Thousands of pages of U.S. intelligence documents on Nelson Mandela were made public on Wednesday, revealing that Washington continued to monitor the South African anti-apartheid hero as a potential Communist menace even after he was released from prison, a group that sued to obtain the papers said.
The Washington-based group Property of the People released the papers to mark the 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth. It said it obtained them after years of litigation.
“The documents reveal that, just as it did in the 1950s and 60s with Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights movement, the FBI aggressively investigated the U.S. and South African anti-apartheid movements as Communist plots imperiling American security,” the group’s president Ryan Shapiro said in a statement.
“Worse still, the documents demonstrate the FBI continued its wrong-headed Communist menace investigations of Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement even after U.S. imposition of trade sanctions against apartheid South Africa, after Mandela’s globally-celebrated release from prison, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
South Africa’s first black president, who died in 2013 and remains a global icon for his struggle against apartheid and message of reconciliation after 27 years in prison, was regarded with suspicion by Washington during the Cold War and remained on the U.S. terrorism watchlist until 2008.
Property of the People said its trove included documents from the major U.S. intelligence agencies, the FBI, CIA, DIA and NSA, most of which have never been seen by the public.
“The Mandela Files” can be found on its website propertyofthepeople.org.
Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) has been in power since the end of apartheid in 1994 and remains in a governing coalition with the South African Communist Party, which also resisted the white-minority government.
Southern Africa was a key Cold War battleground, as newly independent states in the region such as Angola and Mozambique aligned with Moscow.
Celebrations have been held across South Africa this week to mark Mandela’s 100th birthday, including a rousing speech on Tuesday by former U.S. president Barack Obama, who said the world should resist cynicism over the rise of strongmen.
Editing by Peter Graff
Trump adviser Stephen Miller avoiding press and outsiders as president ramps up racist rhetoric: report
According to a report from the Daily Beast, senior advisor for policy to Donald Trump, Stephen Miller is becoming more reclusive at the White House at the same time that the president is ramping up his hateful rhetoric against immigrants -- a topic on which the controversial Miller has the president's ear.
With the Beast noting, "Over the years, the 33-year-old senior policy adviser to the president has become virtually synonymous with the draconian immigration measures of the administration. He was a driving force behind the president’s brutal family-separation policy, one of the architects of Trump’s 'Muslim travel ban,' constantly agitates against legal immigration levels and refugees, and serves as the top White House speechwriter," the report states that Miller is rarely seen or heard from lately.
GOP now panicking about Trump because they’re losing ‘plausible deniability’ for their racist agenda: columnist
After smearing Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as anti-Semitic—-and letting the crowd at his Greenville, North Carolina rally roar "send her back!" for more than 10 seconds -- President Donald Trump was forced to distance himself from the chant.
He falsely claimed that he'd continued his speech immediately after the crowd started yelling. On Friday, the New York Times reported that Trump was under intense pressure by his daughter, Ivanka, and Vice President Mike Pence, to disavow the chants.
Writing in the Washington Post, columnist Greg Sargent lays out why "send her back" makes Republicans so nervous, when they seem perfectly fine with radical immigration policies like zero-tolerance and the separation of kids from their parents, which are applied to non-white asylum seekers.
‘Catastrophic,’ ‘beyond shameful,’ and ‘xenophobia-fueled’ Trump administration panned over proposal to slash refugee cap to zero
"An admissions goal of zero would be another low in a global race to the bottom"
Human rights advocates said the Trump administration would be making a "catastrophic" and "grave error" if it followed through on a newly-reported proposal to slash refugee admissions to zero next year.
"It is beyond shameful and a new low, even for this administration, to even consider accepting no refugees to the U.S.," said Ryan Mace, grassroots advocacy and refugee specialist for Amnesty International USA.