Rhetorical Counterinsurgency: The FBI and the American Indian Movement
Final definitive version available from Taylor & Francis.
This essay unfolds in three sections. First, I develop a theory of
rhetorical counterinsurgency and explain its refinement within the
FBI as a method of threat control and management. Second, I situate rhetorical counterinsurgency within a series of migrating cultural
contexts, including the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and cultural
stereotypes of American Indians. These contexts constrained the
available interpretations of Indian, as well as non-Indian radicalism and
justified the application of techniques of counterinsurgency. Finally,
I offer a rhetorical analysis of both the FBI’s use of communicative
tactics as a method of counterinsurgency as well as the content of their
rhetorical constructions of AIM. I investigate two disarming topoi of
savagery: AIM as communist surrogate and American Viet Cong.
Casey R. Kelly. Rhetorical Counterinsurgency: The FBI and the American Indian Movement. Advances in the History of Rhetoric 10 (2007): 223-258.