The FBI's Maoist Faction

Leonard, Aaron J.

Publisher:  History News Network
Date Written:  28/01/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22011

The following is based on research by Aaron J. Leonard and Conor A. Gallagher for their book, A Threat of the First Magnitude: FBI Counterintelligence & Infiltration from the Communist Party to the Revolutionary Union - 1962-1974, (London: Repeater Books, 2018).



Among the Maoist organizations to arise out of the political tumult of the 1960s was a group known as the Ad Hoc Committee for a Marxist-Leninist Party (initially called the Ad Hoc Committee for a Scientific Socialist Line). The entity, begun in 1962, was said to be a secret faction within the US Communist Party working against the "revisionism" of Nikita Khrushchev and US party leader Gus Hall. That the entire operation was an FBI construct was a mystery to all but a handful of FBI agents and informants.

The group began with an ambiguously named publication known as the "Ad Hoc Bulletin." The inaugural issue was titled, "Whither the Party of Lenin," a denunciation of Nikita Khrushchev for his "shameful retreat" during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Its second bulletin, picking up on the theme of the first, charged the US party with revisionism (revising Marxism in a non-revolutionary direction), "parroting Moscow's soft line approach to imperialism." It also called out the Kennedy Administration as a "fascist type administration," which the CP was accommodating. A later issue, appearing in August 1963, insisted that, "All who share the revolutionary spirit of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin have watched with disgust the deterioration of our Party since the days of the militant leadership of comrade [William Z.] Foster." The message was clear: There was a radical faction operating within the CP standing in opposition to the current leadership.
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