The first installment of reporting based on the Pentagon Papers was published half a century ago today in the New York Times. Pentagon whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg risked life imprisonment to expose the lies and brutality that the US war on Vietnam was based on.
Chip Gibbons is policy director of Defending Rights & Dissent. He hosted the Still Spying podcast, which explored the history of FBI political surveillance. He is currently working on a book on the history of the FBI exploring the relationship between domestic political surveillance and the emergence of the US national security state.
Former intelligence analyst Daniel Hale is being prosecuted for blowing the whistle on America’s drone program. It’s the latest in the topsy-turvy world of national security whistleblowers, who reveal illegal and immoral conduct by the US military yet face prison time as if they committed the real crimes.
Fifty years ago today, a group of New Left activists executed a daring burglary of an FBI field office in Pennsylvania, exposing the bureau’s COINTELPRO operations against the Civil Rights Movement, anti-war activists, and socialists. We should remember these activists today as heroes.
Leftists have been burned so many times by Hollywood depictions of radicals. So it’s a welcome surprise when, once in a blue moon, mainstream filmmakers actually do the history of American radicals justice, as in the new film on Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers, Judas and the Black Messiah.
In all the celebrations of Martin Luther King’s life, we tend to forget something very important about our country’s greatest civil rights leader: when he was alive, institutions of the US state, especially the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, constantly harassed, surveilled, and attempted to destroy King.
The police and national security state need far less power, not more. We should oppose any attempts, by both Democrats and Republicans, to use the Capitol riot to pass new domestic terrorism legislation expanding state surveillance powers.
Edward Snowden performed an immense act of public service to the American people by blowing the whistle on the National Security Agency’s vast, clandestine surveillance programs. President Donald Trump should pardon him.
The US is attempting to imprison one of its critics, Julian Assange, by claiming a global right to prosecute any journalist in the world. If that prosecution succeeds, it would be a severe blow not just to press freedom, but to our very right to oppose imperialism and empire.
Rep. Karen Bass is no socialist, but she’s hung around a few of us in the past. Because of this, as her name was floated for Biden’s vice presidency, she’s been subjected to McCarthyist-style smears. We on the Left have to clearly and loudly stand against these attacks — they’re designed to make socialism politically beyond the pale.
Donald Trump’s deployment of federal agents to American cities is a continuation of bipartisan police repression. But make no mistake: he’s also tapping into some of the darkest corners of far-right authoritarianism, which seek to stamp out the radical “enemy from within.”
Recently revealed emails show that a wide range of public entities were used to police a California graduate workers strike. It’s part of a long tradition of government agencies spying on labor organizers and radicals — but now with cross-agency coordination and ever-expanding budgets.
Donald Trump is attempting to drum up hysteria about antifa to clamp down on protest and dissent in the United States. Don’t let him.
The recent failed invasion of Venezuela by several clown cars worth of idiotic “freedom fighters” is almost too absurd to believe. But the goofballs aside, this misadventure can only be understood in the context of Donald Trump’s increased aggression toward Venezuela and open desire to overthrow its government.
The Bolsonaro government’s attack on Glenn Greenwald is an attack on free speech and democracy. We should unequivocally stand by his side.
In the aftermath of the El Paso shooting, some are pushing to expand the FBI’s powers. That’s a huge mistake: a domestic terrorism law would almost certainly be used to silence left-wing dissent.
The US government is holding Chelsea Manning in solitary confinement again. It’s a vindictive, unconscionable attack on a brave truth teller.
The FBI has historically served as a political police force, tasked not just with monitoring dissent but actively destroying it. Nowhere is that clearer than in their infiltration of the Left in the 1960s and ’70s.
Early American socialists like Eugene Debs fought for free speech rights as a bulwark against state tyranny and employer despotism. We should take up their radical struggle for civil liberties today.
Recently released FBI documents detailing the bureau’s actions against George Crockett Jr show how the bureau acts as the nation’s political police, relentlessly hounding radicals.
Boots Riley on communism, Sorry to Bother You, and what kind of political action the present moment demands.