Duffy: King wrong on Lindbergh
The author of “Lindbergh vs. Roosevelt: The Rivalry That Divided America,’ criticized remarks by a Long Island GOP congressman, negative comments comparing Charles Lindbergh to Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.)
In an article on the White House ambitions of Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) in the March 27 edition of The Washington Post, Rep. Peter King (R.-N.Y.), who is working out his own presidential desires, took a shot at Paul: “I think he’s dangerously irresponsible.”
Then to buttress his point he dragged in America’s most famous pilot: “I can’t believe responsible Republicans will support this guy, who’s a modern version of Charles Lindbergh.”
Speaking to Human Events, King said he did not mean the comparison as a compliment.
“Yes, it was meant to be very negative,” he said. “Charles Lindbergh in the 1930s represented the isolationist wing of the Republican Party that did not want the U.S. to be involved in the war in Europe and he continued that all up until Pearl Harbor.”
“He was very discredited afterwards,” he said. “He was constantly finding reasons explaining Hitler’s behavior and he had a large following here in the United States, but he was definitely the isolationist wing of politics at that time.”
King said he would not call Lindbergh anti-Semitic or pro-Nazi.
Those charges were the worst slurs made against Lindbergh by Roosevelt’s media operation.
The congressman said he knew that Lindbergh volunteered for service during the Second World War, but was a misguided isolationist. “He was not just hesitant, he was blind to the reality of aggression by the Nazi.”
James P. Duffy, the author of more than a dozen popular history books, said the does not understand Lindbergh’s actual participation in the debates before the Second War World.
“The Peter King quote is very disheartening,” he said. “I have generally respected him, but to say this about Lindbergh reveals the depth of his ignorance about the 1930s and 1940s.”
In his book about Lindbergh and Roosevelt, Duffy wrote that the pilot took advantage of his celebrity status and visited Germany, while in full cooperation with American military intelligence. Enamored with Lindbergh, the Germans showed Lindbergh through their top secret prototypes and explained their theories about the use of air power.
Lindbergh made provided detailed reports to intelligence officials upon his return from Germany—giving America its only information about the true potential of the Luftwaffe.
In the book, Duffy details how President Franklin D. Roosevelt knew that Lindbergh’s contributions America’s national security and war preparedness, but he and his friends in the media twisted Lindbergh’s interactions with the Germans as virtual treason.
Instead of being ignorant, Duffy said Lindbergh was the voice of reason, who with others tried to get America ready to defend itself.
“Had they been successful, the Japanese fleet might never have reached Pearl Harbor,” he said. “I wrote King an email expressing my disappointment in his comment.”