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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Athan Theoharis, Chronicler of F.B.I. Abuses, Dies at 84

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Professor Theoharis turned a guide to the committee, which in 1975 and 1976 investigated the legality of the F.B.I., the C.I.A. and the Nationwide Safety Company’s intelligence operations. He did analysis within the archives of a number of presidential libraries, together with these of Truman, Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson, on the labeled materials the F.B.I. despatched to presidents.

“They’ve entry to F.B.I. information, unrestricted entry,” he informed Ms. Medsger and Ms. Hamilton, referring to the Church Committee and its counterpart within the Home, led by Consultant Otis Pike, a New York Democrat. “And it’s a unique ballgame.”

And it was for Professor Theoharis as properly. He deployed FOIA, which had been strengthened by Congress in 1974, to plumb Hoover and his high aides’ delicate “Official and Confidential” information, together with these designated “Do Not File,” which have been stored from the F.B.I.’s central information, presumably secure from being disclosed.

“That absurd “Do Not File’ file was one of many issues that Athan drilled down on,” Professor Gage stated, “and he obtained lots of data that manner.”

Professor Theoharis wrote quite a few books concerning the F.B.I., amongst them “The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the American Inquisition” (1988, with John Stuart Cox) and “From the Secret Recordsdata of J. Edgar Hoover” (1991), which reprinted company memorandums accompanied by Professor Theoharis’s commentary.

Reviewing “The Boss” in The New York Instances, Herbert Mitgang wrote: “Not like another latest Hoover biographers, the authors don’t make apologies for the excesses of ‘The Boss.’ They’ve the products on him.”

Professor Theoharis thought that the portrait of Hoover as a gay cross-dresser that emerged in Anthony Summers’s 1993 e book, “Official and Confidential: The Secret Lifetime of J. Edgar Hoover,” was a distraction from the seriousness of Hoover’s unchecked authority.

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