FBI Wants Jack Anderson's Files

by TChris

The FBI wants to snoop through deceased columnist Jack Anderson's files. Why?

"It has been determined that, among the papers, there are a number of U.S. government documents containing classified information," [FBI Special Agent Richard] Kolko said, declining to say how the FBI knows.

"It has been determined" is FBI-speak for "we think maybe." Rather than getting a warrant (for which "we think maybe" isn't quite good enough), the Bureau has simply demanded access, both from Anderson's family and from Mark Feldstein, a journalism professor at George Washington University.

"They flashed their badges and said they needed access to the papers," said Feldstein, a former investigative reporter.

"We need" is FBI-speak for "we don't have a warrant but we're going to try to bully you into giving us what we want."

Although the agents claimed to be looking for evidence to use against former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who allegedly obtained classified information, Anderson's son thinks the Bureau is on a fishing expedition. That suspicion deepened when the agents insisted on looking at every paper Anderson kept, and said they'd take anything stamped "Confidential" or "Secret."

"We don't think there's anything related to the current investigation there, based on the time frame and dad's poor health," [Anderson's son] said. "They made it clear they want to look at everything and by the way, if we find anything classified, we'll have to remove it. I suspect that's their real intention, to get through these papers before they become public."

This is what happened to Feldstein:

The agents who went to Feldstein's home asked if he had seen any classified documents, wanted the names of all graduate students who had looked through the papers and questioned him about where the documents are housed and who controls access to them.

"On the one hand, I think it's really disturbing to have the FBI come knocking at your door, demanding to look at things you've been reading. It smacks of a Gestapo state. On the other hand, it's so heavy handed to be almost ludicrous," Feldstein said.

There's more in this article at The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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  • Re: FBI Wants Jack Anderson's Files (none / 0) (#1)
    by Aaron on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 04:47:30 PM EST
    Here's what I think about this... [Deleted for personal reasons that we dare not admit]

    Re: FBI Wants Jack Anderson's Files (none / 0) (#2)
    by Aaron on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 04:49:54 PM EST
    I must protest this censorship of my words, this is absolutely unconscionable and I will not... [Deleted because we feel the need to suppress ideas and have no problem distorting people's statements through the use of deletion]

    Re: FBI Wants Jack Anderson's Files (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 05:47:05 PM EST
    I hear that the WH is working with the FBI to classify King Lear.

    Re: FBI Wants Jack Anderson's Files (none / 0) (#4)
    by seajane on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 06:22:22 PM EST
    "It has been determined that . . . " means that they did a sneak and peek or warrentless search, doesn't it?

    Re: FBI Wants Jack Anderson's Files (none / 0) (#5)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 06:33:31 PM EST
    The last people I think the FBI wants to take on in public. Let's hope they do.

    Re: FBI Wants Jack Anderson's Files (none / 0) (#6)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 06:59:59 PM EST
    Memo to FBI: Get a warrant or GFYs

    Re: FBI Wants Jack Anderson's Files (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 06:17:51 AM EST
    Squeaky, they might be better of classifying Julius Caesar. I hear it's got a pretty nasty subersive idea in it somewhere... I rather enjoyed it myself.

    Re: FBI Wants Jack Anderson's Files (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 06:46:55 AM EST
    Holy smoke! I have to think this might have something to do with the fact that Murray Waas -- a longtime Anderson protege -- has been breaking a number of scoops in the the Plame/"sixteen words"/Niger-Forgeries caper. Waas's profile has been increasing of late, and with that increasing profile have come numberous mentions of his connection to Jack Anderson. I wonder if Waas has gotten a visit from the Feds?

    Re: FBI Wants Jack Anderson's Files (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 06:54:15 AM EST
    You know SDangerfield, you just might be onto something there... "Ministry of Truth" attacks American journalists

    ...in addition to using the media to concoct favorable propaganda, the Bush administration maintains an office in the State Department that keeps an eye on American and other journalists and does not hesitate to attack them for straying from the party line.

    Re: FBI Wants Jack Anderson's Files (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 07:09:47 AM EST
    Edger-Well, I don't know, the performance linked above is what got Condi going. Next is Kesey. They are condsidering a few Hitchcock films as well. It will get really rough when common knowledge is classified. We will really have to be careful of what we say.

    Re: FBI Wants Jack Anderson's Files (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 07:27:27 AM EST
    Squeaky, Dylan had an answer for that in ther movie Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, when he was asked what his name was: Alias. Alias what? Alias nuthin'. Jus' Alias... ;-)