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Last Of FBI’s John Lennon Files Are Released

From those aging hipsters at the Associated Press:

Secret John Lennon Files Released By FBI

Documents Conclude Former Beatle Wasn’t Serious Threat

December 20, 2006

LOS ANGELES — The FBI has released its final surveillance documents on John Lennon to a university historian who has waged a 25-year legal battle to obtain the secret files.

The 10 pages contain new details about Lennon’s ties to leftist and anti-war groups in London in the early 1970s, but nothing indicating government officials considered the former Beatle a serious threat, historian Jon Wiener told the Los Angeles Times in Wednesday’s editions.

The FBI had unsuccessfully argued that an unnamed foreign government secretly provided the information, and releasing the documents could lead to diplomatic, political or economic retaliation against the United States.

The newly released documents include a surveillance report stating that two prominent British leftists had courted Lennon in hopes that he would finance "a left-wing bookshop and reading room in London" but that Lennon gave them no money.

Another page states that there was "no certain proof" that Lennon had provided money "for subversive purposes."

"I doubt that Tony Blair’s government will launch a military strike on the U.S. in retaliation for the release of these documents," Wiener told the newspaper. "Today, we can see that the national security claims that the FBI has been making for 25 years were absurd from the beginning."

Wiener first requested the documents in 1981, several months after he decided to write a book about Lennon following the singer’s murder.

He initially obtained some documents, but the FBI withheld numerous files, saying they contained national security information and were exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

Wiener sued the government and received a number of files in 1997 as part of a settlement with the FBI. Justice Department lawyers continued to withhold the final 10 pages until a federal judge in 2004 ordered their release.

The previously released files showed that the FBI closely monitored Lennon from 1971 to 1972.

Normally we avoid posting entertainment news. Let alone news from thirty years ago. But this story and the concomitant made-for-TV movie on this subject, "The U.S. vs. John Lennon" pointedly ignore one salient fact:

John Lennon was only investigated by the FBI when it was learned that he had contributed $75,000 to a group that intended to disrupt the Republican National Convention in 1972.

That disruption was planned by John Kerry’s VVAW. It resulted in a trial of the "Gainesville Eight."

Lest we forget, one of the members of the "Gainesville Eight" is Scot Camil, the man behind the earlier discussed plan to kill six US Senators.

The "peace movement" wasn’t quite all innocence and sunshine.

The article also gets this wrong;

The previously released files showed that the FBI closely monitored Lennon from 1971 to 1972.

Anyone can now look at the files and see that the FBI only started their file on Mr. Lennon in February 1972. And they only seem to have monitored his activities from March 1972 until August 1972, when they pronounced the case closed.

The claim that the FBI "closely monitored" Lennon would also seem to be incorrect. The FBI never did any phone taps or any other kinds of eavesdropping. Most if not all of their information came appears to have come from "sources" rather than tailing FBI agents.

But where’s the drama in that?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, December 20th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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