‘Model of efficiency’
“National anxiety over the so-called Red menace came to a head in 1919, inflamed by the Russian Revolution and domestic labor agitation. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, whose own home had been bombed by anarchists, established what would be named the General Intelligence Division within the [FBI] and put in charge a young Justice Department lawyer named John Edgar Hoover. Hoover set about creating and cross-indexing intelligence files on anarchist leaders and groups. Within two years his directory included 450,000 individuals, organizations, and publications.
“Hoover was determined to make the agency incorruptible, tightly controlled, and dedicated to law enforcement rather than spying.
“‘The Bureau must be divorced from politics and not be a catch-all for political hacks,’ he insisted.
“Although he came to be a master manipulator of the political system, Hoover scorned politics; he belonged to no party and never voted. He consistently described his enemies in moral terms outlaws were ‘rats crawling from their hide-outs to gnaw at the vitals of our civilization’ and came to believe that perversity, not social conditions, explained wrongdoing. Communism was not a flawed economic and political system but ‘the latest form of the eternal rebellion against authority.’
“Hoover’s youth [he was 29 when appointed FBI director] and energy helped him make the agency a model of efficiency, and his genuine skills as a leader kept him in the job for 48 years.”
Jack Kelly, writing on “The Most Dangerous Institution,” in the August/September issue of American Heritage
No photo ops
“The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, the official union of Palestinian journalists, has forbidden journalists from taking pictures of Palestinian children carrying weapons, or masked men, claiming that these hurt the Palestinian cause.
“Children carrying weapons or dressed as suicide bombers have been frequently seen at Palestinian marches.
“Tawfik Abu Khousa, deputy chairman of the syndicate, said such pictures harmed the image of the Palestinian people and the credibility of Palestinian journalists.
“‘We have decided to forbid taking any footage of armed children, because we consider that as a clear violation of the rights of children and for negative effects these pictures have on the Palestinian people,’ he said.
“The directive extends to all Palestinian journalists, including the many who work for foreign news agencies.
“Journalists who failed to adhere to the ban would face disciplinary procedures, the statement said without elaborating. Previously, Palestinian journalists who ran afoul of the authorities had their credentials lifted, limiting their access to official events.”
From “Palestinian Directive: No Nasty Photos,” filed Aug. 27 in the daily news briefing of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
Don’t tell PETA
“Drew Barrymore’s going through a few changes.
“According to the London Daily Star, the former Mrs. Tom Green is single yet again.
“But at least Barrymore can now drown her sorrows in a big, juicy steak.
“The actress tells the tabloid that she’s given up on vegetarianism.
” ‘I still don’t eat a ton of meat, and I don’t wear a ton of leather, but I just don’t put strict limitations on myself anymore,’ she tells the tabloid.
“‘I didn’t wear certain designers because I didn’t want any animals to suffer for beauty so I literally was dressed by Old Navy at one point,’ she explains. ‘Eventually I got tired and wanted to play again. Dressing is like an art form it’s so much fun.’
“Nothing like vanity to make you rethink your values.”
Amy Reiter, writing on “Barrymore wants meat,” Tuesday in Salon at www.salon.com