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Posted on 11/13/2005 2:31:18 PM PST by factfinder200
DAN SMOOT: "Conspiracy Expert" ?
It probably is not much of an exaggeration to observe that, eventually, every right-wing conspiracy proponent gets around to quoting Dan Smoot as an expert witness about matters pertaining to the "Master Conspiracy" operating in the United States.
Many conspiracy authors cite Dan's 1962 book, The Invisible Government, for its unique insights based upon his "inside knowledge" as a former FBI Special Agent.
In late 1993 I read Dan's autobiography entitled People Along The Way. I was curious about Dan's explanation for why he decided to leave the FBI (pages 181-184 of his book) especially since I had received preliminary documents from the FBI which seemed to contradict Dan's explanation.
In January 1994 I decided to write to Dan to seek further information. In my letter, I quoted a single paragraph from an FBI document I had received which stated that, shortly before his resignation from the Bureau, Dan "was censured, placed on probation, and transferred due to several unfounded charges against his SAC." [Special-Agent-In-Charge of an FBI Field Office].
Dan replied to me on January 24, 1994. In his letter, Dan wrote:
"Your source says that I was censured and placed on probation. If so, I never heard about it before reading your letter. I never received any kind of notice, written or oral, from anyone, that I had been censured and put on probation. I assumed that my transfer to Savannah was a disciplinary transfer, but it was not designated as such when delivered to me."
That is where matters stood until July 24, 2003 when Dan died. I then sent a Freedom-of-Information-Act request to the FBI for his personnel file. I received documents in July 2004 and July 2005.
It turns out that Dan had been censured on three occasions during his relatively brief FBI career. According to his personnel file, the final occasion came about as a consequence of an inspection of the Dallas field office where Dan was assigned.
First, let's review Dan's explanation of the pertinent events. Afterward I will provide the Bureau's explanation:
DAN SMOOT'S EXPLANATION FROM HIS JANUARY 24, 1994 LETTER TO ME:
"I liked and admired my last boss in the FBI (Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Office), but five or six other experienced agents frequently complained about him. While the Dallas office was being inspected, they talked me into telling the Inspector that the SAC apparently had a personnel problem: but, when interviewed by the inspector, not one of them backed me up. This converted my considerable friend, the SAC, into a bitter enemy. It was he, I assume, who caused me to be transferred out of the Dallas office. I hold no grudge or ill-will toward him for this. I stupidly thought I was acting for the good of the service when I suggested the inspector try to help him with any personnel problem he might have; he, naturally, thought I stabbed him in the back for no reason at all."
"I tried to put this in my book as one of my FBI experiences; but it seemed incomprehensible unless fleshed out with explanations, names, personalities, and details about the inner workings of the FBI family. With all that added, the incident was much too long, too dull, to pointless."
"Now, your letter of January 20, 1994 comes as a thunderclap of news: that 1951 event which I cast aside as trivial was, by far, the most significant of all my FBI experiences. Apparently, it has forever branded me, in the FBI file, as a villain; and I had always had very good or excellent ratings before then."
DAN'S CLAIM THAT HE HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF HIS CENSURE OR PROBATION:
Dan's personnel file contains a copy a May 15, 1951 censure letter written by J. Edgar Hoover which was mailed to Smoot at the Dallas field office. Here is the text:
"The Bureau has reviewed information developed during the course of the recent inspection of the Dallas Division, at which time you submitted a memorandum setting out certain criticisms of your Special Agent in Charge (SAC) and it has been ascertained that you were aware of certain discussions on the part of other Agents assigned to your office, which were critical of the manner in which your SAC handled a phase of the case involving (name deleted). It is further noted that these matters came to your attention in November 1950 but you took no action for the purpose of informing the Bureau until your discussion with the Inspector. You were also critical of the manner in which your SAC conducted an inquiry into certain complaints which had been made against a former Special Agent who was assigned to the Dallas Division, and it has been determined that such criticisms on your part were entirely unwarranted."
"The above matters are most certainly not in keeping with the standards expected of Bureau agents. Accordingly, you are being placed on probation; it will be incumbent upon you to establish by the proper performance of your duties and by your careful fulfillment of all your responsibilities as an Agent that you are qualified and properly disposed to continue in that position. Should there be any recurrence of the dereliction mentioned above, more severe administrative action may become necessary."
In addition Dan received an interim "Special Efficiency Report" covering his performance from April 1, 1951 to his resignation. Dan was rated "unsatisfactory" in the following category:
"Attitude (including dependability, cooperativeness, loyalty, enthusiasm, amenability, and willingness to equitably share workload.)"
Attached to this report was a SAC memo. Directly underneath the final paragraph of the SAC memo (text shown below) Dan entered his initials to confirm receipt of the Special Efficiency Report and the SAC memo.
The final paragraph was:
"During the course of a recent inspection in the Dallas Division this agent submitted a memorandum setting out certain criticisms of the SAC and was critical of the manner in which the SAC conducted an inquiry into certain complaints which had been made against a former Special Agent who was formerly assigned to the Dallas Division. It was determined that such criticisms on the part of this agent were entirely unwarranted. As the result of this agent's unfounded complaints, by letter dated May 15, 1951, the Bureau placed this agent on probation and transferred him from the Dallas Division to the Savannah Division." [HQ 67-263689, serials #145-#148; my emphasis in bold]
By letter dated June 8, 1951, Dan resigned from the Bureau.
THE BUREAU'S EXPLANATION OF WHAT TRANSPIRED DURING THE INSPECTION OF THE DALLAS OFFICE:
"He [Smoot] misinterpreted, repeated and set forth in a memorandum to the Inspector allegations which were entirely incorrect He unjustly criticized the SAC concerning the SAC's handling of an inquiry which resulted in the resignation of a former Special Agent. He failed to notify the Bureau or the SAC of the existence of the above-mentioned allegations It was evident during the course of the interview that Smoot had an intense dislike for the SAC. He admitted he did resent the SAC in agents' conferences making grammatical errors while expressing himself He also stated the agents of the office had no respect for the SAC, and it was determined this opinion was not shared by other agents. By letter dated 5/15/51 he was censured, placed on probation, and ordered under transfer to the Savannah office."
The Bureau Agent who conducted the inspection of the Dallas office (Gerald C. Gearty) recommended 4 actions against Smoot:
"1. That he be transferred to another division
2. That he be placed on probation
3. That he be suspended for 10 days without pay.
4. That he receive a severe letter of censure."
[See HQ 67-263689, #144; 5/4/51 memo from H.L. Edwards to Mr. Glavin]
Gearty's 60-page report concerning Smoot's charges was sent to J. Edgar Hoover on April 24, 1951. It includes a 4/9/51 memo by Smoot in which he summarized, from his perspective, the events that occurred and how he became involved.
In his memo, Smoot admits that "I had only hearsay information" with respect to "serious charges against two Bureau officials" which he had not reported prior to the inspection of the Dallas office but which subsequently became the basis of his allegations about his SAC.
DAN SMOOT'S CLAIMS ABOUT HIMSELF AFTER RETIRING FROM THE FBI
Dan described himself as follows in a biographical sketch appearing in the 8/3/56 issue of Dan Smoot Report. I have highlighted two portions in bold type which I will discuss momentarily.
"Dan Smoot was born in Missouri. Reared in Texas, he attended SMU in Dallas, taking BA and MA degrees from that university in 1938 and 1940. In 1941 he joined the faculty at Harvard as a Teaching Fellow in English, doing graduate work for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the field of American Civilization. In 1942 he took a leave of absence from Harvard in order to join the FBI. At the close of the war, he stayed in the FBI rather than return to Harvard. He served as an FBI Agent in all parts of the nation, handling all kinds of assignments. But for three and a half years, he worked exclusively on communist investigations in the industrial midwest. For two years following that, he was on FBI HQ staff in Washington, as an Administrative Assistant to J. Edgar Hoover."
Dan's claim that he worked "exclusively on communist investigations" for "3 ½ years" is contradicted by his 1993 autobiography. In that autobiography, Dan wrote that he was assigned to the Communist squad in Cleveland for three years but speaking engagements and training "took up much of my time during the remaining months of my tenure in the Cleveland office (and) gave me considerable relief from Communist duty " [Dan Smoot, People Along The Way, Tyler Press, 1993, p162.]
Dan's personnel file reflects that he did work on investigations involving Communist infiltration of labor unions, but there is nothing to support Dan's claim that he worked "exclusively" on Communist matters. His autobiography also mentions that he found this work to be boring and tedious.
Administrative Assistant to J. Edgar Hoover:
With respect to Dan's claim that he worked as an "Administrative Assistant to J. Edgar Hoover", I have recently received a definitive memo from the FBI which discusses this matter. I quote extensively from it:
The memo is captioned:
"Former Special Agent Howard D. Smoot: Use of Title Administrative Assistant"
"Purpose: To report results of a review of the personnel file of captioned individual and references in Bureau files to determine if former SA Howard D. Smoot, better known as Dan Smoot, was ever referred to in Bureau correspondence or biographical sketches as an Administrative Assistant to the Director.
"Dan Smoot: Former SA Howard D. Smoot entered on duty with the Bureau on March 23, 1942 and resigned on 6-15-51 while assigned to the Dallas office. He had worked in the Portland, San Francisco, Dallas and Cleveland offices prior to being transferred to the Bureau (HQ) in October 1946. After serving a short time in the Investigative Division, he was transferred on 2-15-47 to the Crime Records Section where he remained until transferred to Dallas for health reasons in November 1948. On May 15, 1951, Smoot was censured, placed on probation and transferred to the Savannah office because of his failure to inform the Bureau earlier of information in his possession concerning misconduct of others in the Dallas office, and for making unfounded charged against his SAC. Thereafter, he resigned."
"In June 1951, Smoot began working for `Facts Forum', a group financed and backed by the millionaire oil man H.L. Hunt, owner and operator of the Hunt Oil Company. Smoot resigned from `Facts Forum' in July 1955 and thereafter operated privately as a commentator and publisher of a newssheet entitled `The Dan Smoot Report'. This report was the subject of SAC Letter 59-17 (F) dated 3-24-59 which identified Smoot as a former Agent and instructed that inquiries concerning him and his paper be handled in a most circumspect manner."
"A thorough review of the three-volume personnel file of Smoot (67-263689) fails to reflect any reference to him as an `Administrative Assistant' or an `Administrative Assistant to the Director'. This title did not appear in any letter of appointment, transfer, censure or probation. No communication concerning speeches given by Smoot or any other official matter concerning him contained either of these titles. After Smoot left the Bureau, he was publicly described in newspaper articles as an Administrative Assistant to the Director. Files indicate he has continued to use this designation."
"Review of Bureau files: The specific matter concerning the use of the title `Administrative Assistant" by Smoot was the subject of a memorandum dated 9-13-61 from Mr. Callahan to Mr. Mohr (original attached). It points out that the Bureau has never had an official position classification for SA's of either `Administrative Assistant' or `Administrative Assistant to the Director'. There were times in the late 1930's when Agent Supervisors at the Seat of Government were referred to as Administrative Assistants in outgoing correspondence in connection with speeches. A SAC Letter dated 7-9-47 advised that there was no such title for Agents as `Administrative Assistant to the Director' or `Administrative Assistant' and that such a title should never be used in referring to representatives of the Bureau."
"Recommendation: For information. I recommend we continue the same policy as set forth above. It appears obvious that Smoot is attempting to use his prior service with the FBI as much as possible. He is a professional `anticommunist' who is strictly out for money." [HQ 62-102576, #125; 11/8/62 memo from D.C. Morrell to Mr. DeLoach] my emphasis in red
July 1962 Smoot Reply To Inquiry About His FBI Status
In July 1962, Smoot replied to an inquiry by an Indiana resident concerning his FBI career. The inquiry asked Smoot about rumors that Dan had retired from the FBI due to a "nervous condition" according to an alleged report by a former FBI employee.
In his reply, Smoot said that other rumors had been circulated concerning his status including one that he was fired for stealing. Dan then wrote:
"All the rumors, including the one you heard, are false. After 9 years and three months in the FBI, I was still an Agent in good standing when I resigned voluntarily in June, 1951under no kind of threat or pressure to do so. I resigned because I wanted to change my occupation and settle my family permanently in Dallas."
As demonstrated from the data summarized above, Dan lied by referring to himself as "an Agent in good standing" when he resigned.
1. Dan received a censure letter from Hoover
2. Dan received a Special Efficiency Report which contained derogatory statements and which specifically told him he was on probation --- and Dan initialed the document to confirm that he received it
3. In his 1994 letter to me, Dan admits that even he assumed his transfer to Savannah was a "disciplinary transfer".
MY SUBSEQUENT LETTER TO DAN
On March 20, 1995 I again wrote to Dan because of comments appearing in the February 22, 1965 issue of Dan Smoot Report. In that issue, Dan stated that "the civil rights movement in the United States is a Communist creation, and has been largely manipulated by the Communists since it was created."
In my letter, I asked Dan if, while employed in the FBI, he ever had occasion to read a Bureau monograph entitled "Communist Party and the Negro" or "Communism and the Negro MovementA Current Analysis." I also asked him if he had access to any other Bureau summary reports concerning the civil rights movement.
Dan never replied. However, in 2004, I obtained copies of my correspondence from Texas A&M University where some of Dan's private papers were archived. Dan wrote across the top of it: "No answer".
DAN ON CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT:
Dan discussed the civil rights movement at length in the February 22, 1965 issue of Dan Smoot Report (DSR).
I would like to discuss two comments by Dan:
(1) his assertion about a Negro Soviet Republic being current communist strategy and
(2) his assertion that our civil rights movement was "a Communist creation".
Negro Soviet Republic:
According to Dan:
"In 1928, Joseph Stalin gave specific directions: the communist goal was to confiscate the property of all whites in the `black-belt' region of the American southern States, detach the region from the Union, and establish it as a negro Soviet Republic. This communist objective has never been altered." (DSR, 2/22/65, page 57; my emphasis in red)
By contrast, compare Dan's statement to J. Edgar Hoover's January 1960 testimony before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee during which Hoover discussed the 17th National Convention of the Communist Party USA held in New York City on December 10, 1959:
"The Negro resolution adopted by the convention discarded the party's historic position advocating `self-determination' meaning that Negroes should be given the right to form a separate nation in the Southern States The 1959 convention resolution hence represents a party admission that its position concerning Negroes is bankrupt. Time itself has shown that the party is not interested in the welfare of the Negro, but only in using him as a tool to advance party interests." [J. Edgar Hoover: An Analysis of the 17th National Convention of the Communist Party USA; Statement made to Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, 1/17/60; Also see: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, March 1960, page 7 for same comment.]
Even the KKK newspaper, The Fiery Cross, recognized this change of Communist strategy!
"With the CPUSA steadily declining in open membership, the official doctrine was changed from creating a separate Negro state in the U.S. to one of full integration. (Ben) Davis [National Secretary CPUSA] had argued for this change in order to obtain maximum Negro support. The party line change became official in 1959." [The Fiery Cross, "Communist Exploitation of the U.S. Racial Crisis", August 1964, page 1].
Furthermore, this change of Communist strategy was confirmed by FBI informants who subsequently testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. For example:
Lola Belle Holmes testified about the internal CP dispute at its 17th National Convention in New York City over a document entitled "Theoretical Aspects of the Negro Question In the United States".
[Incidentally, Lola later became a paid speaker for the John Birch Society.]
Lola told the House Committee on Un-American Activities that:
"This document was a very controversial document and the theoretical aspect of the Negro question was a very controversial question. It took up more time in the national convention than any other question because the CP does not fight for equal rights of Negroes; only in theory; it is not especially interested in the Negro problems; it does not want to solve the Negro problems. Therefore, it was a problem to get the Communist Party to act on a Negro resolution supporting the civil rights movement, that is, integration for Negroes. The Communist Party, when I went into the Party in 1957...advocated Negro nationalism, and a separate State for the Negroes, self-determination, and we fought to get the Communist Party to do away with Negro nationalism and fight for integration." [Communist Activities in the Chicago IL area, Part 1; Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, May 25, 1965, page 360.]
Civil Rights Movement a Communist Creation:
According to Dan:
"The so-called civil-rights movement in the United States is a communist creation, and has been largely manipulated by communists since it was created." (DSR, 2/22/65, page 58)
By contrast, see following statements by J. Edgar Hoover:
"It would be absurd to suggest that the aspirations of Negroes for equality are communist inspired. This is demonstrably not true." [Hoover speech, Faith In Freedom, 12/4/63, page 6.]
"In general, legitimate civil rights organizations have been successful in excluding Communists, although a few have received covert counseling from them and have even accepted them as members The CP is not satisfied with this situation and is continually striving to infiltrate the civil rights movement." U.S. News and World Report, 11/1/65, page 46; Note: why would Communists need to "infiltrate" a movement that Smoot claims they "created"?]
"Let me emphasize that the American civil rights movement is not, and has never been, dominated by the communists---because the overwhelming majority of civil rights leaders in this country, both Negro and white, have recognized and rejected communism as a menace to the freedoms of all." [Hoover speech, Our Heritage of Greatness, 12/12/64, page 7; emphasis in original document].
A Birch Society member wrote to J. Edgar Hoover in 1966 after seeing the above quote in a letter-to-the-editor of his local newspaper. He asked Hoover if the quote was accurate and whether or not it reflected his analysis both in 1964 and 1966. Hoover replied affirmatively and concluded: "This position remains essentially unchanged today." [HQ 62-104401, #3211; 11/15/66 reply to incoming inquiry by JBS member.]
"It is no secret that one of the bitterest disappointments of communistic efforts in this Nation has been their failure to lure our Negro citizens into the Party. Despite every type of propaganda boomed at our Nation's Negro citizens, they have never succumbed to the Party's saccharine promises of a Communist `Utopia'. This generation and generations to come for many years owe a tremendous debt to our Negro citizens who have consistently refused to surrender their freedoms for the tyranny of communism." [J. Edgar Hoover: An Analysis of the 17th National Convention of the Communist Party USA; Statement made to Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, 1/17/60 and reprinted in FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, March 1960, page 7]
As all these statements make clear, J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI saw Communists as OUTSIDERS seeking to infiltrate the civil rights movement and achieve influence and control whereas Dan Smoot saw them as INSIDERS who created the movement and controlled it from its inception.
Dan Smoot on NAACP:
In the July 6, 1964 issue of Dan Smoot Report (DSR) Smoot discusses the history of how the NAACP was founded by "55 prominent `liberals and socialists' mostly white". He then states:
"In 1920, the New York State Legislative Committee Investigating Seditious Activities branded the NAACP a subversive organization, interlocked with several other socialist organizations, including the socialist party." (DSR, 1/6/64, p. 170)
One wonders why Smoot doesn't consider it significant to report that the NAACP was never cited as "subversive" or as a "Communist front" on any official list including:
* the "Attorney General's List of Totalitarian, Fascist, Communist, Subversive, and Other Organizations"
* the House Committee on Un-American Activities' "Guide to Subversive Organizations and Publications"
* or by the Subversive Activities Control Board or the Loyalty Review Board
* Nor has NAACP membership ever been considered grounds for denying security clearances by our military or our government agencies nor would such membership trigger a security investigation.
Why couldn't Dan recall or quote subversive references to NAACP from any FBI documents or reports that he saw during his FBI career?
Smoot continues by stating:
"By 1956, at least 77 top officials of the NAACP were known to agencies of the federal government as persons who participated in communist or pro-communist activities".
Participated in what way? For how long? For what reasons?
Dan doesn't say. Instead, he prefers to leave matters in the form of vague, sinister innuendo -- a common tactic in conspiracy arguments.
Among the persons whom Smoot thinks deserve suspicion because of their alleged "communist-front records" are:
Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, Ralph Bunche, Morris Ernst, Thurgood Marshall.
Smoot also cites March 1957 testimony by Manning Johnson before a Louisiana legislative committee. Johnson testified against the NAACP and its Executive Secretary, Walter White. The Louisiana report is entitled "Subversion in Racial Unrest".
According to Manning Johnson:
"Basically, Walter White was never against the Communists, because he joined with them in numerous Communist front movements .while at the same time the Communists were actively infiltrating the organization from below " (DSR, 6/6/64, page 171)
By contrast, the FBI regarded all of the above persons named by Smoot as responsible anti-Communists. For the purposes of this discussion, I will focus on Roy Wilkins, Walter White, and A. Philip Randolph.
Julia Brown on NAACP and Walter White:
Julia Brown joined the Communist Party but subsequently realized her mistake and she went to the FBI to report her activities. The Bureau asked her to remain in the Party and provide them with information---which she did.
After surfacing as an FBI informant, Julia became a paid speaker for the John Birch Society. Dan Smoot endorsed the Birch Society and often spoke at Birch Society functions. After he discontinued Dan Smoot Report, he wrote articles for Birch Society publications.
In a March 1961 magazine interview, Julia stated that Communists had "little or no influence" within the NAACP and she concluded that:
"I'm 100 percent with the NAACP and I think they are doing a wonderful job and so does the FBI. They are aware that the NAACP is legal and is working in the American way for first class citizenship for all Americans." [Ebony magazine, "I Was a Spy For the FBI", March 1961, p102]
In another magazine interview, Julia said:
"I don't think the Communists have appeal to Negroes. I feel that American Negroes are awakened to the menace of Communism." [Sepia magazine, "Communist For The FBI", 09/62, p12]
Also see Julia's discussion about the NAACP and, in particular, her characterization of Walter White, in her 1966 book:
"Many times I have been asked if the NAACP was a Communist front organization. I have been able to say, truthfully, that, so far as I could discern, it was not. Indeed the great Walter White, executive secretary of the NAACP prior to his death, fought Communism with might and main. Older NAACP leaders have been equally fierce in their opposition to the Red conspiracy. But it has only been by dint of great effort on the part of these loyal men and women that the Party has been thwarted in its attempts to completely dominate the NAACP." [Julia Brown, I Testify: My Years As An FBI Undercover Agent, Western Islands, 1966, pages 124-125.]
Julia also mentions that the wife of one prominent CPUSA official "hated the NAACP as did all other Communists." (Ibid, page 125]
And referring to the Communist Party attempt to exploit the murder of 14 year old Emmett Till to its advantage, Julia observed:
"Greater success might have attended these efforts had the Party not been opposed by the NAACP The CPUSA criticized the NAACP bitterly for not conducting a more militant campaign of protests and demonstrations. The NAACP `adamantly refused' to `let itself' be used, and counseled its members to avoid any action which would reflect adversely on Negroes." (Ibid, page 165].
Lola Belle Holmes on NAACP:
Lola Belle Holmes also joined the CPUSA at the request of the FBI. From August 1957 to January 24, 1963, Lola worked inside the Communist Party in Chicago and she provided information about Communist Party matters to the FBI. She also subsequently became a paid speaker for the Birch Society.
Lola's NAACP comments parallel those made by Julia Brown (discussed above). Prior to appearing on the Birch Society's lecture circuit as a paid speaker Lola (like Julia Brown) characterized CPUSA attempts to infiltrate NAACP as unsuccessful due to the anti-Communist leadership of the NAACP.
Only after joining the JBS as paid speakers did both Lola and Julia dramatically change their tune.
Lola discussed CPUSA attempts to infiltrate NAACP and Negro American Labor Council during her testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities:
"I was on the NAACP caucus of the Communist Party from 1957 until 1959. I was nominated as secretary for the NAACP against the incumbent, and at that time we lost the election...Subsequently, the national office declared the election valid and the Party slate was thrown out. After the Party slate was thrown out, the Party caucus had a meeting in 1960 and decided to pull its forces out of the NAACP because they realized they could not work in the NAACP effectively." [Communist Activities in The Chicago Illinois Area, part 1; Hearings before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities; May 25-27 and June 22, 1965, page 372.]
HUAC Chairman Edwin Willis then asked Lola:
"Do I take it that these caucuses in the NAACP were not with the knowledge or approval of the leadership of the NAACP?"
"It definitely was not with the knowledge...I want it to be very clear the leadership of either organization did not know that the CP had caucuses working in their respective organizations. When they found it out, they found out who they were, they immediately dropped them from the membership list." [Ibid]
FBI on NAACP
FBI document 100-403529-167 is a May 1961 Bureau reply to an inquiry about the NAACP. The Bureau file copy contains this footnote:
"The NAACP is subject of Bufile 105-18867. No information is disclosed that this group is communist infiltrated or controlled."
The Bureau prepared two comprehensive monographs on the history of "The Communist Party and the Negro". In the October 1956 edition, the Bureau concluded:
"Persons identified with the Communist Party and the NAACP have, in the past, acted jointly and frequently engaged in parallel activities. However, it must be kept in mind that the ultimate aims of these two groups are entirely distinct. The CP seeks to foster discord and discontent among the Negro race by agitation and propaganda...whereas the goal of the NAACP is to achieve full racial integration and equality within the present form of government. It is to be noted that the CPUSA, in order to confuse the American people, is attempting to make its policies parallel to those of the NAACP on controversial, racial issues....The NAACP held its 47th annual convention in San Francisco CA from June 26 to July 1, 1956. It re-affirmed its anti-communist position and at the same time extended its policy of non-cooperation with communist-controlled groups to declare communists ineligible for membership in the NAACP."
The monograph then goes on to discuss attempts by Communists to infiltrate and use NAACP chapters around the country and how local NAACP leaders repulsed such attempts.
Similarly, J. Edgar Hoover discusses the anti-Communist policies of the NAACP in his book, Masters of Deceit:
"The (Communist) Party has made vigorous efforts to infiltrate the NAACP. This organization in 1950 authorized its board of directors to revoke the charter of any chapter found to be communist-controlled." ... Hoover then discussed several such infiltration attempts and how NAACP officials thwarted them. [J. Edgar Hoover, Masters of Deceit, Henry Holt, 1958, p229-230].
In April 1947, J. Edgar Hoover replied to a letter from NAACP Executive Secretary Walter White:
"Equality, freedom, and tolerance are essential in a democratic government. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has done much to preserve these principles and to perpetuate the desires of our founding fathers." [HQ 61-3176, #1076, White letter discussed in 10/19/55 memo from FBI Assistant Director Louis Nichols to FBI Associate Director Clyde Tolson.]
Roy Wilkins succeeded Walter White as Executive Secretary of NAACP. He was one of the black leaders whom the FBI thought most desirable to replace Martin Luther King Jr. as the leading advocate for African-Americans.
In April 1968, FBI Assistant Director William Sullivan prepared a paper for publication in Religion In Life, a journal produced by the University of North Carolina Law School.
In a section captioned "Gains In Equality", Sullivan discusses "precedent-establishing Negroes (who) through hard work and abundance of ability and talent have become nationally and internationally prominent."
Among the persons he cited as deserving of respect and praise and "outstanding recognition" were the following individuals:
Thurgood Marshall, U.S. Supreme Court Justice; Robert C. Weaver, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Ralph Bunche (who) "has ably served this country at the United Nations", Carl Rowan "who has served his country with distinction"; and Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph and Whitney Young (who) "have used their great skill and resources to gain so much for their fellow Negroes through remedies available under the law." [William C. Sullivan, Communism and the American Negro, Winter 1968 Religion in Life, page 600].
Lola Belle Holmes on A. Philip Randolph:
During her 5/25/65 HUAC testimony Lola Belle Holmes described A. Phillip Randolph as "anti-Communist". In her HUAC testimony Lola described the formation of the Negro American Labor Council in 1960:
"It was organized by A. Philip Randolph with trade union leaders all over the country. They definitely were not Communists. As you know, Mr. Randolph is not a Communist and...most of the national executive board members or vice presidents were not Communists." [Communist Activities in The Chicago Illinois Area, part 1; Hearings before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities; May 25-27 and June 22, 1965, page 372.]
Dan Smoot on U.S. Arms Control & Disarmament Agency:
In 1963, Smoot observed that "treacherous cowardice" infected our intellectual and political leadership and they wished "to abandon the national independence which our forefathers won with blood and valorous devotion to high ideals." This was a major theme in Smoot's 1962 book, The Invisible Government, which discusses the Council on Foreign Relations.
As one documentation for his conclusion, Smoot cited a U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency report and Smoot claimed that one of its authors (Walter Millis) argued for a "world `completely policed' by an international army" where "such uprisings as the American Revolution of 1776 would be suppressed, as was the Hungarian Revolution, with all the global forces of law and order cooperating."
In his footnote, Smoot cites as his source, a column by Edith Kermit Roosevelt which was placed in the Congressional Record. (DSR, 7/22/63)
Apparently, Smoot never bothered to read the actual comments made by Willis which appear in Volume II, ppA-10ff of the USACDA report.
Willis stated that whatever power structure might be created, " the world cannot be denuded of either the weapons or of the ideas which make revolution possible. Revolution is, of course, an exercise of coercive power Yet a world in which a possibility of revolutionary violence did not exist would be repugnant to most Western ideas of freedom."
Willis's comment about a "completely policed world" was in the context of explaining why such a world would be neither likely or desirable. Willis went on to suggest adoption of an international principle similar to Article II of the U.S. Bill of Rights concerning the "right of the people to keep and bear arms".
J. Edgar Hoover on Dan Smoot:
"I welcome this opportunity to make it perfectly clear that former Special Agents of the FBI are not necessarily experts on communism. Some of them have sought to capitalize on their former employment with this Bureau for the purpose of establishing themselves as such authorities. I am firmly convinced there are too many self-styled experts on communism, without valid credentials and without any access whatsoever to classified, factual data, who are engaging in rumormongering and hurling false and wholly unsubstantiated allegations against people whose views differ from their own. Such activity makes more difficult the task of the professional investigator." [HQ 62-102675, #107; 5/23/62 JEH reply to inquiry about Dan Smoot.]
Dan Smoot on J. Edgar Hoover:
"Throughout my time in the FBI and for the next twenty years thereafter (when I was daily writing, speaking, broadcasting about events involving officials and programs of the federal government), I held the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover in high esteem---an attitude which I always expressed on the rare occasions when I mentioned Hoover or the FBI, either privately or publicly." [1/27/94 Smoot letter to me.]
"No one in America has a deeper reverence for American constitutional guarantees of individual freedom than J. Edgar Hoover has Mr. Hoover has the deepest respect for all the constitutional restraints upon governmental power which make law enforcement difficult in the United States All the communist propaganda about FBI agents being abusive or violating the constitutional rights of people, or using gestapo tactics is a lie. Mr. Hoover would instantly fire any FBI agent who did such things." [Dan Smoot Report, 7/22/57, page 1]
Additional information concerning Dan Smoot may be found in my recently revised and expanded 60-page report on the John Birch Society. The report is based, primarily, upon first-time-released FBI documents. It may be seen at: http://birchers.blogspot.com/
Chapters 1-7 are as follows:
1. FBI Evaluations of Robert Welch and the John Birch Society including a brief introduction to the controversy over Welchs private letter entitled The Politician
2. FBI vs. JBS on Internal Security Status of the U.S.
3. FBI vs. JBS on Communist Infiltration of Clergy and Religious Institutions
4. FBI vs. JBS on Communists in the Department of Health, Education & Welfare
5. FBI vs. JBS on Dr. Harry A. Overstreet as a Communist sympathizer or dupe
6. FBI vs. JBS on civil rights movement (Alan Stang's 1965 book It's Very Simple: The True Story of Civil Rights published by the Birch Society; and Highlander Folk School described by the JBS as a "Communist Training School")
7. FBI vs. JBS on Persons JBS Claims To Be Experts on Communism.
Additional information, comments and questions may be directed to me at: email@example.com
BYBY: You commented that "Smoot is a loon like all conspiracy theorists."
I disagree. Smoot was a well-educated individual and his FBI performance reports (prior to his resignation in 1951) were generally good or excellent.
Obviously, conspiracies exist. In recent American history the examples include: CPUSA, Watergate, Enron, KKK, Tailhook, tobacco companies.
What discredits most conspiracy arguments falls into 3 main categories:
(1) the zealots who propose the conspiratorial argument i.e. they often don't give any sense of being reasonable,
prudent, thoughtful persons who carefully examine evidence and build a factual case. Personal opinions become conflated with indisputable fact.
(2) the internal illogic of some theories presented and the willingness by many conspiracy adherents to accept arguments made on flimsy or non-existence factual evidence.
(3) the manifest irrelevance or stupidity of some ideas
presented as compared to what goes on in the everyday
experiences of real human beings.
As merely one example:
Many conspiracy adherents I debate claim that we have already adopted 9 of the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto.
Most Americans know intuitively that Communist societies
were (and are) abject failures morally, economically,
politically, and every other way -- and, consequently,
it becomes ludicrous to suggest that the undisputed and
self-evident wealth, power, freedom, and abundance of
American society is, somehow, Marxist in its intellectual
origins or based upon Marxist insights.
Most important of all, conspiracy adherents seem to start with a conclusion and then artfully select only that "evidence" which conforms to their conclusion.
They discard everything which might bring their conclusions into question. An excellent example of this is contained in my Smoot report with respect to his statements about the NAACP and the civil rights movement.
Even sources he normally praised as reliable "experts", (Hoover's FBI, Julia Brown, Lola Belle Holmes) contradicted his scheme of things---but he manages to completely ignore their testimony because it doesn't fit into his pre-determined conclusion.
I am not sure about Smoot but what does the NAACP not like about communism? MLK did a great deal for civil rights but he started a partnership with the Left which has deepened over the years. Martin Luther King submitted to the Left's opposition to Vietnam war, and the Left has controlled the NAACP, and associated groups ever since.
Liberal elite blacks and whites own the poorer black votes,promising the poor the promised land - which will never materialize. Keeping poorer African Americans uneducated via public schools keeps them tied to liberal government. The worse thing possible for lib blacks and whites is to lose their voter base to - prosperity and less dependence on state welfare programs.
See my tag line