TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Alger Hiss [was: Re: Privacy Worries? Don't Print in color]

Alger Hiss [was: Re: Privacy Worries? Don't Print in color]

Mark Crispin (MRC@CAC.Washington.EDU)
Wed, 26 Oct 2005 14:33:35 -0700

On Wed, 26 Oct 2005, wrote:

> Today, general agreement is that Hiss was indeed guilty of perjury.

It's more than "general agreement"; it's been conclusively proven.

Hiss was a dues-paying member of the Communist Party, and worked with
the GRU (Soviet military intelligence, now Russian military
intelligence) from 1935. This has been corroborated in recent years
with releases from Soviet archives and formerly classified US

The entire reason that there ever was a debate about Hiss' guilt was
that most of the evidence against him was classified until the 1990s.
Belief in the innocence of Hiss and the Rosenbergs were enduring
liberal myths from the early Cold War years; but mainstream liberals
now admit that on this point they were wrong.

Conservatives have their own bitter pill to swallow. The excesses of
Senator McCarthy were a blessing in disguise to the very real
Communist conspiracy. In my opinion, McCarthy caused much greater
harm to the US than Hiss ever did. Time has washed away the effects
of Hiss's treason; we're still suffering from the damage caused by

-- Mark --
Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Senator McCarthy ... now there was a
real class act. This Republican Senator from Wisconsin had his very
own television show; in 1949-50 the United States Senate televised the
'McCarthy Committee Hearings' direct from Old Joe's office. Joe
McCarthy seemed to have a running battle with three groups of people:
the Communists, the US Army, and the gay community. Joe was convinced
that 'the government is full of homosexuals working for it.' And most,
if not all the gay people were also Communists, don't you know ... and
McCarthy went on that tangent for several months, all day long, on
television. He was forever pulling scraps of paper out of his desk at
the hearings, and he would claim, "I have here a list of known
homosexuals and communist sympathizers working for the US Government."
No one ever got to see the list of same he would pull out of his desk
drawer, but he would subpoena these alleged gay guys to give testimony
before his congressional committee day after day, and question them
under oath if they were (or knew of any) 'communists' or 'homosexuals'
working for the government. All those poor guys were so frightened and
scared as McCarthy would grill them over and over. Most produced at
least a few names of fellow employees or friends. Oddly, or maybe not
so odd, those who confessed or told on their buddies never lost their
jobs; only the ones who 'took the Fifth Amendment' and would neither
admit the allegations nor snitch on their buddies got McCarthy furious
enough to demand they resign their employment.

All the TV stations (we only had four in Chicago at the time) carried
his hearings live in their entirety each day, usually from about 9 AM
until mid-afternoon most days, with breaks for his (and the other
Congress critter's) lunch each day and any Quorum Calls which happened
to arise when they were expected to go to the Chamber and vote on
something or another. When they broke for their lunch each weekday,
Channel 9 WGN-TV would put on 30 or 45 minutes of Bozo Circus or some
old movie until it was time to restart the committee hearings in the

I think that nonsense went on for three or four months. Nothing on TV
all day except for Joe McCarthy and his stupid congressional
hearings. We could always count on Joe adjourning the hearing each day
about 3:30 PM central time (4:30 eastern) when he would always keep
looking at his watch and figiting in his seat. You see, part of Joe
McCarthy's 'research' into the 'problem' of gay guys working for the
government was go cruise all the gay bars once they opened each day;
he and his good friend J. Edgar Hoover and Hoover's lifetime
companion, Clyde Whats-His-Name (Tolson I think?) . All three as
closety as could be, all with their little lists hidden in their desk
drawers of all the 'known homosexuals and communists' in the
government. And the hearings would resume the next morning on national
television. Thanks for reminding me of that creep, Mark. PAT]

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