Tuesday, February 28, 2012
A Law Unto Itself
Tim Wiener's new book, Enemies: A History of the FBI sounds very promising, as he seeks to lay the federal bureau of investigation bare,
Under J Edgar Hoover’s 48-year reign, the FBI was a law unto itself, and more than one president compared it to the Gestapo. “No holds were barred,” admitted Bill Sullivan, the bureau’s head of counterintelligence during the late Fifties. “Never once did I hear anybody, including myself, raise the question: ‘Is this course of action which we have agreed upon lawful? Is it legal? Is it ethical or moral?’ ” Another agent put it more succinctly: “Nobody knew what was right or wrong.” The FBI was the closest thing that America had to an Eastern European-style secret police.
This book follows up on his award-winning book, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA.