Interview with John Seigenthaler
QUESTION 11
INTERVIEWER:

WHAT WAS THE ATTITUDE OF THE KENNEDY ADMINISTRATION TOWARD THE FBI?

John Seigenthaler:

Well, the FBI was an institution that primarily, in those days, was interested in enforcing laws that involved bank robbery, uh kidnapping, automobile theft, white slavery and -uh- and -uh- Communist Subs—Subversion. Those were the five areas. And in at least -uh- four of those areas–-everything but Communist subversion—they relied on local police. And so the relationship between the FBI and the local police establishment in all these Southern cities was just interwoven… tight knit. FBI agents didn't belong to the Klan, but they didn't question the political uh -uh- involvements of local police officers, many of whom did belong to the Klan. And so we viewed them, in the area of Civil Rights as –uh- not active, -uh- not effective, and for a long time, not reliable.