gaps due to kafkaesque forces

.. in the FBI files hint no comment on his major publication ‘Orientalism‘ but a lot of frequent observation of one of the leading figures of american intellectual and academic life.
… via counterpunch comes David Price’s (author of Threatening Anthropology) report on FBI activities regarding top intellectuals and academics – in this case Edward Said.
In the months after the attacks at the 1972 Munich Olympics there was a flurry of FBI interest in Said and other Palestinian Americans. In early October 1972, the NY FBI office investigated Said’s background and citizenship information as well as voting, banking and credit records. Employees at Princeton and Columbia Universities gave FBI agents biographical and education information on Said, and the Harvard University Alumni Office provided the FBI with detailed information. As Middle East scholar Steve Niva observes, “looking back, this post-Munich period may have marked an historic turning point when statements in support of the Palestinian cause became routinely equated with sympathies for terrorism.”

The FBI made no entry in Edward Said’s file in 1978, the year of the publication of his groundbreaking book, Orientalism.

The reasons for the temporal and thematic gaps in Said’s file remain unknown. One explanation for such gaps is suggested in Kafka’s The Trial, where reference is made to cases of suspects never cleared of vague accusations but who are instead given an “ostensible acquittal” under which the accused’s dossier circulates for years, “backwards and forwards with greater or smaller oscillations” on “peregrinations that are incalculable”. Perhaps such Kafkaesque forces move within the FBI, empowered by post-9/11 legislation and desires to shield the public’s eye from acknowledgments of past persecutions of Edward Said. (link)

Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested. …
(first sentence, Kafka ‘The Trial’)

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