Palmer counted on his public “Red Scare” to be the flag around which conservatives would rally to support his candidacy, and carry him into the White House. He had already escaped assasination when an anarchist bomber blew himself up on the Attorney General's front porch. That photogenic escape had led to initial raids of Communists and anarchists in October of 1919 which had been widely approved of.
But the public reaction to the larger January raids had been largely negative. Emboldened by the criticism of the excesses, the Temporary (because this was yet another appointment Wilson no longer had the political power to secure) Under Secretary Of Labor, Louis Freeland Post, had cancelled most of the 4,000 arrest warrants Palmer and J. Edgar Hoover had issued, and most of the deportation orders for what Palmer called radicals, anarchists and communists. On examination, it seemed to Secretary Post, most of the arrests had been for simple union organizing.
Under Secretary Post (above) had even dared to call the warrants “illegal”.
- 30 -