Break-Ins, Death Threats, and the FBI: The Covert War against the Central America Movement

By Ross Gelbspan | Go to book overview

Foreword

Break-ins, Death Threats and the FBI: The Covert War Against the Central America Movement raises the curtain on the Bureau's secret attempts to undermine and demonize the nationwide network of individuals and protest groups opposed to the Reagan Administration's Central America policies and programs. Ross Gelbspan demonstrates that the more than two hundred verified instances of break-ins, burglaries, death threats, harassment, and arson cannot be viewed, as many preferred, as a series of scattered horror stories, but must be recognized as unified by an overall plot to eliminate critics and opponents of Reagan's Central America initiatives.

An investigative reporter for the Boston Globe, Ross Gelbspan has won prominence for his exposés of political repression and invasions of protected freedoms. A tenacious hunter of clues to the Administration's complicity, Gelbspan has tracked down the principal operators in this assault. Most U.S. citizens are kept in the dark by a languid and frequently biased media. Our people remain largely ignorant with a nativist addiction to social amnesia, fueled by an "our country can do no wrong" orthodoxy and a callousness in responding to invasions of First Amendment freedoms. Thus, our responses to government-sponsored political repression range from disbelieving to indifferent to supportive.

Gelbspan's account of the FBI's role in this assault on dissent cannot be dismissed, as the Bureau has tried to do, by claims that the misconduct was self-inflicted or, in any event, too petty to warrant federal investigation. This book is not written with a conspiratorial mind-set characteristic of the ultra-right which Gelbspan exposes; he refrains from imputing to power-holders fantasized responsibility for politically motivated misconduct. His style is calm and measured, as are his conclusions concerning the extent of complicity of the Reagan Administration. Gelbspan's account draws on an awesome array of sources and establishes his commitment to the truth-is-bad-enough school of investigative journalism.

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