Tim Weiner

  • Aired:  04/09/12
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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tim Weiner discusses the 103-year history of the FBI during and after J. Edgar Hoover's reign. (5:43)

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT PULITZER PRIZE WINNING REPORTER, THE BOOK IS CALLED ENEMIES: A

HISTORY OF THE F.B.I..

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM TIM WEINER.

SIR.

( APPLAUSE )

>> Jon: THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

THE BOOK IS CALLED ENEMIES.

A HISTORY OF THE F.B.I..

DID YOU LEAVE ROOM IN THE EPILOGUE FOR YOUR NAME TO BE ADDED?

WERE YOU NERVOUS AT ALL TO TAKE ON A BOOK ABOUT THE HISTORY OF SUCH A CLEARLY

SECRETIVE ORGANIZATION THAT DID NOT NECESSARILY WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE.

>> NOT AFTER WRITING THE HISTORY OF THE C.I.A..

>> Jon: I BELIEVE YOUR NEXT BOOK IS THE PENTAGON, IS THAT CORRECT?

>> IT'S A TRIFECTA.

>> Jon: YOU REALLY HAVE.

ENJOY YOUR TIME IN BOLIVIA.

I WAS ALWAYS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THE HISTORY OF THE F.B.I. WAS THAT WHEN HOOVER

DIED, THEY DESTROYED ALL OF HIS SECRET FILES, THAT HE HAD A REGULAR FILE AND THEN A SECRET FILE.

THAT IS NOT THE CASE APPARENTLY.

>> THERE'S ONE SET OF FILES,

OFFICIAL AND CONFIDENTIAL.

HIS SECRETARY GOT FROM A TO C BEFORE NIXON'S HENCHMEN GOT IN THERE AND SAID STOP.

THERE'S ANOTHER SET OF FILES ON SECRET INTELLIGENCE, SPIES,

SABOTEURS, TRAITORS,

SUBVERSIVES.

>> Jon: THESE ARE THE ONES WE HAVE HEARD ABOUT LIKE MARTIN LUTHER KING, THAT'S WHERE HIS

STUFF WOULD HAVE BEEN, THE WEATHERMAN.

>> THE ONES I GOT NOBODY HAD SEEN BEFORE.

THEY ARE THE ORDERS THAT WENT UP TO HIM.

HE PUT HIS HANDWRITING ON EVERY ONE OF THEM AND SENT THEM BACK DOWN.

27 YEARS OF HOOVER THINKING OUTLOUD ON PAPER.

>> Jon: SO THE PICTURE THAT YOU GOT OF HOOVER FROM THESE LITTLE, I WOULDN'T SAY

DOODLES-- WERE THERE DOODLES?

>> THERE WERE ANGRY WORDS OR FUNNY WORDS OR SARCASTIC WORDS BUT MOSTLY IT WAS HOW ARE WE

GOING TO CRUSH THE ENEMIES OF THE STATE.

>> Jon: REALLY?

HE NEVER DREW LIKE THIS IS SNOOPY.

NOTHING LIKE THAT.

NEVER DREW ON IT OR ANYTHING?

WHEN YOU READ IT, DO YOU LOOK AT THE F.B.I. THEN AS PURELY THE ARM OF ONE MAN?

IS IT... WAS IT SUCH A PERSONALITY?

AND SINCE HIS DEATH, HAS THAT TRANSFORMED THE ORGANIZATION?

>> IT WAS ONE MAN, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

PRESIDENTS USED HOOVER TO GET SECRET INFORMATION.

INFORMATION IS POWER.

SECRET INFORMATION IS POWER SQUARED.

IF HOOVER COULD GET INSIDE DOPE THAT ONLY HE COULD DELIVER TO THE PRESIDENT, NOW YOU HAVE POWER.

>> Jon: YOU LOST ME A LITTLE BIT WITH THE MATH BUT YOU GOT ME BACK AGAIN WITH THIS.

SO AGAIN, THE POPULAR MYTH IS HOOVER MANIPULATED PRESIDENTS.

NOT SO?

>> PERFECT EXAMPLE.

IT'S 1964.

HOOVER IS TRYING TO DESTROY MARTIN LUTHER KING.

LBJ WANTS TO BE ELECTEDED.

HE WANTS TO WIN THE SOUTH.

HE TELLS HOOVER-- THIS IS ALL ON TAPE BECAUSE LBJ IS TAPING HOOVER.

>> Jon: LBJ IS TAPING HOOVER?

>> HE TELLS HIM I WANT YOU TO DESTROY THE KU KLUX KLAN.

>> Reporter: SAYS THAT TO HOOVER.

>> IN THREE YEARS THEY WERE BROKEN LIKE A DRIED TWIG.

>> Reporter: THAT WAS ALL HOOVER.

IS HOOVER RECORDING LBJ?

BECAUSE THE WHOLE THING WAS DIDN'T HOOVER HAVE TAPES OF JOHN F. KENNEDY HAVING SEX

WITH PEOPLE.

WASN'T IT SECRET BEDROOM TAPES AND HE USED THEM AGAINST THESE PEOPLE TO STAY IN HIS SNOGS.

>> BY THE TIME HE GOT UP INTO HIS 70s, THE PRESIDENTS STARTED TAPING HIP.

LBJ AND NIXON STARRED TAPING HIM.

HAD THEIR OWN RECORD.

>> Reporter: NIXON WAS LIKE YOU THINK YOU'RE A PARANOID FREAK.

NO, NO, NO, MY FRIEND.

I WILL SHOW YOU ABUSE OF POWER.

>> RIGHT.

AND HOOVER FINALLY SAID NO.

TO A PRESIDENT WHEN NIXON TOLD HIM TO START... OF THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND AND OTHER LEFTISTS,

HOOVER WOULDN'T DO IT.

WHAT DOES NIXON DO?

HE SETS UP THE PLUMBERS.

>> Jon: WOW.

>> HOOVER DIES.

SIX WEEKS LATER THEY BREAK INTO THE WATERGATE HOTEL.

GAME OVER.

>> Reporter: HE WAS WAITING FOR HOOVER TO DIE TO GET PERMISSION TO GO INTO THE

WATERGATE HOTEL.

THAT'S UNBELIEVABLE.

AND THEN IT COMES BACK AROUND SATURDAY NIGHT MASSACRE, THE F.B.I. DIRECTOR, WHO ELSE WAS

NIXON... PART OF NIXON'S SATURDAY MASSACRE.

>> TWO ATTORNEYS GENERAL.

>> Jon: AND LETS EVERYBODY GO.

THAT'S THE END OF NIXON.

>> THAT IS THE END OF NIXON.

WE ALMOST HAD THE SAME THING HAPPEN SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS AGO.

BUSH AND MUELLER.

>> Jon: THAT'S RIGHT.

THIS IS ABOUT THE DATA COLLECTING.

>> THAT'S THE SECRET ELECTRONIC EAVESDROPPING PROGRAM THAT BUSH INTO PLACE

AFTER 9/11 WHERE THE N.S.A.IS READING YOUR EMAIL AND EVERYBODY ELSE'S EMAIL IN THE WORLD.

FEEDING IT TO THE F.B.I..

MUELLER IS THE HEAD OF THE F.B.I. GOES TO BUSH AND SAYS,

MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S TOO MUCH.

IT'S ILLEGAL.

IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

UNLESS YOU TAKE IT BACK I QUIT.

>> Reporter: ASHCROFT SAID HE WOULD QUIT.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

THE NEXT DAY'S HEADLINE.

F.B.I. DIRECTOR QUITS.

WON'T SAY WHY.

WHAT'S THE NEXT QUESTION?

WHAT THE HELL IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES DOING THAT IS TOO SECRET FOR THE

F.B.I. DIRECTOR TO TALK ABOUT SNN NO, THE NEXT QUESTION WOULD BE, WHO YOU THINK HE'S BANGING?

THE FIRST THING WOULD BE LIKE F.B.I. STEPS DOWN.

THEY MUST HAVE FOUND SOMETHING OUT ON HIM.

>> THAT'S A WHOLE DIFFERENT THING.

>> Jon: DO YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES?

I WANT TO TALK VERY BRIEFLY ABOUT THAT.

WE HAVE TO GO TO COMMERCIAL ON THIS.

ENEMIES IS ON THE BOOK SHELF NOW.

ENEMIES A HISTORY OF THE F.B.I..

TIM WEINER.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

WE'LL THROW IT UP ON THE WEBB.

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