FOIA Lawsuit Fights to Reveal US Government’s Involvement in Nelson Mandela’s 1962 Arrest

7 April 2014 — Unredacted

Nelson Mandela welcomed by President Bill Clinton and Speaker Gingrich at a 1998 ceremony where Mandela received the Congressional Gold Medal - while he was still on the terror watch list. Photo: Ruth Fremson/Associated Press

Nelson Mandela honored by President Bill Clinton and Speaker Gingrich at a 1998 ceremony where Mandela received the Congressional Gold Medal – while he was still on the terror watch list. Photo: Ruth Fremson/Associated Press

Nelson Mandela was found guilty of sabotage and conspiracy to violently overthrow South Africa’s apartheid government on June 12, 1964, served 27 years in prison, and stayed on the US’ terror watch list until 2008 –including while he was president of South Africa. While the US joined the international community in condemning Mandela’s arrest in 1962, it has long been believed that American intelligence agencies played a key, behind-the-scenes role in the event, and a recent Democracy Now! exclusive with the FBI’s “most prolific” FOIA requester, Ryan Shapiro, adds more to this murky chapter in American history.

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The U.S.’ South Africa Policy at the Time of Mandela’s Arrest By Lauren Harper

13 December 2013 — Unredacted

Screen shot 2013-12-13 at 11.20.31 AMNelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison by a South African court on June 12, 1964, after being found guilty of sabotage and conspiracy to violently overthrow the apartheid government. While Mandela’s imprisonment was criticized in the U.S. and abroad, at the time of his arrest, U.S. policy towards South Africa was more concerned with preserving access to South Africa’s natural resources than directly confronting apartheid. The five documents included in today’s posting, all part of the Digital National Security Archive’s South Africa collection, provide a glimpse of the U.S. walking a tightrope between strategic concerns and human rights issues at the time of Mandela’s arrest, and contextualize the outpouring of response to Mandela’s recent passing.

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Nelson Mandela’s Final Battle: Dying With Dignity By Danny Schechter

14 July 2013 — Media Channel

Durban, South Africa: If I was an ailing Nelson Mandela, and, at all conscious of the storms surrounding me, I might not be in such a hurry to open my eyes.

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Obama in South Africa: Political and Media Disconnect By Michael Shaw

1 July 2013 — BagNews

We need to understand these protest images in S. Africa more in terms of current and similar photos from Brazil and Turkey. The public, in other words, is more sensitive these days to when they’re being patronized.

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ColdType Issue 75 26 June 2013

26 June 2013 — 

The latest issue of ColdType is now on line at

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A TV Network Prematurely Reports Nelson Mandela Died–Do Some Want Him Gone? By Danny Schechter

7 April 2013 — Media Channel


New York, New York: A South African media outlet, no doubt eager to be first, aired a TV obituary of Nelson Mandela. It was very positive and respectful, except for the fact he hadn’t died. 

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Sequesters To Trim Government Debt; Malls Raise Consumer Debt for The “Sheeple” By Danny Schechter

4 March 2013 — Media Channel

Durban, South Africa: Back in 2002, South Africa hosted a UN environmental Summit on sustainability. It drew a rag tag army of green activists from all over the world, many excited to visit the now free South Africa that they fought for through the apartheid years, and hoping to meet members of the liberation movement led by Nelson Mandela.

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Reflections As Nelson Mandela Turns 94 July 18th By Danny Schechter

16 July 2012 — The News Dissector


Prisoner of Mandela: I was “Captured” and Inspired By His Movement


Cape Town, SouthAfrica: Nelson Mandela was released from prison 22 years ago. He has been “free” ever since. At the same time, I sometimes feel as if I became his prisoner—imprisoned by the work I have been doing enthusiastically in service to the struggle he led ever since the mid 1960’s.

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Video: STAY HUMAN – The Reading Movie

9 November 2011 — Restiamo Umani

STAY HUMAN – The Reading Movie, a feature film based on the book written by Vittorio Arrigoni.

Stay Human – The Reading Movie has 19 chapters for 19 readers. Each chapter will be read by personalities who have worked to support cultural, human and in particular the Israeli-Palestinian issue: Akiva Orr, Amira Hass, Brian Eno, Desmond Tutu, Egidia Beretta, Hilarion Capucci, Huwaida Arraf Ilan Pappé, Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, Massimo Arrigoni, Mohamed Bakri, Moni Ovadia, Nelson Mandela, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Oren Ben-Dor, Rabbi David Weiss, Roger Waters, Tariq Ali.

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10 July 2011 —

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA: Twenty one years after Nelson Mandela walked free, corruption has become the issue du jour in South Africa.

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Worshipping Heroes Is Not The Same As Learning Their Life Lessons

New York, New York: What a time for Iconomania, none of it critical, none of it questioning, none offering deeper perspective or leading to very revealing coverage.

Politicians may rule but celebrities dominate in a culture where every pol dreams of shaping an aura that inspires hero worship and adoration. That was Barack Obama’s trump card with his eloquence often blinding us to the substance of his stances.

First there was Michael Jackson’s death with wall-to-wall coverage dominated by our info-tainment media where show biz and news biz merges more easily than media companies.

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William Blum: Anti-Empire Report, Number 64

1 December, 2008

Vote First. Ask Questions Later

Okay, let’s get the obvious out of the way. It was historic. I choked up a number of times, tears came to my eyes, even though I didn’t vote for him. I voted for Ralph Nader for the fourth time in a row.

During the past eight years when I’ve listened to news programs on the radio each day I’ve made sure to be within a few feet of the radio so I could quickly change the station when that preposterous man or one of his disciples came on; I’m not a masochist, I suffer fools very poorly, and I get bored easily. Sad to say, I’m already turning the radio off sometimes when Obama comes on. He doesn’t say anything, or not enough, or not often enough. Platitudes, clichés, promises without substance, ‘hope and change’, almost everything without sufficient substance, ‘change and hope’, without specifics, designed not to offend. What exactly are the man’s principles? He never questions the premises of the empire. Never questions the premises of the ‘War on Terror’. I’m glad he won for two reasons only: John McCain and Sarah Palin, and I deeply resent the fact that the American system forces me to squeeze out a drop of pleasure from something so far removed from my ideals. Obama‘s votes came at least as much from people desperate for relief from neo-conservative suffocation as from people who genuinely believed in him. It’s a form of extortion – Vote for Obama or you get more of the same. Those are your only choices.

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