Reed Irvine - Editor
  March A, 2000

THE VINDICATION OF JOE McCARTHY

 THIS ISSUE:
  • Confessions Of A Fellow Traveler
  • McCarthy's Critics
  • Perfecting the Smear
  • Smearing Joe McCarthy
  • Naming Names
  • Pseudo History
  • McCarthyism Redefined
  •  
  • Notes
  • On the fiftieth anniversary of Senator Joe McCarthy's charges of Communist subversion, Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia held a symposium that was broadcast nationwide by C-SPAN. The event was keynoted by Arthur Herman, author of Joseph McCarthy: The Life and Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator. The title reflects the bitterness that still lingers over McCarthy's efforts to expose the Communist penetration of the U.S. government 50 years ago. But Herman discussed the popular support that existed for McCarthy's campaign to root Communists out of government. Addressing the charge that McCarthy engaged in a delusional witchhunt, Herman said, "There really were witches out there to be hunted." Some, we now know, were in very high positions.

    Herman said acceptance of the truth has already "crept into academia" and the McCarthy-hating media. He mentioned a colleague who wanted to review information from the Soviet archives and cables and changed his views of the Communist threat based on the evidence. Even his students, he said, are accepting the facts about the guilt of Hiss and the Rosenbergs. He noted that last November, a New York Times Magazine article admitted, despite decades of left-wing doubt, that Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs really were Soviet agents.

    Herman said the growing recognition of the depth of Communist penetration of the U.S. government stems in part from the new evidence that has come out from Soviet archives and the decoded Soviet cables known as the Venona intercepts, that contained the messages exchanged between Moscow and its illegal intelligence agents in the U.S. during World War II. Herman, whose book confirms the essential accuracy of McCarthy's charges, now finds himself in the cross-hairs, under assault by elements of the media and academia. But he seemed confident that the New York Times and other media would eventually accept the truth about McCarthy as well.

    Herman said many of McCarthy's charges can now be seen as reasonable and rational. And, equally important, they were seen that way at the time. He said McCarthy, a Republican, struck a chord when he charged that the Truman administration was failing to safeguard the national security of the United States. But Herman said that when McCarthy extended these criticisms to the Eisenhower Administration, he began losing support from the public and his own party. For example, Herman said McCarthy overreached in his criticisms of General George C. Marshall, who, as Secretary of State, was accused of furthering the aims of the Communists in the Soviet Union and China. Herman said Marshall was a legitimate target of criticism by many in Congress, including Senator Robert Taft, but that McCarthy carried the attack too far.

    And while McCarthy can be criticized for his accusations against those who facilitated the Communist takeover of China, Herman said scholars would be well-advised not to focus on McCarthy's charges so much as the motives of those he named. He wondered how so many seemingly smart people could be taken in by the Communists or become their agents. Herman explained, "The shift of focus has to come because now we really do understand just how deep, how active and how prevalent that Soviet espionage activity really had been."

    Confessions Of A Fellow Traveler

    To make the point that the Communist influence in the government and other institutions was greatly multiplied by sympathizers who could honestly say that they were not members of the Communist Party or any of its numerous fronts, AIM chairman Reed Irvine cited his own experience. He said he came under the influence of a communist history teacher in high school who introduced him to pro-Soviet publications. At the University of Utah, he studied under leftist professors who steered him to such books as Walter Duranty's I Write as I Please, which painted a rosy picture of the Soviet Union. When he enlisted in the Navy in 1942, he was a Soviet sympathizer and "fellow traveler."

    To show the falsity of claims that internal security programs adopted by the government were barring government employment of people who had never been members of the Communist Party or groups it controlled, Irvine cited his own experience. When he joined the Navy in 1942 and was assigned to the Navy's Japanese Language School, he had no trouble getting a security clearance. Many of the students shared his political leanings, and some were quietly dropped for security reasons, apparently because they had been joiners. As an intelligence officer in the Marine Corps in the Pacific, Irvine said his leftist views were never a problem.

    Discharged from the Marines in 1946, he applied for a job with the CIA. Their scrutiny did not include questions about his ideology, and they offered him a job long after he had gone to work in General MacArthur's headquarters in Tokyo. There his socialist views and Soviet sympathies were shared by many others, some of whom were later exposed as Communists. Irvine said, "They had an important influence on occupation policy." The Communist leaders were released from prison, and soon the Communist Party was publishing a daily newspaper. They took control of some labor unions, notably the teachers'. Courses taught in Japanese public schools that had helped make the Japanese law-abiding, hard-working citizens were banned.

    Returning from Japan in 1948, Irvine did graduate work at the University of Washington, where six Communist professors had recently been fired. He sympathized with the professors. After a year he went to Oxford as a Fulbright scholar, where he joined the Labour Club and studied under socialist professors. Returning home in 1951, he was hired by the Federal Reserve Board. "Security clearance problem? Not at all," he said. Joe McCarthy, he said, caused him to take a hard look at the Soviet Union and communism. That, plus learning the value of factual accuracy at the "Fed," soon made him a free market economist.

    Irvine said it was a mistake to assume that McCarthy was wrong in suggesting that officials such as Gen. George Marshall and Dean Acheson were influenced by Communists. Roosevelt's closest adviser, Harry L. Hopkins, was actually a Soviet agent. (See the October-A 1999 AIM Report, "The Scandal of the Century.") While some contend that Hopkins was an "unwit-ting" Soviet agent, Irvine said this strains credulity. Hopkins communicated with Stalin through Iskhak Akhmerov, the agent posing as a clothier, who controlled the KGB "illegals" here.

    The media's continuing failure at this late date to expose Hopkins (he was recently praised by Al Hunt of the Wall Street Journal as an effective White House chief of staff) demonstrates that the problem that McCarthy tried to expose is still with us. "These people are in the media. They are still in denial," Irvine said. "They don't want to admit that things were this bad. The result is that the story of Harry Hopkins being a Soviet agent, which should be a big front page story and on the network news, has essentially been buried."

    McCarthy's Critics

    Dr. Kenneth Campbell is the author of Moscow's Words, Western Voices, a paperback available from AIM that examines the statements and writings of four prominent journalists—I.F. Stone, Wilfred Burchett, Walter Duranty and Alexander Cockburn. The motives of these McCarthy critics—and the motives of those who still fail to acknowledge the Communist threat—were a main focus of Campbell's remarks. The late I.F. Stone, an icon to a generation of American journalists, was critical of American foreign policy during the Cold War and claimed in a book he wrote about the Korean War that South Korea started it. This was an echo of the Soviet propaganda line. Now we know, Campbell said, that Stone was a Soviet agent. Discussing the evidence, Campbell said he heard former KGB General Oleg Kalugin refer to Stone as "one of ours." That was vociferously denied by Stone's friends in the media when it was first revealed in 1992, but it has now been confirmed by references in the Venona intercepts. Declassified FBI reports on Stone's service to the Soviet cause are included at the end of Campbell's book.

    On Burchett and Duranty, Campbell said, "There's no question they were Soviet agents." Burchett was an Australian journalist whose articles sometimes appeared in the U.S. media. Duranty, the Moscow correspondent of the New York Times in the 1920s and early '30s, is notorious for his rosy reports from the Soviet Union, and especially for covering up the terrible Stalin-made famine in the Ukraine in 1932-33. Regarding Alexander Cockburn, who still writes frequently for American left-wing publications, Campbell said he didn't have the evidence that he was a Soviet agent, but his book accuses him of having echoed Soviet propaganda on a variety of subjects. His father, Claud Cockburn, was a journalist who was a member of the British Communist Party.

    Campbell cautioned about the power of the eastern liberal establishment and its influence over the major media. He said these are the same people who were wrong about Joe McCarthy and wrong about the Soviet threat. They are also influential in America's colleges and universities. "They've turned out two generations of college graduates who are convinced that McCarthy is a monster," he said. In addition to going after McCarthy, Campbell said they like to go after Richard Nixon, who helped expose Alger Hiss as a Soviet agent. The result of this can be seen in Bill Clinton. "Clinton probably represents what America has become," Campbell said. "The liberal intellectual anti-McCarthyites have won."

    Campbell said while McCarthy was essentially correct in his charges, he could have been more careful in presenting them. Today, he said, there is still a burden on those who understand the Communist threat to present their views and information in a thoughtful and careful way. Irvine observed that even if McCarthy had been accurate in everything he had said or written, he would still have been smeared by the Communists. He pointed out that even though he and Herbert Romerstein had based their charges that I.F. Stone had been an agent of the Soviet Union on what they had been told by Gen. Oleg Kalugin, they had been denounced in editorials in the New York Times and the Washington Post. He said, "They've never apologized to this day even though what we said back in 1992 has been verified by the Venona transcripts."

    Perfecting the Smear

    Romerstein, author of a forthcoming book on Soviet espionage, contended that Senator McCarthy is largely irrelevant to the phenomenon known as McCarthyism. McCarthy was chairman of a Senate committee that investigated communism for just one year, and he made several important speeches on the subject and conducted valuable hearings. But Romerstein said that several other Congressional committees did far more work on the problem.

    Nevertheless, McCarthy was transformed into a demon by the Communists, who were desperate to mislead the public about their efforts to penetrate the U.S. government. Accusing McCarthy of making inaccurate or exaggerated statements, they promoted the term "McCarthyism" in an effort to discredit investigations into the Communist movement.

    Romerstein, who worked in various capacities for the U.S. government for about 25 years, specializing in the fields of internal security and intelligence, still marvels at the ability of the Communists to make "McCarthyism" into a phenomenon that lingers to this day. He found it significant that McCarthy is still vilified while modern-day politicians, such as Vice President Al Gore, get away with major gaffes and exaggerations on a regular basis. Romerstein commented, "Can you imagine an American politician today saying he invented the Internet? Or that he and his wife were the subject of the book Love Story? Or that he discovered Love Canal? No politician would ever do that or say that—unless you're Al Gore of course. But you don't hear anything about Goreism. You hear about McCarthyism."

    Romerstein said the term "McCarthyism" appeared in the title of a 1951 booklet written by a top Communist Party member which attacked both Trumanism and McCarthyism. Harry Truman was President at the time and his administration had the power to weed the Communists out of the government. Romerstein said Truman was more of a threat to the Communists than Joe McCarthy ever was, but he didn't want Republicans in Congress, including McCarthy, to make hay out of the issue of Communist penetration of the government. He told his staff that Alger Hiss was "guilty as hell," but he told the press that the charges against him were a red herring. He explained to his staff that he didn't want to say anything that would help the Republicans.

    Romerstein said that a high level member of the Communist Party, who wrote a booklet in which he attacked both "Trumanism" and "McCarthyism," was severely criticized and expelled from the party over this. The leaders wanted to focus on "McCarthyism" as the term to use to smear those who were exposing Communists in government. They believed that coupling it with "Trumanism" would weaken the chances of popularizing "McCarthyism."

    Smearing Joe McCarthy

    Dan Flynn, executive director of Accuracy in Academia, described the lengths to which the media went to destroy McCarthy. McCarthy's tax returns were illegally made public by journalists, he said, and columnist Drew Pearson placed a paid spy in the Senator's office. Journalists Ronald May and Jack Anderson were accused of manufacturing quotes to make McCarthy look bad. But the most outrageous ploy was the plan by the Washington Post to publish a series of articles that included the charge that McCarthy and his aides were stockpiling weapons in the basement of the Senate, apparently in preparation for a possible coup. Democratic party leaders had paid a man named Paul Hughes more than $10,000 for the information and the Post was prepared to publish it until, at the last minute, Hughes was exposed as a con man.

    Flynn said a major turning point was a series of reports by Edward R. Murrow of CBS News attacking McCarthy. One of the most damaging was a Murrow attack on McCarthy for charging that Annie Lee Moss, a clerk in the Army code room, was a Communist. Murrow has now been shown to have been completely off-base. Communist Party records show that McCarthy was absolutely correct in identifying Moss as a Communist.

    Naming Names

    Veteran journalist M. Stanton Evans, who is writing his own book on McCarthy, said one of the most notorious myths is that the Wisconsin Senator had no names of suspected Communists in the State Department when he gave his famous speech charging that there were 59 (according to McCarthy himself) of them. Holding up a sheaf of papers, Evans said, "Here are the names. Right here. Anybody who wants to can look at them." He produced a letter that McCarthy sent to Senator Millard Tydings in 1950 in which he listed the 59 names, plus 22 others.

    Evans said the original list identified the suspected Communists by number, not by name, giving a brief description of each. He said it had been compiled by Congressional staffers from the files of the State Department itself. In his letter to Sen. Tydings, McCarthy attached the names to the numbers. Critics have said over the years that the list was outdated, blown out of proportion, that the individuals named were cleared by Congressional committees, or that the people were just mildly leftist. But none of that was true. Evans quoted from some of those cases: "...he furnished material to a known Soviet espionage agent..." and "...He is a known Communist Party member."

    Evans said the claim that these cases had been cleared by Congressional hearings was a big falsehood. The chairman of one committee said the information showed "a large number of Communists on the rolls of the State Department," adding, "It makes me wonder if there is any representation of the United States in the State Department."

    McCarthy also had very revealing information about the Amerasia case. This involved John Stewart Service, a foreign service officer who had been stationed in China, who was arrested for passing classified information to Philip Jaffe, the editor of Amerasia, a pro-Communist magazine. In a major speech, McCarthy charged that the Justice Department failure to prosecute the case was a massive cover-up. "We now know that he was 100 percent correct," Evans said. The FBI wiretapped the meeting where the cover-up was arranged to get Service off. Laughlin Currie, an adviser to President Roosevelt and a known Soviet agent, was involved in this. The Tydings Committee said it could find nothing incriminating in the FBI files of McCarthy target Owen Lattimore, a key adviser to the State Department. Evans read from Lattimore's FBI file. It said in 1941 that Lattimore was a Communist who should be detained in the event of a national emergency. Currie, Service and Lattimore were all players in a conspiracy that engaged in espionage for the Communists and manipulated U.S. policy to their benefit. They maneuvered to cut off aid to the Chinese Nationalists in order to help Mao win control of China. Their efforts succeeded and the Nationalists fled to Taiwan in 1949. We and the Chinese have paid dearly for this betrayal.

    Pseudo History

    John Earl Haynes, who with Harvey Klehr has written two books on Moscow's ties to the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), told the conference that many historians are still reluctant to face the truth about the CPUSA. He said the reigning orthodoxy in academia is that the CPUSA was a domestic movement independent of Moscow. Haynes said the academic consensus is wrong. After the Soviet Union collapsed and the Soviet Communist archives were opened for study, the hard truth started coming out. Haynes, who traveled to Mos-cow to study the archives, says the evidence clearly shows that the Soviets financially subsidized the CPUSA, and that the party operated an underground apparatus that was tied to Soviet intelligence and influenced U.S. Government policy.

    Haynes said there were some favorable reviews in the mainstream press of their first book, The Secret World of American Communism, but the reaction in journals of history was negative, even vicious. In one case, a reviewer said Haynes and Klehr had mistranslated a key word in a Russian document which the reviewer hadn't actually seen. When Haynes proved that his translation was correct, the reviewer never conceded error. "Being in the hard left in the academic world is never having to say you're sorry," he said.

    Haynes said the truth of this book, based on Soviet archives, has been confirmed by the release of the Venona transcripts, which show that about 350 Americans conspired with or spied for Moscow. Haynes said many of them were members of the CPUSA, whose leaders cooperated with Soviet intelligence. The transcripts confirm that several large Soviet spy rings were operating throughout the U.S. government, and that the members included Laughlin Currie, an adviser to FDR, and Harry Dexter White, assistant secretary of the Treasury.

    Several other books have been published over the last several years confirming the existence of this Soviet espionage apparatus. Still, Haynes said that some historians dismiss the evidence as insignificant or irrelevant. Haynes commented that this proves that "the human mind is capable of looking at something and not seeing anything at all."

    He said that one historian, Jim Ryan of Texas A&M University, had changed his own view about the CPUSA being an Americanized movement after examining the evidence. But another, Eric Foner of Colombia University, has refused to acknowledge the new evidence. Foner's 1999 book, The Story of American Freedom, still portrays the CPUSA in the 1930s, when it functioned as a mouthpiece for Stalin, as pro-freedom and pro-democracy.

    Summing up, Haynes said, "Eric Foner, one of the most praised historians in the nation, has made it clear that he really doesn't care about the new evidence. Jim Ryan, a little-known historian, finds the new evidence requires that he change his views, and he has attempted to do so. I'll leave it to you to decide who best represents the tradition of scholarly integrity."

    Unfortunately, Foner still seems to represent the dominant philosophy in academia. Dan Flynn mentioned how Maryland's Washington College holds an "Alger Hiss Day," and that at Bard College in New York there is an Alger Hiss Chair of Social Studies. He said American college history texts, including A People and a Nation, The National Experience, and The Enduring Vision, ignore communism's killing of as many as 100 million people in this century.

    McCarthyism Redefined

    As Herb Romerstein pointed out, "McCarthyism" is a term foisted on us by the CPUSA to implant in the minds of the American people the idea that it was and is reckless and wrong to accuse Communists and their sympathizers of aiding the totalitarian cause. The Soviet archives, the Venona intercepts and the revelations of former high-ranking KGB officers like Gordievsky and Mitrokhin have validated what we were told by Whitaker Chambers, Elizabeth Bentley and Hede Massing, to name only a few of the many courageous souls who were willing to go against dominant "intelligentsia" and media of their day.

    They too were vilified, but their enemies did not do them the honor of making their surnames synonymous with telling the truth about an enormous, dangerous conspiracy to destroy freedom throughout the world and replace it with a tyranny unmatched in human history in its ruthlessness and scope. That honor was reserved for Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, not because he was the most effective of the anti-communists, but because he was the most outspoken and therefore the most vulnerable. Sad to say there is not a politician on the national scene who has the courage to speak out as Joe McCarthy did 50 years ago to expose the rot in our government that endangers our future. Like Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, they are afraid to do so for fear the New York Times will criticize them.

    AIM Report NOTES FROM THE EDITOR'S CUFF

    I AM OFTEN ASKED IF THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW VINCE FOSTER DIED AND WHAT CAUSED the crash of TWA Flight 800 will ever come out. Events such as the conference on Joe McCarthy's legacy covered in this AIM Report give us reason to hope. After 50 years of denial by much of the intelligentsia, the truth about the penetration of our government by Soviet agents is now being accepted by many in the media and some in academia. The Venona intercepts deserve a lot of credit for this. These encrypted exchanges between the intelligence headquarters in Moscow and their agents in the United States have made it impossible for scholars and journalists with any integrity to deny that Soviet agents occupied some very high positions in our government. My own experience shows that far-leftists had no problem in holding government jobs and influencing policy.

    I WAS VERY SURPRISED WHEN RICHARD FEINBERG, A TREASURY ECONOMIST WITH WHOM I had frequent contact when I was at the Federal Reserve, was revealed in Sept. 1976 to have been working covertly with NACLA, a pro-Castro organization. A letter disclosing this was found in the briefcase of Orlando Letelier when he was assassinated in Washington by Chilean agents. Letelier, a Chilean exile, had told the Cubans that he was trying to do for Chile what Castro had done for Cuba. The FBI did not tell the Treasury about Feinberg, but after someone tipped them off, Feinberg resigned. He was promptly hired by the State Department, where he was assigned to the Policy Planning staff. That figures. The main mission I gave myself in my job at the Fed was to battle those in our government who wanted to use foreign aid and loans to support failing socialist policies and governments in the less developed countries. The State Department was the main enemy because there were so many lefties there.

    THAT IS ANOTHER BATTLE THAT HAS BEEN LARGELY WON, THANKS IN LARGE MEASURE to the example that has been set by countries in Asia and Latin America that have adopted free market policies. Chile, which Letelier was trying to take down the Cuban road, is an outstanding example. Pinochet should be honored, not prosecuted, for having saved Chile. Unfortunately, the defeated and disappointed leftists try to find comfort in seeking vengeance against those who defeated them. Hell may freeze over before they extend absolution to those they have demonized, like Pinochet and Joe McCarthy, but the remarks at the AIM-AIA conference showed that it is getting harder for them to pass their hatreds on to succeeding generations. To order tapes of the conference, call Roger at AIM (roger@aim.org or call 800-787-4567 ext. 109).

    I HOPE WE WILL SEE THE SAME CHANGES TAKE PLACE WITH RESPECT TO THE BURIED scandals of the Clinton administration, including the vindication of those who believe that Foster was murdered and TWA Flight 800 was downed by missiles. That will come sooner if we get a president, an attorney general and a Congress that want the truth to be known. This has not been discussed in the primary campaigns, but it could become an issue in the general election if enough voters demand it. Those who want to see these scandals buried and forgotten are pathetically ignorant of the facts, and they aren't interested in learning what they are. Kenneth Starr continues to refuse to answer the questions about the Foster case that I and many of you have asked him. I have now raised the number to 30. I hope to have an opportunity before long to ask him face-to-face why he refuses to respond. You can download the latest list of questions from our web site, www.aim.org. We will send copies free to anyone who sends us a request with a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

    SAM DONALDSON SHOWED THE IGNORANCE AND ARROGANCE OF THOSE WHO DISAGREE with us on these issues on March 7, when he was a guest on C-SPAN'S "Washington Journal." When a caller said the government was covering up the cause of the crash of TWA Flight 800, Sam declared categorically that this was false. I called in to test his knowledge of the evidence. He said, "We investigated it. That's why I say it. I don't say it because I read it in the newspapers. We actually investigated it." I recalled that he had narrated a "Prime Time Live" report on the crash on June 4, 1997. It was "mouthpiece" journalism, not investigative reporting. It mouthed the National Transportation Safety Board's claim that the crash was caused by a spark in the center-wing fuel tank. It portrayed the fuel tanks as virtual bombs in the bellies of our jet airliners. I said, "You are still holding to that theory even though in three years they have not been able to develop one iota of evidence that the fuel tank could have been blown up spontaneously by some spark."

    SAM REPLIED, "BUT THAT'S NOT TRUE, SIR....YOUR STATEMENT THAT THEY HAVE NOT produced one iota of evidence that the fuel tank, the center fuel tank, could have blown up because of the vapor is just not true, sir." That wasn't what I said. The tank had exploded, but what caused it, a spark or a missile? Sam admitted that he had not visited any web sites that provide information on the crash. He said, "I've gone to the evidence and looked at it myself. I've looked at the mock-up of the plane. I've looked at the metal. I've looked at the twisted plates. You've seen where the explosion comes from. The metal comes out, not in. I have seen it, sir. It's not true what you say."

    I NOTED THAT ABC NEWS HAD NOT COVERED THE PRESS CONFERENCES WHERE INVESTI-gators and eyewitnesses had presented convincing evidence of a cover-up of the cause of the crash. His response was a confused rendition of the absurd crash scenario used by the CIA to discredit all the eyewitnesses. Sam said: "People say ‘I see a picture. I was an eyewitness. I saw a streak go up.' They may have seen things in the sky, but by the time they saw the explosion, that plane had been dead for 26 seconds, because the first thing you saw was not the huge explosion which came from the fuel in the wing tank. The first thing that happened was explosion of the center fuel tank, which was not visible. It separated the nose of the plane, the cockpit, if you will, which came back over the fuselage. The fuselage kept going. By the time you saw a streak with that explosion 26 seconds later, it couldn't have been a missile. The plane was dead." Thumping the table, he said, "That's a fact!"

    HOW COULD AN EXPLOSION STRONG ENOUGH TO BREAK OFF THE NOSE NOT BE VISIBLE? The CIA had said, "The explosion, though very loud, was not seen by any known eyewitness." It assumed that nobody was skygazing until they heard the sound of the explosion. It would take about 48 seconds for the sound of the explosion to be heard 10 miles away. The CIA says those that looked up to see what caused the noise would have seen the noseless jet climbing three thousand feet and exploding again. It says they mistook this for a missile attack. Eyewitnesses and aeronautic experts alike say the CIA scenario is garbage. Radar data released last year show that after the initial explosion the speed of the plane went from 385 knots to 460 knots 10 seconds after the explosion. This proves that it was plummeting into the ocean, not climbing. The last hit by the radar was 38 seconds after the first explosion. Those who looked up 48 seconds after the explosion would have been looking at nothing but smoke in the distant sky. I am sure Sam's description was what he recalled of the CIA scenario, but his memory was bad. The CIA did not say the first explosion was not visible; it said no known witness saw it. It showed the nose breaking off and falling, not soaring up and over the fuselage. It said the second explosion was 48 seconds after the first for the reason given above. Sam picked 26 out of the air.

    THE CIA SURELY HAD THE RADAR DATA SHOWING THAT THE FUSELAGE HAD FALLEN OFF the radar screen within 43 seconds of the first explosion. Those data were then secret, enabling them to fool gullible journalists with their phoney scenario. Sam Donaldson's C-SPAN performance shows how successful this big lie has been. The secrecy of the radar data ended last summer, when the Flight 800 Independent Research Organization, FIRO, obtained it under an FOIA request and made it public at a news conference that ABC failed to cover. (C-SPAN aired it live.) It is alarming that the administration was able to get the CIA to perpetrate this fraud. It is sad that Sam and his colleagues are still in the dark because they won't look at the evidence.

    RNC CHAIRMAN JIM NICHOLSON IS ANGRY AT THE NETWORKS. ON MARCH 2, AL GORE'S friend, Maria Hsia, was found guilty of violating federal election laws by arranging illegal contributions, mainly to the '96 Clinton-Gore campaign and the DNC. On March 3, this was the lead story in The Washington Post and the second lead in both the New York and the Washington Times. High in all three stories was the fact that this case was linked to a notorious event at the Buddhist temple that Al Gore has lied about. The coverage on the evening TV news shows was: NBC, 0; ABC, 19 seconds; CBS, 23 seconds. ABC noted Gore's attendance at the event, but not his lies. CBS said only that Hsia was a Gore friend and supporter. Fed up, Nicholson gave out phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Here are those of theaddressees on the cards enclosed. Westin: 212/456-6200, e-mail: david.westin@abc.com; Donaldson: 202/222-7802, e-mail: sam.donaldson@abc.com; Heyward: 212/975-7825, e-mail: ajh@cbsnews.com; Wright, NBC, 212/664-4611, e-mail: bob.wright@nbc.com. Others: Rather: dir@cbsnews.com; Brokaw: tom.brokaw@nbc.com; Jennings: peter.jennings@abc.com


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