According to recently declassified documents, infamous FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover presented President Harry Truman with a plan to suspend habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 people, mostly Americans, of whom he disapproved. The year was 1950 and the occasion was the start of the Korean War, but Hoover had apparently been building his list of the “potentially dangerous” for years.
New York Times:
Hoover wanted President Harry S. Truman to proclaim the mass arrests necessary to “protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage.” The F.B.I would “apprehend all individuals potentially dangerous” to national security, Hoover’s proposal said. The arrests would be carried out under “a master warrant attached to a list of names” provided by the bureau.
The names were part of an index that Hoover had been compiling for years. “The index now contains approximately twelve thousand individuals, of which approximately ninety-seven per cent are citizens of the United States,” he wrote.
“In order to make effective these apprehensions, the proclamation suspends the Writ of Habeas Corpus,” it said.