Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ordeal by Lattimore IV (Here's mote in your eye!)

As we wrote in the immediately preceding post--Lattimore III--the slander of McCarthyism (supposedly, making up facts and telling lies about innocent people) has its origins in the 1950 book Ordeal By Slander. Which miraculously (Owen Lattimore's description) was published in July of that year, after Lattimore's testimonies before The Senate Tydings Committee in March through May. The Tydings committee concluded its proceedings in that same July.

So, for the edification of Tom Meyer of Ricochet, as well as his designated homework doer Michael Moynihan, we offer this, selected almost at random, from Prof. Lattimore's  (when he thought he was home free) paean to his own martyrdom;
I wonder a bit how a man so young as Joseph McCarthy [HSIB note; he was 42 years old at the time, Lattimore all of 50], whose acquaintance with national and international affairs is so recent [HSIB note; he was a Marine Corps veteran of WWII], can have become such a great expert on the difficult and complex problem of China and the Far East. My wonder on this score increased when I read his speech on the Senate floor. Some of his material is from Chinese and Russian sources. Or perhaps I should say that some of his exotic material on Mongolia appears to trace back to some Russian source of distinctly low caliber.

I did not know that the Senator was a linguist. But really, the material that the Senator read is so badly translated and so inaccurate that I am sure that I should not like to place the blame for in the learned Senator. Indeed, I fear that the sound and fury come from the lips of McCarthy, but that there is an Edgar Bergen in the woodpile.
Get it? Charlie McCarthy was Edgar Bergen's dummy! Oh, Owen was quite a card. And this clever witticism is from Lattimore's testimony to the Tydings Committee. He's so enamored of it that he repeats it a few pages later;
Senator McCarthy, without, I am sure, knowing what he is about, has been and is the instrument or the dupe of a bitter and implacable and fanatical group of people who will not tolerate any discussion of China which is not based upon absolute, total and complete support of the Nationalist Government in Formosa. They do not hesitate-they even insist on--policies that potential allies of ours in India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and other countries will call ruthless imperialism. ....

But I am sure that the methods of that faction of these people who are McCarthy's Edgar Bergen [our bold], are wrong--as wrong as they can be. Their methods are to intimidate persons like me and even officials of the United States Government from expressing views that are contrary to their own. Their weapon of intimidation is McCarthy's machine gun: namely, accusation of disloyalty and traitorous conduct. I get a certain amount of wry amusement out of the fact that some of these people are acknowledged ex-Communists. Perhaps that status gives them a special right to criticize those of us who do not happen to be Communists, ex or otherwise. Certainly, it provides them with ideal training and unique skill for the kind of campaign of vilification and distortion that the so-called China Lobby is conducting through the instrumentality of the Senator from Wisconsin.
Of course, Owen isn't just saying all this for himself. Nope, he's the champion of all those ink-stained wretches who will be filing stories on his testimony;
I say to you, gentlemen, that the sure way to destroy freedom of speech and the free expression of ideas and views is to attach to that freedom the penalty of abuse and vilification. If the people of this country can differ with the so-called China Lobby or with Senator McCarthy only at the risk of the abuse to which I have been subjected, freedom will not long survive.
If you think that that is a masterpiece of self-unawareness, how about what Lattimore did to discredit one of those ex-Communists who testified that he'd known Lattimore was a Communist when he, Louis Budenz, had been editor of The Daily Worker. Which was to produce (miraculously?) a transcript of a deportation hearing in which Budenz had testified;
Beginning at page 143 of this transcript Budenz admitted that even before he joined the Communist Party he engaged in certain personal activities which, to say the least, are offensive to accepted standards of decent and conventional behavior. .... These indications of Budenz's sordid personal life ....
Since that time [of leaving the Communist Party] he has been engaged in commercial exploitation of his own sordid past, resorting to methods which, in my opinion, are a menace to our society.
No estimate given by Lattimore how long freedom could survive such abuse as he was subjecting Louis Budenz. Nor of this abuse of Joe McCarthy heaped upon him by Lattimore, in later testimony;
The Senator...gave voice to ...a defense of the Nazi SS generals who massacred defenseless American soldiers and a large civilian population in the infamous brutality of Malmedy. .... I hope with all my heart that Joe McCarthy will come to understand that the principles of justice and fairness which he loudly proclaimed on behalf of the Nazi murderers are also the birthright of American citizens.
Which is a reference to the fact that McCarthy had listened to and acted upon complaints from an American military officer about the mistreatment of German soldiers who'd been tried for War Crimes in the Malmedy Massacre during the Battle of the Bulge. Complaints so serious that the Army formed the Simpson Commission to investigate, and one of whose members wrote; All but two of the Germans in the 139 cases we investigated had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair. This was standard operating procedure with our American investigators.

Did Lattimore mean he was in favor of such treatment of enemy soldiers?

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