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Burglars Who Took On F.B.I. Abandon Shadows
The New York Times ^ | 07 Jan 2014 | MARK MAZZETTI

Posted on 01/07/2014 12:22:15 PM PST by Theoria

The perfect crime is far easier to pull off when nobody is watching.

So on a night nearly 43 years ago, while Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier bludgeoned each other over 15 rounds in a televised title bout viewed by millions around the world, burglars took a lock pick and a crowbar and broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation office in a suburb of Philadelphia, making off with nearly every document inside.

They were never caught, and the stolen documents that they mailed anonymously to newspaper reporters were the first trickle of what would become a flood of revelations about extensive spying and dirty-tricks operations by the F.B.I. against dissident groups.

The burglary in Media, Pa., on March 8, 1971, is a historical echo today, as disclosures by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden have cast another unflattering light on government spying and opened a national debate about the proper limits of government surveillance. The burglars had, until now, maintained a vow of silence about their roles in the operation. They were content in knowing that their actions had dealt the first significant blow to an institution that had amassed enormous power and prestige during J. Edgar Hoover’s lengthy tenure as director.

“When you talked to people outside the movement about what the F.B.I. was doing, nobody wanted to believe it,” said one of the burglars, Keith Forsyth, who is finally going public about his involvement. “There was only one way to convince people that it was true, and that was to get it in their handwriting.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: fbi; hoover; spying; surveillance

1 posted on 01/07/2014 12:22:16 PM PST by Theoria
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To: Theoria
... Abandon Shadows
Must have been a tight squeeze with all those illegal aliens in the shadows too.
2 posted on 01/07/2014 12:24:17 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Theoria
The eight burglars rarely spoke to one another while the F.B.I. investigation was proceeding and never again met as a group.

Smart. And for over 40 years not one of them tried to make themselves rich and/or famous over the case. And not one of them ran his mouth about it. And not one of them ratted out the others. Even today, it appears they intend to remain loyal to the three who still wish to remain anonymous.

Regardless of what I thinks of their politics or their actions, it's hard not to admire their intelligence, loyalty (to each other) and their ability to keep their mouths shut.

I fear we're going to need more people like them in the not too distant future.

3 posted on 01/07/2014 12:41:29 PM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: Theoria

Bump


4 posted on 01/07/2014 12:56:28 PM PST by lowbridge
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To: WayneS

Amen.


5 posted on 01/07/2014 1:05:35 PM PST by tomkat (unreconstructable)
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To: WayneS

Hmmm, Hillary was able to get tons of FBI folders without breaking and entering. She just married a corrupt narcissistic power monger.


6 posted on 01/07/2014 1:10:06 PM PST by FreeAtlanta (Liberty or Big Government - you can't have both.)
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To: WayneS

The lefties may be our enemies, but never forget that government is the enemy of us all.


7 posted on 01/07/2014 1:11:46 PM PST by Boogieman
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To: Theoria

Please note, this was during the LBJ administration:

“Among the grim litany of revelations was a blackmail letter F.B.I. agents had sent anonymously to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., threatening to expose his extramarital affairs if he did not commit suicide.”


8 posted on 01/07/2014 1:24:46 PM PST by G Larry
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To: G Larry

MLK stood against race baiting and community destruction through social programs and special rights because of skin color. Obamaphone blacks who invoke him to get more “stuff” insult his name.


9 posted on 01/07/2014 1:52:26 PM PST by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Theoria

What I would like to know is whether the group had a strong suspicion of what they expected to find…or was it simply a case of them stealing all the documents with a collective “well looky what we have here” when they reviewed them. If the former, then perhaps we can view this as having some honourable intent… if they had no clue of what they might find and it was all a fishing exercise, the group could be viewed as just common anti-government thugs who got lucky by finding something that was incriminating. It’s pretty hard to make anyone a hero under those circumstances, no?


10 posted on 01/07/2014 2:03:53 PM PST by hecticskeptic
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To: G Larry

threatening to expose his extramarital affairs if he did not commit suicide.”

And we’re supposed to believe this?
Hogwash.


11 posted on 01/07/2014 2:07:10 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: WayneS
BTTT
12 posted on 01/07/2014 2:39:09 PM PST by Chgogal (Obama "hung the SEALs out to dry, basically exposed them like a set of dog balls..." CMH)
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To: Talisker

I agree.


13 posted on 01/07/2014 3:07:31 PM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: hecticskeptic

Based on the reporting in the story, they were specifically looking for what they found.


14 posted on 01/07/2014 3:08:54 PM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: WayneS

Too many people on FR tend to think of our Democrat adversaries as dumb-asses. The people in this thread are the adversaries that we need to think about when we stand up to fight. Dedicated, sincere, intelligent and as determined to win their fight as anyone ever was. We disagree with their goals by it is foolhardy to minimize their intelligence or financial support.


15 posted on 01/07/2014 3:37:42 PM PST by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
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To: B4Ranch

Also ruthless, and better able to strategize long term than we are.


16 posted on 01/07/2014 4:53:37 PM PST by expat1000
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To: tet68
threatening to expose his extramarital affairs if he did not commit suicide.”

And we’re supposed to believe this?
Hogwash.

Agreed. There may have been a real attempt at blackmail but a letter demanding suicide? Not even worthy of trash fiction.

17 posted on 01/07/2014 4:57:31 PM PST by expat1000
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To: Boogieman
The lefties may be our enemies, but never forget that government is the enemy of us all.
Lefties refuse to admit their real plans, and they systematically use euphemisms for the words that actually define their ambitions. Whenever a leftie says “society” he actually means the government. “Socialism” should therefore actually be recognized for what it really is - governmentism. Tyranny.

18 posted on 01/07/2014 5:16:08 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion ("Liberalism” is a conspiracy against the public by wire-service journalism.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

Indeed, but my point was, even if the lefties are enabling government, the government, the indiscriminate behemoth that it is, is still their enemy too. They might not realize it, but the fact remains that they suffer under the same boot as the rest of us.


19 posted on 01/07/2014 5:22:05 PM PST by Boogieman
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To: tet68

Can’t imagine someone with your handle NOT believing it.

Yes, I believe Hoover’s FBI did this.
Most likely with White House approval, if not direction.


20 posted on 01/07/2014 5:32:27 PM PST by G Larry
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To: WayneS
Based on the reporting in the story, they were specifically looking for what they found.

I'm not sure where in the story that is made clear and it certainly isn't clear that they had any evidence to support a belief that the building contained anything of what they actually found. I think this is all it says.... The burglary was the idea of William C. Davidon, a professor of physics at Haverford College and a fixture of antiwar protests in Philadelphia, a city that by the early 1970s had become a white-hot center of the peace movement. Mr. Davidon was frustrated that years of organized demonstrations seemed to have had little impact. I think that they were just on a fishing expedition and lucked out. As such, if they had of found nothing they would be reviled as politically minded hippie thugs. But because they got lucky and found something, they are heros? There's something wrong with that logic....

21 posted on 01/07/2014 5:47:33 PM PST by hecticskeptic
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To: hecticskeptic

They called themselves “The Citizen’s Committee to Investigate the FBI”. Their goal was to investigate the actions of the FBI.

They broke in to an FBI office looking for documents related to FBI spying on US citizens.

I repeat: They were specifically looking for what they found.

The fact that they found what they were looking for is not evidence that they were on a “fishing expedition and got lucky”.

If the FBI or NSA had done something similar, it would be described as a successful counter-intelligence operation.


22 posted on 01/08/2014 5:20:55 AM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: expat1000

MLK did receive such a letter. It was sent anonymously, so there is no irrefutable evidence that it came from the FBI, although they were (and are) the prime suspect since the letter was accompanied by audio tapes made by the FBI as part of their surveillance of King.

The letter did not explicitly demand that Rev. King commit suicide. It was an insulting litany of his “crimes” and misdeeds, and it closes with something along the lines of “there is only one way out for you” (which MLK himself, and many others, interpret as encouraging him to kill himself).

There are photographs of the letter posted out there on the web in various places.


23 posted on 01/08/2014 5:35:24 AM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: WayneS

Interesting. Thanks. Naturally it didn’t work!


24 posted on 01/08/2014 6:08:02 AM PST by expat1000
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To: WayneS
They called themselves “The Citizen’s Committee to Investigate the FBI”. When did they do this? Was this before or after the break-in? From the article, it appears that it was likely after the break-in when they knew that they actually had something they wanted to send to various news sources and so they created a suitable name. What evidence is that there to the contrary?

Their goal was to investigate the actions of the FBI. It is true that this is what they now state that their goal was all along. There is no evidence in this article to confirm that this was the goal of the group from the outset of their initial formation.

They broke in to an FBI office looking for documents related to FBI spying on US citizens.Unless other documents support this contention, it has to be regarded as an assumption. There is a wide variety of other reasons that they might have had for breaking in to the FBI office.

They were specifically looking for what they found.Maybe… or they were on a fishing expedition and would take anything they found.

The fact that they found what they were looking for is not evidence that they were on a “fishing expedition and got lucky”.It’s also not evidence that they weren’t on a fishing trip and got lucky.

25 posted on 01/08/2014 9:24:16 AM PST by hecticskeptic
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