The Feynman Files: The professor’s invitation past the Iron Curtain

During the Cold War, prankster physicist Feynman kept the FBI working — and wondering
Edited by JPat Brown

Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman is remembered not only for fathering quantum electrodynamics, but also for his mischievous streak — especially throughout his work on the Manhattan Project building the first atom bomb.

But while his roguish charm won over classrooms and the public, Feynman was subjected to years of espionage and scrutiny as the Federal Bureau of Investigation trailed him and his associates, intent on rooting out communist sympathies from the man who helped make America the world’s first nuclear power.

For the first time, FBI records of Feynman which detail this tension - as well as hundreds of pages of interviews with his colleagues, friends and acquaintances - have been released online to the public by MuckRock.

A genius followed by his past

After successfully helping development of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, Feynman largely left government service for a career in academia, first at Cornell and later Caltech (he would continue to occasionally consult for the government, such as on the Challenger explosion task force).

In the early 1950s, the American intelligence community was on high alert after a number of Manhattan Project participants were outed as Soviet spies, including Klaus Fuchs and Allan Nunn May. The FBI began keeping a watchful eye on Feynman’s work even while considered him for work as a potential intelligence asset.

In interview after interview with the FBI, Feynman’s friends and colleagues cited him as brilliant, loyal and an excellent fit for government service. But Feynman’s past and present associations dogged him, particularly as questions swirled around the loyalty of his friend and colleague Robert Oppenheimer because of his own left-wing ties.

The concerns about communist sympathies were further inflamed by public statements Feynman made dismissing religion (the FBI files include several newspaper clippings of such talks) as well as his openly liberal politics.

Even his high school extracurricular activities came back to haunt his FBI files: Feynman’s brief association with the “Young People’s Socialist League” makes numerous appearances in his files. The group was described by one unnamed individual as a militant group of students dedicated to “rabble rousing in every respect”. FBI records on Richard Feynman's young socialistic tendancies

The association was apparently short lived and based more on Feynman’s desire to fit in with his friends than actual political sympathies, and that same unnamed individual could not remember Feynman’s participation in the group’s activities. Feynman would later be quoted by an FBI informant as stating he had little use for those who trusted the Russians.

Suspicions raised as communication breaks down

It was while Feynman was at Caltech, in January 1955, that the Soviet Union extended Feynman an invitation to an all-expenses paid trip to a prestigious physics conference in Moscow. The letter would precipitate the FBI’s most lengthy investigative files on Feynman.

The FBI found out about the proposed trip while sifting through the trash of Soviet Union Ambassador Georgi Zaroubin’s office. They had recovered a discarded draft of the invitation, setting off the flurry of investigations into Feynman’s possible travel across the Iron Curtain. FBI reports detailing the discovery of an invitation to Feynman from the USSR

A deluge of information came into FBI headquarters. Close friends of Feynman acting as FBI informants provided regular - and sometimes conflicting - updates to his plans. One female associate met in secret with the FBI, indicating Feynman was likely to accept and requesting that Feynman “should be prevented from going [to Moscow] to protect him.”

However, Feynman’s desire to attend was matched with reservation — he thanked the Soviet Ambassador but wrote that he was “unable to give a definite answer,” using an expiring Visa as an excuse to delay his response.

Despite the FBI’s surreptitious surveillance, Feynman had actually alerted the State Department first thing upon receiving the invitation, hoping to receive guidance and indicating that he would be happy to help serve the United States’ propaganda interests abroad, or to simply decline the invitation outright. The letter was immediately forwarded to J. Edgar Hoover, the then-director of the FBI. A letter from Feynman to the State Department regarding an invitation to the USSR. FBI files describing Feynman's frustrated attempts at gathering information.

Neither agency actually responded to his letter, however, and instead FBI officers continued investigating whether Feynman was making plans to go abroad.

After waiting nearly two months with no response from a government agency, Feynman sent notice to the USSR, stalling a bit more for time: “I shall accept the invitation…My passport at present is not valid for travel in the USSR and I have applied to the U.S. Department of State for the necessary extension. If granted I shall surely come.”

After two months, two letters, and a telegram, Feynman’s frustration was apparent. He wrote, “Does it strike you that prompt replies to requests for their State Department’s view might make it easier for citizens to act in such a way as to protect the department from unnecessary embarrassment?”

Appearing incapable of making an independent decision to Feynman’s travels, the State Department waited two months to hear back from the FBI, which provided a brief summary of Feynman’s history and merely stated that it “is not to be construed as a clearance or a nonclearance of the individual involved.” The declassified documents portray the FBI’s tacit monitoring and restraint in taking any direct actions against Richard Feynman.

Immediately following the FBI’s reply, Walter Stoessel of the State Department finally notified Feynman, “we urge you to decline the invitation,” but made no indication that he will be prevented from attending.

An article in the Washington City News Service, dated April 7, 1955, reports Feynman’s statement graciously deferring to the State Department’s vague guidance:

I think we could gain something by going to the meeting, but … there is an unwarranted risk, and furthermore, I don’t think the American people would like the idea of one of their scientists, especially one who has worked on the atomic bomb, visiting Russia. I guess I could have gone if I wanted to, the government didn’t indicate it would do anything to stop me. It was as if it (the government) expected me to make the decisions.

Do Not Call

An FBI notice stating Feynman is not to be contacted without prior authorization.

After the drama surrounding the Soviet Invitation, the FBI’s involvement with Feynman was reduced until 1958, when the White House requested a routine investigation into his background for consideration for the position of Scientific Advisor to President Eisenhower. Perhaps the investigation was the final straw for the man who had always eschewed red tape and bureaucratic incompetence: Feynman asked to be put on the FBI’s “Do Not Contact” list. md5-359380ed565538d17dc3a5ab0334b1c9 md5-dcdbd3868f88c1abdcbf42fdd7bcc11a md5-e5e9cf27707a2767ec39f9a3211ce907

Share

Close

        <div class="social">
<span><strong>Share</strong></span>
<ul class="channels nostyle">
    <li class="channel">
        <a href="javascript:window.open('https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=https://www.muckrock.com/project/subjects-matter-fbi-files-10/', 'Share on Facebook', 'width=500,height=140,location=no,menubar=no,status=no');" class="facebook" onclick="ga('send', 'social', 'Facebook', 'share', window.location.pathname)">
            <svg width="25px" height="25px" viewBox="0 0 35 73" class="facebook icon">
<title>Facebook Icon</title>
<description>Symbolizes a link to our Facebook page</description>
<path d="M23,24.2 L23,18.1 C23,14.9 23.3,13.1 27.9,13.1 L34.1,13.1 L34.1,0.7 L24.2,0.7 C12.4,0.7 8.2,6.7 8.2,16.8 L8.2,24.2 L0.8,24.2 L0.8,36.6 L8.2,36.6 L8.2,72.5 L23,72.5 L23,36.6 L32.9,36.6 L34.2,24.2 L23,24.2 Z" id="facebook-icon"></path>

            <span class="label">Facebook</span>
        </a>
    </li>
    <li class="channel">
        <a href="javascript:window.open('http://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Help fund this project&amp;url=https://www.muckrock.com/project/subjects-matter-fbi-files-10/&amp;via=muckrock', 'Share on Twitter', 'width=500,height=253,location=no,menubar=no,status=no');" class="twitter" onclick="ga('send', 'social', 'Twitter', 'tweet', window.location.pathname)">
            <svg width="25px" height="25px" viewBox="0 0 59 48" class="twitter icon">
<title>Twitter Icon</title>
<description>Symbolizes a link to our Twitter page</description>
<path d="M56.8,1.5 C54.5,2.9 51.9,3.9 49.2,4.4 C47.1,2.1 43.9,0.7 40.6,0.7 C34.1,0.7 28.7,6 28.7,12.6 C28.7,13.5 28.7,14.5 29,15.3 C19.1,14.8 10.3,10.1 4.5,2.9 C3.5,4.7 2.8,6.8 2.8,8.9 C2.8,13 4.8,16.6 8,18.8 C6,18.8 4.1,18.2 2.3,17.3 C2.3,23.2 6.6,27.9 12.1,29 C11.1,29.3 10.3,29.5 9.2,29.5 C8.5,29.5 7.7,29.4 7,29.3 C8.5,34 12.9,37.4 18.1,37.6 C14,40.7 8.9,42.7 3.4,42.7 C2.4,42.7 1.5,42.7 0.6,42.5 C5.9,45.9 12.1,47.8 18.8,47.8 C40.6,47.8 52.6,29.7 52.6,14.1 L52.6,12.5 C54.9,10.9 56.9,8.8 58.5,6.3 C56.2,7.2 53.9,7.8 51.5,8.1 C54,6.6 55.8,4.2 56.8,1.5 Z" id="twitter-icon"></path>

            <span class="label">Twitter</span>
        </a>
    </li>
    <li class="channel">
        <a href="mailto:?subject=Help fund this project&amp;body=https://www.muckrock.com/project/subjects-matter-fbi-files-10/" class="email" onclick="ga('send', 'social', 'Email', 'send', window.location.pathname);">
            <svg width="16px" height="16px" viewBox="0 0 16 16" class="email icon">
<title>Email</title>
<desc>Icon resembling an envelope.</desc>
<path d="M14,4 L14,12 L2,12 L2,4 L8,10 L14,4 Z M0,2 L16,2 L16,14 L0,14 L0,2 Z M4,4 L12,4 L8,8 L4,4 Z"></path>

            <span class="label">Email</span>
        </a>
    </li>
    <li class="channel">
        <a href="javascript:window.open('http://www.reddit.com/submit?url=https://www.muckrock.com/project/subjects-matter-fbi-files-10/&amp;title=Help fund this project')" class="reddit" onclick="ga('send', 'social', 'Reddit', 'share', window.location.pathname);">
            <svg width="25px" height="21px" viewBox="0 0 25 21" class="reddit icon">
<title>Reddit</title>
<desc>The logo for the social network Reddit</desc>
<path d="M24.3615351,11.2034836 C24.0711329,11.6402771 23.6688545,12.0056602 23.2058772,12.2544063 C23.2356315,12.4817294 23.2511038,12.7102426 23.2511038,12.9399459 C23.2511038,14.1693946 22.8202612,15.3786103 22.0645014,16.3497914 L22.0645014,16.3521717 C20.6696187,18.1695658 18.5308779,19.2395313 16.3695239,19.78106 L16.3683337,19.78106 L16.3683337,19.7834403 C15.2150561,20.0571801 14.0260734,20.2000008 12.8382808,20.2000008 C11.0684936,20.2000008 9.29751628,19.8834148 7.6479366,19.2347706 L7.64555625,19.2347706 C5.93408757,18.5420899 4.30236047,17.4423701 3.30380538,15.8320662 C2.76584722,14.9715711 2.46949415,13.9634947 2.46949415,12.947087 C2.46949415,12.7197639 2.48615658,12.4888704 2.51710107,12.2639277 C2.0672157,12.0151816 1.67683898,11.6593199 1.38762696,11.2415692 C1.07699182,10.7881133 0.881803459,10.2584863 0.858,9.69791486 L0.858,9.69553451 L0.858,9.69315417 L0.858,9.68839347 C0.858,8.90287934 1.2055305,8.1614016 1.74467884,7.61273187 C2.28382718,7.06406215 3.02292457,6.7058201 3.8131994,6.7058201 L3.84652424,6.7058201 C3.92864617,6.70105941 4.01314845,6.69629871 4.09646056,6.69629871 C4.49397832,6.69629871 4.89387642,6.76175823 5.26997107,6.90100846 L5.27235142,6.90338881 L5.27592194,6.90576915 C5.5984588,7.03787835 5.91861532,7.19855169 6.20425683,7.42230421 C6.29709031,7.37350711 6.39944519,7.32232968 6.51132144,7.27829328 C8.24540341,6.27140698 10.2603662,5.8834106 12.2253417,5.77153434 C12.2443845,4.81582548 12.3598312,3.81846056 12.8347102,2.94487362 C13.2298477,2.2200583 13.9177676,1.65472616 14.7342263,1.45715745 L14.7389869,1.45715745 L14.7413673,1.45715745 C15.0531926,1.39407829 15.3673983,1.36908466 15.6780334,1.36908466 C16.5087741,1.36908466 17.3288033,1.56189267 18.0952746,1.86181625 C18.4356641,1.35956327 18.9200645,0.966806204 19.487777,0.745434038 L19.4925376,0.743053692 L19.4984885,0.740673346 C19.8317369,0.64069882 20.1852183,0.58 20.54108,0.58 C20.9136041,0.58 21.2896988,0.645459511 21.6407998,0.801372166 L21.6407998,0.79899182 L21.6431801,0.801372166 C21.6455605,0.801372166 21.6503212,0.803752512 21.6503212,0.803752512 C22.1573349,0.994180182 22.5834168,1.34766154 22.8869109,1.78683536 C23.1915951,2.22600917 23.3701211,2.75325578 23.3701211,3.29597464 C23.3701211,3.39594917 23.36298,3.49830404 23.348698,3.59827856 L23.348698,3.60065891 L23.348698,3.6054196 C23.2903795,4.30524129 22.9273767,4.9205607 22.4144122,5.36092468 C21.9014477,5.80128867 21.2313803,6.0678874 20.5458407,6.0678874 C20.437535,6.0678874 20.3244685,6.06312671 20.2149726,6.04646429 C19.536574,5.99528686 18.9022119,5.67513034 18.4368543,5.1931103 C17.9691163,4.71466078 17.6680025,4.07315757 17.6680025,3.38285726 C17.6680025,3.35072259 17.6691927,3.31501741 17.6727632,3.28050239 C17.0324502,3.00438227 16.3552418,2.77110837 15.6827941,2.77348872 C15.5851999,2.77348872 15.4876057,2.77586907 15.3900115,2.7877708 C14.8853782,2.83418754 14.4164501,3.14839319 14.1879369,3.59470805 L14.1879369,3.59708839 C13.8439769,4.25525402 13.7749469,5.02648609 13.7654255,5.79176728 C15.6970762,5.91554527 17.6441991,6.37019133 19.3485267,7.33066089 L19.3509071,7.33066089 L19.3759007,7.34494296 C19.4080354,7.36398573 19.467544,7.3961204 19.5211018,7.42349438 C19.6401191,7.33066089 19.7627069,7.23544705 19.9043375,7.15094478 C20.4220627,6.81412584 21.0350018,6.64393111 21.6455605,6.64393111 C21.9193003,6.64393111 22.1918499,6.68082647 22.4560683,6.74628598 L22.4572584,6.74628598 L22.4691602,6.74866632 C22.4715405,6.74866632 22.4739209,6.75104667 22.4786815,6.75104667 C23.101142,6.90695932 23.6664741,7.26044069 24.0913659,7.73174917 C24.5162576,8.20781834 24.8030893,8.8076655 24.8590274,9.4586901 L24.8590274,9.46107044 L24.8590274,9.46345079 C24.8614078,9.51462823 24.8625979,9.56580566 24.8625979,9.6169831 C24.8602176,10.1870759 24.6733604,10.738126 24.3615351,11.2034836 Z M7.90620412,12.6138385 C7.72291749,12.3603317 7.61580193,12.0532671 7.61580193,11.7354909 C7.61580193,11.59148 7.63960539,11.4450887 7.68602213,11.3058385 L7.68602213,11.3010778 C7.85383651,10.7845427 8.30610223,10.4084481 8.82501763,10.3013325 L8.82977832,10.3013325 C8.93332337,10.2775291 9.03924876,10.2668175 9.14398398,10.2668175 C9.53317053,10.2668175 9.91164552,10.4251105 10.1960969,10.6809977 C10.4769777,10.9368849 10.6697857,11.2998876 10.6697857,11.7057366 C10.6697857,11.7271597 10.6697857,11.7473927 10.6685955,11.7664354 C10.6697857,11.7783371 10.6697857,11.7902389 10.6697857,11.8009504 C10.6697857,12.2103699 10.4734071,12.5721825 10.1889558,12.8256893 C9.90331431,13.0815765 9.52483932,13.2374892 9.13565277,13.2374892 C8.98093028,13.2374892 8.82263728,13.2124955 8.66910497,13.1565574 L8.66196394,13.1565574 C8.66077376,13.1541771 8.65958359,13.1541771 8.65720325,13.1541771 C8.34656811,13.0601534 8.08949076,12.864965 7.90620412,12.6138385 Z M17.3966431,15.8332563 C17.3621281,15.9606048 17.2978588,16.0677204 17.2216877,16.154603 C17.1443264,16.2426758 17.051493,16.3105157 16.9562791,16.3712145 C16.7706121,16.4830908 16.5682827,16.5616422 16.4171308,16.6473346 L16.4123701,16.6520953 L16.4076094,16.6544757 C15.2638532,17.1817223 13.9832271,17.4733146 12.7085519,17.4733146 C11.2946265,17.4733146 9.88665189,17.1150726 8.69052809,16.3247978 C8.56913045,16.2569579 8.47510679,16.1617441 8.41440797,16.0522482 C8.3513288,15.9356112 8.32157448,15.8082627 8.32157448,15.6821044 C8.32157448,15.5380935 8.35727967,15.3988432 8.43464091,15.2774456 C8.5096218,15.1560479 8.62149806,15.0560734 8.76788933,15.0037058 C8.77265002,15.0013255 8.77741071,14.9989451 8.7821714,14.9965648 C8.87500489,14.9572891 8.96902855,14.9358659 9.05829152,14.9358659 C9.16778743,14.9358659 9.26776196,14.9608596 9.35940528,15.0013255 C9.45223877,15.0382208 9.53317053,15.0870179 9.61410229,15.1381953 C9.77120511,15.2405502 9.91402587,15.3476658 10.0413744,15.3988432 L10.0461351,15.4012236 L10.0497056,15.4012236 C10.885207,15.8058824 11.8099714,15.9986904 12.7383062,15.9986904 C13.9772763,15.9986904 15.2245775,15.6594911 16.2862118,15.0382208 C16.3968978,14.9644301 16.5230562,14.9311053 16.6444538,14.9311053 C16.7944156,14.9311053 16.9396167,14.977522 17.0598242,15.0560734 C17.1836022,15.1322445 17.2871472,15.2417404 17.3502264,15.3774201 C17.3930726,15.4631126 17.4204466,15.5630871 17.4204466,15.6678223 C17.4180662,15.7225703 17.4121154,15.7785084 17.3966431,15.8332563 Z M17.8072528,12.6257403 C17.6192054,12.8768668 17.3537969,13.0720551 17.0395912,13.1577476 C17.0395912,13.1601279 17.0384011,13.1601279 17.0336404,13.1601279 C17.0324502,13.1601279 17.03126,13.1625083 17.0300698,13.1625083 C16.8848687,13.2113054 16.7325266,13.2327285 16.583755,13.2327285 C16.2350343,13.2327285 15.8934547,13.1113308 15.6185247,12.9006702 C15.3459751,12.6911998 15.1400752,12.3888959 15.0758059,12.0330342 L15.0746157,12.0330342 L15.0746157,12.0282735 L15.0746157,12.0235128 C15.0531926,11.9330596 15.0448614,11.8402261 15.0448614,11.7509632 C15.0448614,11.4391379 15.1531671,11.143975 15.3281225,10.8976092 C15.5042681,10.6536237 15.7530143,10.4631961 16.046987,10.3608412 L16.0481772,10.3608412 C16.0481772,10.3608412 16.0493673,10.3584608 16.0517477,10.3584608 C16.2171817,10.297762 16.3885666,10.270388 16.5623319,10.270388 C16.8753474,10.270388 17.1859825,10.3632215 17.44425,10.5334163 C17.7025176,10.7012306 17.911988,10.9475964 18.015533,11.2534709 C18.0167232,11.2558512 18.0167232,11.2582316 18.0179134,11.2606119 C18.0179134,11.2606119 18.0179134,11.2629923 18.0191036,11.2629923 C18.0809925,11.4189049 18.1083665,11.5795783 18.1083665,11.7366811 C18.1095567,12.0615983 17.9976804,12.3722334 17.8072528,12.6257403 Z"></path>

            <span class="label">Reddit</span>
        </a>
    </li>
</ul>

    </div>
</div>
<div class="pending overlay">
    <!-- Loader animation via https://github.com/ConnorAtherton/loaders.css -->
    <div class="loader">
        <div class="loader-inner line-scale-pulse-out-rapid">
            <div></div>
            <div></div>
            <div></div>
            <div></div>
            <div></div>
        </div>
    </div>
</div>
<div class="complete overlay">
    <div class="dialog">
        <header>
            <h1><svg viewBox="0 0 16 16" class="success icon">
<title>Success</title>
<path d="M5.8052456,11.1375548 L6.51235238,11.8446616 L12.1692066,6.18780732 L10.7549931,4.77359375 L6.51235238,9.01623444 L5.09813882,7.60202088 L3.68392526,9.01623444 L5.8052456,11.1375548 Z M8,16 C12.418278,16 16,12.418278 16,8 C16,3.581722 12.418278,0 8,0 C3.581722,0 0,3.581722 0,8 C0,12.418278 3.581722,16 8,16 Z M8,14 C11.3137085,14 14,11.3137085 14,8 C14,4.6862915 11.3137085,2 8,2 C4.6862915,2 2,4.6862915 2,8 C2,11.3137085 4.6862915,14 8,14 Z"></path>

Thank you!

Subscribe to MuckRock’s newsletter:

Newsletter

Want the latest investigative and FOIA news?

        <p>Help this crowdfund find more supporters:</p>

        <div class="social">
<span><strong>Share</strong></span>
<ul class="channels nostyle">
    <li class="channel">
        <a href="javascript:window.open('https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=https://www.muckrock.com/project/subjects-matter-fbi-files-10/', 'Share on Facebook', 'width=500,height=140,location=no,menubar=no,status=no');" class="facebook" onclick="ga('send', 'social', 'Facebook', 'share', window.location.pathname)">
            <svg width="25px" height="25px" viewBox="0 0 35 73" class="facebook icon">
<title>Facebook Icon</title>
<description>Symbolizes a link to our Facebook page</description>
<path d="M23,24.2 L23,18.1 C23,14.9 23.3,13.1 27.9,13.1 L34.1,13.1 L34.1,0.7 L24.2,0.7 C12.4,0.7 8.2,6.7 8.2,16.8 L8.2,24.2 L0.8,24.2 L0.8,36.6 L8.2,36.6 L8.2,72.5 L23,72.5 L23,36.6 L32.9,36.6 L34.2,24.2 L23,24.2 Z" id="facebook-icon"></path>

            <span class="label">Facebook</span>
        </a>
    </li>
    <li class="channel">
        <a href="javascript:window.open('http://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=I just funded this project&amp;url=https://www.muckrock.com/project/subjects-matter-fbi-files-10/&amp;via=muckrock', 'Share on Twitter', 'width=500,height=253,location=no,menubar=no,status=no');" class="twitter" onclick="ga('send', 'social', 'Twitter', 'tweet', window.location.pathname)">
            <svg width="25px" height="25px" viewBox="0 0 59 48" class="twitter icon">
<title>Twitter Icon</title>
<description>Symbolizes a link to our Twitter page</description>
<path d="M56.8,1.5 C54.5,2.9 51.9,3.9 49.2,4.4 C47.1,2.1 43.9,0.7 40.6,0.7 C34.1,0.7 28.7,6 28.7,12.6 C28.7,13.5 28.7,14.5 29,15.3 C19.1,14.8 10.3,10.1 4.5,2.9 C3.5,4.7 2.8,6.8 2.8,8.9 C2.8,13 4.8,16.6 8,18.8 C6,18.8 4.1,18.2 2.3,17.3 C2.3,23.2 6.6,27.9 12.1,29 C11.1,29.3 10.3,29.5 9.2,29.5 C8.5,29.5 7.7,29.4 7,29.3 C8.5,34 12.9,37.4 18.1,37.6 C14,40.7 8.9,42.7 3.4,42.7 C2.4,42.7 1.5,42.7 0.6,42.5 C5.9,45.9 12.1,47.8 18.8,47.8 C40.6,47.8 52.6,29.7 52.6,14.1 L52.6,12.5 C54.9,10.9 56.9,8.8 58.5,6.3 C56.2,7.2 53.9,7.8 51.5,8.1 C54,6.6 55.8,4.2 56.8,1.5 Z" id="twitter-icon"></path>

            <span class="label">Twitter</span>
        </a>
    </li>
    <li class="channel">
        <a href="mailto:?subject=I just funded this project&amp;body=https://www.muckrock.com/project/subjects-matter-fbi-files-10/" class="email" onclick="ga('send', 'social', 'Email', 'send', window.location.pathname);">
            <svg width="16px" height="16px" viewBox="0 0 16 16" class="email icon">
<title>Email</title>
<desc>Icon resembling an envelope.</desc>
<path d="M14,4 L14,12 L2,12 L2,4 L8,10 L14,4 Z M0,2 L16,2 L16,14 L0,14 L0,2 Z M4,4 L12,4 L8,8 L4,4 Z"></path>

            <span class="label">Email</span>
        </a>
    </li>
    <li class="channel">
        <a href="javascript:window.open('http://www.reddit.com/submit?url=https://www.muckrock.com/project/subjects-matter-fbi-files-10/&amp;title=I just funded this project')" class="reddit" onclick="ga('send', 'social', 'Reddit', 'share', window.location.pathname);">
            <svg width="25px" height="21px" viewBox="0 0 25 21" class="reddit icon">
<title>Reddit</title>
<desc>The logo for the social network Reddit</desc>
<path d="M24.3615351,11.2034836 C24.0711329,11.6402771 23.6688545,12.0056602 23.2058772,12.2544063 C23.2356315,12.4817294 23.2511038,12.7102426 23.2511038,12.9399459 C23.2511038,14.1693946 22.8202612,15.3786103 22.0645014,16.3497914 L22.0645014,16.3521717 C20.6696187,18.1695658 18.5308779,19.2395313 16.3695239,19.78106 L16.3683337,19.78106 L16.3683337,19.7834403 C15.2150561,20.0571801 14.0260734,20.2000008 12.8382808,20.2000008 C11.0684936,20.2000008 9.29751628,19.8834148 7.6479366,19.2347706 L7.64555625,19.2347706 C5.93408757,18.5420899 4.30236047,17.4423701 3.30380538,15.8320662 C2.76584722,14.9715711 2.46949415,13.9634947 2.46949415,12.947087 C2.46949415,12.7197639 2.48615658,12.4888704 2.51710107,12.2639277 C2.0672157,12.0151816 1.67683898,11.6593199 1.38762696,11.2415692 C1.07699182,10.7881133 0.881803459,10.2584863 0.858,9.69791486 L0.858,9.69553451 L0.858,9.69315417 L0.858,9.68839347 C0.858,8.90287934 1.2055305,8.1614016 1.74467884,7.61273187 C2.28382718,7.06406215 3.02292457,6.7058201 3.8131994,6.7058201 L3.84652424,6.7058201 C3.92864617,6.70105941 4.01314845,6.69629871 4.09646056,6.69629871 C4.49397832,6.69629871 4.89387642,6.76175823 5.26997107,6.90100846 L5.27235142,6.90338881 L5.27592194,6.90576915 C5.5984588,7.03787835 5.91861532,7.19855169 6.20425683,7.42230421 C6.29709031,7.37350711 6.39944519,7.32232968 6.51132144,7.27829328 C8.24540341,6.27140698 10.2603662,5.8834106 12.2253417,5.77153434 C12.2443845,4.81582548 12.3598312,3.81846056 12.8347102,2.94487362 C13.2298477,2.2200583 13.9177676,1.65472616 14.7342263,1.45715745 L14.7389869,1.45715745 L14.7413673,1.45715745 C15.0531926,1.39407829 15.3673983,1.36908466 15.6780334,1.36908466 C16.5087741,1.36908466 17.3288033,1.56189267 18.0952746,1.86181625 C18.4356641,1.35956327 18.9200645,0.966806204 19.487777,0.745434038 L19.4925376,0.743053692 L19.4984885,0.740673346 C19.8317369,0.64069882 20.1852183,0.58 20.54108,0.58 C20.9136041,0.58 21.2896988,0.645459511 21.6407998,0.801372166 L21.6407998,0.79899182 L21.6431801,0.801372166 C21.6455605,0.801372166 21.6503212,0.803752512 21.6503212,0.803752512 C22.1573349,0.994180182 22.5834168,1.34766154 22.8869109,1.78683536 C23.1915951,2.22600917 23.3701211,2.75325578 23.3701211,3.29597464 C23.3701211,3.39594917 23.36298,3.49830404 23.348698,3.59827856 L23.348698,3.60065891 L23.348698,3.6054196 C23.2903795,4.30524129 22.9273767,4.9205607 22.4144122,5.36092468 C21.9014477,5.80128867 21.2313803,6.0678874 20.5458407,6.0678874 C20.437535,6.0678874 20.3244685,6.06312671 20.2149726,6.04646429 C19.536574,5.99528686 18.9022119,5.67513034 18.4368543,5.1931103 C17.9691163,4.71466078 17.6680025,4.07315757 17.6680025,3.38285726 C17.6680025,3.35072259 17.6691927,3.31501741 17.6727632,3.28050239 C17.0324502,3.00438227 16.3552418,2.77110837 15.6827941,2.77348872 C15.5851999,2.77348872 15.4876057,2.77586907 15.3900115,2.7877708 C14.8853782,2.83418754 14.4164501,3.14839319 14.1879369,3.59470805 L14.1879369,3.59708839 C13.8439769,4.25525402 13.7749469,5.02648609 13.7654255,5.79176728 C15.6970762,5.91554527 17.6441991,6.37019133 19.3485267,7.33066089 L19.3509071,7.33066089 L19.3759007,7.34494296 C19.4080354,7.36398573 19.467544,7.3961204 19.5211018,7.42349438 C19.6401191,7.33066089 19.7627069,7.23544705 19.9043375,7.15094478 C20.4220627,6.81412584 21.0350018,6.64393111 21.6455605,6.64393111 C21.9193003,6.64393111 22.1918499,6.68082647 22.4560683,6.74628598 L22.4572584,6.74628598 L22.4691602,6.74866632 C22.4715405,6.74866632 22.4739209,6.75104667 22.4786815,6.75104667 C23.101142,6.90695932 23.6664741,7.26044069 24.0913659,7.73174917 C24.5162576,8.20781834 24.8030893,8.8076655 24.8590274,9.4586901 L24.8590274,9.46107044 L24.8590274,9.46345079 C24.8614078,9.51462823 24.8625979,9.56580566 24.8625979,9.6169831 C24.8602176,10.1870759 24.6733604,10.738126 24.3615351,11.2034836 Z M7.90620412,12.6138385 C7.72291749,12.3603317 7.61580193,12.0532671 7.61580193,11.7354909 C7.61580193,11.59148 7.63960539,11.4450887 7.68602213,11.3058385 L7.68602213,11.3010778 C7.85383651,10.7845427 8.30610223,10.4084481 8.82501763,10.3013325 L8.82977832,10.3013325 C8.93332337,10.2775291 9.03924876,10.2668175 9.14398398,10.2668175 C9.53317053,10.2668175 9.91164552,10.4251105 10.1960969,10.6809977 C10.4769777,10.9368849 10.6697857,11.2998876 10.6697857,11.7057366 C10.6697857,11.7271597 10.6697857,11.7473927 10.6685955,11.7664354 C10.6697857,11.7783371 10.6697857,11.7902389 10.6697857,11.8009504 C10.6697857,12.2103699 10.4734071,12.5721825 10.1889558,12.8256893 C9.90331431,13.0815765 9.52483932,13.2374892 9.13565277,13.2374892 C8.98093028,13.2374892 8.82263728,13.2124955 8.66910497,13.1565574 L8.66196394,13.1565574 C8.66077376,13.1541771 8.65958359,13.1541771 8.65720325,13.1541771 C8.34656811,13.0601534 8.08949076,12.864965 7.90620412,12.6138385 Z M17.3966431,15.8332563 C17.3621281,15.9606048 17.2978588,16.0677204 17.2216877,16.154603 C17.1443264,16.2426758 17.051493,16.3105157 16.9562791,16.3712145 C16.7706121,16.4830908 16.5682827,16.5616422 16.4171308,16.6473346 L16.4123701,16.6520953 L16.4076094,16.6544757 C15.2638532,17.1817223 13.9832271,17.4733146 12.7085519,17.4733146 C11.2946265,17.4733146 9.88665189,17.1150726 8.69052809,16.3247978 C8.56913045,16.2569579 8.47510679,16.1617441 8.41440797,16.0522482 C8.3513288,15.9356112 8.32157448,15.8082627 8.32157448,15.6821044 C8.32157448,15.5380935 8.35727967,15.3988432 8.43464091,15.2774456 C8.5096218,15.1560479 8.62149806,15.0560734 8.76788933,15.0037058 C8.77265002,15.0013255 8.77741071,14.9989451 8.7821714,14.9965648 C8.87500489,14.9572891 8.96902855,14.9358659 9.05829152,14.9358659 C9.16778743,14.9358659 9.26776196,14.9608596 9.35940528,15.0013255 C9.45223877,15.0382208 9.53317053,15.0870179 9.61410229,15.1381953 C9.77120511,15.2405502 9.91402587,15.3476658 10.0413744,15.3988432 L10.0461351,15.4012236 L10.0497056,15.4012236 C10.885207,15.8058824 11.8099714,15.9986904 12.7383062,15.9986904 C13.9772763,15.9986904 15.2245775,15.6594911 16.2862118,15.0382208 C16.3968978,14.9644301 16.5230562,14.9311053 16.6444538,14.9311053 C16.7944156,14.9311053 16.9396167,14.977522 17.0598242,15.0560734 C17.1836022,15.1322445 17.2871472,15.2417404 17.3502264,15.3774201 C17.3930726,15.4631126 17.4204466,15.5630871 17.4204466,15.6678223 C17.4180662,15.7225703 17.4121154,15.7785084 17.3966431,15.8332563 Z M17.8072528,12.6257403 C17.6192054,12.8768668 17.3537969,13.0720551 17.0395912,13.1577476 C17.0395912,13.1601279 17.0384011,13.1601279 17.0336404,13.1601279 C17.0324502,13.1601279 17.03126,13.1625083 17.0300698,13.1625083 C16.8848687,13.2113054 16.7325266,13.2327285 16.583755,13.2327285 C16.2350343,13.2327285 15.8934547,13.1113308 15.6185247,12.9006702 C15.3459751,12.6911998 15.1400752,12.3888959 15.0758059,12.0330342 L15.0746157,12.0330342 L15.0746157,12.0282735 L15.0746157,12.0235128 C15.0531926,11.9330596 15.0448614,11.8402261 15.0448614,11.7509632 C15.0448614,11.4391379 15.1531671,11.143975 15.3281225,10.8976092 C15.5042681,10.6536237 15.7530143,10.4631961 16.046987,10.3608412 L16.0481772,10.3608412 C16.0481772,10.3608412 16.0493673,10.3584608 16.0517477,10.3584608 C16.2171817,10.297762 16.3885666,10.270388 16.5623319,10.270388 C16.8753474,10.270388 17.1859825,10.3632215 17.44425,10.5334163 C17.7025176,10.7012306 17.911988,10.9475964 18.015533,11.2534709 C18.0167232,11.2558512 18.0167232,11.2582316 18.0179134,11.2606119 C18.0179134,11.2606119 18.0179134,11.2629923 18.0191036,11.2629923 C18.0809925,11.4189049 18.1083665,11.5795783 18.1083665,11.7366811 C18.1095567,12.0615983 17.9976804,12.3722334 17.8072528,12.6257403 Z"></path>

            <span class="label">Reddit</span>
        </a>
    </li>
</ul>

    </div>
</div>
<div class="error overlay">
    <div class="dialog">
        <header>
            <h1><svg viewBox="0 0 16 16" class="error icon">
<title>Error</title>
<path d="M9.44974747,8.03553391 L11.5710678,5.91421356 L10.1568542,4.5 L8.03553391,6.62132034 L5.91421356,4.5 L4.5,5.91421356 L6.62132034,8.03553391 L4.5,10.1568542 L5.91421356,11.5710678 L8.03553391,9.44974747 L10.1568542,11.5710678 L11.5710678,10.1568542 L9.44974747,8.03553391 Z M8,16 C12.418278,16 16,12.418278 16,8 C16,3.581722 12.418278,0 8,0 C3.581722,0 0,3.581722 0,8 C0,12.418278 3.581722,16 8,16 Z M8,14 C11.3137085,14 14,11.3137085 14,8 C14,4.6862915 11.3137085,2 8,2 C4.6862915,2 2,4.6862915 2,8 C2,11.3137085 4.6862915,14 8,14 Z"></path>

Error

An error occurred during payment (don’t worry, your card has not been charged).

Refresh the page to try again. If the error persists, contact us.

    </div>
</div>

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Recently Published

The DEA’s cringeworthy guide to ‘00s rave culture

CIA Cafeteria Complaints II: Stale Bread Harder

The DEA raided “the grandfather of ecstasy” over a “High Times” article

Omar Mateen’s troubled past and law enforcement aspirations documented in police academy application