Today the FBI announced that it had released the last of its survelliance documents on John Lennon to a university historian who has fought for a quarter-century to get the secret files.
We know that the FBI closely monitored Lennon i 1971-72, and the government tried to tie Lennon to leftist and anti-war groups during that period. After all, any guy who managed to write “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” for his big Christmas song in 1971 had to be a leftist troublemaker of no use to the U.S. We also know of the stories or the government seeking evidence to deport the former Beatle, who was murdered by a crazed fan on Dec. 8, 1980, at his Dakota apartment residence in Manhattan.
The release of the final 10 pages, according to reports in the Los Angeles Times quoting historian Jon Wiener, indicate Lennon’s ties to leftist and anti-war groups in London in the early 1970s, but nothing indicating government officials considered the former Beatle a serious threat. The FBI tried to keep the files secret by arguing that releasing them could lead to diplomatic, political or economic retaliation against the U.S. A survelliance report says that two prominent British leftists had tried to entice Lennon into financing a left-wing bookshop and reading room in London, but that Lennon didn’t go for the idea.
That dangerous Lennon; he should have followed McCartney’s lead and only wrote silly, nonsensical stuff about Uncle Albert, love, his band on the run, and Junior’s farm.
And so, too, there you have our government, in the 1970s; looks like little changed into the 21st century (and how we wish Lennon was still here to say something about it). Apparently if you are:
* against war, you’re a leftist.
* against killing innocent peoeple, you must be a leftist
* against overpopulation with unwanted babies, you’re certainly a leftist.
* for peace and love; my gosh, you are the ultimate leftist.
Here’s to “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”