McCarthyism’s High Tide: Owen Lattimore In The Dock

Morris Don’t Bore Us

Thanks to the oddly webpaged Public.Resource.Org we can once again enjoy McCarran Committee counsel Robert Morris doing a victory lap the day the Committee called Owen Lattimore a “conscious, articulate instrument of the Communist conspiracy” .

It was downhill from there, as the Committee’s careful assemblige of free-floating factoids and fanciful history failed to withstand scrutiny or contact with the courts.  

Palling Around With Louis Budenz: Obama But Latest Victim Of Red Professoriat!

Right Answers   

The hallucinatory fringes of the American right just can’t quit Bill Ayers, who of course ghost-wrote all of Barack Obama’s stirring tomes.

Obama serial fantasist Cliff Kincaid is digging deep for the cause, claiming Ayers is but the latest example of Red infiltration of academia, where they aim for the children!

Introducing a tiresome run-through of Ayer’s troubled career, Kincaid returns to a simpler time, when Louis Budenz could write articles for the American Legion with even less reference to facts than his Congressional ramblings. Somehow Ayers’s bringing down America was foretold by Budenz’s fifty year old authoritative blather.

“An important part of the Grabar analysis demonstrates that the Ayers
approach is actually an old one, and that it was described by Communist Party
defector Louis F. Budenz. The purpose is to use the educational process to
break down traditional notions of American morality, creating chaos and
confusion in the classroom and the society at large. “In undermining a nation
such as the United States, the infiltration of the educational process is of prime
importance,” Budenz wrote.”

Kincaid even ropes in Bella Dodd, a former New York Communist teachers union leader who refuted Budenz’s Lattimore hearing testimony. [They both ended up in the Catholic church, it all comes out well.]

Owen Lattimore: Out Of Print, But Never Out Of Style

The pages of “The Browser” book blog feature an appreciation of Owen Lattimore from Michael Dillon, author of   “Xinjiang: China’s Muslim Far Northwest.”  Dillon discusses Lattimore’s never surpassed writings on China’s inner-Asian frontiers and Xinjiang  The Browser interviews an area expert touting five books in their field, and  Lattimore accounts for two of Dillon’s five.

Dillon mistakenly has Senator Joseph McCarthy chairing the House Un-American Activities Committee and poking Lattimore from that venue, but otherwise seems a sound fellow.  If anything I think he kind of undersells Pivot of Asia, Lattimore’s Xinjiang book issued as McCarthy’s fraud was beginning to unfold in 1950.  The book figured in the many investigations, with FBI wiretaps picking up conversations in Mongol between Lattimore and Mongol scholars he’d brought to Johns Hopkins to work on the book project.  Also involved on the book was the Chinese scholar Chen Hansheng, whose Comintern affiliation played a role in the McCarthy and McCarran hearings.

The Browser shares with us an image they appeared to have lifted from Amazon of a snappy 60s paperback cover for “Inner Asian Frontiers Of China,”  Amazon’s coming from a bookseller offering pricey editions of the tome.   The other Lattimore book mentioned, “Pivot of Asia,” is available free online.

Owen Lattimore’s Not Now & Never Have Been Moment


For connoisseurs, footagefile13 has uploaded a Lattimore clip from the 1950 Tydings Committee hearings, in which our favorite subject denies the usual once more.

Meanwhile, Frenchmen have for some reason posted Lattimore exiting DC Federal Court in the early days of the eventually dismissed perjury charges.

As a true American ignorant of foreign tongues I can’t show you the clip, being unable to figure out if the site allows embeds.

Now With New McCarthyism!

No Sense Of Reality: Reason‘s Why 

Those libertarian kids at Reason magazine are rightly concerned the with the endless reuse of McCarthyism, the term losing all bite and meaning as it slops around political commentary.

Not that they don’t dabble in it themselves, as a tool to attack opponents of a beloved climate change denier, or when pulling the grand switcheroo:   discovering the dread  McCarthyism Of The Left.

Even after September 11, left-wing McCarthyism persists on American campuses.

But the magazine is really more concerned with minimizing McCarthy, salvaging the kernels of truth they like to imagine he built his career around.

Because after all, the Reds had it coming.

Reason‘s Cathy Young just can’t stop rediscovering the left in all the wrong places, and she won’t let those stalinoid liberals paint themselves as victims:

There is a reason the Hollywood Left clings to what the Radoshes call the “fable of innocence destroyed by malice.” This fable props up its moral authority to this day. From the height of this authority, today’s celebrity radicals blast American policies while ignoring the evil of a Saddam Hussein.

Evil ignoring was more in this  Donald rumsfeld meeting saddam on 19 december – 20 december 1983. rumsfeld visited again on 24 march 1984; the same day the un released a report that iraq had used mustard gas and tabun nerve agent against iranian troops. the ny times reported from baghdad on 29 march 1984, that "american diplomats pronounce themselves satisfied with iraq and the u.s., and suggest that normal diplomatic ties have been established in all but name."  the image above is proposed for deletion. see images and media for deletion to help reach a consensus on what to do. fellow’s line of work,  and the authority of today’s celebrity radicals no doubt explains why everybody remembers when they first gave a sawbuck to Ed Asner’s Medical Aid To El Salvador.

Reason‘s writers spend inordinate amounts of time trying to salvage real facts they like to imagine the Red Scare exposed.

Sister Young again:

“… in the case of McCarthyism, the stubborn blindness of leftists and many liberals both to the brutality of the Soviet regime and to the extent of Soviet espionage during the Cold War undoubtedly helped create fertile ground for Coulter-style polemics.

First, stop channeling David Horowitz.  Second, in what parallel universe was Ann Coulter ever concerned with facts? And third, remember  NATO, federal worker loyalty boards and the Attorney General’s list?  Proud Truman achievements.

In Stan Evans’ McCarthy-Was-Right book Blacklisted by History,  highly charitable Reason-ette Michael Moynihan found the hidden pony about Owen Lattimore, and a role model.  Because after all, “A book can be radically wrong in its conclusions and devilishly selective in its presentation of evidence yet still be useful.

What Moynihan finds useful is imagining Evans provides “a much needed corrective to the widely held view, successfully advanced by  [Owen] Lattimore himself, that he was in fact a generic New Deal liberal and an anti-communist.”

Both in defending Evans [with an asterisk] and praising David Aaronovitch‘s Voodoo Histories: The Role of Conspiracy Theory in the Shaping of Modern History, Moynihan turns to the same would-be damning Lattimore quote on Soviet collective farms.

Moynihan’s version has Lattimore writing that they were:

a kind of ownership more valuable to [the Soviet peasantry] than the old private ownership under which they were unable to own or even hire machines.”

A reproduction of the poster "Hired hand, join the collective farm" issued during the collectivization period (RIA Novosti)

No doubt Lattimore wrote unfortunate things about the Soviet Union, but the quote above is only part of a paragraph in language you might not expect from a straight Soviet apologist.

“The identification between loyalty to the government and devotion to one’s own kind of property is a political law that is valid even in Soviet Russia. Divided loyalties weakened Russia most in the terrible and bloody struggle over collectivization, a thinly disguised civil war in which land was taken from the rich peasants and given to poor peasants, not individually but as members of collective farms. Since then, a new kind of loyalty has gradually solidified as more and more Soviet peasants in the Ukraine, Russia, Siberia, and Soviet Asia have come to feel that their individual shares in collective farms represent a kind of ownership more valuable to them than the old private ownership under which they were unable to own or even hire machines.”

I’m not certain what Lattimore meant by all this, but Kulak blood doesn’t go unacknowledged.

Aaronovitch brings out the true Lattimore obsessive in Moynihan when he points to the difficulty in squaring Lattimore as apologist with the steady stream of Lattimore denunciations and critiques in the Communist press.  Somehow Moynihan thinks this is refuted by Communist attacks elsewhere on left deviationists.

“It was, Aaronovitch writes, absurd that “someone as nonrevolutionary” as Lattimore, who “had been attacked” in the communist press, could be denounced as a Red agent. But attacks from communist writers or newspapers mean nothing (as the Spanish Civil War demonstrated, communists were more interested in attacking so-called left deviationists than members of the fascist ruling class)…”

I think he is implying that Lattimore was both a Stalinist and a POUM-ist.

Moynihan has become almost manic about force-feeding Lattimore into political consciousness, roping him with Alger Hiss to make a point about Scott Brown’s base:

“…Tea Party crowd, people who previously thought of Massachusetts as a state that would vote an Alger Hiss/Owen Lattimore ticket if given the chance.”

….sparking a reader commentery war over whether anyone recalled who Lattimore was.

Reason-ettes live in a magical place, where demagogues require facts to bolster their power building crusades.

This is a willfully naive view of the world, on a par with their touching faith in the market solving any question society ever struggled over, without all that sweaty politics.

Chicago once enjoyed the comic stylings of mayoral spouse Jay McMullen, Mr. Jayne Byrne, who did his best to be a hard drinking parody of a city hall cynic.  But he once stumbled onto the truth, when he observed that “the trouble with reformers is that they think everything is on the square.”

McCarthy Denial-ists: The Front Is Everywhere!

Half Ass-ed At Full Contact Full  Contact Poker Your Online Poker Community

Plucky McCarthy-Was-Rightists just can’t help themselves: no online forum is safe from marauding bands of make believe historians.

The latest eruption comes to us at “Full Contact Poker,” where “Balloon Guy” drills down on this Owen Lattimore fellow, and comes up with a gusher:

There was only one problem in all of this for Lattimore: Hoover had given Lattimore’s FBI file to McCarthy and McCarthy had Louis Budenz as a witness, a former Communist, who’d worked with Lattimore. McCarthy carried the day but was forever stuck with the sobriquet “McCarthyism

Anticipating the introduction of actual facts, Baloon Guy provides a handy checklist …”Venona” (Yale University Press); “The Secret World Of American Communism” (Yale University Press); “The Haunted Wood” (Random House); “The Venona Secrets” (Regnery); “The Secret History Of the KGB” (Basic Books); “Whittaker Chambers: A Biography” (Modern Library); and “Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the life and legacy of America’s most hated Senator” (Free Press). If at first you haven’t read the above, then you are coming unarmed for a battle of wits.

Sadly, actual reading of the above would reveal that Lattimore is unmentioned in the Venona files, Soviet espionage reports decrypted by the National Security Agency, and that Budenz testified he had never met Lattimore.

Other than that it’s smooth sailing!

Now Your Source For Crackpot History!

YELP, traditionally your go-to source for the musings of your fellow unemployed about salad bars,  now wanders occasionally into political discussions.

What does the Common Man think of the issues of the day, and can they type?

YELP fans recently enjoyed the musings of McCarthy Denial-ist “Nick “Curmudgeon” B., who rose to the bait in an Arizona/immigration thread. Unspecified “Soviet archives” are cited  proving “how spot on Tailgunner Joe was, alcoholic megalomania notwithstanding.”

YELP’s special correspondent for fanciful history reports  “Harry Dexter White and Owen Lattimore, #1 and #2 in the State Department? Soviet spies.

He may be referring to the Venona files, which the FBI say finger White as a Soviet source.  But as endlessly repeated here and elsewhere, Lattimore is nowhere mentioned in the Venona files.

And neither of them  was Number Anything at State.

Remembering Louis Budenz

Face Booked

Former Daily Worker Editor Louis Budenz was a star witness against Owen Lattimore, not withstanding that they had never met, and that Budenz  spent 5 years telling the FBI,  HUAC, and the Federal courts what he claimed to recall of his years in The Party without Lattimore’s name coming up.

But others recall an earlier Budenz, when he was still something of a fresh face.  His first real splash was as a government witness in the New York Smith Act case, where the feds tried to decapitate the American Communist Party and did jail most of its leaders.  Budenz was rolled out as the red renegade, the Marxist newspaper man who had found Christ, and through Him the courage to rat out former comrades.

Somebody in the CPUSA with time on their hands remembers.

An apparent  dissident tendency masquerading as  the “Official Site of the National Board of the Communist Party, USA” can think of no finer slam on the current party editor than this:

In other business Joel Wendland was presented the “Louis Budenz Award for Meritorious Middle Class Journalism” and was presented with an autographed Barack Obama coffee mug.

Wendland is popular in other circles as well, staring in the Islamo-Marxist wet dreams of tin foilers everywhere.

Forever Youngdahl

Our Hero 

This [actually, that] Day In History.

May 2, 1953 was the beginning of the end for efforts to get Owen Lattimore.

He had been indicted on a motley group of perjury counts growing out of his record 12 day encounter with the McCarran Senate Internal Security Committee.  The McCarran Committee was an effort to clear up Joseph McCarthy’s loose ends. McCarthy failed to prove his claim that Lattimore was the top Soviet agent in the United States, or much else, but Lattimore’s contempt for his accusers spurred them to more thorough efforts at burying him.

McCarran forced Truman’s last and Eisenhower’s first Attornies General to pledge Lattimore’s indictment, and Truman left the case as a parting gift to Eisenhower.

But Federal Judge Luther Youngdahl dismissed the key charges, particularly Count One, a catch-all claim that Lattimore had promoted the Communist Line in East Asia.

Youngdahl was upheld by the Appeals Court, leading the Eisenhower Justice Department to try yet another Hail Mary indictment, only to have those charges shot down by Youngdahl as well.

By 1955 it was all over – the feds gave up the effort.

Lattimore Limited Time Offer!

Attorney For The Damning 

Owen Lattimore is charged with Contempt of Congress, and you are there!

From now till April 30 a somewhat educational web site is offering free access to its many videos, most of them old newsreels and 50s interview show kine scopes.

Among the treasures on display is an interview with Robert Morris, McCarran Committee Counsel, just as the Senate Internal Security Sub-Committee unleashed its 1952 report claiming Lattimore perjured himself.

In the Committee’s investigation of the Institute of Pacific Relations Lattimore was interrogated for 12 days, a record which may still stand.   From this the Committee, and later the Eisenhower Justice Department, drew 7 counts against him.

The indictment failed, dismissed by the federal courts despite the legal craftsmanship of boy prosecutor Roy Cohn, who had run the Lattimore grand jury fresh from helping convict the Rosenbergs, but before his service with Senator McCarthy.

Glenn Beck’s McCarthy-Was-Rightists: Dead Horses Can’t Be Broken

Glenn Beck, America’s proven reserve of comic delight, drills once more into the buried treasure which is McCarthyism.

Thursday Beck launched a spirited defense of the late Senator’s good works, in the midst of an insane roundup of the history of the Roosevelt administration.

Attention to detail suffered in Glenn’s thrilling tale, as he recalled [at 3:30] Hitler’s 1939 pact with the Nazis.

Stalin For Time

Perhaps he meant the better known Hitler-Stalin pact of that year?

Beck also gets Alger Hiss’s conviction date off by a year, and somehow wanders into American intervention in Vietnam without mentioning the name, substituting trite facts about the dead-on-arrival South East Asia Treaty Organization.

Suddenly the long dead Solon and his vivid imagination were all the rage. Salon posted the Beck video, Steve Benen commented,  Balloon Juice linked to that, and it’s commentariat sprang into action, rushing once again to assure the nation that something somewhere someday nailed Owen Lattimore.

The FBI had a source claiming that Lattimore was indeed feeding information to the Soviets. I would hope that you could concede the difficulty of providing evidence which could compromise intelligence sources, which given the FBI report I provide you seems to be case.

Which of the ninety-one pages this clown links to substantiates the bold claim is unclear, or why the entire FBI file [which Lattimore himself FOIA’d] isn’t linked to.

McCarthy had a source who confidently told the Senate he’d been informed as early as 1937 that Owen J. Lattimore was a secret Communist.  Confidence by some in Louis Budenz is undiminished despite Lattimore’s tragic lack of any middle name.

Tune in Monday night, when Becky threatens to roust the Reds creepin’ round Obama.Threat or menace?