Inside the US government’s secret war against John Lennon

Photo: AP

On March 1, 1972, the FBI had John Lennon and Yoko Ono in its sights.

A federal agent declared that the superstar couple would be arrested for “interstate travel in the furtherance of conspiracy to incite a riot” if they dared to attend the Republican National Convention in Miami that year.

Writes lawyer Leon Wildes: “I had never seen the government so determined to remove anyone from the United States.”

Wildes’ book tells the story of the Nixon administration’s battle to deport Lennon, ostensibly for a prior conviction in the UK for hashish possession. The real reason? The government feared that Lennon’s outspoken stance against the Vietnam War and other political beliefs threatened to influence the country’s 18-to-20-year-olds in the 1972 election, just as the national voting age had been lowered.

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