October 8, 2012
And Mitt thinks Big Bird and PBS need to be defunded? How about defunding our police state if for no other reason than that it is asinine? From the latest New York Times Sunday Book Reviews.
“But “Subversives” has a powerful story to tell about the vanity and stupidity of political leaders of any persuasion who squander public resources spying on personal enemies and obsessing over personal hangups — and the frightening weakness of the laws designed to restrain their authority.
“In “Subversives,” men like J. Edgar Hoover treat the law, at best, as a minor political consideration. And whether it’s Hoover embarking upon the quasi-legal Responsibilities Program (a secret project to disseminate derogatory information about “politically suspect” teachers) or the F.B.I. agent George Dalen committing illegal break-ins (“It was strange,” Dalen wrote, “that I should join the F.B.I. and learn how to become an institutional liar”), government officials worry fleetingly about breaking the law but quickly grow accustomed to it.
“That’s how Hoover’s initially modest Responsibilities Program ballooned into a vast and illegal national campaign of asinine, time-wasting, career-wrecking surveillance, targeting campus intellectuals who left to their own devices would have become harmless members of the mainstream. (Hoover would have been shocked at how many ’60s counterculturalists became Silicon Valley capitalists.) “