COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert and often illegal projects conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation aimed at investigating and disrupting dissident political organizations within the United States. The FBI used covert operations from its inception, however, the formal COINTELPRO operations took place between 1956 and 1971. The FBI motivation at the time was "protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order." According to FBI records, approximately 15% of COINTELPRO resources were expended to marginalize and subvert "white hate groups," including the Ku Klux Klan and National States' Rights Party. The other 85% of COINTELPRO resources were expended on targets suspected of being subversive, such as communist and socialist organizations; the women's rights movement; people suspected of building a "coalition of militant black nationalist groups" ranging from the Black Panther Party and Republic of New Afrika to "those in the non-violent civil rights movement" such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Congress of Racial Equality, and other civil rights groups; a broad range of organizations labelled "New Left", including Students for a Democratic Society, the National Lawyers Guild, the Weathermen, almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, and even individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation; and nationalist groups such as those "seeking independence for Puerto Rico." The directives governing COINTELPRO were issued by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who ordered FBI agents to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" the activities of these movements and their leaders.