Monday, December 19, 2005

Great Moments in American Freedom

Roosevelt resumed spying on Americans in 1936. He (like our own George II) faced a variety of real and imagined threats. Not only were there real live commies and fascists in the US, we were also involved in a nebulous "war on crime." So, to keep the American people safe from espionage and sabotage he issued a presidential directive to J. Edgar Hoover (kind of a SuperRove/Bolton type) to spy like hell. Just to make sure that they were able to cast a really wide net for the evil-doers, he added the phrase "subversive activities" to the mandate.* Hoover was one of those real go-getter types who loved his job and tended to go way beyond the call of duty.

By 1940, Hoover ordered the infiltration of 33 American political groups. Some of these groups were almost as scary and threatening as our modern day Quakers, such as the American Student Union, the National Negro Congress and the most subversive of all organizations past and present, the ACLU. In an act of presient patriotism reminiscent of our own Michelle Malkin, Hoover put ACLU founder Roger Baldwin in the Group A category, which included "individuals believed to be the most dangerous and who in all probability should be interned in the event of war."

Of course it's hard to imagine today, but Hoover had even set up a "secret detention program" which was completely unauthorized. He got caught in 1943 and was ordered to dismantle it, but having divinely intuited the true intent of our founding fathers which was to keep us safe from troubling ideas, he simply changed the name of the program and carried on.

*One America-hating Senator from Nebraska who was nearing the end of his forty year political career, actually spoke out against the plan, fearing abuses which could easily lead to a police state. Fortunately for America, Senator George Norris' views were so unpopular that they didn't even need to swift-boat him.


Edgy Mama said...

Nicely writ, Jim. Thank you.

modpez said...

a badly needed larger context for the shenanigins of late.

1000 black lines said...

Is it unauthorized to access someone's video rental records, library books rental list or trash can?