FBI Releases “High Visibility” Files On Celebrities


The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, and Liberace are among those who turn up in FBI “High Visibility” memos obtained by the Associated Press under a Freedom Of Information Act request covering 1974 to this year. Included are references to celebrities from A (Louis Armstrong) to Kaye (Danny) to Z (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.). The AP request produced more than 500 redacted memos totaling nearly 1,500 pages — a stack of documents 6 inches high.

The February 2001 paperwork on film director Otto Preminger’s file mentioned “all of the information on Preminger’s desire to be a source for the FBI is being withheld.” Until now. The presence of a file or a memo doesn’t necessarily mean the subject was targeted for an investigation. The FBI won’t divulge its exact number of files, but it could total more than 6 million. The agency has long maintained that its era of surveillance for political purposes is over, reflecting changes that followed FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s death in 1972. The high-visibility memorandums were generated for a number of reasons: the notoriety of the requester, if the request could reveal improper FBI activities; and if the request comes from a story-seeking journalist.

Link: http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/nation_and_world/article/0,1426,MCA_454_4096799,00.html

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