Read e-book online Abuse of Power: How Cold War Surveillance and Secrecy Policy PDF

By Athan Theoharis

ISBN-10: 1439906645

ISBN-13: 9781439906644

Athan Theoharis, lengthy a revered authority on surveillance and secrecy, confirmed his popularity for meticulous scholarship along with his paintings at the loyalty defense software constructed lower than 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 in periods of "unprecedented crisis," he recounts how presidents and FBI officers exploited issues approximately foreign-based inner safeguard threats.

Drawing on details sequestered till lately in FBI documents, Theoharis exhibits how those mystery actions on the planet struggle II and chilly warfare eras elevated FBI surveillance powers and, within the method, eroded civil liberties with no considerably advancing valid defense interests.

Passionately argued, this well timed publication speaks to the prices and outcomes of still-secret post-9/11 surveillance courses and counterintelligence mess ups. eventually, Abuse of energy makes the case that the abusive surveillance rules of the chilly warfare years have been repeated within the government's responses to the September eleven attacks.

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Additional info for Abuse of Power: How Cold War Surveillance and Secrecy Policy Shaped the Response to 9/11

Sample text

Furthermore, a memo recording Nichols’s receipt of these cards from Ladd confirms that Ladd had also maintained five other categories of wiretap records: a wiretap of a [name withheld] individual; wiretaps installed on the authority of the FBI director for which the attorney general’s subsequent approval was obtained and “if approved put in active drawer”; “active” wiretaps identified by FBI field office; “Disapproved requests + 20 or so never used”; and one “Top Secret” wiretap installed by the Washington field office.

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. Coincidentally, at the very time when FBI officials obtained presidential authorization to conduct intelligence investigations, Congress had recently banned wiretapping. 2 The Supreme Court, however, struck down this interpretation of the statute in 1937 in Nardone v.

The FBI director, however, had serious reservations about continued usage of wiretaps and urged department officials to seek legislation to amend the 1934 act. ”6 Jackson’s prohibition, however, was secretly repudiated six weeks later. FBI Director Hoover had in the interim privately advised the attorney general that the wiretapping ban could render “impossible” FBI investigations of kidnapping and espionage. ” Hoover on his own broached this matter with Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, who endorsed the FBI director’s dire assessment of such threats and the government’s responsibility to anticipate and prevent them; accordingly, he urged White House aide A History of FBI Wiretapping Authority / 27 Edwin Watson to have President Roosevelt authorize FBI wiretapping of Axis embassies and suspected Nazi agents.

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Abuse of Power: How Cold War Surveillance and Secrecy Policy Shaped the Response to 9/11 by Athan Theoharis


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