Then came what was, in effect, the first substantive statement of the Clinton years. He announced that he would “face problems too long ignored,” and that people needed to be brought together “so that our diversity can be a source of strength.” Then he said: “I think perhaps the most important thing that we understand here in the heartland of Arkansas is the need to reform the political system, to reduce the influence of special interests and give more influence back to the kind of people that are in this crowd tonight by the tens of thousands. And I will work . . . to do that.” Campaigning against special interests—railing against them and deploring them and promising to break them—is a venerable American tradition. In 1948, President Harry Truman cried out from his railway car that his campaign was “a crusade of the people against the special interests,” and the people cheered.
==Government’s End (Jon Rauch)
James Forrestal, Secretary of Defense under President Truman. Seeing that certain diplomats made decisions that invariably favored the Soviet Union and harmed the United States, he said: “Consistency has never been a mark of stupidity. If the diplomats who have mishandled our relations with Russia were merely stupid, they would occasionally make a mistake in our favor.” On May 22, 1949, Secretary Forrestal fell to his death from a window on the 16th floor of Bethesda Naval Hospital. Of course, some people might say:
==Truth Is a Lonely Warrior: Unmasking the Forces behind Global Destruction (James Perloff)
President Harry S Truman, more than any other President, is responsible for creating the nation’s “efficient” national security apparatus.20 Under him, Congress enacted the National Security Act of 1947, which unified the military under a new secretary of defense, set up the CIA, created the modern Joint Chiefs of Staff, and established the National Security Council (NSC).21 Truman also set up the National Security Agency, which was intended at the time to monitor communications abroad.
==National Security and Double Government (Michael J. Glennon)
We want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail. J. Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him.—President Harry S. Truman
Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Intimidation tactics. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment schemes.
These are the hallmarks of every authoritarian regime from the Roman Empire to modern-day America, yet it’s the secret police—tasked with silencing dissidents, ensuring compliance, and maintaining a climate of fear—who sound the death knell for freedom in every age.
Every regime has its own name for its secret police: Mussolini’s OVRA carried out phone surveillance on government officials. Stalin’s NKVD carried out large-scale purges, terror and depopulation. Hitler’s Gestapo went door to door ferreting out dissidents and other political “enemies” of the state. And in the U.S., it’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation that does the dirty work of ensuring compliance, keeping tabs on potential dissidents, and punishing those who dare to challenge the status quo.
Whether the FBI is planting undercover agents in churches, synagogues and mosques; issuing fake emergency letters to gain access to Americans’ phone records; using intimidation tactics to silence Americans who are critical of the government, or persuading impressionable individuals to plot acts of terror and then entrapping them, the overall impression of the nation’s secret police force is that of a well-dressed thug, flexing its muscles and doing the boss’ dirty work.