Monday, December 26, 2005

And Then It Was Night

From "Parting the Waters", describing the
Hoover/FBI opportunism following the JFK assassination:

"... From the standpoint of personal injury to King, Robert Kennedy did perhaps his greatest disservice by remaining a caretaker Attorney General for another ten months, when the FBI ran unchecked.
"The Bureau wasted no time describing its target as "King's unholy alliance with the Communist Party, USA," and King as as "an unprincipled opportunistic individual." Sullivan summoned Agent Nichols and others to Washington for a nine hour war council, the result of which was a six point plan to "expose King as an immoral opportunist who is not a sincere person but is exploiting the racial situation for personal gain." All the top officials signed a ringing declaration of resolve laced with four of the usual pledges to proceed "without embarrassment ot the Bureau." The underlying hostility did not make the officials that unusual among Americans of their station. Nor was it unusual that an odd man such as Hoover would run aground in his obsession with normalcy. Race, like power, blinds before it corrupts, and Hoover saw not a shred of merit in either King or Levison. Most unforgivable was that a nation founded on Madisonian principles allowed secret police powers to accrue over fourty years, until real and imagined heresies alike could be punished by methods less open to correction than the Salem witch trials. The hidden spectacle owas the more grotesque because King and Levison both in fact were the rarest heroes of freedom, but the undercover state persecution would have violated democratic principles even if they had been common thieves."

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