Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files

University of California Press, 21 jan. 2000 - 344 sidor
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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.

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From 1983 to 1997, the ACLU helped Jon Wiener litigate the release of several hundred pages worth of FBI documents on John Lennon (in documents noted as a "former member of the Beatles singing group ... Läs hela recensionen

Gimme some truth: the John Lennon FBI files

Användarrecension  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In 1971, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover started a surveillance of former Beatle John Lennon, who was believed to be a threat to national security. Lennon was active in leading a campaign to get younger ... Läs hela recensionen

Utvalda sidor


Getting Started
From District Court to the Supreme Court
Deposing the FBI and CIA
The Clinton Administration Takes Action
After the Settlement
The Culture of Secrecy
Guide to FBI File Pages

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Populära avsnitt

Sida 6 - States is at war, shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States...
Sida 34 - ... lunatic in every madhouse, and its dead in every churchyard ; which has its ruined suitor, with his slipshod heels and threadbare dress, borrowing and begging through the round of every man's acquaintance; which gives to monied might, the means abundantly of wearying out the right ; which so exhausts finances, patience, courage, hope ; so overthrows the brain and breaks the heart ; that there is not an honorable man among its practitioners who would not give — who does not often give — the...
Sida 12 - Columbia, has jurisdiction to enjoin the Agency from withholding Agency records and to order the production of any Agency records improperly withheld from the complainant.
Sida 16 - In such a case the court shall determine the matter de novo, and may examine the contents of such agency records in camera to determine whether such records or any part thereof shall be withheld under any of the exemptions set forth in subsection (b) of this section, and the burden is on the agency to sustain its action.
Sida 4 - Secret" shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.
Sida 27 - Is this course of action which we have agreed upon lawful, is it legal, is it ethical or moral?
Sida 18 - It is vital that some process be formulated that will (1) assure that a party's right to information is not submerged beneath governmental obfuscation and mischaracterization, and (2) permit the court system effectively and efficiently to evaluate the factual nature of disputed information.
Sida 78 - In some exceptional cases, however, the need to protect such information may be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure of the information, and in these cases the information should be declassified.
Sida 310 - Vaughn v. Rosen, 484 F.2d 820 (DC Cir. 1973), cert, denied 415 US 977 (1974).

Om författaren (2000)

Jon Wiener is an American historian and journalist based in Los Angeles, author of Come Together: John Lennon and His Time (1994), and a contributing editor of The Nation.

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