Mudcat Café message #2217528 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #106931   Message #2217528
Posted By: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
17-Dec-07 - 05:01 PM
Thread Name: Review: Phil Ochs and the FBI
Subject: RE: Review: Phil Ochs and the FBI
The good news, for the paranoid and the rest, is that most, if not all of the FBI personnel involved in the worst of this are dead, retired or otherwise engaged. Any potential damage is in the accumulation of file data on all the "targets" which still exists in the big government file cabinet. Quite a bit of it has surfaced through the Freedom of Information Act, but anything with an imposed "national security" label may be hard to uncover, even now.

I was not, so far as I know, under scrutiny. I wasn't important enough, I suppose, plus I had already served in the Army in the early sixties, so perhaps my "loyalties" had not come into question. I know that a whole laundry list of performers and writers, dating back to the 1930's, were victims of Hoover's snooping. Joe McCarthy's witch hunts only exacerbated the problem in the early fifties for folks like Lee Hays and the other Weavers, and, most tragically, the great Josh White.

You didn't have to be "left of center" politically to draw attention, but it certainly helped. It was assumed that anyone opposed to Korea or the Viet Nam War was some sort of Bolshevik, for instance. The paranoia of faceless gray bureaucrats clouded life for Woody Guthrie and countless others who practiced their freedom of speech openly. If you think your beliefs or activities (non-violent)have reason to be concerned, keep pressing for more openness.