“A murderer is less loathsome to us than a spy”*…
If You See Something, Say Something
Here are a few suggestions of what Americans can report to the FBI:
1. Any information about espionage, sabotage, and subversive activities. The FBI is as close to every person as the nearest telephone. See the front of any telephone book for the FBI’s number.
2. Don’t worry if the information seems incomplete or trivial. Many times a small bit of information might furnish the data we are seeking.
3. Stick to the facts. The FBI is not interested in rumor or idle gossip. Talebearing should always be avoided. The FBI is not interested in what a person thinks but what he does to undermine our national security.
4. Don’t try to do any investigating yourself. Security investigations require great care and effort. The innocent must be protected as well as the guilty identified. That is the job for the professional investigator. Hysteria, witch-hunts, and vigilantes weaken our internal security.
5. Be alert. America’s best defense lies in the alertness of its patriotic citizens.
The atmosphere of aggressive concern– if not paranoia– over “foreign” threats that’s so pervasive today is, in fact, nothing new. The passage above is an excerpt from J. Edgar Hoover’s 1958 opus Masters of Deceit, which combined a flaming warning of the Communist threat with a painfully-specific how-to manual for combating it.
MoD was required reading for countless junior high school students across the U.S.– inclusding your correspondent, for whom it was the text in a six-week “special unit” on Communism, mandated by the Florida State Department of Education.
[via Lapham’s Quarterly]
* Honoré de Balzac
As we watch both our borders and our backs, we might recall that it was on this date in 1950 that a US Navy Privateer with 10 people on board flew from Wiesbaden, West Germany, to spy over the Soviet Union. Soviet reconnaissance spotted the plane over Latvia. and Soviet La-11 fighters shot down it down just off the coast, over the Baltic Sea.