The FBI spent five months investigating the grandfather of today's neoconservative movement, Irving Kristol, for possible ties to Soviet spies in 1988. Kristol, father of Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, famously was a Trotskyite in college who swung dramatically rightward during the Cold War. Kristol played a big role in the Reagan Revolution, but despite his rock-solid rightwing credentials, he became suspect when the FBI discovered his name in a notebook belonging to an alleged Soviet agent, Gawker's John Cook reports.
The FBI dug into "Kristol's background, including criminal record checks, interviews with 'assets' at the school where he taught, and eventually an interview with Kristol himself, conducted under a 'pretext' so as to avoid letting him know the true nature of the investigation," Cook writes, providing scans of the investigation documents, labeled "secret." "The records make clear that the FBI believed a Soviet agent had targeted or been in contact with Kristol."
Investigators were instructed to come up with some kind of "pretext" for interviewing him, and when they did, Kristol said he'd never met the Soviet spy. The FBI was convinced by Kristol's denials. However, Cook notes, the younger Kristol "has been an avid and faithful supporter of Bush-era policies that authorized the extra-judicial detention and interrogation of people who were suspected of helping terrorists. Like, maybe if their name turned up in a someone's notebook or something."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.