The FBI Lurking Behind Every Corner
The Independent Institute
September 2, 2012
The late Richard Masato Aoki, famed street fighting ’60s radical who armed San Francisco Bay Area Black Panthers, has been implicated as an FBI informant. Surprise, surprise.
The sight of armed Black Panthers prompted Governor Ronald Reagan to sign gun control in California. Aoki’s role in arming them has always had a special place in the state’s history. Now one wonders about the revelation’s significance in the FBI’s connection to Black Panther run-ins with the police.
The Bureau’s involvement should not surprise anyone familiar with its long record of infiltrating fringe political groups to disrupt them, entrap activists, elicit violence, and generally make trouble.
Then called the Bureau of Investigation, the agency early on became obsessed with powerless political extremists. It rounded up more than 50,000 alleged draft dodgers during World War I and was instrumental in the Palmer raids that detained thousands of radicals in 1919 and 1920 and deported over five hundred to Soviet Russia.