The main target of the palmer raids was the union of

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The main target of the Palmer Raids was the Union of Russian Workers, which had never been proved to be an anarchistic organization, but the Bureau and Justice Department proceeded as if it had. The URW had been under scrutiny since the war, long before the Red Scare the Bureau had been plotting and debating the deportation of its members(Schmidt 249). Nation wide raids had been on the Bureau's mind for some time before it was commonly thought in the past. The URW just provided a convenient domestic target. Most of its members were just Russian immigrants attempting to take advantage of the driving and English lessons provided by the organization. This did not stop the Bureau from hurling accusations of radical activities and Bolshevik sympathies. Many Historians previously believed that the the Justice Department and the Labor Department did not come together on the deportations until the Fall of 1919, however once again the recent release of the Bureau files indicates otherwise. The files strongly hint that the two departments were working in tandem on the matter well before it was originally thought. With no peace time sedition act the Justice Department was forced to rely on deportation as its main weapon. Luckily for them it was not too shabby a weapon at all, as much of the radical movement was comprised of non-naturalized aliens.(Schmidt 252) It therefore seems that deportation is not only a reasonable way to break the radicals back but and extremely effective tool. Through deft maneuvering and political alliances the Bureau was able to basically
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completely take over the entire deportation process.(Schmidt 254). This allowed them to expand the scope of the raids significantly and to easily guarantee their success. The Raids are believed to have struck 18 separate industrial sectors, and netted 1,182 members of the URW. The Bureau simply rounded up everyone at the URW meeting halls and arrested them. Immediately after the Raids the Justice Department started a well planned public relations campaign. The campaign was designed to educate the journalist and politicians of America of the dangers and radicalism of the URW. This is a clear indication that the Justice Department was not reacting to public opinion but garnering it for its own purposes. Schmidt's study of the recent documents released by the FBI disproves many of the preconceived notions regarding the Bureau and its origins. As he has shown the FBI was already a firmly established organization by the Cold War, not one that sprang to power during it. More importantly he has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Bureau was far more involved and in fact proactive in the Red Scare. The Bureau investigated labors leaders, African Americans, and any suspected radicals long before the break out of the Red Scare. In fact in many ways Schmidt has shown that the Bureau is at times responsible for the manipulation of public opinion against radicals. They were utilized by the political and economic elite to protect the new centralized America from any disruption, and they did so with ruthless efficiency. Schmidt's research has clearly demonstrated that from its very origins the FBI was a force to be reckoned with and once that played a major part in American affairs.
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