New FBI files (1 Viewer)

mjp

Founding member
I guess the FBI is getting more efficient. I received a new copy of Bukowski's FBI files today, and they seem to have processed them electronically, replacing the old black marker censoring with a clean white box. Here's the new version with the old version below it:

newfbi.jpg


oldfbi.gif


That really prevents any sophisticated spectral analysis (holding pages up to a bright light) such as that on display here: http://bukowski.net/fbi/058jane.php

It's also a couple of pages short of the old version, but I'm not sure yet which pages are missing.
 
...i guess they learned from that irak incident with the italian female reporter being badly wounded by friendly fire- the investigative USarmy-report was found "reconstructed" in the WWW a few days after the official release..
 

mjp

Founding member
The report was published in the PDF file format, and the classified sentences were covered by a black bar. However, the text below it had not been erased, and was present in the file. A cut-and-paste between Acrobat Reader and Microsoft Word was sufficient to make the lines reappear.

Ah, technology! Well, these older FOIA reports are all delivered on paper, so that wouldn't be an issue, but you may be on to something there.
 

cirerita

Founding member
I was re-reading Sounes bio and the really interesting files seem to be the Post Office ones. Sounes says that all the menial jobs mentioned in his book are taken from those files, as well as B.'s different street addresses.
 
Oh, of course. Thank you.

I think the FBI file is (inherently) ambiguous and was hoping for something concrete about the obscenity charges. I know there is stuff all over the bios and the memoirs, but has anyone ever cross-checked the FBI claims against the actual laws back then? What was the thing they were most mad about?

Totally off topic, were people "allowed" to send "obscenities" through the mail back then?
 

mjp

Founding member
There are copies of the Notes of a Dirty Old Man columns in the report, and that is what they were wound up about. As they looked deeper they found some of his other work, and basically the FBI was brought in to verify whether the Charles Bukowski who worked for the PO was the same Charles Bukowski who wrote the articles and books.

The FBI appears to be rather incompetent though, and a lot of their "investigation" involves looking up people and places in phone books. If they don't find what they are looking for, that's what they report. Though they did go talk to some neighbors in person, as you can see, they didn't get much from them.

In any event, Bukowski seems to indicate that he admitted to writing the articles and books in interviews with the PO, so who knows why they investigated further. Afraid of commies, perhaps, or just so the investigators would have something to do.
 

HenryChinaski

Founding member
and lets not forget the fact that most of his writings were pretty obscene and back in those days, the government didnt take that lightly. zappa was arrested and spent a while in jail just for making a fake sex tape for a guy with a girl and himself, faking all the "sexual" sounds. writing about it is also a way to corrupt the public. maybe they were watching him for that too. they knew a lot of people read the LA Free Press.
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
Could you imagine being an F.B.I. agent assigned to check on some dirty stories? There you are at a big high brow cocktail party and someone asks " So what big case are you working on?" "Ahhh...If I tell ya I'll have to kill you." "It's a big big case and very dangerous". Up until then, Mel had some integrity.
 

jose leitao

Charter Member
Founding member
I see the calendar mentioning today was the date when Buk was interviewed by the FBI.

Can't help think about Buk in the car and the Fed going "Hey this guy's pretty COOL!"
and Buk, almost crapping his pants replying "Now wait a minute.... I'm SCARED!"
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
Photocopies of these 'new' type are what Greg Smith is selling on ebay now.
 
Have just realized something that never occured to me before:

I always thought the FBI was investigating on him only in 1947 (doge drafting) and 1968 (politically questionable). But there's a page in the FBI-files, that indicates (strongly) that there's also been an investigation end 1957/begin1958, during the time he was married to Barbara Frye.

Have a look:

FBI-file_date-1957_b.jpg
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
I think that is just a standard U.S government form that he had to complete when he started as a temporary substitute distribution clerk (postman) in 1958. It would be gathered by the FBI during the 68 investigation.
 
Now, THAT makes sense!
Thanks for the idea.

If it was so - and I think it was - then the info about his living- and working-places would have been written by himself (not investigated by a thrd party) out of his head. Given that a long time span is concerned and not the most sober one in his life:

This would/could mean, we can't as much rely on this information as 'fact' as we did till now.

It would also explain, why we have only Philly named (except LA that is), while he always claimed to have (at least briefly) visited a lot other cities. He had just filled the form in a way to avoid gaps between the data. I think this would make sense. Absolute.

Would also explain, why there are NO gaps at all in his employment data. It is made to look like he never was without a job. That's ridiculous isn't it?
 

mjp

Founding member
This would/could mean, we can't as much rely on this information as 'fact' as we did till now.
Except that Bukowski had a very good memory (according to his bibliographers) and all of those addresses and employers were real places.

I don't know why other cities aren't mentioned, except that maybe he didn't stay in any of those places long enough to have an address (that he could recall). That's something I've always suspected, anyway. We know he spent a good chunk of time in Philadelphia, and a little time in New Orleans and New York, but there's not much evidence of the dozen other cities he claims to have lived in.

As for the nonstop work history with no periods of unemployment, doesn't everyone do that on job applications? I've probably looked at 500 resumes in the past 10 years, and most of them didn't have any periods of unemployment lasting more than a few weeks.
 

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