Gerry Healy



Security and the Fourth International


News Line 12 June 1976, page 8

Statement by the International Committee of the

Fourth International

   On 1 January 1976 the International Committee of the Fourth International presented an indictment against Joseph Hansen and George Novack of the Socialist Workers Party of the United States. It contains irrefutable evidence that both men are accomplices of the GPU, the Stalinist secret police.

   The Investigation, “Security and the Fourth International”, was first published in a series of 19 articles in August and September in Workers Press, predecessor of the News Line.

   The articles and the subsequent indictment have thrown fresh light on the murders of Leon Trotsky, founder of the Fourth International, his son Leon Sedov, and other major political crimes carried out against the Trotskyist movement by the GPU.

   It showed that Hansen and Novack have spent more than 30 years shielding known GPU agents in the Trotskyist movement and covering up their activities.

   This is what makes them accomplices of the GPU and why the International Committee is determined to carry forward the campaign throughout the international workers movement to purge the counter-revolutionary crimes of Stalinism and its accomplices.

   Joseph Hansen and George Novack of the Socialist Workers Party (USA) have kept a five-month silence since the International Committee of the Fourth International indicted them as accomplices of the GPU.

   They cannot reply to our indictment. Only one conclusion can be drawn from this silence. Until they answer before an international commission of inquiry, our charges are proved and they are guilty as charged.

   The International Committee of the Fourth International has called upon them to submit to an international committee of inquiry along the lines of the Dewey Commission which Trotsky set up  to repudiate the frame-up charges of the Moscow trials.

   The International Committee is prepared to appear before such a body and present its evidence. But Hansen and Novack are not. They have shown that they have not the slightest intention of accounting for the thirty years they have masqueraded as “Trotskyists”.


   Their “reply” is taking quite a different course. It is to orchestrate behind the scenes a world-wide campaign of slander and lies against the International Committee and Comrade Gerry Healy of the Workers Revolutionary Party in particular.

   This is the method of the GPU reminiscent of their role in the 1920’s and 1930’s, in their murderous campaigns against Trotsky and Trotskyism.

   In February and March 1976 Hansen travelled to Britain to enlist every ant-Trotskyist, liar and political provocateur in a slander campaign against the International Committee.

   More recently a mysterious “Mr. Benson” has surfaced in London as Hansen’s emissary for this foul job.

  The aim is clear: Hansen intends to raise the lying accusation of “violence” to appeal to every anti-communist and middle-class riff-raff who dominate the revisionist groupings.

   It is to try to deflect attention from the thoroughly documented charges published in the International Committee’s indictment of 1 January 1976

   The charges presented after months of painstaking investigation in the United States and Western Europe are as follows:

1. Hansen has suppressed from the Trotskyist movement for 35 years details of his personal contact with a GPU agent known as “John” in New York in 1938.

This contact was uncovered by the International Committee in 1975 in previously unpublished State Department archives in Washington DC.

  The evidence showed that “John” was one of the aliases used by Dr. Gregory Ribinovitz who masterminded operations in the United States aimed at murdering Trotsky.


2. Hansen and the “philosopher” Novack have suppressed the sworn testimony of Thomas D. Black before a Senate committee in 1956.

   Black testified that GPU agents were operating in Trotsky’s household.

   Hansen, who was ostensibly in charge of security at Trotsky’s household at Coyoacan, never conducted an investigation to discover the identity of these agents.

3. Hansen and Novack continue to this day to defend GPU agent Sylvia Franklin as an “exemplary comrade”.

   They both know that she used her position as the late James P. Cannon’s most private personal secretary to obtain letters, minutes and internal documents for the GPU.

   They defend her completely although the International Committee has produced evidence showing that a New York grand jury named her as an unindicted co-conspirator with Lavrenti Beria in a Soviet spy trial in the US in November 1960.  

4. Hansen has set out to minimise the GPU spy role of Floyd Cleveland Miller.

   He entered the SWP as an undercover Stalinist agent where he climbed to a top position in the seamen’s union.

   He was able to report to the GPU on the movement of Trotskyist seamen during the war.

5. Hansen and Novack vehemently oppose any investigation of the role of Robert Sheldon Harte, the young guard sent down to Mexico by the SWP headquarters in April 1940.


   It was Harte who opened the gate to the Stalinist murder squad who almost killed Trotsky and his family on 24 May 1940

6. Hansen and Novack refuse to explain how Stalin’s top anti-Trotskyist agent, Mark Zborowski, was brought from war torn France to the United States in 1941.

   Zborowski was brought over even though his activities in the French Trotskyist movement were clouded with suspicion.

   Zborowski masterminded the murder of Trotsky’s son Leon Sedov and the assassination of Trotsky’s secretaries Rudolf Clement and Erwin Wolf and the NKVD defector Ignace Reiss.

   Hansen says the International Committee’s revelations about Zborowski are “a dry Well”, (Intercontinental Press, 24 November 1975).

7. Hansen and Novack have refused to reply to the security questions raised by Trotsky’s guard Harold Robins in his open letter to the SWP national committee, (23 December 1975)



   They worked through third parties and a lie machine which operated on two sordid principles:

a) The bigger the lie the better chance of it sticking

b) Once the lie has been sown it is half-way round the world before the truth can get its boots on

   This technique was used by the Stalinists to accuse Trotsky of being “a Nazi agent” and to try to frame him in the Moscow Trials.

   The same technique is used today by Hansen when he says the International Committee is “paranoid” and raises despicable slanders about “violence”.

11 June 1976