Enemies Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
Enemies: A History of the FBI Enemies: A History of the FBI by Tim Weiner
2,969 ratings, 3.89 average rating, 411 reviews
Open Preview
Enemies Quotes Showing 1-30 of 56
“[Re: J. Edgar Hoover] His knowledge was enormous, though his mind was narrow.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“The answer was Stellar Wind. The NSA would eavesdrop freely against Americans and aliens in the United States without probable cause or search warrants. It would mine and assay the electronic records of millions of telephone conversations—both callers and receivers—and the subject lines of e-mails, including names and Internet addresses. Then it would send the refined intelligence to the Bureau for action. Stellar Wind resurrected Cold War tactics with twenty-first-century technology. It let the FBI work with the NSA outside of the limits of the law. As Cheney knew from his days at the White House in the wake of Watergate, the NSA and the FBI had worked that way up until 1972, when the Supreme Court unanimously outlawed warrantless wiretaps. Stellar Wind blew past the Supreme Court on the authority of a dubious opinion sent to the White House the week that the Patriot Act became law. It came from John Yoo, a thirty-four-year-old lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel who had clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas. Yoo wrote that the Constitution’s protections against warrantless searches and seizures did not apply to military operations in the United States. The NSA was a military agency; Congress had authorized Bush to use military force; therefore he had the power to use the NSA against anyone anywhere in America. The president was “free from the constraints of the Fourth Amendment,” Yoo wrote. So the FBI would be free as well.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“On June 20, 1951, less than four weeks after the Homer case broke, Hoover escalated the FBI’s Sex Deviates Program. The FBI alerted universities and state and local police to the subversive threat, seeking to drive homosexuals from every institution of government, higher learning, and law enforcement in the nation. The FBI’s files on American homosexuals grew to 300,000 pages over the next twenty-five years before they were destroyed. It took six decades, until 2011, before homosexuals could openly serve in the United States military.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“They might not love Big Brother, but they knew he was part of the family now.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“The Republican Roosevelt wanted to fight plutocrats as well as anarchists. Their plunder of oil, coal, minerals, and timber on federal lands appalled him, in his role as the founder of America’s national parks. Corporate criminals, carving up public property for their private profit, paid bribes to politicians to protect their land rackets. Using thousand-dollar bills as weapons, they ransacked millions of acres of the last American frontiers. In 1905, a federal investigation, led in part by a scurrilous Secret Service agent named William J. Burns, had led to the indictment and conviction of Senator John H. Mitchell and Representative John H. Williamson of Oregon, both Republicans, for their roles in the pillage of the great forests of the Cascade Range. An Oregon newspaper editorial correctly asserted that Burns and his government investigators had used “the methods of Russian spies and detectives.” The senator died while his case was on appeal; the congressman’s conviction was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on grounds of “outrageous conduct,” including Burns’s brazen tampering with jurors and witnesses. Burns left the government and became a famous private eye; his skills at tapping telephones and bugging hotel rooms eventually won him a job as J. Edgar Hoover’s”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“So street-level FBI agents turned secrets into information, and senior FBI leaders brought that information to reporters, to prosecutors, to federal grand juries, and into the public realm. That was the beginning of the end of Richard Nixon’s presidency. Without the FBI, the reporters would have been lost.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“the president’s oath to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, and presidents have strained against the strictures of that oath since World War I.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“A deep-cover squad tried to infiltrate the far left by posing as politically radicalized Vietnam veterans well supplied with guns and drugs. Four or five of them liked their new lives so much that they never came back.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“The FBI was not incompetent or indifferent. It did not know what it did not know.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“The Constitution has never greatly bothered any wartime president,” Franklin D. Roosevelt’s attorney general once wrote—and every president since has seen himself at war.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“Six days into the debriefing, Piro questioned Saddam intensely and repeatedly about the elusive Iraqi chemical and biological arsenal that was President Bush’s justification for the American invasion. Where were the weapons of mass destruction? he asked. Did they exist at all? They did not, Saddam said. It had been a long-running bluff, a deception intended to keep the Iranians, the Israelis, and the Americans at bay.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“On July 6, he gave a speech to newspaper and television executives at the great columned building housing the National Archives and the original copy of the Constitution of the United States. “When I see those columns,” he said, “I think of what happened to Greece and Rome.” “They lost their will to live,” he said. “They became subject to the decadence that destroys civilization. The United States is reaching that period.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“To his enduring sorrow, Bill Clinton chose yet another pious judge to run the Bureau.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“He was arguably the best-qualified FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover; he thought Clinton was the most talented politician since Richard Nixon. That made their mutual contempt all the more tragic. It undermined the FBI and ultimately damaged the United States.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“SHORTLY AFTER Louis Freeh was sworn in as the fifth director of the FBI on September 1, 1993, he turned in his White House pass. He refused to enter the Oval Office. His reasons were pure and simple. Freeh regarded President Clinton not as commander in chief but as the subject of a criminal case. The”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“Freeh knew the estrangement undermined the FBI. “The lost resources and lost time alone were monumental,” he wrote. “So much that should have been straightforward became problematic in the extreme.” But he felt compelled to keep a distance from the president. It deepened as the years went by. It became a danger to the United States.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“Freeh infuriated the White House almost every day for more than seven years. One case among many was the FBI’s immense investigation into allegations that China’s intelligence services had bought political influence at the White House through illegal campaign contributions.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“But Freeh’s FBI managed to bury the fact that its most highly valued source on Chinese espionage in the United States, a politically wired California woman named Katrina Leung, had been spying for China throughout the 1980s and 1990s. All the while, she was having sex with the special agent in charge of her case, a top supervisor of the FBI’s China Squad, James J. Smith—and occasionally with a leading FBI counterintelligence expert on China, William Cleveland.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“But no one wanted to embarrass the Bureau. The case festered for years. Not until after Freeh’s departure was it clear that the Chinese, Russian, and Cuban intelligence services all had penetrated the FBI in the 1990s. So had a member of the world’s most dangerous and least-known terrorist organization. His name was Ali Mohamed. Al-Qaeda had a double agent posing as an informer for the FBI.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“Fitzgerald and the FBI agents who worked with him in New York all knew that Ali Mohamed was working for al-Qaeda. They decided to arrest him then and there. Two years later, he pleaded guilty in open court to serving as bin Laden’s first deep-penetration agent in America and a key conspirator in the embassy bombings. Then the United States made him vanish; no record of his imprisonment exists. He was an embarrassment to the FBI.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“Then, on December 14, 1999, an alert United States Customs agent in Port Angeles, Washington, stopped a nervous twenty-three-year-old Algerian named Ahmed Ressam who was crossing over from Canada on the last ferry of the evening. He had explosives in his trunk and plans to blow them up at the Los Angeles International Airport. The case galvanized the government into an all-out millennium alert. Watson and the White House counterterrorism group met around the clock. They sought an extraordinary number of FISA wiretaps; Janet Reno authorized at least one warrantless search on her own authority. Clarke”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“The FBI had been a man’s world—usually men of Irish or Italian heritage schooled by Jesuits and raised in a closed culture of police and priests.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“George Piro, had gathered evidence that al-Qaeda had a network of adherents at American flight schools. Williams urged a nationwide investigation. He was unsurprised when headquarters took no action; thirteen years of experience had taught him that counterintelligence and counterterrorism were “bastard stepchildren” at the FBI.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“The spectacle of the United States Army chasing the unarmed veterans, their wives, and their children out of the shadow of the Capitol was a scene of American urban combat without parallel since the Civil War.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“Under Cheney’s direction, the United States moved to restore the powers of secret intelligence that had flourished for fifty-five years under J. Edgar Hoover. In public speeches, the president, the vice president, and the attorney general renewed the spirit of the Red raids. In top secret orders, they revived the techniques of surveillance that the FBI had used in the war on communism. The”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department, it is said, would arrest mobsters for spitting on the sidewalk,” he said. The FBI would use “the same aggressive arrest and detention tactics in the war on terror. Let the terrorists among us be warned: If you overstay your visa—even by one day—we will arrest you. If you violate a local law, you will be put in jail and kept in custody as long as possible. We will use every available statute. We will seek every prosecutorial advantage. We will use all our weapons.” The”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“The attorney general also spelled out some of the authorities the FBI would use under the Patriot Act, which passed the Senate that same day: capturing e-mail addresses, tapping cell phones, opening voice-mails, culling credit card and bank account numbers from the Internet. All of this would be done under law, he said, with subpoenas and search warrants. But the Patriot Act was not enough for the White House. On October 4, Bush commanded the National Security Agency to work with the FBI in a secret program code-named Stellar Wind. The”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“The director of the National Security Agency, General Michael V. Hayden, had told tens of thousands of his officers in a video message: “We are going to keep America free by making Americans feel safe again.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“The president and the vice president wanted the FBI to execute searches in secret, avoiding the strictures of the legal and constitutional standards set by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The answer was Stellar Wind. The NSA would eavesdrop freely against Americans and aliens in the United States without probable cause or search warrants. It would mine and assay the electronic records of millions of telephone conversations—both callers and receivers—and the subject lines of e-mails, including names and Internet addresses. Then it would send the refined intelligence to the Bureau for action. Stellar”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI
“Stellar Wind resurrected Cold War tactics with twenty-first-century technology. It let the FBI work with the NSA outside of the limits of the law.”
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI

« previous 1