deed, the more esoteric and elaborate the deception required to produce data, the less likely the spy's political superiors are to believe it. Thus, some of the great intelligence coups of history, such as the advance warning to Stalin of the impending German attack, have gone unheeded. Only a short time ago advance warning of the Defense Information Agency that the Egyptians and Syrians were about to attack Israel was ignored by policyrnakers who questioned its reliability.
For the protection of our own society, the dirty tricks department must be recognized for what it is, a criminal enterprise. Dismantling it and preventing its reappearance in newer and slicker disguises would be one of the first acts of a new administration genuinely concerned about preserving constitutional liberty and stopping the wreckage dirty tricks have caused around the world.
Alan Wolfe. Repression through political intelligence.
A second form of violent repression in liberal society is political intelligence and espionage. Here it is of no concern whether the state's activities are formally defined as "legal," that is, whether they are supported by legislative statute. Much of domestic political espionage is legal in that sense; much of it is also illegal or extralegal. It makes little difference. This form of repression is characterized by the use of covert means by the state to control political dissidents. Since, by definition, this form is covert, information on it is less available when compared to other forms of repression. Nonetheless, every now and then the state is willing to reveal how extensive its infiltrative mechanisms are, for if it did not, who would be intimidated by them? From these acts of revelation, enough information can be assembled to place the use of political intelligence by the democratic state into a meaningful perspective.
Obtaining'political information covertly is an old humat custom. In the Bible, Delilah would appear to be the first agent, working for the Philistines against Israel.1 The use of spies and informers for domestic political purposes has been traced back at least as far as medieval England.2 Since Americans think of themselves as both religious and shaped by English law, it is not surprising that Delilah's techniques were quickly adopted. What is interesting is that political intelligence was first used by private groups and only later by the government.
The Pinkerton Detective Agency--which flourished at the end of the nineteenth century--was instrumental in developing tactics of repression through political intelligence. Of the many colorful individuals who rose to prominence in this profession, the career of the most well known is illustrative of a whole pattern. James McParland-- subject of a Hollywood movie in 1970-- caught the eye of Allen Pinkerton when he successfully infiltrated the semisecret labor organization known as the "Molly Meguires" in the Pennsylvania coalfields.3 Eventually becoming a key leader of the organization, he often acted as a provocateur, pushing the group into an illegal action and then informing the authorities so that the group could be suppressed. McParland was highly successful, and his testimony against the group in court ensured its demise. This led to a promotion for the young intelligence officer, and he went farther west to continue roughly the same sort of work.
In 1906, McParland and the Pinkertons reemerged to work actively in repressing the IWW. Arrested and charged with the murder of former governor Frank Steunenberg of Idaho were three key leaders of the IWW- William Haywood, George A. Pettibone, and Charles H. Moyer. The arrests were illegal; the men were kidnaped across state lines so that Idaho could ignore extradition proceedings. Since little evidence was presented linking the men to the crime, McParland, instinctively understanding the tortured mind of a self-confessed murderer, obtained a confession that implicated the three officials, and a political trial was begun. In this case, Clarence Darrow broke through the confession, and the men were found not
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Is America Necessary?Conservative, Liberal, & Socialist Perspectives of United States Political Institutions. Contributors: Henry Etzkowitz - Editor, Peter Schwab - Editor. Publisher: West Publishing. Place of publication: St. Paul, MN. Publication year: 1976. Page number: 160.