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tv   Book Discussion on Blacklisted by History  CSPAN  March 8, 2015 2:00pm-2:59pm EDT

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y at the age of 80. in 2007 he argued jost mccarthy did not deserve the bad reputation he'd been assigned by historians, and he said mccarthy was correct in his assessment of the threat posed by communism to the united states during the so-called red scare. this program next on booktv. >> ladies and gentlemen, you don't have to stop eating, if i could just have your attention. ..
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well, there's been about five decades of votes have mostly repeat that most of us getting for a textbook until now. finally we have got a book. we been waiting five decades for this because all of the books -- this one goes back and looks at the cases. the author, no introduction can do it justice, but i have to say a couple things. he wrote a book in 1968 called the future of conservatives and
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were the fourth defending final chapter was the rise of reagan, two years into his first term as governor, 12 years away from being president. he's been ahead of the curve for a very long time and continues to be so. he interviewed one of maccarthy suspects indicating as a reporter in the 50s. i got to do a little piece of this. they manage to get one of the files on the part the suspect from fbi and was wheeled out in a shopping cart. these and gentlemen, it's hard to forget anybody wheeled in a shopping cart. that is a visual that stays with you. he is a college curriculum as it should be rolled up into one and we are happy to have him with
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us. veteran journalist and i would argue becoming one of our leading historians. and stanton, stand others. -- stan abends. [applause] >> thank you ice for being here. i appreciate the fact that some of the young people are interested in this sub tag. a long time ago and i am casting that most of you are somewhat of a conservative inclination is that possibly correct? fair number. are there private groups heritage and so forth? national journalism center. anybody that's his head screwed
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on right should be conservative when he is young and as he grows older gradually become more conservative. [laughter] that has certainly been my experience and i know it is yours as well. i will try to wrap things up 30 fast to give you a chance to ask questions. when that does happen and it will happen reasonably soon, i want you to speak out because one of the things that happens there are two bad things that happen. first is your hearing starts to go. i forget what the other one is.
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about the subject matter behind the book. it is more than a study of joe mccarthy. they take a look at the history of the cold war as it was waged inside the united states as well as overseas. they were domestic aspects in foreign aspects of it and on my reading of what is out there in the textbooks i don't think this history is being told accurately by other authors. maybe somewhere they are right about some aspects. the total picture i don't see in the books i've read including biographies and histories of the cold war. beginning to get more information about some things we did not have information on previously.
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that malcolm tested elon was a big guy who made charges are made a slice. he smeared innocent people called people communists without having any proof of it and otherwise was a bad guy who harmed a lot of people and pay the price later by being censured and autobiographies. he helps me do and have done more sense to plan off to make more money one thing that happened back then was bad and
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there were satellite countries controlled by the soviet union for about two or three years after that happened the archives of the country of the secret intelligence agencies were in part available to researchers from the outside air people went over there and got a lot of these files and wrote about them and did some very good research. something else that happened in 1995 was that documents in the possession of our government since world war ii, documents that had been secretly sent by the soviet spy masters in moscow the agents over here in code giving them instructions on how to infiltrate and do other things these documents were
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intercepted decoded gave our intelligence that there is a lot of information about what it didn't have been on that from way back in world war ii. those documents were held secret for 50 years and finally came online in 1995. the third thing that happened they came through the freedom of information act and when he was working with me and some other folks that brought back a lot of these files from the fbi. i spent many many hours going through them we had about 100,000 pages relating to the problem of communist penetration of the government in the 1940s and before that. if you look at the information
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the soviet archives, the fbi files all show there was in fact a massive communist penetration of the american government at that time. hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people in our government, some in very high positions who started getting into the government and the lakers of the depression and more so in world war ii when the soviet union was our ally and nobody was paying any attention. nobody really cared. after the war was over, things changed radically and the soviet union became our enemy. beginning in the late months of 1945 and a little bit before that. all of a sudden this communist
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fellow travelers that nobody was paying any attention to before became a major issue. at this time the fbi, i won't worry what the details was tracking all this in great detail and sent hundreds of report to the white house the attorney general state department, treasury department, seen here at these cases in these government jobs and something needs to be done about them. one of them was alger hiss they were all these fbi files also. virtually nothing went in. i have got some other stuff here i will show you the kind of ties in with it. there is a charging here on page 156 which is way too little to
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see. if you want to come up afterwards, i've got a different version here. this is a chart which a hacker hoover had in 1948 showing the number of reports that had been sent to high officials about alger has been about these other suspects in the government and it looks like a spider web. there is a line for each of the suspects and this is only 27 out of many more. at the top of the chart are the offices of the federal government did on the report was sent. 370 report reflect the investor. nothing was done about alger hiss in 1945. in 1946 there was an average to resign from the state department. he finally did nemc now was a
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soviet spy and tonight it and went to prison for committing perjury when he denied it. nothing was done until 46 and 90 was asked to resign and 47. he was allowed to go free. in many cases -- more cases than otherwise, nothing was done at all and in 1948 president truman issued an order that prevented information from being made available in congress and the whole thing qaeda shut down. the investigations were stymied and there was no further investigating done at the fbi reports. all of this is just recent. they didn't have it back then. the result was a whole bunch of folks in these fbi reports were still on the public payroll in
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1950. in 1950 i was there that that joe mccarthy came down the pike, totally unknown person and found a lot of the dossiers on the assessed tax in the mccarthy cave says which enlisted in the back of the book and i hope somebody will get a chance to look at this mark closely, mccarthy said the names of his cases march 18th 1950 to the senate subcommittee investigating this problem and these were the cases he named -- resided on the senate floor. he didn't name them. they are all anonymous. this letter was sent to the committee giving the names of the suspects and if you compare these names. this document disappeared. it is not at the national archives and it should read
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because there was provided to a senate committee. it isn't fair. which i talk about the danger of mccarthy was a big threat. they hit them up everything they could. they unloaded a time and huge battles in food back in the period that write about between him and this committee, white house, people in the media and also jumped on him on a big liar against nobody knew the information. it was all covered out. only now do we have access. certain other things i could go into some detail.
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the cover-up was so serious, so bad that in 1948 when the hiss case broke, just for your back round, whittaker chambers who was a courier for the soviet union that documents for none both from the communist party in name team 38 went to the government adolph burley who was then an assistant secretary of state. in 1939 gave him two dozen names
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on the federal payroll. the white house man named walton cleary later hess was involved. the treasury department. when chambers is finally called to testify before congress and the house committee on un-american activities hearings and huge hits as being what it was, which is a communist and soviet agent denied it and this became a huge controversy that played out over a period of months and years. at that time, attacked in the white house was and remains this way for several months. we must indict chambers. we will indict whittaker chambers, not alter his.
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i have a photograph reproduced. the mom out from white house stationery saying among other things and we must look into the possibility of whittaker chambers for perjury and have written below that is looking to the question of whether it was a mental and to teach and which was the line that alger hiss used to justify his position. the chamber must be crazy to say that i'm a commie. later the justice department has several mammoths in my book is sending with jay edgar hoover. to indict chambers for perjury. what about case?
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the only reason they ever won after was the house un-american activities committee got a hold of some of these documents and the justice department had impounded the rest of the papers, but the house committee and richard nixon when i was not a critical supporter of mr. nixon, the richard nixon and robert stripling, staff director of that committee and the house at that time saved the day because they had documents and they would not hand him over to the justice department to be impounded with the rest of the abdomen they had given saddam. reading all the information i can look at, if they had not had -- at the house committee had not had the information they would've indicted whitaker. i will cite one of her in terms
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of the policy implications of this. that is more important than espionage. the state department, foreign service officer named john stuart nervous who was stationed in china in the world war ii. in the end of the war and was sending attacking the anti-communist government and glorifying the chinese communists. i quoted my book it's unbelievable. democrats are like american fighting the japanese. john newswriting memorandum that
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washington was not one but to soviet agents. one of these i've already mentioned solomon other was an attaché for another named harry dexter white and he was living -- her roommate was service and he collaborated writing memoranda that to washington and glorifying the communist then rivals in the northwest part of china. tease dispatches were then funneled into treasury secretary morgenthau and the white house. it became the basis for policy which did in fact cut off financially than military aid and later on there was a plot to murder shanghai shack and later
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a plot to have a coup d'état to overthrow him in general. so there's nonstop plotting in our government back to the 40s into the 1950s. by the middle of all of this came back to washington in april 1945 and as soon as he got back here, he started hanging up with a bunch of communists and procommunist but the main one to let chevy who was a communist self-admitted communist even though he was not a member of the party. immigration service started giving documents and it turned out that a lot of other people are giving jaffee documents from the government and in june 1945, the fbi stoops down and arrested
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people. jay edgar hoover sat in a habitat even said it was an airtight case. in days of his having read back everything was thrown into reverse. the case was six and the justice department laughlin currie the sky in the white house and a guy named tommy court or in who was in the wheeler dealer rate the case to get john nervous often they did. they got them off and he then spent five more years in the state department giving out there council i'm sure he's
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given before and anything that got a nod there was joe mccarthy. he came along and blew the lid off of this. this plot to fix their case to rate the grand jury involved the laundry list of federal fine all of it was wiretapped by the fbi. for some totally different set of reason. working with curry to fix the case and knowledge is other people and they wiretapped the whole thing. i have the transcripts of the wiretaps in the book. a chapter called red lies and audio chat.
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it is just amazing. robert ludlum could do it best. this is all real. and it's not documented in the episode i'm talking about by the fbi. it is more than an individual named joe mccarthy. he was in some ways and gentle figure. at long preexisted his service in 1950 and by 1954 decentered and then stops his and the republicans lost control of congress.
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five years. they took him to visit. i spent more than five years so this is all incredibly comprised and it's not about him. it is about what is happening under the service of our government and people like solomon adler and so forth and by the way both adler, both after incurring the documents they mentioned and i wrote about them quite a bit in the book. the issue of what is hot what is going on here was a struggle was to control the wall.
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data foreign legion of spies and agents all over the place who are helping to do that in the main target, which they got that done and wanted other places and they got some of that done. the main thing underway with size. we were the main enemy. the united states was the one thing that stood between them and conquest of western europe. so therefore what do you do? to do something to the united states are not as again pretty big stuff. what you've got here is more than just as joe mccarthy a bad guy a good guy? i try to make this clear in my book. it was not the issue in a larger
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sense. now a very good point. both the media any cat a name you've got to learn the first impression you have a staff isn't necessarily correct. there used to be a tv show called beavis & butthead. [laughter] do you remember that? very interesting show. you would think the one named with either really one. it is beavis who is more than butthead. am i right about this? back me up here.
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but if that's how you? did also tell you can't go by first impressions. that is definitely the deal here. you can't take what is in those textbooks. you've got to look into it. the final thing i'll leave you with is that if you're still in the campus unless you're in a very unusual school you are on the front lines of an ideological war is what i understand of the campuses today. if you are a than not you've got to have a munition. you have to know the facts. you got to be strong in your
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knowledge not just in your conviction, but your knowledge in order to debunk phony history stir not you. i hope my book, in some way help with that msn money down to the end of the time here i will yield now for your questions and i might just say that is my story and i'm sticking to it. thank you very much. remember my ceiling problems. so if you have a question -- yes, sir. >> i wonder, are you will bear starting last year the polish government has been publishing the secret warsaw pact documents about the planned invasion of europe? >> i do not have the details of that, but heard just one over there on behalf of our organization, the education research institute has come back with a lot of information and i
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met with him, but i have been a little too immersed in this to get the details. >> if i may be of service, i lived in poland 13 years. my brother mosso former major in the polish military. >> wonderful. any other -- >> from the university of california irvine. apparently one of the requirements -- >> one of the requirements of being professors who have taken these they did not identify with my professors when i get that. how were they able to do that and how were they able to turn around and charge him with? >> wow, what happened was
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chambers had in his initial statements never mentions the espionage question. at one point when i brought in before the grand jury, he kind of skated on it and i said did you have any documents? can you tell us anyone who's passing along.event and he did not say yes. he might have even suggested no. that technically would have been perjury because he did have documents he said to protect case. when he came after him had to bring the documents that prove his case. so technically, yes. chambers had committed perjury and that is very clear on what i just said. but he then purge themselves when he told the truth. he went to his grave denying the same. so what they were doing with
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chambers was just basically a cover up. that's what applies. i didn't even write about in the book. they had a grand jury looking at the stuff from june of 1947 all the way to december 48, a year and a half until october, june of 47 they never called chambers. he called all these other people. harry dexter white, haste. they didn't indict a single one and the reason was they had only one witness and that was elizabeth bentley the other soviet courier whose cases were flat in the chart that i was telling you about earlier. well, they had another witness in chambers and they never
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called. at the end of the first full year of this grand jury about having indicted nobody, none of these people, they turned around at the very hand and incited the publicly known leaders of the communist party. what the fbi files reflect to and they said well you did something. but the people they indicted everybody knew and all of these other folks were not indicted and only when they got into it in a lawsuit, and chambers started producing these documents, they finally called chambers before the grand jury in october of 48 and even then they try to indict chambers. if you've ever seen an fbi file this is right here. these are from the official files of shaker huger.
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j-juliett drew hoover official and confidential. i got these in november 2000. this has all of these chart on different individuals. this is a guy named maurice halperin. here is a chart on harry dacs are way. these are all reports in the fall 1985. hoover kept this stuff in his personal files in his office. they are in the general file as well and he did so because when all this stuff came out, he said the investigative information by the fbi to the white house attorney general and employing governmengovernmen t agencies and this is issued august 1948 right at the height of the battle. they did this i am confident because at the time the public
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was all of a sudden hearing about this and people were saying fbi must have been asleep at the switch. they never told anybody. so hoover got very annoyed at that. so anybody that could see them would say william remington who finally went to prison also was still in the federal government in 1950 on the senate floor. that is what was in the record that the fbi was maintaining. but all of that shows its people at high levels had the information and did nothing about it. the government in 1860 in many other folks. a very famous nuclear scientist.
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the fbi knew as early as december 1942 that oppenheimer was the secret communists. i have the fbi document in the book that shows that. you even in world war ii you could say he was a communist but they were fighting the nazis, soviets are allies. after that, the enemy wasn't in berlin. it was in moscow. and they still kept it going. until 1954 under president eisenhower they took away his security claims. all these people were still in the government for joe mccarthy came along. did we ever name anybody? yes, he did. some of the listed the reflect that. any others? yes sir. i don't think truman had a clue what was going on. true men, got to remember was president only in april of 45. president roosevelt died in 1945
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they came back in china. he had no part has the decision making that set up under roosevelt. he was very naïve and uninformed about the. definitely a visceral anti-communist. he did not understand the nature of the problem. he had people around him giving him very bad count old and some of that showed up with mccarthy cases later under truman. the instinct was let's get these people. make sure they get prosecuted. that was all of a sudden totally reverse and never happen. truman saying that meant nothing. other people were calling the
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shots. the other thing about truman and i can't blame him for this cousin is true on both sides. he was a very intense part of this amorphous or the republicans. this is a republican issue. republicans had won control of the congress in may 246. truman was very, very unwilling to concede that once the republicans have been saying was true. as late as 1956 am i put this in the book, truman was still saying he did not believe alger hiss was lt. they are dependent prison for four years at that point. and i say in my chapter -- i have a chapter called the trouble with harry which is an old hitchcock movie 50 years ago named john forsythe and a young shirley mcclain. very good movie. the trouble with harry, was the
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problem here and he never really came to terms with what was going on in the government. any other questions? yes, man. >> i'm wondering if you could go into detail more. to me that is very significant. >> it is very important. what happened was able series of things. chambers made his allegations before the house committee in august of 1948. he then denied everything. cavemen and denied everything and a lot of people believed had been didn't be the chambers. one of the things he said in the
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testimony or otherwise, he'd dared chambers to make these statements outside of congressional testimony where they are privileged. congress has privileged information in a congressional hearing. they would make the statements about congressional privilege sue him for slander. he then went on "meet the press" and they asked him if alger hess had been a communist and chambers basically said yeah and he probably still is. i forget the exact phraseology. he was banking that statement without privilege. then he caught the bus. it's been a long time before doing anything ms friends became faint alger, why haven't you sued him for slandering you like
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you said you were going to do? finally, he did. in november 48, his lawyers called all these people and maryland. he was from baltimore originally. he taken that position from chambers in baltimore. and the lawyers questioning chambers asked him and i don't know if many of you are pretty locked or whatever, but there is a role that he will teach you in law school which is never ask a question that you don't know the answer to. hiss' lawyers made a big mistake because they asked chambers that question they didn't know the answer to. the question was do you have any documents. the answer is yeah i do have
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some documents. all of a sudden he comes back and legs all of these documents because it's stopping some of these typewriters they find out in his possession. that is what triggered the justice department then impounded all the paperwork and if that had been all there was as i say they might've been all she wrote. the chambers had kept a safety net in reserve and has another papers. there were microfilmed papers that he had kept in the home of his nephew in brookline. another people came around and this whole thing was going on at the justice department getting ready to indict chambers got very nervous.
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he had kept these papers back and brought those from new york down here to westminster maryland and i think it was kind of a pr side. i don't know why he did it. he put them in a carved out pumpkin on this farm in westminster, maryland. two investigators said the house went out there. the instigation of robert strickland who is director of research and got these microfilmed out of the pumpkin and brought them back. those are the documents the house committee had that the justice department did not have. so everything turned on most papers. i am convinced the more i study this case and i have to notice to write my book. i am pretty well they have not had the pumpkin favors, they
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might have well invited to chambers. >> will be key pair and is in his investigation looking for communists in government, joe mccarthy viewed a lot of benefit people. >> yes, we hear that. >> would you talk about this a second click >> well, my response to that is rather flip it when people say that i always say name one. there were the innocent people? kind of hard to find them. the way it worked over and over again with mccarthy would say this, that or the other thing. mccarthy refused to refuse to name anybody in public. he delivered these charges, numbered cases and the liberals say and what are the names? he said i won't.
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and my chapter goes into great detail because it would not be fair to name them. later he had to name them. when he would do so the initial reaction was he spared an innocent person. he spared the person and denied it. later when the facts came out the fbi files turned out he was right. it's very hard to find the innocent people he named. so maybe somebody can find one but i haven't found one yet. >> there's a full american artist named arthur schafer was a cartoonist wrote many illustrations for covers of magazines and he was served from
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from -- [inaudible] >> yeah, yeah. and today, i've gone through this paper and i've seen that document. he is pretty innocent. i mean, there are a lot of people -- >> mccarthy was a senate. house committee on un-american activities. >> the people god because of this mccarthy people got subpoenas. >> house committee long before joe mccarthy was ever elected to the senate. starting in 1938.
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people were subpoenaed. that doesn't mean they are being accused of anything. mccarthy had nothing to do with any house committee said the. he had his own when he was a senate chairman. i'm still waiting. he had a lot of people before his committee who were not communists, who were subpoenaed, but he didn't say they were communists. i am saying if joe mccarthy made the allegation that so-and-so was a communist, his basis generally was a good example. did any of you ever see the george clooney movie called goodnight and good luck that came out two years ago? in that movie, and the broadcast in the 50s they had any of
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the moms the most heinous of all the big ones and neighbors called in 1954 and they had another witness who said yes she is a member in the district of columbia because they've been under coverage and have access to the records of the communist party. he comes on and testifies and so of mistaken identity and senator simonton from missouri said i believe you and if you lose your job in the army, come to me and i'll give you a job and she's portrayed as an innocent that have been browbeaten as evil joe mccarthy. that's the standard image that you find in every book about mccarthy that is out there. all totally false.
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i have an entire chapter where he is very clear the witness was right. they had the documents, the records, which show she was an act listed as a member of the communist party in the district of columbia. that is a prototype of many other cases. >> this is a great lecture. one of the biggest moments one of the first television moments as far as congressional hearings was have you no sense -- if you could go into that my understanding is he was naming the person plus the person had dirty been named to many or times, so there was no information. >> i'm sure these folks want to
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know the background. army mccarthy hearings come in 1854. joseph welch -- this is featured in many many treatments of mccarthy. welch was questioning north holland who was to report he had a alleged subversives which was subject to the mccarthy investigation. welch goes into this long routine about why he had not delivered with robert stevenson person. and did she deliver in january? no. february, no. march, no. april, may, june, july. and since i am for you. please hurry to tell people.
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but fischer had been a communist front that they lawyers guild. judging from the house committee and herbert brownell. it was found out that fred fisher had been a member of this group. he was sent back to boston which is where welches law firm was located. mccarthy knew this. please tell us right away. how about this guy fred fisher that you brought to work on these hearings. that is when they go into this routine. have you no decency? is starting out with his career with us. this is awful.
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i don't want to speak anymore. over and over again what welch said and much more similar effect. what you just said is absolutely right. fischer had dirty been outed as a former member of the national lawyers guild six weeks before the confrontation by joseph welch himself. who had confirmed in "the new york times" that in fact fischer was a member of the national lawyers guild sent back to boston because he's been a member of the national lawyers guild. that photograph is reproduced in the book also. the american times story ran not only that information but a nice big picture which is in the book. here is fred fisher writes your home in "new york times," april 15, 1954.
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the last paragraph in the article reads mr. welch confirmed in its report the law firm admitted previous membership in the national lawyers guild, which has been linked -- listed. so joe welch had dirty dan six weeks before the thing he's deploring mccarthy doing in jan and the hearings. this is fairly typical of almost all these episodes. i call it as in slot of an adequate paranoia. what a sad face no matter how bad you think it is when you look into it, it is always
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worse. this is the example. yes, sir. >> i'm just wondering if this remains realistic here the threat being the infiltration of the u.s. government at various levels in various ways a foreign power with an ideology. is this realistic today? >> i haven't been doing it. i apologize. have you picked up the gentleman's question? he was not as close to the microphone. the answer was it isn't quite the same, but there are lots of linkages between what happened back then and what is happening to 9/11. the mindset which existed.
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he is a member of the communist party, but he is a mere member. i have a whole chapter devoted to that. what is the problem here? that was used as a rationale to have these people in the government. fast-forward to many decades to the run up to 9/11. if you look at the vsat, were you there? it is still there by the way. if you look at the visa form in the state department on the website, to this day it was better. it has these questions. do you intend to enter the united states to engage in export violations or acts of terrorism? are you a member of a terrorist
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organization? are you a member of that nazi government of germany? how old are these people? did you ever participate in genocide. i am going through an espy says yes, no, yes. yes i want to export violations. yes i would like to advocate terrorism and yes i did send genocide back in the day. underneath it says i should have remembered to do this. it says while i answer yes it does not automatically disqualify you. if you answered yes that you want to commit terrorism, you should come in for a talk. we really need to discuss this a little bit. what that reflects they are not
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as goofy as it sounds. that reflects that there is constitutionally guaranteed to advocate terrorism, to be a member of the terrorist organization until you actually do something. you have to have the overt act. that is the direct link. there are more linkages, too. i think this is at the end of the period. >> i want to thank you. either way, we actually link to that form on our site. www.campus report this will be focused on both sides but it is here right now and so is the author in a cell in a 30%. >> thank you all. and a great pleasure. [applause]
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>> how do we know they had a healthy ego? via printed everything out e-mail he ever wrote. presuming someone would go through at some point. my fingers were destroyed when i went through these. one of the things i found it was interesting, and e-mail from a man named charles dow sacked who said thank you so much. i have this on ross who is now in college at harvard and has this crazy liberal place in your magazine is so valuable and informative that it might help move towards family conversion if i'm not mistaken. in some ways the first of what i described in my own experience in graduate school reading globalization theory, a taken a contact that turns to demonstrate. if you believe in god, you can read "the new yorker" and you can write for


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