Sunday, August 1, 2010

Zinn's FBI Files Released

No surprise that the FBI was meddling in the life of Howard Zinn, historian, activist, and outspoken critic of US domestic and foreign policy. Raw Story has published some excerpts (including links to the PDF copies) as it combs through the 243 page document. The FBI maintained an interest in Zinn from the late 1940s to the 1970s, and put some effort into getting him fired from Boston University:
In a document from the Boston FBI office (see PDF file here), an FBI "source," whose name was redacted from the publicly released documents, was quoted as being outraged over Zinn's comment at a protest that the US had become a "police state" and that prosecutions of Black Panther Party members were creating "political prisoners."
According to the source, Zinn stated that (I'm now quoting from the original documents (pages 69-70 of the PDF):
"Police in every nation are a blight and the United States is no exception."
The file continues:
Boston proposes under captioned program with Bureau permission to furnish [name redacted] with public source data regarding Zinn's numerous anti-war activities, including his trip to Hanoi, 1/31/68, in an effort to back [redacted] efforts for his removal.
The document quoted was dated 4/17/70, after Zinn received tenure at BU (on this process, see You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train, pp. 183-185). As we know in retrospect, Mr. Redacted failed. Yet another good reason to keep matter what Mark C. Taylor says (that's actually a link to one of Taylor's critics, and a sharp one at that).

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