Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Valenti, gays, Hoover and survelliance

Slate has an article that delves a bit more into the Johnson administrations hunt for Gays circa 1964. The incident was started by a Johnson administration staffer that was arrested for performing oral sex in a Washington rest room - the investigation, which included Jack Valenti, drew on the resources of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. (And, the article notes, Hoover's "gaydar".)

I wish someone would do a full history of gays by government entities over the last century. There was a 1919 sting against Navy personnel, a flap over Gays in the State Department in the early 60s, and many more incidents that come up here and there when you look through old newspapers and magazines.

I recall in the early to mid-nineties, during my time with the Tarheel Leather Club and other gay political organizations in NC, rather suspicious men that would kind of come and go from these groups that didn't seem like they fit - we often wondered if they were FBI men. In the late 90s, I saw a brief article where someone had requested their FBI file and, indeed, g-men were doing survellance on gay political and AIDS activist organizations.

I'd challenge the Obama administration to come clean on what the government's been up to the past few decades. What kind of survellance was the Bush administration up to on gays? What was Hoover's FBI up to that still hasn't emerged after all these years?

After the debacle with Rick Warren at the Inaguaration, it's the least that Obama could do to start proving he's serious about taking the interests of gay citizens seriously.

article at Slate

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