Rubyg580 at aol.com
Rubyg580 at aol.com
Tue Aug 6 18:41:30 MDT 1996
In a message dated 96-08-05 15:19:44 EDT, Lisa R writes:
<< Subject: Re:EYENET: Zeroing in on some lessons from history
(If the shoe fits...)
>>> Gina, if I follow this correctly, you are the one who first
posted this material on COINTELPRO from Glick's book. This
appears to be excellent information, and I think it is in agreement
with the eyeNET articles, altho you seem to imply otherwise.
>>>I mean, isn't it a point of Glick's book that it is precisely from
within one's closest circles that the provacateur/spy would have the
potential to do the most damage? COINTELPRO didn't have some
journalist calling up people on the phone, asking them questions
and publishing articles, they had people pretending to be the most
devout, most militant communists of all!
>>>That way, they can create unusual activity and arrange for the
group to be caught and discredited, they can make a faction fight
bigger and foster a split, they can divert attention against 'impurity'
within the organization, and thereby disrupt, delay and misdirect.>>>
It may well be true that COINTELPRO didn't have journalists
calling up activists and publishing the relulting conversation,
but the question is, what is the aim and the result of such
activity? Your third paragraph here answers that question:
the aim, achievable by a variety of means in different
circumstances (they didn't have e-mail and the internet in the
60s and 70s), is to foster splits, divert attention from the main
purpose of the movement, "disrupt, delay and misdirect."
>From "The War at Home" by Brian Glick, 1989, Boston,
South End Press, pp. 9-11 (comment follows text):
* HOW COINTELPRO WORKED[...etc...]
>>> Gina's [previous]Comment:... But the question to ask in
regard to EYENET, is what is the political line of the author?
Do these articles purporting to "expose" political activists from
a country where a civil war rages against a U.S. puppet regime,
serve the cause of opposing that regime? Or do they disrupt
and threaten that opposition?
>>>LR: You could have a point, but give it a what-if for a moment,
just in case - What if some of those 'political activists' are not really
on the side of the rebels, although they claim to be? What if some
of them are so incompetent that they endanger 'their own' cause or
are even working secretly, intentionally, for the regime? Then maybe
the question is, what is worse, to have a fake activist exposed by an
outsider, or to keep the fake inside and believe its lies?>>>
Gina: How do you tell if political activists are on the side of the
revolution or not? By their political line! By what they put into
practice! Not by how many times they declare themselves to
be "the most consistent defenders of the Peruvian Revolution"
the way Adolfo does. What does KK Campbell know of the
practice of the New Flag? What do you know of it? Have you
ever even read the magazine? Has Campbell?
And what, in these two "exposé" articles, reveals either the
political line of the New Flag, of the individuals whose names are
mentioned, or for that matter, the political line of Ken Campbell?
If there is a difference over political line, how does publishing
street addresses, names, information supposedly from tax
records and real estate data bases contribute to clarifying or
resolving those differences, or exposing one side or the other
as wrong politically?
You know the answer: NOT A DAMN THING! All that kind of
"exposure" does is to open up the named people and places
(whether the information is accurate or not!) to police repression
and attack by right wing forces.
>>>Gina wrote: He makes no attempt to clarify what may be the
disagreements in principle or in tactics between NF and their
"political opponent in England." If all this work is not to clarify
political issues, then what IS its purpose? ...
>>>LR: Perhaps it's purpose is actually to _assist_ the rebel cause by
pointing out how much damage one of 'their own' has done to them.
And how, pray tell, does publishing names and addresses, tax
and real estate information, serve to point out "how much damage
one of 'their own' has done to them"?
>>(LR) The point could also be that fighting with a 'political opponent' is
detracting from the struggle against oppression in Peru. Or that the
conflict supposedly over principles and tactics could be a method of
creating division in order to intentionally disrupt the progress of
the overall work, and to make all PCP supporters look bad because of
the "infighting". These are a few of the possible interpretations
that I have come up with after reading several eyeNET articles.>>>
Gina: You stumble on the problem here, Lisa. If any of these
things is "possible" why is that possibility not even addressed,
let alone made clear in the EYEnet articles? Why is the political
purpose of these articles so unclear as to leave even someone
who DEFENDS them at a loss to explain their exact purpose. All
you can do in Campbell's defense is to point out "a few ... possible
interpretations" rather than a clear idea of what the author is getting
at. Another "possible interpretation" which seems much more likely
to me is that these articles themselves are "a method of creating
division in order to intentionally disrupt the progress of the overall
work, and to make all PCP supporters look bad because of "infighting".
>>>(LR) If the articles _are_ trying to expose the _fakeness_ or
harmfulness of an alleged activist, and if they have a reasonable
degree of accuracy, then however upsetting in the short run, that
exposure would actually strengthen the true activists, wouldn't it? >>>
How does publishing the supposed names and addresses of
activists expose their "fakeness" or "harmfulness"? And how
can anyone reading these articles judge the "degree of accuracy"
of the information published? This kind of apolitical "exposure"
is nothing but snitch activity that does NOTHING to strengthen
true activists. It helps NO ONE understand the underlying issues.
It does NOTHING to help people understand what the struggle in
Peru is all about, nor what the struggle over the WMC is about,
nor any other political issue related to the advancing revolution
in Peru. It ONLY opens up people to attack by forces using
more than cyber-words as weapons.
>>>(LR) I guess you must decide which claims of support/ters
for the Peruvian rebels you will trust. If it were me, I wouldn't
want to make a mistake. >>>
Gina: Each one of us decides who we will follow, based on
whatever criteria we think are most important. Making a mistake
on this is not the worst thing in the world. Usually such mistakes
are correctable. Like Malcolm X showed us, when you find out that
those you have been following are not what they claim to be, you
break with them and chart a new course. Many people have done
this over the years.
The problem with your "what if" scenario is on the flip side: What
if the persons mentioned by EYEnet are not even invloved in
anything political? What if they are involved in something, but
something totally unconnected with what Campbell claims? What
if they are who Campbell thinks they are, but in fact THEY are the
truest supporters of the struggle, as opposed to Campbell's current
"hero"? And what if Campbell's "exposé" subjects those persons,
whoever they may be, to deportation, torture and death because of
his "journalistic" work?
Between this "what if" and the one you envision, which is the more
harmful to the movement, not to mention to whatever individuals
may be affected? Which one more serves the interests of imperialism?
Without working from the basis that Mao taught us, that "political
line is key"(which you conveniently left out of my original comment)
then any "what-if" is just as good as any other "what if", and all
we're left with is being distrustful of everybody, which is exactly
the type of disunity that serves the imperialist system and its
>>>(LR) For whatever you may think it's worth, I truly believe
that Ken is no friend of Fujimori or US influence in Peru. I don't
expect you to take my word for it or anything, just please
consider the possibility.
>>>I suppose that even if you believe that he is a sincere supporter
of socialism and the Peruvian revolution, you may still disagree on
all tactics. But what if he's right, and the COINTELPRO type of
infiltrations and disruptions _from within_ are exactly what is still
going on today?>>>
Exactly my point, Lisa. What, other than "disruptions from within"
do these EYEnet articles represent? How do they expose an
incorrect political line? How do they support the revolution in Peru?
They barely mention it! What do they say about the politics of the
named persons? What do they call on people to do about correcting
In fact the EYEnet articles NEGATE political line. They give honest
activists who are trying to understand the contradictions and
conflicts within the international support movement for the People's
War ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to help them understand the issues.
The ONLY forces they aid are those seeking to disrupt and disunify
Whatever game (his word, not mine) Ken THINKS he's playing,
COINTELPRO is the game he IS playing, objectively, and the
imperialist system is what he is serving, regardless of whose
"friend" he claims to be. His articles on the New Flag are not
anything even close to political polemic: they are dirty pig snitch
work, and if that's not what he wants to be doing then he needs
to repudiate it.
--- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---
More information about the Marxism