Dwight Eisenhower Ordered Fort Monmouth Files Destroyed That Would Have Vindicated Senator Joseph R. McCarthy
By Earl Denny
Over and over again, Revisionist scholarship has shown, with mountains of documents and cancelled checks, that the elite created, used and promoted Marxism. Further, it is a fact of ideology that the assumptions of capitalism and Marxism are nearly identical except for a few fairly minor disagreements. One of the many proofs that the elite were behind the propagation of Marxism was the silencing of Joe McCarthy by orders of President Dwight Eisenhower in the early ’50s. Quoting from several letters written by a former Army investigator, longtime anti-communist Earl Denny shows the elite cover-up of its own promotion of Soviet espionage in the United States.
A former U.S. Army employee, assigned to a special counter espionage unit at the Ft. Mon mouth, New Jersey Signal Corps Center in 1952-53, has charged that President Dwight D. Eisenhower (through Sherman Adams) issued a directive to “destroy any evidence now in investigative files that support charges being made by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy” and that “any investigative personnel involved in the gathering of this information should be transferred.”
In a June 1982 letter to Milwaukee attorney Thomas J. Bergen, president of the Senator Joseph R. McCarthy Foundation, Inc., John E. Reardon, recalled events and information surrounding his C.I.C. team’s investigation of Soviet penetration of the super secret Signal Corps Center, Evans Laboratory and Electronic Warfare Center.
From August 1952 until my transfer overseas in June 1953, our team worked very closely together in developing files on suspected security risks at Fort Monmouth installations. As an example, we sat in every day on the appeal trial for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and, at night, we worked to connect the people and places involved. . . .
. . . [T]he McCarthy committee began to make some public charges that put some heat on all ongoing investigations. It was about this time we learned our investigation was to be curtailed. In December 1952 or January 1953, Colonel Schultz, Eisenhower’s military aide from Europe, issued a directive from Sherman Adams at the White House which was re ported to have said: “Any evidence now in investigative files that supports charges being made by Senator McCarthy should be destroyed. Any investigative personnel involved in the gathering of this information should be transferred.”
Mr. Reardon (then Corporal Reardon) stated that he was sent to Japan and Korea; Major Jim Gallagher was sent to Greenland; Captain Ben Sheehan was placed under virtual house arrest and investigated by his own C.I.C. unit for possibly leaking information to Senator McCarthy; Lt. Ben Bromberg was shipped overseas to Europe and Sgt. John Wolf was reassigned, he [Reardon] knew not where.
After seeing what was happening, our unit considered removing the files and hiding them in John Wolf’s basement in New Jersey. This was ruled out, and, as a last resort to destroying the files, Sheehan was able to get permission for the FBI in Newark, New Jersey to receive our files and to write a report. I can remember vividly being assigned the job of transporting the files myself. I requisitioned a government sedan from our New York office, placed two army footlockers filled with our files in the trunk and drove to the FBI office in Newark. There were two FBI agents assigned to review our files and write a report. He was never able to see their report.
Reardon stated in summary his thoughts and opinions about this treasonous action by our government. He was neither pro-McCarthy nor anti-McCarthy. He recognized that a member of the U.S. Senate had been deprived of the support of government investigative agencies. He felt McCarthy had been forced to make a “bad case,” as Irving Peress was to say, with only two amateur investigators (David Shine and Roy Cohn) as a method of allowing McCarthy to destroy himself. As he has read editorials about Joe McCarthy and McCarthyism 30 years after that time in history by people trying to establish their credibility as knowledgeable authorities, he wishes the full story could come out. Reardon has refused to read books on the subject of Joe McCarthy because he feels that most, if not all, that has been written is based on inaccurate information.
“The key period was between 1952 and April 1953,” stated Reardon. “This is the time period when the senator was deprived of any governmental assistance, and I believe what happened in this period contributed to most, if not all, of the following events.”
John Reardon received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in April 1955. During his four years in the service he never received less than superior evaluations. Since 1956 he has been successfully employed in the paper industry and lives in Walpole, Massachusetts.
John Reardon wrote another letter to attorney Bergen on March 23, 1983, in which he raises some interesting points and questions. He mentioned an ABC-TV documentary on the late J. Edgar Hoover (naturally portrayed in a bad light) on which was mentioned for the first and only time that the FBI had broken the Soviet code in 1950. “Why,” he asks, “in 1952 did the U.S. government put out an order to remove any government files that supported McCarthy’s charges and transfer any people who could testify in support of his charges?” This order came out of the White House transition team in December 1952 or January 1953.
Reardon believes that when the FBI broke the Soviet code in relation to their espionage efforts in this country during the years 1950 and 1951, the order went out to all counterintelligence agencies involved to immediately stop all investigations and dismantle any and all investigative teams and pertinent information. The U.S. government did not want piecemeal exposés on Russian agents in this country for a number of reasons:
(1) “They did not want to scare off Russian espionage activity. Having cracked the code, they had a central clearing house to monitor activity.”
(2) “Eisenhower was elected president and wanted to go to Korea to help end the war. He needed the cooperation of the Russians at that time and did not want publicity indicating the Russians had an extensive spy network active in the United States. Specifically, infiltrating the east coast radar network from Evans Lab and the Electronic Warfare Center, both located at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.”
(3) “Since McCarthy was a rising star in the Republican Party, and certainly not ‘in’ with the Eisenhower wing of the party, I believe the decision was made to allow McCarthy to ‘hang himself.’ ”
It was one thing to send a memo to government agencies and to order a stop. This could be done without explanation and it was done to Army C.I.C. But, the people on that team could not understand why it took 30 years to 1982 to learn why we were told to stop, to destroy files and to transfer people.
Reardon believes that Senator Mc Carthy was not told of the breaking of the Soviet code; that people, probably including Hoover, who had been asking Senator McCarthy for help in pushing the investigation, now were not available. Reardon mentions in this letter that there were definite links through Julius Rosenberg to the many engineers he enlisted for jobs at Fort Monmouth.
During the years 1953 and 1954, his associates were thought to be innocent victims of “McCarthyism,” as had been poor Julius. It was the files that gave evidence that Rosenberg had infiltrated Fort Monmouth that I was involved in and their removal from government control.
By the time of the McCarthy-Army Hearings in 1954, any and all important information or first hand knowledge of investigations to support charges first brought in 1950 had been rendered useless. This is pivotal. McCarthy was on the right track in 1949 and 1950. When the code was cracked, he became a thorn in the side of many influential people. By 1953 this situation was neutralized. Why, then, did the government “hang” him in 1954?
As a result of the Republicans’ victory in 1952, Joseph Mc Carthy had become chairman of the Senate’s permanent Inves tigations Subcommittee. The committee had a statutory mandate to investigate graft, incompetence and disloyalty cases. In 1953 he conducted 169 executive and public hearings and interrogated more than 500 witnesses. One such investigation of communist infiltration in key defense plants resulted in the suspension or discharge of more than 20 “Fifth Amendment” security risks. Al though the FBI had been warning the Department of the Army about the existence of powerful communist espionage cells in the secret radar laboratories at Fort Monmouth since 1949, it was not until 1953 that Joseph McCarthy provided the ammu nition which allowed Major General Kirke Lawton to risk the wrath of top political brass by suspending 35 security risks.
Amazingly, the Loyalty Review Board at the Pentagon reinstated all but two of these security risks and gave them back pay. McCarthy then demanded the names of the 20 civilians on this review board, and, as Cleon Skousen states in The Naked Capi talist, “he soon found himself sawing on a raw nerve of the most powerful establishment team in Washington—the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon.
“Nothing so outraged McCarthy in the Monmouth investigation,” continues Skousen, “as his discovery that an identified member of a communist cell had been knowingly promoted from captain to major and then hurriedly given an honorable separation on orders of the White House after McCarthy had called the seriousness of this case to the attention of top military leaders.”
The man who had been promoted was Irving Peress of the dental corps at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. The man who signed his “honorable separation” was General Ralph Zwicker.
When Senator McCarthy called Major Peress to answer questions about his communist affiliations, January 30, 1954, he invoked the Fifth Amendment 20 different times. Peress had even written “Fifth Amendment” across his Loyalty Oath form and still had been promoted. When Mc Carthy questioned General Zwicker on this unbelievable situation, Zwicker was evasive and defiant. He changed his testimony three times under oath when asked if he knew who had ordered the general to give Peress his honorable separation. Zwicker was obviously covering up something.
Zwicker’s evasiveness and contempt for the committee angered McCar thy, who went after him like a “prosecuting attorney.” This gave McCarthy’s enemies the ammunition they had been looking for. Zwicker had justified his refusal to answer questions about Peress on the grounds that President Eisenhower had issued the same kind of restrictive order that President Harry Truman had issued: no government employee could answer questions or supply congressional committees with files relating to the loyalty of another government employee. As Skousen pointed out, “This short-circuited the whole checks-and-balances relationship between the legislative and executive branches of government, but there it stood.”
McCarthy then asked General Zwicker if he thought a general who had knowingly covered up for a communist should be removed from his command. General Zwicker said he did not think that was sufficient reason to remove a general. Ex-Marine McCarthy was quick to react. “Then, General, you should be removed from any command. Any man who has been given the honor of being promoted to general and who says ‘I will protect another general who protects communists’ is not fit to wear that uniform, General.”
That did it. McCarthy’s enemies had their ammunition. McCarthy was never allowed to continue his investigation. A whole series of charges was hurled against both McCarthy and members of his staff. Time and energy were all absorbed in explaining or refuting a continuous avalanche of allegations. He was investigated five times in four years. The Establishment press as well as the Establishment hard-core in the Senate clamored for a censure. The press had created such a climate of “hate McCarthy” that even those who felt he was doing a good job found it politically expedient to denounce him.
Altogether 46 charges were brought against him. They all dissolved into thin air except two. It was found that Senator McCarthy had “failed to cooperate” with the Senate Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections in 1952 and that McCarthy had “intemperately abused” General Zwicker.
On the first count, McCarthy offered an explanation which was not accepted, but which a subsequent investigation verified as being true. As for his “intemperate” statement to General Zwicker, this was indeed a flimsy excuse for a censure. Senators from both the past and present have used far more vigorous language against hostile witnesses without anyone raising the slightest objection.
“From then until now,” concluded Skousen, “the people of the United States have been paying in blood and treasure for the historical mistake of letting the ‘censure of McCarthy’ totally discredit the shocking disclosures which the McCarthy hearings had proven. Ever since then anyone attempting to tell the truth about communist subversion in America has run the risk of being accused of that most heinous of offenses—‘McCarthyism.’”