Lennon Files


Those with a substantial interest in this story should see http://www.lennonfbifiles.com/, maintained by Jon Wiener, author of Gimme Some Truth (2000).

Included here:

1. Books

2. Articles

1. Books

Wiener, Jon. Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon-FBI Files. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2000.

Carson, WPNWE, 3 Apr. 2000, is unimpressed by the author's contention that the FBI's surveillance of Lennon succeeded in neutralizing him as a spokesman for dissent. Nonetheless, Lennon himself is not the focus of Weiner's book; rather, the story is about the effort to get Lennon's files from the FBI and how that shows the tenacity of government secrecy.


2. Articles

Materials arranged chronologically.

Harlow, John, and Nichloas Rufford.

1. "How MI5 Spied on Lennon." Sunday Times (London), 20 Feb. 2000. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

On 18 February 2000, a federal judge in Los Angeles ordered the FBI "to release two letters about secret surveillance operations" on former Beatle John Lennon. The FBI had sought to keep the documents secret "because ... the information they contain belongs to a 'foreign power'. The unstated fact is that the documents are a summary of MI5 files....

"Evidence put before Robbins indicates that not only were Lennon and his wife ... spied on by the FBI ... but Lennon was also monitored by Special Branch and MI5 for years before he moved to America.... MI5 is likely to be angered by the Los Angeles court decision. It will confirm old-guard suspicions that any information passed to America in confidence will, sooner or later, be made public and could rebound on them."

2. "Lennon Funded Terrorists and Trotskyists." Sunday Times (London), 20 Feb. 2000. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

"The secrets of how MI5 spied on John Lennon are to be revealed after a ruling by a Los Angeles federal court cleared the way for the release of British intelligence reports held by the FBI.... The 10 packages of documents ... are believed to expose how Lennon gave money to the Irish Republican Army.... They also show that he paid £46,000 to left-wing groups including the Trotskyist Workers' Revolutionary Party (WRP) and Red Mole, a Marxist magazine edited by Tariq Ali, the student protest leader."

Davies, Hugh. "Judge Orders Release of FBI File on Lennon." Telegraph (London), 21 Feb. 2000. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

"The long simmering controversy over John Lennon's contributions to the IRA and Vanessa Redgrave's Trotskyite Workers Revolutionary Party is coming to a head. A California judge has ordered the FBI to make public top secret documents relating to MI5 surveillance of the former Beatle. Brian Behan, 73, a former key figure in the WRP, said [on 20 February 2000] that British intelligence was worried that the information would help reveal the 'Deep Throat' it had planted in the party years ago, as well as the methods used to 'bug' people."

Evans, Michael, and Grace Bradberry. "FBI Lennon File Release Breaks Security Protocol." Times (London), 21 Feb. 2000. [http:// www.the-times.co.uk]

"An American court's decision to release classified British documents relating to John Lennon is threatening to undermine an intelligence-sharing arrangement between the US and Britain, government sources said" on 20 February 2000.

Brown, Tim, and Matt Born. "Lennon Did Not Knowingly Fund IRA, Says Yoko." Telegraph (London): 22 Feb. 2000. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

The late John Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono, "has denied reports" that Lennon "knowingly gave money to the IRA.... [T]he widow of the former Beatle said [on 21 February 2000] that there was no truth to claims that Lennon had directly funded the republican paramilitaries. But she did not rule out the possibility that money he donated to the mainstream republican movement was diverted to those engaged in the armed struggle." See also, Giles Tremlett, "Yoko Ono Denies IRA Funding," Times (London), 22 Feb. 2000.

Lynch, Stephen. "Do You Want To Know A Secret?" Orange County Register, 28 Mar. 2000. [http://www.ocregister.com]

The focus here is on University of California, Irvine, professor Jon Weiner's battle to obtain Lennon's files from the FBI through FOIA and the courts.


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