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Posts: 8,748
Reply with quote  #1 
two reads

and artists,musicians and writers
who did not survive assassination attempts



Molly Crabapple's FBI file is 7,526 pages long (UPDATED, it's worse)
Feb 2, 2015

After a protracted battle with the Bureau, artist and journalist Molly Crabapple (previously) has gotten them to admit that they're keeping a whopping file on her, which they will release to her lawyers at the rate of 750 (heavily redacted) pages/month for the next ten months.
UPDATE: Molly Crabapple writes, "Quick correction- I initially mistweeted that they'll give me 750 pages a month. They'll actually review 750 pages a month, give me what they feel like, and when I get them all, we can sue if I think they're holding out too much."




The John Lennon FBI Files website
John Lennon FBI Files page, Freedom of Information Act documents and information
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The FBI Files - 2006
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About The Author
The John Lennon FBI file and INS letters
The John Lennon FBI files
The John Lennon FBI files
The John Lennon FBI files
The John Lennon FBI files
The John Lennon FBI files
Beatle Battle: The Fight For John Lennon's FBI File
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John Winston Lennon (1940-1980) was a British born singer and songwriter known for his years in the Beatles and for his later solo career. The first two parts of this ...
Uncovering The 'Truth' Behind Lennon's FBI Files : NPR
http://www.npr.org › Arts & Life › Books › Author Interviews
Oct 08, 2010 · In 1971, the FBI put John Lennon under surveillance because of his anti-war activities. The INS tried to deport him a year later. Historian Jon Wiener ...
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FBI killed John Lennon

Posts: 8,748
Reply with quote  #2 
see link for full story


FBI monitored and critiqued African American writers for decades
A new book reveals the extent to which J Edgar Hoover’s bureau kept files on well-known black writers between 1919 and 1972

Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun was one of the many works the FBI reviewed before publication.
Alison Flood
Monday 9 February 2015 10.37 EST

Newly declassified documents from the FBI reveal how the US federal agency under J Edgar Hoover monitored the activities of dozens of prominent African American writers for decades, devoting thousands of pages to detailing their activities and critiquing their work.

Academic William Maxwell first stumbled upon the extent of the surveillance when he submitted a freedom of information request for the FBI file of Claude McKay. The Jamaican-born writer was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance, author of the sonnet If We Must Die, supposedly recited by Winston Churchill, and Maxwell was preparing an edition of his complete poems. When the file came through from the FBI, it stretched to 193 pages and, said Maxwell, revealed “that the bureau had closely read and aggressively chased McKay” – describing him as a “notorious negro revolutionary” – “all across the Atlantic world, and into Moscow”.

Maxwell, associate professor of English and African American studies at Washington University in St Louis, decided to investigate further, knowing that other scholars had already found files on well-known black writers such as Langston Hughes and James Baldwin. He made 106 freedom of information requests about what he describes as “noteworthy Afro-modernists” to the FBI; 51 of those writers had files, ranging from three to 1,884 pages each.

“I suspected there would be more than a few,” said Maxwell. “I knew Hoover was especially impressed and worried by the busy crossroads of black protest, leftwing politics, and literary potential. But I was surprised to learn that the FBI had read, monitored, and ‘filed’ nearly half of the nationally prominent African American authors working from 1919 (Hoover’s first year at the Bureau, and the first year of the Harlem Renaissance) to 1972 (the year of Hoover’s death and the peak of the nationalist Black Arts movement). In this, I realised, the FBI had outdone most every other major institution of US literary study, only fitfully concerned with black writing.”

Maxwell’s book about his discovery, FB Eyes: How J Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature, is out on 18 February from Princeton University Press. It argues that the FBI’s attention was fuelled by Hoover’s “personal fascination with black culture”, that “the FBI is perhaps the most dedicated and influential forgotten critic of African American literature”, and that “African American literature is characterised by a deep awareness of FBI ghostreading”.


Princeton said that while it is well known that Hoover was hostile to Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, Maxwell’s forthcoming book is the first exposé of “the extent to which the FBI monitored and influenced African American writing” between 1919 and 1972.

Taking its title from Richard Wright’s 1949 poem The FB Eye Blues, in which the Native Son novelist writes that “every place I look, Lord / I find FB eyes / I’m getting sick and tired of gover’ment spies”, the work also posits that for some authors, suspicion of the surveillance prompted creative replies.

Digital copies of 49 of the FBI files have been made available to the public online. “The collected files of the entire set of authors comprise 13,892 pages, or the rough equivalent of 46 300-page PhD theses,” Maxwell writes in the book. “FBI ghostreaders genuinely rivalled the productivity of their academic counterparts.”

The academic told the Guardian that he believes the FBI monitoring stems from the fact that “from the beginning of his tenure at the FBI ... Hoover was exercised by what he saw as an emerging alliance between black literacy and black radicalism”.


“Then there’s the fact that many later African American writers were allied, at one time or another, with socialist and communist politics in the US,” he added, with Wright and WEB Du Bois both becoming Communist Party members, Hughes a “major party sympathiser”, and McKay “toasted by Trotsky and published in Russian as a significant Marxist theorist”.

The files show how the travel arrangements of black writers were closely scrutinised by the FBI, with the passport records of a long list of authors “combed for scraps of criminal behaviour and ‘derogatory information’”, writes Maxwell. Some writers were threatened by “‘stops’, instructions to advise and defer to the Bureau if a suspect tried to pass through a designated point of entry” to the US.

When McKay went to the Soviet Union, a “stop notice” instructed that the poet should be held for “appropriate attention” if he attempted to re-enter the US. In Baltimore, writes Maxwell, FBI agents “paraded their seriousness in a bulletin sent straight to Hoover, boasting of a clued-in ‘Local Police Department’ on the ‘lookout’ for one ‘Claude McKay (colored)’ (23 Mar. 1923)”.

They also reveal how, with the help of informers, the agency reviewed works such as Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man before publication.

“What did the FBI learn from these dossiers? Several things,” said Maxwell. “Where African American writers were travelling, especially during their expatriate adventures in Europe, Africa, and Latin America. What they were publishing, even while it was still in press.” In the 1950s, he said, the FBI aspired to “a foreknowledge of American publishing so deep that literary threats to the FBI’s reputation could be seen before their public appearance”.

The bureau also considered “whether certain African Americans should be allowed government jobs and White House visits, in the cases of the most fortunate”, and “what the leading minds of black America were thinking, and would be thinking”.

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Reply with quote  #3 


Suicide or Political Persecution? The Mysterious Deaths of Ernest Hemingway and Iris Chang
By Prof. Darrell Y. Hamamoto
Global Research, August 01, 2011
1 August 2011
Region: USA
Theme: Culture, Society & History, Police State & Civil Rights
60 6 19 4592
Suicide or Political Persecution? The Mysterious Deaths of Ernest Hemingway and Iris Chang
Five decades after his suicide by shotgun, it appears that what had been assumed to be simple paranoia on the part of literary giant Ernest Hemingway was in fact grounded in the reality of his systematic persecution by certain elements within the US government.

Veteran writer A. E. Hotchner, a close friend and author of the classic biography Papa Hemingway (1966), recounted the days spent with a demoralized, confused, and frustrated individual who was struggling to complete basic creative tasks central to his work. Hemingway had contacted Hotchner in May 1960 to ask for his help in editing an overly-long article that had been commissioned by Life magazine. In an article published July 01, 2011 (New York Times), Hotchner now realizes that government harassment and surveillance by wiretaps, tax audits, and pharmacologically induced mind control claimed by his increasingly harried and depressed friend were indeed valid.[i]
The revelation that Hemingway had been targeted for surveillance by the government intelligence unit headed by J. Edgar Hoover, is consistent with a well-documented history of American citizens held under suspicion by the FBI or the scores of other less well-known spy agencies within the government, military, and civilian sectors.[ii]
There is a bounty of literature that raises disturbing questions about the murder of individuals ranging from community organizers such as Fred Hampton to prominent artists such as John Lennon.[iii] The examples of assassination as politics by other means abound: JFK, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Robert F. Kennedy. According to opinion polls the overwhelming majority of Americans today do not believe the official findings of the Warren Commission that had been formed to investigate the public killing of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963.[iv]
It is in this historical context that the seemingly paranoid claims made by Iris Chang in the months prior to her death in 2004 must be taken seriously. Chang had become a literary sensation at age twenty-nine with the publication of the incendiary study The Rape of Nanking (1997).[v] Like Hemingway, Chang also died by her own hand. On November 09, 2004 she was found dead in her car was parked on an isolated road near Los Gatos, California. It was determined that Chang had taken her own life with a pistol she had purchased the day before the incident. She was thirty-six years old.
Former journalism school classmate and personal friend Paula Kamen advanced the notion that the Chang suicide was the result of “mental illness.” She first had believed the “dark topics” that Chang was writing about had drove her over the edge, but then concluded that the ambitious author suffered from “bipolar disorder.”[vi] In Finding Iris Chang (2008), Kamen interprets her friend’s demise through the lens of the medico-pharmacological orthodoxy that has come to predominate throughout a society that is viewed as being composed of sick and debilitated individuals that suffer from an ever-lengthening list of ailments grouped under the heading of “mental illness.”[vii]
The “mental illness” characterization was rejected out of hand by Ying-Ying Chang in The Woman Who Could Not Forget (2011). As her mother, it was she who had been the principal person caring for Iris Chang during her final months of dark despair. Instead, she points to the side effects caused by experimental “anti-psychotic” drugs prescribed by a succession of psychiatrists as responsible for the downward spiral of a spirited woman who, although sensitive, never before betrayed signs of so-called mental illness. [viii]
Kamen herself suffered from chronic pain and the overriding theme of her book on Chang is that the revolution in anti-depressant pharmacology has been a boon to the sad and afflicted masses. Against Kamen, however, there is a sizeable and growing body of literature that traces the less-than-altruistic origins of psychopharmacology in the mind control human experiments conducted by the CIA beginning in the 1950s. Based upon documents that saw limited release due to pressure from the US Congress and its Church Committee investigation, The Search For The “Manchurian Candidate” (1979) by John Marks is a good place to start for those ignorant of government initiatives in mind management and political pacification.[ix] More recent publications issued from perfectly respectable quarters (as opposed to those tagged as “conspiracy” buffs) contend that the system of mind control research, development, and application remains in place albeit in a far more sophisticated guise.[x]
The pervasiveness of pharmacological mind control is evident to anyone (i.e. anyone not on psychotropic medication) who works in a classroom environment with the current generation of students who have been labeled as “depressed” or plagued by “attention deficit disorder” and are then promiscuously prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).[xi] Young people who would otherwise be in prime physical and intellectual condition have been transformed into zombie-like creatures whose flat affect and deadened eyes betray their forced chemical romance with the military-pharmacological complex.[xii]
According to Hotchner, Hemingway complained that the feds had his telephones tapped; automobile and rooms bugged. His mail was being intercepted and sifted through. He was being tailed as well. Then Hemingway was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota in November 1960 for psychiatric treatment. He underwent electro-shock therapy and endured eleven separate sessions. Hemingway became even more depressed and attempted suicide on more than one occasion. In response to Hotchner asking him why he wanted to kill himself, Hemingway said that everything he valued in life—friends, sex, health, and creative work—had been taken from him. He ended his life on July 02, 1961. Documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act indicate that Hemingway had been under FBI surveillance since the 1940s.
Prior to her suicide, Chang had told those close to her that “powerful” forces linked to the government were closing in on her. She left written statements that unambiguously outlined the contours of the plot laid against her while attempting to complete an historical account of the “Bataan Death March” as it is known popularly. Most attributed her mounting “paranoia” to stress, overwork, and exposure to stories told to her by survivors. Chang was also a new mother, so some felt that this only compounded matters. Although Chang hid the fact, Kamen discovered that her son had been adopted. This ruled out the “post-partum depression” theory.
In one of the notes addressed to her parents, Chang wrote:
“There are aspects of my experience in Louisville [in a mental hospital in August 2004] that I will never understand. Deep down I suspect that you may have more answers about this than I do. I can never shake my belief that I was being recruited, and later persecuted, by forces more powerful than I could have imagined. Whether it was the CIA or some other organization, I will never know. As long as I’m alive, these forces will never stop hounding me….
“Days before I left for Louisville, I had a deep foreboding about my safety. I sensed suddenly threats to my own life: an eerie feeling that I was being followed in the streets, the white van parked outside my house, damaged mail arriving at my P.O. Box. I believe my detention at Norton Hospital was the government’s attempt to discredit me. ”I had considered running away, but I will never be able to escape from myself and my thoughts. I am doing this because I am too weak to withstand the years of pain and agony ahead.”[xiii]
Read in proper context, these words make perfect sense. They are far from being the ravings of a “paranoiac.” Ying-Ying Chang, who suspects that Japanese rightists might have been responsible for the harassment of her daughter, accepts the claims of Iris Chang that she had been approached personally and threatened. Nor does she dismiss the possibility that images of “horrible atrocities and ugly images of children torn apart by wars” had been streamed purposely to the television set of the Louisville hotel where Chang had been staying while on a research trip.
In acting as unofficial spokesperson for the post-1965 Taiwanese American cohort composed of scientists and engineers who were pushing for a stronger political voice commensurate with their significantly large representation within the academic/military/corporate complex, Chang had the temerity to accuse the US government and President George W. Bush of attempting to stonewall the movement by Taiwanese Americans pressing its demands for reparations to those who suffered at the hands of the Imperial government during World War II. Since Japan is an important US ally in East Asia it was thought that Washington was loath to support an initiative that would harm the postwar relationship and consensus formed between the top two economic powerhouses in the world.
Predictably, assertions that ultranationalist Japanese elements in some way were implicated in the death of Chang appeared online and in print almost immediately after the news of her suicide appeared. She became a martyr for the truth in the Peoples Republic of China but especially among overseas Chinese in the US. In the former case, reminders of the “Asian Holocaust” perpetrated by Imperial Japan has been a useful tool in the hands of the communist oligarchs to deflect attention from the tens of millions of fellow Chinese that were sacrificed to consolidate power during the reign of Mao.[xiv] Today, orchestrated anti-Japan agitation via the internet helps maintain one-party dictatorial control in a nation roiling with internal conflict and rebellion in its far flung regions.
For Taiwanese Americans—a large number (including both parents of Chang who earned Ph.D.s at Harvard) of whom have been recruited since the 1950s specifically to staff highly specialized positions within (ironically) the death-dealing US military-industrial complex—the “Asian Holocaust” has been an effective rallying point in attaining the level of political clout that matches their professional status and economic standing.[xv] Moreover, a shared historical memory of the widespread destruction and atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese military during World War II eases political tensions between the PRC and Taiwan via a shared sense of victimhood directed against Japan. At the same time, the US arms industry continues to reap enormous profits through the sale of aircraft, communications systems, and all manner of advanced weaponry to Taiwan despite protests by PRC officials. Complicating the campaign to promote memory of the “Asian Holocaust,” a number of highly placed Chinese Americans have been implicated in brokering the transfer of strategically sensitive American satellite and missile technology to the People’s Liberation Army.[xvi]
In the battle over historical memory and the role that Iris Chang played in massaging it, however, there is one possible scenario that has been overlooked: That she might have been silenced for having ventured too close to truths that if exposed would have put the US—not Japan—in a most unflattering light. More significantly, the investigative trail she was following with her most recent book project involving The Philippines could have led to wider exposure of the not widely known historical circumstances that undergird the very basis of the postwar economic and political order led by the US.
An incredible book that went largely un-reviewed by the corporate press was published by the independent Verso imprint in 2003 titled Gold Warriors: America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold written by Sterling and Peggy Seagrave.[xvii] Well-researched and thoroughly documented (including a CD containing facsimiles of original papers), the book reveals the process whereby hundreds of tons precious metals, gems, and countless art treasures that had been looted by the Japanese Imperial Army throughout Asia fell into the hands of Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies in the waning days of World War II en route to Japan where they would be kept as spoils of war. The vast quantity of gold bullion produced from the booty that came into the possession of the United States was instrumental in the postwar economic recovery of Japan. America’s special friend Marcos had succeeded in locating much of “Yamashita’s gold” thanks to the torture of key informants who pointed to vast stores of purloined wealth had been cleverly hidden.
Iris Chang began her career as a hard charging and ambitious crusader for truth. Beginning with her first book Thread of the Silkworm (1996), she only touched upon the duplicity of government and the utter cynicism in which its interests are pursued.[xviii] The subject of the work, research scientist Tsien Hsue-Shen who helped found the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech, was sacrificed to anti-Red hysteria that took hold when the Communist Party came to power with the Chinese Revolution. With the Rape of Nanking, Chang discovered that historical truth is never self-evident nor is it necessarily welcomed. This is the point at which she might possibly have come to the realization that real politik was grounded in cynicism, opportunism, and exploitation. The political-economic oligarchs that use government for their own purposes will tolerate and even encourage truth seeking up to a point. After all, these elite families dole out millions of dollars each year in sophisticated tax-avoidance and wealth-maintenance schemes to all manner of idealists, reformers, and truth tellers through private foundations bearing their names. Should anyone come too close to exposing the source of their totalistic power, however, like the Venetian families of old they will not hesitate to have such persons eliminated. Poisons have been their proven specialty.
So long as the work of Iris Chang satisfied the agendas of the different interest groups, governmental entities, and political factions that benefitted from the good will and public sympathy garnered by The Rape of Nanking, she functioned as a useful asset. But with her final book project, thorough and meticulous researcher that she was, Chang independently of the Seagraves might have uncovered truths that would undermine the very foundation of the US monetary system, which had been taken off the gold standard by President Richard Nixon in 1971. Not coincidentally, early in his political career Nixon reportedly received large cash payments from Ferdinand Marcos, who as dictator of The Philippines enjoyed political and generous financial support from the US.[xix] Ed Rollins, former campaign director for Ronald Reagan, wrote of ten million US dollars allegedly handed over by high-level political operators from the Philippines.[xx] Indeed, structural corruption has defined the relationship between the US and The Philippines from the start. Quite possibly Chang had found during the course of her research and political involvement on behalf of those who experienced profound losses during wartime that her own American government was complicit if not at the center of the multiple holocausts of the twentieth century.
In August 2004, while conducting interviews with survivors of Bataan in Louisville, Kentucky, Chang exhibited signs of mental instability. With the assistance of a certain “Colonel Kelly” whose presence she stated had frightened her severely, Chang was committed to the Norton Psychiatric Hospital. There she was diagnosed as having experienced a “brief reactive psychosis.” For at least three days Chang was subjected to “antipsychotic” drugs until her parents arrived to take their daughter back to California. Once returned home, she was placed on a regimen of “anti-depressants” that did little to improve her condition. Brett Douglas, the IT professional to whom she was married appeared to offer scant emotional support to his wife other than insisting that she hew to the treatment prescribed her by medical professionals. His seeming callousness toward her was remarked upon by Kamen in Finding Iris Chang when upon visiting with Douglas at his home for an interview, she was introduced to a Chinese woman also named “Iris.” He had met her online only months after the suicide death of his wife.
In an age when Big Pharma has succeeded in enslaving an alarmingly large percentage of American women to SSRIs—commonly known as “anti-depressants”—the death of Iris Chang should serve as a cautionary warning. The historical origins of the psychiatric dictatorship lie in the Cold War mind control experiments known collectively as MK-ULTRA.[xxi] Instead, the totalitarian triumph of the medico-pharmacological model combined with the so-called “mental health” establishment is embraced and welcomed by well intentioned but dangerously compromised medical professionals and psychotherapists held in the thrall of the insurance industry and drug makers.
Although the “suicides” of Ernest Hemingway and Iris Chang are separated in time by close to five decades, they are connected in a closed loop formed by the dark history of authoritarian regimes that actively suppress the truths that would subvert their rule. The oligarchs will go so far to order that the life force be snuffed out of those who dare bring light to the world. Instead of murdering directly two well admired literary figures of worldwide stature and thereby run the risk of official inquiries, Hemingway and Chang were harassed, gang stalked, and psychiatrically maimed to the point where they found it too painful to live.
The twin orthodoxy of psychiatry and pharmacy provided the respectable cover to preclude a closer look into the deaths of Hemingway and Chang. As it was in the case of Hemingway, however, the death of Iris Chang is not a closed book. Further investigation into the circumstances of her mental breakdown, coerced psychiatric treatment, and the identification of persons such as the mysterious “Colonel Kelly” who had her committed in Louisville, will shatter the easy and conveniently premature conclusion that the death of Chang was due to so-called “mental illness” alone.
In time, it will be seen that in her death the final gift to humankind bequeathed by Iris Chang will be the exposure of the system announced in 1969 by José M. R. Delgado of Yale University in Physical Control of the Mind.[xxii] Chang was far from being “mad” or “paranoid.” Rather, Chang to the very end was engaged in a quite sane but desperate struggle for the recovery of the humanity that had been stripped from her. Instead of allowing herself to be forced into a permanent state of narcotized semi-awareness and zombie-like passivity, Chang mustered the courage to end her life by a method so disturbing and sensational that questions concerning the circumstances leading to this final act of resistance will be asked far into the future. This is made clear in the intimate account given by Ying-Ying Chang, who was closely involved with her daughter in seeking therapeutic approaches that in the end failed to restore the élan vital that had been sapped by fear and loathing.
In this, Chang left the door open for future researchers and writers to enter the dark house of pain to poke about just as she had done. Once inside, she had gained deeper knowledge of the slithering political realities that go largely unremarked by corporate journalism and unexamined in foundation-funded academic research.[xxiii]
Chang had stumbled across a venomous nest of vipers and was bitten hard, repeatedly. Though slowly poisoned, her core strength caused her to remain lucid amidst the institutionalized madness. Such fortitude allowed her to leave behind a wealth of written clues, personal leads, and questions that cry out for follow-up. Instead, the political importance of her legacy fades as Chang continues to be memorialized in books, statuary, and film by those no doubt motivated by the utmost sincerity. Let the example of Hemingway and his documented state-facilitated suicide serve as a reminder that repressive governments over the course of human history are the leading cause of death. If Iris Chang claimed that government forces were “hounding” her, then it would be wise to heed this last testament and treat it with the grave seriousness it warrants.
Darrell Y. Hamamoto teaches at the Dept. of Asian American Studies, University of California, Davis


[i] A. E. Hotchner, “Hemingway, Hounded by the Feds.” New York Times 01 Jul. 2011. Http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/02/opinion/02hotchner.html?pagewanted=all.
[ii] Anthony Summers, Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover (New York: Pocket Star Books, 1994).
[iii] M. Wesley Swearingen, FBI Secrets: An Agent’s Exposé (Boston, Massachusetts: South End Press, 1995).
[iv] Lydia Saad, “Americans: Kennedy Assassination a Conspiracy.” Gallup 21 Nov. 2003. Http://www.gallup.com/poll/9751/americans-kennedy-assassination-conspiracy.aspx.
[v] Iris Chang, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II (New York: Basic Books, 1997).
[vi] Stephanie Losee, “The Demons You Know.” Salon.com 13 Dec. 2007. Http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2007/12/13/paula_kamen.
[vii] Paula Kamen, Finding Iris Chang: Friendship, Ambition, and the Loss of an Extraordinary Mind (New York: Da Capo Press, 2007).
[viii] Ying-Ying Chang, The Woman Who Could Not Forget: Iris Chang Before and Beyond the Rape of Nanking—A Memoir (New York: Pegasus Books, 2011).
[ix] John Marks, The Search For the “Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control (New York: Times Books , 1979).
[x] Dominic Streatfeild, Brainwash: The Secret History of Mind Control (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2007).
[xi] Peter R. Breggin, M.D., Medication Madness: A Psychiatrist Exposes the Dangers of Mood-Altering Medications (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008).
[xii] David Healy, Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression (New York and London: New York University Press, 2004).
[xiii] Kamen, 58.
[xiv] Frank Dikötter, Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962 (New York: Walker & Company, 2010).
[xv] Bernard P. Wong, The Chinese in Silicon Valley: Globalization, Social Networks, and Ethnic Identity (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2006).
[xvi] Rodham Watch, “Is the Other Hsu About To Drop? Hillary’s Donor Linked to China Missile Trader.” WorldNetDaily 02 Sep. 2007. Http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=43335.
[xvii] Sterling Seagrave & Peggy Seagrave, Gold Warriors: America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold (London & New York: Verso, 2003).
[xviii] Iris Chang, Thread of the Silkworm (New York: Basic Books, 1995).
[xix] Anthony Summers, The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon (2001), 164.
[xx] Ed Rollins with Tom Defrank, Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms: My Life in American Politics (New York: Broadway Books, 1996), 214.
[xxi] Colin A. Ross, M.D., The C.I.A. Doctors: Human Rights Violations By American Psychiatrists (Richardson, Texas: Manitou Communications, Inc., 2006).
[xxii] José Manuel Rodríguez Delgado, Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society (New York: Harper & Row, 1969).
[xxiii] Horace Freeland Judson, The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science (Orlando, Florida: Harcourt, Inc., 2004).

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Reply with quote  #5 


Car Hacking Report Refuels Concerns About Michael Hastings Crash

February 20, 2015 by Mary Papenfuss

Categories: Deep Politics, Fresh politics, Surveillance State
The wreckage of the car crash that killed journalist Michael Hastings.

The wreckage of the car crash that killed journalist Michael Hastings.

Those still wondering what really happened in gonzo journalist Michael Hastings’ fiery demise likely sat up straight during 60 Minutes’ recent piece on how hackers can hijack the controls of a car.

After Hastings died in a bizarre one-car crash along a straight Los Angeles street, former counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke noted the accident was “consistent with a car cyber attack” and that it was easy to hack cars. It seems he was right, as 60 Minutes demonstrated in a chilling fashion.

In the segment, a nervous Lesley Stahl smashed into safety cones on a driving course after two men using a laptop computer remotely commandeered her brakes. Former video game developer Dan Kaufman, who’s now working for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, set up the demonstration.

In trying to figure out what kinds of attacks enemies might be plotting on American soil, government agencies are learning the same techniques. To wrest the controls from Stahl, a hacker dialed in through the vehicle’s OnStar system to first busy up the computer, then planted code that allowed it to reprogram the control systems. Kaufman stood by giving driving orders to the hackers.

The demonstration underscored what Clarke, counterterrorism chief under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said after Hastings’ crash. “You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it’s not that hard,” he said. “So if there were a cyber attack on the car—and I’m not saying there was—I think whoever did it would probably get away with it.” Clarke added that the LAPD was unlikely to have the tools necessary to detect such an attack, particularly after a fire.

No Crowbar Needed, Just an iPad

One thing is clear: Drivers are at risk.

In a stinging report released this week, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Markey slammed car companies for their failure to protect car owners from hackers and intrusive data collectors who might seize control of increasingly computerized vehicles. “Automakers haven’t done their part to protect us from cyber-attacks or privacy invasions,” he said.

Much of the report focuses on how car computers can be used to collect driving history, from where a car is parked to where it traveled. But it also reveals hackers’ ability to remotely turn, stop and accelerate cars. Markey’s report notes that car companies can now disable vehicles if owners fall behind on their payments. Burglars can exploit the same vulnerabilities.

But Markey doesn’t believe there have been other types of incidents in which hackers seize control of cars—yet.

Nonetheless, the 60 Minutes story and Markey’s investigation likely made drivers squirm the next time they climbed behind the wheel.

The report has also reignited suspicions that arose nearly two years ago after Hastings’ crash.


Hastings’ work as a thorn in the side of government and the 33-year-old journalist’s death in an unusual crash in June 2013 immediately triggered speculation. A witness reported seeing Hastings’ new silver Mercedes C250 coupe speeding down a Hollywood street before dawn when it bounced, slammed into a tree and burst into flames.

Shortly before Hastings’ death, he sent what was described as a “panicky” email to friends expressing concern that associates were being interviewed by “the Feds.” He also wrote that he was onto a big story and needed to “get off the radar for a bit.” His 2010 story for Rolling Stone in which Stanley McChrystal skewered the White House and its strategy in Afghanistan led to the general’s resignation.

The FBI denied Hastings was the target of any investigation, yet a Freedom of Information Act request later unearthed an FBI file on Hastings. Hastings also told a neighbor he thought someone had been tampering with his car. At the time of his death he was working on an article about CIA director John Brennan.

The Los Angeles Police Department concluded that the crash was an accident and did not involve foul play. The coroner’s report also declared Hastings’ death, ascribed to “massive blunt force trauma,” as accidental, and revealed that there were trace amounts of marijuana and amphetamine in his system, though neither was considered a factor in the crash. The report noted that Hastings’ family had been trying to convince him to go into detox.

Just an Accident?

Hastings’ widow, who hired a private investigator to examine all the evidence, at least publicly labeled the crash an accident. “You know, my gut here, was that it was just a really tragic accident,” Elise Jordan said in an interview two months after Hastings’ death.

Hastings’ brother Jonathan said that he feared his sibling was experiencing a “manic episode” before his death, which he suspected was linked to drugs. He had flown to LA to try to convince his brother to enter rehab; Hastings died the next day. “The government is out of control in a lot of ways, so I sympathize with people who want to turn Mike’s death into some kind of symbol,” he said. “I just think that his death happens to be a bad foundation to build that case on.”

But not everyone agrees. “I’m definitely suspicious about the crash,” Montana state Rep. Daniel Zolnikov told WhoWhatWhy. The Republican legislator has introduced a bill, which he says was inspired in part by Hastings’ work, to bar state government agencies from accessing servers to get reporters’ notes.

Like Markey, Zolnikov is also concern

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Why James Baldwin's FBI File Was 1,884 Pages

Feb 20, 2015

William J. Maxwell's provocative F.B. Eyes: How J Edgar Hoover's Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature probes the FBI’s “institutionalized fascination” with black authors like Langston Hughes and Amiri Baraka. Here, Maxwell delves into the FBI's dossier on James Baldwin--at 1,884 pages, it was the largest one on file--and the unlikely FBI literary criticism that emerged from studying Baldwin's books.

J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI director synonymous with his crime-fighting organization for nearly fifty years, once returned a Bureau memo on James Baldwin with a leering, handwritten challenge. “Isn’t Baldwin a well-known pervert?,” Hoover scrawled in his distinctive blue ink. Despite the career-threatening context, M. A. Jones, an officer of the FBI Crime Records Section, answered Hoover’s marginal question by carefully distinguishing between fictional and personal testimonies. “It is not a matter of official record that [Baldwin] is a pervert,” Jones specified, even though “the theme of homosexuality has figured prominently in two of his three published novels. Baldwin has stated that it is also ‘implicit’ in his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain. In the past, he has not disputed the description of ‘autobiographical’ being attached to the first book.” “While it is not possible to state that he is pervert,” Jones bravely concluded, Baldwin “has expressed a sympathetic viewpoint about homosexuality on several occasions, and a very definite hostil



Feb 20, 2015

William J. Maxwell's provocative F.B. Eyes: How J Edgar Hoover's Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature probes the FBI’s “institutionalized fascination” with black authors like Langston Hughes and Amiri Baraka. Here, Maxwell delves into the FBI's dossier on James Baldwin--at 1,884 pages, it was the largest one on file--and the unlikely FBI literary criticism that emerged from studying Baldwin's books.

J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI director synonymous with his crime-fighting organization for nearly fifty years, once returned a Bureau memo on James Baldwin with a leering, handwritten challenge. “Isn’t Baldwin a well-known pervert?,” Hoover scrawled in his distinctive blue ink. Despite the career-threatening context, M. A. Jones, an officer of the FBI Crime Records Section, answered Hoover’s marginal question by carefully distinguishing between fictional and personal testimonies. “It is not a matter of official record that [Baldwin] is a pervert,” Jones specified, even though “the theme of homosexuality has figured prominently in two of his three published novels. Baldwin has stated that it is also ‘implicit’ in his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain. In the past, he has not disputed the description of ‘autobiographical’ being attached to the first book.” “While it is not possible to state that he is pervert,” Jones bravely concluded, Baldwin “has expressed a sympathetic viewpoint about homosexuality on several occasions, and a very definite hostility toward the revulsion of the American public re

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FBI Documents Reveal Surveillance of Arthur Miller


Playwright Arthur Miller, whose conviction for contempt of Congress for refusing to “name names” in the ‘50s was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court, held the eye of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for about a decade after World War II, but the Bureau eventually decided that concerns Miller was allied with the Communist Party were overblown. One file noted that the Communist Party saw Miller as “just a civil rights guy.”


The Associated Press used FOIA to obtain Miller’s FBI file. The collection of information in Miller’s file tailed off after 1956. (The Associated Press also used FOIA to obtain the FBI file of Marilyn Monroe, who had been married to Miller. See "FBI suspected Marilyn Monroe of communist ties," 12/28/12, http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2012/12/28/fbi-communism-marilyn-monroe/1796111/)


Arthur Miller, Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, contempt of Congress, Supreme Court, communist, Communist Party, Marilyn Monroe, civil rights









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Life of a Rebel: Folk Singer for the FBI: The Phil Ochs FBI File
Mar 18, 2008 - Phil Ochs (1940-1976) was one the greatest political and topical folk singers of the 1960s, whose protest songs included "I Ain't Marching ...
broadsideballad's Journal – PHIL OCHS FBI FILE – Last.fm
Aug 7, 2009 - Phil Ochs had about 70 songs published in the 1960's and 1970's in Broadside, the National Topical Song Magazine, published in New York ...
the Phil Ochs FBI file / Eric Blair. - National Library of Australia
2009, English, Book edition: Folk singer for the FBI : the Phil Ochs FBI file / Eric ... "Phil Ochs (1940-1976) was one the greatest political and topical folk singers of ...
Bob Feldman 68: Phil Ochs' 429-Page FBI File
Jun 19, 2007 - Coincidentally, until his suicide on April 9, 1976, the FBI showed a special interest in investigating Phil Ochs. As The Politics of Rock Music by ...

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Frank Fried (1927-2015)

Sunday 15 March 2015

Frank Fried, among the most remarkable U.S. revolutionary socialists in the second half of the 20th century, passed away in Alameda, CA on January 13, 2015 at the age of 87. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, the novelist Alice Wilson-Fried.

Frank was attracted to the political views of the Socialist Workers Party in Chicago as a teenager. He joined the SWP in 1944 just before he entered the U.S. Navy. It was not a propitious time to be joining the party. Its leaders, including those who led the famed 1934 Teamsters strike in Minneapolis and the SWP’s founder, James P. Cannon, were in the federal prison in Sandstone, MN having been unjustly convicted in 1941 of “violating” the Smith Act.

After the end of World War II and his discharge from the Navy, Frank became an active member of the party’s Chicago branch. His mentor was Milt Zaslow (publicly known as Mike Bartell), its organizer, and under Milt’s guidance Frank became one of the party’s youngest leaders.

Frank and the other party members became active in various progressive struggles in Chicago, including the effort to end segregation at the “White City” amusement park on the city’s South Side. They played a central role in the “Hickman case,” a long-forgotten struggle that only recently was rescued from the mists of history by Joe Allen in his book People Wasn’t Made to Burn (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011).

Along with Milt Zaslow, SWP members Leon Despres (later a famous member of the Chicago City County), Mike Myer, Carl Schier, the novelist Willard Motley and the actress Tallulah Bankhead, Frank played a key role in the fight to free James Hickman, an African American who had been convicted of murdering his landlord after Hickman’s family had been burned to death in 1947 when his apartment was destroyed in a fire started by the landlord.

Joe Allen begins: “’I want you to write about the Hickman case,’ Frank Fried told me, gripping his cane with one hand and gesturing with the other. ‘It was the best thing we ever did and nobody knows about it.’”

Frank was indeed right about the central role that the SWP played in the Hickman case, but, characteristically, in the account of the case that he provided to Joe Allen, he underplayed his own role in the struggle to gain Hickman’s release.

Between 1947 and 1953, Frank played a role in other activities that the Chicago SWP was involved in. However in the early 1950s he joined a minority current led by Bert Cochran, Harry Braverman, George Clarke and Milt Zaslow that had developed political differences with the leadership and James P. Cannon about strategy and tactics in the trade union movement and the best means of building the party.

In 1954, after several years of intense internal debate, the minority, which became known as the Cochran group (named after its leader Bert Cochran), including Frank, left the SWP. The group founded the magazine American Socialist and Frank became an active supporter of the publication.

Music and Political Activism

During this period, Frank was fired from his industrial job at the U.S. Steel Works in Chicago after the FBI pressured his employer to discharge him — a widespread FBI practice against militant socialists in the 1950s. And subsequently, as with other socialist militants, the FBI made it difficult for Frank to obtain another job.

Interested in music, especially folk music, Frank began assisting folk music clubs in Chicago, including the “Gate of Horn,” by doing their publicity work. At first he provided assistance gratis and eventually for a small fee. While involved in such activities in the late 1950s, he acquired an intimate knowledge of the music promotion business.

In the early 1960s he formed a partnership, Triangle Productions, with Fred Fine, a former member of the Communist Party. And when the Beatles first came to the United States in 1963, Frank and Fred organized a concert by them at Comiskey Park.

The concert was an enormous success, exceeding all expectations, and Frank and Fred made a small fortune, which launched Frank’s career as a music impresario. Triangle Productions went on to organize concerts for performers such as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Pete Seeger and Frank Zappa.

Frank became one of the most successful and well-known music promoters in the country. But in defiance of Marx’s observation that “being determines consciousness,” Frank never lost his commitment to revolutionary socialism.

He maintained contacts with revolutionary socialists who had been members of the Cochran group and with those who had been his comrades in the SWP. He also developed relationships with younger socialists, myself included. I got to know him in 1974 when he lived in Evanston, a few blocks away from where I was living. We had many political discussions that eventually cemented a friendship that would continue for the next 41 years.

It was shortly after his very successful Beatles concert that Frank began sharing the wealth that he had accumulated (and would continue to accumulate) with various socialist and progressive organizations, a process that would last until the end of his life.

One of his initial major financial contributions was to Ed Sadlowski, who ran for president of the United Steelworkers as an integral part of an effort to democratize the Steelworkers union. Over the course of the campaign, Frank developed a close friendship with Sadlowski.

Frank financially supported many other socialist endeavors, including Solidarity after it was founded in 1986, and became a sympathetic supporter of the organization for almost 30 years, eventually joining Solidarity shortly before he died. He also supported the Fourth International and the political work of the late Peter Camejo’s Green Party candidacy for Governor of California, and his North Star Network.

During the 1980s, he broadened his role as a music impresario and developed the Rosemont Horizon in a northwest suburb of Chicago as a major venue for music performances and athletic events. Among the performers he brought to the Rosemont Horizon were the Rolling Stones.

He became associated with Madison Square Garden in New York City and eventually became the president of the famous Delta Queen Mississippi River steamboat company in New Orleans.

Preceded in death by his first wife, Francoise Nicolas, and his elder sister, Vivian Medak, Frank is survived not only by his wife Alice, but his children Pascale, Isabelle, Bruno, Troy and Teasha, and many grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

With Frank’s passing, we have lost one of the very best of that generation. We salute Frank and the legacy he bequeathed to future generations of socialist militants.


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See link for full story


The 7 Strangest Reasons the F.B.I. Investigated Famous Writers
By Freddie Moore
Langston Hughes Goodbye Christ F.B.I. File.png

Seventy years ago today, the F.B.I. filed a report on Langston Hughes. The bureau’s gripe with the poet began in 1940 when he spoke at a luncheon for the International Union of Revolutionary Writers in Pasadena, California. An advertisement for the event featured Hughes’ poem “Goodbye Christ,” which got the F.B.I.’s attention with lines that denounce Christ, saying he should be replaced by “Marx Communist Lenin Peasant Stalin Worker ME.”

In April 1943, the F.B.I. also took issue with a speech Hughes delivered at the W. Federal Street branch of the Youngstown Y.M.C.A. The bureau official reporting on the event wrote of Hughes.

This person is an “alleged” poet, reader, etc., but in reality he is a Communist Party propagandist delivering his lectures in negro YMCA’s and under the auspices of intellectuals.

Later that year on November 5, the F.B.I. compiled an internal security report on Hughes, bringing attention to the poems “Goodbye Christ” (they note that their copy was “secured from the Enemy Alien Squad [and the] New York City Police Department”) and “One More ‘S’ in the U.S.A. Workers Sons” (“To make it Soviet,” as the poem explains).

During this time, the F.B.I. and the United States at large were obviously embroiled in the Cold War, but it’s still astounding to learn that a few poems could be considered a priority in terms of national security. A section of the report even insinuates that measures were taken to prevent the poetry’s circulation.

And Hughes was hardly alone. Here are six more writers whose strange F.B.I. files will take you by surprise:
Truman Capote.jpg

Truman Capote: Suspected Communist/Confirmed Gossip

The F.B.I. ostensibly kept records on Capote for being “a supporter of the Cuban Revolution,” based on his association with The Fair Play for Cuba Committee. When asked why he supported the FPCC, Capote told the F.B.I., “my step father is Cuban.” The bureau also took an interest in the author because he accompanied a black cast performing “Porgy and Bess” in the Soviet Union.

But Capote’s F.B.I. file may have actually been the result of the author’s lust for gossip. Capote himself admitted to spreading rumors about F.B.I. Chief John Edgar Hoover’s supposed homosexual relationship with friend Clyde Tolson. He went as far as telling a magazine editor about the affair and almost wrote an article about it titled, “Johnny and Clyde.” “It got Hoover upset, that much I know,” Capote said. “And it got me … about 200 pages in an F.B.I. file.”

Dorothy Parker.jpg

Dorothy Parker: Suspected Communist/Confirmed Philanthropist

Parker’s file began in the 1930s, according to The New York Times, when an anonymous source reported she was contributing to a communist movement. Parker’s work with the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, which the House Un-American Activities Committee considered an anti-Catholic communist front “masterminded by Jews,” also caught the F.B.I.’s attention in the 1940s, following a number of events to raise funds for medical supplies, ambulances, hospitals and orphanages to assist refugees of European fascism. The F.B.I. went so far as to save the entire guest list of JAFRC’s “Free People’s Benefit Dinner” at the Beverly Hills Hotel on July 2, 1942.

Henry Miller: Suspected Nazi Sympathizer/Cult Leader

Henry Miller earned the first 10 pages of his F.B.I. file for supposedly expressing Nazi sympathies during a guest lecture at Dartmouth College: “Subject believes Nazis are decent people and that he likes collaborationists.” The F.B.I. caught wind of this through Albert Kahn, who had attended the lecture, harassed Miller and written an article in The Daily Worker insulting the “phony writer” for being a fascist, anti-Semitic propagandist and a former labor spy. On more personal notes, Kahn claims that Miller’s “first wife supported him by being a prostitute” and that the professor who had invited Miller to speak was “a devoted member of the Miller cult.”

That last assertion triggered a chain of accusations about the “Miller Cult.” An article in Harper’s entitled “The New Cult of Sex And Anarchy” portrayed Miller as a Big Sur guru. Another piece appeared in the San Francisco Examiner a month later, titled “Group Establishes Cult of Hatred in Carmel Mountains” and identified Miller as a cult leader.

Despite the accusations, all the F.B.I. was able to dig up from witnesses was that Miller was “strictly the artistic type” and “could very easily be called ‘screwball’ by people who didn’t understand or appreciate his writing.”


William Faulkner: Suspected Blackmail Victim/Adulterer

The F.B.I. has an entire file based on several strange phone call received by William Faulkner’s wife Estelle in 1956 and 1957 regarding her husband. One of the callers identified himself as A.B. Stein, claiming that he had information regarding Estelle’s husband and a Jean Stein that could be had for $500. (William was known for having extramarital affairs, and Jean Stein may have been no exception.)

William Faulkner told the F.B.I. that he had a hunch it may have been a young writer whom he had offended in the past and claimed that he and Jean Stein were just close friends with “mutual interest in radio, television and literary matters.”


“Roy” Bradbury: Suspected Communist/Tourist

Not only does the F.B.I. accidentally refer to Ray Bradbury as “Roy” for the first five pages of his file, but they spend 40 pages investigating his potential trip to Cuba. The F.B.I. suspected Bradbury had attended the Cultural Congress of Havana five years after President Kennedy’s ban on travel to the embargoed nation. The file notes that Bradbury told the F.B.I. he did “not possess informant potential, in view of his occupation as a freelance science fiction writer.” However, the F.B.I. continued to view him as a threat, noting his significant influence as a writer and as a guest of a Women’s Legislative Action event in 1968. In true F.B.I. fashion, there’s also a thorough biography of Bradbury that goes as far as to trace his ancestors back to their arrival in Salisbury, Massachusetts in 1630.

The investigation was eventually closed after the bureau examined Bradbury’s passport file and found that he had never applied to travel to Cuba — let alone actually travelling to Cuba. The F.B.I. also recognized that Bradbury had been “extremely successful in the writing field.” (Props!)

Charles Bukowski.jpg

Charles Bukowski: Suspected (Confirmed?) Dirty Old Man

This past September, Bukowski.net published all 113 pages of Charles Bukowski’s F.B.I. file. Bewildered by the U.S. postal worker’s “Notes of a Dirty Old Man” column in Open City, the bureau had begun following Bukowski, gathering as much information as they could to prove the writer’s self-proclaimed title as a “Dirty Old Man.” But besides arrests for public intoxication and a wedding in Vegas, most of what See link for See

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Attacking Peace and Love: How the FBI Neutralized John Lennon for Questioning Authority
For a little while, at least, Lennon became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government.
By John W. Whitehead / The Free Thought Project
October 18, 2015

“You gotta remember, establishment, it’s just a name for evil. The monster doesn’t care whether it kills all the students or whether there’s a revolution. It’s not thinking logically, it’s out of control.”—John Lennon (1969)

The Rutherford Institute

John Lennon, born 75 years ago on October 9, 1940, was a musical genius and pop cultural icon.

He was also a vocal peace protester and anti-war activist and a high-profile example of the lengths to which the U.S. government will go to persecute those who dare to challenge its authority.

Long before Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden were being castigated for blowing the whistle on the government’s war crimes and the National Security Agency’s abuse of its surveillance powers, it was Lennon who was being singled out for daring to speak truth to power about the government’s warmongering, his phone calls monitored and data files collected on his activities and associations.

For a little while, at least, Lennon became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government.

Years after Lennon’s assassination it would be revealed that the FBI had collected 281 pages of files on him, including song lyrics, a letter from J. Edgar Hoover directing the agency to spy on the musician, and various written orders calling on government agents to set the stage to set Lennon up for a drug bust. As reporter Jonathan Curiel observes, “The FBI’s files on Lennon … read like the writings of a paranoid goody-two-shoes.”

As the New York Times notes, “Critics of today’s domestic surveillance object largely on privacy grounds. They have focused far less on how easily government surveillance can become an instrument for the people in power to try to hold on to power. ‘The U.S. vs. John Lennon’ … is the story not only of one man being harassed, but of a democracy being undermined.”

Indeed, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, all of the many complaints we have about government today—surveillance, militarism, corruption, harassment, SWAT team raids, political persecution, spying, overcriminalization, etc.—were present in Lennon’s day and formed the basis of his call for social justice, peace and a populist revolution.

For all of these reasons, the U.S. government was obsessed with Lennon, who had learned early on that rock music could serve a political end by proclaiming a radical message. More importantly, Lennon saw that his music could mobilize the public and help to bring about change. Lennon believed in the power of the people. Unfortunately, as Lennon recognized: “The trouble with government as it is, is that it doesn’t represent the people. It controls them.”

However, as Martin Lewis writing for Time notes: “John Lennon was not God. But he earned the love and admiration of his generation by creating a huge body of work that inspired and led. The appreciation for him deepened because he then instinctively decided to use his celebrity as a bully pulpit for causes greater than his own enrichment or self-aggrandizement.”

For instance, in December 1971 at a concert in Ann Arbor, Mich., Lennon took to the stage and in his usual confrontational style belted out “John Sinclair,” a song he had written about a man sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing two marijuana cigarettes. Within days of Lennon’s call for action, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered Sinclair released.

What Lennon did not know at the time was that government officials had been keeping strict tabs on the ex-Beatle they referred to as “Mr. Lennon.” FBI agents were in the audience at the Ann Arbor concert, “taking notes on everything from the attendance (15,000) to the artistic merits of his new song.”

The U.S. government was spying on Lennon.

By March 1971, when his “Power to the People” single was released, it was clear where Lennon stood. Having moved to New York City that same year, Lennon was ready to participate in political activism against the U. S. government, the “monster” that was financing the war in Vietnam.

The release of Lennon’s Sometime in New York City album, which contained a radical anti-government message in virtually every song and depicted President Richard Nixon and Chinese Chairman Mao Tse-tung dancing together nude on the cover, only fanned the flames of the conflict to come.

The official U.S. war against Lennon began in earnest in 1972 after rumors surfaced that Lennon planned to embark on a U.S. concert tour that would combine rock music with antiwar organizing and voter registration. Nixon, fearing Lennon’s influence on about 11 million new voters (1972 was the first year that 18-year-olds could vote), had the ex-Beatle served with deportation orders “in an effort to silence him as a voice of the peace movement.”

Then again, the FBI has had a long history of persecuting, prosecuting and generally harassing activists, politicians, and cultural figures, most notably among the latter such celebrated names as folk singer Pete Seeger, painter Pablo Picasso, comic actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, comedian Lenny Bruce and poet Allen Ginsberg.

Among those most closely watched by the FBI was Martin Luther King Jr., a man labeled by the FBI as “the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.” With wiretaps and electronic bugs planted in his home and office, King was kept under constant surveillance by the FBI with the aim of “neutralizing” him. He even received letters written by FBI agents suggesting that he either commit suicide or the details of his private life would be revealed to the public. The FBI kept up its pursuit of King until he was felled by a hollow-point bullet to the head in 1968.

While Lennon was not—as far as we know—being blackmailed into suicide, he was the subject of a four-year campaign of surveillance and harassment by the U.S. government (spearheaded by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover), an attempt by President Richard Nixon to have him “neutralized” and deported. As Adam Cohen of the New York Times points out, “The F.B.I.’s surveillance of Lennon is a reminder of how easily domestic spying can become unmoored from any legitimate law enforcement purpose. What is more surprising, and ultimately more unsettling, is the degree to which the surveillance turns out to have been intertwined with electoral politics.”

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Fresh claim over role the FBI played in suicide of Ernest Hemingway

Friend reveals regret for dismissing writer's fear that he was being targeted by J Edgar Hoover
Ernest Hemingway AE Hotchner
AE Hotchner, left, after duck hunting with Ernest Hemingway in Ketchum, Idaho, in 1958.

Saturday 2 July 2011 19.07 EDT
Last modified on Friday 3 October 2014 07.40 EDT

For five decades, literary journalists, psychologists and biographers have tried to unravel why Ernest Hemingway took his own life, shooting himself at his Idaho home while his wife Mary slept.

Some have blamed growing depression over the realisation that the best days of his writing career had come to an end. Others said he was suffering from a personality disorder.

Now, however, Hemingway's friend and collaborator over the last 13 years of his life has suggested another contributing factor, previously dismissed as a paranoid delusion of the Nobel prize-winning writer. It is that Hemingway was aware of his long surveillance by J Edgar Hoover's FBI, who were suspicious of his links with Cuba, and that this may have helped push him to the brink.

Writing in the New York Times on the 50th anniversary of Hemingway's death, AE Hotchner, author of Papa Hemingway and Hemingway and His World, said he believed that the FBI's surveillance "substantially contributed to his anguish and his suicide", adding that he had "regretfully misjudged" his friend's fear of the organisation.

The reassessment is significant as it was precisely because of Papa Hemingway that the writer's fear of being bugged and followed by the FBI first surfaced. Hotchner's belated change of heart casts a new light on the last few months of Hemingway's life and two incidents in particular.

In November 1960, Hotchner writes, he had gone to visit Hemingway and Mary in Ketchum, Idaho, for an annual pheasant shoot. Hemingway was behaving oddly, Hotchner recalls: "When Ernest and our friend Duke MacMullen met my train at Shoshone, Idaho, for the drive to Ketchum, we did not stop at the bar opposite the station as we usually did because Ernest was anxious to get on the road. I asked why the hurry. 'The Feds.'
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"'They tailed us all the way. Ask Duke.'

"'Well... there was a car back of us out of Hailey.'

"'Why are FBI agents pursuing you?' I asked.

"'It's the worst hell. The goddamnedest hell. They've bugged everything. That's why we're using Duke's car. Mine's bugged. Everything's bugged. Can't use the phone. Mail intercepted.'

"We rode for miles in silence. As we turned into Ketchum, Ernest said quietly: 'Duke, pull over. Cut your lights.' He peered across the street at a bank. Two men were working inside. 'What is it?' I asked. 'Auditors. The FBI's got them going over my account.'

"'But how do you know?'

"'Why would two auditors be working in the middle of the night? Of course it's my account'."

It would not be the only time during this visit that Hemingway would complain about being under FBI surveillance. On the last day of Hotchner's visit, at dinner with the writer and his wife, Hemingway pointed out two men at the bar who he identified as "FBI agents".

With the two incidents immediately preceding Hemingway's hospitilisation at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he received electric shock therapy, and several unsuccessful suicide attempts that followed his release, most have written off Hemingway's complaints about the FBI as largely delusional.

In the 1980s, however, Hemingway's FBI file was released following a Freedom of Information request by Jeffrey Myers, an academic then at the University of Colorado. The file demonstrated a keen interest in Hemingway, including his wartime attempts to set up an anti-fascist spy network called the Crook Factory, and the interest persisted until he entered the Mayo Clinic in 1960.

Indeed, in January 1961, the special agent tasked with following him dutifully reported to Hoover in January of 1961 that Hemingway "was physically and mentally ill".

That file, running to more than 120 pages, 15 of them largely blacked out for national security reasons, also demonstrates quite how close an interest Hoover and his organisation took in Hemingway. It is reassessing the revelations contained in this file that prompted Hotchner to voice his regret that he had not taken Hemingway's

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Quentin Tarantino on police union's threat: 'I'm not worried'

The film-maker addressed the Fraternal Order of Police’s cryptic taunt, saying civil servants ‘shouldn’t be issuing threats to private citizens’

November 7 2015


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couple of reads about FBI agents and the use
of deadly force



Massachusetts FBI agent Callahan publishes
new book. Thr book makes a perfect xmas gift
in Feguson Missouri.

Former FBI agent pens book about legal use of deadly force

Former FBI agent John Michael Callahan published his second book in August about the use of deadly force as a law enforcement officer. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kaila Braley

Posted Dec 12, 2015 at 4:53 AM

“Officers sign up to protect and serve, not to die. They have families, and the right to go home at night,” former FBI agent John Michael Callahan.

Callahan, now retired, published his second book about deadly force in August titled “Lethal Force and the Objectively Reasonable Officer.” The book chronicles numerous investigations, court cases and scientific studies dealing


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amount of deadly force when he assassinated Martin Luther King
for FBI Director Hoover?

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Family of Muslim leader killed by FBI in Dearborn seeks answers

Jul 27, 2015

More than five years after the FBI's shooting death of a Muslim leader in Dearborn, his family is still trying to find out what happened and the names of those who shot him during a sting operation, maintaining there was a cover-up by federal authorities.

This month, the family asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its case.

Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, of Detroit, was struck 20 times on October 28, 2009, inside a Dearborn warehouse as part of an undercover counterterrorism operation investigating what the FBI said were his extremist views and trafficking in stolen goods.

Supporters of Abdullah and some civil rights advocates called it overkill in the war on terrorism while the FBI said its agents acted properly in shooting him dead. Involving surveillance and informants, the case has drawn widespread attention in the debate over how to balance civil liberties and national security after the Sept. 11 attacks.

From the archives: Exam doesn't clarify who shot FBI dog during raid

According to the FBI, Abdullah opened fire on the FBI's police dog that their agents had sicced on him after he refused to surrender, prompting four federal agents to return fire with 20 bullets that killed the leader of a Detroit mosque. Three investigations - by Dearborn Police, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and the U.S. Dept. of Justice - said the FBI did not violate any laws in the shooting.

But in a series of legal filings over the past two years that came out of a 2012 lawsuit, attorneys representing the estate of Abdullah challenge that view, saying that Abdullah was not armed and never fired at agents.They said in an amended complaint that the Detroit FBI "engaged in a concerted effort to manipulate and conceal the evidence concerning the brutal death of Abdullah."

U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Paul Zatkoff and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Ohio both have dismissed the lawsuit, saying that it failed to specify who they are suing within the three-year statue of limitations. They ruled that the FBI didn't conceal what happened.

In February, a three-judge panel with the Sixth Circuit Court agreed with Zatkoff's ruling last year, and in April the court denied a request for a full hearing.

From the archives: Friends of slain imam remember his generosity

In response, Abdullah's estate filed a petition on July 9th with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the high court to consider their case.

Abdullah's family, which includes his wife and ten children, said the case was dismissed on minor technicalities and that they should have their day in court.

"The family has not been able to get to the truth of what exactly happened," said Shereef Akeel, co-counsel for the estate of Abdullah. "We never had an opportunity to find out...The court is the best place to find out, but the court doors have been closed to the Luqman family to determine what happened. We want to open the doors."

Akeel said that with renewed attention over the past year to the deaths of African-Americans by law enforcement, there should a thorough review of what happened to Abdullah, who was African-American.

The petition filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, called a Writ of Certiorari, is "our last shot," Akeel added. "This is like a Hail Mary pass. Hopefully, finally, the family can get some answers."

One of Abdullah's sons, Omar Regan, said: "We've been fighting in Court for over 5 years and the Government keeps covering it up."

Lena Masri, co-counsel and a staff attorney with the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said the "Sixth Circuit Court's ruling is extremely concerning as it allows the government to cover up the facts and identities of those involved in a wrongful killing, and to ultimately escape liability."

Masri had filed FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests with local, state, and federal officials to get the names of the four agents, but was denied. There were 66 agents in total who took part in the take down of Abdullah and his associates.

Detroit FBI spokesman Supervisory Special Agent David Porter and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade, whose office is representing the FBI in the lawsuit, both declined comment.

In their court responses, the U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit has denied that the FBI concealed anything in the shooting and was open about what happened in press releases and in the media.

They also say that attorneys for Abdullah's family had failed to specify the names of FBI agents within three years after the Oct. 2009 shooting.

The original lawsuit, filed on Oct. 26, 2012, named "Unidentified FBI Agents" as defendants. In April 2013, it was amended to specify Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit FBI Andrew Arena, who led the operation against Abdullah, George Nikolopoulos, head of the FBI Detroit's SWAT team, and four unidentified FBI agents. The U.S. Attorney's office said that was past the three-year statue of limitations after the 2009 shooting.

Akeel replied that the three-year time limit should not have started until after they found out in 2012 a different version of events through a colleague of Abdullah, Muhammad Abdul Salaam, which gave them a cause of action.

The lawsuit was based on an affidavit of Salaam, who was inside the warehouse at the time of the take-down. Salaam testified that Abdullah wasn't armed and didn't fire at agents.

Salaam said the agents shot Abdullah while he was on his back, trying to protect himself from the police dog tearing his face.

The FBI says Salaam was a close associate of Abdullah and had five previous felony convictions. He was known as "the gun man" for his large stash of weapons, the FBI said in 2009.

Family of Abdullah allege the FBI concealed evidence after the shooting

In the amended complaint filed in April 2013, attorneys for Abdullah's family allege that under orders from the head of the Detroit FBI at the time, Arena, the body of Abdullah was moved after the shooting, a semi-automatic handgun was removed, and local investigators were denied access to the crime scene.

Akeel said Abdullah's fingerprints were never found on any gun at the scene.

"Local police crime scene investigators and medical personnel were denied entry into the warehouse to assess the crime scene and provide medical treatment to Abdullah," wrote Abdullah's attorneys. "An alleged semi‐automatic handgun was allegedly removed from the crime scene and taken to FBI Headquarters. Accordingly,the alleged semi‐automatic handgun was unavailable for forensic analysis by local crime scene investigators."

"The body of Abdullah was already moved to a different location inside the warehouse before local crime scene investigators and the medical examiner were allowed to gain access to the crime scene," read the complaint.

In an additional document filed the next month, attorneys for Abdullah's family said "not only did the FBI withhold evidence, but the FBI concocted a story to the public with a media blitz to blame Abdullah for his own horribly painful death by claiming that Abdullah brandished a handgun and fired in the direction of the FBI Agents."

In their legal response, Assistant U.S. Attorney Theresa Urbanic said that the FBI does "not concede" that the FBI concealed evidence at the crime scene. But even if that were true, she wrote, "these allegations would show only concealment of evidence, not concealment of a cause of action."

The U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit point to a press release the FBI put out shortly after the 2009 shooting to show it was not concealing what happened, as well as news articles and a documentary about the shooting by professors at Michigan State University that featured an interview with Arena.

In the documentary, Arena said that he gave the order to release the dog on Abdullah, whom the FBI said had refused to put his hands up and surrender. Arena added that Abdullah had previously threatened violence against law enforcement.

Urbanic also said that Abdullah's family took too long to get information from Salaam. Salaam, who was sent to prison for his role in dealing in stolen goods along with Abdullah, was released from prison in October 2011, and could have been interviewed earlier, she said.

Other Muslim-Americans killed in encounters with FBI since Detroit shooting

Since Abdullah's case, two other Muslim-Americans have been killed in encounters with the FBI. In May 2013, Ibragim Todashev, 27, was killed by a FBI agent when they were questioning him; the FBI said that Todahev, interviewed in connection with one of the Boston Marathon attackers, became violent and lunged at the agent with a pole, according to The Boston Globe.


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Jun 19, 2013 - We're still waiting for the FBI to finish its internal investigation into exactly what happened in an Orlando apartment last month, when an FBI

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Reply with quote  #15 
FBI agents tried to assassinate Pete Seeger on several occasions.
Public Television detailed one assassination attempt in their documentary about Peter Seeger in their
American Masters Series.

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In PETE SEEGER: POWER OF SONG, the only authorized biography, Jim Brown documents

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Pete Seeger’s FBI File Reveals How the Folk Legend First Became a Target of the Feds
It all started with a letter.

| Fri Dec. 18, 2015 6:00 AM EST

From the 1940s through the early 1970s, the US government spied on singer-songwriter Pete Seeger because of his political views and associations. According to documents in Seeger's extensive FBI file—which runs to nearly 1,800 pages (with 90 pages withheld) and was obtained by Mother Jones under the Freedom of Information Act—the bureau's initial interest in Seeger was triggered in 1943 after Seeger, as an Army private, wrote a letter protesting a proposal to deport all Japanese American citizens and residents when World War II ended.

Seeger, a champion of folk music and progressive causes—and the writer, performer, or promoter of now-classic songs, including as "If I Had a Hammer," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?," Turn! Turn! Turn!," "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine," "Goodnight, Irene," and "This Land Is Your Land"—was a member of the Communist Party for several years in the 1940s, as he subsequently acknowledged. (He later said he should have left earlier.) His FBI file shows that Seeger, who died in early 2014, was for decades hounded by the FBI, which kept trying to tie him to the Communist Party, and the first investigation in the file illustrates the absurd excesses of the paranoid security establishment of that era.

In July 1942, Seeger was drafted into the Army. ("I was almost glad when I heard from my draft board," he later wrote in a diary.) He was assigned to be trained as an aviation mechanic at Keesler Field in Mississippi. While in the Army, he kept up with the news, and in the fall of 1942, Seeger, who was then 23 years old, wrote a letter of protest to the California chapter of the American Legion. It was to the point:

Dear Sirs -

I felt shocked, outraged, and disgusted to read that the California American Legion voted to 1) deport all Japanese after the war, citizen or not, 2) Bar all Japanese descendants from citizenship!!

We, who may have to give our lives in this great struggle—we're fighting precisely to free the world of such Hitlerism, such narrow jingoism.

If you deport Japanese, why not Germans, Italians, Rumanians, Hungarians, and Bulgarians?

If you bar from citizenship descendants of Japanese, why not descendants of English? After all, we once fought with them too.

America is great and strong as she is because we have so far been a haven to all oppressed.

I felt sick at heart to read of this matter.

Yours truly,

Pvt. Peter Seeger

I am writing also to the Los Angeles Times.

How did the American Legion respond? It forwarded Seeger's note to the FBI in San Francisco. And somehow this matter was brought to the attention of the Military Intelligence Service of the War Department. Within weeks, military intelligence was investigating Seeger—and soon updating the FBI on its effort. The official "reason for investigation," as numerous military reports forwarded to the FBI noted, was that "Subject wrote letter protesting and criticizing the California American Legion's resolution advocating deportation of all Japanese, citizens or not, after the war, and barring all Japanese descendants from citizenship."

Our 2004 profile of the folk music icon

Seeger had become a target merely because he had objected to mass deportations. The secret investigation coincided with the completion of Seeger's training as an aviation mechanic. He expected to be deployed to active duty. But while he was under investigation, those orders never came. He watched the rest of his training class be sent to airfields, but he stayed put. At first, he wasn't sure why. He was frustrated.

Military intelligence officers across the country began probing Seeger and his background. They searched police records in various locales (and found nothing). They discovered that a House committee had come across his name twice while investigating subversives in the pre-war peace movement. They secretly read his mail, including letters from his Japanese American fiancee, Toshi Ohta, who was living in New York City. The investigators were concerned that Ohta was working for the Japanese American Committee for Democracy, which promoted the American war effort but was considered by the military gumshoes to be a Communist-influenced group. In one letter to Seeger, Ohta said she suspected that the combination of Seeger's past work with the Almanac Singers, a group of lefty folk singers who sang mostly pro-labor songs, and his relationship with her would prevent him from being deployed overseas. She wrote, "Not that I mind that…from the danger point of view…But what good is your going through all this training and having the government spend so much money on you…if they don't allow you to use it." Seeger, several days later, wrote to his grandmother: "It is possible that I am being held here because of my former connections with the Almanac Singers and because of my engagement to a Japanese-American, but I doubt it. I have never tried to hide either fact."

Early in the investigation, an officer at Keesler Field interviewed Seeger, who noted that he was puzzled that he had not been deployed as an aviation mechanic, given that he had completed his training. Seeger pointed out that he played the five-string banjo well and requested that he be assigned to the Special Services Department, which provided entertainment for the troops. Seeger was asked about Ohta, and he informed the officer that her father was a Japanese refugee who had come to the United States because he disagreed with the militarists of Japan. Seeger said Ohta's father had been given the choice of being executed in Japan or leaving the country. He told the officer that the Japanese American Committee for Democracy sought to demonstrate that Japanese Americans were loyal citizens and that its sponsors included Albert Einstein and author Pearl Buck.
Pete Seeger FBI Interview (pg 129)

Seeger was not informed that he was under investigation.

After the interview, the officer wrote in a memo that he believed Seeger had been "truthful in all answers…and that he made no attempt to withhold anything." The officer added, "From all indications, Subject has no idea that anything he has done or any associations he might have had in the past or might have at the present time would be cause to hold him on this field or keep him under surveillance at any time." In a diary entry Seeger wrote later that year, he said he thought the questioning was prompted because someone had seen the return address on the letters that Ohta had sent him: "I was very frank with them, spontaneously volunteering all I thought they would want. I thought I had satisfied them." Seeger did not initially realize the military snoops were reading his mail and thoroughly investigating him. But months after this interview, he would suspect that his mail was being opened. He then came to the conclusion that his deployment was being blocked: "I hoped it was because of Toshi, but was afraid that it was because of my work as an Almanac Singer."

As part of the probe prompted by Seeger's protest letter, a military intelligence agent visited the grade school in Litchfield, Connecticut, that Seeger had attended—and found the available records did not cover the period when Seeger had been there. (And, he wrote in a report, "it is doubtful that the information obtained would be of any value.") This agent also went to Seeger's high school in Avon, Connecticut. (A member of the faculty said Seeger "possessed unusual literary talents" and was intelligent and "completely honest and reliable.") The report based on this interview noted that Seeger, after leaving high school, "appeared to have assumed a 'Bohemian' attitude in dress and appearance" and that this faculty member had concluded that Seeger had "developed a somewhat radical outlook on life" but was in no way "dangerous."

Another agent went to Harvard University, where Seeger had studied for a year and a half before withdrawing due to financial reasons, and he managed to review Seeger's academic records ("Grades in the first year were fair") and gain access to the membership list of the Harvard Student Union, of which Seeger had been the secretary. This agent spoke to faculty members and acquaintances of Seeger at Harvard, but they only remembered him slightly.

An agent in Detroit, Michigan, interviewed the director of student activities at Wayne State University about concerts there that had featured the Almanac Singers. (The interviewee had nothing to say about Seeger.) This agent also questioned the owner of a record store where the Almanac Singers had stored their instruments when they were in Detroit. A pal of Seeger's told another agent that, after studying at Harvard, Seeger had traveled around the country performing and collecting folk music, and that he had attended "Communist meetings." This friends said Seeger had been interested in the Communist Party because, as the interview report put it, "under their program the artist had an opportunity to produce his works without worry of starving to death, as they were subsidized by the government for such work."

As part of the Seeger probe, military intelligence did investigate Ohta. It also probed Charles Seeger, Pete's father and a noted musicologist. An agent interviewed the father "under pretext"—meaning the agent cooked up a phony reason for the interview—according to a report he later filed. Charles told the agent that his son had "bummed around" the country, playing the banjo and singing, before being drafted into the Army, and was "very much interested in the common people." Pete Seeger, this agent's report noted, "was a close friend and associate of 'Leadbetter,' also known as 'Leadbelly,' a negro murderer who escaped from prison a few years ago." (Lead Belly, whose real name was Huddie Ledbetter, did go to jail for killing a relative but was pardoned in 1925 after serving the minimum sentence. He went on to become a renowned folk singer.) Seeger's father pointed out that his son was frustrated that he had not yet been transferred to active duty and combat. He said his son was not a radical but possessed a liberal point of view.

On May Day in 1943, a military intelligence agent in New York City named Harwood Ryan interviewed folk singer Woody Guthrie as part of the Seeger investigation. Guthrie, who had been a member of the Almanac Singers, recounted that he had met Seeger in the summer of 1941 when both men had joined the group. Most of the act's engagements, Guthrie said, had been in union halls, and Seeger had been the best musician in the group and written most of the lyrics for their original songs. Guthrie told Ryan that the Almanac Singers had slept on freight trains, under bridges, and in churches while touring. According to the report Ryan filed, Guthrie gave the following description of Seeger:

[He] had been greatly interested in American folklore and had always been interested in people and what they were doing. [Seeger] had a great deal of energy and was brilliant, but he was hard to understand. Guthrie attributed this to the fact that [Seeger] always wanted to see things done in a more efficient and better way than they were being done. In addition, [Seeger] loved good organization and was always active in trying to make group endeavors work more smoothly. Guthrie would not name any of the groups, but said he referred to many kinds of outings or meetings in which people assembled at large gatherings.

Ryan asked Guthrie about Seeger's political views, and Guthrie responded:

[Seeger] was progressive in his outlook and had liberal views, maintaining that men had the right to organize and bargain collectively. In addition, [Seeger] was very much in favor of labor unions and most of the Almanacs' bookings were by such unions. According to Guthrie, [Seeger's] present politics are National Unity. Guthrie emphasized that [Seeger] is not an overthrower, but he is out to win the war. What [Seeger] wants personally, is to do Hitler the most damage possible. Guthrie said he had just received a letter stating that [Seeger] was extremely anxious to be sent on active service and that he could not understand why he was being held inactive in an unassigned group.

Guthrie told Ryan that Seeger could be trusted and that the Army should put his talents and strong mind to good use.

Ryan, though, was suspicious of Guthrie and thought he was being cagey about Seeger's political beliefs. In his report, he noted that in Guthrie's apartment he had spotted a large guitar that bore an inscription: "This machine kills Fascists." Ryan added that he believed "this bears out the belief that the Almanac Players were active singing Communist songs and spreading propaganda." He reported that he thought Guthrie had been "truthful as far as he went, but that he knew a great deal more about [Seeger's] politics and activities than he admitted."
Interview With Woodie Guthrie (pg 73)

Throughout 1943, the results of the military's probe were compiled in reports on Seeger. One memo reported that Seeger's "supervisors at Harvard University considered that Subject had radical ideas…and one of the supervisors thought that the Subject had a leaning towards Communism." It noted that a "reliable source" had said one of Seeger's "acquaintances" was a "self-confessed Communist, ardent in his love for the Communistic teachings of Russia," and one "acquaintance"—maybe the same one—said Seeger was "in sympathy with the Communist cause." The author of the report concluded that Seeger "will be further influenced along questionable lines by his new wife, the former Toshi Ohta, who is half-Japanese…Correspondence between the two indicated that both…were deeply interested in political trends, particularly anti-Fascist, and that she was a member of several Communist infiltrated organizations. Their marriage will quite possibly fuse and strengthen their individual radical tendencies." The report concluded that Seeger was "an idealist whose devotion to radical ideologies is such as to make his loyalty to the United States under all circumstances questionable." Seeger, this memo claimed, was "potentially subversive." The document was sent to J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI.

Another military intelligence report concluded that Seeger's "Communistic sypmpathies.…and his numerous Communist and otherwise undesirable friends" rendered him "unfit for a position of trust or reliability." A third report said Seeger is "intensely loyal at this time. He is eager to join the battle actively against Fascism, and is applying himself to improve his military and technical knowledge to be of greatest service." But it added that if the Communist Party line shifted against the war, Seeger could be susceptible to "potential subversion." This report also focused on his love for Toshi Ohta: "While this relationship appears on a high plane, this Officer believes it to be unorthodox and one which might lead to divided loyalty in the event this country's treatment of the Japanese were not in accord with the views of himself or the woman he expects to marry." It went on to point out that "as an entertainer, his songs have been colored subtly toward idealistic classlessness." And this memo concluded, "Despite [Seeger's] intelligence and desire to apply himself to the destruction of the enemy, this officer believes that enemy to be Fascism and not necessarily any enemy of the United States." That is, Seeger was more loyal to an abstraction than his country. The recommendation: that he remain under surveillance as a "potentially subversive" person.

The Seeger investigation apparently petered out after he was transferred to an airfield in Texas. But Seeger was not sent abroad as an aviation mechanic. Instead, he did become part of the Army division responsible for entertaining the troops. In the summer of 1944, he shipped off to the Pacific Theater, and he sang his way through the rest of the war.

After the war, Seeger remained an FBI target. It was a time of communist hunting. Confidential informants had fingered Seeger as a party member or sympathizer, and throughout the 1950s the FBI generated hundreds of reports on Seeger. The bureau closely tracked his musical performances and his appearances at political events. It monitored his associations with groups and persons suspected of being linked to or controlled by the Communist Party. FBI agents called his booking agency and pretended to be people who wanted to arrange a Seeger performance in order to collect information on his travels within the United States and overseas. The burgeoning folk music world overlapped with the progressive movement (which the bureau saw as riddled with and dominated by commies) and Seeger was at the nexus.

In the early 1950s, Seeger was a member of the Weavers folk group, as it became a national act with a string of hits. The group sold an estimated 4 million singles and albums. But as the Weaver reached this height, Seeger became the target of the blacklist banning entertainers suspected of Communist Party ties. A Senate committee investigated the Weavers. The demand for Weavers shows diminished. In 1953, two FBI agents working in the Security Informant Program tried to interview Seeger after he dropped one of his children at school near his home in upstate New York. "I think I had just better not say anything," he told them.

In 1955, Seeger was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Asked if he was a communist, Seeger defiantly replied, "I am not going to answer any questions as to my associations, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs or how I voted in any election or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked." He did not plead the Fifth Amendment. He took a stand, telling the committee, "I would be very glad to tell you my life, if you want to hear of it." He added, "If you want to question me about any songs…I will be glad to tell what songs I have ever sung, because singing is my business." Seeger told the committee, "I have sung for Americans of every political persuasion…I have sung in hobo jungles, and I have sung for the Rockefellers."

The congressmen running the commie-hunting committee were not pleased. In 1957, Seeger was cited for contempt of Congress for not answering the questions about his political associations. Four years later, after much legal wrangling, he was found guilty after a three-day trial. Seeger was sentenced to a year in prison. He remained free on bail, and a year later, the conviction was overturned when a federal appeals court determined the original indictment had been defective. After that, the Justice Department dropped the case.

Seeger's FBI files indicate the FBI actively monitored the contempt case against Seeger. Its agents stayed in contact with the prosecutors handling the case, as the bureau kept gathering information on Seeger's connections to progressive organizations—civil liberties and civil rights outfits, peace groups, pro-labor entities, and the like—that it deemed subversive. It closely watched his use of his passport.

After the contempt case concluded, the FBI remained on the Seeger beat. When the folk singer traveled abroad, according to a 1963 FBI note from Hoover to the State Department, the bureau notified the CIA and asked for any information it might obtain on Seeger overseas. At one point, when Seeger played a series of concerts in Hawaii in 1963, the FBI collected information on the shows, noting that an audience member from an "avowedly anti-Communist organization" had reported to the bureau that Seeger had sung a song that was "low keyed propaganda to the effect that America is a land of conformity" and also played a song from Japan about nuclear bombs. This source noted that "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" was inspired by a passage from a Soviet writer. In 1966, a FBI memo recorded the fact—obtained form a "reliable" source—that Seeger had registered for a Russian-language course. The bureau kept in touch with the police force and the postmaster of Beacon, New York, where Seeger and his wife, Toshi, lived, to keep a close eye on his comings and goings.

FBI surveillance of Seeger continued into the early 1970s. A 1971 FBI report listing evidence of his "CP Sympathy" noted that Seeger had entertained at a benefit concert for three soldiers who had refused to serve in Vietnam because they believed the war there was illegal, immoral, and unjust. Also, it pointed out that he had raised money at a Los Angeles concert for a group called Southern Californians to Abolish the House Committee for Un-American Activities. A 1972 FBI memo reported that Seeger "has manifested a revolutionary ideology." The message: He still needed watching.

By that point, Seeger had broken free from the black list, appearing on network television five years earlier on the popular Smothers Brothers' variety show. And he had become a prominent environmental crusader, building the Clearwater, a 106-foot sailing ship that cruised the Hudson River to promote efforts to clean up that major waterway. In the decades to come, Seeger kept on singing and organizing. While his FBI file gathered dust, he received numerous honors. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972. President Bill Clinton in 1994 awarded him the National Medal of Arts. Seeger entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, as an early influencer. He won Grammy awards. He performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during an inaugural concert for President Barack Obama.

Seeger was 94 years old when he died. His wide-ranging impact on popular culture, music, and politics had survived all the efforts—behind closed doors and in the public—to brand him a subversive and an enemy of freedom. This was seven decades after he first became a target of government snoops merely because he was upset about a racist and unconstitutional idea and, as a private citizen, wrote a letter about it.
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