Advising Government Clients: Robert H. Jackson and the FBI Suicide Squad

22 The Pub. Law. 3

6 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2014

See all articles by William R. Casto

William R. Casto

Texas Tech University - School of Law

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

In 1941, Attorney General Robert H. Jackson learned that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had given an informal green light to the creation of an FBI "suicide squad" that would act outside the law to ferret out foreign agents who were fomenting work slow-downs in the defense industry. Jackson immediately wrote this President a memorandum advising against the project. Although he noted in passing that the project was illegal, his advice was predominately based upon policy. He doubted the wisdom of the project. Jackson's advice to his President epitomizes the occasional duty of an attorney adviser to go beyond the law and provide policy advice to a government client.

Keywords: suicide squad, Robert H. Jackson, Robert Patterson, John McCloy, pulp fiction magazines, nazi sabotage, government clients, Franklin D. Roosevelt, J. Edgar Hoover, foreign agents, spies, communists, Attorney General, war, defense industries, organized labor, Dr. Heinrich Friedrich Albert

JEL Classification: K30, K40

Suggested Citation

Casto, William R., Advising Government Clients: Robert H. Jackson and the FBI Suicide Squad (2014). 22 The Pub. Law. 3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2510824

William R. Casto (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University - School of Law ( email )

1802 Hartford
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

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