May 10 – J. Edgar and the FBI

GabeBell Ringers, Government(BR)

On May 10, 1924, J. Edgar Hoover became the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI is much in the news today. While it was created as a law enforcement agency, from the early days of J. Edgar Hoover, its longest-serving director, it has drifted (or rushed) into politics and policy.

One of the oldest questions in politics is “Who guards the guardians?” Today, this has become a pressing issue, and almost every day, a form of it is in the news.

  1. The Constitution places the role of overseeing Federal agencies in the hands of Congress. Do you think this is appropriate? If not Congress, then who do you think should oversee agencies like the FBI?
  2. Why do you think law enforcement agencies have trouble staying out of politics? Do you think this is a new problem?
  3. If Congressional oversight is appropriate, how do you think it can be conducted successfully, in an increasingly partisan country?

Image Citation:

3 May 2018, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation Seal [Digital image].  Retrieved from <>.