SUPPLEMENTARY
DETAILED STAFF REPORTS ON INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES AND THE RIGHTS OF AMERICANS




BOOK III /// FINAL REPORT



OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE TO STUDY GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS WITH RESPECT TO
INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES UNITED STATES SENATE



APRIL 23 (under authority of the order of April 14), 1976




THE
USE OF INFORMANTS IN FBI DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE INVESTIGATIONS




I.
INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY


The dangers to a free society
that are implicit in the use of secret intelligence informers have long been
recognized. In his Constitutional History of England, written in the mid-19th
century, Sir Thomas May observed:


Men may be without restraints
upon their liberty; they may pass to and fro at pleasure: but if their steps
are tracked by spies and informers, their words noted down for crimination,
their associates watched as conspirators — who shall say that they are free? 1


May pointed to the use of
informers by “continental despotisms,” noting that “the freedom
of a country may be measured by its immunity from this baleful agency.” 2


On the other hand, law
enforcement officials see informants 3 as a highly effective technique — one
justified by the public’s interest in the detection of crime and the
prosecution of criminals. FBI officials testified to the Committee that
informants “provide one of the best and most complete forms of
coverage” in their investigations. 4 Former Attorney General Katzenbach
testified that the use of intelligence informants in the mid-1960s to infiltrate
the Ku Klux Klan — a technique urged upon the FBI by President Johnson,
Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and Mr. Katzenbach — was a principal factor
in stopping repeated acts of criminal violence.


This Appendix, pursuant to the
Committee’s mandate under Senate Resolution 21, focuses on the use of
informants in FBI intelligence investigations who are recruited, paid and
directed by Bureau Special Agents. The Committee did not examine the use of informants
in FBI criminal investigations nor did the Committee examine instances of the
“walk-in” who volunteers information to the FBI on a one-time basis.
As discussed in more detail below, paid and directed intelligence informants
are extensively used in FBI domestic intelligence investigations of groups and
individuals. These intelligence informants are, the subject of this Appendix.


The use of informants to
collect intelligence on Americans is not confined to the FBI. The Committee
also examined the use of intelligence informants by other agencies. In the late
1960s,informants and undercover agents were used by the CIA and Army
Intelligence to secretly penetrate domestic groups. In 1968, about 1500 Army
intelligence agents were engaged in monitoring and penetrating civilian
activity in the United States; although a 1971 Defense Department directive now
generally limits the military’s collection of information about private groups
and individuals, the directive permits the military to secretly penetrate civilian
groups where approved by the Defense Department. See the Appendices on Improper
Surveillance of Private Citizens by the Military and CIA Intelligence
Activities Regarding Americans. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service uses
informants for intelligence purposes. See the IRS Report: p. 863,
“Selective Enforcement for Non-Tax Purposes.”


A. Summary of Facts


1. The Extensive Use of
Intelligence lnformants


The paid and directed
informant is the most extensively used technique in FBI domestic intelligence
investigations. Informants were used in 85 percent of the domestic intelligence
investigations analyzed in a recent study by the General Accounting Office. 5
By comparison, electronic surveillance was used in only 5 percent of the cases
studied. The FBI places strong emphasis on informant coverage, in intelligence
investigations, instructing agents to “develop reliable informants at all
levels and in all segments” of groups under investigation. 6


The Committee’s investigation
revealed that the FBI was using more than 1,500 domestic intelligence
informants as of June 30, 1975. 7


The FBI budget for Fiscal Year
1976 programmed a total of $7,401,000 for the intelligence informant program,
more than twice the amount allocated for the organized crime informant program.
8


The number of intelligence
informants has been substantially larger in previous years because of the
“Ghetto Informant Program,” which at its height comprised over 7,000
informants. The FBI began the Ghetto Informant Program in 1967 in the context
of the urban riots and violence of the mid-1960’s, and in response to
instructions from the White House and the Attorney General. Although
“ghetto” informants were initially used as “listening
posts” to provide information on the planning or organizing of riots and
civil disturbances, many were eventually given specific assignments to attend
public meetings of “extremists” and to identify bookstores and others
distributing “extremist literature”. The FBI terminated the program in
1973 after sharp debate within the Bureau over the program’s effectiveness and
the propriety of the listening post concept.


Generally, there are two types
of intelligence informants: those the FBI first recruits and then inserts into
investigated groups under investigation, and those who are already members of
such a group and are “turned” or recruited as FBI informants.


In addition to paid and
directed informants, the FBI uses “confidential sources,” defined in
the FBI Manual of Instructions as persons who furnish the FBI information
available to them through their position, such as “bankers, telephone
company employees, and landlords.” 9 Confidential sources were used in 50
Percent of the cases analyzed by the GAO, ranking behind informants and local
law enforcement officials as the third most used techniques in intelligence
cases. As of June 1975, there were 1,254 confidential sources approved by FBI
headquarters for domestic intelligence purposes. 9a


2. The Unpublished Standards
for the Use of Intelligence Informants.


The standards for the use of
intelligence informants are contained in internal FBI directives that are not
available to the public.


The FBI Manual of Instructions
sets few limits oil the scope of intelligence informant reporting. The Manual
proscribes only the reporting of communications between an attorney and client,
legal “defense plans or strategy,” “employer-employee
relationships” (where an informant is connected with a labor union), and
“legitimate institution or campus activities” in schools. 10 The
Manual contains no standard limiting an informant’s reporting to information
relating to the commission of criminal offenses or even to violent or
potentially violent activity. In fact, intelligence informants report on
virtually every aspect of a group’s activity serving, in the words of both FBI
officials and an informant, as a “vacuum cleaner” of information. 11


FBI officials recognized this
broad scope of informant reporting as a problem area, pointing out that it
produces “too much information” in FBI files. 11a They expressed
their belief that an informant should report to some degree the lawful aspects
of a group’s activity in order to permit an accurate picture to be drawn. But
they did recognize the need “to narrow down” informant reporting from
its present broad scope. 12


The Manual does not set
independent standards which must be supported by facts before an organization
can be the subject of informant coverage. Once the criteria for opening a
regular intelligence investigation are met, and the case is opened, informants
can be used without any restrictions. 12a There is no specific determination
made as to whether the substantial intrusion represented by informant coverage
is justified by the government’s interest in obtaining information. There is
nothing that requires that a determination be made of whether less intrusive
means will adequately serve the government’s interest. There is also no
requirement that the decisions of FBI officials to use informants be reviewed
by anyone outside the Bureau. In short, intelligence informant covrage has not
been subject to the standards which govern the use of other intrusive
techniques such as wiretapping or other forms of electronic surveillance.
(Compare the requirements for use of electronic surveillance and wiretaps
discussed in “Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans”;
Part IV.)


B. Policy and Constitutional
Issues Raised by the Use of Intelligence Informants


The use of informants and
confidential sources in intelligence investigations of domestic groups and
citizens can raise important policy and Constitutional issues. Unlike
investigations of specific criminal activity, intelligence investigations
frequently have involved continuous surveillance across a broad spectrum of
activity. Where “intelligence” rather than evidence of particular
criminal activity is collected, informants and confidential sources give the
FBI a large amount of information dealing with the lawful political and
personal activity of citizens. Former FBI informants infiltrated into
organizations testified that they reported “any and everything” they
saw or heard pertaining to the group’s members, 13 and that they took
membership lists, financial data, and other records and gave them to the FBI.
This testimony was confirmed by the FBI agents to whom they reported. As one
agent testified, his informant “told me everything she knew” about
the political organization she infiltrated. 14


Under the Bill of Rights,
particularly the First and Fourth Amendments, our Constitution protects freedom
of speech and political association and the right to be secure against
unreasonable searches and seizures.


In the light of the
protections guaranteed by our Constitution, the use of informants for
intelligence purposes raises three principal issues:


(1) The first issue concerns
whether informants should be used at all in intelligence investigations, 15
and, if so, under what circumstances. The use of informants in the
investigation of groups and individuals involved in political activity may
chill the exercise of First Amendment rights. For example, citizens interested
in attending a meeting of a political group either to join or to express
support for a lawful interest they share with the group, may be deterred by the
fear that their attendance would mark them as a member in an informant’s eyes.
They may fear an informant’s report will prevent their gaining a job requiring
a security clearance, even though in fact they supported no unlawful activity.
Although citizens may not know that a secret informant is reporting on a
particular group, the mere existence of the FBI intelligence informant system
can be sufficient to cause them to curtail their exercise of First Amendment
rights for fear they will be reported to the FBI.


(2) The second issue concerns
the scope of an informant’s reporting. Should an informant report only
indications of criminal or violent activity, or should he report all aspects of
a group’s activity and the personal lives of individuals in the interest of
intelligence? In this connection, there is the further question of whether an
informant should be permitted to take the confidential records and documents of
a group or individual (such as membership lists or financial data) and give
them to the FBI, when the Government cannot properly obtain them through
statutory disclosure requirement, subpoena, or search warrant.


(3) Finally, there is the
issue of an informant’s conduct and behavior. The Committee heard testimony on
the difficulties inherent in an informant reporting on violent and criminal
activity. To be in a position to report, the informant may have to participate
in the unlawful activity to some degree. As one FBI handling agent testified of
an informant in a violence-prone element of the Ku Klux Klan, “he couldn’t
be an angel and be a good informant.” 16 Where such an informant is paid
and directed by the FBI, the Government may be placed in the at least unseemly
posture of involvement through its agents in the activity it is seeking to
prevent. At the extreme, the Government’s informant may be held to have acted
as an agent provocateur, that is, an agent of the Government who has provoked
illegal or violent activity.


C. The Lack of Judicial
Treatment of Intelligence Informant Issues


These issues have rarely been
before the courts. This is in part due to the nature of secret intelligence
informant activity. Members of a group will seldom learn that an FBI
intelligence informant has been in their midst or has copied their records for the
FBI because intelligence investigations almost invariably do not result in
prosecutions. 17 Without knowledge of an informant’s activity and in the
absence of a prosecution, a group or its members will not come before a court
to raise Constitutional objections. Consequently, there are few court decisions
and those that do exist usually concern criminal, rather than intelligence
informants. In Hoffa v. United States, 18 a criminal case involving charges of
bribing a jury, the Supreme Court held that an informant’s testimony concerning
a defendant’s conversations could not be considered the product of a search
where the defendant had consented to the presence of the individual who served
as an informant. The facts did not, however, present the issue of whether an
informant’s surreptitious taking of documents for the Government constituted an
unlawful search.


The Select Committee’s
investigation has revealed for the first time the extremely broad scope of FBI
intelligence informant surveillance and reporting. The Supreme Court has yet to
be presented with the types of factual situations — such as intensive
informant coverage of lawful political activity and personal matters — which
may produce the chilling of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Moreover,
apart from particular cases which may come before a court, the overall effect
on the exercise of First Amendment rights in the society at large may be very
great where it is known that a large-scale intelligence informant system is
operating. No court has seen the overall pattern of FBI intelligence informant
coverage of citizens and groups. Consequently, courts have been unable to
assess the full impact of the informant system on the exercise of
constitutionally protected rights.


A U.S. Army surveillance
system was challenged on First Amendment grounds in Laird v. Tatum, but the
Court described the information gathered in that case as “nothing more
than a good newspaper reporter would be able to gather by attendance at public
meetings and the clipping of articles from publications available on any
newsstand.” 19 In a more recent case, the California Supreme Court held
that secret surveillance of classes and group meetings at a university through
the use of undercover agents was “likely to pose a substantial restraint
upon the exercise of First Amendment rights.” 20 Citing a number of U.S.
Supreme Court opinions, the California Supreme Court stated in its unanimous
decision:


In view of this significant
potential chilling effect, the challenged surveillance activities can only be
sustained if [the Government] can demonstrate a “compelling” state
interest which justifies the resultant deterrence of First Amendment rights and
which cannot be served by alternative means less intrusive on fundamental
rights. 21


D. The Scope of the
Committee’s Investigation


Before turning to the
discussion below, two points as to the Committee’s investigation must be noted.


First, in recognition of the
sensitive nature of the informant technique, including the risk of exposure, or
physical harm to present and former informants, the Committee worked out
procedures with the cooperation of the Attorney General and the FBI to protect
the integrity of the FBI’s operations while assuring the Committee’s ability to
conduct a thorough investigation. For example, while materials on full FBI
intelligence investigations were examined, including informant reports on
target groups and particular incidents, the names and identities of informants
were not revealed unless they had previously been made public through court
proceedings or the informant’s own choice.


Second, as noted above, the
Committee’s investigation focused on the use of FBI-paid and directed
intelligence informants and FBI-approved confidential sources, not criminal
informants, one-time “walk-ins” or citizens who provide information
to FBI Special Agents on their own initiative. In short, the Committee’s
investigation dealt not with the citizen’s right to communicate with a law
enforcement agency, but with a specific and substantial government intelligence
program employing individuals who are paid and directed by the FBI Intelligence
Division. It is in this sense that the discussion that follows uses the term
“intelligence informant.”


The discussion below is in two
parts. To illustrate the nature of the intelligence informant technique, Part
One examines the case histories of two former FBI intelligence informants. Part
One also sets out eleven additional examples of informant coverage in domestic
intelligence investigations and describes the “Ghetto Informant
Program,” conducted from 1967 to 1973, as well as other past FBI informant
programs directed towards specific concerns.


Part Two discusses the size
and scope of the FBI intelligence informant program and the standards that
exist for the use of intelligence informants.


II. THE NATURE OF THE
INTELLIGENCE INFORMANT TECHNIQUE


A. Case Histories of
Particular Informants


To provide an understanding of
the intelligence informant technique, two case studies are presented. The first
case study involves a former FBI “subversive” informant in the
Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Mary Jo Cook. The second case study involves
a former FBI “extremist” informant in the Ku Klux Klan, Gary Rowe.
Before turning to those cases, the FBI’s definitions of subversive and
extremist informants are set forth below.


Subversive Informants. — The
FBI classifies its paid and directed intelligence informants into two
categories, “subversive” and “extremist,” corresponding to
the two types of domestic intelligence investigations. “Subversive”
22 informants are those used in the investigation of “subversive activities,”
defined in Section 87 of the FBI Manual as “activities aimed at
overthrowing, destroying, or undermining the Government of the United States or
any of its political subdivisions” by illegal means. 23 Section 87 has
been applied to the activities of the Communist Party and a wide variety of
other organizations which the FBI believes have revolutionary characteristics.
During the Vietnam War, investigations of individuals labeled “Key
Activists” were conducted under Section 87, in which informant coverage
was stressed. For example, in January 1968, instructions went out to ten major
field offices to designate certain persons as “Key Activists.” They
were defined as “individuals in the Students for a Democratic Society and
the anti-Vietnam war groups [who] are extremely active and most vocal in their
statements denouncing the United States and calling for civil disobedience and
other forms of unlawful and disruptive acts.” 24 There was to be “an
intensive investigation” of each “key activist”:


Because of their leadership
and prominence in the “new left” movement, as well as the growing
militancy of this movement, each office must maintain high-level informant
coverage on these individuals so that the Bureau is kept abreast of their
day-to-day activities as well as the organizations they are affiliated with, to
develop information r egarding their sources of funds, foreign contacts, and
future plans. 25


Extremist Informants. –
“Extremist” informants 25a are those used in the investigation of
“extremist” activities, defined in Section 122 of the FBI Manual in
the same way as subversive activities but also including “denying the
rights of individuals under the Constitution.” 26 In practice,
“extremist” investigations have concerned violence-prone groups
composed of members of one or another race. Section 122 is intended to cover
what the Bureau calls “White Hate” groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan,
and “Black Nationalist Hate” groups, such as the Black Panther Party
and the Nation of Islam. It also applies to some American Indian groups such as
the American Indian Movement, as well as a variety of terrorist organizations
engaged in “urban guerrilla warfare.” 27


In the case of organizations
of blacks, informant coverage in Section 122 investigations extended beyond the
Black Panthers. In the fall of 1970, the FBI decided to include “every
Black Student Union and similar group regardless of their past or present
involvement in disorders.” 28 The initial proposal for informant coverage
called for “preliminary inquiry through established sources and informants
to determine background, aims and purposes, leaders and Key Activists.” 29
It was estimated this would cause FBI field offices to open 4,000 cases on both
groups and individuals. The subsequent instructions to the field offices
stressed the need to investigate Black Student Unions and similar groups and to
“target informants and sources to develop information regarding these
groups on a continuing basis … and to develop such coverage where none
exists.” 30


The case histories
illustrating the activity of FBI’s subversive and extremist intelligence
informants are presented below.


1. Mary Jo Cook — FBI
Informant in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War


In June 1973, Mary Jo Cook was
recruited by the FBI field office in Buffalo, New York to serve as a paid and
directed informant in the Buffalo chapter of the Vietnam Veterans Against the
War (VVAW). 31


a. Background. — The FBI made
limited investigations in 1967 and 1968 to determine if the Communist Party or
other “subversive” elements were directing or controlling the VVAW
but concluded that there was no such outside influence. 32


In August 1971, a full
investigation of the VVAW was opened on the basis of reports that Communist
youth groups were infiltrating the VVAW and the alleged involvement of some
VVAW members in illegal demonstrations; militant antiwar activity by the VVAW,
including reported links with foreign elements, was also a basis for the full
investigation. 33 FBI concern centered on the national office of the VVAW,
which the FBI saw as adopting Marxist-Leninist doctrine and anti-imperialist
positions.


The FBI’s investigation of
local VVAW chapters was, in part, designed to determine the extent to which
they were following the position of the VVAW national office or were being
infiltrated by Communist elements. 34


b. Cooks Instructions. — From
her initial meeting with the FBI agent who recruited her, Cook understood that
she was to serve as both a reporter of information and a moderating force in
the VVAW. Cook testified that she understood she was to act as “a voice of
reason . . . a guiding force in the organization and keep things calm, cool and
collected.” 35 Cook testified:


The major understanding that I
got from the meeting was that VVAW-WSO was an organization primarily of veterans
who were possible victims of manipulation. They had been through the Vietnam
War. They had legitimate readjustment needs, and the Bureau was afraid that
they could become violent or could become manipulated in a cause or social
concern, and they wanted me to go in there and participate in the organization
and make sure that the veterans didn’t get “ripped off”. 36


Cook’s handling agent
similarly testified that one of the main purposes of placing Cook in the VVAW
chapter was to neutralize any violence or illegal activities, as well as to
report them. 37


c. The Scope of Cook’s
Reporting. — As to her reporting function, Cook testified that she was to
report virtually everything about the VVAW and its members. She stated that:


I was to go to meetings, write
up reports … on what happened, who was there … to try to totally identify
the background of every person there, what their relationships were, who they
were living with, who they were sleeping with, to try to get some sense of the
local structure and the local relationships among the people in the
organization. 38


The FBI Special Agent to whom
Cook reported similarly testified as to the broad scope of Cook’s reporting:
“She told me everything she knew about the Buffalo chapter of the
VVAW.” 39


To obtain the type of
information desired by the FBI, Cook testified that she took a leadership role
in the VVAW. The FBI asked her to go to as many regional and national meetings
of the VVAW as possible to “get a good sense of how the local chapter fit
in [the] national organization”. 40 Cook stated “it was a very
democratic process [in the VVAW] so that there was no way that I could …
fulfill the request of the FBI … without actually becoming elected leadership
in the chapter”. 41


The scope of Cook’s intelligence
reporting, including identities of individuals, personal matters, and lawful
political activity, is illustrated by the following FBI summaries 42 of two
reports given the FBI by Cook:


Report No. 1


Report concerns a meeting of
the VVAW/WSO Women’s Group held November 5, 1973, in Buffalo, New York. Nine
women attended, all named in the report. One woman had been the girlfriend of
an individual named in the report who was associated with the Martin Sostre
Defense Committee and lived with him for a while. Report concluded with plans
for a men’s group meeting to be held later.


Report No. 2


Report concerns a meeting of
the VVAW/WSO Steering Committee held 11/10/73. Five identified individuals were
present. There was a discussion of finances and some displeasure at the
financial record system. Plans for a benefit at a bar were discussed.
Information was presented concerning a newsletter to be mailed out which will
discuss the VVAW/WSO’s position on amnesty, the upgrading of discharges,
information about a strike at a Buffalo firm.


Some objections were raised
concerning the wording of some VVAW/WSO objectives.


Plans for a future coalition
meeting organized by two individuals were discussed, the same coalition that
worked on the Impeach Nixon rally.


Matters concerning possible
new members and/or attendees at future meetings were discussed. Plans for a
VVAW/WSO team on a television sports quiz show were discussed.


One member raised four
criticisms of the VVAW/WSO, all listed. One member wrote a regional newsletter.


d. Cook’s Taking of VVAW
Documents. — Besides reporting in detail on VVAW members and meetings, Cook
also took VVAW documents and gave them to the FBI. 43 For example, Cook
testified that she gave the FBI VVAW mailing lists, thus providing the FBI with
the names of many individuals outside of the smaller number of people who
attended VVAW meetings. 44


In addition to the mailing
lists which Cook gave to the FBI, she also took a number of other VVAW
documents, including papers relating to legal defense matters. As Cook’s FBI
handling agent testified:


She brought back several
things … various position papers taken by various legal defense groups,
general statements of … the VVAW, legal thoughts on various trials, the
Gainesville (Florida) 8 … the Camden (New Jersey) 9 … various documents
from all of these groups. 44a


Cook also gave the FBI a
confidential legal manual prepared by VVAW attorneys as a guide for legal
defense strategy and methods should VVAW members be arrested in demonstrations
or other political activity. 45 As discussed in more detail below, the FBI
Manual provides that legal defense matters are not to be reported by
informants. However, the FBI interprets this provision as prohibiting only the
reporting of privileged attorney-client communications or legal defense matters
in connection with a specific trial. Since the VVAW legal manual was intended
for general use, rather than in connection with a particular case, the FBI considered
that the VVAW manual did not fall within the prohibition.


e. Reporting on Non-VVAW
Groups and Individuals. — In addition to reporting on the VVAW itself, Cook
also reported on those individuals and groups who worked on political issues in
conjunction with the VVAW:


Senator HART: … did you
report also on groups and individuals outside the [VVAW], such as other peace
groups or individuals who were opposed to the war whom you came in contact with
because they were cooperating with the [VVAW] in connection with protest
demonstrations and petitions?


Ms. COOK: … I ended up
reporting on groups like the United Church of Christ, American Civil Liberties
Union, the National Lawyers Guild, liberal church organizations [which] quite
often went into coalition with the [VVAW]. 45a


As a result of this broad
reporting scope, Cook estimated that she identified as many as 1,000 people to
the FBI in the 18 months she worked as an informant. 46 Cook estimated that
sixty to seventy percent of these 1,000 people were nonveterans who had
participated with the VVAW in various political efforts. 47


In November 1974, Cook quit
her work as an informant because of her belief that the VVAW was engaged in
lawful political activity and her conclusion that she could not in conscience
inform on its members and others working with them. 48 Cook concluded that the
Buffalo VVAW Chapter was working towards ending the involvement of U.S. in
Vietnam, amnesty for draft resisters, upgrading military discharges, and better
health and drug treatment for Vietnam veterans. 49


Cook testified:


I started talking with the FBI
about all of the contradictions that I was starting to see. I didn’t understand
what my involvement was anymore . . . I didn’t see the reason for my
continuance . . . [I said to the FBI] these people don’t need me functioning in
their midst, and if you can’t give me assurances that the information that I am
giving you, which you seem to strip the context away from isn’t going to be
used against these people, then I cannot continue . . . and they could not give
me any assurance that this information would not be used against people . . . .
50


2. Gary Rowe — FBI Informant
in the Ku Klux Klan


Gary Rowe worked as an FBI
informant in the Birmingham, Alabama chapter of the Ku Klux Klan from 1959
until March 1965, when he surfaced to testify as an eyewitness to the killing
of a civil right’s worker, Mrs. Viola Liuzzo, by Klan members. 51


Rowe’s activity as an FBI
informant illustrates the distinction between an informant’s reporting of
information relating to violence or criminal activity and the reporting of
general intelligence. On the one hand, Rowe provided the FBI with a great deal
of information on Klan violence and criminal activity. At the same time,
however, Rowe reported virtually every aspect of Klan activity, regardless of
its relation to actual or potential violence or criminal offenses. In addition,
on a number of occasions Rowe participated in Klan violence in order to be in a
position to report its occurrence to the FBI. Consequently, even though Rowe
was able to report significant violence and criminal activity, his case
highlights two principal issues: 1) the question of overbreadth in intelligence
informant reporting, and 2) the government’s participation or unseemly
involvement through its paid and directed informants in the violent or criminal
activity it is investigating.


a. The Use of Intelligence
Informants to Report Klan Violence and Criminal Activity. — In testimony
before the Committee, former Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach emphasized
the violent acts committed by some Ku Klux Klan members in the South during the
years Rowe was an FBI informant:


The central point of . . . my
testimony is that some Klan members in those states, using the Klan as a
vehicle, were engaged in repeated acts of criminal violence. It had nothing to
do with preaching a social point of view: it had to do with proven acts of
violence. 52


Katzenbach stated that to deal
with the problem of Klan violence, Attorney General Robert Kennedy had
suggested to President Johnson an intensified use of FBI informants in the
Klan, along the lines employed by the FBI against Communist groups. Katzenbach
quoted from a letter Robert Kennedy had sent to the President in mid-1964 just
prior to the murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi:


The unique difficulty as it
seems to me to be presented by the situation in Mississippi (which is
duplicated in parts of Alabama and Louisiana at least) is in gathering
information on fundamentally lawless activities which have the sanction of
local law enforcement agencies, political officials and a substantial segment
of the white population. The techniques followed in the use of specially
trained, special assignment agents in the infiltration of Communist groups
should be of value. If you approve, it might be desirable to take up with the
Bureau the possibility of developing a similar effort to meet this new problem.
53


And Katzenbach pointed out
that informants were critical to the solution of the murders of the three civil
rights workers: “That case could not have been solved without acquiring
informants who were highly placed members of the Klan.” 54


Katzenbach emphasized his view
that the use of FBI informants in the Klan should be viewed as a criminal
investigation technique, pointing out that, in the case of the Klan,
“these techniques were designed to deter violence to prevent murder,
bombings, and beatings. In my judgment, they were successful.” 55 At the
same time, he indicated the disruptive results that “an effective
informant program” 56 may produce. He stated:


It is true that the FBI
program with respect to the Klan made extensive use of informers. That is true
of virtually every criminal investigation with which I am familiar. In an
effort to detect, prevent, and prosecute acts of violence, President Johnson,
Attorney General Kennedy, Mr. Allen Dulles, myself and others urged the Bureau
to develop an effective informant program, similar to that which they had
developed with respect to the Communist Party. It is true that these techniques
did in fact disrupt Klan activities, sowed deep mistrust among the Klan
members, and made Klan members aware of the extensive informant system of the
FBI and the fact that they were under constant observation. 57


Rowe played a critical role in
the solution of the murder of Mrs. Viola Liuzzo. Owing to his close
relationship to Klan leaders, Rowe was asked to accompany several Klansmen in
an unspecified mission against those participating in a civil rights march in Alabama
in March, 1965. Rowe reported this invitation to his FBI handling agent, who
told him to go and report what occurred. 57a As a result, Rowe was an
eyewitness to the murder of Mrs. Liuzzo, and reported the crime to the FBI
within hours of its occurrence. Subsequently, Rowe’s testimony was a critical
element in the ultimate conviction of the Klansmen responsible for the killing.
58


b. The Scope of Rowe’s
Reporting. — Rowe’s assignment, according to the FBI Special Agent who
recruited him 59 and served as his first handling agent, was


to gather information as to
members, leaders, because I did not know who they were, if he could get the
number of Klaverns … in the Birmingham area, and just keep in touch with me
as to the activities that occurred. That was his initial instruction.


I wanted information that
would be of assistance to make a determination is to the violent nature of the
organization. This would be, violations of civil rights, things of this nature
… you certainly can’t get it on the outside. 60


In practice, Rowe testified
that he reported to the FBI “any and everything that I observed or heard
pertaining to any Klansmen.” 61 This broad scope of Rowe’s reporting was
confirmed by the FBI agents to whom he reported. As one agent testified:


. . . he furnished us
information on the meetings and the thoughts and feelings, intentions and
ambitions, as best he knew them, of other members of the Klan, both the rank
and file and the leadership. 62 Special Agent No. 3,11/21/75, p. 7.


According to another of Rowe’s
FBI handling agents, Rowe’s mission was “total reporting,” including
membership lists, financial matters, and political positions, as well as Klan
violence. 63 Rowe also testified that, in line with his “total reporting”
instructions he reported intimate details of the personal lives of Klan
members. 64


Rowe was able to give the FBI
extensive information about Klan membership as a result of his position in the
“Klan Bureau of Investigation,” the Klan’s security and investigative
arm. 65 Rowe did most of the investigation of prospective members in the
Birmingham area, and would regularly make their applications available to his
FBI handling agent, who would copy the applications before returning them to
Rowe. 66


In addition, Rowe took Klan
membership lists and gave them to the FBI. Rowe’s handling agent testified as
to the way such lists were taken:


I remember one evening during
the course of a meeting that was going on … he called my home and said I will
meet you in a half an hour … I have a complete list of everybody that I have
just taken out of the files, but I have to have it back within such a length of
time.


Well, naturally I left home
and met him and had the list duplicated forthwith, and back in his possession
and back in the files with nobody suspecting. 67


Rowe also reported on
political matters relating to the Klan .68 During a campaign for mayor in
Birmingham, Rowe was instructed to attend public political meetings to assess
the candidates’ position on integration, and to identify Klan members present
and the extent to which they were actively engaged in the campaign. 69 Rowe
also reported on “National Conventions” of the Klan, closed meetings
at which officers were elected and Klan positions determined. 70


In addition to Klan
activities, Rowe reported on the activities of other organizations to the FBI.
As a member of the “Klan Bureau of Investigation,” Rowe was
instructed by the Klan to attend and report on meetings of civil rights groups.
Rowe gave the information he developed on these civil rights organizations to
the FBI as well, even though this fell outside the area of reporting on Klan
activities. 71


c. The Issue of Participation
in Criminal or Violent Activity. — In addition to general intelligence, Rowe
was particularly instructed to report any instances of planned or actual
violence by the Klan. 72 Merely attending Klan meetings as an ordinary member
did not put Rowe in a position to observe the planning for, or occasion of
violence, by the Klan .73 As Rowe’s FBI handling agent testified, “to
gather information [on violence] you have to be there.” 74


Consequently, the FBI
instructed Rowe to join a smaller group of Klan members, a so-called
“Action Group”, which conducted violent acts against blacks and civil
rights workers. 75


At the outset, Rowe’s handling
agent had instructed him that “under no conditions should I participate in
any violence whatsoever.” 76 Although these instructions continued to be
formally reiterated to Rowe, Rowe and his FBI handling agents understood that
for Rowe to be able to report Klan violence, he would have to be present for –
and at times might be involved in — that violence.


Rowe testified as to a number
of instances where he and other Klansmen had “beaten people severely, had
boarded buses and kicked people off; had went in restaurants and beaten them
with blackjacks, chains, pistols.” 77


For example, on one occasion,
Rowe gave the FBI advance warning that Klan members were planning to assault
and beat blacks attending a country fair. His FBI handling agent instructed him
“to go and see what happened.” 78 To accomplish this, Rowe
accompanied the Klansmen to the fair, where, to preserve his cover, he
participated in the resulting violence. 79 On another occasion, Rowe’s throat was
cut while he was participating with other Klansmen in large-scale violence
against Freedom Riders at the Birmingham bus depot in May, 1961. 80


Rowe described how he and
other Klansmen used “baseball bats, clubs, chains, and pistols” in
attacking the Freedom Riders (Rowe, 12/2/75, p. 1867). Rowe recalled that, when
he asked why there was no apparent action on his reports of the impending
violence, his FBI handling agent told him “who the hell are we going to
report it to? . . . the [Birmingham] police department helped set [the
violence] up.


We are an investigating agency
not in enforcement agency. All we do is gather information.” 81


The resulting dilemma was
described by one of Rowe’s FBI handling Agents:


. . . it is kind of difficult
to tell him that we would like you to be there on deck, observing, be able to
give us information and still keep yourself detached and uninvolved and clean,
and that was the problem that we constantly had.


. . . I’m sure he was present
many, many times, when he participated in things, and I’m sure he reported them
at that time, but we certainly cautioned him against that. 82


Although Rowe’s participation
in Klan violence was practically an inherent feature of his informant’s role,
the FBI took particular care in at least one instance that Rowe did not suggest
or lead violent activity. In April 1964, several years after Rowe joined the
Klan “Action Group,” the Birmingham Field Office reported that Rowe
had become an Action Group squad leader. Bureau Headquarters ordered that Rowe
resign this leadership position or be discontinued as an informant. 83 The
Bureau further advised the Field Office:


in those cases where you have
an informant who is a member of a violent squad … you should insure that the
informant understands he is not to direct, lead, or instigate any acts of
violence. 84


Nevertheless, even these
instructions did not extend to ruling out Rowe’s participation in violence, but
rather only leading or directing violent acts. The essential characteristic of
Rowe’s status was expressed by the following testimony of his FBI handling
agent:


If he happened to be with some
Klansman and they decided to do something, he couldn’t be an angel and be a
good informant. 85


B. Examples of Intelligence
Informant Coverage of Groups Subject to Intelligence Investigations


In addition to the case
histories of the informants described above, the nature of the intelligence
informant technique can also be illustrated by other examples of informant
coverage in domestic intelligence investigations. The cases of informant coverage
set out below indicate the types of information intelligence informants produce
for FBI files.


In summary, these cases
further demonstrate the extremelybroad scope of informant reporting, including
both lawful political activity and details of the personal lives of citizens.
For example, informants in the Women’s Liberation Movement (Case No. 9, below)
reported the identities of women who belonged to Women’s Liberation groups at
several Midwest universities, and statements made by women concerning the personal
reasons that motivated them to participate in the Women’s Movement. Informant
coverage of lawful political activity is also shown in Case No. 1 which
involved a public meeting held by a citizens group to debate the merits of
developing a certain U.S. missile. Several cases presented below involve
instances where informants in violence-prone groups provided information that
led to arrests and prosecutions or the prevention of violence. (See Case Nos.
3, 6, and 8 below.) The Socialist Workers Party (Case No. 10, below) is an
example of informant coverage and intelligence surveillance that continued
uninterrupted for many years, despite the fact that for more than three
decades, the group has committed no criminal acts. 86


Case
No. 1 — Citizens Panel on the Merits of an Anti-Ballistic Missile System
(1969)


An FBI informant and two FBI
confidential sources reported on a meeting of a Washington, D.C., group that
expressed concern about the development of the Anti-Ballistic Missile System
(ABM) in the late 1960s. 87 The meeting was targeted for informant coverage
because the Daily World, a communist newspaper, had commented on the formation
of the group. 88 The informant reported on plans for the meeting which was to
be held in a high school auditorium where the merits of development of the ABM
would be debated, and on publicity materials distributed at churches and
schools. The informant also reported that the speakers for the debate would
include, on the “pro side,” a Defense Department official and a Defense
Department consultant and on the “con side,” a political science
professor and a well-known scientist. 89 A confidential FBI source reported on
the past and present residence of the person who had applied to rent the
auditorium and on his current position in the military. Another confidential
source informed the FBI of the anti-Vietnam war and anti-ABM articles being
distributed at the meeting. 90 The informant and source reports on plans for
the meeting and on the meeting itself were disseminated by teletype to the
White House, the Vice President, the Attorney General, the Secret Service, the
State Department, the CIA, and various military intelligence agencies. 91 A
subsequent report described plans for a similar meeting in the District of
Columbia and included the names of prominent D.C. politicians who planned to
attend. 92


Case
No. 2 — Dr. Carl McIntyre’s American Christian Action Council (1971)


An FBI confidential source and
an informant reported information about the formation of this group by Dr.
McIntyre. The group was established to act as a counter to various liberal
groups and to the “Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam”. The
initial report from a confidential source mentioned plans to picket NBC-TV
studios in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and named all the
members of the Board of Directors. 93 Subsequent reports from an informant
described the group’s plans to oppose the President’s trip to China and to
support prayer in the public schools. 93a The informant also reported on the
group’s convention held jointly with Dr. McIntyre’s missionary group and on
plans for the group’s future organization and activities. 94


Case
No. 3 — Detroit Black Panther Party 1970


An FBI extremist informant
involved in an intelligence investigation of the Detroit Black Panther Party
(BPP) furnished advance information regarding a planned ambush of Detroit
police officers which enabled the Detroit Police Department to take action to
prevent injury or death to the officers. The information led to the arrest of
eight persons and the seizure of a cache of weapons. The informant also
furnished information resulting in the location and confiscation by Bureau
agents of approximately fifty sticks of dynamite available to BPP, which likely
resulted in saving of lives and preventing property damage. 95


On June 20, 1970, the
informant furnished the names of three BPP members who were supposed to carry
out the ambush on June 27, 1970 and reported that others whose identity he did
not know would also be involved. This information was furnished to the Detroit
Police Department who in turn monitored the ambush site. On June 27, 1970, the
informant advised that the planned ambush of police officers would definitely
take place that night, shortly after midnight. On June 28, 1970, two Detroit
police officers, while patrolling on the east side of Detroit a few minutes
after midnight, were fired upon by snipers.


Immediately after the
shooting, Detroit police officers arrested the three individuals identified by
the informant and charged them with assault with intent to commit murder. In
addition, three other individuals were arrested in connection with this
shooting. A cache of weapons and ammunition was recovered from the residence of
one of those arrested. 96


On July 25, 1970, the
informant advised that a member of the Detroit National Committee to Combat
Fascism, and another individual, whom he believed to be a member of the White
Panther Party, stole some dynamite on or about July 11, 1970. The informant was
directed to ascertain the location of this dynamite. He later determined that
it had been stored at the farm of the second individual’s mother. The informant
further advised that the mother did not share her son’s radical views and had
no knowledge that the dynamite was on her farm. On September 16, 1970, the
mother gave Bureau agents permission to search her property. Approximately
fifty sticks of dynamite were discovered. 97


Case
No. 4 — National Conference on Amnesty (1974)


Several FBI informants
provided information on a national conference held to support amnesty for
veterans of the Vietnam war. The FBI targeted the conference for informant
coverage because of other informant reports that the Vietnam Veterans Against
the War were instrumental in organizing the conference and might attempt to
take it over. 98 The informant’s reports identified the various church and
civil liberties groups who sponsored and organized the conference, as well as
the participation of a draft evader and several “subversives.” 99 The
reports described the topics for workshops at the conference, and the
organization of a steering committee which would include delegates from
families of men killed in Vietnam and Congressional staff aides. 100


Case
No. 5 — Public Meeting Opposing U.S. Involvement in Vietnam War (1966)


Informants were used
extensively in FBI investigations of possible Communist links to the antiwar
movement. An example is the FBI’s coverage of various antiwar teach-ins and
conferences sponsored by the Universities Committee on Problems of War and
Peace. A forty-one page report from the Philadelphia office — based on
coverage by thirteen informants and confidential sources — described in detail
a “public hearing on Vietnam.” 101 A Communist Party official had
“urged all CP members” in the area to attend, and one of the
organizers was alleged to have been a Communist in the early 1950’s. Upon
receipt from an informant of a list of the speakers, the FBI culled its files
for data on their backgrounds. One was described by a source as a Young
Socialist Alliance “sympathizer.” Another was a conscientious
objector to military service. A third had contributed $5,000 to the National
Committee to Abolish the House Committee on Un-American Activities. A speaker
representing the W.E.B. DuBois Club was identified as a Communist. 102 The FBI
covered the meeting with an informant who reported practically verbatim the
remarks of all the speakers, including the following:


the Chairman of the
Philadelphia Ethical Society


a representative of the
American Civil Liberties Union


a representative of the United
Electrical Workers


a spokesman for the Young
Americans for Freedom


a member of the staff of the
“Catholic Worker”


a minister of the African
Methodist Episcopal Church


a minister of the Episcopal
Church


a representative of the
Philadelphia Area Committee to End the War in Vietnam


a Professor of Industrial
Economics at Columbia University


a representative of the
Inter-University Committee for Debate on Foreign Policy


a member of Women’s Strike for
Peace who had traveled to North Vietnam


a member of Women’s
International League for Peace and Freedom who had visited South Vietnam


a chaplain from Rutgers
University


a professor of political
science from Villanova University


another member of Young
Americans for Freedom the former Charge dAffaires in the South Vietnamese
Embassy 103


This informant’s report was so
extensive as to be the equivalent of a tape recording, although the FBI report
does not indicate that the informant was “wired.” Another informant
reported the remarks of the following additional participants:


an official of the Committee
for a Sane Nuclear Policy


a minister of the Church of
the Brethren


a Unitarian minister


a representative of United
World Federalists


a member of Students for a
Democratic Society


a member of the Socialist
Workers Party


a spokesman for the W. E. B.
DuBois Clubs 104


The report was prepared as a
Letterhead Memorandum with fourteen copies for possible dissemination by the
FBI to other Executive Branch agencies. Copies were disseminated to military
intelligence agencies, the State Department, and the Internal Security and
Civil Rights Divisions of the Justice Department. 105


Case
No. 6 — Black Nationalist Group (1968)


On July 22, 1968, in
connection with an intelligence investigation of a Cleveland black nationalist
group called “New Libya,” an extremist informant reported that a
cache of rifles and automatic weapons was in the hands of group members. The
informant was later able to determine where these weapons were located and that
the group was formulating plans for disturbances in Cleveland and other cities.
On July 23, 1968, a racial disturbance broke out in Cleveland triggered by the
Black Libya group. The riot lasted three days and resulted in a number of
police and civilian deaths. The informant’s information was relayed to
appropriate agencies prior to the outburst of violence.


The informant’s advance
reports were instrumental in successful prosecutions on first degree murder
charges against “New Libya” members. 106


Case
No. 7 — Investigation of “Free Universities” (1966)


The FBI used informants in
investigations of “Free Universities” in proximity to college
campuses to determine whether they were connected with “subversive”
groups. For example, when an article appeared in a Detroit newspaper stating
that a “Free University” was being formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and
that it was “anti-institutional,” FBI Headquarters instructed the
Detroit field office to “ascertain through established sources [i.e.,
informants already in place] the origin of this group and the identity of the
individuals who are responsible for the formation of the group and whether any
of these individuals have subversive backgrounds.” 107 A note on the
instruction pointed out that even if there was no specific prior indication of
Communist involvement, established informants were to be used in investigations
of such “free universities”:


Several “Free
Universities” have been formed in large cities recently by the Communist
Party and other subversive groups. We are therefore conducting discreet
investigations through established sources regarding all such “Free
Universities” that come to the Bureau’s attention to determine whether
they are in any way connected with subversive groups. 108


Based on the reports of five
informants and confidential sources, the field office prepared a ten-page
letterhead memorandum describing in detail the formation, curriculum content,
and associates of the group — including several members of Students for a
Democratic Society and the Socialist Workers Party. 109 Although no further
investigation was recommended, the report was disseminated to local military
intelligence and Secret Service offices, military intelligence and Secret
Service headquarters in Washington, the State Department, and Internal Security
Division of the Justice Department. 110


Case
No. 8 — Washington, D.C. Black Panther Party (1970-1971)


An informant of the Richmond
FBI Field Office reported a conspiracy by leaders of the Washington, D.C.,
Chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and leaders of the Richmond
Information Center (RIC), an affiliate of the BPP, to steal and transport,
weapons from Richmond, Virginia, to Washington, D.C. Five persons were ultimately
indicted by a federal grand jury. A subsequent trial resulted in the conviction
of four of the individuals.


On May 14, 1970, the informant
reported that in Richmond, Virginia, a leader of the Black Panther Party asked
a leader of the Richmond Information Center if he was in a position to obtain
guns for the Washington BPP chapter. 111 FBI investigation failed to develop
any further information regarding guns. However, on January 8, 1971, a recently
developed informant advised that around April 1970 four individuals from the
Richmond area had burglarized a private residence. Seven weapons were stolen
during the burglary. The informant advised that on November 3, 1970, the guns
were then transported from the Richmond area to Washington , D.C., by rented
automobile. 112


Case
No. 9 — Women’s Liberation Movement (1969)


Informants were a principal
source of information in the FBI’s investigation of the Women’s Liberation
Movement. For example, in the spring of 1969, the New York field office drew
largely on informant reporting to describe the Movement’s basic philosophy and
to report particular meetings in the New York area. In describing one such
meeting, the report stated:


On [ ] 69, informant, who has
furnished reliable information in the past, advised that a WLM meeting was held
on [ ] 69, at [ ] New York City. Each woman at this meeting stated why she had
come to the meeting and how she felt oppressed, sexually or otherwise.


According to this informant,
these women are mostly concerned with liberating women from this
“oppressive society.” They are mostly against marriage, children, and
other states of oppression caused by men. Few of them, according to the
informant, have had political backgrounds. The informant stated that a mailing
list was passed around at this meeting for WLM and the “Red
Stockings,” another women’s group. 113


Similarly, the Kansas City
Field Office used informant reports to describe the extent of Women’s
Liberation Movement activity and to identify individual members at three universities
in the Field Office territory: the University of Missouri at Kansas City, the
University of Missouri at Columbia, and the University of Kansas at Lawrence.
The level of detail as to personal identities of persons participating in the
Women’s Movement at University of Missouri, Kansas City, is illustrated by the
following passage from the Field Office Report:


[informant] indicates members
of Women’s Liberation Movement campus group who are now enrolled as students at
University of Missouri, Kansas City, are [five names deleted]. Of these five,
[informant] said [names deleted] are indicated to be at least potential
“New Left Radicals.” [Informant] noted that [names deleted], not
currently students on the UMKC campus, are reportedly roommates at . . . Kansas
City. 114


Case
No. 10 — Socialist Workers Party (1940 to date)


FBI informants are operating
within the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) as part of the FBI’s long-term
intelligence investigation of the SWP. 115 Informants report the political
positions taken by the SWP with respect to such issues as the “Vietnam War,”
“racial matters,” “U.S. involvement in Angola,” “food
prices,” and any SWP efforts to support a non-SWP candidate for political
office. 116 To enable the FBI to develop background information on SWP leaders,
informants report certain personal aspects of their lives, such as marital
status. 117 The informants also report on SWP cooperation with other groups who
are not the subject of separate intelligence investigations. 118


The intelligence investigation
of the SWP began in 1940 as a result of the SWP’s description of itself as a
Marxist-Leninist “combat” organization which foresaw the
inevitability or desirability of violence should revolutionary conditions arise
in the United States. 119 The FBI conceded, however, that since shortly after
its formation the SWP has not committed any violent acts, nor have its
expressions “constituted an indictable incitement to violence.” 120
Nevertheless, the FBI’s intelligence investigation of the SWP — and the use of
informants against the party and its members — has continued from 1940 to the
present day.


Case
No. 11 — Ku Klux Klan


As part of its COINTEL Program
of using covert action against domestic groups, 121 the FBI assisted an
informant in the Ku Klux Klan in his efforts to set-up a new state-wide Klan
organization independent of the regular Klan. The FBI saw the formation of a
rival group as an opportunity to promote dissension in the regular Klan both at
the state and national levels. In approving the operation, FBI headquarters
stated its belief that “if a death-dealing blow can be dealt to the [state
Klan], the entire Klan organization in the United States will collapse.”
122 The FBI indicated that if the new Klan organization was “successful in
obtaining a sizable following,” it would be “controlled” by the
FBI “through our informant.” 123


Two years after the formation
of the new Klan group, a status report by the FBI Field Office described the
operation as “successful” in capitalizing on the opportunity to
“further disrupt [the regular Klan] and to entice members of the regular
Klan into the new Klan organization. At that time, the new Klan group had
issued several dozen charters (although in many instances no chapter was in
fact organized) and included nearly 200 members. The report stated further that
the new Klan organization would be phased out when it had “done its
ultimate damage to the regular Klan.” 124


The Committee’s investigation
revealed that this tactic risked increasing violence and racial tension. The
Director of the State Bureau of Investigation testified that there were
dangerous confrontations between the two Klan groups. He testified as to one
such occasion “in which the two groups met in force, and both elements had
… guns, including shotguns … they were physically armed and facing each other.”
124a The FBI informant in the rival Klan group also called for violence against
blacks. The State Bureau of Investigation Director further testified that he
witnessed the FBI informant address a Klan rally attended by several thousand
persons and heard the informant state: “We are going to have peace and
order in America if we have to kill every Negro.” 124b


C. Special FBI Informant
Programs


In addition to the use of
informants in particular domestic intelligence investigations of groups or
individuals, the FBI has conducted special programs to develop informants for
general reporting purposes. These were (1) the Ghetto Informant Program
(1967-1973); (2) the development of informants in defense industrial facilities
under the Plant Informant Program (1940-1969) and (3) the American Legion
Contact Program (1940-1954). These programs are outlined below.


1. The Ghetto Informant
Program


This program was begun in 1967
to develop informants who would provide general intelligence on the potential
for violence and civil unrest in black urban areas. 125 In July 1973, after
considerable debate within the FBI over the program’s propriety, value, and
cost, the program was terminated by Director Kelley, with instructions to field
offices that ghetto informants were to be either included in the regular FBI
informant categories (subversive, extremist or criminal) or discontinued. 126


As of September 1972, there
were 7,402 ghetto informants. Figures for previous years were: 1971-6,301;
1970-5,178; 1969 — 4,067. 127


FBI officials saw the Ghetto
Informant Program as their response to the possibility that the urban riots and
violence that occurred in the summer of 1967 might be repeated and the express
desire of White House and Justice Department officials for advance warnings.
128 In September 1967 Attorney General Ramsey Clark wrote to FBI Director
Hoover:


There persists … a
widespread belief that there is more organized activity in the riots than we
presently know about. We must recognize, I believe, that this is a relatively
new area of investigation and intelligence, reporting for the FBI and the
Department of Justice. We have not heretofore had to deal with the possibility
of an organized pattern of violence, constituting a violation of federal law,
by a group of persons who make the urban ghetto their base of operation and
whose activities may not have been regularly monitored by existing intelligence
sources.


In these circumstances, we
must make certain that every attempt is being made to get all information
bearing upon these problemsif so, to determine
the identity of the people and interests involved


As a part of the broad
investigation which must necessarily be conducted … sources or informants
in black nationalist organizations, SNCC and other less publicized groups
should be developed and expanded to determine the size and purpose of these groups
and their relationship to other groups, and also to determine the whereabouts
of persons who might be involved in instigating riot activity in violation of
federal law
. 129 [Emphasis added.]


In announcing the program to
FBI Field Offices, Director Hoover stated that “it is imperative and
essential that the Bureau learn of any indications of advance planning or
organized conspiracy on the part of individuals or organizations in connection
with riots and civil disturbances.” 130


As originally conceived, a
“ghetto informant” was to act as a “listening post” rather
than an informant who actively sought information or who infiltrated particular
groups. 131 The FBI defined a ghetto informant as “an individual who lives
or works in a ghetto area and has access to information regarding the racial
situation and racial activities in his area which he furnishes to the Bureau on
a confidential basis.” 132 A 1972 Inspection Division memorandum noted
that the concept of a ghetto informant “includes the proprietor of a candy
store or barbershop” in an urban ghetto area. 133


At the outset of the program,
ghetto informants, in contrast to regular subversive or extremist informants,
were not given specific assignments or directed to infiltrate groups. As the
program developed, however, this changed. A Bureau document described this
change:


The “listening post”
concept was expanded and ghetto informants are now utilized to attend public
meetings held by extremists, to identify extremists passing through or locating
in the ghetto area, to identify purveyors of extremist literature as well as
given specific assignments where appropriate. 134


In addition to specific
assignments to report indications of potential violence, ghetto informants were
focused on “Afro-American type bookstores.” A Philadelphia Field
Office directive to Special Agents listed the following such assignment as
suitable for ghetto informants: “Visit Afro-America-type bookstores for
the purpose of determining if militant extremist literature is available therein
and, if so to identify the owners, operators, and clientele of such
stores.” 135


The “listening post”
concept of the Ghetto Informant Program became the subject of sharp debate
within the FBI in 1972. The FBI Inspection Division criticized the program for
counting a ghetto informant’s report that there was no indication of civil
unrest in his area as “positive” information. The Inspection Division
observed that “negative information is not counted as positive information
in any other informant program.” 136 The Inspection Division further
stated:


Some Ghetto Informants have in
the past furnished information in extremist or criminal matters. This has been
recognized as a by-product of the Ghetto Informant Program. A more meaningful
approach to this whole problem might be to concentrate more heavily in ghetto
areas to develop proven Security, Extremist, Revolutionary Activities, and
Criminal Informants upon whom we can then rely to keep us advised of civil
disturbance plans as a steady by product to the information they are regularly
furnishing on domestic intelligence or criminal matters. 137


The Inspection Division
further noted that there might be “justifiable apprehension” outside
the FBI regarding the “listening post” concept.


… we have some concern of
justifiable apprehension that might be expressed by the Congress or the public
if this program were to be described in terms out of context with our real
intentions. We could fully defend informants providing us regularly with
information directly related to our jurisdictional responsibilities and using
them for “by product” information on civil unrest. It would be much
more difficult to defend establishment of ghetto or urban listening posts all
over the country with a possible by-product of information directly within our
jurisdiction. 137a


The Inspection Division
concluded that ghetto informants who had proven to be productive informants
“should be converted to the appropriate substantive informant program to
which their services relate.” 138


On July 31, 1973, Director
Kelley terminated the Ghetto Informant Program, eliminating the category of
“ghetto informant” and instructing that “no individual will be
operated as an [extremist informant] solely because he is in a ‘listening post’
position.” 139 Under the revised extremist informant program, extremist
activity and potential violence were to be monitored through regular extremist
informants.


2. The Plant Informant Program
(1940–1969)


This program developed out of
discussions in October, 1938 among the Army, Navy, and FBI as to which entity
would have responsibility for the security of defense industries against
espionage and sabotage. 140 As a result of these discussions, it was decided
that the FBI would assume the responsibility.


The program was begun in
September 1940, when FBI Field Offices were instructed to develop confidential
sources in defense plants identified to the FBI on lists submitted by the Army
and Navy. 141 By September, 1942, there were 23,746 such confidential sources
in 3,879 defense plants. 142


The program was cut back
sharply after World War II, but continued in existence until its termination in
March, 1969. 143 Generally, the confidential sources in the program were used
as a point of contact and potential source of information in investigations of
suspected espionage matters. 144


3. The American Legion Contact
Program (1940-1954)


This program arose out of a
proposal submitted by the American Legion to the Attorney General in 1939. When
World War II broke out in Europe, the American Legion submitted to the Attorney
General a proposal to use its local posts to investigate and report indications
of subversive or espionage activity. 145 The Attorney General turned down the
proposal but referred it to the FBI for comment. The FBI came forward with an
alternative plan, which in essence called for the use of local American Legion
post members as potential “confidential sources” in their
communities. 146 After background checks, such sources were to be used to
provide information without payment on domestic security matters. 147 The FBI
proposal was approved by the Attorney General and the American Legion in
November 1940. 148 The program was terminated on August 17, 1954. FBI Field
Offices however were instructed to maintain contact with American Legion
officials in their areas. 149


D. The Use of Informants at
Colleges and Universities


1. Present FBI Policy


In the course of its domestic
intelligence investigations, the FBI regularly uses students, teachers and school
officials at colleges and universities as informants and confidential sources.


Under present FBI policy,
there are two measures that apply solely to the use of campus informants.
Students under 18 years of age may not be used as informants in other than
“highly unusual circumstances” and justification for their use must
be submitted to Bureau Headquarters. 150 Second, student informants and
confidential sources are requested to sign a statement that they are
“voluntarily” submitting information because of their “concern
over individuals and groups that may be inimical to interests of U.S.
Government”. 151 The statement also provides that the student informant or
source “understands [the] FBI has no interest in legitimate institution or
campus activities.” 151a However, the Manual does not further explain or
specify the distinction between relevant matters in intelligence investigations
and such “legitimate activity.”


The FBI Manual emphasizes
that, despite these two measures requiring “care” in the use of
campus informants, FBI Field Offices must have “well-planned [informant]
coverage” at colleges and universities. The Manual provides:


Each office must have
continuous and well-planned program to obtain necessary coverage at
institutions of learning so that Bureau can fulfill its obligations. Care with
which this must be done in no way lessens responsibility of each field office
to have proper coverage. 152


2. The Background to Present
Policy


FBI policy on the use of
informants and sources at colleges and universities underwent a number of
changes between 1965 and 1970, the period of campus unrest. In 1967 as a result
of the Katzenbach Report on CIA involvement with student groups, FBI Director
Hoover cut back sharply on the use of campus informants, imposing a number of
restrictions on their use. Later, despite strong pressure from the Justice
Department for more intelligence on campus groups, Hoover initially refused to
relax these restrictions. Gradually, however, the restrictions were lifted and
indeed in September 1970 the age limit for campus informant– (and all
informants) was lowered from 21 to 18.


The development of FBI policy
on campus informants in the critical period 1965-1970 is reviewed below.


a. Initial Guidelines for Use
of Campus informants. — FBI field offices had been instructed as early as 1965
to intensify their investigation of “subversive activity” among
student groups. 153 In 1967, however, the FBI became concerned that its
intelligence activity on college campuses might be exposed by the controversy
over CIA links with the National Student Association. 154 Therefore, field
offices were advised to conduct campus investigations in a “most discreet
and circumspect” manner:


You should … bear in mind
that in our continuing investigations to keep abreast of subversive influence
on campus groups, in discharging our responsibilities in the internal security
field, such investigations should be conducted in a most discreet and
circumspect manner. Good judgment and common sense must prevail so that the
Bureau is not compromised or placed in an embarrassing position. 155


Field offices were reminded
that existing FBI policy required approval from headquarters before
investigating individuals or groups “connected with an institution of learning,”
before interviewing students or faculty members, and before developing a
student or faculty member “as an informant source.” These interviews
or contacts were also to “be made away from the campus.” 156


b. The 1967 Restriction. –
When the Katzenbach Committee issued its report on CIA involvement with student
groups, FBI Director Hoover canceled all outstanding authorizations “to
contact students, graduate students, and professors of educational institutions
in security matters . . . [including] established sources, informants, and
other sources.” Field Offices were instructed to request new authority
from FBI headquarters “where contacts with such individuals are
particularly important and necessary.” 157


Shortly after the 1967 cutback
in campus coverage, however, the FBI formally characterized the Students for a
Democratic Society for the first time, stressing its “subversive”
connections. As intelligence investigations of SDS chapters expanded, FBI
officials realized that the restrictions on campus contacts “impose
problems for the field.” 158


Field Offices were advised to
stress “the development of noncampus informants and sources” to
maintain intelligence coverage of “subversive” activity at
educational institutions. 159 Shortly thereafter, the restriction was lifted
for contacts on campuses with “established sources functioning in an
administrative capacity such as a Registrar, Director of Admissions, Dean of
Men, Dean of Women and Security Officer, and their subordinates.”
Headquarters approval, however, was still required to contact students or
professors. 160


C. Hoover’s Resistance to New
Pressure for Relaxed Restrictions on Campus Informants. — The urban riots of
the summer of 1967 greatly intensified FBI domestic intelligence operations. Equally
important, the Detroit and Newark riots brought other agencies of the Federal
Government into the picture. A Presidential Commission was established to study
civil disorders and the Attorney General reexamined statutes on sedition,
conspiracy and insurrection. Consequently, the Internal Security Division asked
the FBI:


to furnish us with the names
of any individuals who appear at more than one campus either before, during, or
after any active disorder or riot and the identities of those persons from
outside the campus who might be instigators of these incidents. 161


The FBI was asked to use not
only its “existing sources,” but also “any other source you may
be able to develop . . .” 162


Despite the pressure for
greater intelligence about campus groups, Director Hoover decided “that
additional student informants cannot be developed.” 163 Nevertheless, the
FBI field offices were instructed to intensify their efforts: “It is …
recognized that with the graduation of senior classes, you will lose a certain
percentage of your existing student informant coverage. This decreasing percent
of coverage will not be accepted as an excuse for not developing the necessary
information.” 164


One way to achieve this result
without the FBI itself recruiting additional student informants was to have
local police do so. Thus, when field officers were reminded of the need for
gathering intelligence so that the Justice Department could be provided
“data regarding developing situations having a potential for violence,”
FBI Headquarters stressed the need for “in-depth liaison with local law
enforcement agencies.” 165


In September 1969. the
restriction on recruitment of new campus informants was finally relaxed,
although field officers were still forbidden to develop informants under the
age of 21. Procedures were instituted, however, “for tight controls and
great selectivity in this most sensitive area”. Field offices were given
the following instruction:


Upon initial contact with a
potential student informant or source, informant or source should be requested
to execute brief signed written statement for the field file to the effect that
such individual has voluntarily furnished information to the FBI because of his
concern of [sic] individuals and groups acting against the interests of his
government and that he understands that the FBI is not interested in the
legitimate activities of educational institutions.


Field offices were also to
submit quarterly reports assessing the productivity of each student informant
so as “to justify the continued utilization of the source.” 166


d. The Huston Plan’s
Recommendation for Expanded Campus Informant Coverage. — FBI Intelligence
Division officials were greatly dissatisfied with these restrictions,
particularly the age restriction on student informants. 167 This
dissatisfaction surfaced in June 1970 as the Intelligence Community developed
recommendations (the “Huston Plan”) for President Nixon for the
relaxing of restrictions on domestic intelligence operations. 168 Among other
items, the Huston Plan recommended to the President:


Present restrictions should be
relaxed to permit expanded coverage of violence-prone campus and
student-related groups. 169


Over Hoover’s specific
objection, this recommendation had also been contained as an option in the
earlier Special Report of the intelligence agencies which led to the Huston
Plan. In the Special Report, Hoover noted his objection in the following words:


The FBI is opposed to removing
any present controls and restrictions relating to the development of campus
sources. To do so would severely jeopardize its investigations and could result
in charges that investigative agencies are interfering with academic freedom.
170


e. The Removal of the Age
Restriction. — Despite Hoover’s recorded opposition in June 1970 to expanded
campus informer coverage and President Nixon’s ultimate decision not to
implement the Huston Plan, in September 1970 the FBI lifted the principal
restriction on campus informant use. On September 15, 1970, the FBI authorized
its field offices “to develop student security and racial informants who
are 18 years of age or older.” 171 FBI Headquarters pointed out to the
field that the removal of the age restriction presented the field “with a
tremendous opportunity to expand your coverage.” 172


The expanded campus coverage
called for by FBI Headquarters was quickly implemented at the Field Office
level as part of the FBI’s effort to have New Left campus groups think
“there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox.” 173 On September 16,
1970 — the day following the Headquarters letter lifting the age restriction
— the Philadelphia Field Office for example, advised its agents:


The Director has okayed PSI’s
[potential security informants] and SI’s [security informants] age 18 to 21. We
have been blocked off from the critical age group in the past. Let us take
advantage of this opportunity. 174


III.
THE INTELLIGENCE INFORMANT PROGRAM — SIZE, SCOPE AND STANDARDS


A. The Number of Intelligence
Informants


As of June 30, 1975, the FBI
was using over 1,500 domestic intelligence informants. 175 There were 1,040 FBI
regular informants approved by Bureau Headquarters (another 554 were in
probationary status pending establishment of their reliability). 176 The FBI
programmed a total of $7,461,000 for its intelligence informants program in
Fiscal Year 1976. This amount is more than double the amount the FBI programmed
for its organized crime informant program in 1976. 177


In addition to paid and
directed informants, the FBI uses confidential and panel sources in its
intelligence investigations. Confidential sources are defined by the FBI as
individuals who furnish the FBI information available to them through their
employment or position in the community. 178 The FBI Manual cites as examples
of confidential sources “bankers, telephone company employees, and
landlords.” 179


In practice, FBI Field Offices
designate individuals as confidential sources who are logical and convenient
points of contact and information. The source then becomes a matter of
administrative record and is available to all agents in the Field Office,
minimizing the need for an agent to start from scratch in selecting persons to
interview when the need arises. 180 Confidential sources are not usually
informed that they have been so designated, nor are they usually paid for any
information they provide. 181 As of June 1975, there were 605 confidential
extremist sources, and 649 confidential subversive sources. (By comparison, in
1973 there were 837 confidential sources and, in 1972, 684 confidential
subversive sources.) 181a


Panel sources are defined as
individuals who are not involved in an investigated group but who “will
attend its public gatherings on behalf of FBI for intelligence purposes or as
potential witnesses.” 181b Panel sources were first developed to meet the
need for witnesses in the course of Smith Act trials of Communist Party members
in the 1950s. In those trials, it was necessary to prove, for example, simple
facts as to the existence of the Communist Party, the dates and places of
public meetings held by the Party, and similar matters. To avoid surfacing
regular informants within the Party to establish such facts, panel sources were
developed. Panel sources are used for similar purposes today. 182 As of 1975,
there were approximately 200 panel sources. 183


As discussed in more detail
above, there were 7,482 informants in the Ghetto Informant Program in 1972, the
year before its termination.


B. The FBI Administrative
System for Intelligence Informants


The FBI administers its
intelligence informants through a centralized system from Bureau Headquarters.
FBI Special Agents may not operate or pay informants and sources without approval
of FBI Headquarters or the Special Agent in charge of a Field Office. FBI
Headquarters approval is required to designate an individual as a potential
subversive informant. 184


All potential informants are
subjected to a background check. Military records, police files, and employment
and credit history are typical items reviewed. 185 The results of this
background investigation are submitted to Bureau Headquarters. Potential
extremist informants may be operated on the personal authority of the Special
Agent in Charge at the Field Office level, unless the individual is in a
sensitive position where his disclosure as an informant “could cause
inordinate concern to the Bureau,” is a member of or may soon join an
extremist organization, or has a criminal or other unsavory background. 186 In
such instances, FBI Headquarters’ authority must be obtained, along with a
statement outlining the intended use of the informant. 187


Although titled
“potential” informants, such individuals nevertheless provide the FBI
with intelligence information during this initial stage and are paid for what
they supply. 188


Special Agents in Charge may
pay an informant up to $400 on their own authority; 189 after that amount has
been expended Bureau Headquarters authorization is required for any additional
payments. 190 Although there is no formal ceiling on payments for services
(i.e., information provided) FBI informants average approximately $100 a month,
with the most valuable and productive informants, such as Rowe and Cook, earning
in the range of $300-400 monthly. 191


FBI Headquarters approval is
required to raise both potential subversive and extremist informants to regular
informant status. The request must be initialed by the Field Office SAC or his
Deputy. 192


In addition, every six months
FBI Headquarters reviews a completed form on each informant submitted by the
Field Office. The form summarizes the informant’s activities, his pay, the type
of information supplied (including the percentage verified from other sources)
and an assessment of his value. On the basis of this report, and a comparison
of the informant’s information with that of others in similar circumstances, a
monthly payment limit is established for the next six-month period. 193


There are periodic reviews of
informant activities in addition to those described above. The FBI Manual
provides that every sixty days the SAC or his deputy are to review each
informant’s file. 194 In addition, the Inspection Division reviews informant
files during its annual inspections of each Field Offiee. 195


To operate confidential and
panel sources, FBI Headquarters approval is also required. Background
investigations are also performed on these sources and the results submitted to
Bureau Headquarters. 196


Each informant is assigned a
“handling agent,” an FBI Special Agent who is in contact with the
informant on a regular basis, receives the informant’s information, and pays
him, usually on a monthly basis. The Manual provides that the handling agent
“should not only collect information, but direct the informant, be aware
of his activities, and maintain such a close relationship that he knows
informant’s attitude towards the Bureau.” 197


The FBI Manual contains
detailed provisions for the correction of false information. 197a If it is
learned an informant has given false information, “all communications
which have been disseminated to (FBI HQs), other Bureau offices and to outside
agencies must be corrected.” 198 In addition, corrective letters are to be
written to amend any reports which contain the incorrect information. Moreover,
a control file is to be established and a letter to FBI HQs must be sent which
is to be used “to check all pertinent Bureau files to see that necessary
corrective action has been taken.” 199


The Manual also provides that
informants must submit written reports or sign transcriptions of their oral
reports. 199a A limited exception to this rule exists for extremist informants
who may submit oral reports in cases of imminent violence. 199b


C. Standards for the Use of
Intelligence Informants


There are three types of
standards for intelligence informants. These are (a) the criteria that govern
the decision to use informants against groups and individuals; (b) the limits
that are set on the type of information an informant may report to the FBI; and
(c) the limits that are placed on an informant’s conduct.


At present, the standards for
intelligence informants are contained in internal FBI directives. There are no
statutes or published government regulations to govern the use of intelligence
informants. Unlike wiretap and electronic surveillance, which are subject to an
elaborate system of review and approval by the Department of Justice and the
courts, there is no review outside the FBI of decisions on intelligence
informants. Thus, decisions as to intelligence informant coverage — e.g., the
number of informants to be used in an investigation, the scope and duration of
their reporting — are made exclusively by FBI officials. In addition, since
the standards for informant use are in internal FBI directives, it is also
within the discretion of FBI officials to change these standards.


1. Criteria for the Decision
to Use Informants


Under the FBI Manual, once a
full intelligence investigation of a group or individual is opened, informants
can be used without limitation. In a preliminary investigation, established
informants may supply information, but new informants may not be recruited. 200


Since September 1973, the FBI
has distinguished between full intelligence, investigations and preliminary
ones, and has imposed differing limitations on the length, scope, and sources
of information for preliminary investigations. A preliminary investigation may
be undertaken when the subject’s involvement in subversive or extremist
activities is questionable or unclear to further define his involvement and to
determine whether a statutory basis exists for a full investigation. A
preliminary investigation is supposed to be confined to a review of public
source documents, record checks, and established sources and informants. The
General Accounting Office Study on FBI domestic intelligence operations found,
however, that in practice, FBI Field Offices have not adequately distinguished
between the two types of investigations. 201 In particular, the GAO found that
the limits on the use of informants in preliminary investigations was subject
to varying interpretations and loose observance. The GAO Study stated:


Although the Manual of
Instructions confines the scope of preliminaries to the use of established
sources, our review of the cases showed that the 10 field offices generally
used the same sources in the preliminary cases as full-scale, cases.


Most of the field offices
interpreted “established sources” broadly and did not believe the
type of investigation placed restrictions on who was contacted. An
“established source” was generally described by the field offices as
being any source previously used by the Bureau. In addition, some field offices
indicated that information could come from whatever source — established or
otherwise — which is necessary to establish a subject’s identity and
subversive or extremist affiliation. 202


Under current standards, full
domestic intelligence investigations may be opened on groups and individuals –
and thus informants may be recruited and targeted against them — if (1) they
have, or allegedly have, violated certain statutes; 203 (2) they are
“engaged in activities which may result in” a violation of
these statutes, (3) they advocate activities which may result in
a violation of these statutes. 204


Informants may also infiltrate
groups who are not the subject of intelligence investigations under certain
circumstances. The FBI Manual provides that if a group which is the subject of
a subversive investigation is seeking “to systematically infiltrate and
control” another group, an intelligence investigation of the infiltration
(as opposed to the second group itself) may be opened. 205 Informants may join
or participate in the activities of the second group if requested by the first
group.


In addition, subversive
investigations under Section 87 of the FBI Manual examine any significant
connections or cooperation between a group under investigation and any other
groups. 206


Thus, under this standard,
informants in the group under investigation may report on those who happen to
work with the group or its members under investigation, even if the cooperation
involves lawful activity.


In summary, the scope of
informant coverage may extend to (1) groups that are the subject of
intelligence investigations; (2) groups which an investigated group is
attempting to infiltrate or control; and (3) groups having “significant
connections,” or which cooperate with investigated groups.


2. Limits on the Information
an Informant May Report


There are few limits on the
information an informant may report to the FBI. The FBI Manual does not limit
an intelligence informant’s reporting to information relating to the planning
or commission of criminal offenses or violence. As indicated by the case
histories examined earlier, informants are expected to report virtually
everything they observe regarding a group or individual’s activity to fulfill
their intelligence purpose.


One rationale for this
unlimited reporting was expressed by FBI officials in their testimony to the
Committee. In response to a question as to the desirability of limiting an
informant’s reporting to information pertaining to violence or criminal
activity, Deputy Associate Director Adams stated:


Here is the problem that you
have with that. When you’re looking at an organization, do you report only the
violent statements made by the group or do you also show that you may have one
or two violent individuals, but you have some of these church groups that were
mentioned, and others, that the whole intent of the group is not in violation
of the statutes. You have to report the good, the favorable along with the
unfavorable, and this is a problem. We wind up with information in our files.
We are accused of being vacuum cleaners, and [we] are a vacuum cleaner. If you
want to know the real purpose of an organization, do you only report the
violent statements made and the fact that it is by a small minority, or do you
also show the broad base of the organization and what it really is? 207


However, FBI officials
indicated that new limits on the scope of an informant’s reporting were needed.
As Adams stated “. . . we have to have guidelines . . . we have to narrow
down [informant reporting] because we recognize we do wind up with too much
information in our files. 207a


The FBI Manual does proscribe
the reporting of certain types of information. First, informants are not to
report certain legal defense information. The Manual states intelligence
informants should decline to assist in legal defense matters or to “handle
an assignment where such information is readily available.” 208 If an
informant cannot avoid involvement, his handling agent is to instruct the
informant “not to report any information pertaining to defense plans or
strategy. ” 209 The Manual’s limitations on legal-related information are
as follows:


If an informant is present in
conversation between an attorney and individual under criminal indictment, he
should immediately leave. If he is unable to do so and inadvertently learns of
defense plans or strategy, he is not to report the substance of any
conversation to the FBI. Additionally, the informant is not to engage in or
report the substance of a conversation with a criminal defendant dealing with
the offense for which the defendant is under indictment. 210


The FBI interprets these
provisions as prohibiting only the reporting of privileged attorney-client
communications or legal defense matters in connection with a specific
proceeding. So-called “standard” legal defense information, such as
manuals for general use in legal matters, can be taken by an informant and
given to the FBI. The meaning of legal “defense plans or strategy” is
not defined in the FBI Manual and can lead to varying interpretations of what
can be reported. Thus, as indicated above, Cook’s FBI handling agent testified
he took from Cook papers discussing legal matters involving the VVAW.


She brought back several
things . . . various position papers taken by various legal defense groups,
general statements of . . . the VVAW, legal thoughts on various trials, the
Gainesville (Florida) 8 … the Camden (New Jersey) 9. Various documents from
all of these groups. 211


Cook also testified that she
gave the FBI a confidential legal manual prepared by VVAW attorneys as a guide
for legal defense of VVAW members in the event of prosecution for dissident
activity. 212 Since this manual did not derive from an attorney-client
communication in connection with a specific court proceeding, the FBI
considered the VVAW legal defense manual could be taken.


Besides the above limit on
legal information, the only other limitations in the FBI Manual on reporting
concern informants in labor unions and at colleges and universities. The Manual
states that if an informant “is connected in any manner with labor union,
inform him that Bureau is not interested in employer-employee relationships as
such and is only concerned with obtaining information on infiltration of unions
by subversive elements.” 213 Similarly, student informants or sources at
colleges and universities are to be told that the FBI “has no interest in
legitimate institution or campus activities.” 214


3. Limits on an Informant’s
Conduct and Behavior


The FBI Manual contains
provisions dealing with the “direction and control of informants.”
The Manual states:


Contacting Agent should not
only collect information but direct informant, be aware of his activities….


Close control must be
exercised over activities of informants to obtain maximum results and prevent
any possible embarrassment to Bureau. 215


The Manual speaks of
exercising control in order to obtain “maximum results” and prevent
“embarrassment” to the Bureau; it does not, however, contain any
guidelines as to the limits on informant conduct with respect to violence or
illegal conduct.


The FBI points to the limits
on FBI Special Agents as the means by which guidelines for intelligence
informants are applied. The FBI memorandum to the Committee states:
“Specifically, informant development and handling are extensively
discussed in the FBI’s training programs and there is no question as to Special
Agents being aware that informants cannot be directed to perform a function
that the Special Agent may not legally perform.” 216 The FBI memorandum
also points to the FBI Rules and Regulations which state that FBI employees
“must not engage in any investigative activity which could abridge in any
way” constitutional rights of citizens. 217


These limits apply to FBI
Agents and employees in their handling of informants. However, the FBI does not
consider informants as FBI employees or “undercover agents,” and
informants are so advised. 218 Thus, these limits are not directly applicable
to informants.


On December 23, 1974, FBI
Headquarters reiterated the rules for FBI employee conduct by the Director to
all FBI Field Offices and further stated: “You are reminded that these
instructions relate to informants in the internal security [domestic,
intelligence] field and no informant should be operated in a manner which would
be in contradiction of such instructions.” 219 This instruction appears to
be the only written provision applying FBI employee conduct standards to
informants. 220 Prior to the issuance of this instruction in 1974, there were
no formal or specific provisions relating to informant conduct in FBI
directives. The resulting effect on FBI agent direction of informants can be
illustrated by two additional cases. The first case involved an FBI informant
in a group of anti-war protestors. In August 1970, this group broke into the
Camden, New Jersey, Draft Board, after several months of planning and
preparation. The informant, Robert Hardy, testified that he provided essential
direction and materials to the group, making the break-in possible. Hardy
testified:


Everything they learned about
breaking into a building or climbing a wall or cutting glass or destroying
lockers, I taught them. I got sample equipment, the type of windows that we
would go through, I picked up off the job and taught them how to cut the glass,
how to drill holes in the glass so you cannot hear it and stuff like that, and
the FBI supplied me with the equipment needed. The stuff I did not have, the
[FBI] got off their own agents. 221


Second, in late 1966 or early
1967 the FBI Field Office in San Diego, California was approached by one Howard
Berry Godfrey. Godfrey testified that he was “approached” by a member
of a right-wing paramilitary group to join. The Committee received varying
information concerning why Godfrey contacted the FBI and at whose initiative
the informant relationship arose. 222 In any event, Godfrey and the FBI entered
into a relationship in 1967 by which Godfrey would provide the Bureau
information. This relationship was formalized in August of 1967 when Godfrey
was officially “approved” by the FBI’s Washington Headquarters as an
informant.


Godfrey’s relationship with
the FBI lasted over five years, terminating in November of 1972. Godfrey was
paid varying amounts from 1967 through 1970 when he began to receive $250 per
month plus up to $100 per month in expenses. 224 He continued at that level
until his termination. 225


Godfrey’s case study, albeit
dealt with here briefly, illustrated a number of the issues which wove their
way through the Committee’s inquiry into the FBI’s use of informants. The first
issue is control over the informant by the Bureau. In accord with FBI
procedure, Godfrey always was assigned to a principal case agent. The
Committee’s investigation determined, however, that the actions of Godfrey and
his cohorts in the San Diego area were rife with destruction and violence.
There is little evidence, other than Godfrey’s less than convincing claims,
that he actually prevented any violence or destruction from occurring. As a
member of the District Attorney’s office told the Committee:


They [the FBI] couldn’t
control him [Godfrey]. Godfrey’s actions went well beyond those which we would
allow any informant operating under this office to become involved in. 226


For a large part of his time
as an FBI informant, the responsibility for monitoring Godfrey was in the hands
of a single FBI agent. Moreover, under Bureau procedure, the reports of the
informant are only sent to Washington every six months. And, the reports in the
case of Godfrey were largely “form” type responses, providing an
inadequate basis for any reviewing authority in Washington to determine
Godfrey’s usefulness.


The second overriding issue
present in the Godfrey case study was how the Bureau could prevent the
informant from actually inciting, encouraging or participating in violence
and/or destruction without losing his utility as an informant. Godfrey admits
to participating in some violence and destruction and the record suggests that
he may have participated in even more than he now admits to. 227


Examples of the types of
actions Godfrey and/or the Secret Army were involved in include firebombing,
smashing windows, placing stickers bearing SAO or Minutemen symbols on cars and
buildings, propelling lug nuts through windows with sling shots, and breaking
and entering. 228


Upon questioning by the
Committee, all FBI agents who dealt with Godfrey testified that while Godfrey
was specifically instructed never to engage in illegal acts such as
firebombings, etc., they recognized that this was often difficult if not
impossible to accomplish. One FBI agent put it this way:


Well, I remember almost on a
daily basis, this matter would come up. What can I do such and such. And I’ve
said, well obviously you can’t do that. Stay with them as long as you can and
then find some logical excuse to bow out at the last minute. But he was never
asked by me to participate in anything that I would consider illegal or that I
think that he would consider illegal and to the best of my recollection, during
our association. I can’t recall anything specific . . . Now there were
occasions when I know that he didn’t get out of it. He might have been in one,
he had to go and be involved or he would have been out of the group. I really
don’t remember anything right definite at this time but there were several of
those cases, no question about it. 229


And, Godfrey himself described
his instructions as:


Q. Was there ever a
conversation in which [you and the FBI agent] decided [that] while you would
attempt to stay out of [a violent or destructive activity] if it came down to
either getting involved in it, or having to just leave the scene [with] a
number of questions [being] asked later, under those circumstances that you
would go ahead and do the particular activity?


A. Yes. 230


The SAO’s actions escalated to
a level of violence and destruction where Godfrey’s name had to be revealed as
an FBI informant. Two events precipitated this. The first was the shooting of
Paula Tharp, who was in the residence of the San Diego State University
professor Peter Bohmer. Briefly, while Godfrey and an SAO associate were “on
a surveillance” of Bohmer’s residence (instituted by Godfrey), the
associate, according to Godfrey, picked up a gun Godfrey had under the seat of
his car and fired shots into the Bohmer house, one of which struck Ms. Tharp.
231 Previously the SAO and Godfrey had singled out Professor Bohmer in their
literature for special attention:


For any of our readers who may
care to look up Red Scum, and say hello, here is some information that may
help. His address is 5155 Muir, Ocean Beach, telephone number is 222-7243, he
drives a dark blue 1968 VW Sedam, California licence DKY 147. Just to make sure
you talk to the right guy here is his description: he has dark brown shoulder
length hair, green eyes, weight is about 160 lbs. and he is 5’10” tall.
Now in case any of you don’t believe in hitting people who wear glasses, to be
fair I guess we will have to tell you he wears contact lences. [sic]


The significant factor for the
Committee’s analysis of FBI informants is that even this shooting incident did
not immediately terminate Godfrey as an informant. Rather the FBI records show
that Godfrey remained on the Bureau payroll until November, 1972. And, it was
not until the second major act of destruction that Godfrey was
“surfaced” as an informant. 232


The second major act of
destruction which occurred was the bombing of the Guild theatre in San Diego.
According to Godfrey, the bombing was perpetrated by his subordinate in the
SAO, one William Yakopec. 233 Godfrey participated in the SAO sale of some
explosives to Yakopec. Yet, he promptly notified the FBI of Yakopec’s alleged
involvement in the Guild Theatre bombing. Yakopec, who maintains his innocence,
was subsequently indicted and convicted of the bombing offenses in the local
courts of San Diego.


Godfrey testified publicly at
both the Yakopec and Hoover trials and was thereafter re-located to another
part of California and ceased to serve as an FBI informant. Godfrey’s use as a
Government informant is now in litigation.


The intelligence informant
technique is not a precise instrument. By its very nature, it risks
governmental monitoring of Constitutionally-protected activity and the private
lives of Americans. Unlike electronic surveillance and wiretaps, there are few
standards and no outside review system for the use of intelligence informants.
Consequently, the risk of chilling the exercise of First Amendment rights and
infringing citizen privacy is increased. In addition, existing guidelines for
informant conduct, particularly with respect to their role in violent organizations
and FBI use of intelligence informants to obtain the private documents of
groups and individuals, need to he clarified and strengthened.



Footnotes:


1 T. May, Constitutional
History of England (1863), p. 275.


2 Ibid.


3 The term
“informant” is used throughout the remainder of this report. That is
the term employed in the statute which provides that appropriations for the
Department of Justice are available for payment of “informants,” 28
U.S.C. § 524, and is also the term which the FBI employs in its directives.


4 Memorandum from the FBI to
Senate Select Committee, 11/25/75, Exhibit 33, Hearings, Vol. 6, p. 444.


5 General Accounting Office,
Domestic Intelligence Operations of the FBI (2/24/76).


6 FBI Manual of Instructions
Section 87 B (6), hereinafter cited as “FBI, MOI”.


7 FBI Memorandum to Senate
Select Committee, 11/28/75.


8 Memorandum, “FBI
overall Intelligence Program FY 1977 compared to FY 1976.” The
intelligence informant program includes payments to informants for services and
expenses as well as FBI personnel and support costs and overhead.


9 FBI, MOI See. 107, A (4).


9a FBI deposition, 2/10/76, p.
12.


10 FBI, MOI, Sees. 107 D (2d),
U (1b).


11 James Adams testimony
12/2/75, Hearings, Vol. 6, p. 135; Mary Jo Cook testimony 12/2/75, Hearings,
Vol. 6, p. 111.


11a Adams, 12/2/75, Hearings,
Vol. 6, p. 135.


12 Adams, 12/2/75, Hearings,
Vol. 6, p. 135.


12a Under a Manual provision
adopted in 1973, established informants may supply information in a preliminary
investigation, but new informants may not be recruited. (FBI, MOI, Sec. 87,
B(4c).) The Attorney General’s draft guidelines for domestic intelligence
investigation similarly provide that only established informants may be used in
preliminary investigations. (Draft Guidelines for Domestic Security
Investigations, 12/9/75, See. II (E) (G).)


13 Rowe, 12/2/75, Hearings,
Vol. 6, p. 116, Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings, vol. 6, p. 111.


14 Special Agent, 11/20/75, p.
55.


15 This Report focuses solely
on the informant technique as used in intelligence investigations. It does not
address the question of whether intelligence investigations are themselves
consistent with Constitutional guarantees and sound law enforcement policy or
can be made so by appropriate standards and controls. See the Committee’s
Report on Domestic Intelligence and the Findings, Conclusions and
Recommendations in that Report.


16 Special Agent, 11/21/75, p.
12.


17 Only 16 of the domestic
intelligence cases reviewed by the General Accounting Office — or less than 3
percent — were referred to a U.S. attorney or to local authorities for
possible prosecution. Of the 16 referrals for criminal violations, only 7 were
prosecuted. (GAO Study, p. 33)


Even where there are grounds
for prosecution in a domestic intelligence case, such as acts of violence, the
decision may be made to forego prosecution rather than surface an informant.
The informant’s continued reporting from within an organization may be deemed
more valuable than a particular prosecution. This in turn may lead to the use
of illegitimate action to prevent violence, such as that employed in the FBI’s
“COINTELPRO” operation. (See COINTELPRO Report.)


18 385 U.S. 293 (1966). The
Hoffa court stated: “The risk of … being betrayed by an informer or
deceived as to the identity of one with whom one deals is probably inherent in
the conditions of human society. It is the kind of risk we necessary assume
whenever we speak.” In another criminal case, Lewis v. United States, 385
U.S. 206 (1966), the Court, in declining to rule that the use of undercover
agents is unconstitutional per se, stated: “In the detection of many types
of crime, the Government is entitled to use decoys and to conceal the identity
of its agents.”


19 In a 5-4 decision, the
Court held only that a complaint that First Amendment rights were chilled by
“the mere existence, without more” of an Army intelligence activity
alleged to be broader than necessary did not present a justiciable controversy
in Federal court. Because the complaint failed to allege more specific harm
than mere subjection to governmental scrutiny, it failed to state a claim. 408
U.S. 1, 9 (1972)


However, Justice Marshall,
sitting as a Circuit Justice, held that a Federal claim under the First
Amendment was stated in Socialist Workers Party v. Attorney General, 419 U.S.
1315 (1974). There, Justice Marshall found that allegations of a “chilling
effect” on First Amendment rights were sufficiently specific to satisfy
jurisdictional requirements where it was complained that FBI informants were to
monitor a public meeting of the Socialist Workers Party. The complaint stated
that FBI informant coverage would have the concrete effect of dissuading
delegates from participating in the convention and lead to possible loss of
employment for those identified by the informants as attending. Although
Justice Marshall refused to grant an injunction against the use of informants
at the convention, he did prohibit the Government from transmitting any
information obtained at the convention to nongovernmental entities and left to
a trial on the merits the question of whether the claimed “chill” was
substantial enough to justify permanent injunctive and monetary relief.


20 White v. Davis, 533 Pac.
Rep. 2d, 222, 232 (California Supreme Court, 1975).


21 533 Pac Rep. 2d, at 232.


22 A subversive informant
(sometimes referred to as an “internal security” informant), is
defined in the FBI Manual as:


“Individual actively
engaged in obtaining furnishing current information on security or intelligence
matters exclusively for Bureau whose identity must be protected. Such person
should be member or attend meetings of subversive organization, or be in such
position relative to subversive organization that he is able to provide current
information of value. (FBI, MOI, Sec. 107, 1, A (1).)”


23 FBI, MOI, Sec. 87.A (4).


24 Memorandum from FBI
Headquarters to all SAC’s, 1/30/68.


25 Ibid.


25a An extremist informant is
defined in the FBI Manual as:


“An individual whose
identity must be protected and who is actively engaged in obtaining and
furnishing current information on extremist matters exclusively to the Bureau.
Extremist informants include any individual:


“a. Who is a member of or
attends meetings of an extremist group (white, black, or Indian) which has a
propensity for violence or which strives to deny individuals certain
constitutional rights through the use of force, violence, or intimidation;


“b. Who is in a position
to obtain and provide current information of value concerning such
organizations;


“c. Or who furnishes
information on extremists who may or may not be members of extremist groups but
are engaged in planning or carrying out any type of guerrilla warfare against
established institutions, which may be in violation of local, state, or Federal
laws.” (FBI, MOI, Sec. 130, A (1).)


26 FBI, MOI, See. 122 A (1-e).


27 FBI, MOI, See. 22 (A).


28 Memorandum of the
Executives Conference 10/29/70.


29 Ibid.


30 Memorandum from FBI
Headquarters to all SACs, 11/4/70.


31 Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings,
Vol. 6 p. 112.


32 FBI Memorandum to Senate
Select Committee, 12/2/75; Hearings, Vol. 6, Exhibit 72.


33 In a Memorandum to the
Committee, the FBI described the basis for the opening of the full
investigation as follows:


“[In August 1971]
information from a variety of sources dictated the need to determine the extent
of control over VVAW by subversive groups and/or violence-prone elements in the
antiwar movement. Sources had provided information that VVAW was stockpiling
weapons, VVAW had been in contact with North Vietnam officials in Paris,
France, VVAW was receiving funds from former CPUSA members and VVAW was aiding
and financing U.S. military deserters. Additionally, information had been
received that some individual chapters throughout the country had been
infiltrated by the youth groups of the CPUSA and the SWP. A trend of increased
militancy developed within the VVAW and the possibilities of violence escalated
within the organization. During December 1971, VVAW members forcibly and
illegally occupied or surrounded public buildings and national monuments in
New, York City, Philadelphia, Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C.” FBI
Memorandum to Senate Select Committee, 12/2/75, pp. 2-3; Hearings, Vol. 6,
Exhibit 72.


34 Adams, 12/2/75, Hearings,
p. 135. Cook had expressed an interest in being an FBI informant to a close
friend who was an informant with the VVAW for the FBI. Cook’s friend put her in
touch with an FBI agent. (Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings, p. 110.)


35 Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
110, 111.


36 Ibid.


37 Special Agent, 11/20/75, p.
47.


38 Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
111.


39 Special Agent, 11/20/75, p.
55.


40 Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
121.


41 Ibid.


42 The Committee had full
access at FBI Headquarters to the reports of the intelligence informants whose
cases were examined. In view of the FBI’s position that delivery to the
Committee of these reports would endanger the security of the FBI’s relations
with present informants, it was agreed that FBI Special Agents would prepare
summaries of those informant reports to be referred to at the public hearings
or in the Committee’s Report. The Committee staff verified these summaries for
accuracy and completeness against the full informant reports.


43 Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
112.


44 Ibid.


44a Special Agent 11/20/75,
pp. 15-16.


45 Cook deposition, 11/14/75,
p. 36.


45a Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings,
p. 119.


46 Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
112.


47 Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
120


48 Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings,
pp. 112-114.


49 Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
119.


50 Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings,
pp. 112-113. In 1974, investigations of a number of VVAW chapters were closed.
The FBI Memorandum to the Committee stated:


“In 1974, FBI field
offices were instructed to analyze the chapters and regions in their respective
territories. If the local organization did not subscribe to the policies of the
National Office and were not Marxist-Leninist groups advocating the overthrow
of the Government, the investigation of the local organization was to be
terminated . . . . . Many of the investigations of the various chapters were
closed, not because they were no longer active, but because of their apparent
failure to follow the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary posture of the National
Office.” (FBI Memorandum to Select Committee, 2/2/76, p. 5; Cook,
Hearings, Exhibit 72.)


51 Rowe, 12/2/75, Hearings,
Vol. 6, p. 115.


52 Katzenbach Testimony,
12/3/75, Hearings, Vol. 6, p. 207.


53 Ibid, p. 214.


54 Ibid, p. 215.


55 Ibid, p. 207.


56 Ibid.


57 Ibid.


57a Rowe deposition, 10/17/75,
pp. 32-33.


58 The murder of Mrs. Liuzzo
took place in 1965; from the outset of his informant activity in 1961, Rowe
provided the FBI with a great deal of information on planned and actual
violence by the Klan throughout his years as an informant. (Rowe, 12/2/75, Vol.
6, pp. 117-118; Adams, 12/2/75, Vol. 6,142-143). Only rarely, however, did
Rowe’s information lead to the prevention of violence or arrests of Klan members.


There were several reasons for
this, including the difficulty of relying on local police to enforce the law
against the Klan in the early 1960’s, the failure of the Federal Government to
initially mobilize its own resources, and the role of the FBI as an
investigative rather than police organization.


Former Attorney General
Katzenbach pointed out that, at the outset of the 1960s, when Rowe began his
work as an informant, “neither the [Justice] Department nor the Bureau
fully appreciated the significance or indeed the genesis of the repeated acts
of violence and bloodshed” committed by the Klan and that Federal efforts
against Klan violence “did not crystallize” until the murder in June
1964 of three civil rights workers in Mississippi. (Katzenbach, 12/3/75,
Hearings, Vol. 6, pp. 213-214) and FBI Deputy Director Adams testified:


“We do not have police
powers like the United States Marshalls do … We are the investigative agency
of the Department of Justice and during these times the Department of Justice
had us maintain the role of an investigative agency. We were to furnish the
information, to the local police, who had an obligation to act. We furnished it
to the Department of Justice.” (Adams, 12/2/75, Vol. 6, pp. 142-143.)


Katzenbach and Adams pointed
out that in the early 1960s, local police in parts of the South refused to act
on information the FBI provided about Klan violence. Katzenbach testified:


“. . . because local law
enforcement organizations — the traditional first line of defense against (and
the Bureau’s primary source of information about) such violence were
infiltrated by the very persons who were responsible for much of the violence,
the net effect was that there was in many sections of the South a total absence
of any law enforcement whatsoever.” (Katzenbach, 12/3/75, Hearings, Vol.
6, pp. 213-214.)


59 Rowe was not a member of
the Klan or sympathetic with Klan objectives when he was recruited to serve as
an informant. In his initial interviews with the FBI Special Agent who recruited
him, Rowe indicated “he was not in favor of the things the Klan did”.
(Special Agent No. 1, 11/19/75, p. 7.) Rowe had previously served in the United
States Marine Corps, enlisting at the age of 14. (Rowe, 12/2/75, Hearings, Vol.
6, p. 115.) During his initial talks with the FBI, Rowe stated he wanted to
work in law enforcement and to serve his country; the FBI told Rowe that to
serve as an FBI informant in the Klan would enable him to do both of these
things. (Special Agent No. 1, 11/19/75, p. 6.)


60 Special Agent No. 1,
11/19/75, p. 8.


61 Rowe, 12/2/75, Vol 6, p.
116.


62 Special Agent No.
3,11/21/75, p. 7.


63 Special Agent No. 2,
11/21/75, p. 4. Rowe also carried out certain activities designed to disrupt
the Klan. In early 1964, Rowe testified, his FBI handling agent told him of the
“COINTEL” or counterintelligence program of the FBI against the Klan.
(See COINTELPRO Report). In connection with the COINTEL program. Rowe sought to
disrupt the campaign of a Klansman who was a candidate for city police
commissioner by spreading innuendo that the Klansman was a homosexual. (Rowe
Deposition, 10/17/75, pp. 14-15.) Rowe also testified that he was instructed to
plant stories calculated to cause divorces and marital problems among Klansmen.
(Ibid., p. 17)


64 Rowe, 12/2/75, Hearings,
Vol. 6,1). 116.


65 Rowe, 12/2/75, Vol. 6, p.
116.


66 Rowe Deposition, 10/17/75,
p. 21.


67 Special Agent No. 1,
11/19/75, p. 10-11.


68 Rowe, 12/2/75, Hearings,
Vol. 6, p. 116; Special Agent No. 2, 11/21/75, p. 4.


69 Rowe, 12/2/75, Hearings,
Vol. 6, p. 116; Rowe deposition, 10/17/75, p. 11.


70 Rowe deposition, 10/17/75,
p. 23.


71 Rowe, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
116.


72 Special Agent No. 1,
11/19/75, p. 8; Rowe, Hearings, 12/2/75, p. 116.


73 Rowe, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
116-117.


74 Special Agent No. 1,
11/19/75, p. 4.


75 Adams, 12/2/75, Hearings,
p. 144; Rowe, 12/2/75, Hearings, p. 116-117.


76 Rowe, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
116; Special Agent No. 1, 11/19/75, p. 9. Rowe’s first FBI handling agent
testified:


“My specific instructions
to [Rowe] were that he was not to be involved in any violence. He was not to be
involved in any criminal activity, that if he was involved in any such
activity, that I nor anyone else would come to his rescue.” (Special Agent
No. 1, 11/19/75, p. 9).


77 Rowe deposition, 10/17/75,
p. 12.


78 Rowe, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
117.


79 Ibid.


80 Rowe, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
118.


81 Rowe, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
118…. The reasons for the lack of response by the FBI and the Federal
Government to Klan violence at the outset of the 1960s have been described
above. The 1961 violence at the Birmingham bus depot did lead to a decision by
the Kennedy Administration to send U.S. marshals to Alabama to protect the
Freedom Riders as they proceeded to other cities. (Adams, 12/2/75, Hearings, p.
142-143.)


82 Special Agent No. 3,
11/21/75, pp. 16-17.


83 Memorandum from FBI
Headquarters to Birmingham Field Office 4/17/64.


84 Memorandum from FBI
Headquarters to Birmingham Field Office 5/4/64.


85 Special Agent No.
3,11/21/75, p. 12.


86 Shackelford, 2/2/76, p. 89.


87 Adams, 12/2/75, Hearings,
p. 137.


88 Adams, 12/2/75, Hearings,
p. 138.


89 Memorandum from Alexandria
Field Office to Washington Field Office 6/3/69.


90 Memorandum from Alexandria
Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/5/69.


91 Memorandum from Alexandria
Field Office to FBI Headquarters 6/3/69. With respect to this intelligence
investigation, FBI Deputy Associate Director Adams testified that, due to the
notice in the Daily World communist newspaper, the FBI “took a quick
look” at the group, and “the case apparently was opened on May 28,
1969, and closed June 5 saying there was no problem with this
organization.” (Adams, 12/2/75, Hearings, p. 138.)


92 Memorandum from Alexandria
Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/5/69.


93 Memorandum from Washington
Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/19/71.


93a Memorandum from Tampa
Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/19/72.


94 Ibid.


95 Joseph Deegan testimony,
2/13/76, p. 54.


96 FBI Response to Select
Committee Request for Documents.


97 Ibid.


98 Wannall, 12/2/75, p.
139-140.


99 Memorandum from Louisville
Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 11/21/74.


100 Ibid.


101 Memorandum from
Philadelphia Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/22/66.


102 Ibid.


103 Ibid.


104 Ibid.


105 Memorandum from
Philadelphia Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/2/66.


106 FBI Memorandum in Response
to -Select Committee Request.


107 Memorandum from FBI
Headquarters to Detroit Field Office, 2/17/66.


108 Ibid.


109 Memorandum from Detroit
Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 4/15/66.


110 Memorandum from Detroit
Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 4/15/66.


111 Memorandum from Alexandria
Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/22/70.


112 Ibid.


113 Memorandum from New York
Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/28/69, p. 2. 114


114 Memorandum from Kansas
City Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/20/70.


115 Shackelford, 2/2/76, p.
89.


116 Ibid., p. 91.


117 Ibid., p. 90.


118 Ibid., p. 92.


119 Ibid., pp. 88-89.


120 Ibid., p. 89. In 1942, the
conviction a year earlier of 18 SWP members for violation of the Smith Act was
upheld on appeal. Dunne v. United States, 138 F.2d 137 (8th Cir. 1943), cert
den. 320 U.S. 790 (1943). In upholding the conviction, however, the appellate court
relied on a precedent which has since been expressly repudiated by the Supreme
Court. In Dennis V. United States, 341 U.S. 494 (1951) the Supreme Court
abandoned the “bad tendency” standard followed by the appellate court
in Dunne in favor of a standard whereby speech must present a grave and
probable danger of bringing about a prohibited act before a conviction may be
sustained.


121 For a full treatment of
the FBI’s COINTEL (counterintelligence) program, which involved covert actions
against groups and individuals, see COINTELPRO Report.


122 Brennan to Sullivan [date
deleted for security reasons].


123 Memorandum from field
office to FBI Headquarters [date deleted for security reasons].


124 Memorandum from field
office to FBI Headquarters [date deleted for security reasons].


124a Deposition of Director,
State Bureau of Investigation, 4/1/76, p. 36.


124b Ibid., p. 52.


125 Memorandum from Moore to
Sullivan, 10/11/67; memoranda from FBI Headquarters to all SACs, 10/17/67.


126 Memorandum from FBI
Headquarters to all SACs, 7/31/73.


127 FBI Memoranda in Response
to Select Committee Request, 8/20/74.


128 Memorandum from Moore to
Sullivan, 10/11/67.


129 Memorandum from Attorney
General Ramsey Clark to Director, FBI, 9/14/67.


130 Memorandum from FBI
Headquarters to all SACs, 10/17/67, p. 8.


131 Memorandum from Moore to
Miller, 9/8/72.


132 Memorandum from Moore to
Brennan, 10/27/70.


133 Memorandum from Inspection
Division, 11/24/72.


134 Memorandum from Moore to
Miller, 9/27/72.


135 SAC memorandum, 8/12/68,
re: Racial Informants.


136 Memorandum from Inspection
Division, 11/24/72.


137 Ibid.


137a Ibid.


138 Ibid.


139 Memorandum from FBI
Headquarters to all SACs, 7/31/73.


140 FBI deposition, 2/10/76,
p. 22.


141 Memorandum from FBI
Headquarters to all SACs, 9/23/40.


142 Ibid., p. 24.


143 Memorandum from FBI
Headquarters to all SACs, 3/25/69.


144 FBI deposition, 2/10/76,
p. 23.


145 Ibid., p. 20.


146 Ibid., p. 20. As discussed
in greater detail at p. 260 below, confidential sources are defined by the FBI
manual as individuals who furnish information “available to them through
their employment or position in the community.”


147 Ibid.


148 Ibid., p. 21.


149 Memorandum from FBI
Headquarters to all SACs, 8/17/54.


150 FBI, MOI Sec. 107 U (1)
(a).


151 FBI, MOI Sec. 107 U (1)
(b).


151a Ibid.


152 FBI, MOI Sec. 107, U (3).


153 SAC Letter No. 65-44,
8/17/65.


154 Referring to the exposure
of CIA involvement with the National Student Association, the FBI informed its
field offices:


“It is possible that this
current controversy could focus attention on the Bureau’s investigation of
student groups on college campuses.” (SAC Letter No. 67-13, 2/21/67.)


155 SAC Letter No. 67-13,
2/21/67.


156 SAC Letter No. 67-13,
2/21/67.


157 SAC Letter No. 67-20,
4/7/67.


158 SAC Letter No. 67-24,
5/2/67.


159 SAC Letter No. 67 24,
5/2/67.


160 SAC Letter No. 67-29,
5/24/67.


161 Memorandum from Assistant
Attorney General J. Walter Yeagley to the Director FBI, 3/3/69.


162 Ibid.


163 SAC Letter No. 69-16,
3/11/69.


164 Ibid.


165 SAC Letter 69-44, 8/19/69.
Local police use of intelligence undercover agents in college classrooms in
California was held by the California Supreme Court to likely “pose a
substantial restraint upon the exercise of First Amendment rights.” (White
v. Davis, 533 Pac Rep. 2d., 222, 232. California Supreme Court, 1975.)


166 SAC Letter No. 69-55,
9/26/69.


167 Special Report of the
Interagency Committee on Intelligence (Ad Hoe), the “Huston Plan,”
6/70, (Hearings, Vol. 2, Exhibit No. 1.) p. 34.


168 See the Detailed Report on
the Huston Plan.


169 Huston Plan, p. 36.


170 Huston Plan, p. 36.


171 SAC Letter 70-48, 9/15/70.


172 SAC Letter 70-48, 9/15/70.


173 Memorandum from
Philadelphia Field Office, to FBI Headquarters, 9/16/70. The Philadelphia Field
Office pointed out that on September 10 and 11, 1970, a conference at FBI
Headquarters on the New Left had reached a consensus that FBI interviews with
persons on campuses might result in identification of new campus informants and
“will further serve to get the point across there is an FBI agent behind
every mailbox.” (Ibid.)


174 Ibid.


175 Memorandum from the FBI to
the Senate Select Committee, 11/28/75


176 By comparison, in 1971 the
FBI had 1,731 regular informants, nearly 766 more than in 1975, and, as of
1972, 7,482 informants in the Ghetto Informant Program. The decline since 1971
in the number of regular informants is largely attributable to the decline in
dissident political activity with the end of the Vietnam War and the
institution of somewhat stricter standards for the opening or continuation of
domestic intelligence investigations. As discussed above, the Ghetto Informant
Program was discontinued in 1973.


177 FBI, Overall intelligence
Program, FY 1977 Budget Compared to FY 1976. The cost of the intelligence
informant program comprises payments to informants and FBI personnel, and
overhead costs.


178 FBI, MOI See. 107, A (4).


179 FBI, MOI See. 107, A (4).


180 FBI deposition, 2/10/76,
p. 13.


181 FBI deposition, 2/10/76,
pp. 10-12.


181a Ibid.


181b FBI, MOI, See. 107, A.


182 FBI deposition, 2/10/76,
pp. 16-17.


183 Ibid.


184 FBI, MOI Sec. 107, D(1).


185 FBI, MOI, Sec. 107.C.


186 FBI, MOI, Sec. 130, C (1
and 2).


187 FBI, MOI, Secs. 107, C;
103, D(1).


188 FBI, MOI, See. 107, D (5).


189 FBI, MOI, See. 107, I
(2a).


190 FBI, MOI, See. 107, L (3).


191 FBI deposition, 2/10/75,
p. 6; Cook, 12/2/75, Hearings, Vol. 6, p. 12.


192 FBI, MOI, See. 106, D
(10).


193 FBI, MOI, Sec. 107, L (3).


194 Letter from the FBI to the
Senate Select Committee, 12/2/75, Hearings, Vol. 6, Exhibit 33.


195 Ibid.


196 FBI, MOI Secs. 107, R (5),
S (2)


197 FBI, MOI Secs. 107, R (5),
S (2).


197a The process for verifying
any informant’s information is a continuous one in which the Handling Agent
cross checks an informant’s reports through other sources and separate
investigation. Memorandum from the FBI to the Senate Select Committee, 12/2/75,
p. 4.)


198 FBI, MOI Sec. 107, Q (4).


199 FBI, MOI Sec. 107, Q (9).


199a FBI, MOI See. 107(G),
130(M)


199b FBI, MOI See. 130 (M-1d)


200 FBI, MOI Sec. 87, (F).


201 GAO Study, p. 27.


202 GAO Study, pp. 113-114.


203 For subversive
intelligence investigations, the principal statutes are 18 U.S.C. 2383-85
relating to rebellion or insurrection, seditious conspiracy, and advocating the
overthrow of the government. The same statutes are involved in extremist
investigations as well as the Civil Rights Act, 18 U.S.C. 241.


204 FBI Manual of Instruction,
Section 87, A. (1) (4) ; Section 122, A. (1) (2). Section 87, A. (1) dealing
with subversive investigations, provides, for example:


“Investigations conducted
under this section are to be directed to the gathering of material pertinent to
a determination whether or not the subject has violated, or is engaged in
activities which may result in a violation of [certain statutes] or in
fulfillment of Departmental instructions.” [Emphasis added.]


The manual further provides
that “subversive organization” or “subversive movement”
denotes a (FBI, MOI Sec. 107, A (4) ) group “which is known to . . . advocate
subversive activities.” [Emphasis added.] Subversive activities are
defined in terms of activities which violate or may violate relevant statutes.
(FBI, MOI Sec. 107, A (1).)


205 FBI, MOI, Sec. 87, B.4.


206 FBI, MOI Sec. 107, B (3-9)


207 James Adams testimony,
12/2/75, Hearings, Vol. 6, p. 135.


207a Ibid.


208 FBI, MOI Sec. 107, A (12).


209 Ibid.


210 FBI, MOI Sec. 107, F(12e)


211 Special Agent 11/20/75,
pp. 15-16.


212 Cook deposition, 11/14/75,
p. 36.


213 FBI, MOI Sec. 107D(2d).


214 FBI, MOI, Sec. 107U (1-b).


215 Manual, Section 107, F(4)
(7).


216 FBI Memorandum, 2/2/76, p.
3.


217 Ibid.


218 FBI, MOI Sec. 107, O (7).


219 Memorandum from FBI
Headquarters to all SAC’s, 12/23/74.


220 FBI officials testified,
however, that it is unwritten Bureau practice to instruct informants that they
are not to engage in violence or unlawful activity and, if they do so, they may
be prosecuted. FBI Deputy Associate Director Adams testified:


“. . . we have informants
who have gotten involved in the violation of the law, and we have immediately
converted their status from an informant to the subject, and have prosecuted, I
would say, offhand … around 20 informants…” (Adams, 12/2/75, Hearings,
Vol. 6. p. 150.)


221 Hardy testimony, 9/29/75,
pp. 16-17.


222 Staff summary of Howard
Berry Godfrey interview, 1/18/76.


223 omitted in original.


224 It should be noted,
however, that Godfrey did not always receive exactly $250; it often depended
upon the degree of his activity.


225 As earlier referenced, the
average FBI informant salary was $100 per month.


226 Staff summary of member of
San Diego District Attorney’s office interview, 1/22/76.


227 Staff summary of Godfrey
interview, 1/18/76.


228 Indeed, the literature of
the Secret Army features a pamphlet which instructs the public in the art of
burglary complete with diagrams of “forced entry of building.”


229 Staff summary of FBI Agent
#1 interview, 1/22/76, pp. 26-27.


230 Staff summary of Godfrey
interview, 1/18/76, pp. 54-55.


231 This incident is not only
a matter of pending civil litigation but Godfrey’s SAO associate was convicted
in a criminal trial in San Diego. The details of the shooting are a matter of
public record in the trial transcript.


232 Godfrey did turn over the
weapon to his FBI supervisor after the shooting. The FBI did tell a representative
of the San Diego police department that they had an informer who was a witness
to the shooting, but neither this information nor the existence of the gun was
furnished to the unit of the San Diego Police Department which investigated the
Tharp shooting for several months.


233 Godfrey testified before a
San Diego grand jury that Yakopec was a “lieutenant in my — an assistant
San Diego County commander.”


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