Ramsey Clark: Godfather of CIA’s CHAOS and FBI’s COINTELPRO Programs
COMMENT: For decades, we have pointed out the documented fact that much of the so-called progressive sector drools and slobbers over a great many obvious, heinous wolves-in-sheep’s clothing.
One of those is former Attorney General of the United States Ramsey Clark, who continues to enjoy a reputation as a liberal/progressive icon.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In addition to covering up the assassinations of both Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy–whose murders occurred during his tenure as A.G.–Clark frustrated New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation of the JFK assassination.
Although his efforts were dismissed and attacked at the time, both the results of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (which recommended that the Department of Justice investigate David Ferrie and the anti-Castro Cubans in New Orleans) and other disclosures (such as former CIA director Richard Helms’ admission that Garrison defendant Clay Shaw worked for the Agency) have supported the validity of Garrison’s efforts.
In addition to being a serial killer with some portentous blood on his hands, Clark helped spawn some of the worst abuses of the contemporary intelligence apparatus.
In a useful volume titled The CIA as Organized Crime, author Douglas Valentine supplements analysis of Clark’s tenure as the country’s highest law enforcement official.
Best known for his seminal work on the Phoenix program in Vietnam, Valentine details the evolution of the evolution of the counter-terrorism apparatus in the U.S. political and national security establishments.
Building on his work on the Phoenix program, Valentine sets forth the parallel evolution of the Phoenix program and domestic and illegal espionage against dissenting American citizens.
Ramsey Clark mid-wived the evolution of our present-day counter-terrorism institutions.
” . . . . Ramsey Clark, formed the Interdepartmental Intelligence Unit (IDIU) within the Department of Justice. The IDIU’s job was to coordinate the elements of the CIA, FBI and military that were investigating dissenters. . . . The Phoenix program was created simultaneously in 1967 and did the same thing in Vietnam; it brought together 25 agencies and aimed them at civilians in the insurgency. . . . Starting in 1967, White House political cadres, through the IDIU in the Justice Department, coordinated the CIA’s Chaos program, the FBI’s COINTELPRO Program, and the military’s domestic spying programs. . . .”
The CIA as Organized Crime by Douglas Valentine; Clarity Press [SC]; Copyright 2017 by Douglas Valentine; ISBN 978–0‑9972870–2‑8; pp. 158–159.
. . . . The events that led to the formation of the current Counterrorism Center began in 1967, when US security services began to suspect that the Cubans and the Soviets were infiltrating the anti-war movement. Lyndon Johnson wanted to know the details, so his attorney general, Ramsey Clark, formed the Interdepartmental Intelligence Unit (IDIU) within the Department of Justice. The IDIU’s job was to coordinate the elements of the CIA, FBI and military that were investigating dissenters. The White House wanted to control and provide political direction to these investigations.
The Phoenix program was created simultaneously in 1967 and did the same thing in Vietnam; it brought together 25 agencies and aimed them at civilians in the insurgency. It’s political warfare. It’s secret. It’s against the rules of war. It violated the Geneva Conventions. . . .
. . . . Starting in 1967, White House political cadres, through the IDIU in the Justice Department, coordinated the CIA’s Chaos program, the FBI’s COINTELPRO Program, and the military’s domestic spying programs. . . .”
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Paul Henderson and DPA,
** Note that all of your responses (including disclosed records) may be automatically and instantly available to the public on the MuckRock.com FOIA web service used to issue this request (though I am not a MuckRock representative). Redact your responses correctly - once you send them to us there is no going back. Nothing herein is legal, IT, or professional advice of any kind. The author disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including but not limited to all warranties of merchantability or fitness. In no event shall the author be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or any other damages whatsoever. The digital signature, if any, in this email is not an indication of a binding agreement or offer; it merely authenticates the sender. Please do not include any confidential information, as I intend that these communications with the City all be public records.**
This is a new Immediate Disclosure Request under the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance and the CPRA, made on November 27, 2019, to Paul Henderson as an individual custodian of public records and to the Department of Police Accountability as a public agency.
This is also an SFAC 67.21(c) request for statements of quantity, nature, existence, and form (even if content is exempt) of records responsive to each of 1 and 2 -- you must provide these statements within 7 days without any form extension.
All records must be provided in a rolling fashion (SFAC 67.25). If you use a web portal, you must publish all records openly without login or terms and conditions; or you may provide records as attachments to emails. You may not impose any conditions on me beyond than those of the CPRA (including any conditions that I must use a private entity's website which imposes terms and conditions).
A warning: every record you release to this publicly viewable email mailbox may become automatically visible to the public via the Muckrock.com FOIA service, and via other journalistic services that publish FOIA and public records documents for searching and indexing online. Please be absolutely certain you have correctly redacted all records prior to transmitting them to us, because there is no going back.
Please read carefully the exact wording of my request. Please follow the Sunshine Ordinance and CPRA precisely as I am auditing your agency's public records regimen. As the City is aware, every violation of the Sunshine Ordinance or CPRA will be appealed immediately, including:
- any untimely or incomplete response, failure to provide records in a rolling fashion as soon as they are available, or failing to indicate whether you have responsive records or not for each request and whether you withheld any records for each request (SFAC 67.21, 67.25, Gov Code 6253(c)),
- withholding more than the minimum exempt portion of any record (SFAC 67.26),
- failure to justify with "clear reference" to an exemption statute or case law for each and every redaction or withholding, including any so-called 'metadata' (SFAC 67.26, 67.27),
- failure to provide "exact copies" of records (Gov Code 6253(b)),
- failure to provide the "electronic format in which [you] hold the information" (Gov Code 6253.9),
- failure to provide any "easily generated" format that we requested (SFAC 67.21(l)),
- refusing to provide the quantity of exempt records (SFAC 67.21(c)),
- unlawful use of the exemptions prohibited by SFAC 67.24, including but not limited to GC 6255, any public interest balancing test,
- redacting or withholding information whose exemption you have already waived by producing it to the public before (Gov Code 6254.5).
1) IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE: all responsive records DPA has already provided under SB 1421 to any other requestor. Since you should not redact more information for me than you have provided any other member of the public (Gov Code 6254.5), you should be able to immediately provide these.
2) REGULAR DISCLOSURE: every record retained, owned, prepared, or used by DPA of: all records of officer's discharge of a firearm at a person, all records of an officer's use of force that results in death or great bodily injury, sustained findings of officer's sexual assault of a member of the public, sustained findings of officer's dishonesty that are disclosable under DB 1421. This is of course a very large request, and you may provide rolling responses. You stated in a letter (https://sfgov.org/sunshine/sites/default/files/sotf_120419_item12.pdf, page 12) that others have made similar expansive requests and I expect you to treat me with no less priority than anyone else. Please note, I expect you to redact these records in accordance with the Sunshine Ordinance - and you must justify each and every redaction or withholding with a clear reference, such as a footnote (SFAC 67.26), to a statute or case law (SFAC 67.27). If you provide only a general list of justifications, I will appeal, and you will eventually have to do all of the redaction work again as other City agencies have had to do. (For example, consider the functionality of Adobe Acrobat that allows you to put a redaction code in every redaction.) Please do not destroy any records during the pendency of my request or appeals. All records must be provided in their original electronic record, or .EML/.MSG formats, and with all metadata and headers. Please perform record production correctly the first time, as appeals and Orders from Court, SOTF, or Sup. of Records, will be quite time-consuming to have to re do.
For the sake of building a good record for any appeals I would ask that you issue formal letters detailing your expected timelines and a notice if you would like to negotiate any part of this request, if you need to.
Please provide only those copies of records available without any fees. If you determine certain records would require fees, please instead provide the required notice of which of those records are available and non-exempt for inspection in-person if we so choose.
I look forward to your immediate disclosure.
Attorney General Designate Ramsey Clark Makes a Statement
Had Clay Shaw been investigated by the FBI?
Oliver Stone's JFK attributes significance to a statement made by Attorney General Designate Ramsey Clark soon after Clay Shaw's arrest:
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CONFERENCE ROOM
The acting Attorney General speaks to the press.
Yes, Mr. Shaw was included in our investigation and there was no connection found at all between Shaw and the President's assassin.
GARRISON'S OFFICE - CONFERENCE ROOM (1967)
Jim confronts a packed room. Bill [fictional investigator "Bill Broussard"] is with him.
If Mr. Shaw had no connection to the assassination, why did the FBI investigate him? And why, if they did, is his name not mentioned once in the entire 26 volumes of the Warren Report, even it if is to clear his name? I doubt this Attorney General would qualify for my staff.(1)
In her landmark study of the Garrison investigation, False Witness, Patricia Lambert writes:
The day after he arrested Shaw, Garrison again benefited from the hand of fate. United States Attorney General Designate Ramsey Clark had a blundering encounter with the press in Washington and provided Garrison with another credibility boost. Emerging from a Senate confirmation hearing on his nomination, Clark answered questions about events in New Orleans by saying that Clay Shaw had been investigated by the FBI in 1963 and cleared. Clark's statement was a simple mistake. He should have said "Bertrand" had been investigated. Shaw at first took comfort in the report. Assuming he had been investigated because of Oswald's pamphleteering in front of the Trade Mart, Shaw told reporters he had not known about the FBI investigation but was delighted and pleased that he had been cleared by them. That same day, the bureaucratic snafu was compounded when a befuddled spokesman for the Department of Justice, pressed on the issue, said of Bertrand and Shaw, "We think it's the same guy."
As the government paper trail now shows, this was a sensitive matter, an error of some magnitude by the brand new Attorney General of the United States.(2) The problem heated up when Shaw's attorney, Edward Wegmann, requested the information obtained by the FBI in its investigation of Shaw. Since there had been no investigation, both Clark and the FBI were now on the spot. As one exasperated Department of Justice employee told a friendly reporter who called asking for an explanation, "We can't very well say that Clark has wood in his head." Responding finally to Wegmann's request for a "public clarification," the Department of Justice explained that in 1963 "nothing arose indicating a need to investigate Mr. Shaw" and that Clark's statement had been in error.(3) This innocent explanation was never accepted by Garrison. Today, the incident is part of the lore of his case, one of those quirky events that fueled the possibility he might really be on to something.(4)