Letter: Looking at historical context of loyatly oaths

March 17, 2013 

The front-page article on loyalty oaths in the Feb. 14 Herald neglected the historical context of the issue. Omitted was longtime head of the ACLU Roger Baldwin's statement that "a superior loyalty to a foreign government disqualifies a citizen from service to our own."

In fact, Communist Party members were removed from the ACLU's executive board.

The Soviet Union totally controlled the U.S. Communist Party, funded it and recruited members for espionage activity. Kremlin archives have revealed the pervasiveness of Soviet intrigue in the union movement, teachers' organizations and infiltration of the State Department and defense industries. There's no right to conspiracy.

But aren't these laws silly and anachronistic after the collapse of the Soviet Union?

The article quoted Libero Della Piana, vice chairman of the Communist Party USA. Visit its website. Rather than patriots, the party members identify themselves as Marxist-Leninist "internationalists" in "solidarity with communist and workers' parties in countries throughout the world."

They celebrate "great revolutionaries such as Vladimir Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, and Fidel Castro." Claiming to eschew violence and deploy elections, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, how credible is this posture when the party celebrates totalitarian states that systematically destroy these rights?

GARY BULLERT, Kennewick

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