Smithsonian Magazine, “Has the FBI Ever Been Divorced From Politics?”

After the war, the growing “Red Scare” led to more political bungling. Anarchist bombing attacks in 1919 and 1920 produced the “Palmer Raids,” ordered by General A. Mitchell Palmer and overseen by Hoover. “[P]olitics, inexperience, and overreaction got the better of Attorney General Palmer and his department,” writes The FBI: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 on the controversial and poorly handled events, which heavily infringed upon civil liberties.

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