Congressman Bobby Rush, who was the co-founder of the Black Panther Party’s Illinois chapter back in the 1960s, is demanding the FBI release the files on the killing of former BPP leader Fred Hampton.
Rush, D-Ill., introduced legislation that would require the Federal Bureau of Investigation to hand over thousands of documents related to the infamous COINTELPRO, “Counterintelligence Program,” that targeted certain individuals and groups for attacks, including Malcolm X, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Panthers, among others.
In fact, former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover famously declared the Panthers “the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States” in 1969.
“It is high time that the American people know about the odious and inhumane legacy of J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO operation and its assault on our nation’s civil liberties,” Rush wrote in a statement obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. “COINTELPRO was spying on American citizens. Anyone who took a political position against the status quo, anyone who wanted to make America better was subject to being penalized, investigated — and in the case of my friend Fred Hampton, assassinated — by the official legal arm of the federal government.”
Hampton’s name was recently catapulted back into the country’s consciousness with the release of the Oscar-winning film Judas and the Black Messiah. It showed unequivocally how local and federal agents infiltrated the armed militant group with agent provocateurs to neutralize and decimate the BPP.
Flip the page to learn what else Rush demands with this ambitious bill: