Olive Sutton

Murder Inc. in Greece



Not a single Greek mother is taken from her children and exiled to the islands without the knowledge and consent of American officials in Greece. Not a single Greek youth, acclaimed for his deeds in the Resistance, is shot without the consent of Dwight Griswold, head of the American Mission in Athens. Not a single dawn is broken by the clump of heavy boots outside the door without the approval of President Truman's representatives in Greece.

The whole world knows this.

The Greek Royalist Army has been equipped with millions of dollars' worth of American military equipment to fight the Greek people.

U.S. officers and men are at the front with the Royalist Army taking active part in the fighting—advising, even leading the troops. Enlisted men are sent into the country to give villagers "orientation" lectures on supporting the war against their brothers in the mountains.

A top U.S. Army official, Lieutenant General James Van Fleet, passes out the orders for the attacks and offensives and raids on villages from his place at the War Council table in Athens. You have seen the pictures of their victims in the newspapers: straggling lines of men and women facing the firing squads of the American-supported Greek government. Gray men and young men, girls with rough long hair. Some with faces lifted, singing, some with arms raised in last defiance. By fours and sixes and eights, decent people are being shot every day in the week.

Firing squads have already executed over 1,100. Fifty of them women. Nearly 1,000 of them since the announcement of the Truman Doctrine.

Thousands of resistance veterans, trade unionists, other democrats, including women pregnant and with children, have been imprisoned and exiled to island concentration camps.

Over 650,000 people have been uprooted from their homes by the raids and terror of the Royalist Army and gendarmerie, and are homeless, diseased and starving.

Officials of the General Confederation of Labor and of the Trade Union Councils have been arrested and exiled, and handpicked government stooges installed in their places.

Police raid private homes and offices daily, seizing people who refuse to deny all connections with parties and organizations which were part of the war-time resistance movement.

Millions of dollars' worth of relief supplies rot in the warehouses or trickle into the black market, because the Royalist officials will distribute them only to persons willing to support Royalist policies.

The country's economy is racked with inflation. Luxury goods for the wealthy few are everywhere. Staples for the average Greek family—when available—are at an out-of-reach price. Wealthy Greek businessmen have exported over a billion dollars because they have no faith in the shaky economy. Some have opened textile mills in South Carolina.

Ninety-five newspapers, including Rizospastis, the Communist daily, and Eleftheria Ellada, the organ of the Resistance coalition, have been closed down because they criticized the government for these conditions.

With firing squads and rope, the Taft-Hartley Law is operating in Greece. Death is the punishment for striking.

A special version of Truman's loyalty purge operating in Greece has thrown thousands of civil servants out of work. Those suspected of disapproving government policies are threatened with political persecution.

One hundred and fifty thousand Greek children have been orphaned by the long years of warfare, and die every day in the streets of Royalist Greece from starvation and disease.

In the face of this terror and oppression and poverty, the Greek people have formed their own democratic government in the mountains and declare they will fight it out to the finish.

They call their struggle a war of independence, and they consider the men who co-operate with the American Mission in Greece "collaborators," and American military men "enemies."

The $250,000,000 President Truman asked for his program in Greece a little over a year ago is already gone. Another $275,000,000 of your tax money is on the way to keep the firing squads in operation, the concentration camps guarded, the guns rolling toward the fronts in the Greek mountains.

And because the Greek people will not give in, officials in Washington are now talking about landing American troops in Greece in force.

The Greek people have been fighting against concentration camps and slave law for over eight years now.

Colonel A. W. Sheppard, who was two years in Greece with the British Economic Mission, has said:

Half of the whole American armed forces could not defeat the guerrillas for the same reasons that the British Army could not defeat the American colonists in the War of Independence. It has been truly said that "thrice armed is he whose cause is just."

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