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The Thin Man, by Dashiell Hammett, 1933:
    "It's a funny thing-- I suppose you've noticed it-- the people who lie the most are nearly always the clumsiest at it, and they're easier to fool with lies than most people, too. You'd think they'd be on the look-out for lies, but they seem to be the very ones that will believe almost anything at all. I suppose you've noticed that, haven't you?"

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The Thin Man, by Dashiell Hammett, 1933:
    "The chief thing," I advised them, "is not to let her tire you out. When you catch her in a lie, she admits it and gives you another lie to take its place and, when you catch her in that one, admits it and gives you still another, and so on. Most people-- even women-- get discouraged after you've caught them in the third or fourth straight lie and fall back on either the truth or silence, but not Mimi. She keeps trying and you've got to be careful or you'll find yourself believing her, not because she seems to be telling the truth, but simply because you're tired of disbelieving her."

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TIME Magazine, February 4, 1946, p. 24:

    With a single directive last week Harry Truman: 1) created a new agency in Washington; 2) put the U.S. in the business of international espionage; 3) ended, for a while at least, a bitter, home-grown feud.

    His order created a National Intelligence Authority, charged with correlating, evaluating, coordinating all information that can be gathered about foreign powers. The bulk of the work of the director of NIA will be with vast, non-secret facts about economics, populations, politics. But the U.S. is also going to join, after all these years, in the game of spying on the neighbors. Harry Truman did not say so, but that is the idea.

    Other great powers have always maintained espionage systems along with their armies and navies. The U.S., with a mixture of trust and indifference, never has-- outside of cracking codes and listening to teacup gossip at foreign embassies. That historical innocence, which ended in the fiasco at Pearl Harbor, is now gone.

    The General Proposes. State, War, and Navy Departments agreed on the necessity of getting all the foreign intelligence funneled into one office. It was over control of the agency that the fight had been waged-- a fight centering around mild, determined Major General William ("Wild Bill") Donovan, infantry hero of World War I and head of the Office of Strategic Services during World War II.

    Even before OSS began to function, Bill Donovan was convinced that such an agency should be set up, to work not only in war but in peacetime. In 1941 he sent a confidential memorandum to President Franklin D. Roosevelt outlining a plan.

    He proposed an overall information agency, provided with funds by Congress, advised by the Departments of State, War and Navy but not answerable to them; a single overall director. No special pleader would be allowed to distract the agency or its facts. The agency would report directly to the President.

    State, War and Navy were dead set against the kind of independence which Donovan proposed for an agency which would inevitably exercise great influence on foreign policy. They wanted the control. Opposition to Donovan's plan became so bitter that someone even slipped his memorandum to the Patterson-McCormick press. The New York Daily News howled that the Government intended to set up a "spy director," a U.S. Gestapo and in some manner turn the nation over to the sister of Justice Felix Frankfurter.

    Donovan had been careful to say that the agency should have no police power either at home or abroad. But the furor had its effect. In the end Donovan's idea of an independent agency went down the drain.

    The President Disposes. Harry Truman's decision was based on a modified proposal from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and incidentally on one phase of the Navy's so far disregarded plan for merging the services. This is the plan as the President outlined it:

    Funds for the Authority will come from State, War and Navy, thereby giving those Departments indirect control. The Authority itself will consist of the three Secretaries plus the President's Chief of Staff, currently Admiral William D. Leahy-- thereby giving the services direct control.

    The director will take orders from them and have no more than administrative power. To that job Harry Truman named quiet, 53-year-old Rear Admiral Sidney William Souers (rhymes with flowers), Naval Reservist, onetime Missouri businessman (life insurance, linen service, real estate, Piggly-Wiggly stores). Harry Truman knew him as an old friend. Businesslike Admiral Souers, who has had more active duty than most Reservists, is one of the few men to achieve flag rank without going to sea. For eight years he served as Senior Intelligence Officer in St. Louis. His latest Navy job: deputy chief of Naval Intelligence. Army & Navy officers who have worked with him applauded the appointment.

    Bill Donovan, back in Manhattan practicing law, did not mourn too loudly the kicking around his original plan had got. Any kind of intelligence-coordinating agency, he argued, was a realistic step in a confused and dangerous world.

On September 18, 1947 the National Security Act of 1947 disestablished the National Intelligence Authority, replacing it with the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This was part of the same reorganization that created the Department (and Secretary) of Defense, and separated the Air Force from the Army.

TIME Magazine, January 12, 1948, p. 12:

    As every U.S. schoolboy knows, and some of his elders forget, the two-party system is not as old as the Liberty Bell.* But, as every practicing politician knows, no third-party candidate has seriously challenged the two major parties since the Civil War.

    In the nation's clamorous early years, parties grew, split and withered like excited amoebas. Hamilton's Federalists and Jefferson's Republicans faded away, and the Whigs and Democrats took their place. Splinter parties were formed on such frenetic issues as a fanatical prejudice against Masons (the Anti-Masons) or a dislike for foreign-born citizens (the Americans or "Know-Nothings," who carried six states in 1854, captured 22% of the popular vote in 1856 for Millard Fillmore). In 1844, the anti-slavery Liberty Party, with a piddling 62,300 votes, drew enough Whig support in New York to swing the state and the presidency to Democrat James Polk. Four years later, the Free Soil Party did the same thing for Whig Zachary Taylor.

    Since the Civil War and the rise of the Republicans as an anti-slavery coalition, third parties have made much fuss, but to little effect. The have swung elections for others, have never been able to do much for themselves. They have elected Congressmen, an handful of Senators, but never a President.

    Bull Moosers. The best try was made by the Progressives of 1912. Ex-President Teddy Roosevelt thought better of his resolution not to seek a third term, unlimbered his big stick and set out after the scalp of his hand-picked successor, William Howard Taft. Declaring that he "felt like a bull moose," Roosevelt shrilly attacked "moneyed privilege" and "special interests," polled 4,126,020 popular and 88 electoral votes to Taft's 3,483,922 popular and eight electoral. But Democrat Woodrow Wilson, with a popular vote of 6,286,214-- less than Taft and Roosevelt combined-- walked away with 435 electoral votes.

    In 1924, another Progressive Party, led by Senator Robert ("Old Bob") La Follette and championing public control of railroads, power, and natural resources, polled nearly 5,000,000 popular votes, but captured only Wisconsin's 13 electoral votes. The Progressives temporarily displaced the Democrats as the second party in eleven Western states.

    Slivers & Martyrs. Other third parties have been more successful in non-presidential years. The Greenback Party, which clamored for cheap money, elected 15 Congressmen in the off year of 1878, but could garner only 307,306 votes for its presidential candidate in 1880. The Populists of 1890, riding a storm of discontent among bankrupt farmers and laborers ("The makers of clothes are underfed; the makers of food are underclothed"), elected nine representatives and four senators, but could pull only 1,000,000 votes in 1892 for James B. Weaver.

    There were other parties, most of them sliver-sized. The Prohibition Party has nominated a candidate for President ever since its formation in 1869, the Socialists since 1892. From 1900 to 1920, the Socialists' candidate was Eugene V. Debs, "martyr" of the Pullman strike. He polled 919,799 votes in 1920 (when he was in jail for sedition), won no electoral votes.

    Twice the Republicans have split to form pseudo-third parties. In 1872, the "Liberal Republicans" denounced the Grant Administration ("Turn the Rascals Out"), nominated Horace Greely, whom the Democrats also endorsed. The Mugwumps of 1884, for much the same reasons, deserted James G. Blaine and helped elect Democrat Grover Cleveland.

    The most recent third party (besides such hardy perennials as the Communists and the post-Debs Socialists) was the demagogic Union Party formed by a coalition of Coughlinites, Townsendites and Gerald L. K. Smith's "Share the Wealthers," which polled 882,479 votes in 1936 and then disappeared.

*The framers of the Constitution did not contemplate a two-party system. They set up the electoral college as an assembly of the nation's ablest men who were to pick the President by independent decision. The man receiving the most votes would become President, the runner-up Vice President. In 1804, the Constitution was amended to require separate votes for the two offices. Originally, state legislatures picked the electors, but by 1828 all states (except South Carolina) had authorized their election by popular ballot.