Systemic Injustice Against Two Longtime Political Prisoners - by Stephen Lendman
Their names - Marshall "Eddie" Conway and Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald, both activist COINTELPRO-targeted Black Panther members, unjustly imprisoned for four decades for crimes they didn't commit.
They're two of many targeted Panthers, victims of COINTELPRO viciousness, "dirty tricks," after J. Edgar Hoover's orders to infiltrate, disrupt, sabotage, and destroy their activist mission for ethnic justice, racial emancipation, and real economic, social, and political equality across gender and color lines.
In an earlier article, this writer explained that COINTELPRO is the acronym for the FBI's secretive, mostly illegal, counterintelligence program to neutralize political dissidents, including alleged communists; anti-war, human and civil rights activists; the American Indian Movement; Black Panther Party members, and today Muslims for their faith, ethnicity, and activism.
In their book, "Agents of Repression," Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall wrote:
"the term came to signify the whole context of clandestine (often illegal) political repression activities (including) a massive surveillance (program via) wiretaps, surreptitious entries and burglaries, electronic devices, live 'tails' and....bogus mail" to induce paranoia and "foster 'splits' within or between organizations."
Other tactics included:
-- "black propaganda through leaflets or other publications "designed to discredit organizations and foster internal tensions;"
-- "disinformation or 'gray propaganda' " for the same purpose;
-- "bad-jacketing (to) creat(e) suspicion - through the spread of rumors, manufacture of evidence, etc. - that bona fide organizational members (usually leaders) were FBI/police informants," to turn some against others violently;
-- "assassinations (of) selected political leaders," like Fred Hampton and Mark Clark on December 4, 1969 by Chicago police while they slept; and
-- "harassment arrests (on bogus) charges."
In October 1966, Huey P. Newton co-founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense (BPP), served as minister of defense with chairman Bobby Seale, and developed a non-violent social agenda for full employment, decent housing and education, an end to police brutality, equity and justice, peace, and other progressive ideals. They believed in the rule of law, preached it, and struggled to overcome generations of injustice and discrimination against blacks, other people of color, and disadvantaged people everywhere.
In his 1980 doctoral dissertation titled, "War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America," Newton:
"analyze(d) certain features of the Party," significant incidents in its history and Washington's response, while "tr(ying) to maintain an objectivity consistent with scholarly standards...."
Most significant was "How many people's lives were ruined in countless ways by a government intent on destroying them as representatives of an 'enemy' political organization." All questions asked, he said, won't be answered, but he hoped his "inquiry" would help toward learning "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."