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FBI Wiretapped NYT Columnist William Safire While He Worked For Govt.

William Safire/meet the press

William Safire/meet the press

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Conservative columnist William Safire was the subject of an FBI wiretap for four months while he worked for the National Security Council in 1969, according to FBI files released this month.

The FBI said the Nixon White House, concerned about leaks of classified material to reporters, asked the FBI to wiretap a number of NSC employees. The bureau did not find any dirt on Safire.

The FBI has released about 350 pages of documents on Safire from 1965 to 1994. He died in September at age 79.

The documents noted that he was a less than B student in college before dropping out and pursuing a career that included being a speech writer for President Nixon and a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times.

His wiretap experience left an indelible mark.

“I have a thing about wiretapping,” Safire said on “Meet The Press” in 2006, in describing his experience and discussing wiretaps during the Bush administration, according to the Associated Press. “I didn’t like that … it told me how easy it was to just take somebody who was not really suspected of anything for any good reason and listen to every conversation in his home.”

To read Associated Press story click here.

To Read Files click here.

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