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The goal of such operations – in the parlance of counterintelligence agents – is – a phrase which also captures the nature of the crime: cowardly, unethical (and often illegal), but difficult to prove legally, because it generates minimal forensic evidence.
As such, the harassment is illegal – even when done by the government. Such operations also violate similar fundamental rights defined by state constitutions.
Stalking is also specifically prohibited by the criminal codes of every state in America.
She had also apparently been blacklisted and terrorized by the FBI using tactics associated with counterintelligence operations intended to neutralize political dissidents, such as “black bag jobs,” illegal wiretapping, and overt stalking. This is not to say that illegal spying was not taking place; it just mostly stayed out of the media. In Los Angeles, police corruption was much more than unmarked envelopes stuffed with cash. For decades LAPD engaged in massive illegal spying and lied about it.
During the 1980s and 90s a trend toward militarization began in American police departments. Its spying targets included politicians, movie stars, professional athletes, news reporters and anyone wielding power or those of interest to Daryl Gates.” An apparent case of organized stalking by federal agents which did appear in the news during that era was the high-profile case of a cancer research scientist named Arnold Lockshin, who fled with his family to the Soviet Union in 1986 and was granted political asylum.
Accomplices – such as neighbors, co-workers, and even friends or relatives of the victim in some cases – are recruited to participate (often unwittingly) by counterintelligence personnel using various means, such as by telling them that the target is a potential threat or that the target is the subject of an “investigation.” A whole set of psychological operations are perpetrated against targeted individuals.
These methods, described in detail in the overview below, include such things as threats, slander, vandalism, abusive phone calls, computer hacking, tormenting the victim with noise, and “mobbing” (orchestrated verbal harassment by strangers, neighbors, or co-workers).
Although LEIUs – or “Red Squads” – have existed in America since the late 1800s, the private national network of such intelligence units that was quietly formed in the 1950s had remained – and still remains – mostly unknown to the general public.
O’Toole described the group this way: “The organization forms a vast network of intelligence units that exchange dossiers and conduct investigations on a reciprocal basis.
Several of the police departments belonging to the group have recently been caught in illegal wiretapping, burglary, and spying on the private lives of ordinary citizens.
The LEIU is, in effect, a huge, private domestic-intelligence agency.” article published in September 1979 under the headline “FBI Admits Spreading Lies About Jean Seberg” was the lead story on the paper’s front page.
All of those groups – and other federal intelligence agencies, such as the CIA and NSA – have well-documented histories of abusing their powers.