Download Abuse of Power: How Cold War Surveillance and Secrecy Policy by Athan Theoharis PDF

By Athan Theoharis

ISBN-10: 1439906645

ISBN-13: 9781439906644

Athan Theoharis, lengthy a revered authority on surveillance and secrecy, demonstrated his recognition for meticulous scholarship together with his paintings at the loyalty protection application constructed below Truman and McCarthy. In Abuse of strength, Theoharis keeps his research of U.S. govt surveillance and historicizes the 11th of September response.

Criticizing the U.S. government's mystery actions and guidelines during times of "unprecedented crisis," he recounts how presidents and FBI officers exploited issues approximately foreign-based inner protection threats.

Drawing on info sequestered till lately in FBI files, Theoharis indicates how those mystery actions on this planet struggle II and chilly battle eras elevated FBI surveillance powers and, within the strategy, eroded civil liberties with out considerably advancing valid safety interests.

Passionately argued, this well timed booklet speaks to the prices and outcomes of still-secret post-9/11 surveillance courses and counterintelligence disasters. finally, 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

Sample text

Federal, state, or local authorities, they contended, would wiretap to further either partisan or antiunion objectives. 13 In articulating their reason for convening hearings to investigate past wiretapping practices, which hearings extended from May 21, 1940, through February 15, 1941, members of a Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Interstate Commerce stressed that such hearings could help determine whether further legislative safeguards were needed to deter the use of wiretaps. Senators expressed a quite different concern from that articulated by Roosevelt, Jackson, and Celler—that government agencies had used and would continue to use wiretaps to investigate the political activities and beliefs 30 / Chapter 2 of public employees and private citizens despite the ban of Section 605.

Having simply affirmed the department’s “intention,” the attorney general represented this decision as concurrence with the “Bureau’s concepts” of the emergency detention program and Security Index standards. McGranery’s willingness to ignore the legislatively mandated detention standards was not binding on his successors. Thus, following Dwight Eisenhower’s election to the presidency, FBI Director Hoover solicited the views of the new attorney general, Herbert Brownell, about the detention program’s standards and apprehension procedures.

Physical surveillance (whether by FBI agents or recruited informers) produced only limited and not always reliable information. FBI officials accordingly sought alternative means to acquire such information. And, because their objective was not to obtain evidence to prosecute but to advance intelligence, they were willing to employ intrusive, if illegal, investigative techniques—break-ins, mail opening, bugs, and wiretaps. The most controversial of them, because it was the subject of public debate, involved wiretapping.

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