Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Hay, Robert


In March 1951, the Federal Bureau of Investigation established a formal, covert relationship with the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS). This previously undocumented alliance united two of the nation's influential political institutions in the 1950s, and together they played key roles in the guiding the domestic debate over internal security issues. Created in the aftermath of the onset of the Korean War and the passage of the Internal Security Act, the Senate Internal Security Committee emerged as Congress's most powerful anti-communist body, surpassing both Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Beginning in 1951, the SISS publicized the perceived threat of communism among Far Eastern policy experts, United Nations employees, the educational system, radical labor unions, the entertainment industry, the federal government, the civil rights movement, and the print media. Ostensibly authorized to investigate violations of federal law, the FBI since 1946 disseminated non-criminal data, obtained either illegally or without specific authority, to the media and conservative congressmen who shared the FBI director's obsession with the Red Menace. With the onset of the Cold War and the creation of the McCarran committee, Hoover found a uniquely reliable outlet for the bureau's substantial collection of political intelligence...



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