Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Truman 3

The second Red Scare after World War II would soon take on an extraordinary endeavor shared by both congress and the President. During the Depression the Communist Party USA operated more or less openly, or barely beneath the surface with some support of labor leaders, New Deal Democrats, Negro (African American) leaders and even a few progressive church groups. During the War the Soviet Union was an important ally taking a majority of the causalities in the War against Germany meant that moving from merely supporting Communists, “they aint all that bad”, to openly cheering Soviet efforts in the War seemed natural. Now to make the Soviet Union an evil threat to American and World Wide security would mean also making domestic communist as Soviet agents. This would require that the Truman administration use all the resources of his administration to convince the American people, that internationally there was a real communist conspiracy with the Soviet Union as its center. Though Truman was slow at first to after domestic communists this would feed into the Republican agenda and Truman also would need to be concerned with the internal threat to national security particularly after the 1946 election. By 1948 and the Wallace, Taylor Progressive Party annoyance Truman could red bate with the best of them.

Amerasia case was purely a political case. The journal published classified State Department documents on Truman’s China policy.  The editors never shared sensitive information with the Soviet Union. What the editors hoped for was that the publication of the documents would discredit Truman. They proved the US Government continued to support the Nationalist even though through corruption the aid went into private accounts and not to feeding the people or fighting the communist army.

Because of the Amerasia and the Canadian spying case it appeared to many Americans that there were too many leaks within the federal government. Communists within labor movements supplemented a fear of communist espionage. The 1946 strike wave increased these fears among those opposed to unions. The fear of communism showed up in the segregationists attempt to maintain white supremacy. Demands for racial equality were seen as communist inspired. Because of this there was a rapid increase of violence against people of color who were fighting for civil rights. Thus, the Justice Department went all out to investigate labor unions as well as organizations and individuals struggling for civil rights for possible communist influence or infiltration. The fear of likely manipulation or access by communist haunted all progressive causes. Now the Justice Department changed its concerns from proven acts of sabotage to suspected disloyalty. In November 1946 Truman appointed the Temporary Commission on Employee Loyalty to investigate the nature of the problem the findings were to be reported to him by February 1, 1947.

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