J Edgar Hoover Essay
In Washington DC Parents Anne Merle and Dickerson Analogy Hoover Sin filed until he was 43 Competed in debate team (against women voting and the abolition of death penalty) Nicknamed speed (stutter) and was applauded by his cool and relentless logic Father suffered from mental illness and was institutionalized “Instead of sympathizing… Wasn’t kind o his father… Couldn’t bear imperfection least of all in the humans around him especially those who he was closest too” Summers Education Bachelor of Laws from George Washington University Law School in 1916 Masters of
Law in same university 191 7 Early Work When he was 18 he accepted his first Job; an entry level position as messenger In the orders department In library of Congress Interest lay In areas with access to Immense amounts of Information “This Job… Trained me In the value of collating material. It gave e an excellent foundation for my work in the FBI where it has been necessary to collate information and evidence” J E. Hoover Clerk at Justice Department July 1917 Hoover Joined Justice Department as a clerk on legal staff 1917 Wilson had given the Justice Department authorization to apprehend and detain enemy aliens
Hoover exempt from conscription with Job Put in charge of gathering information of enemy aliens By late 1917 with spreading of Marxism due to Russian Revolution Hoover began monitoring radicals and communists who supported Bolsheviks Library Job helped him In organizing Information “He made sure he was valuable to the people above him” Sue Responded Character Puritanical “He was a tyrant about other things. There was still a strong streak of the puritan in him” Gentry Importance of a good name Concerned about good name (himself/DOS) “In Washington, during the Harding Administration, the DOS had become known as he Department of Easy Virtue.
After a time Hoover simply said he work for the government” Gentry Dedicated professional “Scrupulousness and loyalty to superiors” Thermals and Cox “Hoover gave every evidence of being a dedicated professional” Thermals and Cox “Hoover convinced Stone of the Bureau’s Improved professionalism” Thermals and Cox Hover’s Attitude TO work Long hours Fastidious Collected ‘ever growing files’ Obsessed by files and how to exploit them “Hover’s own genius was not in innovation but in recognizing good ideas and finding ways to implement them” Theories and Cox Rise To Power Under Attorney Generals A.
Mitchell palmer 1919-1921 Hoover appointed as special assistant to Attorney General General A Mitchell Palmer instructed Hoover to establish the General intelligence Division Aimed to crack down on the growing momentum of US radicals, socialists and communists arising from Russian revolution Known as ‘radical division’ Core of anti communist crusades Collected incrimination information June 2nd 1919 Anarchists mailed explosives to 36 prominent business magnates following may day riots These were successful across 12 cities including Palmers home In response the
Department of Justice decided on a massive round up of foreigners (32 cities) Hoover the Bureau of Investigation’s resident expert on aliens was put in charge Hoover was given carte balance by Palmer to bring the bombers to Justice and round up all radicals Hoover used his filing skills to record info, including hearsay, rumor and fact on individuals on 450 000 index cards By October 1919 he had collected 60,000 names of people who allegedly radical and potentially dangerous organizations “He helped develop a card system on individuals and organizations and collected this information to scientifically study people who are radicals” Responded 7th November 1919 was chosen date for nationwide raids After arresting thousands of suspects, 249 radicals sent to Ellis Island for processing Deportees included 51 anarchists, 184 members of FOUR and 14 aliens Hoover and boss saw it as a resounding success for Justice Department of Justice handed 3000 blank warrants 2nd January 1920 Further raids took place and agents under Hover’s supervision entered homes and organizations Arrested over 10,000 people over 33 cities Raids saw many innocent people being treated terribly by agents (beaten, deprived f food, contained in horrible cells, forced false confessions) Public outcry “Lawless acts of a mob” senate condemned “FBI had no place in immigration matters ” Theories Hoover “wrote himself out” Responded “Hoovers files were very self protective as much as they are possible tools for aggression” Claire Potter Harry M. Daugherty 1921-1924 “He made himself indispensable to the new attorney general” Gentry Had established congressional base of his own Hoover flooded Daugherty with memos and intelligence on radical activities On 22nd August 1921 the new director of the Bureau William J. Burns appointed
Hoover assistant chief and in charge of 346 investigators Harlan Fiske Stone 1924-1925 Herbert Hoover recommended hiring Edgar to run Bal Stone dissolved KID and prohibited Bureau wire tapping “The activities of the bureau are to be limited strictly to investigations of violations of law’ Stone Stone wanted to reduce size of Bureau by hiring more professional agents “Unlike Daugherty and Burns, Hoover gave every evidence of being a dedicated professional, which point had been repeatedly emphasized by Stone” Theories December 1924 0 Stone ended his prohibition and appointed him permanent erector “A man of exceptional intelligence, alertness and executive ability’ Stone Why Hoover Remained in Power He belonged to no political party (never voted) He demonstrated loyalty to superiors He was highly qualified for his role Director of the Bureau Reshaping Hoover accept Job with certain conditions: Bureau divorced from politics Promotions only based on ability (not seniority or nepotism) Bureau was only responsible to attorney general “He came to an agency known for its apathy and corruption and transformed it into the most sophisticated and best know investigatory agency in the world” Phillips
Hoover instructed by Stone for the Bureau to only investigate violations of federal law and to reduce staff by firing incompetents and only lire people with legal or accounting backgrounds “[Stone was] impressed by Hover’s industriousness and success in recruiting higher quality agents and imposing more rigorous standards of performance” Theories Hoover imposed discipline and accountability through chain of command Divided country in 53 unequal parts with office in each with special agent in charge (SAC) To ensure compliance and Inspection Division was created Hoover created standardization of work practices Printed form for interview reports Dress code similar for all agents Agents became interchangeable Follow of rules and instructions of Hover’s Manual of Investigations Hoover modernizes National registry of finger prints Training course for new agents (assisted with public image which was at all time low in 1924) In 1932 he opened the Bureaus first crime lab Extensive filing system was used New powers 1934 Congress passed 9 crime bills now under federal Jurisdiction Agents could carry guns and make arrests Kidnapping made Federal Offence after Lindbergh case 1933-34 CERN-en wave Frank Nash
Known as most successful bank robber in USA during ass’s On 17th of June 1933 he was murdered along with 4 law enforcement agents in a gangs attempt to free him from his prisoner status Union Station, Kansas City Massacre George “Machine Gun” Kelly Gangster in prohibition era Nicknamed for favorite weapon Most famous crime was kidnapping businessman oil tycoon Rescuer in July 1933 and getting $200000 ransom Rescuer and Kelly both left considerable evidence for FBI investigation and he was arrested in Memphis on 26th September 1933 John Dillinger Bank robber during depression era His gang robbed 24 banks and 4 police stations Escaped from Jail twice Charged but not convicted with murder of Indiana police officer Eventually shot by Purview’ men and Purview received mass amounts of publicity for this angering Hoover who eventually made him resign Charles “pretty boy’ Floyd Bank robber His criminal exploits gained a lot of media coverage in asses Killed by policeman Part of Kansas City Massacre Bonnie and Clyde Outlaws and bank robbers during depression era with their gang Their exploits caught attention of public About a dozen bank robberies but Clyde preferred smaller stores and petrol stations
Gang killed police officers and several civilians Ambushed and killed by police officer in 1934 Creepy Carpi’s Alvin Carpi’s was part of Carpi’s-Barker gang The gang were one of most notorious during the asses Killed anyone who got in their way even innocent bystanders Spent 26 years in Electoral Prison Ma Barker Mother of several criminals in barker gang Was killed in shoot out with FBI Hoover described her as “the most vicious, dangerous and resourceful criminal brain of the last decade” Lindbergh Case 20 month old toddler of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh was kidnapped from home n East Mammal New Jersey on 1st of March 1932 Over 2 months later his body was found near the home death by electric chair Bal used their lab to compare ransom notes with Heptagon’s handwriting Bal conducted illegal searches on Heptagon’s home Used this case as example of their successes in modern scientific policing FBI Response “The whole of the Bi’s main thrust was not investigation but public relations and propaganda to glorify its director” Sullivan Hoover chose to systematically eliminate the glorified gangsters who were defaming the government and its laws During the rime wave the public bean to understand the greater need for federal law enforcement to deal with localized crime issues This led to further acts becoming federal offences (see rising power) Hoover In The Media A comic strip depicting Hoover was sanctioned by him, it reflected his venture into popular culture and the shift in the publics perception of federal police work Public becoming increasingly interested in Hover’s private life (eating habits and home life) Hollywood interpreted Hoover in gangster film in 1935 and his FBI agents were known as government men or G-men 65 movies in 1935 made positive reference to FBI
All these movies, comics and radio from time demonstrated the US societies acceptance of the growing role of FBI and its positive role in shaping society Projected them as the good guys Reporters hyped up their image in praising articles Walter Trojan 0 spread writing with elements of high conspiracy in FBI and wrote particularly about incompetence and negative aspects of Hoover and Bureau Role Of FBI Dung Roosevelt Chosen attorney general was Homer Cummings Cummings published a public enemies list that directed against crime wave Hoover left to own devices since Cummings didn’t FBI under attack from conservatives 0 FBI associated with new deal and growing power of federal governments Investigated American Nazis and right-wing critics “Hoover now welcomed Roosevelt initiative as providing formal presidential authorization for radical investigations” Theories “FBI expanded tremendously in authority, Jurisdiction and size during Fads first 2 administrations” Gentry In 1936 FED instructed Hoover to keep him informed of all fascist and communists in USA (subversive activities) FED wanted Hoover to discreetly provide this information
Hoover used this to increase his surveillance and his ‘Custodial Detention List’ people who should be rounded up in event of war By 1939 Hoover revived his General Intelligence Division Hoover established a school to train linguists Secret intelligence Service Created in 1940 Collected information about German espionage activities in central and south America Censorship Arranged to have all mail open from certain individuals Filed information for personal use (without president or attorney general knowing) The ZOOS and Donovan William Donovan appointed by FED to head the Office of Coordinator of Information later named the Office of Strategic Services (ZOOS)) Granted the power to gather information from overseas ZOOS reported directly to Roosevelt Hoover saw Donovan as threat to power so launched investigation in attempt to discredit him Hoover wanted to expand FBI Jurisdiction to be the only US intelligence agency in world Hoover lobbied for ZOOS to be disbanded after war FED wanted FBI and British Intelligence to have close relationship but Hoover found the British to support Donovan ZOOS eventually wound down but FBI didn’t get to expand into foreign intelligence Other
Within 72 hours of Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941 the FBI arrested 4000 Japanese, German and Italian aliens Mass internment of more then 70,000 Japanese American citizens “The war helped his reputation as America’s Watchdog – always alert and on guard” Denned and Dixon Post War “Hoover was more powerful than tan the presidents he served” Painter Harry S Truman 1945-1953 (D) Didn’t have good relationship Truman didn’t want personal contact, only though attorney general or aide Truman fired Donovan and abolished ZOOS Consequently Hoover suggested expanding FBI overseas (Truman had no intention of his) Truman tried to cut back the FBI budget in 1946 and limit power White House leak Someone in white house leaked information to press about talks between Harry Hopkins and Stalin Truman turned to Hoover to discover culprit FBI set up series of wire taps Republican party had control of congress Truman barred congressmen from FBI files Hoover ignored ban and leaked information to congressmen who wanted to advance anti-communist cause (information acquired illegally) Communism and Spies “Make America a great and decent place to live in” Hoover Hoover wanted to show angers of communism and that Truman wasn’t equipped “Communism in reality is not a political party, it is a way of life, an evil and malignant way of life” Hoover Hoover convinced there was a communist conspiracy to overthrow government Senator McCarthy Accused some of the most influential Americans of being communists “if there is one communist in the state department, that’s one too many’ McCarthy McCarthy used Hoover as a source of information to support accusations Hoover used McCarthy as tool to advance his regressive agenda McCarthy was getting out of control 0 began to Ritchie Eisenhower for being to soft on communists McCarthy revealed letter from army Hoover denied sending the letter Hoover ended McCarthy career whilst preserving own In 1954 Hoover complained to president that McCarthy was impending the Ibis investigations of communists 0 Hoover cut McCarthy off from any FBI support McCarthy fell quickly and the senate voted to sanction him “Hoover didn’t like him, because McCarthy had supplanted the FBI director as the nations chief enemy of communism” Delilah Dwight D Eisenhower 1953-1961 (R) Good relationship “He gave Hoover anything he could have wanted” Powers Hoover sided with Eisenhower (5 star general in oval office) when McCarthy was hunting out communists in army Mafia Denied existence of crime organization claiming they were disconnected groups which local police could deal with Mafia involved in gambling and horse racing which Hoover partook in It is believed his denial stemmed from mobsters (Costello) who gave him tips on fixed races “No one would ever know how many raced I had to fix for that bastard” Frank Costello “Hoover was in our pocket, he was not someone we needed to fear” Carmine Lombardi CONTINENTAL Counter intelligence program established 1956
Aim to infiltrate and disrupt activities of communist party in US Series of covert and often illegal projects conducted by FBI 85% of CONTINENTAL resources were used on infiltrating and disrupting suspected subversive groups Other 15% used on marshalling white hate groups Directives issued by Hoover Methods used: infiltration, psychological warfare, harassment, extra-legal force, illegal surveillance John F Kennedy 1961-1963 (D) Kennedy reappoints Hoover as director Good relationship with Kennedy (long term relationship with father) Robert Kennedy was new Attorney General (boss) Tense relationship Bobby wanted to fight organized crime Hoover maintained there was no national crime syndicate Clashed in view of Afro-Americans and civil rights Assassination of JEFF Hoover called bobby to deliver news There is evidence that FBI had information on both Oswald and Jack Ruby which they failed to pass on to secret service or Warren commission Hoover ordered some key files in FBI Dallas office to be destroyed LB] asked Hoover to complete report Lyndon B Johnson 1963-1969 LB] waved compulsory retirement age for Hoover “the nation cannot afford to lose you” LB] Hoover was extremely loyal to LB]
FBI used to collect political information on Lbs. enemies and to disrupt activities of any groups LB] saw as threats Hoovers inability to change with time was damaging Life magazine cover “emperor of FBI” Social Unrest “Civil rights movements grew under Johnson and Hoover saw it as a threat to the American way of life he knew and loved” Denned and Dixon “Hoover directed massive investigations of radical violence and he forestalled more violence by disrupting and destroying murderous Klan” Powers Hoover used CONTINENTAL to fight these Martin Luther King Hoover installed illegal wire taps and had king under surveillance (revealed king paving an affair) “King was the most notorious liar in the country’ Hoover As king rose in stature as a black leader, the FBI increased surveillance “That’s when Hoover starts playing not law enforcement but manipulator of the societies processors” Blakely Hoover initiated campaign to deter people from associating with King Hoover forced to take case of assassination in 1968 (largest manhunt FBI history) Richard M Nixon 1969-1974 “Onion’s staff considered Hoover a tired old relic who lived entirely in the past” Beardsley Series of leaks regarding North Vietnam 0 led to protests Nixon asked Hoover to find source of leak and gave information of suspects Radical student groups taken over university and set off bombs FBI unable to control Source of tension between Hoover and Nixon 1971 a citizens commission of FBI broke in FBI office in Pennsylvania Stole hundreds of documents of surveillance and wire tapping of suspect groups Public outraged 0 senator Kennedy called for Hoover to resign Hoover dismantled CONTINENTAL and kept low profile Nixon asked Hoover to resign but Hoover refused Nixon froze out Hoover Death 2nd of May 1972 (77) White house immediately tried to find is private files
His secretary Helen Candy (1918-1972) hid them in her office then his basement, then destroyed Nixon delivered eulogy Significance and Evaluation Bal instruction manual Bureau chain for command Personal efficiency records Fingerprint registry 1924 “Centralization of fingerprints, famed FBI laboratory, scientific analysis… Branded him as the father of modern day law enforcement” Delilah Agent education 1928 Crime laboratory 1932 “Hoover gave America on of the world’s greatest law-enforcement organizations” Denned and Dixon “FBI internationally respected for its competence and efficiency’ Painter FBI & Hoover In Media G-men Magazines Comics Hollywood Homosexuality?
Finding the “real” Hoover Little known of real life Hoover had few friends Hoover ordered destruction of files 3 sets of files Official and confidential 0 contained derogatory information on private lives of presidents, congressmen, senators, government employees and famous people (only ones left) Personal and confidential Bureau files “The issue of whether or not Hoover and Tolstoy were intimate is not only superficial but a smokescreen to hide Hover’s gross dereliction of duty and hostility to the deals he was sworn to protect” Rosenberg Evaluation Super patriot Portrayed himself as patriotic hero saving USA from gangsters, Nazis, communists, Klan Took credit for making FBI internationally recognized Questions of surveillance and deceit during dictatorship *Dover reflected the assets and liabilities that flow from one person having so much power” Denned and Dixon The FBI Book – Max Allentown 1850 Exposes FBI activities Includes claim Hoover was secretly aiding HUGH Hoover attempted to prevent publication and denied claims Had agents go to bookshops and ask not to sell Got Journalists to write unfavorable reviews Commercial failure but useful for historians Sensationalism Journalists in early ass claimed FBI was a kind of Gestapo Hoover might have taken bribes from millionaires Some claimed Hoover ignored warning from British about pearl harbor “Hoover was a homosexual and a transvestites… Was being blackmailed by the mafia” Summers “He became a symbol of violations of civil liberties and hostilities to civil rights, and that is a tragedy because there was great potential in that man” Powers “His legacy leaves a great deal to be proud of and a great deal to be ashamed of” Powers