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From news.Arizona.EDU!!CS.Arizona.EDU!uunet!!glr Tue Sep 6 09:56:29 1994 Newsgroups: alt.2600,alt.2600hz,alt.privacy,alt.censorship Path: news.Arizona.EDU!!CS.Arizona.EDU!uunet!!glr From: (Glen Roberts) Subject: Excerpts from the FBI & Your BBS Message-ID: Sender: (Net News Admin) Organization: Ripco Internet BBS, Chicago (312) 665-0065 X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2] Date: Mon, 5 Sep 1994 18:53:28 GMT Lines: 460 Xref: news.Arizona.EDU alt.2600:20574 alt.2600hz:85 alt.privacy:17021 alt.censorship:32029

Computer BBS systems offer an excellent opportunity for people to exercise their their First Amendment rights (expression of thoughts, ideas, information, etc). Unlike other communications media, any user can express their views to a large audience without prior restraint, at an affordable cost. Other media, such as radio, require lots of money (and the content of the expression must meet with government licensing regulations). Newspapers do a good job at expressing the information the publishers want expressed. They don't help you, unless your ideas match the newspapers publishers, exactly.

The FBI (and others that want to control the free flow of information) feel threatened by communications media, like BBS's. Unlike other communication media, information on a BBS does not get read by anyone before its instantaneous publication. Therefore, the FBI has much less of a possibility of intimidating the owner of a BBS into NOT publishing certain information. The FBI also acts as if BBS's have a monopoly on the distribution of so-called ``illegal information. The FBI often uses this ``danger for justification to monitor the activities on these systems. In reality, however, BBS's transfer much less ``illegal information than the phone system. Many people are well aware of the FBI's political activities in the 1960s and 70s. However, the FBI has been obsessed with keeping track of people with unpopular policial beliefs since the Bureau's inception in 1908. The following history of the FBI from the Final Report of the Select (Senate) Committee to Study Governmental Operations with repect to Intelligence Activies, Book IV, Supplementary Reports on Intelligence Activites shows this well (emphasis added): Created on his own administrative authority in 1908 by Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte in the face of congressional opposition for reasons of statutory obligations and practical need, the Bureau of Investigation had virtually no intelligence missions until European hostilities in the summer of 1941 precipitated a necessity for Federal detection and pursuance of alleged violations of the neutrality laws, enemy activities, disloyalty cases, the naturalization of enemy aliens, the enforcement of the conscription, espionage, and sedition laws, and surveillance of radicals. These duties evolved as the United States moved from a neutrality to a state of declared war and then, in the aftermath of peace, found its domestic tranquility and security threatened by new ideologies and their practitioners. The Bureau's principal function during the war years was that of investigation. During this period, agents had no direct statutory authorization to carry weapons or to make general arrests. In the field, they worked with and gathered information for the United States Attorneys. Direction came from the Attorney General or the Bureau chief. In the frenzy of the wartime spy mania, Washington often lost its control over field operations so that agents and U.S. Attorneys, assisted by cadres of volunteers from the American Protective League and other similar patriotic auxiliaries, pursued suspects of disloyalty on their own initiative and in their own manner. To the extent that their investigative findings underwent analysis with a view toward policy development, an intelligence function was served, but for the most part this type of contribution appears to have been lost in the emotionalism and zealotry of the moment. Bureau of Investigation Leadership 1908-25 Attorney Generals Charles J Bonaparte (1906-1909) George W Wickersham (1909-13) James C McReynolds (1913-14) Thomas W Gregory (1914-19) A Mitchell Palmer (1919-21) Harry M Daugherty (1921-24) Harland F Stone (1924-25) Bureau Chiefs Stanley W Finch (1908-12) A Bruce Beilaski (1912-19) William E Allen (1919) William J Flynn (1919-21) William J Burns (1921-24) J Edgar Hoover (1924- In 1915, the first full year of the war, the Bureau, in the words of one sympathetic chronicler of its development and activities, constituted of a ``small and inept force of 219 agents which ``was totally unequipped to deal with the clever espionage and sabotage ring of World War I which was organized by German Ambassador Johann von Bernstorff. [Don Whitehead. The FBI Story. New York, Pocket Books, 1958; first published 1956, p. 14.] Two years later, when America entered the hostilities, the Bureau's agent force was increased from 300 to 400, ``a puny squad for policing more than 1,000,000 enemy aliens, protecting harbors and war-industry zones barred to enemy aliens, aiding draft boards and the Army in locating draft dodgers and deserters, and carrying on the regular duties of investigating federal law violators. [Ibid., p. 38.] This state of affairs was one of the reasons the Justice Department welcomed the assistance of the American Protective League. In many of its initial wartime activities, the Bureau was still searching for a mission.

Early in 1917, the Bureau proclaimed that it was in charge of spy-catching and the Department's representative called it ``the eyes and ears of the Government. However, the Army and Navy were the armed forces endangered or advanced on the European battlefields by espionage operations, and their own detectives necessarily had primary control of stopping the movements of enemy spies and of war materials, everywhere in the world, including the homefront. The military authorities associated with their own agents the operatives of the State Department, traditionally charged with responsibility for foreign affairs. The military departments seemed primarily to want the help of the specialized forces of the Treasury, the War Trade Board, and the Labor Department for cutting off the flow of enemy spies, goods, and information; and the local police departments throughout America, as well as the Treasury detectives, for protecting American war plants, waterfront installations, and essential war shipping against sabotage and carelessness. This attitude brought the Treasury police to the forefront. The Treasury's agents possessed not only vast equipment immediately convertible to wartime espionage in behalf of the United States, but also the necessary experience. They possessed the specific techniques that enabled them to find enemy agents in ship's crews, among passengers, or stowed away; to pick them up at any port in the world where they might embark or drop off the sides of ships; to foil their mid-ocean signals to German submarines. Moreover, the Treasury's men knew how to discover, in the immense quantities of shipments to our allies and to our neturals, the minute but vital goods addressed to neutral lands, but actually destined to reach the enemy. Treasury operatives had the right training for uncovering the secret information transmitted to the enemy in every medium – in ships' manifests and mail, in passengers' and crews' papers, in phonograph records, in photographic negatives, and in motion picture film. They had the experience for the job of protecting the loaded vessels in the harbors, the warehouses, and the entire waterfront. The Justice Department police were invited to participate in various advisory boards. But when invited by the Post Office detectives, old hands at inspection of enemy mail, to sit on an advisory board, the Justice police spoke with self deprecation; perhaps after all, there was ``no use in littering up the board with one of their men. [Max Lowenthal. The Federal Bureau of Investigation. New York, William Sloane Associates, 1950, pp. 22-23; this highly critical account of the Federal Bureau of Investigation contains the only detailed discussion of early operations of the agency.]

What did evolve as a major wartime Bureau function, and one having intelligence implications in light of espionage (40 Stat. 217) and sedition (40 Stat. 553) law, was the investigation and cataloging of the political opinions, beliefs, and affiliations of the citizenry. This Bureau activity also had a menacing aspect to it in terms of guaranteed rights of speech and association; also, it did not come to public notice until after Armistice.

The disclosure came as an indirect consequence of a political quarrel between ex-Congressman A Mitchel Palmer (a Pennsylvania lawyer and corporation director who became Alien Property Custodian, and was soon to become Attorney General of the United States) and United States Senator Boies Penrose of Pennsylvania. Mr. Palmer had accused the Senator of receiving political support from the brewers and of being a tool for their anti-prohibition propaganda. The attack was made while the war was still going on, and Mr. Palmer added to the charge that the American brewers were pro-German and unpatriotic. The ``dry element in the United States Senate promptly seized on the publicity thus provided and pushed through a resolution to investigate both charges, political propaganda and pro-Germanism. In the course of the hearings dealing with pro-Germanism, the investigating committee turned to A. Bruce Bielaski, wartime chief of the Bureau, and others connected with the Bureau. They revealed the fact that the Bureau had already been cataloging all kinds of persons they suspected of being pro-German. They had found suspects in all walks of American life. Among those of whose ``pro-Germanism the public thus learned, were members of the United States Senate, other important officials (e.g., William Jennings Bryan, President Wilson's first Secretary of State, and Judge John F. Hylan, soon to become mayor of New York City), and many persons and organizations not connected with the Government (e.g., William Randolph Hearst, his International News Service and various newspapers, his New York American, and the Chicago Tribune); Americans agitating for Irish independence (including editors of the American Catholic Weekly and the Freeman's Journal); some of the foremost men in academic life; political leaders such as Roger Sullivan of Chicago; and men of prominence in the financial and business world. [Ibid., pp. 36-37]

During the course of the congressional investigation, the Bureau's offerings were found to abound with factual inaccuracies and to have resulted in wrong conclusions even when the facts were correct. [Ibid., pp. 37-43] The occasion did not install mush public confidence in the Bureau's intelligence activities or product.

When confronted with a series of bombings directed against public officials during late 1918 and 1919, the Bureau's analytical skills again appeared to be deficient.

As in the case of the 1918 bombing, the Justice Department detectives made a prompt announcement of who the criminals in the 1919 case were. The bombing jobs, they said, were the work of radicals, whose purpose was the assassination of Federal officials and the overthrow of the Government. To support this deduction, they pointed our that some of the bombs arrived at their destinations shortly before the first of May, 1919, and others shortly after that time, and that May Day is the date traditionally chosen by some radicals to celebrate their doctrines by parading. However, another series of bombs was sent in June, posing the question how the detectives could attribute these new bomb attempts to May Day Radicalism.

The theory that the bombs were sent by radicals was beset with further embarrassments. The Government officials to whom the bombs were addressed included some men who were hostile to radicalism, but prominent public men whom the Bureau of Investigation suspected of being themselves radicals, and unsympathetic with the program against the radicals were included among the addressees. Indeed, some of the men were targets of denunciation from Capitol Hill as dangerous radicals. Critics who disagreed with the detectives' conclusions asked why radicals with bombs should select as victims the very men who might be their friends. Why, in particular, should they seek to bomb ex-Senator Hardwick of Georgia, who had asked the Senate to vote against the very wartime sedition law under which the IWW [International Workers of the World] leaders and other radicals had been convicted?

A further difficulty arose out of the fact that some of the bombs were sent to minor businessmen and to relatively minor office holders, while most of the top Government officials whose deaths would have been of particular importance to the revolutionaries were not included among the potential victims selected by the bombers. [Ibid. pp. 68-69.]

Radicalism captured the attention of the Bureau in the aftermath of the world war. Preoccupation with the ideology, its leadership and organizations became so great that, on August 1, 1919, a General Intelligence Division was established within the Bureau to devote concentrated scrutiny to the subject.

There was, however, a difficulty with respect to the expenditure of the money appropriated for the Bureau's use by Congress. It specified that the appropriations were for the ``detection and prosecution of crimes. A provision for the detection of seditious speech and writings, however, might some day be passed, and the detectives concluded that preparation would be useful, in the form of an advance job to ascertain which individuals and organization held beliefs that were objectionable. With this information in hand, it could go into action without delay, after Congress passed a peacetime sedition law, similar to the wartime sedition laws enacted in 1917 and 1918. The Bureau notified its agents on August 12, 1919, eleven days after the creation of the anti-radical Division, to engage in the broadest detection of sedition and to secure ``evidence which may be of use in prosecutions . . . under legislation . . . which may hereafter be enacted. [Ibid., p 84]

The new intelligence unit thus appears to have been created and financed in anticipation of a valid statutory purpose and seems, as well, to have engaged in investigations wherein the derivative information was not gathered in pursuit of Federal prosecution(s).

Coincident with the creation of the new Division, the Bureau selected J. Edgar Hoover as Division chief. He had joined the Department of Justice two years earlier, shortly after America entered the war, and shortly before Congress enacted the wartime sedition law. He had been on duty at the Justice Department during the entire war period, and obviously he was in a position to obtain a view of the detective activities against persons prosecuted or under surveillance for their statements. He had also been in a position to note the pre-eminence of the military detective services during the war and the connotations of success attached to their names – Military and Naval Intelligence Services. Besides, the new unit at the Department of Justice was in the business of detecting ideas. He called it an intelligence force, in substitution for the names with which it started – ``Radical Division and ``Anti-Radical Division. Mr. Hoover avoided one action of the War and Navy Intelligence agencies; their scope had been narrowed by the qualifying prefixes in their titles. He named his force the General Intelligence Division – GID. [Ibid., pp. 84-85]

In 1920, when ``one-third of the detective staff at the Bureau headquarters in Washington had been assigned to anti-radical matters, and over one-half of the Bureau's field work had been diverted to the subject of radicalism, GID reported that ``the work of the General Intelligence Division . . . had now expanded to cover more general intelligence work, including not only ultra-radical activities but also to [sic] the study of matters of an international nature, as well as economic and industrial disturbances incident thereto. [Ibid., p 85.] And as its mission developed, so did the GID's manner of operations and techniques of inquiry. The Bureau of Investigation faced and solved one problem in the first ten days of the existence of Mr. Hoover's division, the problem of the kind of data the detectives should send to headquarters. They were going to receive material from undercover informants, from neighbors, from personal enemies of the persons under investigation. The detectives were going to hear gossip about what people were said to have said or were suspected of having done – information derived, in some instances, from some unknown person who had told the Bureau's agents or informers or the latter's informants. Some of the information received might relate to people's personal habits and life. The Bureau's decision was that everything received by the special agents and informers should be reported to headquarters; the agents were specifically directed to send whatever reached them, ``of every nature. But they were warned that not everything that they gathered could be used in trials where men were accused of radicalism. Some items about personal lives, however interesting to the detectives, might not be regarded as relevant in court proceedings against alleged radicals. Furthermore, despite the fact that the Bureau instructed its agents to transmit to headquarters everything that they picked up, ``whether hearsay or otherwise, it warned them that there was a difference between the sources from which GID was willing to receive accusations and statements for its permanent dossiers and the evidence which trial judges and tribunals would accept as reliable proof. In judicial proceedings, the Bureau of Investigation informed all its agents, there was an insistence of what it called ``technical proof, and judges would rule that the rumors and gossip which the detectives were instructed to supply to GID had ``no value. [Ibid. pp. 86-87.] In order to assess the program and thinking of the radicals, it was necessary to study the literature and writings of the ideologues. Gathering such printed material became a major GID project and acquisitions were made on a mass basis. Detectives were sent to local radical publishing houses and to take their books. In addition, they were to find every private collection or library in the possession of any radical, and to make the arrangements for obtaining them in their entirety. Thus, when the GID discovered an obscure Italian born philosopher who had a unique collection of books on the theory of anarchism, his lodgings were raided by the Bureau and his valuable collection became one more involuntary contribution to the huge and ever-growing library of the GID. Similar contributions came from others, among them the anarchist philosophers who had retired to farms or elsewhere. A number of them had, over the years, built up private libraries in pursuit of their studies; these are discovered by the General Intelligence Division, and it was soon able to report that ``three of the most complete libraries on anarchy were seized. The Bureau took over the contents of a school library which it discovered in a rural community of radicals. It also obtained the library of a boys' club, and assured Congress that the library was ``in the possession of this department . . . Catalogs of these acquisitions were prepared, including a ``catalog of the greatest library in the country which contains anarchistic books.

In the search for literature, the Bureau sent many of its men to join radical organizations, to attend radical meetings, and to bring back whatever they could lay their hands on. The book-seekers, and the raiding detectives tipped off by them, were directed to find the places where specially valuable books, pamphlets, and documents might be guarded against possible burglary; they were to ransack desks, to tap ceilings and walls; carpets and mattresses had to be ripped up, and safes opened; everything ``hanging on the walls should be gathered up – so the instructions to the detectives read. [Ibid., pp 87-88] In an attempt to improve upon the wartime surveillance records of the Bureau, and to enhance the GID information store, Hoover created a card file system containing ``a census of every person and group believed by his detectives to hold dangerous ideas.

The index also had separate cards for ``publications, and for ``special conditions - a phrase the meaning of which has never been made clear. In addition, Mr. Hoover's index separately assembled all radical matters pertaining to each city in which there were radicals. Each card recorded full details about its subject – material regarded by the detectives as revealing each man's seditious ideas, and data needed to enable the Government's espionage service to find him quickly when he was wanted for shadowing or for arrest. The Intelligence Division reported that its task was complicated by reason of ``the fact that one of the main characteristics of the radicals in the United States is found in their migratory nature. The GID assured Congress that Mr. Hoover had a group of experts ``especially trained for the purpose. This training program was directed to making them ``well informed upon the general movements in the territory over which they have supervision; they were also trained to manage the intricate index; and they had to keep up with its fabulous growth. The first disclosure by the GID showed 100,000 radicals on the index; the next, a few months later, 200,000; the third, a year later, 450,000. Within the first two and one half years of indexing, the General Intelligence Division had approximately half a million persons cataloged, inventoried and secretly recorded in Government records as dangerous men and women. A considerably older unit of the Department of Justice, its Bureau of Criminal Identification, had long maintained an index of actual criminals. In 1923, after several years of trying, the Bureau of Investigation took over the older bureau and the 750,000 name index it had developed in the course of a quarter century. Whether the two indices were merged or kept separate has not been announced. Hence, when Mr. Hoover stated in 1926 that his Bureau's index contained 1,500,000 names, it is not clear whether this was the total for both indices or for one only. [Ibid., pp. 90-91] Also, in addition to indexing radicals, GID prepared biographical profiles of certain of them deemed to be of special importance. The writing up of lives and careers proceeded rapidly, so that within three and one-half months of the GID's existence its biographical writers had written ``a more or less complete history of over 60,000 radically inclined individuals, according to the official information supplied the Senate. Included were biographies of persons ``showing any connection with an ultra-radical body or movement, in particular ``authors, publishers, editors, etc.

Rigorous secrecy has been imposed on the list of names of newspapermen, authors, printers, editors, and publishers who were made the subjects of GID's biographical section. How many additional biographies have been written since the middle of November 1919, who were the GID's first or later biographers, how they were trained so promptly, and how they managed to write 60,000 biographies in 100 days – these questions have never been answered. [Ibid., p 91.]

The Constitution has three specific prohibitions against this type of abuse. These Constitutional protections often don't help, because of a willingness by the FBI to violate them, and a lack of understanding of them by the public. The following United States Government Memorandum demostrates the capricousness by which the FBI ignores the law:

TO: Mr. C. D. Deloach DATE: July 19, 1966

FM: W.C. Sullivan DO NOT FILE

SUBJECT: ``BLACK BAG JOBS The following is set forth in regard to your request concerning what authority we have for ``black bag jobs and for the background of our policy and procedures in such matters.

We do not obtain authorization for ``black bag`` jobs from outside the Bureau. Such a technique involves trespass and is clearly illegal; therefore, it would be impossible to obtain any legal sanction for it. Despite this, ``black bag jobs have been used because they represent an invaluable technique in combating subversive activities of a clandestine nature aimed directly at undermining and destroying our nation. The present procedure followed in the use of this technique calls for the Special Agent in Charge of a field office to make his request for the use of the technique to the appropriate Assistant Director. The Special Agent in Charge must completely justify the need for the use of the technique and at the same time assure that it can be safely used without danger or embarrassment to the Bureau. The facts are incorporated in a memorandum which, in accordance with the Director's instructions, is sent to Mr. Tolson or to the Director for approval. Subsequently this memorandum is filed in the Assistant Director's office under a ``Do Not File procedure.

In the field the Special Agent in Charge prepares an informal memorandum showing that he obtained Bureau authority and this memorandum is filed in his safe until the next inspection by Bureau Inspectors, at which time it is destroyed.

[Material apparently censored]

We have used this technique on a highly selective basis, but with wide-range effectiveness, in our operations. We have several cases in the espionage field [material censored]

Also through use of this technique we have on numerous occasions been able to obtain material held highly secret and closely guarded by subversive groups and organizations which consisted of membership lists of these organizations.

This applies even to our investigation of the [censored]. You may recall that recently through a ``black bag'' job we obtained records in the possession of three high-ranking officials of a [censored] organization in [censored]. These records have given us the complete membership and financial information concerning the [censored] operation which we have been using most effectively to disrupt the organization and, in fact, to bring about its near disintegration [censored]

In short, it is a very valuable weapon which we have used to combat the highly clandestine efforts of subversive elements seeking to undermine our Nation.


For your information.

Glen L. Roberts, Editor, Full Disclosure Magazine Host Full Disclosure Live (WWCR 5,810 khz - Sundays 7pm central) email for information on The Best of Full Disclosure, four volumes to blow your mind. Voice/Fax on demand: (708) 356-9646 email for uuencoded .TIF of T-Shirt Honoring the FBI

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