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FBI’s plan to send forged letters to expel Black Panther Party members was thwarted by a lack of stationery

FBI’s plan to send forged letters to expel Black Panther Party members was thwarted by a lack of stationery

Documents from the Federal Bureau Investigation reveal that as part of COINTELPRO, the Bureau once attempted to impersonate a redacted Black Panther Party official in forged letters to expel “fringe” members. That plan was ultimately never brought to fruition, but not due to any last-minute attack of conscience - the FBI had simply run out of the right stationery.

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The Reverend and the Director: FBI files capture the one and only face-to-face meeting between J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Reverend and the Director: FBI files capture the one and only face-to-face meeting between J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King, Jr.

While a not-insignificant percentage of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s activities under Director J. Edgar Hoover were driven by personal vendettas, few were as well-known – or as publicly vicious – as Hoover’s feud with civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. That clash quite literally came to a head on December 1, 1964, when, at the urging of President Lyndon Johnson, Hoover invited King to FBI headquarters for their first - and only - face to face meeting, captured in a ten-page memo in King’s file.

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The FBI once tried to sabotage the Nation of Islam with a zine

The FBI once tried to sabotage the Nation of Islam with a zine

Throughout the ’60s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s infamous COINTELPRO operations targeted what it called “Black Nationalist Hate Groups,” for surveillance, infiltration, and ultimately, disruption. It was to that end in March 1968 that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent a memo to the New York field office, authorizing the use of the Bureau’s secret weapon against the Nation of Islam: the zine.

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Even to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Muhammad Ali was "untouchable"

Even to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Muhammad Ali was “untouchable”

An incident from Muhammad Ali’s Federal Bureau of Investigation file shows that no less than Director J. Edgar Hoover himself doubted the Bureau’s ability to get charges against Ali to stick.

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