Home > In the Black > In the Black — Cameo by J. Edgar Hoover

In the Black — Cameo by J. Edgar Hoover


For J. Edgar Hoover there was only one stage of bureaucratic grief: Anger. And, in the Director’s opinion, when it came to grief, it was far better to give than to receive, so his anger flowed like a lava field down from the top, scorching those in the organization who were not prescient enough to have covered their ass or nimble enough to deflect the molten flow of blame to others. As he read the field reports delivered to his desk on the first Monday morning of the new year, a volcanic pressure built beneath the dome of his high forehead. If J. Edgar Hoover had been a cartoon character, Clyde Tolson surely would have seen steam venting from his ears.

The Director read that on the very first day of 1969, his agents came up empty handed when they went to serve search and arrest warrants on the subjects of at least twenty pounds of file folders filled with twenty pound weight paper filled with nearly four years of Bureau observations collected at a great expense funded by the taxpayers of the United States of America. In a mere two weeks, a new President would be inaugurated — and Dick Nixon was no slouch. He could play hardball with the best of them and J. Edgar Hoover was certain his new boss would not be impressed by the fact that his Bureau had let a terrorist bomber, a would-be presidential assassin and the two kingpins of the illicit hallucinogenic drug trade in California — which was destroying the moral fiber of the youth of the greatest nation on earth — slip through their hands in one fell swoop. Somehow, The Triumvirate had triumphed — at least for the moment. But, J. Edgar Hoover had not stayed Director for nearly a half a century by letting others triumph.


“Justice is incidental to law and order.”

~J. Edgar Hoover


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