Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files (Google eBook)

Front Cover
University of California Press, Dec 22, 1999 - Singers - 344 pages
2 Reviews
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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Gimme some truth: the John Lennon FBI files

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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 ... Read full review

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Love Lennon, Love the book. This book deserves five stars. I'm furious that someone gave it two stars and that's it's a "yawn book". It definitely is not. It is very fascinating. I learned a lot about Lennon and the FBI. I am glad there are people like Jon Wiener in the world. Also whoever wrote this "It's more about the legal case filed in order to get the file than about John Lennon himself, but if you happen to be interested in applying the Freedom of Information Act to unlock the secret FBI ..." did not read the title of the book. Yes the book is all about the case and the procedure. It is titled Gimme some truth: the John Lennon FBI files.  

Contents

HISTORY
11
Getting Started
13
From District Court to the Supreme Court
35
Deposing the FBI and CIA
56
The Clinton Administration Takes Action
76
After the Settlement
92
The Culture of Secrecy
100
THE FILES
106
The Files
110
Notes
309
Glossary
317
Chronology
321
Bibliography
325
Acknowledgments
329
Index
331
Copyright

Guide to FBI File Pages
107

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Page 10 - 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...
Page 16 - 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.
Page 20 - 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.
Page 8 - Secret" shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.
Page 22 - 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.

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About the author (1999)

Jon Wiener is Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. Among his books are "Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files" (UC Press) and "Historians in Trouble: Plagiarism, Fraud and Politics in the Ivory Tower".

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