The years 1920-45 proved to be pivotal for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). During this period, the Bureau evolved from a minor agency having limited influence to a powerful agency that profoundly, if at times indirectly, affected national policy and the political culture. The concerns resurfaced in strengthened form during the early 1920s, triggered by a series of dramatic revelations about the Bureau's surveillance activities during World War I and the immediate post-war years. The trials and revelations precipitated rather pointed criticisms that the Roosevelt and Truman administrations' 'softness toward communism' was responsible for Soviet advances in Eastern Europe and China and development of an atomic bomb. In an ironic way, then the anti-Communist surveillance initiatives of the FBI during the 1920-45 period proved to be a prelude to power diverting attention away from the agency's counter intelligence failures and legitimating the further expansion of its surveillance powers.