The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, September 24, 2004
 

Another typewriter in the news...


After the welter of talk about IBM Executives, Selectrics and Composers, I come by chance across another famous typewriter saga: this time, it was the Woodstock #230099 (rather than 230009) belonging to Alger Hiss on which certain secret State Department papers (the Pumpkin Papers) had been retyped [1].

Hiss, of course, was the great martyr of the liberal cause (the antecedents of today's DEWDROPs) - victim of the evil Joe McCarthy, only begetter (Loyalty Program? What Loyalty Program?) of the Red Terror and incipient police state [2].

Until the Venona files turned up to suggest (though, I think, without proving conclusively) that he was indeed a proud nephew to a very different Joe [3].

  1. This and this pick up the story.

  2. Inconveniently, Hiss was convicted of perjury on January 21 1950 - according to this timeline - whereas the hitherto deservedly obscure junior senator's infamous Wheeling, WV speech to the Ohio County Women's Republican Club occurred on February 9, a fortnight later.

    But, just as with CBS, there's a tendency not to let the facts get in the way of the story.

  3. On September 8 2003, I mentioned Rep Samuel Dickstein, John the Baptist to the Dies Committee (which morphed into HUAC, Hiss's nemesis - piece of August 13 2003) as another liberal fingered by the Venona files as a Soviet spy: the NKVD codenamed him Greedy, apparently.


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