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J. Edgar Hoover And His War Against Immorality

1960 words - 8 pages

John Edgar Hoover was born into in a religious middle-class Protestant family. Growing up he would regularly attend church services, sing in the Church choir, and teach Sunday school classes. Hoover’s mother was a strict disciplinarian who adhered to an Old Testament system of rewards and punishments. As a result of his unbending morals, Hoover was dubbed “a gentleman of dauntless courage and stainless honor,” in his high school yearbook. Due to his piety, J. Edgar Hoover earnestly contemplated becoming a minister. Upon his appointment as the Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover used the Bureau to fight his own personal political war targeting individuals, groups and movements that offended his moral sense. The early success that the Bureau enjoyed, along with Hoover’s tireless media campaigns laid the foundation for increased American intelligence efforts, as well as for Hoover’s personal objectives.
On June 2, 1919 as a bomb was thrown into the home of Attorney General, Mitchell Palmer, Hoover was thrust into a crusade against communism. After the bombing, Palmer began his infamous “Palmer Raids” which resulted in the in the arrests of more than four thousand alien communists nationwide, as well as the deportation of hundreds more. Attorney General Palmer needed a forthright man to spearhead the efforts and J. Edgar Hoover, who at the time was working for the Alien Enemy Bureau, fit the part. In his role as special assistant to the Attorney General of the United States, Hoover was delegated with an organizing and orchestrating the arrest and deportation of known foreign radicals without due process. In the aftermath of the unconstitutional raids, Mitchell Palmer was disgraced, but J. Edgar Hoover was cast as a devout patriot and in 1925 was appointed as the Acting Director of the Bureau of Investigation (BI).
At the time of Hoover’s appointment, the Bureau of Investigation was the disgrace of the Department of Justice, and J. Edgar Hoover was quick to restructure what had been considered the most corrupt and incompetent agency in Washington. However, before the Lindbergh kidnapping in 1932, Hoover remained under constant attack from a group of senators and congressman who wanted to dismember the Bureau for its ineffectiveness even though he enjoyed some success in his endeavor to refurbish the Bureau of Investigation. Indeed, the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby brought the Bureau of Investigation into the public eye for the first time. In response to the kidnapping of the child of Charles Lindbergh, America’s aviator hero, Congress passed the Lindbergh Laws, making kidnapping a federal offense and giving the BI jurisdiction over kidnapping cases across state lines. After much disagreement between the Bureau of Investigation and New York and New Jersey police departments, who had previously handled the investigation, Hoover’s BI agents were able to attribute the Lindbergh kidnapping to Bruno Richard...

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