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Senator STENNIS (presiding). Mr. Secretary, we are sorry we were late getting back.
You knew, I suppose, that we had a vote coming up.
We will doubtless have others, but I think we will be here now for awhile.
I hope, too, that we are prepared to finish today. I believe you said, if necessary, you could come back after the evening meal.
TESTIMONY OF GEORGE W. BALL, UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE Resumed
Mr. BALL. That is true, sir. I am at the convenience of the committee.
Senator STENNIS. Senator Thurmond, will you proceed now, please, sir.
DISCUSSION ON COMMUNIST AS THE “ENEMY”—LITERAL AND FIGURATIVE
Senator THURMOND. Mr. Secretary, in a number of speeches which many States the trespasser can acquire title to the property if he conadversary” were deleted.
The typical reasoning for such State Department censorship is:
The use of the phrase “the enemy" by the Army Chief of Staff is inaccurate since the United States is not technically in a state of war and could be used to attack the peaceful intentions of the United States.
This has, in my mind, a very definite analogy to the legal situation where a person is unlawfully and without permission occupying and exercising domain over the real estate of another.
Under the legal doctrine of adverse possession which applies in many States the trespasser can acquire title to the property if he continues to occupy it for a specified period.
Now, during unlawful trespass, it is usually the case that no litigation has been commenced. Yet, if the owner of the real estate being adversely possessed by a trespasser refused to consider the trespasser as an adversary simply because no litigation had been formally commenced, one might liken him to an ostrich who at the first sign of danger buries his head in the sand so that he cannot see it.
Now, Mr. Secretary, even our own Supreme Court, after painstaking due process, has concluded that the Communists are dedicated to the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government.
I believe we have agreed here that the Communist goal is to dominate the world with what I believe you call “Communist tyranny."
Mr. Secretary, if our policy refuses to recognize the Communists as enemies, of our Nation and our people because we have not declared war on them and despite the fact that they have unofficially declared war on us and have been prosecuting war against us for years, how can we avoid characterizing our policy as the policy of the ostrich ?
Mr. BALL. Senator Thurmond, the word "enemy" in the American constitutional meaning, in the American constitutional system, has a very definite meaning. It implies normally a state of war. It implies,
in the usual situation, the declaration of war by a vote of the U.S. Congress.
Now, we have no such state of war existing between ourselves and the Soviet Union. To speak of war with communism, or of Communists being an enemy, is a figure of speech. It is not an accurate constitutional expression. For this term to be used by a military man is subject to misinterpretation.
If we are at war, then, presumably, we are prepared to take arms and engage in an offensive. None of those things, I think, are the
There are instances, isolated situations around the world, where there is shooting going on. But to say that the Communists are our enemy, or that the Soviet Union is our enemy, or that the Communist bloc is our enemy, is a figure of speech which, to my mind, serves no useful purpose for it to be used by a high military man and it is certainly subject to misinterpretation.
Now, if a general who is in command of vast military forces calls another nation or a group of nations an "enemy," then it serves the purposes of their propaganda much better than it serves our national purposes, it seems to me, because they can denounce it. They can say this demonstrates the thesis which they have been spreading: “That the United States is under the control of a military clique who regards us as an enemy."
And the use of this term, which has a precise constitutional meaning, in a loose, figurative meaning, I think, is not very useful when that use is by a military officer.
Senator THURMOND. Suppose somebody came up to you today and said: "Mr. Secretary, what country is the enemy of the United States?” What would your answer be?
Mr. Ball. Again, you have two kinds of uses of a word. You have a figurative use; and you have a literal use.
I would say that, as regards the literal use of the term, I would want to look at those countries where we had a state of war existing between us.
So far as the figurative use of the term is concerned, I could name a number of countries. If you say "potential enemy,” you are much more accurate. From my point of view, I would think that would be better. In my judgment, it would be better to use some expression which indicates the antagonism which we feel toward the Communist system, the danger which we foresee in the aggressive inclinations of international communism, without using a word which is subject to such misinterpretation.
Senator THURMOND. Do you consider any group or any country that is dedicated to the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government as an enemy of the United States?
Mr. BALL. "Potential enemy” might be a more accurate expression. Such a group has a system in opposition to us.
Senator THURMOND. You would not call it an “enemy," then. You would call it a “potential enemy”?
Mr. Ball. Figuratively speaking, you could call them an “enemy,' but, again, for a military officer to use that term would imply the existence of a state of war, and that certainly is not the case. Senator THURMOND. Mr. Secretary, we have troops in Korea today.
They are there for some purpose. Who is the enemy? Who is our enemy in Korea today up on the front lines?
Mr. BALL. The troops that are in Korea today are there to sustain the Korean Government and to help protect the integrity of Korea, but there is no shooting going on there.
Senator THURMOND. Who is the enemy? There must be some enemy there or we would not have troops there.
Mr. Ball. Well, no. We have troops many places in the world where there is no enemy but where there is a potential danger.
Senator THURMOND. Name some place where we have troops where there is no enemy.
Mr. Ball. We have troops in Berlin.
Mr. BALL. Let us be quite clear. We have troops in Berlin which were put there under the occupation arrangements which were made after the war.
What we are doing in Berlin is to insist on the maintenance of our troops there in order to protect our vital interests in Berlin. Now, to say that we have an enemy in Berlin is to use a figurative expression or to use an expression not in its literal meaning.
What we are trying to do is to make sure that our interests are protected, just as our troops in the Canal Zone are there to protect our vital interests, or as our troops are anywhere else in the world where we may have them for that purpose.
Senator THURMOND. Would you consider it a correct statement if anyone said that we are at war with communism?
Mr. Ball. I would consider it a figuratively correct statement. As a literal statement, being at war implies a state of war which is declared by the U.S. Congress. To say that we are at war with an abstraction, with an ideology, is a figurative use of the term.
-LITERAL AND FIGURATIVE
WHETHER WE ARE AT WAR WITH COMMUNISM
Senator THURMOND. I would just remind you that General Hamlett, the Vice Chief of Staff of U.S. Army, told this committee that we are at war with communism. If he is not posted on the policies of our country
Mr. BALL. He was using a figure of speech.
Senator THURMOND. It seems to me if the State Department is taking another view, it would be well to post these military people so they would know who our enemy is.
Mr. Ball. He was using a figure of speech.
Mr. BALL. In a figurative sense we have an opposition of ideologies, and we have a need to defend, to protect our vital interests around the world. When you say we are at war, this is an expression which, as I
say, has figurative and literal meanings. We are not literally at war.
Senator THURMOND. So you would not say we are at war with the Communists?
Mr. BALL. With the Communists or with communism in the one case?
Senator THURMOND. With communism.
Mr. BALL. One is an abstraction to say we are at war with communism.
Senator THURMOND. Those people who espouse the cause of communism, if you call them Communists or whatever you want to call them.
Mr. BALL. This is a quarrel over an ideology. To call it a war is a figurative use of the term. It is like saying we are at war with the devil or we are at war with sin.
Senator THURMOND. Is it not an economic war, an ideological war, a diplomatic war, a political war, as well as a military war?
Mr. Ball. Let us say that it is a contest, it is a struggle that is going on, on many fronts. The word "war” has historically a very definite military meaning. The word “war” constitutionally has a military meaning. It is a figure of speech when you use it in any other sense.
Senator THURMOND. I want to say that I personally agree with the statement made by General Hamlett.
DISTINCTION BETWEEN USE OF TERMS “ENEMY” AND “ADVERSARY”
Now, you justify, then, the deletion of the words “the enemy” or “our adversary," as I understand it?
Mr. Ball. I think "the enemy"
Senator THURMOND. The speeches that this is found in, I believe, are the ones that were sent over to you for explanation, Nos. 30, 137, 99, and 25.
So, regardless of when or what time it is used, it would be improper to use those terms; is that right?
Mr. BALL. I think the word "enemy" is a bad term to use, particularly for a military man. I think "adversary" is a word to which I would have no particular objection, but "enemy," I think, has a historical meaning which is misleading.
Senator THURMOND. So you would justify deleting the word "enemy” but you would not object to the word-I mean you would object to deleting“adversary”; is that it?
Mr. Ball. Yes, I think to delete “adversary” is, again, a little overzealous. I have no objection to "adversary.
Senator THURMOND. Mr. Secretary, men are creatures of habit. If we continue to avoid speaking or referring to the Communists as our enemies, then we cannot help but think of them in some other capacity. Do you think we can win the cold war if our officials are not
permeated with the realization that the Communists are our enemies?
Mr. Ball. Senator Thurmond, I think I have much more confidence in the American people than to think that whether one calls people "enemies” or “adversaries” is going to make the difference in the decisions that the American people make on their vital interests.
I think that we have to assume, necessarily, that there is a great deal of wisdom and perception in American public opinion, and that
it is not going to be disturbed, or is not going to be misled, if our military men use some term other than "enemy" in describing the Communist forces.
STATE DEPARTMENT POLICY ON STATEMENTS CONCERNING CUBA
Senator THURMOND. While we are on the subject of heads in the sand, I am reminded that in one of your explanations of a deletion you state that instructions had been given that the Cuban affair be discussed as little as possible.
I am fully aware that the Cuban situation is one of those things which none of us are particularly proud to discuss. Existence of a Communist base 90 miles from our shores is of great concern, however, to the American people.
The absence of official answers about the Cuban situation in our policy with regard to it leaves a vacuum that begs for rumormongering and false information.
Could you explain to us why it is that our officials are discouraged from talking about the Cuban situation?
Mr. Ball. This referred to a time right after the Cuban situation when this was a matter of discussion in the United Nations. It was a matter of discussion in international councils.
It was not regarded as particularly useful to have our military men discussing it because of the fact that we were under considerable attack from a number of countries in the councils of the U.N. and elsewhere for having committed what they held to be an aggressive act.
Now, again, without going into the wisdom of the Cuban affairand I think that there are many aspects of it which are regrettablethat it does not seem to me very helpful for us to give aid and comfort to those foreign interests that were attacking us.
Senator THURMOND. In speech No. 6, if you wish to refer to it there, by George W. Taylor, commanding officer, U.S. Army Research Office, Durham, N.C., at a youth seminar at Xavier University, Cincinnati
, June 15, 1961
Mr. BALL. Oh, here it is, yes.
Senator THURMOND. The State Department's comments on the deletion were:
Public criticism by military officers of major U.S. foreign policy decision is not considered in the national interest. The President had, in particular, given instructions that the Cuban affair be discussed as little as possible.
Do you know why he did not want it discussed ?
Senator THURMOND. Can you keep from discussing matters in a free nation?
Mr. BALL. This was in the period immediately after Cuba, as I say, when resolutions were being urged against us in the United Nations, when countries around the world who were not friendly to us were looking for occasions to attack the United States. For them to be able to quote an important military leader, it seems to us, would have simply given aid and comfort to those people that we were not wanting to help, to those who were against the U.S. interest.