The story of the Palmer Raids begins in 1919, when a series of  bombings broke out. One of the intended targets was Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. He was unhurt  but  (understandably)  very angry. His reaction, however, took him beyond the boundaries of the Constitution. Blaming Communist foreign agents disguised as immigrants, he used existing sedition laws as an excuse to crack down.  On January 2, 1920, 500 FBI agents swooped down on suspected Communist agents (I.W.W. leaders and members of other trade unions, scientists, anti-war protesters, etc.) and arrested them without warrants.  Homes were ransacked and political literature destroyed.  240 people were eventually deported. In 1921, however, Palmer himself was denounced, tried and found guilty of misappropriating government funds. Charges against remaining prisoners were dropped.

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Escape Clause