69 YEARS OLD ALGER HISS WHO SERVED 44 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR PERJURY IN THE 1950'SNEEE 1950'F, SAID TODAY THAT HE IS HOPING FOR A RE-EXAMINATION OF THE CONDITIONS OF HIS TRIAL AND CONVICTION.
69 YEARS OLD ALGER HISS WHO SERVED 44 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR PERJURY IN THE 1950'SNEEE 1950'F, SAID TODAY THAT HE IS HOPING FOR A RE-EXAMINATION OF THE CONDITIONS OF HIS TRIAL AND CONVICTION. ONE OF THE PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR SENDING HISS TO PRISON WAS CONGRESSMAN RICHARD M. NIXON. HISS SAID THAT HIS CURRENT HOPE IS THAT SOMEONE FAMILIAR WITH THE ACTUAL SKULDUGGERY IN MY CASE WILL NOW FEEL LIKE EMULATING THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN MAKING A CLEAN BREAST OF THINGS IN THE WATERGATE. HISS SAYS THE NEW EVIDENCE IS IN HIS FAVOUR AND THAT THERE WERE DIRTY TRICKS PLAYED AGAINST HIM.
He lives in a neat, sixth-floor apartment in Gramercy Park now, a tall, precise man, greying at 69, writing a memoir of his believed New Deal, and selling printing supplies for a living. Alger Hiss: The name itself conjures up blurred memories of banner headlines in the Journal-America, lurid tales of pumpkin papers and stolen documents, antique typewriters and ruined friend, ships. Richard Nixon left the bones of Alger Hiss to bleach in the sun and went on to become President of the United States. His served 14 months in prison and waited for time to exert its inevitable pressures. Time now seems on his side at last.
"My current hope," he said yesterday, "is that someone familiar with the actual skulduggery in my case will now feel like emulating those who have been making a clean breast of things in the Watergate. Because of Watergate, and what Harry Reasoner calls 'the secret, slimy ???es,' maybe someone will say 'Jesus, ??? can't we step forward and say what we were doing?' I don't know whether that's a forlorn hope, but we've always hoped for that. The trouble is there are fewer and fewer of them. They're dying off."
It is difficult to explain now how innocent America thought its government was in 1947 and 1948, when people like Elizabeth Bentley and Whittalier Chambers started spinning their elaborate tales of de???. Communist infiltration and espi??? Edgar Hoover was one of the most respected men in the country, people thrilled to the sight of the American flag, freshmen Con???n, like Nixon, seemed cut from the respectable cloth coasts of Mister Deeds.
"T've felt all along that eventually--not only would I be vindicated," Hiss said, "but that I was convicted far more by the hysteria that was stirred up than by the evidence. If Chambers' ch???, which he first made to A???h Berie in 1939, had been made public and brought to my attention at the time, and there'd been a trial-it would have been laughed out of court. But it came at a different time."
Now, of course, we live in a time when the hired hands of the President of the United States can sit in the White House, forging cables from a dead President that would make him an accomplice in a murder. There ??? no room here to go into the details of the Hiss case the was ultimately convicted of perjury), but there is nothing he was accused of that comes close to what has been happening during the regime of his old persecutor.
Hiss cited the case of Boyd ??? ander in the Berrigan case and various other recent examples of "informers, provocateurs, and unstable people," all of whom have been working for the federal government. The same mentality permea??? 1972 Nixon campaign, with d??? Segrett the chief operative, working against Democratic candidates under While House orders. Now, we also know that wiretapping is considered honourable ??? by most of these people Henry ??? moved himself beyond rede??? ordering wiretaps on his friends).
"I remember my lawyer was told by an FBI agent, just before I went down to Baltimore to testify," Hiss recalls, "that there were three file drawers of my telephone taps, collected for years. The FBI said the trouble was that they don't find anything there. But they ??? the lawyer as casually as that, because they felt they had the right to tap anybody."
Hiss feels there is also a parallel to his case in the pressure that the White House brought against Judge Byrne in the Elisberg trial. "In my case, I thought Judge [Samuel] Kaufman had been a very fair judge. God knows, he didn't rule in our favour in every case, and he wouldn't allow us to put in the psychiatric evidence about ???mbers. But after the hung jury ??? Hiss' first trial, there were speeches in Congress and several bills for the ??? of Judge Kaufman. This was clearly meant to put pressure on the new judge in the second trial." (After the hung jury. Nixon said: "I think the average American wanted all technicalities waived in this case.")
Hiss said that the ACLU is now suing to obtain release of the secret FBI files on the Hiss-Chambers case, which might reveal information similar to the information that was finally presented to Judge Byrne in the ???rg case. Three books on the great case are due for publication this year, including an entire book on the famous typewriter (another parallel is Hunt's complaint while forging the Kennedy cable that he couldn't find a typewriter that would match the original White House model, and cited the Hiss case as the reason). Hiss talked for several hours yesterday, speaking carefully, but obviously feeling that some long, terrible night was about to end. Unfortunately there is no room in this space to repeat everything that he said.
Someone asked me not long age whether I felt bitter or used." he said, "Well, I don't feel bitter, but I sure felt used. I felt it then. But now I feel the whole country has been used."