A Conspiracy So Immense

Tim Weiner writes in tomorrow’s New York Times,

A newly declassified document shows that J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a plan to suspend habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 Americans he suspected of disloyalty.

Hoover sent his plan to the White House on July 7, 1950, 12 days after the Korean War began. It envisioned putting suspect Americans in military prisons.

Hoover wanted President Harry S. Truman to proclaim the mass arrests necessary to “protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage.” The F.B.I would “apprehend all individuals potentially dangerous” to national security, Hoover’s proposal said. The arrests would be carried out under “a master warrant attached to a list of names” provided by the bureau.

The names were part of an index that Hoover had been compiling for years. “The index now contains approximately twelve thousand individuals, of which approximately ninety-seven per cent are citizens of the United States,” he wrote.

“In order to make effective these apprehensions, the proclamation suspends the Writ of Habeas Corpus,” it said. …

… Hoover’s plan called for “the permanent detention” of the roughly 12,000 suspects at military bases as well as in federal prisons.

There is no evidence suggesting that President Truman approved any part of this proposal.

Reaction from the Power Tools was predictable: “Hoover was too quick to judge people disloyal–it would be interesting to get a look at the list of 12,000–but some may feel nostalgic for a time when disloyalty was at least acknowledged to be a bad thing.”

I feel nostalgic for a time when shredding the Bill of Rights was at least acknowledged to be a bad thing.

Regarding the 12,000 — from 1950 to 1953 J. Edgar Hoover leaked copious amounts of information and names to Sen. Joe McCarthy, who then “investigated” and held “hearings” in which he bullied and smeared his targets. McCarthy’s sidekick, the infamous Roy Cohn, also had contacts in the bureau, who gave him access to confidential FBI reports.

Much of what [McCarthy] got came directly from the FBI, which had a habit of leaking information to favored politicians. Not only was Joe friendly with J. Edgar Hoover, but several of his aides had either worked for the Bureau or built up good contacts there. Roy Cohn, for example, was very close with Lou Nichols, the assistant director. One source said that Cohn knew

    … all about FBI lists of supect Communists and has a fantastic memory for the names and backgrounds of practically all the important ex-Communists in the country. My friend has frequently been with Cohn when he picks up the phone, calls the FBI and demands to know the whereabouts of some ex-Communist or suspect Communist. Within a half hour or so the Bureau will call him back and give him the name of the special agent who is riding herd on the particular individual and Cohn will shortly thereafter get a call from the agent.

Despite his repeated denials, Cohn also had access to confidential FBI reports. One agent revealed that his colleagues “put in long hours poring over Bureau security files, abstracting them for Roy Cohn.” And Ruth Watt, chief clerk of the Government Operations Committee [chaired by McCarthy], recalled that “we had a lot of FBI reports because we could get them, you see.” Watt added that “Roy and J. Edgar Hoover knew each other pretty well, so it was not too difficult to get these things.” [David Oshinsky, A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy [Free Press, 1983], p. 257]

One suspects that if J. Edgar Hoover were seriously concerned about these 12,000 people, then information on at least some of them ended up with McCarthy and Cohn. And McCarthy and Cohn held investigations and hearings pretty much nonstop until the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954. But not one of McCarthy’s investigations resulted in a conviction of espionage. And none of the many charges McCarthy brought against individuals were ever proved, even by the release of the Venona files. So it’s a good bet that the bulk of those 12,000 people that Hoover wanted to detain permanently were innocent.

13 thoughts on “A Conspiracy So Immense

  1. Where did they the document?..Was it hidden in J.Edgar’s underwear draw underneath his garter belts and fishnet stockings? I guess J. Edgar was a Conservative, huh. A closeted cross-dressing homosexual who gets off on persecuting homosexuals is about par for the course to establish solid conservative credentials.
    I’m not at all surprised at Hoover’s desire to make mass arrests and suspend habeas corpus…must be conservative genetics.

    Yeah, and Roy Cohn died of AIDS…back when AIDS was God’s punishment for Sodomites.

  2. Hoover was America’s equivalent to Hienrich Himmler..Hoover elevated blackmail from a mere criminal activity to an illustrious artform. My stomach turns every time I see his name plastered all over the FBI headquarter in Washington. The man was the pits, as sick and demented as they come. What a toad! The only difference between Himmler, Beria, and Hoover was that Hoover did a better job of covering his crimes.

  3. This story is just going to get Ann Coulter all hot again… especially the part about Hoover feeding names to McCarthy.

  4. Innocent!

    Have we learned nothing after the attacks on our country?
    Jeez, there’s quick test:
    If we dunk them and they drown, they are innocent. If they survive, they are TERRORIST’S!!!
    And it’s NOT TORTURE!
    Listen to PREZNIT Gump, er, uhm, Bush, speak about it: Water-boardin’s kind ‘a like swimmin’: Different strokes for different folks, ya know…
    And his immortal line – ‘Torture’s like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’
    “Heh, heh, heh…”
    Will you “LIBERAL’S” never learn?

    Want me teach you?
    OK, lean back and let me tie your hand’s behind your back. Let’s see, according to Dick’s manual, the rag is placed here, the water is poured there…. PRESTO!!!

    J. Edgar Hoover and Roy did WHAT!?!
    With Crisco! The “artist” with the orange banner’s? Oh, Crisco, the oil my Mom uses. Sorry…
    Say again!?!
    You were the one who gave John Edward’s his $400 haircut’s? What did he tip you?
    With Boy Scout’s?
    No, really? Salad tong’s!
    Orange Julius and Burger King were involved in the JFK killing? And Britney Spears’ Grandma did what?
    Nipple clamp’s, a ferret and a 9-volt battery! Oh, my…
    Now tell me, was it all of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or just most of them?
    The NYPD!
    Were any Jew’s involved?
    Hillary’s a Jew!
    More importantly, does she have a wide stance?!?
    Vincent Foster’s killing was kosher!!! Who knew?

    Torture me some more. I’ll tell you all you want to know. I’ll even tell you where the “30 pieces of silver” have been deposited in my name.

    When Hunter S, Thompson decided to find out what lead tasted like, and after the hyena’s were done laughing and crying, the rest of us should have learned this lesson:
    We are doomed…
    Seriously doomed.

    You can’t see the hyena’s laughing through their tear’s in your room?

    Down, boy…
    Here’s a Kleenex, boy…
    Haa, haa, haa!!!
    DOWN, I say!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. This brings to mind the most dangerous feature of the mind of an ultr-conservative. They believe it is a CRIMINAL act to voice an opinion different from theirs. I have lots of lively disussions with conservatives who read, respect and disagree with me. But they are nor ‘ultra’ because they lack the feature (or defect) in their character which makes me a second-class citizen who should be imprisoned or deported or executed. This is not rhetorical.

    On the other hand, you would be hard-pressed to find a liberal who disagrees with the right of a conservative to his opinion. This is not a subtle distinction and ALL the Republicans are pandering to the ultra-conservative faction to some degree and the philosophical difference needs to be made post-nomination using the pre-nomination statements when the Repblican was sucking up to that small but energetic group..

    This is not nit-picking. Most Americans don’t bother to be informed. They vote from the gut. The Republican candidate will target the image ‘Dady’s gonna keep you safe.’ It has to be shown to the voter at a gut level, it could easily turn into ‘Daddy’s gonna beat your ass.’ One feeling will attract, the other repell.

  6. It seems pretty clear to me that the people on the list were innocent of any actual crime. That’s why Hoover would need to suspend habeas corpus. If there was an independent review of the grounds for their being held, they would have to be released.

    No, these were “potentially” dangerous people, a category limited only by the imagination of the ‘authorities’. Given the things we’ve since learned Hoover could not only imagine, but do, that’s not much of a limitation. I bet he could see a “potential” for danger in just about everyone. Even Roy Cohn, if given time.

    This idea that we need to resort to extraordinary measures to ‘protect’ ourselves from ‘potential’ danger is horribly corrosive to our society, though it flourishes in the Bushista era, including the infamous ‘one-percent doctrine’.

    (Curiously, it seems to me that it’s the people with the least ability to accurately predict what others will do, and which of them might be dangerous, who seize upon this approach. It’s like they suffer from some kind of mild Aspergers, and respond by inventing draconian systems to compensate.

    You know, people like that could be potentially very dangerous. We should lock them up. ;-/ )

  7. That lady said: “Roy and J. Edgar Hoover knew each other pretty well”…

    Could she mean that in the Biblical sense?

    Anyone who doubts Hoover’s FBI HQ was run by a bunch of Closet Queens should see the employee handbook that was given to young (right out of high school – and from all over the USA) records clerks in D.C. during their initial training…(My late brother-in-law did that gig for a year or so)…

    Since we’re paraphrasing Dr. H.S. Thompson today…

    “When the going gets tough, the Righties don their Gay Apparel”

  8. Anybody hear about the FEMA detention camps being built across the country? Fact or fiction? If true, who will be the “detainees”?

    Right DH, a bunch of voters select candidated based on “He seems like a good guy”, “he looks presidential”, “he’a a Godly man”. We see how THAT turned out.

    AS far as the nonsense about Republicans “protecting us from the Terrists” Who was on watch on 9/11? Oh, right……..

  9. Unfortunately McCarthy and Hoover were right. Our country was and still is dominated by Globalists seeking One-World Government Socialism. Communist China, Soviet Union and even Hitlers Socialist Parties government were all assisted with financing and/or trade by industrialists, bankers and government in order to achieve this. They plan in decades and not years. Read Brzezinksi’s 2 books in 1970 and 1997, he is the co-founder of the TLC behind the globalization execution phase since 1973.

    McCarthy was censored, and his death at such a young age remains suspicous (heart attacks were induced in assassination in those days). Hoover was blackmailed with photos of his homosexual encounters (intelligence agencies had to be behind that)
    and attempts to investigate the Tax Free Foundations financing Socialism was crushed. Sounds like the people behind this might have been the Communists we have been led to believe did not exist.

    The recent book portraying McCarthy in a good light, and the release of this document showing Hoovers plans, at a time when the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act is being passed, is ominous. I expect this will be the foundation for creating lists on people who are 9/11 Tr**thers, and anti-Globalists, and they will execute Hoovers plan.

    The persistance in seeing events of today through a 2 party system of conservatives and liberals is unfortunate. There is one party, made up of Democrats and Republicans, which supports Globalization, and the One World Government, which will not be a Democracy and will result in significant loss of freedoms and a lower standard of living for all Americans..

  10. Re #10 — whackjobs. Dontcha love ’em?

    For the record, McCarthy died of cirrhosis of the liver caused by excessive drinking. At the time press releases called it “hepatitis,” but it was cirrhosis. And no one McCarthy investigated for espionage or accused of espionage was ever convicted of espionage. Nor did the Venona files reveal that McCarthy was “right” about any of the people he accused. The powerful force in the background most responsible for bringing McCarthy down was President Dwight Eisenhower. These are the facts.

  11. Hey Marvel,
    Is that where the line “don we now our gay apparel” comes from?
    Fa La La La La , la la la la!

    “these are the facts”
    Crap. No saucer people or reptilian shape-shifters from the planet remulack involved? BOR-ING

    Merry Christmas!

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