The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a long history of focusing on left-wing activists and politicians, often to the exclusion of groups of actual concern. This pattern continues to this day, as recently documented by Property of the People. The FBI’s file on Ramparts magazine shows how this attitude reflected in internal communications - unable to take to Twitter, agents were forced to scribble right-wing talking points in copies of the magazine.
Files recently released to MuckRock shed light on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation of the radical Ramparts magazine. Originally classified SECRET, the investigation described in the FBI files was an “internal security” matter relating to the magazine’s registration status. Paralleling and seemingly predicting some of the later investigations of WikiLeaks, the Bureau suspected that Ramparts “may currently be engaged in acts of distribution of propaganda, acting as a political agent, collecting information, forwarding information, et cetera, while acting as the agent of a foreign principal.”
While some outlets did briefly describe the Asia Foundation as being an alleged Central Intelligence Agency conduit, the charges were typically vague and largely circumstantial. None of the archived reports specifically tied it to Agency funds until March 21, 1967 when TAF announced it in a limited hangout”, a technique used when the Agency “can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case.”
Allegations that the CIA was participating in the global drug trade spurred one addiction non-profit to write the Agency about blanketing their work in the “meaninglessness of a Sisyphean labor.”
After decades as a West Coast leftist, Ramparts editor Warren Hinckle finally landed a place in the FBI’s files after his magazine ran a pro-IRA ad and credited a Michigan Senator for its creation.