It took a massive effort by the ACLU to get a look at almost 300 pages in the government files on John Lennon. Fourteen (14) years of court battles later the FBI released over 200 pages of reports and even after 14 years, the FBI and CIA wouldn’t reveal some documents. The problem was not that the government was arguing that they should not have to release the 280 pages in the files, the problem was there should not have been any pages. The investigations were abuses of government power. The FBI is supposed to investigate crimes, not surveil people who did not commit any.
John Halderman, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and of course Herbert Hoover conducted enormously un-Constitutional surveillance of John and his family for years trying to get him arrested and deported but they didn’t succeed. Lennon wasn’t breaking any laws, despite his “bad boy” reputation. Eventually they would have put Lennon in jail but he was murdered before they could do it. The same kind of surveillance and investigation was done to Martin Luther King Jr.
So why trust the so-called explanation for the recently exposed NSA snooping operation that’s recording everytone’s telephone records: -that the Federal Government is: “only collecting telephone numbers”? All government’s surveil people in their country and abroad and America is no different. It’s supposed to be different but because the Constitutional checks and balances protecting the individual have been eroded over the years, the government does what it pleases without consequence. The Lennon papers are copied and printed in “Gimme Some Truth” by Jon Weiner (Here). Edward Snowden’s disclosures probably did not create a “National Security Problem”. Why? Because that was one of the many defenses offered by the adminstrations of four presidents to avoid FOIA release of the John Lennon files.
Government has been monitoring telephone conversations using computers and voice recognition to watch for trigger words at which triggers the conversations were flagged and then analyzed, thus violating the Constitution. See also the Wikipedia website under “Operation CHAOS” for the following citizen surveillance operations:
Why aren’t you surprised?
America needs more paranoia.