AuthorTopic: "Clever Beatle"  (Read 450 times)

Offline azozeo

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"Clever Beatle"
« on: March 06, 2019, 04:07:47 PM »

When FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reported to the Nixon White House in 1972 about the Bureau's surveillance of John Lennon, he began by explaining that Lennon was a "former member of the Beatles singing group." When a copy of this letter arrived in response to Jon Wiener's 1981 Freedom of Information request, the entire text was withheld―along with almost 200 other pages―on the grounds that releasing it would endanger national security. This book tells the story of the author's remarkable fourteen-year court battle to win release of the Lennon files under the Freedom of Information Act in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. With the publication of Gimme Some Truth, 100 key pages of the Lennon FBI file are available―complete and unexpurgated, fully annotated and presented in a "before and after" format.

Lennon's file was compiled in 1972, when the war in Vietnam was at its peak, when Nixon was facing reelection, and when the "clever Beatle" was living in New York and joining up with the New Left and the anti-war movement. The Nixon administration's efforts to "neutralize" Lennon are the subject of Lennon's file. The documents are reproduced in facsimile so that readers can see all the classification stamps, marginal notes, blacked out passages and―in some cases―the initials of J. Edgar Hoover. The file includes lengthy reports by confidential informants detailing the daily lives of anti-war activists, memos to the White House, transcripts of TV shows on which Lennon appeared, and a proposal that Lennon be arrested by local police on drug charges.

Fascinating, engrossing, at points hilarious and absurd, Gimme Some Truth documents an era when rock music seemed to have real political force and when youth culture challenged the status quo in Washington. It also delineates the ways the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations fought to preserve government secrecy, and highlights the legal strategies adopted by those who have challenged it.

Only weeks after John Lennon was shot and killed outside of his New York home in December 1980 by Mark Chapman, a professor of history at the University of California named Joe Wiener began probing the links that existed between Lennon and American authorities: ďIt began out of simple curiosity, a desire to check out a few rumors that [FBI boss, J. Edgar] Hoover was not Lennonís greatest fan. It then started snowballing into a crusade when I realized how many obstacles were being thrown in my path,Ē stated Professor Wiener. Twenty years on, and as a direct result of his research and investigations, Wiener found himself embroiled in one of the most talked about court cases of all time.

On February 18, 2000, in Court 23 at the Federal Court Building in Los Angeles, Judge Brian Q. Robbins ordered the FBI to release two letters from a batch of ten documents it was withholding concerning its intense surveillance activities of Lennon. The FBI flatly refused to comply with the order, citing overwhelming national security considerations. Although the FBI had already released a substantial amount of documentation from its files on Lennon by the time the case came to court, what set this final, elusive batch of papers apart from the already-declassified files, is that they almost certainly originated with none other than Britainís ultra-secret, domestic security service: MI5.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why youíre here. Youíre here because you know something. What you know you canít explain, but you feel it. Youíve felt it your entire life, that thereís something wrong with the world.
You donít know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind


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