and is exposed as such by the Author in recalling diverse forms of slander by family, friend, foe, and perfect strangers, showing how security clearances are tickets to trouble, and how friends of high intellectual and social achievement were persecuted as possible communists, or at best unwitting traitors, by misinformed bunglers enamoured of the Juggernaut Staat -- and, if then, why not now, and, if them, why not Thee and Me?
WAR is the supreme folly. Spydom is, after all, an adjunct of war or, in peacetime, a ghost of war. Relieved of the sovereignty of the State, spying becomes just an ordinary crime. Given the supreme folly, espionage must follow.
Much silly debate disputes the utility of behind-the-lines operations. William Casey, a bull in the china shop and C.I.A. director when he died, was a despatcher of agents and saboteurs in World War II. Now he tells of it posthumously in a book. G-2 Col. B.A. Dickson of the U.S. First Army banned OSS shenanigans in his area, and the Ardennes disaster may have been the consequence. G-2 Col. Quinn of the U.S. Seventh Army welcomed the OSS operatives and we got a lot of pay-off from them: I know, I reported to Colonel Quinn. Anybody infiltrated or dropped in hostile territory costs the enemy more than he is worth to them dead or alive.
So much for wartime. More recently Eric Breindel has tried to convince us that spies really matter. Philby, Blunt, Maclean, Burgess, Fuchs, et al, he announces, "did cause real and lasting damage to Western interests." (Let us allow him whatever he means by "Western interests.") As evidence he defends what I regard as blunder upon blunder -- there is such a thing, you know, as a situation where the best doctor is no doctor at all. Breindel advances his argument even against his own counterarguments, that James Angleton, head of C.I.A. counterintelligence, "came to be accused - even by some of his colleagues - of doing more damage to the C.I.A. than any Soviet mole could dream of accomplishing. A parallel charge is often leveled at Wright, sometimes called the `British Angleton.'"
He has a good case in John Cairncross, the Cambridge University type which Wright hates, in that this character had something to do (along with many others) with the British and Americans throwing over Mihailovitch in Yugoslavia in favor of Tito. (I doubt that anyone but Tito would have been let to survive by the forces on the ground during the war; the Soviet-supported communist partisans were the most effective everywhere in Europe and only dropped their grip in the face of overwhelming Allied armies.)
Breindel goes on to a list of other beclouded Englishmen - Walson, Proctor, Floud, Hampshire, Klugman, Hill - and admits to a continual controversy over them. The moral of my digression is that espionage is usually difficult to assert and prove, and in any event is usually a futile childish activity: so somebody, rarely, gets hurt; put real bullets in kid's popguns and you'd see a slaughter! I would certainly affirm that most of these chappies were schizzy and on occasion did serious damage by tipping off the other side, Philby for instance. At the right moment, most of them should have been shot, but, the right moment having passed, their crimes liquesce. Who is eager to rehang the Tory and Rebel spies of the American Revolution?
"The more brilliant your mind, the more dangerous your situation." (Maxim #16.) I don't mean that you will go insane, although that is truly a risk that increases with genius. I mean the chance of getting involved with the dangers of politics, with far-out movements, with espionage and counter-espionage, and often simply with acquaintances who, by getting themselves into political trouble, endanger you.
I don't know how I have gotten this far unscathed. It makes me feel that I am not as smart as I think I am.
Call the roll of what we might today call Political Scientists (the profession nearest to espionage), coming up through history and including any intellectual who had original ideas or large erudition in the political sphere: they have experienced censorship, book-burning, reprimands, dismissal, enforced poverty, ostracism, fines, expropriations, ban on employment, blackmail, jail, beatings, forced labor, hounding and pursuit, torture, death. Moses, Korah, Akhnaton, Socrates, Aristotle, Archimedes, Alcibiades, Babeuf, Bacon, Hobbes, Roger Williams, Machiavelli, Bukharin, Karl Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Omar Khayyam, Croce, Cicero, Ibn Khaldun, Montaigne, Rousseau, Voltaire, Dante, Marsiglio, Jesus, Rabelais, the Levellers, Milton, Seneca, Diderot, d'Alembert, Condorcet, Spinoza, Mussolini, Luxembourg, Dostoyevsky, Campanella, Freud, Rabelais, Luther, the Monarchomachs, Jefferson, Tom Paine, Paul of Tarsus, Montesquieu, Benes, Gramsci, Zola, Calhoun, More, Harrington, Grotius, Sun Yat Sen, oh, well, the list goes on and on.
Take Machiavelli, for instance. Honest, faithful, competent, a dedicated republican, he was fired upon the coup d'état of the De Medici family. A little later, two young men prepared a list of a hundred names of men who they thought would help them in a counter-revolution. The list was seized, Niccoló's name was on it, he was arrested and tortured to confess, as was the rule in those days, and in many countries today; he was interrogated time after time while suspended upside-down from his roped bent-back arms. No one could help him. He was released from jail finally in a general amnesty to celebrate a De Medici becoming Pope. And then wrote his great book, The Prince.
If your lines of distinction are loose enough to let you move into less harsh censures and punishments, you will find a great many more people like Giambattista Vico, who was poor (not uncommon in Napoli), discriminated against, deprived of support for his work, and had to hock his last possession of value, a jewel, to publish his masterpiece, The New Science. When the time came for him to die, his funeral retinue got into a fight over precedence, cross-divided by ideology, and his coffin was left standing in the street.
And all these wise guys, they got their friends in trouble. Just as did Chris Marx. Should he hold ideas of high originality and possess a grand erudition, he can apply for admission to the Club of Great Thinkers of History.
And his friends can avoid him like Peter, who, just as Jesus predicted, denied him thrice before the cock crew. Or behave like Dean Acheson, who said when Alger Hiss was in disgrace for alleged espionage, "I will not turn my back on a friend." Or do first the one, and then the other, and become a St. Peter.
American history has seen periods of the suppression of ideas and of the people with ideas -- I mean extraordinary suppression, not the normal thriving commerce in suppression. At least once in every generation, whether you count up from the Puritan settlements of the country (from the East) or of the Catholic ones (from the North and from the South), there occurs a witch-hunt of intellectuals, a furor and hot pursuit of minority opinions, an outright bloodbath sending everybody flying off, or a legal and legislative persecution.
I apologize for this kind of introduction; it's that I work under an academic cover and can't get away from a lifetime of pedantry any more than a boxer from his cauliflower ear. I am getting around to saying that half of the best intellectuals in the USA got into some kind of political and employment trouble during the 1950's, which was one of these periods.
In fact, I have witnessed three major and four minor secrecy, spy, and security bedevilments. That's one a decade and one for good measure:
1+ The early Nineteen Twenties saw a Red Scare, repressive laws affecting immigrants, and a revival of the Ku Klux Klan. Blacks, Indians, Orientals, Jews, immigrants, ethnic minorities were given a bad time, more or less, as a matter of course; I cite these three movements for being rather special.
2+ The Thirties saw a hunt-down of communists, "radicals" and union organizers. A wealthy lady named Elizabeth Dilling kept a list of the naughty reds under her bed. Her book, The Red Network, reads like a catalogue of outstanding American intellectuals of the most creative decade since the founding of the Republic. Some of my best teachers, probably none communist, were there characterized as Soviet agents or pawns of the Communist Party: Louis Wirth, Harry Gideonse, Harold Lasswell, and so on.
3+ The war of the Forties brought a complete immersion of all sections of society in security issues of all kinds. Everybody was invited to find their own un-American activity and belay it.
4+ The Fifties saw the McCarthy donnybrook.
5+ The Sixties brought me into Vietnam affairs.
6+ The Seventies conveyed mostly academic and political mudslinging.
7+ And the Eighties, well, we'll hear more about these years.
Going back now to the Nineteen Thirties finds me a diligent scholar working his way through the University of Chicago.
There I was a hard-nosed Machiavellian and Lasswellian in my political science, and a New Dealer in my politics, which meant a scorn of communists and fascists alike.
I was an amiable chap, however, and counted among my friends guys like Bill Reedy who was President of the Socialist Club and played a stalwart trombone in the Band (He was later Press Secretary to President Lyndon Johnson), Ithiel de Sola Pool who headed the Campus Trotskyites, and later in life founded the Political Science Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and worked with me at top secret levels in Vietnam; also Midge Miller, a cute stern redheaded doll who was a communist activist, along with Johnny Murra who fought in Spain, and became a fine anthropologist. And Red McElroy the long-distance runner and fervent Thomist -- but wait, no, St. Thomas Aquinas was not then subversive, except in the minds of the hard-line social and natural scientists on campus.
Then Joan and Tom Kelley were of the campus but hardly students; there were many of these at Chicago, and they were tough working communists -- how rare such talents are in the world and why have I never found enough of them when I needed them for my World Espionage?
There was a lot of hoopla over politics at the University, jeered on by the Hearst newspapers and the Chicago Tribune, which saw Red whenever the name of the University was mentioned. When Stalin joined Hitler in the murder of Poland and let the Nazis move freely to crush the West, you could make of people's response a litmus test of who were communists: they joined the rightist isolationists and Nazi bundists, the unconscionable rats.
I helped organize the Committee to Aid America by Aiding the Allies. Laura Bergquist and Hart Perry recruited me as a premature war-monger.
The strange thing, which I, knowing its every social crevice, can attest to, was that this University was constituted as a fortress against political extremism, and also against the monopolization of the world even by the most wonderful ideas. It was so tough, complex, so fully packed with groups with guts, that no one could take over the place.
It was the greatest University in the world in those years, perhaps the greatest that has ever existed. I would be glad to debate this point at any time anywhere.
Then came the war and I was a soldier and had to become an officer because that's the way I was. So I did all the necessary business to get cleared, because an officer has to be loyal and patriotic and hate the enemy, and got cleared without any trouble, since I had been a good private and corporal and my officers even asked me to give the company a briefing every week on the progress of the war, why it was worth fighting, and how soon we could go back to the farm, lathe, and taxicab.
A hayseed colonel on my examining board going over my preliminary application, noticing my name, asked me what my feeling was about fighting against the Italians, rather to the embarrassment of the other colonels present who were probably of German origin, and I said that though their hearts weren't in the fight a lot of them were going to have to be killed. That made him feel real good.
And then I was in the business of clearing others and I guess that one of the nicest actions I performed during the early part of the war was agreeing to dismiss from our overseas unit and the Army a poor homesick North Dakota German farm boy, whom several soldiers had heard beefing against the war and was therefore a potential spy, and since we had been ordered to purge our ranks of security risks and since we liked to be obliging to headquarters up there wherever they were, his case seemed as good as any and would prove our diligence, so off he went to his farm, lucky boy, and I guess he never knew who his benefactor was.
From that time on for three years more, deciding who was loyal, dedicated, patriotic, suspicious, untrustworthy, coming up for the next mission, dependable under interrogation, possessed of the right slant of anti-Axis, anti-Nazi, anti-Fascist, not harmfully anti-communist or anti-Russian, not too homesick to trust, not crazy and unreliable -- all of this became part of my life and maybe took on the average an hour of my day, because I made such decisions rapidly and this was a minor need, even if continually pressing.
I conducted espionage, hired spies, culled Fascists and Nazis out of their shelters, French collaborators too, yet again this was not my main job but part of it, for my main job was to see that the three armies that counted me present at one time or another despatched by all means available propaganda to the enemies wherever they could be reached, what I called with a certain irony, "giving aid and comfort to the enemy," telling them, to wit, "you've done a man's job until now but it's time to quit while you can and get out of the mess you're in and we won't give you a medal but will guarantee your survival in comfort and an ultimate return home."
Someday I'll figure out how many lives I saved and how many German children today are my descendants in this regard, although, under the ban imposed by the non-fraternization policy, and as a conscientious example to my troop, I became in no single instance a biological father. Godfather to thousands, you might say, father to none. Don't make a hero of me, please; I had a bosom companion, a French Lieutenant of the First French Army (female); I was not in pain.
So, everything was security, secret, confidential, "for thine eyes alone" for years. My very mail, too, had its blood sucked out by censors, in prospect (for what I feared they might do to my opinions) and in fact (when I gave the anonymous censor an occasion to prove to himself he was useful).
Then came the fourth decade of Security and Secrecy, when all those who thought that the Soviet Union was the greatest all-time menace (or were kissing the behinds of others with power and votes who believed so) took the stage.
This was the time, actually 1945 it was, when the French writer Jean-Paul Sartre and eight other French journalists were invited on a tour of the United States and followed everywhere by the suspicious F.B.I., whose reports were little short of hilarious.
Now I was in Chicago, a retired war hero in people's eyes, and to make a buck I engaged myself to run a political campaign for a dull Congressman named Kelly, about to lose to an attractive red-headed guy in a mixed Irish and Protestant area of South Chicago, my sponsor and paymaster being the Independent Voters of Illinois. It was 1946, a Republican year, this guy was a Democrat and had little to commend him except that IVI wanted to help him get elected because he was such a faithful New Dealer.
So I did my best, and the most important confrontation of the campaign came when a newly sponsored "American Action" group called a veterans' rally, at which precious few veterans showed up, but a crowd of others, and I found myself in a fracas from which I emerged perfectly intact, but with Chicago Tribune coverage for being involved in communist-inspired violence at this Americanism meeting. (I discovered later that one of my comrades was indeed a communist; he had stayed peacefully aside and was not identified.)
I visited the congressional candidate and made it clear to him that I was not a communist and he got himself into the Tribune again, saying this time that he had given me a lecture on communism. The campaign was a disaster and my dossier would begin to acquire contradictory data. (I tell you, "garbage in, garbage out" was a motto that could well have been applied to security dossiers before it came to be applied to computers.)
Then came the rousing red-hunting years of McCarthyism. An old friend and Old Liberal was George B. de Huszar, a sweet guy, a tall stooping skinny near-sighted hawk-nosed intellectual of such high quality that I mourn to think how few of them still exist in the world. He came out of Hungary and was related to the greatest families of Hungary one of which had acquired a Jewish line: George told me, "One Hungarian is a mathematician, two a chess game, three, but that's impossible, one is a Jew!" And he giggled. Alas, it is no longer that Hungary of old, but, right now, thanks to the people's irrepressible spirit and to "Gorby", it may come back and even advance farther.
But George had gotten it into his mind that President Hutchins of the University of Chicago was a moral monster, and that a young girl could no longer attend safely the University. (He, George, had a childlike crush on a young student who had been prematurely mated by a speedy macho spouting St. Thomas.)
Further, George had struck up a fine relationship with Frank Summers of the Chicago Tribune who had been delegated by Colonel McCormick himself to murder the University, the Rockefeller Foundation, and any other "Reds" that were within reach of the poignard.
George relished my company, and we spent many hours together (our two spouses being off on their respective tours of duty, I suppose), during which he took pains to inform me of the general movement of McCarthyism, with all its creeps and informants, and jokes, and absurd frightened bureaucrats of the State Department and equally abject Congressmen, and White House personnel.
Dick Cornuelle of the William Volker Fund joined our little circle, and we were part in and part out of the anti-communist banging about, Dick's bag being Voluntary Action and Extreme Old Liberalism, mine being Down with the Bureaucracy and Fancy Pants Diplomats. I now hated Stalinism and what Soviet communism had done to ruin the culture of Central and Eastern Europe.
We were party to all of the ludicrous and offensive information that flowed in with the tide unceasingly: the most unreliable innuendoes, gossip, insights, spite, prejudices, half-assed reports, suspicions, concoctions, and bad jokes, coming from priests frocked and unfrocked, methodist and baptist ministers, newspaper publishers, right-wing foundations, anti-intellectuals, and the rest of a veritable industry of informants. So pathetically dedicated, eager, patriotic, and puffed up were they, that I felt twinges of regret that they had been able to inform us of so little.
Why should George take me on as a confidante and sympathizer? He was not the only one. I have had more enthusiastic sponsors from the right than from the left. Anyhow, George, and other friends of the ilk, would tell me from time to time, "Al, watch out, this `P', (naming some baptist free-lancer, moral boozer, aged Orphan Annie, F.B.I. retiree, -- everyone was making up and submitting lists of the Red Devils undermining the Greatest Nation in the World), he has you on his list; I told him that's silly so he took it off." (By the way, just the informing of me was malfeasance on the part of my friends for which they might be subject to legal and informal reprisal. Actually, I could have tergiversated against them, couldn't I have? Thus collecting a couple of merit badges for informing.)
While all this was going on (this is the Fifties, recall?), I got clearance after clearance. I visited army camps -- what glorious and painful nostalgia -- and all my old buddies turned out to greet me, saying, have you heard that Joe died and Roos is trying to get back in the Army but we won't let him, Al, not after all he did, naming this and that idiocy of Major Roos that I had forgotten but to them was yesterday -- you ought to be happy with that, Al!
So of course I was glad, and so on, and I brought forward some plans for how propaganda should be framed to disable the enemy in Korea, and as if to celebrate our reunion at Fort Riley, the Kansas River rose in a great flood and we were nearly washed out of the State when it came time to leave.
Soon after I had joined the faculty of Stanford University, an avid, unresting student named Jay Zawodny turned up, who had taken part in the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis (that the Russians had let be crushed), and had escaped to join the Polish Corps in Italy. Jay wanted to prove that the Katyn Forest Massacre, which had wiped out the Polish Officer Corps after it surrendered in Soviet-occupied Poland, was a Stalinist, not Hitlerian, horror. I agreed that he should try for the Master's Degree with this topic, and he did a brilliant job of it, convincing me for one: the Stalinist Special Police Arm had done this and much more.
Do you begin to see why I am so contemptuous of so many of the intelligence and secret police services, while fearing them, so inept are they in ideology, understanding, experience, and tactics? Not until this month, almost a half century later, have the Soviet and Polish Communist governments confessed as to the culprits. And for many years the Western services made little of this crime, and let it be thought Nazi-inspired.
Since I was blind neither in the one eye nor the other, I had a certain vulnerability (anyhow, it's an arena, spydom is, where all devour each other). There could be a difficulty in clearing through to top secret. My friends could ask, and inform me, who is "X", who is "Y", who is "Z", do you know that they wanted to block your clearance because of your contacts with those guys?
We laughed, but I tell you it is no laughing matter when some creep in clearance who "don't know shit from shine", as they used to say for some reason in the Army, starts to earn his Brownie points at your expense. Just this week the Justice Department released a report of a new and fourteenth case of a Nazi war criminal, one Robert Jan Verberlen, who had been working for one or another American intelligence agency since World War II. All this while men who had rudely belched while the Flag was being raised were having their pasts curry-combed and their futures disabled.
The last orgy with the Flag occurred when the U.S. Senate, not to be outdone by the Ayatollah Khomeini, voted 97 to 0 for a Constitutional Amendment making it a crime to display the U.S.Flag on the ground! This largely symbolic but nauseating gesture, the most prominent among many, was precipitated by an art student's having prepared a kind of sculpture for a Chicago Art Institute exposition in which the Flag was draped on the ground beneath the title of a popular government pamphlet widely disseminated by patriotic groups, "What is the Proper Way to Display the American Flag?" Patrimaniacs arose en masse. Like Rushdie, the student received death threats, but the American system handled the affair as usual, indignantly and with band-aids. Which gets me back into the issue of why intelligent people like us even lift a finger to get clearance, to be entitled to look at documents that some jerk has stamped "Classified", "Confidential", "Secret", "Top Secret", and then the special cases of "For N.N. only," or "Do not copy."
It is much more prudent, as difficult as it is, to see nothing, hear nothing, and say nothing, but be prompt to collect your pay check for doing all of this work. You would not escape my screen, however, if I were after you, because you would have to do a lot of explaining as to why you considered it so necessary to be incommunicado.
What tempts us to want to be honored by secret-keeping? And to bow our heads through the humiliating process of "being cleared"?
It's knowing things, a lot of things in some of these hundred-odd fields which are of use to wars and politics, like computers, or who has a powerful little group in Rumania that is not anti-American?
And wanting to put this knowledge to use, even for evil or for aggressive purposes, if only to sneer at people who sneer at intellectuals who are regarded as steers in the camp of the bulls.
Nothing will wipe the sneer off the face of a top executive or official quicker than learning that you are entrusted with secrets of which he has no idea and to which he lacks access. He knows that knowledge is dangerous, so do you, so do admiring females.
Besides, with the defense and aggressiveness of the sacred Vaterland taking a nasty bite out of the national gross product, a large proportion of the instructional opportunities and informational materials of a society are lodged in the abodes of National Security, and even bureaucracies that have nothing to do with war and defense put on uniforms and stamp things confidential.
Hence, only by joining up and getting cleared are you enabled to learn special information; you get access to computers, data series, research services of different types, access to guarded facilities, free courses and conferences, and not only for yourself but for sundry retainers, students, family, friends, supporters.
Sometimes it's knowing things, but not being appreciated in your normal capacity, and respected for "what you are really worth," and getting an offer to make yourself great by working for Uncle Sam and getting extra money for the honor. Lots of it. And prestige among your own kind, for most of the faculty likes to hear that their colleagues are indispensable to this or that innermost part of the patriotic juggernaut.
It's having your students and young friends and wives' relatives not giving you any lip; because they have heard that important mysterious men up there somewhere are paying you money to advise them on how to smash the foreign threat to America; "My cuntree 'tis of theee..".
Do you know that it makes some young ladies pull down their pants? So I am told. Quick sex-jolters: having big secrets; others?: winning a medal, singing a cute baby love song, a painful injury with not too much blood, a melancholic loss of a mutual friend or pet, an act of self-sacrifice, winning the daily double or tierce, shrugging off a huge financial loss, torrential flattery, and a prominent ithyphallus.
And I had a brother-in-law onetime -- Marx reminds me of him physically and in the aura of self-concealment that he can convey -- who would upon every occasion of a visit recount his travels to Washington, and all over the world.
Yes, even Moscow, he said, coupled with little stories that you could get out of the New York Times if you read it faithfully or from the big foyers of stock prices that brokerage houses maintain and where, for all I know and suspect, he spent his time on those many secret trips to Washington.
Norm owned two powerful beautifully maintained vehicles, a Lincoln and a souped-up Buick, both eights, both heavily chromed, that could get to the National Capital ahead of an airplane, and carried documentation that he swore would exempt him from all arrests for speeding or other peccadillos to which (we know) spies are addicted, and it was truly an awesome sight when he rolled out of the graveled driveway of his Connecticut exurban villa. Pure power! Pure madness! Possibly shit for the birds. But possibly he was a high level consultant on highly secret matters for the highly secret Agency. He sure laid it on. I didn't have a chance, me with my poky little stories.
One final detail was convincing, though. He dropped dead of a heart attack on a trip to Moscow.
Not much damage was done to me through all of this playing around with the Intelligence Apparatus of the Country, except a dossier building up in the recesses of the F.B.I. and C.I.A. and Department of Defense and Department of State that, if piled up and tipped over on me, would silence me nicely and forever.
The situation was not so pleasant for others. A number of friends and acquaintances were wounded, not finished off -- we don't do things that way in America -- and kept from...kept from... what? I don't know that it was much, but at the time it was something.)
I really don't know why we all were so eager to know secrets. It was like getting a medal. You wanted to have one, or two, or more clearances. There was Frank Barnett, he must have had ten clearances, count them, he could read secret documents from the F.B.I., State, Defense, C.I.A., Army, National Security Council, NASA, Boeing Classified Projects, NATO and PRISM (I am not permitted to explain this acronym).
During these same Fifties, I taught at Stanford University and heard from my Brother David, a hot-shot lawyer aged twenty-seven who was associated with the Caldwell firm in Washington, representing the Chicago Tribune, among other rich conservative clients, thus, that our J. Marcus had sent him an SOS from Europe.
J. Marcus is another brother, who during the Second World War began with the secret Federal Communications Foreign Broadcasts Analysis Division and then transferred over to work with "Wild Bill" Donovan, the first Director of the Office of Strategic Services, predecessor to the C.I.A. No trouble therefore with clearances, for meanwhile J. Marcus had mainly been a professor, writing and publishing two darling books whose conservative implications rightist intellectuals, faute de mieux, had liked.
J. Marcus was, and was not, working for HUMRRO, the Human Resources Research Office of George Washington University; he was in the sense that he was directing some research program under an Army contract having to do with European feelings about sticking by Uncle Sam in the Cold War.
He took off for Europe against the opposition of one set of officers connected with the project but kept the loyalty of his superior, Carleton Scofield (who later worked for me -- it's all incestuous, you know -- and then became President of the University of Denver, a loyal unflappable type he, a psychologist). Out of the blue, J. Marcus received a double-barreled blast: his clearance was taken away because of unstated deleterious information, and he was therefore fired, having lost his usefulness. So there was a tussle, David leading the foray, and the clearance was restored.
Everybody relaxed, except his enemies, who were prompted by the resistance of the Army officers in the field to having any group mucking about their territory outside of their line of command.
Once more, J. Marcus, in Rome now, receives a dismissal. It is based on a new finding. Here is the way these things are sometimes worded, should you care to know:
October 1, 1954
Subject: Julius Marcus Falcone
Copy of Supplemental Statement of Reasons:
The screening division of the eastern industrial security board has been furnished with information pertaining to the subject coming within the meaning of item 13q of the criteria set forth in the basic directive establishing this board. this information, if true, reflects adversely on the subject to such an extent that the granting to him of clearance for access to classified information is not clearly consistent with the interests of national security. Security considerations permit the listing of the following items of information:
1. investigation revealed that the subject was reported to have been an associate and an admirer of Howard (sic) D. Lasswell having given Lasswell's name in a previous application. Harold D. Lasswell was alleged to have been a member of the communist party, closely associated with communist party members, and openly and actively participated in and supported communist sponsored movements.
2. investigation also revealed that the subject was a close associate of Professor Earl S. Johnson and had given Johnson as a reference in the past. Earl Johnson was alleged to have been a member of the communist party and to have openly and actively participated in communist front activities.
David writes to me at Stanford University from his law office in Washington:
October 12, 1954
Well, the shit has once more hit the fan. Almost three months after the Board granted J.M.'s clearance (July 15th) he got a new letter (dated Oct.1) from the Board saying it had further reviewed his case and now proposed to deny consent for employment on classified Army, Navy or Air Force Contracts. The reasons now given are..associations with H.D.Lasswell and Earl Johnson...
(The letter describes the mixup of official communications and continues...)
I guess there's nothing to do but fight them on this Lasswell-Johnson business... I suggested to J.M. that he would probably want to deny categorically any knowledge or belief on his part as to the allegations against Lasswell and Johnson -- would not want to deny this association with them (query, though, his "admiration" of H.D.L.); and might want to ask Lasswell and Johnson for affidavits denying the allegations against them.
Since this whole business is such a crock of shit, I'm not sure what tone should be taken by J.M. in his reply. In this connection it might be helpful to know whether Lasswell is working for the Gov't on classified stuff. Do you know?
I suppose someone should contact Lasswell and Johnson and discuss the matter with them. Do you think J.M. should, you should, I should?... (More procedural discussion.)
Well, think it all over, and especially J.M.'s letter, and write me as soon as possible... (More procedures.)
What supreme jackasses!
J. Marcus' letter to David explains just about all the rest that is useful presently to display. He leads off wih indignant remarks, and continues:
Doesn't it seem to you the procedure is highly questionable. There's something screwy somewhere. The Directive, p.11, no.17a says that "the Board will consider the entire file," and Sullivan's clearing letter of 15 July said that the Screening Division labeled granting of clearing to me to be clearly consistent with national security "after full consideration of the record." Now by what right can they come along nearly 3 months late with "Supplemental reasons"? By their idiocy the procedure turns into a species of Chinese water torture.
Dammit all, here we are back on the same rigmarole again. This business of Lasswell is imbecilic. If they have something on him, why don't they put him on a blacklist for the public? Just before my original clearance with HumRRO was granted, it was hinted that my "association" with HDL was slowing up things, but after it was granted, I assumed it was just one of those rumors that one hears about such things and anyway I didn't figure out why he should be suspect since I had always heard he was a gov't consultant and even an advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and also an intimate friend of persons cleared for TS with the C.I.A. and the Air Force.
And of course in his public statements and writings it would be hard to find anything intelligible, much less treasonable. In my own writings I've usually criticized him, which is probably why our relationships have always been rather formal.
As you can see, here we go again. Would you please keep Alex abreast of all developments?... His advice will be helpful, too.
(a paragraph on personal plans follows, then a long Postscript.) ...They must have sent it by Pony Express...
Now that your letter has mentioned HDL and Johnson (and I take it only two persons are involved and there are no other charges), we shall certainly want Alex to see, suggest, and approve everything. You don't give Johnson's first name. I assume it's Earl, but it may be Walter. In either case, Alex knows more about both of them than I do and we can use his information. He'll probably have some useful information about HDL which we could use too. I'd like to have Al's ideas on what the whole approach and tone of my replying lettershld be.
Also whether he thinks I shld, or you shld contact Claude Hawley, a good friend of HDL and now with the C.I.A., to find out what HDL's gov't connections are and have been.
Also whether we should notify and ask for affidavits from the 2 persons.
Dave, don't you think you shld ask for some clarification from Sullivan as to the legality of the procedure whereby the Screening Board clears me and then brings up further reasons? According to p.11, para.17, a. says "entire file" and b. says Exec. Secy will "instruct" agency to grant clearance. In other words this shld have been done contemporaneously with the letter to me of July 15. There's something funny about this, because any dope on HDL and Johnson must have been old hat in my dossier.
Notice how much time is being taken up by the affair. Multiply it by the thousands over the years of my life -- I was born as the Department of Justice took out after the reds, anarchists, and Bolshies of the Twenties.
The reply of Alex (that's me) to David comes quickly:
Your letter came this morning with the annoying news.
The complaints do not appear formidable. I suppose that every part of them should be denied. Lasswell has just been elected President-Elect of the American Political Science Association. I haven't seen Earl in some time -- a year maybe. It happens that Lasswell is right here at the new Ford Foundation Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and I called him up right away and visited with him after lunch. He will write his Washington lawyer immediately and ask him what he can do about it and have him get in touch with you. He is inclined 1) to exhibit his other agency clearance and 2) sign an affidavit denying the allegations, but wants his lawyer's advice. Apparently the lawyer has been through this before.
As for Earl, I should suggest you write him asking for the same things, though I doubt Earl has a clearance, nor perhaps has he ever sought one. I wouldn't be surprised if Earl had belonged to organizations in the past that had some communists in them or that later became fronts. I never heard a word to indicate directly any communist affiliations. But I am sure Earl will come through with an affidavit.
Especially Lasswell's character should be widely known to research people in the social sciences and I suspect there may be some gunning going on behind the facade of security, especially in view of the second attempt at denial of clearance. I cannot see any way at the moment of getting at the responsible characters, but would like to do it. Who are the suspects? -- the security officer, the president, etc. Can you give their names?
Hope you received a copy of my book. Love to all.
That J. Marcus was caught in a bind because the Army proper was jealous of its prerogatives in the field against interlopers from other agencies, governmental or semi-official, soon became evident. The grounds for blacklisting him proved weak, however, given the support he could muster from inside and outside the government. Otherwise this flimsy case could have smashed him. Through the agency of persons who remained anonymous.
Thousands lacked the backup he possessed and were eliminated from or denied public office and privileges. Still it was of little consequence, given the worm's-eye view of the investigators, that both Earl Johnson and Harold Lasswell were great teachers, famous in the one case for the development of pragmatic pedagogy and of interdisciplinary social science, famous in Lasswell's case for some of the major architecture of the new political science.
Nor would it matter that there was practically no substance to the accusations against them, for who defines substance? Earl Johnson was everybody's friend, the friend of tens of thousands of social science teachers and students. Harold Lasswell was prodigiously occupied with the writing of a flood of books, articles, reports, and papers, counselling with foundations, agencies of the government, including the military, lecturing to groups in every part of the commonwealth; he was unpopular with both right and left for his kind of hard political science and psychiatric analyses and for not committing himself to political causes of the moment although his statements in print on democracy and democratic character and freedom constituted several of the best essays in the field. He had once published with Dorothy Blumenstock a study of the symbols and practices of the communists of the Chicago area, a study remarkable for its objectivity, theory, and methodology, which gained him the enmity of the communists and still no support on the right.
As for the briefly mentioned Walter Johnson, he too was a distinguished historian, a leading citizen, and yet he, too, at one time had to fight his way through a thicket of such accusations.
The several "suspect" professors I have named were personally known to a certain saturnine secretive graduate student and assistant in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Marvin Holder left the campus late in the Thirties, as the War loomed, to join the Department of Justice, achieving a secret clearance for work with the "intelligence community." Slowly Marvin began to go mad. After he spooked his family, he got to his work associates, as usually happens with paranoid schizophrenes.
In spydom, paranoid symptoms are usually regarded initially as evidence of a man's increasing devotion to his job. At this point in time, Marvin could have fed into the files of professors and friends, whom he had been so proud to know, many fantastic red-hot reminiscences; such items would be labelled as coming from a highly reliable source, anonymous, of course.
Marvin finally became insufferable and was released to asylums and the streets. I last heard of him during the McCarthy red spy scare; a mutual friend had met him on a street in St. Louis. Marvin told him that he had to keep moving to avoid a new telepathic device that the F.B.I. was using on him, which could read his thoughts. He died not long afterwards. His comments on his acquaintances would have lived forever in the F.B.I. files, even unto the present.
The "security" processes are interminably involuted and convoluted, the sources of misguided information infinite. J. Marcus had married the granddaughter of the famous buccaneer poet, chief candidate for Duce of Italy who was then edged out by Il Duce Mussolini, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Principe di Montenevoso, so, if there had been a turn to the left, J. Marcus would have had another problem. Later on he was acquainted with Svetlana Alliyuleva, daughter of Josef Stalin, whose friendship, because she was a defector, would for a while be a rightist indicator, then whose departure once more for the Soviet Union might have been used as a leftist indicator.
Sometimes quarrels and rivalries between Army and Navy Intelligence, the KGB and the Red Army, the Chinese Communist Party intelligence and the Chinese Army Intelligence, can become so bitter as to endanger the national security, not to mention ruining the careers of the participants in the struggles.
The Psychological Warfare Branch of the Allied Command in the Mediterranean in WWII was a clear example of a dozen major rivalries composed of the differing interests of all of the intelligence agencies to be found in all branches of service and all nations in the one setting of Algiers and then all points North. It actually worked and the damages were not disastrous; they were simply enormous and untold. And subject for a book that I've just published.
In Vietnam, twenty-five years later and upon arrival, I received a message carried in by a Warrant Officer who was obviously impressed with it. It read "John Hart would like you to call him." I couldn't remember who John Hart was until sometime that evening. He was a student who hung around with our circle at the University of Chicago after the War.
He was here now chief of the C.I.A. in Vietnam, which was a kind of private government with its own agents, troops, allies, air line and communications with the other countries around and with Washington. I did nothing with John save to make dates for tennis that never came off, and to have lunch in his heavily fortified villa.
But the encounter had not gone unnoticed by the Director of the Special Defense Office by which I was serviced and I discovered an increase in interference with my tasks that was probably traceable to jealousy of the relationship. He probably hated the C.I.A.; they could get away with murder.
When I next returned to Washington, I was told by our Defense contractors that some trouble with security clearance had come up. It may have been based on a hostile letter I had directed at this aforesaid Colonel who was overseer of various Defense Research Contracts. Surely it had nothing to do with security clearance.
It passed over, but, even while someone was unraveling the problem, I resigned, after launching a report on deficiencies in psychological operations and firing off that scheme on how to win the war in Vietnam.
Earl Johnson and Harold Lasswell were in the company of a great many other intellectuals who were smeared with the tar of un-Americanism and "collaboration with the enemy", nor did it end with those decades. Nor yet.
Maynard Kreuger was another one, professor, pacifist, socialist, completely above-board, gentle to a fault; he was always being smeared; knowing him was a sure block on the road to clearance.
Ithiel Pool, founder of an influential and productive school of political science at MIT, had trouble throughout his life because he was a Trotsky supporter in College; we worked together and I regarded him as having become a bit stuffy with bourgeoisie.
Robert E. Merriam, who was leader of the Republican and Independent civic forces of Chicago, and was designated to be Personal Assistant to President Eisenhower, found his clearance running into difficulties, but with the right connections, was able to discover the problem, namely that a Robert Merriam had fought in the Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War during the 1930's.
It had been apparent that my Bob would have had to sneak off during the term of college, but, as was well known, the instructors did not take attendance in their classes there, so he could have boarded a ride on a freighter bound for Spain! Finally a record was found showing that his namesake, poor chap, had been killed over there.
There were many more cases, some publicized, like Fred Schuman's, others buried forever. Paul Douglas had been red-hunted for two decades, but was now a Senator as well as a war hero, so was well-fortified. Watch your associates (he had become very communist-conscious) he warned me once, and I had to tell him, Paul, you can try everything to appease your witch-hunters but they will never give up.
I was peeved. Charles Merriam, Founder of the Chicago School of Political Science and Advisor to Three Presidents, was sitting with us in the car, "Chief", we called him and I meant my remark for him too. I had my consciousness raised in regard to the tough, infiltrating, divisive tactics of the communists even before these, my teachers. Still, I appreciate, we all make mistakes. The Sixties rolled around and encompassed the Vietnam War, the Student Revolts, the Feminist Movement, and the Black Accession to Dignity. Military Intelligence, C.I.A., the Treasury (the drug scene was heavy), and F.B.I. were infiltrated everywhere at home and abroad. The local police, as in Chicago during the so-called "Police Riots" (termed such by Victor de Grazia in the Walker Report), were to be discovered active both in resisting the four movements and to a degree protecting the civil rights of the activists.
This was a good time to see how a family explodes in times of political crisis. My children arrived one after another into their teens -- seven of them -- and thereupon struck up the gamut of behaviors and ideas, and scrammed all over the world.
So I had seven disloyal advocates running about the schools and spas of the world, letting it be known to anyone who would listen that I was dumb, old-fashioned, reactionary, C.I.A., repressive, inattentive, drunk, lascivious, self-centered, provocative, embarrassing, out-of-tune, profligate, despicable, hateful, "just like the rest of them", "never there when you need him, but that's OK, too, because who needs him, especially when he gets this attitude that he is needed."
Peggy, my wife, was hardly able to contain them, or anyone else; she felt lucky that they would speak to her in a normal tone of voice, and of course was concerned most of all with maintaining an open-door policy so that no matter what they were up to or thought or said they would always feel welcome at home, even if Father had other opinions.
The family records still have not been straightened out from the rampant cognitive disorders of those crazy American years. On my last visit to Princeton, my daughter stuck under my nose a long letter published in Town Topics composed by my son Mickey and dealing with a controversy over housing facilities in the borough. There it appears, out of nowhere, reading, "In 1963, the time my family was first interested in the Lover's Lane house, my father got his orders from the U.S.Army. He was ordered to Europe where he took part in the American effort to enlist a multi-national force in Vietnam, particularly a British presence. My brother and I accompanied him..." Can you believe it? I don't. This all helped my reputation for being a grim rightist, and some of my drinking companions were of the right, so-called, Dick and Jay Hall and the like, which confirmed me, while others were "hard-science" types. My morals were ordinary, my drinking moderate, my religion presumably Catholic (How could they know that all those kids were children of careless lust?), my grip on reality forthright, and there was that handy war record. I was cleared as a State Department consultant without difficulty and once again by the Defense Department for Vietnam.
Since their boys were evading the draft, nobody asked why weren't my own boys on the firing line. The kids were smirking behind their hands at me, I am sure, while I was saying, "You could do a lot more good for people as a private soldier in a war-torn miserable country, than you can hanging around here." And, "Drugs are deadlier than Viet Cong." And, in their eyes, more of such tripe.
The Department of State writes this kind of testimonial to a routine official inquiry:
April 5, 1967
"...This is to advise that Dr. Alexander Falcone (born 12-29-19) was issued security clearance on May 16,1966 by this Department under the provisions of Executive Order 10450 which permits access to classified information up to and including Top Secretwhen necessary in the course of official duties..."
John T. Noonan
Chief, Records and Services Branch
Office of Security
I print it here in case I have something good to say about Chris Marx being a Swiss Patriot instead of a Soviet spy. To influence you.
The left is no less mad than the right. Dante Matelli, journalist of L'Espresso and screen writer, and before then my son-in-law, was a confidante of the radical elements of the Students for Democratic Action, who at one point in time were radical to the nth degree. At a National Annual Convention of the American Political Science Association, they told Dante that they were about to denounce me as a C.I.A. tool who had been receiving money to publish the American Behavioral Scientist magazine.
They did not know his relationship.
He informed them, in the nick of time, that I continually lost money on the magazine for lack of support from any quarter except the subscribers and a couple of politically harmless foundations, and he could swear to it because I had exploited his labor from time to time at every task including bookkeeping.
They were disgruntled at this piece of news. They had a witch-hunt in mind.
Then came the time when I published my iconoclastic book called Politics for Better or Worse. It came out just before a later APSA Convention. I arrived to it, in Washington, pleased with my creation, one of whose aims was to restore and elevate the role and presence of women and women's causes in politics.
I picked from a counter a widely distributed mimeographed paper on the discrimination against women discoverable in textbooks on American Government and Political Science. Too bad I couldn't have been published soon enough to be known as the exception here, I thought, as I read the inflammatory denunciatory analysis, hardly scientific, but probably useful -- until I came to a special appendix, where they had indeed included mention of my work, treating it contemptuously along with the rest, a miserable bit of slander by three women from prominent colleges.
I drafted a letter objecting in detail to their allegations and citing chapter and verse of the evidence against their every wild kick. I asked for an apology and threatened to publicize the matter. I showed it to my daughters Jessica and Victoria, both by then advanced and highly successful students.
They pooh-poohed me: oh, Daddy, that's not so bad, you shouldn't go to the bother! They're only women after all!
So I did not, obliging fool that I have always been. And these scoundrelly women continued on their destructive and self-righteous paths, adducing as evidence of their scholarship in applying for grants to do "Women Studies" articles such as the one in which they framed me. And on and on they go, even denouncing congressional committees for their stupid witch-hunts and recalcitrant sexism.
No -- One's children can hardly be counted on any more, even to attend your funeral. I advise against letting an investigative agent get near to them. Your reputation will be ruined.
And watch out for your friends. Machiavelli once said that men usually exaggerate the extent to which they are liked by others. True. I think that all my life I have been less liked than I imagined, although probably more than I deserved.
Unfortunately, too, you choose your friends during ordinary times, but your friends are tested for their friendship in bad times. But what can one do? A person is not the same in times both good and evil.
I know what is going to happen when the F.B.I., responsible for domestic security, and the other half-dozen internal and foreign agencies responsible for counter-espionage, go about their duty of inquiring of my acquaintances as to my character, never mind my enemies, because of my relationship to Chris Marx.
They'll sing like canaries. It'll be their big chance to get even with me. Will they seize the opportunity? It's hard to say.
People who have always been friendly and seemed well-disposed will rat on you in the presence of officers asking questions, whereas persons who have been hostile or indifferent will suddenly appear and stand up as defender of your rights.
Will those in my life who think I abandoned my respectable worthwhile interests (usually their own interests), who think my scientific claims are null and therefore my politics suspect, who believe that anybody who sees catastrophes in ancient history is a dangerous madman and untrustworthy, who have only contempt for the state of my footnotes, -- would these be obligingly negative to my investigators?
And won't those women bawl, and political scientists denounce, and reform group liberals intimate with innuendoes, and stay-at-homes purvey the scandal of my travels. How many will say "I can't imagine what he's doing in ________!" (Fill in where I happen to be.) And proceed to imagine the worse!
I can picture 50% of the 100 people who know to some extent both me and Marx saying that I can be judged by my association with him and the other half arguing that he can be judged by his association with me. I am in hopes that the sum of the comment will benefit me, and wonder if he, too, will wear the cloak of acquaintanceship well, Marx, that is.
History never goes back far enough. My liberal and left friends were sure that my Chicago experience was leftist, but my military experience was evidence of rightism, and that this had an effect on my being lukewarm to the Rosenberg couple when they were being tried as spies. (I disliked their Judge, Kaufman, and liked him less and less as time went on, and I was often troubled about their death sentence though not active in the agitation to prevent their execution. Now I am against capital punishment -- although I would offer suicide to capital criminals -- because herein begins the wicked idea that the State can commit murder with impunity, thence to war and terror in all their forms.)
I did not go to the defense of even more noble and upper-class Alger Hiss, whose confused story ended up as mere scratches on my mind about old typewriters, "fingerprints" and a pumpkin patch.
Still, I had so many qualifications as their friend, a "premature anti-fascist," a deadly foe of Nazism, a friend of a Jewish democracy in Palestine and a defender of everything Jewish not orthodox and "Chosen People," a booster of some of the staunchest liberal pols around, and a natural friend of the weak and poor and non-pink races.
The Right embraced me, too, for reasons already spewed forth. I was blatantly anti-communist. However, the libertarian right might be stressed here, for I greatly admired and wrote copiously about our lovely Constitution, I distrusted bureaucracy and wanted freedoms even for businessmen, and of course I did love freedom in that tough libertarian way, "Freedom is what any guy or gal with guts wants!" -- not alone those who are born naturally or artificially slaves.
If I have had good luck with clearances and have been trusted with missions of various kinds it is perhaps less on my personal account than on account of the network of defenses that have protected me from character assailants and, some would say, myself included, even knowing my own character.
Thus I had these rightist pals, top-flight men, Jay Hall, Bill Baroody, et al. I have had a reputation and friends among the great voluntarists of the land, Ken Templeton, Dick Cornuelle et al. I have enjoyed political protection for my innocent and fully legal ventures, when they have struck snags, Senator Paul Douglas, Senator Alan Cranston, Senator Pat Moynihan, Senator Chuck Percy, Senator Barry Goldwater, Senator and Vice President Hubert Humphrey, here a Mayor, there a Mayor, and so on, Republicans, Democrats, and Third Party independents.
I had from the beginning a professional reputation as an Elitist, expert on the new Machiavellians -- Vilfredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca, Ortega y Gassett, and Roberto Michels.
Catholics, yes, Father Felix Morlion was a friend and I hardly appreciated how sinister a reputation his Pro Deo movement conveyed among observers of international intrigues, the Spanish scene under General Franco, and of the Vatican. With him and C.D. Jackson and the American Jewish Committee, I did a quickie to sense Vatican and Israel sentiments for a rapprochement.
This was secret service without secret services. Father Morlion's operation of the 1960's was liberal, progressive, ecumenical; at the same time, he sought reconciliation of worker, manager and owner, and made friends with industrialists, seeking their support for Christian democracy and an Americanized, pragmatic higher education. He was a Belgian. He roamed along the nations, a foe of chauvinism and anti-semitism, a suspicious character to left nationalists, and by no means endearing to roughneck rightists. In all the tugging of gowns and grabbing of arms that steered Vatican world government, he pulled and pushed to a certain effect, one among many, impossible to measure, else I would do so.
Subtly, as I caught on to my function as their agent, a professor not Catholic save in their eyes, pro-Jewish to all appearances and by marriage, I was to do my bit to change the Catholic liturgy (of whose history I was totally ignorant) to relieve it of its anti-semitic tone. I was an unpaid agent at that. As a quid pro quo, never stated as such -- but must not some people always think in these terms? -- the Jews, seeking to disestablish their identity as "Christ-killers" in Christian historiography and iconography, could lend a hand to Father Morlion's worthy and understandable aim to expand American managerial training for an international student body in the Italian setting. Also in the bargain was the position of the Israeli government regarding the Catholic Church in the Holy Land; could it be changed for the better?
A worthy business. I was left to sense most of this, for each side figured that I had been briefed by the other side. C.D. Jackson, who was publisher of Life magazine, was too busy to operate effectively. I put in a word here and there for conciliation and ecumenicalism. I sat and talked with a couple of Israeli officials. "Why don't you assassinate Nasser," I suggested, making small talk. They hesitated to reply.
A murky affair, my "mission." "Forgive thine Enemies (that is, the Jews here especially), and convert their stubborn minds to the True Faith": these few ugly words in various languages, repeated millions of times in the Good Friday Mass, that was served to a hundred million of the faithful and impressionable: this ritual and its words were to be erased. In all the college courses in History, Advertising, and Public Opinion, I suppose that this particular bundle of words has never been selected as an object lesson, one of the most harmful evil examples of sloganized thought ever employed. The slogan is now dead gone, finally, long after I had my brief stint of shooting at it.
I had gotten into this affair, done my duty, and now was signing off, as I relate to Stephen Du Brul, chief of government operations for General Motors Corporation, who was a Catholic and friend of Father Morlion and had put him on to me originally.
March 10, 1961
(...) The Pro Deo group is milling around, getting nothing accomplished. C.D. Jackson is a prisoner of his new job as Publisher of Life, which is an everyday grind with much travel. The American Jewish Committee wants more Protestant interest. Smiddy <a Harward economist> is distraught over the GE troubles. John Brown <Pres., American Arbitration Assn.> is on a grueling jury duty tour. Father Morlion is writing a book in his Parisian "exile." <He was out of favor with the ruling Vatican clique temporarily.> The Americans claim the University <of Pro Deo, Rome> has not had adequate recognition from the Pope. The University says "go ahead."
I am out of the business, on the sidelines, waiting until they either ask me back in, or give up the idea, whereupon I believe I could recruit some new people to go ahead on the project. (...) Al
I've already depicted the Red-Hunters who trusted me, and should allude to the Political Behavior movement in Political Science, which centered for a time around my magazine and was so hard-nosed that its practitioners got a rather undeserved reputation for being apolitical, hence anti-communist. My family, as I have explained, could be counted on to flee or attack in all directions, upon the alarm ringing out, but there were some defensive resources in the Brothers, if not in the next generation.
Besides, there was that valedictory war record of mine.
These defenses can carry only so far, though. Paul Garbler, who was a decorated Navy pilot in WWII, became the C.I.A.'s first station chief in Moscow, then was suspected of being a mole, with little evidence, and found himself relegated to minor posts until retirement. He finally sued and received a large payment from the Agency for defamation, disgrace, and damages. I could put together a dossier for myself, so one-sided as to be quite convincing, whether for the left, for the right, or for some new unheard of scheme. Properly attacked, I could end up bereft of clearance to go to the men's room at the Pentagon, just at an age when I have to use the toilet more often.
Alger Hiss had the finest of support networks, whose only problem lay in its concentration in the hands of liberals and upper class Washington and Eastern types. His flanks were quite unprotected and how he came to be seduced by Whitaker Chambers remains to me a mystery. But you might insist that the big difference here is that I am not a spy and he was, which, whatever its truth, I am inclined to believe is not the important force at work. More important is Fortuna, the bitch goddess revered by Machiavelli and many others -- Napoleon, for example, who would never appoint a General to a command unless he had a reputation for being lucky.
Marx has had defense neither in depth nor in extent, and would be an easy target and perhaps was treated as such by the police. But if I have to deliver in conclusion the top message of this chapter it would be that your defense means little, your guilt or innocence is often not crucial, when circumstances of the search for the unfaithful head the hailstones your way and you are in a vulnerable occupation, a computer expert with celestial visions, a political scientist, a philosopher, but in all cases a person who is not smilingly eager to cooperate with the inquisitors.
We speak of a disease without a name, significantly, because everywhere it is a misdemeanor to accord existence to it, so call it "patrimania." Its favored niche is in paranoia. Its favored expression is in defense of the state and tribe against never few, usually many, sometimes everyone except thine self. Patrimaniacs are pervasive, always in being.
Patrimania is infectious, contagious, pernicious, endemic, chronic, epidemic, low-grade, high-grade, catching, pestilential, epizootic epizotic and enzooic, plaguey, communicable, sporadic, homoportable, semioportable, omnivectored, transplantable, transferable, transmissible, signaletic, transfusable, readdressable, deportable, exportable, importable, contaminable, delegable, regulable, disseminable, displaceable, predisposed, inductive, mesmerizing, hypnotic, prejudicial, conductible, convectable, remittable, deliverable, and spreadable.
One of the worst testimonials concerning Christoph Marx is that he is not colored by these symptoms.
Another serious aspect of the evidence against him is the lack thereof.
Any normal patrimaniac will tell you so.
We have them here in Saint-Martian.
In the Primary Election returns for the President of France, François Mitterand nosed out Jean-Marie Le Pen, 156 to 145. Chirac, second in the nation, trailed both men in our medieval village, as did Barre. Le Pen, unexpectedly strong, coursed steadily and stoutly along the road to fascism.
This is good news for the secret police. And for the militocrats. And for snoopers everywhere.