The man who gave the Black Panther Party some of its first firearms and weapons training - which preceded fatal shootouts with Oakland police in the turbulent 1960s - was an undercover FBI informer, according to a former bureau agent and an FBI report.
One of the Bay Area's most prominent radical activists of the era, Richard Masato Aoki was known as a fierce militant who touted his street-fighting abilities. He was a member of several radical groups before joining and arming the Panthers, whose members received international notoriety for brandishing weapons during patrols of the Oakland police and a protest at the state Capitol.
Aoki went on to work for 25 years as a teacher, counselor and administrator at the Peralta Community College District, and after his suicide in 2009, he was revered as a fearless radical.
But unbeknownst to his fellow activists, Aoki had served as an FBI intelligence informant, covertly filing reports on a wide range of Bay Area political groups, according to the bureau agent who recruited him . . .
Aoki's work for the FBI, which has never been reported, was uncovered and verified during research for the book by this reporter, "Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power." The book, based on research spanning three decades, will be published Tuesday by Farrar, Straus and Giroux . . .The family of Aoki, who was Japanese, was interned during World War II. He was recruited by the FBI while he was a sociology student at UC-Berkeley. While the Chronicle's story mentions that Aoki provided firearms and weapons training to members of the Black Panther Party, it doesn't mention that he spent eight years in the U.S. Army as a medic and infantry member before heading to Berkeley. Several Oakland police officers were shot or killed in clashes with the Black Panther Party members who Aoki trained while working as an informant for the FBI. Aoki also gathered information for the FBI on the Socialist Workers Party and the Communist Party.
Harvey Dong, who was a fellow activist and close friend, said last week that he had never heard that Aoki was an informant.
"It's definitely something that is shocking to hear," said Dong, who was the executor of Aoki's estate. "I mean, that's a big surprise to me."
I believe if a reporter really dug deeply he would learn that Barack Obama's American terrorist mentor, Bill Ayers, was also working for the government as a paid informant while he and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, were working for the Weather Underground terrorist organization in the 1960s. I'm sure the Chicago Eight, including Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale, who were tried for inciting riots during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, would like to know which side Ayers was actually on. Ayers and Dohrn escaped prosecution for their crimes because the CIA had illegally spied on American citizens and evidence gathered by the FBI against them was deemed inadmissible. Like Aoki, Ayers pursued a career in education after leaving the Weather Underground. He is a tenured professor for the University of Illinois-Chicago. Dorhn has worked at a prominent Chicago law firm. Ayers is believed to be the ghost writer of Obama's "Dreams From My Father," which has been proven to be chocked full of inaccuracies and falsehoods. It now appears likely that Barack Obama, Sr. wasn't even Obama's biological father. According to Joel Gilbert's new documentary, "Dreams From My Real Father," Obama's true biological father was Communist Party leader Frank Marshall Davis. Perhaps even Davis was a paid informant who was ratting out his comrades like Aoki. We already know that Obama's first employer after graduating from Columbia, Business International, was a front company for the CIA. Like father like son?
Hear the Chronicle's Seth Rosenfeld explain how he learned of Aoki's identity and his interview with him two years before Aoki committed suicide when he confronts him with the fact that he has uncovered his role for the FBI in the video below: