Monday, March 29, 2010

FBI cracks open door to ‘special file room’ - The Boston Globe

The facade of the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington in August 1977.
(AP file photo, 1977) The facade of the
J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building
in Washington in August 1977.

By Bryan Bender Globe Staff / March 29, 2010

“This was a system that allowed FBI officials to say we have searched our central records system and there is no record of illegal conduct’’ by the bureau, said Athan G. Theoharis, a former professor at Marquette University and a specialist on the reign of Hoover, who served as the agency’s first director, from 1924 to 1972, and who is known to have maintained his own files that he ordered destroyed after his death.

“It was a pretty efficient system Hoover devised,’’ Theoharis said. “If you can minimize who knew what the bureau is doing, you can minimize any legal action’’ against the bureau if it operated outside of the law.

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