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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is one of the most crucial elements of law enforcement and combating of criminal activity in the United States. It works both in domestic crime, and lawlessness abroad, as well. Without it, our country wouldnt be nearly as safe as we consider it to be. The FBI did not just start out as the juggernaut of crime fighting that is today, however. It began very humbly not that long ago, at the turn of the 20th century, when the need arose for a higher power in law enforcement.
The FBI originated from a force of Special Agents created in 1908 by Attorney General Charles Bonaparte during the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. The two men first met when they both spoke at a meeting of the Baltimore Civil Service Reform Association. Roosevelt, then Civil Service Commissioner, boasted of his reforms in federal law enforcement. It was 1892, a time when law enforcement was often political rather than professional. Roosevelt and Bonaparte both were "Progressives." They shared the conviction that efficiency and expertise, not political connections, should determine who could best
serve in government. Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United States in 1901; four years later, he appointed Bonaparte to be Attorney General. In 1908, Bonaparte applied that Progressive philosophy to the Department of Justice by creating a corps of Special Agents. It had neither a name nor an officially designated leader other than the Attorney General. Yet, these former detectives and Secret Service men were the forerunners of the FBI.1907, the Department of Justice most frequently called upon Secret Service "operatives" to conduct investigations. These men were well-trained, dedicated -- and expensive. Moreover, they reported not to the Attorney General, but to the Chief of the Secret Service. This situation frustrated Bonaparte, who wanted complete control of investigations under his jurisdiction. Congress provided the impetus for Bonaparte to acquire his own force. On May 27, 1908, it enacted a law preventing the Department of Justice from engaging Secret Service operatives. The following month, Attorney General Bonaparte appointed a force of Special Agents within the Department of Justice. Accordingly, ten former Secret Service employees and a number of Department of Justice peonage (i.e.,compulsory servitude) investigators became Special Agents of the Department of Justice. On July 26, 1908, Bonaparte ordered them to report to Chief Examiner Stanley W. Finch. This action is celebrated as the beginning of the FBI. Attorney General Bonaparte and President Theodore Roosevelt, who completed their terms in March 1909, recommended that the force
of 34 Agents become a permanent part of the Department of Justice. Attorney General George Wickersham, Bonaparte's successor, named the force the Bureau of Investigation on March 16, 1909. At that time, the title of Chief Examiner was changed to Chief of the Bureau of Investigation.
When the Bureau was established, there were few federal crimes. The Bureau of Investigation primarily investigated violations of laws involving national banking, bankruptcy, naturalization, antitrust, peonage, and land fraud. Because the early Bureau provided no formal training, previous law enforcement experience or a background in the law was considered desirable. Over the next few years, the number of Special Agents grew to more than 300, and these individuals were complemented by another 300 support employees. Field offices existed from the Bureau's inception. Each field operation was controlled by a Special Agent in Charge who was responsible to Washington. Most field offices were located in major cities. However, several were located near the Mexican border where they concentrated on smuggling, neutrality violations, and intelligence collection, often in connection with the Mexican revolution.
Attacking crimes that were federal in scope but local in jurisdiction called for creative solutions. The Bureau of Investigation had limited success using its narrow jurisdiction to investigate some of the criminals of "the gangster era." For example, it investigated Al Capone as a "fugitive federal witness." Federal investigation of a resurgent white supremacy movement also required creativity. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), dormant since the late 1800s, was revived in part to counteract the economic gains made by African Americans during World War I. The Bureau of Investigation used the Mann Act to bring
Louisiana's philandering KKK "Imperial Kleagle" to justice. Through these ... more
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Analysis of King Lear
King Lear, by William Shakespeare, is a tragic tale of filial conflict, personal transformation, and loss. The story revolves around the King who foolishly alienates his only truly devoted daughter and realizes too late the true nature of his other two daughters. A major subplot involves the illegitimate son of Gloucester, Edmund, who plans to discredit his brother Edgar and betray his father. With these and other major characters in the play, Shakespeare clearly asserts that human nature is either entirely good, or entirely evil. Some characters experience a transformative phase, where by some trial or ordeal their nature is profoundly changed. We shall examine Shakespeare's stand on human nature in King Lear by looking at specific characters in the play: Cordelia who is wholly good, Edmund who is wholly evil, and Lear whose nature is transformed by the realization of his folly and his descent into madness.
The play begins with Lear, an old king ready for retirement, preparing to divide the kingdom among his three daughters. Lear has his daughters compete for their inheritance by judging who can proclaim their love for him in the grandest possible fashion. Cordelia finds that she is unable to show her love with mere words:
"Cordelia. [Aside] What shall Cordelia speak? Love,
and be silent."
Act I, scene i, lines 63-64.
Cordelia's nature is such that she is unable to engage in even so forgivable a deception as to satisfy an old king's vanity and pride, as we see again in the following quotation:
"Cordelia. [Aside] Then poor cordelia!
And not so, since I am sure my love's
More ponderous than my tongue. "
Act I, Scene i, lines 78-80.
Cordelia clearly loves her father, and yet realizes that her honesty will not please him. Her nature is too good to allow even the slightest deviation from her morals. An impressive speech similar to her sisters' would have prevented much tragedy, but Shakespeare has crafted Cordelia such that she could never consider such an act. Later in the play Cordelia, now banished for her honesty, still loves her father and displays great compassion and grief for him as we see in the following:
"Cordelia. O my dear father, restoration hang
Thy medicine on my lips, and let this kiss
Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
Have in reverence made."
Act IV, Scene vii, lines 26-29.
Cordelia could be expected to display bitterness or even satisfaction at her father's plight, which was his own doing. However, she still loves him, and does not fault him for the injustice he did her. Clearly, Shakespeare has crafted Cordelia as a character whose nature is entirely good, unblemished by any trace of evil throughout the entire play.
As an example of one of the wholly evil characters in the play, we shall turn to the subplot of Edmund's betrayal of his father and brother. Edmund has devised a scheme to discredit his brother Edgar in the eyes of their father Gloucester. Edmund is fully aware of his evil nature, and revels in it as seen in the following quotation:
"Edmund. This is the excellent foppery of the world,
that when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeits
of our own behaviour, we make guilty of our disasters
the sun, the moon, and stars; as if we were
villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion;
knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical
predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by
an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and
all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on.
... I should have been that I
am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled
on my bastardizing."
Act I, scene ii, lines 127-137, 143-145.
Clearly, Edmund recognizes his own evil nature and decides to use it to his advantage. He mocks the notion of any kind of supernatural or divine influence over one's destiny. Edgar must go into hiding because of Edmund's deception, and later Edmund betrays Gloucester himself, naming him a traitor which results in Gloucester's eyes being put out. Edmund feels not the slightest remorse for any of his actions. Later on, after the invading French army has been repelled, Lear and Cordelia have been taken captive and Edmund gives these chilling words to his captain:
"Edmund. Come hither captain; hark.
Take thou this note: go follow them ... more
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