February 27 through May 8 marks the 50th anniversary of the occupation by the American Indian Movement (AIM) of Wounded Knee on the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, the site of the last great massacre of the Indian Wars in December 1890.
In a 2019 documentary that aired on PBS, From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock: A Reporter’s Journey, filmmaker Kevin McKiernan interviewed Tom Parker, an FBI agent working for the FBI’s counter-intelligence operation (COINTELPRO), who admitted that the FBI had helped to fracture and disrupt AIM during its 1973 Wounded Knee occupation.
“[W]e wanted them to kill each other, as we were in a war against AIM,” Parker said.
According to Parker, a main goal of COINTELPRO was to infiltrate informers into AIM and to publicly identify AIM activists with the FBI so that others in AIM would turn against them.
In this way, Parker said, dissension would grow among AIM, and AIM members would become paranoid about FBI infiltration and turn against one another, and there would be violence.