Today in History: FBI Documents Released in Response to a Freedom of Information Suit

fbi-cointelproOn this day in 1976, FBI documents, released in response to a freedom of information suit, revealed that the government mounted an intensive campaign against civil rights organizations in the sixties.

In a letter dated August 25, 1967, the FBI said the government operation, called COINTELPRO, was designed “to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize the activities of Black nationalists, hate-type groups, their leadership, spokesmen, membership and supporters, and to counter their propensity for violence and civil disorders.”

A later telegram specifically named the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as organizations having “radical and violence prone leaders, members and followers.

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