Democrats should stop throwing stones in glass houses where it concerns presidents sharing classified intelligence. President Harry Truman — a Democrat — shared American troop movements with the Soviets and the Chinese during the Korean War, an action bordering on “giving aid and comfort” to enemies of the U.S. (if not outright betrayal.)
Gen. Lin Piao, commander of Chinese forces in Korea, would later comment: “I never would have made the attack and risked my men and my military reputation if I had not been assured that Washington would restrain General MacArthur … .”
Korea was the first war in which U.S. soldiers were placed under foreign command, and the results were disastrous.
The United Nations (U.N.) oversaw all U.S. and allied troops in Korea, and every military decision undertaken by U.S. forces had to be approved by the U.N. Military Staff Committee, which was run by representatives from the Soviet Union.
As can be expected, the Russians abused the committee in order to assist Communist China during the conflict. Soviet Lt. Gen. Alexandre Vasilev, who ran the United Nations Military Staff Committee from 1947 to Jan. 1950, took “a leave of absence from his United Nations job” to supervise Chinese command at the 38th parallel.
A Department of Defense press release outlined the role of Vasilev in Korea:
They wore civilian clothing and it was forbidden to address them by rank. They were introduced as “newspaper reporters,” but they had supreme authority. … A North Korean Major identified two of these Russian “advisors” as General Vasilev and Colonel Dolgin. Vasilev, he said, was in charge of all movements across the 38th Parallel. Another prisoner … said he actually heard General Vasilev give the order to attack on June 25th.
(SOURCE: “The Truth about Soviet Involvement in the Korean War,” Department of Defense press release no. 465-54 (May 15, 1954). Also, “U.S. Reveals Russ Ordered Attack on Korea,” Los Angeles Examiner (May 16, 1954), sec. 1, pt. A, p. 2.)
During what Truman disingenuously referred to as a “Police Action,” Vasilev received top secret information about U.S. strategy and the planned troop movements of all U.N. forces in Korea.
Americans died in large numbers because of Truman’s great betrayal. The only recourse left to Gen. Douglas MacArthur — supreme allied commander of all personnel in Korea — was insubordination.
“I realized for the first time that I had actually been denied the use of my full military power to safeguard the lives of my soldiers and the safety of my army. To me, it clearly foreshadowed a future tragic situation in Korea and left me with a sense of inexpressible shock,” MacArthur later said.
“Manchuria and Siberia were sanctuaries of inviolate protection for all enemy forces … I was denied the right by a Soviet General located in the United Nations … to bomb the hydroelectric plants along the Yalu River,” MacArthur stated.
“Most incomprehensible of all was the refusal to let me bomb the important supply center at Racin … Racin was a depot to which the Soviet Union forwarded supplies from Vladivostok for the North Korean Army. I felt step by step weapons were taken away from us.”
The rest of the story is well-known. MacArthur defiantly routed Chinese troops at Inchon and pushed American control of Korea all the way to the Yalu River bordering China, earning Truman’s wrath.
Truman relieved MacArthur of command, and hid away at Camp David for weeks while The Washington Post’s Drew Pearson (a known Communist sympathizer and Truman shill) engaged in systematic character assassination and defamation of the five star general.
MacArthur filed a libel suit against Pearson, which he later withdrew. Nothing new under the sun at the Washington Post.
After the fighting stopped in Korea, and after the prisoner exchange was completed, the Communist North still held 944 American soldiers believed to be alive and Gen. Mark Clark remarked glibly, “In carrying out the instructions of my government, I gained the unenviable distinction of being the first United States Army commander in history to sign an armistice without victory.”
Secretary of Defense James Forrestal believed Truman was actually engaged in Soviet espionage, and he announced the possession of information potentially indicting the entire Truman administration.
“If they were merely stupid, they would occasionally make a mistake in our favor,” Forrestal observed. Forrestal was taken to a military base shortly after his revelations and there confined against his will. Forrestal allegedly killed himself only a few days after announcing his plans to release information possibly incriminating Truman.
There was no further investigation into Forrestal’s death.
Democrats have a talent for conjuring up “fake” national security scandals after losing elections to Republicans. In fact, it is often hard to tell when Democrats are the “minority” party, because they cancel the Republican mandate with bald-faced lies and by abusing the investigative authority of Congress to create the appearance of impropriety.
Iran-Contra, for example, came about because President Reagan asked Congress twice for funding to support anti-Communist guerillas in Nicaragua. The Democrats — who had under Jimmy Carter approved millions in funding to support Soviet-sponsored regimes in Latin America — twice refused. The real scandal of Iran-Contra is that the Democrats supported Communist control in Nicaragua.
While the Democrats smell blood in the water and are eager to crucify President Trump on the basis of erroneous allegations made in the Washington Post’s latest screed, they should tread carefully when accusing a Republican president of illegally sharing classified information with the Russians.
Because Democrats (unlike Republicans) are actually guilty of doing just that.