tv Lectures in History Federal Surveillance Civil Rights CSPAN August 24, 2018 9:10pm-10:03pm EDT
obama administration. >> you wrote a book that is quite a lot about politics. why did you do that? >> the most important things i think in terms of writing the book is that it was born out of frustration. i talk about this in the book. my interest and economic background are in economics, but if you think about the whole economy today, there are a host of long-term problems the economy has to deal with. things like demographic shift. what the impact of technology will be for the jobless underclass. concerns about productivity and the debt overhang. and inequality. something that, when i was doing my phd, was never discussed and is now one of the top three issues. these are long-term problems. and yet, the people overcharged -- people charged with overseeing the environment are very short termed.
>> watch sunday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span2's book tv. american university lecturer aaron bell teaches a class about federal surveillance of civil rights leaders. he discusses the creation of the counter intelligence program program and how it was used to track domestic organizations. his class, part of our u.s. history lecture series, is about 45 minutes. >> welcome everybody. today we will talk about government surveillance. the simple question to think about today is, can intelligence agencies operate in a democratic society and be successful in protecting its government and citizens, while also upholding the same citizens rights, especially the right to dissent? in other words, are liberty and
freedom compatible. threats exist. threats exist from foreign and domestic sources. they have been real throughout history. from across the political spectrum. over the century, in addition to taking action against real threats, agencies within the united states government have surveilled those who have expressed with the cato institute describes as, strong political views that run counter to the prevailing government political paradigm. this challenges the notion, often expressed by those who support a surveillance state of some sort, that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. i will come back to that later on in the discussion. maybe you are on the fence about it. maybe you reject it. we will have the opportunity to discuss it later. the history of abuses in this
country necessitate that discussion, because the same tools that can be used to protect citizens in a society can also be turned against those same citizens to less noble and even nefarious reasons. you really want to look at the history of surveillance in the united states, you go back about a century to 1908. teddy roosevelt's attorney general creates a special squad of investigators to work on behalf of the department of justice. it becomes known as the bureau of investigation and, by the 1930s, the federal bureau of investigation. the fbi. the fbi's own history, if you go on their website, they have a long narrative description of their history and they link the creation of the fbi to the progressive movement that was active at that turn of the century. the progressive movement believed that the federal government must intervene to foster justice in an industrial society. a response to the labor unrest
that we have talked about in previous classes and everything that inspired that, terrible working conditions, and so forth. so it inspires things like the fda, to ensure that the food you are getting has labels and what you are eating is actually what you think you are eating. it will lead to things like child labor laws. it will also create this sort of nationwide law enforcement body that is able to keep tabs on criminals throughout the country and did not exist prior to this period in time. based on the need for a law enforcement agency in the face of labor conflict, the rise of crime, and corruption in politics and big business, all of that accompanied industrialization at the turn- of-the-century. as well as national security concerns. particularly involving anarchism, which the fbi
described as the first modern day terrorism. as well as threats including sabotage which we talked about previously. they begin with the socialist party of america. by 1910, they are investigating antimilitary groups. over the years, the fbi spies on a variety of organizations, including the american civil liberties union, the evangelical council of churches, the american jewish congress, the nationwide labor association, the national association for the advancement of colored people, the ethical society of philadelphia, the american friends service committee, the quaker social justice organization. the women's peace movement, led by jane addams. antiwar folk singers like pete seeger. et cetera. sometimes these people and organizations are investigated
for decades. these are not violent, revolutionary threats. they are political dissidents that oppose certain aspects of u.s. government policy and perhaps even the particular form of government that we have. they do so through the means protected in the constitution. though, not so much at the turn of the century, when it was strictly police. political spine begins around 1908 and runs until 1924. then it stops for about a decade. the impetus to stop is the red scare. november 1918, the following year, a number of actions raise a lot of concerns about government surveillance. the seattle general strike in the early part of 1919 shuts down that city. tens of thousands of workers go on strike across industries.
in the spring of 1919, a bomb plot is broken up. then there are a wave of anarchist bombings in the summer targeting prominent people, including the attorney general, alexander palmer. his house is downright before you get to the main circle. i realized i have been driving by his house for years, it is weird. the bureau of investigation creates this anti-radical division to deal with this resurgence of anarchism, headed by a young agent named j edgar hoover. it compiles files on roughly 200,000 individuals. the bureau then uses those files to round up several thousand suspected radicals in a series of raids in 1919 and 1920 that occur in at least 40 cities across the united states. some of the people rounded up are well known prominent radicals. emma goldman.
other people are arrested because they appear foreign. members of a labor union and so forth. many were held incommunicado for months with no access to lawyers or their families. 249 resident aliens were put on about and deported to russia because of their beliefs. there is a tremendous political backlash against this, in particular because a lot of these people who were rounded up were not engaged in radical behavior. maybe they hold radical views, but nonetheless, they have not engaged in anything. some of them are simply immigrants from russia and southern and eastern europe. the political backlash against this brings the fbi's political spine to a temporary halt. this is made especially palatable to those in power.
they have been inclined to support this in part because of new immigration quotas put in place in 1924. these quotas restrict immigrants from southern and central europe. they totally shut down immigration in asia, which we will talk about next week. 1929 sees the end of a 10 year long intelligence gathering program run by an intelligence organization known as the black chamber. could they have picked a more serious name? this was made up from people in the state department and army intelligence. for 10 years, running until 1929. the u.s. telegraph company, western union, provided black chamber with ingoing and outgoing cable traffic. this is shut down by president hoover's incoming secretary of state. simpson opposes spying on the
u.s.'s diplomatic allies. not spying in general, but spying on the u.s.'s diplomatic allies. saying very famously, gentlemen don't read each other's mail. there is a supreme court case that the end of the 20s that deals with wiretapping. weighing, whether or not tapping into someone's phone conversation, this is early on in this. where there are phones, does that violate the fourth amendment? here is what the fourth amendment says. the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause upon oath and affirmation, particularly describing the place to be search and the persons or things to be seized. william howard taft joins the supreme court. he speaks for the court's decision to basically rule against the notion that the
wiretapping violates the fourth amendment. the court approves this and that approval last for 40 years. here is what he says. this is in favor of wiretaps, claiming they don't violate the fourth amendment. congress may of course protect the secret of telephone messages by baking them, when intercepted, inadmissible as evidence in criminal trials by direct legislation. if congress wants to rule on this, they can. but the courts may not adopt such a policy by attributing a large and unusual meaning to the fourth amendment. the reasonable view is that one who installs in his house a telephone instrument with connecting wires, intends to project his advice to those -- his voice to those outlined. those who intercepted the projected voices were not in the house of either party of the conversation, neither the
cases we have cited or any of the several decisions brought to our attention hold the fourth demand -- the fourth amendment as being violated against the defendant unless there is been a search and seizure of the person or his papers or an actual physical invasion of his house, for the purpose of making a seizure. a standard that would prevent evidence obtained through other than the conduct of federal officials would make society suffer. what he is saying is that if you are using a telephone machine, it is connected to wires that go outside of the house and speak to someone outside of the home. thus, someone tapping the wire is not going into your house and searching belongings. that is outside your home and thus does not fall under the fourth amendment. this is how the court rules in 1928. i wanted to hit on this last
thing he says. a standard which would bid the reception of evidence, a standard other through nice conduct of government officials, would make society suffer and give criminals greater leave then was known, here 24. he sets the standard in his dissent that became the ruling, many decades down the road. he dissented in this case, as well. here's what he said. in some way saying that the ends justify the means. here is what brandeis says. decency, security and liberty alike demand that government officials be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. the government will be imperiled if it fails to obey the law scrupulously. in a government of laws, existence of the government
will be in peril if it fails to observe the law, scrupulously. it teaches the whole people by its example. crime is contagious. if the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt to law and invites every man to become a law unto himself. it invites anarchy. to declare that the ends justify the means, that the government commit crimes to secure the conviction of a private individual, would bring terrible retribution against this doctrine. this court should resolutely set the pace. spying ins until 1936, when franklin roosevelt's requests that it be resumed. we will see that very clearly here, government surveillance does not necessarily target any one particular group. historically it targets the left, not always. nor is it one particular party or ideology.
franklin roosevelt, the great liberal democrat, request that political spine be reinitiated in 1936. it will be led by j edgar hoover, appointed head of the organization in 1924 at the age of 29, younger than i am. hoover had helped put together the list that had been used in the first red scare to round up a vast swath of people. nevertheless, he escaped the political fallout of that. the blade came down on the heads of a few people higher than him. the bureau rebounded during that decade. hoover tried to emphasize the bureau's role as a crime- fighting organization, particularly in the 1930s. you have famous criminals arrived. people like john dillinger, who the fbi put a lot of work into capturing. hoover knows how to work the media in his favor. the bureau's reputation
rebounds. fdr is concerned though, concerned about soviet spies and concerned about fascists. this is the mid-1930s, fascism is on the ride in europe. there are several u.s.-based groups that emerge after hitler's rise to power. large enough that they are able to hold a rally in madison square garden. immediately after hitler invades poland in 1939, the fbi is authorized to investigate espionage, treason and sabotaged, all federal crimes. hoover adds to that list, subversive activities. it is unclear how much is franklin roosevelt, the attorney general, people high in the government, knew about the extent of what hoover would do. there is no record of that particular meeting and what was said in it. roosevelt has bigger fish to fry, in some sense. he has an economic depression
that continues to grind along. he will ultimately have the war to deal with. that is a looming specter, the renewed war in europe. but there is no sense that fdr opposed hoover's intel work, either. hoover renews this. his renewal of investigative activities is authorized outside the courts. he discourages roosevelt's administration from going to congress for approval. he is sure they won't get it. congress is suspicious of the bureau of investigation being created in the first place. concerned about creating a secret police force. hoover warns fdr that haters will twist the truth. so fdr resumes political spine without congressional approval. fdr supports hoover's resolution, which ultimately does not come to pass, to get every american in the country
fingerprinted. that was the newest technology at the moment. when the people do not want to go to war in europe and want to make sure they do not become involved, fdr response in writing that he sees nothing wrong with investigating groups that spread false information and engage in false teachings. worth noting, his house had been bombed in 1919. that may have colored his views of political dissidents. moreover, fdr has hoover look into political opponents, as well. in particular, he has the fbi investigate several senators and prominent figures including charles lindbergh, all of whom oppose any intervention in europe. hoover learns from this experience that he can curry favor and gain leverage by digging into any presidents enemies or perceived enemies. for example, he never blackmails the kennedy brothers, but he does get ronald -- get robert kennedy
monthly updates about the people he knows, the accusations against him and family members. on the one hand, this is helpful personal knowledge that robert kennedy can use however he sees fit, but it also ensures that the kennedys know that hoover knows, knows everything. knows everything that everybody is doing. should the kennedys have an inclination to shut down what they are doing, they will know in the back of their mind that hoover has tabs on what they were doing. the spying also takes place in the context of an emerging national security state, one we are familiar today. when the cold war ends, it begins soon after. the house on american -- house committee on un-american activities. and the program to snuff out anybody that might have political views.
all of those rely on fbi reports. in 1956, the fbi goes on the offensive with the creation of cointelpro. counter intelligence program, specifically designed to target the communist party of the united states of america. it is specifically counterintelligence. not prosecutorial. they are looking for evidence to go to court. instead it is a counterintelligence operation to destroy a political enemy of the government. for a couple of reasons. one, legal proceedings against communist party leaders have been very successful in sending them to prison. the laws are favorable at this time, but it also exposed fbi informants. they had to go in front of a judge, so well placed informants were then revealed. and in 1956-57, the court begins to roll back the legal measures that were available to
attack political dissidents. laws put in place in the 30s and 40s had given free reign to round up anybody who is a member of a group that might speak against the government. in court rulings it was interpreted loosely. top leaders of the communist party were put in jail. top leaders who are operating for a foreign party. they are controlled from moscow. this sort of rollback in legal power, this threat of exposing more informants, leads to the creation of this counterintelligence program. hoover's memo calls for actions that negate the communist parties, "influence over the masses, the ability to create controversy, penetration of's -- of certain channels in american life, and the sabotage and espionage potential."
of those, the last two are illegal. but influence over the masses, the ability to create controversy, penetration of certain channels in american life where public opinion is formulated, those are not specifically illegal things. the objective here is to destroy the communist party and of course, it's political activity. cointelpro is successful in doing that. it destroys what remains of the communist party. from 1956 to 1971, there are 1398 different actions conducted against the communist party. its membership, roughly around 80,000 at the end of the second world war, drops to maybe 1000 active members in the 60s. a large part of that is due to the legal measures used against the party. they also take a huge hit when khrushchev comes to power in the soviet union and reveals
all the rumors about stalin's behavior are totally true. he was a tyrannical monster who murdered millions and conducted show trials of his political enemies and people he thought might be has political enemies. that has a huge effect in turning people away from the communist party. nonetheless, hoover's obsession with the party keeps it going long before -- long belong -- keeps it going long past the point where it is relevant. the party is well past the point where it poses any conceivable threat to the united state. topics for attacking the communist party include smear attacks in the media, planting evidence to suggest that party leaders are informants. plant evidence and hope someone else comes along and sees and believes that they are an informant. creating an organization to attack the party from the left,
creating further dispute. they create these fake organizations to foster dissent. my personal favorite of these, operation hoodwinked. send false documents to provoke a fight between the communist party and the sicilian mafia. the fbi is well aware of how the mafia deals with threats. here is the suggestion they have for how to deal with it. let's see. this is an agent requesting bureau permission to prepare the following anonymous letter, xerox copies of which will be mailed to the same teamster locals. here is the letter. dear union boss, i am the loyal union man who wrote you around the end of january and i have more news for you.
you will remember that i told you then that i heard from my communist brother-in-law's the leaders in his party have been in moscow and they came back planning to get rid of the hoodlums in this country. i was talking to my brother-in- law a few nights ago and he asked me how things were going at my teamster local. i said okay. he said he knew there were a lot of gangsters in my union but things would be changing for the best shortly. he told me in february some of the leaders from his party were meeting people from other countries and it came up again about how his party is going to clean up the gangster controlled unions in the united states. i told him he's all wet, but didn't use those words. thanks to the free use of a copy machine, i can get the word out about this. in other words, here is a letter the fbi is going to send suggesting that the communists would be targeting the mafia, involving things like the teamsters union. this is a lie.
this is what the fbi says internally. with respect to the above leader -- above letter, it is true that three leaders were in budapest to attend a meeting of communist and workers parties. and accounts of their attendance appeared in newspaper articles. two of these three leaders have returned to the united states, however the information in the letter, in hungry, it came up again about how the party is going to clean up the unions, with no basis in fact. should it be approved, blah, blah, blah. this was all a plot. the fbi knows what the sicilian mafia does if they believe someone is coming after them. there might be efforts here to provoke the mafia to retaliate, violently, against members of the communist party. there is no evidence this works. it is not for a lack of trying.
cointelpro is also used to attack non-communist party political opponents. a unitarian minister and members of his congregation, to circulate a petition against the house un-american activities committee. a lawyer who defended people prosecuted under the smith act. when that lawyer runs for city council, the fbi attempts to smear him to sink his campaign. this is not surveillance. this is something different. the fbi then will also target the civil rights movement in the years leading up to a formal cointelpro. the cointelpro black liberation movement begun in 1967. they began investigating the naacp for communist links. finds nothing. nevertheless attempts to get the naacp on a list of subversive organizations in the 50s. martin luther king jr., and the southern leadership conference,
investigated beginning in the late 1950s. there are the things that prompt that. martin luther king jr. gave a speech at a training school accused of being a communist training center. around the south, right, martin luther king at a communist training school, there he is. this accusation is rooted in inaccurate history of the communist party supporting civil rights of african- americans. they did that, of course, in support of the parties interests. they saw that is a great wedge issue. this is a dispute spread by many segregationists, that the civil rights movement is in fact a communist front orchestrated by moscow to create social unrest in the united states. martin luther king jr. sent a thank you letter to nx city councilman who happened to be a member of the communist party
at some point, because that person donated blood to king after he was stabbed in 1968. a member of the social workers party offered to join the naacp at its main office. i don't think got the job. they go on to say that he is a communist party leader, taking orders from moscow. all the information hoover uses to make accusations is over five years old. any information over five years old is probably not very useful. it comes from two informants, that's it. the fbi attempted to recruit levinson to be an informant, so how much of a threat could this person be. more importantly there is no evidence at all that the communist party is influencing levinson. nevertheless, hoover insists for years that king is secretly a communist. the head of the cointelpro
operations, william sullivan, shortly after the march on washington and the famous i have a dream speech. we must marking now, if we have not before, as the most dangerous in the history of this nation. it may be unrealistic to limit our actions to legalistic proofs that would stand up in court or before congressional committees. robert kennedy approves wiretaps of king's home in 1963, after the march on washington. the fbi will also tap kings hotel rooms. in 1964, the fbi goes after king by feeding tips to the press about his alleged communist ties and sexual proclivities. they find nothing untoward. shortly after he has named a nobel prize winner in 1964, the fbi compiles a composite tape from kings hotel room of
extramarital encounters. the idea is to use one tape to make it sound as though king is having an extramarital affair with several women in his hotel room. it is a composite of several incidents where this happened. they send the tape to king, anonymously, with a letter. i will jump around in this. this is from the fbi. king, in view of your low-grade abnormal personal behavior, i will not dignify your name with a mister or a reverend or your doctor, and your last name calls to mind only the kind of king asking henry viii with a moral conduct lower than that of a thief. look in your heart, you know you are a great fraud and liability to all of us negros -- this is definitely written by the fbi, -- you are no
clergyman and you know it. you are a fraud and a vicious one at that. you could not believe in god and act like you do. clearly you do not believe in any personal moral principles. et cetera. et cetera. it is on the record. listen to your self, you filthy abnormal animal. you are on the record. all of your acts, et cetera. the american public, the church organizations that have been helping, will know you for what you are. and evil, abnormal beast. you are done. king, there is only one thing left for you to do. you know what it is. you have 34 days to do this. you are done. there is one way out for you. you better take it before your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent health is bared to the nation. the fbi encourages martin luther king to kill himself, because he is such a threat to the nation, in their view.
king did not, obviously, kill himself. the fbi offers to turn the tape over to the press. the press turns them down. back in such an era. the fbi backs off in the face of a looming congressional investigation. the timing of that works out in his favor. from 1965 to 1967 lyndon johnson takes over. suggests wiretapping should be outlawed. there are a couple of supreme court cases in 1967. in these cases, the supreme court changes its tune. says wiretaps have to follow the same procedures for a warrant. probable cause. the people initiating the wiretap have to specify the crime they are investigating, specify the place, specify the conversations to be seized. in 1968, congress follow suit, sets standards for obtaining
wiretaps. this will not stop cointelpro. cointelpro goes on to target other political groups including the black panther party, which it helps to destroy with informants, misinformation and violence. and the american movement in -- american indian movement, which ends in a violent siege in south dakota. the fbi undermines other groups, which we will talk about in our reading discussion. a special congressional committee led by frank church, democratic -- democrat from idaho, is created. someone breaks into an fbi headquarters somewhere, grabs a whole bunch of documents. when they got back to their heidi hole, they realized they had all this stuff nobody had heard of, so they leaked it to the press. this all comes out in an era
right when the pentagon papers were released, proving that the government has known that the vietnam war was hopeless and they had known that for years. there was no major effort in intelligence reform prior to this. despite rumors that the fbi had a database of citizens. had used blackmail. and the occasional public screwup, like the bay of pigs investigate -- bay of pigs invasion. here is what the church committee discovers. it is a laundry list of awful things. turns out the fbi had files on over 1 million americans and investigated 500,000 of them from 1960 to 1974. they produced zero court convictions. the national security agency had investigated every cable sent or received by americans overseas from 1947 to 1975.
be used by intelligence agencies for political purposes. lyndon johnson ordered the cia to spy on antiwar protesters, believing the soviets or chinese had to be behind it, because he could not wrap his mind around the idea that american students were on their own, so deeply opposed to his policies, particularly when he threw so much weight behind civil rights and the great society. it has to be the soviets, the chinese, directing the students. this is a direct violation of the cia's charter, which prohibits it from conducting intelligence operations. the name of the operation, operation chaos. it collects 300,000 names in in- depth files. no evidence of foreign direction found for any of them.
not entirely related to our class, but worth noting, it also notes things like the cia conducted drug experiments on unsuspecting citizens. and participated in efforts to assassinate foreign political leaders. there was a gun that was supposed to give someone a heart attack when you shot them with it, so it looked like they had not been assassinated. the revelation of these programs is shocking to congress, because it is not fine with proactive counterintelligence. the historical lesson here, if you want to draw one, the antifascist and anti-communist paranoia of the cold war that led to the second red scare, the house activities committee investigations, it is all part of the same spectrum. but it doesn't end with mccarthy's public downfall in the rollback of some of these
laws that allows the prosecution of communist party leaders. instead it carries through to the 60s and 70s. the end justifies the means and the government's views. an enigmatic exchange between walter mondale and the deputy director involving cable intelligence. were you concerned about its legality? legality? whether it was legal. in what sense? whether that would have been a legal thing to do. yes. that particular aspect didn't enter into the discussion. mondale, trying to give another chance. i am asking if you thought that would be legal and proper. we didn't consider it at the time, no. they will just act to address the threat and deal with the legal consequences later. even though there turns out to be no evidence that there is a
plot by the chinese to conspire protests, civil rights movement activities and so forth. >> i was curious, when you were talking about the fbi counterfeiting letters to mlt -- to mlk, what year was that? >> it was 1964, right after he received the nobel peace prize. the results of this, the investigations, on the legal side of it it was probably the most important establishment of a better degree of legislative checks on domestic and foreign intelligence agencies. it is not perfect, but it is an improvement over what existed. the house creates its own in 1977. this is opposed by the white house, the intelligence community. some government conservatives at the time, especially the hard-core ones, argued that
this would cap the united states ability to protect itself from all the threats that the cointelpro operations never found. the church committee counters that, where intelligence agencies violated the law, there are legal challenges that would not have been met. in 1978, congress passes the surveillance act which creates a special court to review wiretap requests against foreign spies operating in the united states. this is meant to draw a line between foreign and domestic spying. there is also a 10 year term limit placed on the fbi director. hoover was director from 1934 until he died in 1971. no more 38 year czars. nevertheless, here we are.
the fbi investigates people opposed to reagan's policies. the fbi spies on occupy wall street. they spy on code pink. they spy on burning man. the terrorist attacks of september 2001 are a huge impetus to reboot this kind of program. fear drives this. fear drives this feeling that you must act, regardless of the legal propriety of it. deal with the consequences later. the nsa begins collecting the metadata of every phone call in the united states from major carriers. who did you call, how long did you call them, what time, what date. phone conversations, the actual transcripts, so long as someone is outside of the united states or involved in international terrorism as far as the fisa court is concerned. internet communications.
ostensibly, you are only allowed to do this as long as one person is outside the united states, but inevitably domestic communications are collected, too, because there is no automatic way to sort out foreign and domestic traffic. it is all interconnected. what do you do when servers are in ireland, for example. the nsa stuff is first reported in 2005, 2006. confirmed years later with the revelation of the snowden documents. there was a review of this broad data collection under george w. bush. about the nsa's illegal wiretapping. the department of justice determined it was illegal and bush decided to re-up it anyway. only the threatened resignation of then fbi director robert mueller keeps him from doing so. but the fisa court still approves it and now it is legal. if you look at the cultural
legacy of this, the church committee comes at a time when people suspicion of the government is through the roof. americans will never trust the government again. this comes at the same time as the pentagon papers, the same time as watergate, turns out the fbi has been spying on american citizens and attempting to murder foreigners and infiltrating and destroying political groups, including peace activists. within the african-american community specifically, you can point to some things. that the fbi set him up to be assassinated. not that they did it, but they knew and attempt was coming and did nothing. the accusation that they purposely introduced crack into the community to destroy it from within. regardless of the speculation, the fbi did in fact infiltrate civil rights organizations and attempt to destroy them through various and sometimes violent means, so of course the
suspicion is there. and yet, how comfortable and suspicious are we when we carry tracking devices everywhere we go, that always knows where you are. soon it will be scanning your face. we want police to film -- to wear body cameras. those can be used to film our private residences. taser is developing software so those body cameras will soon have facial recognition software. so the police, as they walked down the street, will see you and know who you are. this tracks everywhere you have gone. if you use a metro card, that tracks everywhere you have gone in the city. fitness software that tracks how many steps you took knows where all those steps were. now on the one hand, some of this is necessary.
you want the police to be able to effectively police, of course. this is loaded very much in a direction that is like no surveillance, but there is direction for it. violent actors do exist in the world and crimes very much take place. some of this is innocuous. it is good to track your health. i enjoy coupons at my grocery store that is based on purchases i have made. it is a little weird that they know which bagels i like or what cleaner i use, but it is awesome, because it is cheaper. someone is tracking all this stuff. on the flipside, yes, some of this is innocuous and some of this is necessary. it keeps us safe. on the other hand, this requires faith on the person at the switch. that person may not be the person at the switch the next administration or 10 years down
the road. i remember listening to an interview in 2007, 2008. when the nsa stuff was in the media, being kicked around. it was a legal scholar deeply opposed to what the nsa had been doing. he made this point. it was, if you support what the george bush administration is doing is a necessary action to keep us safe from the threats of terrorism, and again, i don't know how old you guys were, but i distinctly remember. i was a sophomore in college on september 11. i definitely remember that feeling. his argument was, imagine, hillary clinton at the hand of that switch. they were the great bugaboo. hillary clinton looked like she would be the nominee for the democratic party. that was his argument. you may support this now, but
then imagine hillary clinton having it. you can expand this. you might support, for example, the obama administration use of drones to target terrorists around the world. you might think obama has good judgment. this prevents u.s. troops from having to go and risk their lives. it is quick and easy. okay, you do support the obama administration and its use of that. he has use of the same tools. if you do support the current president, the next president that comes down the line, that person will have their hand on the switch. this is a thing to think about. it is easy in the moment. the concerns we have are not always unfounded or unreasonable.
keep in mind the long term affects. once the genie is out of the box, it is tough to get it back in. no president will willingly surrender a tremendous amount of power. government agencies don't do that, either. they just don't. it is not their nature. do you support the notion of if you have nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear? we will talk about those issues in our class discussion next time. thanks everybody. >> you have been watching lectures in history, a weekly series on american history tv, saturday night at 8:00 and midnight eastern, here on c- span3. you can also find the lectures on c-span.org's video library and they are available as a podcast. if you miss any of this week's american history tv programs, you can find them any time online at c-span.org, in the c- span video library. american history tv weekdays continues until labor day. next week we are focusing on
hitler's air force at a cost of more than 40,000 civilians and vast destruction on the ground. saturday night at 10:00 and sunday afternoon at 4:00 eastern. saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on cspan, live coverage of the democratic national committee summer meeting in chicago to decide on changes to the party's presidential nominating process. including the role of super delegate. watch live saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on cspan, cspan.org or listen with the free cspan radio app. he's one of the most qualified nominees ever picked for the supreme court. and he's contributed a great deal to his community and the
legal profession, besides being an outstanding judge on the dc sunshine court of appeals. -- circuit court of appeals. >> on that obligation, judge kavanaugh failed spectacularly. >> i look forward to watching judge kavanaugh's confirmation hearing and after conducting a thorough review of his nomination, i'm confident that judge kavanaugh would be an excellent addition to our nation's highest court. >> watch day one of the confirmation hearing of brett kavanaugh live tuesday september 4th on cspan 3. watch any time on cspan.org or listen for free on the cspan radio app. >> cspan where history unfolds
daily. cspan was created by america's table television company and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. up next on lectures in history, university of california san diego professor lu up next, luiz isalvarez teaches class about what led to the los angeles zoot suit riots. he describes race relations in world war ii. and how they challenged gender and racial identities. this class is about an hour 20 minutes. all right. so let me just remind you where we are in on ongoing narrative of mexican american