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Jan 26

Written by: Diana West
Saturday, January 26, 2013 11:41 AM 

The sidebar to my Dispatch International article introducing European readers to Blacklisted by HIstory (2007) by M. Stanton Evans, and Stalin's Secret Agents (2012) by M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein, is now no longer behind the subscription wall. This second part provides synopses of some of the sensational findings Evans and Romerstein published in the new book.

Alger Hiss
The treachery of Hiss, the most famous Soviet military intelligence agent/State Department official, is now grudgingly accepted (after decades of warlike controversy). The conventional wisdom, however, still holds that Hiss did little at the final wartime Yalta conference of the so-called Big Three (Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin).

Not true, as Evans and Romerstein discovered in previously unpublished portions of the papers of Secretary of State Edward Stettinius. Hiss, they write, was instead “an outspoken participant” at Yalta, and often at a ministerial level. His expertise on matters the then-brand-new and ill-equipped Secretary of State had no familiarity with also caused Stettinius to rely on him.

One source of information regarding Hiss’ active and expert role comes from interviews with Walter Johnson, the editor of Stettinius’s wartime memoir. Stettinius makes it clear, for example, that he knew nothing about the Yalta agreement permitting Germans to be sent as slave labor to the USSR in the name of war reparations. These same documents reveal a pattern of deference to Hiss. “See Alger, and we’ll discuss it again,” Stettinius wrote, regarding German slave labor. On the occupation of Germany, Stettinius wrote: “Hiss would remember. Consult him.” On the question of who drafted the Yalta Declaration on Liberated Europe: “Alger Hiss again.” On voting arrangements for the United Nations: “See Alger Hiss about this.”
 
Pearl Harbor

Even before the U.S. entered the war, a Soviet influence operation spanning two continents was underway. The objective? To ensure that Japan wouldn't attack the USSR. In Tokyo, ace Soviet agent Richard Sorge (a German) and his cohorts sought to convince Japanese policymakers that it was better to attack British, Dutch or American interests in the Pacific than Soviet interests. In Washington, White House assistant/Soviet agent Lauchlin Currie and others were simultaneously lobbying FDR against compromise with Japan, a rapprochement that might have freed Japan to attack the USSR. As disclosed by former KGB officer Vitaly Pavlov in the 1990s, Pavlov traveled to Washington to call on Assistant Secretary of the Treasure Harry Dexter White, a Soviet agent, to see to it that diplomatic language crafted in Moscow to aggravate Japan was inserted into the US-Japan cable flow. White was able to oblige. Soon after the Pavlov-White talking points were cabled to Japan, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and America entered World War II.

China

With Japan in retreat by mid-1943, Moscow’s agents began efforts to shift Allied support away from Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek toward the Communists under Mao. Treasury staffers including Harry Dexter White and Solomon Adler (both Soviet agents) led a propaganda campaign tarring Chiang as a “fascist” who wasn’t fighting the Japanese (untrue), and boosting Mao as a “democrat” who was fighting the Japanese (also untrue). These same agents, for example, were able to delay and shrink a promised US loan to Chiang of $200 million in gold. Teasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau (no Soviet agent but a very “useful fool”) frequently consulted on such matters with Soviet agents White, Adler and their colleague V. Frank Coe, another Communist agent.The authors further discovered that anti-Chiang influence was so effective that a plot to assassinate Chiang was devised, but not implemented, by President Roosevelt himself or his top advisors.

Betrayal in the Balkans

Vilifying anti-Communist allies as “fascist” or “collaborator” was a technique used to great effect by Soviet agents, and not just in China. Poland suffered on many occasions from such disinformation. Another example was Serbian General Draza Mihailovich, the anti-Nazi and anti-Communist leader of the Chetniks whom the Allies supported early in the war. After Tito emerged as the Communist leader in Yugoslavia, Communist operators in the US and in Britain began pushing a pro-Tito, anti-Mihailovich message. These operators included James Klugmann, British intelligence’s point man on Yugoslavia and a skillful Soviet agent. An incessant stream of Moscow-directed disinformation influenced the Allies to cut off support for the anti-Communist Mihailovich, who would later be condemned to death by Tito in 1946.
 
“Operation Keelhaul”

This is the US code name for the policy, agreed to at Yalta, of forcibly repatriating two million anti-Soviet refugees to Moscow, despite the fact that return meant incarceration if not also death. How did such a policy come about? The answer remains a mystery, but Soviet agents of influence seem to have played a role.

Evans and Romerstein lay out new evidence of an internal American dispute between Undersecretary of State Joseph Grew in Washington and the American delegation at Yalta, which was led, as noted above, by the Hiss-reliant neophyte Secretary of State Edward Stettinius. In a final episode, Grew sent Stettinius a cable, found by the authors in the Stettinius papers, noting that forced repatriation went against both the Geneva Convention and American diplomatic tradition. “To this,” the authors write, “there was an instantaneous answer in the form of a Stettinius cable, curtly dismissing the issues raised by Grew and saying the U.S. delegation would definitely agree to turn the fugitive over, no two ways about it.”

Evans and Romerstein make note of several puzzling aspects of this cable exchange. Among them is Stettinius’ ignorance of the forced labor provisions agreed to at Yalta to keep in mind, as noted above. There is the tone of the cable – a harsh rebuke to Grew, the most experienced and respected diplomat in the State Department. And there is Hiss’s own admitted role of having “been in charge of receiving and dispatching reports from and to the State Department”.

The authors conclude: “Perhaps if he [Hiss] had been questioned on Operation Keelhaul, Hiss could have explained who exactly received Joe Grew’s protesting cable, who drafted the peremptory answer, and how a policy sought by Moscow was thus secretly approved at Yalta – sending two million captives to their doom in Russia.”

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