Wednesday, December 20, 2006

FBI release secret Lennon documents

The FBI has released the final surveillance documents on John Lennon to a university historian who has waged a 25-year legal battle to obtain the secret files.

The 10 pages contain new details about Lennon`s ties to leftist and anti-war groups in London in the early 1970s.

But nothing indicates that government officials considered the Beatles star a serious threat, historian Jon Wiener told the Los Angeles Times.

The FBI had unsuccessfully argued that an unnamed foreign government secretly provided the information, and releasing those documents could lead to diplomatic, political or economic retaliation against the United States.

The newly-released documents include a surveillance report stating that two prominent British leftists had courted Lennon in the hope that he would finance "a left-wing bookshop and reading room in London" but that Lennon gave them no money. Another page states that there was "no certain proof" that Lennon had provided money "for subversive purposes."

"I doubt that Tony Blair`s government will launch a military strike on the US in retaliation for the release of these documents," Wiener said.

"Today, we can see that the national security claims that the FBI has been making for 25 years were absurd from the beginning."

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