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Tag: Hoover

Weekend Series on Crime History: Nixon Talks to J. Edgar Hoover About Attacks on Cop

Weekend Series on Crime History: LBJ and J. Edgar Hoover Talk About the Mississippi Civil Rights Workers’ Murders

Forget Sexuality Issue, Hoover’s Overreach the Real Story

J. Edgar Hoover

Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

So, about that whole gay thing…

Salon contributor Mark Feldstein does not care so much about the issue. In a brief but scathing response to the J. Edgar movie, Feldstein called the film a “brief defense of the FBI’s legendary director” which ignore’s Hoover’s “ruthless abuse of power.”

Feldstein credits Hoover, as does the film, with creating the modern forensics lab to nab bad guys, and even provides a credible rationale for Hoover’s obsession with communism. But Felstein’s first complaint is the film’s portrayal of Hoover as an ally of Senator Joe McCarthy. “In fact, the FBI director was a crucial ally of the Red-baiting demagogue,” he writes.

“During his lifetime he was Washington’s consummate master of sexual slander and political blackmail,” he writes of Hoover. “Given the known facts of Hoover’s life, Eastwood has painted his subject in the best light possible—better than he deserves and infinitely kinder than Hoover ever treated his many enemies, who included some of the most heroic figures of that tumultuous era.”

Feldstein has plenty more criticisms of Hoover, or of what the film missed. To read more click here.

FBI’s Hoover Building “Bursting at Seams”

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has swelled so much in size since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that the D.C. headquarters is bursting at the seams.

The Government Accountability Office has determined that FBI headquarters at the J. Edgar Hoover Building is deteriorating and in need of repair, much of attributable to staff growth since Sept. 11, says a blog post from the Washington Post. The Announcement on Tuesday said the FBI is in need of a new headquarters.

Before Sept. 11, 9,700 headquarters staffers worked at seven locations; now there are about 17,300 employees and contractors at 40 sites across the nation, 22 in the Washington area, according to the Post.

“A new consolidated FBI headquarters facility is urgently needed and we view this as one of our highest priorities for the foreseeable future,” FBI Assistant Deputy Director T.J. Harrington wrote in the report.

The report also noted long standing concerns about the Hoover building’s security. While vehicle barriers and a dry mote protect the building, the building is bounded closely on all sides by busy DC streets–9th, 10th and E Streets and Pennsylvania Ave.

Four potential responses were given: remain in the Hoover building and take no action; renovate the Hoover building and consolidate leases on other FBI buildings; demolish and rebuild the Hoover building at the same site; or build a new headquarters at a completely new location.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTERESTED

 

Congressman Opposes Plan to Name Museum Research Center After J. Edgar Hoover

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI’s legendary director J. Edgar Hoover continues to stir up controversy.

The latest: the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) is voicing opposition to a plan to name the research center at the yet to be built National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington after Hoover, USA Today reported.

“It is not healthy for the nation if his legacy does not include an asterisk for his (archaic) views on race,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo. said, according to USA Today. “I’m wondering what Dr. King would say to us.”

Cleaver expressed particular concern about the FBI’s campaign to discredit Martin Luther King Jr.

USA Today reported that Cleaver is even bothered by the fact the FBI headquarters building on Pennsylvania Avenue is named after Hoover. He calls it  a “sore point for a lot of people.”

USA Today reported that the National Law Enforcement Museum, authorized by Congress, is set to open in 2013.

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

The paper reported that foundation Director William Branon, a former FBI agent, defended the naming of the center, saying it was “in keeping with the goals of the foundation: to perpetuate the good name of Mr. Hoover. … No editorializing.”

“I can’t think of a more fitting place to carry his name,” Branon said.

Hoover’s name has resurfaced in the media lately in relation to a movie being made by Clint Eastwood on Hoover’s life. The movie is reportedly going to show Hoover having a long-standing romantic relationship with his right hand man, Clyde Tolson. Some former and current FBI agents have expressed dismay over that aspect of the movie.

To read more click here.

It’s Official: DiCaprio to Play Hoover in Clint Eastwood Film

Leonardo DiCaprio/photo from his website

Leonardo DiCaprio/photo from his website

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s official: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio will play J. Edgar Hoover in director Clint Eastwood’s upcoming film on the legendary FBI director.

Eastwood told Reuters news service that “it’s a great role for” DiCaprio and that he was in the process of signing a contract with the popular actor.

Eastwood Monday shot down rumors that actor Joaquin Phoenix would be in the film and play Clyde Tolson, Hoover’s right hand man.

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

Commenting on Hoover, Eastwood told Reuters:

“He was a very complex person. The homosexual aspect is just one of many. I would say that’s the least of his problems. But he was also very clever, whether rightfully or wrongfully, he was very clever about keeping himself in a certain position in life, so it is an interesting study.”

Should be interesting– and controversial.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Joseph Kennedy Touted J. Edgar Hoover for President

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON— J. Edgar Hoover for president?

Well, Joseph Kennedy, the patriarch of the Kennedy political dynasty, apparently thought it was a good idea in the 1950s, according to an essay Hoover wrote that was included in the newly released FBI files on the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

In a letter dated Oct. 13, 1964, Ted Kennedy wrote Hoover to say he was “putting together a short book of recollections of my father” and wanted his father’s good friends like Hoover to contribute. Hoover agreed, and a month later sent off the seven-page essay to Kennedy.

To read more click here.

FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List Turns 60

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — Mir Aimal Kasi had earned a spot on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list and Brad Garrett, a mild-mannered but dogged FBI agent out of Washington, wanted him badly. Kasi, a Pakistani, had stood outside CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., in 1993 and methodically opened fire, shooting into car windows, killing two CIA employees and wounding three others.

Like most fugitives on the list, Kasi was no easy find. Garrett and others spent four-and-a-half years continent-hopping, tracking endless leads before finding him in a seedy hotel in Pakistan at 4 a.m. Kasi was about to head off to prayer. He was brought back to the U.S., where he was eventually executed by lethal injection by the state of Virginia.

James Earl Ray/fbi photo

James Earl Ray/fbi photo

“It’s probably every agent’s dream to capture a top 10 most wanted fugitive,” Garrett, who retired from the FBI in 2006, told AOL News. “It wasn’t my driving force, of course, but the idea of being able to arrest a top 10 fugitive is really something. If you’re on the top 10 list, you must be a really bad person, a big deal.”

On March 14, the bigger-than-life list, which has included some of the most notorious criminals of our time, from assassin James Earl Ray to serial killer Ted Bundy to terrorist Osama bin Laden, turned 60.

The list has become part of Americana. First seen in post offices and banks, now the Ten Most Wanted photos are more likely to show up on TV shows, billboards and the Internet through Web sites and trendy social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

“We recognize the unique ability of the media to cast a wider net within communities here and abroad,” FBI Director Robert Mueller said in a statement marking the 60th anniversary. “The FBI can send agents to visit a thousand homes to find a witness, but the media can visit a million homes in an instant.”

Authorities say the list came about after a reporter for the International News in 1949 told the FBI he was interested in writing a story about the “toughest guys” the FBI was after. The FBI provided the names and descriptions of 10 fugitives — four escaped prisoners, three con men, two murder suspects and a bank robber — and the reporter wrote a story that captured national attention and triggered hundreds of tips.

Osama bin Laden

The FBI figured it was on to something. On March 14, 1950, Director J. Edgar Hoover launched the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program. The first fugitive was Thomas J. Holden, a bank robber who murdered his wife and her two brothers. A little over a year later, he was spotted in Beaverton, Ore., by someone who recognized his photo in the newspaper.

The FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program turns 60 years old  this month

The first fugitive listed by the FBI was killer and bank robber Thomas J. Holden in 1950. He was caught a year later.

Holden was one of 494 fugitives who have made the list in the past six decades. Of those, the FBI says, 463 have been captured or located, and 152 of those were “the direct result of citizen cooperation.” More specifically, two fugitives were captured as a result of the Internet, 27 from television broadcasts, two from radio coverage, three from newspapers, three from magazines and 49 from FBI posters.

Cases that involved tips from a top 10 poster included fugitive Joseph Martin Luther Gardner, a Navy man who was wanted in the 1992 gang rape and murder of a 25-year-old woman in South Carolina. Authorities caught the other suspects, but not Gardner — at least not for a while.

Mir Aimal Kansi/fbi photo

Mir Aimal Kansi/fbi photo

Jeffrey L. Covington, an FBI agent from Philadelphia who retired in 2007 and worked on the Gardner case, recalled that a woman had gone into a convenience store in 1994 in Philadelphia. Later, she returned home to New York and was in a post office when she saw an FBI wanted poster of Gardner.

“She said, ‘Oh my God, that’s the guy in the store,'” Covington recalled. She called authorities, and Covington said he and members of the Philadelphia Fugitive Task Force moved in and made the arrest.

“He was absolutely startled,” Covington said of Gardner. “And then he lied about his name. The usual stuff.”

Over the years, as times changed, so did the composition of the list. At first in the 1950s it consisted of bank robbers, murderers and car thieves. In the 1960s, some fugitives included kidnappers and militants who had destroyed government property. By the 1970s, there were organized crime and terrorist figures and radicals like H. Rap Brown and Angela Davis. And in by the 1990s, sexual predators, drug traffickers and gang members had joined the list.

For the most part, the list has been dominated by males. Only eight fugitives have been woman, with ’60s militant Davis among them.

angela davis

A lot of thought goes into who makes the list, and who doesn’t, according to Rex Tomb, who headed the FBI’s chief fugitive publicity unit in Washington and helped decide who made the list. He retired in 2006.

“Many times a particularly aggressive agent would want us to put their fugitive on the list,” Tomb told AOL News. “In looking at the submission, however, we realized that the case, though very serious, might be either too complicated or uninteresting to potential readers or viewers. Photographs might also be of such quality that we knew the public would be unable to notice key, distinguishing physical traits. The top 10 list is media driven. If certain elements are not present, reporters won’t use it. We had to learn which cases would fly and which wouldn’t.

“There are only 10 slots on the list,” he said. ” If the media won’t cover it, the list is of no help. If it can’t help a case, why put it on the list?”

On nine occasions, the top 10 list has actually had 11 or more fugitives.

“This has occurred when there was not a vacancy on the list and the FBI determined that there was an overriding need that an individual be added to the list,” said FBI spokeswoman Debbie Weierman.

She said some of the 11th fugitives have included Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who was implicated in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassin, James Earl Ray. Ray was one of six people who twice appeared on the list: once when he shot King in 1968 and again in 1977 when he escaped from prison.

Fugitive Donald Eugene Webb holds the record for the longest time on the list — 25 years, 10 months and 27 days — for the murder of Police Chief Gregory Adams in Saxonburg, Pa., in 1980. In 2007, without any real explanation, he was removed from the list even though he remained at large. The FBI now says he no longer fits the criteria, but he remains a fugitive.

Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger

The shortest time on the list — two hours — was claimed by bank robber Billie Austin Bryant, who had killed two FBI agents in the late 1960s in Washington. The oldest person to be placed on the list — and who still remains on it — is Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger. He was 69 in August 1999 when he was put on the list.

Today he is 80.

Alive and well? Who knows.

H. Rap Brown

H. Rap Brown