Blogs > Liberty and Power > Anti-FBI Sting, "Citizen" Break-in in 1971

Mar 18, 2006 5:58 pm


Anti-FBI Sting, "Citizen" Break-in in 1971



The following story from the Los Angeles Times should be of interest to Liberty and Power readers:

THIRTY-FIVE YEARS ago today, a group of anonymous activists broke into the small, two-man office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Media, Pa., and stole more than 1,000 FBI documents that revealed years of systematic wiretapping, infiltration and media manipulation designed to suppress dissent.

The Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI, as the group called itself, forced its way in at night with a crowbar while much of the country was watching the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight. When agents arrived for work the next morning, they found the file cabinets virtually emptied.

Within a few weeks, the documents began to show up — mailed anonymously in manila envelopes with no return address — in the newsrooms of major American newspapers. When the Washington Post received copies, Atty. Gen. John N. Mitchell asked Executive Editor Ben Bradlee not to publish them because disclosure, he said, could"endanger the lives" of people involved in investigations on behalf of the United States.

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