Wednesday 10 April 2013

HOOVER  of  the  FBI: His abuses, weirdness, stupidity, tyranny and his dishonesty.


As a rule, I don’t speak ill of the dead but there are times when an exception has to be made. In this article, I will tell you about an American who was one of the smartest and most powerful man in the United States and yet, he was also one of the most reviled man in the US.


J. Edgar Hoover was the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States. He was appointed as the director in 1924 where he remained its director until his death in 1972 at age 77.


Hoover is credited with building the FBI into a large and efficient crime-fighting agency, and he is also credited with instituting a number of modernizations to police technology, such as a centralized fingerprint file and forensic laboratories. He was revered by most Americans during the World War II years in which he presided over internal security. In that capacity, his organization investigated and arrested selected Japanese residents in the U.S. with the attack on Pearl Harbor. However, to his credit, Hoover opposed the subsequent mass removal and confinement of Japanese Americans.


Anti-Communism dominated his early postwar years, as he aligned himself with the disreputable Senator Joseph McCarthy's House on Un-American Activities Committee, conducting investigations and sharing information with McCarthy. He eventually cut ties with McCarthy before the latter's fall in disgrace thereby preserving his own power. The FBI prepared evidence that led to the prosecution of the Klaus Fuchs spy ring and the eventual conviction and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953. With the Supreme Court's weakening of the Smith Act in 1956, Hoover developed the infamous Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) to infiltrate and disrupt subversive organizations ranging from the Communist Party and then he expanded his program to the Ku Klux Klan, the Black Panthers and New Left student groups among others.


All the above is evidence of what would appear 0n the surface to be the right man for the job as director of the FBI. But there was more to the man than that which was not what the people of the US wanted in a director of the FBI.




Hoover’s obsession with empowering his beloved FBI caused him serious problems and raised ethical questions in the manner in which he abused his power. His fear of losing the directorship and anxiety about domestic subversives led him, with the help of a woman (Gandy) to create a secret file with salacious information about some of the most powerful people in America including presidents of the US.


When Hoover visited President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Second World War and inquired about how to handle information he had obtained detailing First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt’s intimacy with another woman, the president after understanding Hoover’s purpose which was definitely a veiled threat of blackmail, then gave the FBI even more autonomy than it had before.


Thirty years later, he did the same thing to his immediate supervisor, Robert F. Kennedy who was the attorney general of the United States and brother of President John F. Kennedy. The attorney general wanted to remind Hoover that the Department of Justice had total authority over the FBI which of course, it always had and still has. To counter Kennedy’s move, Hoover made it clear that he possessed files detailing President John F. Kennedy’s extramarital affairs, and was not afraid to make that information public. A disgusted Robert Kennedy acquiesced to Hoover’s demands since he was fearful of a scandal that could embarrass his brother.


In another infamous episode, Hoover bugged Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s hotel room, collected evidence of the civil rights leader’s marital infidelities, and unsuccessfully attempted to blackmail him in order ton to prevent King from accepting the Nobel Peace Prize which he rightfully deserved. It has been said that he took great joy listening to the recording of the sounds coming from King’s hotel room.


He was a hypocrite. He claimed that he really didn’t want the FBI to be a national police force. However during his reign, the FBI became a national thought police by keeping files on the comments and activities of people in the United States he didn’t like. Hoover's FBI carried out thousands of illegal break-ins, illegally monitored and recorded conversations, manipulated the Supreme Court, interfered with the American people's official and constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of political expression, and blackmailed hundreds of congressmen, senators, and presidents.


Under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI held millions of detailed files and illegal wiretaps that contained top-secret information on millions of Americans. These files and recordings contained damaging facts about sexual, political, and financial information of the country's most powerful and influential people. Hoover kept personal files on every politician who passed through Washington. The right of every American to be protected against the invasion of privacy was of no concern to Hoover whatsoever.


Hoover's FBI also possessed reports of investigations of the possible homosexuality of future U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. Another secret file was created regarding a member of Congress whose wife allegedly had an affair with an African American and a post office employee. I have to admit that the investigations of the kinds of people listed in this paragraph would appear to me to be justified since these people could be subjected to blackmail which would have a detrimental effect on the manner in which they undertook their responsibilities.


Hoover also held criminal files that recorded FBI investigations of rapists, murderers, spies, con artists, arsonists, blackmailers, and agents of foreign countries. That too would be justified.


However, Hoover held personal information files on thousands of innocent people who took stands against his views and actions. Confusing dissent with subversion, his FBI spied on Americans exercising their constitutional rights of free expression.  That was neither right nor legitimate.



Hoover assembled the largest collection of pornography in history to meet his insatiable sexual demands, according to a new biography. He built up a vast stock of adult films made by Hollywood stars before they were famous which he watched for his own titillation or used them to blackmail them. Hoover was also partial to ‘classically erotic lithographs’ depicting men with giant penises or full frontal nudes which he hung on his bathroom walls.  The material was culled from FBI raids and taken by Hoover for his own personal enjoyment. It was especially controversial because at the time pornography was illegal.

Hoover has long been the subject of speculation about his private life, in particular that he was a transvestite and enjoyed a gay relationship with his close friend and FBI associate director Clyde Tolson. I’m not going to get into those claims because I think they are based more on speculation than on facts. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention however that Hoover never had a girlfriend nor did he ever marry or have children. That of course that by itself is not weird.


Considering the influx of the Klu Klux Klan and black criminals, he refused to employ black agents. The employment of black agents would have been a great asset to the FBI.

He was a sticker for his concept of the FBI dress code. Every agent was to wear a white shirt, wear a tie, be in a suit and be clean shaven.  There was to be no exceptions. So if a couple of agents were conducting a surveillance on a street in a crime-ridden part of the city, they could not wear old clothes and have a beard on their faces. Dressed in the manner that Hoover wanted them to be dressed would make them look exactly like they were—cops.

As an interesting aside, in Toronto, the cops in that city wore the same kinds of fedoras on their heads and their clandestine cars had licence plates from the same licence-plate series. They stood out as, you guessed it—cops.

When he heard that anyone was playing the card game—bridge or having his hair done in a beauty parlor, Hoover said that he was queer and then send an agent to his home to harass the man.  My mother was a hair stylist in a beauty parlor in a small community in Southern California and when I visited her, she cut my hair in the beauty parlor.  That didn’t mean I was queer, especially since I am married with two daughters and five grandchildren.

Hoover always insisted that there was no such a thing as the Mafia and for this reason, he always understaffed or removed any team that was aactually fighting organized crime.


As an administrator, he was a tyrant. For example, if he learned that an agent was drinking coffee while on the job, he would transfer the agent across the country as punishment even though it meant uprooting the agent’s family also. He would also hold back their pay-raises if they lost their handcuffs.


Hoover did what dishonest people in power should never do.  He engaged in extensive personal corruption.  He had FBI employees build a front poetical to his home and a deck in the rear deck of his home. They also painted his house at 4936 Thirteenth Place in Washington each year, dug a fish pond equipped with a water pump and lights and constructed shelves and other convinces for him. Moreover, they replaced the sod, with artificial turf, planed and moved shrubbery and built a redwood garden fence, a flagstone court and sidewalks. He also had FBI reset his clocks, re-touched his wallpaper and prepared his tax returns. The agents did this at the American taxpayer’s expense. If he had done this in this era, he and his agents would be prosecuted. He even expected his closest aides to give him presents, such as cabinets and bars.

His fraud against the government included submitting vouchers for hotel rooms and meals he got for free.


What this man did during his tenure as the head of the FBI was no different than what dictators do in tin-pot countries. He was no different than they were and are. Imagine what life in the United States would be like if this detestable man was the president of the United States.

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