From: Paul Wolf
Subject: Masters of Deceit
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 21:44:32 -0400
Organization: Posted via Supernews, http://www.supernews.com
1. Legislation to Remove J. Edgar Hoover's Name From FBI Bldg
2. Excerpt from Masters of Deceit, by J. Edgar Hoover *
For Immediate Release
Contact: Blain Rethmeier/Beth Crane (202) 225-5074
July 25, 2002
Chairman Burton Introduces Legislation to Remove J. Edgar
Hoover's Name From The FBI Building
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN), Chairman of
the Committee on Government Reform, today introduced legislation
to remove J. Edgar Hoover's name from the FBI Building in
Washington, D.C., citing Hoover's derogation of the rule of law
during his tenure as Director.
The bill was introduced by Chairman Burton and five original
co-sponsors: Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-OH), Rep. Christopher
Shays (R-CT), Rep. William Delahunt (D-MA), Rep. John Lewis
(D-GA), and Rep. John Tierney (D-MA).
"Several reasons played an important role in my decision to
introduce this important piece of legislation," said Burton.
"J. Edgar Hoover clearly abused his role as Director of the FBI.
Symbolism matters in the United States, and it is wrong to honor
a man who frequently manipulated the law to achieve his personal
Chairman Burton cited the example of his investigation into the
FBI's use of informants in New England, which involved blatant
misconduct by the FBI. Committee hearings showed what happens
when the government uses an ends justifies the means approach
to law enforcement.
"I am very dismayed with the FBI's handling of the Joe Salvati
case, adding to my disappointment with Hoover," said Burton.
"There is no reason we should honor a man who threw everything
out the window, including the lives of innocent men, in order
to get what he wanted."
Salvati and other co-defendants were given either the death
penalty or life in prison for a gangland murder in Boston in
1968. Salvati served 30 years in prison, despite the fact
that the FBI had accumulated substantial evidence that he was
innocent, and that the government's witness committed perjury
at trial. Evidence indicates that Director J. Edgar Hoover
himself turned a blind eye to numerous murders in order to
develop and protect informants. As a result, Joseph Salvati
and others were left to die in prison, notwithstanding clear
evidence that they were innocent.
Chairman Burton has held a series of investigative hearings
focusing on the internal procedures that existed when J. Edgar
Hoover was Director of the FBI. Through the course of the
Committee's investigation, it became clear that the FBI
committed a long list of injustices under Hoover's tenure,
including using derogatory information to influence politicians,
conducting illegal or unconstitutional surveillance of U.S.
citizens, using the FBI's significant powers to disrupt the
civil rights movement, and using the FBI to benefit favored
"When I started finding these things out, it was not only a
real revelation to me, but it was also a huge disappointment,"
"This legislation will help lift the veil of secrecy that has
burdened the FBI for many decades," concluded Burton. "When
you start thinking about putting innocent people in jail, or
maybe even giving them the death penalty as they were thinking
about doing with Mr. Salvati and others, it makes me cringe
because that isn't what this country is about. Anybody who
participated should be held accountable, including Mr. Hoover."
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515 · (202) 225-5074
excerpt from Masters of Deceit: The Story of Communism in
America and How to Fight It, by J. Edgar Hoover, 1958 *
The Party's attack is geared to the wide variety of American
life. Communism has something to sell to everybody. And,
following this principle, it is the function of mass agitation
to exploit all the grievances, hopes, aspirations, prejudices,
fears, and ideals of all the special groups that make up our
society, social, religious, economic, racial, political. Stir
them up. Set one against the other. Divide and conquer. That's
the way to soften up a democracy.
Agitation must be carried on in specialized fields: among women,
among youth, among veterans, among racial and nationality groups,
farmers, trade unions. That's the responsibility of the Party
The approach always has two sides: (1) the deceptive line
designed for public consumption, and (2) the real Party line
designed to advance communism.
Thus the Party, through its specialized and immediate demands,
is able to gain entree into various groups and create favorable
working conditions for future revolutionary action. Very
quickly, for example:
-- a veterans' meeting endorses "peace."
-- a nationality festival passes a resolution for "peace."
-- a youth affair favors "peace."
-- a neighborhood group comes out for "peace."
-- a women's rally fights for "peace."
Whatever its composition, the group, once under communist
control, is switched to the Party line. The feigned interest
in legitimate demands is merely a trap.
Even holidays are used to enhance the Party's aims. For
example, the Daily Worker once headlined a story "Mothers'
Day to Be Marked by Peace Tables..." Postcards should be
distributed on Mother's Day, the story continued, "declaring
the deepest need of all American mothers to be a ban on A
Also planned, according to the story, were special Mother's
Day leaflets and placards as well as balloons for the
children reading "World-Wide Ban of A and H-bombs."
Many people sincerely believe, for many reasons, that these
bombs should be banned. However, to communists, the true
meaning of peace and banning the A- and H-bombs is weakening
the United States and advancing Russian aggressive aims.
And so it goes. A discussion may start about the low price
of oats, better working conditions on the second shift,
equal pay for women, the death rate among Eskimos, but it
will end with the endorsement of "peace"; "amnesty for the
Smith Act victims"; "repeal of the Internal Security Act of
1950 and the McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act."
Scattered, variegated, and inarticulate interests, under
Party guidance, are brought into a common denominator:
support for the Party line.
The Party line, in fact, is the sum total of all Party
demands at any given time. You must learn to see it as a
whole. Some demands are always present and seem innocent
enough, such as those for higher wages, lower taxes, and
better housing. But, remember, communists don't really
care about genuine social reforms. These immediate demands
are strictly for agitational purposes. They serve to arouse
people and to cause tension. William Z. Foster says very
candidly: "Our Party is a revolutionary Party. It aims not
simply to ease conditions a bit under capitalism for the
workers but to abolish capitalism altogether."
If ever achieved, these demands will be restated in more
The attack is primarily agitational. Propaganda, although
valuable, is a long-range softener, to be handled chiefly
on an intellectual level by the educational department;
agitation is immediate, inflammatory, conducive to acute
discontent, the specialty of the field organizer.
Here is an example of how agitation works:
The communists publish a story: John Doe has been arrested,
the charge is murder. Of course it is a tragic event. Crime
always brings sorrow. It reflects maladjustment in society
and points up abuses that genuinely need correction. But
the communists aren't interested in John Doe. They do not
try to discover the true facts in his case, study his
background, or improve his condition. Here in the day's
news is a human tragedy that can be exploited for
propaganda purposes. That is enough.
The Party machinery springs into action, typical of
thousands of mass-agitation campaigns.
The communist press publicizes the case with pictures, an
interview with the wrongdoer, stories about his family.
It carries heart-rending and sentimental accounts, without
regard to truth or the suffering of the victim of the
crime or the sorrow of his loved ones.
If the arrested person is a member of a minority group,
or a veteran, the father of ten children, a union member
or unemployed, the agitational appeal is broadened.
"Union Member Framed on Murder Charge." "Unemployed
Veteran Railroaded to Jail." "Father of 10 Arrested on
False Charges." Almost always the charge of "police
brutality" is thrown in too.
Such campaigns are sometimes carried on for months or
years, with varying degrees of intensity. The Party is a
self-appointed collector of "victims" of "framed evidence,"
"lynch justice," "Gestapo brutality," "academic witchhunts."
The Party searches American life for agitational points:
the eviction of a family, the arrest of a Negro, a
proposed rise in transit fares, a bill to increase taxes,
a miscarriage of justice, the underpayment of a worker,
the dismissal of a teacher, a shooting by law-enforcement
officers. Some of the cases, unfortunately, do reflect
mistakes or blemishes in American society. Others are
twisted by the Party into agitational items.
Once the decision has been made to continue the campaign,
the next step is probably the formation of the XYZ
Committee to Save John Doe: a communist front, born at
9:00 A.M., full grown by 10:30 A.M., mailing out letters
by noon. This gives the illusion of organized interest,
focuses attention, and masks communist participation.
Purpose (deceptive) is to gain "justice" for the
defendant; purpose (real): to advance communism.
Attract attention by building up a bonfire of agitation.
Suddenly, almost like magic, a "women's" group in
Oregon, a "farmers"' meeting in Oklahoma, a "consumers"'
conference in West Virginia pass resolutions: "Save John
Doe!" Literature is scattered, other groups contacted.
The Party becomes the agitational base. Who is John Doe?
The members don't know, except that he's the newest
twist in the Party line. That's enough!
The Party has now started a mass-agitation campaign.
Its success depends on securing noncommunist support.
Members contact community leaders, such as judges,
members of the city council, doctors, lawyers,
clergymen, educators, social workers, trying to obtain
statements or testimonials.
The communist is no longer a shadowy figure deep
underground or meeting secretly at night. He is
knocking on doors, seeing prominent people, attending
city council meetings.
I feel that John Doe has been wrongly arrested [or
convicted, as the case may be]. I am compelled in the
interests of justice to demand that he be released.
That is a typical testimonial to be sent to authorities
and the press.
The technique of obtaining testimonials is always to start
with a sympathizer, the kind who will authorize his name
for any communist campaign. Some are so "controlled" that
headquarters uses their names without consultation, even
preparing their statements. Others are contacted on each
They next reach out for other prominent sympathizers.
Officers of communist fronts make good signers. They
usually have imposing "titles." Next, branch out to the
lukewarm, those who are on the fence; sometimes they will
sign, other times they will not. If not, they must be
sold. Finally come the unsuspecting noncommunists, with
contact being made either in person or on the telephone.
"Mr. X, I'm So-and-So from the XYZ Committee to Save John
Doe. I was just over at Mr. Y's office. You know him,
"Yes," will come the reply. That gets the interview off
to a good start.
"This is a case I am sure will interest you. You are a
lawyer and here is an individual who is the victim of
injustice.... Have you heard about it?"
"No." That's good, the field is clear.
On and on. "Dr. F, Rev. 0, etc., have given statements ...
The man signs. Another "innocent victim." Did he know the
communist identity of the solicitor? No. Did he know that
the XYZ Committee to Save John Doe was a communist front?
No. Did he realize that by making the statement he was
aiding the communist movement? No.
For sincere, honest reasons of their own, entirely
unrelated to communism, many individuals may support John
Doe. This, of course, does not make them communists. To
call them communists is an injustice, but it is not unjust
to point out that the Party always seeks to exploit such
personal convictions for partisan propaganda.
The cause of communism must be linked with as many
elements in society as possible. Our fight for John Doe
is your fight, the communists say to labor unions, Negro,
professional, cultural, and nationality groups. Today he's
being "persecuted." Tomorrow it'll be your turn. Join with
us and we'll fight together.
... we Communists join with every other democratic-minded
American, irrespective of views, in the common fight to
preserve a common democratic heritage.
Deceptive: the communists are fighting for our "common
democratic heritage"; real: to gain the support of
noncommunist groups (even "... those who do not accept
Socialism as a final aim"). As Lenin instructed, seize
allies everywhere. Use them for the advantage of
Mass agitation is most effective in capturing the support
of noncommunists. By securing even the temporary allegiance
of an individual, as in a testimonial, the Party gains. In
this way communist propaganda enters the orbit of that
individual's personal influence. "Why," a friend will say
after reading the testimonial, "if So-and-So endorses that
organization [or issue], it must be OK." The dupe becomes
a communist thought-control relay station. That's why
communists are always eager to secure the support of
doctors, clergymen, teachers, and other persons highly
respected in their communities. The more widely known the
person, the better.
Circulating petitions is another favorite communist
technique for capturing noncommunist support.
A young woman stands on the sidewalk. A housewife,
carrying a package, comes out of the grocery store.
"Pardon me," the young woman says, approaching her.
"Wouldn't you like to help a young man win his freedom?"
The appeal is attractive. The housewife stops. "We have a
petition to the governor asking for the release of John
Doe. He's sentenced to die...." The housewife looks at the
petition. It contains nothing communist. There is no hammer
or sickle or mention of Russia. It is just a statement that
we the undersigned believe that John Doe should be released.
"You can help a lot by signing...."
She signs and so do thousands of others. Party teams are
everywhere, on street corners, at factory gates, in bus
terminals. Sign here, please. Won't you send a telegram or
write a letter? Here's a sample all fixed up. Just sign it.
Would you like a leaflet? Won't you call the governor's
office? Come to our rally tonight. Write a letter to the
newspaper. Is your club meeting soon? Have it pass a
resolution. Your pastor can help. Have him call a protest
The pressure is tabulated in thousands of letters,
resolutions, and telegrams, ten, a hundred times the
number of all Party members in the United States.
Agitation campaigns are of all types, local, state, and
-- dealing with the high cost of living;
-- against a rise in transit fares;
-- opposing a bill in Congress or a state legislature;
-- protesting the showing of a "Fascist" movie;
-- urging amnesty for convicted Smith Act "victims";
-- demanding "peace"; "repeal the draft"; "more aid to
-- protesting the arrival in town of some celebrity not
liked by the Party.
Mass meetings. Rallies. Demonstrations. Picket lines.
These, also used in other exploitation stages, now become
imbued with "gravity." "John Doe Will Die in 2 Weeks.
Wire the Governor. Demand His Release." "Save My Boy,
Please. He's Innocent." "Where's America's Conscience?
This Man Has Been Framed."
Sojourns. Treks. Pilgrimages. Motorcades. Encampments.
The convergence on a selected spot, the state capital or
Washington, D.C., of members and sympathizers from all
over the country.
They arrive by train, battered old trucks, rented buses,
hitchhiking. Get your tickets, meet at the station, don't
miss the Clemency Train. Day after day the Daily Worker
pounds this theme. An operational headquarters is set up,
usually under a fancy Aesopian name such as "Liberty
House" or "Inspiration Center."
Teams visit offices of legislators, officials of the
government, and demand to see the governor or President.
Make everyone think that "millions" are demanding clemency.
A cascade of telegrams, letters, petitions, resolutions
pours in, promoted by comrades back home. "The city was
stirred today by the nation's demand for clemency for John
Doe...." writes the Party's press agent. Probably 250
communists and their sympathizers were in town.
The hour of judicial decision or execution nears. The
drama is heightened. "Prayer meetings" are held by
communists, who do not believe in prayer. Then the super
climax: a "vigil." The comrades start a marching line,
twenty-four hours around the clock, demanding "mercy,"
"clemency." One day, two days, five days, twelve days,
the line moves back and forth in front of the governor's
mansion, or more dramatic, the White House. Placards
read: "Mercy for John Doe." "Mr. Governor, Don't You
Have a Heart?" Any testimonials secured from prominent
individuals bob and weave in the marching line. Leaflets
are handed out.
In two hours comes a new shift. Paraders walk silently,
sometimes in single file, at other times two abreast,
usually six to eight feet apart. This isn't supposed to
be a flamboyant affair, but sad and mournful, designed
to capture the emotions. Death is near! "Clemency Now --
Only 12 Hours Left." "Can America Allow an Innocent Man
The shift is over. The members whisk back to "Liberty
House," grab a bite to eat, hear a pep talk, then return
for another "tour of duty." Cots are available for sleep.
In this way a few fanatical comrades can attract the
attention of thousands. Over the week end other comrades,
off from work, "flood" into a city and, in the flaming
words of the Party press, march by the "thousands" --
meaning probably 250 to 300. "There's Still Time to Act.
Send Telegrams, Letters to the Governor." Mount the
pressure. So long as John Doe is alive he must be
Birthday-card campaigns are initiated. Send John Doe
a Christmas greeting. His picture is published. His
"speeches" become "quotable scripture." A nine-year-old
son visits him ... the child is shocked by the
"watchtowers," "gigantic searchlights," "locked iron
doors" ... the visit is over ... the little boy tells
his mother, "After all, if Daddy didn't have such good
political ideas he wouldn't be there in the first
place." (He is a Smith Act "victim.")
The communist press will invariably superimpose its
judgment on that of a jury and judge with a trumped-up
charge that the homicide was justifiable, the evidence
framed, or the witness had committed perjury. It will
have a defense for the crime that would cause the person
not familiar with the facts or the record of the trial
to wonder. And the longer the lapse of time, the more
real the trumped-up defense will sound to the uninformed.
This might go on for years.
These campaigns are designed to dramatize communists and
their front representatives as "champions" of the masses.
They foster the illusion that these individuals are
progressive, enlightened, and humanitarian, acting in
the best interests of the American people. "We stand for
freedom when everybody else is not interested." That is
The real motive is to prepare both the Party and
noncommunist society for revolutionary action. Members
gain experience in mass work: the art of propaganda and
agitation, organizing social discontent, guiding large
numbers. Leadership, discipline, and organizational
structure can be tested. Moreover, communists hope to
make workers and the masses class-conscious, accepting
the Party as their leader (in Party terms called
radicalizing the masses). Sow seeds of discontent;
weaken, divide, and neutralize anticommunist opposition;
above all, undermine the American judicial process.
Experience over the years has demonstrated that every
time communists are able to avert justice through
technicalities, there is not only jubilation in Party
circles but also increased urgings for more brazen
* from Masters of Deceit: The Story of Communism in
America and How to Fight It, Henry Holt and Company,
NY, 1958, by J. Edgar Hoover, Director, Federal Bureau
"EVERY CITIZEN has a duty to learn more about the
menace that threatens his future, his home, his
children, the peace of the world -- and that is why
I have written this book."
Well, Hoover didn't actually write the book itself.
It was written by Agent Fern Stukenbroeker, a Bureau
researcher on subversive groups who was employed in
the Crime Records Division. As researcher Frank M.
Sorrentino explains, it appeared under Hoover's name
as part of a public relations effort to portray the
director as "an expert, a sage, almost a saint, ready
to deliver the nation from the forces of evil."