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The year before his murder, Malcolm X was under electronic surveillance by the FBI

The last section of Malcolm X’s 10,000 plus page FBI file concerns the Bureau’s electronic surveillance of the activist shortly before his death. For months, agents listened to X’s phone calls, photographed his comings and goings, and even considered bugging his Queens residence - only to hastily discontinue the operation for fear it would taint a potential conviction.

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Declassified CIA docs on Reagan’s “Star Wars” strategy show difficult balance between projecting power - and projecting too much power

Searching the CIA’s declassified document database for documents on the Cold War missile defense program nicknamed “Star Wars” shows that the Agency kept a close watch on public perception, but was wary of Soviets thinking that the program was too powerful - which might lead to an uptick in hostilities.

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Dissent and Disloyalty: The FBI’s obsessive inquiry into Edward R. Murrow

In the white heat of the Red Scare, journalists were often at the center of the unceasing national probe over patriotism. Over 700 pages of files on Edward R. Murrow detail the FBI’s intricate special inquiry into the legendary American newsman.

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J. Edgar Hoover’s real-estate war with the Soviets

In August 1970, J. Edgar Hoover discovered an apparent plan of the Soviet Union’s to buy an apartment building - and he knew they had to be stopped. The building, Highview Towers, was located next to the site of the future Soviet Embassy and was the only building in the area that would enable to the government to conduct surveillance operations. The result was a last-second rush by the Nixon Administration to purchase the building.

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Soviet scientists joked that somebody had made a “political decision” to end UFO sightings in the USSR

Mostly redacted CIA records capture a rare Cold War commiseration between American and Soviet meteorologists over weather balloons being mistaken for aliens.

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