Edgar Hoover Had a intercourse File to Influence and Intimidate his Enemies
It is no secret that when J. Edgar Hoover was in control of the FBI that he often exceeded its jurisdiction. He turned the FBI into an unparalleled crime-fighting agency and instituted a number of modernizations to police technology. He was director of the Bureau of Investigation in 1924 and went on to help found the FBI in 1935. He was the director of the FBI from 1935 until his death in 1972. He even had the rules changed so that he could remain director even after he passed the age of 70. Many believed that Hoover was much too old to be an effective leader of the FBI but both Presidents and members of Congress feared the consequences of dismissing him.
J. Edgar Hoover used his position and his resources as director of the FBI to create files on those he found to be a threat to himself or to the country. This included political opponents, civil rights leaders, and communists. Hoover was frustrated by the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Justice Department in regards to being allowed to prosecute people for their political opinions so he decided to take matters into his own hands. In 1956, he created a covert program called COINTELPRO that allowed him to go after communists or people he viewed as a threat.
COINTELPRO was originally created to fight the Communist Party but it expanded to include just about any person or organization that Hoover found to be a threat to national security. Even those who were considered to be nonviolent became targets of the program because they had the potential for violence. Black nationalist groups, white supremacist groups, women’s rights groups, the American Indian Movement and the National Lawyers Guild were just a few of the groups that invoked the ire of Hoover and COINTELPRO.
COINTELPRO would threaten and intimidate those they targeted by planting fake media stories to discredit individuals. At times stories of affairs or deviant behavior would be spread to the media, even after a person’s death. As part of the program of intimidation and blackmail, Hoover had spies follow his targets and find what they could. In many cases, they found evidence of infidelity that Hoover would later use to blackmail people into compliance, including Martin Luther King Jr. There are some who believe that the reason many presidents and members of Congress refused to let Hoover go, despite his turning the FBI into a secret police force, was that he held similar files on their transgressions.