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Month: April 2018

FBI goes after Krassner


Contrasting the current FBI has swung a pendulum from 50 years ago.
Howard Rasmussen was not his real name. Actually, he was an FBI agent working in their New York office. One day in October 1968, he was reading Life magazine. He saw those photos of me – playing basketball in my loft, lying on the floor of an airport – accompanying a complimentary article. Then he sat down at his typewriter, creatively trying to choose every word so carefully that it would reek of credibility, as he composed the following letter to the editor of Life on plain stationery:
Sirs:

Your recent issue which devoted three pages to the aggrandizement of underground editor Paul Krassner, was too, too much. You must be hard up for material. Am I asking the impossible by requesting that Krassner and his ilk be left in the sewers where they belong? That a national magazine of your fine reputation (till now that is) would waste time and effort on the cuckoo editor of an unimportant, smutty little rag is incomprehensible to me.

Gentlemen, you must be aware that The Realist is nothing more than blatant obscenity. Your feature editor would do well to read a few back issues of The Realist. Try the article following the assassination of President Kennedy, which describes disgusting necrophilism on the part of LBJ. To classify Krassner as some sort of “social rebel” is far too cute. He’s a nut, a raving, unconfined nut.

As for any possible intellectual rewards to be gleaned from The Realist – much better prose may be found on lavatory walls. If this article is a portent of things to come in Life, count me out, gentlemen, count me out.

Howard Rasmussen
Brooklyn College
School of General Studies

Before he could be permitted to mail the letter to Life, he was required to send a copy of it to FBI headquarters in Washington, along with this memo:
The 10/4/68 issue of Life magazine contained a three page feature on Paul Krassner, editor of The Realist and self-styled “hippie.” Krassner is carried on the RI [Round-up Index] of the NYO [New York Office].

Bureau authority is requested to send the following letter to the editors of Life on an anonymous basis. It is noted that the Life article was favorable to Krassner.

Rasmussen was merely doing his job, writing that poison pen letter, but is that how taxpayers’ money was supposed to be spent? I had broken no law. The return memo – approved by J. Edgar Hoover’s top two assistants, Kartha DeLoach and William Sullivan – was addressed to Mr. Floyd and Mr. Shackelford at the New York office. It stated:
Authority is granted to send a letter, signed with a fictitious name, to the editors of Life magazine. Furnish the Bureau the results of your action.

NOTE: Krassner is the Editor of The Realist and is one of the moving forces behind the Youth International Party, commonly known as the Yippies. Krassner is a spokesman for the New Left. Life magazine recently ran an article favorable to him.

New York’s proposed letter takes issue with the publishing of this article and points out that the The Realist is obscene and that Krassner is a nut. This letter could, if printed by Life, call attention to the unsavory character of Krassner.

Life magazine never published Rasmussen’s letter to the editor. However, they did publish this letter:
Regarding your article on that filthy-mouthed, dope-taking, pinko-anarchist, pope-baiting, Yippie-lover: cancel my subscription immediately!

Paul Krassner
The Realist

There were Rasmussens all over the place. One memo tried to smear Tom Hayden with the worst possible label they could invoke – “FBI informer.” The FBI distributed a caricature depicting Black Panther leader Huey Newton “as a homosexual,” and ran a fake “Pick the Fag” contest, referring to Dave McReynolds as “Chief White Fag of the lily-white War Resisters League” and “the usual Queer Cats – like Sweet Dave Dellinger and Fruity Rennie Davis.”
The FBI always took pains to instruct agents to “Insure mailing material utilized and paper on which leaflet is prepared cannot be traced to the Bureau.” In that context, “Bureau authority was received for New York to prepare and mail anonymously a letter regarding [an individual’s] sexual liaison with his step-daughter (Age 13) to educational authorities in New Jersey” where he was a teacher.
In 1969, the FBI’s previous attempt at mere character assassination of me escalated to a slightly more literal approach. This was not included in my own Co-Intel-Pro (Counter-Intelligence Program) files but, rather, discovered elsewhere by Sam Leff. At the Chicago convention, Leff had erased the line between anthropologist and activist. Later, as a Yippie archivist, he investigated a separate FBI project calculated to cause rifts between the black and Jewish communities.
The FBI produced a WANTED poster featuring a large swastika. In the four square spaces of the swastika were photos of Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Mark Rudd of SDS, and myself. Underneath the swastika was this message:
LAMPSHADES! LAMPSHADES! LAMPSHADES!

New York radio station WBAI recently featured programs under the tutelage of black revolutionary Julius Lester of the Guardian and Leslie R. Campbell, sometime teacher at JHS 271, from which it appeared that the only solution to Negro problems in America would be the elimination of the Jews. May we suggest the following order of elimination? (After all, we’ve been this way before.)

*All Jews connected with the Establishment.
*All Jews connected with Jews connected with the Establishment.
*All Jews connected with those immediately above.
*All Jews except those in the Movement.
*All Jews in the Movement except those who dye their skins black.
*All Jews (Look out, Jerry, Abbie, Mark and Paul!)

Once again, this flyer was approved by the FBI director’s top aides:
Authority is granted to prepare and distribute on an anonymous basis to selected individuals and organizations in the New Left the leaflet submitted . . . Assure that all necessary precautions are taken to protect the Bureau as the source of these leaflets.

And, of course, if some overly militant black had obtained that flyer and “eliminate” one of those “New Left leaders who are Jewish,” the FBI’s bureaucratic ass would be covered: “We said it was a facetious suggestion, didn’t we?”

Paul Krassner is the author of 60 Years of Investigative Satire, to be published by Fantagraphics Books in early 2019.

LA Free Press Office BOMBED!!


Coincidentally, Gene Youngblood (who was, back then, the Associate Editor) and I were just discussing, yesterday, how Ted Zatlyn, the Managing Editor was lucky enough to leave about 20 minutes before the bomb was thrown!

Unfortunately, among the items destroyed were the hundreds of Allen Zak’s photos of all the luminaries who had visited this office on Fairfax, and the previous office – Jim Morrison, Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin and dozens more among them. Art once told me that, for some reason, it took the City about an hour to get a firetruck out to quench the flames… imagine that. (Or you might just remember this all from a ‘real-life’ episode of the Mod Squad 🙂 )

Of course, you can see that this just capped a week lacking in love – the Long Beach City Council was looking for a way to keep our rag from being sold on its streets. (But that other radical rag, the U.S. Constitution, pretty much scuttled its plan. At least it wasn’t the one set on fire.)

So… what to do? Well… we could have swept out the office but… but we caught the Fugs at the Kaleidoscope instead. And here’s what’s really cool – just by staying on our keisters, we are magically slipping into a 3 day orgy… of films!! Check out the notices of the scene of our adventures at:
http://losangelesfreepress.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/M68M3H19721CW.jpg

(And check out the next 2 posts for what happens next 🙂

RFK Quiet About the CIA re JFK? And What About The Resistance and 2001?



Surely Mark Lane’s response to his own question became our lead story. Afterall, more than 4 years had gone by since the assassination of his brother – the President of our United States – and more than 3 years since the Warren Report.
And, so, who was it that had the audacity to ask?
Less than a month from today, on May 10, we’ll note the 3rd anniversary of Mark Lane’s passing. He was an Attorney, New York State Legislator, Civil Rights Activist, and Vietnam War-Crimes Investigator. But he was best known for Rush to Judgment, his bestselling (it was on the NYT Bestseller’s List for 29 weeks) critique of the Warren Commission’s Report. And, of course, Mr. Lane penned a number of articles for us, the Los Angles Free Press, as well.

Remarkably, RFK had not – publicly – presented his thoughts on the Warren Report when it was published in 1964, and Lane’s book, challenging it, showed that interest in the matter was, obviously, still high. Less than 2 months after this article, RFK, himself, was assassinated… also by a ‘lone’ gunman, Sirhan Sirhan.

Mr. Lane’s final book, Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK, published in 2011, might be the answer that RFK couldn’t… or wouldn’t… provide back when we published this article. (And, too, as the documentary of one of America’s most powerful families plays in the background, there is little mention of Hoffa’s upset with the Attorney General, nor his remark that he thought he would be the one that they would be coming after.) This coming June, we’ll speak more about this shooting – perhaps the first major incident of political violence in the United States stemming from the Arab–Israeli conflict.

 

In the meantime, let’s give some exposure to less complicated connections but still those hidden from the eye: right-hand bottom corner report of the seemingly nonsensical raids on the peace and love types all come to gather for the Festival of Chauli. Why bother with these folks? Well, for one, lotsa of love makes for lessa war – and can even turn into outright protests against the whole shebang. For instance, and probably just a lucky coincidence (for the cops), there – (on page 3) was Barry McQuire – that peacenik that was shouting about the coming Eve of Destruction – just ready and ripe to be busted…what givin’ war a bad name and all.
On page 15, another troop from the Flower Power Brigade were touting their organization of The Resistance with its 10-day celebration. (Not familiar with The Resistance? Study-up… or hope those 2018 elections go well.)

Back to Barry for a moment – You’ll find that we put the original video on our FB music page – https://www.facebook.com/LAFPmusic/ Check it out! and see if you can catch the irony of the line that references a moment in time with JFK.

Now let’s take a leap forward in a kinda Back to the Future way… it was in this issue that Gene Youngblood – another LA FP Writer of note (international acclaim, actually) called the feature film ‘2001’ a “Masterpiece”.  Here’s his piece on that piece – more than 30 years later, what’s your opinion?

Well, enough of the old news – here’s some new news: yet another of the LA FP’s fine writers – literally an icon of the 60’s, Paul Krassner, in light of all that has been happening with the FBI, has graced us with a gem from his past. We’ve buried it over here:
https://losangelesfreepress.com/2018/04/fbi-goes-after-krassner/

And, Finally – new news re: our feature ‘ARRESTED LA FREE PRESS EDITOR FIGHTS BACK’… A new trial date has been set! May 29th, 2018
With that said, come back this very Friday and look for what has happened, and our next steps toward winning this case!