home > archive > 2003 > this article
The other treason
By Bruce Walker
Ann Coulter, in her bold and brilliant book, Treason, notes that the fact of Americans betraying America to communism is not news. It is well known, but politically incorrect, truth. The trials that convicted Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs and other traitors were more than fair to the defendants. Indeed, the elites of America strongly supported these traitors.
Alger Hiss, after his conviction of perjury which was tantamount to conviction of treason, was made the President of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace. Hiss ultimately had his license to practice law restored, while Roy Cohn, the right-hand man of Senator Joe McCarthy, who was dying of cancer at the time, had his license to practice law revoked.
When Allan Weinstein began his book, Perjury, which was intended to exonerate Hiss (who Weinstein, as a liberal Democrat, had reflexively believed was innocent) the author gave to the surprising conclusion that Alger Hiss, darling of the left for the prior three decades, was guilty. My gosh! Really?
Evidence of the obvious and grand treason by communists within the American government grew over time. When Andrei Sakharov, the leading physicist in the Soviet Union and the Father of the Soviet H-Bomb, became a leader dissident, he stated publicly that the Soviet Union did not build the first fusion bomb without much help from spies in America.
This, in fact, is even more damning than the Rosenbergs' treason because their betrayal involved, among other things, data on the fission bomb - the atomic bomb - and not the vastly more powerful hydrogen bomb. And if anyone knew what the value of this espionage was, it was Sakharov, who won the Lenin Award for building the fusion bomb.
Still the left in America yawned. After the fall of the Soviet Union, historians and scholars had access to the direct files of the KGB, GRU and Communist Party of the Soviet Union. And, of course, a year or two earlier the files of the intelligence services of East Germany and Czechoslovakia, as well as the other Warsaw Pact nations, was made available to the world.
Everything reinforced the case for massive treason in America. Still the left yawned, and still history books talked about "McCarthyism" as the worst crime in American history and pretended that Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White were simply misunderstood progressives.
Then came the revelations of Venona. Now we knew almost everything. People who we did not even know had been spies, including members of the Congress of the United States, were exposed as traitors - ideological, or I suggest, often simply pragmatic traitors.
But this treason by government officials is only half of the story. The other betrayal of America to communism was even more damaging. Indeed, this treason is still with us. The Soviet Union did not just seek to infiltrate American government, but American society. This effort was not intended to aid the Soviet Union through espionage or the influencing of foreign policy, but to savage the American Dream.
The primary focus of this campaign was Hollywood and entertainment. Today, Venona and Soviet archives reveal how deeply communists burrowed into American society. John Webber, who was the head of the literary department of the William Morris Agency, was a communist agent. He reviewed screenplays for films, and through this pivotal position, Webber promoted films that demoralized and demonized America, while suppressing films with anticommunist themes.
Dalton Trumbo, who directed the film Kitty Foyle, was a communist. Trumbo, during the two years when communist were enthusiast supporters of Nazi Germany and Adolph Hitler, even wrote a book, The Remarkable Andrew, which celebrated the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. He was only one of several Hollywood directors who were actual, not putative, communists.
Writers like Lillian Hellman, who supported Stalinism until her death late in the Twentieth Century, was not only a communist but has been the subject of dreamy and sweet films and documentaries produced by Hollywood. The Screen Writers Guild was dominated by communists, typically actual agents of the Soviet Union.
How deeply did communists penetrate Hollywood? When George Murphy was elected to the board of the Screen Actors Guild, Murphy began receiving copies of The Daily Worker, the official newspaper of the Communist Party USA, simply because the editors of that periodical assumed that any member of the board of that organization was automatically a communist.
How deeply did this treason affect American films? There has never been a single dramatic film or television program about the Gulag. Hollywood, quite rightly, has made many films about the Holocaust and the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany, but Hollywood has never made a film about the other holocaust, the extermination of tens of millions of innocent people in the Soviet Union.
Perhaps the most contemptible act in modern history was the Soviet-Nazi Nonaggression Pact. These two monstrous nations divided up Europe and engaged in democide on a scale unprecedented in human history. Why is this ghastly deed not the proper subject for a film?
Consider that the oceans of evidence since 1991 has compelled the whole history of the Cold War to be rewritten: treason within the American government was actually worse than anyone thought. Has Hollywood considered the worst betrayal of America in our nation's history the proper subject for a film or television series? Hollywood has made dozens of films about "innocently" persecuted victims of "McCarthyism," like The Way We Were and The Front, but nothing at all about the history that we now know is true.
The television series M*A*S*H mocked patriotism and anti-communism. Yet anyone with the slightest sense can today see that the Republic of Korea - the nation which the oafish members of the M*A*S*H supported defending - is vastly better than the hellish regime in North Korea, perhaps the worst place on Earth. Why has there never been a television series about Korea or Vietnam which accurately portrays Americans as defending freedom from bloodthirsty and totalitarian regimes?
It is instructive that the very few films about communism like The Green Beret and Inchon were independently produced. Why? The utter moral and practical failure of Marxism is, in many ways, the story of the Twentieth Century, yet the entertainment industry utterly ignores this grandest crime against humanity.
During the 1960s and 1970s, rock music viciously attacked the American military, the Vietnam War, and every single real or imagined vice of American society. But why did it not produce a single song, with the exception of Sergeant Barry Sadler's The Green Beret, which attacked the horrible evil of the Soviet Union or stood up for the men who were defending our freedom?
What is starkly clear in American establishment entertainment is not criticism of America - done fairly and reasonably, that is a legitimate function of entertainment - but silence regarding Marxism and the one hundred million souls who died in communist torture chambers, cattle cars and concentration camps. No evil in America remotely approaches the harm which communists have caused to mankind. Yet no one in the establishment entertainment industry seems to care.
Why does this bias continue? Marxists did not just infiltrate the entertainment industry, but any movement or cause which it could corrupt from a righteous movement into anti-American poison. Feminism, for example, was once an honorable cause. The vast majority of feminists were Republicans, which championed the cause of suffrage and equal rights.
Betty Friedan changed that. Friedan lied about her life - maids did her housework and she spent little time as a wife or a mother, according to her ex-husband. She was also a Stalinist communist. The noble movement of feminism began the ugly jihad of today precisely because Friedan and other Marxists lied, pushed and maneuvered it into reflexive leftism.
Rosa Parks was a member of the Communist Party USA, and along with a few other African-American Marxists, she helped transform this good and principled movement into the absurdly and surreal stew of hate and bitterness which exists today. The rights of African-Americans were long championed by conservative Republicans, who for the last 150 years have consistently supported civil rights for African-Americans (pointedly, when it gave Republicans no political advantage at all.)
Academia, however, has probably been the most effective source of genuine Marxist strength. Phil and Moe Foner, the uncles of Eric Foner, President of the American Historical Association, were famous communists who were purged by leftist, but patriotic, Walter Reuther, longtime head of the United Auto Workers.
The Orwellian hatred of Americanism is now well known by almost every thoughtful American. Why do so many academicians loath the very nation which supports them in affluence and grants them so much influence and honor?
Because the entire culture of the establishment in America was consciously transformed by communists - sometimes by Soviet agents and sometimes by Marxist sympathizers - so that the very freedoms which America grants to writers, instructors, artists and composers would be turned like a dagger against America. This betrayal is the Other Treason.
Bruce Walker is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right. He is also a frequent contributor to The Pragmatist and The Common Conservative.
Other related stories: (open in a new window)
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!
© 1996-2020, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.