One of the very first things that I realized when I got involved with the anti-war student group at CU/Boulder, was how very inept the FBI was at surveillance. Now let me first state that I have nothing but admiration and respect for the young men and women that serve to defend the US. What I object to is the many foolish wars we get these brave Americans involved in. Cu/Boulder anti war rallies were given more credibility because of the huge campus chapter of VietNam vets against the war that participated. These guys had first hand knowledge of what they were protesting against. We would gather for an anti war meeting and were more than happy when new people showed up. However, on occasion, the new guys would show up wearing suits and ties and had crew cuts. Normal guys on campus back in the day wore shoulder length hair and no one even owned a suit. ( nothing suspicious here ). Of course the new guys were given wrong information and they always showed up to find no rally in progress. ( imagine that).
The FBI was even worse at phone taps and house surveillance. Ever time you picked up the phone you would hear a click and sometimes you could actually hear someone breathing on the other end. ( people are arrested for that sort of thing now a days). We would always yell into the phone or tap it against the table, just to let them know that their efforts weren’t a total waste.
Now take a suburban neighborhood where the neighbors have lived there a long time and know each other. One day a strange car drives onto the street and parks at a house and just stays there for hours, no movement at all ( perfectly normal – right?). One particularly cold February afternoon my mom had enough and took the man in the car some Baklava and Greek coffee. She also told him he could come inside to warm up. I mean “What kind of horrible people did he work for that would have him sit in a cold car for hours on end?”. We never did see that man again.