Morlock Elloi on Mon, 19 Mar 2018 20:56:12 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> History: CounterSpy 1973-1984

Eight years of CounterSpy are available online at .

Texts in general are of good quality and documentary value. Some of them provide insights into origins and longevity of today's burning issues.

(excerpts from Volume 2, Issue 1)

p.14, "The Ideology of Internal Security":
In his August 15, 1973 speech to the nation in answer to the Watergate
charges, President Nixon noted that "... every President since World
War II has believed that in internal security matters the President
has the power to authorize wiretaps without first obtaining a search

"An act of Congress in 1968 [the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe
Streets Act] had seemed to recognize such power. Last year the Supreme
Court held to the contrary. And my administration is of course now
complying with that Supreme Court decision. But, until the Supreme
Court spoke, I had been acting, as did my predecessors ... in a
reasonable belief that in certain circumstances the Constitution
permitted and sometimes required such measures to protect the
national security in the public interest"

The President further stated that "instances have now come to light in
which a zeal for security did go too far and did interfere
impermissably with individual liberty," adding that while "it is
essential that such mistakes not be repeated," still, "it is also
essential that we do not over-react to particular mistakes by tying
the President's hands in a way that would risk sacrificing our
security, and with it all our liberties."

p.19: "Counter-insurgency Comes Home"
From the end of February until early May, the world press reported on
the "occupation" of Wounded Knee by Indians who wanted serious changes
in their lives and the institutions that affect them. While the press
reported the event as an "occupation," they completely missed the fact
that it was a classical military cordon operation, which the Director,
of the U.S. Marshals Service called "the world's largest outdoor

The experiment with militarizing the police did not begin with Wounded
Knee; Wounded Knee was simply a field test where the military was
allowed to clandestinely control a rather large army composed of
specially trained U.S. Marshals and FBI agents. The Justice Department
army was given high powered equipment available only to the military:
their tactics in the negotiations as well as their tactics on the
Reservation were advised by the military in the same manner as the
Military Assistance Advisory Groups operating in Vietnam during the
early years of U.S. involvement; even their needs for maps and
intelligence were provided by military reconnaissance flights
conducted with jets that had once flown the same type missions against
the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam.


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