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President Herbert Hoover
My posting on President Herbert Hoover received many commendations. However, here is a dissenting voice from a serious alumnus. WAIS is impartial, and we simply want to get at the truth. Perhaps some specialist on the period of President Hoover can add to the debate. Christopher Balz says:
It has been my understanding from informal research which I conducted at Green Library that Herbert Hoover was seriously implicated in a massive diversion of resources from the famine relief program which he administered for Eastern Europe. The resources were said to have been diverted to support the White Russian Army. I recall reading U.S. Congressional Hearings, or Proceedings, on this in the Congressional Record in Green Library. I do not remember the exact year of the hearings (the most I can offer is that it was sometime around 1918-20). However, the tone was very similar to that of the comparatively recent hearings when Oliver North testified, I believe completely falsely, to the U.S. Congress about the Iran-Contra affair. In other words, a large redirection of U.S. resources, donated by the People of the United States of America, was missing and the Congresspeople wanted to know about it! Given that it seems likely that Herbert Hoover had extensive dealings with the brutal Tsar in order to further some of his (Hoover's) extensive business plans in Russia before the October Revolution, he may have been very interested in the White Russian Army's efforts.
It is well known, for example, that much of the thinking at the Hoover Institution condones U.S. policy towards Central America, of which the School of the Americas is an integral part. The inhuman (or sadly, all too human) brutality of that school's graduates as they "police" Central America has become so well known that even mainstream public figures have begun to call for its discontinuation. I think Hoover's war famine relief administration is an area of history crying out for investigation. And, contrary to the tone of your email, I think Hoover's record, if anything, is ever the more in question. It would seem that humanity has a right to know.
- Christopher Balz, B.A. Honors Humanites Stanford '90, Robert W. Golden Award For Excellence in the Humanities, '90.
My comment: WAIS has cordial relations with Hoover, as it does with the Institute for International Studies and with Bolivar House and the Latin American Studies program, which I founded, but the concern of WAIS is a free exchange of information and opinions in the search for truth, which should be the main concern of universities.
Ronald Hilton - 09/29/99