Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dirty Tricks

During his five-decade-long leadership of the FBI bureau the Director J. Edgar Hoover was virtually unassailable. Presidents could come and go but Hoover still retained his supreme position. It is only now that some of the dirty tricks and double-dealing that kept him in power have come to light. One of Hoover's targets was the civil rights leader Martin Luther King whom the FBI had originally started monitoring because of suspected ties to the US Communist Party but after King began criticising the government for failing to enforce civil rights in the American South and his participation in the 1963 March on Washington the range of the FBI's surveillance spread. 'Now revealed are brazen threats to smear King by making details of his numerous extramarital affairs public and hints at an audiotape that may have accompanied the letter.' (BBC News, 20 November) Who knows what other surveillance and threats may have been used in the past or indeed in the present. RD

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