A History of the FBI

Book - 2012
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The Washington Post * New York Daily News * Slate

"Fast-paced, fair-minded, and fascinating, Tim Weiner's Enemies turns the long history of the FBI into a story that is as compelling, and important, as today's headlines."--Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Oath

Enemies is the first definitive history of the FBI's secret intelligence operations, from an author whose work on the Pentagon and the CIA won him the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
We think of the FBI as America's police force. But secret intelligence is the Bureau's first and foremost mission. Enemies is the story of how presidents have used the FBI as the most formidable intelligence force in American history.
Here is the hidden history of America's hundred-year war on terror. The FBI has fought against terrorists, spies, anyone it deemed subversive--and sometimes American presidents. The FBI's secret intelligence and surveillance techniques have created a tug-of-war between protecting national security and infringing upon civil liberties. It is a tension that strains the very fabric of a free republic.

Praise for Enemies
"Outstanding."-- The New York Times
"Absorbing . . . a sweeping narrative that is all the more entertaining because it is so redolent with screw-ups and scandals."-- Los Angeles Times
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400067480
Branch Call Number: 363.250973 WEI NVD
Characteristics: xvii, 537 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: History of the FBI


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charliehustle Aug 14, 2015

haha you smell

redban Sep 25, 2014

Wow, Jeffrey Toobin is quoted in the accolades for this book! I was just going to comment that this book reminds me of that CNN analyst Toobin: surface-level, play-it-safe, never-look-deeper mainstream fluff-piece. To be fair this might be better than Toobin, who can write pages of drivel about a Justice's social quirks while omitting anything insightful about the consequences of major rulings(!). Weiner meanders through a bunch of dates and events, leaving some readers to conclude that Hoover had some competence and integrity?! Well I suppose Obama deserves his Nobel Peace prize, defends the working class from banksters, reforms Corporate control of the electoral process, and protects journalism and whistleblowers. You would never know if you read Toobin, and this is similar to Weiner. It's a shame I can't rate this lower because there are actual neoconservative books out there, while this merely a neoliberal establishment fluff-piece... try The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI.

Feb 20, 2014

A little slow moving, not real in depth on any one investigation. Shows just how far the gov't is willing to go to abuse its power to inverstigate persons that top officials deem as a risk to national security. Hoover was sincere in what he did, but often it was his agenda and not the country's best interest.

Jul 30, 2013

[Weiner recounts a supposed episode where Robert Mueller III threatens to resign, so let us examine the real Mueller: first appointed as chief of the DOJ's criminal division to head off the investigation into the connections between the BCCI and President George H.W. Bush's White House. Mueller just happens to be the grandnephew of Richard Bissell, one of the three CIA guys President Kennedy fired; Mueller's wife the granddaughter of Gen. Cabell, another one of the three top CIA guys JFK fired, making her the grandniece of the mayor of Dallas, Earl Cabell, who made that last minute route alteration of JFK's motorcade. The deep connections between the Rockefeller family and the Truesdale side of Mueller's family --- where his fortune derives.] Weiner won the Pulitzer Prize? Really? Guess that doesn't say much for the Pulitizer, now does it? Weiner's adulation of Robert Mueller III, (who as of 2013 is the former director of the FBI), is highly suspicious, and lends itself to believing possibly there was some unerlying financing behind this book? Anyway, Edward Snowden's whistleblowing on the NSA shows us that Weiner's recounting of the threatened resignations of former FBI director, Mueller, and present day FBI director, Comey (at that time the acting attorney general) were hackneyed. Weiner's recounting of the entire anthrax episodes is incredibly poor - - way too many real experts have deconstructed and destroyed the flimsy FBI case against Dr. Ivens (who most conveniently committed suicide for them), and the less dubious case against the biologist at Ft. Detrick (think his name was Hatfill) who was the first suspect who fired four or five experienced researchers at Ft. Detrick, allowing Hatfill unobserved access to anthrax samples (the people he fired would file an unlawful termination suit against him), and while Ft. Detrick did not possess the equipment to weaponize anthrax, a nearby private company, Dynaport, most certainly did!

JCS3F Mar 16, 2013

Alternating between the paranoid fear-mongering of the Hoover years and the incompetence of everything after, Weiner's 'Enemies' seems to imply a false choice between the liberty guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution and the security of our people. Given the timeliness of the debate, something more than a recounting is required. Combine this with the clear difference between 'investigation' and 'intelligence' and you have a book that lacks the pop of 'Legacy of Ashes'. Instead of rogue operations aimed at toppling unfriendly regimes, 'Enemies' is really the story of an agency in search of an identity, a mandate. A story of intermittently warrantless wiretaps and steady infiltration by superior foreign agents. So the yarns aren't as fantastic and the twists are largely judicial and legislative, making for worthwhile, if uninspired reading.

Oct 28, 2012

A fair minded history of the FBI, sure to disappoint ideologues of both the right and left. J. Edgar Hoover emerges as a very shrewd operator, with a certain degree of competence and integrity, but also the most wanton disregard for constitutional law, especially the Fourth Amendment limits on searches and seizures. He built what has in reality been a secret police force operating well beyond the law, in pursuit of real and imagined subversives. While he succeeded in gutting the US Communist Party, which, let us recall, answered to Stalin, he also ended up seeing communist conspiracies where they most definitely were not: the antiwar movement and the civil rights movement. On the other hand, he said no to Nixon, which is why Nixon formed his own secret police - the Plumbers, who were caught and exposed at the Watergate Complex in DC. The biggest weakness I found in this book is the author’s adulation of current director Robert Mueller. Weiner briefly mentions that it took many years for the FBI to identify the real source of the 2001 anthrax terrorist attacks, while the bureau publicly accused an innocent man. But he fails to state the reason for this travesty: Robert Mueller personally supervised the investigation, and repeatedly directed subordinates to continue trying to nail the innocent suspect even as a postal inspector and a brave FBI agent accumulated far more compelling evidence pointing to the real perpetrator.

nutty7688 Apr 28, 2012

Less about the history of the FBI and more about the FBI's history on terrorists.

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