Rush on Revelations that J Edgar Hoover Withheld Information That Witnesses Involved in Malcolm X Assassination Trial Were FBI Informants (Washington, D.C.) — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) released the following statement following the revelation that J. Edgar Hoover withheld information that many of the witnesses involved in the Malcolm X assassination trial were in fact FBI informants.
U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush
“This reprehensible revelation is yet another crystal clear example of why J. Edgar Hoover’s name must be immediately stripped from the FBI headquarters and why it is time for the files from the FBI’s counterintelligence program, COINTELPRO, to finally see the light of day.
“I am struck by this most dastardly and evil fact that two men suffered decades of imprisonment as a result of the active collaboration and treachery of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. Malcolm X was a shining example of Black American manhood and humanity. For his opposite, J. Edgar Hoover — a low life — to be at the center of his assassination is indeed an American tragedy and flies in the face of Malcolm’s high ethical standards. There are still questions that must be answered regarding Malcom’s assassination. Who knew what, and when did they know it?
“One thing is glaringly obvious: J. Edgar Hoover waged a career-long assault on Americans’ civil liberties. He ran an illegal and odious operation that spied on American citizens, targeted Black political activists, and assassinated my friend, Fred Hampton.
“In hindsight, it is clear that Hoover’s FBI was one of the truest enemies of the civil rights movement and the aspirations of America’s Black citizens. We are still, to this day, suffering from many of the practices and policies implemented by Hoover’s FBI.”
“Now more than ever, it is critically important that we pass my COINTELPRO Full Disclosure Act to finally release to the American public all files related to COINTELPRO and to remove J. Edgar Hoover’s name from the FBI headquarters. His name has absolutely no place on a federal building.”
Hoover Withholds Information
The fact that Hoover withheld information about trial witnesses being FBI informants was revealed today in the Manhattan Supreme Court following the exoneration of Muhammad Aziz and the late Khalil Islam, who were convicted for Malcolm’s assassination in 1965. Aziz and Islam maintained their innocence from the start, and there had been widespread doubt about who was responsible for the assassination.
In May, Rush introduced the COINTELPRO Full Disclosure Act (H.R. 2998), which would compel government agencies to release all records related to the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation and remove J. Edgar Hoover’s name from the FBI headquarters in Washington, DC. The full text of the legislation is available HERE.
Rush co-founded the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party and was a close friend to Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton, who was assassinated in his sleep in 1969 in a raid carried out as part of the COINTELPRO operation.
In March, Rush led his colleagues in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting the release of unclassified and unredacted versions of DOJ and FBI files related to the assassination of Fred Hampton.
Rush on Revelations that J Edgar Hoover Withheld Information That Witnesses Involved in Malcolm X Assassination Trial Were FBI Informants