Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) | * FBI had a strongly anti-communist director, J Edgar Hoover. * In 1947 Truman let him set up the Federal Employee Loyalty Program, which allowed Hoover’s FBI loyalty boards to investigate government employees to see if they were communists. * From 1947 to 1950, around 3 million were investigated. * Nobody was charged with spying. * 212 staff were said to be security risks (communist sympathisers) and were forced out of their jobs. |
House of Un-American Activicties | * HUAC had been around since 1930s. It became big news in 1947. * In 1947 Hollywood writers, producers, actors and directors were called to the HUAC and questioned on whether they were communists or not. * The ‘Hollywood Ten’ refused to answer any questions, saying the HUAC did not have the right to question them. * They were each jailed for one year for contempt of court and Hollywood studios blacklisted the ten. Most of them never worked in Hollywood again. |
Hiss Case | * 1948 a man named Whittaker Chambers faced the HUAC. He admitted to being a communist in the 1930s. * He also said Alger Hiss had been a member if his group. Hiss was a high-ranking member of the US State Department. He accused Chambers of lying. * Truman dismissed the case, but a politician in the HUAC called Richard Nixon pursued the case. * Nixon found evidence that Hiss did know Chambers, and that Hiss had passed information to the USSR during the war. * Hiss was never tried for spying, but he was sent to jail for perjury in 1950 and spent 5 years in prison. |
Rosenbergs | * USSR developed its own A-bomb in 1949. Much sooner than expected. * US government strongly suspected that spies had passed its atomic secrets to the USSR. * 1950 a German-born British physicist Klaus Fuchs was jailed for passing British and US atomic secrets to the USSR. * Investigation into Fuchs led to suspicion of Julius Rosenberg and his wife Ethel. * At the...