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The FBI Targeted the Left with Devious Tactics for Years—Now Trump Is Giving the Agency the Same Treatment

February 6, 2018 in Blogs

By Jefferson Morley, AlterNet

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The conservative Bureau is stunned to face its own anti-democratic tactics.

The release of a Republican memo trashing the senior Justice Department has given the FBI a taste of its own medicine: a mendacious and misleading attack designed to impugn dissent and confuse democratic discourse, all dressed up in the righteous rhetoric about the American way.

From 1958 to 1974, the FBI routinely engaged in this sort of activity against its perceived enemies. The notorious Cointelpro—Counterintelligence Program—targeted civil rights, antiwar and other leftist groups for infiltration, disruption and destruction. Now that the president and his allies are giving the FBI the Cointelpro treatment, the Bureau and its leaders are indignant, understandably so.

The Association of FBI Agents protested the release of the memo, written by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as unfair to its members.

Bureau officials, most of them Republicans, are stunned to discover that the Bureau’s tactics have been turned against it in the service of protecting President Trump from criticism and investigation. They are appalled that former supporters on the political right are accusing them of unpatriotic behavior. The Republican memo, charges Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona), is “clear and convincing evidence of treason.”

In the face of such attacks, echoed by the president, FBI director Christopher Wray has chosen not to resign but to say “actions speak louder than words.”

One law enforcement official told the Washington Post, “There’s a lot of anger. The irony is it’s a conservative-leaning organization, and it’s being trashed by conservatives. At …read more


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