Once inside the Communist world they could see with their own eyes the hypocrisy, deceit and terror which is the essence of Marxism-Leninism. They recognized Communism for what it is—brutal tyranny coated with false hopes and promises. For them there was only one course: to renounce Communism.
The fact, however, that they have seen the errors of their ways and renounced Communism does not entirely excuse their wrongs. The alibi that every person was radical in his youth or was a Communist sympathizer in the 1930s is a malicious falsehood. The great masses of Americans never fell for the schemes of the Communist swindlers.
Q Do you generally find that confessed Communists or confessed espionage agents are reliable in their testimony—that is, where you have been able to verify or check upon their statements with one or more witnesses?
A. The testimony of any person must be judged on the basis of that individual's knowledge of the truth, his ability to know of what he speaks, and, from a practical standpoint in any type of case, the value of his testimony must be interpreted by corroboration. In each case we endeavor to verify information furnished us. In some instances the very nature of the information makes verification impossible, such as a meeting of two people. But, if one of the individuals traveled extensively, or stayed in the locale, these facts, subject to verification, can lend credence to his story. Weight must be given to the witness whose recital of facts can be verified by proof.
Q Does the FBI determine who shall or shall not be prosecuted, or is the function of the FBI solely to collect the information and transmit it to the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice?
A The FBI is the investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice, charged with the duty of investigating violations of the laws of the United States, collecting evidence in cases in which the United States is or may be a party in interest, and performing other duties imposed by law. The FBI's function is solely and exclusively that of investigation, to obtain the complete and accurate facts. The FBI does not, at any time, evaluate, make recommendations or draw conclusions from the results of its investigations. That is the responsibility of the Criminal Division and the United States attorneys.
Q Do you believe that pitiless publicity will be helpful in running down Communists?
A Absolutely. The Communists, by their very nature, are conspiratorial. They operate under a cloak of deceit. Communism can be defeated by an alert and aroused public opinion, conscious of the evils of Marxist-Leninist chicanery. The newspapers and magazines, the radio and television, by informing the nation of the true character of Communism, are rendering invaluable services.
I would never fear Communism in America if all Communists were out in the open, peddling their wares in the market place of free speech and thought. But they are not. We cannot meet them on an even basis. They are working behind the masquerade of hypocrisy. For this reason America must be vigilant to recognize Communism for what it actually is—a malicious evil which would destroy this nation.
Q Do you believe that public exposures through congressional committees, when properly safeguarded to avoid implication of innocent parties, could be helpful in drawing public attention to instances and episodes involving espionage and other Communist activity?
A With the laws of libel and slander militantly used by subversives, exposures under oath, with safeguards to protect the innocent, are necessary. A private citizen or even a great metropolitan daily paper does not have the facilities to make the investigations. Hence, many exposures can be made only through an official investigating committee possessing the power of subpoena with persuasive facilities such as laws covering perjury and the power to cite for contempt.
Q Are there any suggestions you can make as to how the public can detect Communists and report them to the FBI?