MEN CALLED into star-chamber hearing to testify not about what they know but about what they surmise, what they think, what they may have heard.
“Were you at a meeting for Spain?”
“Name others who were at that meeting.”
“The meeting is vague in your memory. Well, then, tell us whom you vaguely saw at that meeting.”
Vagueness becomes evidence, rumor becomes fact, gossip becomes verity. A glorious chance for working off old grudges and hates, for slander, for defamation of character, for anonymous and evil whisperings.
The Committee found its “witnesses”—the fakers and phonies, the labor spies and stool-pigeons, the fearful and the yellow-bellied.
These offered “testimony”.