This is an intriguing documentary about J Edgar Hoover, founding director of the FBI. It’s largely based on an official federal investigation that occurred shortly after Hoover’s death in 1972 and Anthony Summer’s 2013 book Official and Confidential: the Secret Life of J Edgar Hoover.
The film explores Hoover’s long track record of both low level and high level corruption. The former involved his routine use of FBI employees to drive him to private functions and to remodel and redecorate his home, as well as the routine use of taxpayer funds to pay for private vacations. The high level corruption involved his close association with Mob figures to fuel his (illegal) offtrack betting habit.
Hoover was notorious for his refusal to investigate or arrest organized crime bosses during his tenure of office. He consistently maintained the US had no national organized crime problem. This was the major cause of his three year battle with John and Bobby Kennedy – which ended in the JFK assassination.
The documentary also reveals how Hoover forced Kennedy to accept Lyndon Johnson as his running mate, by threatening to release surveillance tapes the FBI had made of JFK’s extramarital affairs.
Hoover undertook this type of illegal surveillance on most, if not, all major Washington political figures. He also routinely made it known to lawmakers when he had compromising files on them. These files made him virtually untouchable despite fairly wide knowledge of his own corrupt activities.
Hoover, in turn, was held in check by senior Mob figures who had photos of Hoover engaged in sexual relations with his lover and lifetime partner Clyde Tolson. Officially Hoover condemned homosexuality as a sexual perversion and banned gays from serving as FBI agents.
Of all the hypocritical, obscene and vile shits, this Hoover was beyond the pale and yet, his name is still on FBI headquarters. How is this even so? With the knowledge of what this ‘thing’ was, why in the world would ANYTHING be named after that monster??!! This is outrageous!!
True, it is outrageous, Shelby, as you point out. In my mind, though, it’s fitting because this is what the US political system stands for – hypocrisy, obscenity and vileness. I think the fact that American kids are taught to revere a bunch of slave owning founding fathers tells you everything you need to know.
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I wonder if Hoover to was Assassinated his replacement Gray was even more political with Watergate, unelected Ford and Rockefeller the sham congress investigations of Assassinations when system is so rotten from top to bottom its difficult to point at one person.
Excellent point, gerry. As you say, the whole system is rotten from top to bottom. About 20 years ago, I came across some rather convincing evidence about someone in military intelligence assassinating Hoover by sprinkling a contact poison on his toiletry articles.
Somehow this seem to make Tubularsock feel safe and sound knowing that the FBI started out the way it still happens to be today. Some things stay consistent in this topsy-turvy world!
Frankly I would feel much safer if I could see Hoover in his evening gown. The ability to wear an evening gown with flair is always the measure of a man.