Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Complex man that he was, J. Edgar Hoover left nothing to chance.The director shrewdly recognised that building what became known as the world’s greatest law enforcement agency would not necessarily keep him in office.
So after Hoover became director, he began to maintain a special Official and Confidential file in his office. The “secret files,” as they became widely known, would guarantee that Hoover would remain director as long as he wished.
Defenders of Hoover—a dwindling number of older former agents who still refer to him as “Mr. Hoover”—have claimed his Official and Confidential files were not used to blackmail members of Congress or presidents. They say Hoover kept the files with sensitive information about political leaders in his suite so that young file clerks would not peruse them and spread gossip.
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