« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
I would dispute it.
You bypassed several military commandsand so on-my recollection is the letter was sent to Mr. Singleton by me. The letter was coordinated, my recollection is, with various activities in the Department.
The notification should at least have passed through the Army commander who has the responsibility and the interest of improving public relations at the local command level.
This is a statement attributed to nobody and I pass it over.
SYLVESTER CORRESPONDENCE IN CONNECTION WITH SEMINAR IN 4TH
Senator THURMOND. Did your correspondence go through the 4th Army commander, who has responsibility in the interest of improved public relations at the local command level ?
Mr. SYLVESTER. My correspondence did not go through the 4th Army commander who has no responsibility for letters addressed to me or for answering them. It was coordinated and my responsibility is coordinating all military public affairs with the effective military components or other military components in the military department, as pointed out.
Senator THURMOND. Colonel Blythe, the G-2 of 4th Army, had staffed several highly successful cold war seminars in conjunction with the other services. I am convinced a helpful letter from you suggesting alternatives to the problem which had developed in Shreveport would have accomplished not only the education objective of the seminar, but made additional friends for the military service.
Mr. SYLVESTER. I would certainly suggest if the 4th Army had come to me and not second-guessed the matter, as apparently they are now doing, I would have been only too happy to make suggestions, and I am sure I would have plenty of suggestions.
Senator THURMOND. Do you not feel your letter caused the chamber of commerce to get the impression that the Department of Defense was creating obstacles in public relations for the services ?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I have no such feeling. I am sure if the chamber of commerce believed in their activity, there is nothing in my letter to denigrate or change their belief.
DISCUSSION ON KINTNER ARTICLE IN READER'S DIGEST
Senator THURMOND. I have here, Mr. Secretary, a special reprint from a Reader's Digest article. It is the last month's Reader's Digest, I believe, entitled “The Insidious Campaign To Silence the Anti-Communists,' by William R. Kintner. That is Colonel Kintner?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I honestly don't know.
Mr. SYLVESTER. I don't think I do, Senator. It doesn't strike any bell.
Senator THURMOND. It is by Colonel Kintner, retired. He describes the suppression of cold war seminars. Have you seen this article ?
Mr. SYLVESTER. No, I don't think I have, Senator.
Senator THURMOND. “The Insidious Campaign To Silence the AntiCommunists."
What is your comment on this quote from the article:
Last spring the Reds were handed a perfect opening wedge: discovery by the press of the extremist John Birch Society, plus a later revelation that one U.S. general was a member. This was enough to set some of our most infuential newspapers off on a chase to show, with slim pickings for proof, that numerous officers were indoctrinating their commands in the civilian population with Birchite-type theories. This in turn was all that Gus Hall, boss of the U.S. Communist Party, needed to thunder that “even the Pentagon had to admit recently that it was worried over the extent of Birchite and similar influences among the ranking officers of the military services."
The controversy over rightwing “extremists” mounted. Often the shooting missed the main target and strafed legitimate anti-Communists and educational programs with a spray of "guilt by association.” Among those to be hit were the strategy seminars.
The furor reached its peak last summer when none other than the influential chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, William Fulbright, dispatched a memorandum to the Pentagon castigating the seminar program.
Omitting any comment about Senator Fulbright, what is your reaction to that excerpt from Colonel Kintner's article?
Mr. SYLVESTER. My reaction is, he is a poor reporter and a worse writer,
UNSIGNED LETTER BY FORMER NAVAL OFFICER TO NEW AMERICA
Senator THURMOND. The manner in which leftwing organizations aid the suppression of this essential military and Reserve training is demonstrated by this publication, the American Ultras. It includes a reprint of a letter allegedly written by a “former naval officer, name withheld by the editors of the New America 'for obvious reasons,' stationed at USNS at New Orleans."
This letter written to the Socialist Party editor of New America, says in part:
Mr. Schwarz was equally effective in separating the sailor from his cash. He had a variety of books, pamphlets, subscriptions, memberships, etc., for sale, and I was amazed at the response.
The 2-day visit of Mr. Schwarz to the naval station did not end his influence on the 8th Naval District. His speeches were recorded by Navy machines on Navy types by naval technicians. Copies of these tapes were distributed by the Chaplain's Office, 8ND, to the various Reserve components throughout the 8th Naval District. For example, listening to these tapes was required of all the officers in the Naval Reserve intelligence program, SND. Hence the number of naval officers and men who listened to the speeches of Mr. Schwarz numbered well into the thousands.
You can see, then, why I was interested in your article. I've seen Mr. Schwarz in action and can testify from experience that he is a powerful influence against liberal thought. Sincerely,
A Former Naval Officer Stationed at USNC, Nero Orleans. This is 1 of the 11 seminars referred to by Mr. Fulbright. Are you familiar with that seminar held in New Orleans ?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I was familiar at the time, 6 months ago. At the moment, the details have gone by, so much has happened since.
As I understand it, the question is about an unsigned letter by somebody who is alleged to be somebody and my own experience in this field is that I don't find that unsigned letters should bear much credence. It may be a phony.
Senator THURMOND. Well, I stated the publisher.
Mr. SYLVESTER. I don't think we should pay too much attention to unsigned letters.
Senator THURMOND. The name was withheld.
Mr. SYLVESTER. Well, you know, in some publications, the publications write the letters themselves. With an unsigned letter, I am afraid I can't put much credence in it.
QUESTION OF SYLVESTER RESPONSE TO LA PRENSA ON SAN ANTONIO
Senator THURMOND. The next page, 21, concerns the 4th Army seminar. It states:
When Arthur Sylvester, Assistant Secretary of Defense, was contacted about this affair by La Prensa, an English-Spanish newspaper, he said the 4th Army is “lending administrative assistance, not cosponsoring the seminar," but the public information officer of the 4th Army, Lt. Col. John Thisler, saw it differently. According to the Texas Observer, when asked “if the 4th Army was cosponsoring the program or merely giving assistance to it,” Thisler replied, “Either way you want it-cosponsoring or supporting—it means the same thing." The seminar was held as scheduled.
Is this, to your recollection, an accurate reflection of your answer to La Prensa?
Mr. SYLVESTER. My recollection is yes, it is, because that is what the Army Chief of Information gave to me. You are referring to the paper in San Antonio, are you not?
Senator THURMOND. Yes.
Mr. SYLVESTER. My contact with the 4th Army or any Army is through the Chief of Information and not direct. My contact with what
took place at San Antonio was never direct, but always through the Chief of Information of the Army, and this is the proper and normal procedure.
Sentor THURMOND. Is this an accurate report of Colonel Thisler's comments, do you remember?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I have not any idea. As I understand the way it was read by you, Senator, this is a report of what he told a paper and I do not know what he told a paper.
Senator THURMOND. Mr. Secretary, La Prensa attacked the San Antonio seminar mainly in columns by Nancy Phillips.
Mr. SYLVESTER. I remember.
Senator THURMOND. This one said: “Defense Department Rips Seminar." Did
you have contact with Miss Phillips, either by mail or by telephone?
Mr. SYLVESTER. My recollection is Miss Phillips called me. In fact, there is either a telegram from them or-I think there is a telegram in which I asked the Army to give me information to respond to this with. There may have been a telephone call subsequently, but this is subject to checking my memory.
LA PRENSA SMEAR OF THURMOND
Senator THURMOND. Now, La Prensa also attempted to smear me by making vicious remarks concerning so-called racism on my part. It headlines that a Mr. Lulac, whom I do not know, will throw rotten eggs should I make remarks concerning the NAAĆP. I would call this hatemongering, would you not?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I am very unhappy to hear that you were smeared by that paper or any other paper, Senator.
WHETHER SOCIALISTS HAVE PART IN MAKING COLD WAR EDUCATION POLICY
Senator THURMOND. In reading between the lines of Miss Phillips' articles, I have the feeling that she is a Socialist. Just the other day, we were told by Mr. Ball how anti-Communist the Socialists are. But if the Socialists are against the military cold war education for the active services, and through the Reserves and National Guard aiding in educating our citizen soldiers, then I am quite apparently against the Socialists. You do not think the Socialists of America should have a part in making the military policy on cold war education, do you?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I think the responsibility for making the cold war education policy lies in the Department of Defense, Senator, under the law.
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN SYLVESTER AND NORMAN THOMAS
Senator THURMOND. Norman Thomas complained about the New York Militia program of cold war education involving the National Guard and the Governor of the State. Mr. Thomas told me recently he had written you, also. What have you told him about the need for cold war education of the U.S. military?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I have no recollection of what I may or may not have told him. I shall be glad to look up to see if there has been correspondence between us. My recollection is that early in 1961, soon after I took office, there may have been a letter from him, but there are hundreds of letters and I do not pretend to remember them all.
Senator THURMOND. You do not remember what you wrote and what you put into the letter?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I do not remember that he did write on any cold war subject. I would be happy to look it up and see.
Senator THURMOND. Would you look up the letter from Mr. Norman Thomas about cold war seminars, and would you place the letter and your reply in the record here?
Mr. SYLVESTER. If there is one, I would be happy to. (The information requested is as follows:)
DECEMBER 4, 1961. Mr. NORMAN THOMAS, Social Party-Social Democratic Federation, New York, N.Y.
DEAR MR. Thomas: This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of November 22 to the Secretary of Defense, inclosing a report entitled "The Ultra Right and the Military-Industrial Complex". Your interest in this matter is appreciated. Sincerely,
SOCIALIST PARTY/SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC FEDERATION,
New York, N.Y., November 22, 1961. Hon. ROBERT S. MCNAMARA, Secretary of Defense, The Pentagon, Washington, D.O.
DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Enclosed please find a report prepared by the Socialist Party-Social Democratic Federation on the activities of extremist ultra-right groups and their impingement upon the Armed Forces of the United States.
I am sending you this material because I am convinced of your deep concern for the maintenance of civilian control over the country's Military Establishment and all other provisions of the United States Constitution that pertain to the Armed Forces and to the rights of American citizens.
Your ruling banning ultra-rightist indoctrination of members of the Armed Forces by officers who hold extreme radical right views, and the action of the Army in the case of General Walker were gratifying. Nevertheless, as we believe the enclosed report demonstrates, such unconstitutional actions on the part of various officers are continuing. The members of the Armed Forces who are under the command of such officers and the civilian populations in areas where such officers are stationed continue to be subject to a barrage of inaccurate and reactionary propaganda which, as President Kennedy recently explained, identifies communism with socialism, socialism with welfare measures, and welfare measures with the Democratic Party.
It is my very strong conviction that it is vital that the Department of Defense strengthen enforcement of your ruling preventing extreme ultra-right elements from using the Armed Forces as a vehicle for their political work and apply it in the cases cited in our report.
The most relevant sections of the report are chapters IV and V, entitled respectively “The Fulbright Memorandum” and “Camouflage Strategy." Respectfully yours,
THE ULTRA RIGHT AND THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
V. Camouflage Strategy.
X. Racism, Politics and the Ultras.
Published by Socialist Party-Social Democratic Federation, 303 Fourth Avenue,
New York 10, N.Y.
The Nation's democratic freedoms, and the peace of the world, are seriously menaced by the American Ultras.
It was Senator Fulbright who first suggested the analogy between the radical right in the United States and the French generals—the Ultras—who attempted to overthrow the DeGaulle government because of their opposition to Algerian independence. Fulbright correctly pointed out that one cannot simply equate the French plotters with the American rightwing, particularly the military. But he went on to say, "Nevertheless, military officers, French or American, have some common characteristics arising from their profession and there are numerous military "fingers on the trigger' throughout the world."
Fulbright's concern had been aroused by one of the most important aspects of the development of the American Ultras: Generals and admirals utilizing the Armed Services for the dissemination of extreme rightwing propaganda.
This is not to suggest a plot theory of malevolent reaction. On the contrary, the problem of the American Ultras is extremely serious precisely because one here confronts, not a handful of fringe fanatics, but significant social forces in American society moving toward the politics of radical reaction.