The FBI-CIA War on Tupac and Socially Conscious Artists

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Originally Posted in RapRehab.Com

John Potash is the author of The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders. Published in 2007, it is just now beginning to circulate among a new generation of Black millennial artists and activists. Based on 12 years of intense research, it includes over 1,000 endnotes, an assortment of FBI documents and over 100 interviews. Potash’s most recent book Drugs As Weapons Against Us was published earlier this year in May 2015. This interview was conducted by telephone and transcribed verbatim.

[Lamont Lilly]:  John, thanks for sitting down to talk with me. When Tupac Shakur was shot and killed in 1996 I was a sophomore in high school who knew the rapper, but not the man. What inspired you to write about Tupac. You explore his life with such depth? 

[John Potash]: I was introduced to Hip Hop as a senior in high school.  It was around 1982/83 when a friend I wrestled with turned me on to Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five. A few years later I got into Public Enemy and A Tribe Called Quest. I was interested in a lot of different kinds of music, but when I got into political rap, I was paying more attention. It was right after college and I was working as a drug counselor. I was counseling someone who said that their father was a Black Panther killed by the police.

As I started to research the Black Panther Party I came across an article in 1994 in the Washington Post about Tupac Shakur being shot in the Quad Recording Studios. The reporter of the article stated that in another strange twist, the same police officer that showed up at the sexual assault scene a year earlier was the first one to arrive at the scene of the Quad Recording shooting near Time Square. Continue reading

Black America’s State of Surveillance

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By Malkia Amala Cyril

Ten years ago, on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, my mother, a former Black Panther, died from complications of sickle cell anemia. Weeks before she died, the FBI came knocking at our door, demanding that my mother testify in a secret trial proceeding against other former Panthers or face arrest. My mother, unable to walk, refused. The detectives told my mother as they left that they would be watching her. They didn’t get to do that. My mother died just two weeks later.

My mother was not the only black person to come under the watchful eye of American law enforcement for perceived and actual dissidence. Nor is dissidence always a requirement for being subject to spying. Files obtained during a break-in at an FBI office in 1971 revealed that African Americans, J. Edger Hoover’s largest target group, didn’t have to be perceived as dissident to warrant surveillance. They just had to be black. As I write this, the same philosophy is driving the increasing adoption and use of surveillance technologies by local law enforcement agencies across the United States.

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Seattle FBI Informant Arrested In Key West

By Trevor Aaronson
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

An FBI informant behind the controversial terrorism prosecution of two mentally ill men in Seattle, Wash., is now facing criminal charges in Florida for using a stolen credit card and failing to register as a sex offender.

Robert Childs, 38, is awaiting trial in Monroe County. Key West police arrested him July 3 on Duval Street, the main entertainment drag of the nation’s southernmost city.

Childs is one of the FBI’s more than 15,000 registered informants. Many of these informants join the FBI’s ranks after being convicted of crimes, enticed by reduced sentences and the potential for six-figure paychecks.

Childs was convicted of child molestation and child rape, court records show. After those convictions, he was arrested for failing to register as a sex offender in California, Oregon and Washington state. Continue reading

Statement on recent FBI visits and questioning of political activists

From Bay Area Committee to Resist Political Repression

Originally Posted in IndyBay

July 2nd

Over the past few weeks, more than a dozen political activists in New York, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area have been visited by FBI, US Marshals, and Joint Terrorist Task Force (JTTF) agents. In some cases the agents have shown a more than 30-year-old wanted poster of Donna Borup, who was arrested with others during a 1981 anti-Apartheid demonstration at JFK International Airport. Borup was charged with “riot” and “assault on a police officer,” but did not appear for a 1982 federal trial in New York.

Because the government considers her a fugitive, there is no statute of limitations on her indictment or pursuit. But the government is using these minor decades-old charges to once again equate political resistance with terrorism. Continue reading

FBI Agent Who Executed Ibragim Todashev is a Corrupt Ex-Oakland Cop



From Media roots

The city of Boston was shaken last year when its marathon was tragically bombed, leaving three people dead and 264 others injured. The alleged mastermind behind the deadly attacks, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with Boston police. His little brother and alleged co-perpetrator, Dzhohar, is now awaiting trial and will potentially face execution.

Amidst the insanity ensuing from last year’s horrors, one story was largely swept under the rug: the bizarre execution of 27 year old Chechan-American Ibragim Todashev. A month after the bombings, Todashev was interrogated by state and federal officials at his Orlando apartment about his alleged association with the Tsarneavs and his purported role in the Waltham triple murders of 2011.

According to official reports, Todashev was in the process of writing a confession to the Waltham homicides when for no apparent reason, he ‘flipped out’ and propelled a coffee table into the air, striking the agent on the back of his head. He then ran to the kitchen area of his apartment and armed himself with a red pole/broom handle. The unnamed FBI agent shot Todashev seven times, once in the head.

Earlier this year, an internal FBI investigation and Florida State Attorney cleared the FBI agent who fatally shot Ibragim Todashev of any wrong doing. Prosecutor Jeffrey L. Ashton ruled the shooting was reasonable in that: ‘the actions of the Special Agent of the FBI were justified in self-defense and in defense of another’.

Aaron McFarlane

Recent unredacted documents reveal the unnamed agent to be Special Agent Aaron McFarlane, an ex-Oakland police officer with quite a controversial record in his short stint on the force.

The ‘Riders’ case was the biggest police corruption scandal ever witnessed by Oakland Police Department. It cost the Department nearly $11 million to settle civil lawsuits by 119 people who claimed they were falsely arrested, beaten, and had evidence falsified against them. The plaintiffs also alleged that Oakland Police Department turned a blind eye to the police misconduct.

Officers Clarence Mabanag, Jude Siapno, and Matthew Hornung stood accused of 26 counts including kidnapping, assault, conspiracy, false arrests and lying in police reports. McFarlane testified in defense of Mabanag, stating that he had always taught him how to write accurate police reports. However, under cross-examination it was alleged that McFarlane had falsified his own reports at the request of the group’s leader. Once he was faced with evidence proving his guilt, McFarlane pled the fifth.

After five years and two mistrials, the charges were dismissed against the three officers. McFarlane was never charged in connection with falsifying police reports or potentially lying on the witness stand. Regardless, he ended up in legal trouble for committing the same types of actions as the riders.

In November 2003, a man named Aaron Girard fileOakland Policed a civil suit against Aaron McFarlane and his Oakland PD colleague, Steven Nowak, for aggravated battery, false arrest, violation of his civil rights and emotional distress. Girard stated he had witnessed McFarlane and Nowak physically beating an individual who had already been subdued in front of a hospital. Girard took a photograph of the incident and when McFarlane and Nowak realized, they attacked him. The plaintiff alleged he was beaten, kicked and punched around the body, suffering injuries to his shoulder, arm, knee and neck. He claimed he was then falsely arrested by McFarlane and Nowak. Neither McFarlane nor Nowak ever faced charges over the  MORE Continue reading

Native History: AIM Occupation of Wounded Knee Begins

AP Photo/Jim Mone,

This Date in Native History: On February 27, 1973, about 250 Sioux Indians led by members of the American Indian Movement converged on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation, launching the famous 71-day occupation of Wounded Knee.

Set in the same impoverished village as the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre, the occupation called global attention to unsafe living conditions and generations of mistreatment from federal and local agencies. The occupation, which began during the evening of February 27, is hailed as one of AIM’s greatest successes.

“In a way, it was a very beautiful experience,” said Len Foster, a Navajo man who joined AIM in 1970 and was at Wounded Knee for the entire 71 days. “It was a time to look at the commitment we made and a willingness to put our lives on the line for a cause.” Continue reading

FBI Targeting Arab Community in Oakland

FBI Targeting Arab Community in Oakland


The Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC) has recentlylearned that the FBI has been making visits to Arab families in Oakland in an attempt to gather information about the Iraqi community. This is a gross attack on the civil rights of immigrants and residents, and an attempt to instill fear and division in our communities.  We stand firmly against FBI repression and the targeting of our community. We want to remind our members and allies that we are here as a resource for you. We encourage you to spread the word about this recent targeting in
attempt to proactively raise awareness about one’s rights in the case of an FBI visit.
If the police, FBI, DHS or anyone else tries to enter your home without a warrant, say, “I will not talk to you until I consult an attorney.”
Contact AROC’s legal services (415-861-7444) or one of the other civil rights organizations below for more info or support:
AROC: 415-861-7444
ALC:   415-848-7733
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Stop the Spy Center in Oakland: Raise the Muslim Voice


From Oakland to New York City we know that the Muslim community has been spied on, we have had infiltrators and informants in our mosques, we have been singled out at political protests and we have even had people in our community entrapped by the FBI.

This Tuesday the Oakland City Council will vote on building one of the United States largest spying centers, the proposed $10.9 Million dollar Department of Homeland Security Funded ‘Domain Awareness Center.’ This Spy center would “will aggregate and monitor video feeds and real-time data from nearly 1,000 cameras and sensors aimed at anyone, including those not suspected of any wrongdoing, throughout Oakland. This includes cameras and sensors at the Oakland port, on the highway, in schools, and other locations. Additionally, the DAC will analyze the aggregate data with other software, such as license plate recognition, thermal imaging, social media feeds, gunshot detectors, and other information along with 24/7 monitoring and geospatial security mapping. It will also store and allow sharing of data.” (Adam  Hudson). Continue reading

CIA, FBI, Turkish and Greek Intelligence Agencies Collaborate to Arrest Kurds Suspected of DHKP/C Involvement

One of the four arrested Turkish men is escorted by anti-terror police officers to the court in Athens, Feb 11. AP photo
From hurriyetdailynews.comOne of the four arrested Turkish men is escorted by anti-terror police officers to the court in Athens, Feb 11. AP photo

The Feb. 10 anti-terror operation in Greece that led to the arrests of senior members of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) was conducted by Greek security forces in tandem with U.S. and Turkish intelligence agencies, daily Hürriyet has revealed.
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