Ernest C. Withers, celebrated photographer of the Civil Rights movement and intimate of many civil rights leaders is revealed to have been a paid FBI informant.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the story is buried deep inside, that persons trying to make real the vision that
were–and may still be today–considered “subversive”:
In addition to spying on citizens, Hoover’s FBI ran a covert operation, called COINTELPRO, a counterintelligence or “dirty tricks” program that attempted to disrupt radical movements. It did this with tactics such as leaking embarrassing details to the news media, targeting individuals with radical views for prosecution or trying to get them fired from jobs. First launched in the 1950s to fight communism, by 1967 it was aimed at a range of civil rights leaders and organizations deemed to be threats to national security. Congressional inquiries later exposed it for widespread abuse of personal and political freedoms, including a fierce campaign against King.
Shaun Mullen shares his take on the story at Kiko’s House.