! representatives who recently
traveled to Florida, were continually quoted out of context while
the primary source material they distributed, linking national
leaders and Pensacola anti-abortion activists, went unreported.75
     They were followed and harassed by local and federal law
enforcement officials, while the anti-abortionists were given
unlimited access to patients outside the Pensacola Women's
Medical Services clinic.76
     According to a article appearing in the "New York Times,"
their correspondent, Sam Howe Verhovek, portrayed BACORR and
Refuse & Resist! activists as "fanatics" and "zealots;" that is
as "non-rational, unstable, alien," according to Berlet's
     Though Mr. Howe Verhovek and other Times' correspondents had
interviewed BACORR members and were well-aware of evidence in
their possession linking "former Klansman" John Burt, Paul Hill
and other anti-abortion activists to a plot to stalk and harass
Dr. Britton prior to his assassination, this material was
ignored.  Mr. Howe Verhovek offered instead, a piece of
unvarnished slander as a substitute for an investigation of the
complex interconnections among anti-abortion cadres.
     According to Howe Verhovek's hit-piece, "At a rally
sponsored by a coalition of abortion-rights speaker
pointedly refused to disavow violence against anti-abortion
     The speaker, a member of Refuse & Resist! had actually drawn
the comparison between a battered woman defending herself against
her batterer, and women who defend themselves from physical
attacks directed at them by anti-abortion zealots.  Thus, self-
defense, is transformed, in typical "Times'" fashion, into
offensive violence!79
     While we cannot control the political disinformation of the
bourgeois media, we must continue to be clear as to our goals --
unrestricted access to reproductive health care for women.  The
tactics we select in order to achieve this goal must reflect the
actual contours of the struggle as it is waged today.  
     Self-defense is a right of all oppressed people.  Just as we
would urge a woman about to raped to use whatever force is
necessary to deter a rapist, we would also counsel clinic
defenders, patient escorts or health care providers to defend
themselves from attacks launched by anti-abortion thugs.  To
countenance anything less is political suicide -- and morally
     In this regard, we would be well-advised to look to other
historical parallels -- to the history of fighting fascism, for
example -- with such knowledge in hand, clinic defense activists
will draw the necessary conclusions. 
*              *              *              *              *
     1. Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall, "Agents of
Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party
and the American Indian Movement," South End Press, Boston, MA,
1990, pp. 61-62
     2. Betsy Powell, President, California Pro-Life Council,
fund-raising letter, August 1993; cited in:  Tracey Jeffreys-
Renault and Jerry Sloan, "WITHOUT JUSTICE FOR ALL: A Report on
the Christian Right in California and Beyond," Planned Parenthood
of Sacramento Valley, Public Affairs Dept., 2415 K Street,
Sacramento, CA 95816-5001, 1993, pp. 29-30
     3. David Johnston, "Federal Agents Sent to Protect Abortion
Clinics," NEW YORK TIMES, Tuesday, August 2, 1994, p. A-1
     4. Mimi Hall, "Abortion foes deny there's a conspiracy," USA
TODAY, Friday, August 5, 1994, p. 3A
     5. Gene Owens, "Abortion: call to arms," THE MOBILE PRESS,
Tuesday, August 2, 1994, p. 1A
     6. Kathy Kemp, "Priest calls for deadly force against
EXAMINER, Tuesday, August 2, 1994, p. A-1
     7. C. Roy McMillan, "Two former killers in this house...and
we sleep fine. Thank you," LIFE ADVOCATE, Portland, OR, February
1994, p. 34
     8. David Tortorano and Renee Busby, "25 on list support
killing," THE MOBILE PRESS, Tuesday, August 2, 1994, p. 4A
     9. "Abortion activist may have planned killing," ASSOCIATED
PRESS, reprinted, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER, Thursday, March 17,
1994, p. C-24
     10. "Abortion Protesters Target Mississippi Doctor," REUTER,
August 8, 1994
     11. United States Taxpayers Party (USTP); brochure in
author's possession
     12. "Klan Broadens Anti-Abortion Plans, REUTER, Saturday,
August 20, 1994
     13. Connie Cass, "Terror plot probe in clinic slayings,"
July 30, 1994, p. A-1
     14. Michael Novick, "BLUE BY DAY, WHITE BY NIGHT: Organized
White Supremacist Groups in Law Enforcement Agencies," People
Against Racist Terror (PART), PO BOX 1990, Burbank, CA 91507,
Revised and Updated, February 1993, p. 3
     15. Ross Gelbspan, "Break-ins, Death Threats and the FBI:
The Covert War Against the Central American Movement," South End
Press, Boston, MA, 1991, pp. 71-72
     16. ibid.
     17. "Incidents of Violence & Disruption Against Abortion
Providers," National Abortion Federation, Washington, DC, August
10, 1994
     18. Tom Burghardt, "LOW-INTENSITY WARFARE: An Anti-Abortion
Strategy of Terror," Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive
Rights, San Francisco, CA January 1994, p. 1
     19. Churchill and Vander Wall, op. cit.
     20. ibid.
     21. ibid.
     22. For Further Information on Political Prisoners in the
United States, contact:  Partisan Defense Committee (PDC), PO BOX
99, Canal Street Station, New York, New York 10013, (212) 406-
     23. Pat Robertson, undated fund-raising letter, summer 1992;
cited in Kate Cornell, "The Covert Tactics and Overt Agenda of
the New Christian Right," COVERT ACTION QUARTERLY, Washington,
DC, Winter 1992-1993 (Number 43), p. 51
     24. For further background on: Council for Inter-American
Security (CIS) and American Security Council (ASC), see Russ
Bellant, "THE COORS CONNECTION: How Coors Family Philanthropy
Undermines Democratic Pluralism," Political Research Associates,
Cambridge, MA 1990; for further background on Lyndon LaRouche,
see Dennis King, "Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism,"
Doubleday, New York, 1989; for further background on Rev. Sun
Myung Moon and the Unification Church's relationship to the World
Anti-Communist League (WACL), see Scott Anderson and Jon Lee
Anderson, "Inside the League," Dodd, Mead & Company, New York,
     25. Gelbspan, op. cit., p. 79
     26. ibid.
     27. ibid., p. 80
     28. ibid., p. 82
     29. ibid., p. 83
     30. ibid.
     31. ibid., p. 82
     32. ibid., p. 77
     33. ibid., p. 45
     34. Anderson and Anderson, op. cit., multiple references
     35. ibid. pp. 56-57
     36. Gelbspan, op. cit., p. 78
     37. ibid., p. 169
     38. ibid., p. 170
     39. ibid.
     40. ibid.
     41. ibid., p. 171
     42. Sara Diamond, "SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Politics of the
Christian Right," South End Press, Boston, MA, 1989, pp. 165,
     43. Gelbspan, op. cit., p. 75
     44. ibid.
     45. ibid., p. 76
     46. ibid.
     47. ibid.
     48. Churchill and Vander Wall, op. cit., p. 182
     49. ibid.
     50. ibid.
     51. ibid.
     52. ibid.
     53. ibid.
     54. ibid.
     55. ibid.
     56. ibid.
     57. ibid.
     58. Novick, op. cit., p. 4
     59. Churchill And Vander Wall, op. cit., p. 182
     60. Frank Donner, "PROTECTORS OF PRIVILEGE: Red Squads and
Police Repression in America," University of California Press,
Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1990, p. 360
     61. ibid.
     62. ibid.
     63. ibid.
     64. Novick, op. cit. p. 4
     65. Donner, op. cit., p. 361
     66. ibid.
     67. ibid.
     68. ibid.
     69. Novick, op. cit., p. 4
     70. Churchill and Vander Wall, op. cit., p. 181
     71. Staff reports, "Denouncing violence, Burt called
'murderer,'" PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL, Tuesday, August 2, 1994, p.
     72. Churchill and Vander Wall, op. cit.
     73. Chip Berlet, "Re-Framing Dissent as Criminal
Summer 1992, (Number 41)
     74. ibid., p. 36
     75. Laura Weide, Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive
Rights, San Francisco, CA, personal communication
     76. ibid.
     77. Sam Howe Verhovek, "10 Years of Anger and Strife Over
Abortion in Pensacola, NEW YORK TIMES,Saturday, August 6, 1994,
p. 1
     78. ibid., p. 5
     79. Weide, op. cit.
*              *              *              *              *
     For more information on how you can get involved in the
battle to win full reproductive rights, contact THE FIGHT BACK
Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR)
750 La Playa # 730
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 252-0750
Refuse & Resist!
305 Madison Avenue #1166
New York, New York 10165
(212) 713-5657    
There are 5 -*PNEWS CONFERENCESs*- [P_news on FIDONET], [ and on PEACENET] & [pnews.d-L and pnews-L on INTERNET], 
      ***SEVERAL conferences are gated together***
PNEWS CONFERENCES are moderated. If you wish to subscribe to a PNEWS
 list on Internet send request to: . 
    On FidoNet, ask your sysop to also carry P_news.  
  Subscribe to PeaceNet's worldwide network by 
   calling: (415) 442-0220. Tell them "pnews" sent you. 
   [There are 2 PNEWS CONFERENCES on PeaceNet]. 
 via PNEWS