April 10, 2021
Call it a bad toke of luck.
An American man who allegedly smoked or ingested pot in Las Vegas faces three years in prison in the United Arab Emirates after traces of marijuana were found days later in his urine, according to Detained in Dubai, a website published by his attorney.
Peter Clark, 51, flew from Las Vegas to Dubai on Feb. 24, where he went to the hospital after suffering an attack of pancreatitis. Doctors there found traces of hashish in his urine – considered possession in the UAE – and reported Clark to authorities.
He was arrested on March 3 and spent three days in a “flea-ridden cell” before being allowed back to his hotel, where he awaits his fate.
He recorded a video of the ordeal after getting out of jail.
“Lost a ton of weight, no shower, no food, nothing to drink since I got here, no sleep,” said Clark
“The UAE’s arbitrary enforcement of laws and lack of predictable legal outcomes means that Peter potentially faces years in prison for legally smoking marijuana. Even if found innocent, he can be dragged through a slow and costly legal process,” said Clark’s attorney, Radha Stirling.
Clark claims he brought no drugs to Dubai, nor consumed or purchased drugs while there.
He’s not the first Westerner who has suffered under similar charges
British army veteran Andy Neal spent more than a year in jail before being released in 2019. Another Brit, Connor Clements, was arrested in Dubai after taking medical marijuana in the UK.
By Marina Pitofsky – 06/16/20 04:04 PM EDT
A Frankfort City Commission candidate said that he supports legalizing marijuana before lighting a pipe during a live forum.
Tim Childers, a Frankfort, Ky., native who is one of a dozen candidates running for the Frankfort City Commission, lit the pipe during the forum, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
“Let’s go against the state and legalize something,” Childers said, lighting a marijuana pipe during the event recorded on May 27. “Big money in that. Bunch of states doing it. I have the answers — candidate with solutions, people.”
When Childers lit the pipe, he was advocating for a waiver for new businesses that would allow them to take advantage of a three-year period before turning in “government paperwork so they can incubate and grow.” He said that he owns property and “Kentucky reefer.”
Childers has previously vowed to run for the U.S. Senate in two years, according to the Herald-Leader.
He also told The Frankfort State Journal that he opposes removing the statue of Jefferson Davis from the Capitol Rotunda.
“I think it’s a big mistake,” Childers told the outlet. “You know, all this racial tension, it’s a few bad cops making all the cops look bad. Same thing could be said for Congress. A couple of congressmen look bad; should we fire all of them?”
There has been a renewed effort to remove Confederate statues and memorials across the country following the death of George Floyd. Floyd, an unarmed black man, died last month in Minneapolis after a former police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. Protests have erupted over his death, calling for a slate of police reforms.
On March 13th, LMPD invaded Breonna Taylor’s home, having “no knock warrants” and proceeded to shoot her eight times according to reports. There were also no body cameras on the officers to show what actually happened.
This occurrence set off a fire storm of protests in Louisville, which in turn Mayor Greg Fischer, on May 30th instituted a curfew and asked for National Guard assistance to try to diffuse the situation.
In a video message, Gov. Andy Beshear said he agreed to call up National Guard troops to help keep peace in Louisville after a night of violent protests and widespread property damage downtown.
The protests continued on a daily basis, regardless of curfew, and forced the City of Louisville to answer to the charges of police abuse by the Citizens of the area – both black and white.
Another man, well known in his community, David McAtee was shot and killed by National Guard on June 1st in an ongoing protest. The Police were attempting to clear a crowd when a shot was heard causing the retaliatory shot which killed David McAtee. Again, no body camera footage was available.
On June 2nd, LMPD Police Chief Steve Conrad was fired from his position.
“Given the seriousness of the situation, I have authorized the Kentucky State Police to independently investigate the event,” Beshear said in a statement.
On June 10th the LMPD issued an incident report regarding Breonna Taylor – which told virtually nothing.
TODAY, Louisville Metro Council officially banned “no knock warrants”; “Breonna’s Law”, in response to days of unrest in Louisville. Many people were outside Metro Hall watching on an outside screen as the law was passed.
• 5 p.m.: Outside Metro Hall hundreds gathered in a rally to get rid of the non-knock warrants. This rally began minutes after U.S. senator Rand Paul announced that he is filing legislation to ban no-knock warrants nationwide. When that news was announced at the rally a loud cheer rang from the demonstrators.
We must continue to be vigilant and protest peacefully to put an end to police brutality throughout the Country. Black lives DO matter and EVERYONE’s life matters as well!
The Death of George Floyd: A Timeline
From the moment he said “I can’t breathe” to protests and violence in cities across the US, George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers has reignited the discussion about race and police brutality in America. CNN’s Sara Sidner reports.
There is a complete (?) listing of persons killed either directly by Police Officers, or as inmates in Institutions on Wiki.
Recently, in Glasgow Kentucky, we had a white man killed by Officers – which has NOT been addressed yet although there were protests in Glasgow in the past week. I am still waiting to hear information on that killing….
Please view the video through link above – before it’s gone.
On June 3rd, it was reported by WAVE3 News in Louisville that John Robert Boone had been released from Elkton Prison and transported back to Kentucky and is now in a halfway house. We welcome him ‘home’. We are wishing him well in his future endeavors.
Below is an excerpt from the news story:
By Charles Gazaway | June 3, 2020 at 4:29 PM EDT – Updated June 3 at 4:29 PM
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – The man known as the “Godfather of Grass” is now out of federal prison and in a Louisville halfway house.
Former Cornbread Mafia leader Johnny Boone was serving a nearly five-year sentence at the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution, after pleading guilty to growing one-thousand marijuana plants.
Boone spent eight years on the run before federal agents found him in Canada in 2016. He was sentenced on the single count in 2018, but his attorneys filed paperwork arguing he should be released early- because of a Coronavirus outbreak at the prison.
At least 520 inmates at Elkton Federal Correctional have tested positive. Nine deaths have been reported.
A Facebook post from one of Boone’s family friends says he was released from prison last night and brought to a halfway house in Louisville.
December 19, 2017, John Robert Boone, “Johnny Boone”, plead guilty to possession of more than 1000 marijuana plants, and to trafficking in Washington County Kentucky. He was known as the “Godfather of Grass” and the leader of the “Cornbread Mafia” in Marion County Kentucky.
He had previously fled to Canada for a number of years after having a grow operation spotted by the KSP near Springfield Kentucky in 2008 where he remained a fugitive until his arrest in 2016 when he was deported from Canada back to Kentucky.
On April 11th I received the first email from Johnny Boone’s niece regarding the conditions that her Uncle was living in while being incarcerated at the Elkton Federal Prison, located in Lisbon, Ohio.
He was due to be transferred to a “Half-Way” house on April 15th, but COVID-19 came into the picture and his release was postponed. He is 76 years old and in in a setting that could cause him to lose his life to this horrid virus.
His family is pleading for his release, and have done everything they can to attain it. They are asking for our help! He could very well lose his life in this prison because of this Virus, and nobody seems to be acting fast enough to take care of the emergent situation, in regards to prisoner’s. He is not the only one! There are many more all over the Country and each State’s Citizen’s should inform their Governor’s that this is not acceptable!
If you remove the non-violent offenders from the system there will be much more room for the ones who do need to be contained, and there will be better medical care afforded to them – hopefully.
On April 8, the National Guard arrived at Elkton Federal Prison in Columbiana County to assist the medical staff when a large number of prisoners became ill with the virus. On April 18, the National Guard and Highway Patrol arrived at the state prison in Marion county to assist with “mission critical functions” after infections of correctional workers and prisoners. By April 19, over 1800 prisoners at Marion Correctional Institution, approximately 3/4ths of the population, plus 100 staff had tested positive. Overall, the prison system had almost 2500 cases by April 19, representing almost a fifth of Ohio’s cases.
How Johnny Boone ended up in an Ohio Correctional Facility, instead of a Kentucky Facility is not known. But regardless of that fact, he should have been transferred back to Kentucky, at the very least, when this outbreak began. Now it seems that he is stuck in there with no recourse as the Virus continues to reek havoc on the prison industrial complex overall.
Why has Governor Beshear let this happen? Although I understand the way that we were hit with this “attack” of the Virus it would have to be hard to manage it, but these people who are incarcerated are supposed to be properly cared for by the “System”.
Even the most chronic or hardened inmates have basic rights that are protected by the U.S. Constitution. If you are facing incarceration, or if you have a family member or friend who is in prison or jail, you should know about inmates’ rights.
Considering Johnny Boone’s age and medical status, he should have been released early on. There is absolutely no reason to keep this man incarcerated.
Since Barr’s memorandum on April 3 directing Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal to consider measures to move minimum security inmates out of prison, few inmates have actually been released with the exception of those who were already planned for release.
With the following information in mind, I am urging everyone to send a memo to Gov. Beshear to request that he step in and make a decision to have Johnny Boone removed from Elkton Correctional Institute immediately and brought back home to Kentucky!
On April 13, 2020, inmates at Elkton Federal Correctional Institution, brought an emergency court action seeking release from Elkton due to the spread of COVID-19 within the prison (Reference United States District Court Northern District of Ohio, Craig Wilson, et v Mark Williams, et al, Case: 4:20-cv-00794). The action sought the release of some inmates from prison to Home Confinement or by Furlough, particularly those who were old or had an underlying conditions consistent with the guidelines provided by the Center for Decision Control. Noted in the lawsuit was the “dorm-style” design of most minimum and low prisons where inmates live in close proximity to one another.
Please do not let either Johnny Boone or any other Inmates suffer and die needlessly in such condition!
This is the Government’s responsibility to keep these people safe from harm as they serve their time. There is no reason to keep a non-violent offender in a prison system in these conditions!
Please take this into consideration and free Johnny Boone to his family!
Governor Andy Beshear
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Main Line: (502) 564-2611
Fax: (502) 564-2517
Patrick Jones “spent the last 12 years contesting a sentence that ultimately killed him,” one of his former lawyers said.
April 5, 2020, 7:35 AM CDT
In the months before the coronavirus infiltrated the U.S., a 49-year-old inmate began drafting a letter inside the walls of a federal prison in Louisiana.
The man, Patrick Jones, had been locked up for nearly 13 years on a nonviolent drug charge. He hadn’t seen his youngest son, then 16, since the boy was a toddler.
“I feel that my conviction and sentence was also a punishment that my child has had to endure also and there are no words for how remorseful I am,” Jones wrote to U.S. District Judge Alan Albright in a letter dated Oct. 15, 2019. “Years of ‘I am sorry’ don’t seem to justify the absence of a father or the chance of having purpose in life by raising my child.”
Patrick Jones contracted coronavirus at a low-security prison in Oakdale, La.Courtesy of the Jones Family
Jones had been arrested in 2007 after cops found 19 grams of crack and 21 grams of powder cocaine inside the apartment he shared with his wife in Temple, Texas. His wife testified against him and was spared a prison sentence.
Jones wasn’t so fortunate. He was ultimately ordered to spend 27 years behind bars, in part because he lived within 1,000 feet of a junior college and already had a long rap sheet, mostly burglaries that he committed when he was a teenager living on the streets.
He was now writing the judge in the hope of receiving a sentence reduction through the newly-signed First Step Act, which offered relief to some inmates convicted of nonviolent drug crimes.
“My child having his own experience of raising his own child would validate my life experience and give meaning to my existence in this world, because 83582-180 has no meaning,” he wrote, referring to his federal inmate number.
“It is just a number to be forgotten in time. But Mr. Patrick Estell Jones is a very good person. Caring, hard working, free and clean of drugs and a lot smarter now, with a balanced outlook on life.”
The judge denied the request on Feb. 26, 2020. Twenty two days later, Patrick Estell Jones was dead, the first federal inmate to die of the coronavirus.
He had contracted COVID-19 at the low-security prison in Oakdale, La., a penitentiary now dealing with the deadliest outbreak of any of the 122 federal facilities.
“He spent the last 12 years contesting a sentence that ultimately killed him,” said Alison Looman, a New York-based attorney who had represented Jones in an earlier unsuccessful bid for clemency. “Ironically, it seems it is his death that might finally bring his case some attention.”
The U.S. has seen a movement in the past several years to reduce the sentences of nonviolent drug offenders, but criminal justice reform advocates say Jones’s case illustrates the limits of that effort.
“You see everything that is wrong with our sentencing system in this case,” said Kevin Ring, president of the criminal justice advocacy group FAMM.
Ring ticked off the series of factors that led to Jones’s lengthy prison term: a questionable accounting of the amount of drugs he was selling, his apartment’s proximity to a junior college, his decision to go to trial rather than take a plea and a criminal record that was largely made up of teenage offenses.
“He was no choir boy but his life had meaning,” Ring said. “I feel like his life was taken from him when he was sentenced and then he was killed in prison, and both of those things should trouble us.”
Jones’s death also focused attention on the beleaguered prison in southern Louisiana. A total of five Oakdale prisoners have died from COVID-19, officials said, and so many have come down with presumed cases that officials had temporarily stopped testing them for it.
At least 18 inmates and four staffers have tested positive, according to the Bureau of Prisons, but prison union leaders say the numbers are significantly higher.
“You’re just afraid all the time,” said an Oakdale corrections officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he’s not authorized to speak to the media. “You’re afraid of catching it and bringing it home to your family. You’re afraid of spreading it in the community.”
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on jails and prisons across the country. Earlier this week, the federal Bureau of Prisons announced that it was locking down all inmates in their cells or quarters, with limited exceptions, for 14 days, but new cases keep popping up.
“There’s a feeling of terror not knowing when this is going to end,” the Oakdale staffer said.
Jones arrived at the prison in April 2017. It would be the last stop in a hardscrabble life that began in Temple, Texas.
His childhood was marked by tumult. Jones was initially raised by his great grandmother but he spent much of his pre-teen years at a group home for children and shuffling between relatives and friends, according to his clemency petition and a government court filing quoting an interview with him. He was on and off the streets during his teenage years, the clemency petition says.
His first run-in with the law came when he was 17, court filings say. Jones was arrested twice in the span of two months on theft and burglary charges. He was charged as an adult and ultimately spent two years in prison.
Jones was released in August 1991 but he didn’t stay out of trouble. He was arrested in May 1992 after he sold cocaine to an undercover officer, according to court records. Jones pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
He was released on parole in 2000 and eventually settled in an apartment in Temple, a few blocks from the local community college. Temple police officers showed up at his home in January 2007 looking for a woman on an outstanding warrant, court records say.
After discovering crack and powder cocaine inside the residence, they arrested Jones and his wife of two months, Sharon, court documents say.
The woman targeted by police wasn’t at the apartment but she was later taken into custody. The woman, Frances Whitlock, told police she sold crack cocaine for the Joneses, averaging about five to ten deliveries a day and sometimes made as many as 30, court documents say.
Sharon Jones agreed to testify against her husband. At his trial, she testified that they had been selling the drugs for about two months. She said they would sell a half ounce of crack every other day, earning about $1,000 every day, court documents say.
The jury found Patrick Jones guilty of possession with intent to distribute at least 5 grams of crack cocaine. His wife received a term of three years’ probation after the government recommended a reduced sentence citing her cooperation, court filings say.
At his sentencing, Jones was held accountable for 425 grams of crack – 22 times the amount that was in his apartment – based on the testimony from his wife that they sold a half ounce every other day from Thanksgiving 2006 until the day of their arrest in January 2007.
The government also used several other factors to enhance Jones’s sentencing guidelines: his apartment’s proximity to Temple College, his role as an “organizer” of criminal activity for enlisting Whitlock to deliver the drugs, his decision to fight the charges at trial and his offenses when he was 17 and 21.
In the case of his previous arrests, the government treated each charge as a separate sentence, which had the effect of further driving up his sentencing guidelines.
Jones was sentenced to the minimum term under the guidelines, but it was still 30 years. His sentence was later reduced to 27 years after the U.S. Sentencing Commission amended the crack guidelines to reduce the disparity between powder and crack cocaine.
Jones’s younger sister recalled being stunned by the severity of his sentence. “My brother made some bad decisions in life but that doesn’t make him a bad person,” Debra Canady told NBC News.
In the years after his sentencing, she remained in close touch with her brother who wrote frequently, she said, asking for updates on the youngest of his three sons, Kyrell.
Jones filed a bid for clemency in Oct. 2016 pointing to court rulings and changes in sentencing guidelines that would have directly impacted his case. Jones’s lawyers argued that if he were sentenced then he likely would have received a term at least 10 years less than the one he had received.
“With good time credit,” the petition said, “Mr. Jones would have already served his entire sentence.”
The petition noted that he had no history of violence or ties to gangs, had spent his childhood “with no permanent home,” and that he was a model inmate who worked his way up to head baker–”a profession he hopes to pursue upon his release.”
In January 2017, his lawyers received word from the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney: the petition was denied.
Looman recalled that when she delivered the news to Jones, he immediately expressed concern about her and wondered aloud if she might lose her job as a result.
“It is a telling example of what a kind and compassionate person Patrick is,” Looman later wrote to his judge.
The First Step Act signed by President Donald Trump in December 2018 offered Jones a glimmer of hope.
In his motion for a sentence reduction under the law, Jones’s lawyers said shaving off years of his prison term would “support the mandate from Congress and President Trump to reduce unnecessarily lengthy sentences for defendants like Mr. Jones.”
Prosecutors took a starkly different position, emphasizing his previous convictions and his “leadership role” in his “‘crack’ distribution enterprise.”
“Jones was not a small time crack dealer whose sentence far outweighed the scope of his criminal activity,” prosecutors said in court papers.
The judge, in a ruling filed in February, sided with the government.
“Jones is a career offender with multiple prior offenses and a history of recidivating each time he is placed on parole,” Albright said in his order.
“Though the bulk of Jones’s offenses were committed at age 17, Jones displayed his continuing criminal tendencies by committing offenses each time he was released from custody.”
Albright couldn’t be reached for comment.
Looman didn’t handle Jones’s effort to get relief through the First Step Act, but she kept in touch with him via the federal prison email system.
“Happy New Year to you and may this year bring great things your way,” Jones wrote to her this past New Year’s Eve.
On Feb. 27, the day after the judge’s ruling, Jones sent her a message that made it clear he had yet to get the news.
“I’ve just been awaiting to hear something good for a change as far as legal issues go,” Jones wrote. “…But I have not got anymore info to what may be coming forth It’s been a lot of movement around here lately I hope I’m in the making for that kind of release also.”
The following month, Jones and Looman exchanged messages that referenced the coronavirus. The deadly illness was sweeping across the U.S. and there were escalating concerns of outbreaks inside detention facilities.
“I am doing well as fare (sic) as coronavirus goes and staying safe and healthy,” Jones wrote on March 14, five days before he would complain to Oakdale staffers about a persistent cough, according to federal prison officials.
He went on to say in his message to Looman that he found out the judge ruled against him, which was news even to Looman, and he revealed why it took him so long to get word: his lawyer had left the public defender’s office two months earlier.
“I talked to the head person and he said it was on him that I was not contacted and that he was going to get his people on top of the appeal,” Jones wrote. “…Anyway, enough about my problems. Are you likening (sic) the work from home thing?”
Looman replied a few days later.
She never heard back.
Rich Schapiro is a reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit.
Rand Paul becomes first known senator to test positive for coronavirus
Paul tweeted that he “is feeling fine and is in quarantine.”
March 22, 2020, 12:51 PM CDT
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Sunday became the first known senator to test positive for COVID-19.
“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19,” Paul’s account tweeted. “He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person.”
“He expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends and will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time,” the thread continued. “Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul.”
Paul is the third member of Congress to announce a positive test for coronavirus, following Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah. Several Republican lawmakers also self-quarantined earlier this month after learned they had interacted with someone who tested positive for the virus at the Conservative Political Action Conference. President Donald Trump, who attended CPAC and also interacted with multiple people at his Florida resort who later found out they were infected, tested negative for the virus.
In an interview with NBC News, Diaz-Balart said Saturday he is feeling better after a week but said the initial symptoms hit him “like a ton of bricks.” McAdams, meanwhile, told NBC’s “Today” last week that the symptoms “felt like I had a belt around my chest, and so I couldn’t breathe deeply.”
Paul, a libertarian, forced a delay on the Senate’s first coronavirus aid bill by pushing a doomed amendment. He later voted against it.
Paul suffered lung damage as a result of having his ribs broken during an altercation with a neighbor in 2017. Last year, he had part of his lungs removed in surgery.
Here’s Why The FBI Used To Study All Of John Lennon’s Lyrics
- BY VINNIE ROSSIELLO
- MAR 15, 2020
For many, the face of John Lennon is directly associated with the peace and love that circulated during the hippie movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Music fans will remember him as one of the most iconic members of The Beatles, founding the group and a songwriting career that has yet to be rivaled. However, those who were working for the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover may recall the musician’s reputation a bit differently.
In March of 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were on a European mission to be married. After a failed attempt in the U.K and another unfortunate technicality in Parisian nuptial law, the couple finally found a beautiful location at The Pillar of Hercules in Gibraltar.
Just five days after exchanging vows, John and Yoko set out on a honeymoon that would catch the attention of the entire world. Starting off in Amsterdam, the two embarked on a 7-day bed-in for peace, where they invited the press into their honeymoon suite 12 hours a day to witness their protest. According to the newlyweds, they were staying in bed to ‘protest war’ and growing their hair out to ‘preach world peace.’
From Amsterdam, they continued on to Vienna for a press conference where Lennon and Ono both appeared on stage in a white bag as a silent protest, followed by a quick stop in the Bahamas and eventually settling down for another week in Montreal.
‘Give Peace A Chance’
While staying at The Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, John and Yoko invited reporters in again (along with notable visitors like civil rights activist and comedian Dick Gregory and poet Allen Ginsberg). During this stay, they also recorded ‘Give Peace a Chance’ under the Plastic Ono Band project, which featured backup vocals provided by a group that included LSD advocate Timothy Leary and the musical comedian, Tommy Smothers.
The song became more than just a rambling chant of hippies and was eventually regarded as a highly controversial anti-war song in the eyes of the Nixon administration. Particularly, after nearly half a million people sang along to it in D.C., during the Vietnam Moratorium Day in November of 1969.
In the time after ‘Give Peace A Chance,’ John and his new bride dedicated efforts to sending out acorns “for peace” to world leaders and purchasing full-page advertisements and billboards reading, “WAR IS OVER! IF YOU WANT IT.”
By the time John Lennon moved to the United States in 1971, the White House and the Hoover-headed FBI had already deemed him a threat to the conservative agenda. He and Yoko Ono were making waves worldwide, inspiring young people all over to question authority. Upon arrival in New York City on a visa, John started to associate himself with radical anti-war activists, and the FBI then put Lennon under surveillance.
The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service tried to deport him numerous times, especially following Senator Strom Thurmond’s memo to the Nixon White House, in which he warned that John Lennon would use rock music and politics in an effort to organize young people to vote against Nixon in 1972.
It’s important to note that the 1972 election was the first time Americans 18 years of age or older were permitted to vote, prior to that the voting age was 21. And while Nixon resented Lennon’s preaching of left-leaning politics to younger Americans, the FBI became more and more aware of the impact any dramatic deportation may have on young voter turnout and retaliation.
Historian Jon Weiner fought for almost 20 years to gain access to FBI files on Lennon and confirmed in an NPR interview that the agenda against Lennon and his naturalization process was an ongoing effort encouraged by President Nixon. Weiner’s book, Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files, is revered as one of the most in-depth analyses of the relationship between John Lennon and the United States government and depicts just how absurd their investigations were.
The FBI started its obsession with Lennon after taking note of his lyrics and remarks on stage during a performance at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in Michigan in 1969 (an event held to protest the 10-year prison sentence assigned to a poet for 2 marijuana joints).
From that point on, the continued surveillance mounted up a plethora of trivial observations that were classified for fear that their release would pose a “threat to national security.” Though it’s hard to comprehend why the lyrics to his track ‘John Sinclair’ needed to be locked up, considering they appeared on the sleeve of his album.
Numerous other examples of abuse of power appear in some 300 pages uncovered by Jon Weiner, including plans to convict Lennon on narcotic charges in Miami to make him more immediately deportable and a wanted poster that featured a Lennon look-alike.
In 1972, as his immigration battle continued, John Lennon decided to withdraw from the plans to demonstrate against Nixon and the mission to get youths registered to vote. According to Weiner, “in the ensuing three-year legal battle he lost his artistic vision and energy, his relationship with Yoko disintegrated, and he gave up his radical politics. In this period Lennon became a defeated activist, an artist in decline, an aging superstar.” J. Edgar Hoover died in May of 1972, taking some of the heat off the former Beatle, but he did not receive his green card until after Watergate when Gerald Ford took office.
Ultimately, the FBI succeeded in neutralizing Lennon and deterring him from impacting Nixon’s reelection, but not from inspiring millions of people around the world.