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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/28/20

The FBI Investigated Robert Parry

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From Consortium News

Report Says Parry Would Not "Advocate Overthrow of US Government by Force"

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated journalist Robert Parry in 1973, two years after he graduated from Colby College in Maine, according to a file published by the FBI last month.

Parry was one of three members on Colby's campus of the radical Students for a Democratic Society, which was founded in 1960 and folded 14 years later in 1974. The SDS promoted a non-hierarchal society and participatory democracy. It established chapters on 300 U.S. college campuses with about 30,000 members and became one of the leading student organizations to oppose the U.S. war in Vietnam.

An SDS pamphlet.
An SDS pamphlet.
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Three FBI sources reported on Parry. One source established that Parry graduated Colby in June 1971 and that his "grades were about average." A second source reviewed Parry's student file and told the FBI that it "failed to reflect any unfavorable or derogatory information concerning him."

This source, the report said, "recalled the subject as being a quiet student who caused no trouble to her knowledge on the campus." The report named an English professor, David G. Stratman, as having been a "strong promoter for the founding of an SDS chapter" at Colby.

But one of the FBI's sources said that "even with STRATMAN's backing, SDS was only able to obtain three members at that college," including Parry. "It was source's observation that none of the three members were particularly enthused about the organization."

The FBI report said that it was the source's "recollection that the subject [Parry] was not the type of individual who would engage in any rebellious or violent activity, or one who would advocate the overthrow of the US government by force or violence."

The report concluded: "This case is being closed as the subject's activities do not warrant investigation."

Swept Up in Largest Mass Arrest

The report does not mention Parry's enthusiasm in helping to organize a student strike against the war at Colby in May 1970, after Richard Nixon's invasion of Cambodia and the murder of student demonstrators by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University.

Robert Parry
Robert Parry
(Image by Robert Parry)
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Parry was instrumental in getting the faculty to pass a resolution in support of the strike. He also helped draft a telegram to Maine Senators Edmund Muskie and Margaret Chase Smith, which got the lawmakers to come to Colby to be confronted by anti-war students.

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Joe Lauria has been a independent journalist covering international affairs and the Middle East for more than 20 years. A former Wall Street Journal United Nations correspondent, Mr. Lauria has been an investigative reporter for The Sunday Times (more...)

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