November 26, 2007
Holzer article: Archangel 1918 to Hanoi 1972
Beginning today, at http://www.therant.us, in the “commentary” section, there appears the first of a 6,000-word, five-part original series by Henry Mark Holzer. It is entitled “Archangel 1918 to Hanoi 1972.” If you think this story deserves to be widely known, please forward it to others with the request that the recipients do the same.
About the Series:
On November 24, 2007, American newspapers and international news wire services carried the obituary of John H. Noble. The Los Angeles Times headline read “John Noble, 84; wrote, lectured about captivity in Soviet camps. The obituary went on to explain how Noble, an American citizen, had survived World War II in Dresden, Germany, been “liberated” by Soviet troops in 1945, and then spent years as a slave “in the Vorkuta coal mine and prison complex near the Arctic Circle.”
Although for years the Soviets denied knowing anything about Noble, nearly ten years after his capture he was released. Afterwards, John Noble tried to make the American people understand that his was but one of countless similar stories-and that thousands of Americans had vanished behind the Iron Curtain at the end of the War.
But Noble’s story, as compelling and informative as it was, did not start early enough.
The fact is that as early as World War I, when American troops fought the Bolsheviks in Siberia, the communists snatched and captured Americans who then vanished into the black hole of the Soviet slave labor system. This communist tactic continued in the 1920s and 1930s, during and after World War II, throughout the Cold War, in the Korean War, and, needless to say, as an integral part of North Vietnamese strategy in the Vietnam war.
The following article reveals in detail this decades- long unspeakable communist abuse of American military and civilian personnel, and then focuses on one case in particular-that of Air Force Captain Michael Joseph Bosiljevac. Mike-the Electronic Warfare Officer in an F-105G, who earlier had worked in our atomic weaponry program-was shot down in late September 1972, he landed safely, and was never seen again.
Until, that is, 1987, when his skeleton was suddenly returned to United States custody-containing extremely suspicious coloration.
Mike’s story, and the tale of what began in the frozen wastes of Siberia and has not yet ended for countless Americans who vanished at the hands of communists, cries out to be told.
I do so in the following article. The paragraphs below introduce each Part, the full text of each appearing on the named day.
Monday. Part 1: Introduction
Since it was established as a distinct component of the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office in the fall of 1994, the Joint Commission Support Directorate has carefully examined a series of reports and sightings of U.S. servicemen held in the Soviet gulag, a network of penal camps that crisscrossed the former Soviet Union. Several points have become clear.
Tuesday. Part 2: Three Shooting Wars, One Cold War, One Invasion
In World War I, the Allies (United States, Britain, France, and Russia) fought the Germans on the Western Front in Europe until the Brest-Litovsk Treat of 1918, engineered by Lenin, pulled Russia out of the war with Germany. One result of the treaty was an Allied Expeditionary Force being sent to protect the Russian ports of Murmansk and Archangel from the Germans. In a campaign little known except to historians, Americans fought Soviet Bolshevik forces in the Archangel area of the Northern USSR. According to the Senate Report, “[a]s a result of the fighting against Soviet Bolshevik forces around Archangel in 1918-1919, there were many…eyewitness accounts of hundreds of U.S. and British and French personnel who disappeared.”
Wednesday. Part 3: The First and Second Vietnam Wars
The information contained in the Senate Report and in “The Gulag Study,” covering the period immediately after World War I to the eve of the Vietnam War- through World War II, the Cold War, and The Korean War-prove beyond any doubt that American military personnel were held captive in the Soviet Union over the course of some forty years, from approximately 1918 to 1960. Whether these men were held by Soviets, Chinese, or Koreans; whether they were enlisted or officers; whether they were native born or immigrants; whether they were pilots or had other military occupational specialties; whether they were wounded or not; whether they were arrested, kidnapped, shot down, survived crashes, not repatriated, or were POWs liberated by the Soviets from Germans and Japanese prison camps; or whether they or fell under communist control some other way-the unarguable fact is that thousands- upon-thousands of our countrymen lived, and died, in Soviet prisons, labor camps, “hospitals,” and other detention facilities.
Thursday. Part 4: The Case of Captain Michael Joseph Bosiljevac
As noted, there is overwhelming evidence that ever since Lenin’s gang took over the Soviet Union in 1917 communists worldwide have been using captured American military personnel “1) as leverage for political bargaining, 2) as an involuntary source of technical assistance, and 3) as forced labor.” As further noted, “there were two other purposes for which the communists used American POW/MIAs: 4) to obtain hard cash and needed goods, and, 5) to turn them into human guinea pigs.” Based on the available evidence, it is very likely that Mike Bosiljevac fell into at least two of these five categories.
Friday. Part 5: The Conclusion
In its 1978 reclassification of Mike from Missing in Action to Killed in Action-a gambit that saved the government a lot of money-the United States Air Force effectively wrote him off, literally and figuratively. Even though from time to time tireless MIA-seekers like Bill Bell would make inquiries to the Vietnamese about Mike Bosiljevac’s status, after 1978 our government officially would no longer make serious efforts to ascertain whether he might still be alive, or even whether he had lived for some time after his 1972 shoot down.
McCarthy: General Lawton punished for exposing Communists; General Zwicker rewarded for covering up for them
Wes Vernon column
McCarthy Part 6
General Lawton punished for exposing Communists; General Zwicker rewarded for covering up for them
November 26, 2007
The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy, spent the better part of a year (1953-1954) investigating efforts by Communists to infiltrate the ranks of the. As we mentioned in our last installment, it all began when the senator was tipped that the Rosenberg spy ring remained at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, after the Rosenbergs themselves were executed for their leading role. Herewith, a classic tale of how the CYA culture in Washington works:
Case No. 1 — Major General Kirke Lawton — the commanding officer of the post at Ft.— tried to fix the security problems he found there. He testified before McCarthy’s committee that his efforts met with resistance and/or indifference “at higher levels,” according to M. Stanton’s brilliantly documented book Blacklisted by History.
In the senator’s executive closed-door hearings — released a half century later in 2003 — General Lawton told the committee that he had made a chart of security risks that he had sent up through channels to. However, the general added that on the advice of — legal counsel to the Army Secretary who was present at the hearing — he was forbidden by a rule to disclose the number of security cases he had recommended for removal vs. those who actually were in fact removed.
“I would love to tell you,” Gen. Lawton added, “but I honestly feel that it is [a violation of the rules].”
said he understood Lawton’s position, but that “[i]t would be a good thing if the American people could learn that we have someone someplace who is kicking the Communists out.”
But at a later date…
Lawton: I have been working for the past 21 months trying to accomplish [getting security risks out] what has been accomplished in the last two weeks.
McCarthy: So that you would say that in the past several weeks you have been getting more effective results?
Lawton: Absolutely, than we have gotten for the past four years.
McCarthy: Could you tell us why it is only in the last 2 or 3 weeks that you have been getting effective results?
Lawton: Yes, but I had better not. I know this so well, but I am working for Mr. Stevens [Secretary of the Army]. (End of cited transcript)
Uh-oh! The general commits a boo-boo. He dares to imply that‘s pressure had something to do with the sudden activity. He will surely pay. The hearing was behind closed doors, but , counsel to Secretary Stevens, was present and he would make General Lawton an example of those who would not cooperate in a cover-up.
And Adams did in fact put General Lawton under pressure to ease up on security removals, as recorded in this telephone exchange between the two:
Adams: I hope you can see your way clear to withdraw certain cases which you have recommended for removal as bad security risks.
Lawton: I would not. Let the secretary take the responsibility.
General Lawton further cooked his goose when he gave a supposedly off-the-record briefing toworkers in which he reportedly praised McCarthy for encouraging action on security cases and also for the senator’s “fairness and courtesy” at the hearings. The remarks were leaked to the Asbury Park Press.
Getting rid of those who do the bidding of our enemies and then compounding the offense by cooperating with a duly authorized Senate committee! Not a team player at all, General. Shame on you.
Now let’s see, how’re we going to get rid of this guy?…
Relieving General Lawton of his command would surely have given McCarthy a reason to raise the proverbial roof. Buthas its ways of dealing with whistle-blowers without leaving fingerprints on the dirty deed.
So, here’s the plan: Tell the General to stop cooperating with McCarthy, put him on “medical disability,” and then tell the world that General Lawton is still “in charge” at. Visitors to his hospital room will say he seems to be in good health. But they won’t have our megaphone.
That script played itself out.
McCarthy was held at bay when Pentagon forces told his staff that if the general did appear before the committee again, there would be more punishment — like losing the benefits he was to receive as a long-serving member of the Army.
Once the heat was off, the Eisenhower administration finished the job. General Lawton was relieved of his command and the following year retired from active duty. His career was finished.
Case No. 2 — General Ralph Zwicker, perhaps profiting from General Lawton’s experience, took a different route when push came to shove.
But first, some background
McCarthy’s original tip on the doings at Ft.included the suggestion that Camp Kilmer, also located in , might be worthy of “some digging,” to quote Stan Evans in Blacklisted by History.
Following up on that and other tips, a McCarthy committee staffer, George Anastos, contacted the Kilmer commander, General Zwicker, who confirmed that a dentist — Dr. Irving Peress — was among the several suspects stationed there, and was scheduled to receive an honorable discharge.
Let me digress: At the time of the ensuing uproar of the Peress case, one of McCarthy’s critic said to me, “Look at all this fighting inand what does he [McCarthy] come up with? A pink dentist.”
But as Evans points out, a dentist’s office could be (and in fact had already been in previous spy cases) “a very good cover for clandestine operations, as all sorts of people might come and go there without attracting much attention.”
Secondly, the issue was lax security procedures, not about Peress per se. Last I checked, subversives supposedly were not eligible forservice.
Third, Peress was more than a “pink dentist.” He took the equivalent of the Fifth Amendment when asked about Communist Party membership. Before McCarthy’s committee, he pleaded the Fifth Amendment when asked if he’d attempted to recruit any military personnel at Kilmer into the Communist Party, whether there had been Communist Party meetings in his home attended by one or more military personnel, whether he himself happened to be a member of the Communist cell at Camp Kilmer, and if he had organized a cell at the military base.
Adams: “To hell with McCarthy”
McCarthy then fired off a letter to the Army — hand-delivered to the— urging that the honorable discharge be canceled, and that Peress instead be turned over for court martial. As fate would have it, Secretary Stevens was out of town, so the letter fell instead into the hands of Army counselor . In his memoirs, Adams says he decided, “In short, to hell with McCarthy,” and so the discharge was granted.
Back to Zwicker
Obviously, this whitewash leftmore than a little indignant. So he dispatched his committee staffer James Juliana to Camp Kilmer to interview the general. Juliana came back with a report to the senator that Zwicker would be an informative and friendly witness — that he opposed giving Peress an honorable discharge — especially given that it was Zwicker who had put the McCarthy committee on Peress’s case in the first place. And this happened after the general had gone through channels to protest Peress’s previous promotions. Juliana — the only known living McCarthy staff person — recently repeated the account of his experience to author Stan Evans who was preparing Blacklisted by History.
The general receives a visitor
Here is something with which McCarthy and Juliana had not reckoned:
The night before he was to appear before the committee, Zwicker received “a flying visit” from Army counsel Adams who specifically told him to back off.
Adams acknowledged as much in his later book Without Precedent, which was published in 1983 — nearly three decades later after the damage was done.
Unlike General Lawton, the “team-playing” General Zwicker folded like a cheap umbrella.
The next day at the hearing, McCarthy was not in his best form. His wife had been in a car accident the day before, and he had spent hours with her at the hospital until the wee hours and again on the day of Zwicker’s scheduled appearance. When he arrived for the hearing looking frazzled, his staffers wanted to postpone the session. But the senator insisted on going through with it. That turned out not to be to his advantage.
When Zwicker took the witness chair, he hemmed and hawed as if he had become a totally different person. He verbally fenced with McCarthy, refusing to answer many questions, claimed he didn’t know about Peress’s Red connections, and even said he didn’t know about the well-publicized fact that Peress had taken the Fifth Amendment.
The cat-and-mouse game went on until finally McCarthy asked him if a hypothetical general who signed the order to grant a security risk an honorable discharge should be kept in the military. Zwicker responded, “I do not think he should be removed from the military.”
Whereupon, McCarthy finally “lost it,” and fired a volley at the general that would haunt the senator in his upcoming battle to fend off attacks from his determined enemies. Said he, “Then, general, you should be removed from command,” adding that any general willing “to protect another general who protected Communists is not fit to wear that uniform, General.”
No winner in this bout
M. Stanton Evans is super cautious in his book — understandable when you’re crossing every “T” and dotting every “I” in making the case for the most reviled U.S. Senator of the 20th Century.
Accordingly, in my own interview with Evans — as well as in his book — he declines to go for the jugular, preferring to let the facts speak for themselves (facts which are not only convincing, but airtight). He does say that neither Zwicker nor McCarthy covered himself with glory at the hearing. Though the author believes McCarthy went over the line in telling a general he was not fit to wear his uniform, he also believes Zwicker gave the senator plenty of provocation.
In our interview, Evans also declines to make the flat charge that Zwicker committed perjury. Again, the reserve is understandable given his position. But when considering the hearing transcript and bearing in mind what we know about the Anastos and Juliana interviews, others — including this column — can read the hearing transcript and find it difficult to avoid the conclusion that General Zwicker was lying. If the general had been warned that telling the truth would damage his career, he could have asked his superiors to pass that word to the committee — as was done in General Lawton’s case. McCarthy never called Lawton back to testify once he was warned that to do so would jeopardize the general’s standing — benefits and all.
So McCarthy loses his temper while General Zwicker loses his integrity. Which is worse? The reader can decide, even if one does not justify the other.
The “team player” is rewarded
The investigation did not end there. The following year (1955), the committee — by then under Democrat control and chaired by Senator John McClellan (D-Ark.) pursued the case and referred Zwicker’s testimony to the Justice Department for consideration of perjury charges. Ike’s Justice Department took 19 months to respond and finally decide that (surprise!) the referral did not meet the “technical” requirements for a perjury indictment.
On January 17, 1957, General Zwicker was nominated for promotion to full rank as brigadier-general and temporary major general. At his confirmation hearing, the general was accompanied by Ike’s new Army Secretary Wilber Bricker and “a full array of Pentagon brass,” according to Blacklisted by History. The promotion zipped through the Senate.
Not bad for someone who had been a candidate for a perjury rap. He learned the Lawton lesson: Play ball or else. It’s amazing how someone can really go places inif he just plays ball, pushes principle to the back burner, cuts enough corners, and stands up like a man to his conscience. (To be continued)
Wes Vernon is a Washington-based writer and veteran broadcast journalist.
© Copyright 2007 by Wes Vernon
It’s Time for a New Look at Isolationism
By Christopher Nichols
Mr. Nichols is Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. He is an American historian currently completing a study of isolationism and internationalism in the United States during the Progressive Era. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson warned Americans at the nation’s birth to “steer clear of foreign entanglements.” It’s a warning we scoff at today – at our peril. We need a new approach, a new isolationism.
Time and again, Americans rightly return to see the merits of isolation during moments of perilous engagement abroad. One example of this from the recent past came during America’s involvement in Vietnam. As early as January 1965, Sen. Richard Russell Jr., a Georgian with aggressive views on American international policy, reluctantly admitted to the public, “We made a terrible mistake getting involved in Viet Nam.” As Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, he remarked, “I don’t know just how we can get out now, but the time is about at hand when we must re-evaluate our position.” Talking to Russell in a private conversation, President Johnson expressed deep doubts but saw no way out. “I don’t think anything is going to be as bad as losing and I don’t see any way of winning,” said LBJ. Journalist and pundit Walter Lippmann agreed. “If it is said that this is isolationism,” he wrote, “I would say yes. It is isolationism if the study of our own vital interests and a realization of the limitations of our power is isolationism.”
The less-than-hoped-for success of the “surge” in Iraq has led to similarly heartbreaking conclusions about the limits of U.S. military power. Modest security gains do not seem to be able to propel significant political change or overcome four years of unsuccessful efforts in Iraq to draw democracy out of chaos. Recent polls indicate that more than half of Americans are convinced that their leaders failed to calculate the consequences of the nation’s intervention and underestimated its long-term implications. Despite enormous sacrifices, the U.S. is still far from accomplishing a nation-building mission in Iraq.
In making new choices, the nation can learn from Washington and Jefferson. And we should look to the more recent lessons provided by the words of Johnson, Russell, and Lippmann. It is time to chart a middle path – avoid the extremes of heartless realism and brainless idealism – and blend cautious isolationism with active internationalism.
So how would this new isolationism look? Its core aim would be to avoid military conflicts. Isolationist principles would discourage an interventionist or preemptive foreign policy, but would not preclude self-defense. It would promote diplomatic strategies, rather than military approaches. History has shown that interventions often have unintended, unforeseen consequences, and getting out is hard to do.
The best course now in Iraq is not total disengagement, but redeployment. Overall, the U.S. should renew the “soft power” essential to meet the demands of the twenty-first century. That is, America should do what it does best — making the world a better place through education, science, development, culture, and free global trade. Lead by positive example.
Other foreign policy aims should be to boost U.S. prosperity with global economic growth while reducing anti-Americanism abroad. Jane Addams, the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, called this an “international consciousness.” A new isolationism would cultivate a comparable “consciousness” by strengthening transnational cultural ties in education and the arts, and increasing aid to the developing world. Hallmarks of this process should include an imaginative commitment to opportunities for national service, such as Peace Corps, VISTA, and Teach for America. And let’s revive efforts to provide the world with accurate information about America, such as through the U.S. Information Agency, and by expanding efforts to assist refugees and developing countries, such as through a revitalized U.S. Agency for International Development.
A policy of new isolationism also would mean a thoughtful effort to seize important challenges at home. Once a model for the world, much in America cries out for fixing. Let us take three symbolic examples that demand an inward focus: the dilapidated state of the nation’s bridges and transportation infrastructure, the threadbare capacity for public health and preparedness for pandemics, and the nine million uninsured poor children under age 18. Given sufficient means and commitment, these (and other) vital domestic national interests can be solved.
Unless we muster the wisdom of prudent isolationism and elect a leader bold enough to advocate it, the conflict in Iraq will match that of Vietnam. So, fellow citizens, let us heed the powerful injunction to steer clear of foreign entanglements and prolonged interventions abroad. Take a new look at the benefits of isolationism.
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November 26, 2007
Annapolis Equals de facto Recognition of Israel
By James Lewis
Expectations are generally low on the Annapolis Middle East Peace summit starting this week. Yet a strong case can be made that the mere fact of this meeting between the Arab countries, the Palestinians and Israel is the biggest breakthrough in Israel-Arab relations since the 1979 Peace Treaty with Egypt.
Nothing else needs to happen for this conference to be an historic landmark. Why? Because in diplomacy, sitting down with an enemy in public is equivalent to official recognition. The rest is just words — especially when any country’s leader can pick up the phone and talk privately to any other.
The first peace conference with wide Arab participation therefore partially resolves the long denial of Israel’s existence, one of the great stumbling blocks of the past sixty years.
Egypt’s Anwar Sadat created the first breakthrough in 1978 by traveling to Israel and literally kissing Golda Meir’s cheek in public. President Sadat was an extraordinary leader, who paid for his breakthrough with his life. Egypt recovered the Sinai Desert in that peace treaty, but the Sadat model found no imitators, because nobody else was willing to risk assassination. Instead, there have been de facto peace arrangements with Jordan, Lebanon, and perhaps even Syria. The long Jordan-Israel border has not seen war since 1974. Step by quiet step, the biggest flashpoints of the past have gone quiet.
We have not taken much note of that because the Palestinian conflict has seized all the headlines. But we cannot fail to notice that nation-to-nation warfare has lessened dramatically over time.
Behind-the-scenes contacts between Israel and Jordan have been going on for decades. The Saudis have apparently been having serious discussions with Israel for a few years. Yet nobody has been willing to make those meetings public. Every Arab government at Annapolis is taking the risk of domestic outrage (or worse) from the mere fact of its attendance — which is why they are doing it together, to diffuse opposition and avoid the fate of Saddat.
So this conference is already an history landmark, which should go to the credit of SecState Condoleezza Rice and George W. Bush. It is already a diplomatic coup, but Rice and Bush won’t get the credit in the media. This administration cares more about substance than being fawned upon, and that is the adult thing to do. As Ronald Reagan put it, it’s amazing how much you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.
So the media have it wrong, as usual. All the buzz is about the results of this conference, and everybody is pessimistic about that.
But that’s not the real story. The real story is why it is happening. A tectonic shift has taken place in the Middle East, because suddenly the Arabs and Israel have a common enemy, Khomeinist Iran. The danger posed by Ahmadi-Nejad has eclipsed all the old antagonisms. Ahmadi-Nejad has publicly threatened all the Arab participants — along with France, Germany, the United States and of course Israel. He’s a scary guy, leading a scary regime, which is going to get a scarier very soon. Iran was deliberately excluded from Annapolis.
The Iranian threat is responsible for the long secret talks that have already taken place among the participants. The Saudis, for example, may be sharing intelligence about the Khomeinist regime with the US and Israel. It is virtually certain that Turkey, Egypt and Jordan are doing so. The fact that Syria is going to the Annapolis conference in spite of Israel’s bombing of its secret nuclear facility ten weeks ago is remarkable: It suggests that Syria, an Arab regime, is not entirely comfortable in the clutches of the Khomeini regime either.
Those concerned about the survival of Israel are skeptical about Annapolis, pointing to the failure of the Gaza withdrawal and other peace moves. Others are cautiously positive. Nobody expects a big breakthrough. Cautious, step-by-step confidence building seem a lot more sensible.
We may see some symbolic concessions, along with a willingness to keep talking. The most significant symbol would be extraterritoriality for part of Jerusalem, to give the Palestinians a giant symbolic presence in Jerusalem with minimal security risks. Since the top of the Temple Mount is already controlled by the Muslim Waqf, extraterritorial status there might make little practical difference.
Palestinian control of some Arab neighborhoods might be dangled as the next carrot. That could serve as an incentive for further progress.
The real kicker comes from ceding Israeli territory that has real strategic value. This is a tough one. Arguably, in the nuclear age, a checkerboard population of Arabs and Jews would help protect the Holy Land from nuclear assault. Even the Iranians might think twice about destroying tens of thousands of Muslim Arabs.
As strategist Anthony Cordesman has just made clear, a nuclear exchange would be the end of Iran and Syria, and of part of Israel. Cordesman’s report makes for very grim reading. That is the worst-case scenario everybody is trying to avoid.
The irony is therefore that the regime in Tehran is actually driving the Arab world to make peace. In doing so, the Arab League may also be clearing the way for a conventional air attack on Iran’s known nuclear facilities, presumably by Israel with the tacit consent and help from both the Arabs and Americans. Nobody wants these suicidal ideologues to have nukes — certainly not their Arab neighbors. So they will voice outrage in public and privately thank Allah if the strike succeeds. A successful strike may set Iran’s nuclear program back by half a dozen years. A rigorous sanctions regime could help weaken the regime further.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. This is just one. If Annapolis comes off reasonably well, we should all count ourselves lucky.
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/11/annapolis_equals_de_facto_reco.html at November 26, 2007 – 06:11:16 AM EST
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