Although many of the following books deserve to be read in their entirety, some are included mainly because they are pieces of a larger historical picture of criminality by America’s public and private security-intelligence agencies and organizations. I’ve tried to include reviews and quotes to help readers determine which books might be of most interest.
The Pinkerton Labor Spy (1907)
Meagan Day’s excellent article about spying by corporate security agents (Jacobin, Sept. 2, 2020) mentions this book:
“In 1907, the stenographer of a Pinkerton union infiltrator wrote a tell-all book, The Pinkerton Labor Spy, exposing the activities of his former boss. The cover of the book depicts a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The activities detailed in it were par for the course — the only exceptional detail was that someone had gone rogue to divulge them.”
This Nov. 23, 2020 VICE article by Lauren Kaori Gurley also describes past and present activities of this corporation:
“…the Pinkerton Detective Agency…in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States supplied detectives to infiltrate unions and hired violent goon squads to intimidate workers from engaging in union activity in steel mills. Today, Pinkerton is a subsidiary of the Swedish security company Securitas AB, and has supplied operatives to monitor strikes in West Virginia as recently as 2018.
“…A source with knowledge of the company’s intelligence activities told Motherboard that in order to track protests and other labor organizing activity, Amazon intelligence agents create social media accounts without photos and track the online activity of workers leading organizing efforts. Motherboard granted the source anonymity because they feared retaliation from Amazon.
“When that team stalked people, they’d use fake accounts on social media,” they said. “They’d use a fake name and a profile with no photo. The worst part is that they read tons of conversations and messages, and knew everything about the private lives of these people. They knew if they had a bad day with their family.” (emphasis added)
War Is a Racket (1935)
General Smedley D. Butler
from Jonah Walters’ January 2022 review of a book about Smedley Butler – Gangsters of Capitalism, by Jonathan M. Katz:
…Butler was the youngest major general in Marine Corps history, and at the time of his death, he was the most decorated Marine who had ever lived.
…Turning his back on the defense establishment, Butler forcefully rejected not only the military command hierarchy but also the entire project of US war-making.
…Crisscrossing the country, Butler denounced US war-making abroad and ruling-class violence at home as two sides of the same bloody coin, telling audiences from Racine to Roanoke that America was divided into “two classes”:
On one side, a class of citizens who were raised to believe that the whole of this country was created for their sole benefit, and on the other side, the other 99 percent of us, the soldier class, the class from which all of you soldiers came.
Butler published a short book, War Is a Racket, collecting the key themes of his orations in 1935. Later, in an essay in the socialist magazine Common Sense, Butler confessed to having been a “racketeer for capitalism,” elaborating that, as “a member of our country’s most agile military force,” he had served as “a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers.”
Orwell’s famous novel anticipated some of the particular forms of lying, spying, authoritarianism, and militarism one sees today among the ruling elites in both the US and the UK, among other places. Here is Orwell, from a letter written shortly after 1984 was published:
“…The scene of the book is laid in Britain in order to emphasize that the English-speaking races are not innately better than anyone else and that totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere.” [Why Orwell Matters (2002), Christopher Hitchens]
This novel never goes away. A film version was released in 1984 in the UK, for example, starring John Hurt and Richard Burton. After Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 about the National Security Agency’s secret illegal domestic mass surveillance, CNN reported that sales of 1984 on Amazon had increased 9,000 percent.
The Power Elite (1956)
C. Wright Mills
Mills’ critique of the corporate, military, and political leaders in America’s ruling class is considered a classic of social science. Journalist Chris Hedges, for example, has written that The Power Elite is “one of the finest studies of the pathologies of the uber-rich.” Hedges quotes Mills on the predation by America’s oligarchs:
They exploited national resources, waged economic wars among themselves, entered into combinations, made private capital out of the public domain, and used any and every method to achieve their ends. They made agreements with railroads for rebates; they purchased newspapers and bought editors; they killed off competing and independent businesses and employed lawyers of skill and statesmen of repute to sustain their rights and secure their privileges. There is something demonic about these lords of creation; it is not merely rhetoric to call them robber barons.
The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (1972)
Alfred W. McCoy
Historian Alfred W. McCoy was among the first scholars to chronicle the CIA’s complicity in drug trafficking.
From a New York Times review:
“McCoy has done his homework, and, unlike most authors of books about spooks and mobsters, he gives us a rich set of footnotes.”
From a short bio at Haymarket Books about the author:
“Alfred W. McCoy holds the Harrington Chair in History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After earning his Ph.D. in Southeast Asian history at Yale in 1977, his writing has focused on Philippine political history, the history of modern empires, and the covert netherworld of illicit drugs, syndicate crime, and state security.”
A revised version was published in 2003 – The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade
Readers interested in this aspect of US security state criminality should also read Drugs, Oil, and War (2003) by Peter Dale Scott – a volume about which famous Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg said this:
“This is a brilliant, compelling, and startlingly original exposé of American foreign policy as oil policy with an addiction to drug trafficking as its adjunct. It makes most academic and journalistic explanations of the dreadful paradoxes of our past and current interventions read like government propaganda written for children.”
Operation Mind Control (1978)
This book about the CIA’s mind control experiments (Project MK Ultra) was originally published in 1978. An updated and expanded “researcher’s edition” published in 1994 can be viewed and downloaded as a free pdf document here: Operation Mind Control – Researcher’s Edition
The Private Sector (1978)
from Kirkus Review:
O’Toole’s diligent mapping of rent-a-cops, security guards, intelligence services, wiretappers, and industrial espionage outfits makes it clear that this growth industry has left both Pinkerton and Sam Spade far behind. Wary rather than frantic, O’Toole looks at such powers as the Wackenhut Corporation, which under the guise of investigating the Mob in Florida became a partisan force in that state’s politics; Intertel, the elite intelligence-gathering organization that whisked Howard Hughes to the Bahamas; and Bell Telephone which, unlike the government, can tap anyone’s phone at will. These organizations, as well as the security forces of major airlines, oil companies, and the automobile and electronics industries augment their power with top executives who are frequently alumni of the FBI, CIA, or the municipal police. O’Toole, himself a former CIA specialist, finds Old Boy networks such as the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI particularly threatening; informal civilian auxiliaries of the Bureau, they form a kind of “”private police subculture”” which invisibly–and often irresponsibly–extends or circumvents government power. Many of the abuses of private police powers which O’Toole airs here will be familiar to readers on the lookout for illegal surveillance scandals, but there is no doubt that the “police-industrial complex”–growing at the rate of 10-15 percent annually–looms larger and focuses more sharply as a result of his compendium.
The Search for the “Manchurian Candidate“ (1979)
John D. Marks
Subtitle: The CIA and Mind Control: The Secret History of the Behavioral Sciences
Published in 1979, this award-winning book about the CIA’s mind control and interrogation experiments (Project MK Ultra) was based on documents discovered under the Freedom of Information Act.
The author, John D. Marks, was a former Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. State Department.
Anyone who doubts the plausibility of allegations that the U.S. government would acquiesce in sadistic crimes against its own citizens such as gang stalking, should read this book.
“A wonderful piece of investigative reporting. The best account we’ll ever get of one of the seamiest episodes of American intelligence.”
– Seymour Hersh
Policing a Class Society (1983)
Sidney L. Harring
A Marxist analysis of the history of policing in the U.S.
From the website of the publisher, Haymarket Books:
“An in-depth critical analysis of how ruling elites use the police institution in order to control communities.
“…Looking at the growth of the urban police force around the turn of the 20th century, Harring argues that the police protected the interests of manufacturers, working almost as hired guns. Rather than fighting crime, the historical role of police was to control the leisure activity of the developing working-class and maintain the existing order of capitalist relationships.”
Manufacturing Consent (1988)
Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
You do not need to read this entire book – which by most accounts is a dry and textbook-like treatment of its topic, and you do not need to even watch the good – but now somewhat dated – 1992 documentary based on the book.
On the other hand, if you want to understand the nature of political power in the U.S., you do need to at least understand the thesis of this influential book – namely, that the mainstream corporate news media reliably promote the interests of the dominant elite groups in society.
At a minimum, you should read or listen to a few of Chomsky’s comments on this issue, such as this short excerpt.
Silent Terror (1988)
Arnold Lockshin & Lauren Lockshin
Subtitle: One family’s history of political persecution in the United States
Arnold Lockshin was an American cancer research scientist who fled with his family to the Soviet Union in 1986 and was granted political asylum. According to Lockshin, he and his family were being intensely harassed by U.S. federal agents because of their socialist political views. The alleged harassment tactics included many of those associated with other cases of organized stalking: slander, spying, break-ins, threats, harassing phone calls, etc.
Some excerpts from an October 11, 1986 newspaper article in the Gadsen Times:
Lockshin reiterated claims publicized by Soviet media that he was harassed by the FBI and CIA for his political beliefs.
He said the harassment went on “for many years, but this year was a bad year.”
“There were harassments and physical threats. Complete strangers would drive across blocks and threaten to beat me up,” he said. “Death threats were given to us in the mail; our home was broken into.”
Mrs. Lockshin “repeatedly received disgusting, obscene, provocative and life-threatening phone calls,” he said. “She was accosted by an individual identifying himself as an ex-Green Beret…with an armed [sic] weapon.”
….He contended the harassment must have been organized by the FBI, but offered no proof. The State Department has called Lockshin’s allegations of official harassment absurd.
….Lockshin said his bosses at St. Joseph Hospital in Houston told him not to campaign against the Star Wars program of researching a space-based missile defense.
Arnold Lockshin has generously made his book available for free. Here is a pdf scan of the book: Silent Terror
Here is Mr. Lockshin’s website: http://arnoldlockshin.wordpress.com/
War at Home (1989)
War At Home is an account of the state-sponsored terrorism perpetrated by the U.S. government against its own citizens during the Cointelpro era – and the continued use of those illegal practices against American political activists during the 1980s. The author, Brian Glick, is currently a faculty member at the Fordham University School of Law.
Philip Agee, a CIA agent who became a whistle-blower, said this of War At Home:
“This is a must handbook for private study and group discussion by all progressive and radical activists. Today’s defense depends on our knowledge of yesterday’s repression. The message: the political police haven’t forgotten us – we can’t afford to forget them and their methods.”
You can view or download this booklet as a free pdf file here:
War At Home (1989)
Protectors of Privilege (1990)
A review of Protectors of Privilege in the Los Angeles Times
“The cops love these free-wheeling, elite units. They were ostensibly created to combat terrorism, but have been used mostly to infiltrate and suppress liberal and radical political organizations and civil rights groups. They lift their members out of the routine of police work into something of a James Bond life. As Frank Donner points out in this excellently researched, thoughtful and well-detailed study of police spying, their excesses have been many. But Donner, who directed the American Civil Liberties Project on Political Surveillance, concludes with the chilling thought that the Red squads will be around long after there are any Reds.”
L.A. Secret Police (1992)
Mike Rothmiller & Ivan G. Goldman
The Los Angeles Police Department has a well-known history of brutality and racism. Less well-known is the department’s illegal spying activities. One reason that part of the LAPD’s history is not widely known is that police chief Daryl Gates apparently used threats and blackmail to scare city council members and the Los Angeles Times away from digging into his activities. Such behavior by the American law enforcement community goes a long way toward explaining how crimes such as organized stalking could be kept off the public’s radar.
Here is an excerpt from the book’s description on Amazon:
“L.A. cops ruined lives and reputations, inflicted mindless brutality, committed murder and engaged in massive cover-ups. In Los Angeles, police corruption was much more than unmarked envelopes stuffed with cash. It was a total corruption of power. For decades LAPD engaged in massive illegal spying and lied about it. Its spying targets included politicians, movie stars, professional athletes, news reporters and anyone wielding power or those of interest to Daryl Gates.”
Here is an April 2010 article about the Daryl Gates era of LAPD posted on Truthdig.
Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993)
Peter Dale Scott
Former Salon editor David Talbot:
“The book is filled with provocative insights about how the upper circles of U.S. power actually operate (often in concert with the criminal underworld).”
Zersetzung der Selle (“Decomposition of the Soul”) (1995)
Klaus Behnke and Jürgen Fuchs
Subtitle: Psychologie und Psychiatrie im Dienste der Stasi (“psychology and psychiatry in the service of the Stasi”)
This book, published in 1995, is regarded as one of the essential writings on the psychological terrorism perpetrated against targeted individuals by the Stasi (East Germany’s secret police agency). The authors both studied psychology in East Germany before being expelled in 1977.
Zersetzung der Seele (“Decomposition of the Soul”) is the term that was used by the Stasi to describe the psyops (psychological operations) element of their counterintelligence subversion intended to emotionally and socially destroy individuals who were perceived as dissidents.
Some of the methods used by the Stasi were also employed by the FBI during its original Cointelpro operations, and are currently being used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Unfortunately, there does not seem to be an English language translation of this book. Similarly, the 2002 documentary based on this book does not seem to be available with English subtitles.
Against Empire (1995)
Understanding the criminality and lack of oversight in America’s public and private security-intelligence entities requires an awareness of the central role of imperialism in the nation’s politics. Historian Michael Parenti is deservedly well-known for his ability to explain such matters, so this book is a good place to start.
Snitch Culture (2000)
“Even before September 11, the government was running COINTELPRO-style operations against a coalition of radical labor, environmental, and human rights organizations opposed to corporate control of the global economy.”
“The truth is, there’s a long and sordid history of government operatives committing the very crimes they are supposed to prevent and setting up dissidents with phony charges.”
Customer reviews of Snitch Culture at Amazon
Into the Buzzsaw (2002)
“The government doesn’t need laws to censor information. Ever-more-close ties between business and government have allowed a highly effective system of information suppression and manipulation to evolve organically.” – from the introduction by the editor, Kristina Borjesson
Understanding Power (2002)
An excerpt – on the nature of “debate” in the American news media:
So what the media do, in effect, is to take the set of assumptions which express the basic ideas of the propaganda system, whether about the Cold War or the economic system or the “national interest” and so on, and then present a range of debate within that framework — so the debate only enhances the strength of the assumptions, ingraining them in people’s minds as the entire possible spectrum of opinion that there is. So you see, in our system what you might call “state propaganda” isn’t expressed as such, as it would be in a totalitarian society — rather it’s implicit, it’s presupposed, it provides the framework for debate among the people who are admitted into mainstream discussion.
In fact, the nature of Western systems of indoctrination is typically not understood by dictators, they don’t understand the utility for propaganda purposes of having “critical debate” that incorporates the basic assumptions of the official doctrines, and thereby marginalizes and eliminates authentic and rational critical discussion. Under what’s sometimes been called “brainwashing under freedom,” the critics, or at least, the “responsible critics” make a major contribution to the cause by bounding the debate within certain acceptable limits — that’s why they’re tolerated, and in fact even honored.
Gloria Naylor is a winner of the National Book Award for her 1982 novel The Women of Brewster Place – which was later made into a mini-series by Oprah Winfrey.
Naylor wrote a semi-autobiographical book which was published in December 2005 in which she described her experiences as a target of organized stalking. The book’s title, 1996, was the year it became apparent to Naylor that she was being stalked.
In 1996 novelist Naylor moved to secluded St. Helena Island. A minor fracas with a crotchety neighbor, whose brother worked for the National Security Agency, set into motion a series of events that made Naylor the object of close scrutiny by the government. The intensely private Naylor found herself in the company of other prominent black writers and activists targeted by the government. She was harassed until she feared for her sanity and consulted a psychiatrist. When she discovered that her tormentors were using mind-control techniques, she fought back with the only weapon she had–her writing talent. Naylor’s account, with first-person recollections of her experience and third-person speculation on the motives of her tormenters, not only raises alarms about government actions but also raises many questions about this work. She includes addenda with research and litigation regarding government experiments with mind control. Whether readers think Naylor has been the victim of pernicious abuse or that she has suffered a breakdown, her incredible book will spark debate about government surveillance and the blurring of the lines between fiction and nonfiction.
National Public Radio’s Emmy-award winning journalist Ed Gordon interviewed Gloria Naylor about this book in January 2006. An audio recording and transcript are posted here.
The Authoritarians (2006)
Participants in the original Cointelpro and its current form – gang stalking – have what psychologists sometimes refer to as an “authoritarian personality.”
Robert Altemeyer, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Manitoba, has studied this subject extensively. An October 2004 article in Reason describes his findings about the authoritarian type personality:
“….authoritarians are cognitively rigid, aggressive, and intolerant. They are characterized by steadfast conformity to group norms, submission to higher status individuals, and aggression toward out-groups and unconventional group members.”
The article notes that Altemeyer’s views were confirmed by research at the University of California at Berkeley, where they found that such people – who are typically very conservative politically – have common psychological factors described by the article’s author as follows:
“fear and aggression, dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity, uncertainty avoidance, need for cognitive closure, and terror management that causes conservatives to shun and even punish outsiders and those who threaten the status of their cherished world views.”
Dr. Altemeyer wrote a book on this subject called The Authoritarians (2006). In his book, he makes clear that his references to “right-wing” authoritarian followers is a psychological – not ideological – category. Citizens in communist East Germany who served as informants for the Stasi (state police) were “authoritarians” just like far-right kooks in America today who participate in organized stalking. Because they are subservient to authority figures, such people are easily manipulated by those in power.
Professor Altemeyer generously made his book available to the public as a free pdf document: The Authoritarians
Understanding organized stalking in the U.S. requires an awareness of the massive shadowy industry of private security-intelligence contractors with secret clearances. This book does not address the issue of domestic counterintelligence activities, but it does offer a close look at one of the hundreds of contractor firms which are deeply connected to the executive branch of the U.S. government but which are largely unaccountable to either Congress or the Judicial branch.
Blackwater is investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill’s account of the secretive paramilitary contractor Blackwater USA, a private security company founded in 1997 by former Navy SEAL and right-wing Christian Erik Prince.
Blackwater was the concept of Jamie Smith, a former CIA officer who became the vice president of the corporation. From 2006 to 2008, the company’s vice chairman was Cofer Black, director of the CIA’s counter-terrorism center.
The company has been involved in multiple controversial – and arguably criminal – activities. Allegations were made, for example, that the firm tried to bribe Iraqi officials to retain its services after an incident in 2007 when a group of Blackwater mercenaries shot at Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad, killing 17 and injuring 20. The Department of Justice investigated the matter, but eventually dropped the investigation.
Blackwater, which is based in McLean, Virginia, was renamed “Xe Services” in 2009, and then renamed as “Academi” in 2011 when it was purchased by private investors.
Family of Secrets (2008)
Your views about the US national security state should be informed by interesting facts about the Bush dynasty. This book is probably the best place to start. Although Russ Baker is a widely published investigative journalist – The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Nation, etc. – and was a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review, the establishment press mostly avoids discussing his well-researched book. Here is Baker on that:
Some praise for the book:
“If you want to know how thoroughly the press has failed in its most important functions, read Family of Secrets by Russ Baker. The guy’s a punk but he’s written one of the best and most hard-to-refute books on what the Bush clan really was.”
— Barrett Brown
“One of the most important books of the past ten years”
— Gore Vidal
“A tour de force….Family of Secrets has made me rethink even those events I witnessed with my own eyes” — Dan Rather
Chapo Trap House podcast episodes 471 and 497 (“Poppy” parts 1 & 2) discuss this book.
JFK and the Unspeakable (2008)
James W. Douglass
President John F. Kennedy’s assassination is relevant to organized stalking because of his murder’s apparent connection to the U.S. intelligence community – as documented in this book. Regardless of the exact operational nature of various domestic U.S. counterintelligence activities, the use of widespread gang stalking could only happen with the acquiescence of federal intelligence agencies. The apparent complicity of those agencies in JFK’s assassination is evidence of the deep corruption of American democracy by those associated with the spying industry.
In a radio interview in June 2013 retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern stated that he believed that President Barack Obama is afraid of the CIA, and that such fear influences the president’s policy decisions:
“Now does he have any reason to fear the CIA? Well he sure as heck does. For those of your listeners who have not read James Douglass’s JFK and the Unspeakable, you need to read that, because it’s coming up on 50 years. The mystery has not been solved in the mainstream press. After reading James Douglass, who took advantage of all the previous studies, plus all the more recent information released by Congress, I’m convinced that John Kennedy was assassinated largely by Allan Dulles whom he cashiered as the head of the CIA after the Bay of Pigs, and a coterie of joint chiefs of staff, FBI, even some Secret Service folks who thought that JFK was being soft on Communism by back channel communications with Krushchev, that he was playing games with Fidel Castro…to repair the relationship, and worst of all he was giving Southeast Asia to the Communists. Now is there evidence for this? There sure as heck is. John Kennedy signed two executive orders just a month or so before he was killed. One of them said we’re pulling out 1000 troops out of South Vietnam by the end of the year, the year being 1963. The other said we’re going to pull out the bulk of the troops by 1965, we’re finished in Vietnam. That’s a matter of record.”
Reviews of JFK and the Unspeakable:
“A remarkable story that changed the way I view the world.”
— James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers
“In JFK and the Unspeakable Jim Douglass has distilled all the best available research into a very well-documented and convincing portrait of President Kennedy’s transforming turn to peace, at the cost of his life. Personally, it has made a very big impact on me. After reading it in Dallas, I was moved for the first time to visit Dealey Plaza. I urge all Americans to read this book and come to their own conclusions about why he died and why — after fifty years — it still matters.” – Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Spies For Hire (2008)
From a Publishers Weekly review:
According to investigative journalist Shorrock, the CIA and other intelligence agencies now have more contractors working for them than they do spies of their own. Often former staff hired back at double or triple their former government salaries, these private contractors do everything from fighting in Afghanistan to interrogating prisoners, aiming spy satellites and supervising secret agents. Shorrock gives a comprehensive—at times eye-glazing—rundown of the players in the industry, and his book is valuable for its detailed panorama of 21st-century intelligence work. He uncovers serious abuses—contractor CACI International figured prominently in the Abu Ghraib outrages—and nagging concerns about corrupt ties between intelligence officials and private corporations, industry lobbying for a national surveillance state, the withering of the intelligence agencies’ in-house capacities and the displacement of an ethos of public service by a profit motive.
The Watchers (2010)
From a description on the Cato Institute’s website:
“In his book, The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State, Shane Harris of National Journal draws on his deep reservoir of contacts with some of the most significant national security players to tell how the dream of protective government omniscience evolved from a fancy of right-wing technocrats to a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s counterterrorism policies.”
Top Secret America (2011)
Dana Priest & William M. Arkin
“The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.”
More than a dozen Washington Post journalists – led by Priest and Arkin – spent two years investigating this subject. Here is the set of articles they produced – including images and video.
The investigation was also the basis of this Frontline Documentary:
Top Secret America – 9/11 to the Boston Bombings (April 30, 2013)
Kill Anything That Moves (2013)
Many Americans probably think of the My Lai Massacre as an aberration; Turse’s book will disabuse readers of any confusion along those lines. The U.S. military not only perpetrated numerous shocking war crimes, it also engaged in an extensive criminal conspiracy to cover them up.
Turse also quotes Daniel Ellsberg, who famously leaked the Pentagon Papers (the Defense Department’s secret study of the Vietnam War), on the integrity of the military and its civilian leadership in the White House. Ellsberg wrote that it was “a system that lies automatically, at every level from the bottom to top – from sergeant to commander in chief – to conceal murder.”
Very few soldiers or officers were seriously punished for the numerous atrocities – even in the exceptional cases which were investigated. The criminal complicity of high-level officials whom Americans trusted to manage their national security operations is made clear in the book:
“…the stunning scale of civilian suffering in Vietnam is far beyond anything that can be explained as merely the work of some “bad apples,” however numerous. Murder, torture, rape, abuse, forced displacement, home burnings, specious arrests, imprisonment without due process – such occurrences were virtually a daily fact of life throughout the years of the American presence in Vietnam. And….they were no aberration. Rather, they were the inevitable outcome of deliberate policies, dictated at the highest levels of the military.”
One reason many Americans mistakenly trusted their political and military leaders during the Vietnam War was that the corporate news media largely failed to inform them about what was really happening:
August 1969 also saw the publication of Normand Poirier’s chilling Esquire article “An American Atrocity,” which used military legal documents to reconstruct the 1966 rampage of U.S. Marines through the hamlet of Xuan Ngoc – including the gang-rape of eighteen-year-old Bui Thi Huong and the slaughter of her family. (The magazine sent proofs of the story to every major newspaper in the country, hoping to generate attention, but none showed the slightest interest.)
Even the story of the My Lai Massacre was rejected by the corporate news media. Vietnam veteran Ron Ridenhour presented the story to the Arizona Republic, Life, Look, Newsweek, and Harper’s, and they all rejected it. Freelance journalist Seymour Hersh investigated the incident and eventually got the story published by a small left-leaning news agency called Dispatch News Service. The story then got picked up by the national press, and Hersh received a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting. The challenge of getting the story published has obvious implications for attempts to expose current U.S. government crimes, such as organized stalking. One of the most important news stories of the Vietnam War – the deliberate slaughter of over 500 unarmed civilians in a single village – was viewed by the cowardly news editors at major publications as being a story which should be kept hidden from the American public so as not to embarrass anyone in the political class.
Although the American public was mostly unware of the scope of serious crimes, U.S. officials did not have that excuse. Top officials in Washington were repeatedly notified by the Red Cross, for example, that they were violating the 1949 Geneva conventions by allowing South Vietnamese authorities to torture prisoners handed over by the U.S. (page 175). Take note also of how those torturers learned their methods:
For over a decade, going back to 1950, the Central Intelligence Agency had worked on perfecting a range of torture techniques that included electric shock and ruthless psychological abuse. The research culminated in a secret 1963 CIA-produced handbook known as the “Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation” manual, and from 1962 to 1974 the CIA worked through the U.S. Agency for International Development (better known as USAID) to teach its interrogation techniques to security agents around the world, including many Vietnamese.
My point here is not to bash all U.S. military personnel, but rather to call attention to two historical facts: (1) when America’s spy agencies, military units, police departments, and security contractors are allowed to operate with virtually unlimited power and secrecy (in the name of “national security” or “public safety”), serious crimes are perpetrated against civilians by the criminal sociopaths and psychopaths in those organizations, and (2) those crimes go mostly unreported in the corporate news media. Organized stalking is an example of those two phenomena.
Kill Anything That Moves received excellent reviews. The assessment by journalist Chris Hedges is a good example:
Nick Turse’s “Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam” is not only one of the most important books ever written about the Vietnam conflict but provides readers with an unflinching account of the nature of modern industrial warfare. It captures, as few books on war do, the utter depravity of industrial violence—what the sociologist James William Gibson calls “technowar.” It exposes the sickness of the hyper-masculine military culture, the intoxicating rush and addiction of violence, and the massive government spin machine that lies daily to a gullible public and uses tactics of intimidation, threats and smear campaigns to silence dissenters.
Rise of the Warrior Cop (2013)
Even people who do not closely follow the issues of corruption and abuse of power in America’s law enforcement agencies are increasingly aware of the disturbing trend toward more militarized local police forces.
Between 1970 and 1975 the number of SWAT teams grew from 1 to almost 500. Between 1995 and 2005 the number of drug warrant SWAT raids doubled. Even small town police departments have been acquiring military hardware. News reports of excessive – often deadly – use of force have become common.
In this book Radley Balko traces the history of such changes, which are largely attributable to the drug war.
“This book is highly recommended for the historic value of the information; it is clear, concise, and well argued. Whether you are a lifetime, card carrying member of the ACLU or the newest law and order politician The Rise of the Warrior Cop provides a clear timeline and important information making it a must read…”
– New York Journal of Books
A Government of Wolves (2013)
From the Heritage Foundation’s website:
In A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, John Whitehead, President of The Rutherford Institute, argues that the American people are in grave danger of losing their basic freedoms. The Constitution – and in particular the Bill of Rights – is being undermined on virtually every front. America’s openness and freedom that were once the hallmarks of our society are now in peril.
Whitehead charts the transition from a society governed by “We the People” to a state governed more and more by the strong arm of the law. Once a society that valued individual liberty and privacy, in recent years, our culture has quietly accepted surveillance cameras, police and drug-sniffing dogs in our children’s schools, national databases that track our finances and activities, sneak-and-peek searches of our homes without our knowledge or consent, and anti-terrorism laws that turn average Americans into suspects. In A Government of Wolves, Whitehead posits that our nation is at a critical juncture in addressing the growing power of the state versus the retention of personal freedoms.
The Terror Factory (2013)
It has become an open secret that the FBI creates its own terrorists by concocting and funding fake terrorism plots and entrapping hapless stooges in sting operations.
The Terror Factory received excellent reviews, but if you don’t have time to read a whole book on the subject, you can get a good idea of how the game works from these articles:
The New York Times April 2012
Rolling Stone September 2012
The Guardian July 2014
U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies have a long, well-documented history of secretly perpetrating crimes against Americans – and lying to the public. Counterintelligence programs, operations, methods, and motives are typically shrouded in secrecy – even from the perspective of the politicians, judges, and journalists upon whom we rely for oversight of our numerous spy agencies. (Former agents sometimes function in the private security sector with even less scrutiny, and use the same illegal stalking methods.) Accounts of counterintelligence operations must be viewed in this historical context.
Another source of perspective and insight which is helpful for understanding a profession whose practices include assassination, disinformation, spying, subversion, human experimentation, stalking, blackmail, torture, and the like, is literature. To understand, in the absence of first-hand experience – as a perpetrator or victim – such activities, it is helpful to at least have been exposed to some of the dark, and sometimes bizarre crimes which appear in literature; it can give you a more open mind about such matters. Robert Guffey, I think, is a perfect example of this; he is a writing instructor at California State University–Long Beach, and the author of several published books and articles.
Guffey’s book opens with an apt quote for an account of counterintelligence crimes. Its source is the 1955 novel, The Body Snatchers:
“I warn you that what you’re starting to read is full of loose ends and unanswered questions. It will not be neatly tied up at the end, everything resolved and satisfactorily explained. Not by me it won’t, anyway. Because I can’t say I really know exactly what happened, or why, or just how it began, how it ended, or if it has ended; and I’ve been right in the thick of it. Now if you don’t like that kind of story, I’m sorry, and you better not read it. All I can do is tell what I know.”
CHAMELEO is one of the few books published in the U.S., after the COINTELPRO era, regarding counterintelligence “disruption” operations (sometimes called “gang stalking”) perpetrated by the U.S. government. One of the few such books which preceded it was a fictional account (although it was, based upon the author’s interviews, autobiographical); National Book Award winner Gloria Naylor chronicled her personal experience with organized stalking in the book 1996 (published in 2005), which is also listed on this webpage.
Robert Guffey’s book is essentially an expanded version of his excellent magazine article, “Strange Tales of Homeland Security,” about U.S. counterintelligence stalking, which was published in the magazine Fortean Times, in September 2013.
Guffey’s article and book describe how U.S. intelligence agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) – one of America’s 17 federal intelligence agencies – stalked and terrorized a man in southern California (perhaps the stalking continues even now), who was a casual acquaintance of a Marine who had stolen some military equipment and information. As with other cases of organized stalking, the process seems to have been a combination of illegal surveillance, extrajudicial punishment, and psychological operations (“psyops”) experimentation by a rogue U.S. intelligence agency.
Regular readers of this website will know that Robert Guffey’s contributions to the understanding and awareness of “organized stalking” go far beyond this book. He has discussed the issue on national radio programs (see the October 4, 2015 news post on this website, for example), podcasts, and at book signings, as well as in posts on his blog. Considered in detail, his efforts cannot be dismissed as book sales promotion; clearly he has a passion for exposing this form of state-sanctioned criminality.
One important thing to understand about CHAMELEO is this: Books on controversial national security subjects – even when the authors have a high profile – are often shunned by publishers. If they are even published, they are frequently ignored by media outlets. Historical examples of this phenomenon are many. A contemporary book which illustrates this issue is The Devil’s Chessboard (2015). That book convincingly documented how, historically, U.S. intelligence agencies sometimes operate completely outside of laws and oversight from all three branches of America’s government. Although it reached #20 on the New York Times Bestseller list (November 8, 2015) for hardcover non-fiction, the book met with a conspicuous silence from most mainstream news media corporations. Truthdig editor Robert Scheer said this about what the author, David Talbot (founding editor of the progressive website, Salon), said about the media response to his book:
“Talbot says several mainstream media publications have refused to review his book.”
Another high-profile example of government harassment and corporate self-censorship in the U.S. is that of a former senior executive at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), Thomas Drake. Although his case did not involve counterintelligence disruption operations, it did show the challenge – for whistle-blowers and others – of trying to get government attention or corporate media attention when exposing corruption in federal spy agencies. Drake was unable to find an honest and courageous official at the NSA who would act upon his disclosures, and later, he was unable to find a publisher willing to reveal his experiences in a book. Here is an excerpt from a fascinating interview of Drake on PBS:
“So why the hell do you then go to The Baltimore Sun?”
“Because it was the final option. …The final option was to go to the press under the First Amendment as an American citizen, because I had grave concerns about the future of the republic, and I knew that we had been off the rails, literally, in terms of law, constitutional law, for some time…”
Unfortunately, Drake found that most members of America’s publishing industry were no more receptive to his testimony than the careerists at the NSA. This was Drake’s May 2014 tweet about that:
On September 20, 2015, Guffey was a guest on the national radio program, Coast to Coast AM, where – in addition to discussing his book, the author advised victims of “gang stalking” to read this website’s suggested tactics for resisting and exposing illegal surveillance and harassment. Guffey’s comment immediately generated numerous visits to this website.
Guffey’s book has also been reviewed by some alternative media sources. For example, a book critic in Seattle, said the following:
“…those that question authority and wonder just how far the US government has strayed from its stated ideals will welcome this strange little book, which is just well documented enough to convince me that it’s entirely true.”
I encourage anyone concerned about the lawlessness and secrecy of U.S. government intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, and their private security corporation equivalents, to purchase this book. At a minimum, you will be supporting one of the rare authors (and publishers) who dare to shine a light upon the psychological terrorism involved in America’s illegal counterintelligence “disruption” operations.
The Chapo Guide to Revolution (2018)
Chapo Trap House is a podcast featuring a smart, funny, socialist critique of American politics and culture. The show often touches upon US deep state phenomena.
Authors: Felix Biederman, Matt Christman, Will Menaker, Brendan James, and Virgil Texas
“The raucous Dirtbag hilarity of the Chapo crew sometimes masks the fact that they reliably provide some of the most incisive, sophisticated and thought-provoking political analysis found on any platform. Their book is as intellectually serious and analytically original as it is irreverent and funny, and it deserves substantial discussion and all of the gushing and angry reactions it will inevitably provoke.”
“This is next level. This is an advancement of political/social satire and debate. Garrote sharp, acerbic, smart, inventive and truly laugh out loud funny, The Chapo Guide to Revolution feels like it was written by the offspring of the shotgun marriage of The Onion, Howard Zinn, Dorothy Parker, Bill Hicks, Noam Chomsky, and Jonathan Swift. If they all got together and fucked and had one baby, I mean. I LOVED this book.”
The Jakarta Method (2020)
“The Jakarta Method is a gripping, thoroughly original exploration into the global covert Cold War, the passions it provoked, and the corpses it left in its wake. A full tally of the body count of the transnational counterinsurgency Washington has been waging since the early 1960s is impossible. But Bevins’ excellent book offers a different kind of reckoning, of moral costs and ongoing political consequences. ‘Jakarta is coming’ was spray-painted on the walls of Santiago Chile in 1972, just before that country’s CIA-backed coup, a way for that nation’s rich to let the poor know the fate that would befall them were they to continue to fight for a more just society. ‘Jakarta’ did come, leaving hundreds of thousands of dead throughout Latin America. And, in a way, it never left.”
― Greg Grandin, Yale University, author of Fordlandia and The End of the Myth
“…one of the best, most informative and most illuminating histories yet of [the CIA]…”
“…the book primarily documents the indescribably horrific campaigns of mass murder and genocide the CIA sponsored in Indonesia as an instrument for destroying a non-aligned movement of nations who would be loyal to neither Washington nor Moscow. Critically, Bevins documents how the chilling success of that morally grotesque campaign led to its being barely discussed in U.S. discourse, but then also serving as the foundation and model for clandestine CIA interference campaigns in multiple other countries from Guatemala, Chile and Brazil to the Philippines, Vietnam and Central America: the Jakarta Method.”
– Journalist Glenn Greenwald – from his May 21, 2020 Intercept article, which also links to his interview with Bevins:
The interview is also on YouTube. It begins at aprox. 32 minutes of this video.
As with most websites about “gang stalking,” “targeted individuals,” etc., most – if not all – self-published books on the subject – such as these – appear to be disinformation (intentionally vague and stupid).
Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace
by Noa Davenport (1999)
Cause Stalking by David Lawson (2007)
Closing the Gap: Gang Stalking by GmB Bailey (2010)
The Hidden Evil by Mark M. Rich (2013)
Orange Bruises by Maud Oortwijn (2014)
If you can help expose illegal spying and harassment of Americans by intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, and private security contractors, please do so. America needs more patriots like Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, Jeremy Hammond, Barrett Brown, Russell Tice, William Binney, Ray McGovern, Thomas Drake, Frank Serpico, Thomas Tamm, Hugh Thompson, Jr., William C. Davidon, John Raines, Bonnie Raines, Keith Forsyth, Judi Feingold, and Bob Williamson.