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FBI releases the file of a man they followed for over 25 years who never committed a crime

August 2, 2010

Surprising no one, the FBI announced today it had tracked the left-wing historian Howard Zinn for 25 years, despite having apparently no evidence that he ever committed a crime.

The bureau released over 400 pages of its file on Zinn, covering 1949 to 1974 — when the bureau says its investigations ended — in response to FOIA requests. Download the documents here. (See anything interesting? )

As we often learn with these FBI releases, the bureau expended a remarkable amount of resources tracking the writings and movements of those who were linked to Communists (even by three or four degrees of separation) or who opposed the Vietnam War.

One document (Page 217) records that Zinn, who died in January, participated in a public anti-draft meeting on Boston Common in November 1967. This fact was observed by no less than five special agents of the FBI, whose names are recorded.

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