Saturday, October 11, 2008

FBI Searched Long, Hard for Jack Anderson Sources

Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover

An AP newswire article, via The New York Times, reports that:

In caustic comments on internal FBI memos, bureau director J. Edgar Hoover referred to prominent columnist Jack Anderson with undisguised contempt, calling him ''a jackal'' as agents combed his articles for errors and hints about possible sources.

''This fellow Anderson and his ilk have minds that are lower than the regurgitated filth of vultures,'' Hoover typed on a memo dated April 30, 1951. It is one of hundreds from FBI files on Anderson.

Anderson was a Hoover critic. He once wrote that the aging director, running the bureau well into his 80s, should have resigned a decade before. Other journalists suggested the same, but Anderson delivered that and a long career's worth of critical assessments of the bureau in a blunt style that enraged FBI officials.

Documents turned over to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act almost three years after Anderson's death include copies of his columns with critical notes in the margins, summaries of his movements while under surveillance, and FBI memos detailing efforts to find his sources who leaked information from deep inside government agencies.

The leaks fueled Anderson's Pulitzer Prize-winning column, ''Washington Merry-Go-Round,'' and helped him produce stories on scandals including Watergate and the arms-for-hostages deal known as Iran-Contra.

More here.


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