US folksinger deemed threat to national security
Under the US Freedom of Information Act, a massive file on folksinger Pete Seeger has been released to the Mother Jones news website. It documents that the FBI spied on the composer of such classic songs as ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone?’ for over two decades. The campaigning musician first caught the attention of the bureau when, as a 23-year-old soldier, he wrote a letter in 1943 protesting plans to deport thousands of Japanese Americans. After looking into his background – an agent sent to his high school established that Seeger had worn ‘bohemian’ clothes – an FBI report declared him to be ‘an idealist whose devotion to radical ideologies is such as to make his loyalty to the US under all circumstances questionable’. In later life, Seeger became an environmental crusader. He sang on the steps of the Lincoln memorial at one of President Obama’s inaugural concerts.
Picture: US folksinger and activist Pete Seeger, from the 2007 PBS documentary, The Power of Song, rebroadcast on YouTube (click here to watch).
‘FBI snooped on singer Peter Seeger for 20 years‘, The Observer , 20 December 2015
Click here to see Seeger sing his famous protest anthem ‘We Shall Overcome’.