jeudi, décembre 21, 2006

Gimme some truth

John Lennon

Paul MacInnes, Wednesday December 20, 2006

Guardian Unlimited

John Lennon
Lennon was a "former member of the Beatles singing group" say the FBI. Photograph: AP
The last of the classified documents compiled by the FBI on the behaviour and beliefs of John Lennon have finally been made public today.

For years the subject of speculation and official requests for their release, these 10 documents were withheld on the grounds that they could cause "Military retaliation against the United States". Now they are in the public domain, some are struggling to work out what all the fuss is about.

"The content of the files released today is an embarrassment to the U.S. government," Jon Wiener, the writer who has been campaigning for the papers to be made public since 1981, told the LA Times.

"I doubt that Tony Blair's government will launch a military strike on the U.S. in retaliation for the release of these documents.

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

The revelations contained within the documents (all of which can be seen here) are hardly on the level of the Da Vinci Code.

Compiled in 1972, they reveal that Lennon, a "former member of the Beatles singing group", had "encouraged the belief that he holds revolutionary views" and that some of the evidence for this behaviour can be found in "his songs and other publications".

By way of further evidence, the documents go on to record his meetings with Tariq Ali, then editor of a Marxist magazine - Red Mole - but observe that despite several attempts by Ali to elicit funds from Lennon to support a Marxist bookshop "no sum has been paid by Lennon for this purpose".

There is also reference to Lennon's drug use. A previous UK conviction for cannabis was at the centre of attempts to have Lennon deported from the United States where he was resident at the time. To add grist to the mill, one of the memos observe: "A second confidential source, who has furnished reliable information in the past, advised that Lennon continues to be a heavy consumer of narcotics".

27.04.2005: 'A black John Lennon - why not?'
08.12.2006: The US vs John Lennon
09.11.2005: John Lennon's complete solo work goes online
27.03.2003: John Lennon's childhood home opens to public
09.10.2002: John Lennon's killer denied parole
24.10.2003: DVD: John Lennon, Lennon Legend

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