San Fran 'Radical' During Black Panthers Era Richard Aoki Revealed To Be FBI Informant

Chris | InformationLiberation
Jun. 10, 2015

Sixties radical Richard Aoki, known for having armed the black panthers, has just been exposed as having been an FBI informant.

From the Mercury News:
Newly released FBI records reveal that Richard Masato Aoki, widely revered as a radical hero in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960s, had a deep relationship with the FBI, informing on his fellow Asian activists and on Black Panther Party leaders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale.

Going beyond previously disclosed FBI records that outlined his role as an informant, the documents show that while acting as a militant leader, Aoki covertly filed more than 500 reports with the FBI between 1961 and 1971 on a wide range of activists and political groups in the Bay Area.

Aoki, who grew up in West Oakland, was a well-known figure in the Bay Area's activist community and one of the earliest members of the Black Panthers who publicly acknowledged giving them some of their first guns. After he died in 2009 at age 70, he achieved new notoriety with the release of a feature documentary about him and a biography. Neither work mentioned his relationship with the FBI.

The records show that FBI agents considered Aoki a valuable informant with "top level" access to the Panthers. The bureau assigned him a "confidential source symbol number" to protect his identity -- SF 2496-S -- and took extra security measures. One document said disclosure that he was an informant could "have an adverse effect upon the national defense interests."

Aoki had said publicly that he gave the Panthers some of their first guns, which Seale confirmed in his autobiography. The Panthers openly and legally carried guns obtained from various sources on their "community patrols" against police brutality.

Their use of weapons publicized their cause but also led to heightened law enforcement scrutiny and fatal shootouts with police.

However, the newly released records do not indicate whether the FBI was aware of Aoki's role in arming the Panthers or whether the bureau was involved in it. If the FBI knew Aoki was arming the Panthers, or was involved in that, it would raise questions about whether the bureau was attempting to foment violence that would discredit the Panthers or set them up for a police crackdown.
There is no doubt he gave them the guns to try and trigger violence as a pretext for a crackdown, as is standard FBI procedure. The feds tried the same scam recently with Fast and Furious where they pushed US gun dealers to sell arms to Mexican drug cartels as a pretext to justify more anti-gun legislation.

Similarly, FBI asset Hal Turner, a phony right-wing radio host who would regularly call for violence against judges and state officials was jailed in 2010 after the FBI left him out to dry when he called for three judges to be killed for upholding a law banning handguns in Chicago. He said he was operating on the feds behalf trying to ferret out anti-government radicals who agreed with the sentiment, evidently the feds wanted to distance themselves from the case so they chose not to intervene and actually let him be imprisoned.

Just this last year former police chief Mark Kessler revealed he did much the same to try and bust radicals in the patriot-movement. Kessler made the rounds on patriot radio and on YouTube trying to rile up militia-types with pro-second amendment, anti-government rhetoric then informed on those who contacted him so the feds could set them up for attempting to carry out acts of violence.

As former FBI assistant director Thomas Fuentes recently said, it's important that the agency keep fear alive in order to justify endless budget increases.

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