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

By Athan Theoharis

Athan Theoharis, lengthy a revered authority on surveillance and secrecy, proven his acceptance for meticulous scholarship along with his paintings at the loyalty defense software constructed less 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 during times of "unprecedented crisis," he recounts how presidents and FBI officers exploited matters approximately foreign-based inner protection threats.

Drawing on details sequestered till lately in FBI documents, Theoharis indicates how those mystery actions on the earth warfare II and chilly warfare eras multiplied FBI surveillance powers and, within the method, eroded civil liberties with no considerably advancing valid safety interests.

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

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

Sample text

FBI officials’ actions were not that risky, given the crisis atmosphere of World War II and the broad consensus over the need to defeat the Axis Powers. The end of the war, however, removed this potential cover, all the more so since the FBI’s actual wiretapping practices had exceeded the president’s “national-defense” rationale and had extended to monitoring a host of political activists involved in radical laborunion and civil-rights activities (including the National Maritime Union, the National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards, the March on Washington Movement, and the Communist Party’s headquarters and branch offices, prominent Communist Party members, and radical German émigrés Bertolt Brecht and Thomas Mann).

Already suspicious about FBI surveillance, many activists and influential liberals depicted these as concentration camps and pressured Congress in September 1971 to rescind the detention section of the 1950 act. ” Congress’s rescission of Title II, Hoover further advised Mitchell, “does not limit the FBI’s authority and responsibility to keep and maintain administrative records, including various indices, which may be necessary to” fulfilling the FBI’s “responsibility and authority” to investigate subversive activities.

Holtzoff, however, opined that the Court’s decision had been “misinterpreted” by the press, as wiretaps per se had not been prohibited but rather the “intercepting and divulging” of communications. The Justice Department, Holtzoff assured Hoover, would “not authorize any prosecution against its own employees in those cases where the employees were proceeding in a course of official conduct authorized” by the FBI director. The prohibition, he further pointed out, applied to interstate and not “local calls” and that although any information obtained through the interception of an interstate call could not be introduced in evidence, FBI officials could act “in an investigative capacity” upon information developed through the tap.

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