October 24, 2020
The Enduring Relevance of Whittaker Chambers’ Witness

By David Gayvert

First published nearly 70 years ago, Whittaker Chambers’ Witness provides relevant, instructive, and inspiring encouragement for those currently engaged in the fight against today’s ascendant Left.  Although there is a wealth of useful insights within its covers, two stand out as central.

First, Leftist ideologies are always and everywhere about acquiring power to wage an assault upon liberal (in the classical sense) values and institutions.  Second, individual redemption after falling under the sway of these or any other malign influence is indeed possible by dint of reason, faith in a transcendent power, and the courage to follow those lights.     

Witness is most well known as the firsthand account of Chambers’ exposure of and subsequent testimony against members of the communist Ware Group, which led to the 1949-50 espionage trials of Alger Hiss, then a high-ranking State Department official.  Hiss was ultimately found guilty of perjury and sentenced to prison.

But Witness is more than just that story.  It is a poignant autobiography of a young man born at the turn of the twentieth century, coming of age in the wake of the devastation of World War I.  He became obsessed, as did many contemporaries, with what they saw as “the crisis of history” in the 20th century.  It was despair generated by this fixation that drove Chambers to become a communist at the age of 24.  He first served in the open American Communist Party as a (mostly) unpaid writer and editor for various communist publications.  Later (1932-38), he was recruited into and served as an underground operative in the Soviet espionage network in New York and the federal government in Washington, D.C. 

Gradually learning of the ruthlessness of Stalin’s consolidation of power during the mid-1930s, and particularly the Great Purge of 1936, Chambers became increasingly disillusioned with communism, and eventually came to see it as the earthly manifestation of “absolute evil.”  After much soul-searching and careful preparation, he decided to break with the party and did so in 1938.  In fear for their lives, he and his family went into hiding.  They lived covertly for nearly a year, until the 1939 signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact convinced Chambers that he must combat materially the malevolence that led to such an alliance against the Allied Powers.  He decided he must inform upon the Soviet apparatus within which he had once worked. 

He did so via an arranged meeting with Assistant Secretary of State Adolf Berlewhere he described the depth of communist penetration into key U.S. institutions, including the departments of State and the Treasury.  Berle in turn quickly informed President Roosevelt on what Chambers had disclosed to him.  FDR however, dismissed Berle’s information and concerns.  Thus, for essentially a decade — throughout World War II — communist infiltration of American government institutions continued apace through the naivete, indifference, or political calculation of senior political elites. 

Serious investigation of Chambers’ allegations by congressional committees and eventually the Department of Justice did not take place until almost ten years after Chambers initially came forward.

Witness is an intelligent and compelling, if sometimes overwrought history of the early years of the Cold War and the decades running up to it, replete with names, places, and specific events.   More important are the central themes running through it, the first of which is the implacable war waged by the totalitarian Left upon the values, traditions, civil institutions and the people who hold them imperfect but dear. 

The book makes clear that whether one is talking about the Jacobins of the 18th century, the various revolutionaries and anarchists of the 19th, the communists, Nazis and other assorted fascists of the 20th  century, right down to our contemporary Antifa and Black Lives Matter insurrectionists, their goal is never to amend, correct, improve through persuasive argument, or positive law.  Their enduring determination is only to rage against and destroy by any means necessary, the root and branch of existing “power structures.”  

To the leftist mind (or better, emotions) these structures constitute the only obstructions to their goal of bringing about the truly just, egalitarian societies that history demands.  Never mind that history shows that every such time those ends have been achieved, the net result is destruction of the freedom, agency, and dignity of the human persons involved through vastly increased death, destruction, and material and spiritual misery. 

This does not mean that elite promoters of these ends are blind to the consequences. It means only that 1) they believe that societies must go through a necessary period of “cleansing” before they can rebuild a new and better social order; and 2) that elites (like them) will always be the ones doing the cleansing and never be among the cleansed.  History, once again, proves both theses false (just ask Leon Trotsky).

As conservative philosopher Roger Scrutonhas put it, it is axiomatic that leftist intellectuals and those whom they infect with their doctrines of resentment see leftist purposes, motives, and methods as innately and self-evidently morally superior; it falls to those who may disagree to demonstrate otherwise — which of course is impossible, as those making such arguments are by definition morally corrupt by virtue of their divergence from leftist orthodoxy.  That such ideology has no foundation in reality is either irrelevant, or perhaps a desired feature; reality, after all, has a nasty habit of eventually rendering all utopian fantasies just that.   

Thus rather than substantively address objections to their designs, the leftist response is invariably condemnation, ridicule, slander, libel and increasingly in our time, physical violence against any who may point out the basic unworkability of leftist ideology and the damage its pursuit inflicts on actual human beings and societies.  Such people are to be “cancelled.” 

This was the fate of Whittaker Chambers when he had the courage to openly speak out against the evil in his time; such is the fate of any who do the same in ours.  Chambers lost his job — senior editor at the once-great Time magazine — his reputation and friends, at least in the literary circles he until then inhabited — and suffered severe health problems due to the prolonged strain associated with his exposure of communist subversion.  In an era lacking our social media, the sheer volume of vituperation heaped upon Chambers was not perhaps as great as that directed today against opponents of the Left, but it certainly was no less severe or damaging.  The only response today is Chambers’ then: don’t give in and keep punching back.  Among others, our current president has learned this lesson well.   

It is telling that when as a young man, Chambers rejected the Christian faith of his upbringing, the void created was filled with communist ideology.  Once he broke with that false religion, Chambers avers that only his recovery of the faith of his youth (Quakerism) made him whole again and provided the ultimate strength that brought him through his proximate crises and indeed sustained him throughout the rest of his life.  

Therein lies the second great lesson of Witness.  Chambers willingly entered and for years abetted a deeply evil cause.  Throughout that time however, he consciously and sincerely sought truth.  Through this consistent application of conscience, he came to recognize the lies and wicked agenda he was helping to advance.  That conscience ultimately led him back to its higher source and if not to where he started in life, then to where he surely belonged.  

Interestingly, Chambers relates how when he decided to defect from his Soviet taskmasters, he remarked to a friend that he feared he was leaving “the winning side.”  Until his premature death of a heart attack in 1961, Chambers apparently continued to hold to that unhappy resignation.  Nonetheless, he never expressed regret over his rejection of communism, nor what he had done and suffered in his fight against it.  Although America in fact defeated the Soviet Union, that achievement has done little in itself to extinguish the perpetual allure of the destructive ideology which animated it. 

For those who continue to see America as founded as the last best hope for humanity, the battle proceeds apace. But it must proceed with a clear vision of the challenges ahead (and behind) and the faith and strength required to ultimately vanquish them. Witness is a valuable aid in that pursuit.


Trump issues sweeping order stripping job protections from tens of thousands of federal employees

By LISA REIN AND ERIC YODER | The Washington Post | Published: October 22, 2020null

President Donald Trump has fired his biggest broadside yet this week against a federal bureaucracy he has moved to remake with an executive order that would remove job security from an estimated tens of thousands of civil servants.

The directive, issued late Wednesday, strips long-held civil service protections from employees whose work involves policymaking, allowing them to be dismissed with little cause or recourse, much like the political appointees who come and go with each administration.

Federal scientists, attorneys, regulators, public health experts and many others in senior roles would lose rights to due process and in some cases, union representation, at agencies across the government. The White House declined to say how many jobs would be swept into a class of employees with fewer civil service rights, but civil service experts and union leaders estimated anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands in a workforce of 2.1 million.

It would be a profound reimagining of the career workforce, but one that may end up as a statement of purpose rather than anything else. The order fast-tracks a process that gives agencies until Jan. 19 to review potentially affected jobs. That’s a day before the next presidential inauguration. An administration under Democratic nominee Joe Biden would be unlikely to allow the changes to proceed.

Still, the order, coming less than two weeks before the election, represents a stunning effort to reshape large parts of the nonpartisan government, which is supposed to serve as a cadre of subject-matter experts for every administration.

“President Trump is delivering on his promise to make Washington accountable again to the citizens it’s meant to serve,” Russell Vought, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement. “This much-needed reform will increase accountability in essential policy-making positions within the government.”

Critics said the latest effort, while not affecting a majority of the government, would upend the foundation of the career workforce by imposing political loyalty tests.

“I am calling this a declaration of war on the civil service,” said Richard Loeb, senior policy counsel for the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union representing federal workers.

Political appointees ultimately call the shots on policy direction, but career employees advise them on how to follow the law and implement their priorities.

Tensions are common. But in the Trump era, they have reached a fever pitch in many offices, as career employees chafe at an agenda that has upended Washington. Political appointees have come to view many civil servants with suspicion. The new directive tries to even the score, returning the upper hand to the administration, two senior administration officials said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

And over almost four years, the Trump administration has moved to weaken employee unions and hold them accountable for misconduct and weak performance.

The administration has been open with its frustration at the obstacles to firing poor performers. “Agencies need the flexibility to expeditiously remove poorly performing employees from these positions without facing extensive delays or litigation,” the order says.

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The White House’s earlier efforts to limit the power of federal employee unions and impose faster discipline survived multiple court challenges as it created a climate of anxiety across much of the government.

Agencies have reined in some job protections for all employees, imposing shorter timetables for correcting poor performance and appeals. They’ve dispensed with established union practices such as allowing labor officials to use agency computers for work on employees’ behalf, for example. And a long-held practice called official time, in which unions work on behalf of employees facing discipline or other action, has been all but killed.

Even if Trump loses the election, Loeb said the administration could move in fewer than 90 days to impose the order, which he worries might be designed to let Trump political appointee stay on into a Biden administration.

“This could be used to put a whole bunch of Trump loyalists in place,” Loeb said, making it messy for a Biden team to fire them.

Loeb estimated that the change could strip due process rights and protections from more than 100,000 employees.

Rep. Don Beyer, a Democrat, whose Northern Virginia district includes about 85,000 federal workers, said the order, if enacted, would usher in loyalty tests and further politicize agencies that have become deeply partisan workplaces under Trump.

“It’s an attempt to redefine the civil service as a political arm of the presidency rather than public servants who work for the American people,” Beyer said, calling the result “open cronyism that does not benefit the country, but the president.”

The order would shift the affected employees from what is known as the “competitive service” — which covers the bulk of the executive branch — into the “excepted service,” which in general applies to political appointees below the level requiring Senate confirmation.

The group would no longer be hired under competitive procedures and would lose their right to be represented by a union.

While unions said they heard rumblings of the order, neither they nor government personnel experts say they were consulted on the details.

“The order is highly troubling,” said Max Stier, president and chief executive of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service. “It appears to be an effort to remove the career merit protections around a core part of the civil service.”

Stier said that while the change would not turn the employees into political appointees, “The effect and the apparent intent is that they are moving them into that box. The discretion for both hiring and firing is so great that the merit principles are undermined and they resemble a political appointee much more than a career civil servant.”

“This is a bad idea and it was done in a bad way,” he said. “What happens next is something that the election will be relevant for.”

While it does not define which occupations will be swept into the new job classification, the order gives broad roles, including those that develop or advocate policy, negotiate with employee unions, write regulations and do legal work. The work would include “substantial discretion to determine the manner in which the agency exercises functions committed to the agency by law.”

“Career employees in confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, and policy-advocating positions wield significant influence over Government operations and effectiveness,” Trump wrote.

Among career employees, the “excepted service” mainly applies to positions in which it is not practical to use competitive processes in hiring, such as attorneys. Employees of some entire agencies, such as in the intelligence community, also are in the excepted service.

Hiring managers are not required to post these kinds of vacancies on the government’s central job board, USAJobs.gov. The jobs do not require the complex rating systems of applicants that are mandated for most federal roles. And there is no formal preference for veterans.

Unless they are veterans, employees in this group do not have rights to appeal disciplinary actions by a supervisor for two years, rather than the standard one year.

The order would not affect the roughly 6,000 senior executives in the government. But experts on the civil service said the most likely targets would be employees at the highest level of the General Schedule below that, GS-13, 14 and 15.

The new set of employees would lose the rights to due process and appeals of personnel actions against them they now enjoy — with one exception. Whistleblowers and those claiming discrimination or harassment would have more rights, according to John Berry, an attorney who represents federal workers.

The Trump administration has moved aggressively on other issues involving federal workers. It has recommended in its annual budget proposals numerous cuts to federal retirement benefits while advocating that employees pay more toward those benefits. While Congress has not accepted those proposals, the administration moved on its own authority in several controversial ways.

Trump’s new order closely follows issuance of rules telling agencies to provide only the minimal accommodations required by law to assist underperforming employees before disciplining them and to make the maximum use of their discretion in choosing discipline either for poor performance or misconduct.


Joe Biden’s daughter alleges “inappropriate showers” in her diary. Hunter Biden sex/drug tape released.

EXCLUSIVE SOURCE: Biden Daughter’s Diary Details ‘Not Appropriate’ Showers With Joe As Child

“Was I molested. I think so.”

Patrick Howley

  by PATRICK HOWLEYOctober 24, 2020

National File has obtained what a whistleblower has identified as a copy of the complete diary of Ashley Blazer Biden, the 39-year-old daughter of Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, dating from during the 2020 presidential campaign. National File also knows the reported precise location of the physical diary, and has been told by a whistleblower that there exists an audio recording of Ashley Biden admitting this is her diary.

In the diary, which our source says belongs to the former vice president’s daughter, the author writes of her struggle with drug abuse. Ashley Biden’s struggle with drugs was widely publicized in 2009.According to our source, the diary also details Ashley Biden’s unhealthy relationship with sex, and the “probably not appropriate” showers she shared as a young girl with her father, Joe Biden.Joe Biden dances the hora with Ashley at her wedding in 2012After declaring she was “here for sexual trauma” in the previous entry, on page 23 of the diary, dated January 30, 2019, the author explores the topic of sexual abuse and how it may have led to her overactive sex drive. “I’ve had one of my hardest days – my sex drive is out of f**king control. Like literally, I am in heat,” wrote the author.“I know it’s not the healthiest way to deal with things but @ least it’s better than drugs,” she wrote, adding that she thought she needed “sex to feel good.”The author then explored why she felt this need to have sex, saying she believes she was molested as a child.“Was I molested. I think so – I can’t remember specifics but I do remember trauma,” wrote the author, before listing a series of potential incidents, one of which may have included Ashley Biden’s cousin Caroline Biden, as the author says she remembers “being somewhat sexualized” alongside a person named “Caroline.”The author then wrote that she remembers “showers with my dad” that were “probably not appropriate.”On page 83, in an entry dated July 22, 2019, the author wrote that she received a phone call from her father, Joe Biden according to our source, who cried on the phone while expressing his worry for her in the days leading up to July 30-31 Democratic Primary Debate.“My dad cried on the phone saying he has the debate in a week and ‘Now has to worry about [the author],’” she wrote. “And he cried. Maybe he knows what he is doing and it’s worked but my feelings of guilt often are overwhelming.”In at least two entries, the author explicitly identifies herself as Ashley Blazer Biden.National File obtained this document from a whistleblower who was concerned the media organization that employs him would not publish this potential critical story in the final 10 days before the 2020 presidential election. National File’s whistleblower also has a recording of Ashley Biden admitting the diary is hers, and employed a handwriting expert who verified the pages were all written by Ashley. National File has in its posession a recording of this whistleblower detailing the work his media outlet did in preparation of releasing these documents. In the recording, the whistleblower explains that the media organization he works for chose not to release the documents after receiving pressure from a competing media organization.This diary surfaces after Hunter Biden, the son of the Democrat presidential candidate, Joe Biden, has been exposed as having “underage obsessions” and corrupt business dealings as evidenced by emails and images provided by the New York Post and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.National File, as the media organization that published reports about the Pelosi family’s Ukraine dealings and the potentially illegal affairs of Democrat Senate candidate Cal Cunningham, believes the public has a right to read these entries that were obtained for National File by Patrick Howley, the reporter who broke the Veterans Affairs scandal, and the Ralph Northam racist yearbook photo.Last year Ashley Biden was profiled by The List, which claimed that her “transformation is turning heads.” She was credited as working as a “social worker, activist, and entrepreneur.”

EXCLUSIVE SOURCE: Biden Daughter’s Diary Details ‘Not Appropriate’ Showers With Joe As Child

Hunter Bidens sex/drug tape.

BREAKING: China’s GTV Releases Videos of Hunter Biden Sex Tapes while Smoking Crack