Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

November 26, 2022

Operation Chaos: Covert Operation Targeted AIM and International Supporters

Russell Means with U.S. negotiator Ken Frizzell of the Department of Justice and Oglala Lakota chief Tom Bad Cobb look on. (AP)

Censored News is republishing our report on Operation Chaos, the covert operation that was even more secretive than COINTELPRO. The secret surveillance targeted AIM and its international supporters. Wikileaks exposed some of the never seen information in the US government cables. 

Currently, a new film on Buffy Sainte Marie and news articles expose how Buffy was blacklisted in the US by Presidents Johnson and Nixon, at the direction of J. Edgar Hoover, because of her anti-war stance during the Vietnam war and song, 'Universal Soldier.'

In related documents, the Tohono O'odham Nation was the first Native government to become part of the federal government's Fusion Center. The Tohono O'odham government agreed to provide the U.S. government Fusion Center with surveillance. The Fusion Centers are comprised of multi-U.S. law enforcement agencies.

In 2016, the Fusion Center in North Dakota was the command center of the militarized attack on Standing Rock Water Protectors. Law enforcement was directed by TigerSwan mercenaries, according to a statement by Morton County Sheriff's office. Surveillance at Standing Rock included FBI informant Heath Harmon and other informants in camp, surveillance by air, and cell phone tampering.

Operation Chaos: Covert Operation Targeted AIM and International Supporters

Russell Means said Indian Nations are "living in the belly of the monster, and the monster is the United States"

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

In 1967 President Johnson created Operation Chaos to spy on the American Indian Movement, Black Panthers, student movements and anti-war movements.

The CIA operation gathered documents on 7,200 US citizens, tracking their contacts with so-called 'dissidents' in other countries.

Although a great deal has been exposed about COINTELPRO, very little has been written about Operation Chaos.

Documents on the Internet reveal the purpose of Operation Chaos, a highly classified, secret intelligence project of the CIA. 

Agents targeted US activists' interaction with people in other countries, stating they were suspicious that the unrest at home was coming from abroad. However, in the end, agents discovered there was plenty of unrest originating within the US, including the movement against the Vietnam War.

The agents were segregated from other CIA agents and the first targets were the Peace Movements and African American movements. Then, the American Indian Movement and occupiers of Wounded Knee were targeted. 

The report below reveals how the CIA exceeded its authority with domestic spying of Operation Chaos in the 60s and 70s.

Operation Chaos document with history: 

AIM focus of US government spying prior to Wounded Knee

American Indians involved in the anti-war movement were targeted by spies during the 1960s and 1970s. The US carried out domestic operations, as revealed when the US targeted Buffy Sainte Marie. There were also foreign operations, which focused on AIM and travel to Europe.

During an interview at Dine' College, Buffy Sainte Marie said President Johnson put her out of the music business because of her stance against the Vietnam war and song, 'Universal Soldier.

The US cables reveal that the State Department was focused on spying on Russell Means.

The US State Department took notice and sent out a cable when Russell Means, Lakota, said a delegation to Eastern Europe planned to "ram the human rights issue down President Carter's throat."

Means promised to expose the genocide of American Indians in Europe and seek support for the ongoing "foreign occupation" in the US. The US was also concerned that the delegation to Europe in 1977 would use "Iroquois passports," according to the US spy cable.

One document in Wikileaks shows that after Wounded Knee, the American Indian Movement was planning an Indian Treaty Convention near Mobridge, South Dakota, in 1974. The US was concerned that Bolivia and Mexico would attend.

"The USG (United States government) would regard official participation in this event by any foreign government as inappropriate." The US continued to try and find out who was coming.

The US State Department was monitoring Russell Means, as shown below.
The American Indian Movement's relationship with Libya also created alarm and accusations in the US State Department, as revealed in the cables.

Earlier, in 1973, the Six Nations Iroquois Confederation engaged the UN and responded to the request from Wounded Knee to serve as peace mediators during the Wounded Knee occupation. 

These words ring true today as the mainstream media presents a biased version of the real story in Palestine.
In January of 1974, the US State Department became alarmed when Soviet journalists were planning to travel to Minneapolis. The US tracked them to see if they were there to cover the trial of those who occupied Wounded Knee. Once again, the US feared the American Indian Movement's ability to gain global support and contacts. The US also tracked unfavorable news coverage on Indian and human rights issues published in other countries.
One Wikileaks document is from Geneva in 1977, the statement on Discrimination and Indigenous Rights, which also refers to the sterilization of women without consent. The cables also show that the US tracked comments of Russell Means regarding the sterilization of Indian women in the US without their consent.

Read more about the US spying on American Indians and First Nations at:



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Copyright Brenda Norrell

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