INT: So could you describe to me what you thought was under threat in America in terms of constitutional rights, freedom of speech and why you felt the need to fight?
AK: The most frightening aspect of the strategy of the rulers at that time, both the political rulers and the corporate rulers, was their open strategy to abandon, if not totally destroy, the written Constitution of the United States, which was at the heart of our government and our life. And from the earliest days, we'd all been taught that the folks who had conducted the American Revolution, who had established the freedom and the independence of the United States, had decided that the paramount rule in the country was the written Constitution and the written Constitution provided, in the Bill of Rights and in every provision of the Constitution, for the right of people, under the First Amendment, to speak, to express themselves, to organise, to associate into organisations, to take whatever actions were necessary to carry through their needs and their demands and the whole written Constitution was set up for that purpose, because the people were considered the final paramount force in this country. And that's what the framers of the Constitution had said and that's what we had fought for and now this was all being thrown out the window. And the power structure was saying, forget it, forget the written Constitution, we're going to brush it all aside. We are going to decide what's needed for this country and that's what we had been taught and learned was what the enemies of our country had always said. And we'd fought against that in the American Revolution, we'd fought against that in the Civil War, we'd fought against that in every aspect of the preservation of our written Constitution and now they were saying, forget it, you're dead.
INT: But how real do you think was the threat to America from the subversives? They were in a new war, you know, the new enemy was Russia and inside America there was... you know the Communist Party was organising, you know, the unions were organising, wasn't that a real threat?
AK: Well, I just have to share with you the things that we have discovered many, many years after the Cold War and after a certain struggle we had, known as Watergate against Richard Nixon. We were able to get, for a brief period of time, the inner documents of the government, of the FBI and of the CIA at the time of the Cold War. And they were very open themselves in their own internal documents, and what was it? Communist Party was very weak, was practically non-existent. And there was no real threat of Russian agents, the Soviets had whatever agents within the country as the US had in Russia back and forth and they were practically no threat whatsoever and who were the real threats? The real threats were the activists, the organisers, the people who were fighting against what developed as the war-time policies of the Truman administration, the people who were fighting against the corporate strategy to destroy the trade unions. Those were the enemies and if those were the enemies, then we as protectors as fighters, for that's what we were taught when we went to law school, we were supposed to fight to protect the written Constitution, so we had to stand by the side of the people who were being attacked and destroyed by the rulers.
INT: And wasn't there a sense of irony that the whole anti-Communist crusade was actually in defence of freedom? That these actual, you know, rights in America were being undermined in defence of freedom?
AK: Not only was it irony, but we learned through our own experiences that this is the most standard technique of the power structure. Whenever they are moving a way to destroy the rights of the people, to destroy freedom, equality, they will say, we are doing this for the purpose of protecting freedom and that is to what? To try to confuse and frighten off the people from what is really going on. And I'll never forget when, oh, we were right in the midst of this and some older lawyers, they were about twenty five years old and we were young lawyers, were telling us that we had to learn the lessons of the experience of the German people through Hitler and we said, what do you mean? And he said, what was the name of Adolf Hitler's party? And we said, well, we'd gone through war, Nazis. And what did that mean? We said, oh, well, we don't know, Nazi, what's that mean? And he tells us that Adolf Hitler's party was called the National German Socialist Workers Party and he had used the concept of socialism to win over the German, the majority of the German workers, to do what? To build a Fascist regime that would destroy the socialists, that would destroy the democrats, destroy every aspect of freedom. And this older person said to us, you got to learn that.
INT: OK. Now would you be able to just to summarise quite briefly for me that there was an irony in this in the name of freedom, that the Americans were fighting for freedom and that in the name of this freedom they were undermining, you know, civil liberties, so on and so forth?
AK: Well, what we lived through was the whole irony of this strategy, that the rulers were saying, the power structure was saying, McCarthy was saying, Truman was saying, Wilson of General Electric was saying, oh what we're doing is to preserve freedom. And as they preserved freedom, they would throw our folks out of the plants and as they would preserve freedom they would stop our folks from writing any kind of play that they wanted to write. When they said they're preserving freedom, they'd throw our school teachers out of the school rooms where they were trying to teach students what the Constitution of the United States was about. So what we had to do - and it was rough and it was difficult, because they controlled the press, they controlled the newspapers, they controlled the radio, they controlled the movies and they were able to create this incredible lie. It was a lie, that they were fighting for freedom and we were agents of a foreign power trying to undermine the freedom of this country and we had to fight to turn that upside down.