The Bureau of Investigation and Its Critics, 1919–1921: The Origins of Federal Political Surveillance

  title={The Bureau of Investigation and Its Critics, 1919–1921: The Origins of Federal Political Surveillance},
  author={David E. Williams},
  journal={The Journal of American History},
In the hope that legislation can bar the resumption of political surveillance, Congress is considering a comprehensive charter for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Unfortunately, history provides scant grounds for optimism. Indeed, the failures of past efforts to limit the FBI's investigative authority need to be examined closely if Congress is to ensure that the proposed charter will not legalize the very abuses it has so recently condemned.2 In 1924, after the infamous "Red Raids… 

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