chapter  5
14 Pages

Employment Deprivation

Modern-day Employment Deprivation for dissidents is rooted in the loyalty programs-replete with loyalty oaths-that began on 22 March 1947 with President Harry S. Truman's issuance of Executive Order No. 9835. Goldstein (2001, 299-300) marks this moment also as "the real beginning of what has been called 'McCarthyism'" since "it was this program, more than any other single action, which set the tone and paved the way for the anti-communist hysteria which gripped the country from 1947 onwards." According to Ellen Schrecker (1986, 5), "No other event, no political trial or congressional hearing, was to shape the internal Cold War as decisively as the Truman administration's loyalty-security program."l The Truman administration believed that the Soviets were using the Communist Party in the United States to subvert USAmerican democracy and values through espionage and deceit; to undermine these efforts, all prospective and present federal government employees would have to submit themselves to loyalty tests.2 While never explicitly defining disloyalty, Truman's Executive Order indicated that it meant membership in or association with groups or organizations that were designated by the U.S. Attorney General as "Totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive, or as having adopted a policy of advocating or approving the commission of acts of force or violence to deny others their rights under the Constitution of the

96 United States, or as seeking to alter the form of government of the United States by unconstitutional means." This was one of six types of activity that implicated a federal employee as disloyal. The other five activities were: (1) sabotage, espionage and related activities; (2) treason or sedition; (3) advocacy of illegal overthrow of the government; (4) intentional and unauthorized disclosure of confidential information; and (5) serving a foreign government in preference to the interests of the United States. These latter five types of activity were already illegal (Goldstein 2001,300-301).