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August 15, 1973 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily, 1973-08-15

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Wednesday, August 15, 1973

THE SUMMER DAILY

Page Five

Wednesday, August 15, 1973T H E SUMMER DAILY Page Five

Hoover's ghost.
By MARGARET GENTRY The Watergate scandal infected gate Gray, but he vows to resign
Associated Press Writer the FBI when then-Acting Direc- rather than bow to political pres-
WASHINGTON - The ghost of for L. Patrick Gray III allowed sure.
J. Edgar Hoover lingers over the then-White House counsel John Kelley's response to the Water-
FBI long after his death and the Dean III, now a confessed par- gate ,situation won high marks
scandal-ridden transition to new ticipant in the coverup, to sit in from the group of scholars who
leadership. as agents interviewed Watergate had conducted a generally cri-
For a half-century, H o o v e r figures. tical conference on the FBI at
sculpted the nation's chief law Gray turned over FBI files on Princeton University last year.
enforcement agency in the gran- the investigation to the White "He has obviously responded to
ite of his own convictions. But at House. And most shattering of some of the more obvious corrup-
his death, the Hoover legend all, he destroyed some files re- tion that Nixon kind of forced on
seemed to fade and the rock lated to the investigation alleged- them with Pat Gray - burning
crumbled under the weight of Iy under pressure from former documents, going to Ohio and giv-
the Watergate storm. advisers to President Nixon. ing campaign speeches, the ob-
"Those patterns and the extreme right-wing mentality which sees
a subversive, a communist and a threat to the foundations of the re-
public in any kid with long hair--that probably will not change, at
least for a long time."
Herman Schwartz, Law prof.

NOW THAT Clarence Kelley
has taken over as the permanent
director, the fury has shifted and
the FBI is breathing more easily
as Chapter Two begins and the
troubled transition e n d s. And
once again, Hoover's legend has
surfaced and his principles guide
the performance of his successor.
The critics and admirers share
the belief that Kelley will carry
on in the Hoover tradition. Kellpy
himself proclaimS that to be his'
aim.
His recent statements and past
record indicate that he may
tinker with the FBI machinery
but not with its thinking.
FBI SUPPORTERS wholeheart-
edly w e I c o m e that prospect.
Critics express mild optimism
about Kelley's stewardship but
they fear the agency may escape
the thorough review they had
hoped Hoover's death would en-
courage.

GRAY'S HOPES for confirma-
tion as FBI director collapsed in
the scandal and the agency itself
was shaken.
"When Gray got bogged ,down
in Watergate, I'm sure he lost
96 per cent of the agents' sup-
port," said Jack Shaw, a former
agent and critic of some aspects
of the FBI under Hoover.
"I was very much impressed
with Mr. Gray, but I lost con-
siderable faith when I found out
about the burning of the papers,"
said James Fogarty, president of
the Society of Former Agents of
the FBI.
ACTIVE A G E N T S tend to
speak warmly about Kelley but
r e s p o n d with "no comment"
when asked about Gray. "Any-
thing which reflects on the
bureau touches us all," said Tom
Farrow, agent in charge of the
Baltimore office.
Kelley does not publicly casti-

vious politicization," said Her-
man Schwartz, law professor at
the State University of New York
at Buffalo.
"HE WON'T BE the President's
man. He will be independent,"
predicted Stephen Gillers, a New
York lawyer and an organizer of
the Princeton conference, which
was sponsored by the Committee
for Public Justice. The commit-
tee is affiliated with the Ameri-
can Civil Liberties Union.
But the critics fear the Water-
gate scandals have overshadowed
more persistent problems within
the FBI.
"Watergate is the best laxative
that's happened to this country
in a long time, but it has diverted
attention f r o m the structural
problems of the FBI," Schwartz
said.
AS DEFINED by New York
University law professor Norman
Dorsen, "The really important
things are the issues of civil
liberties andhaccountability."
On the accountability i s s ue,
Kelley has gone beyond Hoover
and called for "constructively
critical" assessments from a new
Senate subcommittee established
to monitor FBI performance.
HE AND HIS boss, Atty. Gen.
Elliot Richardson, have pledged
cooperation w i t h congressmen
considering new legislation to
prevent the agency from operat-
ing at the whim of a single man
and at the same time preserve
its independence from political
influence.
Striking the proper balance is a

still Ii
tough dilemma, said Fogarty,
the New York businessman who
heads the tightly-knit society of
6,000 former agents.
"If you're going to have ac-
countability to, say a congres-
sional committee, the chairman
of that committee, who is ob-
viously a politician, is going to
yield considerable influence," he
added.
SCHWARTZ blames Congress
as much as Hoover and the FBI
for the cursory and polite ques-
tions directed at Hoover during
his annual appearances before
congressional budget cimmittees.
"There's no problem a b o u t
control if there's a desire," he
said.
"Nobody goes after the FBI
because they've gotten out of the
habit"
THE CRITICS define the areas
most urgently in need of review
as FBI policies and performances
in the surveillance of political
groups and the proliferation of
computerized files on millions of
persons, including arrest records
of some never convicted of a
crime.
FBI men say both issues have
been overblown.
"There has been a gross exag-
geration of all the things the bur-
eau was accused of doing. There
aren't that many agents who can
conduct all this surveillance," as-
serted Fogarty.
BUT HE ACKNOWLEDGES
that civil liberties issues are rais-
ed by the practice of spying on
individuals active in right-wing
or left-wing causes.
Yale law professor Thomas Em-
erson assessed the appointment
of Kelley, a 21-year FBI agent
before serving as Kansas City,
Mo., police chief, in these terms:
"It seems it's simply pursuing
a line of least resistance to name
a professional police officer and
ignore the problems. It's doing
business as usual as if there had
not been any new problems which
have arisen and as if there wasn't
a need to reassess the situation
after the death of J. Edgar Hoov-
er."
UNDER HOOVER, declared
Schwartz, the FBI became "large-
ly a dirty tricks department
which hasn't hesitated to act as
a national secret police."
Refering to political surveil-
lance and the files on individuals,
he said, "those patterns and the
extreme right-wing mentality
which sees a subversive, a com-
munist and a threat to the
foundations of the republic in any
kid with long hair - that pro-
bably will not change, at least
not for a long time.".
Criticism of political surveil-
lance dogged Hoover's final years
at the FBI at a time when pro- .
test demonstrations and marches
reached a zenith. In Kansas City,
Kelley was fielding criticism on
the same subject.
IN A LAWSUIT still pending in
federal court in Kansas City, the
Vietnam Veterans Against t h e
War accused Kansas City police
of surveillance tactics restrict-
ing the constitutional freedom of
association.
Arthur Benson, a Civil Liberties
Union attorney involved in t h e
suit, said police tactics included

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FBI Director Kelley
recording license numbers of cars
parked near VVAW meetings; in-
terviewing members' employers;
"preparing dossiers on people not
connected with any criminal ac-
tivity," and posing as news photo-
graphers at VVAW rallies.
Kelley halted the latter prac-
tice and said it was conduct-
ed without his knowledge or ap-
proval.
CRITICS ARGUE that exten-
sive surveillance of political ac-
tivity chills free political expres-
sion. They fear that the prolifer-
ation of instant-recall computer
files not only- dampens political
activity but harms many innocent
individuals.
The FBI computer system -
called the National Crime I n-
formation Center - has millions
of pieces of information f r o m
thousands of state and local po-
lice officers in this country and
even some in Canada.
The FBI says the data repre-
sents "only documented police
reports on crimes and criminals."
Though it says the information is
made available only to law en-
forcement agencies, critics claim
some data has fallen into the
hands of banks, credit agencies
and employers.
"THE WHOLE computer busi-
ness, when combined with the
dossiers, scares the hell out of
me," said Harvard law professor
Vern Countryman. Lawyer Gil-
lers agreed, "The main concern
I have is the computerization of
files - that's dangerous. W h o
has access to it is a major con-
cern "
FBI agents defend the comput-
erization as vital to modern law
enforcement, and most critics
concede the need for rapid crim-
inal information only computers
can provide.
Since taking office on July 9,
Kelley has not addressed publicly
the issues of surveillance and
computer files.
SAN JUAN, P. R. (UPI) -
Puerto Rico's seat of govern-
ment is La Fortaleza The For-
tress. It was begun in 1533 to
help guard the entrance of San
Juan from raiding British and
Dutch fleets, but proved badly lo-
cated for a fort and was turned
into a governor's mansion. Its
residents have included most of
the 100 governors appointed by
Spain, three military governors
for the United States and, since
1948, three governors elected by
the people of Puerto Rico.

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