‘Urgent’ Vacation Taken by Buzzi

Westbrook Pegler

Press and Sun-Bulletin/December 18, 1946

Press and Sun-Bulletin

Dispatches from Atlanta relating the theatrical adventures of secret agents of the non-sectarian Anti-Nazi League in penetrating the confidential circle of a group called the Columbians mentioned Mario Buzzi, of New York, as one of the daring operatives. 

In July, 1943, a select committee of the House held hearings in Washington to inquire whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had violated the law in the conduct of its affairs. 

The committee was particularly interested in evidence that citizens had been spied upon, hounded, ruled off the air and otherwise deprived of their rights on false charges and suspicions that they were spreading enemy propaganda by radio. 

JAMES H. SHELDON, known as “Doctor” Sheldon, the administrative chairman and executive director of the Anti-Nazi League, was a witness. 

Sheldon appeared in Atlanta last week, large with momentary, dramatic importance, and held a “press conference” jointly with Eugene Cook, the attorney general of Georgia, at which he proudly described the work of his league’s secret agents, including Buzzi.

Apparently the reporters did not think to ask questions about Buzzi. The fact that the league, a private group like the Columbians, could be just as impudent and dangerous seems not to have been considered on the spot. 

EXAMINED BY Eugene Carey, of New York, counsel for the House committee, on Aug. 18, 1943, Sheldon said he took “active charge” of the league in 1941. 

Prior to his connection with the league, he had been a visiting professor at Boston University for a brief period, teaching American government, constitutional law and political philosophy. 

He said the league investigated persons whom it suspected of pro-Nazi activities, and maintained a staff of investigators whose reports were retained in its files. 

Although one “Richard Rollins” wrote a book called “I Find Treason”, in which he said the “executive secretary” of the league hired him to be head of its “large department of investigation.” I find no mention of Rollins in Sheldon’s testimony. 

GAREY ASKED Sheldon whether he knew Buzzi. Sheldon said he knew “a man who has used that name,” but said the fellow’s real name was Bossi. 

He was not sure whether Bossi or Buzzi was an American citizen. And, although he thought Buzzi had been in the United States only seven or eight years, “I have heard him mention some activities in which he took part in connection with the 1936 Democratic campaign.” 

The committee had tried to find Buzzi to examine him and Garey asked Sheldon where Buzzi was. Sheldon said he didn’t know. 

“He went for a physical examination to a number of doctors.” Sheldon said. “He had a rather grave mental condition.”

Sheldon said it had been found “more or less urgent” that Buzzi should have “a rather long vacation.”

The only important information Sheldon could offer about his secret investigator of Americans accused of no misconduct by any official branch of the government was that Buzzi “had a rather grave mental condition.”

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