Monday, August 27, 2012

FBI Unsure If There's 
A File on Alexander Cockburn

Longtime leftist journalist and activist Alexander Cockburn, who I started reading back in the 1970s when he wrote for the Village Voice, passed away in July after battling cancer. He was a radical's radical, the likes of which we have too few of today. In 2002, during my legal troubles with numerous HIV/AIDS and political institutions in San Francisco, Cockburn wrote a much-appreciated column for The Nation and his Counter Punch site telling the local district attorney to undo his over-charging.

After he passed away, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for any records they have on him. As with my FOIA request to the FBI in July after actor Andy Griffith died, the feds sent this boilerplate response about a possible Cockburn file:

"Since these records were not reviewed, it is not known if they are actually responsive to your request. If you wish to review these potentially responsive records send your request to [the National Archives and Records Administration]."

Yes, I've sent in a request to NARA asking if they have any records pertaining to Cockburn, pictured. I will be very surprised if there is nothing from the FBI on him. What continues to dismay me is that the FBI is not tracking the files they have moved over to the National Archives. I expect better tracking from this agency, of all federal agencies, regarding their files.

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