Author David Halberstam was Under COINTELPRO

In Cold War, Journalism, literature, television, U.S History on November 9, 2008 by Editor Z

The late Journalist and author David Halberstam.

Another notable figure is now revealed to have been spied on by the authoritarian and staunchly anticommunist FBI Director J Edgar Hoover during the Cold War. Journalist and author David Halberstam is likely best known for his 1972 book “The Best and the Brightest” that looked at the figures who took America into the War in Vietnam and the methods and motives behind it.

There was a 98 page file kept on him. It was all part of Hoover’s COINTELPRO, a counter intelligence program designed to gather information about those with pro-communist sympathies in the United States. But it soon became a tool for Hoover and other politicians to stifle opposing points of view as well as dissent under the auspices of anti-communism and National Security.


The FBI tracked the late Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author David Halberstam for more than two decades, newly released documents show.

Students at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism obtained the FBI documents by filing a Freedom of Information Act request. The university posted the documents on its Web site Thursday.

The FBI monitored Halberstam’s reporting, and at times his personal life, from at least the mid-1960s until at least the late ’80s, the documents show. The agency released only 62 pages of a 98-page dossier on the writer, citing security, privacy and other reasons. MORE>>>

And people wonder why many have misgivings about warantless wiretapping. After all never does the government have more power then in a time of crisis. That’s not to say that government does not have a role in security and is an all across the board a predatory institution that one should be hostile towards. But that we always have to beware of sacrificing too much liberty at risk for security and as the old adage goes that “absolute power corrupts absolutely”.



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