A An individual who has seen the error of his ways and has been converted from the ensnaring tentacles of Communism can be as reliable as any other type of witness. many former members of the Communist Party have been of invaluable assistance in our investigations.
Q What motivates these Communists to confess their relationships with espionage, etc.?
A What motivates one person might be minor factor for another individual. Many influences affect these individuals, causing them to seek the truth. However, from an over-all point of view, one factor emerges crystal clear: These individuals have realized that Communism was a falsehood and a perversion of the truth.
Q Do you believe there are many people who formerly were Communists and who now have changed their views?
A Many individuals associated with the Communist movement—even some of those in high places—have become disillusioned with this godless conspiracy and have renounced their allegiance. They have tasted of Communism and found the taste bitter and repugnant. Many of these men and women hoped, through joining the Communist Party, to work for a "bright new world," for peace and improved democracy. But these hopes became shattered—for some quickly; for others more slowly.
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?