This is a passionate, scholarly, and far reaching analysis of the Counter Intelligence Operations of the FBI. Beginning with World War I, Churchill covers the Palmer Raids, the defeat of the Anarchists and of Marcus Garvey; the attacks on the Civil Rights Movement, the 1964 murders of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney, and the murders of Black Panthers. Dedicating his speech to Leonard Peltier, who by now has spent almost 30 years in prison, Churchill gives a detailed description of the FBI raid on the Pine Ridge reservation on June 26, 1975 and of the case against Peltier.
For years the FBI and Bureau of Indian Affairs, BIA, had supported and financed a private army (the goons) of Tribal Chief Dick Wilson. Wilson had agreed to sell of 1/8 th of the reservation land to the Federal Government when uranium was found on the Sheep Mountain Gunnery Range. Tribal elders refused to turn over the land and asked for help from AIM after over 60 people had been murdered. The FBI and the BIA, says Churchill, then provoked a shoot-out in order to militarize the area and defeat the land rights movement. Two FBI agents died. A Native American, who admitted to killing them, was found to have acted in self defense and is free. Leonard Peltier, who denied involvement, was charged with murder and convicted.
Amnesty International considers Leonard Peltier a political prisoner who should be “immediately and unconditionally released.” Nelson Mandela, Rigoberta Menchu, the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights, the Dalai Lama, the European Parliament, and countless others have called for his freedom.
Ward Churchill is professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is also a Vietnam veteran and survivor of the FBI war against the American Indian Movement. Among his many books are: The COINTELPRO Papers, Indians Are US, and A Little Matter of Genocide. (This is an updated archival TUC Radio program from 2001)
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