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War At Home

true American flag - swastika and stripes - symbol of American state terrorism

War at Home:
Covert Action Against U.S. Activists
and What We Can Do About It

by Brian Glick
South End Press, 1989; ISBN 0-89608-349-7

From the introduction:

Government harassment of U.S. political activists clearly exists today, violating our fundamental democratic rights and creating a climate of fear and distrust which undermines our efforts to challenge official policy.

Similar attacks on social justice movements came to light during the 1960s. Only years later did we learn that these had been merely the visible tip of an iceberg. Largely hidden at the time was a vast government program to neutralize domestic political opposition through “covert action” (political repression carried out secretly or under the guise of legitimate law enforcement).

The 1960s program, coordinated by the FBI under the code name “COINTELPRO”, was exposed in the 1970s and supposedly stopped. But covert operations against domestic dissidents did not end. They have persisted and become an integral part of government activity. This book is designed to help today’s activists learn from the history of COINTELPRO, so that future movements can better fight this war at home.

The opening section reviews what we know about COINTELPRO. It explains how the program was uncovered when the FBI and police were compelled to release previously secret documents. It outlines COINTELPRO’s methods and targets and assesses its contribution to the decline of the movements of the 1960s.

The next section shows that domestic covert action did not end when COINTELPRO was officially disbanded. It remained in effect under other names and it continues to be a serious threat today. Persisting under Democratic as well as Republican administrations, it has become a permanent feature of U.S. politics.

The final section discusses what we can do about this danger. It analyzes the specific methods used in COINTELPRO — infiltration, psychological warfare, harassment through the legal system, and extralegal force and violence — and proposes to limit or deflect their impact on our movements. It shows that these methods do not protect “national security” or combat terrorism, as claimed by the government, but actually serve to foment violence and subvert democracy. Various tactics are suggested for publicly exposing the reality of domestic covert action and mobilizing broad-based protest against its continued use.

Excerpts from key COINTELPRO documents are reproduced at the back of the book, along with a list of resource groups and additional readings.

Domestic covert action is a powerful deterrent to democratic discussion of public policy and effective organizing for social change. We need to take it seriously without being distracted from our main goals. Please talk with other activists about the analysis and recommendations presented here. Adapt the guidelines to the conditions you face. Point out problems and suggest other approaches.

Now is the time to begin fighting the hidden war at home.








Further Reading

About the Author

Resource Organizations

About the Author

Brian Glick is a lawyer who was active in SDS and the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s, and who continues to work in the social justice and anti-intervention movements. Co-author of The Bust Book: What to Do Until the Lawyer Comes and The Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual, he has served as legal counsel for Geronimo Pratt, the Republic of New Afrika, the New York 3, and other targets of political repression. He currently represents community groups in New York City.


“Brian Glick has produced a useful tool, a book which not only details COINTELPRO and its illegal actions in the ’60s — that is, gives us back a piece of our history — but, more importantly, tells us what we can do about domestic covert action directed against us right now. In these times, Glick’s book becomes a necessity.”

— Margaret Randall
author of Sandino’s Daughters

“This is a must handbook for private study and group discussion by all progressive and radical activists. Today’s defense depends on our knowledge of yesterday’s repression. The message: the political police haven’t forgotten us — we can’t afford to forget them and their methods.”

— Phillip Agee
former CIA agent, author of
CIA Diary: Inside The Company

“This book ... is one of the most important contributions to the subject yet written.”

— John Conyers
U.S. House of Representatives

War At Home describes activities that can only be accurately described as government-sponsored terrorism against those of its own citizens who are so brash as to engage in a serious struggle for justice, democracy, and peace. It shows that every disgraceful tactic that our government uses in its ‘covert’ activities abroad it also uses in its little understood covert ‘war at home.’”

— David Dellinger
peace activist

“Brian Glick has given us not only a brilliant and chilling account of the government’s dirty war against its own people, but has provided a complete battle plan to combat it.”

— Haywood Burns
National Lawyers Guild
National Conference of Black Lawyers

“The breadth and scope of the massive FBI investigation of CISPES indicates that the Bureau was engaged in an illegal campaign to stifle dissent, and that its violation of Constitutional rights of citizens who oppose unpopular U.S. wars continues. War At Home is a timely and important book which every activist working for peace and justice at home and abroad must read.”

— Angela Sanbrano
Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES)

Related sites

by Brian Glick

Political Research Associates (publiceye.org) provides valuable excerpts of the book.

COINTELPRO, FBI Counterintelligence, Covert Operations, Black Bag Jobs, Church Committee

A very comprehensive site on COINTELPRO. Includes:

War At Home
a book by Brian Glick

ThirdWorldTraveler.com provides excerpts from the book.

FBI Alert in Vermont

A very interesting report from two New England veteran activists.

The Official Judi Bari Website

A 'Wanted' poster shows a balding FBI agent with big black sunglasses and the classic pig style of drooping whiskbroom mustache. Underneath it says - 'Agents of Repression - COINTELPRO - Public Enemy No. 1 - Richard Held' “...this website [is] dedicated to the legacy of Judi Bari, the renowned environmental and social justice leader who organized nonviolent protests against liquidation logging of California’s redwood forests.

“Judi died March 2, 1997 of breast cancer.

“Judi was severely injured and nearly killed in a still-unsolved bomb attack when a motion-triggered shrapnel bomb exploded directly under the driver’s seat of her car in Oakland, CA on May 24, 1990. Darryl Cherney, Judi’s organizing partner who was in the passenger seat, received lesser injuries.

“In a politically motivated effort to demonize Judi and Earth First! in public opinion, the FBI tried to frame the nonviolent activists, blaming the victims for the bombing. A two-month national media smear campaign was sustained by a series of false police claims of finding evidence linking manufacture of the bomb to Judi.

“But when the FBI and Oakland Police failed to produce any such evidence, the District Attorney refused to file charges. To this day the FBI has never retracted the false charges, and never apologized. The FBI’s sustained propaganda campaign against Judi and Earth First! succeeded in fooling some into believing they were violent extremists.

“As the 11th anniversary of the bombing nears, the bombers are still free because, as overwhelming evidence filed with the court proves, instead of mounting a genuine investigation of the bombing, the FBI and Oakland Police:

“A year after the bombing, when it was clear that officials were making no real effort to solve the bombing, Judi and Darryl filed a federal civil rights suit against the FBI and Oakland Police. The suit charges violation of constitutional rights by conspiracy to interfere with the right to organize politically, by false arrest, unlawful search and seizure, and denying equal protection of the law in allowing the real assassins to go free.

“‘This case is not just about me or Darryl or Earth First!,’ Judi said. ’This case is about the rights of all political activists to engage in dissent without having to fear the government’s secret police.”

“The lawsuit has been dragged out for ten years by defense motions and appeals intended to wear us down and keep the case from ever coming to trial. But we have cleared every hurdle and won every appeal. The courts have repeatedly upheld the case and have at last set a trial date of October 1, 2001.”

Final note:

It was delayed yet again, until April 8, 2002, because of the WTC terror attack. The case finally came to court and they won — in spite of the crooked judge who was totally biased, and FBI agents who repeatedly lied on the stand.

At one point during deliberations the jurors asked to have a copy of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to refer to, and the judge actually denied it to them! They were allowed to hear it read to them once, but they couldn’t have a copy of the U.S. Constitution to read themselves. Such absurd corruption was a major reason why the jurors went against the judge’s blatant prejudice and came back with an honest verdict which found the dirty FBI guilty.

Spy & CounterSpy (mirror site)

The FBI is truly nothing short of a thinly-disguised American Gestapo. The original Spy & CounterSpy site severely criticized the FBI and revealed some of its surveillance tactics. The site is now long gone, and even its “SPYCOUNTERSPY.com” domain name has lapsed and is up for sale (as of this writing). But this mirror site still has a great deal of fascinating information that can help you protect yourself from such ruthless “Security Services” (SS) of the U.S. Corporate Mafia Government.

An example:

The right way to use PGP public-key encryption to safeguard the privacy of your email:

Uncrackable Email, Part 1
Part 2

ACLU — Safe and Free in Times of Crisis

“Trust Us, We’re the Government” — ACLU Looks at Domestic Surveillance And the Need to Watch the Watchers in Times of Crisis

American history is replete with examples of law enforcement and intelligence organizations responding to a national crisis or social upheaval by asking Congress for greater freedom in how they can spy on American citizens and immigrants. Generally, these requests come with the soothing promise: “Trust us, we’re the government; we’ll only use these powers against the bad guys.”

There’s just one little problem with that plan: The U.S. government are the bad guys.

This report gives brief summaries of several illegal and immoral U.S. government surveillance and intimidation campaigns, including the FBI’s infamous “COINTELPRO” and little-known “STOP INDEX”; a program by the U.S. military, appropriately called “CONUS”; a CIA program called “OPERATION CHAOS”; the Clinton Administration’s “FILEGATE”; and the FBI’s unwarranted investigation of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES).

The Sabotage Of Legitimate Dissent


A wealth of articles on COINTELPRO, including: “If An Agent Knocks”, “The Brian Glick history of COINTELPRO”, “The Framing Of Qubilah Shabazz”, “The Jean Seberg Smear”, “US Domestic Covert Operations”, “Actual FBI COINTELPRO documents”, “A Rough, Tough, Dirty Business”, “The FBI and Hollywood” and others.

Political Research Associates

“Political Research Associates is an independent, nonprofit research center, based on progressive values, that serves as a national resource for information on antidemocratic, authoritarian, and other oppressive movements and trends. PRA is committed to advancing an open, democratic, and pluralistic society by providing useful, accurate and reliable research and analysis to activists, journalists, educators, policy makers, and the public at large.”

FBI and CIA Documents

Documents from Public Information Research, Inc. (pir.org) include:
  1. J. Edgar Hoover Declares War on the New Left
  2. CIA Document: How to Co-opt Academia
  3. CIA Employs Propaganda Assets to Refute Warren Commission Critics
  4. Report from CIA’s 1970 Anti-Allende Task Force
  5. FBI Report on Chile’s DINA
  6. Gloria Steinem Spies on Students for the CIA
  7. Task Force on Greater CIA Openness
    Q: How does the CIA draw the line between “greater openness" and an increase in illegal domestic propaganda?
    A: With invisible ink.

  8. DoD + DOJ = Big, Big Brother
  9. CIA Documents from the Tehran Embassy
  10. CIA HQ to Santiago station: Overthrow Allende
  11. Ben Bradlee: Dispatched by the CIA
  12. Richard Helms and BCCI
  13. U.S. Intelligence Fingered Charles Horman
  14. Operation Condor Documents
  15. Indonesia 1965: CIA death lists
  16. Technical Tips: Displaying FOIA Documents on the Web

CIA on Campus

Also from Public Information Research, Inc. Sections include:

Related pages

Solutions: American Revolution 2 and a Humane Future of International Socialist Democracy

Thomas Jefferson Calling: The Time for Revolution is NOW
by John Kaminski

The Weapons of American State Terrorism:

Police-State Brutality and the Battle of Seattle

Terrorism Begins At Home: Police Brutality in America

Mumia Abu-Jamal: Political Prisoner in America

America’s Techno-Fascist Future

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