In this 2014 episode from the Institute’s Vault, we hear from Betty Medsger. Medsger was a Washington Post reporter in March 1971, and received a cache of stolen FBI files that detailed the elaborate surveillance activities the bureau was using against Vietnam war protesters and others whom J. Edgar Hoover deemed “subversive.“ All Medsger knew about the documents was that they had been stolen by a group of anonymous individuals who called themselves the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI. In 2014, she revisited the story in her book, The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI (Vintage, 2014). In it, she tells the story of an unlikely group of academics and ordinary citizens who broke into a suburban FBI office and shed light on the way the intelligence community was spying on its own citizens.
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