The plan called for the arrest and indefinite detention of 12,000 Americans 97% of whom were citizens from a list compiled from 1948 when Attorney General Tom Clark gave the F.B.I. the go ahead to make a list of people it considered "dangerous." Some of this may sound familiar.
The prisoners eventually would have had a right to a hearing under the Hoover plan. The hearing board would have been a panel made up of one judge and two citizens. But the hearings “will not be bound by the rules of evidence,” his letter noted.Why bother with the niceties of evidence when these people wouldn't have been swept up if they weren't guilty of 'something.' Surely the Hoover FBI could be trusted. Now that volume of people would create a certain problem, for which Hoover was prepared.
Hoover’s plan called for “the permanent detention” of the roughly 12,000 suspects at military bases as well as in federal prisons. The F.B.I., he said, had found that the arrests it proposed in New York and California would cause the prisons there to overflow.Sometimes history and stupidly dangerous ideas have a way of repeating themselves, though there is no evidence that Harry Truman ever instituted this mess. Too bad such can't be said for George II.