The Nation: So What's New?

The tapping of congressional telephones by federal agents can only be a contemporary phenomenon, a creation of the confluence of modern electronics and widespread civic protest. Right? Well, hear Oklahoma Congressman William ("Alfalfa Bill") Murray: "The Secret Service watchfulness over the conduct of the Congressmen and public men began under Theodore Roosevelt and was nearly as bad under Wilson. They had my telephones tapped so long as I was in Congress." The words are from Murray's memoirs; he served in the House from 1913 to 1917.

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