Judge orders that government surveillance documents be made public
A surveillance report on John Lennon by US intelligence services has finally been released after a lengthy court battle.
The documents, which reveal the Beatle‘s links to left wing and anti-war groups in London in the 1970s, had been suppressed by the FBI for 25 years.
Lennon‘s infamous “bed-ins” in protest against the Vietnam War made him a target of the FBI, subject to wire-taps and surveillance.
According to BBC NEWS, historian Jon Wiener requested the documents in 1981, when he decided to write a book in the wake of the star’s assassination.
The FBI released some of the documents, but argued that others were exempt from freedom of information laws due to their politically sensitive nature risking retaliation against the United States.
Wiener sued the US government, eventually getting some of the documents in a settlement in 1997, before a Federal Judge this week ordered the release of the final ten pages.
The new files note an interview with left-wing journal Red Mole, and his support for Cambodia during the US attacks. But they also report that he turned down requests to fund a left-wing bookshop, with the FBI admitting that Lennon “apparently resisted the attempts of any particular group to secure any hold over him”.
Weiner told the LA Times: “I doubt that Tony Blair‘s government will launch a military strike on the US in retaliation for the release of these documents. Today we can see that the national security claims that the FBI had been making for 25 years were absurd from the beginning.”