Quantcast
Connect with us

FBI may have destroyed files on Walter Cronkite

Published

on

FBI spokesman: ‘We would need warehouses to keep everything we’ve collected’

Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation said they may have destroyed files on legendary newsman Walter Cronkite in an October 2007 document purge.

Blogger and San Francisco-based gay activist Michael Petrelis filed a Freedom of Information Act request after the CBS anchorman’s death in mid-July for access to FBI documents containing Walter Cronkite’s name. The FBI restricts third-party access to information about individuals while they are still alive, but makes it possible for people to request copies of someone else’s FBI files after they have passed away.

ADVERTISEMENT

The FBI’s August 25th response, however, indicated only that they may have had files on Cronkite, but if so, those files were likely destroyed roughly two years before Cronkite’s death.

Click on the image below to see the complete FBI response letter in PDF format.

“A main index record carries the names of subjects of FBI investigations,” the letter to Petrelis said. “Records which may be responsive to your Freedom of Information-Privacy Acts (FOIPA) request were destroyed on October 9, 2007. Since this material could not be reviewed, it is not known if it was responsive to your request.”

FBI spokesman Bill Carter told Raw Story that the destruction of the potential Cronkite files could be related to the FBI’s “fifty-year-rule,” that allows them to toss old files after fifty years of storage. The FBI is required to allow the National Archives to review the documents for historic value before destruction.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We would need warehouses to keep everything we’ve collected,” Carter said to Raw Story. “Because of space limitations, there is a constant review of old files to determine if anything we have is of historical value. If it is, it should be retained. If not, it’s destroyed.”

Petrelis said he was disturbed to learn the FBI was in the habit of destroying any files, and even more upset they weren’t able to confirm exactly what documents had been destroyed in 2007.

“I would like to know, regardless of who the file may be on, that at a minimum the FBI is looking at the files they are destroying before they are being destroyed,” Petrelis told Raw Story.

ADVERTISEMENT

FOIA experts, however, said that the FBI is only required to follow its own rules regarding destruction of documents.

“As long as they are following their policy, and the National Archives didn’t think the information was useful, then all public bodies have record retention and destruction policies,” Lucy Dalglish, executive director of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said in a phone interview with Raw Story. “It would be nice if they were to keep it, but as long as they are following their policies, they have a right to do that.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Last year, students at the City University of New York’s graduate school of journalism revealed that the FBI had tracked Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter David Halberstam for more than two decades: “The FBI monitored Halberstam’s reporting, and at times his personal life, from at least the mid-1960s until at least the late ’80s, the documents show,” according to the Huffington Post.

But Quinnipiac University Professor Edward Alwood, who wrote the book “Dark Days in the Newsroom: McCarthyism Aimed at the Press,” said he didn’t know of any reason the FBI would have tracked Cronkite.

Alwood noted, however, that “the Newspaper Guild had communists in it,” and because of that, any journalist who was a member of the union was considered suspicious by the FBI.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cronkite said in a 2004 speech that he had been chairman of a committee that voted to approve the first Guild strike against the wire service “United Press.”

One of Cronkite’s closest friends, Mike Ashford, said he wouldn’t be surprised if Cronkite’s name showed up in FBI files, but that it was probably for innocuous reasons.

“He was routinely in the company of presidents and received clearance to enter secret places like a nuclear submarine,” Ashford, who spoke at Cronkite’s funeral, told Raw Story. “If there was anything on him, it probably said: ‘He’s a good guy and okay to have dinner with the president.’ Walter was never fretting about the FBI following him around.”

(posted by Kathleen Miller)

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Devin Nunes likely under federal investigation over foreign contacts after Parnas phone call revelation: ex-FBI official

Published

on

On MSNBC's "AM Joy," former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi speculated that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) may already be under FBI investigation for his secret calls with indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.

"What do you make of the fact that the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, who participated in the Adam Schiff portion of the impeachment hearings, never said anything to anybody about the fact that he was not just the guy who's sitting on the dais, he was involved in some way with one of the players?" asked host Joy Reid.

"Well, it says a lot on two levels," said Figliuzzi. "It says a lot about Devin Nunes as an individual, his ethics, his integrity, and what he's all about. And then on a larger level, it's just a huge, ironic development that we're hearing all of this about — the Republicans are defending allegations that the president lacks integrity and ethics, and they're sitting there overseeing this and they're not recusing themselves, and they're not saying anything about their colleague, Devin Nunes. So, you know, the hypocrisy is loud and clear here. And eventually when the dust clears, Joy, I wouldn't be surprised if ethics investigations and perhaps even criminal investigations really point the finger at Nunes as someone who should have recused himself and is much deeper into this than we know now."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump hammered by ex-intel officials for sucking up to the Saudis after Florida naval base shooting

Published

on

President Donald Trump is taking heat from former U.S. intelligence officials for taking a very soft tone with the Saudi government after Friday’s shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.

Not long after the shooter was identified as a second lieutenant in the Saudi Arabian military, the president tweeted out words of sympathy from the Saudi king after a phonecall, writing, "The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Former right-wing presidential candidate scamming Americans with toxic bleach cure

Published

on

Former diplomat and Reagan adviser Alan Keyes is a well-known gadfly who has run multiple times for president and for Senate, most famously against future President Barack Obama in 2004.

But lately, according to The Daily Beast, he has been involved in a different pursuit: the promotion of a dangerous pseudoscience scam known as the "Miracle Mineral Solution," or MMS.

The substance, which is actually just the powerful bleach chlorine dioxide, is supposedly a cure for everything from viral infections to infertility, and there was even a cultlike church known as the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, that promoted it as a gift from God. MMS has particularly taken root in developing countries like Uganda, but it also has a following in the United States, and many autistic children have been forced to drink it. Versions of this scam have even been promoted on Amazon.

Continue Reading