Forty years after the Central Intelligence Agency’s experiments on U.S. citizens was revealed in a series of Congressional investigations, materials related to their findings and the CIA’s response live easily-accessible online.
The interagency CACTUS program served as the conduit between CIA’s Operation CHAOS and FBI’s COINTELPRO
A little known but extremely important part of the history of domestic surveillance by intelligence agencies is the CACTUS program. CACTUS was a highly classified channel used by agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to transmit information about “the New Left, Black Militants and related matters.” This channel was never disclosed in the Church Committee reports, even when the reports discuss information that was transmitted through CACTUS.
FBI leadership claimed Bureau was “almost powerless” against KKK, despite making up one-fifth of its membership
In testimony before the Church Committee, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Deputy Director acknowledged that the Bureau at one point made up as much as one-fifth of the Klu Klux Klan’s total membership - but were still powerless to curtail the KKK’s violence. His testimony also acknowledged police participation in Klan violence, and that the Bureau had three times as many “ghetto informants” as they did those targeting white supremacist domestic terrorists.
Soon after legendary spymaster and CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton’s intelligence career supposedly ended with his forced retirement in December 1974 due to the exposure of CIA wrongdoing, he returned to the Agency, where counterintelligence operations reportedly remained under his purview until late 1975.
On February 16, 1976, the Village Voice went to press with an emblazoned “The Report on the CIA That President Ford Doesn’t Want You to Read.” Inside was a leaked copy on the findings of the Pike Committee, a lesser-known (and arguably more damning) companion to the Church Committee - and thanks to the Agency’s obsessive scrapbooking, you can read the full issue scanned into their declassified archives.