In our first hour this episode we hear author Tim Weiner on the FBI and the 48 year reign of its founder, J. Edgar Hoover, whom Weiner describes as 'a Machiavelli'. In our second hour, a vintage recording of Alan Francovich speaking about On Company Business, his groundbreaking 1980 film on the CIA.
A two parter this week, first the FBI, then the CIA. What do these organizations do -- if anything -- which justifies their secret status and huge budgets? We begin with a recording of author Tim Weiner speaking in March 2012 at the London School of Economics on his new book, Enemies:- A History of The FBI. Weiner characterizes the FBI as being very much a product of its director of 48 years(!) J. Edgar Hoover, whom Weiner describes as 'a Machiavelli'. Although apparently a harsh critic of the FBI, he stops short of demanding a fundamental change of system, in fact concluding his speech with the unexpected sentiment that Americans are safer than a decade ago and just as free. "Let's keep our fingers crossed", he urges. I hope you'll find the depth of his scholarship on the FBI sufficient to overlook such a trivializing sentiment.
In our second hour, a vintage recording (1982?) of the classic cable TV show, Alternative Views. Alan Francovich speaks about his groundbreaking 1980 film, On Company Business - made after 5 years of research - which was the first to tackle the activities of the CIA in any depth.