tv Book TV CSPAN October 15, 2011 8:00am-9:00am EDT
>> when i got into the public and started selling my books, every person i worked with i had a rejection letter from. which was kind of cool. you'd go to a meeting and say, oh, we lo your stuff, and i'd be like, what about this? [laughter] >> ben mezrich's account of mark zuckerberg was adapted for the screen as "the social network." bringing down the house followed a group of mit students who won millions in las vegas, and his latest, "sex onon the moon." call, e-mail or tweet ben mezrich live on "in depth" sunday, november 6th at noon eastern on c-span2. >> next on booktv, jay feldman reports on the curtailment of civil liberties on minorities
during times of war and strife. the deportation of mexican immigrants and mexican-americans throughout the depression to the placement of 112 thousand japanese americans in interment camps during world war ii. this is just under an hour. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you, and thank you all for turning out tonight. [background sounds] [laughter] an auspicious beginning. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> i'll wing the first, first segment. manufacturing hysteria is the story of, t about how the government scapegoats minorities in times of crisis.
[laughter] and uses the hysteria that's generated by that scapegoating to clamp down on civil liberties, surveil citizens and suppress dissent. the pattern we'll see repeated over and over again from the first world war forward. the periods we'll talk about are world war i, the red scare immediately following world war i, the deportation and voluntary repatriation of mexicans and mexican-americans during the depression, world war ii, the cold war and the civil rights and vietnam era and just wrap up
things with how, where we stand today. it's come to my attention since i've been talking about this book to people and on the radio that -- [inaudible] finish. [audio difficulty] >> happened in a democracy. the story starts in the months leading up to the united states' involvement in the first world war. the government took a three-pronged attack to isolate,
first, germans and german-americans, and after that a number of other groups that i'll mention in a moment. and the three prongs of that attack were propaganda, surveillance and, um, legislation. propaganda was carried out, initiated by a government agency that woodrow wilson established for this express purpose called the committee on public information. it was nothing but a propaganda agency aimed at creating hysteria and fear of germany and everything german which included german-americans. at the time german-americans were the largest ethnic minority in this country. the cpi, committee on public information, put up a roadside
advertising, they published pamphlets and books, they produced movies and all with this intent of whipping the public into a state of hysteria concerning germans and german-americans. the press was complicit in this process, and the new york herald published a list of every german alien living in new york city at the time complete with addresses. and so you can see at the bottom here it says showing them up, see the herald's enemy alien list. and the caricatures of germans marching through the streets with beer kegs and bankers,
obviously a banker with a top hat. very quickly, the, um, focus spread, and it soon as well took in everybody who was opposed to the war for whatever reason. every dissenting voice including pacifists, socialists, industrial workers of the world, anarchists, mennonites, irish-americans, and the next photo i'd like to show you is this is the deportation of industrial workers of the world from business by, arizona -- bizbee, arizona. there was a late night round up of wobblies. thousands were marched through the town to a railroad depot,
put on cattle cars and ferried out to the desert and dropped off to fend for themselves. so that would, basically, be the outline of the propaganda part of it. the legislation included a number of laws which were aimed at suppressing dissent. and they included the threats against the president act, the trading with the enemy act, the notorious espionage act which is still on the books. the espionage act of 1917 was passed in the senate with only six votes against, one of whom was senator william bora of
idaho who said it suppresses free speech and does it all in the name of war and patriotism. there were a number of people who felt that the espionage act didn't go far enough, and the following year an amendment to the espionage act which came to be known as the sedition act was passed which gave the postmaster general absolute power over every mailed publication. and suppressed every last form of dissent. and even the hawkish teddy roosevelt was appalled by the sedition act. i should point out that no spy or saboteur was ever convicted during world war i under the espionage act. it was instead used against
labor, leftists and other dissenting voices on the war. the surveillance part of the story we can trace to the bureau of investigation which is, which was the precursor of the present day federal bureau of investigation. um, in 1917j. edgar hoover came to work for the bureau of investigation. he was a young law school graduate, graduated from georgetown university, worked at the library of congress for a while as a cataloger, and then came and put the skills he had used as a cataloger to work at the bi. by the end of the war, he was the head of what was called at that time the general intelligence division, better known as the radical division. during the red scare, hoover had, hoover amassed a file
catalog called the editorial card index of 2,500 entries. a staggering amount of information considering he'd only worked there for a year or two. on his meteoric rise to the top, he -- by the end of the red scare in 1920 -- his file catalog had expanded to include 450,000 entries. think about it for a second. in an era before electronic surveillance or any capability. um, i'd like to read you a section, this is -- i'm going to depart just a little bit from the standard, um, book talk format. i'm going to sprinkle some readings throughout my talk. this is by far the longest one that i'll read. this is from the very beginning
of the book. to give you an idea of the extent that the attacks on german-americans reached. on the night of april 4, 1918, nearly a year to the day after the united states entered world war i, a harrowing spectacle was unfolding on the streets of collinsville, illinois, a community of 4,000 located 12 miles across the river from st. louis. trailed by a roused and swelling crowd, a forlorn, barefoot figure wrapped in an american flag hobbled along in the cold night air. an occasional catcall rang out, and the threat of violence loomed heavily. the man stumbled frequently as the march made its way up the main street towards city hall.
the unfortunate leading this unsettling procession was robert paul prayinger, a 30-year-old immigrant and by some accounts a radical socialist. he had emigrate today the united states at the age of 17. he bounced around the midwest for several years working as a baker, serving 14 months for theft in 1913 and eventually finding his way in 1915 to the st. louis area with its sizable, well established german-american population. he worked for a time in a coal mine about 40 miles northeast of st. louis then headed to collinsville in the fall of 1917 where he took a job in lorenzo bruno's bakery. according to mrs. bruno, prayinger was extremely intjt and an outstanding worker but, quote, certain peculiarity in his makeup made him quarrelsome with people who did not agree with his ideas on doing things.
despite his ready ability to apologize, his argumentativeness led to his being fired in 1918. he got a job at the number two mine owned by the koch company in maryville four miles from collinsville. the leadership of the united mine workers of america local 1802 accepted him conditionally until his application for umwa membership could be reviewed. it was here that things began to go seriously wrong for prager. he sought to become a mine manager. in late march he approached the mine examiner and informing him of his desire to advance, questioned him about a manager's responsibilities. one of the areas he asked about was mine explosions and exactly how an explosion could cause the greatest damage. the supervisor's suspicions were aroused, and when rumors began
circulating about a supply of powder vanishing from the mine, some of the members concluded that prager was a german agent bent on sabotage. in the winter of 1918, the mere suspicion of harboring pro-german sentiments let alone actively working for germany was enough to invite the attention of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies as well as a myriad of vigilante associations. since entering the war, the federal government had whipped the american public into a froth with propaganda issued by the committee on public information. skipping ahead a little bit here, i'm skipping the part which is a description of some of the attacks that took place on germans in the spring of 1918. that evening a group of miners left the collinsville bar shortly after 9 and walked to
prager's rooming house where they ordered him to leave town immediately. he agreed, but the crowd demanded him to come out into the street. one of the men promised not to harm him. once he was outside, prager's shoes, socks and outer clothing were forcibly removed. he was wrapped in the stars and stripes and instructed to start singing and walking singing "the star-spangled banner." collinsville's major, dr. john h. steigel, was just leaving a liberty loan meeting at the opera house. he saw the approaching parade but made no attempt to intervene reckoning there was no disturbance. he crossed the street and let himself into his medical office from which point he kept an eye on events. the crowd now numbered several hundred. fred frost, patrolling the downtown area, grew apprehensive about the direction in which things were going, so he waded
into the crowd, wrested the terrified prager and shepherded him into city hall n. the meantime, the collinsville bars were ordered closed in hopes that coming down on the likelihood of violence. at each watering hole, the officers explained that a german spy had been arrested and was being held at city hall, further increasing the size of the throng. among the new recruits was joseph, an army veteran and a former miner who joined up with a small group on its way to the scene. a saloon worker named wesley beaver produced an american flag, and the crowd fell in behind it. watching the growing assembly, the mayor could tell that, quote, things were taking such a turn as to become menacing. leaving his med office, he climbed the steps of city hall and tried to calm the crowd. he pleaded with them to disband, telling them prager had been
taken away and promising he would be handed over to the federal authorities. but the crowd refused to disperse. joseph pushed his way to the front. he waved his discharge papers claiming them as proof of loyalty and demanded to make a search of the jail. the mayor agreed to admit joseph alone, but when the doors were opened, the crowd surged forward and swarmed into the building. the police had removed prager from his cell and hidden him in the basement. it took the crowd sometime, but they eventually found him and marched him back out onto the street where his terrible ordeal resumed. the parade proceeded toward the outskirts of collinsville with prager all the while being forced to kiss the flag and sing patriotic songs. without warning, the violence suddenly erupted as somebody punched prager, knocking him to the ground. a couple of men helped him to his feet, and the march
continued. by the time they reached the city limits, the crowd had thinned, and the police turned back, their jurisdiction ended. when they reached the crest of the hill about a half mile outside of town, fewer than 50 men were left. they stopped under a good-sized hackberry tree and decided upon tar and feathers, but no supplies could be found. however, when somebody discovered a towing rope in one of the vehicles that had accompanied the march, prager's fate was sealed. a noose was fashioned, and the rope was looped over a large branch of the hackberry. the noose was slipped over prager's head and tightened around his neck. the remaining crowd members fired questions at him demanding to know the details of his alleged bomb plot including why he stole the explosives and who his accomplices were. exhausted from his tribulation, prager shook his head and fell silent. riegel pulled on the rope in an
attempt to hoist prager up, but he lacked the strength. several others took hold of the rope including some boys as young as 12 years old, and prager was lifted off the ground. he grabbed the rope to prevent himself from choking. prager asked permission to compose a farewell note to his participants. parents. dear parents, he wrote: today, april 4, 1918, i must die. please pray for me, my beloved parents, this is the last letter or testimony from me. your loving son and brother, robert paul. prager handed the letter over, then asked to pray. he declared himself innocent of disloyalty. when he finished, he walked calmly back to the tree. someone tied prager's hands with
a handkerchief, and the noose was once again placed around his neck. the crowd again harangued him with questions, but prager said nothing. well, if you won't come in with anything, string him up, called one of of the mob. before they could, prager said, all right, boys, go ahead and kill me, but wrap me in the flag when you bury me. once more they raised his body off the ground. this time they were successful. less than two months later 11 it wases six of whom had apparently left the mob before the lynching, were tried for his murder. one reporter later called the trial a farcical orgy. the jury deliberated for 45 minutes before acquitting all of the defendants. so that's the picture. what you have, the legacy of world war i is twofold. it's the ascendance of the
military industrial complex as eisenhower later referred to it, and the birth and emergence of the surveillance state. immediately after the war, the spotlight shifted from germans and german-americans to bolsheviks. the russian revolution had created seismic shock waves through the business community and governments throughout the west, and now leftists, anarchists, wobblies, socialists and bolsheviks became the target the red scare was, essentially, a campaign by government and big business in concert to squash,
one, the radical movement in this country and, two, crush the labor movement. um, there were four strikes in -- four major strikes in 1919 beginning with the seattle general strike early in the year and later on the boston police strike, the steel strike and the coal strike. they were all dealt with in the harshest possible manner by the government. the red scare was a campaign against ideas, not against criminal actions. and the bi, the bureau of investigation, whose charter was to fight crime instead became an intelligence-gathering agency. this would lead to severe repercussions as the years would develop.
the, the red scare culminated in the palmer raids named for a. mitchell palmer who was the attorney general at the time. thousands and thousands of labor leaders, leftists, anarchists were rounded up and held in many cases in commune cad doe for long periods of time. i'd like to read you just a short description of one part of the palmer raid. we're talking about late 1919 here, early 1920. agents broke into meeting halls and private homes without swashts, tore apart offices and residences and forced detainees to stand against the walls of meeting halls and search them, all of which prompted the massachusetts judge george
anderson to observe that, quote, a mob is a mob whether made up of government officials acting under instructions from the department of justice or if criminals, loafers and the vicious classes. in many cities the raids were, quote, disgraceful legal travesties in defiance of the law by officers of the law. count arrestees were beaten and held incommune cad doe. bails were established at $10,000a gross violation of the eight amendment. citizens were handed over to local law enforcement departments for prosecution under criminal laws. in boston 800 prisoners were marched through the streets in chains and photographs of the procession appeared in newspapers as evidence of their violet and menacing nature. in hartford, 97 men were held in near solitary confinement for five months, quote, practically buried alive.
the worst outrages took place in detroit where 800 aliens and citizens were held for six days in a windowless corridor on the fifth floor of a justice building. they had no bedding and except for two biscuits and a cup of coffee twice a day, no food except what their friends or relatives brought then. the long time journalist frederick r. barkley who was sent by the detroit news to investigate reported, quote, the heat was sickening, and the stench was almost overpowering. the conditions were such that mayor cousins informed the city council that they were intolerable in a civilized society. barkley noted that the men were, quote, fairly well-dressed for working men, not dirty looking fellows as we had been led to believe bolsheviks look like. the red scare institutionalized the bureau of investigation as the political tool of the
government for spying on civilians. j. edgar hoover was instrumental in planning and carrying out the palmer raids, and the bureau emerged from the red scare as the official investigator of radical activities. in other words, a secret police force. in many 1924 things had -- in 1924 things had gone so favre that a -- far that the attorney general under calvin coolidge decided it was time to rein in the bureau of investigation, and he issued guideline for repriorityization of the bureau. basically, he said this agency has been functioning as a secret police force, it has got to stop. from now on the bureau will concentrate on, as its charter says, fighting crime. there will be no more investigating of civilians on the basis of their ideas and
beliefs, only on the basis of their actions. and then only as those actions may be in violation of the law. so the next 12 years or so the bureau basically abided by those rules. at the same time as those rules were issued, unfortunately, j. edgar hoover was made the directer of the bureau. we'll follow his career as we go on. during the depression the spotlight shifted to mexican-americans. and mexican nationals. it started in texas, and it swept through the southwest and got taken up in los angeles. between half a million and a
million mexicans and mexican-americans were either deported or, quote, voluntarily repatriated during the decade of the depression. many of these were people who had entered -- who had lived in this country for decades having entered the country when there were no controls on the border, when they -- when it did not, you did not break any law to cross the border and live here. because, probably because of the language barrier, excuse me, many of them never became citizens. but they were productive members of society. nevertheless, because of the economic hysteria these people were rounded up and te ported or -- deported or voluntarily repatriated. this next photo is the los
angeles railroad train station during the repatriation of one of the repatriation days when people left the country. world war ii, and keep these deportations in mind because they, this whole question returns twice more. world war ii period. in 1936 -- this is the end of that 12-year period i talked about in which hoover and the bi basically stuck to business. the era when you see pictures of hoover who was a bureaucrat, never a field agent at all posing with a tommy gun and, you know, the days of the arrest of ma barker and john dillinger and
people like that, bonnie and clyde. 1936, december 1936 president franklin delano roosevelt calls hoover in for a meeting, and he tells hoover that he wants to get an idea of the broad outlines to have communist and fascist and nazi movements in this country. hoover says, well, i can't do that because we're instructed only to fight crime and not do intelligence work. but there's a way around it. according to the appropriations statute of 1916 which is still on the books, if there are international issues involved, you can call the secretary of state in, ask him to make a request of the bureau, and we can get to work on this. the following day there's another meeting with roosevelt, hoover and secretary of state
kordell hall. hoover repeats what he said the previous day. kordell hall turns to roosevelt and says, do you want me to make this request? roosevelt says, yes. do you want it in writingsome roosevelt says, no, let's just keep it among the three of us. so he says, okay, i want you to get started to hoover. now, remember, roads svelte's -- roosevelt's asking for the broad outlines of the communist, fascist and nazi movements in this country. hoover takes it as carte blanche to start investigating everybody and anybody who he deems worthy of so. december 1939 he sends out a memo to the field offs, to the -- offices, to the agents in charge of the field offices: start investigating anybody who could be a threat to national security in a time of national emergency, and put their name on
the list for custodial detention. custodial detention goes back to the alien and sedition act. thousands, tens of thousands of people are investigated, and these names are compiled onto what is called the custodial detention index or more popularly the abc list. under the alien enemy control program, 72 hours after the bombing of pearl harbor on december 7th, 941 -- 1941, within three days the fbi has 2,000 people in custody. german, japanese and italian nationals. i'd say aliens, but people nowadayses think that that means martians. but when i say aliens, you know
what i mean now. noncitizens, okay? here's a little picture of what those roundups looked like. those arrested in the days and weeks following pearl harbor included owners of businesses that catered to ethnic tastes, newspaper editors and publishers, ordinary workers and thousands of utterly harmless individuals. peter a chemist who had been live anything milwaukee since 1923, was taken from his home at 3 a.m. on december 10th, and his family had no word of him for six weeks. george kojima, a bookstore owner in hawaii was arrested in the middle of his wife's funeral at a buddhist temple on december 7th after which his 15-year-old
daughter, mary, parentless and penniless wound up living at the everyone l for the next eight months. the san jose salesman taken into custody on the wintry night of december 11th was not permitted even to take his overcoat or to remove his house slippers and put on his shoes. describing the period immediately following december 7th, a special assistant to the ins wrote: civil liberties took a backseat in those days in the name of national defense, expediency became the order of the day. it's generally with a concentration on the japanese-americans' relocation and interment, it's generally forgotten that german and italian aliens were also
interred during the war. this picture is there the crystal city, texas, interment camp, and it's of a alien enemy control camp. and it's a mixed construction crew building housing. the one, two, three, four, five men on the left are japanese, and the rest of these guys are germans. it's important to understand the alien enemy control program because it is the basis of the later relocation authority program which evacuated, relocated and interred 112,000 japanese-americans. in all in the course of the war, over 8,000 japanese, over 6,800
german and over 2 -- nearly 3,000 italian aliens were interred. at the same time, the united states conspired with more than 15 latin american governments to abduct -- there's no other way to put it, these people were kidnapped -- japanese, german and italian latin americans, many of them citizens of the country where they lived. they were brought to this country, interred in the same camps as the domestic alien enemies, and used for prisoner exchange with the axis powers. so get this picture now. these people are taken there their homes in latin america, many of them had been born there, brought to this country, sent to germany and japan where
they had never even seen, okay? the japanese-american interment is fairly well known by now. and it's important to understand because it's generally regarded as having sprung full blown and independent from right after pearl harbor. this is not the case. it actually occurred in incremental, small increments in the months following pearl harbor until the evacuation order in march. all this time the government had been rounding up japanese, german and italian aliens. so the picture of the japanese interment, evacuation and interment is being based strictly on racism is a mistaken
notion. certainly, racism played a part, but also there was this general suspicion of any alien community, any immigrant community, the assumption being that no matter how long they lived in this country, they would necessarily have ties to their country of origin. so now we're up to the cold war, and the government's attempt to drive a wedge between communists and their fellow traveler and liberal come pate rats. compatriots. the beginning of it traces to, most people know, mostly mccarthy. actually, mccarthy was a johnny come lately. the cold war, um, hysteria was running for at least three years
before mccarthy made his mark. it started with truman's federal employee loyalty program which gave the heads of every government agency the authority to fire any employee who was considered suspicious for whatever reason. um, the, the real target, i believe, of the cold war red scare was not communists. the communists were a pitiful minority of 4 or 5,000 at that time, but liberals. liberals were the people who had historically, traditionally defended communists. ask it was the liberal community that -- and it was the liberal community that was the real target. and it worked only too well
because when the red baiting started, liberals ran for cover. and they had to make a choice between 40 i and american activity -- house un-american activities committee and the fbi. the house un-american activity committee was so horrific in its power that the liberals sided with the fbi. it was a terrible mistake because, basically, what it led to was it allowed the fbi to frame the debate. so the question became who should investigate communists, not whether there was any reason to investigate communists. and who it was okay to red bait, not whether it was un-american to do that. a quick bit on the un-american activities committee. the un-american activities
committee frequently took its show on the road to communities around the country. the committee's purpose in taking their shows on the road was spelled out by the pennsylvania democrat who chaired it from 1955 to 1963. by this means, explained walter, active communists will be exposed before their neighbors and fellow workers, and i have every confidence that the hoi y'all americans who work with them will do the rest of the job. this was exactly what happened in flint, michigan, when the committee came to town. automobile workers who had been subpoenaed were dragged from their factories and beaten by mobs. some families were evicted from their homes and forced into hiding, and the office of a lawyer who had represented the subpoenaed workers was smeared with red paint. michigan's representative, an outspoken mccarthy supporter whose district included flint,
was delighted. this is the best kind of reaction there could have been to our hearings, he gloated. dividing communists and liberals, of course, opened the door for mccarthy. we also need to remember that during the red scare, the lavender scare, if you will, 5,000 homosexuals lost their jobs in the federal government because they were supposedly security risks. and in 1954 we see a reprieve of the mexican deportations. under eisenhower the, um, operation wetback managed to deport in just six months the same half million people who were deported during the depression until there was such an outcry on both sides to have border that the program was su pended. suspended.
during the latter part of the cold war years, the fbi undertook the most massive series of surveillance and programs that they, in their history. there was a massive expansion during the cold war to the point where in 1958 20% of americans -- that's 14 million people -- had been investigated. the co-intel pro operations were undertaken -- counterintelligence program and communist infiltration operations -- were undertaken by the fbi without the knowledge of the president or congress. soon enough the president was monitoring all forms of political dissent, for saking it law enforcement mission to focus
once again on intelligence gathering and once again having become a secret police force. by the end of the '60s, the fbi had files on more than 430,000 law-abiding individuals and organizations. one of the most vicious and malicious of the programs was the one undertaken against martin luther king jr. went on for years and involved the most black, black guard type of infiltration and illegal surveillance. so in 1975 -- hoover died in 1972. 1975 there were hearings, and some of you probably remember them. senator frank church was in
charge. the church committee hearings, they met for six months, they published 50,000 pages of reports. and once again they were aimed at reining in the fbi. the edward levi, attorney general under gerald ford, edward levi guidelines very much similar to the fisk stone guidelines. put the, supposedly put the fbi out of the business of surveillance and intelligence gathering. unfortunately, the levi guidelines like the fisk stone guidelines were not law, they were just guidelines, and so they became chipped away until 9/11 when attorney general ashcroft announced that he was scrapping those guidelines altogether. now, we're back in the same
boat. the attacks and the surveillance, the chilling effect on the arab and muslim community, the third time around on illegal immigrants you would have to think that there would be a better way. this is, you know, the third time it's happening. and just in the sheer, practical level it doesn't seem to work. so just to conclude i would say so the question is why does all this matter? it matters because the scapegoating of any minority curtailing the civil liberties of any minority is the first step toward curtailing the civil liberties of all.
it necessarily brings with it surveillance. because we always have to keep an eye on them, and then there's somebody else. and the rhetoric from world worr i forward is always the same. if you're not with us, you're against us. and if you're against us, you must be for them, whoever the them of the moment is. and so we have to stay vigilant when scapegoating starts because i'll just leave you with, before i can answer some questions and sign some books for you, i'll leave you with the words of pastor nee molar who lived through nazi, germany -- nazi germany. keep in mind, please, the nazis did not overthrow any government, they were elected. hitler did not overthrow anybody, he was appointed. the pastor, who lived through nazi scrermny and was eventually
put in a camp himself, after the war said first they came for the trade unionists, and i wasn't a unionist, so i didn't want speak up. then they came for the communists, and i wasn't a red, so i didn't speak up. then they came for the jews, and i wasn't jewish, so i didn't speak up. then they came for me, and there was nobody left to speak up. [applause] so i'll try and answer your questions as well as i can. there's a microphone coming for the tv camera. >> the other thing that hurts in terms of this kind of activity, and we're seeing it today, is,
is economic on a couple of notes. one is the huge, countless hundreds of billions of dollars going into nsa activities that are very poorly screened as to utility. we're also becoming isolated in terms of people wanting to come to the united states even as visitors. we're making it difficult for people who come and take a couple hundred thousand dollars of high-level collegiate education and are unable to get green cards to stay here to work. so there have been numerous studies that the open societies
are the ones that fare the best economically. and we probably overreacted, if i can say, to 9/11. it's kind of interesting that we're talking, you're here on your book tour right around, right around that time. >> i would just say yes to everything. [laughter] i didn't hear a question, so -- >> there was no question. >> okay. >> my question first by a comment related somewhat to the first comment, and it's just been real to my knowledge that going on today nearly a billion dollars is spent every year surveillance in 72 locations around the country. this was reported by two new york times reporters.
72 different locations around the country, secret buildings. nobody knows what their -- they might have four stories above ground, they say, ten below. whole cities doing surveillance for the evil taliban or whoever they're trying to prevent. and that every year i think at least two dozen more federal agencies are involved, there's no supervision, it's kept secret. now, i don't know that there's any civil rights issues involved with the civic groups that you mentioned, but you used the term in the title of your book, "hysteria." do you think there's a hysteria related to this expendture and this secrecy? my second question is, what's the antidote to this? >> yeah. well, to answer the first part of your question, yes, there is a hysteria involved, and if you want to know more about that particular issue, there's a new book called "top secret usa" by two washington post reporters
who i read the original reports in "the washington post" which indicate that there is so much money being spent on that and so much being produced that it's impossible the to keep up with it all. and much of it is duplication of effort. the antidote. i wish i, i mean, i wish i knew the answer to that. i think it would be, well, one example i can give is just the other day the justice department said that they were going to review 300,000 deportation cases, and they were going to only concentrate on people with criminal records. that's a policy that makes sense to me.
and i think, i think it's a matter of honing in better. you've got to understand that they -- i heard this referred to as the terrorist, the terror industrial context. that there's so much money being made that it's not likely to end soon. >> i don't understand, and i'm hoping you could shed some light, please, on why or how americans can just continue to be so blatantly ignorant or turn the other cheek to this, this age-old policy of divide and conquer. and especially when you look at all the money going into the pentagon and the expense, the lack of it going into our education system. and it's like the creation of ignorance. i don't know, it just, it
doesn't make sense. and economically how does that make sense? >> one thing we should be clear about is that this is, the united states is not the only place where this happens. it happens everywhere. but as an american, i'm most concerned with what happens here. and as americans we've also been taught that we should hold ourselves to a higher standard. and so i think it's one part of human nature to seek scapegoats, and, you know, i wish i had better answers for how to keep this from happening. i just, you know, have drawn the conclusions from it.
and now i think it's up to everybody to work on it. >> [inaudible] last question and then you're more than welcome -- [inaudible] to ask any further questions. >> as a historian, eisenhower's reputation was that he was an alarmist and paid attention to things. what did hoover have on him? how come he didn't go after j. edgar at that time he was vulnerable? >> i don't know. but i do know that hoover had something on everybody. >> yeah. [laughter] >> he had everybody investigated, and that's why he -- that's how he remained in power for close to half a century. >> we still don't know -- [inaudible] why department hoover go after -- >> it could be, i mean, i could just guess it could be eisenhower's mistress during the war. at that time those things were pretty much, you know -- >> [inaudible]
why didn't hoover go after the mafia? allegedly, because the mafia let him win at the race tracks. [laughter] >> okay, thank you all so much. [applause] >> for more information visit the author's web site, jayfeldman.com. >> one of the great beauties of your book is the actual unfolding of the gunfight in a step by step fashion, and it unfolds in a way that seems both inevitable and a total accident, if that makes sense. and you get to the final moment, and virgil has what seems to me an oh crap moment. it's the same moment i imagine custer had when he got on top of the ridge and saw what looked like all the indians in the
world or travis had when realized nobody was coming to save him at the alamo. what does that -- and virgil says, hold, i don't mean that. what does that tell i about how this event -- tell us about how this event happened? is. >> i'll repeat that i think something was bound to happen whether it was going to involve these specific individuals or others, there was just too much tension and too much my -- mistrust. james we were said later -- earp said later that he thought there was too much pressure put on virgil by the townspeople. if that hadn't happened, none of this would have occurred. i liked virgil a lot, and i ended up feeling sorry for him. i think he tried for hard to be a good lawman. in the eyes of average americans today, the gunfight at the o.k. corral involved wyatt earp, doc holiday and the clantons.
it seems to me virgil and morgan earp have been pushed into the background. virgil wanted to be a good lawman, i think he was pragmatic. he much preferred giving people a chance to back away without embarrassing them or having their pride attacked. he did his best that day to let the cowboys settle down and ride on out of town and finally felt forced to act. when he did, he called on the people he trusted most, his two brothers. and then, of course, there was doc along who was never going to miss an occasion like this. it was a terrible tragedy that this happened, and i think if things had happened differently in one or two instances, if virgil hadn't been approached by a couple town leaders offering vigilantes, if wyatt and tom mcclear ri hadn't had that little --
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