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Grace Carlson

A New Use for “Truth Serum”

(31 August 1946)

From The Militant, Vol. 10 No. 35, 31 August 1946, p. 8.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

It would certainly be handy if one could always have a case or two of sodium pentothal on hand. The so-called truth-serum, sodium pentothal is the drug which che Chicago police used on William Heirens, murderer of the Degnan child. When one reads the latest outburst of the hypocritical president of the Teamsters Union, one certainly wishes that a little sodium pentothal could be injected into Daniel Tobin’s arm – and that some of his union members could question him.

Here are a few examples of Tobin fakery from an editorial in the August issue of The International Teamster:

“The right way to reduce living costs is to buy legs and produce more. That means staying on the job. It means reducing your purchases of everything to the absolute minimum.

“Buy as little food as you can get by on. Buy no clothes if you can put a patch on an old suit or an old shirt and make it last a little longer.

“Drive the old car a few thousand miles more or ride the streetcars ... Make the old rugs and carpets do, no matter how thin or ragged ...”

It would take a lot of “truth serum” to make a confirmed liar like Daniel Tobin tell the truth to his members, but let’s suppose that a couple of truckdrivers could get enough of it into him. We can imagine the kind of questions they would shoot at their union’s General President:

“Come on how, Tobin, let’s have the truth! Have you reduced your purchases ‘to the absolute minimum’?”

“You look pretty well fed, Danny, my boy. I bet that you’re used to a good, rich diet. Tell us the truth, Dan. Are you buying ‘as little food as you can get by on’?”

“Another thing, Mr. T. you’ve been getting more than $20,000 per year from our union for some time. Are you wearing old suits and old shirts? Give it to us straight, Tobin! You don’t have any intention of putting any patches on your suits or shirts, do you?”

“And what about this rug deal, Tobin, Are you shuffling around on ‘thin, ragged’ rugs? You bet not! You live like a king, don’t you?”

“So, come clean, Tobin! You’re giving us this hypocritical advice ‘to buy less and produce more’ just so you won’t have to fight for higher wages for the teamsters. Isn’t that true?”

If Tobin had enough “truth serum” in him, he’d have to admit that all these charges are true. Yes, indeed, this “truth serum” would be a mighty handy thing for workers, who have to deal with labor fakers like Daniel Tobin!

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Last updated: 18 June 2021