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Tag: J. Edgar Hoover

Author of New FBI Book Argues J. Edgar Hoover Was Not the Father of the Bureau

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A new book, “The Birth of the FBI: Teddy Roosevelt, the Secret Services, and the Fight Over America’s Law Enforcement Agency,” argues the FBI was not created by its first director, J. Edgar Hoover, as many people claim.

The origin of the FBI is traced back to 1908, when President Theodore Roosevelt created the Special Agent Force under the Justice Department. Later that year, the agency was renamed the Bureau of investigation.

By 1935, when the FBI was created, Hoover was the third director of the Bureau of Investigation.

Author Willard M. Oliver, a professor for the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State, argues Roosevelt should be credited with creating the FBI because of the agencies that preceded it.

Comey Says Trump Would’ve Been Charged if Not President; Trump responds with Predictable Insults

Former FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Hours after former FBI Director James Comey said on CNN that President Trump would have been charged with obstruction if he weren’t the president, Trump fired back in predictable fashion.

“James Comey is a disgrace to the FBI & will go down as the worst Director in its long and once proud history,” Trump tweeted Thursday night. “He brought the FBI down, almost all Republicans & Democrats thought he should be FIRED, but the FBI will regain greatness because of the great men & women who work there!”

Many historians would disagree with the hyperbole, especially since J. Edgar Hoover illegally spied on African Americans, suspected communists and others who disagreed with him. In fact, there has been a movement to remove Hoover’s name from the FBI’s headquarters because Hoover is almost universally despised.

The comments came exactly two years after Trump fired Comey, a move that triggered the special counsel investigation into Russian interference.

During a CNN town hall, Comey, who called Trump “a chronic liar,” said he had “no doubt” Trump would have been charged with obstruction if he weren’t the president, an opinion shard by more than 100 former federal prosecutors. Comey also said the GOP’s handling of the case is “why I’m no longer a Republican.”

Comey added the Justice Department would have to take a “serious look” at whether Trump should be charged after he leaves office.

“Whether it’s a wise thing to do to a former president, I don’t know that’s a harder question – a much bigger question – than the facts of the case,” Comey said.

That Time the FBI Urged Martin Luther King Jr. to Kill Himself

Martin Luther King Jr.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for nonviolent resistance in October 1964, the FBI was furious. 

Under the leadership of the bureau’s notorious director, J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI had spent nearly a decade keeping the civil rights leader under surveillance, convinced he was a Communist – or at least a national security threat. Agents recorded thousands of memos on the minister’s movements and interactions and even bugged his home, office and hotel rooms.

But they found nothing illegal or even dangerous.

Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover

Infamously obstinate and relentless, Hoover was determined to discredit the 35-year-old leader, especially after he won the Nobel Peace Prize and earned international acclaim.

While King prepared for his trip to Oslo to receive the award, Hoover denounced the Georgia-born minister as “the most notorious liar in the country” during a press conference in Washington D.C. in November 1964.

A few days later, the smear campaign escalated, marking one of the darkest chapter’s in the FBI’s history. One of Hoover’s deputies, William Sullivan, typed an anonymous, harshly worded letter to King that later would come to be known as the “suicide letter.”

Since Sullivan had nothing illegal on King, the letter focused on his extramarital sexual liaisons, which were captured on FBI surveillance. 

The anonymous author calls King a “filthy, abnormal animal”and an “evil, abnormal beast” and pledges to expose the extramarital affairs “with your filthy, dirty, evil companions.”

The letter suggests there are recordings of “all your dirt, filth, evil and moronic talk.”

“You are done,” the letter declares. “Your ‘honorary degrees,’ your Nobel Prize (what a grim farce) and other awards will not save you. King, I repeat you are done.”

The letter is crafted to give the impression it was written by someone within the civil rights movement, making a reference to “us Negroes.”

King quietly told friends that someone wanted him to kill himself.

The letter proceeds in what is an apparent reference to suicide, “King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. … There is but only one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.”

King wasn’t fooled by the misdirected writing. He was certain the FBI had written it, the New York Times reported. 

King’s suspicious were confirmed by the Senate’s Church Committee in 1975.

“Rather than trying to discredit the alleged Communists it believed were attempting to influence Dr. King, the Bureau adopted a curious tactic of trying to discredit the supposed target of Communist Party interest — Dr. King himself,” the committee concluded in a report.

King was killed by a sniper in 1968.

FBI Once Believed Christmas Classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Was Communist Propaganda

1946 movie classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Watching the 1946 movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” is a staple for millions of American families during the holidays.

But the Christmas classic that earned five Oscar nominations became a preoccupation of the FBI because then-Director J. Edgar Hoover believed the movie was an anti-american propaganda tool, according to a memo written by a social agent about so-called “communist infiltration” of the movie industry, the Independent reports

The movie was one of more than 200 films feared to be a weapon of communist propaganda.

The FBI believed the film’s two screenwriters, Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, “were very close to known Communists and on one occasion in the recent past . . . practically lived with known Communists and were observed” eating lunch every day with “known Communists.”

An agent who watched the movie said it “represented a rather obvious attempt to discredit bankers.”

The hunt for communists is part of the FBI’s dark history under Hoover, who was notoriously paranoid of anti-American propaganda.

Washington Post Writer: Time to Remove J. Edgar Hoover’s Name from FBI Headquarters

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s time to remove J. Edgar Hoover’s name from the FBI’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

So argues Washington Post opinion writer Richard Cohen, who called the bureau’s first director a “racist, anti-communist zealot, who, in the name of God and the American flag, set out to destroy Martin Luther King Jr.” 

Cohen points out that other monuments bearing the names of offensive historic figures, like Robert E. Lee, are being removed.

Much of Hoover’s legacy is odious, and it is repellent to honor it anywhere,” Cohen wrote, noting that Washington D.C. is 48% black.

“Yet Hoover reigns unnoticed and unprotested, as if his attempts to destroy King did not matter.”

Professor Who Admitted to FBI Burglary in Philadelphia Dies

A Washington Post story on what the stolen documents revealed.

A Washington Post story on what the stolen documents revealed.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of the seven conspirators who revealed a dirty campaign of intimidation by the FBI in March 1971 by stealing a cache of documents in burglary of an bureau office in suburban Philadelphia died on Nov. 12 at his home in Philadelphia.

John C. Raines, a Temple University religion professor, was 84, the Washington Post reports

During the burglary, the seven conspirators stole documents that showed a campaign of intimidation by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover against civil rights and antiwar activists, communists and other dissenters.

One of the documents revealed an that agents were directed to increasingly interview perceived dissenters “to get the point across there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox.”

The burglars, who called themselves the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI, disseminated the stolen documents to newspapers.

The leaked reports lead to the formation of the Senate Church Committee, which revealed widespread abuses among intelligence agencies.

Raines kept the explosive secret for 43 years before revealing his identity to a Washington Post journalist, Betty Medsger, who wrote a book-length account of the break-in, “The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI.”

The reported called Dr. Raines’ actions “one of the most powerful acts of resistance in the history of the country.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI’s Obsession with MLK Paints Falsehoods about Civil Rights Leader

Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy With Martin Luther King Jr. Photo via DOJ.

Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy With Martin Luther King Jr. Photo via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just three weeks before the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the FBI declared in a newly released analysis that the civil rights leader was “a whole-hearted” communist who had a series of affairs, including with folk singer Joan Baez

But historians quickly denounced the 20-page document, dated March 21, saying the FBI’s obsession with King resulted in numerous falsehoods that were later discounted.

The FBI report, which was among the 676 files that the National Archive released Friday, provide detail about one of King’s closest advisers, Stanley Levison, a New York lawyer and businessman who helped finance the Communist Party before meeting the civil rights leader in 1956.

martin luther king fbi documentThe document claimed King was heavily influenced by Levison.

“The course King chooses to follow at this critical time could have momentous impact on the future of race relations in the United States,” the document’s introduction reads. “And for that reason this paper has been prepared to give some insight into the nature of the man himself as well as the nature of his views, goals, objectives, tactics and the reasons therefor.”

But David Garrow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian, dismissed the allegations as false, saying they are the result of then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s unhealthy, if not delusional, obsession with the civil rights leader. 

“The number one thing I’ve learned in 40 years of doing this, is just because you see it in a top-secret document, just because someone had said it to the FBI, doesn’t mean it’s all accurate,” Garrow told The Washington Post, citing the infamous dossier that contains salacious allegations against President Trump. 

Garrow pointed out that King had been under heavy FBI surveillance throughout the 1960s and never found evidence of communist connections.

If anything, the document, titled “MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., A CURRENT ANALYSIS,” provided more insight into the FBI’s preoccupation with the Communist Party and attempts to discredit King.

“I think the number one takeaway historically is how, even in March of 1968, the FBI continues to be bizarrely preoccupied with how important the Communist Party USA is. ... The Communist Party, by 1968, is of no importance to anything,” Garrow said. “These incredibly exaggerated statements of communist influence are exactly what the FBI wants to hear.”

What Hoover failed to pass on to President Lyndon B. Johnson was that King had distanced himself from communists.

“There are things I wanted to say renouncing communism in theory, but they would not go along with it. We wanted to say that it was an alien philosophy contrary to us, but they wouldn’t go along with it,” King told adviser Bayard Rustin in May 1965, when King, Garrow wrote.

JFK Files Reveal FBI’s Fears of a Threat to Kill Lee Oswald

John F. Kennedy, via White House archives.

John F. Kennedy, via White House archives.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI warned Dallas police about a threat to kill Lee Harvey Oswald, but cops didn’t provide adequate protection, according to information found in the release of 2,800 previously classified files relating to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued the warning to police about a potential death threat to Oswald after he was in police custody.

“There is nothing further on the Oswald case except that he is dead,” Hoover wrote on Nov. 24, 1963.  “Last night we received a call in our Dallas office from a man talking in a calm voice and saying he was a member of a committee organized to kill Oswald.”

Hoover continued: “We at once notified the chief of police and he assured us Oswald would be given sufficient protection. This morning we called the chief of police again warning of the possibility of some effort against Oswald and again he assured us adequate protection would be given.

“However, this was not done.”

Hoover indicated he didn’t have “firm” information about Jack Ruby, the man who fatally shot Oswald, but said there were rumors of “underworld activity.”

An FBI scrambled to Oswald’s deathbed but was unable to get a confession.

Less than an hour after Oswald died, Hoover expressed concerns about quelling conspiracy theories about the assassination of JFK.

“The thing I am concerned about, and so is (deputy attorney general) Mr. Katzenbach, is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin,” he said.