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Ivy League rivalry is about the only thing unredacted in Marvin Minsky's FBI file

Ivy League rivalry is about the only thing unredacted in Marvin Minsky’s FBI file

The Federal Bureau of Investigation file on famed artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky documents what appears to be a 1964 investigation into the wife of one of Minsky’s acquaintances, whom the Bureau suspected of being a Soviet spy. Though details are scarce and redactions heavy, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor does manage to add some fuel to an ancient Ivy League rivalry.

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The FBI once grilled the “father of energy efficiency” over a note left on a table mat

The FBI once grilled the “father of energy efficiency” over a note left on a table mat

Though Arthur H. Rosenfeld would later rise to prominence as the “father of energy efficiency” for his role in creating new global standards for sustainable energy use in the ‘70s, the physicist’s FBI file is focused on a younger Rosenfeld being a high-profile target for Soviet spies. In addition to his coveted “Q” clearance guaranteeing a stash of nuclear secrets, Rosenfeld’s criticism of what he felt was extremism in defense of liberty - including an impassioned political debate that took place entirely on the margins of a table mat - had the Bureau wondering the extent to which Rosenfeld could be trusted at academic conferences held behind the Iron Curtain.

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In the '50s, CIA decried Soviet torture tactics that would later be used at Gitmo and Agency black sites

In the ‘50s, CIA decried Soviet torture tactics that would later be used at Gitmo and Agency black sites

In the early days of MKULTRA, while the Central Intelligence Agency scrambled to defend against the alleged “brainwashing” programs of foreign countries, and to create its own, Agency staff responsible for the program responded to a report describing reported Soviet brainwashing efforts. In a letter formerly classified SECRET, CIA staff dismissed the Soviet techniques as “police tactics which would not be condoned in a democratic country.” The tactics described in the report not only mimic tactics which have been used in Guantanamo Bay and in CIA black sites, proved to be a source of inspiration for some post-9/11 interrogation programs.

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CIA looked into possible conspiracy behind Soviets' surprise upset in 1972 Olympics

CIA looked into possible conspiracy behind Soviets’ surprise upset in 1972 Olympics

A journal entry from the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Legislative Counsel uncovered in the CIA’s declassified archives shows Agency interest at the possibility of a conspiracy behind the Soviet’s surprise victory over the American basketball team in the 1972 Olympics.

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When it came to the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover was both a source and ‘fact checker’ for the media

When it came to the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover was both a source and ‘fact checker’ for the media

In a recent response to a FOIA request on Rudolf Abel and the Hollow Nickel case, the Federal Bureau of Investigation included a 13 page section describing the FBI’s assistance to an author writing a series of articles about the Bureau. At least some of the articles appear to have been based on the film “The FBI Story,” which FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reportedly had a strong hand in the production of, including prompting reshoots.

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