Operation Abolition, Overseas Weekly and General Walker

Operation Abolition” is a 45-minute documentary film portraying certain of the events which took place on May 12, 13, and 14, 1960, in the course of hearings held in San Francisco by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.  Produced by the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover, the film is also an integral part of an official report of the Committee on Un-American Activities to the House of Representatives.  As such, it has the official endorsement of the committee and the United States and became a matter of official record.  Why was the film made?

The principal purpose of the film was to show the need for stricter laws governing the conduct of spectators and witnesses at congressional hearings, but there were also other purposes.  It also demonstrates for the Congress and the American people how a relatively few well-trained Communist agents can incite others who are neither Communists nor Communist sympathizers to do the work of the Communist Party.

It also demonstrates that, as part of its over-all campaign to subvert the United States, the Communist Party is attempting to promote contempt for law and order among the American people and to sabotage the operations of the Congress, particularly congressional inquiry into the activities of the Communist Party and its agents. In addition, the film portrays three of the principal weapons the Communist Party is using in the course of actual committee hearings in its efforts to destroy the Committee on Un-American Activities:

  1. mass challenges of authority and defiance of law and order inside a congressional hearing room;
  2. open rioting and physical resistance to law enforcement;
  3. defiance of the committee by individual witnesses and their attorneys.

General Walker would later use this film  during his 1962  testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Preparedness and Cold War Education to show how he had been forced out of his beloved command of the 24th Infantry due to the Communist propaganda of Overseas Weekly and the JFK Administration.  Paul Trejo writes in his “On Edwin Walker Thesis”:

Just as these films were rejected by liberal intellectuals and the misinformed, Walker’s Pro-Blue program was also rejected.  Referring to himself in the third person, Walker posed as a victim of a Communist plot that involved the highest offices.

The Walker case shows that the apparent controls and the real controls are not the same.  It is evident that the real control apparatus will not tolerate militant Anticommunist leadership by a division commander.

The Communists had a long-term program of undermining U.S. military discipline, nationalism and Constitution, he said, and clearly, they were obliged to attack the Pro-Blue program which was so uplifting to U.S. Army morale.

Walker will now get down to details.  The enemy appeared to General Walker in the form of a competing U.S. Army newspaper in Augsburg, Germany, namely, the Overseas Weekly.  Walker claimed:

Overseas Weekly continually represented the soldiers and the Army as brutal and criminal…I will here add that the Overseas Weekly is subversive.

Walker went on for many pages lambasting the Overseas Weekly and its staff, blaming them as the main culprits that caused him to lose his command.

Walker again complained that he had done nothing wrong, and so his removal from command had to be part of a plot of an Invisible Government against any effective Anticommunism.

I have…detailed all the foregoing inequities in order to…show how unscrupulous the forces back of the “Walker case” are, and how powerful they must be to involve the Department of Defense and the Executive branch of our Government in such devious methods, and in continued association and collaboration with a repulsive tabloid.  The history of the Army’s association with the Overseas Weekly provides convincing evidence that the paper has access to power greater than the Army’s.

Walker was suggesting that the Overseas Weekly was being run by Communist subversives and that he was an innocent martyr and exemplary patriot.  The truth of the matter is, his Public Information Officer, Arch Roberts, had tried to entice the PIO from another unit, Larrie Schmidt, to take up the Pro-Blue cause of Walker’s.  Schmidt wanted nothing to do with it and leaked the conversation to a pretty young reporter at the Overseas Weekly.  She promptly ran the story and that was the beginning of the end for Walker.  More about this in my upcoming book:  JFK:  The Untold Stories

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