DECEMBER 23 2007 14:45h
After 50 years, an American state secret has been revealed, about the arrest of 12,000 people because of Hoover’s “red” paranoia.
The former director of the FBI, Edgar Hoover made plans for the arrest of 12,000 American citizens which he considered to be threats to national security – documents reveals that no longer bear the status of state secret.
Hoover sent this request to the president at the time Harry Truman at the beginning of the Korean war during the 50s.
He justified the move as necessary for protection from “treason, spies and sabotage”. For now there is no evidence to whether these arrests actually occurred in practice or not.
Changes of laws due to “exceptional circumstances”
Hoover asked Truman to suspend the century old right to a defence in court that protected the individual citizens from unlawful arrest (better known as Habeas Corpus). Hoover planned on breaking this law and putting 12,000 people in military and federal prisons. The list of suspects took years to make, and the moment came to implement the plans of illegal confinement. The American Congress authorised the law in July 1950 after the Korea was broke out.
Truman said that an exceptional situation was at hand, and that his changes must be implemented.
Today, those secret documents no longer carry the marking of state secret, and the public has had an opportunity to see their contents. As mentioned, 12 thousand people were in question, of which 97 percent were American citizens.
Target: Communists and socialist followers?
The New York Times did not reveal the identity of the suspect people that the paranoid Hoover tried to illegally eliminate. Speculations say that followers of the Soviet regime, communists and radical left-wing sympathizers were in question, for which at that time they believed that they were working against the United States and liberal democracy.
During the Cold War, the fear of communism and socialist revolution spread throughout the United States.
One again, these documents prove how much power of influence Hoover had over American presidents and other politicians. It is well known that he often used blackmail, by threatening to make public “dirty laundry”. This is how he drove fear into the president, other members of the American political elite.