Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Christopher Hitchens Was the Subject of an FBI Foreign Counterintelligence Probe

First, the CIA Glomars a Hitchens- related FOIA request. Now the FBI is trying to dodge my FOIA requests regarding Christopher Hitchens. Upon his death, a FOIA request as submitted seeking all FBI records pertaining to Hitchens. In response, the FBI released 19 pages of previously released documents without giving me even the right of appeal. Nor did they bother to give me a sheet listing which pages they withheld so I am not even sure of the file’s size.

The released material is riddled with b(1) redactions with (S) and (C) written next to them. This means the withheld information, despite being years and even decades- old “could be expected to cause damage to the national security” in the case of confidential classified material or “serious damage to the national security” in the case of the Secret information.”

However, the FBI’s redactions and handling of the request does not preclude us from gloaming some insights from the released material. The first two pages of material are the newest and are from INS. They are name check requests conducted by the Immigration and Naturalization in March 2005.

The next five pages of material are heavily redacted but reveal that Hitchens was the subject of a 105 investigation. A 105- file is a file pertaining to “foreign counterintelligence”. Why Hitchens was the subject of a counterintelligence probe is withheld, but there is a discussion of his activities as a Oxford socialist/Trotskyist” and that it had been discovered that Hitchens might be traveling about the United States on a scholarship. However, searches by INS and State found no records on him, so it appears that the investigation was dropped.

Hitchens comes to FBI’s attention again in December 1981. However, the record in question is almost entirely withheld on “national security” grounds. The rest of the record relates to Hitchens activities in 1983. In the beginning of the year, the United States Secret Service request information on Hitchens “in connection with the granting of a press pass for admittance to the White House.”  The FBI responded back with several memorandum and airtels which have been withheld in their entirety on “national security” grounds. There is a essentially redacted teletype from July 1983 revealing that Hitchens is involved in some foreign counterintelligence investigation, but nothing more.  In August 1983, the FBI attaché in London reported to the director that they had no information on Hitchens' travel plans and some wholly- redacted information, information redacted on “national security” grounds.  The rest of the file deals with an autumn 1983 request by Hitchens to become a permanent resident.  Except for a background form filled out by Hitchens, most of the information is withheld on “national security” grounds.

Christopher Hitchens' FBI File                                                           


  1. see link for full story
    CNN exclusive: FBI misconduct reveals sex, lies and videotape

    By Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips, CNN Special Investigations Unit
    January 27, 2011

    Washington (CNN) -- An FBI employee shared confidential information with his girlfriend, who was a news reporter, then later threatened to release a sex tape the two had made.

    A supervisor watched pornographic videos in his office during work hours while "satisfying himself."

    And an employee in a "leadership position" misused a government database to check on two friends who were exotic dancers and allowed them into an FBI office after hours.

    These are among confidential summaries of FBI disciplinary reports obtained by CNN, which describe misconduct by agency supervisors, agents and other employees over the last three years.

    Read the FBI documents obtained by CNN

  2. FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse

    Tuesday February 17, 2004 11:46 PM


    Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The former chief internal watchdog at the FBI has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl and has admitted he had a history of molesting other children before he joined the bureau for what became a two-decade career.

    John H. Conditt Jr., 53, who retired in 2001, was sentenced last week to 12 years in prison in Tarrant County court in Fort Worth, Texas, after he admitted he molested the daughter of two FBI agents after he retired. He acknowledged molesting at least two other girls before he began his law enforcement career, his lawyer said.

    5th read

    Monday August 8, 2005 Longtime FBI agent sentenced to prison on child porn count
    also see

    Associated Press Writer

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) A longtime FBI agent who helped arrest mountain-man Claude Dallas and was involved in a deadly 1984 siege involving white supremacists in Washington state is going to prison for 12 months after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

    William Buie, 64, of Boise, most recently worked as an investigator for the Idaho attorney general's office.

    6th read

    February 22, 2007
    SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. A F.B.I. analyst has been sentenced to seven years in prison for having sex with a young girl in Spotsylvania County.
    Forty-four-year-old Anthony John Lesko entered an Alford plea yesterday in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court to nine counts of felony indecent liberties upon a child. An Alford plea means Lesko doesn't admit guilt but believes there is enough evidence for a conviction.
    Authorities say Lesko engaged in a sex act with her nine times, beginning when she was nine years old.
    According to the plea, Lesko said he was a victim in the case. He said the girl initiated the contact.

    7th read

    FBI Agent Accused Of Masturbating In Public
    May 25, 2007 09:02 PM
    FBI Agent Accused Of Masturbating In Public

    Posted by, Marissa Pasquet KOLD News 13 News Editor

    FBI Special Agent Ryan Seese, 34, is facing sex offense charges after a cleaning woman said she found him masturbating in a women's lavatory on campus, according to a University of Arizona police spokesman.

  3. The 105 classification of the file is likely because of the "foreign," rather than the "counterintelligence," part of the topic. The FBI's files in this series include a wide variety of left wing groups that had international connections-- from Filipino to Mexican to Black Panther. It does not necessarily indicate an active campaign to disrupt/ discredit the subject of the file.

    The FBI likely did a cursory search with regard to your request, resulting in it only releasing a single file. The likelihood that this is the only FBI file that contained info on Hitchens is low. I'm sure he applied for press passes and was the subject of VISA and other security investigations after the early 1980s-- it's just that that info may be contained in another file or files which the FBI did not look for or disclose the existence of.

    However the file that the FBI released does not indicate any withholdings, as the serials (the number after the file number in the bottom right) all appear to be in sequential order without any gaps. The FBI should be able to confirm this for you without too much headache.

    Regarding the heavy redactions, I suspect, but this is only speculation, that they involve the CIA, and/ or connections to foreign governments. Both of these topics are routinely redacted by the FBI under national security grounds, unfortunately.

    Finally, the notion that the INS kept no records on Hitchens is preposterous. It either destroyed them, didn't look for them in response to your FOIA request, transferred them to NARA, or simply withheld them from you.

  4. The Scribd file has been deleted. Could someone repost?