Monday, October 02, 2023
View Blog
Feb 23

Written by: Diana West
Monday, February 23, 2015 10:00 AM 

It is rather hilarious, in a mirthless way, to hear Learned Professors still attempting to maintain the domain of "Cold War Studies" as a rather sterile realm in which the Rosenbergs, Hiss and lesser known "spies" lurked, only stealing secret formulas, never actually influencing anything, certainly not the course of American strategy or the movement of world events. In this same realm, Joseph McCarthy remains wrong about everything. My book American Betrayal takes, shall we say, a broader view. 

Well, the Learned Professors say, maybe McCarthy wasn't wrong about everything -- not "the larger point," as Prof. Harvey Klehr recently semi-conceded, repeating his literally decade-old assessment just as if M. Stanton Evans had never written his consensus-smashing study of McCarthy and his cases, Backlisted by History, in 2007.

Pre-Blacklisted by History, Klehr wrote in 2005: "He [McCarthy] did identify a few small fry who we now know were spies but only a few."

Post-Blacklisted by History, and, perhaps relevant, post-American Betrayal, Klehr saw fit to republish the exact same essay in December 2013, perhaps not coincidentally following the appearance of a review of AB that in passing lauded Evans' book and, implicitly, McCarthy. By way of introduction, Klehr added: "It turns out that Senator McCarthy did identify a few additional Soviet spies – but only a few – and I feel no need to change the assessment of him that I offered then."

"Only a few" + "a few additional" = ?

Earlier this month, in response to a question from the audience at a presentation at the National Archives on the Rosenbergs, Klehr, as noted, gave to McCarthy the "larger point" since, as Klehr explained, "the US government had been severely infiltrated by Soviet spies." But alas: "He [McCarthy] was wrong about most of the details. Of the people McCarthy named, several of them we now know were Soviet spies from Vassiliev and Venona and so on."

"Several"? That's not very many. It's also not correct.

Writing at Breitbart in January 2014, M. Stanton Evans elaborated on, and, more relevant, quantified McCarthy's efforts to identify Communists inside the federal government. His piece was partly inspired by seemingly endless ad hominem attacks on me as "McCarthy's Heiress" for having written American Betrayal. (I do take the title as a compliment, but it was not meant that way.)

In his piece titled "McCarthyism by the Numbers," Evans writes:

As is well-known, “McCarthyism” was an alleged focus of political evil in the 1950s: accusations of Communist taint, without any factual basis; bogus “lists” of supposed Communists who never existed; failure in the end to produce even one provable Communist or Soviet agent, despite his myriad charges of subversion.   

Or, according to Klehr, "several."  

Such is the standard image of “McCarthyism” set forth in all the usual histories and media treatments of the era. Such is the image relied on by the critics of Ms. West to discredit her book and dismiss her as a crackpot and “conspiracy theorist.” By arguing that pro-Red elements in our government exerted baleful influence on US policy to suit the aims of Moscow, it is said, she becomes “McCarthy’s heiress,” reprising the evils of the fifties.

All of which, from my standpoint, has one beneficial feature–though it doesn’t make things less unpleasant for Ms. West. It pushes the issue of McCarthy and McCarthyism to the forefront, where it ought to be, and where it is now possible to view his cases in ways not feasible years ago when the relevant data were not open to the public.

Even today, there is much that we don’t know–documents that have vanished, ancient records still being censored, deceptions still in circulation. However, there is also a good deal of information available for those who care to view it: sizable tranches of McCarthy’s papers, and those of his opponents; reams of formerly confidential data from the FBI; thousands of pages of hearing transcripts and archives of his committee and other panels of the Congress; intercepted Soviet communications and revelations from Cold War defectors; and so on.

Looking at this mass of materials and matching them up with McCarthy’s cases, the main thing to be noted is a recurring pattern of verification. Time and again, we see the suspects named by McCarthy and/or his committee–treated at the time as hapless victims–revealed in official records as what McCarthy and company said they were–except, in the typical instance, a good deal more so.

The accompanying table provides a sampler of some of the suspects named by McCarthy, his aides, or in his committee hearings, and reflects what is now known about them, based on official records (some of it was known even then but ignored or misrepresented).

Suspects named by McCarthy, his aides, or before his committee; identified in sworn testimony, FBI archives, or other official security records as Communists or Soviet agents; or took the Fifth Amendment when asked about such matters.

 1 .Adler, Solomon

 26. Levitsky, Joseph *

 2. Aronson, James *

 27. Lovell, Leander

 3. Barr, Joel

 28. Mandel, William *

 4. Belfrage, Cedric *

 29. Miller, Robert

 5. Bisson, T.A.

 30. Mins, Leonard *

 6. Carlisle, Lois

 31. Moore (Gelfan), Harriet *

 7. Chew Hong

 32. Moss, Annie L.

 8. Chi Chao-ting

 33. Neumann, Franz

 9. Coe, V. Frank *

 34. Older, Andrew

 10. Coleman, Aaron

 35. Peress, Irving *

 11. Currie, Lauchlin

 36. Posniak, Edward

 12. Dolivet, Louis

 37. Post, Richard

 13. Duran, Gustavo

 38. Remington, William

 14. Field, Frederick

 39. Rosinger, Lawrence *

 15. Glasser, Harold *

 40. Rothschild, Edward *

 16. Graze, Gerald

 41. Sarant, Alfred

 17. Graze, Stanley

 42. Smedley, Agnes

 18. Hanson, Haldore

 43. Snyder, Samuel *

 19. Henderson, Donald *

 44. Stein, Guenther

 20. Hyman, Harry *

 45. Stern, Bernhard *

 21. Jaffe, Philip

 46. Taylor, William H.

 22. Karr, David

 47. Ullmann, Marcel *

 23. Keeney, Mary Jane

 48. Wales, Nym

 24. Lattimore, Owen

 49. Weintraub, David

 25. Levine, Ruth *

 50. Weltfish, Gene *

*Took Fifth Amendment as to Communist/ Soviet activity-affiliation

Solomon Adler, Chi Chao ting and V. Frank Coe would all abscond to Communist China. Joel Barr and Alfred Sarant, members of the Rosenberg spy ring who worked at Fort Monmouth and related commercial labs in the 1940s, would flee to the Soviet bloc before the McCarthy Monmouth hearings started. Philip Jaffe would self-identify as a Communist in his memoirs.

Evans continues:

Analyzing this list of 50, we find all of them either (a) identified in sworn testimony, or in FBI and other once-confidential official security records, as Communists or Soviet agents, and/or (b) plead the Fifth Amendment when asked about such activities, saying a truthful answer would tend to incriminate them.

As is self-evident from this lineup, it’s untrue that McCarthy never spotted a single Communist or Soviet agent, or–per one variation–came up with only a handful of valid cases. He in fact tracked down a small army of such people, and the roster given here is merely a sampling of the flagrant suspects who attracted his attention.

This is most obviously so of the Fifth Amendment pleaders. Our table of 50 includes 18 McCarthy cases who refused to answer questions concerning Red connections, but these were only a fraction of the total who claimed the privilege. All told, an astonishing 100-plus McCarthy suspects would plead the Fifth before his committee (the bulk of these in the Fort Monmouth/defense-supply probe that triggered the Army-McCarthy hearings).

Also, contra the standard image, McCarthy and his staffers in the usual instance did not allege that his suspects were Communists or Soviet agents–though in some famous cases (Owen Lattimore, Annie Lee Moss) this did happen–for the simple reason that the probers didn’t then know the total story. More typically, they wielded dossiers concerning adverse security findings, membership in pro-Red groups, and so on–thereby understating the scope and nature of the problem.

Thus, such named McCarthy suspects as Solomon Adler, T.A. Bisson, Lauchlin Currie, Mary Jane Keeney, and many others were not then IDed as Soviet assets, though in fact they were. McCarthy knew enough to spot them as bad actors–in many cases knew a lot–but didn’t know what we know today.

Add the fact that, in case after significant case, McCarthy suspects were linked in ever-widening circles to a host of other operatives of like nature. For example, Adler, Currie, Keeney and the egregious pro-Soviet apparatchik Robert Miller were all parts of much larger networks, each with multiple contacts in the government, press corps, and outside groups of shadowy purpose.

All told, the McCarthy cases linked together in such fashion amounted to several hundred people, constituting a massive security danger to the nation.

However, numbers per se were not the central issue. By far the most important thing about his suspects was their positioning in the governmental structure, and other posts of influence, where they could shape American policy or opinion in favor of the Communist interest. This they did on a fairly regular basis, a subject that deserves discussion in its own right.

For now, there is enough to note that the standard version of McCarthy and “McCarthyism” being wielded to discredit Diana West is, throughout, a fiction. How and why it was concocted, and is being repeated even now, must be the topic for another essay.

This topic continues to intrigue me also. It is abundantly clear that according to the consensus-historians there are certain boundaries behind which Americans must remain when regarding the "Good War, "the Cold War," and, indeed, the "American Century." Why these boundaries exist and are so closely guarded remains a mystery.

The line not to be crossed (they drop boiling lies and acid) concerns the way we see and understand the massive Soviet infiltration of our institutions that took place in the Roosevelt years. We are supposed to believe that while secrets were stolen, Roosevelt's administration was not subverted -- contra the evidence amassed in Stan Evans' most recent book, co-authored with Herbert Romerstein, Stalin's Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt's Government.  We are supposed to believe that America, Americans were not betrayed and that the character of our nation was not assaulted and transformed -- contra the evidence amassed in American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character. 

We are not ever supposed to connect the dots of this massive infiltration and notice how closely the resulting shape resembles a covert occupation by a hostile intelligence army. 

Instead, we are supposed to believe that these hundreds (perhaps thousands) of agents and assets of Stalin netted secret information, classified reports, only. We are supposed to believe they exerted little or no influence on US decision-making and war strategy. We are supposed to focus endlessly on the Rosenbergs, on Hiss (his stolen papers, not his catastrophic influence at Yalta and elsewhere), almost as if such cases were the culmination, the pinnacle, even the ending of the covert Soviet assault -- as if the rest of the Red iceberg beneath the surface never amounted to much in the long run

In other words, we are supposed to ignore mountains of evidence telling our logic receptors that what lionized, bronzified, pedestalized FDR actually presided over was the biggest national security disaster in US history: the strategic penetration of strategy sessions, secret war councils, foreign missions, departments, bureaus, agencies of the United States by covert traitors and secret assets guided by and loyal to "world Communism" and/or the totalitarian psychopath in Moscow. The result? A chain of victories for Stalin, who sought not to destroy Hitler but to supplant him -- with Allied aid -- and who aimed not for the defeat of Japan but rather to seize and Communize China and beyond -- also with Allied aid. We are not supposed to notice that these things happened -- with Allied aid. We are supposed to continue to believe that FDR's slavish pandering to Stalin, encouraged and abetted by his Soviet-penetrated adminstration, fulfilled his Constitutional oath and saved the world -- not the opposite.  

We shall see. 

Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use
Copyright 2012 by Diana West