Diana West

The Katyn Forest Massacre was the 1940 Soviet slaughter of some 20,000 Polish officers, whose mass graves were discovered by Nazi forces occupying the region in 1943. Senior U.S. and British officials, out of deference to their wartime alliance with Stalin, decided to ignore the early evidence of Soviet guilt and blame the Nazis. What I argue in my book is that one consequence of this wartime alliance was an increasing moral and even operational complicity in Soviet crimes against humanity -- "the secret assault on our nation's character" of the book's subtitle. The U.S. and Britain, meanwhile, were allies with Poland, too, but its betrayal at the hands of allies had just begun.

In 1949, after Epstein published two compelling stories in the New York Herald Tribune about the evidence of Soviet guilt in the Polish killings, Congress seated a Select Committee to investigate. This is exactly what so many of us are asking of Congress today in order to investigate Benghazi.

The importance of this committee cannot be overestimated. Congress was able to establish the record of what happened, including the U.S. government cover-up of the truth about Katyn. The investigation also revealed that pro-Soviet influence inside the government played a major role. For example, the committee report states that "there was a pool of pro-Soviet civilian employees and some military" in Army intelligence who apologized for "almost everything that the Soviet Union did." Also, this same pool exerted "tremendous efforts to suppress anti-Soviet reports," and ensured that officers "too critical of the Soviets were bypassed" for promotion.

This has striking parallels with today. Change "Soviet" to "Islam" or "Muslim Brotherhood front groups," and the report could be describing goings-on inside the U.S. government ever since 9/11, and certainly today.

In 1950, the U.S. government changed its official story on the Katyn massacre, recognizing Soviet guilt in this mass atrocity.

By dint of men such Julius Epstein, truth triumphs.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).