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Break Ins, Death Threats and the FBI: Covert War Against the Central America Movement Paperback – 1 Mar 1992

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Product details

  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: South End Press,U.S.; 1st Edition edition (1 Mar. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896084124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896084124
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,526,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Ross Gelbspan is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist with over 30 years experience in the US press.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Steven H Propp - Published on
Format: Paperback
Ross Gelbspan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and activist, and also the author of Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists, and Activists Have Fueled a Climate Crisis--And What We Can Do to Avert Disaster and The Heat Is On: The Climate Crisis, The Cover-up, The Prescription.

He notes in the Preface to this 1991 book, "I began... to write a book on the assault on civil liberties during the Reagan era... The book that follows is admittedly incomplete in a number of areas. For one thing, neither the perpetrators---nor the coordinating hand---behind the string of break-ins has been conclusively identfied. For another, the domestic surveillance role of Oliver North's network... remains... shrouded in mystery... In short, this book does not pretend to be comprehensive... this account is a mosaic of known facts and obvious holes..." (Pg. 4-5)

He states that "Around the same time that the FBI dramatically intensified its crackdown on Central America groups, a separate cluster of government agencies was establishing a clandestine operation aimed at secretly pumping the Administration's own brand of propaganda into the consciousness of the American electorate through a covert campaign aimed at securing newspaper space and television and radio time for advocates of Reagan policies in Nicaragua and El Salvador. The architect of this second line of information control was none other than William Casey, director of the Central Intelligence Agency." (Pg. 121)

He states that "One of the great unsolved mysteries of the assault on left and liberal activists during the Reagan Administration lies in the covert tangle of byzantine arrangements and underground contacts for the exchange of information between law enforcement and intelligence agencies and collaborators in the private sector... the flow of information about individuals, groups and institutions opposed to Reagan Administration policies resembles an elaborate and extremely complicated information-laundering operation." (Pg. 169)

He concludes, "From a U.S. standpoint, the most frightening aspect of the assault on dissenting citizens lies in the string of break-ins, thefts, death threats and assults that stretches forward from 1983 to 1990 like an underground epidemic of low-grade terrorism. Partly because the FBI has consistently declined to investigate those break-ins---categorizing them as local crimes under the jurisdiction of local police rather than evidences of an interstate conspiracy---we may never know who has planned and coordinated them." (Pg. 219)

This is a very provocative account of various (suspected and actual) government actions taken against protesters in the 1980s, and will be of great interest to activists, progressives, and civil libertarians.
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