A friend and long time prominent activist, Bob Simpson, posted on Facebook regarding FBI informers and moles at an underground DC newspaper he once worked for. He filed a FOIA request and was able to read parts of the FBI file. A number of others weighed in about various publications and projects that had been. Many of those had also viewed the FBI and informant files. When I was in Grade school in the 70s, during the Cold War and fears of communism taking over the world, I was taught how the Soviets routinely spied on its citizens and the inhuman and draconian measures taken against dissenters. I was taught that America was different and better. Boy, was it a thunderous shock to find out we were doing the same thing all along. Recall, this nation demonized women for wanting to vote, and attacked them ruthlessly for wanting an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. It went after Martin Luther King jr. for the unforgivable crime of standing for racial equality.
We have been talking about this quite a lot during talk backs at my play, “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” It was a common discussion during Occupy as well. Even though it seems counterintuitive, I have always advocated uber-transparency. Security cultures play into their hands and gives the government and police major erections, while openness, as well as being absolutely democratic, stymies them. I tested that in 1994 while being arrested and professionally interrogated near the frontline in Sarajevo one dark night. I handed over detailed journals(which I got back, and used for my War Memoir, Everything for Love) and answered every question so fully that they were completely confused.
I know the other side as well. Over the course of 20 plus years in the Balkans I interviewed dozens of former World War 2-era Communist Partisans about their security culture before and during the war, when they were mercilessly hunted by the German Gestapo and others. That was war. Life and Death. We are not there…yet. It was also a different time, in which all of us had not been mapped as with the NSA collection of data. They will get to you in the shadows. Drag them into the light and expose them for the pathetic and petty little clerks and bullies they are.