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The FBI & J. Edgar Hoover—A Study in Sociopathology…

Elmer Pratt was born and raised, 1947, in Morgan City, Louisiana.  Despite my service in the 101st Airborne and Civil Rights activism in the Old South (1959-65), I can only imagine the pervasive environment that young Elmer must have experienced.

Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt

Elmer graduated from high school as a star quarterback.  He then did two combat tours and 55 combat jumps with long-range recon (LURPs) in the 82nd Airborne, Vietnam, 1965-68.

He was wounded twice, rose to the rank of sergeant, and earned two Bronze Stars and a Silver Star along with two Purple Hearts.

After his service, he moved to Los Angeles and attended UCLA in Political Science on the GI Bill.  Becoming active in antiwar and liberation politics, he joined the Black Panther Party (BPP) and rose to the rank of Minister of Defense.  He adopted the name Geronimo Ji Jaga.

Enter John Edgar Hoover.  Hoover was born in 1895 in Washington, DC.  While in college, Hoover became an acolyte of Anthony Comstock, a notorious Victorian moralist of a generation earlier.

Comstock had formed the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice after his service in the Civil War.  He had dedicated his life to the suppression of all things that he considered “obscene, lewd, or lascivious.” 

This especially included all forms of birth control literature, medical anatomy textbooks, and marriage manuals.  He described himself as a “weeder in God’s garden.” 

He was single-handedly instrumental in getting Congress to create the Comstock Law, and having himself appointed as an armed postal agent with the authority to stamp out pornography in the US Mails.

All toll, he is credited with destroying 15 tons of books, some 284,000lbs of printing plates, 4,000,000 pictures, over 4,000 arrests and numerous convictions and imprisonments, and at least 15 suicides.  The law never was wholly repealed.

After college and a law degree in 1917, Hoover joined the US Department of Justice as a clerk.  He never served in the military.  His ultra-moralizing and anti-socialist mania came to the attention of the US Attorney General, A. Mitchell Palmer.

J. Edgar Hoover 1924…

During the Red Scare after World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution, 1919-20, thousands of “subversives” were arrested and many deported in the Palmer Raids largely led by Hoover. 

President Calvin Coolidge appointed Hoover as the director of the Bureau of Investigation in 1924, which he later named the FBI. 

Hoover represented the old world.  A world of capital-state-religionist rule; the license to exploit labor; individual profit, privilege and power (private enterprise); Jim Crow repression; authoritative control and discipline of women and children; and throughout all, the divisional hypocrisy of sexual and moral behavior.

Any challenge to that rule was perceived as subversive to the extreme.  The rule of law, especially as it pertained to “vice” (public order and consensual mores), was historically and remains the routine means of social suppression and control.

Given the threat that Hoover perceived to the very essence of his beliefs, he more formally created a counter intelligence program (COINTELPRO), which operated from 1956 thru 1971.

He specifically ordered the employment of psychological warfare, planting false reports in the media, forging letters, wrongfully imprisoning, fomenting violence, and outright assassinations of those members and leaders he considered to be a potential threat.

Hoover & Life Partner 1939…

Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt was one of those targets

Employing their covert operations, dirty tricks, planted agents, informants and provocateurs, they would convince and entice their targets to perform these deeds.  Often, the informants themselves were of the worst sort of social predators.  Who else would become their snitches?

Later released files revealed that Hoover had given the LA FBI office instructions to create a BPP schism and neutralize Pratt.  The specifics were often left to the local agents and informants.

The scheme worked as a major division developed between the Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver factions.  Geronimo’s pregnant wife, Sandra, was murdered—shot five times point blank—and dumped in an LA freeway ditch. 

The FBI and LAPD all but ignored any investigation.  Numerous fallacious charges were trumped against Geronimo but he successively beat them all. 

But back in 1968, a white couple on an LA tennis court were shot by two black perps and robbed of $18.  The husband survived and initially identified an individual looking nothing like Geronimo.

There were two main FBI/LAPD informants in the BPP (at least who came to be so known), Cotton Smith and Julius Butler, with at least the latter suspected as implicated in the murder and who soon named Geronimo as the culprit.

While Geronimo was up in Oakland at the time (an FBI wiretap confirmed that, but was withheld from the Defense and later destroyed), he was convicted and imprisoned in California for 27 years before being exonerated.

Geronimo won a $4.5 million settlement from the City of Los Angeles and the US Dept of Justice.  Geronimo moved to Tanzania living in a village near Mt. Kilimanjaro, and died June 2nd from HBP and a heart condition.

Who’s the hero?  One of my own ambitions is to go to Hoover’s gravesite at the Congressional Cemetery in DC and piss on it. 

As for God?  I’m sure she’d appreciate the justice of the gesture…

Dr. Publico

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