J. Edgar Hoover & The F.B.I.

By: Evan Girard and Seth Smith

Hoover and the FBI

J. Edgar hoover was the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from May 10, 1924 to his death on May 2, 1972. During this time he was tasked with countless responsibilities. The most notable of which were domestic counterintelligence, counterespionage, and counter-sabotage investigations during World War II. The FBI also controlled a foreign intelligence service in the Western Hemisphere called the Special Intelligence Service (SIS) and investigated the backgrounds of government employees during the Cold War to ensure that foreign agents were stopped from infiltrating the government. On top of it all, Hoover's FBI still had to conduct more regular investigations such as car thefts, bank robberies, and kidnappings.

The Impact on the Decade

J. Edgar Hoover, and the FBI's impact on the 1950's was unknown for many years. But now the tactics of the FBI under Hoover have been centered around controversy. Hoover has been uncovered as spending much of his career gathering intelligence on radical groups, and Individuals. Hoover and the FBI's methods included but were not limited too infiltration, burglaries, illegal wiretaps and the best of all planted evidence. But all the things that the F.B.I did do this is one of the things that they still do today, as on March 14, 1950 the FBI began its "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list to increase law enforcement's ability to capture dangerous fugitives. Which in turn has over the years helped agencies capture or kill many extremely dangerous criminals.But over seas FBI took the lead in domestic counter-intelligence, counterespionage, and counter-sabotage investigations. During the Cold War, the Bureau took on the responsibility of investigating the backgrounds of government employees to ensure that foreign agents did not Infiltrate the American Government.

Connections to Today and Solutions for the Future

The FBI today is much different. But if it weren't for the 1950's the "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list wouldn't have been put into use, which wouldn't have led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden in 2012. This is because he wouldn't have been the number one target of American and other governments after the grueling terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers on 9/11 during 2001. Although this was a good thing there are a few things that are unsettling that the FBI has been involved in. Look back at what J. Edgar Hoover was doing, such as wire tapping, and spying on unsuspecting people, and you can see that not much has changed in this aspect of the FBI. For example, just after the terrorist attacks in 2001 President George W. Bush signed the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T act which stands for "Unitizing and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism." Although this act has done some good in the fight against terrorism it has also given the FBI permission to do exactly what Hoover was doing illegally, legally. There is no better solution to limiting the extent of what the FBI was doing in the 1950's and today. The U.S. can do this by closely monitoring the FBI more than we currently do rather than letting them roam free, doing things as they please.