"The Secret Service chief who embodied the best and worst of Reconstruction"


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Pat Young

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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#2
From the article:

In 1870 Whitley’s outfit came under the new Department of Justice, and Attorney General Amos Akerman secured Grant’s approval for a Secret Service team to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan.

“In all of American history,” writes Lane, “there had never been a federal undercover operation to investigate civilians for alleged criminal violations of the constitutional rights of fellow citizens, much less whites’ violations of African American rights.” Whitley would serve as “spymaster, organizer, and supervisor of what amounted to a domestic anti-terrorism unit within the Secret Service.”
 
Joined
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#3
Good article. It seems Whitley's goal of suppressing the KKK was legitimate, but the means used were not (at least legally). It's interesting that Grant and Republicans backed him when he used such questionable tactics and knowing about his past. Grant probably respected his efforts in combating the political violence and intimidation against Southern Blacks, even if he crossed the ethical/legal line.
 

Pat Young

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Messages
30,373
Location
Long Island, NY
#4
Good article. It seems Whitley's goal of suppressing the KKK was legitimate, but the means used were not (at least legally). It's interesting that Grant and Republicans backed him when he used such questionable tactics and knowing about his past. Grant probably respected his efforts in combating the political violence and intimidation against Southern Blacks, even if he crossed the ethical/legal line.
I suppose that a view of his acts depends on whether they are considered ordinary crimes or aspects of an insurgency.
 



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