Friday, September 28, 2012


John Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States, gives a speech during a testimony before the senate internal security committee, on November 17, 1953. (BOB MULLIGAN/AFP/Getty)

In 1981, student journalist Seth Rosenfeld began researching the FBI's misconduct in its investigations of 1960s student protests at UC Berkeley. The project blossomed into a 30-year investigative odyssey, resulting in the release of 300,000 FBI documents, which the government spent over $1 million trying to block. Bob talks to Rosenfeld about some of the stunning revelations from his new book, Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power

Yo La Tengo - Damage


Seth Rosenfeld

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Bob Garfield

Comments [1]

ernie1241 from California

Seth should be congratulated for his persistence and tenacity in acquiring so many FBI documents which the Bureau obviously did not want to release.

Seth is correct that the FBI continues to overclassify its records and, more importantly, it irrationally and inconsistently redacts material from those records.

For example, the Bureau chooses to redact names from public source material such as corporate articles of incorporation, as well as personal names contained in newspaper articles whose text the Bureau typed into its memos and reports.

The FBI even redacts names from press releases and newsletters issued by organizations which mention persons who were officers or representatives of those organizations. In other words, even though an organization published material identifying its officers and endorsers because it wanted the public to know the stature of people allied with or representing the organization (such as speakers at its public events), nevertheless the FBI often redacts those names from the material published by the organization as well as in FBI memos and reports which quote from those publications. It is inconceivable that Congress intended in FOIA legislation to permit redaction of names already in the public domain -- but that is how the FBI operates.

Sep. 29 2012 08:44 AM

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