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Well, this is totally not surprising.

Newly revealed documents are telling the sordid story of our nation’s past and a government hell bent on suppressing anyone not in line with archaic U.S. policies.

Details about a six-year-spying program called “Minaret” reveal that the National Security Agency eavesdropped on Martin Luther King Jr. and boxing legend Muhammad Ali, among others. Minaret also targeted critics of the Vietnam War.

You might remember hearing about the program, which was exposed in the 1970s, but the targets of the secret program were just recently declassified and published on Wednesday, after the government panel overseeing classification ruled in favor of researchers at George Washington University, who had long sought the release of the secret papers.

So, who was targeted as a threat? The NSA tracked King and his colleague Whitney Young, boxing star Muhammad Ali, journalists from The New York Times and The Washington Post, and two members of Congress, Sen. Frank Church of Idaho and Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee.

And reasons are obvious, but according to Aljazeera:

The intensity of anti-war dissent at home led President Lyndon Johnson to ask U.S. intelligence agencies in 1967 to find out if some protests were fueled by foreign powers. The NSA worked with other spy agencies to draw up “watch lists” of anti-war critics to tap their overseas phone calls.

The program continued after Richard Nixon entered the White House in 1969, and historians say it reflected a climate of paranoia pervading his presidency.

U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson shut down the NSA program in 1973, just as the Nixon administration was engulfed in scandal.

Don’t you just love learning about our scandalous history?

SOURCE: Aljazeera | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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