Advising Government Clients: Robert H. Jackson and the FBI Suicide Squad
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In 1941, Attorney General Robert H. Jackson learned that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had given an informal green light to the creation of an FBI "suicide squad" that would act outside the law to ferret out foreign agents who were fomenting work slow-downs in the defense industry. Jackson immediately wrote this President a memorandum advising against the project. Although he noted in passing that the project was illegal, his advice was predominately based upon policy. He doubted the wisdom of the project. Jackson's advice to his President epitomizes the occasional duty of an attorney adviser to go beyond the law and provide policy advice to a government client.