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

Cointelpro Was Necessary Essay

2985 words - 12 pages

In times of great terror and panic, the citizens of a nation must decide what they value most: their right to privacy or the lives of the innocent. Government surveillance is criticized, however there are times in a nation’s history where, in order to ensure the safety of their citizens, they must surveill the country for potential hazards that might exist in the world. The government-issued program, COINTELPRO--a series of illegal projects during the twentieth century organized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation--while heavily criticized for its unconstitutional grounds--was justified because it benefitted the nation during a period of upheaval. COINTELPRO is popularly condemned by historians and professors such as Brandeis University Professor of Sociology, David Cunningham, who asserts that the FBI counterintelligence program was only a form of repression that allowed for the government to suppress matters that they consider bothersome (234) This however was not the case. COINTELPRO was necessary because of the great social unrest, individuals posed threats to society, and creating operations that were beneficial to the United States.
COINTELPRO was founded by the FBI in 1956 as a government program for counterintelligence. The FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover, was instrumental in the program’s creation. After the age of McCarthyism best known as the Second Red Scare, Hoover was concerned about the institution of Communism gaining popularity within the United States. This gave way to the creation of COINTELPRO. The program originally focused on infiltrating the Communist Party within the United States and then instilling disorder and confusion via numerous tactics. The program mainly used espionage to allow FBI agents to join these Communist parties in the United States. Once on the inside the agents would create internal dissension by means of making remarks and arguments that smeared the party’s image. The program was a enormous success, having cut down the population of Communists in America from 22,000 to 3,000 after seven years. . Finally in 1971 the Freedom of Information act was established thus putting an end to all COINTELPRO operations.
During the 60’s there was a counterculture movement within the United States that encouraged people to think differently, such as advocating for peace and love. Followers of the movement began to mistrust government power and doubt law enforcement’s authority. A great deal of opposition came from students affected by the counterculture. They protested the Vietnam War and drafting laws upheld by the government. Anti-war groups became increasingly popular and it became clear to Hoover that these social uproars must be quieted or the nation would face serious repercussions. He used COINTELPRO to target anti-war groups and create disorder within them. Hoover then took COINTELPRO’s achievements with disrupting communism as a beckoning to drive further with the operation. In the...

Find Another Essay On COINTELPRO Was Necessary

The American Police State in the Twenty-Second Century

3724 words - 15 pages threat of terror from within, government law enforcement agencies institutionalized political, ethnic and racial profiling of citizens on a massive scale during operation COINTELPRO. Created in 1956 by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO was a program designed to conduct surveillance on American citizens, collect dossier information, and infiltrate various civic organizations. The initial targets were said to be communists and communist

Clear and Present Danger Essay

6647 words - 27 pages could they possibly present. At a free speech lecture at Saint Michaels College, the speaker noted that Judge Vinson replied to this assertion saying, "In each case, courts must ask whether the gravity of the 'evil' discounted by its improbability, justified such invasion of free speech as is necessary to avoid the danger". Notably, the court convicted the petitioners (defendants).Even though they did not judge the Smith act was in violation of the

Black Panther

2078 words - 8 pages some Panthers and arresting others.After i and most other Panther 21 members were held in jail and on trial for two years, We were all acquitted of all charges and released. Most of us returned to the community and to the BPP but by then COINTELPRO had taken its toll. The BPP was rife with dissension, both internal and external. The internal strife, division, intrigue, and paranoia had become so ingrained that eventually most members drifted or

Black Panther Party

1247 words - 5 pages the police department) for them to want to make a change to free themselves from control and oppression. It was because of this that 25 year old Huey Newton and 30 year old Bobby Seale founded The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in October 1966, in Oakland, California. The party was inspired by revolutionaries such as Mao Tse-tung and Malcolm X. Malcolm had represented a militant revolutionary, with the dignity and self-respect to

The Civil Rights Movement vs. The Black Liberation Movement

1474 words - 6 pages Black Liberation Movement started a few years later in 1960 and was later taken over and popularized by the Black Panthers in 1966. The basis of this movement was not just black equality but also black independence by any and every means necessary. The Panthers wanted blacks to be in control of their own neighborhoods (Acoli). These two protest movements had similar but at the same time very different platforms. The difference their

The Black Panther Party for Self Defense

1740 words - 7 pages Party grew larger and took greater footholds, J. Edgar Hoover once called the BPP “the greatest threat to the internal security of this country.”Around this time Hoover created the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), the objective of this program was to spy, infiltrate, and sabotage and disband the radical groups. One of the biggest blows to the BPP the FBI took was the murder of Fred Hampton, a BPP chairman in Chicago. He was rumored to

The Black panther party

5193 words - 21 pages motives to achieve these goals "by any means necessary". The list of demands was merely a christening of other publications to come, such as the "What We Believe" list, which states their purpose for organizing and declares their stance on issues such as police brutality and wrongful imprisonment. These revolutionary ideas were often printed in the weekly newspaper printed by the BPP, which was named "The Black Panther". The preamble of the

Security Versus Privacy

2327 words - 9 pages government policies. It didn?t stop there, however. The FBI developed a program called ?COINTELPRO?, which was designed to disrupt the protest groups and discredit their leaders. This abuse included things like the sharing of information gathered on an individual to deny them employment and ruin their reputations. However, the abuse did not even stop there. The FBI went so far as to report that some of these individuals were foreign government

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages saw that greed a huge factor feeding the housing crisis, yet I didn’t know which side was to blame. My sister and brother in-law wanted more house than they could afford, and the bank was willing to lend them more than they should. This crisis sent the government into action to avoid what many were calling the greatest financial crisis of our time. Although many experts suggest an economic depression was imminent without the Troubled Asset

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages consisted of a stir plate, ring stand, Erlenmeyer flask, ice water bath, and a GLX temperature probe. The temperature probe was set to take a data point every second. A stir bar was added to the ice water bath to ensure a uniform temperature throughout the bath, and thus more uniform cooling of the samples. A beaker of boiling water was set up on a hot plate in order to melt the samples. After adjusting the various settings of the probe, the

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Similar Essays

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

Classical Liberal Theory Essay

1320 words - 5 pages classical liberal theory, government must serve one purpose and purpose only; to regulate and insure the citizens freedom. Supporters of the theory would argue that governmental agencies such as the FBI are necessary to preserve the legitimacy of the state. However, the theory reaches a paradox when a certain situation arises. Is it right to violate a few citizens freedoms in order to protect and insure the freedom of the masses? COINTELPRO was

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 . Bonaparte (1851-1921), a grand nephew of Napoleon, in 1908, under Theodore Roosevelt (Churchill). When you look back into history on why the US Government setup the FBI compared with some of the dealings the FBI had with Martin Luther King Jr. in addition to the impression left by J. Edgar Hoover's Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), most would question why and how this could have happened.The original function of the FBI was the

Assata Shakur Should Not Be On The Fbi's Most Wanted Terrorsit List

2519 words - 11 pages a member of the Black Panther Party, an organization that was dedicated to the uplifting of the black race ‘by any means necessary’ (BlackPast). During the height of the Black Panther Party, the government began targeting the group feeling that it posed a national threat to the country. The unification of a militant black army caused government agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation to develop tactics to destroy the power and