How the FBI’s Ugly Past Undermines Obama’s War on Terror

I’ve got
a new column
up at The Daily Beast. It takes off from the
publication of an important new history of the FBI called
The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret
, by Betty Medsger. A former Washington Post reporter,
Medsger explores how the 1971 break-in by peace activists of the
FBI’s offices in Media, Pennsylania lead to the discovery of
COINTELPRO, a secret and illegal program designed to disrupt even
peaceful activist groups.

No one should be dreading the release ofBetty
Medsger’s The Burglary
 more than Barack
Obama. It underscores what the paranoids and cranks among us have
always known to be true: The national-security state is never
operated for the benefit of citizens, but instead proceeds directly
from the weird obsessions and pathologies of the people who run

 makes its appearance at a time when trust in
government is near a record low, with just 19
 of Americans surveyed telling Gallup that they
trust government “to do what’s right” just about always or most of

Who can blame us?
Barack Obama pledged to create the most transparent administration
ever but has broken his
own vows
 about appointing lobbyists and mega-donors
and lied
 the basics of his health-care reform law. His
kill list
,”, a highly controversial if not plainly
unconstitutional measure by which he claimed the right to
unilaterally dispatch individuals he concluded were threats to the
U.S., shook the faith of even his most gah-gah supporters.

Read the whole article
, which includes a discussion of how the
FBI may have indirectly helped create Kwanzaa through its support
of the US Organization, a black power organization which was headed
by the man who created the holiday in 1966.

from Hit & Run

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