suec wrote:So the FBI went after the most high -profile of criminals rather than the most serious IMO.
If the War on Crime was really about ending criminal activity, the Bureau of Investigation failed miserably.
By putting disorganized crime in the spotlight, Hoover gave mostly poor and disenfranchised petty criminals their fifteen minutes of fame and emboldened them to continue blundering across the midwest.
In his ordered world, I don't think Hoover anticipated how random and unpredictable their behavior would be or how much human damage they were capable of wreaking. In that sense, the War on Crime was very real, certainly in a way Hoover had never intended when he lit the match. I believe he wanted enough of a bonfire to justify his existence and solidify his power base, and what he got was a wildfire he couldn't control.
While Hoover chased his Public Enemies, organized crime—the syndicate, the mob, whoever and whatever—were building interstate gambling operations that probably brought in more money in a week than Dillinger made in his career.