Spies, Victims, and Couriers
THE UNDERGROUND was riddled with spies, informers, and government agents.
The Twelve Lawyers' Report of May 1920, stated: "Agents of the Department of Justice have been introduced into radical organizations for the purpose of informing upon their members or inciting them to activities; these agents have even been instructed from Washington to arrange meetings upon certain dates for the express object of facilitating wholesale raids and arrests."1 More light on these agents' activities was shed in the New York Times: "For months Department of Justice men, dropping all other work, had concentrated on the Reds. Agents quietly infiltrated into the radical ranks, slipped casually into centers of agitation, and went to work, sometimes as cooks in remote mining colonies, sometimes as miners, again as steel workers, and, where the opportunity presented itself, as 'agitators' of the wildest type. Although careful not to inspire, suggest or aid the advancement of overt acts or propaganda, several of the agents, 'under cover' men, managed to rise in the radical movement and become, in at least one instance, the recognized leader of a district." 2
It seems to be a general rule in revolutionary movements that government agents behave like "'agitators' of the wildest type." At least, this can be established about several known cases in the American movement, including one of the first and most spectacular of all