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Marian Buchanan

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  1. It was a mock allegation, not meant to be taken literally. http://thomasgbuchanan.com/the-non-existence-of-k-o-sauvage/
  2. No, this wasn't about wishful thinking, it was humor that apparently not every reader understood. I've clarified in the thread about my father and also on his website in a blog post titled "The non-existence of K.O. Sauvage."
  3. No, this wasn't about wishful thinking, it was humor that apparently not every reader understood. I've clarified in the thread about my father and also on his website in a blog post titled "The non-existence of K.O. Sauvage."
  4. There are a few posts in this forum that demonstrate a misunderstanding about the use of humor in my father's 1964 exchange with Léo Sauvage. John Simkin and J. Raymond Carroll show that misunderstanding in the short thread on Leo Sauvage, and in this thread we're in, John Simkin wrote: I didn't respond to this right away when I first came across this thread, because I wanted to verify my facts first. Your statements, John, confused me into wondering if maybe you had factual information that I didn't. However, I now have confirmation from Léo Sauvage's son, Pierre Sauvage, that Léo did NOT have a brother named K.O., and that my understanding of my father's letter-to-the-editor was accurate. So I'd like to explain it here for John and anyone else here who misunderstood the humor and took the reference to “K.O. Sauvage” literally. As you know from previous posts in this thread, the piece that started the exchange was an article by Léo Sauvage called “Thomas Buchanan, Detective” which was published in the Thinking Aloud column of The New Leader on September 28th, 1964. This wasn't a dispassionate explanation of why Sauvage disagreed with my father's methods of research, way of reasoning, and theories about what might have really happened. Although it addressed some of the points of disagreement, it was expressed in a derisive way that was a personal attack on my father's abilities and character. In response, my father wrote a letter to the editor, titled "In Defense of a Theory," in which he used humor to take Sauvage's attack on him lightly while still getting his own points across. The tongue-in-cheek allegation was that the reader had been duped into believing this was the real Léo Sauvage when (so my father feigned believing) it couldn't possibly be, since the article's lowered quality of journalism and focus on attempting to disparage my father would seem to be a departure from the respectability of Léo's usual work and more in line with the tactics of the US Information Service.* And so, the mock accusation goes, this must point to it being "his brother" K.O. instead -- which I take to mean "knock-off" as in imitation, or "knock-out" as in someone throwing punches in a boxing match, or the other kind of "knock-out" as in the kind of alteration of behavior that lab mice suffer when they've had certain genes "knocked out." * (FBI files obtained much later do confirm that the USIS was seeking information from the FBI for the purposes of discrediting my father so that his writings on the Kennedy assassination would be dismissed by the public.) In the title of his article, Sauvage's use of the epithet “detective” was derisive. My father had never claimed to conduct any detective work, merely a logical analysis of the contradictory reports made by his colleagues in the media. In response to being given the mock designation, my father played along by appending it again to his name in his signature, and saying that, “in [his] capacity as criminal investigator,” he had detected a “crime” – which was basically that Sauvage was behaving like an impostor of his more reputable self. I'm told by several readers that the humor was easy for them to detect. However, given that this was not the case for all who read the piece, I thought it best to clarify that the allegations were not to be taken literally. This will hopefully allow those who missed the point to re-read with a fresh perspective, and also set the record straight for the sake of historical accuracy about both my own father and the father of Pierre Sauvage. P.S. It may be of interest to note that some of the other Warren Report critics, who had met Sauvage and had had some correspondence with my father, felt a distaste for this exchange, even when they agreed with Sauvage's position on the assassination. In a letter to Maggie Field in July 1965,** Sylvia Meagher wrote: “I decided against inviting Sauvage to see the photographs at this juncture; […] Furthermore, he made some very disparaging and unfair remarks about Mark Lane, which saddened me, as did his gratuitous published insults of Buchanan. So I continue to hesitate...” And in a letter to Sylvia Meagher in August 1965,** Maggie Field wrote: “Léo Sauvage has, somehow, seemed to me, at all times, to be the most responsible, the most logical and the most unemotional of the critics. […] But I must quarrel, nevertheless, with Sauvage on a few counts. To wit: I wish he would refrain from attacking Buchanan publicly, however much he may have cause to, and from lashing out at Lane, too. Surely, he should comprehend the folly of such pursuits and the harm he does not only to the very cause he seeks to champion but to all the rest of us who support his position.” ** source: John Kelin, author of Praise From a Future Generation.
  5. The Big Brother book is only available in French at the moment. As far as what I've been exposed to because of my father's interests, you have to understand that I was a child during the time he was writing about the JFK assassination, so it's not like he discussed the facts or theories with me. Once I was adult, both he and I were focusing on other things -- not the same things as each other, I might add. Although I'm sure he followed any JFK-related news that might have arisen between JFK's death and his own, he didn't dedicate his life to the JFK story, he continued to write as a journalist about whatever new topics drew his attention at any given time. I don't have more information about my father's JFK research findings than what he made public during his own life. If it turns out there's any thus-far-unrevealed information in any unpublished pieces that my stepmother might have in her possession, I will publish it on thomasgbuchanan.com. But don't hold your breath -- I won't be getting to France anytime soon to go digging myself, and I don't know how soon my stepmother will get around to doing a little searching and forwarding for me. Much as I'd like to be helpful to anyone still doing research on the subject, my role here is not really to participate in the discussion of the theories, it's merely to set the record straight concerning my father's character, his writings, and the events of his life. Having said that, I do take an interest in the assassination and finding out the truth of the matter, so thank you, Jim, for those links. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to read these kinds of materials at the moment, since my own life is full and my work on thomasgbuchanan.com and participation in the forum has to happen in my "spare" time. I do hope to eventually get a better feel for what other theories have been put forward and what other facts might have surfaced since the publication of Who Killed Kennedy?, but for the moment my higher priority is to contribute a more accurate picture of my father.
  6. Robert, thank you for having removed the original misinformative emails you published, but I'm not understanding why you haven't honored the subsequent request that you remove the corrective email as well. As I wrote to you privately, there are 3 reasons to do so: it, too, still contains incorrect information it's confusing to the reader to see corrections out of context (not to be taken as a reason to keep the older emails on there -- which I really don't want -- but a reason to remove the later one) the emails' author did not wish you to publish any of their messages, and that would include this last one. If only from an ethical standpoint, it's really not okay to publish personal correspondence without the author's consent, and I'm still sure that it's also a violation of copyright and privacy laws. So... I'd like to ask you once again if you could please remove the original author's final email as well. Thanks!
  7. Thanks for your welcome, Jim. The Big Brother book is based on the declassified FBI files my father was able to obtain in 1983, but more of them came a little later. There's definitely proof of deliberate attempts to discredit my father, and accounts of communications about Who Killed Kenndey? to the Warren Commission by the CIA and FBI, but nothing I've come across so far that would betray the reason for their desire to counter it. The files are heavily redacted, so who knows what might be underneath the big pools of black ink.
  8. As I've said before, there are two versions of Who Killed Kennedy? The first was published in the Spring of 1964 in 19 foreign countries, including the UK by Secker & Warburg, but declined by American publishers at that time. What most of the American publishers were telling my father's literary agent was that the American public was not sufficiently "interested" in seeing an American edition, but I understand one unnamed publisher told him that, in their case, they were basically being "cowardly" by declining. So Secker & Warburg started selling their UK edition in the US. Apparently they were selling steadily at Macy's for a time -- that was the push needed to get the US publishers finally interested, and Secker & Warburg had to stop selling in the US once the Putnam edition came out, in November 1964. However, the Putnam edition was a second version. It was NOT "sanitized" by Putnam, it was a revision written by my father. In his Big Brother book, my father says Putnam didn't want to be the last to publish the first version, so they decided to be the first to publish a new version, that would include a commentary on the Warren Report. They obtained a copy of the Report the very day it came out so that they could give it to my father that same day (end of September), put him up in a New York hotel room for a week of constant analysing and writing, and this way they would have time to release it for the anniversary of the assassination. Maybe someone here who has an eBay account could post my clarification to the page that has that misleading statement about "sanitizing"...
  9. So it looks like the "especially printed for..." refers to the insert rather than the printing of the book itself. That makes more sense. Petersen must have bought however many copies of the Putnam edition he wanted to send out to the "friends of PETERSEN" (I wonder how many that was?) and had this insert pasted in. So thank you, Mr. Petersen, retroactively, for helping to put food on my childhood table! ;-) I think thanks are owed him as well for his small informal survey of foreign public opinion. It corroborates what has already been seen. I'm glad he found my father's book well-reasoned. Interesting that he also deemed it worthy of what seems like an unusual gifting from a company to its "friends" (buyers, suppliers, ... ?). Christmas cards to the company's contacts, one might expect, but a book about the president's assassination...? It seems like more of a personal decision by Petersen as an individual. I wonder if there were Texas oil men among those contacts, and if so, how he expected it to be taken by them. Did he misunderstand its message, was he naive, or was he taking a stance? Jim Phelps, did you say PENGO and/or Petersen Engineering was mentioned in my father's book? There's no index so I'm having a hard time locating it. Do you have the page number at hand?
  10. Yes, David, I'd be interested in seeing those scans. As far as what kind of research he did in prior years, I don't know at this point. I'm hoping I can somehow find copies of any articles he wrote during his lifetime, including his earliest ones prior to the JFK ones. I never thought to ask him for a copy of each article while he was alive, or even a list. I'm hoping my step-mother has all or most of them in one form or another. Quick addendum: I just edited my earliest post with the following, under the heading Regarding the notion that he had CIA backing: [Update: I read too quickly what was written in the book Big Brother. It wasn't that the two men "claimed" to be from the US embassy, it was that they were 'representatives of what was euphemistically referred to in Spain as "the United States embassy" -- from the context on surrounding pages, this appears to be the United States Information Agency (USIA).]
  11. Thanks, Paul and Anthony and all of you who have expressed appreciation of my father's work. Feel free to post them into the comments section of the Who Killed Kennedy? page of the new website I've created. http://thomasgbuchanan.com/books/who-killed-kennedy/ On the blog part of the site, I've also posted a copy of the first post I made here in this thread, and I've linked to this thread for those who want to read everyone else's posts as well. As you'll see, the site is still under construction, with just basic information on each page for now, but it's ready enough to start interacting with. If you'd like to be kept informed of when there is new content, you can subscribe to the RSS feed (click on the orange icon in the top right-hand corner of each page). I'll be adding new content as time allows, drawing from the Big Brother book, any archives of my father's articles that I can find, and information and memories supplied by any of my father's family, friends, colleagues, and interviewees that I can connect with.
  12. I wasn't aware of this edition -- it seems very odd to me that Putnam would do this.
  13. Thank you for welcoming me to the forum. Paul, it's good to connect even in this small way with someone who knows what it was like to grow up in that situation. Regarding the emails sent to Robert Morrow, I believe they contain some inaccuracies. I've emailed my step-mother to find out more before I comment. I think it's only difficult to understand people staying in the party if you believe the American party was intended to represent an alignment with Soviet policies and practices. I would imagine it was, instead, intended to align with Marxist ideals. The fact that the Soviets were distorting the ideology in their attempted implementation, and appropriating the label of "communist" when it was clearly never at the communist stage of the initially intended transition, shouldn't make the ideology itself invalid. It would be like deciding not to go to one's own Christian church anymore just because there was another church somewhere else that was run by some strange sect with questionable practices that was claiming to be Christian too. I think there's evidence for what I'm saying in the fact that my father and others didn't leave the American party based on what the Soviet party's leaders did or didn't do, but only when the American party leaders failed to align with the members' views on how the party's position should be adjusted after the Khrushchev report. I acknowledge I'm not a historian and don't know the details of what was known at what time and what the reactions were within the American party. I also don't know the inner thoughts of my father in his teen years in the 30's. But, as I said before, he was very much his own man. He was also very bright and logically-minded -- IQ of 145, almost always first of his class even though he was two to three years younger than his classmates. So it's doubtful he would have embraced the Soviets' way wholesale without any kind of analysis or reservation, even as a teen. I agree that the Bolsheviks contaminated the use of the word "communist" and the general population's perception of what the Marxist ideal was about and how it could be implemented in practice. I can also see the possibility that some American communists might have stayed in the CP as a way to assert their right to be there, ironically allowing the external pressure for them to leave to turn into an internal pressure for them to stay longer than they might have otherwise. But I don't think that accounts for all personal reactions, and my father's account of it in his own case indicates that he was led, instead, by his own conscience at all stages. There are some closed-minded doctrinarians in any packaged worldview, but that doesn't mean that all those who embrace a defined worldview do so in a closed-minded way. The open-minded will continue to refine their understanding of the world and adjust accordingly, as my father did over the years. I remember in particular him telling me in the 70's that I'd helped him see the importance of incorporating an environmentalist perspective into any social-economic-political prescription. I had become very preoccupied with the state of the environment after studying ecology in school in 1970 -- the year that the science curriculum was ecology happened to coincide with the year of the first Earth Day and there were many alarming articles in a wildlife magazine my grandmother subscribed to. I used those articles and their statistics and citations as the basis for the science report I was assigned as homework, and it made a profound impact on me -- and apparently, through me, an impact on my father's ideology. My point is that, earlier than this, he had not contemplated this aspect of the socio-political equation -- and neither did most people, of any ideology -- but once it came to his attention, he wasn't above making adjustments in his worldview. If only all people of all ideologies were so willing to admit past omissions and evolve a better version of their worldview...
  14. I came across this thread while Googling JFK materials on the web on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. I was interested in particular in anything mentioning my father, Thomas G. Buchanan. I just wanted to offer some clarification where some of you have had questions or doubts that I can answer, or have made statements that are incorrect or defamatory. About my father's birth and death: First, a minor correction concerning his birth. According to John Simkin, the book jacket of the UK edition of Who Killed Kennedy? says my father was “born in the Deep South.” He was born in Baltimore, Maryland. I don't think that's considered the “Deep” South, although it did fall on the southern side of the slavery issue during the civil war. To answer the question about his death: he died of multiple myeloma in January 1988. He was diagnosed in 1984, the same year his last book was published. There are two versions of the Kennedy book: John wrote: “The publication date of the book was interesting. It was May 1964. In fact, it was based on a series of articles that appeared in L’Express in March, 1964. As you can see, this was before the publication of the Warren Report.” The book was first published in 1964 in the UK and France, then other countries, and only later in the US. The US version includes additions and revisions based on material that came to light after the first publication. For instance, it includes commentary on the findings of the Warren Commission. Regarding what kind of contact he had with Senator Edward Kennedy: John also wrote: “In the preface Buchanan writes that the reason he had written the articles was because he had been contacted by a staff member of the Warren Commission. This person had put him in contact with Ted Kennedy. He in turn had arranged for Buchanan to meet Nicholas Katzenbach “to whom Attorney-General Robert F. Kennedy had delegated responsibility in recent months”. Buchanan therefore implies that the Kennedy brothers were behind this book.” That's not what my father meant to imply. I don't have the UK version of the book at hand, so I'm not sure in what way it might differ from the US version in this respect, but I do have the US version. It doesn't have a Preface per se, just an Author's Note, which is worded as follows: “The major part of the report you are about to read—extracts of which first appeared in l'Express of Paris—was filed in Washington in March, 1964, with the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren. This action was taken at the request of a staff member of that commission, Howard P. Willens. “Discussion of the case with a Commission representative followed an interview of more than an hour with Nicholas De B. Katzenbach, at that time Deputy Attorney General of the United States, to whom Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy had delegated most of his responsibilities during the months that followed the assassination. This interview was arranged by Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the President's younger brother. The subsequent appointment with a representative of the President's Commission was made by Mr. Katzenbach.” I also have the book my father wrote about his FBI files, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, published in 1984 and titled Big Brother—Ma vie revue et corrigée par le F.B.I. (Big Brother--My life reviewed and revised by the F.B.I.). The latter describes the sequence of events to be as follows: My father first started writing about the assassination about a month after the event, on his own, as a freelancer, without being commissioned to do so. He wanted to put down in written form an analysis of all the inconsistencies being reported by the media at the time. He showed his report to friends who were able to bring it to the attention of the editors at l'Express. L'Express published extracts of what he had so far, as a series of 6 articles. L'Express then assigned my father to go to Dallas to cover the Ruby trial in real time. The editor at l'Express also arranged for my father to have an interview with Edward Kennedy during that visit to the States. Edward Kennedy arranged for him to meet instead with Katzenbach. Katzenbach spoke with him for around an hour and then, in my father's presence, called Howard Willens (liaison to the Warren Commission) to request that the latter speak with my father as well. Willens had a similarly long discussion with my father and then invited him to submit his report to the Warren Commission. So I think you read more into it than was there, John, when you wrote, “What appears to have happened is that someone on the Warren Commission realised that a cover-up was about to take place. Therefore, they had decided to leak what the WC had really found out to a journalist.” My father had not been contacted by Willens, Willens had been contacted on his behalf by Katzenbach. It was just the usual kind of journalistic interview gathering, initiated by the editor from l'Express. I'm not aware of any leaks to my father from anyone connected to the Warren Commission. In response to Tim Gratz's comments that the Kennedy brothers would never have associated in this way with a “known” communist, I think you overestimate my father's notoriety at the time (although the FBI was certainly aware of him – but I'm not sure that would mean they would screen all contact that the Kennedys had with journalists), and you perhaps underestimate the willingness of the Kennedys to allow journalists to do their job without unnecessary obstacles and without scrutinizing their backgrounds. I imagine they offered the same redirection in interview opportunities to other journalists as well. In any case, my father didn't claim to have met with either of the Kennedy brothers, he simply communicated the fact that the appointment with Katzenbach was arranged by the Senator. Tim wrote: “And remember Buchanan states that Sen Kennedy directed him to Nicholas Katzenbach. Katzenbach was of course the author of the infamous "cover-up" memo, we could even call him the architect of the cover-up. But, of course, Buchanan was unaware of the Katzenbach memo when he wrote the book. So I think Buchanan's invocation of Katzenbach is probably further demonstration that he lacks credibilty.” You're right that my father would not have known about the Katzenbach memo at the time of his book, so I'm not sure how you feel it impacts his credibility. Even if he had known of it, why would it discredit him to relay the (basically clerical) facts about which people were involved in how his report found its way to the Warren Commission? I imagine that the mention of government officials by name was intended to cater to the needs of the kind of reader who wants to have a sense of proof that the author is a serious journalist who has gone through official channels rather than someone inventing theories off the top of his head, i.e. it is precisely about demonstrating credibility. Tim also wrote: “And again I think Buchanan's credibility can be tested by determining whether he really had any contact with Sen Kennedy.” I think the clarification I gave above addresses the doubts expressed about my father's credibility and truthfulness in the matter of his contact with Katzenbach and Senator Kennedy. It would be nice to see a retraction of the disparaging suspicion of lies. Regarding the importance of disclosure that my father was a communist: Tim wrote: “John, I assume when you posted you did not know that Buchanan had been a member of the Communist Party since at least 1948 (or you certainly would have so informed us). Since the Communist Party is an obvious suspect in the assassination, Buchanan is hardly a "disinterested" observor.” We clearly have different personal experiences with the communists in our respective lives (or, more likely – correct me if I'm wrong -- you have no communist friends or acquaintances, Tim, so you're going solely on preconceptions about what the ideology is and how it translates in terms of human character). Since all the communists I know first-hand as real people are genuinely ethical, caring and compassionate people with noble ideals of making the world a better place for all people through peaceful means, I obviously don't agree with your prejudice against them. But given that your prejudice is a commonly shared one in the US, I suppose I can acknowledge that many of the rest of you on this forum might think it relevant to know that my father was indeed once a member of the American Communist Party. To me, if it's relevant at all, it's by virtue of the fact that, as a communist, he was among those in the best position to recognize the fallacy of a communist connection. I won't go into why, since John already quoted the passage from his book where he outlines the reasons why none of the communist groups or countries would have expected to benefit from JFK's death, and could, on the contrary, be negatively affected by it, and therefore none had a proper motive. Regarding the idea that all communists only tow the party line: Tim also wrote: “As the article notes, he could have written the book under Communist discipline.” “Communist discipline” sounds like an assumption that anyone who is communist would automatically be indoctrinated to tow a party-line without thinking for themselves. In my father's book Big Brother, he offers what he calls “Buchanan's law”: that anyone who is 100% aligned with every single tactical or strategical decision made by party leaders, must be an infiltrator rather than a genuine Marxist; that it's only when one has no true compatibility with the philosophy, and is trying hard nevertheless to appear to adhere to it, that one has to regurgitate doctrine defined by others rather than work out one's own perspective and decide how closely (or not) it aligns with party lines. My father left the US Communist Party around the same time as many others did, around 1956, when they felt that the party line was not sufficiently integrating the lessons learned from Krushchev's report on Stalin's crimes. He was never under any state or party control even during the time he had a membership in the party. In fact, I would say he was very much his own man, it was one of the traits about him, hence going against the grain by being a communist even when it was an unpopular and dangerous thing to do. He continued to believe in Marxist ideals his whole life. Regarding mistrusting anything that any communist says: Tim wrote: “So to say Buchanan cannot be trusted since he was a Communist is not a smear; it is simply a fact.” It's not a fact, it's a preconceived opinion. Referring to him as a communist is not a smear because he was one. Some day, referring to someone as a communist who is not one, will also not be a smear, it will simply be a mistake. In the meantime, it's only a smear if it's intended to be disparaging, just like the word “gay” is used by intolerant people as an insult when it really should only be a matter of fact or misinformation. Regarding the notion that he had CIA backing: Paul Rigby wrote: “Thus Thomas Buchanan’s Who Killed Kennedy? was published, in the UK, by a publisher at the very heart of the Anglo-American spook politico-cultural nexus. “Nor is this the only evidence of CIA-backing for Buchanan’s book.” No offense intended, but I actually literally laughed out loud when I read that. But the CIA's suspected interest in my father – an interest of a totally different sort – was not at all a laughing matter to us, his family, back in the days of his JFK articles/book coming out. My father was told by several editors that someone had come to them to dissuade them from publishing his writings. No person or agency would bother doing that unless “someone” wanted his version of the story silenced. I don't know for a fact that it was the CIA who kept warning editors (both in the US and in Europe) about my father's “subversive” leanings and urging them not to “collaborate” with such things – the “officials” claimed to be from the US embassy – but we believed it might be the CIA. Whoever it was, we lived in fear of our father being assassinated as well. [Update: I read too quickly what was written in the book Big Brother. It wasn't that the two men "claimed" to be from the US embassy, it was that they were 'representatives of what was euphemistically referred to in Spain as "the United States embassy"' -- from the context on surrounding pages, this appears to be the United States Information Agency (USIA).] Regarding the notion that he ghost-wrote Farewell America: William Turner wrote: “In my opinion Thomas G. Buchanan was the ghost writer of "Farewell America." He fits the profile given to me by Herve Lamarre, the French intelligence agent who fronted the Farewell project.” I'd be interested to know what that profile said, but either way, you're simply wrong. My father did not ghost-write Farewell America. William also wrote: “Buchanan was far from a Communist. He was a World War II veteran, an Ivy Leaguer and a correspondent for L'Express, for whom he covered the Jack Ruby trial.” I can't tell if you're trolling. My father was indeed a communist. He became one when he was 12 years old, after reading Men Like Gods by H.G. Wells. How is that incompatible with having attended Lawrenceville school and Yale and George Washington universities, having fought in World War II, and having been a correspondent for a leftist paper? Regarding the civil rights of communists: Tim wrote in response to John: “You ask whether it is right to "sack people because they are members of the Communist Party." I certainly agree with free speech, within constitutionally acceptable limits (e.g. child pornography, etc.) But I also believe a newspaper has the right to fire a staff member who deliberately withheld the fact that he was a card-carrying member of the Communist party. Free speech does not mean a newspaper is obligated to employ Communists.” A newspaper isn't “obligated” to employ anyone specific – a specific woman, a specific Afro-American, a specific homosexual, a specific communist. But do you believe the Constitution supports the idea that it's okay to base hiring and firing on prejudice -- that a newspaper has the right to fire someone on the sole basis of their political views? I can guess what you might be going to say, Tim: you probably believe that communism is the exception to the rule. Except for who the “bad guy” is, it's the same argument that allowed water-boarding at Guantanamo. What were you saying about the ends justifying the means...? I know I can't convince anyone who has already closed their mind to the idea (in my experience, the reality) that people who believe in the communist ideal of what's socially and economically fair (not to be confused with the failed attempts at implementation of that ideal) are generally motivated by humanitarian ideals. I can only hope that you haven't closed yours and can re-evaluate your demonizing portrayal. In any case, the whole point of having rights and freedoms is that they should apply to everyone, even Nazis, fascists, and -- *shudder* ;-) -- communists. Back in 1948, avoiding discrimination may not have been a legal obligation, but it's always been a moral/ethical one. My father's editor stated very clearly, when he fired him, that his work was not at issue and had always been satisfactory. It was the first case of a journalist being fired explicitly for the sole reason of being a communist. As such, it triggered a debate in the American Newspaper Guild about whether or not to support the civil rights of their communist members. http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,779896,00.html Many of his colleagues were in favour of supporting my father's right to his own views and affiliations, even when they themselves disagreed with them. A bunch of them even bought him a full-page space in a competing newspaper to give him an opportunity to express his views on his situation. The local chapter, however, voted against supporting him, saying that no one was keeping him from belonging to the Communist Party if he so chose, therefore they didn't consider his rights to be violated. Never mind that it meant he couldn't get employment as a journalist in the US while he was blacklisted. He couldn't even keep a job in any other field, because of it. The Guild's debate went on for a long time, and in the end the majority at the national congress ruled in his favour by 273 to 18, but it was too late for my father and he continued to lose subsequent jobs that were not in journalism. One of the positions he held after he was fired from the Washington Star, was executive secretary of the Washington chapter of the Civil Rights Congress. http://www.flickr.com/photos/washington_area_spark/8534825980/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/washington_area_spark/8533718117/ That job ended when their funds dwindled to where they could no longer pay his salary. In the meantime, it earned him the label of “key figure” in the eyes of the FBI. This was not the beginning of their awareness and surveillance of him, as they were the ones who notified the Washington Evening Star about his communist party membership in the first place. But the Civil Rights Congress position was the trigger for the FBI increasing their suspicion of him. Around 1952, they started intercepting him after work every so often, always the same two agents taking him to their black car for little “chats” to try to persuade him to give the names of other communists. As John Simkin has already guessed, he always refused. They put his file into dormancy when he moved to France in 1961, then re-activated it when he started writing about the Kennedy assassination. I hope you've all found the above clarifications helpful.
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