John Black (Pennsylvania)

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John Black

Under FBI surveillance

At the same time he was selling U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union, former FBI special agent Robert Hanssen was a key supervisor in a 1980s domestic-spying program questioning the loyalty of American citizens and monitoring their activities, FBI documents have shown.

Under this program, federal agents filed reports on teachers, clerics and political activists who primarily were affiliated with liberal causes.

John Black, a retired Pennsylvania union organizer whose name was dropped into the files because he wrote an opinion piece for his local newspaper calling on the U.S. to accept a Soviet proposal to eliminate all nuclear weapons. Black, now 80, took a certain pride at his inclusion.

"I've been a member of political organizations they don't like since I was 10 years old," he said in a recent interview. "I'm a Marxist and a union man." [1]