Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and his Fight Against America's Enemies
Part 2--He had in his hand...
November 7, 2007
Wes Vernon, RenewAmerica analyst

(See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11)

Senator Joe McCarthy famously prefaced many of his anti-Communist speeches (including his very first in Wheeling, W. Va.) with "I have in my hand the names of [X number Communists or other evidence of pro-Red mischief — fill in the blanks]."

Critics of the Wisconsin senator would often ridicule him as exercising an overblown flair for the dramatic. Evidence that has piled up then and since clearly showed he did in fact have evidence of real Communists and/or Communist complicity in U.S. government decisions that redounded to advancement of Soviet ambitions, at the expense of America's best interests.

M. Stanton Evans, in his book Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and his Fight Against America's Enemies, has offered the most thorough refutation to date of the ongoing effort by liberal ideologues thinly disguised as "historians " to portray McCarthy in a bad light.

Examples of what "he had in his hand"

Bear in mind the false claim that McCarthy never exposed Communists or Communist activity is a red herring in the first place. It cannot be emphasized strongly enough that the senator's primary claim was not that he had found Communists who had never before been accused of being Communists. Rather, his focus was on demanding to know why government authorities had failed to fire employees once they had been exposed as Communists, either by the FBI or by sworn testimony in court proceedings or in "Fifth Amendment" cases before authorized congressional investigating committees.

The charge leveled against McCarthy was that he was trafficking in "stale warmed over charges." The senator's point was not that all of his information on Communists was new, but that nothing had been done to remove them from the government payroll. Often he found that those in government who did in fact try to sound the alarm were ignored or shunted aside, or in some way punished.

However, he targeted real Communists

In this installment, we will deal with names of real people cited by Evans as "McCarthy's cases."

Leonard Mins had contracted to write manuals for the armed forces. In that pursuit, he handled sensitive material. "Oh, yes, much of it was classified," he told Senator McCarthy's committee. He had also worked for the OSS, the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA ).

Mins pleaded the Fifth Amendment when asked if he held membership in the Communist Party, either at the time he was working for the government or at the moment of the hearing; whether he had engaged in espionage or illegal Communist activity; whether he had been on the payroll of Soviet military intelligence, either at the time he prepared the pamphlet or when working for the OSS; whether he attended the Lenin School of sabotage and espionage; and whether he believed in the overthrow of the United States by force and violence.

Solomon Adler ended up in McCarthy's crosshairs when the senator inquired as to the Treasury Department official's role during the several years Adler served in China along with John Stewart Service, one of McCarthy's foremost cases.

Further evidence of Adler's role in spying for the Soviets and their Red Chinese allies would emerge from the Venona project — a long-running and highly secret collaboration between intelligence agencies of the U.S. and Britain that involved cryptanalysis (decoding) of messages sent by several intelligence agencies of the Soviet Union during and immediately after World War II.

The Venona decrypts — finally released in 1995 by a government commission headed by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan — had this to say about Adler: that he was "passing information to the comrades about the state of things in China," Evans reports. Other official data, according to the author (who has spent years digging through FBI files and other intelligence of the era) "show [Adler] to have been part of a Treasury combine that included Harry Dexter White, Nathan Gregory Silvermaster, [and] V. Frank Coe." Adler appears in the decrypts under his cover name "Sachs." Blacklisted by History adds that Joe McCarthy "did not err in targeting Adler."

Cedric Belfrage was employed by the British Security Coordinator in New York during World War II, working in tandem with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS, predecessor to the CIA). In that capacity, Evans reports, "Belfrage had access to U.S., as well as British Intelligence data."

In addition to Evans' book — by far the most thorough documentation ever between the covers of a single book on the McCarthy investigations — this column has consulted other sources, including the executive closed-door sessions of the senator's inquiries on Communist infiltration. Those hearings transcripts were released in 2003.

In one such hearing, Belfrage repeatedly took the Fifth Amendment, declining to answer the following questions: whether he was at that moment a member of the Communist Party; whether when entering the U.S. in 1926 he recalled being asked questions on a belief in anarchy, communism, or the overthrow of the government by force and violence; whether he was a Communist when stationed as a press control officer setting up new newspapers in post-war Germany; where he was employed at the moment of his committee testimony; whether he believed he was subject to deportation; whether he would fight against Communist aggressors if he were drafted into the British or the U.S. Army.

Blacklisted by History cites a Venona identification of Belfrage as (1) a KGB contact reporting right out of the OSS about the then-looming struggle for the Balkans — a major source of the Soviet, U.S., and British intelligence efforts; (2) sounding out British policy toward a second front to ease Nazi pressure on the Russians; (3) sharing documents with Soviet spy chief Jacob Golos; and (4) otherwise "acting as a fount of knowledge for the Kremlin."

T.A. Bisson was tied in with the Amerasia case. Amerasia was a pro-Red magazine serving as a transmission belt to advance the cause of the Communists then seeking power in China. McCarthy charged Bisson was also linked to the pro-Red Chinese think tank the Institute of Pacific Relations and its icon Owen Lattimore, who would become McCarthy's major target. Venona nailed Bisson as having passed confidential official data to Soviet intelligence agent Joseph Bernstein.

V. Frank Coe and Harold Glasser were part of the Treasury Department espionage cabal that saw to it that the printing plates for currency in occupied Germany — issued and redeemable by the United States — were transferred to Soviet control. Coe took the Fifth Amendment when asked whether he was engaged in espionage for the Soviet government at the time he passed along a Soviet memo requesting more dies to print the money, and also whether he was a member of the Communist Party.

Both Coe and Glasser would show up in Venona — Glasser as a pal of Alger Hiss, providing Soviet intelligence data to Soviet handlers; Coe for his part in blocking U.S. aid for the then anti-Red regime in China, thus easing the way for the Communist takeover of the world's largest nation in 1949.

Note: At the time I'm writing this, a dispatch from NewsMax states that the FBI believes that Communist China — now in 2007 — "poses the greatest threat to the U.S. in terms of espionage — and that thousands of 'front companies' in America have been set up to aid Chinese spying, according to the Maldon Institute." (The point: Don't let anyone tell you that the betrayal of our country 50-60-70 years ago is irrelevant to the here and now. We're paying today — big-time).

Laughlin Currie was an executive assistant to President Roosevelt in the early forties, and left government in 1945. He was still around when McCarthy blew the whistle on him in 1950 and fled to Latin American shortly thereafter. McCarthy sited Currie's role in the "great betrayal" in coordination with Hiss and others at the State Department as the Washington end of the transmission belt disseminating "poisonous misinformation" against the pro-Western Chinese government of Chiang-Ky-Shek.

David Karr was a legman and reporter for Drew Pearson, the gossip-mongering hate columnist whose non-stop venom directed at McCarthy exceeded all bounds. McCarthy gave Pearson a dose of what happens when "people who live in glass houses" throw rocks. On the floor of the Senate, he exposed Karr as a Red agent whose influence was reflected in Pearson's writings, which often were in sync with the Communist party line. Venona in fact nails Karr as having provided information to Soviet agent/TASS correspondent Samuel Krafsur. Intelligence expert Herbert Romerstein cites Karr as "a competent KGB source."

Mary Jane Keeney was one of McCarthy's first cases. She "had been listed as a courier for the Communist Party while working for the government," the senator said. He added that when Keeney was forced out of government, she simply moved on and popped up "in one of the educational organizations or in some part of the UN organization." Again, Venona would back McCarthy to the hilt and then some. Keeney and her husband Phillip had been Communists and agents of Soviet intelligence. She had ample access to confidential data while working with Cedric Belfrage with the Allied German occupation forces, while Phillip played a similar role in the occupation of Japan.

Franz Neumann (No. 59 of McCarthy's list) shows up in Venona as a source for the KGB, while at the OSS. He had managed to keep his head down at the State Department before McCarthy called attention to his case. He was an alumnus/"scholar" at the Frankfurt School in Germany, which set in motion a concerted effort to trash the culture of the United States, an operation most recently dealt with in the late Ralph de Toledano's book Cry Havoc! The Great American Bringdown and How it Happened (see this column "The Plot Against America Exposed," Nov. 27, 2006). Evans, in my interview with him, endorsed Toledano's findings regarding the influence of the Frankfurt School on the downward spiral of American culture.

McCarthy "never exposed any Communists"?

Finally — at last! — someone has taken the time to assemble the McCarthy record in what Terence P. Jeffrey in Human Events calls "a masterpiece of truth." M. Stanton Evens clearly shows that — far from making "wild exaggerations," as alleged by his critics — Senator Joe McCarthy, if anything, understated his case. Actually, he didn't know the half of it. (To be continued)

© Wes Vernon

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