Plodders Plot

In a comedy of errors, Dasch proceeded to call the New York office of the FBI to explain that he was a German citizen who had arrived in the U.S. the previous morning, that he had a statement to make about the nation’s security, and that he wanted to meet with J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI desk agent duly noted the call in his log but decided it was not worthy of action. Not until several days later, when Dasch traveled to Washington, checked in at the Mayflower hotel, and called Hoover’s office directly, did the FBI “crack” the case.

With his usual flair for publicity, Hoover held a dramatic press conference emphasizing the FBI’s ingenuity and skill in bringing the German agents to book. —Jacob Heilbrunn reviews Saboteurs: The Nazi Raid on America by Michael Dobbs

Plodders Plot (Commentary Magazine)