Monday, August 24, 2015

Operation Fruhmenschen

                                        From The Ramparts
                                      Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                     Operation Fruhmenschen

            "The Washington Post reported that black elected officials were the target of investigations for corruption in 14 percent of the 465 political corruption cases launched between 1983 and 1988—a period in which blacks were just 3 percent of all office holders. Gentleman’s Quarterly (GQ) magazine noted that about half of the Congressional Black Caucus members were the subject of investigations or indictments between 1981 and 1993. States GQ, 'For the numbers to be equal for white representatives, 204 of the 409 whites … would have been subjected to the same scrutiny during that time … Yet, according to justice Department figures, only 15 actually were.'" Black Elected Officials Targeted By Law
            It seems like every time you turn around some Black politician is being indicted on corruption charges, for taking bribes, or some other form of unethical behavior.  It is sad to watch Black people who run for office, who manage to get elected destroy their reputations and ruin their lives for essentially peanuts. Some you wonder about, some you ask yourself could they be that sleazy, desperate or simple minded to sell their souls, ruin their reputations and careers for next to nothing?
            Others you think to yourself yeah from what I've seen, heard or know about them this seems probable, yeah they did it. Locally and nationally Black politicians are being arrested, indicted and in many cases convicted at an alarming rate in disproportionate numbers to their percentage in the political environment. Is this a coincidence?
             Is it the politicians? Are there inherent flaws in the job of being a politician, are politicians subject to temptations regular folks aren't?  Is it the system? Is selective prosecuting going on? Or are there nefarious plots and schemes afoot to take down Black politicians?
            Several years ago I came across some information that suggests there is a definite mentality and program within the US Department of Justice that has been going on for decades to bring down Black politicians. It is called Operation Fruhmenschen. According to some it has been going on since the 1950's.
            Unlike COINTELPRO the FBI's counterinsurgency campaign against dissent and radical social activism which is more widely known, there is not a lot of information about the inner workings of Operation Fruhmenscen. Nevertheless the figures do support the notion selective prosecution is going on and Black officials are the targets of disproportionate Department of Justice and US Attorney scrutiny and indictment.
            What is known is that the US Department of Justice agents and US attorneys who participated/participate in Operation Fruhmenscen are racists and they do what they do because in their twisted minds they believe African-American are not morally fit to govern white people and they want to return to the days when Black political participation was prohibited by law.  Operation Fruhmenscen first became public when a long time California Black politician Mervyn Dymally who had been Lt Governor of California and a US Congressman discovered he was the target of Operation Fruhmenscen himself.
            Dymally was an activist public servant from Los Angeles who lent his name and political saavy to numerous causes and personalities often running counter to the powers that be on both sides of the aisle. When Dymally was chair of the Congressional Black Caucus in the 1980's-90's he was investigated by the FBI, and IRS who reviewed his tax returns all the way back to 1947! Their audits found no impropriety but the government owed him eighty-nine cents. "Dymally's progressive stance earned him the antagonism of many of his colleagues across the conservative political spectrum. He became a principal target of the FBI's 'Operation Fruehmenschen' (German for 'primitive man'), a program designed to discredit Black elected officials on the grounds they were mentally and socially inappropriate to head governmental agencies. This witch hunt included scrutiny by the Justice Department and the IRS, which audited his tax returns back to 1947, finding only that the government owed him a grand total of 89 cents. Even so, he worked tirelessly behind the scenes to neutralize the volatile relations between Blacks and local, state, and federal entities as well as law enforcement. Others who toiled to prevent bloodshed were LAPD officers Duwayne Rice, Edward Henry, and former chief and present councilman Bernard Parks. Their efforts are a part of a forgotten segment of Los Angeles history that has yet to be told."
            Mervyn Dymally wasn't the only one to allege government harassment. Calls from activists and politicians around the country demanding a formal investigation prompted Detroit Congressman John Conyers to initiate an investigation into national government harassment. But Conyers was thwarted by US Attorney General Dick Thornburgh who refused to supply statistics on the racial breakdown of  DOJ political prosecutions. Hence Conyers was unable to get the critical information he needed to hold proper hearings.
            Nevertheless there was validity to the allegations.  In 1989 Gwen Ifill (currently a PBS news anchor) wrote an article for the Washington Post documenting that in over 465 public corruption cases over a five year period charges of official corruption in offices higher than the local school board found "black elect officials were in fact being prosecuted far more heavily than their representation in the population of elected officials". Based upon Ifill's research, "Black officials were five times more likely than their white counterparts to be investigated by the DOJ." Rumor Repression and Racial Politics How The Harassment of Black Elected Officials Shaped Post Civil Rights America by George Derek Musgrove 2012 University of Georgia Press
            In his book Rumor Repression and Racial Politics How The Harassment of Black Elected Officials Shaped Post Civil Rights America  Dr George Derek Musgrove examined disproportionate harassment and prosecution as a means to counter Black enfranchisement in the post 1965 Voting Rights Act era. He documents an alarming pattern of harassment, surveillance and  prosecution used by local, state and federal authorities to go after Black elected officials. Much of it took place in the 1980's and 90's. I suspect little has changed since then, that the mindset, consciousness and motivations behind disproportionate prosecution still exist today. Remember how FBI surveillance devices were found in City Hall in Mayor Street's office?
             Am I suggesting all the recent arrests of local Black politicians are bogus, that they are all victims of Operation Fruhmenscen? Of course not. Many actually deserved to be indicted and convicted. But the pattern of Operation Fruhmenscen is real and ongoing. There are certain elements all the Frumenchen cases have in common: unwarranted scrutiny, lack of probable cause, "stings", government agent entrapment or setups and quite often prosecutorial misconduct very similar to what the government did to activists and radicals during the aggressive COINTELPRO days.  
            During the 80's and 90's many Black politicians claimed government harassment and selective prosecution; people like Marion Barry Mayor of Washington D.C.,  Harold Ford Sr a US Congressman representing Memphis Tennessee and Richard Arrington the Mayor of Birmingham Alabama felt their indictments were unwarranted. Documents show that in fact they were targets of government scrutiny and the government stooped to any means to discredit them and nail them. Remember how the FBI forced a prostitute to set Marion Barry up while the FBI recorded and taped what they were doing?
            The FBI threatened to arrest her and take the woman's child if she didn't cooperate with them and set Barry up. Should Barry have gone to the hotel with her and smoked crack cocaine? Of course not but the government spies on you to discover your weaknesses and they play on people's foibles and shortcomings. We all have them. (Even FBI Director J Edgar Hoover the supposed champion of morality, virtue and true blue American values was found to be a cross dressing homosexual himself!)
            In all probability Operation Fruhmenschen just like COINTELPRO is still going on. Only today COINTELPRO is legal thanks to the 9-11 false flag operation and the bogus war on terror. But does this mean we should give elected officials who get caught with their hand in the cookie jar a pass? Of course not! It means all of us should be aware just how rotten, low down and despicable the government can be. We should realize the whole system is corrupt and it has the potential to corrupt even the most idealistic and honest people. It means we have to hold ourselves to higher ethical and moral standards, be above reproach so that when they try to set us up to knock us off we don't fall for their okey-doke.



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