FBI Turning Points: 10 Critical Cases

PALMER RAIDS—1919-20

As part of the Red Scare, thousands of suspected radicals are rounded up by FBI agents and auxiliaries. The adverse public reaction teaches J. Edgar Hoover a lesson in professionalism and highlights for the nation the issue of maintaining civil liberties during a crisis.

JOHN DILLINGER—1934 Read more »

September 11 Vs. December 7

DID AMERICANS BEHAVE BETTER BACK THEN?

Remember September 11? Or rather, remember how it was supposed to change us all, and for the better? Among all the predictions was one that held that it would lead to “the end of irony,” the sort of earnest prognostication that is bound to seem ironic in retrospect. Yet an even more civic-minded call came from Robert D. Putnam, who let us know that this was our chance to get back to the spirit of World War II. Read more »

Terrorism Revisited

Terrorists armed with high explosives have been busy on our shores lately. America has weathered such attacks before.

“Dynamite! of all the good stuff, this is the stuff. Stuff several pounds … into an inch pipe … in the immediate neighborhood of a lot of rich loafers … and light the fuse. A most cheerful and gratifying result will follow. … [It] beats a bushel of ballots all hollow, and don’t you forget it.” This sunny exhortation was part of a letter to the editor that appeared in an anarchist newspaper in Chicago in 1885.Read more »