In April 1950, the US federal government raided the offices of Scientific American Magazine to destroy every printed issue, burning three thousand copies. The reason? The banned magazine contained an article, titled “The Hydrogen Bomb: II” written by Professor Hans Bethe, one of the country’s most prominent nuclear scientists, which had been deemed a threat to national security.
When we last wrote about the Federal Bureau of Investigation file for former head of the American Civil Liberties Union Roger Baldwin, we looked at one of many instances in which Baldwin butted up against Director J. Edgar Hoover on the issue of balancing liberty and security. An earlier section of the file, however, reveals their relationship was relatively tame compared to that of Hoover’s predecessor, who once urged radio stations not to let the “ultra-radicals” at the ACLU broadcast the “rotten propaganda” that they weren’t on the Soviet payroll.
The recently released Federal Bureau of Investigation file for former head of the American Civil Liberties Union Roger Baldwin document numerous times the groups came into conflict with each other. One notable incident, related to the Bureau’s wartime “Postal Censorship” program, led to a testy exchange between Baldwin and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover after the Bureau investigated the writer and pioneering Libertarian Rose Wilder Lane over her comments on a postcard.
Back in August, MuckRock user Paul Galante requested the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s files on its wartime “Postal Censorship” program. This week, the Bureau responded, having located approximately 83,000 pages. Despite the fact that the files will be released electronically through the FBI’s supposedly cost-saving portal, the Bureau is insisting Galante pay $2,485 in duplication fees. Due to the important historical nature of these records, Galante has opened the request to crowdfunding.