Abuse of Power: How Cold War Surveillance and Secrecy Policy - download pdf or read online

By Athan Theoharis

ISBN-10: 1439906645

ISBN-13: 9781439906644

Athan Theoharis, lengthy a revered authority on surveillance and secrecy, verified his acceptance for meticulous scholarship along with his paintings at the loyalty safety software constructed below Truman and McCarthy. In Abuse of energy, Theoharis maintains his research of U.S. executive surveillance and historicizes the Sep 11 response.

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

Drawing on details sequestered until eventually lately in FBI files, Theoharis exhibits how those mystery actions on this planet struggle II and chilly warfare eras multiplied FBI surveillance powers and, within the technique, eroded civil liberties with no considerably advancing valid safeguard interests.

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

He misleadingly urged Clark to approve a new program to address an imminent espionage and sabotage 16 / Chapter 1 threat. S. diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.  . ”34 Clark agreed to the proposed study. Department officials, however, eventually concluded that, rather than seeking legislation authorizing a detention program, the government should during an emergency either declare martial law or suspend the writ of habeas corpus. ”35 Justice Department officials agreed to the bureau’s broad standards but not the recommendation to seek legislative authorization.

The Roosevelt administration might have failed to convince Congress to legalize FBI “national-defense” wiretapping. 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).

The report accompanying his proposed bill extolled the importance of wiretaps as a counterespionage tool and dismissed as unwarranted criticisms that individual rights would be affected. 15 Celler’s 1942 initiative once again failed. Despite this rejection, the FBI continued to wiretap for the duration of the war, based solely on President Roosevelt’s secret directive and with the realization that any information so obtained could not be used as evidence. The Roosevelt administration might have failed to convince Congress to legalize FBI “national-defense” wiretapping.

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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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