“Occupation: Correspondent” Christopher Hitchens’ FBI file

“He took an active part in several demonstrations, and was arrested and fined on two occasions.”

Written by Nicole Bousquet
Edited by JPat Brown

While doing some research on the outspoken author and atheist Christopher Hitchens, I came across several articles from 2012 that mentioned his FBI file. Two of these articles linked to the documents, and in both cases, they had been deleted. I checked the FBI’s Vault, their online database of released files, but the documents weren’t there either.

Dismayed at the loss of such valuable archival material, I requested the documents myself and received them from the FBI a little over a month later.

While a mere nineteen pages, the file still manages to have a few interesting reveals - like the fact that the FBI was keeping an eye on Hitchens as early as 1970, when he was still a student at Oxford.

Included in the file is Hitchens 1983 application for permanent residence in the United States - an interesting historical artifact in its own right.

Most interestingly, huge chunks are still classified, will remain that way until a successful MDR.

As we discussed last FOIA-side Chat, disappearing files like these are an important reminder that the FBI should not be trusted to be the sole keepers of their history. Take a look through their Vault, and if there’s a file you think should be on MuckRock, let us know at info@muckrock.com, or request it yourself!

Read through the complete file on the request page or embedded below.


Image by meesh via Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0