Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Friends, A friend gave me a copy of THE BURGLARY, about the break-in at the FBI office in Media, PA on March 8, 1971, on January 19, and I have been reading it since. It is a must-read filled with so much fascinating detail, including the information that the burglars were greatly influenced by the Catholic peace movement. And the Berrigan Brothers were a tremendous influence on these remarkable people who dared to take on Hoover’s fascist FBI. Many of you know the stories from a broad perspective, but the author provides much more detailed information. I did not know. for example, that Joe Frazier met with Nixon just before his match with Muhammad Ali or that our infamous president welcomed to the White House the construction workers who severely beat the peace marchers in New York City. The book is ready-made to become a film. Kagiso, Max Monday, January 20, 2014 The Burglary by Betty Medsger- How peaceniks broke into the FBI offices at Media Pennsylvania, turning over FBI secrets to the world. 596 Pages, Alfred A. Knopf, 2014 On March 8th, 1971, 8 citizens robbed the FBI office in Media Pennsylvania of all of its files, took them to a farm, laboriously copied them and mailed them to key anti way politicians and reporters and organizations, despite a dragnet search by hundreds of agents (J Edgar Hoover, the FBI Director who had attempted to black mail the civil rights icon, Martin Luther King, was “apoplectic.” He realized his cover was “blown”….his well kept secrets revealed by academics.” The documents showed that Hoover’s FBI had a counter intelligence program- Cointelpro- designed to infiltrate, subvert, blackmail and otherwise disrupt anti- war and black civil rights activists and activities, Ms Medsger has told me that it was not just a stroke of fortune that this office had such incriminating documents. All the FBI offices had them It is a relief to genuinely enjoy such lucid prose and such a carefully researched story- I predict Ms Medsger will not get the coverage she deserves because of the topic. Media used to be so much more intelligent and friendly, although it was always skewed (except for occasional reporters like Medsger)-(I remember fondly the liberation news service and underground newspapers of the 60's). The Media story is riveting to those of us draft action folks and other peaceniks. Our country continues to stumble from idiotic war to war; at least now a poor kid from Arkansas who needs money or an education or who loves guns can enlist..the result of our ending the draft. How great is that? As the Snowdens and Mannings point out- like the Media burglars- our government practices the age old tyrannies of secrecy and, undoubtedly, by the FBI and CIA and NSA illegal actions continue. The sentencing for the Transform Plowshares 3 (Oak Ridge nuclear facility resisters) takes place later this month, January, and one hopes books will come out on the Plowshares movement like Ms. Medsger's There have been several excellent books and one documentary movie on the anti- draft actions- "Hit and Stay" is the movie, again,- topics the media will treat with kid gloves-as it kowtows to money and power. Hopefully The Burglary will be to many- a cautionary tale and an inspiration as to how to proceed against the war makers. Hopefully some one will do a movie on the Plowshares Actions as good as "Hit and Stay" is on the draft actions (though it will not get much coverage either). This book is as much a page turner as Patrica Cornwall's thrillers, although this is a book, unlike hers- that has a message. George Mische of the Catonsville 9 likes to point how ordinary people can achieve extraordinary feats- as did Margaret Mead in her quote to the effect- “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” This book proves it. The Media burglars, one must say, had extraordinary skill and extraordinary luck (how Forsyth became a professional level lock picker). Anyone with close up experience with the FBI of that time can also attest to their bumbling. It is immensely satisfying to know that the feds thought we in the Catholic left were responsible for the burglary; they were convinced that the wonderful Irish leprechaun, John Grady, was the ringleader- as he was (to a degree) for the Camden 28 draft board raids (they got off). Ms Medsger tells me that Grady denied it at a reunion and got a big kick out of the FBI suspicions. Such successful actions are surely the precursor acts of inspiration for an Edward Snowden or a Chelsea Manning. The problem is that the government, as hugely as it failed and was exposed in the Media case, still comes down out of all reasonable proportions on the protesters it does catch- or those who want to be caught and go to trial- such as the Transform Now Plowshares- now facing sentencing in Knoxville, Tenn. for their break in at the Oak Ridge nuclear facility (which also showed totally lax security by the government). The prosecution wants to treat an 83 year old nun as a terrorist- just as they would have treated William Davidon, had they caught him. It is incumbent upon us ordinary citizens to stand against this and to question authority and to throw sand into the gears. David Eberhardt (Baltimore 4) Mozela9@comcast.net Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/ "The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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