By Athan Theoharis
Athan Theoharis, lengthy a revered authority on surveillance and secrecy, proven his acceptance for meticulous scholarship along with his paintings at the loyalty safety application constructed lower than Truman and McCarthy. In Abuse of strength, Theoharis maintains his research of U.S. executive surveillance and historicizes the 11th of September response.
Criticizing the U.S. government's mystery actions and regulations in periods of "unprecedented crisis," he recounts how presidents and FBI officers exploited issues approximately foreign-based inner safety threats.
Drawing on info sequestered till lately in FBI documents, Theoharis exhibits how those mystery actions on the earth struggle II and chilly battle eras accelerated FBI surveillance powers and, within the procedure, eroded civil liberties with no considerably advancing valid safeguard interests.
Passionately argued, this well timed publication speaks to the prices and outcomes of still-secret post-9/11 surveillance courses and counterintelligence mess ups. eventually, Abuse of energy makes the case that the abusive surveillance rules of the chilly conflict years have been repeated within the government's responses to the September eleven attacks.
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Extra info for Abuse of Power: How Cold War Surveillance and Secrecy Policy Shaped the Response to 9/11
Hoover did not do so directly and instead, in July 1946, drafted a letter that he urged Clark to send to the president, purportedly to seek Truman’s “reaffirmation” of FBI wiretapping as had been authorized under President Roosevelt’s secret May 1940 directive. Clark signed and sent this letter to President Truman—requesting that he indicate his approval by signing the bottom of the letter and not by issuing his own directive. Hoover’s letter, however, distorted the scope and intent of Roosevelt’s secret directive.
Despite this rejection, the FBI continued to wiretap for the duration of the war, based solely on President Roosevelt’s secret directive and with the realization that any information so obtained could not be used as evidence. The Roosevelt administration might have failed to convince Congress to legalize FBI “national-defense” wiretapping. FBI officials’ actions were not that risky, given the crisis atmosphere of World War II and the broad consensus over the need to defeat the Axis Powers. The end of the war, however, removed this potential cover, all the more so since the FBI’s actual wiretapping practices had exceeded the president’s “national-defense” rationale and had extended to monitoring a host of political activists involved in radical laborunion and civil-rights activities (including the National Maritime Union, the National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards, the March on Washington Movement, and the Communist Party’s headquarters and branch offices, prominent Communist Party members, and radical German émigrés Bertolt Brecht and Thomas Mann).
This skepticism extended to the preventive-detention program following the disclosure that the Justice Department had established facilities to detain individuals scheduled for detention at Avon Park, Florida; Allenwood, Pennsylvania; El Reno, Oklahoma; Wickenburg, Arizona; Florence, Arizona; and Tule Lake, California. Already suspicious about FBI surveillance, many activists and influential liberals depicted these as concentration camps and pressured Congress in September 1971 to rescind the detention section of the 1950 act.