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  • 8/13/2019 American Betrayed


    American Betrayed, Part 1

    Posted onSeptember 20, 2013byBaron Bodissey

    My blogging abilities are hampered by my lack of access to my customary computer. Not only is

    this screen way too small for comfortI have to break every five or ten minutes to get awayfrom it for a whilebut my regular computer is all but directly linked to my brain via special

    neuronal connections. I feel as though Im missing a limb while writing this.

    As a result, the following overview of the controversy overDiana Wests bookAmerican

    Betrayalwill be a rambling account of what happened, with some speculative thoughts about the

    possible reasons for these strange and distressing events. Dymphna and I have been tossing ideas

    back and forth for the past six weeks, trying to make sense of what happened.

    Rather than fill in all the background, I invite readers who are unfamiliar with the take-down

    ofAmerican Betrayalto visit theDiana West Archives.

    Ms. Wests book was published last spring to favorable reviews in a number of conservative

    outlets, and the author was interviewed on television about its controversial topic: the extent of

    the penetration of the United States government by Soviet agents of influence before, during, andafter World War Two.

    Controversy is one thingarguments about Ms. Wests conclusions and speculative deductions

    are to be expectedbut personal attacks on her capabilities as a writer and researcher are

    another matter entirely.
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    In early August a favorable review ofAmerican Betrayalwas

    published at Front Page Magazines website, and then quickly pulled

    by the editor, David Horowitz. It was replaced some days later by a7,000-word attack written by Ronald Radosh, who went beyond

    criticizing the book on the merits and descended into name-calling

    and personal insults. His piece was followed almost immediately byseveral vitriolic pieces by David Horowitz himself (also at FrontPage), additional attacks by Mr. Radosh in other venues, and a

    particularly snide hit-piece by Conrad Black at NRO.

    The sentiments of Messrs. Radosh, Horowitz, and Black were echoed

    in short order by several satellite writers at smaller sites, who

    amazingly enough, had not read the book, and were not loath to admitthat fact. As far as I am aware, no one who denounced the book had

    actually readit, with the exception of the Denouncer-in-Chief, Ronald Radosh.

    And even he may not have read the book in its entirety, since he misattributed several argumentsto it that it did not make, and corrected those errors with new misattributions. One is forced to

    conclude that he either deliberately misrepresented the truth, had not actually read the wholebook, or had some sort of mental lapse, perhaps a sudden fit of absent-mindedness.

    From then on, prominent defenders of Diana West were few.

    Andrew Bostomhas spoken up on her behalf, as haveStacy McCain,M. Stanton Evans, David

    Solway, Clare Lopez, Frank Gaffney,Edward Cline,and a few others. Overwhelming support

    for the book and its author may be found on many smaller blogs, in forums, and in the commentson various websites. FPM itself has been deluged with angry commenters decrying the treatment

    of Diana West.

    But no conservative pundit of major staturenot a single onehas written an article or op-ed

    protesting the ad-hominem attacks on Ms. West (an unhinged conspiracy theorist who has

    not been house-trained).

    Their silence speaks volumes.

    First of all, it suggests that they are afraid of the power wielded by Mr. Horowitz, and intend to

    make sure they dont end up as her next-door neighbor in the Outer Darkness.

    Secondly, it indicates a lack of agreement with Messrs. Radosh, Horowitz, and Black. The

    leading pundits were almost certainly requested to join the Two-Minute Hate against Diana

    West. If so, with the exception of Conrad Black, all of them declined.

    The capstone to the whole sorry farrago came when Clare Lopez was fired as a Senior Fellow atthe Gatestone Institute. In an article published at Gatestone, Ms. Lopez had referred toAmerican

    Betrayalin a favorable manner when citing parallels between Soviet penetration of our

    government in the 1940s and the penetration by the Muslim Brotherhood today. Like the
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    favorable review at FPM, Ms. Lopez article was immediately pulled from the Gatestone site, but

    not before it had been sent out to Gatestones email subscriber list and published elsewhere. The

    following day Ms. Lopez was summarily fired with no explanation.

    This tells us that there is more at work than meets the eye, and that considerable money must be

    at stake, since Gatestone would not have engaged in such blatantly dishonorable behaviorwithout good reasonat least not in public.

    Since then there has been a Silence of the Lambs among the Lions of Conservatism. The silencehas been tentatively (and only lightly) broken in recent days by Mark Krikorian, Brad Thor,

    Newt Gingrich, and Ann Coulter, who Tweeted about M. Stanton Evans article summarizing

    what happened and supporting Diana West.

    Perhaps this is the beginning of something more. Howeverand it may be curmudgeonly of me

    to say soit seems too little, too late.

    Thats all my eyes can take for tonight, and I have many other things I must do. Part 2 willconsider the possible explanations for this unexpectedly sordid behavior on the part of people

    who should know better.

    For links to previous articles about the controversy over American Betrayal, see theDiana WestArchives.

    American Betrayed, Part 2: Planet X

    Posted onNovember 3, 2013byBaron Bodissey
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    The 19th-century French astronomer Alexis Bouvard deduced the existence of an as yet

    undiscovered eighth planet of the solar system by measuring the discrepancies between the

    predicted path of the planet Uranus and its telescopically observed positions at different pointsalong its orbit. Later astronomers discovered Planet X which was eventually named

    Neptunein the precise orbital position laid out by Bouvards calculations.

    We are in much the same predicament regarding the controversy overDiana Wests book

    American Betrayal.Based on perturbations in the scholarly orbits of numerous illustrious writers

    and editors, we may deduce the existence of a massive undiscovered black body. Its out theresomewhere, exerting its gravitational influence on its planetary neighbors in the ranks of

    conservative American literati. We cant see Planet X, but we can observe its effects. We know

    its there.

    No firm conclusions can be drawn about this mysterious astronomical object. Without access to

    sources on the editorial boards of FrontPage Magazine, Pajamas Media,National Review, etc.,

    there is no way to determine the motivation behind the repeated, virulent, personal attacks

    against Diana West.

    However, after pulling together information from a variety of sources, its possible to make someeducated guesses. Although its exact position is not yet determined, Planet X is beginning to take

    shape out there in the night sky, blotting out segments of the starry host as it wanders past.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    This essay is the conclusion of a post begun six weeks ago, just

    before I went to Warsaw (Part 1 ishere). In the weeks since then, the

    attacks on Diana West have continued sporadically, penned in large

    part by the same detractors who had written previously, and publishedin the same venues. With the exception ofVladimir Bukovsky and

    Pavel Stroilovwhose validation ofAmerican Betrayalwas the

    most significant work to date in support of Ms. Westno majorwriter has weighed on her behalf since I wrote Part 1 back in


    AsStacy McCain said this morning:

    Diana West has many influential friends, and her adversaries alsohave many friends, but most peopleespecially those she calls the capital-p pundits seem

    determined to stay as far away as possible from this ugly fight. And who can blame them?

    Nobody wants to get themselves muddied up in a mess like this.

    Yet a large number of ordinary people, small-fry-bloggers, and medium-size (small-p?)

    punditsincluding Mr. McCain himselfhave issued ringing declarations of support forDiana West and decried the ad-hominem attacks against her. Something out there is pulling the

    Capital-Ps away from any orbit that might intersect with public commentary onAmerican

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    On October 31 Diana West was theguest of honor at the annual gathering of the Pumpkin Papers

    Irregulars,a group that honors the memory of Whittaker Chambers and his struggle against

    American Communism, and in particular his victory over Alger Hiss. Ms. West addressed theassembly about her book (see the link above for the full video of her speech).

    M. Stanton Evans,one of the most respected experts on Soviet infiltration in the United States,has repeatedly and enthusiastically endorsedAmerican Betrayal. So Diana West has earned the

    respect of many of the core writers who specialize in anti-communism. The notable exception is

    Ronald Radosh, who fired the first salvo in the war againstAmerican Betrayalwith his attack atFPM in early August. Various acolytes followed suit over the next few weeks, the most

    prominent among them David Horowitz and Conrad Black.

    Before Mr. Radosh brought his siege engines to bear against the book, it had been reviewed

    positively by a number of prominent conservatives, includingAmity Shlaes,Monica Crowley,

    Brad Thor,andLaura Ingraham.After war was declared, however, silence descended among the

    best-known conservative writers and talking heads in America. It was left to the small-p pundits,

    Europeans, and the doughty irregulars of the blogosphere to defend Ms. West from all thatpersonal vitriol. Notable stalwarts wereStacy McCain,John L. Work,David Solway,Edward

    Cline,Ruth King,Debra Burlingame,Andy Bostom,Hans Jansen,andLars Hedegaard,amongothers.

    The silence of the conservative lambs seems to have been prompted by the persistent lobbying ofRonald Radosh. During the early days of the controversy he sent out an email to a large list

    exhorting the recipients to condemn Diana West. With the exception of Conrad Black, no one

    seems to have taken him up on his call to arms and joined the fray. However, with the signal

    exceptions ofFrank Gaffneyand Vladimir Bukovsky, no conservative figure of national staturestood up to defend their colleague against the scurrilous personal bile being flung at her. They

    evidently assessed the odds, and determined that they didnt have a dog in this fight not if itmeant going up against the likes of David Horowitz, Conrad Black, and Ronald Radosh.

    This type of intimidation is nothing new. Back in the 1990s a young reporter atNational Review

    wrote a piece about communists in Congress. After it appeared in print, Ronald Radosh calledhim up out of the blue and warned him that his career would go nowhere if he continued to write

    such articles.

    So how does Mr. Radosh manage to wield such power over some of the most respected

    conservative writers and journalists? A former communist himself, he is fairly well-known for

    his works on communism, but hardly a major player on the literary scene. How is it that he exertssuch a strong gravitational effect on the behavior of prominent writers?

    One deduces the existence of a much larger body than Planet Radosh, based on the perturbationsin numerous literary orbits.

    However, its worth remembering that all but one of the targeted luminaries failed to join theTwo-Minute Hate against Diana West. This tells us that the case against her was unable to

    withstand close scrutiny. A careful examination of the screeds against her reveals nothing except
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    straw men, misrepresentations of what she said, and contemptuous name-calling, mostly written

    by people who had never read the book. No substantive criticism ever emerged. One may

    conclude that conservative writers of integrity and judgment examined the case and found itlacking on the merits.

    The exception was Conrad Black, a friend of the late William F. Buckley Jr. and longtimeassociate ofNational Review. Since the war was declared in early August, he has contributed no

    fewer than four severely critical articles about Diana West andAmerican Betrayalat Pajamas

    Media, NRO, and other online venues.

    Hislatest broadsideappeared yesterday at NRO. In his overview of the controversy, he notes:

    Much of [the dispute] has been ad hominem slathering of considerable heat and at times

    effectiveness, and much has taken the form of group disparagements replete with arcane

    references to academic trends and past skirmishes.

    Without losing his sarcastic edge or giving an inch of ironic ground, Mr. Black does his best toelevate the tone and substance of the discussion with this summation:

    The principal conclusions of Ms. Wests book are rubbish from A to Z, and I have difficulty

    imagining that I will inflict further comment on it on anyone.

    One might attribute Conrad Blacks vehemence to his admiration for Franklin Delano Roosevelt,towards whose secular canonization he has contributed more than his share, and who does not

    fare well under Diana Wests careful scrutiny.

    But what about the movements of other major planets? To what might their vagrant courses be


    Back at the beginning of the controversy, David Mills, the editor ofFirst Things, published a

    rehash of Mr. Radoshs material entitledAmerican Betrayal, Truculently Reckless.Since that

    time he has neglected to link to Ms. Wests rebuttal, or to the review by Vladimir Bukovsky, or

    any of the other material that might provide a different take on the book. Other venues haverefused to publish her responses, or delayed them inordinately, or buried them in the most

    obscure corners of their websites.

    Roger Kimball,the publisher of Encounter Books, is a capital-p cultural punditpar excellence,

    and might be expected to weigh in on behalf of his colleague. However, a quick glance at the

    new books list at Encounter reveals tomes by bothConrad BlackandDavid Horowitz.So its nomystery why Mr. Kimball has abstained from participation in all the unseemly brawling.

    In sum, there were almost no well-known writers who defended Diana West. Not that we wouldexpect most of them to champion the book on its meritsits a long, complex historical study,

    and not easily digestible on short notice. However, one might have hoped that they would decry

    the nasty ad-hominem style of attack directed at their colleague. What baleful force did Planet Xwield to ensure their silence?
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    Among the most prominent voices that one might have expected to weigh in on Ms. Wests

    behalf were those of Lt. Col. Allen West (retired), the former federal prosecutor Andrew

    McCarthy, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former UN Ambassador John Bolton,the writer Mark Steyn, and the well-known columnist Ann Coulter.

    Mr. Steyns absence from the fray is understandable, since Conrad Black is his good friend. Mr.Gingrich and Ms. Coulter went so far as to tweet in support ofAmerican Betrayal. But as far as I

    know, Col. West and Amb. Bolton have had nothing to say about the controversy, at least not in


    The same could be said of Andrew McCarthy until very recently. In apiece published on Friday

    at Pajamas Media, Mr. McCarthy responded to Ronald Radosh, who had written a blog post onPJM last Monday criticizing Mr. McCarthy on matters unrelated to Diana West or her book. As

    an aside, the author included this note aboutAmerican Betrayal:

    I have not commented on this but, since he brings up the subject of civility, I am still taken aback

    by the tone of his review of Diana WestsAmerican Betrayal and I cringed upon learningthat, in the midst of the nasty cross-fire that it ignited, he sent Diana a giddy email taunt when

    another commentator, Conrad Black, published a similarly intemperate review. To be clear, I amnot talking about substantive merit hereI happen to disagree with Ron and Conrad about

    Dianas book, but that is neither here nor there (Ill have more to say about it soon). I am talking

    about peer-to-peer civility. Even in the context of Rons post about my column, the serious andrespectful twaddle is just a set-up for branding my argument as a childs temper tantrum.

    Serious and respectful starts to seem a lot like agrees with Ron.

    He also referred to the controversy yesterday in another aside, this time inan article at NRO:

    Ronald Radosh, the former Marxist and accomplished neoconservative historian, has lately beenthe spears point in defending the FDR legacy on both the foreign-affairs and domestic-policy

    sides. His blistering review of Diana WestsAmerican Betrayalvigorously champions

    Roosevelts conduct of World War II. I believe Ron gives Dianas book a bad rap, and I willexplain why in another column, coming soon.

    Mr. McCarthy is to be commended for his willingness to venture where other literary angelsfeared to tread. However, from the point of view of the little people who have been struggling

    to defend Diana West since the beginning of August, it is too little, too late.

    Why wait more than three months to speak up, however faintly, on behalf of his good friend and

    fellow Team B member?

    Why not write a longer article dedicated solely to the topic of the politics of personal

    destruction directed at Diana West?

    Why this persistent reticence?
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    The people who wanted to buryAmerican Betrayaland its author did their no-holds-barred work

    vigorously throughout August, September, and October. Had it not been for the timely

    intervention by Vladimir Bukovsky, they might well have succeeded, and anything said now onher behalf by capital-p pundits would have done little to change the verdict. She would have

    been decisively consigned to the Outer Darkness, keeping company with the McCarthyites, the

    conspiracy theorists, and the kooks.

    An unjust outcome, to be sure, but the august eminences among the punditerati could at least

    comfort themselves that the hems of their crinolines had never been spattered with the sludge ofunseemly controversy.

    The gold standard for integrity throughout this whole sordid affair remains the behavior of AndyBostom, who staunchly defended Diana West from Day One, and took flak from all quarters for

    doing so. He spoke up vigorously and repeatedly on her behalf, just as one would expect of a

    loyal friend.

    Why was it that back in August no illustrious personage behaved the way Andy Bostom did? Nocapital p-pundit, not even those who publicly called Diana West their friend, was willing to take

    the risk. What on earth was wrong?

    Thats some planet, that Planet X.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    As outlined above, the origin and trajectory of the current controversy are easy to describe.

    Determining the characteristics of the mysterious Planet X is a much more difficult task.

    The existence of that baleful body is decisively proven by thefiring of Clare Lopez as a seniorfellow of the Gatestone Institute.To summarily dismiss a writer and scholar of such impeccable

    credentials, merely because she wrote favorably aboutAmerican Betrayal, was an ill-consideredact. It could hardly have redounded to the benefit of Nina Rosenwald and Gatestone. Therefore

    there must have been some overwhelming influence that insisted on the departure of Ms. Lopez.

    The same reasoning applies to the taciturnity of all the well-known scholars and essayists. There

    must have been a reason for their reluctance. Why did they maintain silence? Its easy to cry

    cowardice! But what were they afraid of?

    All of them had much more to lose than Andy Bostom by weighing in. No one can expect these

    well-known writers to surrender their livelihood voluntarily, and Ronald Radosh seems to havehad the power to say, in effect, Youll never work in this town again. Simple self-preservation

    required that they stay out of the action.

    To find the source of the power to silence, the obvious approach is to follow the money. Yet

    thats a tough job, given all the interconnected foundations, publications, media companies,

    consortia, and so on. All we can say for certain is that someone must be shelling out the bigbucks to muzzle Diana Westnothing else could explain the hasty and occasionally reckless
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    abroad, but he becomes the enabler of communist subversion at home. The United States

    government really waseaten away by Soviet termites. And, once again, the tunneling was done

    by the former comrades of David Horowitz and Ronald Radosh, whose ideological children andgrandchildren are even now gnawing away at the remaining heartwood of the Constitutional


    We may add to the above motives the possibility of professional jealousy on the part of Ronald

    Radosh. He, after all, is a well-known and credentialed historian of communism in America

    and what greater credentials can there be in that field than to be an ex-communist oneself? Fromthat point of view, Diana West is an upstart, an ignorant usurper who presumes to write about

    matters best left toprofessionals. That she should reach different conclusions than the wise and

    the learned only adds insult to injury. She must be suppressed!

    These are the stakes. Yet why should an allegedly conservative bastion likeNational Review

    support the continued durance of Joe McCarthy in the vile liberal dungeon? Bill Buckley began

    his career by seconding McCarthy in his fight against communism. What stake does his

    magazine have in burying McCarthy to sustain the liberal myth?

    Possible answers to this question are too complicated to be examined here.Peter Brimelowsaccountof the gradual, piecemeal destruction of the conservative movement in the United States

    by William F. Buckley Jr. provides some insights into what happened. Once again, it may well

    come down to the planetary influence of moneyin this case, funding provided by ConradBlack.

    For conservatives in the 1950s, the issue of Joe McCarthy was intertwined with that of the JohnBirch Society. When he foundedNational Review, Bill Buckley attempted to save American

    conservatism by constructing a fence around good conservatives while thrusting the bad

    conservatives outside the pale, into the Outer Darkness. McCarthy was originally inside thefence, but has been stealthily expelled from the corral during the ensuing four or five decades.

    The John Birch Society, however, was placed beyond the pale from the very beginning. TheBirchers were nativists, which converts to racists using modern terminology, and if theres one

    thing that a 21st-century conservative dreads, it is to be identified as a racist. The continuing

    proscription of the John Birch Society is thus an absolute necessity.

    When I was a kid, the Birchers were widely considered kooks. They protested against the

    fluoridation of the water supply. They put up billboards demanding the impeachment of Chief

    Justice Earl Warren. And one of their major slogans was Get US out of the UN!


    In the fifty years since then, events have made it obvious that the United Nations is a corrupt,

    dangerous organization that we would be well-advised to abandon. Recent scientific studies haveshown that the fluoridation of drinking water is indeed harmful. And, given the dubious

    decisions handed down by the Supreme Court since 1960, impeaching a dozen or so justices

    doesnt seem like such a bad ideaafter all.
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    What if a lot of what the John Birch Society said was true? Where does that leave us?

    It means that a major myth beloved by both liberals and conservatives would have to bedeconstructed. It would require rethinking a lot of issues that have been considered settled since

    World War Two. And it would mean tarnishing the haloes not just of FDR and Truman, but of

    William F. Buckley Jr. himself.

    And we cant have that, can we?

    This is why the Bircher epithet has been so hurled so angrily in Diana Wests direction.

    Reconsidering the reputation of the John Birch Society is something that is absolutely forbidden,a heresy of the first order to conservative and liberal alike. The irrational fury unleashed by

    American Betrayalreveals the quasi-religious nature of these sentiments. Diana West is an

    apostate, and must be consigned to the faggots and the stake that provide the only fitting

    punishment for heresy of that magnitude.

    A further complication is provided by the nativist aspects of the John Birch Society. Suchsentiments make American Jews nervousand rightly so, since a lot of the resentment againstimmigrants in the first half of the 20th century was directed at Jews, back before the country was

    flooded with Mexicans, Hmong, Afghans, Somalis, and Iraqis.

    Which brings us to the final element in the hypothetical composition of Planet X: Jewish

    philanthropy. The topic is a sensitive one, to be touched with trepidation, since discussing it can

    set off a firestorm of vituperation from Jews and Jew-haters alike.

    One of the notable features of the controversy over Diana West is the high proportion of Jews

    who entered the fray on both sides of the issue. Like so many intellectual endeavors in the United

    States, Jews were over-represented in the fight aboutAmerican Betrayal.

    Its no secret that some of the major funding for American conservative non-profits and thinktanks comes from prominent Jewish donors. Is it possible that the potential rehabilitation of the

    John Birch Society was enough to cause such an intense aversive response? Or have other factors

    been at work?

    When researching communist infiltration in the United States, one may notice the large numbers

    of Jews among prominent communist leaders, including those appointed to high office in thefederal government during the New Deal. It is not considered polite to mention this aspect of

    American communism, but the facts are out there for anyone who cares to examine them. And

    Jews themselves are aware of the issue.

    John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr are historians and well-known experts on American

    communism and Soviet espionage in the USA, who together and separately have writtennumerous books and articles on the topic. In May 2012 Dr. Klehrgave a lectureat aconference

    entitled Jews and the Left.In his lecture he gave the numbers without hesitation: at least 40%

    of Communist Party members and associated traitors were Jewish. In the Los Angeles party the

    proportion may have been as high as 90%.
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    Lest readers think this event was a congress of anti-Semites, it must be pointed out that Dr. Klehr

    himself is Jewish. He was addressing a largely Jewish audience at a conference sponsored by a

    Jewish organization,so this was hardly a venue for wild-eyed David Duke supporters.

    Some Jews would prefer not to discuss such matters, while others are always ready to examine

    the truth, whatever it might be, and let the chips fall where they may. Unfortunately, the fact thatJews were also over-represented among anti-communists is not considered a mitigating

    circumstance by those who are preoccupied with Jewish conspiracies.

    To my mind, International Socialism is no more a Jewish institution than, say, the New York

    Philharmonic Orchestra. Communism was (and is) fashionable primarily among the

    intelligentsia, so its no surprise that Jews are over-represented among communists, just as theyare in any intellectual enterprise.

    However, the public discussion of this phenomenon over the years has hardly been a rationalone, so its no wonder that Jews would prefer not to talk about it.

    Could that be one of the motives for suppressing Diana West? Can there be a fear that a full andopen discussion of the number of Jews among communist infiltrators would awaken latent anti-

    Jewish sentiments?

    And is this fear strong enough to mobilize major Jewish donors againstAmerican Betrayal?

    I dont have the answer to these or any of the other questions. All I can do is point to the obvious

    existence of a planet-sized mass out there somewhere, exerting its telltale influence on the orbits

    of other celestial bodies.

    The only plausible source for such a strong gravitational field is a high concentration of money.Major funding sources have obviously decided that Diana West and her book are dangerous, and

    have made the appropriate phone calls to editors and capital-p pundits.

    It could be that all of the factors described above are at work. Consider these four possible


    1. Anger at the defamation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

    2. Anger at a perceived attempt to rehabilitate both Joseph McCarthy and the John Birch


    3. Professional jealousy.

    4. The fear of reopening a public discussion about the overrepresentation of Jews amongcommunist infiltrators.

    Occams Razor suggests that all four factors must play a role in the irrational fury directed at

    Diana West. Based on the amount of discussion generated by #1 and #2, theRoosevelt/Truman/McCarthy/Bircher nexus would seem to play the largest role. But the other

    two factors should not be overlooked.
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    Or maybe there is yet another undiscovered element in the composition of Planet X. A heavy

    element, with a high specific gravity, so that even the presence of small quantities is enough to

    distort the orbits of neighboring bodies.

    Im an amateur astronomer in these matters. Highly-trained professionals are even now training

    their massive telescopes in the general direction of Planet X. Its only a matter of time before aclear picture of its surface emerges.

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