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Sweet Land of Liberty -- Janet Napolitano: The New J. Edgar Hoover?

• by Nat Hentoff
 

Sweet Land of Liberty — Janet Napolitano: The new J. Edgar Hoover?

The Obama administration appears so confident of its expansion of the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney surveillance of our personal lives — starting with the Patriot Act — that at times it is beginning to resemble the legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who left many Americans fearful of saying or doing anything that could reveal an affiliation with communism.

In Hoover's time, those who nonetheless exercised their First Amendment rights often found, as I did, that they had earned an FBI file and were considered possibly "subversive." Why me? I had often criticized J. Edgar Hoover.
 
Are we returning to that state of fear? I ask this because of a Feb. 16 congressional hearing on "DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Monitoring of Social Networking and Media: Enhancing Intelligence Gathering and Ensuring Privacy." .author_pub2 a { float:right; margin: 10px 0 8px 8px; display:block; height: 142px; width: 110px; background: url(/people/pub_photos/hentoff.jpg) no-repeat -110px 0; } .author_pub2a a { float:right; margin: 10px 0 8px 8px; display:block; height: 142px; width: 110px; background: url(/people/pub_photos/hentoff.jpg) no-repeat 0 0; }

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