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Lecture

McCarthyism [3] Hoover and McCarthy Hoover and the FBI (Dennis case, FBI and Truman's loyalty-security program) McCarthy and the Red Scare (A favourable climate?)

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Department
History
Course Code
HI114
Professor
Darren Mulloy

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HI114 October 26 McCARTHYISM [3] Hoover and McCarthy A) HOOVER AND THE FBI • Hoover ran the FBI forever, he insisted that FBI agents conform to his sense of professionalism • he was a dedicated anti-communist, was involved in the First Red Scare • FBI didn’t get involved in politics initially, it was a law enforcement agency 1934 - authorized to investigate Nazis in US • • 1936 - “subversive activities … particularly Fascism and Communism” • Hoover takes it and runs with it. • FBI = “the bureaucratic heart of the McCarthy era” (Schrecker) I. Dennis et al v. United States (1951) • in 1945 Hoover told FBI agents to collect information on the American Communist Party • The Smith Act, 1940 • “willfully advocate … or teach the duty … of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence” • or belong to any group or organization with this aim • none of this evidence found that the communist party was NOT trying to overthrow the government, they were in fact being peaceful • decided they would rely on the historic mission of the communist party, using Marx and Lennon, propaganda, etc • “Aesopian Language” - things aren’t exactly as they appear. would often say things that mean the opposite, they spoke in code, they were intending to overthrow the government • Trial beings January 17, and ends October 14 1949 • Harold Medina (judge) believed that the communist party was trying to make him die so the trial could be declared, he was very biased. Feared the communists had planted hypnotists to change his verdict • Dennis et al. are found guilty, appeal, and are found guilty again • Impact of the Dennis Case • big success for the FBI • more legitimacy to the anti-communist campaign • a disaster for the Communist Party II. The FBI and Truman’s Loyalty Programme • FBI Growth • 3,559 agents in 1946 to 7,029 agents in 1952 • budget $35m in 1947, $53m in 1950, $130m in 1962 • 1952 - 2 million federal employees screened, 20,000 full-field investigations conducted HI114 • set it up to become the nation’s premier communist-fighting party • FBI feeds information to people • FBI’s illegal activities: • Notes: (1) the FBI was NOT an out of control agency Hoover had to run it by the president, (2) Hoover did not go around advertising the fact that he was involved in all sorts of illegal activities, used his own double speak • Illegal break-in’s • (1947-51) National Lawyers Guild was burgled 14 times by the FBI (this organization represented communists) • illegal wiretaps and electronic surveillance • were supposed to get permission from attorney general, ignored this • tapped radical unions, journalists, the NJG, the communist party, the offices of the lawyers who were representing the Hollywood 10 • illegal harassment and counter-intelligence programmes (COINTELPRO) • “began” in mid 1950’s, actually long before then • sending undercover agents into radical unions and intentionally stirring up trouble • leaking information to somebodies employers that may suggest they are communists • sending in the IRS to audit someones financial affairs • mid 50’s 1330 cointelpro operations B) McCARTHY AND THE RED SCARE A Favourable Climate? • The “loss” of China (Aug1949)
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