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Enemies: A History of the FBI
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AMERICAN DEMOCRACY - GOVERNMENT > 10. ENEMIES: A HISTORY OF THE FBI - CHAPTERS THIRTY-SIX - THIRTY-NINE (320 - 366) ~ August 6th - August 12th; No Spoilers, Please

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Bryan Craig Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the tenth week of discussion for Enemies: A History of the FBI.

The tenth week's reading assignment is:

Week Ten - August 6th - August 12th :


Chapters THIRTY-SIX, THIRTY-SEVEN, THIRTY-EIGHT , and THIRTY-NINE p. 320 - 366
THIRTY-SIX - "The Bureau cannot survive", THIRTY-SEVEN - House of Cards, THIRTY-EIGHT - "A state of continual danger", and THIRTY-NINE - The Price of Silence


We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

This book kicked off on June 4th. We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, or on your Kindle/Nook. We offer a special thank you to Random House for their generosity.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Bryan will be leading this discussion.

Welcome,

~Bentley & Bryan

TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

Enemies A History of the FBI by Tim Weiner Tim Weiner Tim Weiner

Notes:

It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

Citations

If an author or book is mentioned other than the book and author being discussed, citations must be included according to our guidelines. Also, when citing other sources, please provide credit where credit is due and/or the link. There is no need to re-cite the author and the book we are discussing however.

If you need help - here is a thread called the Mechanics of the Board which will show you how:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2...

Glossary

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...

Bibliography

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author used in her research or in her notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations. No self promotion, please.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...

Q&A with Tim

Please as you are reading post questions to the author's Q&A thread because Tim Weiner will be looking in periodically and will be posting answers to your questions and will be available for a chat. We are very fortunate that he is making time to spend with us.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...

Enemies A History of the FBI by Tim Weiner Tim Weiner Tim Weiner


Bryan Craig Chapter Overviews and Summaries

Chapter Thirty Six: "The Bureau cannot survive"


In early 1973, car bombs were found at Dulles Airport and outside of Israeli banks, the first international bomb attack in the U.S. Nixon sabotaged Gray's FBI director nomination when Gray allowed the Senators to see raw FBI intelligence on Watergate. Gray also told the Senators that John Dean did know about Hunt's safe, and he had FBI files.

From Dean's testimony, the FBI investigated further. Gray told Kleindienst that he destroyed the material in Hunt's safe and Nixon fired Gray. Nixon also was looking to fire Felt, so Felt (as Deep Throat) told Washington reporter, Bob Woodward, about Nixon being involved in Watergate.

On July 9, 1973, Clarence M. Kelley was the new FBI director. He had to rein in the FBI tactics and shut down most of the intelligence investigations as Watergate got worse when Nixon fired the independent counsel, Archibald Cox.

Chapter Thirty Seven: House of Cards

The Socialist Worker's Party sued the FBI for being victims of FBI's black-bag jobs and surveillance. The Puerto Rico terrorist organization, FALN, planted bombs in New York City and Chicago. Bill Dyson became the leading authority on terrorism in the FBI. After Nixon resigned, Ford was not willing to restart the wiretaps and he brought in Edward Levi as his attorney general to limit FBI power, and whoever used those tactics could face indictment.

Chapter Thirty Eight: "A state of continual danger:

Kelley created a new internal inspector division and stopped secret intelligence jobs on subversive Americans. Levi created guidelines for wiretaps and chain of command to look into misconduct by agents. In August 1976, FBI agents from the Civil Rights Division broke into the D.C. and New York City offices to discover the "Do Not File" system and the clandestine group, Squad 47. Felt responded that Ed Miller, the director of domestic intelligence, and Gray allowed those operations to go on and they were vital to national security.

Chilean president, Augusto Pinochet, sent squads to kill Chilean diplomat, Orlando Letelier, in D.C. Jimmy Carter was elected president and his attorney general, Griffin Bell, had trouble finding a new director. They settle on William H. Webster.

Congress passed FISA, a law that set up a court to approve wiretap and electronic surveillance. Hundreds of indictments came down on agents including Gray, Felt, and Miller as Webster tried to clean house. Felt and Miller were the only ones charged. President Reagan pardoned Felt and Miller in the end.

Robert Hanssen, the biggest Russian spy in the FBI, started spying as he worked in the Soviet Counterintelligence Division and developing an early database of spies.

Ronald Reagan entered office with a hard line against terrorism and Communism. He increased the budgets of both the CIA and FBI.

Chapter Thirty Nine: The Price of Silence

The FBI investigated the death of four church women in El Salvador. At first, many thought it was the leftist rebels, but it was the right-wing government. The FBI also looked into Soviets using East European spies to steal U.S. weapon technology with the help of 68 Americans, some even in the CIA and military. In 1984, an FBI agent, Richard Miller, was indicted for espionage.

Buck Revell, the FBI's head investigator, including terrorism, created a hostage rescue team, and it failed as they tried to apprehend Robert Jay Mathews. The relationship between the CIA and FBI worsened when the FBI lost an ex-CIA agent, Edward Lee Howard, before he defected to Russia. The two agencies would not work together as double-agents were being killed, because Hanssen gave the list of those agents to the Russians.

Reagan wanted to act to free American hostages in Lebanon. NSC staffer, Oliver North, told Revell that he planned to sell missiles to Iran in exchange for the hostages. Later, money from the arms sales would be sent to finance the contras in Nicaragua. The FBI investigated North as Iran-Contra would prove that White House officials at a high level had knowledge of this scheme. President George H. W. Bush pardoned everyone. William Sessions became the new FBI director, but he knew little about the intelligence field, pushing terrorism low on the priority list.


Bryan Craig I never fully appreciated how the FBI got in the middle of Watergate.

Can you imagine working in the bureau during this time period?


Clayton Brannon | 128 comments One of the things that amazed me about these chapters is the lack of internal security. The ability of American/Soviet spies to give away our secrets for years and years is amazing. Little is said about these men who betrayed their country. Was it just money or were there political or political motivations behind these traitorous acts. I guess that the FBI and CIA were so focused outwardly on planning and planting their own spies in Communist countries that they just either forgot or were not aware enough that our enemies would be doing the same to us. The belief that no one who was from this country could be a spy just never entered their minds or if it did there were no real efforts to police ourselves until disaster struck.
From the way things fell apart after Hoover one must give the devil his due in how effective the FBI was in getting the job done. He managed to keep the FBI free from scandal and internal dissension. After his death the lack of official guidelines seems to have set the bureau afloat as to what their mission should be. What was needed was a strong hand at the helm. Sadly that was missing. I am sure there were agents who could have provided this leadership but none seem to have had the political savvy to step up to the table.
Another thought that comes to mind is did the FBI use sources such as the Southern Poverty Law Center to help in any way to fight domestic terrorist?


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Clayton, don't forget about the Q&A thread with Tim if you have some questions for him. Your last sentence looks like a good question for Tim on Q&A.


Bryan Craig Indeed, Clayton, feel free to pose Tim the last question.

I get the sense there was dissension in the FBI ranks, but Hoover could keep the lid on it. It is like Tito in Yugoslavia. Once he fell, the nationalities broke apart.

You raise a great issue of internal security. I wonder what was going on, too. Was spying so inconceivable that no one bothered to look? Were the double agents that good? Clearly there were no internal security guidelines at all.


Bryan Craig I have to say I loved reading about Rep. Robert Drinan's tour of the FBI. Classic. What were your thoughts?


Bryan Craig What are your thoughts about Webster clearing the charges on hundreds of agents and Gray?

You get the impression Kelley and Webster try to clean house, but the house is so messed up, what do you do??


message 9: by Lewis (new)

Lewis Codington | 291 comments It's amazing to see the level of unwillingness to work together between the FBI and CIA (chapter 39, page 360):
"The CIA seemed indifferent. Their counterintelligence chiefs were furious at one another. They would not work together."

No wonder leaks, betrayals, and incompetences occurred. Between the president, JEH, and the head of the CIA, these catastrophes should not have happened. JEH certainly placed his own control and the FBI itself above the greater good of the nation. This resulted in weaknesses that could be manipulated by others. His obsession with control also prevented him from performing the obvious task of any leader...the necessity of developing future leadership.


Bryan Craig Lewis wrote: "It's amazing to see the level of unwillingness to work together between the FBI and CIA (chapter 39, page 360):
"The CIA seemed indifferent. Their counterintelligence chiefs were furious at one ano..."


It is amazing; You figure part of it is the usual bureaucratic walls, turf-thing. However, after reading this book, I wonder if it is Hoover's legacy.

I also agree Hoover made a huge mistake in not developing FBI leadership. I guess he did not have any incentive at all to do that. Sad, it affected the FBI for decades...


Bryan Craig You have to say with Hanssen and other spies in the FBI, you ask yourself how?

I think Lewis said something important: leadership, and leadership that goes deeper than just the very top.

Clearly, security was a failure. Tim did not detail what secrets were lost, but I suspect it would make our stomachs turn.


Misty (almaroc) | 29 comments I was wondering: did the Soviets increase their attempts at getting their spy network into the FBI because Hoover was no longer in power and the U.S. federal government was in post-Nixon chaos, or was this something that they've just kept trying to do until they got lucky. The book doesn't really say.


Jason | 104 comments I'm loving these last few chapters. I was on vacation for a while and without wifi so, I couldn't post, but the last 100 or so pages have gotten really good. Lots of cool spy stuff! I love the store of the obese FBI agent that was kicked out of the mormon church and 'took up' with a russian spy. Awesome stuff.

The huge gaffs have also been an interesting albeit disappointing read.


Bryan Craig Misty wrote: "I was wondering: did the Soviets increase their attempts at getting their spy network into the FBI because Hoover was no longer in power and the U.S. federal government was in post-Nixon chaos, or ..."

Great question, Misty. Go ahead and post on the Q&A and see if Tim can answer it for us.


Bryan Craig Jason wrote: "I'm loving these last few chapters. I was on vacation for a while and without wifi so, I couldn't post, but the last 100 or so pages have gotten really good. Lots of cool spy stuff! I love the s..."

No problem, Jason. Richard Miller was in interesting case. You could see making a tv movie out of this guy.


Jason | 104 comments Bryan wrote: "You could see making a tv movie out of this guy. "

I'd watch that. Only question would be who plays the attractive Russian spy?


Bryan Craig Iran-Contra...I'm getting a theme: president's verbal approval (or not) and others running with that...if POTUS says it is ok, it is legal...

I did not know Oliver North told Revell that he planned to sell Iran missiles in exchange for hostages. Ed Meese seems to have been a large roadblock on this.


Rodney | 83 comments I never knew that Qudaffi had purchased an American hostage in order to execute him in retaliation for the bombing of Libya. Justice was eventually served on him. During some of the reading I find myself using the advantage of time to look back and scream don't you see what is coming? Billions of dollars spent and two agencies can't even maintain simple cooperation to fulfill their basic missions. Disheartening.

Some other points of interest.

I am shocked that the FBI still does not have a basic legalistic creation. In the world of administrative detail this is surprising.

The amount of time it took to find a director at the agency. Was the delay because no one wanted the job or Presidents still hung to the notion they may need someone who will do their bidding?

As someone who started the groundwork application to join the FBI and what that entailed in the late 80s, it sure did appear that once you were in, you had a position for life. The amount of spying tells me that internal reviews were not being completed in any serious manner. Just my opinion.


Bryan Craig I agree about the lack of rivalrous reviews. Very sad.


Natacha Pavlov (natachapavlov) | 41 comments Given Hoover's legacy, you almost gotta feel bad for Judge Webster picking up and having to deal with long held attitudes and behaviors.
As for the FBI and the CIA, the following puts it into perspective:
"The sniping and the silences between them did more harm to American national security than the Soviets." (p. 360)
Sad, really, and it's easy to wonder how scenarios may have played out had there been cooperation between the agencies.


Bryan Craig Natacha wrote: "Given Hoover's legacy, you almost gotta feel bad for Judge Webster picking up and having to deal with long held attitudes and behaviors.
As for the FBI and the CIA, the following puts it into pers..."


It is sad, just image what could have done if everyone played well together!


Craig (twinstuff) What surprises me about some of these chapters is how ruthless (and fairly incompetent) Mark Felt was. I don't really know much about him, but after he was uncovered as Deep Throat, I guess I sort of gained some respect for him. Now I question his motives for talking to Woodward and Bernstein.


Bryan Craig Yeah, you get the impression it is not because what was going on was illegal, but from petty issues.


David (nusandman) | 111 comments Great quote in Chapter 38 by Alexander Hamilton: "Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free." How true those words echo today still.


Bryan Craig Indeed it is, David, Tim starts the book with this quote.

I think this is a universal theme in a democracy.


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