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John Lennon Files To Be Released

February 20, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A federal judge ordered the FBI to release notes from a phone conversation and two letters about John Lennon, the Beatles singer who was murdered in 1980.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Q. Robbins made the ruling Friday.

According to the FBI, 10 pages of Lennon’s file were withheld at the request of a foreign government that had given the FBI the documents.

Peter Eliasberg, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said he believes the request to block the release came from British intelligence officers.

The release of the documents was prompted by author and historian Jon Wiener, who filed a federal Freedom of Information Act request in 1983 to obtain all U.S. government documents on Lennon.

``We don’t think that the national security is really at stake here,″ Weiner said. ``We think this is 30-year-old, trivial information about the activities of a dead rock star.″

Wiener’s book, ``Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files,″ was published in January by The University of California Press in Berkeley. The book reproduces 100 pages of FBI files on Lennon that have been released, including some that were entirely blacked out for security reasons.

The ACLU, which joined Wiener’s attempt to obtain the files, said the FBI under the Nixon administration used surveillance in an attempt to deport Lennon due to his opposition to the Vietnam War.

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