Nov 1962, Riesel
VICTOR RIESEL Red Party Will Stand Trial WASHINGTON—It's not quite the final conflict, but on Dec. 11 the government of the U. S. will try the Communist Party, U. S. A., in a federal courthouse here. No man will stand in the docket. It if the party itself which will stand trial. The charge against it is distinct. The government says it is a foreign agent and mist register as such. This means that Bob Kennedy's Department of Justice will attempt to prove that the Communist party is Soviet-directed. So the blue chips are finally down on the Red issue. This case can't be won by oratory or courtroom wizardry. The Justice departments Internal Security Division, directed by an objective and experienced counselor, Assistant Attorney General J. Walte_ Yeagley, must believe it has the evidence to link the American- Communist apparatus to the Soviet government itself. This could mean the final exposure of underground cells, couriers, secret communications. * * * WE MAY EVEN hear the names of those Soviet official* from whom the American Communists take direct orders. Skilled FBI agents will go on the stand and the cry will go up that they are "P»id informers." Some of the outcries will be sincere. But mat will come from those who condone the most gargantuan system of informers ever created — the Soviet block - by- block, house-by-house, secret police network from the Baltic to the Bering sea. When all the trials and appeals are over, no one will be able to say the Communist party has not had its day—even its years—in court. The party was/first indicted on Dec. 1, 1961, on 12 counts involving failure to register. Its final appeal was heard in open court before Federal Judge Edward M. Curran on Oct. 12, 1962. Communist party attorneys John J. Abt and Joe Forer had their full say and some of it was sharply said. But the judge set Dec. 11 for the trial to begin. This is more t an a year after a grand jury brought in the original indictment. No judge has been assigned to the case. He will be selected by chance, depending on the availability of those on the federal bench. * * * THE PARTY will have the right to a jury trial. If it is convicted it can be fined $10,000 on each count. Under the McCarren Act the p, rty's leaders themselves must register as well as register the Communist party. They have refused and they must be tried separately Two men, defiant and utterly free to voice their defiance across the world over any media, have been indicted for refusing to register as Communist officials. They are Gus Hall and Ben Davis. No trial date has been set for them. Still other tests of the law arc coming—and will come for decades. The Justice department has asked the Subversive Activities Control Board to rule that 10 persons are members of the Communist party and therefore must register as rank and filers; The board has ruled on some and is moving to the west coast to conduct hearings on others. Each has the right to reject tha board's findings. And the right to appeal the board's decision to the Supreme Court, if they lose before the high court they must stand trial. New verdict* can be appealed again right up to the Supreme Court. •• * * * MEANWHILE there Is n« restriction on the movements or political or professional activities of those indicted or those who speak in ttaa name of tha Communist party. One who can least complain, though ha does so most loudly, it the party's leading spokesman, Gu« Hall. He is free to do here what he could not do for an hour inside the Soviet Union. He has called preas conferences and has accused the FBI of criminality, of support for the American Nazi party, of racial and religious prejudice. He has attacked President Kennedy, accusing him and our government of subversion and terror. At the sama time Hall has been quoted on the Moscow radio as th* partisan of Fidel Castro. The Communist party feel* no inhibitions either. It produces propaganda movies. It runs mats meetings. It uses the old casn collection techniques to raise untraceable "anonymous" funds by the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our land may not be the Communist party leader's image of "the workers paradise," but the party and its people do quite well. Somehow they never run out of cash, cars, and good living. Soon we'll know how the most proletarian "of parties can offer up such comforts.