Public Enemies Question #26 ~ And in the end...

by Bryan Burrough

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dharma_bum
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Unread postby dharma_bum » Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:22 am

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.
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Unread postby gemini » Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:53 pm

I agree with you ladies, if they really needed to create the FBI, there were plenty of illegal organizations they could have cut their teeth on. Then maybe they had to pick single smaller groups because they were not equipped for a large operation. I just made myself think of a question, I wonder what the head count was of the total FBI during the crime war period?

Just a thought on how the jurisdiction over state lines could have been handled. Maybe one of you ladies across the pond might tell us how Europe handled the same issue between countries. I only ask because Europe and the United States are similar in size and states should be able to work together as well as countries.
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Unread postby suec » Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:08 pm

gemini, they use Interpol. I believe there are cases when there is some liaison between forces - I can think of a case where I believe a liaison officer was appointed, but I don't know how widespread that is. Also, there is Europol. This bears some similarity, as far as I can tell, with the early Bureau in having a limited brief. It seems its role is to support and advise, provide information and training, and look at crime quite strategically. But I have gleaned that from its website. It is relatively new in any case, being an agency formed under the umbrella of the European Union.
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Unread postby Parlez » Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:50 pm

Wasn't it Bond, James Bond, who was an agent for the fictionalized version of Interpol??
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Unread postby bluebird » Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:23 pm

Liz and DITHOT,
Thanks again for a great discussion! I didn't post much but I read every tidbit and the questions (and answers) ... I'm only 3/4 of the way through the book but you can bet I'll finish it. Like others, I am so ready for this movie!
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Unread postby suec » Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:45 pm

Parlez wrote:Wasn't it Bond, James Bond, who was an agent for the fictionalized version of Interpol??


Parlez, Bond works for MI6.
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Unread postby Parlez » Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:19 pm

suec wrote:
Parlez wrote:Wasn't it Bond, James Bond, who was an agent for the fictionalized version of Interpol??


Parlez, Bond works for MI6.

Right. So what/who is M16?? A real entity in Britain or no?
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Unread postby suec » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:07 am

Parlez wrote:
suec wrote:
Parlez wrote:Wasn't it Bond, James Bond, who was an agent for the fictionalized version of Interpol??


Parlez, Bond works for MI6.

Right. So what/who is M16?? A real entity in Britain or no?


It's real. It is a secret intelligence agency. It has been accused by Mohammed Al Fayed of being involved in the death of Princess Diana - which brings us right back to the earlier question about conspiracy theories. But the former head of MI6 gave evidence in court about it.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:51 pm

bluebird, you are most welcome. I hope you enjoy the rest of the book. Feel free to come back and comment at any time.

suec, I believe MI6 is like our CIA?
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Unread postby teacher » Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:31 am

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:bluebird, you are most welcome. I hope you enjoy the rest of the book. Feel free to come back and comment at any time.

suec, I believe MI6 is like our CIA?


That's exactly what it is.
Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion. - Tom Wingfield, Glass Menagerie

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:05 pm

shadowydog wrote:I think I would have to answer this question with one of my own. What if the FBI was never formed and never became what it is today? A patchwork of local and state police officials could not cope with what criminals were becoming and are today. Just as we needed national consistant rules for interstate commerce, we need consistant national rules governing interstate crime. So even if Hoover was an egomaniac, maybe he was the right egomaniac in the right place at the right time.

Shadowydog, I think it is necessary in today's world. And since it had to begin somewhere, it's probably good that it tested its wings on the likes of Dillinger.

Db, love the avatar!

Bluebird, please do come back and answer the questions if you are so inspired. It keeps the discussion alive.
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