24/06/2012

As a reminder: J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI

J. Edgar Hoover.head of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.jpgFBI director J. Edgar Hoover was one of America's most fervent anti-communists, and one of the most powerful.

Hoover designed President Truman's loyalty-security program, and its background investigations of employees were carried out by FBI agents. This was a major assignment that led to the number of agents in the Bureau being increased from 3,559 in 1946 to 7,029 in 1952. Hoover's extreme sense of the Communist threat and the politically conservative standards of evidence applied by his bureau resulted in thousands of government workers losing their jobs. Due to Hoover's insistence upon keeping the identity of his informers secret, most subjects of loyalty-security reviews were not allowed to cross-examine or know the identities of those who accused them. In many cases they were not even told what they were accused of.

Hoover's influence extended beyond federal government employees and beyond the loyalty-security programs. The records of loyalty review hearings and investigations were supposed to be confidential, but Hoover routinely gave evidence from them to congressional committees such as HUAC.

From 1951 to 1955, the FBI operated a secret "Responsibilities Program" that distributed anonymous documents with evidence from FBI files of Communist affiliations on the part of teachers, lawyers, and others. Many people accused in these "blind memoranda" were fired without any further process.

The FBI engaged in a number of illegal practices in its pursuit of information on Communists, including burglaries, opening mail and illegal wiretaps. The members of the left-wing National Lawyers Guild were among the few attorneys who were willing to defend clients in communist-related cases, and this made the NLG a particular target of Hoover's. The office of this organization was burgled by the FBI at least fourteen times between 1947 and 1951.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism

 

02:21 Écrit par Jacques dans J. Edgar Hoover | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |