The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will be holding a hearing on August 2, 2017 entitled FBI Headquarters Consolidation Project – What Happened and What’s Next.
The hearing is set to address the Administration’s determination not to relocate the FBI to a new headquarters, despite the age and inefficiency of its current headquarters.
Our concern, however, is not with the physical building itself, but who it is named after–J. Edgar Hoover. As we write in the letter,
Hoover, from the very first moment he joined the Department of Justice in 1917, until to the end of his FBI directorship in 1972, was involved in continuous, willful, and systematic deprivations of civil liberties. Allowing his name to adorn the headquarters of the nation’s highest law enforcement agency sends a message of willful.
We also suggest that Congress rename the FBI building after William “Don” Edwards. Edwards was a former FBI agent who later went onto to be a Congress member from California. During his tenure he supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. He also was a proponent of abolishing the House Un-American Activities Commitment and legislation that would have prohibited the FBI from spying on First Amendment activity.
The FBI should honor his legacy, Hoover’s.