Sunday Snoopers

Pete Seeger 1986

Pete Seeger 1986

The campaigning singer Pete Seeger, composer of classic American folk tunes including If I Had a Hammer and Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, was spied on by FBI agents for more than two decades because he wrote a protest letter as a young man concerned about plans to deport tens of thousands of Japanese American citizens at the end of the second world war.

A vast file on Seeger was released to the independent American news website Mother Jones in response to a request under the freedom of information act. It reveals that the bureau’s spies first took an interest in the singer in 1943. Seeger, a 23-year-old army private at the time, had written denouncing a plan for mass deportation drafted by the California chapter of the American Legion, a veterans’ association.

“If you bar from citizenship descendants of Japanese, why not descendants of English? After all, we once fought with them too. America is great and strong as she is because we have so far been a haven to all oppressed. I felt sick at heart to read of this matter,” he wrote.

His angry letter prompted close scrutiny of his political views and associations by the bureau that ran on into the early 1970s. The suspicion was that Seeger, who died in early 2014, was a security risk with close connections to the Communist party.

The FBI file on him has nearly 1,800 pages – 90 of them are still withheld for security reasons – and journalist David Corn has unearthed details within it of the elaborate efforts made by government agents to document Seeger’s activities, even back to his school days.



About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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13 Responses to Sunday Snoopers

  1. jimhitchcock says:

    Bernie’s first concert was…Pete Seeger.


  2. Den says:

    Remind me to never go to Iowa.

    Cruz beat Bozo the Clown.


  3. Den says:


  4. Den says:


  5. Den says:

    Well, another fine crop of crap out there if one has the tools to see it.

    A person sure can use up a bunch of time in the data-laden jungle.

    Hey Doc! You awake or just hibernating?


  6. º¿carol says:

    Didn’t watch the debate. I do watch the presidential debates though.

    Michigan is doomed, but you guys know that. Taken over by republicans so everything that can possibly go wrong, has. Besides getting rid of straight-ticket voting, they’re also going to make it against the law for any government body in the state to publish, advertise, mail or answer questions by citizens about any proposed ballot proposal 60 days before an election. They can’t use taxpayer money to mail flyers, explaining proposals. How about that, eh? They are so bold now, they know there is nothing anyone can do to stop any craven thing they do to us.

    I’m doing what I can on Facebook, posting articles about these things, prefacing the articles with explanations, paragraphs from the article AND my opinion. I beg people to pay attention to what they’re doing to us and to STOP voting republican. As for the people who have sat home and NOT voted, they’re just as big a problem, if not bigger, and I get on them also. The republicans in my news feed probably hate me, probably have me blocked, who knows. However, they tip their hands when they click “like” on something I posted because then I know they see everything I post. I’ll never know, but maybe I’ll make a difference and change a mind, or two.


  7. º¿carol says:

    My son is in his new house. HOORAY. I’m sure they still have stuff to bring over, but they brought the beds yesterday and spent their first night there.

    Still cold here. I think Doc’s weather is finding its way here now. No snow yet though.


  8. Den says:

    Sure would be nice to have a house. Maybe Santa will bring me one.
    Ho ho ho


  9. Den says:

    Time to find the LLamas


  10. David B. Benson says:

    Udon with Korean side dishes after walking for half an hour in the snow.


  11. David B. Benson says:

    Don’t know if I ever went to a Pete Seeger concert but I have several recordings of him with the Weavers.


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