Thursday, May 14, 2009

The FBI's Historical KKK Connections

The FBI apparently had a long history of being involved in the actions of U.S. right-wing groups like the Ku Klux Klan. As the 1992 book Spying On America: The FBI’s Counter-intelligence Program by James Kirkpatrick Davis revealed, by the end of 1965 the FBI “had more than 7,000 undercover informants in place and operating within the klaverns” and “undercover informants were used in 85 percent of Klan actions.” The same book also noted that “about 15 percent of the entire KKK” was composed of FBI “informants” and “about half” of the FBI informants “were elected to leadership positions” within the KKK in the 1960s. (Downtown 7/19/95)

Following the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995, the Democratic Clinton Administration announced that it would hire yet another 1,000 FBI agents to “counter terrorism.” Yet as The True Story Of The Greensboro Massacre by Paul Bermanzohn and Sally Bermanzohn observed in 1980:

“The U.S. government has been using the Klan and other fascist groups for a long time. As far back as 1959 the FBI inserted Gary Rowe into the Alabama KKK. In the course of a 15-year terrorist career he instigated `many dozens’ of violent attacks, including a bloody assault on Birmingham freedom fighters in 1962, the church bombing murder of four schoolgirls and the murder of Viola Liuzzo. During the late 1960s, the FBI set up `more than 40’ all-informant Klan chapters in North Carolina alone.”

An FBI informant, Bill Wilkinson, apparently also set up the KKK’s Invisible Empire organization in 1980. As Blood In The Face by James Ridgeway recalled in 1990:

“In 1975 (David) Duke formed his own Knights of the Ku Klux Klan…

“In 1980, Duke ally, Bill Wilkinson, left the Knights to set up his own competing Invisible Empire…Wilkinson was able to persuade Duke to…sell the membership list of the Knights of the KKK for $35,000. Wilkinson secretly videotaped Duke making the deal. He then threatened to play the videotape for a Klan membership meeting. Soon thereafter, Duke quit the Klan…Klansmen later discovered that Wizard Wilkinson himself had been an FBI informer since 1974…”

Blood In The Face also pointed out that “an FBI informant was among the Klansmen who organized the 1961 attack on the Freedom Riders” during the Civil Rights Era, but “the FBI did nothing to stop the attack, and its silent complicity was not revealed until 14 years later.” (Downtown 5/17/95)

In the early 1970s, the FBI apparently also ordered one of its undercover agents to set up a terrorist bombing in Seattle. As Spying On America: The FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Program by James Kirkpatrick Davis also noted in 1992:

“David Sannes, a special agent, served as the undercover liaison…in the Seattle area. He later testified that he was instructed by bureau counter-intelligence officials to develop a terrorist bombing operation, and to develop the explosives in such a way that they would misfire and kill those who were doing the bombings. In May 1972, after he had left the bureau, Sannes said that he had `decided to make what I had done public so that the people of the United States could be informed of what was going on.’”
(Downtown 6/14/95)