In Viktor Suvorov's books, most notably The Liberators, Inside The Soviet Army, Inside Soviet Military Intelligence, a bleak picture is painted of a system where official figures were exaggerated or fabricated, corruption was widespread because no one of importance believed in the system, and that the economy's primary purpose was to supply the Red Army. In this context he argues that the entire system was given pretence only to confuse people at home and abroad.
For example: At one point Suvorov alleges that the entire civilian shipbuilding budget for the USSR was spent on military craft, and that civilians vessels were acquired overseas by other means. The budget was faked in order to pretend that the USSR wasn't just a military-industrial complex.
How accurate is this assessment? How widespread was the fabrication of Soviet records? Is it fair to say that the USSR's economy was dedicated to supporting its military, and that economic measures often used to compare with the USA are thus meaningless? Is there any investigation or evidence to justify this opinion?
As kubanczyk pointed out, Suvorov's premise was that the USSR mirrored Thomas Moore's book Utopia: where the society which attempted to create equality ended up enslaving its own people, and thus had to enforce that upon everyone else by being in a constant state of war. In strategic terms, the USSR needed to prepare for a war of global liberation, and thus their economy's only real purpose was to provide the means to achieve this.
The stated goal of existence of Soviet Union was to make its citizens happy, and to establish socialism in the whole world (to make all people happy). This does not mean that this stated goal coincided with the personal goals of the rulers (as in any other society, these things rarely coincide). The first goal had to be achieved by higher labor productivity in a socialist society and by more fair distribution of goods.
Prevailing opinion on how to achieve the second goal varied with time. On the early stage it was assumed that the proletariat of the other countries, inspired by the example of Soviet Union will make social revolutions and Soviet union will help. They also hoped that a world war will help. These hopes did not realize.
In the later years, (after 1960s) the prevailing (official) opinion was that as a result of "peaceful coexistence" and competition, socialism somehow will win everywhere. This hope also collapsed.
When it became clear to everyone that the life standard in Soviet Union is also far behind its main competitors, and is not increasing as expected, the Soviet Union lost its reason of existence and collapsed.
The system did not prove its expected efficiency. They lost the competition.
As I said in the beginning, the stated goals of an organization does not coincide with the personal goals of the individuals making this organization. The communist party which was planned as a governing body performing the "dictatorship of proletariat" quickly degenerated, and the real goal of many of its members was to hold its privileged position.
The Soviet Union started as essentially 150 million illiterate slaves, and within a half century became one of the world super powers, with nuclear weapons, a space program, world class physics and engineering. It developed its people to be educated, and to expect everyone to live a middle class lifestyle.
Certainly, some of the production numbers were faked, just like everywhere in the world. Were the numbers 100% wrong? Common sense says no, the numbers were somewhat truthful.
The important context to be drawn from Suvorov's book, which I will read soon, sounds like he has the expectation that the Soviet Union should be as good as England or the United States. The fact that he wants to hold the Soviet Union to such high standards, and compare the Soviet Union with the richest, most powerful countries indicates that indeed the Soviet Union was at least in the same league.
For comparison, imagine if a book were released which revealed that there are huge inconsistencies in some minor country's GDP growth numbers. Would anyone be surprised? or even interested in the existence of accounting inconsistencies? No, of course not. Why would anyone compare that insignificant state with the US?
What about comparing the Soviet Union and the United States economy? Does it make sense? It does; they are worthy of comparison. This means the reported numbers are not completely invalid.
Soviet and post-Soviet records were and are fabricated all the time, in huge quantities. In fact, the tradition dates much further back, to 18th century Potemkin villages. Before the 20th century these were rare, though, but in the Soviet Union massive falsifications were a way of life, and often the method of choice for make-belief economic growth. John Kerry was absolutely right when he called Russia parallel universe.
Residential building in the USSR, in million sq. meters. Blue = total, red = paid for by the customers.
The Soviet Union 25 Years On: ‘A Story of Crushing Tyranny and Oceans of Blood’
4,708 Hulton Archive/Getty Images
December 24, 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the formal end of the Soviet Union as a political entity on the map of the world. A quarter of a century ago, the curtain was lowered on the 75-year experiment in “building socialism” in the country where it all began following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, led by Vladimir Lenin in November 1917.
Some historians have estimated that as many as 200 million people worldwide may have died as part of the 20th century dream of creating a collectivist “paradise on earth.” The attempt to establish a comprehensive socialist system in many parts of the world over the last 100 years has been one of the cruelest and most brutal episodes in human history. Making a new “better world” was taken to mean the extermination, liquidation, and mass murder of all those who the socialist revolutionary leaders declared to be “class enemies,” including the families and even the children of “enemies of the people.”
The Bloody Road to Making a New Socialist Man
The evil of the Soviet system is that it was cruelty for a purpose. It has been calculated by Russian and Western historians who had limited access to the secret archives of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the KGB (the Soviet secret police) in the 1990s that as many as 68 million innocent, unarmed men, women, and children may have been killed in Soviet Russia alone over those nearly 75 years of communist rule in the Soviet Union.
A purpose. To make a new Soviet man and a new Soviet society. This required the destruction of everything that had gone before and entailed the forced creation of a new civilization, as conjured up in the minds of those who had appointed themselves the creators of this brave new world.
In the minds of those like Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lenin’s close associate and founder of the Soviet secret police, violence was an act of love. So much did they love the vision of the blissful communist future to come that they were willing to sacrifice all the traditional conceptions of humanity and morality to bring their utopia to fruition.
People applaud 17 November 1989 in Warsaw as the 15m (49ft) statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of Cheka, the first Soviet’s secret service, is taken down. The statue had stood in a square named after Dzerzhinsky in downtown Warsaw since 1945. This was the latest of several statues of former communist leaders to be removed here since a non-communist government came to power in September 1989. (WOJTEK DRUSZCZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Thus, in a publication issued in 1919 by the newly formed Soviet secret police, the Cheka (later the NKVD and then the KGB), it was proclaimed:
We reject the old systems of morality and ‘humanity’ invented by the bourgeoisie to oppress and exploit the ‘lower classes.’ Our morality has no precedent, and our humanity is absolute because it rests on a new ideal. Our aim is to destroy all forms of oppression and violence. To so, everything is permitted, for we are the first to raise the sword not to oppress races and reduce them to slavery, but to liberate humanity from its shackles …
Blood? Let blood flow like water! Let blood stain forever the black pirate’s flag flown by the bourgeoisie, and let our flag be blood-red forever! For only through the death of the old world can we liberate ourselves from the return of those jackals.
Death and Torture as Tools of Winning Socialism
The famous sociologist Pitirim A. Sorokin was a young professor in Petrograd (later Leningrad, and now St. Petersburg) in 1920, as the Russian Civil War that firmly established communist rule in Russia was coming to its end. He kept an account of daily life during those years, which he published many years later under the title Leaves from a Russian Diary – and Thirty Years After (1950).
Here is one of his entries from 1920:
The machine of the Red Terror works incessantly. Every day and every night, in Petrograd, Moscow, and all over the country the mountain of the dead grows higher … Everywhere people are shot, mutilated, wiped out of existence …
Every night we hear the rattle of trucks bearing new victims. Every night we hear the rifle fire of executions, and often some of us hear from the ditches, where the bodies are flung, faint groans and cries of those who did not die at once under the guns. People living near these places begin to move away. They cannot sleep …
Getting up in the morning, no man or woman knows whether he will be free that night. Leaving one’s home, one never knows whether he will return. Sometimes a neighborhood is surrounded and everyone caught out of his house without a certificate is arrested … Life these days depends entirely on luck.
This murderous madness never ended. In the 1930s, during the time of the Great Purges instituted by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to wipe out all “enemies of the revolution” through mass executions, millions were sent to the Gulag prisons that stretched across all of the Soviet Union to be worked to death as slave labor to “build socialism.”
Before being sent to their deaths or to the forced labor camps, tens of thousands would be interrogated and cruelly tortured for confessions of non-existent crimes, imaginary anti-Soviet conspiracies, and false accusations against others.
Stalin personally sent instructions to the Soviet secret police that stated that to obtain confessions from the accused, “the NKVD was given permission by the Central Committee [of the Communist Party] to use physical influence … as a completely correct and expedient method” of interrogation.
When Stalin was told that this method was bringing forth the desired results, he told the NKVD interrogators, “Give them the works until they come crawling to you on their bellies with confessions in their teeth.” Then, in another purge, this one after World War II, Stalin simplified the instructions even more: “Beat, beat and, once again, beat.”
KATYN, RUSSIA: A Polish woman holds a commemorative candle in Katyn, 31 October 1989, as she mourns Polish officers killed by NKVD (Stalin’s secret police) in the forest of Katyn, in 1940. Families of the murdered Polish officers were allowed access to the symbolic tomb in Russia. (WOJTEK DRUSZCZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Thousands of the victims wrote letters to Stalin from their exile and hardships in the labor camps, all of them were persuaded that it had all been a terrible mistake. If only the great and good Comrade Stalin knew, he would set it all right and they would be freed and restored as good, loyal Soviet citizens ready to once again work to “build socialism.”
Stalin’s Personal Hand in Building Socialism through Blood
But Stalin knew. He personally signed off on tens of thousands of death warrants and orders for tens of thousands more to be sent to their horrifying fates in the Gulag camps.
Dmitri Volkogonov, a Soviet general-turned-historian, gained access to many of the closed Soviet archives in the 1980s and wrote a biography of Stalin, titled Triumph and Tragedy (1991), meaning Stalin’s “triumph” to power and the resulting “tragedy” for the Soviet people. Volkogonov told a Western correspondent at the time:
I would come home from working in Stalin’s archives, and I would be deeply shaken. I remember coming home after reading through the day of December 12, 1938. He signed thirty lists of death sentences that day, altogether about five thousand people, including many he personally knew, his friends …
This is not what shook me. It turned out that, having signed these documents, he went to his personal theater very late that night and watched two movies, including “Happy Guys,” a popular comedy of the time. I simply could not understand how, after deciding the fate of several thousand lives, he could watch such a movie.
But I was beginning to realize that morality plays no role for dictators. That’s when I understood why my father was shot, why my mother died in exile, why millions of people died.
Soviet central planning even had quotas for the number of such enemies of the people to be killed in each region of the Soviet Union, as well as the required numbers to be rounded up to be sent to work in the labor camps in the frigid wastelands of the Siberia and the Arctic Circle or the scorching deserts of Soviet Central Asia.
Soviet Communist leader Joseph Stalin (1879 – 1953), right, with Soviet leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870 – 1924), in Gorky (Nizhny Novgorod). (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
A Russian lawyer who had access to some of the formerly closed Soviet archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in the 1990s said at the time:
Recently I read a Central Committee document from 1937 that said the Voronezh secret police, according to the ‘regional plan,’ repressed in the ‘first category,’ nine thousand people – which means these people were executed. And for no reason, of course.
Twenty-nine thousand were repressed in the ‘second category – meaning they were sent to labor camps. The local first secretary [of the Communist Party], however, writes that there are still more Trotskyites and kulaks who remain ‘unrepressed.’
He is saying that the plan was fulfilled but the plan was not enough! And so he asked that it be increased by eight thousand. Stalin writes back, ‘No increase to nine thousand!’ The sickness of it. Its’ as if they were playing poking [and upping the ante in tragic human lives] .
The Victims of Socialism Literally Reduced to Burnt Ash
In the last years of the Soviet Union, a Russian historian took Washington Post correspondent David Remnick to the Donskoi Monastery in Moscow, which was used in the 1930s as a burial ground for the thousands regularly killed on Stalin’s orders in the capital of the Red Empire.
In his book Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire (1993), Remnick told what the Russian historian explained:
See this gate? … Well, every night trucks stacked with bodies came back here and dumped them in a heap. They’d already been shot in the back of the head – you bleed less that way … They stacked the bodies in old wooden ammunition crates.
The workers stoked up the underground ovens – right in through the doors – to about twelve thousand degrees centigrade. To make things nice and official they even had professional witnesses who counter-signed the various documents.
When the bodies were burned they were reduced to ash and some chips of bone, maybe some teeth. They then buried the ashes in a pit … When the purges [of the 1930s] were at their peak … the furnaces worked all night and the domes of the churches were covered with ash. There was a fine dust of ash on the snow.
The Kalitnikovsky Cemetery in Moscow also served as a dumping ground for thousands of tortured and executed bodies in the 1930s.
That same Russian historian told Remnick:
In the purges, every dog in town came to this place. That smell you smell now was three times as bad blood was in the air. People would lean out of their windows and puke all night and the dogs howled until dawn. Sometimes they’d find a dog with an arm or a leg walking through the graveyard.
Enemies of Socialism Sent to Torture in the Mental Ward
The nightmare of the socialist experiment, however, did not end with Stalin’s death in 1953. Its form merely changed in later decades. As head of the KGB in the 1970s, Yuri Andropov (who later was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union after Leonid Brezhnev’s death in 1982), accepted a new theory in Soviet psychiatry which said opposition to the socialist regime was a sign of mental illness.
Why? Because only the mentally disturbed would resist the logic and the truth of Marxian dialectical determinism and its “proof” that socialism and communism were the highest and most humane stage of social development. Those who criticized the system or wanted to reform or overthrow the Soviet socialist regime were mentally sick and required psychiatric treatment.
A sculpted head of Stalin, knocked off its statue during an anti-Russian demonstration, lies in the middle of a road in Budapest. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
In his book Russia and the Russians (1984), former Moscow bureau chief for the Washington Post Kevin Klose told the story of Alexei Nikitin, a coal mine worker who complained to the Soviet government about the safety and health environment in the mines of the Soviet Union. He was arrested, tried, and found guilty of subversion and committed to a Soviet mental institution.
Various drugs were prescribed as a treatment to bring him to his proper socialist senses. Explained Kevin Klose:
Of all the drugs administered [at the mental institution] to impose discipline, sulfazine stood at the pinnacle of pain … ‘People injected with sulfazine were groaning, sighing with pain, cursing the psychiatrists and Soviet power, cursing with everything in their hearts,’ Alexei told us. ‘The people go into horrible convulsions and get completely disoriented. The body temperature rises to 40 degrees centigrade [104 degrees Fahrenheit] almost instantly, and the pain is so intense they cannot move from their beds for three days. Sulfazine is simply a way to destroy a man completely. If they torture you and break your arms, there is a certain specific pain and you somehow can stand it. But sulfazine is like a drill boring into your body that gets worse and worse until it’s more than you can stand. It’s impossible to endure. It is worse than torture, because, sometimes, torture may end. But this kind of torture may continue for years.’
Sulfazine normally was ‘prescribed’ in a ‘course’ of injections of increasing strength over a period that might last up to two months … The doctors had many other drugs with which to control and punish. Most of them eventually were used on Alexei … At the end of two months, Nikitin was taken off sulfazine but regular doses of … other disorienting drugs continued the entire time he was imprisoned.
The significance of these accounts is not their uniqueness but, rather, their monotonous repetition in every country in which socialism was imposed upon a society. In country after country, death, destruction, and privation followed in the wake of socialism’s triumph. Socialism’s history is a story of crushing tyranny and oceans of blood.
Socialism as the Ideology of Death and Destruction
As the Soviet mathematician and dissident Igor Shafarevich, who spent many years in the Gulag slave labor camps for his opposition to the communist regime, said in his book The Socialist Phenomenon (1980):
Most socialist doctrines and movements are literally saturated with the mood of death, catastrophe, and destruction … One could regard the death of mankind as the final result to which the development of socialism leads.
That 20th-century socialism would lead to nothing but this outcome was understood at the time of the Bolshevik victory in Russia. It was clearly expressed by the greatest intellectual opponent of socialism during the last 100 years, the Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises.
Near the end of his famous 1922 treatise Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis , Mises warned:
Socialism is not in the least what is pretends to be. It is not the pioneer of a better and finer world, but the spoiler of what thousands of years of civilization have created. It does not build, it destroys. For destruction is the essence of it. It produces nothing, it only consumes what the social order based on private ownership in the means production has created … Each step leading towards Socialism must exhaust itself in the destruction of what already exists.
When voices are once again heard calling for socialism – even by a recent candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. President or on university campuses around the country – it is important, no, it is crucial, that the history and reality of socialism-in-practice in those parts of the world where it was most thoroughly imposed and implemented, as in the Soviet Union, be remembered and fully understood.
If we do not, well, history has its own ways of repeating itself.
Richard M. Ebeling is BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. He was president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) from 2003 to 2008. This article has been reproduced here with the permission of Prof. Ebeling and can be found in its original form on the FEE website.
Gramophone records made of X-ray film were self-published
The term samizdat (‘self-published’) was coined in opposition to gosizdat (‘state-published’), a word stamped on every official publication. Samizdat encompassed a wide range of informally circulated material, and took various forms: political tracts, religious texts, novels, poetry, speeches and music. A related term is tamizdat (‘published over there’) – material smuggled into the USSR, such as ‘x-ray’ phonograph records of prohibited music, including rock’n’roll and compositions by banned émigrés. These soon appeared on the black market.
Samizdat was widely disseminated throughout the USSR, though authors made great effort to maintain their anonymity (Credit: Nkrita/Wikimedia Commons)
The practice of bootleg tape recording (magnitizdat) was less risky, as Soviet citizens were permitted to own a reel-to-reel recorder, and the majority of content was not overtly political, largely comprising of songs by solo Russian singers known as bards. Whereas the readership of written samizdat rarely exceeded the thousands, up to a million citizens listened to reel recordings. One of the most popular and subversive bards, Aleksandr Galich, used his songs to criticise “the fairy godmothers of censorship” and laud the role of underground media:
Untruth roams from field to field,
sharing notes with neighbouring Untruths,
But that which is sung softly, booms,
What’s read in whispers, thunders.
Although the term samizdat refers specifically to the Soviet period, most notably after the death of Stalin in 1953, unauthorised publishing has a long tradition in Russia. In the late 19th Century, students circulated radical pamphlets denouncing the Tsar, and after the failed revolution of 1905 and the subsequent crackdown on civil liberties, texts deemed subversive were shared widely. From the time of World War One, interrupted in Russia by the revolution of 1917 and a civil war that ran until 1922, considerable restrictions were placed on printed material.
Samizdat reflected the changing political, cultural and geographical landscape of the Soviet state. Some of the material protested the suppression of Christian denominations (Orthodox, Catholic, Baptist) or made the case for ethnic groups seeking self-determination (Jews, Crimean Tartars, Volga Germans). Slavophile samizdat opposed the ethnic heterogeneity of the Soviet Union, in favour of autocratic Russian orthodoxy and Slavic supremacy – invariably tinged with racism and anti-Semitism – and against Western political concepts such as democracy and socialism.
The Real McCarthy Record
Decades after the death of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, twice-elected United States Senator from Wisconsin, the term “McCarthyism” is still widely used as a convenient and easily understood epithet for all that is evil and despicable in the world of politics. Hardly a month passes without some reference to “McCarthyism” in the print or electronic media. Despite the frequency with which the term is invoked, however, it is quite clear that not one critic of McCarthy in a hundred has the slightest idea of what he said and did during that controversial period from 1950 to 1954.
Whether Joe McCarthy was right or wrong, it is important that we know the truth about him. If he was wrong, then we can learn some important lessons for the future. If he was right, then we need to be vitally concerned about the issues he raised because virtually nothing has been done to deal effectively with those issues since the mid-1950s.
This article will attempt to answer many of the questions asked about Joe McCarthy and the criticisms directed at him. The responses are based on years of study of McCarthy’s speeches and writings, congressional hearings in which he was involved, and more than a score of books about him, most of them highly critical and condemnatory.
I. The Years Before 1950
Q. Was Joe McCarthy a lax and unethical judge?
A. Joe McCarthy was elected as a circuit judge in Wisconsin in 1939 and took over a district court that had a backlog of more than 200 cases. By eliminating a lot of legal red tape and working long hours (his court remained open past midnight at least a dozen times), Judge McCarthy cleared up the backlog quickly and, in the words of one local newspaper, “administered justice promptly and with a combination of legal knowledge and good sense.” On October 28, 1940, the Milwaukee Journal editorialized: “Breaking with the ‘horse-and-buggy’ tradition that has tied up the calendars of most Wisconsin circuit courts, young Judge Joseph R. McCarthy of Appleton has streamlined his tenth district … and has made a hit with lawyers and litigants alike.”
Q. Did McCarthy exaggerate his military record in World War II?
A. Although his judgeship exempted him from military service, McCarthy enlisted in the Marines and was sworn in as a first lieutenant in August 1942. He served as an intelligence officer for a bomber squadron stationed in the Solomon Islands and had the responsibility of briefing and debriefing pilots before and after their missions. McCarthy also risked his life by volunteering to fly in the tail-gunner’s seat on many combat missions. Those who quibble about the number of combat missions he flew miss the point — he didn’t have to fly any.
The enemies of McCarthy have seized on his good-natured remark about shooting down coconut trees from his tail-gunner’s spot (ABC’s three-hour movie about McCarthy in 1977 was entitled Tail Gunner Joe) to belittle his military accomplishments, but the official record gives the true picture. Not only were McCarthy’s achievements during 30 months of active duty unanimously praised by his commanding officers, but Admiral Chester Nimitz, commander-in-chief of the Pacific Fleet, issued the following citation regarding the service of Captain McCarthy:
For meritorious and efficient performance of duty as an observer and rear gunner of a dive bomber attached to a Marine scout bombing squadron operating in the Solomon Islands area from September 1 to December 31, 1943. He participated in a large number of combat missions, and in addition to his regular duties, acted as aerial photographer. He obtained excellent photographs of enemy gun positions, despite intense anti-aircraft fire, thereby gaining valuable information which contributed materially to the success of subsequent strikes in the area. Although suffering from a severe leg injury, he refused to be hospitalized and continued to carry out his duties as Intelligence Officer in a highly efficient manner. His courageous devotion to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the naval service.
Q. Was McCarthy backed by the Communists in his 1946 campaign for the U.S. Senate?
A. In 1946, Joe McCarthy upset incumbent U.S. Senator Robert La Follette by 5,378 votes in the Republican primary and went on to beat Democrat Howard McMurray by 251,658 votes in the general election. The Communist Party of Wisconsin had originally circulated petitions to place its own candidate on the ballot as an Independent in the general election. When McCarthy scored his surprising victory over La Follette, the Communists did not file the petitions for their candidate, but rallied instead behind McMurray. Thus, Joe McCarthy defeated a Democratic-Communist coalition in 1946.
Q. Had Joe McCarthy ever spoken out against Communism prior to his famous speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1950?
A. Those who contend that McCarthy stumbled across Communism while searching for an issue to use in his 1952 reelection campaign will be disappointed to know that the Senator had been speaking out against Communism for years. He made Communism an issue in his campaign against Howard McMurray in 1946, charging that McMurray had received the endorsement of the Daily Worker, the Communist Party newspaper. In April 1947, McCarthy told the Madison Capital Times that his top priority was “to stop the spread of Communism.” On the Meet the Press radio show in July of that year, the Wisconsin Senator said: “We’ve been at war with Russia for some time now, and Russia has been winning this war at a faster rate than we were, during the last stages of the last war. Everyone is painfully aware of the fact that we are at war — and that we’re losing it.”
During a speech in Milwaukee in 1952, Senator McCarthy dated the public phase of his fight against Communists to May 22, 1949, the night that former Secretary of Defense James Forrestal was found dead on the ground outside Bethesda Naval Hospital. “The Communists hounded Forrestal to his death,” said McCarthy. “They killed him just as definitely as if they had thrown him from that sixteenth-story window in Bethesda Naval Hospital.” He said that “while I am not a sentimental man, I was touched deeply and left numb by the news of Forrestal’s murder. But I was affected much more deeply when I heard of the Communist celebration when they heard of Forrestal’s murder. On that night, I dedicated part of this fight to Jim Forrestal.”
Thus, Joe McCarthy was receptive in the fall of 1949 when three men brought to his office a 100-page FBI report alleging extensive Communist penetration of the State Department. The trio had asked three other Senators to awaken the American people to this dangerous situation, but only McCarthy was willing to take on this volatile project.
II. A Lone Senator (1950-1952)
Q. What was the security situation in the State Department at the time of McCarthy’s Wheeling speech in February 1950?
A. Communist infiltration of the State Department began in the 1930s. On September 2, 1939, former Communist Whittaker Chambers provided Assistant Secretary of State Adolph Berle with the names and Communist connections of two dozen spies in the government, including Alger Hiss. Berle took the information to President Roosevelt, but FDR laughed it off. Hiss moved rapidly up the State Department ladder and served as an advisor to Roosevelt at the disastrous Yalta Conference in 1945 that paved the way for the Soviet conquest of Central and Eastern Europe. Hiss also functioned as the secretary general of the founding meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco, helped to draft the UN Charter, and later filled dozens of positions at the UN with American Communists before he was publicly exposed as a Soviet spy by Whittaker Chambers in 1948.
The security problem at the State Department had worsened considerably in 1945 when a merger brought into the State Department thousands of employees from such war agencies as the Office of Strategic Services, the Office of War Information, and the Foreign Economic Administration — all of which were riddled with members of the communist underground. J. Anthony Panuch, the State Department official charged with supervising the 1945 merger, told a Senate committee in 1953 that “the biggest single thing that contributed to the infiltration of the State Department was the merger of 1945. The effects of that are still being felt.” In 1947, Secretary of State George Marshall and Under Secretary of State Dean Acheson engineered the firing of Panuch and the removal of every key member of his security staff.
In June 1947, a Senate Appropriations subcommittee addressed a secret memorandum to Secretary Marshall, calling to his attention a condition that “developed and still flourishes in the State Department under the administration of Dean Acheson. It is evident that there is a deliberate, calculated program being carried out not only to protect communist personnel in high places but to reduce security and intelligence protection to a nullity. On file in the department is a copy of a preliminary report of the FBI on Soviet espionage activities in the United States which involves a large number of State Department employees, some in high official positions.”
The memorandum listed the names of nine of these State Department officials and said that they were “only a few of the hundreds now employed in varying capacities who are protected and allowed to remain despite the fact that their presence is an obvious hazard to national security. There is also the extensive employment in highly classified positions of admitted homosexuals, who are historically known to be security risks.” On June 24, 1947, Assistant Secretary of State John Peurifoy notified the chairman of the Senate subcommittee that ten persons had been dismissed from the department, five of whom had been listed in the memorandum. But from June 1947 until McCarthy’s speech in February 1950, the State Department did not fire one person as a loyalty or security risk. In other branches of the government, however, more than 300 persons were discharged for loyalty reasons alone during the period from 1947 to 1951.
It was also during the mid-to-late Forties that communist sympathizers in the State Department played a key role in the subjugation of mainland China by the Reds. “It is my judgment, and I was in the State Department at the time,” said former Ambassador William D. Pawley, “that this whole fiasco, the loss of China and the subsequent difficulties with which the United States has been faced, was the result of mistaken policy of Dean Acheson, Phil Jessup, [Owen] Lattimore, John Carter Vincent, John Service, John Davies, [O.E.] Clubb, and others.” Asked if he thought the mistaken policy was the result of “sincere mistakes of judgment,” Pawley replied: “No, I don’t.”
Q. Was Joe McCarthy the only member of Congress critical of those whose policies had put 400 million Chinese into Communist slavery?
A. No, there were others who were equally disturbed. For instance, on January 30, 1949, one year before McCarthy’s Wheeling speech, a young Congressman from Massachusetts deplored “the disasters befalling China and the United States” and declared that “it is of the utmost importance that we search out and spotlight those who must bear the responsibility for our present predicament.” The Congressman placed a major part of the blame on “a sick Roosevelt,” General George Marshall, and “our diplomats and their advisors, the Lattimores and the Fairbanks,” and he concluded: “This is the tragic story of China whose freedom we once fought to preserve. What our young men had saved, our diplomats and our President have frittered away.” The Congressman’s name was John F. Kennedy.
Q. What did McCarthy actually say in his Wheeling speech?
A. Addressing the Ohio County Women’s Republican Club on February 9, 1950, Senator McCarthy first quoted from Marx, Lenin, and Stalin their stated goal of world conquest and said that “today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic atheism and Christianity.” He blamed the fall of China and other countries to the Communists in the previous six years on “the traitorous actions” of the State Department’s “bright young men,” and he mentioned specifically John S. Service, Gustavo Duran, Mary Jane Kenny (it should have been Keeney), Julian Wadleigh, Dr. Harlow Shapley, Alger Hiss, and Dean Acheson. The part of the speech that catapulted McCarthy from relative obscurity into the national spotlight contained these words:
I have in my hand 57 cases of individuals who would appear to be either card-carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shape our foreign policy.
Q. Wasn’t it reported that McCarthy used the number 205 in his Wheeling speech, lowered it to 57 later, and then raised it again to 81?
A. Yes, this was reported, and here is the explanation: In the Wheeling speech, McCarthy referred to a letter that Secretary of State James Byrnes sent to Congressman Adolph Sabath in 1946. In that letter, Byrnes said that State Department security investigators had declared 284 persons unfit to hold jobs in the department because of Communist connections and other reasons, but that only 79 had been discharged, leaving 205 still on the State Department’s payroll. McCarthy told his Wheeling audience that while he did not have the names of the 205 mentioned in the Byrnes letter, he did have the names of 57 who were either members of or loyal to the Communist Party. On February 20, 1950, McCarthy gave the Senate information about 81 individuals — the 57 referred to at Wheeling and 24 others of less importance and about whom the evidence was less conclusive.
The enemies of McCarthy have juggled these numbers around to make the Senator appear to be erratic and to distract attention from the paramount question: Were there still Alger Hisses in the State Department betraying this nation? McCarthy was not being inconsistent in his use of the numbers the 57 and 81 were part of the 205 mentioned in the Byrnes letter.
Q. Was it fair for McCarthy to make all those names public and ruin reputations?
A. That is precisely why McCarthy did not make the names public. Four times during the February 20 speech, Senator Scott Lucas demanded that McCarthy make the 81 names public, but McCarthy refused to do so, responding that “if I were to give all the names involved, it might leave a wrong impression. If we should label one man a Communist when he is not a Communist, I think it would be too bad.” What McCarthy did was to identify the individuals only by case numbers, not by their names.
By the way, it took McCarthy some six hours to make that February 20 speech because of harassment by hostile Senators, four of whom — Scott Lucas, Brien McMahon, Garrett Withers, and Herbert Lehman — interrupted him a total of 123 times. It should also be noted that McCarthy was not indicting the entire State Department. He said that “the vast majority of the employees of the State Department are loyal” and that he was only after the ones who had demonstrated a loyalty to the Soviet Union or to the Communist Party.
Further, McCarthy admitted that “some of these individuals whose cases I am giving the Senate are no longer in the State Department. A sizable number of them are not. Some of them have transferred to other government work, work allied with the State Department. Others have been transferred to the United Nations.” Senator Karl Mundt supported McCarthy on this point by noting that “one of the great difficulties we confront in trying to get Communists out of government is that apparently once they have been removed from one department there is no alert given to the other departments, so they simply drift from one department to another.”
Q. What was the purpose of the Tydings Committee?
A. The Tydings Committee was a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that was set up in February 1950 to conduct “a full and complete study and investigation as to whether persons who are disloyal to the United States are, or have been, employed by the Department of State.” The chairman of the subcommittee, Senator Millard Tydings, a Democrat, set the tone for the hearings on the first day when he told McCarthy: “You are in the position of being the man who occasioned this hearing, and so far as I am concerned in this committee you are going to get one of the most complete investigations ever given in the history of this Republic, so far as my abilities will permit.”
After 31 days of hearings, during which McCarthy presented public evidence on nine persons (Dorothy Kenyon, Haldore Hanson, Philip Jessup, Esther Brunauer, Frederick Schuman, Harlow Shapley, Gustavo Duran, John Stewart Service, and Owen Lattimore), the Tydings Committee labeled McCarthy’s charges a “fraud” and a “hoax,” said that the individuals on his list were neither communist nor pro-communist, and concluded that the State Department had an effective security program.
Q. Did the Tydings Committee carry out its mandate?
A. Not by a long shot. The Tydings Committee never investigated State Department security at all and did not come close to conducting the “full and complete study and investigation” it was supposed to conduct. Tydings and his Democratic colleagues, Brien McMahon and Theodore Green, subjected McCarthy to considerable interruptions and heckling, prompting Senator Henry Cabot Lodge to protest that McCarthy “never gets a fair shake” in trying to present his evidence in an orderly fashion. So persistent were the interruptions and statements of the Democratic trio during the first two days of the hearings that McCarthy was allowed only a total of 17 1/2 minutes of direct testimony.
While the Democrats were hostile to McCarthy and to any witnesses that could confirm his charges, they fawned all over the six individuals who appeared before the committee to deny McCarthy’s accusations. Tydings, McMahon, and Green not only treated Philip Jessup like a hero, for one example, but refused to let McCarthy present his full case against Jessup or to cross-examine him. Furthermore, the committee majority declined to call more than 20 witnesses whom Senator Bourke Hickenlooper thought were important to the investigation. And when Senator Lodge read into the record 19 questions that he thought should be answered before the committee exonerated the State Department’s security system, not only did the Democrats ignore the questions, but some member of the committee or the staff deleted from the official transcript of the hearings the 19 questions as well as other testimony that made the committee look bad. The deleted material amounted to 35 typewritten pages.
It is clear then that the Tydings Committee did not carry out its mandate and that the words “fraud” and “hoax” more accurately describe the Tydings Report than they do McCarthy’s charges.
There is one other dirty trick played on McCarthy by Senator Tydings that should be mentioned because it shows how dishonest McCarthy’s enemies were. McCarthy wanted to present his information in closed sessions, but Tydings insisted on public sessions. So when McCarthy arrived at the first hearing, he gave reporters a press release about Dorothy Kenyon, his first case. Tydings then told McCarthy publicly that he could give his evidence in executive session if he wished and gave him two minutes to make up his mind. Since the committee had already rejected his request for closed sessions, and since he had already given the press material about his first case, McCarthy told Tydings that “we will have to proceed with this one in open session.”
As deceitful as Tydings was in trying to make McCarthy appear to be responsible for public hearings, the reporters who were present were just as bad. They knew what Tydings was trying to do, and yet they joined in spreading this malicious falsehood about McCarthy.
Q. So, was McCarthy right or wrong about the State Department?
A. He was right. Of the 110 names that McCarthy gave to the Tydings Committee to be investigated, 62 of them were employed by the State Department at the time of the hearings. The committee cleared everyone on McCarthy’s list, but within a year the State Department started proceedings against 49 of the 62. By the end of 1954, 81 of those on McCarthy’s list had left the government either by dismissal or resignation.
Q. Can you cite some particular examples?
A. Sure. Let’s take three of McCarthy’s nine public cases — those of John Stewart Service, Philip Jessup, and Owen Lattimore.* Five years before McCarthy mentioned the name of John Stewart Service, Service was arrested for giving classified documents to the editors of Amerasia, a communist magazine. The Truman Administration, however, managed to cover up the espionage scandal and Service was never punished for his crime. McCarthy also produced considerable evidence that Service had been “part of the pro-Soviet group” that wanted to bring Communism to China, but the Tydings Committee said that Service was “not disloyal, pro-Communist, or a security risk.” Over the next 18 months, the State Department’s Loyalty Security Board cleared Service four more times, but finally, in December 1951, the Civil Service Commission Loyalty Review Board found that there was “reasonable doubt” as to his loyalty and ousted him from the State Department.
Was the career of Service ruined by this decision? Not on your life. The Supreme Court reinstated him in 1956 and Service was the American consul in Liverpool, England, until his retirement in 1962. He then joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley and visited Red China in the fall of 1971 at the invitation of communist tyrant Chou En-lai. Following his return from the country he helped to communize, Service wrote four articles for the New York Times and was the subject of a laudatory cover interview in Parade magazine.
All that Joe McCarthy said about Philip Jessup was that he had an “unusual affinity for Communist causes.” The record shows that Jessup belonged to at least five Communist-controlled fronts, that he associated closely with Communists, and that he was an influential member of the Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR), which the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS) described in 1952 as “a vehicle used by Communists to orientate American Far Eastern policy toward Communist objectives.” The SISS also reported that 46 persons connected with the IPR while Jessup was a leading light there had been named under oath as members of the Communist Party.
The Senate apparently felt that McCarthy was closer to the truth than the Tydings Committee because in 1951 it rejected Jessup’s nomination as a delegate to the United Nations. After the Senate adjourned, however, President Truman appointed him anyway. In 1960, President Eisenhower named Jessup to represent the United States on the International Court of Justice, and Jessup served on the World Court until 1969. He died in 1986.
Owen Lattimore was one of the principal architects of the State Department’s pro-Communist foreign policy in the Far East. In a closed session of the Tydings Committee, Senator McCarthy called Lattimore “the top Russian spy” in the department. (That charge, by the way, was leaked to the public not by McCarthy but by columnist Drew Pearson.) McCarthy later modified his statement on Lattimore, saying that “I may have perhaps placed too much stress on the question of whether or not he has been an espionage agent,” and went on to say that “thirteen different witnesses have testified under oath to Lattimore’s Communist membership or party-line activities.” Although the Tydings Committee cleared Lattimore of all charges, another Senate committee, the Internal Security Subcommittee, vindicated Joe McCarthy when it declared in 1952 that “Owen Lattimore was, from some time beginning in the 1930s, a conscious articulate instrument of the Soviet conspiracy.”
Was Lattimore hurt by this or by his subsequent indictment for perjury? Of course not. He continued on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University, went to Communist Outer Mongolia for the Kennedy State Department in 1961, became head of a new Chinese studies department at Leeds University in England in 1963, and returned to the United States in the Seventies for speeches and lectures. On January 28 of this year, Lattimore told the Associated Press from his home in Rhode Island that the Reagan administration’s decision to establish diplomatic ties with communist Mongolia was “long overdue.”
Q. Even if McCarthy was right about Service, Jessup, and Lattimore, weren’t there hundreds of others who were publicly smeared by him?
A. This is one of the most enduring myths about McCarthy, and it is completely false. It is a fact, said Buckley and Bozell in McCarthy and His Enemies, that from February 9, 1950, until January 1, 1953, Joe McCarthy publicly questioned the loyalty or reliability of a grand total of 46 persons, and particularly dramatized the cases of only 24 of the 46. We have just talked about three of the Senator’s major targets, and Buckley and Bozell pointed out that McCarthy “never said anything more damaging about Lauchlin Currie, Gustavo Duran, Theodore Geiger, Mary Jane Keeney, Edward Posniak, Haldore Hanson, and John Carter Vincent, than that they are known to one or more responsible persons as having been members of the Communist Party, which is in each of these instances true.”
While McCarthy may have exaggerated the significance of the evidence against some other individuals, his record on the whole is extremely good. (This is also true of the 1953-54 period when he was chairman of a Senate committee and publicly exposed 114 persons, most of whom refused to answer questions about communist or espionage activities on the ground that their answers might tend to incriminate them.) There were no innocent victims of McCarthyism. Those whom McCarthy accused had indeed collaborated in varying degrees with Communism and Communists, had shown no remorse for their actions, and thoroughly deserved whatever scorn was directed at them.
Q. What about McCarthy’s attack on General George Marshall? Wasn’t that a smear of a great man?
A. This is a reference to the 60,000-word speech he delivered on the Senate floor on June 14, 1951 (later published as a book entitled America’s Retreat From Victory). One interesting thing about the speech is that McCarthy drew almost entirely from sources friendly to Marshall in discussing nearly a score of his actions and policies that had helped the Communists in the USSR, Europe, China, and Korea. “I do not propose to go into his motives,” said McCarthy. “Unless one has all the tangled and often complicated circumstances contributing to a man’s decisions, an inquiry into his motives is often fruitless. I do not pretend to understand General Marshall’s nature and character, and I shall leave that subject to subtler analysts of human personality.”
One may agree or disagree with McCarthy’s statement that America’s steady retreat from victory “must be the product of a great conspiracy, a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so black that, when it is finally exposed, its principals shall be forever deserving of the maledictions of all honest men.” That statement was very controversial in 1951, but after 36 years of no-win wars in Korea and Vietnam, along with Soviet expansionism throughout the world, aided and abetted in large measure by U.S. policymakers, it doesn’t seem so controversial anymore. In any case, before judging McCarthy on what he is supposed to have said about Marshall, we recommend reading the book to find out what he actually said and to see how extensive was his documentation.
Q. Can it be true that State Department policy toward the Communists didn’t change very much even after McCarthy helped get many pro-Communists out of the department?
A. Unfortunately, it is true. McCarthy, you see, only scratched the surface. He did prompt a tightening of security procedures for a while, and the State Department and other sensitive federal agencies dismissed nearly 4,000 employees in 1953 and 1954, although many of them shifted to nonsensitive departments. Some of these security risks returned to their old agencies when security was virtually scrapped during the Kennedy Administration.
During the mid-1950s, a State Department security specialist named Otto Otepka reviewed the files of all department personnel and found some kind of derogatory information on 1,943 persons, almost 20 percent of the total payroll. He told the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee years later that of the 1,943 employees, 722 “left the department for various reasons, but mostly by transfer to other agencies, before a final security determination was made.” Otepka trimmed the remaining number on the list to 858 and in December 1955 sent their names to his boss, Scott McLeod, as persons to be watched because of communist associations, homosexuality, habitual drunkenness, or mental illness.
McLeod’s staff reviewed the Otepka list and narrowed it down to 258 persons who were judged to be “serious” security risks. “Approximately 150 were in high-level posts where they could in one way or another influence the formulation of United States foreign policy,” said William J. Gill, author of The Ordeal of Otto Otepka. “And fully half of these 258 serious cases were officials in either crucial Intelligence assignments or serving on top-secret committees reaching all the way up and into the National Security Council.” As many as 175 of the 258 were still in important policy posts as of the mid-1960s, but Otto Otepka had been ousted from the State Department by that time and we are not aware of anyone like Otepka keeping track of security risks since then — and that was more than 20 years ago.
Considering the State Department’s virtually unbroken record over the past 30 years of undermining anti-communist governments and backing communist regimes, of putting Soviet desires ahead of American interests, of allowing 200 Soviet nationals to work and spy for years in our embassy in Moscow, and of bitterly opposing Reagan administration efforts in 1986 to reduce the massive Soviet espionage presence at the United Nations by one-third, it is not unreasonable to wonder how many heirs of Alger Hiss are still making policy there.
Bear in mind, too, that Communist penetration of the U.S. government was not confined to the State Department. On July 30, 1953, the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, chaired by Senator William Jenner, released its report on Interlocking Subversion in Government Departments. Among its conclusions:
1. The Soviet international organization has carried on a successful and important penetration of the United States Government and this penetration has not been fully exposed.
2. This penetration has extended from the lower ranks to top-level policy and operating positions in our government.
3. The agents of this penetration have operated in accordance with a distinct design fashioned by their Soviet superiors.
4. Members of this conspiracy helped to get each other into government, helped each other to rise in government, and protected each other from exposure.
Summarizing the 1952 testimony of former Soviet courier Elizabeth Bentley, who had identified 37 Soviet agents within the U.S. government, the subcommittee also said that “to her knowledge there were four Soviet espionage rings operating within our government and that only two of these have been exposed.” In October 1953, a Soviet defector named Colonel Ismail Ege estimated that a minimum of 20 spy networks were operating within the United States in 1941-1942, when he was chief of the Fourth Section of Soviet General Staff Intelligence. Thirty-four years after Ege’s testimony, these espionage rings and networks still have not been publicly exposed.
On February 5, 1987, the New York Times reported that an 18-month investigation by the House Intelligence Committee “had uncovered ‘dangerous laxity’ and serious ‘security failures’ in the government’s system of catching spies. Even though 27 Americans have been charged with espionage in the last two years, and all but one of those brought to trial have been found guilty, the committee said in a report that it still found ‘a puzzling, almost nonchalant attitude toward recent espionage cases on the part of some senior U.S. intelligence officials.'” According to the Times, “the investigation found ‘faulty hiring practices, poor management of probationary employees, thoughtless firing practices, lax security practices, inadequate interagency cooperation — even bungled surveillance of a prime espionage suspect.'”
The same “nonchalant attitude” toward communist spies that Joe McCarthy denounced in the early 1950s still exists today. Only there is no Joe McCarthy in the Senate urging that something be done to correct this dangerous situation. Nor are there any congressional committees investigating communist subversion in government. The destruction of Joe McCarthy not only removed him from the fight, it also sent a powerful message to anyone else who might be contemplating a similar battle: Try to ferret Communists and pro-Communists out of the government and you will be harassed, smeared, and ultimately destroyed.
Q. But why do we need congressional committees? Can’t the FBI do the job?
A. The function of the FBI is to gather information and pass it along to the agency or department where the security problem exists. If the FBI report is ignored, or if the department does take action and is overruled by a review board, only a congressional committee can expose and remedy this situation. Some examples: In December 1945, the FBI sent President Truman a report showing that his Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Harry Dexter White, was a Soviet spy. Truman ignored the warning and, early in 1946, promoted White to executive director of the U.S. Mission to the International Monetary Fund. The FBI sent Truman a second report, but again he did nothing. White resigned from the government in 1947, and his communist ties were exposed by Elizabeth Bentley when she appeared before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1948.
The FBI warned the State Department in the mid-1940s of extensive communist penetration of the department, but the warning was disregarded for the most part. It was not until Joe McCarthy turned the spotlight on the situation that dozens of security risks were removed. The FBI had also sent some 40 confidential reports about the communist activities of Edward Rothschild, an employee of the Government Printing Office, but Rothschild wasn’t removed from his sensitive position until his background was exposed by the McCarthy Committee in 1953.
III. Committee Chairman (1953-54)
Q. Granted that congressional investigating committees can serve an important purpose, weren’t McCarthy’s methods terrible and didn’t he subject witnesses to awful harassment?
A. Now we’re into an entirely different phase of McCarthy’s career. For three years, he had been one lone Senator crying in the wilderness. With the Republicans taking control of the Senate in January 1953, however, Joe McCarthy became chairman of the Senate Permanent Investigations Subcommittee. No longer did he have to rely solely upon public speeches to inform the American people of the Communist threat to America. He was now chairman of a Senate committee with a mandate to search out graft, incompetence, and disloyalty inside the vast reaches of the American government.
As for McCarthy’s methods, they were no different from those of other senators who were generally applauded for vigorous cross-examination of organized crime figures, for instance. The question of methods seems to come up only when subversives or spies are on the witness stand. And those who most loudly deplored McCarthy’s methods often resorted to the foulest methods themselves, including the use of lies, half-truths, and innuendos designed to stir up hysteria against him. What some people seemingly do not understand is that Communists are evildoers and that those who give aid and comfort to Communists — whether they are called dupes, fellow travelers, liberals, or progressives — are also evildoers who should be exposed and removed from positions of influence.
Traitors and spies in high places are not easy to identify. They do not wear sweatshirts with the hammer and sickle emblazoned on the front. Only painstaking investigation and exhaustive questioning can reveal them as enemies. So why all the condemnation for those who expose spies and none for the spies themselves? Why didn’t McCarthy’s critics expose a traitor now and then and show everyone how much better they could do it? No, it was much easier to hound out of public life such determined enemies of the Reds as Martin Dies, Parnell Thomas, and Joe McCarthy than to muster the courage to face up to the howling communist wolfpack themselves.
Q. So, McCarthy’s treatment of persons appearing before his committee was not as bad as has been reported?
A. Exactly. Let’s look at the record. During 1953 and the first three months of 1954 (McCarthy was immobilized for the remainder of 1954 by two investigations of him), McCarthy’s committee held 199 days of hearings and examined 653 witnesses. These individuals first appeared in executive session and were told of the evidence against them. If they were able to offer satisfactory explanations — and most of them were — they were dismissed and nobody ever knew they had been summoned.
Those who appeared in public sessions were either hardened Fifth Amendment pleaders or persons about whom there was a reasonably strong presumption of guilt. But even those witnesses who were brazen, insulting, and defiant were afforded their constitutional rights to confer with their counsel before answering a question (something they would not be allowed to do in a courtroom), to confront their accusers or at least have them identified and have questions submitted to them by their counsel, and to invoke the First and Fifth Amendments rather than answer questions about their alleged communist associations.
Of the 653 persons called by the McCarthy Committee during that 15-month period, 83 refused to answer questions about communist or espionage activities on constitutional grounds and their names were made public. Nine additional witnesses invoked the Fifth Amendment in executive session, but their names were not made public. Some of the 83 were working or had worked for the Army, the Navy, the Government Printing Office, the Treasury Department, the Office of War Information, the Office of Strategic Services, the Veterans Administration, and the United Nations. Others were or had been employed at the Federal Telecommunications Laboratories in New Jersey, the secret radar laboratories of the Army Signal Corps in New Jersey, and General Electric defense plants in Massachusetts and New York. Nineteen of the 83, including such well-known communist propagandists as James S. Allen, Herbert Aptheker, and Earl Browder, were summoned because their writings were being carried in U.S. Information Service libraries around the world.
Charles E. Ford, an attorney for Edward Rothschild in the Government Printing Office hearings, was so impressed with McCarthy’s fairness toward his client that he declared: “I think the committee session at this day and in this place is most admirable and most American.” Peter Gragis, who appeared before the McCarthy Committee on March 10, 1954, said that he had come to the hearing terrified because the press “had pointed out that you were very abusive, that you were crucifying people…. My experience has been quite the contrary. I have, I think, been very understandingly treated. I have been, I think, highly respected despite the fact that for some 20 years I had been more or less an active Communist.”
Q. Weren’t McCarthy and some members of his staff guilty of “book-burning” and causing a ruckus in Europe in 1953?
A. This accusation was made in reference to the committee’s inquiry into communist influences in State Department libraries overseas. In his book McCarthy, Roy Cohn, the committee’s chief counsel, conceded that he and committee staffer David Schine “unwittingly handed Joe McCarthy’s enemies a perfect opportunity to spread the tale that a couple of young, inexperienced clowns were bustling about Europe, ordering State Department officials around, burning books, creating chaos wherever they went, and disrupting foreign relations.” In point of fact, however, the trip and subsequent hearings by the committee provided information that led to the removal of more than 30,000 communist and pro-communist books from U.S. Information Service libraries in foreign countries. The presence of such books was in obvious conflict with the stated purpose of those libraries: “to promote better understanding of America abroad” and “to combat and expose Soviet communistic propaganda.”
Q. But didn’t McCarthy summon to those hearings a man whose major sin was having written a book on college football 21 years before?
A. In March 1953, the McCarthy Committee did hear testimony from Reed Harris, deputy head of the State Department’s International Information Administration and author of King Football. Harris’ book, however, was not confined to football. The author also advocated that Communists and Socialists be allowed to teach in colleges and said that hungry people in America, after “watching gangsters and corrupt politicians gulp joyously from the horn of plenty,” just might “decide that even the horrors of those days of fighting which inaugurated the era of communism in Russia would be preferable to the present state of affairs” in the United States.
The following colloquy between Harris and Senator John McClellan is never quoted by McCarthy’s critics:
McClellan: Here is what I am concerned about. In the first place, I will ask you this: If it should be established that a person entertained the views and philosophies that you expressed in that book, would you consider that person suitable or fit to hold a position in the Voice of America which you now hold?
McClellan: You would not employ such a person, would you?
Harris: I would not, Senator.
McClellan: Now we find you in that position.
Before shedding any tears for Harris, who resigned his post in April 1953, be advised that when anti-McCarthy hysteric Edward R. Murrow took over the U.S. Information Agency in 1961, he hired Reed Harris as his deputy, proving once again that the only true victim of McCarthyism was Joe McCarthy himself.
Q. But what about that poor old black woman that McCarthy falsely accused of being a Communist?
A. That woman was Annie Lee Moss, who lost her job working with classified messages at the Pentagon after an FBI undercover operative testified that she was a member of the Communist Party. When she appeared before the McCarthy Committee early in 1954, Moss, who lived at 72 R Street, S.W., Washington, D.C., denied she was a Communist. Her defenders accused McCarthy of confusing Moss with another woman with a similar name at a different address. Edward R. Murrow made the woman a heroine on his television program and the anti-McCarthy press trumpeted this episode as typical of McCarthy’s abominations.
And so things stood until September 1958 when the Subversive Activities Control Board reported that copies of the Communist Party’s own records showed that “one Annie Lee Moss, 72 R Street, S.W., Washington, D.C., was a party member in the mid-1940s.” Moss got her Pentagon job back in 1954 and was still working for the Army in December 1958.
Q. Moss might have gotten her job back, but what about all those individuals who lost their jobs in defense plants?
A. During its probe of 13 defense plants whose contracts with the government ran into hundreds of millions of dollars a year, the McCarthy Committee heard 101 witnesses, two of whom — William H. Teto and Herman E. Thomas — provided the committee with information about the Red spy network and the efforts of the Communists to set up cells in the plants. The committee’s exposures led to the dismissal of 32 persons and the tightening of security regulations at the plants. The president of General Electric, for example, issued a policy statement expressing concern about “the possible danger to the safety and security of company property and personnel whenever a General Electric employee admits he is a Communist or when he asserts before a competent investigating government body that he might incriminate himself by giving truthful answers concerning his Communist affiliations or his possible espionage or sabotage activities.”
At the time McCarthy’s investigations were halted early in 1954, his probers had accumulated evidence involving an additional 155 defense workers, but he was never able to question those individuals under oath. On January 12, 1959, Congressman Gordon Scherer, a member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, said that he knew of a minimum of 2,000 “potential espionage agents and saboteurs” working in the nation’s defense plants. But there have been no congressional investigations in this vital area since Senator McCarthy was stymied in 1954.
Q. What were the Fort Monmouth hearings all about? Weren’t all of those fired eventually given back their jobs?
A. The Army Signal Corps installation at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, was one of the nation’s most vital security posts since the three research centers housed there were engaged in developing defensive devices designed to protect America from an atomic attack. Julius Rosenberg, who was executed in 1953 for selling U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, worked as an inspector at Fort Monmouth from 1940 to 1945 and maintained his Signal Corps contacts for at least another two years after that. From 1949 to 1953, the FBI had been warning the Army about security risks at Fort Monmouth, but the Army paid little or no attention to the reports of subversion until the McCarthy investigation began in 1953.
During 1953 and 1954, the McCarthy Committee, acting on reports of communist infiltration from civilian employees, Army officers, and enlisted personnel, heard 71 witnesses at executive sessions and 41 at open hearings. The Army responded by suspending or discharging 35 persons as security risks, but when these cases reached the Army Loyalty and Screening Board at the Pentagon, all but two of the suspected security risks were reinstated and given back pay. McCarthy demanded the names of the 20 civilians on the review board and, when he threatened to subpoena them, the Eisenhower administration, at a meeting in Attorney General Herbert Brownell’s office on January 21, 1954, began plotting to stop McCarthy’s investigations once and for all.
Yes, virtually all of those suspended were eventually restored to duty at Fort Monmouth and anti-McCarthyites have cited this as proof that McCarthy had failed once again to substantiate his allegations. But vindication of McCarthy came later, when the Army’s top-secret operations at Fort Monmouth were quietly moved to Arizona. In his 1979 book With No Apologies, Senator Barry Goldwater explained the reason for the move:
Carl Hayden, who in January 1955 became chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee of the United States Senate, told me privately Monmouth had been moved because he and other members of the majority Democratic Party were convinced security at Monmouth had been penetrated. They didn’t want to admit that McCarthy was right in his accusations. Their only alternative was to move the installation from New Jersey to a new location in Arizona.
Q. Speaking of the Army, what was the name of that dentist that McCarthy said was a Communist?
A. His name was Irving Peress, and here is some background information. In December 1953, an Army general alerted Senator McCarthy to the incredible story of this New York dentist who was drafted into the Army as a captain in October 1952 who refused a month later to answer questions on a Defense Department form about membership in subversive organizations who was recommended for dismissal by the Surgeon General of the Army in April 1953 but who requested and received a promotion to major the following October. Roy Cohn gave the facts on Peress to Army Counsel John G. Adams in December 1953, and Adams promised to do something about it.
When still no action had been taken on Peress a month later, McCarthy subpoenaed him before the committee on January 30, 1954. Peress took the Fifth Amendment 20 times when asked about his membership in the Communist Party, his attendance at a communist training school, and his efforts to recruit military personnel into the party. Two days later, McCarthy sent a letter to Army Secretary Robert Stevens by special messenger, reviewing the testimony of Peress and requesting that he be court-martialed and that the Army find out who promoted Peress, knowing that he was a Communist. On that same day, February 1, Peress asked for an honorable separation from the Army, which he promptly received the next day from his commanding officer at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, Brigadier General Ralph W. Zwicker.
McCarthy took the next logical step and summoned General Zwicker to a closed session of the committee on February 18. There was no reason at that time for McCarthy to suppose that Zwicker would be anything but a frank and cooperative witness. In separate conversations with two McCarthy staff members, on January 22 and February 13, Zwicker had said that he was familiar with Peress’ communist connections and that he was opposed to giving him an honorable discharge, but that he was ordered to do so by someone at the Pentagon.
When he appeared before McCarthy, however, Zwicker was evasive, hostile, and uncooperative. He changed his story three times when asked if he had known at the time he signed the discharge that Peress had refused to answer questions before the McCarthy Committee. McCarthy became increasingly exasperated and, when Zwicker, in response to a hypothetical question, said that he would not remove from the military a general who originated the order for the honorable discharge of a communist major, knowing that he was a Communist, McCarthy told Zwicker that he was not fit to wear the uniform of a general.
Q. So McCarthy really did “abuse” Zwicker and impugn his patriotism as the critics have charged?
A. Let’s jump ahead three years and get Zwicker’s own assessment of his testimony that took place on February 18, 1954. At a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 21, 1957, the General stated: “I think there are some circumstances … that would certainly tend to give a person the idea that perhaps I was recalcitrant, perhaps I was holding back, and perhaps I wasn’t too cooperative…. I am afraid I was perhaps overcautious and perhaps on the defensive, and that this feeling … may have inclined me to be not as forthright, perhaps, in answering the questions put to me as I might have been otherwise.”
That wasn’t the only time that General Zwicker was less than forthright. In testimony before the McClellan Committee (formerly the McCarthy Committee) on March 23, 1955, Zwicker denied giving McCarthy staffer George Anastos derogatory information about Irving Peress in their telephone conversation of January 22, 1954. When Anastos and the secretary who had monitored the conversation both testified under oath and contradicted Zwicker, the McClellan Committee forwarded the transcript of the hearing to the Justice Department for possible prosecution of Zwicker for perjury. After sitting on the matter for 19 months, the Justice Department finally, in December 1956, declined to undertake criminal prosecution of Zwicker for “technical” reasons.
On April 1, 1957, the Senate approved a promotion for Zwicker by a vote of 70 to two, with Senators McCarthy and George Malone opposed. All the members of the Senate had gotten a phone call from the Pentagon or the White House urging them to vote for Zwicker. The recalcitrant general served three more years in the Army before retiring.
Q. Does anyone know who did promote Peress and who told Zwicker to sign the communist major’s honorable discharge?
A. After studying the 1955 McClellan hearings on the Peress case, Lionel Lokos, in his book Who Promoted Peress?, concluded that Colonel H.W. Glattly signed the letter to the adjutant general, recommending the promotion of Irving Peress and Major James E. Harris, in the name of the adjutant general, signed Peress’ letter of appointment to major. As for Peress’ discharge, Army Counsel John Adams and Lieutenant General Walter L. Weible ordered General Zwicker to sign the honorable separation from the Army. The McClellan Committee sharply rebuked Adams for his action, saying that he “showed disrespect for this subcommittee when he chose to disregard Senator McCarthy’s letter of February 1, 1954, and allowed Peress to be honorably discharged on February 2, 1954.”
In its report on the Peress case, the McClellan Committee said that “some 48 errors of more than minor importance were committed by the Army in connection with the commissioning, transfer, promotion, and honorable discharge of Irving Peress.” As a result, the Army made some sweeping changes in its security program, including a policy statement that said “the taking of the Fifth Amendment by an individual queried about his Communist affiliations is sufficient to warrant the issuance of a general discharge rather than an honorable discharge.” That these reforms came about at all was due to the persistence of one Senator, Joe McCarthy, who displayed the courage to expose Peress against the wishes of the Army, the White House, and many of his fellow Republicans.
“No one will ever know,” said Lionel Lokos, “what it cost Senator McCarthy to take the stand he did in the Peress case — what it cost him in terms of popularity and his political future. We only know that the price of asking ‘Who Promoted Peress?’ came high and that Senator McCarthy didn’t hesitate to pay that price.”
IV. Army-McCarthy Hearings
Q. What was the gist of the Army-McCarthy Hearings?
A. On March 11, 1954, the Army accused McCarthy and his staff of using improper means in seeking preferential treatment for G. David Schine, a consultant to McCarthy’s committee, prior to and after Schine was drafted into the Army in November 1953. Senator McCarthy countercharged that these allegations were made in bad faith and were designed to prevent his committee from continuing its probe of communist subversion at Fort Monmouth and from issuing subpoenas for members of the Army Loyalty and Screening Board. A special committee, under the chairmanship of Senator Karl Mundt, was appointed to adjudicate these conflicting charges, and the hearings opened on April 22, 1954.
The televised hearings lasted for 36 days and were viewed by an estimated 20 million people. After hearing 32 witnesses and two million words of testimony, the committee concluded that McCarthy himself had not exercised any improper influence in behalf of David Schine, but that Roy Cohn, McCarthy’s chief counsel, had engaged in some “unduly persistent or aggressive efforts” in behalf of Schine. The committee also concluded that Army Secretary Robert Stevens and Army Counsel John Adams “made efforts to terminate or influence the investigation and hearings at Fort Monmouth,” and that Adams “made vigorous and diligent efforts” to block subpoenas for members of the Army Loyalty and Screening Board “by means of personal appeal to certain members of the [McCarthy] committee.”
In a separate statement that concurred with the special committee report, Senator Everett Dirksen demonstrated the weakness of the Army case by noting that the Army did not make its charges public until eight months after the first allegedly improper effort was made in behalf of Schine (July 1953), and then not until after Senator McCarthy had made it known (January 1954) that he would subpoena members of the Army Loyalty and Screening Board. Dirksen also called attention to a telephone conversation between Secretary Stevens and Senator Stuart Symington on March 8, 1954, three days before the Army allegations were made public. In that conversation, Stevens said that any charges of improper influence by McCarthy’s staff “would prove to be very much exaggerated…. I am the Secretary and I have had some talks with the [McCarthy] committee and the chairman, and so on, and by and large as far as the treatment of me is concerned, I have no personal complaint.”
In his 1984 book Who Killed Joe McCarthy?, former Eisenhower White House aide William Bragg Ewald Jr., who had access to many unpublished papers and memos from persons involved in the Army-McCarthy clash, confirms the good relations that existed between McCarthy and Stevens and the lack of pressure from McCarthy in behalf of Schine. In a phone conversation November 7, 1953, the Senator told the Secretary not to give Schine any special treatment, such as putting him in the service and assigning him back to the committee. McCarthy even said that Roy Cohn had been “completely unreasonable” about Schine, that “he thinks Dave should be a general and work from the penthouse of the Waldorf.”
Ewald also reported a phone conversation between Stevens and Assistant Secretary of Defense Fred Seaton on January 8, 1954, in which Stevens admitted that Schine might not have been drafted if he hadn’t worked for the McCarthy Committee. “Of course, the kid was taken at the very last minute before he would have been ineligible for age,” said Stevens. “He is 26, you know. My guess would be that if he hadn’t been working for McCarthy, he probably never would have been drafted.”
Another thing confirmed by Ewald was the secret meeting at the Justice Department on January 21, 1954, when a group of anti-McCarthyites came up with a plan to stop McCarthy either by asking the Republican members of his committee to talk him out of subpoenaing members of the Army Loyalty and Screening Board or, if that didn’t work, by drawing up a list of alleged efforts in behalf of David Schine and threatening to make the list public unless McCarthy backed off.
Those at the January 21 meeting were Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Ambassador to the UN Henry Cabot Lodge, Deputy Attorney General William Rogers, White House chief of staff Sherman Adams, White House aide Gerald Morgan, and John Adams. When John Adams inadvertently mentioned this meeting during the Army-McCarthy Hearings, and McCarthy wanted to find out more about it, President Eisenhower, on May 17, 1954, issued an executive order forbidding any employee of the Defense Department “to testify to any such conversations or communications or to produce any such documents or reproductions.”
Q. Did the Army-McCarthy Hearings serve any good purpose?
A. Yes. Despite the inordinate focus on trivia and the clever distractions introduced by counsel for the Army Joseph Welch, the hearings alerted the American people as never before to the dangers of Communism. McCarthy’s popularity in opinion polls had declined from 50 percent approval in January 1954 to 35 percent in May, but tens of millions still supported him. You would never know this from reading summaries of the hearings or from watching Point of Order, a 97-minute “documentary” (taken from 188 hours of television footage) that omitted virtually every incident favorable to McCarthy — and there were many of them — and included only those segments where McCarthy did not come across well. By showing McCarthy mainly when he was irritated or expressing his many “points of order,” the film presents a distorted view of him.
Q. How about some examples of clever distractions?
A. Let’s consider three tricks pulled by Joe Welch to divert people’s attention away from the central issue of communist subversion:
(1) The “Cropped” Photograph. On April 26, a photo was introduced showing Secretary Stevens posing willingly for a smiling photograph with Private Schine at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on November 17, 1953, a time when Stevens was supposed to be upset with Schine for seeking special treatment from the Army. Welch produced another photo the next day showing the base commander in the picture with Stevens and Schine and said that the first one was “a shamefully cut-down version.” But the innocent deletion of the base commander from the photograph did not change its basic meaning — that Stevens was not angry with Schine at a time that the Army said he was.
(2) The “Purloined” Document. On May 4, Senator McCarthy produced a 2 1/4-page document with the names of 34 subversives at Fort Monmouth, half of whom were still there. The document, which had been given to McCarthy by an intelligence officer in 1953, was a summary of a 15-page report that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had sent on January 26, 1951, to Major General A. R. Bolling, chief of Army Intelligence. Instead of being concerned that the Army had not acted on the FBI report and had not tried to root out the subversives at Fort Monmouth, Welch kept harping on how McCarthy got the summary and where it came from. McCarthy refused to tell him. Welch ascertained that Hoover had not written the 2 1/4-page document in McCarthy’s possession and termed it “a carbon copy of precisely nothing.” In point of fact, however, the document was an accurate summary of Hoover’s original report, but Welch made it appear that McCarthy was presenting phony evidence.
(3) The Fred Fisher Episode. On June 9, the 30th day of the hearings, Welch was engaged in baiting Roy Cohn, challenging him to get 130 Communists or subversives out of defense plants “before the sun goes down.” The treatment of Cohn angered McCarthy and he said that if Welch were so concerned about persons aiding the Communist Party, he should check on a man in his Boston law office named Fred Fisher, who had once belonged to the National Lawyers Guild, which Attorney General Brownell had called “the legal mouthpiece of the Communist Party.” Welch then delivered the most famous lines from the Army-McCarthy Hearings, accusing McCarthy of “reckless cruelty” and concluding: “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?”
The fact of the matter was that Fred Fisher’s connection with the National Lawyers Guild had been widely publicized two months earlier. Page 12 of the April 16 New York Times had carried a picture of Fisher and a story about his removal from Welch’s team because of his past association with the NLG. If Welch was so worried that McCarthy’s remarks might inflict a lifelong “scar” on Fisher’s reputation, why did he dramatize the incident in such histrionic fashion? The reason, of course, was that McCarthy had fallen into a trap in raising the Fisher issue, and Welch, superb showman that he was, played the scene for all it was worth. Was Fred Fisher hurt by the incident? Not at all. He became a partner in Welch’s Boston law firm, Hale & Dorr, and was elected president of the Massachusetts Bar Association in the mid-1970s.
V. The Watkins Committee
Q. So the Senate finally censured Joe McCarthy for his conduct during the Army-McCarthy Hearings, right?
A. Wrong. McCarthy was not censured for his conduct in the Army-McCarthy Hearings or for anything he had ever said or done in any hearings in which he had participated. Here are the facts: After McCarthy emerged unscathed from his bout with the Army, the Left launched a new campaign to discredit and destroy him. The campaign began on July 30, 1954, when Senator Ralph Flanders introduced a resolution accusing McCarthy of conduct “unbecoming a member of the United States Senate.” Flanders, who two months earlier had told the Senate that McCarthy’s “anti-Communism so completely parallels that of Adolf Hitler as to strike fear into the hearts of any defenseless minority,” had gotten his list of charges against McCarthy from a left-wing group called the National Committee for an Effective Congress.
McCarthy’s enemies ultimately accused him of 46 different counts of allegedly improper conduct and another special committee was set up, under the chairmanship of Senator Arthur Watkins, to study and evaluate the charges. Thus began the fifth investigation of Joe McCarthy in five years! After two months of hearings and deliberations, the Watkins Committee recommended that McCarthy be censured on only two of the 46 counts. So when a special session of the Senate convened on November 8, 1954, these were the two charges to be debated and voted on:
(1) That Senator McCarthy had “failed to cooperate” in 1952 with the Senate Subcommitee on Privileges and Elections that was looking into certain aspects of his private and political life in connection with a resolution for his expulsion from the Senate and
(2) That in conducting a senatorial inquiry, Senator McCarthy had “intemperately abused” General Ralph Zwicker.
Many Senators were uneasy about the Zwicker count, particularly since the Army had shown contempt for committee chairman McCarthy by disregarding his letter of February 1, 1954, and honorably discharging Irving Peress the next day. For this reason, these Senators felt that McCarthy’s conduct toward Zwicker on February 18 was at least partially justified. So the Zwicker count was dropped at the last minute and in its place was this substitute charge:
(2) That Senator McCarthy, by characterizing the Watkins Committee as the “unwitting handmaiden” of the Communist Party and by describing the special Senate session as a “lynch party” and a “lynch bee,” had “acted contrary to senatorial ethics and tended to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute, to obstruct the constitutional processes of the Senate, and to impair its dignity.”
On December 2, 1954, the Senate voted to “condemn” Senator Joseph McCarthy on both counts by a vote of 67 to 22, with the Democrats unanimously in favor of condemnation and the Republicans split evenly.
Q. Was the Senate justified in condemning McCarthy on these counts?
A. No, it was not. Regarding the first count, failure to cooperate with the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections, the subcommittee never subpoenaed McCarthy but only “invited” him to testify one Senator and two staff members resigned from the subcommittee because of its dishonesty towards McCarthy and the subcommittee, in its final report, dated January 2, 1953, said that the matters under consideration “have become moot by reason of the 1952 election.” No Senator had ever been punished for something that had happened in a previous Congress or for declining an “invitation” to testify. By the way, the Justice Department and the Bureau of Internal Revenue investigated McCarthy’s finances and taxes for the period 1946 to 1952 and found no violations of the law. On April 19, 1955, the Internal Revenue awarded him a refund of $1,046.75 for overpayment of taxes.
As for the second count, criticism of the Watkins Committee and the special Senate session, McCarthy was condemned for opinions he had expressed outside the Senate. As David Lawrence pointed out in an editorial in the June 7, 1957 issue of U.S. News & World Report, other senators had accused McCarthy of lying under oath, accepting influence money, engaging in election fraud, making libelous and false statements, practicing blackmail, doing the work of the Communists for them, and engaging in a questionable “personal relationship” with Roy Cohn and David Schine, but they were not censured for acting “contrary to senatorial ethics” or for impairing the “dignity” of the Senate.
The chief beneficiary of the Senate destruction of Joe McCarthy was the communist conspiracy (the Communist Party newspaper the Daily Worker had called the recommendations of the Watkins Committee “good news for America”). Former Communist Louis Budenz, who knew the inner workings of that conspiracy as well as anyone, said that the condemnation of McCarthy leaves the way open “to intimidate any person of consequence who moves against the conspiracy. The Communists made him their chief target because they wanted to make him a symbol to remind political leaders in America not to harm the conspiracy or its world conquest designs.” The history of the past 30 years confirms the tragic truth of Budenz’s statement.
Q. Who were the 22 Republican Senators who voted against the condemnation of Joe McCarthy?
A. More than a dozen Senators told McCarthy that they did not want to vote against him but had to because of the tremendous pressure being put on them by the White House and by leaders of both political parties. The 22 men who did put principle above politics were Senators Frank Barrett (Wyoming), Styles Bridges (New Hampshire), Ernest Brown (Nevada), John Marshall Butler (Maryland), Guy Cordon (Oregon), Everett Dirksen (Illinois), Henry Dworshak (Idaho), Barry Goldwater (Arizona), Bourke Hickenlooper (Iowa), Roman Hruska (Nebraska), William Jenner (Indiana), William Knowland (California), Thomas Kuchel (California), William Langer (North Dakota), George Malone (Nevada), Edward Martin (Pennsylvania), Eugene Millikin (Colorado), Karl Mundt (South Dakota), William Purtell (Connecticut), Andrew Schoeppel (Kansas), Herman Welker (Idaho), and Milton Young (North Dakota).
VI. The Years 1955-1957
Q. Did Joe McCarthy become a recluse in the 29 months between his condemnation and his death?
A. No, he did not. He worked hard at his senatorial duties. “To insist, as some have, that McCarthy was a shattered man after the censure is sheer nonsense,” said Brent Bozell, one of his aides at the time. “His intellect was as sharp as ever. When he addressed himself to a problem, he was perfectly capable of dealing with it.”
A member of the minority party in the Senate again, Joe McCarthy had to rely on public speeches to alert the American people to the menace of Communism. This he did in a number of important addresses during those two and a half years. He warned against attendance at summit conferences with the Reds, saying that “you cannot offer friendship to tyrants and murderers … without advancing the cause of tyranny and murder.” He declared that “coexistence with Communists is neither possible nor honorable nor desirable. Our longterm objective must be the eradication of Communism from the face of the earth.”
Senator McCarthy was alone in calling for the use of force to defend the brave Hungarian people against Soviet aggression in 1956. He was virtually alone in warning that the Soviet Union was winning the missile race “because well-concealed Communists in the United States government are putting the brakes on our own guided-missile program.” He was prophetic in urging the Eisenhower administration to let “the free Asiatic peoples” fight to free their countrymen from communist slavery in Red China, North Korea, and North Vietnam. “In justice to them, and in justice to the millions of American boys who will otherwise be called upon to sacrifice their lives in a total war against Communism,” said McCarthy, “we must permit our fighting allies, with our material and technical assistance, to carry the fight to the enemy.” This was not permitted and, a decade later, more than half a million American servicemen were fighting in South Vietnam.
Q. Did Joe McCarthy drink himself to death?
A. His enemies would like to have you think that. If McCarthy drank as much as his foes allege, for as many years as they allege, he would have had to be carried from speech to speech and from hearing to hearing, and he would have been unable to string two coherent sentences together. Did McCarthy look or act like a drunk during the 36 days of televised Army-McCarthy Hearings? No alcoholic could have accomplished all that McCarthy did, especially in so few years. Sure, Joe McCarthy drank, and he probably drank too much sometimes, but he did not drink during working hours, and any drinking he did do did not detract one iota from the seriousness of his fight against Communism or from the accuracy of his charges.
In the last two years of his life, McCarthy was greatly disappointed over the terrible injustice his Senate colleagues had done to him, and he certainly had his times of depression. Who wouldn’t after what he had been through? But he also had his times of elation, as when he and his wife adopted a baby girl in January 1957. The picture in Roy Cohn’s book of a smiling Joe McCarthy holding his new daughter is not the picture of a man drowning in alcohol. William Rusher was counsel to the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee during 1956 and 1957 and met McCarthy repeatedly on social occasions. “He had at one time been a heavy drinker,” said Rusher of the Senator, “but in his last years was cautiously moderate he died of a severe attack of hepatitis. He kept right on with a Senator’s usual chores up almost until the end.”
The end came on May 2, 1957 in Bethesda Naval Hospital. Thousands of people viewed the body in Washington, and McCarthy was the first Senator in 17 years to have funeral services in the Senate chamber. More than 30,000 Wisconsinites filed through St. Mary’s Church in the Senator’s hometown of Appleton to pay their last respects to him. Three Senators — George Malone, William Jenner, and Herman Welker — had flown from Washington to Appleton on the plane carrying McCarthy’s casket. “They had gone this far with Joe McCarthy,” said William Rusher. “They would go the rest of the way.”
VII. Some Final Questions
Q. Did McCarthy conduct a “reign of terror” in the 1950s?
A. This is one of two or three big lies that the Left continues to spread about McCarthy. The average American did not fear McCarthy in fact the Gallup Poll reported in 1954 that the Senator was fourth on its list of most admired men. The only people terrorized by McCarthy were those who had something subversive to hide in their past and were afraid that they might eventually be exposed.
Oh, there was a “reign of terror” in the early Fifties, but it was conducted against Joe McCarthy, not by him. Those who were not afraid to denounce McCarthy week in and week out included the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, Life, Walter Lippmann, the Alsop brothers, Drew Pearson, Jack Anderson, the cartoonist Herblock, Edward R. Murrow, Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, and liberals from all walks of life. Reign of terror? During one 18-month period, the University of Wisconsin invited Eleanor Roosevelt, Norman Cousins, Owen Lattimore, and James Carey — all bitter anti-McCarthyites — to warn the students of McCarthy’s reign of terror.
James Burnham, author of The Web of Subversion, a classic study of communist penetration into the highest levels of the U.S. government, once reviewed the statistics of the so-called McCarthy terror:
Number of persons killed — zero.
Number of persons wounded or injured — zero.
Number of persons tortured — zero.
Number of persons arrested without warrant — zero.
Number of persons held or imprisoned without trial — zero.
Number of persons evicted, exiled, or deported — zero.
Number of persons deprived of due process — zero.
Q. Most of the books written about McCarthy say that he smeared thousands of innocent people. Is that true?
A. This is impossible since McCarthy never even mentioned thousands of people. At the most, he publicly exposed about 160 persons, all of whom had significant records of collaboration with or support for Communists and/or communist causes. Detractors of McCarthy, said Roy Cohn, “have to fall back on picayune things about whether he drank and had a liver condition, usually with a total distortion of the facts. They talk about the innocent people he destroyed. I have yet to have them give me one name. I have a standard answer — ‘name one.’ They usually come up with someone who came before some other committee, or Hollywood, or something which was never a focus of a McCarthy investigation.”
Here is one of literally dozens of examples of misinformation about McCarthy that could be cited: An article about Lillian Hellman in Newsweek for July 9, 1984, said that perhaps her most famous lines “were those she wrote in a statement to the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1952. ‘I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions,’ she wrote, refusing to testify against her friends at the McCarthy hearings.” Miss Hellman could hardly have testified “at the McCarthy hearings” because there were no McCarthy hearings in 1952 and because Joe McCarthy was a Senator and was never involved in any House Committee hearings dealing with communist infiltration of the Hollywood film industry. And they accuse McCarthy of getting his facts wrong!
Q. These same books insist that Senator McCarthy never uncovered “a single Communist” in his five-year fight. Is that true?
A. Joe McCarthy was hated and denounced not because he smeared innocent people, but because he identified guilty people. Any list of identified Communists uncovered by McCarthy would have to include Lauchlin Currie, Gustavo Duran, Theodore Geiger, Mary Jane Keeney, Edward Posniak, Haldore Hanson, John Carter Vincent, Owen Lattimore, Edward Rothschild, Irving Peress, and Annie Lee Moss. But that’s not the whole story. McCarthy also exposed scores of others who may not have been identified as Communists, but who certainly were causing harm to national security from their posts in the State Department, the Pentagon, the Army, key defense plants, and the Government Printing Office. At the latter facility, which handled 250,000 pieces of secret and classified printing matter annually, the McCarthy probe resulted in the removal or further investigation by the FBI of 77 employees and a complete revamping of the security system at the GPO.
Was it unreasonable of McCarthy to want government positions filled with persons who were loyal to America, instead of those with communist-tainted backgrounds? “A government job is a privilege, not a right,” McCarthy said on more than one occasion. “There is no reason why men who chum with Communists, who refuse to turn their backs on traitors, and who are consistently found at the time and place where disaster strikes America and success comes to international Communism, should be given positions of power in government.” The motivation of these people really doesn’t matter. If the policies they advocate continually result in gains for Communism and losses for the Free World, then they should be replaced by persons with a more realistic understanding of the evil conspiracy that has subjugated more than one-third of the world. That’s not McCarthyism, that’s common sense.
Q. Most of the books in the libraries seem to be anti-McCarthy. Are there any pro-McCarthy books?
A. There are indeed, but most of them are out of print or not usually available in libraries. Here is a list: McCarthy and His Enemies by William Buckley and Brent Bozell McCarthy by Roy Cohn The Assassination of Joe McCarthy by Medford Evans The Lattimore Story by John Flynn Who Promoted Peress? by Lionel Lokos three books by McCarthy himself — Major Speeches and Debates of Senator Joe McCarthy 1950-1951, McCarthyism: The Fight for America, and America’s Retreat From Victory and a collection of tributes to McCarthy entitled Memorial Addresses Delivered in Congress.
Q. How then would you define McCarthyism?
A. McCarthyism was a serious attempt to remove from positions of influence the advocates of Communism, the willing and unwilling supporters of Communism and Communists, and persons who would prevent the removal of those who give aid and comfort to the enemies of America. Communist conspirators and their friends do not fear those who denounce Communism in general terms they do greatly fear those who would expose their conspiratorial activities. That is why they hated and fought Joe McCarthy more than any other public figure in this century. That is why they have preserved his name as a club to hold over the head of anyone who dares to expose Communism.
The events of the past 30 years have proved McCarthy right, and those who want to halt the communist juggernaut today had better know the true story of McCarthyism. “The war against Communism cannot be won by wavering apologists,” said Mrs. J. B. Matthews back in 1961. “Victory begins with a realization that no one who fights Communism — not even a hypothetical god-like perfect man — can escape the liberaloid smear, and that smear image bears no relation to reality.”
Joe McCarthy was a brave and honest man. There was nothing cynical or devious about him. He said and did things for only one reason — he thought they were the right things to say and do. He was not perfect he sometimes made errors of fact or judgment. But his record of accuracy and truthfulness far outshines that of his detractors. His vindication in the eyes of all Americans cannot come soon enough. Medford Evans put it well when he said: “The restoration of McCarthy … is a necessary part of the restoration of America, for if we have not the national character to repent of the injustice we did him, nor in high places the intelligence to see that he was right, then it seems unlikely that we can or ought to survive.”
James J. Drummey is a former senior editor of The New American. This article appeared originally in the May 11, 1987 issue of the magazine.
* Evidence presented in the other six cases showed that two (Haldore Hanson and Gustavo Duran) had been identified as members of the Communist Party, that three (Dorothy Kenyon, Frederick Schuman, and Harlow Shapley) had extensive records of joining communist fronts and supporting communist causes, and that one (Esther Brunauer) had sufficient questionable associations to be dismissed from the State Department as a security risk in June 1952. For further details, see Chapter VII of McCarthy and His Enemies by William Buckley and Brent Bozell.
Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary
Formerly close comrades, Trotsky appears in the image on the left at one of Lenin’s speeches the same image, altered after the two split, shows Trotsky deleted.
An influential voice in the early days of the Soviet Union, Trotsky was initially a leader in the Bolshevik revolution, but references to Trotsky were eliminated after he switched his allegiance to the Mensheviks, splitting from comrade and fellow revolutionary Vladimir Lenin.
Lenin later denounced Trotsky as a “scoundrel” in 1917 (though Trotsky eventually rejoined the Bolsheviks), and after Lenin’s death Trotsky was eliminated from photos by Stalin. Trotsky was eventually exiled from the Soviet Union completely.
Don’t be fooled by Bernie Sanders — he’s a diehard communist
Post photo composite As polls tighten and self-described socialist Bernie Sanders looks more like a serious contender than a novelty candidate for president, the liberal media elite have suddenly stopped calling him socialist. He’s now cleaned up as a “progressive” or “pragmatist.”
But he’s not even a socialist. He’s a communist.
Mainstreaming Sanders requires whitewashing his radical pro-communist past. It won’t be easy to do.
If Sanders were vying for a Cabinet post, he’d never pass an FBI background check. There’d be too many subversive red flags popping up in his file. He was a communist collaborator during the height of the Cold War.
While attending the University of Chicago, Sanders joined the Young People’s Socialist League, the youth wing of the Socialist Party USA. He also organized for a communist front, the United Packinghouse Workers Union, which at the time was under investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
After graduating with a political science degree, Sanders moved to Vermont, where he headed the American People’s History Society, an organ for Marxist propaganda. There, he produced a glowing documentary on the life of socialist revolutionary Eugene Debs, who was jailed for espionage during the Red Scare and hailed by the Bolsheviks as “America’s greatest Marxist.”
Reuters This subversive hero of Sanders, denounced even by liberal Democrats as a “traitor,” bashed “the barons of Wall Street” and hailed the “triumphant” Bolshevik revolution in Russia.
“Those Russian comrades of ours have made greater sacrifices, have suffered more, and have shed more heroic blood than any like number of men and women anywhere on Earth,” Debs proclaimed. “They have laid the foundation of the first real democracy that ever drew the breath of life in this world.”
In a 1918 speech in Canton, Ohio, Debs reaffirmed his solidarity with Lenin and Trotsky, despite clear evidence of their violent plunder and treachery.
Sanders still hangs a portrait of Debs on the wall in his Senate office.
In the early ’70s, Sanders helped found the Liberty Union Party, which called for the nationalization of all US banks and the public takeover of all private utility companies.
Mainstreaming Sanders requires whitewashing his radical pro-communist past. It won’t be easy to do.
After failed runs for Congress, Sanders in 1981 managed to get elected mayor of Burlington, Vt., where he restricted property rights for landlords, set price controls and raised property taxes to pay for communal land trusts. Local small businesses distributed fliers complaining their new mayor “does not believe in free enterprise.”
His radical activities didn’t stop at the water’s edge.
Sanders took several “goodwill” trips not only to the USSR, but also to Cuba and Nicaragua, where the Soviets were trying to expand their influence in our hemisphere.
In 1985, he traveled to Managua to celebrate the rise to power of the Marxist-Leninist Sandinista government. He called it a “heroic revolution.” Undermining anti-communist US policy, Sanders denounced the Reagan administration’s backing of the Contra rebels in a letter to the Sandinistas.
His betrayal did not end there. Sanders lobbied the White House to stop the proxy war and even tried to broker a peace deal. He adopted Managua as a sister city and invited Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega to visit the US. He exalted Ortega as “an impressive guy,” while attacking President Reagan.
“The Sandinista government has more support among the Nicaraguan people — substantially more support — than Ronald Reagan has among the American people,” Sanders told Vermont government-access TV in 1985.
AP Sanders also adopted a Soviet sister city outside Moscow and honeymooned with his second wife in the USSR. He put up a Soviet flag in his office, shocking even the Birkenstock-wearing local liberals. At the time, the Evil Empire was on the march around the world, and threatening the US with nuclear annihilation.
Then, in 1989, as the West was on the verge of winning the Cold War, Sanders addressed the national conference of the US Peace Council — a known front for the Communist Party USA, whose members swore an oath not only to the Soviet Union but to “the triumph of Soviet power in the US.”
Today, Sanders wants to bring what he admired in the USSR, Cuba, Nicaragua and other communist states to America.
For starters, he proposes completely nationalizing our health care system and putting private health insurance and drug companies “out of business.” He also wants to break up “big banks” and control the energy industry, while providing “free” college tuition, a “living wage” and guaranteed homeownership and jobs through massive public works projects. Price tag: $18 trillion.
Who will pay for it all? You will. Sanders plans to not only soak the rich with a 90 percent-plus tax rate, while charging Wall Street a “speculation tax,” but hit every American with a “global-warming tax.”
Of course, even that wouldn’t cover the cost of his communist schemes a President Sanders would eventually soak the middle class he claims to champion. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need, right?
Former mayoral advisers from Burlington defend their old boss. They note that Sanders was never a member of the Communist Party and deny he was even a small-c communist, even while acknowledging he named their city softball squad the “People’s Republic of Burlington” and the town’s minor league baseball team the “Vermont Reds.”
What about those communist sister cities he adopted? “Bernie established them to support people-to-people exchanges which might support peace in the long run,” said Bruce Seifer, who was one of Sanders’ central economic planners directing Burlington businesses to “reinvest their profits in the community.”
In an interview, Seifer claimed that it was “no different than President Nixon opening relations with China.”
Please. Sanders and his Sanderistas are all still pining for what Debs called “the Greater Revolution yet to come.”
What’s revolting is how this hardcore commie’s campaign has gotten this far. With his ascendancy in both Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders is no longer just a fool he’s now a dangerous fool.
While it may be hard to hate the old codger, it’s easy — and virtuous — to hate his un-American ideas. They should be swept into the dustbin with the rest of communist history.
A Virtual Spy : DOSSIER: The Secret History of Armand Hammer. <i> By Edward J. Epstein (Random House: $30, 418 pp.)</i>
Nowhere in America are life and artifice intertwined as they are in Los Angeles. Wealth--and the ostentatious spending of it--assure entree into a transient high society created by early 20th century economic pirates and now dominated by Hollywood. Our history is marked by stories of the newly rich who quickly rose to political and economic power, then ended up in prison. When Dr. Armand Hammer moved here in the ‘50s, marrying his third wife, Frances, and moving into her Holmby Hills home, upper-crust Angelenos didn’t look beyond the color of his money and his tall tales. Even though he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges for his part in the Watergate scandal for illegally contributing $54,000 to Richard M. Nixon’s political funds, his influence continued to grow.
Armand Hammer and Los Angeles were a perfect match. For money and smooth talk are the passports to this city, a place, like the old frontier, where the newly rich discard their old lives and reinvent themselves.
In “Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer,” Edward Jay Epstein’s fascinating, painstakingly researched book, Hammer’s old life is revealed in fascinating detail, exposing him as the liar and conniver that he was.
Among Epstein’s more shocking revelations is that Hammer acted as a virtual spy for the Soviet Union, a conduit for money that financed Communist espionage operations. This will no doubt come as a shock to the Angeleno pooh-bahs--some of them rock-ribbed, Joe McCarthy-loving right wingers--who bowed and scraped before Hammer, hoping for an invitation or, more likely, a donation to a favorite cause.
The whole story is laid out in “Dossier.” Epstein’s sources are rock solid: the Soviet Commissariat of Foreign Trade a top official’s report to Lenin the archives of the Comintern, the Kremlin organization in charge of the international communist conspiracy various American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, which kept Hammer and his family under surveillance from the early part of the century until almost up to his death in 1990.
From these sources, Epstein discovered that in 1921 the Soviet secret police, the Cheka, gave Hammer "$75,000 to secretly take back with him to New York. This money, which would be the equivalent of $600,000 today, was to be distributed to underground agents of the Comintern. . . . [Hammer] departed Russia with a new burden of secrets--his commitment to using his family’s company to help finance Soviet espionage in America.”
When I used to write about Occidental Petroleum Corp., I always figured Hammer, who headed the international oil company, was some kind of a Soviet spy.
It was an improbable theory. Hammer was the leading light of the stuffy conservative Los Angeles cultural and philanthropic scene. I remember interviewing him when he was trying to drill for oil off Pacific Palisades, a project violently opposed by residents, environmentalists and just about everyone who enjoyed the beach. So desperate was he for favorable publicity that he even consented to talk to me, a reporter from City Hall. I found him to be a crafty old charmer who reminisced entertainingly about his friendship with Lenin and other leaders of what then-President Ronald Reagan termed the “evil empire.”
The Lenin connection made me suspicious, as did Doc Hammer’s past. His father was an old Bolshevik who had come to the United States from his native Russia. Armand Hammer was feted whenever he visited Moscow. He was even tight with the Stalin crowd, the evil empire’s most evil rulers. The Russians cut him in on big business deals. What explanation was there except that Hammer was playing for the other team?
From that connection flowed other business deals, some profitable for Hammer, others not, but all of them of great use to the Soviet Union. When workers at Hammer’s Russian asbestos mine went on strike in 1922 over poor working conditions, he called in the Cheka, which suppressed the strike. When a railroad station boss demanded a bribe to move food to the mine, the Cheka stepped in again and, as Hammer liked to boast, the station commandant was shot.
His relationship with the Soviet secret police is just one--and for me the most interesting--revelation in a book that is a model of biographical research. Sometimes, “Dossier” is overweight with detail, but that can’t be avoided. Hammer’s life was built on layers of deceit, and Epstein uncovers them, one by one. When finished, he has provided a painful look at the corruptibility of government and the gullibility of the business, economic and social elite.
Deception came easy to Hammer, Epstein reveals, and there were so many lies they can’t be listed in the space allocated to this review. But I have some favorites:
* Hammer insisted that his mistress, the art consultant to the Armand Hammer Foundation, change her name, appearance and voice so that Hammer’s wife, Frances, who was suspicious of the relationship, would not recognize her.
* Although Hammer, who studied at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons as a youth, reveled in the title of doctor, he left unsaid the fact that a woman died after he performed an illegal abortion on her in 1919. His father, in whose office Hammer was working, took the fall for him and went to prison.
* Hammer was Jewish but denied his heritage most of his life. Dealing with the Soviets, he was an atheist. When developing oil fields in Muslim Libya, he was a Unitarian. Only when death neared did Hammer return to Judaism and, in fact, schedule a lavish bar mitzvah ceremony, but he died before it took place.
* The doctor portrayed himself as a great art connoisseur and financed the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center in Westwood to house his art collection. But Epstein reveals Hammer’s “cynical manipulation of the authenticity of works of arts,” including the faking of supposed originals from the Faberge workshops in Russia. “To him,” writes Epstein, “collecting was a confidence game in which he supplied the necessary authentication, which took the form of a label, genuine or fake.”
Hammer loved talking about himself as an international businessman, above politics. When I interviewed him about his Palisades drilling scheme, he spoke in sweeping terms of the global oil shortage. What I didn’t know but learned from reading Epstein’s book was that the FBI was investigating Hammer at the time for engaging in “a conspiracy to bribe members of the Los Angeles City Council” to support drilling. The investigators, however, couldn’t dig up enough evidence to present the case to the grand jury.
Above politics? Hammer was a master manipulator of politicians. Albert Gore Sr., father of the vice president, was made a partner in a Hammer cattle-breeding business while in the House of Representatives and “made a substantial profit,” Epstein writes. He tells how the senior Gore went to work for Occidental Petroleum when he left the Senate after a congressional career marked by several helpful moves on behalf of Hammer.
Another helper was Rep. Jimmy Roosevelt (D-California). Hammer was a silent partner in Roosevelt’s insurance business, Epstein said, and he offered to steer corporate business Roosevelt’s way. But all this was subtle compared to what Hammer did overseas, bribing his way into the Libyan oil concessions that vaulted Occidental into the big time of the international oil trade and, possibly, giving payoffs to some of his Russian pals, according to Epstein.
Master spies have master cover stories, and Hammer’s was the best. He hired journalists, including the legendary Walter Duranty of the New York Times and Bob Considine of Hearst, to write puff biographies. Occidental’s public relations department sent the books to journalists who were writing about Hammer, Epstein reveals, and “his assertions thus passed into the clip files and archives of credible publications and, through repetition, attained the status of quasi-fact. Eventually, life, as it often does, imitated artifice. As people came to believe the Hammer legend, they treated the man with deference and sought his favor.”
Probably nowhere was Hammer treated with more deference than in Los Angeles. All the rich and powerful, the politicians and cultural leaders and the rest who humbled themselves before him should read this book. They will learn an old frontier lesson that I am sure Hammer knew: Beware of smooth-talking strangers, flashing big bills and promising wonderful gifts.
The “Former” Soviet Bloc
Communism, we were told, collapsed throughout Eastern Europe and the old Soviet Union beginning in 1989. “Democracy,” we were told, was in the wind and “reform” was everywhere. Consider the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, where there have been two presidential elections, a parliamentary election, a national referendum, and where a former American secretary of state now advises President Saparmurad Niyazov, who led his country to independence in 1991. Encouraging indeed — until we learn the rest of the story.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal for April 11, 1995, staff reporter Claudia Rosett noted that President Niyazov has done away with the cult of Lenin. That is the good news. The bad is that he has replaced it with the cult of himself. Throughout the country statues of Niyazov “bedeck the streets, districts and collective farms now named after him. Mr. Niyazov’s profile, in bronze, adorns the central bank. His face appears on Turkmen bank notes, on billboards and in the design of hand-knotted rugs.” Further, Niyazov “has built an $82 million marble-floored airport, named for himself,” which has “no toilet paper in the … restrooms, no food in the restaurant and not much traffic on the airfield.”
President Niyazov orchestrated the creation of the Red-dominated Democrat Party of Turkmenistan, the country’s only legally registered party. To enhance his credentials as a “reformer,” he has reportedly urged Communist Party veterans to re-create the Turkmenistan Communist Party and a kindred Peasants’ Party. That way, he can boast of having a “multi-party” system and impress the West.
Regarding those presidential and parliamentary elections, Rosett recalls that in “October, 1990, he [Niyazov] ran unopposed to become Turkmenistan’s first president, winning 98.3% of the vote. In 1992, running again as the sole candidate, he won with a landslide 99.5%. In 1994, apparently tired of campaigning, Mr. Niyazov held a referendum that extended his term until 2002. He got 99.9% of the vote. In elections last December for a new 50-seat Parliament, 50 candidates approved by Mr. Niyazov all ran unopposed, and all won.” Isn’t democracy wonderful?
Rosett further reveals that Niyazov has retained the consulting services of former U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig Jr. (a longtime member of the ubiquitous Council on Foreign Relations), who for the past two years has come to Ashgabat (the capital) for Niyazov’s birthday (which is also national flag day). Haig has been helping Niyazov plan a pipeline that, Rosett states, “would run across Iran to Turkey and eventually on to Western Europe.” The U.S. government has objected to the scheme, because it “might leave Europe depending on a pipeline that could be controlled by Iran.”
Rosett writes that Niyazov “decides how land will be used and who may study abroad. He personally controls the dollar reserves of Turkmenistan’s central bank. Recently, strapped to pay bills for some of his large, unprofitable construction projects, he confiscated 75% of the 1994 profits of Turkmenistan’s commercial banks.”
It is all for the long-range good, however. “In his speeches,” according to Rosett, “Mr. Niyazov has explained that his iron grip is part of his ‘gradual’ plan ‘to build a democratic state.'”
So it goes in the former republics of what Ronald Reagan termed the “Evil Empire.” Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this “collapse” of communism is the extent to which so many Americans have been persuaded to believe that leopards who long served the old Soviet and Iron Curtain regimes, and who continue to exercise decisive power within their respective nations today, have not only changed their spots, but have transformed into benign housecats. Let us look at additional examples that confirm the old adage that the more things change, the more they remain the same.
In June of last year, Gannett News Service reported, “Five years after the Iron Curtain fell, ex-Communists are making a comeback in Central and Eastern European states and former Soviet republics.” Of the 22 states involved, Albania was described as one of only five to “have kept former ruling Communists from returning to power or from exercising major political influence.” To the contrary, President Sali Berisha, now often described as a fervent anti-Communist, belonged to the Communist Party prior to 1989. His government is praised as “democratically elected,” yet over 10 percent of the citizenry has fled the country since communism supposedly ended. The government continues to generate two-thirds of the country’s gross domestic product, and most prices remain controlled by the state-owned sector of the economy.
The Communists appeared to have suffered an authentic setback here in 1992 when President Ayaz Mutalibov, a Red since 1963 who had been elected in 1991 (he was the sole candidate), was forced out of office by an angry citizenry. Abulfez Elchiby was elected to replace him. A staunch nationalist, Elchiby had a long record of opposition to the Communist Party and had been the nation’s leading dissident since the 1970s when he was imprisoned for two years at hard labor in a rock quarry for his anti-Communist activities. But in June 1993, Elchiby’s government was toppled, and Azerbaijani lawmakers promptly elected their old Communist leader Geidar Aliyev as parliamentary chairman and designated him acting president. In a presidential election held on October 3, 1993, Aliyev received more than 98 percent of the vote. He is a former KGB general, was first secretary of the Azeri Communist Party, and was a member of the Soviet Politburo during the Brezhnev era.
The current Supreme Soviet (parliament), elected in 1989, is dominated by “former” Communists who continue to control the policy-making process. In June of last year, Aleksandr Lukashenko became the republic’s first elected president. While in high school, he served as secretary of a Young Communist League chapter, and in 1982 became deputy director of a collective farm. Three years later, he became secretary of that farm’s Communist Party committee.
The Union of Democratic Forces, which helped oust the old communist government and won the 1991 parliamentary elections, held power for only 11 months, after which the country was run by (in the words of a December 18, 1994, New York Times dispatch) “former communists who provided the guiding hand in the government of the ‘non-party’ technocrats who ruled from December 1992 until September of this year.” In last December’s general election, the Socialist (former Communist) Party was returned to power, capturing an absolute majority in the 240-seat parliament. Socialist Party leader Zhan Videnov, whom Associated Press described the next day as “the new face of the Communists who used to rule this Balkan country,” became premier. He had assumed leadership of the “former” Communists in December 1991, and prior to that worked for the Young Communist League.
In January 1968, a so-called “liberal” faction within Czechoslovakia’s Communist Party, led by Alexander Dubcek, temporarily took control of the country. In his 1984 book New Lies for Old, former KGB agent Anatoliy Golitsyn claimed that it was a carefully-plotted trial run aimed at determining if the West would actually fall for the fantasy that a totalitarian communist country could spontaneously switch to “democracy” under the leadership of supposed “reformed” Communists and their collaborators. According to Golitsyn, the ploy had been planned in the late 1950s, prior to his defection to the West, and was brought to an end without exposing the supposed “democratization” when, after seven months, Warsaw Pact troops invaded, ousted Dubcek, and installed a Stalinist regime. Indications that something was fishy included the nonviolent nature of the invasion (Dubcek and his colleagues did not resist) and the fact that neither Dubcek nor his key advisers were executed nor given lengthy jail terms. To the contrary, Dubcek was given a plush job as a forestry manager in Bratislava.
Golitsyn predicted in 1984 that the time would come when, as part of a new phase of communist strategy, “liberalization in Eastern Europe would probably involve the return to power in Czechoslovakia of Dubcek and his associates.” On December 10, 1989, hard-line Communist President Gustav Husek resigned, and that same day Dubcek and playwright Vaclav Havel (leader of the left wing of the Civic Forum political movement) announced that they would both run to replace Husek. Havel had earlier said of Dubcek: “I will not permit any dark forces to drive a wedge between him and me…. He must be at my side, in whatever function.” Referring to Havel, Dubcek asserted: “We’ve been together from the very start.”
Within less than a week, Dubcek dropped out of the race and threw his support to Havel. That same day, during a nationally televised address, Havel declared: “For 20 years, it was official propaganda that I was an enemy of socialism, that I wanted to bring back capitalism, that I was in the service of imperialism…. All those were lies.” One week later the Communist Party endorsed Havel as interim president and Dubcek as parliamentary chairman. The Federal Assembly (parliament) unanimously elected Dubcek as speaker on December 28, 1989, and the next day elected Havel president. The fulfillment of Golitsyn’s prediction was complete.
On February 21, 1990, Havel addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress, during which he urged our government to tangibly support political and economic “liberalization” in the Soviet Union and asserted that most important of all was the prospect that the world would enter “an era in which all of us … will be able to create what your great President [Abraham] Lincoln called the ‘family of man'” (i.e., convergence). The day before, President Bush had hailed Havel as a man of “tremendous moral courage” and had moved to clear the way for Czechoslovakia to receive lucrative most favored nation trade status. Bush also pledged U.S. support for other Czechoslovakian access to aid from international financial organizations, and the Export-Import Bank subsequently announced that it would begin subsidizing U.S. exports to Czechoslovakia for the first time since 1946. In September 1990, Czechoslovakia was admitted to both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
In July 1990, the Federal Assembly reelected Havel to a two-year term, whereupon he selected a cabinet that included “former” Communists as premier, foreign minister, economic planning minister, and defense minister.
Havel resigned in July 1992, once it became clear that the country would not continue as a federal state. In February 1993, parliament reelected him as the first president of the new Czech Republic (which had separated from Slovakia on January 1). According to the July 1994 issue of Background Notes, published by the U.S. State Department, “Full membership in the European Union, which the government hopes to achieve by the year 2000, is probably the country’s highest foreign policy goal.”
In 1991, Zviad Gamsakhurdia received nearly 87 percent of the vote to become the first directly elected leader of a Soviet republic. Eduard Shevardnadze, who would later become Soviet foreign minister under Mikhail Gorbachev, was the republic’s Communist Party boss at the time. Shevardnadze had earned a reputation for ruthless brutality and had personally authorized the torture of prisoners in Georgian jails. The Washington Post for September 6, 1992 recalled, “In his 13 years as Communist Party chief [Shevardnadze] was regarded as an aggressive persecutor of nationalists and dissidents, including Gamsakhurdia.” Writing in the Washington Times for August 8, 1985, Michael Bonafield cited underground documents that reached the West as early as 1975, indicating that Shevardnadze “personally authorized the torture of prisoners of Georgian jails.” Bonafield described how Shevardnadze “set up the special No. 2 block of the prison, a slaughterhouse for ‘target’ prisoners and a place for the MVD [Ministry of Internal Affairs] hangman’s orgies, where the most horrible tortures were used: beatings with iron bars, prodding with steel needles and rods, hanging up prisoners by the feet … and so on.”
Shevardnadze joined the Communist Party in 1948, graduated from the Party School of the Central Committee in 1951, and in 1956-57 became second, then first, secretary of the Communist Youth League. He was named a full member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia in 1958. From 1965 to 1972 he served as Georgia’s interior minister, and in 1972 became the republic’s Communist Party leader. He was appointed a non-voting member of the national Politburo in 1978, became a full voting member in 1985, and was then selected by Gorbachev to succeed Andrei Gromyko as foreign minister.
On December 20, 1990, Shevardnadze suddenly resigned as foreign minister, raising the specter of an “impending dictatorship” due to the increasing influence of “reactionary” forces opposed to perestroika.
Following the failed anti-Gorbachev “coup” in August 1991, President Gamsakhurdia was the only leader of a Soviet republic to openly voice the widely held suspicion that Gorbachev had himself faked the “coup” as part of long-range Marxist strategy. When the new Commonwealth of Independent States was formally launched in December, Georgia was the only republic that refused to join.
Soon, a clamor led by leftist intellectuals began demanding that he resign. When he refused, heavily-armed opposition forces moved against him in December 1991, and in early January he was forced to flee the capital of Tbilisi. During an interview with Associated Press on the day of Gamsakhurdia’s departure, Eduard Shevardnadze hailed the military coup as a “democratic revolution,” assailed Gamsakhurdia as a “dictator,” and expressed “a great desire to participate in the creation of a democratic Georgia.”
In October 1992, Shevardnadze was elected to the new post of parliament chairman, the equivalent of president. The election was carefully structured to assure his victory and create the semblance that it was a landslide. He ran unopposed and elections were not allowed in at least six districts considered strongholds of former President Gamsakhurdia. Shevardnadze received 90 percent of the vote, after which he told reporters: “Our people have finally chosen the democratic path.” What he meant by “democracy” became clear on August 6, 1993, when he told Parliament: “My word should be law for everybody.” According to the Autumn 1994 issue of International Currency Review, he has “ruled Georgia with terror and brutality ever since … with the help of special troops or ‘bodyguards’ trained in secret by U.S. special forces seconded to Georgia for the purpose.”
According to the State Department publication Background Notes for December 1994, “Hungary’s transition to a Western-style parliamentary democracy was the first and the smoothest among the former Soviet bloc.” The country’s hard-line Communists were supposedly voted into near oblivion in 1990 when the Socialist Party (formerly the Communist Party) finished a dismal third in parliamentary elections, capturing only 33 seats in the 386-seat national assembly. The victor on that occasion was the Hungarian Democratic Forum (HDF), which had been the first opposition party to emerge during Hungary’s supposed “liberalization.” Yet, as United Press International reported on December 13, 1989, the HDF itself was receiving “support from the highest levels” of the Communist Party Politburo.
With leftists posing as free market “reformers” in control, the economy deteriorated, which paved the way for the return of overt Communists who hammer-and-sickled the theme that “democratic reform” had failed. On May 29 of last year, the Communists were returned to power when the Socialist Party secured an absolute parliamentary majority. The Party then selected its leader, Gyula Horn, as premier. Horn, who was the last Communist foreign minister before the “collapse of Communism,” had been described in a May 7, 1994 New York Times pre-election dispatch as “one of Hungary’s most unpopular politicians.” The electorate’s distaste for Horn was understandable. As the Times reported two days later, Horn “did not run as the prime ministerial candidate of the Socialists, apparently because his background as a member of a Communist Party militia that helped suppress the 1956 uprising provided too much of a campaign target for his opponents.” The Times nevertheless claimed that Horn “is considered to come from the reform wing of the party.”
Here, too, it is essentially business as usual, with “former” Communists firmly in control. President Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, the country’s top communist official prior to independence, was a Gorbachev ally (and Politburo member) who joined the Communist Party in 1962 and only resigned from its Central Committee in the wake of the contrived 1991 anti-Gorbachev “coup.” He was elected to the presidency after the breakup of the Soviet Union. He was the only candidate for a term set to expire in December 1996, but on March 11 of this year he dissolved parliament and asserted that he would rule by decree until new elections were held. On April 30, he received more than 95 percent support in a referendum to extend his term until the year 2000.
Some critics claimed that the extension amounted to a return to dictatorship, but Nazarbayev insisted that it was needed to provide stability. The West, including the U.S., reacted with typical limp-wristed indignation. As reported by Facts on File for May 4, 1995, “Representatives of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations boycotted the announcement of the results of the vote.” Anything harsher was out of the question. After all, as the March 30 Facts on File had reported, Nazarbayev “supported aggressive economic reform.”
When President Askar Akayev was elected in 1991, he was lauded as the “first freely elected” president of the republic. In fact, he was the only candidate and received some 95 percent of the vote. Coincidentally, 95 was also the percentage of deputies elected to parliament who were members of the Kyrgyz Communist Party, which Akayev himself had joined in 1981.
In 1986, President Akayev was beckoned to Moscow to serve in the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee (CPSUCC) Department on Science and Education. In 1987, he was elected vice president of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences, and later became its president. In 1989, he was elected to the newly created Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies and was subsequently selected to serve in the Supreme Soviet. In 1990, he became a full member of the CPSUCC.
In the wake of increasing opposition to his policies, Akayev scheduled a referendum for January of last year on whether he should complete his term. More than 96 percent of the voters opted to keep him in office so that he could continue his “reform” efforts. In July, he proposed that press freedom be limited in order to halt the “impunity and immorality” of “anti-democratic” newspapers that were criticizing him. In testimony in October 1993 and May 1994, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott declared that due to “the political enlightenment of its president and also the boldness of their economic reforms, we’re going to do what we can … [to] elevate the political profile of our relationship.” He described Akayev as “a true Jeffersonian democrat.”
Latvia is one of the former Soviet republics which Gannett News Service claimed in June of last year had “kept former ruling Communists from returning to power or from exercising major political influence.” Yet Anatolijs Gorbunovs, chairman of the Supreme Council (parliament), is a former member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and was Latvian Communist Party secretary for ideology.
In March 1990, Vytautas Landsbergis, who had an impressive career-long record of opposition to Communism, became the first non-Communist to head one of the Soviet republics when he was elected president by Lithuania’s national parliament. He defeated Communist Party chief Algirdas Brazauskas by a margin of more than two-to-one. President Brazauskas had been trained as an engineer and worked in construction before becoming a state economic planner in 1966. In 1977 he was appointed secretary of the Lithuanian Communist Party in charge of economic affairs, and in 1988 became Party boss. In 1990, he and a group of fellow Communists supposedly broke with the Soviets and formed the Democrat Labor Party (DLP) to succeed the Communist Party.
In 1992, Lithuania became the first of a growing list of former Soviet republics or satellites to formally return reins of power to the old-timers when the DLP captured a solid majority of seats in parliament. The new parliament elected Brazauskas its chairman and acting head of state and, the following February, Brazauskas received 60 percent of the vote to become the country’s first directly elected president.
President Mircea Snegur was elected on December 8, 1991. The sole candidate, he mustered 98 percent of the vote. As summarized in an August 12, 1994 CRS Report for Congress, he “held various top Communist Party and government positions before Moldovan independence in 1991, including president of the Moldavian Supreme Soviet, deputy chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet, and secretary of the Moldavian Communist Party Central Committee.”
Moldova’s first parliamentary elections in February 1993 saw the Agrarian Democratic Party (ADP), led by Snegur and other “former” Communists, finish far ahead of their rivals. Petru Lucinschi of the ADP was subsequently elected parliamentary speaker. He was once a member of both the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party and the Politburo, and was a first secretary of the Moldavian Communist Party. Premier Andrei Sangheli also has a long record of service to the Communist cause.
Poland was the first Eastern European country to supposedly throw off the yoke of Soviet domination. The Solidarity labor movement, which thrust “anti-Communist dissident” and current President Lech Walesa into the public spotlight, was launched in 1980 after months of nationwide strikes. Founding members of the movement included authentic anti-Communists, Communists, and collaborators with communism. According to then-Hungarian Communist Party First Secretary Stanislaw Kania, there were about one million Communist Party members in Solidarity, including 42 of the 200 members of the Party’s 1981 Central Committee.
In New Lies for Old, Anatoliy Golitsyn charged that Solidarity was “suppressed” in 1981 (though not completely) as a maneuver to convince the West that it was an authentic opponent of the hard-line regime headed by Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski. Golitsyn predicted (in 1984) that eventually “it may be expected that a coalition government will be formed [it was], comprising representatives of the communist party [there were many], of a revived Solidarity movement [after it was re-legalized], and of the church. A few so-called liberals might also be included [some were].”
During a series of “round table” negotiations between Solidarity and the ruling communist government in March 1989, an agreement was reached on major political reform. Early in the negotiations, Walesa agreed to let the Communists have 65 percent of the Sejm (lower house of parliament) seats in the new government. With Walesa’s blessing, Jaruzelski, his supposed tormenter of less than a decade earlier, was elected president by parliament. Jaruzelski bowed out after Walesa was elected to succeed him in December 1990.
While negotiations for the new system were progressing in 1989, the March 2, 1989 issue of the Soviet current affairs weekly New Times printed an interview with Walesa in which he acknowledged that he was not seeking to take power away from the Communists. “Let power remain in the hands of the Communists,” he said, “but let it be different. Let it serve the people better, respect the law and be accountable to society. We are prepared to cooperate constructively with such authorities.”
In the country’s first parliamentary elections under the new system, more than 29 parties gained representation in the Sejm. The “former” Communists of the Democratic Left Alliance, and their Peasant Party allies, captured a mere 93 seats in the 460-seat Sejm. But in September 1993, the Communists were voted back into power when the two Red-dominated parties secured a two-thirds majority in the Sejm, sufficient to override presidential vetoes and perhaps draft a new constitution amenable to their own interests.
Poland’s current prime minister, Jozef Oleksy, was previously speaker of the Red-controlled Sejm. He once belonged to the Central Committee of the Polish Communist Party. He replaced Waldemar Pawlak, who resigned as prime minister after losing a no-confidence vote in parliament on March 1 of this year. Pawlak, too, was a “former” Communist.
On August 12, 1994, Minister of Internal Affairs Adrzej Milczanowski, who was brought into government service by Walesa, appointed Marian Zacharski as chief of Poland’s civil intelligence agency. Zacharski was forced to step down only five days later in the wake of a vigorous protest by the United States. Years earlier, Zacharski had been sentenced to life in prison in the U.S. for stealing military secrets for the Soviet Bloc. He was freed in 1985 as part of a Cold War spy swap. President Walesa praised Zacharski’s “professionalism and many years of experience,” but nevertheless called for his resignation because the nomination would make “Poland’s process of integration with the West more difficult.” The Washington Post reported on September 3, 1994 that “Zacharski will remain in a prominent position in the intelligence section of the Office of State Security, Poland’s civilian secret service.”
The Post also reminded its readers that Walesa’s regime had “allowed and even encouraged Communists to remain in important police and security posts.” For instance, “the deputy minister in charge of intelligence in the ministry and the director of the Office of State Security are former communist operatives. Zacharski’s appointment was just another move in that direction. The man he was supposed to replace, Janusz Luks, himself a senior intelligence officer during the Communist era, is reported to have been assigned to the Polish Embassy in Washington.”
Still, much of the establishment media continues to portray Lech Walesa as “a staunch anti-Communist,” a description employed, for example, by the Associated Press in a recent dispatch.
Despite early attempts to hide the fact, the Communists have ruled Romania without interruption since December 1989, when Communist dictator Nicolai Ceausescu was assassinated. The National Salvation Front (NSF), led by former senior officials of the Ceausescu regime, became the provisional government. Ion Iliescu, a “former” Communist Party official, was named president, a post he still holds today. Sham elections were held in May 1991 in which the NSF attained two-thirds of the seats in both houses of parliament, while Iliescu received 85 percent of the presidential vote. He was reelected in 1992.
Though Romania has not been free of the heavy hand of communism, and has never had a chance to try authentic free market economic alternatives to socialism, some Western media have blamed its present sorry plight on the failure of “democracy” and “the free market” since the overthrow of Ceausescu. Consider, for instance, a remarkable December 21, 1994 Associated Press dispatch which claimed, “A hungry country sees little difference between democracy and Communist dictatorship,” and stated that Romania’s “traditionally backward economy has slipped further in the free market.” Truly, the mind boggles!
Boris Yeltsin’s authoritarian Red stripes have, in recent months, become increasingly visible to all but the willfully blind. On August 18, 1995, for instance, the AP noted the jitters being generated by the Russian president’s close and friendly ties to an increasingly powerful secret police apparatus. According to the AP, the Federal Security Service, as the former KGB is now known after six name changes since 1991, “is alive, well and making a comeback under the protection of none other than Boris Yeltsin. Last month, Yeltsin promoted the chief of the Kremlin guards, a close friend, to head the Federal Security Service, his latest move to tighten his grip on the old KGB.”
That “close friend,” Colonel-General Mikhail Barsukov, was a KGB agent during the Soviet era. The AP dispatch continued to note, “Many Russians, including opposition politicians, businessmen, bankers, former dissidents — even some of Yeltsin’s top advisers — are jittery about the president’s growing ties to the secret police.” *
The head of Yeltsin’s personal security service, General Aleksandr Korzhakov, is another longtime steward of the police state. Korzhakov, who has been with Yeltsin since 1985, joined the KGB in 1970. His influence with Yeltsin is said to be enormous. “To this day,” Yeltsin wrote in his recently published autobiography The Struggle for Russia, “he never leaves my side, and we even sit up at night during trips together.” He describes Korzhakov as his closest companion of the last ten years.
On December 2 of last year, Korzhakov had the presidential security service launch a raid, which has yet to be explained, on the offices of Vladimir Gusinsky, Russia’s leading banker. Gusinsky is allied with Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, a potential rival to Yeltsin in next year’s presidential elections. Soon after the raid, Luzhkov denied he had any desire to run for president, and Gusinsky has not surfaced in Russia since early January, when he moved his family to London. Washington Post correspondent Margaret Shapiro observes that such incidents, among others, “have sparked worries here among pro-reform democrats that Russia could be heading back toward a police state.”
Korzhakov has participated in cabinet-level meetings between Yeltsin and his ministers, was a member of the Russian delegation to the December meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and is said to have been responsible for the appointment last November of Vladimir Polevanov as the country’s new privatization chief. Polevanov has called for a larger government role in industry and a reduction of private involvement. He has suggested that companies sold by the state be re-nationalized and favors policies that will limit the “damage” done by privatization.
Earlier this year, Yeltsin signed into law legislation renaming, reorganizing, and strengthening the intelligence services. As summarized in an editor’s note in Anatoliy Golitsyn’s new book The Perestroika Deception, “The Federal Security Service was ’empowered’ to search homes without warrants, to run its own jails and independent ‘criminal’ investigations, to operate under cover of other official agencies, to bug telephones and intercept mail (with ‘court permission’), and to operate abroad.” London’s Sunday Times for April 9 quoted Sergei Karaganov, deputy director of the Institute of Europe of the Academy of Sciences and an adviser to President Yeltsin, as stating that “Russia is moving toward a mixed democratic, semi-authoritarian model, with the strengthening elements of a police state.”
In June 1994, under the guise of fighting organized crime, Yeltsin signed a decree empowering the regular police to hold suspects for up to 30 days without charge, permit police searches of property and examination of financial records without a warrant or evidence of a crime, and allow certain crime-ridden cities and districts to be placed under “special control.”
Even as American taxpayers are bilked to bankroll what is said to be the Yeltsin regime’s commitment to “reform,” old-time Communists are leading Russia’s prosperity parade. For instance, all of the plotters of the apparently contrived 1991 “coup” against then-President Mikhail Gorbachev, and the similarly suspicious parliamentary revolt against Yeltsin in 1993, have been freed. As just one example of how they are doing, consider the plight of former Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov, who helped instigate the 1991 “coup.” The Washington Post for September 22, 1994, reported that Pavlov is now a prosperous banker living in a $500,000 home and taking home about $60,000 after taxes (the average Russian’s annual wage is around $1,200). According to the Post, many others “have made transitions similar to Pavlov’s, including others involved in the anti-Gorbachev coup. Indeed, among the leading businessmen of Russia today are many top Soviet-era bureaucrats and party members. One recent analysis found that nearly two-thirds of Russia’s new rich had converted prominent positions under the old regime into their present lucrative niches.”
In September of last year, researchers at the Russian Academy of Sciences released a study that found that more than 60 percent of the 580 richest persons in the country were former members of the Soviet Union’s communist elite. In the area of banking, for instance:
• Sergie Rodionov, chairman of one of Russia’s largest commercial banks, headed the banking department at the Soviet Finance Ministry.
• Sergei Yegorov, chairman of the Commercial Banks Association, was once chairman of the Soviet State Bank and head of the financial department of the Communist Party Central Committee.
• Nikolai Ryzhkov, chairman of the Tveruniversal Bank, was a former Soviet prime minister in the 1980s.
Such are the folks with whom Western entrepreneurs are being encouraged to do business. As Anatoliy Golitsyn advises in a postscript to The Perestroika Deception: “Western industrialists and financiers should reverse their mistaken involvement in joint ventures with the Communists, thereby financing the revival of their main political adversaries, supplying them ill-advisedly with new technology, and wasting time and money on operations that will ultimately be taxed to death, confiscated, or both.”
And make no mistake about it, the possibility of expropriation exists in virtually all of the “former” communist countries, including those deemed most “reformed,” and crackdowns of a Tiananmen Square type are not out of the question in some instances. The New York Times for July 3, 1995 quoted an unidentified Western ambassador as saying that there are already “many cases of Russian joint venture partners turning on their Western partners and trying to seize the businesses” and that “these cases involve officials of the Government.” And Peter Charow, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow, told the Times, “A lot of Government agencies have been taken off the state budget and must find ways to support themselves. Foreign companies are often seen as ready prey.”
As noted earlier, the law that established and empowered the Federal Security Service authorized the FSS to run its own prisons. The gulag mentality is not only surviving, but thriving. Last fall, William Cohen of the Colorado-based Center for Human Rights Advocacy led a group of U.S. and European legal experts who visited Russia to examine the country’s criminal justice system. A dispatch filed in mid-October by Scripps Howard News Service reporter Holger Jensen summarized their findings. Among other things, “the legal system is still largely controlled by Communist-era bureaucrats,” with the most serious human rights violations taking place in Russian jails, where “suspects are held for months, sometimes years, under barbaric conditions before they go to trial.”
Russian procurators (as prosecutors are called) usually assume that anyone arrested is guilty. Jensen reported that they “will go to any lengths to obtain a confession. So conditions in the pretrial detention centers are deliberately made worse than they are in the prisons and labor camps where convicted felons are sent after their trials.” Suspects “are routinely starved, beaten and deprived of contact with their families,” and some “confess to crimes they didn’t commit just to get out of the awful detention centers.”
In its annual assessment of human rights around the globe, released in February, the State Department noted that thousands of Russians have been illegally arrested, and that prisons often stop feeding inmates for months at a time, relying instead on relatives to provide food. Also, a jury system has yet to be introduced in 80 regions of the country. Confirming the findings of the Cohen team, the State Department report found that suspects are routinely denied access to attorneys, and are beaten into confessing by procurators who win rewards for closing cases promptly.
Premier Vladimir Meciar is a “former” Communist whose party finished first (garnering about one-third of the vote) in the 1992 elections. Writing in the November/December 1994 issue of Foreign Affairs (flagship publication of the CFR), Anne Applebaum, deputy editor of The Spectator, described Meciar as “a Moscow-trained apparatchik.” In March of last year, Meciar was removed from office following a no-confidence vote in parliament, but was returned to the post after his party won Slovakia’s first national elections later in the year. Facts on File for October 6, 1994 reported that Meciar “was fiercely opposed to Western-style economic reform, foreign investment and the privatization of state enterprises.”
In March 1992, the defense and security committee of what was then Czechoslovakia’s Slovak republic issued a report, which parliament accepted, accusing Meciar of collaborating with the StB (the former secret police) during the pre-independence era. According to Facts on File for April 2, 1992, the “report contended that Meciar had worked for the StB under the code name ‘Doctor’ and that he had promoted former StB loyalists while interior minister [of the Slovac republic], and that he had used information in the StB files against his political enemies.”
From 1991 until he was forced from office in September 1992, Tajikistan’s president was Rakhman Nabiyev, a former Communist Party first secretary. In November of that year, the current president, Imamali Rakhmonov (a Nabiyev supporter), became acting president. As noted by Facts on File for April 17, 1995, the government continues to be “led by former communists.”
From December 1991 until July of last year the second most populous of the former Soviet republics was ruled by its first directly elected president, Leonid M. Kravchuk. He was the country’s former Communist Party chief for ideology. Kravchuk kept the government, industry, and agriculture in the hands of his fellow communist apparatchiks. In the July 1994 election he was defeated by current President Leonid D. Kuchma, who was once director of the Soviet Union’s largest missile factory.
In October, Kuchma announced a program of economic reforms which, mimicking Lenin, he called his “new economic policy.” It was publicized in the West as evidence that he was a true-blue reformer deserving of massive infusions of Western aid and the support of Western businessmen. Kuchma has claimed, “Without international aid, we will fall like a house of cards.” The aid was quick in coming, and not merely from the international lending institutions to which the United States contributes heavily. On November 22, 1994, the Washington Times reported that “President Clinton today will make Ukraine the fourth-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid when he raises taxpayers’ donations to $900 million, including a $30-million-to-$50-million program to build free houses for former Red Army soldiers.” During a briefing for reporters on November 21, according to the Times, “a senior administration official explained that the U.S.-Ukrainian relationship under Mr. Clinton was rocky at first but has been bolstered by the July election of Mr. Kuchma, a reformer.”
The Ukrainian prime minister, Vitaly Masol, was the Soviet Union’s top economic manager.
President Islam A. Karimov was elected president in 1991, receiving 86 percent of the vote after severely curtailing the activities of all opposition parties. He had opposed his country’s break with the Soviet Union, claiming that Uzbekistan was not ready for either “democracy” or a market economy.
As in Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, a referendum was arranged to provide a lop-sided endorsement of an extension of Karimov’s presidential term. An April 29, 1995 Associated Press dispatch noted that the “lop-sided figures in those referendums were reminiscent of the turnouts reported in Soviet-era one-party votes.”
On December 25, 1994, in the country’s first parliamentary elections since the apparent demise of the Soviet Union, the Democratic Party (former Communist Party) captured more than 70 percent of the seats. As noted by Facts on File for February 9, 1995: “Foreign observers said Karimov had allowed the election because he wanted to at least claim that Uzbekistan had a multiparty democracy.”
If the same standard by which “reformed” Communists and their collaborators have been judged in recent years had been in effect at the end of World War II, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Hideki Tojo, and their henchmen could have survived and prospered by simply tearing insignia from their uniforms and pledging their devotion to a new world order predicated on “reform,” “democracy,” and “convergence” with the Allied nations.
It would have been foolish to fall for such preposterous claims by supposedly repentant “former” fascists. Why, then, believe such bogus claims when they emanate from self-professed “former” Communists?
7. The Fake News Trap
In 1903, the Clarksburg Daily Telegram published a purposely fake news story in an effort to expose the Clarksburg Daily News who they knew were pilfering their articles. The story was about the shooting of “Mejk Swenekafew” near Columbia mines and predictably, it appeared the next day in the Daily News. The story told of how Swenekafew, a Slav living near the Columbia coal mine was shot and was in critical condition after an altercation with an acquaintance over a pet dog.
The most unlikely name featured in the story, Swenekafew, spelled backwards read we-fake-news.
The Daily News, thus being caught out, was forced to acknowledge that it had been lifting articles from the Daily Telegram for several months.
The Clarksburg telegram., September 25, 1903, Page 8, Chronicling America
‘The Daily News has been Caught fair and square in its nefarious work,’ said the Daily Telegram. ‘They have yesterday and today been publicly held up to public scorn and contumely and have actually admitted in their own columns that they “FAKE THE NEWS”.’ 2 The Clarksburg Telegram, September 25, 1903, page 8
America’s ‘concrete battleship’ defended Manila Bay until the very end
Posted On November 07, 2019 03:05:27
Before the advent of maneuver warfare, nations defended their territory with massive fortifications. This was particularly true of coasts and harbors, especially if a nation owned the finest harbor in the Orient. This was the case for the American port at Manila Bay.
After the United States acquired the Philippines from Spain during the Spanish-American War, the U.S. Board of Fortifications recommended that important harbors be fortified. This led to the development of defenses on several islands at the mouth of Manila and Subic Bays. One of these was El Fraile Island which would later become Fort Drum, America’s concrete battleship.
While other islands were fortified by more conventional means, the plans for El Fraile were much more extensive. Construction began in 1909 and completed by 1916. What was originally a rocky outcropping of an island was excavated down to the waterline. From there, the concrete battleship began to take shape.
The new structure was 350 feet long and 144 feet at the widest point. The exterior walls of the fortification were constructed of reinforced concrete 25 to 36 feet thick and rising 40 feet above the water. The top deck of the structure was reinforced concrete 20 feet thick that mounted two turrets containing twin fourteen inch guns and a 60 foot fire control tower to complete the battleship look.
The fort’s armament was rounded out by dual six-inch guns in armored casemates on each side as well as three-inch anti-aircraft guns mounted on the top deck. The fort’s 240 officers and enlisted lived deep inside the impregnable walls of the concrete ship along with all the stores they would need to hold out against a siege.
That siege came after the Japanese invaded the Philippines in December 1941. In January 1942, the Japanese began to target Fort Drum and the rest of the harbor defenses from the air and by February the concrete battleship was in range of Japanese artillery on shore. The fort endured bombing and shelling, destroying the anti-aircraft batteries, temporarily disabling a six-inch gun, damaging its casemate and searchlight, chipping away large chunks of concrete.
The whole time Fort Drum was under attack, it returned fire against the Japanese. The fort’s resistance continued even after the fall of Bataan on April 10, 1942 left Fort Drum and the other islands of the harbor defense as the last American forces in the Philippines. The guns of the concrete battleship dealt serious blows to Japanese forces assaulting the island of Corregidor, inflicting heavy casualties.
Unfortunately for the men of E battery, 59 th Coastal Artillery, their efforts were not enough to halt the Japanese onslaught as General Wainwright made the decision to surrender the remaining U.S. forces in the Philippines. However, the fort was never taken and its main guns were still firing five minutes before the surrender was announced.
After capturing the Philippines, the Japanese manned all former American positions, including the concrete battleship. Eventually, American forces recaptured Manila and a daring assault by the 503 rd Parachute Infantry Regiment U.S. forces recaptured Corregidor as well. That left Fort Drum once again as the last bastion of resistance. However, unlike the Americans some three years earlier, the Japanese had no intention of surrendering. This combined with the fact that the Americans had designed the fort to resist all manner of bombings and gunfire meant they would have to find another way to remove the defenders.
Unfortunately for the Japanese manning the concrete battleship, the idea the Americans came up with was rather grisly. The troops poured a mixture of two parts diesel oil and one part gasoline into the fort, lit it, and burned the defenders alive. The fire burned for several days afterwards but all the defenses of the harbor had been cleared of Japanese. The fort has never been reoccupied and still stands like a ghost ship in Manila Bay to this day.