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that we should submit tamely to joblessness, inadequate housing, poor schooling, insult, humiliation and attack. It does require a re-doubling of efforts through legitimate means to end these wrongs and disabilities.
We appeal not only to black Americans, but also to our fellow white citizens who are not blameless. The disabilities imposed upon Negro citizens are a century old. They remain because the white citizenry in general supports these restrictions.
The 90th Congress has exhibited an incredible indifference to hardships of the ghetto dwellers. Only last week, the House defeated a rat-control bill which would have enabled the cities to get rid of the rats which infest the slums. And finally, we fully support President Johnson's call “upon all our people (black and white alike) in all our cities to join in a determined program to maintain law and order, to condemn and to combat lawlessness in all its forms, and firmly to show by word and deed that riot, looting and public disorder will just not be tolerated.”
No one benefits under mob law. Let's end it now!
(Whereupon, at 12:35 p.m., Wednesday, October 25, 1967, the committee was recessed, to reconvene at 2:30 p.m. the same day.)
AFTERNOON SESSION–WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 1967 (The subcommittee reconvened at 2:20 p.m., Hon. William M. Tuck presiding. Subcommittee members present: Representatives Tuck and Ashbrook.) Mr. Tuck. The committee will please come to order. Mr. McNamara, will you call the next witness, please? Mr. McNAMARÁ. Mr. Evelle J. Younger, please.
Mr. Tuck. Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, to the best of your knowledge and belief?
Mr. YOUNGER. I do.
TESTIMONY OF EVELLE J. YOUNGER Mr. McNAMARA. Will you state your full name and address for the record ?
Mr. YOUNGER. Evelle J. Younger. I reside in Los Angeles at 2461 Chiselhurst Drive.
Mr. McNAMARA. Will you state your position, Mr. Younger?
Mr. McNAMARA. Will you give the committee a brief résumé of your educational background?
Mr. YOUNGER. I grew up in Nebraska, attended public schools there, and got my A.B. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Nebraska. I took graduate work in criminology at Northwestern University.
Mr. McNAMARA. And your professional background? Mr. YOUNGER. Following my studies at Northwestern, I entered the FBI as a special agent. I was employed in that capacity until after Pearl Harbor, when I was in the Army for 4 years, serving with the Counterintelligence Corps and with the Office of Strategic Services.
I was later recalled during the Korean war, serving with the Air Force in the Office of Special Investigation.
I am now the research director of OSI of the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
Following World War II, I was, in turn, deputy city attorney in Los Angeles, in the Criminal Division; prosecuting attorney in the portunity to do exactly what you said you wanted to do and that is to expel these members from your organization.
I believe there would perhaps be some valuable help to be given to you from the Subversive Activities Control Board, this committee here, and the Department of Justice because, regardless of how fine an organization you may have, I dare say that there are sources at our disposal that you would not have at your disposal. At least I was hopeful that you might welcome the help and the assistance of this committee in identifying any possible Communist sympathizers or actual Communist activists in your organization.
Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. Watson, I am sure, as a lawyer, you would not value documentary evidence as much as you would the direct testimony of people and evidence that you could obtain on a firsthand basis yourself. We adhere to that rule in our organization, that no matter what a newspaper might say or what a Government reporter might say, we would want to give the accused or the party charged his day in court and before what would be equivalent of a jury of his peers, for the purpose of deciding from our own knowledge whether he is or is not a Communist.
Mr. Watson. I might say, and I am not going to prolong this particular line of questioning, but I am sure you will concede that this committee and other agencies would act responsibly in this fashion before any organization or any individual would be placed on a subversive list. I hope you appreciate that fact.
Mr. MITCHELL. Well, we always hope that all agencies of Government will act with responsibility. I do believe, though, in the separation of powers. I do believe that in the Congress you can engage in factfinding and come out maybe right on the mark. But I do believe that the function of making a determination of guilt or innocence is really a function of the judiciary. Even with the best of intention on the part of the executive branch and all these others, I think that the final determination ought to be in the hands of the judiciary. This is a hard decision for me personally because I know of my own knowledge that the Government of the United States has information on who is guilty in some of the more terrible murders that have taken place in the areas of civil rights. The Government, for example, knows who killed Medgar Evers. The Government knows who is responsible for the bombings and the dynamitings in the South that have resulted in the murder of people. But for various reasons those in charge of prosecution have not submitted that evidence to the grand jury and to the courts.
Now all of my instincts tell me I wish we would have some way through a committee of Congress or through the executive branch to bring these culprits to justice. But then I know that, under our system, until they are brought into court they really are presumed to be innocent.
Mr. WATSON. And the statement that you have just made contradicts your earlier position that you think that the court should make such determination of a person's Communist affiliation, because you have just apparently expressed a complete lack of confidence in the judicial system in some areas of this country.
Mr. MITCHELL. I haven't expressed, that I am aware of, any lack of confidence in the judicial system. I have said that under the Constitu
tion and under our doctrine of separation of powers we use the judicial system to determine questions of guilt or innocence.
Mr. WATSON. Then you are fearful of the procedures. As I understood, I thought you made the statement that you wished that the legal authorities would move forward in this field and they have not.
Mr. MITCHELL. That is right.
Mr. WATSON. Did I misunderstand your position, or do you want to modify it?
Mr. MITCHELL. I don't want to modify it. I would like to restate it. I said that I knew that the Government of the United States had information which would indicate the guilt of the persons involved in these crimes that I have mentioned. By Government, I meant the executive branch, which of course is the Department of Justice. I indicated that for reasons best known to themselves they have not submitted this to a grand jury. I was attempting to give you my more or less animal reaction to that, and that is that emotionally I wish that somehow or other we could get this into the works and get something done.
But when reason takes over I know that, if we are to preserve the system of government under which we live, even those accused of the most dastardly crimes have to have their day in court and until a court does get those cases and makes some determination of them the people are presumed to be innocent.
Mr. Watson. Mr. Mitchell, I am not defending the press at all because I have had my grievances with them, too. But did I understand you to say or imply that the irresponsible conduct of some individuals in the field of civil rights and racial disturbances should be exonerated or perhaps overlooked because they happened to receive great play in the press?
Mr. MITCHELL. No, Mr. Watson. What I was saying is that we don't have enough of the kind of thing that I have coming out of one of your papers—not yours, but out of your State. Now I would like to submit this for exhibit purposes. Since I have only one copy, I would appreciate it if your committee could duplicate it in some way. Our executive field director down in South Carolina sent me a copy of a news story in the August 8, 1967, Charlotte Observer and in the August 1967—I think that is the Palmetto State, isn't it?
Mr. WATSON. That is correct.
Mr. MITCHELL. Both of these stories indicate efforts on the part of the NAACP, under the leadership of Reverend I. DeQuincey Newman, to take positive steps to cooperate with the State in trying to head off possible violence.
As you will see, these apparently were on the front page in big headline type. There are pictures of people involved. I am sorry to say that this is not done by many, many publications in this country. You can get much more publicity as a Negro if you talk about burning down the Capitol or wanting to do something violent and destructive, maybe shoot Roy Wilkins, or something of that sort. You can get a whole lot more publicity by doing that than you can get by these constructive things.
All I would hope is that the responsible publications would start looking at the whole picture and put some of these people who make wild statements in proper perspective so that you can see that they are city of Pasadena; and on the municipal and superior courts in Los Angeles for 11 years before I became district attorney in 1964.
Mr. McNAMARA. In the course of your work as a law enforcement officer, have you had occasion to have experience with rioters and rioting?
Mr. YOUNGER. Yes. Our first major involvement, of course, was with the Watts riots. Having been involved actively in that insofar as the handling of the approximately 3,500 felony cases was concerned-1 should say 2,500 felony prosecutions and the attendant problems of court calendar, physical movement of prisoners, and so forth, I developed quite a professional interest in cause and effect and followed the other subsequent riots quite closely, through the papers and also through our own investigative sources.
Mr. McNAMARA. Mr. Younger, as a law enforcement officer and the head of the largest public prosecutor's office in the United States, how would you describe or classify a riot?
Mr. YOUNGER. A riot, as I use the term, and without regard to Webster's definition, involves thousands of people engaged in burning, looting, assault, and murder.
A riot, as opposed to an unlawful demonstration or civil disobedience, also involves a complete breakdown of law and order. Whatever else a riot is—racial protest, rebellion, social revolution-it most certainly is one tremendous crime spree.
Mr. McNAMARA. Riots have plagued society for centuries, and there are certain social, economic, and political conditions which have long been recognized as basic elements in a riot situation.
In your opinion, however, is there a new element in our culture which has contributed to the wave of rioting that has taken place in this country during the past few years ?
Mr. YOUNGER. In part, riots are excesses attributable to widespread disobedience of, and lack of respect for, law and order. There has not been a time in our recent history when the rule of law was so in jeopardy-not just from militant extremists, but from citizens in all walks of life and all levels of society.
Many Americans regularly and openly disobey laws they don't like. To them the traditional method of seeking changes in the law by urging legislative action seems old fashioned.
We have been experiencing a number of actions by persons who resort to physically coercive methods to effect change which, in effect, amount to a repudiation of the orderly governmental process—professors and clergymen urging young men to resist military service; the editor of the UCLA student newspaper urging students to violate the laws against the use of marijuana; public figures advocating a refusa? to pay taxes because the Government finances programs with which they disagree.
These are all examples of conduct which tend to encourage rebellion against all authority, especially among those persons who are not well enough educated or sufficiently sophisticated in their thinking to discern the difference between the classic concept of civil disobedience and the idea of simply breaking laws to accomplish an end which they seek.
It is one thing to deliberately violate a specific law which is believed to be unconstitutional for the purpose of testing that law's constitutionality, but it is an entirely different thing to advocate rioting and law
breaking by large masses of people to accomplish some political or social change, when the law which is being broken is totally unrelated to the end that is sought to be accomplished.
Overriding this growing tendency to resort to physical coercion is the increasingly popular attitude that because the protesters' cause may be just, they may be excused from responsibility for any transgression.
When police are called upon to perform their duty to preserve order and protect life and property, they are often jeered, insulted, and spat upon by the very people they are paid to protect.
Screams of "police brutality" drown out those who urge higher standards of training and better pay and a higher degree of professionalization to produce better law enforcement. Those interested in more and bigger riots could hardly ask for more.
Mr. McNAMARA. In addition to this, is there a new technical development in our society which, for good or evil, can have an important effect on a riot or a potential riot situation?
Mr. YOUNGER. Yes. Unquestionably, the television medium can be a major factor in contributing to or sustaining a riot. A newspaper can also do much to mold and influence public opinion over a period of time.
If I determined to elect or defeat a candidate, promote a bond issue, or obtain passage of very controversial legislation 2 years hence, I would want to own a major newspaper. But, if I wanted thousands of people to do something tomorrow-or even tonight-I would want to own a TV station.
When Knute Rockne wanted to inspire his team to superhuman effort, he did not write out his fight talk and hand it to his players. He spoke to them, fists pounding, red faced, breathing hard, eyeball to eyeball!
Only TV can provide that kind of communication. Only TV can inspire immediate action-good or bad. TV can be the monster or the Jolly Green Giant, depending on how its power is used.
Radio has many of the strengths and weaknesses of both news. papers and television. Radio is, in a sense, less powerful and dangerous than television when it comes to generating immediate action.
Newspapers-like any other private business in America—are operated for profit. Subject only to the laws of libel and contempt of court, a newspaper can be completely irresponsible; and nothing can be done about it so long as enough people buy the paper to keep it operating.
TV, on the other hand, while legitimately interested in making money, does not have the same freedom of operation that newspapers enjoy. TV uses the airways, and the airways belong to the people. The spectrum will only hold so many channels.
The Federal Communications Commission was empowered by a 1934 act to allocate radio and TV channels to be utilized "in the public interest, necessity, and convenience." To encourage a station to maintain this high standard, the act provides that a TV license must be renewed every 3 years. Courts have repeatedly held that a TV station holds a license as trustee for the people."
There are approximately 641 TV stations in the United States. Not once has the FCC ever lifted a license. The FCC must believe, there