This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Cointelpro National Security Vs. Civil Liberty Essay

1455 words - 6 pages

"The only conceivable purpose of the continuation of the COINTELPRO techniques is harassment and disruption of political activity"-The New York TimesThe counter-intelligence program (COINTELPRO) was established in 1956. The program founded by head of F.B.I J. Edgar Hoover originally had a sound purpose, one that was both reasonable and logical. The program was founded during a time when tensions with the Soviets were getting very heated. The program was established to counter some of the measures that the Soviets had already taken against the United States such as the sabotage and infiltration of American agencies. COINTELPRO allowed the United States to do the same to the Soviet's agencies, to find out secret information about the Soviets by using these same tactics. However along the way something went drastically wrong. The COINTELPRO program was no longer being used to infiltrate the Soviet Union it was being used to infiltrate and destroy certain groups and individuals on America's own soil. COINTELPRO targeted selective radical groups. Theses groups were viewed as powerful enough to make changes happen. These groups were by viewed by the F.B.I as threats to national security. Some of the groups attacked were socialist groups, a prominent one being the Socialist Worker Party (SWP). Also targeted were several African American groups fighting for equal civil rights. The Black Panther Party and group's lead by Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. were among those targeted. Also targeted were anti-war groups protesting the Vietnam War, such as hippies and the Students for a Democratic society.(SDS)If you asked Americans what they though of the Watergate burglary and of Nixon's involvement the most like response you would get is that Nixon's actions were deplorable and he deserved what he got. However if you ask Americans what they thought of the F.B.I waging it's own Watergate (except on a much grander scale) on the Socialist Workers Party the response you would mostly get would be "Huh?" Until March of 1976 almost all documents (except for a handful that had been released in 1973-1974) regarding COINTELPRO had been sealed. It took a lawsuit by the SWP to get the documents released. The documents released among other things showed that the F.B.I from 1960-1966 had burglarized the offices of the SWP 94 times. This is equivalent to once every week for six years. The F.B.I then used the stolen documents to launch more attacks on the SWP. Hoover was so set on eliminating the SWP that one of the branches of COINTELPRO was specifically designed to deal with the SWP. One of the strategies was to try to eliminate all candidates running for any elected office that were associated with the party. These tactics employed ranged from attacks on candidates running for positions on the Denver school board to presidential candidates running on the Socialist Workers Party ticket. Fred Halstead was a WW2 veteran. He ran for president (on the SWP ticket) in 1968....

Find Another Essay On COINTELPRO-National Security Vs. Civil Liberty

Individual Rights Vs. National Security Essay

878 words - 4 pages . This impact is that investigations based upon ethnicity encourage citizens to do the same thing. This arouses xenophobia and hostility towards foreign groups of American society. Secondly, Prioritizing national security gives the govt. license to violate human worth in 3 ways: i. Dictating life choices - relocating people/Japanese internment camps ii. Dictating moral choices - whether to fight in war (draft) iii. Actually taking liberty and property

Indiviual Privacy vs National Security Essay

1499 words - 6 pages ‘Angry Birds’-- were used as a cover up from the National Security Agency (NSA) to observe and record citizen’s actions. Yet in a fast paced life, humans don’t stop and think about these occurrences and continue on living their lives. Connecting to Restak, he stated that technology has enveloped humanity into a restricted time limit to our surroundings as technology is at our central focus. Because the brain’s attention span is short to focus on

National Security vs. the Right to Privacy

3061 words - 12 pages sweat. Security is not something that can be compromised; however, it does not have to come at the expense of our privacy. It is possible to maintain our own identities, while guaranteeing the security of our nation. As Bruce Schneier argues in his commentary, Protecting privacy and liberty, security and privacy are not two sides of an equation. (773) In an article for an Internet security company, Schneier addresses the issue of security

The Demands Of National Security Vs. Individual Rights

716 words - 3 pages No form of government can survive... when the life of the nation is at stake." Because I agree with Clinton Rossiter, I affirm the resolution that When the United States is engaged in military conflict, the demands of national security ought to supersede conflicting claims of individual rights.Definitions from Encarta World English DictionaryEngaged in Military Conflict means fighting open warfare.Demands of national security means protection

National Security vs. the Right to Privacy

790 words - 3 pages rethinking will concern law-how we will balance understandable demands for improved security with our right to privacy, our freedom to travel, our free speech, our policy of welcoming immigrants, and our commitment to a tolerant society. Once we learn how the terrorists learned to fly these Boeing planes, should we place new restrictions on pilot training? Access to flight simulators? First Amendment experts may rightly be concerned about such

COINTELPRO Was Necessary

2985 words - 12 pages Klux Klan. Each of these group were considered dangerous therefore Hoover assessed that they should be infiltrated in order to protect national security. The program continued to disrupt radical groups in the nation, continuing with more extreme tactics such as burglary, violence, and legal harassment. The government truly needed COINTELPRO because the counterintelligence program played a large role in calming this social unrest which would have

Classical Liberal Theory

1320 words - 5 pages murder of Caroline Olsen. The FBI wanted Pratt "neutralized," a goal they accomplished through COINTELPRO techniques. The Los Angeles FBI office designated Pratt a "Key Black Extremist", though there was never any evidence given to validate that he was in fact a threat to national security. During a COINTELPRO raid, Fred Hampton, one the leaders of the BPP, was murdered. Hampton was a promising young leader, and one off the most outspoken members of

The American Police State in the Twenty-Second Century

3724 words - 15 pages security threat risk profiling will result in unacceptably high levels of privacy complaints stemming from obstructive government tactics, as well as an increasing number of wrongful arrests stemming from the use of indefinite detention for mere suspicion. Not only will these policies undermine our fundamental rights to privacy, liberty, freedom of association, expression and speech, they will transform America into a fascist police state that

This contains some of the illegal and controversial events in the history of the FBI, or to be more precise J. Edgar Hoover and COINTELPRO

1927 words - 8 pages dissidents, not foreign spies. In the atmosphere of the Cold War, the American Communist Party was seen as a serious threat to national security. Over the years, anti- Communist paranoia extended to civil rights, anti-war, and many other groups. As John Edgar Hoover, longtime Director of the FBI, put it, "The forces which are most anxious to weaken our internal security are not always easy to identify. Communists have been trained in deceit and

The decline of the civil rights movement

4641 words - 19 pages of the civil rights movement, it could now point to the open verbal challenges to capitalism and imperialism made by black power advocates. As a result, efforts by government to control all aspects of black insurgency increased. "In the name of national security and anticommunism, all kinds of illegal activities could be justified to eliminate black power and civil rights leaders." (p. 164) Lehman also gives insight to the underground opposition

The Black Panthers

1153 words - 5 pages      The Black Panther Party was founded in 1966 by party members Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in the city of Oakland, California. The party was established to help further the movement for African American liberation, which was growing rapidly throughout the sixties because of the civil rights movement and the work of Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King. The Party disembodied itself from the non-violence stance of Dr. King and chose to

Similar Essays

Civil Liberty Vs. Security Essay

2179 words - 9 pages needs to protect the nation’s security more than the mere idea of people’s civil freedoms, but it seems as if the government has forgotten that the main focus of the state should be to protect citizen’s liberty and not to abolish it. National security depends on people’s civil rights being honored. Just as Martin Luther King Jr. stated “No justice, no peace.” The people of the United States don’t want to live under martial law when their rights

National Security Vs. Civil Liberties Essay

533 words - 2 pages more information about potential suspects. These new measures, included in the USA Patriot Act, delicately trace the line between national security and civil liberties. A brief look at how the Bush administration has extended its powers since September 11th includes the detaining without charge of thousands of Muslim and Arab-American men without release of information to kin nor legal access, a new Bureau of Prisons regulation which allows

Civil Liberties Vs National Security Essay

683 words - 3 pages someone's phone line, but eventually, they will want to put spy cameras in people's residences, and video record their private lives at home. This law can only lead to one bad thing after another. People's freedoms and privacies should not be sacrificed in the names of "safety" and "prevention."The Espionage Act of 1917 is a perfect example of when Americans' liberties were taken away in the name of national security. After the US entered WW1

The Usa Patriot Act Of 2001: Need For National Security Vs. Protection Of Civil Liberties

1436 words - 6 pages increased efficiency end enhanced circulation of important national security information. In order to effectively protect a nation, agencies need to be made aware of possible or present dangers. Prior to the Act, there existed a blockade between criminal and intelligence agencies. Some believe this may be a partial fault for September 11th hijackings. Individuals siding with civil libertarians disagree. Those individuals believe it is the fault of