The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Major Jordan, Carroll Reece, Birchers, Buckley and the Attack on Diana West

Posted on | August 16, 2013 | 94 Comments

Diana West, interviewed by The Blaze, July 17

One of the stories Diana West tells in her new book American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character is about Army Maj. George Racey Jordan, whose tale about Lend-Lease shipments to the Soviet Union you can read beginning on page 110 of the book.

West recounts, on pages 139-140, Major Jordan’s narrative of an April 1943 incident in which his Russian liaison, Col. Anatole Kotikov, put him on the phone with top FDR aide Harry Hopkins. According to Major Jordan, Hopkins told him about “a certain shipment of chemicals,” ordering him to “just send it through quietly, in a hurry.”

Has anyone disproven Major Jordan’s account of that incident, or otherwise contradicted his tale of how, he said, the Lend-Lease program aided the Soviets in stealing U.S. secrets and materials necessary to the development of atomic weapons? I am unaware of any such contradiction or disproof, and the question is why — in the wake of what we have learned about Soviet espionage since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the release of the Venona decrypts — scholars have not done more to investigate Major Jordan’s tale, which made headlines when he testified to Congress in 1950.

Frankly, there are too damned many such questions that ought to be of interest to historians, and too few historians working to investigate accusations made during the Cold War that got laughed off as ridiculous or denounced as “witch hunts.” We should be grateful that Diana West is picking at the dangling loose ends of history.

Instead, she’s been denounced for her methodology and condemned as a conspiracy theorist by both Ron Radosh and David Horowitz. There have been some people who, persuaded by the arguments of Radosh and Horowitz, have condemned Diana West without ever reading her book. And I suppose the reputations and persuasiveness of these eminent critics are such that, if you went and bought American Betrayal right now, it would be impossible for you to view it in an unprejudiced light. How can she be right — an intelligent and honest investigator — if Radosh and Horowitz say she is so wrong?

Let me attempt to answer this by asking another question: How much do you know about the Reece Committee?

This is one of those Cold War mysteries that the John Birch Society has kept alive, God bless them. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to be intrigued by such mysteries, and I once knew a fellow, directly familiar with the inner circles of JBS, who explained to me that talk of a communist “conspiracy,” which has given Birchers such a bad name, was simply a mental framework for viewing the problem.

The Law of Inadequate Paranoia

One need not believe any of the more wild-eyed accusations made by Birchers in order to share their general suspicion that the full story is not known, and that if the full story were known, it would shock your socks off, curl your hair and scare you half to death.

This is what M. Stanton Evans has called Evans’s Law of Inadequate Paranoia: “However bad you think it is, it’s probably much worse.”

Start asking certain questions about subversive influences on American policy during the Cold War, and you will find enough evidence of that stuff to make you understand what Evans means by that.

So . . . the Reece Committee, officially the House Select Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations, was created in 1952 under the chairmanship of Rep. Edward Cox (D-Georgia) and continued later under the chairmanship of Rep. Carroll Reece (R-Tennessee). Reece believed that Cox had not gotten to the bottom of the matter — there was the suspicion of a “whitewash” — and brought in a staffer named Norman Dodd as the lead investigator.

Please, go read Dodd’s 16-page report of his investigation. And when you’re done reading that, then you’ll be prepared to learn that, according to Dodd, the Reece Committee’s further investigations were shut down and the committee itself disbanded, and Dodd said that this was done as a result of heavy political pressure.

Big money and important people didn’t want any more snooping around into Dodd’s accusation that there had been a “revolution” in the 1930s that had involved the American education system, and what children were taught about government and economics.

Think about this: A congressional committee with subpoena power to command testimony and requisition evidence as part of an investigation into how major non-profit philanthropic foundations — Ford, Carnegie, Rockefeller, etc. — had influenced policy in a direction that some have called “un-American” or “subversive.”

And they shut that committee down.

You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist ranting about Commie infiltrators and pinko subversives to see the implications of this.

Let’s just say that, minimally, Dodd’s report to the Reece Committee raised questions, and that we don’t know all the answers. However, it appears that for many years there was a consensus among leading officials of major philanthropic foundations that U.S. policy needed to be shifted leftward, and that children needed to be taught to accept this shift as beneficial and necessary. In other words, they had their thumb on the scales, tilting everything to the left, and they expended millions of (tax-exempt) dollars for this purpose.

Research it yourself, and see if you disagree with that description.

Say whatever you want about “conspiracy theories.” My point is that if we don’t know all the answers about these things, there is a reason: Important people didn’t want anyone asking questions, and they exercised enough influence that they were able to discredit or shut down anyone who tried to get answers to certain questions.

In the present controversy regarding Diana West and her book American Betrayal, we see a strangely familiar echo of that theme. West is accused of being a conspiracy theorist and an irresponsible demagogue, basically because she calls attention to unanswered questions — which may seem moot to some people — about a shift in U.S. policy that began during Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency.

What Would Bill Buckley Do?

West’s critics have invoked William F. Buckley Jr.’s famous “purge” of the Birchers from the conservative movement as justification for their campaign against her, thereby inviting others less familiar with the substance of the controversy to dogpile onto their side.

I lamented this controversy when it first arose, and declared myself committed to defending Diana West, and remain resolute. Radosh and Horowitz say that they have serious reasons as conservatives for their crusade against American Betrayal, and despite my general admiration for their work, I think they are misguided in this effort.

Whatever West’s errors, she doesn’t deserve this treatment, and I think serious people need to ask what could be so dangerous about West’s book that it has engendered such extreme hostility.

Well, what happened to the Reece Committee? Didn’t Norman Dodd’s report help answer some of the questions Buckley himself had raised in God and Man at Yale? Isn’t this where the whole modern conservative movement began, with Buckley’s inquiry into why collectivism and secularism had become the prevailing influences in America’s leading educational institutions by the early 1950s?

About 80 years ago, a certain elite in American society decided — more as a consensus than a conspiracy — to bring about this shift that Norman Dodd called a “revolution,” and this shift has proven impossible to reverse, I would argue, because so few educated people are aware of how the shift took place, or what the consequences of that shift have been. This in turn explains why the investigation of Major Jordan’s account, like so many other Cold War mysteries, remains so mysterious to this day: To be “educated” now means to believe that it is impossible for Harry Hopkins to have done what Major Jordan said Hopkins did.

Just by the way, you may be interested to know that in 1946, when Soviet agent Alger Hiss left his State Department job as Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs, he did so to become president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Maybe that was just a coincidence, and maybe it’s just a coincidence that Diana West’s book has caused such a firestorm. But whenever I see a situation like this — where it’s like someone hit the trip wire that set off the Claymore mines on the perimeter — my instinct is to think that the questions being asked are very important, and to disregard those who want to head off certain lines of inquiry.

OK, so here is a 52-minute interview with Norman Dodd, conducted in 1982. Maybe you can dismiss him as a doddering fool:

Was Norman Dodd a crackpot? Was he a paranoid conspiracy theorist? Or was he, as I believe, a man who unearthed some important information that he was not able to explain adequately? The system of organizations funded by major tax-exempt foundations, which was the subject of his 1954 report (if you haven’t read it yet, click here to read it now), may not have been a conspiracy, but neither was the direction of their influence random and coincidental.

Think about it. Try not to get paranoid, but remember what Stan Evans says: “However bad you think it is, it’s probably much worse.”



94 Responses to “Major Jordan, Carroll Reece, Birchers, Buckley and the Attack on Diana West”

  1. RS
    August 16th, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

    “[W]hy is so hard to believe that they would never do so in Roosevelt’s time?”

    An especially good question given that the history books are chock full of Roosevelt’s attempts to subvert or ignore the Constitution and assume dictatorial powers, including executing American citizens before the Supreme Court could rule on their case, in contravention of Civil War precedent. But FDR “saved the country from the Depression” and so cannot be criticized in polite society.

  2. DaveO
    August 16th, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

    Are you referring to the Red Diaper babies?

  3. DaveO
    August 16th, 2013 @ 9:44 pm

    In communist and fascist mythos, preceding instances of a communist/fascist government were imperfect because the people running government became imperfect through greed or excessive ethnic contact. While that government exists, its heirs are grown in democratic, capitalist society.
    Communist/fascist academics believe in that myth like a Christian believes in God. So when the USSR fell, those American leftist academics went from being heirs to now rulers.
    As the folks in power in the 1930-40s were at least middle-aged if not older, there must have a revolution in education in the 1880s-90s.

  4. Bob Belvedere
    August 16th, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

    Thank you.

  5. DaveO
    August 16th, 2013 @ 9:59 pm

    Perhaps we are seeing the hand of the Adversary and his lieutenants in our history – finding the right people in the right places to twist this, choke that, force a change in the other. If God can act in the world across time, why not the Adversary?

  6. dicentra
    August 16th, 2013 @ 10:02 pm

    For all intents and purposes, Old Scratch is the god of this world. He’s going to get booted at the end, when the Rightful Heir returns, but in the meantime, he has his way a lot more than he doesn’t.

    Because there are so many people who really, really dig his style.

  7. Joe Dokes
    August 16th, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

    The ultimate RDB, perhaps.

  8. Quartermaster
    August 16th, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

    Stan being a created being prevents him from being transcendent. God is self existent and lives outside the creation, of which time is a part. Satan does not seem to transcend time and is, therefore, unable to reach across time to accomplish his will.

    While God is able to reach across time, for example he can see the end from the beginning, God doses not seem to do so. He knows when to inject himself to accomplish his purposes, but I see no evidence that he reaches across time to make things different.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp
    August 16th, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

    “Isn’t this where the whole modern conservative movement began, with Buckley’s inquiry into why collectivism and secularism had become the prevailing influences in America’s leading educational institutions by the early 1950s?”

    No, it actually began a little earlier than that, with Buckley’s call for “a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores” in Commonweal.

    Presumably that statement was influence by his mentor, former American Trotskyite leader James Burnham, with whom he later founded National Review.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp
    August 16th, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

    Doh — just went to look, and I was wrong. I could have sworn that the Commonweal article was in 1951 and GAMAY in 1952, but it’s the opposite.

  11. Paratisi
    August 16th, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

    Think & Learn Before You Accuse!: Major Jordan, Carroll Reece, Birchers, Buckley and the Attack on Diana West

  12. Paratisi
    August 16th, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

    Major Jordan, Carroll Reece, Birchers, Buckley and the Attack on Diana West

  13. dicentra
    August 16th, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

    What would count as evidence?

    There’s a lot of black-box analysis in our attempts to discern the hand of God.

    You’d need to accurately describe what “reaching across time” means in terms of God’s capabilities, then you’d have to rule out the existence of those events.

    Or, you’d have to be privy to God’s actions, just as the NSA is with yours.

  14. royparrish
    August 16th, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

    RT @Paratisi: Major Jordan, Carroll Reece, Birchers, Buckley and the Attack on Diana West

  15. Finrod Felagund
    August 17th, 2013 @ 2:14 am

    Another name often used for the omnipotent cabal is the Illuminati. Which makes for a fine Steve Jackson boardgame and some mildly interesting novels, but not a lot else. Fnord.

  16. Finrod Felagund
    August 17th, 2013 @ 2:20 am

    The Evil One may not be able to reach across time to accomplish his will, but he certainly can play the Long Game effectively.

  17. andrewbostom
    August 17th, 2013 @ 4:35 am

    RS McCain: Major Jordan, Carroll Reece, Birchers, Buckley and the Attack on Diana West

  18. FoxNewsMom
    August 17th, 2013 @ 6:15 am

    Great Read-Comments,too! RT @andrewbostom: RS McCain: MajorJordan,CarrollReece,Birchers,Buckley & Attack on DianaWest

  19. rmnixondeceased
    August 17th, 2013 @ 9:43 am

    America suffered a massive stroke with the election of FDR. She went on life support and has been going downhill since. The Left seeks to pull the plug …

  20. RMNixonDeceased
    August 17th, 2013 @ 9:43 am

    “America suffered a massive stroke with the election of FDR. She went on life support and has…” — rmnixondeceased

  21. RMNixonDeceased
    August 17th, 2013 @ 9:45 am

    “-Radosh has never stopped thinking as an Ideologue. He thought when he came over to the Right that…” — Bob Belvedere

  22. MereCitizen
    August 17th, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    Rockefeller’s General Education Board as they occur in a document called Occasional Letter Number One (1906):

    In our dreams…people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple…we will organize children…and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.

    If anyone has read Horowitz’s autobiography you will recall that his first real big commerical success as a writer was writing a book about the Rockefellers, he also had an affair with Abby Rockefeller, an affair that broke up his first marriage.
    Horowitz and Radash also continue to see the Rockefellers, Carnegies and Fords as conservatives, or perhaps I should say, as not Progressives. Space precludes me from being able to lay out my case of why this is incorrect, but if one is only well versed in the Marxist view of the world, and not a wider view of socialism than it is impossible to see that the Progressive movement was more pure socialism than Marxism is. Marxism is what is supposed to come after the socialist state, a necessary state to the workers paradise BUT then it is the workers themselves that are to take over instead of the elite group that puts the socialist state into being to begin with, the whole withering of the state thing. I am being very broad here, but socialism did not start with Marx, it started with Henry de Saint Simon and his protege Auguste Comte, and Comte, who coined the term sociology as well as something called positivism as well as the Religion of Humanity, vehemently disagreed with Marx and his theories.
    Throw in some liberal protestantism which more or less tossed out the doctrines of Christianity but still called it Christianity and some Darwin and you get Progressives, and taken just a bit further you get Fascists, and just a bit further you get Nazism. Socialism is all about an elite group of people running society, the best and brightest per se, it is deeply undemocratic. It was never meant to be democratic, it is French after all. Marx used the framework, along with Hegel framework and came up with his version. Marx simply inverted who holds the reins of power.

    Horowitz and Radash see it through the Marx glasses, but Marx was not the progenitor of socialism, and no wealthy industrialist would have agreed with Marx, under socialism they were not only wealthy and would be able to keep their wealth, they are THE movers of society. Despite embracing the left, these people are still not Marxist, they only mouth Marxist platitudes, its a great way to get the average voter on your side when you promise to give him goodies from those evil capitalists who keep him down, yet is it Warren Buffet who is actually doing that? Is it GE or Microsoft?
    See we have never moved from socialism to marxism, everyone just thinks we did. Its been a great trick, but perhaps people are willing to dig a little deeper now that by their fruits we can see them and judge who they are for real. The internet can be a beautiful thing.

  23. Quartermaster
    August 17th, 2013 @ 10:18 am

    Satan has had 6000 years of practice dealing with fallen human nature. I’d expect he’s pretty good at getting people to destroy themselves. All he cares about is getting people to neglect God’s provision for sin, and that doesn’t take a lot of effort since mankind already trends in that direction.

  24. Quartermaster
    August 17th, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    The source of knowledge about God and how he operates is found in scripture. God determined certain things would happen at certain times. For example, in Galatians 4:4, Paul said, “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,….” God knows what will happen before we see it happen because stands outside of time. There is, however, nothing in scripture that shows God reaching across time to diddle with events and change things either before it happens or after.

  25. barries1
    August 17th, 2013 @ 10:30 am

    Major Jordan, Carroll Reece, Birchers, Buckley and the Attack on Diana West

  26. Matt Knowles
    August 17th, 2013 @ 10:42 am

    “I give the average person more credit for discernment.”

    This is what keeps me coming back. Keep fighting the good fight!

  27. Kauf Buch
    August 17th, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

    THANK YOU. I look forward to reading West’s book.
    I wince at the attacks made, if for no other reason because the Left incessantly bombards the American public with half-truths, lies and mesmerizing propaganda.


    Radosh and Horowitz seem to be trying to turn technicalities into a Mt. Everest of Integrity violations.

  28. reliapundit
    August 17th, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

    “In other words, it’s not about reading the tea leaves of a Black Swan event, it’s about following money and paper trails, listening to conference addresses, reading theses and dissertations and articles, and taking bad people at their word.” WHICH IS WHAT HOROWITZ HAS DONE WITH HIS WEBSITE “FOLLOW THE NETWORK” – WHIH IS WHY IT’S SO WEIRD HE AND RADOSH HAVE GONE AFTER WEST AS A CONSPIRACY NUT.

  29. Bob Belvedere
    August 17th, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    You’re not truly free until you, like myself, see the Fnords.

  30. Joe Dokes
    August 17th, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

    The facts hinted at by articles like these – things most of us long suspected were true but never let ourselves think too hard about – make me sadder than I should let myself get.

    I enjoy watching reasonable quality old movies and shows like I SPY. Or I used to. When I get cynical watching too much news, shows like that gave me a sense of comfort because “Yeah it’s fictional TV but it’s from when America was still America.” But I guess it really wasn’t anymore, even then…never has been for well onto 100 years or so. We are, in large measure and through no fault of our own, people who have only had the illusion of a nation – or at best, its ghost – rather than the substance. Now those shows make me even sadder to watch because they’re double the illusion I thought they were. They really don’t reflect better days; they only reflect days I thought and hoped were better, in order to (foolishly, perhaps) take strength from them because I know the days ahead are likely darker than any that lay in our living past; possibly ever in our past.

    As a devoutly premillenial brand of Christian, I know I shouldn’t even let myself get that entangled in this world to this extent for it is passing away in any event. But I’m still human, and realizing even my cherished nostalgia is fatally contaminated by falsity no one recognized makes me sadder than ever.

    Anyone know what I’m doing a horrible job trying to say?

  31. Bob Belvedere
    August 17th, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

    I thought you put it very well.

    One thing about old shows like Dragnet, Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, etc. is that they were morally true. The worlds they portray, whether they were ‘realistic’ or not, were filled with Truth, such as a belief in Good and Evil, and often of God.

    My wife and I find ourselves watching such fare more and more, including old English shows such as Upstairs Downstairs and The Pallisers, because their fictional worlds are more normal than the current world we live in.

    I see these stories as being as true as Shakespeare’s plays, which are True To Life As It Is, Human Nature As It Is.

    The times we live in are not Normal. We live in age where the Perverse rules. This is why it is imperative that we keep the Normal alive and take refuge in it from time to time.

  32. Joe Dokes
    August 17th, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

    “their fictional worlds are more normal than the current world we live in.”

    My Lord, Bob, you nailed it in one. The way you put it is dead on and makes me want to weep.

    People in the ’30s escaped reality for a few hours by watching fantasies, musicals, dramas and horrors they knew couldn’t possibly exist in the real world.

    Now we flee to fictional representations of what we used to accept as reality because ours is too unrealistic and awful to contemplate without going mad.

    Maybe we’re just getting too old, Bob.

  33. FMJRA 2.0: Totem : The Other McCain
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  34. NEFloridaGeek
    August 17th, 2013 @ 7:16 pm

    I can’t speak to her central premise about Harry Hopkins, but I can tell you she is way off base in her assertions regarding the relief of MacArthur and the Philippine Islands. The US simply did not have the men, ships or material to salvage the situation in the far east. If her history regarding events with which I am familiar is that shoddy (and “shoddy” is a polite term for the historical malpractice on evidence by her assertions in this matter), I am certainly not inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt on her more outlandish claims.

  35. LeatherPenguin
    August 17th, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

    Important people didn’t want anyone asking questions, and they exercised enough influence that …

  36. riley1999
    August 17th, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

    “However bad you think it is, it’s probably much worse.”

  37. andilinks
    August 17th, 2013 @ 9:29 pm

    RT @riley1999: “However bad you think it is, it’s probably much worse.”

  38. tahDeetz
    August 18th, 2013 @ 12:30 am

    Major Jordan, Carroll Reece, Birchers, Buckley and the Attack on Diana West

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  40. Linda Starr
    August 18th, 2013 @ 4:12 am

    So it doesn’t look like “they” would let ANYONE near the tax code! My accountant once mentioned that charities would object the most to any changes in the tax code, but since these old, huge non-profits were able to shut down an investigation, what chances does a potential presidential candidate have who wants to change it?

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  42. Linda Starr
    August 18th, 2013 @ 10:33 pm

    BTW, Diana West is a “birther” so that just gives them another reason to hate her:

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