Within the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives there are two volumes of the “Collected Works of Mao Tse-Tung 1917-1949,” originally translated by the Joint Publications Research Service in 1978 and declassified in 2008. While there’s nothing particularly surprising about the CIA’s interest in Mao’s body of work, it is notable that one of the earliest samples of that work is rather literally about Mao’s body: Namely, his preferred exercise routine.
As part of a recent push to clear their FOIA backlog, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has released 30 pages of new documents on Senator James Eastland, adding to the 521 previously released pages. Among the new documents is a remarkable one-page memo suggesting that Eastland’s public assertion about “Red spy rings” were the result of the Senator confusing New York Times reporters with spies.
A memo uncovered in Ronald Reagan’s Federal Bureau of Investigation file reveals the FBI’s concerns that the 1964 film “Seven Days in May,” which depicted an aborted military coup of the U.S. government, would be used as Communist propaganda - and was therefore “harmful to our Armed Forces and Nation.”
The Central Intelligence Agency’s “The World Situation in 1970” report was a strange mixture of realistic concerns, candid admissions, and forced optimism. In one of its more realistically optimistic moments, the CIA reported that the Soviets believed “rational Americans” would want a stable Europe. In response, President Richard Nixon asked if anything could be done to “cause more trouble” instead.
From 1967 to 1970, Black Panther Party founding member and Deputy Minister of Information Elbert “Big Man” Howard went on an international tour to mingle with foreign revolutionary movements, promote the BPP’s agenda, and raise money for the party. Documents released through FOIA following Howard’s death last June show that throughout all his travels - from Japan to Sweden to Algeria - the Federal Bureau of Investigation was tracking him and his activities.