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.
One of the files included in a recent JFK release details some of the Agency’s internal response to The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence by former Agency employee Victor Marchetti. The file includes some uncensored excerpts from the manuscript, including how the Agency used a liaison with an allied country to spy on them and how the Agency bribed foreign leaders to let them keep their surveillance system in place.
NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation made a habit out of lampooning censorship during its recently concluded seven-season run. But the complaints the FCC received show that real censorship proponents are much weirder than comedy writers imagine.