Opinion: Bureau of Vituperation

For nearly half a century, under eight Presidents and 16 Attorneys General, J. Edgar Hoover has commanded the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the zeal and jealous authority of a Chinese war lord, protecting the U.S. against enemies within and his agency's turf against all meddling from without. Today, at 75, Hoover directs an army of more than 7,000 agents¬ówith an extra 1,000 reinforcements on the way, authorized this year by Congress.

Insecurity ought to be the least of Hoover's problems. Yet he can be painfully thin-skinned. Last month, 15 FBI agents dropped out of their courses at New York's...

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