MY six-year-old daughter said to me, “Daddy, I know what FBI means!”.
I said: “Great, what is it sweetheart?”, thinking she was going to say Federal Bureau of Investigation. “The polis”, was her reply.
I’ve just finished a book about America’s legendary lawman J. Edgar Hoover, who was the first director of the FBI. He helped found the bureau in 1935 and held on to the power of the directorship until he died in office in 1972.
The book, written by journalist Anthony Summers, is fascinating for anyone interested in American affairs/politics or historic figures, and is a thorough job which took six years to write.
Summers leaves the reader in no doubt that Hoover should not be held in the high public esteem he is – the FBI’s headquarters are named after him – as he is guilty of at least horrendous, brazen and continued corruption, if not serious crimes, while serving as the USA’s top crimebuster.
Other claims include that Hoover was in leage with top mafioso, snooped on innocent civilians and famous people alike and used what he found out to blackmail powerful people, including presidents, to keep him in power and living the life of riley.
Summers likened his actions to that of the Nazi Gestapo and Stalin’s Russia, and, while notorious presidents JFK and Nixon loathed him, they couldn’t sack him for fear he’d expose their misdemeanours.
Instead Hoover was lauded as the all-American hero with gushing praise coming from those on high, which makes me think about what really goes on behind closed doors in the corridors of power.
Who killed JFK? Is David Cameron Margaret Thatcher in disguise? Will we ever know?