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Written by: Diana West
Monday, September 09, 2013 9:56 AM 

Air Force historian Eduard Mark, now deceased, wrote a paper in 1998 linking the codename "19" in KGB cable 812 from the Venona archive to Harry Hopkins.

Mark's thesis is discussed on two pages of American Betrayal -- a detail in a 403-page book with 944 endnotes. It is a hallmark of the weird war on American Betrayal that reviewer Ronald Radosh inflated several such details out of all recognition and then attacked them in their exaggerated state. Thus, Hopkins/"19" is called the "linchpin" of my book, which is nonsense as dispatched in Part Two of The Rebuttal.

While it is not the linchpin of my book  -- indeed, I could cut out all reference to it and make the same case --  Hopkins/"19" may be seen as the linchpin of the war on American Betrayal.

Having over-inflated the significance of Hopkins/”19” in my book (two pages) to a point of absurdity, Radosh sets out to take down Hopkins/”19” as a standing argument. This included negating the 1998 Mark research paper that gave rise to Hopkins/"19."

First, Radosh cites historians John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, whose research identifies "19" as Soviet agent Laurence Duggan. Haynes and Klehr base their argument on the many identifications Alexander Vassiliev found in KGB documents known as "the Vassiliev notebooks" linking the codename "19" to Soviet agent Duggan into the 1940s. Eduard Mark, on the other hand, constructed his "19" theory based on meeting lists and appointment books to ascertain what officials had access to the tiny, high-level presidential meeting under discussion. (Mark had weighed Duggan/"19" i.d.'s of the 1930s into his 1998 calculations but dismissed Duggan as a possibilility for reasons listed in his footnote below.**)    

Then Radosh went farther still.

He describes a dramatic scene at a gathering of espionage experts and authors he, Radosh, in part presided over at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC in 2009. Among the assembly were M. Stanton Evans, John Earl Haynes, Harvard's Mark Kramer, Eduard Mark (d. 2009) Herbert Romerstein (d. 2013), and Alexander Vassiliev.

In this company, Radosh writes, Mark “publicly” recanted his 1998 findings that identified Hopkins as “19.”

Radosh:

At a conference on Soviet espionage held a week before his untimely death, West’s source, Eduard Mark, publicly stated that he now acknowledged that Harry Hopkins was not Agent 19, and that the conclusion he had reached in his 1998 article was false.”

In Part Two of The Rebuttal, I flag a discrepancy in the record. I compare Radosh's August 7, 2013 statement --  Mark recanted his thesis -- with what he wrote me in an email two months earlier on June 13, 2013.

Addressing the same topic -- Hopkins/"19" vs. Duggan/"19" -- Radosh wrote me:

Were Mark still alive, I’m certain he would have conceded the point.”

What was that again?

Were Mark still alive, I'm certain he would have conceded the point.

On August 7, 2013, Radosh describes Mark's public recantation of his thesis in 2009. Mark died the following week.

But in June 13, 2013, Radosh is speculating that "were Mark still alive," he would have recanted his thesis.

Both statements cannot be true.

Here is the full email of June 13, 2013:

Diana,

Re what Bostom says about Hopkins is wrong, and if it is from your book, it is also incorrect.

Here's what John Haynes just e-mailed me:

"Ed Mark was wrong about 19.  Harvey and I always treated 19 as unknown.  Mark was sure he an eliminated all of the possibilities and Hopkins was the the last man standing.  I disagreed with him and told him he was putting too much faith in his analysis of who was at various Trident conference social events.  I thought he might be right but that the evidence was just too thin to reach a conclusion, even a tentative one.  This was prior to AV's notebooks [Alexander Vassiliev's notebooks of hand-copied KGB cables]. When AV's notebooks came out, 19 was repeatedly identified as Laurence Duggan."

The Vassiliev papers show conclusively that Larry Duggan was 19, not Hopkins. So while Hopkins might have been pro-Soviet, as others were, and naive and a fellow-traveler, he was not an agent. 

One has to be meticulous and careful when making charges, and very careful about consulting the most authoritative sources. Were Mark still alive, I'm certain he would have conceded the point. He was a careful scholar for the most part.

Ron

It's hard not to linger a little over the undercutting tone of that final enconium to Mark, but the fact remains that as of June 13, 2013, Radosh and John Earl Haynes both are writing as if Mark's 1998 thesis is still intact. In other words, there is not any indication, not a whisper, about Marks' 2009 before-death public recantation that Radosh reports in his August review.
 
It is also worth pointing out that Haynes similarly treated the Mark thesis as current in a January 2013 essay he posted here.  In this essay, Haynes argues that “19” was Laurence Duggan, not Harry Hopkins as Mark's 1998 paper argued. Discussing Mark, Haynes wrote: “But on the matter of Venona 812 he and I disagreed.”

Note that he didn’t say, “On the matter of Venona 812, he and I disagreed until Mark publicly recanted his paper’s findings in 2009.

I asked John Earl Haynes for any further information he could offer about what transpired at the 2009 conference. Here is an excerpt from his August 16 email. (Full email exchange below.)

At the symposium Ed did mention briefly in one of the Q&A sessions that he no longer held to his view that "19" was Hopkins.

Haynes' account corroborates Radosh, although his rendition lacks the drama of the scene as Radosh set it up.

Haynes:

I remember the [Eduard Mark] remark but don't specifically remember at which session it was, but Professor Mark Kramer of Harvard's Cold War Center remembered Ed's remark very clearly, that it was at a session of the symposium he chaired, and that he and Ed had a further discussion of the matter when they walked together to the Metro after the symposium ended. 

Enter Harvard Professor Mark Kramer. As Haynes recounts via Kramer's recollection, Kramer chaired a session of the 2009 conference during which Kramer remembers "very clearly" Mark's remark, and, further, that Kramer and Mark continued the discussion en route to the Metro.

Orange line or Blue?

Haynes:

Kramer says Ed said that the material in the notebooks convinced him that he had been wrong (never an easy thing for a historian to say, at least not for me, though I have done so).  But then Ed died unexpectedly shortly after the symposium, so he never published anything on his changed view.

Frankly, Ed's remarks in 2009 do not strike me as very central to the issue of who was "19."  Vassiliev's notebooks establish without equivocation that "19" in Venona 812 was Duggan.

That may be. But "Ed's remarks" are "very central" indeed to the Radosh "take-down" (his word) of American Betrayal. Why? Radosh made them that way, and they were subsequently amplified and extended.

Coincidentally, Haynes and Klehr published an article on August 16, the day I exchanged emails with John Haynes. The article lays out their findings regarding Duggan and "19." A footnote included the following:

“During one of the question-and-answer periods and in informal conversations at the [2009] symposium Mark remarked that the Vassiliev notebooks had convinced him that `19’ was Duggan and he no longer held to his 1998 position.  He died unexpectedly shortly after the symposium and, consequently, never published a formal statement on the matter."

Here we see the very specific Mark recantation -- reported for the first time, I believe, by Radosh in his August 7 review of my book -- enter the scholarship via Haynes and Klehr on August 16.

And yet on June 13, Radosh emailed me: 

Were Mark still alive, I feel certain he would have conceded the point.

The plot thickens.

Actually, Radosh thickens it himself by next writing a comment on the Frontpage wesbite and then emailing it me.

On August 17, Radosh emailed me (unsolicited, as usual):

I have just posted the following at FrontPage Magazine  in response to Andrew Bostom's query, as well as the one you made in your e-mail to John Haynes:

Since I wrote directly to Haynes, I can assume Haynes shared my email with Radosh.

What follows is a copy of Radosh's comment to Andrew Bostom as posted by Radosh at Frontpage Magazine.

Ron Radosh  Andrew Bostom • a few seconds ago −
In answer to Andrew G. Bostom's query, as well as that by Diana West, let me shed light on this.

The reason you did not find it on any C-Span video is that the network did not tape the entire proceedings. The long afternoon panel and another one were not recorded. At the time, a number of us commented how upset we were that they did not choose to film the very important afternoon panel in particular.

More to the point, I am now quoting the e-mail I and others received from Mark Kramer, the editor of The Journal of Cold War Studies, and Program Director at the Project on Cold War Studies, Harvard University, and Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Kramer wrote me the following on August 16th:• a few seconds ago


"Ron, I can definitely confirm it.

I was chairing the session, and Ed intervened when Stan Evans
referred to Harry Hopkins as No. 19. Ed said "The Vassiliev
notebooks show that this isn't true. I thought it was, but it
isn't. When I found out that I'm wrong, I'm willing to admit
it." I talked about this with Ed after the session, as he and I were
heading for the metro station."

Others, including me, remember this quite well.

Signed:

Ronald Radosh

New information!

According to the  definite confirmation of Mark Kramer -- the editor of The Journal of Cold War Studies, and Program Director at the Project on Cold War Studies, Harvard University, and Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University -- M. Stanton Evans "referred to Harry Hopkins as No. 19" and Eduard Mark "intervened."

M. Stanton Evans? How did he enter into this? True, Evans was at the 2009 conference but Evans has categorically, emphatically rejected Kramer's and Radosh's characterization of his actions, writing: "I had no such encounter with Eduard Mark about Harry Hopkins, No. 19, or anything whatever...The supposed recollections of Kramer and Radosh about my part in all of this are totally mistaken." (See Evans exchange of memos on this matter with John Haynes here)

If we remove Evans from the equation, we still must consider Kramer's and Radosh's faulty memories. With that sinking feeling, then, here's the evidence as amassed as of August 16, 2013 by Radosh, Haynes, Klehr, and Kramer.

1) Radosh's initial statement that Mark publicly recanted as "false" the findings of his 1998 Hopkns/"19" paper (Radosh, August 7).

2) A footnote to that effect in a paper by leading historians (Haynes and Klehr, August 16).

3) A recollection by Harvard Cold War Studies Program Director Mark Kramer of Marks' verbatim quotation (published August 17). As Kramer recalls Mark saying (after Kramer mistakenly recalled Evans's non-discussion of "19"): "The Vassiliev notebooks show that this isn't true. I thought it was, but it isn't. When I found out that I'm wrong, I'm willing to admit it."

4) Radosh adds that he, among others, remembers this "quite well."

Then I can't explain how this slipped Radosh's mind when he wrote me on June 13: 

Were Mark still alive, I'm certain he would have conceded the point.

---

I would receive a few more "collegial" emails from Radosh.  "Conrad Black tears you apart," for example, was one heart-warming entry in my in-box, also on August 16.

The  last (unsolicited) email I received from Radosh came on August 19.

First, the "collegial" comment: 

You should admit the truth and stop insulting us, Diana.

Then, for reasons known only to Radosh, he included in his email to me the following email of August 18 from Mark Kramer to Radosh and cc'd to John Haynes, Harvey Klehr and David Horowitz.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mark Kramer
Date: Sun, Aug 18, 2013 at 2:16 PM
Subject: Re: my posted answer to Bostom
To: Ron Radosh
Cc: John Haynes , Harvey Klehr , David Horowitz


Yes, Ed made the comment as Evans was talking, but Evans just continued talking, evidently unaware (or at least not wanting to acknowledge) that he was being contradicted.

Back to that preposterous story about Evans again -- that Evans raised the issue of Hopkins and "19." Not true. (See Evans debunk it here.) Evans did not talk over Mark about Hopkins. So what happens to the rest of the Mark Hopkins/"19" recantation story as sourced to Harvard's Kramer?

Kramer:

I was unable to call on Ed because the session was already going too long and the WWICS had a reception scheduled.  As Ed and I were walking to the metro afterward, I told him that I had wanted to have him speak but was worried that it would prompt further comments by Evans and Romerstein.  So, I just called a halt.

Worry over "further comments by Evans and Romerstein" aside: Kramer, by his own admission, didn't call on "Ed." Kramer was "unable to."

As John pointed out yesterday, the focus on Ed's remarks is a red herring and is just an effort to divert attention from the actual substance of the matter, namely, the reams of evidence in Vassiliev's notebooks that 19 was Duggan.  By implying that Ed wouldn't have changed his mind after seeing all this evidence, they're insulting him and giving the impression that he was a blind ideologue who would cover up evidence rather than admit he was mistaken.  Ed was much too good a historian for that.  Everyone who knew him well isn't at all surprised that he changed his mind (I certainly wasn't, as I told him).  Best, Mark

The mind of a Harvard historian is a very complicated place.

Take a closer look at the August 18 Kramer email.

Yes, Ed made the comment as Evans was talking, but Evans just continued talking, evidently unaware (or at least not wanting to acknowledge) that he was being contradicted. 

As noted above, Evans rejects in every way this description of his behavior as untrue. Indeed, the conference video shows Evans, in an entirely mannerly fashion, discussing Robert Oppenheimer and related matters -- never Hopkins at all, and certainly not "19."

In fact, it was the late Herbert Romerstein, Evans' co-author-to-be, who discussed Hopkins at the 2009 conference. Romerstein invoked the reknowned Soviet "illegal" spymaster Akhmerov's description of Hopkins as the greatest spy of all (see video here shortly after the 1:17 mark).

Romerstein, however, never mentioned "19."

There is video of Eduard Mark responding to a comment (almost certainly Romerstein's, although Mark is not specific) tagging Hopkins as a Soviet "agent." Mark strenuously rejects such talk as "disreputable."

Mark doesn't mention "19," either. (See video here at around the 1:29 mark.)

Could Mark's "19" recantation, as attested to by Radosh, Haynes, Klehr and Kramer, have taken place at some other time during the conference?

Perhaps. I haven't seen it in the hours of conference video I've been able to watch, but maybe some segments of the conference went untaped. (Radosh said that was the case.)

Meanwhile, however, It is hard not to notice a difference between Mark Kramer's August 16 and August 18 emails.

On August 16, Kramer emphatically writes:

"Ron, I can definitely confirm it.

I was chairing the session, and Ed intervened when Stan Evans
referred to Harry Hopkins as No. 19.

Ed said "The Vassiliev notebooks show that this isn't true. I thought it was, but it
isn't. When I found out that I'm wrong, I'm willing to admit
it." I talked about this with Ed after the session, as he and I were
heading for the metro station."

We go from "Ed said" on August 16, to Ed getting drowned out on August 18, and then not even called on!

Yes, Ed made the comment as Evans was talking, but Evans just continued talking, evidently unaware (or at least not wanting ato cknowledge) that he was being contradicted.

I was unable to call on Ed because the session was already going too long and the WWICS had a reception scheduled.  As Ed and I were walking to the metro afterward, I told him that I had wanted to have him speak but was worried that it would prompt further comments by Evans and Romerstein.  So, I just called a halt.

Does this match Radosh's August 7 description?

Radosh:

At a conference on Soviet espionage held a week before his untimely death, West’s source, Eduard Mark, publicly stated that he now acknowledged that Harry Hopkins was not Agent 19, and that the conclusion he had reached in his 1998 article was false.”

Or Haynes and Klehr's footnote account?

Haynes and Klehr:

“During one of the question-and-answer periods and in informal conversations at the [2009] symposium Mark remarked that the Vassiliev notebooks had convinced him that `19’ was Duggan and he no longer held to his 1998 position.

Kramer's August 18 email continues:

As John pointed out yesterday, the focus on Ed's remarks is a red herring and is just an effort to divert attention from the actual substance of the matter, namely, the reams of evidence in Vassiliev's notebooks that 19 was Duggan. 

By implying that Ed wouldn't have changed his mind after seeing all this evidence, they're insulting him and giving the impression that he was a blind ideologue who would cover up evidence rather than admit he was mistaken. 

I don't know who is implying anything about Mark's mind except his own colleagues, who, in a matter of weeks in 2013, negated a deceased man's 1998 paper based on vague and changing recollections. One giant piece of the story (Evans's role) does not check out at all. Kramer's forthright account of August 16, complete with verbatim recantation quotation, two days later shrinks into a description of a stymied Mark, unsuccessfully attempting to speak (that droning Stan Evans ....). Kramer himself admits he was  "unable to call on" Mark.

Does that sound like this?

Radosh, August 7:

Eduard Mark, publicly stated that he now acknowledged that Harry Hopkins was not Agent 19, and that the conclusion he had reached in his 1998 article was false.”

Radosh, circa June 13:

Were Mark still alive, I'm certain he would have conceded the point.

And the moral of this story? 

Pity the poor facts in the hands of historians.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

** Footnote 53 from "Venona Source 19 and the Trident Conference" by Eduard Mark. Intelligence and National Security 13:2, 1-31

  1. During the 1930s Duggan had been known to the NKVD as 19. Duggan, however, is not a candidate for the 19 of 1943 because he did not meet with Roosevelt or Churchill for any purpose, let alone both, to discuss the Second Front Duggan's source for high-level information, moreover, was Wallace (see note 52) who himself did not know the plans for the Second Front Wallace's appointment book, finally, shows that between 12 May and 29 May (the date of Message 812's composition) Wallace met Duggan but once - briefly on the morning of 22 May, two days before the luncheon of 24 May which appears reflected in Message No. 812. For Duggan's having been known to the Soviets as 19 in the 1930s, see Allen Weinstein, Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case, rev. ed. (NY: Random House 1997) p.183.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is my email exchange with John Earl Haynes of August 16, 2013


1)

Dear John Haynes,

I am currently engaged in the task of a rebutting a lengthy book review, "McCarthy on Steroids," which includes many insupportable allegations -- even anecdotes, sources, arguments that are not to be found in my book. 

Just so you know, contrary to the editors' note that sits above the review at FPM, if you have seen it, I didn't refuse to reply to this review, I refused to reply at FPM due to the fact that the editor had earlier removed from the website a positive review of my book. My rebuttal will run elsehwere.

Anyway, that's just one awkwardness to overcome before I ask you my question.

In the review, Radosh repeats that I "attack" you and Harvey Klehr and other historians and your scholarship. I assure you, I did no such thing, nor would I ever want to do any such thing. If this weren't so deadly serious, it would be laughable. But none of this is laughable.
 
The matter I would like to ask you about concerns the following statement from the review.

Radosh writes:

"At a conference on Soviet espionage held a week before his untimely death, West’s source, Eduard Mark, publicly stated that he now acknowledged that Harry Hopkins was not Agent 19, and that the conclusion he had reached in his 1998 article was false."

I have not yet been able to find evidence of this.

The link Radosh provides is a conference schedule. I found the 2009 paper on Hiss by  Mark, but it does not  contain such a statement. I have watched almost all of the 3-hr, May 20, 2009 conference video provided by the Wilson Center and haven't yet heard such a statement from Mark. I notice also that as recently as your January 2013 statement on the Duggan/19 issue, you write "on the matter of Venona 812 he [Mark] and I disagreed."


Unfortunately, Mark is not with us to settle the matter of whether in 2009 he publicly stated, as Radosh writes, "the conclusion he had reached in his 1998 article was false."

Any information or leads you might be able to provide on this matter would be appreciated.


Best wishes,

Diana West

2)

On Aug 16, 2013, at 2:42 PM, John Haynes wrote:

Dear Ms. West:

Ed Mark was a colleague and friend of mine.  He often stopped by my office at the Library of Congress (I'm now retired) to discuss our mutual interest in espionage and Cold War history. 

When Klehr and I were preparing our Venona book, Ed was working on his essay on Venona 812 and "19."  We discussed the message a number of times, and Ed even asked Klehr and I to comment on his draft.  We told him that while we were impressed by his argument, we still thought the evidence was too weak to sustain his conclusion.  Ed was confident and went ahead with his essay.  In our Venona book, however, Klehr and I, while making note of Ed argument, continued to regard "19" as unidentified. 

There was no acrimony between us on this matter, we simply disagreed.  Indeed, when Alexander Vassiliev's notebooks came into our hands, our regard for Ed's historical skills was such that he was one of the specialists we gave copies to a year before the notebooks were made public.  While Klehr and I were preparing an overall book on the notebooks, what became our 2009 book Spies, these specialists prepared articles focused on particular subjects.  In Ed's case it was Alger Hiss, and his 2009 paper, later an article in the Journal of Cold War Studies, was based on Vassiliev's notebooks.

As for the "19" matter, there is ample material in Vassiliev's notebooks on "19."  He was Laurence Duggan.  Klehr and I have a long section in Spies about Duggan and note his cover name as "19."  (He also had other cover names.)  Although Ed was focused on the Hiss matter in the run-up to the 2009 symposium, when I gave him the notebooks I mentioned to him that there was material on "19" in the notebooks.  This was not a total surprise to Ed.  In 1999 Weinstein and Vassiliev's book, The Haunted Wood, had come out and there were references in it to Duggan with the cover name "19" in the 1930s.  Ed and I had discussed that when The Haunted Wood, came out.  Ed's assumption/hope was that "19" was Duggan only in the 30s and his conclusion about "19" in 1943 was still possible.  Once the notebooks were available, however, it was clear Duggan retained that cover name until August 1944. 

When I gave Ed the notebooks I assumed he would review the entries on "19" even though he was focused on Hiss  We were both busy in this period, me with getting Spies ready and Ed with his Hiss essay, and when we met we were usually discussed Hiss, a major concern to both of us.  "19" never came up.  At the symposium Ed did mention briefly in one of the Q&A sessions that he no longer held to his view that "19" was Hopkins.  I remember the remark but don't specifically remember at which session it was, but Professor Mark Kramer of Harvard's Cold War Center remembered Ed's remark very clearly, that it was at a session of the symposium he chaired, and that he and Ed had a further discussion of the matter when they walked together to the Metro after the symposium ended.  Kramer says Ed said that the material in the notebooks convinced him that he had been wrong (never an easy thing for a historian to say, at least not for me, though I have done so).  But then Ed died unexpectedly shortly after the symposium, so he never published anything on his changed view.

Frankly, Ed's remarks in 2009 do not strike me as very central to the issue of who was "19."  Vassiliev's notebooks establish without equivocation that "19" in Venona 812 was Duggan.  I regret that this has become a point in contention, but Klehr and I have firm views on this and will be posting an essay laying out the evidence is that "19" was Duggan and not Hopkins.  Of course, Hopkins could not be "19" and still be a Soviet agent.  While we do not totally dismiss that possibility, in our view the evidence is insufficient to make that assertion. 

John Haynes

3)

Dear Mr. Haynes,

Thank you for your reply, which I will again more carefully.

I hope that one day you have a chance to examine the rest of the dossier on Hopkins that is in my book. The debate over "19" is in fact only one piece of what I have pulled together.

All best wishes,

Diana West


 

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