When did the CIA, the NSA and the FBI become the good guys? For someone of my considerable years, they were always been the ministry of the ”deep state”, destroyers of democracy. They have lied, spied, framed, conspired, and perpetrated all sorts of dirty deeds against American citizens throughout history, riding roughshod over the values that make America great. Now, for progressives, they’re going to save us?
Their hatred of POTUS is so deep that the so-called liberals in America are now holding them in the highest esteem thinking they will save us from Trumpdom.
Don’t forget the incredible irony of how this whole mess began with ousted FBI director James Comey, who was first vilified by anti-Trumpers for shattering Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, just 11 days before the election, with the revelation that his agents were investigating her dodgy email dealings.
But when Comey started butting heads with Trump over allegations of collusion with Russia and was unceremoniously fired, Comey suddenly became a sort of hero. Under Comey, the FBI pushed investigative and surveillance powers to new and controversial limits and employed tactics that were morally and ethically bankrupt.
What about when the FBI rounded up and detained citizens who had not yet registered for the draft? Or harassed political radicals of various stripes whom the administration saw as security risks for their unorthodox ideas?
Long before the current occupant of the White House, his kindred spirits, like cross-dresser FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, were already vowing to ”take their country back” and ”make America great again”.
During World War II, Hoover’s bureau caught Nazi saboteurs and spies, but it also pursued people of Japanese descent and jailed those who objected. After the war, the FBI was prominent in pursuit of Communists, which came to mean liberals. They battled with leftists, especially leaders of protests against the Vietnam War.
Hoover hounded Martin Luther King Jr. for years, at one point sending him tape recordings of his tapped telephone and urging him to commit suicide. The FBI was the scourge of the Civil Rights movement.
In the late 1940s and 1950s, Hoover collaborated with the notorious Communist-hunting Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin; whose years of committee hearings ruined lives and reputations but wound up unmasking no actual Communists.
Many Americans have regarded the FBI’s methods and resources as entirely legitimate, while plenty of others have found them deplorable. The FBI has always been political. In the hands of figures like McCarthy or Richard Nixon, the FBI was definitely a tool of one political party.
On June 8,1949, Hollywood film stars Danny Kaye, Fredric March, John Garfield, Paul Muni, and Edward G. Robinson, plus Helen Keller and Dorothy Parker were named in an FBI report as Communist Party members. Such reports helped to fuel the anticommunist hysteria in the USA during the late-1940s and 1950s.
The FBI report relied largely on accusations made by ”confidential informants”, along with some highly dubious analysis. It began by arguing that the Communist Party in the United States claimed to have been successful in using well-known Hollywood personalities to further Communist Party aims. The report particularly pointed to the actions of the Academy Award-winning actor March.
Suspicions about March were raised by his activities in a group that was critical of America’s growing nuclear arsenal. March had also campaigned for efforts to provide relief to war-devastated Russia, our ally during World War II. The report went on to name others who shared March’s political leanings including actors and activists Lena Horne, Lee Grant, Paul Robeson, Zero Mostel and Burl Ives, band leader Artie Shaw, Charlie Chaplin, writer Langston Hughes many other actors, writers, and directors.
This FBI report was part of a continuing campaign by the U.S. government to suggest that Hollywood was rife with communist activists who were using the medium of motion pictures to spread the Soviet party line.
Congressional investigations into Hollywood began as early as 1946. In 1947, Congress cited 10 Hollywood writers and directors for contempt because they refused to divulge their political leanings or name others who might be Communists. The ”Hollywood Ten”, as they came to be known, screenwriters Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner, Jr., John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott, and Dalton Trumbo, were convicted and sent to prison. In response to the allegations from the FBI, movie tough-guy Edward G. Robinson declared:
These rantings, ravings, accusations, smearing, and character assassinations can only emanate from sick, diseased minds of people who rush to the press with indictments of good American citizens. I have played many parts in my life, but no part have I played better or been more proud of than that of being an American citizen.
Some brave Hollywood heavyweights created the Committee for the First Amendment in protest. Over 200 members of the showbiz community signed a ”Hollywood Fights Back” ad in Variety. Some of the biggest names of the time: Humphrey Bogart, Henry Fonda, Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Gene Kelly, Groucho Marx, Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, Orson Welles, William Wyler, and Billy Wilder signed the ad. March and Robinson also signed the ad, which read:
Any investigation into the political beliefs of the individual is contrary to the basic principles of our democracy; any attempt to curb freedom of expression and to set arbitrary standards of Americanism is in itself disloyal to both the spirit and the letter of our Constitution.
Ultimately, it only led to more suspicions and accusations and more careers ruined.