The cone of silence over public discussion of the Radosh-Horowitz attacks on American Betrayal cracked perceptibly last week as commentator and radio host Hugh Hewitt asked my great friend and Team B II colleague Frank Gaffney to interpret the controversy for Hugh Hewitt's sizeable radio audience.
(NB: On November 20th, I am deeply honored to say, Frank Gaffney's organization, The Center for Security Policy, will be awarding me The Mightier Pen Award for 2013. Information about attending the event in NYC here.)
The audio discussion, which starts at minute 7:17, is here.
Here is the transcript:
HH: This is genuine, honest-to -God, "I don't get it": Diana West has written a book. Vladimir Bukovsky, one of the people I admire the most in the world, endorses it highly. It has elicited an extraordinarily passionate negative reaction from people that I admire as well. I don't know what the hell's going on. Are you up to speed on this thing?
FG: I'm very up to speed.
HH: All right. When we come back, Frank Gaffney explains it all to us as to what's going on here because, really, I get so many emails about this, and it's like obscure Soviet history, they're all Communists, they're all spies, but what are the good guys fighting about? We'll find out from Frank Gaffney when we come back on the Hugh Hewitt show.
HH: ... All right, Frank Gaffney, my friend, my longtime friend, my friend of 20 years, who knows the anticommunist world better than anybody. Diana West wrote this book, American Betrayal. It has set off this sort of internal scrum with on one side, Vladimir Bukovsky; on the other side, Radosh and many others. What is going on?
DW: Diana is a dear friend of mine, Hugh, she features prominently in our program which apears, I'm very pleased to say, right after yours on WRC in Washington, DC, Secure Freedom Radio, each week. I believe she has written a serious, assiduously documented chronicle of what happened, starting in 1933, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt made a deal with the then-Soviet foreign minister, a fellow by the name of Litvinov, to normalize relations with the Soviet Union with the precondition, the explicit, written precondition that there would be no effort by the Soviets to subvert the United States. And as Diana points out, and, as I say, chronicles assiduously, of course, the Soviets did not honor that pledge, and the United States government wound up lying to our people about it ever since. This was a study, by the way, that she started with a very different focus, something you and I have talked about often over the years: namely, the degree to which our government has been lying to us about what the Islamists are up to, today's totalitarian ideology ...
HH: But with only a minute and a half, Frank, what is that she -- what grenade did she roll in there to get the Right mad at each other?
FG: Well, it's a part of the right. I think Ronald Radosh plays a large role in it, and unfortunately my friend David Horowitz has amplified it: two former Communists, people who apparently are deeply attached to this sort of iconic role of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and, in the process, engaged in the kind of, well, ad hominem attacks against DIana that I think are really untoward. I wrote in Breitbart: "End the Fratricide." If people want to have a serious substantive discussion or debate about the merits of Diana's thesis -- which is that FDR really was deeply penetrated, his administration, and, you know, subsequent administrations have borne the same penetration as well, that's an honest denate that we can have, but the attacks by the Right on the Right, there are too few of us, Hugh, for that to be tolerated ...
HH: Well, that's what --
FG: I'm glad to see I think it's winding down now.
HH: I just am, I just am stunned by all of this. I knew you would tell me -- so, it's really about the level of Soviet penetration of the FDR administration, and a disgraeement over that?
FG: I think, indeed; and, particularly, the shape of the New Deal, as well as the conduct of the Second World War as a result of that penetration -- very much exemplifying the kind of results we're seeing on policy of the penetration today by the Islamists of the Obama adminstration.
HH: Frank Gaffney, always a pleasure ...