Sunday, November 09, 2008

FBI, Continuing Long Tradition, Spied On Reporter-Author David Halberstam

Documents Obtained
Via Freedom Of Information Act

FBI Kept Tabs on NY Reporter Halberstam

By Cristina Alesci
NYCity NewsService
A student-powered service at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

The FBI amassed a dossier on the late journalist David Halberstam for more than two decades – keeping tabs on his reporting, tracking his marriage to a Polish actress and preparing background reports on the Pulitzer Prize winner for other federal agencies, documents show.

The feds appear to have paid particular attention to Halberstam in the mid 1960s when he was a New York Times correspondent in Poland during the Cold War – when that nation was closely aligned with the Soviet Union.

Halberstam married one of Poland’s top actresses, Elzbieta Czyzewska. He was expelled in 1967 for his coverage, including stories that cast doubt on public support for Poland’s Communist leaders.

Czyzewska, who left her homeland and moved with Halberstam to New York, also was tracked by the FBI. Halberstam’s FBI file includes magazine profiles of his then-wife, and stories about him being expelled from Poland.

Many Pages Withheld

Halberstam would go on to become a best-selling author of numerous books, including “The Best and the Brightest,” a sharp look at the leaders who guided the nation into the Vietnam War.

The dossier is 98 pages, but only 62 pages were released by the FBI, which said many of the documents should remain sealed because of national security, privacy and other reasons.

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