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security isn't free

Post by greg parker on Tue 18 Jul 2017, 8:48 am

The port security mission dates to the beginning of the 20th century, but the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 presented a different challenge. President Harry S. Truman directed the U.S. Coast Guard not only to increase its patrols of the nation's harbors, but also to eliminate risks from suspected communist merchant seamen and waterfront workers. The number of those "weeded out" probably was greater than the toll of victims in any other loyalty or security program of the day. Yet this aspect of the Coast Guard Port Security Program attracted little attention at the time and receives little attention to this day. While one historian claimed this program "brought the service the greatest unpopularity it had known since prohibition," it was unpopular only among a few militant, left-leaning maritime unions on the West Coast.1
All agreed to a plan whereby the Coast Guard would determine, on the basis of information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Office of Naval Intelligence, who in the Merchant Marine were security risks.5
Neither the Coast Guard, which enforced the program, nor the seamen and waterfront workers who were affected by it, knew the sources of derogatory information. The FBI argued that "informers" had to be kept anonymous. Its officers objected to confronting the appellant with the informer on the grounds that it would prevent ordinary citizens from giving information, and result in trouble and embarrassment for those who were required to testify.21
Some of the above information was deleted from the article after I first discussed it years ago at the ed forum. Luckily all versions are still available through the internet archives.

This was the world of John Pic at the time Lee came to stay. Seafarers, communist busting, FBI and ONI - an unheralded program which weeded out more commies than any other loyalty or security program of the day.

Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
The Cold War ran on bullshit.

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