Oct 292014

 2. Behind Closed Doors


June 1950, John Service faced loyalty investigations by the State Department and the Senate. Cleared of the charges he was fired in December 1951 on orders of President Truman’s Loyalty Review Board….

“The procedure before the boards,” wrote the attorney, L. A. Nikoloric, in his article, “Our Lawless Loyalty Program,” “violates the provisions of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the Bill of Rights. The employe ‘answers’ the charges to his accusers— not to an impartial judge. He is not told where the derogatory information originated; it is impossible to impeach the reliability of its source . . . His only defense is to prove a somewhat nebulous ‘loyal’ state of mind.”

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Oct 292014


redmenaceAnd lest some one should persuade ye, lords and commons, that these arguments of learned men’s discouragement at this your order are mere flourishes, and not real, I could recount what I have seen and heard in other countries, where this kind of inquisition tyrannizes . . . There it was I found and visited the famous Galileo, grown old, a prisoner to the inquisition, for thinking in astronomy otherwise than the Franciscan and Dominican licensers thought.

John Milton, Areopagitica, 1644

The country will swarm with informers, spies, delators, and all the odious reptile tribe that breed in the sunshine of despotic power. The hours of the most unsuspected confidence, the intimacies of friendship, or the recesses of domestic retirement, afford no security . . . Do not let us be told that we are to excite fervor against a foreign aggression to establish a tyranny at home; and that we are absurd enough to call ourselves free and enlightened while we advocate principles that would have disgraced the age of Gothic barbarity.

Congressman Edward Livingston, speaking in the U. S. House of Representatives in opposition to the Sedition Act of 1798

Are your friends and associates intelligent, clever?

A question put by a U. S. Loyalty Board in 1948 to a government employee accused of disloyalty

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Oct 282014

 5. Sound and Fury

Huac1Toward the end of the war, with public resentment against the disruptive practises of the Un-American Activities Committee at a peak, Chairman Martin Dies had withdrawn as a congressional candidate and three other Committee members had been crushingly defeated at the polls. At the time, it was generally believed that the Committee was about to be disbanded by Congress. Then, on January 3, 1945, during the opening session of the 79th Congress, a surprise bill was passed by a vote of 207-186 converting the Committee into a permanent congressional body.

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Oct 282014

 4. “Top Secret”


Assistant U.S. Attorney General O. John Rogge

“In my opinion, international fascism, though defeated in battle, is not dead . . .” wrote Assistant U. S. Attorney General O. John Rogge in a memorandum to the Attorney General on February 28, 1946. “No, fascism is not dead in the United States. On the contrary it is now in the process of postwar reconversion . . . The old familiar faces are once again spouting the old familiar fascist lies.”

A giant of a man with an incongruously boyish face, forty-two year old Assistant Attorney General Rogge, was a political anachronism in postwar Washington. He still thought in terms of the New Deal and talked enthusiastically about the prospects of “democratic capitalism” in America.

In the spring of 1946, Rogge received from Captain Sam Harris, a member of the US. prosecution staff at Nuremburg, information revealing that there existed in Germany concrete proof of former ties between the Hitler Government and certain American citizens. Rogge hastened to the office of Attorney General Tom C. Clark. He urged that Clark immediately send him to Germany to obtain evidence of the connections the Nazis had had in America. The Attorney General, while seeming not overly enthusiastic about the project, authorized Rogge’s mission.*

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Oct 272014

 3. Missouri Gang


1952: Maj Gen Harry H Vaughan with Harry Truman

The Missouri Gang was composed of old cronies of President Truman and buddies who had served with him in the First World War. They formed what soon came to be known as the President’s “kitchen cabinet.” *

* A one-time haberdasher in Independence, Missouri, whose business had failed in the early 1920′s, Harry S. Truman had become involved in politics as a protege of the notorious, corrupt Pendergast machine in Missouri. Boss Tom Pendergast obtained a county judgeship for Truman in 1922 and then backed Truman’s election to the Senate in 1934, declaring he wanted “his own emissary” in the Senate.

During the following years, Truman maintained close connections with Pendergast and his political machine. When Pendergast was found guilty of tax evasion in 1939 and sent to jail, Truman remained a staunch supporter of his former political mentor. Later, as President, Truman removed from office the U.S. district attorney who had prosecuted Pendergast.

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Oct 262014

2. Return of Herbert Hoover


May 28, 1945: Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover

Less than two months had elapsed since the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt when, on the morning of May 28, 1945, Herbert Hoover entered the White House for the first time in twelve years.

Hoover was a few minutes early for his appointment wdth President Truman, and, while waiting, he strolled slowly through some of the rooms he had not seen since March 1933. The former President was now seventy years old; his white hair was sparse, his face wrinkled and pudgy; but, as the journalist Sidney Shallet was to report a few months later. Hoover felt like “a new man” . . .

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Oct 252014


Indeed, if such reaction should develop— if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called “normalcy” of the 1920s— then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt January 11,1944


This war that I saw going on all around the world is, in Mr. Stalin’s phrase, a war of liberation. It is to liberate some nations from the Nazi or the Japanese Army, and to liberate others from the threat of those armies. On this much we are agreed. Are we agreed that liberation means more than this? Specifically, are the thirty-one United Nations now fighting together agreed that our common job of hberation includes giving to all peoples freedom to govern themselves as soon as they are able, and the economic freedom on which all lasting self-government inevitably rests? . . .

Our very proclamations of what we are fighting for have rendered our own iniquities self-evident. When we talk of freedom and opportunity for all nations, the mocking paradoxes in our own society become so clear they can no longer be ignored. If we want to talk about freedom, we must mean freedom for others as well as ourselves, and we must mean freedom for everyone inside our frontiers as well as outside.

Wendell Willkie, One World, 1943

 According to the London Times, the expression “iron curtain” was coined by von Krosigk, Hitler’s Minister of Finance, and was used by Goebbels, in his propaganda for some years before Mr. Churchill adopted it.

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 1948 Edition

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Oct 242014

 3. People’s War


Pearl Harbour, December 7 1941

In spite of the business-as-usual operations and voracious war profiteering of giant American corporations, their uninterrupted dealings with enemy cartel interests and their growing hold on the nation’s economy, the American people had never before achieved such unity or engaged in such a prodigious democratic struggle as during the epochal days of the Second World War.

Following Pearl Harbor, the manpower and industrial might of the land were galvanized with lightning speed into a stupendous war effort under the leadership of President Roosevelt. Within a matter of months, millions upon millions of American men and women had been mobilized into the Armed Services and transported overseas, or were undergoing intensive training at huge army encampments throughout America; supply lines totaling more than 56,000 miles, to ten fighting fronts, webbed the oceans and continents of the earth; and the names of scores of far-off, hitherto unfamihar places— Bataan, Midway, Guadalcanal, Okinawa, Anzio, Buna, Guam, Wake, Tarawa, Bizerte— had become every-day words designating battlefields where U. S. soldiers and sailors were carrying the offensive to the Axis enemy by land, sea and air.

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Oct 242014

2. “What price patriotism?”


Lammot du Pont II (1880 –1952): Chairman of of the Board of du Pont de Nemours

In the middle of the crucial month of September 1942, as the German Sixth Army of some 330,000 men launched a ferocious, all-out assault against Stalingrad, and as American marines and warships battled furiously to hold the Pacific island of Guadalcanal, the resolutions committee of the National Association of Manufacturers held a private meeting at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. The purpose of the meeting was to prepare a 1943 program for presentation at the December NAM convention.

Some of the more patriotic members of the resolutions committee urged that the NAM program concentrate on one issue, winning the war. James D. Cunningham, president of Republic Flow Meters Company, pointed out that “if we don’t win the war, there won’t be a postwar.”

Lammot du Pont, chairman of the Board of du Pont de Nemours & Co., spoke in reply. A respectful hush fell over the resolutions committee as he began his remarks.

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Oct 222014



1939 Nazi Party rally in Madison Square Garden

We of the United Nations are not making all this sacrifice of human effort and human lives to return to the kind of world we had after the last World War.

We are fighting today for security, for progress, and for peace, not only for ourselves, but for all men, not only for one generation but for all generations. We are fighting to cleanse the world of ancient evils, ancient ills.

From a radio address by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, October 12, 1942

They [corporations] cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed nor excommunicated, for they have no souls.

Sir Edward Coke, 1613

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