The Washington Post’s scoop, and Moyers’s non-denial denial, regurgitates a familiar excuse: Hoover did it. In this time-worn script, the FBI director plays the role of Mephistopheles, with various liberal presidents cast as the innocent with the pesky devil upon his shoulder.
He goes through the litany of the Democratic/liberal and concludes thusly:
J. Edgar Hoover is necessary to square the soaring liberal rhetoric on civil liberties with the atrocious civil liberties records of liberal presidents. With an ideology extolling civil liberties crashing into its record of smashing civil liberties, ideologues reshape the facts to fit the ideology. The blame-Hoover template asks readers to believe that the president takes orders from the director of the FBI rather than the reverse. It portrays the world-class arm-twister Lyndon Johnson as a man prone to crying uncle, Woodrow Wilson as secretly opposing his administration’s policies, and the Kennedys acceding to electronic surveillance on Martin Luther King only for his own protection.
If Hoover didn’t exist liberal authors would need to invent him.
Unrelated thought, would you like the idea of Hoover in charge of homeland security right now? I would.