In the early 1970’s a series of congressional hearings took place in DC. That became known as the Church committee hearings.
The results of those hearings were remarkable mostly because the conclusion was that America had become a spook state where the FBI, CIA, NSA, and the Pentagon were not only spying on virtually every kind of American but they were using tactics that Joseph Stalin and J. Edgar Hoover had developed to aggressively target personal enemies and most any human being or organization that was mildly “suspect.”
That included bishops, priests, and religious activists who spent their time building socially responsible churches. It included social activists ranging from folk singers like Pete Seeger to pot smoking rock ‘n roll bands. The J. Edgar Hoover crowd had not only spied on activists like Martin Luther King, Jr. They actually used the material they found on Rev. King to try to push him toward suicide. It was a period when just being black was enough to be targeted by the likes of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI.
When Hoover was not spending his time cross-dressing in fashionable Carmen Miranda or Shirley Temple outfits he was devising methodology for legally blackmailing congressmen, senators, mayors, and governors in most any public servant who he needed on his side. The problem was that his side was typically dark, dank, and mostly dirty.
The very idea that the FBI still maintains the name “J. Edgar Hoover” on the side of its DC building is almost dark humor. But Dick Nixon and J. Edgar became pals only because J. Edgar had a file on tricky Dick that no doubt could’ve put Dick in prison for a very long time. So tricky Dick, with open arms, adopted and put in place the J. Edgar Hoover-Joseph Stalin formula for dealing with political enemies.
The Frank Church committee found that labor unions were not only being spied on on behalf of union-busting megacorporations; they were being infiltrated with spook plants who would document everything that happened at private leadership meetings and no doubt later share that information with tricky Dick’s most important corporate political contributors.
Journalists were of course fair game with the Hoover crowd and the hugely funded and poorly supervised CIA. The CIA had listening devices spread out in homes and offices of newspaper editors, writers, and TV and radio reporters who J. Edgar or Dick Nixon believed were public enemies.
In fact the FBI and CIA had taken the art of spying on journalists to such a level that they also recruited journalists in something called “operation Mockingbird” to help promote and support the dirty tricks and spook activity of the CIA. The Mockingbird journalist operation was a group of high profile journalists who wrote favorable stories about the virtues and wisdom of CIA and FBI spook activity. They promoted the idea that spying is good for all of us no matter how abused the process might become.
The church committee was mildly successful in temporarily interrupting the spy free-for-all that J. Edgar Hoover and the CIA had launched against peace activists, environmental activists, political opponents, teachers, unions, churches, Congress, and even the courts.
But now we see that the spooks are back in full spook costume and you have to love the fact that they are spending so much time spying on the most dysfunctional Congress may be in the history of this country. We can only conclude that they have captured very little serious intel from Congress because this Congress, for the last six years, has done so little that could actually be considered serious business.
But Dianne Feinstein is mad as hell today, even though she has always been the Democrat big mouth who day after day for years has told us that the CIA, FBI, NSA, ABC, XYZ spying organizations should have unrestrained the right to put spook box in our bedrooms, bathrooms, mosques, and churches. And then they should also have the right to drone blow the hell out of anyone, American or otherwise, who falls into the definition of “threat” according to the subjective views of the spooks.
Maybe loudmouth Feinstein is upset because the FBI may now have information about possible sweetheart government contracts that have been pushed in the direction of her multimillionaire government contractor husband who no doubt has made a bundle in overly influenced sweetheart no-bid military contracts.
Right now it’s too early to tell but just maybe the brain-dead politicos who have trampled on constitutional rights to privacy may have the good sense to put together another Frank Church style committee. It’s clear that that may be the only way that they can protect themselves from the very monster they created.