The Hollowing Ring of Rights Now Lost: Hoover, Habeas Corpus and the Malignancy In Our Capitol

There comes a time where the echoes of history begin to take on a most alarming toll, like the sounding of a gong announcing the approach of an ominous new enemy just like a previously-defeated old foe.

This is that time. Put on your tinfoil hat for a trip down memory lane, and follow me...

Crossposted to DailyKos, because one can never have enough foil and recycling is good for you.

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On Friday, the State Department declassified a new batch of cold-war era documents that detailed a plan by J. Edgar Hoover to detain thousands of Americans -- Americans who comprised a list of approximately 12,000 citizens -- illegally, requiring the suspension of habeas corpus.

Hoover had wanted Truman to declare the mass arrests necessary to "protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage,"


"In order to make effective these apprehensions, the proclamation suspends the writ of habeas corpus."


All apprehended individuals eventually would have had the right to a hearing under Hoover's plan, but hearing boards comprised of one judge and two citizens would not have been bound by the rules of evidence.

Hoover's crazy plan was, of course, never implemented by Truman, and no-one else was crazy enough to do anything like that ever since...until the Bush Administration came up with the Military Commissions Act.

Of course, the lists today would be much larger, given the lackadaisacal (some might say "broad-brush") approach toward declaring anyone to be a terrorist if the person or persons attempt to interfere via protest with the government's intended activities. Where would such a large portion of the population be held? Well, that could be a really difficult question...

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to share the paranoid delusion and fear that we never have to regret failing to clean up this burgeoning miasma of toxic weasel-wording and legal maneuvering.

Here it is.


Congress may doom us to repeat the McCarthy Era

That makes this all even more scary, IMO.

In "left wing" circles, the existenece of such camps was either known or assumed as highly probable. I can't say for sure, but I do know that at the time I thought I would be on such a list.I do know that in 1958 the FBI visited my landlord. It so happened that he was a business acquaintance of my father and told my parents although he had been warned not to by the FBI. They were apalled--of course the told me. I do know that one day I noticed some odd looking guys at the front office of a job where I had some low ranking research position and that afternoon I was layed off for unspecified reasons. I do know that probably around 1960, the FBI came to my door and asked to speak to me. I refused, and said they could speak to my lawyer and they left. (It was obviously a probe to see if I would cooperate in giving them information about people whom I knew.)

So I do know.

It always made me very leery in the New Left days. People felt so safe to demonstrate etc., but I always had a sense of Big Brother there listening.

Well I am still here.

With love to all for a good Christmas and New Year despite it all.


the abuses remain the same.


For the record, I for one am glad you're still with us, and here at ePluribus Media with us today.