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June 18, 2024 54 mins

The Black Panther Party For Self-defense was founded in Oakland, California in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. They originally wanted to protect local residents from police brutality. One prominent Black Panther activist, Fred Hampton, was killed during an FBI/Chicago Police Force raid on December 4th, 1969. Officially speaking, his death was an unfortunate accident. However, 50 years later multiple scholars, journalists and historians believe there’s more to the story.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hey, Matt, hey Ben, who killed Fred Hampton?

Speaker 2 (00:04):
Oh? You don't want me to answer that. I kind
of do the cops.

Speaker 1 (00:11):
Oh boy, this is our classic episode, folks. The Black
Panther Party for Self Defense was founded in Oakland, California,
in nineteen sixty six, and things went horribly wrong on
December fourth, just a few years later.

Speaker 3 (00:29):
From UFOs to psychic powers and government conspiracies, history is
riddled with unexplained events. You can turn back now or
learn this stuff they don't want you to know.

Speaker 2 (00:53):
Oh, hello, welcome back to the show. My name is Matt,
my name is Nola.

Speaker 1 (00:56):
They call me Ben. We are joined with our super
producer of Paul, Mission Control decad. Most importantly, you are you.
You are here, and that makes this stuff they don't
want you to know. It's twenty nineteen, and if you
are remotely aware of the news, you understand.

Speaker 2 (01:16):
That the government is still shut down.

Speaker 1 (01:18):
The government is this is the longest shutdown in modern
US history.

Speaker 4 (01:22):
So presumably they're not assassinating any political activists at the moment.

Speaker 1 (01:26):
Well, the assassins aren't getting paid at least that's whole
there's back pay right load. Yeah, yeah, yeah, this is
a divisive time in the country. But that's something people
always say, you know, how like older people are always like, oh,
new music sucks, but old music's good. And people are
always like, ah, this is the most divisive time ever.

(01:47):
It's always been a real there's a phrase Nol stumbled
upon that I really like. It's always been a real
ship show. It's true because we're a families show.

Speaker 2 (01:58):
There was a p just everyone.

Speaker 4 (02:00):
Yeah, it's sort of like a trade show for boats
in a show right up on stilts you get to
look at their undercarriages.

Speaker 1 (02:06):
You know. It's like that, but with with rampant want
and have it politically with quite real danger to many people.
And we're not we're not going to do some AM
or FM political talking points show. We're not going to

(02:26):
pair it out some headlines at you. We want to
establish that context because it's often said that history is cyclical. Right,
it may maybe it doesn't repeat, but it rhymes. And
the reason that cliche is a cliche is because it's true.
That's the reason most cliches are cliches. It's because they're true.

(02:48):
Everyone knows it. It's such an eye roll when people
say it. Today we are taking a journey into a
into an event that may be familiar to some of
us and maybe brand new to others. And it may
be something that you just remember from one line in
a Rage against the Machine song down Rodeo. Right, we

(03:12):
were talking about this off air listening to Rage against
the Machine, and the three of us. I don't know
if you agreed, Paul, but the three of us, at
least here in the booth thought, you know, rage against
the Machine holds up well.

Speaker 4 (03:25):
The thing too about not to me, there's all of
a sudden the critique about Rage against the Machine and
their cultural significance. But the thing that stands up to
me is that all of the other like rap metal
bands or whatever, they sound completely cliche and hackney now,
but Rage against the Machine just sounds like Rage against
the Machine. Nobody else really copied them so exactly that
they sound like a tired, you know, copy of themselves.

(03:46):
So yeah, good on them, Yeah, yeah, for being innovative.

Speaker 2 (03:49):
Just another thing that I was reminded of. My wife
is always trying to get me to listen to newer
music and back in the day, jay Z and who's
that guy? Is the other guy? Jay Z? And Kanye I'm.

Speaker 1 (04:06):
Just joking, Tonye, give me a direction here.

Speaker 2 (04:10):
I'm not sure. I think it's if you're looking at
a map, I think it's still to the left.

Speaker 1 (04:14):
Kanye north by Northwest.

Speaker 2 (04:15):
Something like that. No, but they had they had a
song that mentioned the person we're talking about today, and
it it just reminded me of that too, just putting
that out.

Speaker 1 (04:25):
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, Okay, So specifically that line in
down Rodeo is they ain't gonna send me camping like
they did my Manfred Hampton, right, And that is a
real person. Yes, this is common knowledge to some of us.
This is maybe a an Easter egg for some people.

(04:46):
But today we are exploring the life and times and
untimely end of a very young man named Fred Hampton. Today,
most people would not be able to point out may Would,
Illinois on a map. It's relatively small. It's a community
of at the closes estimate, a little more than twenty

(05:07):
three five hundred people in Cook County's Proviso township. Shortly
after World War Two, there was this kid. His name's
Fred Hampton. He was born in Summit, Illinois. He went
to a high school in Maywood in the area. He
was great at math, he was a great athlete, and

(05:30):
for a time he was a pre law student. He
died spoiler alert when he was twenty one years old.

Speaker 4 (05:36):
As bonkers to me every time I look back at these,
whether it's like musicians that dies at an early age
like Kurt Kobain and I forget they're like twenty three
and twenty four years old. I still think of myself
as a relatively young man. But it really makes you
puts things in perspective, you know.

Speaker 2 (05:51):
Yeah, when just getting started, Fred Hampton was.

Speaker 1 (05:55):
So what happened? To look at this, we will have
to start with some social context, some backgrounds. So here
are the facts. Fred Hampton is today most widely known
for his association with the Black Panther Party or BPP,

(06:15):
officially the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. This was
founded in Oakland, California in nineteen sixty six by Huey
Newton and Bobby Seal. Originally, these guys wanted to protect
local residents of the Oaklands community from police brutality and
this is.

Speaker 2 (06:34):
And from other crime and just like as a like
a local defense force essentially.

Speaker 1 (06:38):
Right, a self governing community. Right, we don't need we
don't need the law enforcement industry as they saw it,
to further repress our community. There's so many things that
could be solved. The reasoning goes by just talking to kids,

(07:00):
because these are teenagers, just saying hey, don't cause trouble
or you know. It's it's like you hear the stories
of young kids who maybe get pulled over for something,
or they get caught drinking underage or smoking pot, and
then the officers, up to their discretion, they can they
can book a kid and take them to juvie, or

(07:21):
they can do something that is scarier and more frightening
for some of them, which is called their mother. Yeah,
it's interesting.

Speaker 4 (07:29):
In the movie Black Clansman, I don't know if you
guys have seen that yet, but it's got some I
think Spikeley finally got his first Best Picture and Best
Director Oscar nomination.

Speaker 1 (07:38):
First nomination in thirty years since Do the Right.

Speaker 2 (07:40):
That's right.

Speaker 1 (07:41):
I watched it on the plane. Yeah, that's good.

Speaker 4 (07:42):
But there's a scene where at Stokeley Carmichael, who's the
leader of the Black Panther Party, is speaking at a
university and one of the organizers, who's a college student
who's got this you know, college group that organizes this
event is very abusively pulled over by the very racist
local police. And just for being the person that brought
these people to this town, I believe in Colorado, the

(08:04):
city in Colorado, So that kind of stuff was happening
all the time, and that was the name. There was
absolutely a need to have some kind of protection within
this specific community to keep stuff like that from happening.

Speaker 1 (08:15):
And need is key. These people weren't making these decisions
for fun, right. They weren't like, hey, should we go
bowling or should we should we start a political party
and then rock paper scissors for it. They saw a
need and as the BPP evolved its goals expanded, they

(08:36):
recognized this was not something that needed to exist only
in Oakland, California, but in the continent entire right, especially
the US, but also also Canada, and the group eventually
called for nationwide changes meant to combat the racial inequality

(08:57):
in the US which still exists today. Yeah, by the
late nineteen sixties, this organization had over two thousand members,
two thousand admitted members. There were probably many many more sympathizers, right,
or people who said, I see what you're doing tacitly,
if not explicitly supported. Critics of the party, including the FBI,

(09:22):
saw this organization as a They saw it as a
hate group. They saw it as a on the level
of racial supremacy group, you know, like the KKKVE.

Speaker 4 (09:33):
And they also saw it as primed to explode in
some sort of like massive uprising or riot kind of situation,
when in fact, they were building schools in inner city
areas of Oakland, and they had like clinics and supply
free launch co ops and all of this really incredible
community building stuff, breakfast programs for kids and clothing drives
and all of this stuff. And the thing I mentioned

(09:54):
earlier about the you know, protecting themselves against you know,
racial profiling, it's certainly wasn't. It was much more of
an awareness thing and of like, let's stick together and
make people aware that they can't mess with us because
we are of one mind and we will you know,
look out for each other, yes, and draw attention to
the fact that this stuff is happening.

Speaker 1 (10:12):
And know your rights. That's also big proponents of the
Second Amendment, which you know, the right to bear arms,
not the animal bear arms. Yes, I feel like we
always have to say that now, but the right to
hold a firearm.

Speaker 2 (10:28):
I think this is a good place to mention that
the Black Panther Party is one of numerous organizations that
find their origins in this time period. Oh yes, where
And these are somewhat splintered groups where members of one,
like chapter of the Black Panther Party, would go and
form their own group. And this was this was happening

(10:49):
throughout the United States. So there are there. Basically you
have to imagine if you look on a map, there
are there are smaller groups all over the place rather
than one unified group.

Speaker 1 (11:00):
Absolutely, absolutely, And that's an excellent point because not everybody
agreed on every facet of the of the ideology.

Speaker 2 (11:10):
Right.

Speaker 1 (11:11):
There would be people who agree with the push for equality,
but they would say, hey, this is antagonistic work within
the system. And there we're other people who said, well,
you know, the system is built to destroy you, so
you are destroying yourself and us if you play along
with these games.

Speaker 2 (11:26):
And if you look closely enough, it's interesting how you
can see the rationality for almost all of the groups
like because it almost makes complete sense in every scenario
with these groups that are coming together, it's all about philosophy.

Speaker 1 (11:38):
Sure, and philosophy is ultimately only as valuable as the
actions and inspires which I just made up. But I'm
gonna stick by that. That uh turn of phrase.

Speaker 4 (11:49):
Oh think it belongs on a bumper sticker and or
a plaque of.

Speaker 2 (11:53):
Some kind or a T shirt.

Speaker 1 (11:54):
Oh my god, I really do think so.

Speaker 4 (11:56):
But this is totally true because the biggest thing that
Fred Hampton was known for was being like an organizer.
He was a great speaker, He could bring people together,
and he pushed for this idea that the people in
charge were using tools, using racism as a tool to
control people that were not in their club. You know,

(12:18):
which is that's the conspiracy theory.

Speaker 1 (12:22):
That's just absolutely looking at it, and some conspiracy theories,
for the record, are true. But he is right. There's
an active conspiracy the federal government at this time as
the Panthers expand, the federal government considers this group and
associated groups terrorists and they lump them in with the

(12:43):
various other separatists or status quot challenging groups that you
alluded to earlier, Matt. In the FBI's estimation, the BPP
was an extremist group that quote advocated the use of
violence and guerrilla tactics to overthrow the US government. That's
that's a heavy phrase to drop.

Speaker 2 (13:04):
It is.

Speaker 1 (13:05):
That's there's whether or not you largely agree with the
idea of let's just pick one thing, whether or not
you agree with the Second Amendment. Uh, it's it's a
hell of a leap to say that people attempting to
police their own communities are automatically going to the White

(13:26):
House to burn down the Oval office. That's that's that's
a logical leap. And it's when the FBI bought.

Speaker 4 (13:34):
Well, it's absolute they didn't so they sold it exactly.

Speaker 1 (13:37):
It's absolute hyperbole.

Speaker 4 (13:39):
And it's like we're saying, it's this idea of selling
to the public, this notion that this group of organized
African American people are somehow a threat to you in
your white communities or in your you know, way of
life and your job and all of this stuff and
your safety.

Speaker 1 (13:54):
Really they accept whatever they need to do to.

Speaker 2 (13:57):
Get rid of it. It really is propaganda. But we
cannot discount that some of these splintered off groups were
using extreme vice, extreme violence as Weatherman. Yeah, and I
think it's a Symbionese liberation.

Speaker 4 (14:13):
Front sure like these other much more extreme could even
now be classified as terrorist groups.

Speaker 1 (14:19):
Right. This is during the this is during the Vietnam era,
meaning that the I have a great metaphor for this.
I want to save it for the end. But the
idea here was one of an existential threat. So the
Federal Bureau of Investigation deals with things like, you know,

(14:40):
human trafficking, drugs, murders across state lines, that kind of stuff.
And they said, back burner, back burner, back burner, dissidents,
extremist terrorist people who want the US to be less racist,
them too, And.

Speaker 2 (14:57):
And that's our number one priority.

Speaker 1 (14:58):
That's our priority. They said, like, you know, drugs, human trafficking,
interstate murder, that's stuff happens, you know, omelets, eggs. But
I'll tell you what, buddy, these hippies, these black panthers,
this injustice shall not stand. Only our injustice shall stand,
one might imagine. So let's with that context, let's look

(15:22):
at Fred Hampton. It's a name that's familiar to people,
but it's also an This is the name of a
real person, not just a symbol. Right, he's a smart kid.
We mentioned that he was born in Summit, Illinois. That
was on August thirtieth, nineteen forty eight, so like us,
he's an August kid. He was raised in Maywood and

(15:45):
he graduated from the high school there with honors in
sixty six, nineteen sixty six. From high school, he first
went to the Developmental Institute at the YMCA Community College
in Chicago, and then he attended Triton Junior College in
River Grove, Illinois. He majored in pre law because he

(16:06):
planned to familiarize himself with the legal system to Noah's rights,
with the aim of better protecting his community against what
he saw as the threat of the police. And there's
an interesting confluence of contrasting views here because Hampton saw
the police as an existential threat to his community and

(16:30):
the FBI eventually sold the Black Panthers as an existential
threat to their community. Yeah. So originally, and he's a
very young kid at this time. Originally Fred organized for
the NAACP.

Speaker 2 (16:44):
Yes, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,
just to put that back in there, and then he
ended up joining the Black Panther Party in nineteen sixty eight,
which was headquartered at the time in Oakland, California. And
you know, after he joins up with them. He moves
to Chicago, and he basically develops an Illinois chapter of

(17:06):
the Black Panther Party.

Speaker 1 (17:07):
He gets in on the ground floor, and over the
next year in Chicago, Hampton and other members of the
chapter and people associated with it achieved some pretty impressive stuff,
you know, like Noel said earlier, they are supplying clothing,
they're supplying food, they're organizing, their educating. The most notable

(17:31):
achievement on the one people remember the most often now,
was that Hampton brokered a deal between some of Chicago's
most powerful street gangs by saying, look, we are in
a system that wants you to fight. It wants you

(17:52):
to kill one another because then you won't vote. It
wants you to kill one another because then you won't
get old enough, maybe dive into your thirties. Yeah, and
you have to be in your thirties to be president, right.

Speaker 2 (18:03):
And if you're finding each other, you can't see the
real enemy essentially exactly. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (18:08):
Yeah, And this message resonated with these gangs, and so
he televised this multi racial, class conscious alliance between the BPP,
the Young Patriots Organization, and the Young Lords.

Speaker 2 (18:25):
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (18:25):
This was technically a non aggression pact. And because he said,
you know this, this is what the system wants. It
wants to keep you poor, it wants to keep you
dying young h or put you in prison.

Speaker 2 (18:39):
And he was, you know, we said this was televised.
Fred Hampton was somebody if you listen to he is
very convincing. And if you listen to him, I mean,
it's just one of the there's sometimes comes along a speaker,
a public speaker who can in a way and I
don't know if this is the right word, but almost
entrance you where you're just listening and you're like, okay, yeah,

(19:03):
I hear what you're saying. The way you're speaking, what
you're saying, it's speaking to me. It's not you're not
speaking at me, you're speaking to me. And since it
was on television, the right, I guess and wrong people
were noticing.

Speaker 1 (19:17):
Ah, excellent point, Matt. Yes, yes, because this is a
moment that can be propagated before it can be censored. Right, yes,
So after this watershed event, after this watershed year, during
this year, fred Hampton also coins a phrase that will
be familiar with a lot of people who may not

(19:38):
have heard of fred Hampton, which is the phrase Rainbow Coalition,
arguing again for a multiracial cooperative to address the entrenched
poverty of lower working class Chicago and more importantly, the
country as a whole. This was later taken up by
successive political pundits.

Speaker 2 (19:59):
Right, yeah, it was really used. It morphed over time.
Let's say it did. It did.

Speaker 1 (20:07):
And one thing I like about what you're pointing out
with the televised, with the televised, let's all get together,
cooperate overthrow the system, right, forget the g rides on
what the machines that are making them this. The BPP
did have a maoist or communists tinge to its ideology,

(20:30):
you know, and this made the idea of the Black
Panther Party a compounding threat, right, because we're still we're
in Cold War era at this point, and they were
essentially messing with the money. What happened this year, well,
at the very end of nineteen sixty nine, according to
the official story, Fred Hampton died in an apartment raid

(20:53):
searching for illegal weapons in the early hours of December fourth,
nineteen six sixty nine. The FBI saw themselves as protecting
the population, protecting the innocent population of Chicago, and officially
they were raiding a dangerous group that possessed ostensibly illegal weapons.

(21:15):
One more time, officially, that's what they were doing. It
should go without saying, but I'll say it not everyone
believes the story.

Speaker 2 (21:26):
And we'll get into that story after a quick word
from our sponsor and we're back. And I just want
to point this out here. This is when Fred Hampton died.
Just as a fun fact. It was. It's not fun.
It was two months after the last confirmed Zodiac killing. Okay,

(21:49):
let's keep going.

Speaker 1 (21:51):
Here's where it gets crazy. So the federal government sees
this and associated groups as a threat. They are terror
five of the idea of anything challenging the solvency of
the government, the breaking of the rule of law. So
the question becomes how far would the US government go

(22:14):
to prevent what they saw as the spread of subversive elements?
Would they, in fact MI five style CIA style, break
the laws they were supposed to enforce in pursuit of
what they saw as a greater good. Evidence overwhelmingly indicates yes,
the FBI essentially engineered and assassination.

Speaker 2 (22:40):
Yeah, and it's tough to look past the evidence, especially
if you look at the full picture here with something
we're about to get into a specific program.

Speaker 1 (22:52):
Yes, yeap, yep, yep, which will be familiar to fellow
longtime listeners. Let's start with a guy named Mark O'Neil.
Will we'll go into detail about him in a moment.
What you need to know about Mark is that he
was in the BPP and associated with it, but he
was also for a part of the time an FBI infemant.
And on the night of December third, after a political

(23:15):
education session, Hampton and his girlfriend, who was pregnant, and
several of their associates went to this apartment where they
were going to spend the.

Speaker 2 (23:26):
Night, and this guy, Mark O'Neill was functioning as security.

Speaker 1 (23:32):
He also made dinner. Yeah, he made dinner, and he
drugged Fred Hampton with barbituates which prevented him from waking
up at all. Okay, yeah, yeah, he slept peacefully in
this bedroom with his girlfriend and the police when they

(23:52):
conducted the raid around four am or so, they came in,
guns blazing, right, and there was was it mark O'Neill?
Was he the one holding the shotgun?

Speaker 2 (24:03):
Mark O'Neill was there, or at least for a time, yeah,
because again he set the entire thing up.

Speaker 1 (24:11):
So the police shot security. Who was one guy with
a shotgun. They just shot him.

Speaker 2 (24:18):
Yeah, that was not Mark Neil.

Speaker 1 (24:19):
That was not Mark O'Neil. No, they just shot the
guy as he's dying. Shotgun discharges. It's the only shot
the BPP fired that night. And then they aimed their
fire on the bedroom where Hampton and his again pregnant girlfriend,
and again these people are in their twenties, right, Yeah,

(24:41):
where they shot a twenty one year old kid asleep
in a room. And you could claim fog of war.
You could claim best of intentions, or that the road
to Hell is paved with those kinds of tiles, or
you could claim this was part of something called co
intel pro, which it was. Just for the record, Yeah,

(25:06):
I want to put that out.

Speaker 2 (25:07):
There, co intel pro. And you may be most familiar
with this word unfortunately slash kind of fortunately through the
work of Alex Jones, and you'll hear him yelling about
it on the internet sometimes. But yeah, co intel pro
it's an actual thing.

Speaker 4 (25:24):
I was founded by the FBI in nineteen fifty six,
and it was just kind of a catch all term
for a counterintelligence program. Well, that's what was short for
a counter intelligence program that was designed to stop the
Communist Party initially, and then it began to kind of
branch off and attack some of these more domestic groups

(25:45):
that we talked about, including the Socialist Worker Party of course,
the Black Panthers, and any of the other splinter groups
that we've been talking about throughout, some of which were
quite dangerous and did pose a.

Speaker 1 (25:55):
Threat also in their defense, the klu Klux Klan. Yeah,
they were hunting anything they saw as subversive. It's a
very bad time to be a vegan, just to give
you a sense of how rigid their ideology was. On
Uncle Sam's side.

Speaker 2 (26:13):
Or an animal rights activist, oh.

Speaker 1 (26:15):
Yeah, yeah, or an animal rights activist.

Speaker 2 (26:17):
By the way, I watched Oh it's not animal rights. Sorry,
I watched this movie called Edge of Darkness last night.
It just happened to be on HBO when I was
just flipping through, and it was activists who were trying
to expose a nuclear weapons program. But it felt very
similar like the off the grade groups you know that
are functioning for a higher purpose.

Speaker 1 (26:39):
Sure sure sure no credit cards, right, no credit card usage?
Watch out for your phone. It as GPS it's not
about the money. It's about sending a message. Okay, sorry,
I know I'm making crazy eyes at you. I just
I get it.

Speaker 2 (26:55):
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (26:57):
So the Panther Party wasn't originally part of the co
Intel pro targets, right, part of the FBI targets, but
by nineteen sixty eight, j Edgar Hoover himself considered them
to be quote the greatest threat to the internal security
of the country because he saw them as commis, right,

(27:19):
as communists, and additionally as people stirring up the pot,
you know, almost as insurgents. He saw it as a
potential insurgency.

Speaker 2 (27:32):
Well, yeah, it goes back to that existential threat to
the United States because some of the philosophy and some
of the some of the truth that is being spoken
within these groups and being televised speaks to some of
the biggest problems that exist in the country at this
time from an inequality standpoint, and that's dangerous if you

(27:55):
get enough people to truly follow and believe, especially if
you have main parts of this group that are armed. Right,
I can imagine why jodgre Hoover and some of his
groups were terrified of this type of organization.

Speaker 1 (28:09):
Yeah, and by nineteen sixty nine, the Panthers were, you know,
one of the primary targets steered by Hoover, and the
FBI attempted a number of nefarious strategies to weaken the group.
The FBI was primarily concerned with a sort of a
domino effect or an accretion, you know of similar groups

(28:31):
that got together and said, hey, you're on the same page.
You also understand the idea or you agree with us
with his idea. The proletariat right and the class struggle.

Speaker 2 (28:43):
Yeah, let's all work together. That's dangerous for.

Speaker 1 (28:46):
As long as it lasts. Yeah, yeah, I mean human
beings have been saying let's work together until one of
them stabs the other one in the back, like before
recorded history, probably before Homo sapiens. It's just sort of
our thing. So the fact that Fred Hampton was, as
you pointed out, Matt, this enormously compelling, brilliant speaker, this

(29:11):
unifying force. The fact that he had these capabilities made
him a target. It put the target on his back
as far as Uncle Sam was concerned, and especially the
age of twenty one, Yeah, especially being so young, like
you said, he's just beginning. And to prevent this growth
to stop him short, the FBI started surveilling Hampton and

(29:37):
his associates to the best of their ability. Wire tapping,
which listening to phone calls, infiltration, They were stealing the
guy's mail, they were reading his stuff. They attempted extortion,
they did more. I mean, this is an era of
domestic security where in this same government agency, the FBI

(29:58):
wrote letters to doctor Martin Luther King trying to convince
him to kill himself.

Speaker 2 (30:03):
Yeah. Yeah, who, by the way, was assassinated just the
year prior to when Fred Hampton was killed.

Speaker 1 (30:09):
Exactly exactly. There's an escalation. And at the time this
may sound like common knowledge to a lot of us
listening today. At the time, cointelpro was classified.

Speaker 2 (30:22):
Nobody knew what was happening.

Speaker 1 (30:23):
Nobody knew these operations were not public until nineteen seventy one.
And that's important because it means that during the early
morning hours December fourth, nineteen sixty nine, there was no
public scrutiny of the actions that the FBI and its

(30:44):
proxies local law enforcement chose to take. There was definitely
not congressional oversight.

Speaker 2 (30:52):
Yeah, and even then, this is terrible to even think,
but even then, at the time if you look at Congress,
I mean, I can't, I can't say this is my opinion,
but I don't. I feel like congressional oversight wouldn't do
much for something like this unfortunately. Yeah, that's just that's
just my completely my opinion.

Speaker 1 (31:15):
I agree with you. And one thing that this touches
on is something that's occurred in this government and other
governments quite often, which is the conflict between elected and
unelected officials. Right. You know, if you live in this
country and you are able to vote, you can vote

(31:37):
for a representative, you can vote for a president. You
cannot vote for a Supreme Court justice, those nine creepy
ring rates that run this place, and everybody still pretends
that's normal. Excuse me, different episodes, Yeah, or like you know,
people who are on the Federal reserve, people on the
federal reserve. Yeah, excellent point. So you, you and I

(32:01):
and anyone listening cannot directly vote for the heads of
intelligence agencies. That's never going to be on your ballot.
And presidents can come and go, but that is a different.

Speaker 2 (32:14):
Game, you know what I mean. I'm getting creeped out.

Speaker 1 (32:18):
You know, I'm passionate about this. I feel like I'm
preaching to the choir here, but it's true. And the
reason we bring that up is because I want to
be very clear that there are people in Congress but
the best of intentions, who had no idea what was
going on. Yes, you know what I mean. They were
concerned about their constituency, they were probably they were probably

(32:41):
mainly concerned with being re elected, if we're being honest,
but they would not have co signed these sorts of actions,
right because now, looking back, we have to ask ourselves
who were the terrorists who was engaging in guerrilla tactics
who successfully assassinated more people? Oh? I know, I know,

(33:02):
dang well, I'm just asking. I'm just asking this. This
stuff comes to a head in nineteen seventy six the
Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations, which is something you
hip me to years and years ago, Matt, the Church Committee.

Speaker 2 (33:16):
Yeah. Yeah, they finally realize in seventy six that the
FBI was violating the law and had been violating the
law in several operations under co intel pro. Pretty rough stuff.
So the stated aim right of co intel pro when
they go into an office and they're like, okay, well
this is what contel pro is gonna do. We're going

(33:37):
to prevent violence, and that's really what it is. But
some of these the actions that they took during this
it arguably promoted violence between not not between the FBI
and other groups, but between the groups that the FBI
is surveilling under co intel Pro, specifically the Black Panthers
and several other rival organizations. We mentioned this in our

(34:01):
video that we made god years ago, I don't even
know when that was, but we talk about two other groups,
the United Slaves and the Blackstone Rangers, who are two
other I say similar groups, but they're very different in
many ways. But it's these two other groups were then
having major conflicts with the Black Panthers because of the

(34:22):
actions taken by the FBI.

Speaker 1 (34:24):
Yes, and the FBI did not want these groups to
unify in the eyes of the In the eyes of
the bureau, these groups were similar enough that they should
be kept apart. They were considered trouble makers right and
the FBI also worked ardently to prevent prominent BPP members
from making public appearances. According to Noam Chompsky, who I

(34:47):
know it can be a controversial author for some people.
Cointelpro eventually expanded to include political assassinations. The reason we say,
according to nom Chomski, is because even today you will
quickly go down a rabbit hole of various you know what,

(35:07):
I'm going to call them apologetics. I'm gonna call them
various attempts at rationalization. Okay, of assassination. Okay, the official
story right here, we can just give you the blow
by blow back to the death of Fred Hampton. Supporters
of the party claimed Hampton was assassinated, and that the
government assassinated Hampton because they feared he could become a visible,

(35:32):
unifying leader and icon, a figurehead of the black power movement.
So how did he actually die?

Speaker 2 (35:40):
We'll get to that right after a word from our sponsor.

Speaker 1 (35:48):
And we're back.

Speaker 2 (35:50):
In the early.

Speaker 4 (35:51):
Morning hours of December fourth, nineteen sixty nine, eight Cook
County Police officers, who were acting under instructions from the
Cook County States Attorney's Office, approached the West Side Chicago
headquarters of the Black Panthers. As you might imagine in

(36:11):
a raid type situation, there was another group of officers
that approached from the back. Everyone inside was still asleep,
including Fred Hampton. Inside what was you say headquarters? And
it was really it was an apartment. It was a flat.
There were nine people still asleep. This is in the
very early morning hours before the sun had even risen.

Speaker 1 (36:33):
Yeah, it's crowded apartment, first floor. Nineteen guns in the apartment,
more than a thousand rounds of ammunition. The way that
the Tribune reported the series of events was that this
was a national hate group known for their revolutionary politics,
more importantly for shooting police officers. There were cop killers.

(36:57):
That's how this was reported.

Speaker 4 (36:59):
Right, Is there any sand to that, Like I mean,
is there maybe some kind of conflict between police and
Black Panthers that resulted and a police officer being killed,
and they spun it into these are cop murdering savages.

Speaker 2 (37:14):
You know, I don't have the reporting right here with
me or the police reporting, but into my mind, for
the Chicago Tribune to print that for killing cops, I
would say that at least a few instances occurred.

Speaker 1 (37:30):
Yeah, there are claims that there were thirty five police
officers who were murdered by the Black Panthers and the
subsequent Black Liberation Army across the sixties, seventies, and eighties.
So there were cops who did die. They were shot,
and it's important that we mentioned this. People were dying.

(37:51):
It's easy and tempting, perhaps for some people to get
caught in the game of equivocation. Yeah, or to forget
that there are actual human lives at stake, you know
what I mean. So we can only imagine that of
the six officers in the back door and the eight

(38:13):
officers in the front, several of them may have thought
they were on a mission of dare I say, vengeance? Right, So,
at about four forty five am, a sergeant Daniel Growth
knocked on the front door of the apartment. There was
no answer, so he knocked with his gun and presumably

(38:40):
shouted yeah. Presumably shouted yeah. Then they busted in the door.
The next seven minutes of gunfire become one of the
most intensely debated and disputed incidents of the entire decade.

Speaker 4 (38:58):
Yeah, there was a federal grand jury instigation that found
that the police fired in the neighborhood of ranging between
eighty three to ninety shots.

Speaker 2 (39:07):
Yeah, into this apartment.

Speaker 4 (39:08):
And this is a small again, this is an apartment
in Chicago. This is gonna that would just be chaos.
I would fear for the lives of the neighbors.

Speaker 1 (39:17):
And again the one of the nineteen guns in the
apartment owned by the VPP. One shotgun discharged once there
was one shot fired.

Speaker 2 (39:28):
Yeah, it's pretty it's pretty rough, pretty damning.

Speaker 1 (39:32):
Actually, after the shooting stopped, Fred Hampton was dead at
twenty one and a party leader from Peoria named Mark
Clark twenty two was also shot fatally.

Speaker 4 (39:45):
And I believe the grand jury found that he was
the one who who discharged that one shotgun blast.

Speaker 1 (39:51):
Right, he was as he was set to be security, right,
And now we returned to William O'Neill, Panther and informant.
People didn't originally know the extent of his involvement with
the FBI, isn't that.

Speaker 2 (40:07):
Right, Yeah, it wasn't until so this occurred. The death
occurred in nineteen sixty nine, and his role wasn't revealed
until nineteen seventy three. And yeah, it's pretty rough actually.
So we mentioned that he was a member of the
Black Panther Party. He was on the inside working closely

(40:29):
with Fred Hampton as well as Mark Clark, and he
was simultaneously serving as an informant for the FBI. He
would send information to the FBI. And by the way,
he's a teenager at this time. He's a young guy
when he's starting out working with these guys.

Speaker 1 (40:48):
It's a tragedy. These people were so young.

Speaker 2 (40:50):
Yeah, exactly. Among the things that he sent to the FBI,
the primary thing I guess that people focus on is
a floor plan for this apartment that was eventually raided.
His cover was blown and at one point there I

(41:10):
believe it was I believe it was seventy three when
his cover was blown, but I am not completely positive.
It might have been earlier than that. I do not, unfortunately,
have that specific information. But he ended up going into
the Federal Witness Protection Program. We can say it here.
His name at the time or when he went into
the program was William Hart, and he moved out to California,

(41:33):
and then eventually he moved back to Chicago in nineteen
eighty four. And the reason we're talking about O'Neil in
this way is because in January of nineteen ninety, on
Martin Luther King Junior Day, he actually took his own
life by running out into traffic. And we know this
because he had an uncle named Ben Hurd who was

(41:54):
with him that day. And his story is told by
the Chicago Reader and that's what we're reading about here,
and specifically, this guy ben Heard has some insight into
O'Neill's life.

Speaker 1 (42:05):
Yes, he learned of O'Neill's work with the FBI shortly
after the death of Fred Hampton in nineteen sixty nine,
and per ben Heard, O'Neil denied everything that he was
asked about, and Heard says, I thought about some of

(42:25):
the things he did and said I asked him, but
he denied it. And then later O'Neil opened up, told
his uncle he'd been in trouble for everything from car
theft to kidnapping and torture and so on and listen,
pretty heavy things, pretty heavy things. Heard says that his
nephew told him they had tied someone up and were
pouring hot water over his head. They're trying to get

(42:48):
him to do something. So an FBI agent told O'Neil
he would take care of all of it if he
turned if he infiltrated the panthers, and Heard believe that
O'Neill had regrets, right.

Speaker 2 (43:01):
Yeah, I think that's pretty safe to say.

Speaker 4 (43:04):
So he went on to say he was sorry that
he did what he ended up doing and that he
it was his impression that this was an FBI raid
of the house, But the FBI gave it over to
the state's attorney and then state police local law enforcement
took the reins. From there, they killed Fred Hampton and

(43:28):
in this person's estimation, and made sure that he was dead.

Speaker 1 (43:33):
Yeah, that's a crucial point here. O'Neil, according to his
own statements before his death, O'Neill thought this was just going.

Speaker 2 (43:42):
To be a raid.

Speaker 1 (43:43):
Maybe people would get arrested for possession of firearms or
some sort of violation of possession laws. Right, Maybe it
would have been a drug possession possibly, right. Heck, you know,
if they were looking for something, maybe it would have
been violation of the fire code. Yeah, I don't know.

Speaker 2 (44:03):
I mean, the biggest thing is the firearms charges. You
probably have sent them to prison on just firearm charges.
But that's not how it went down.

Speaker 1 (44:13):
Right, So from O'Neill's perspective. Now, as far as we
know today, O'Neill did not say that the FBI on
records say that the FBI lied to him, but they
did say originally that this was simply going to be
a raid. And he was with his nephew the morning

(44:36):
after the raid in Hampton's apartment and he saw the
he saw the aftermath.

Speaker 2 (44:47):
Yeah, okay, so there were papers strown all over the floor,
blood all over. There was a trail of blood from
where they the police had dragged Fred's body and William
O'Neil in this case, Bill, he says, just stood there
in shock and he never thought it would come to this,
like all of his involvement with the FBI, like we

(45:09):
keep saying, he didn't think it would be a massacre.
And that's only to speak to this person who has
been i guess reviled throughout history now at this point
as being the guy that set up Fred Hampton painted
as Judas. Yeah, and you know, there's two sides of it.
In a way, he was, but in another way, he

(45:29):
didn't understand.

Speaker 1 (45:30):
And to be very clear, to be crystal clear, the
FBI actively conspired to assassinate, or to neutralize, at the
very least a twenty one year old boy for his
political beliefs because they saw it as a threat to
both the economic and the racial or social status quo

(45:53):
of the United States. This also occurred during the Vietnam era,
wherein Hampton and many others like him would be lumped
together as potentially existential threats to the solvency of the nation, right,
because this is again this stuff sounds so crazy. It
sounds like people getting in a bubble and getting carried away.

(46:15):
This bubble was real.

Speaker 4 (46:16):
Yeah, I think there was something in the outline here,
Ben that you didn't end up saying. But our buddies,
the culture Kings, have a phrase they use where it's
talking about messing with the money. And that's when the
government starts really paying attention, you know, when I get
upsetting the apple cart in a way that affects economics.

Speaker 1 (46:34):
I did put that in and yes, in a shout
out to Jaikis and Edgar. I didn't originally say it
because I think we still owe them a song.

Speaker 4 (46:45):
We do, and I'm gonna I'm going to at least
make the track for this next one. I don't claim
to be see, but I can definitely make some beats.
So let's yes, let's I commit to that. You're great
at that too, Thanks for the gift, fantastic.

Speaker 2 (46:59):
MC, I say put out in twenty twenty just to
surprise amount of nowhere. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (47:03):
Oh, and call it hindsight.

Speaker 4 (47:04):
Yeah, and we know they don't listen to the show,
so it's gonna be abo.

Speaker 1 (47:08):
We should have them back on. I had a lot
of fun in the Michael Jordan episode.

Speaker 4 (47:12):
Oh I wasn't around for that one, that's right. I
forgot they were on. Maybe they did listen to the show.
What am I saying?

Speaker 2 (47:16):
Hey, guys, I was gonna say, you missed out. It
was actually really great. I'm sure it was.

Speaker 1 (47:19):
They're great people as far as we know. They are
not elements of co Intel Pro. True, and hopefully either
of you guys. But it's like witch hunt rules, right, Like,
if you tell me you're not, that's more evidence that
you are.

Speaker 2 (47:37):
Yeah, I think you'd have to say no.

Speaker 4 (47:40):
And it's also, I'm sure we've said this before, a
complete myth that if you ask an undercover cop, if
they're an undercover cop, they don't have to tell you.

Speaker 1 (47:47):
It's a total myth. They can commit crimes with you. Yeah,
it's in my five rules for sure. And people would
say that's for greater good, And that's the argument, right
that I'm succeeded in pitching co Intel pro and in
violating the laws and the rights of US citizens.

Speaker 5 (48:06):
And taking the lives and taking the lives taking the
one thing that cannot be returned, and to this day,
officially the FBI, the Justice Department, the Chicago Police Force,
they reject claims of political skullduggery.

Speaker 1 (48:24):
They say that the raid was unfortunate, it was not
the ideal outcome, but on their side, it was conducted
correctly into the letter of the law. We're conducting a
raid to find illegal firearms to neutralize a threat. In
nineteen seventy one, however, an activist group called the Citizens
Commissioned to Investigate the FBI stole co intel Pro documents.

(48:48):
They stole the paperwork from a field office. And this
is how, this is how co intel Pro became a
public thing. Had they not conducted that raid, you see
the parallels here. Have they not conducted that illegal raid,
then it is possible, if not plausible, that co intel

(49:08):
Pro would remain a myth and.

Speaker 2 (49:11):
A rumor and a conspiracy theory, an unproven conspiracy theory
even today.

Speaker 1 (49:17):
Yes, in April of the same year. By the way,
in nineteen seventy one, the FBI officially terminated cointel Pro.
Yet numerous critics of the US government believe that programs
like this never really go away. The name's change. But
like Doctor Manhattan says in Watchmen, nothing nothing ever ends.

Speaker 4 (49:35):
Oh yeah, have you guys seen there's a Watchman series
that's coming to HBO. It looks a lot less shiny
than the Zack Snyder movie.

Speaker 2 (49:44):
Less shiny.

Speaker 1 (49:45):
Yeah, I felt like the Zach.

Speaker 4 (49:46):
Snyder movie was a little like overly.

Speaker 1 (49:50):
Polished every scene of painting.

Speaker 4 (49:52):
Yeah, kind of this one, like what's his name? Rorschach's
mask is literally just like a sack with kind of
like you know, well, their prequels, right, I think maybe no,
I think it's the I don't I don't know. I
don't think it's.

Speaker 2 (50:04):
Right.

Speaker 1 (50:04):
I don't know that it is.

Speaker 4 (50:05):
I think it's I think it might even be either
a deeper exploration of the series with more of that,
because come on, you need more than a movie to
really like go deep into that book, right, there's so
much stuff.

Speaker 1 (50:17):
In there that they couldn't put in.

Speaker 2 (50:18):
Dude, I just rewatched it, and he holds up.

Speaker 1 (50:21):
I didn't like it.

Speaker 2 (50:21):
I don't know. I loved it, like it?

Speaker 1 (50:23):
Love it?

Speaker 2 (50:24):
You love this, okay, all right? I don't know, And
maybe it is just a nostalgia.

Speaker 4 (50:27):
I think the reason for me was that that was
such a formative graphic. That was the first graphic novel
I ever read where I was like, oh, I see
what graphic novels can accomplish, And it was just like
mind blowing to me. So I felt like it was
very sacred to me and to see someone try to
do I felt like it was a valiant effort. But
I also didn't really care for Zack Snyder's style anyway.

Speaker 1 (50:44):
Alan Moore hated it. Yeah, yeah, Alan Moore is like,
I don't think he watched.

Speaker 4 (50:48):
He probably didn't even know he he he he uh
does write excellent comics for fun, but I think it's.

Speaker 1 (50:56):
To support his main hobby is me passion, which is
just hating stuff.

Speaker 2 (51:02):
Oh geez. It's just interestingly enough here in this show
is not brought to you by Watchman or HBO. Just
so you know that if you go to HBO dot
com slash Watchman, the first thing you see is nothing
ever ends.

Speaker 4 (51:19):
Yeah, and the little blurb. Oh and Trent Reznor and
Atticus Ross doing the music. That's pretty dope. And it's
a show run by Damon Lindeloff, who I believe did Lost.

Speaker 1 (51:31):
That's correct, along with jj Abrams and unlike doctor Manhattan's quote,
unlike his observation in the fictional world of Watchman, this
love it or hate it is the reality in which
we have collectively lived for the span of this episode,
and some things do end, namely this episode, but not

(51:52):
our show. We hope that you enjoyed this cursory journey
into the murky murky, morally problematic, ethically bankrupt world of
domestic intelligence. We hope that, regardless of whether or not
you agree with the views of various groups mentioned in

(52:16):
this show, we hope that you can agree that the
loss of any human life is a tragedy. We also
want to know if you think Cointelpro really ended, do
you think it's still around, and if so, in what iteration?
Do you have a story or a particularly suspicious death

(52:37):
that you think deserves more attention. Let us know. You
can find us on Facebook, you can find us on Instagram,
you can find us on Twitter. We are conspiracy stuff
at any number of those, and you can meet the
best part of the show, your fellow listeners on our
Facebook community page. Here's where it gets crazy. Matt will not,
for various reasons, on sketchy reasons, reveal his personal Instagram Noel,

(53:03):
and I will I am at Ben.

Speaker 4 (53:05):
Bowling and I'm at Embryonic Insider. And if I'm not mistaken, Matt,
you sort of dropped a few clues last time. You're
gonna keep it on the DL like that.

Speaker 2 (53:12):
I am at an egg shaped object, the Twitter egg.

Speaker 1 (53:16):
You're just the Twitter me, the whole anonymous Twitter user.
But what if somebody doesn't care for the Internet, you guys.

Speaker 4 (53:24):
Well then I don't know how you're getting by in
life these days.

Speaker 1 (53:28):
But no, you know what, that's not true.

Speaker 4 (53:30):
There are ways you can there's telephony telophany to tellophany, remember.

Speaker 2 (53:36):
You guys know, telophany, telophany, telophany jones, that's what.

Speaker 1 (53:41):
They used to call it.

Speaker 4 (53:42):
You guys back in the day, remember when, like the
early days of the Internet, where there would be like
a telephone teleophony suite in a like Prodigy or something
where you can make phone calls through the computer.

Speaker 1 (53:52):
It was crazy phony literally phony web.

Speaker 2 (53:56):
And that's the end of this classic episode. If you
have any any thoughts or questions about this episode, you
can get into contact with us in a number of
different ways. One of the best is to give us
a call. Our number is one eight three three STDWYTK.
If you don't want to do that, you can send
us a good old fashioned email.

Speaker 3 (54:16):
We are conspiracy at iHeartRadio dot com.

Speaker 2 (54:20):
Stuff they don't want you to know is a production
of iHeartRadio. For more podcasts from iHeartRadio, visit the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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