Whistleblowing FBI burglars come forward after 43 years


In 1971, the FBI office in Media, PA, was quietly robbed, with a group of anonymous burglars making off with suitcases full of classified documents. A few weeks later, scandalous revelations of the bureau's conduct started to surface in The New York Times and Washington Post, documents showing the FBI campaign of dirty tricks and dissent-stifling that radicals had been warning of for years. Suddenly, there was hard proof...and most of the country was left to wonder where it was coming from.

Now, the burglars are coming forward. After 43 years, they're immune from prosecution, and one of the journalists involved in the case is publishing a book on the burglary, covering the plan from beginning to end. It was master-minded by a group of nine, complete with getaway cars and a farmhouse rendezvous point, and huge risks for everyone involved. But at the height of the anti-war movement, the group saw no other way to convince the public of what was going on. "When you talked to people outside the movement about what the FBI was doing, nobody wanted to believe it," says Keith Forsyth, one of the burglars. "There was only one way to convince people that it was true, and that was to get it in their handwriting."

The Verge
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