This is what happens when you have a government, under the guise of national security, spy on its own people. Our government has spent the last decade and a half selling itself, and its people, on the mass hysteria of national security. We have the Patriot Act, and its successor the USA Freedom Act(a rose by any other name), unsupervised NSA surveillance of its own citizens, etc. When the government can place you on a no fly list without reason and then refuse to tell you that you are on the list, there’s a problem. When the citizens of the nation are not allowed to speak out about being under surveillance because they have been ordered not to, we have a problem. As a nation we continue to refuse to learn from our history. Almost every decade brings a new fear, a new reason to give up more of our rights- to refuse to think and act rationally in exchange for emotional security and hysteria.
In reading through some of the selected quotes below, one of the worst realizations is that the FBI treated this seriously. Their fear that one literary genre, and one author in it, would be so powerful as to subvert its populace was taken seriously. And honestly, their fear was well founded. Writing, and writers, are often subversive. It is a fantastic thing to have in any healthy society. The problem in this case is that the government took it upon themselves to determine that this might be a bad thing for its citizens, rather than letting the citizens choose for themselves. And I guarantee this is still happening today.