Disciples of the Dragon: The R-13 factor
In 1877 President Hayes sent troops to Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Missouri to break rail strikes. The Troops again were dispatch by President Cleveland to crush the 1895 Pullman porters strike.
On June 15 1917 Congress enacted the Espionage Act. This law is still active today. This act gave the government the power to punish any anti-war commentary or opinion.
On June 12 1919 Attorney General A Mitchell Palmer requested that Congress give $500,000 to fight radicalism. Congress approved the money on the 19th of July. Palmer then announced the creation of the General Intelligence Division (GID) to monitor alleged radicals.
Socialist Victor Berger of the Milwaukee Leader served as the first elected Socialist member of congress 1911-1913. Because of socialist beliefs, however he was indicted under the Espionage Act in 1918. The Congress refused him a seat by a 391 to one vote. A new election was ordered Berger again won his seat, and Congress again refused him a seat. Still another election was held. Berger won his seat by an even greater margin. The governor of Wisconsin refused to hold another election fearing burger would win again. Berger was never seated.
In 1924 the GID Became the FBI. J Edgar Hoover became director. Hoover claimed that the new FBI would not spy on innocent people, as had the GID. But on August 23 1936 Roosevelt Ok'd the first domestic spying done by the FBI.
On Jan. 2 1920 2,700 'dangerous' radicals in thirty three states were rousted. Weapons seized were three pistols, and 3 bombs, which were actually iron bowling balls, thirty-nine people were arrested at a meeting that was held or organize and plan the set up a co-op bakery.
By 1921 33 states passed Red Flag statues. These laws barred anyone from displaying red flags, or any other anti government symbol. Upton Sinclair was arrested for reading the 'Bill of rights' at a San Pedro rally.
By 1924 there where 121 known political prisoners in the United States. Finally, in Gitlow Vs New York the Supreme Court for the first time ruled that the First amendment applied to state governments. The ruling, however did not secure freedom of speech for very long.
J. Edgar Hoover formed the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in May of 1938. Many years later president Truman would say of the HAUC "The House of Un-American Activities is the most Un-American thing in America.".