“The Burglary”

In a new book by former Washington Post journalist Betty Medsger, the story of how ordinary Americans revealed the secret program of J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO, to infiltrate and discredit dissident groups. In 1971, three months before Daniel Ellsberg released The Pentagon Papers, this small group broke into an FBI field office, stole documents, and over time leaked them to the press.

The parallels to today’s revelations by Edward Snowdon and others about the NSA are clear, and Snowden’s actions inspired the burglers to go public now.  “… there was absolutely no one in Washington — senators, congressmen, even the president — who dared hold J. Edgar Hoover to accountability,” said 80-year-old John Raines, one of the former burglars. “It became pretty obvious to us,” he said, “that if we don’t do it, nobody will.”

“The Burglary” Random House

NY Times article on the burglars and why they came forward in 2013

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