The kidnapping of Patricia Hearst proves that there are subversive conspiracies which threaten our internal security and the lives of individual Americans. But where do we turn to find out something about her kidnappers, the Symbionese Liberation Army? Why, naturally, to the body of our Government which is the public’s official source of information on subversion: the House Internal Security Committee.
For the last couple of years, we have been inundated with arguments that this Committee is no longer necessary because conspiracies are things of the past Cold War days. The Patricia Hearst case proves that ideologically-motivated plots did not disappear with the death of Stalin, but are conspiracies which exist in the United States quite apart from ordinary crimes caused by anger, greed, or lust.
When the Patricia Hearst case broke, the House Internal Security Committee was able to report immediately on the basis of investigations already completed. The prompt Committee report showed that the Sym-bionese Liberation Army includes combat personnel, skilled machinists, and persons with a sophisticated knowledge of language. Their opera- tions show a high degree of premeditation and planning, ample financial resources, and a frightening cache of arms.
It seems to be “open season” for radicals to carry on their war against law enforcement, intelligence, and security agencies at every level of government.
At every level, local state and federal, those charged with protecting our nation and its citizens from extremists are being harassed. The Subversive Activities Control Board is now extinct. The Pentagon and the New York Police Department have had to divest themselves of their files on the New Left. The attacks on the FBI and the CIA are on the increase.
The House Committee is one of the last effective Federal bodies left which keeps the public and law enforcement agencies around the country well informed on Communist and subversive activities. It has repeatedly proved its enduring value to Americans security. The radicals and the leftists, of course, have never liked the Committee because they never like the light of exposure.
The House Internal Security Committee, and its predecessor,the House Committee on Un-American Activities, have for 35 years been producing authoritative, accurate reports on Nazis, Fascists, Communists, Ku Klux Klanners, Castroites, and political kidnappings and espionage. It is responsible for exposing numerous subversive elements in our country, including Alger Hiss, several Soviet spy rings which operated inside the Federal Government, industrial espionage, and more recent revolutionary groups such as the Weathermen and the Black Panthers.
Proposals are now being made that the House Committee on Internal Security be abolished and its functions transferred to the House Judiciary Committee. This is a thinly-disguised ruse because, as Joseph Alsop recently stated, everyone in Congress knows that the Judiciary Committee has become “a kind of dumping ground for left-wing Democrats of the more far-out type.”
The House Committee on Internal Security functions as the eyes and ears of Congress in security matters. For 35 years, this Committee and its predecessor have proved their value to American security. It deserves to be fully funded by the Congress and retained as an independent and permanent Committee.