Security and the Fourth International
THE INDICTMENT THAT REMAINS UNANSWERED
News Line 14 June 1976, page 5
Statement by the International Committee of the
For more than five months Joseph Hansen and George Novack of the Socialist workers Party, (USA), have remained silent about the indictment of the International Committee of the Fourth
International naming them as accomplices of the GPU. They have also refused the demand for an international commission of enquiry along the lines of the Dewey Commission.
This does not mean that they have been inactive. On the contrary, there has been a world-wide orchestration of revisionist groups to slander the International committee with the most despicable lies. The aim of this sinister campaign by Hansen and Novack is to deflect attention from the specific charges outlined in the indictment presented of 1 January 1976. The indictment proved that Hansen and Novack are guilty of conducting a thirty-year cover-up operation to shield known GPU agents and keep their crimes against the Trotskyist movement buried.
The facts about the role of Hansen and Novack emerged during an investigation conducted by the International Committee of hitherto unpublished government records, court testimony and historical archives. These facts were known to Hansen and Novack who preferred to keep them buried.
Cover-up No. 1
There are other so-called “Trotskyists” who want the history of GPU crimes against the Fourth International buried.
Among those to emerge from the shadows to pronounce on “Security and the Fourth International” is Michel Pablo, the man who lent his name to the political individual known as a Pabloite revisionist which in practice led to capitulation to Stalinism. [Text as original – Ed]
On 27 and 28 March 1976, Pablo’s tendency, meeting in Paris, voted unanimously, with the exception of George Vereeken of Belgium, the reject the “irresponsible accusations” against Hansen and Novack.
They are the result of a six month investigation conducted by the International Committee during 1975 which draws upon hitherto unpublished court records, congressional testimony, government archives, and interviews conducted in western Europe and The United States.
It proved beyond a shadow of doubt that they had harboured known GPU agents, shielded them, covered up the crimes of the Stalinist secret police in the Fourth International and waged a filthy campaign of denigration against those who had sought to investigate security problems in the Trotskyist movement.
This is not the first time Pablo has tried to crush investigations into GPU crimes in the Trotskyist movement.
In his recently published book, The GPU in the Trotskyist Movement, George Vereeken says that he contacted the Pabloite International Secretariat in 1956 for an enquiry into Mark Zborowski, the GPU agent who masterminded the murder of Trotsky’s son, Leon Sedov, and Trotsky’s secretaries Erin Wolf and Rudolf Klement.
“But the IS wasn’t very keen on the idea either”, Vereeken writes.
The IS, please note, was under the leadership of Pablo in 1956.
Nor were the SWP leaders in the United States.
On 2 March 1956, Pierre Frank, a co-editor of Hansen’s Intercontinental Press, wrote to Vereeken saying:
“Zborowski has been questioned by a sub-committee of the American Senate. We can’t expect much more about his activity in our ranks to come out from that direction. The American groups, (Cannon, Shachtman), ought to get together on it and try to make Etienne, (Zborowski), speak. Unfortunately we get the impression that they are not very keen on the whole business. Perhaps it’s only an impression.”
It is an impression that persists to this day!
It recurs when Pablo comes to review Vereeken’s book in his news sheet. Sous le Drapeau du Socialisme, March 1976.
After paying the normal courtesies to Vereeken as “a tireless and exemplary militant “, Pablo brushes off his revelations about the GPU crimes in Germany, France, Spain and Holland in the 1930’s.
“Whether G. Vereeken is right regarding all his information and his explanations is a question to be determined by collective research which must one day be undertaken.”
But which day? Why not now?
The facts have been buried for more than 30 years and that’s the way Pablo wants to keep it. He writes:
“It is, however, difficult in a short space to adopt a position on a whole series of questions mentioned in this book, questions which, in various degrees, have a certain relation with my own activity in the Fourth International, above all since the outbreak of the Second World War.
“I hope to do it responsibly, bringing together my memories, consulting my documents, when conditions permit and when I am persuaded that this is a useful and necessary conclusion to the life of a militant.”
So the world has to wait until the dusk of Pablo’s dubious career before he will disgorge material in his possession concerning the revolutionary security of the movement and GPU penetration of it!
Pablo, the arch capitulator to Stalinism, has it all ways.
a) He rejects the International Committee’s documented charges against Hansen and Novack
b) He dismisses the questions raised quite independently by his own man in Brussels, Vereeken.
c) He claims the right to remain silent about his own role until he, Pablo, is ready.
His way off the hook to protect Hansen is to suggest the formation of “A Court of Honour”, no less. Its fraudulent purpose would be to heap “honour” on Hansen by ignoring the International Committee’s documentary proof of his guilt.
Cover-up No. 2.
On 26 December 1975, a “Dear Joe” letter was sent from Paris to Hansen in New York. It said:
“We want to express our indignation with the scandalous slanders which the Healy-inspired Press has been spreading against yourself and the Socialist Workers Party with relation to the assassination of Comrade Trotsky and a so-called ‘security problem’ of the Fourth International.”
It added: “You can publish this letter in Intercontinental Press if you consider it useful.”
But this letter never appeared. The signatories were Ernest (Mandel), Alain (Krivine), Charles (Charles-Andre), John (Ross), Livio (Maitan), Pierre (Frank), Tariq (Ali), and Vergeat.
Publicly, these individuals have nothing to say about Hansen and Novack, but privately they form an unprincipled block to save their skins
The “so-called security problem” is a wretched and cynical evasion of the detailed evidence produced in “Security and the Fourth International”.
At one time, in the early 1940’s, the “Trotskyists” in Hansen’s SWP included the following Stalinist agents: SYLVIA FRANKLIN, Cannon’s private secretary, FLOYD CLEVELAND MILLER, head of the Party’s seamen’s faction, THOMAS L. BLACK, assigned to Coyoacan to meet other Stalinist agents to carry out Trotsky’s murder, MARK ZBOROWSKI, who latched himself onto the International Secretariat where he had access to the names and addresses of all Trotskyist contacts overseas.
This forms just part of the mountain of damning evidence which Mandel Krivine, Ali and company try to brush aside to cover up for the accomplices of the GPU.