FBI agents on the West Coast are turning red because a Stanford Daily reporter fooled them into thinking he was a double agent infiltrating the Maoist Bay Revolutionary Union (RU).
Philip Revzin, the Daily's editorial page editor, was approached two weeks ago by RU members who asked him whether he wanted to join their group. Revzin was not interested, but in order to write a Daily article, he played double agent for a week and then quit.
After contacting the FBI, Revzin met with Agent P. Duncan, who produced an extensive file which included Revzin's dorm address, home address, roommates' names and a Daily article from last spring, mentioning him as a participant in an anti-war demonstration.
"It is fine for people at an academic institution to explain theories, such as communism," Duncan told Revzin, "but when they advocate picking up the gun, that's something else."
Duncan asked Revzin whether the RU advocates "picking up the gun" against the government. Revzin said he thought it probably did. After much more extensive questioning- ranging from Revzin's driver's license number to his precise relation to RU- Duncan produced a handwritten statement which he asked Revzin to sign.
"We want you to sign this so that you know the FBI is not interested in infringing on anyone's freedoms," Duncan said. Revzin signed the statement which said that he volunteered to give the FBI information because he opposed the violent overthrow of the government and wanted to help the FBI oppose any group advocating this.
"For your own safety," Duncan instructed," We would like you to use the name Ron Goldstein when calling here. Ask for Ducan, but say that Ron is calling, and I'll know who you are. If I have occasion to call you, I will say that I am Harry Baker."
One week after signing up as a double agent, Revzin phoned Duncanand told him the game was over and that the Daily was going to publish a story on Revzin's escapade.
Contacted yesterday in his Palo Alto office, Duncan would only say, "I have no comment whatsoever."
Revzin, a sophomore, said, "What really shocked me is that they had a file on me- a non-entity. I'm just a left liberal, not involved in any groups."
Revzin said that the file on him was begun last spring, when his name appeared in the middle of an anti-war demonstration story in the Daily. He said the FBI might also be interested in him because his roommate is a radical activist.
"If they have files on me, they must really have files on a lot of people," Revzin said.