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Subjects Matter: FBI Files

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This project aims to sift through the hundreds of thousands of pages of FBI archival material we've released, so we can better understand why the Bureau had an eye on these people - and through that, better understand who they're keeping tabs on today.

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Spice up your office Slack with J. Edgar Hoover’s handwritten notes

Spice up your office Slack with J. Edgar Hoover’s handwritten notes

Recently, we received our 1500th submission to the Great Hoover Hunt project, which aims to catalog all of the handwritten notes from longtime Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover in the Bureau’s files. To commemorate the occasion, we put together a collection of some of Hoover’s choicest bureaucratic broadsides, ready to be copy-pasted into your office’s Slack debate over who forgot to pick up more toner.

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J. Edgar Hoover's lieutenant was not impressed with the FBI Director's "X-Files" cameo

J. Edgar Hoover’s lieutenant was not impressed with the FBI Director’s “X-Files” cameo

Recently, in response to Emma Best’s 2017 FOIA request for files on former Federal Bureau of Investigation Deputy Associate Director Cartha “Deke” DeLoach, the FBI released an additional 137 pages. As fellow MuckRock user Paul Galante was quick to point out, those new pages include a 1998 letter by DeLoach to one of the producers of the “X-Files,” offering his thoughts on the script of the fifth season flashback episode “Travelers.” To put it mildly, he was not a fan.

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Ernie Pyle’s brief FBI file documents the Bureau’s often tempestuous relationship with the press

Ernie Pyle’s brief FBI file documents the Bureau’s often tempestuous relationship with the press

Ernie Pyle, the legendary journalist and war correspondent who died in Japan at the end of World War II, had a typically complicated relationship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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The FBI feared that "Seven Days in May" was bad for America

The FBI feared that “Seven Days in May” was bad for America

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.”

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The FBI considered planting a story painting "Ramparts" as anti-Semitic in response to CIA exposé

The FBI considered planting a story painting “Ramparts” as anti-Semitic in response to CIA exposé

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s COINTELPRO investigation of Ramparts magazine appears to have been sparked by a combination of their exposés on Central Intelligence Agency, their contacts at press outlets like the Soviet-controlled TASS, and their interviews with foreign leaders and officials. The Bureau described these interviews as placing the Ramparts reporters as being “under the guidance of Egyptian propaganda and intelligence personnel” and felt that “the average reader” would see the resulting article as “pro-Nasser, anti-Israel and anti-U.S.” For the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office, this perception created an opportunity for the Bureau to sow dissent among Rampart’s staff, subscribers, and donors.

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