Hoover is the model that career bureaucrats emulate as they build their own personal empires, which are financed by the taxpayers. Most government managers use their leverage against the government employees who work under them rather than high level officials. The results however, are the same.
The Executive Branch of the Federal Government continues to grow unchecked, reaching its tabernacles into every aspect of our lives while operating as the most costly and ineffective organization in human history. After all, they are financed by the largest pool of cash and credit in the world, the American taxpayer.
Prior to the formation of the "Bureau" in the Department of Justice, Secret Service agents at the Department of the Treasury were routinely assigned to conduct investigations for the DOJ. The Bureau of Investigation, which on January 1, 1935, became the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was created in response to a Sundry Civil Service Bill passed in 1908.
The bill stated that Secret Service agents could no longer be assigned to any department other than the Treasury and any employee accepting such an assignment would be suspended for two years. The bill led Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte to create a special agent force within the Department of Justice. When the bureau was established there were very few federal crimes, and their caseload consisted mainly of banking, bankruptcy and antitrust violations. The power of the FBI increased in 1910 with the passage of the Mann Act, also known as the White Slavery Act, which expanded FBI jurisdiction to include interstate crime.
Hoover entered on duty with the Department of Justice on July 26, 1917, and rose quickly in government service. He led the Department's General Intelligence Division (GID) and, in November 1918, he was named Assistant to the Attorney General. When the GID was moved in the Bureau of Investigation (BOI) in 1921, he was named as Assistant Director of the BOI. On May 10, 1924, Attorney General Harlan Fiske Stone appointed the twenty-nine year old Hoover as Acting Director of the BOI and by the end of the year Mr. Hoover was named Director.
As Director, Mr. Hoover put into effect a number of institutional changes to correct criticisms made of his predecessor's administration. Director Hoover fired a number of Agents whom he considered to be political appointees and/or unqualified to be Special Agents. He ordered background checks, interviews, and physical testing for New Agent applicants and he revived the earlier Bureau policies of requiring legal or accounting training.
Under Director Hoover, the Bureau grew in responsibility and importance, becoming an integral part of the national government and an icon in American popular culture. In the 1930s, the FBI attacked the violent crime by gangsters and implemented programs to professionalize United States law enforcement through training and forensic assistance. For example, the Bureau opened its Technical Laboratory to provide forensic analysis on Bureau investigations as well as services to other federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.
During the 1940s and 1950s, the Bureau garnered headlines for its staunch efforts against Nazi and Communist espionage. During World War II, the Bureau took the lead in domestic counterintelligence, counterespionage, and countersabotage investigations. President Roosevelt also tasked the Bureau with running a foreign intelligence service in the Western Hemisphere. This operation was called the Special Intelligence Service or SIS. In the early years of the Cold War, the Bureau took on the added responsibility of investigating the backgrounds of government employees to ensure that foreign agents did not infiltrate the government. More traditional criminal investigations including car thefts, bank robberies, and kidnappings also remained important.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, the Bureau took on investigations in the field of civil rights and organized crime. The threat of political violence occupied many of the Bureau's resources as did the threat of foreign espionage. In spite of Mr. Hoover's age and length of service, Presidents of both parties made the decision to keep him at the helm of the Bureau. Hoover, a career bureaucrat, had become more powerful than any man in the United States, including the President.
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