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McKinney Raises US Government's "COINTELPRO" program with UN Human Rights Commissioner

September 2, 2001

(Durban, South Africa) Today, in a meeting with United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney presented Robinson with two documents as evidence of the US governments violations of both US and international law and, in particular, specific violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The first document given to Robinson was confidential memorandum 46, written by National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski on March 17, 1978 and it details the federal government's plan to destroy functioning black leadership in the United States. This document provides a critical insight into the federal government's concern at the apparent growing influence of the African American political movement. The second document is a report entitled "Human Rights in the United States [The Unfinished Story - Current Political Prisoners - Victims of COINTELPRO]" and it was compiled by the Human Rights Research Fund, headed by Kathleen Cleaver. This document provides an overview of the counterintelligence program which, from the 1950s to the 1980s, was run in the United States against political activists and targeted organizations. The excesses of the counterintelligence program were first exposed in 1975 by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, known as the Church Committee.

"From as early as the 1950's and right up until the 1980's the US government directed the machinery of state against the African American political movement and, in so doing, effectively put an end to the civil rights movement inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King. COINTELPRO was in clear violation of the US Constitution and a wide range of US laws, as well as, in clear breach of internationally accepted standards for human rights and fundamental freedoms. That our government would turn its full resources against its own law abiding citizens is unforgivable and ranks us among those rogue nations of the world who have chosen to kill hope and sow misery in its place," stated McKinney.

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