By: Diana West
You can view part one of the rebuttal here and part two here.
THE AGRESSIVELY ATTACKED DETAIL #2: URANIUM
The next aggressive attack on detail is plucked from the colossal Lend-Lease program the US created to supply allies during World War II. Supplying the Soviet Union was a bitter pill for the American people to swallow. FDR whoppers–such as declaring religious freedom existed in the USSR–didn’t help. But supply “Uncle Joe” we did–and to a needlessly dangerous extreme, I conclude from the sources contained in my book.
From American Betrayal, p. 43:
War supplies didn’t just “flow” to the Soviet Union, they flooded it, with over half a million trucks and jeeps, nearly $1 billion worth (1940s dollars) of ordnance and ammunition, thousands of fighter aircraft, bombers, and tanks, 13 million pairs of winter boots, 1.7 million tons of petroleum products, a merchant fleet, 1,000 steam locomotives, 581 naval vessels including minesweepers, landing craft, submarine chasers, frigates, torpedo boats, floating dry docks, pontoon barges, river tugs, and a light cruiser. There were also icebreakers, which were essential to keep the northernmost ports of the Gulag Archipelago supplied with fresh slaves, another “lost” fact. American Lend-Lease didn’t just keep the Soviet police state humming along internally, either. As Nikita Khrushchev would say to Life magazine in 1970 of those half a million trucks and jeeps, “Just imagine how we would have advanced from Stalingrad to Berlin without them!”
Radosh, of course, doesn’t mention any of that. He writes:
West also insists that Lend-Lease aid was a crucial “rogue operation” orchestrated by Hopkins and the NKVD for the purpose of getting not only war supplies to the Russians, but “the materials that go into making an atomic bomb…up to and including uranium. (Her emphasis.)
This, of course, is supposed to sound appropriately “unhinged” if not “crackpot”–just so many more “yellow journalism conspiracy theories.”
My italics underscore the historical fact that a US government program run by a suspected Soviet agent of influence procured three-quarters of a ton of uranium (including Manhattan-Project-embargoed uranium) and other atomic materials for Stalin. Additionally, as George Racey Jordan writes in From Major Jordan’s Diaries, his memoir of Lend-Lease, “It seems fair to take into account not merely what the Russians got, but what they tried to get.”
This was a huge news story in 1950 and then it virtually vanished from our “narrative,” a matter I explore in depth in American Betrayal.
I do not, however, “insist,” as Radosh claims, that “Hopkins and the NKVD” “orchestrated” Lend-Lease. Once again, he is exaggerating a fact to deride his own exaggeration…
In this case, however, the reality is too not much different.
What is in my book is that it was Harry Hopkins, Armand Hammer, and Harry Dexter White who got Lend-Lease going in the first place–a trio of veritable Soviet assets. Rather than convey these alarming facts as laid out in American Betrayal, Radosh invokes the “NKVD,” as if to inspire snickers. You can almost hear jackboots stomping through the White House.
Then again, the NKVD did have a line of sorts into Lend Lease for real. Over security objections of both the State and War Departments and Army chief of staff Gen. George C. Marshall, Hopkins insisted on elevating Army officer Philip Faymonville, a.k.a. the “Red Colonel,” to run Lend-Lease in Moscow. There, Soviet records show, Faymonville was recruited by the NKVD in 1942.
NKVD recruit Faymonville would help run–“orchestrate?”–Lend-Lease for the duration.
As for my discussion of Lend-Lease as “rogue operation,” I frame it with a question and end it with a question.
I pose the question:
“From Hammer to Hopkins to White and back again to Hopkins: The question now becomes, How could Lend-Lease not have been a rogue operation?”
Take my arguments or leave them. But don’t distort them.
ON THE AGGRESSIVELY ATTACKED DETAIL OF URANIUM
As “19” was attacked (above) to obscure American Betrayal’s widely sourced and -detailed discourse on Harry Hopkins, the new detail under attack is “a” (as in “one”) shipment of uranium.
That would seem bad enough, of course. Why was Harry Hopkins’s Lend-Lease scouring all over creation for uranium for Stalin?
For a reality check, I’ll note that when Gen. Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project, testified on this subject of uranium shipments to the USSR before Congress in 1949, he could not answer how many shipments of uranium Lend-Lease had in fact transferred to Stalin, because, he said, “we don’t know how many leaked through.”
Radosh, however, discusses only one shipment that Groves did indeed permit to go through, against his will, rather than alert the Soviets to the value we were placing on uranium during this period of frantic, top secret atomic research. Radosh repeatedly insists this was the only shipment to go through – and cites another book to supposedly prove this, completely ignoring the additional evidence contained in American Betrayal that trumps Radosh’s source.
What evidence? A Congressional investigation, quoted on p. 124 of American Betrayal:
I quote the March 3, 1950, testimony of 56
The note is: “Hearings into the Transfer of Atomic Material to the Soviet Union During World War II,” 1149.
A third documented uranium shipment to Stalin went overland in July 1944.
Just as with my “second front” debate, the FDR-Stalin cables, my discussion of ex-POWs in Stalin’s clutches, my non-“19” Hopkins dossier, Radosh has completely and missed or purposefully ignored my documented evidence − and then aggressively attacked me for it.
OUT OF CONTEXT DISTORTIONS AND/OR SLOPPINESS
She refers to Lend-Lease as “the plunder of atomic secrets … spirited out of the country on a U.S.-government sponsored flight. The reference is to a shipment of uranium to Russia in 1943, allegedly orchestrated by Harry Hopkins as Agent 19. (Emphasis added)
In fact, the quotation of mine Radosh cites happens not to relate uranium at all. It’s not about Harry Hopkins. It’s not about “Agent 19.”
I endeavor to be brief, but I must reproduce the whole citation to prove Radosh’s sloppiness.
In fact, my reference to “plunder” relates to an extensive listing of items recorded by Maj. George Racey Jordan, US Army “expediter” of Lend-Lease. Jordan claimed he discovered the following items in a US government-sponsored flight to Russia as it was about to take off from the Lend-Lease hub in Great Falls, Montana.
The list included (p. 123 of American Betrayal):
Road maps … pinpointing American industrial sites (“Westinghouse,” “Blaw-Knox”). Maps of the Panama Canal Zone. Documents related to the Aberdeen Proving Ground, “one of the most ‘sensitive’ areas in the war effort.” Folders stuffed with naval and shipping intelligence. Stacks of papers on oil refineries, machine tools, steel foundries, and the like. Groups of documents on stationery from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and State, “trimmed close to the text,” Jordan noted, perhaps to save weight—or remove “Secret” or “Restricted” stamps (or both). Folders from the State Department Jordan claimed were marked “From Sayre”—that would be Francis Sayre, who hired Alger Hiss—and “From Hiss,” Soviet spy Alger Hiss himself. Engineering and scientific treatises that “bristled with formulae, calculations and professional jargon.” Something very, very interesting I will describe a little farther down attached to a thick map bearing the legend that Jordan recorded as “Oak Ridge, Manhattan Engineering District” (remember, this was taking place sometime in the winter of 1943–44, before the invention, or public knowledge, of the atomic bomb). He also found a carbon copy of a report from “Oak Ridge” containing a series of “outlandish” words Jordan made a note to look up later: “cyclotron,” “proton,” “deuteron.” There were also “curious” phrases, he wrote, “energy produced by fission” and “walls five feet thick, of lead and water, to control flying neutrons.”
Then, Jordan writes, “For the first time in my life, I met the word ‘uranium.’ ”
[I comment:] Why, in all of our inherited historical legacy, has there been no room for this wartime witness to the plunder of atomic secrets just as they were being spirited out of the country on a U.S. government-sponsored flight?
Plenty of “plunder” here, to be sure. But no uranium shipment. No Hopkins. No “19.”
Radosh continues: “To her, this proves that the Lend-Lease Act ‘was a slam-dunk victorious Soviet influence operation.’”
Remember: “This” (the particular list of “plunder”), in fact, had nothing to do with uranium or Hopkins. True to sloppy form, Radosh’s reference to the “slam-dunk influence operation” applies not to uranium or Hopkins, but instead to the fact that three Soviet assets–Hammer, Hopkins and White–got Lend-Lease off the ground in the first place.
“Or, as she refers to Lend-Lease at the end of her book: `All that American booty pirated by Harry Hopkins for Mother Russia.’”
Taking this particular quotation out of context greatly bothers me.
The context is the recollection of a witness, a national of the former Soviet Union, who discusses his memories of American prisoners, ex-soldiers or ex-POWs, who moved through the Gulag Archipelago. One of his anecdotes recounts four American prisoners of a Gulag mining camp working as mechanics on “mobile electric power stations that reached Chaunskaya Guba under the Lend-Lease program.”
This was a wholly unexpected allusion to Lend-Lease to come across while reading about our ex-POWs in the USSR. My comment is as follows: (American Betrayal, p. 338):
The Lend-Lease program—again. All that American booty pirated by Harry Hopkins for Mother Russia. And what a terrible taunt to our men to have had to tune up good ol’ American equipment in the desolate Arctic reaches of the Gulag.
Radosh ignores this context of, yes, American betrayal and seizes on the quotation–“All that American booty pirated by Harry Hopkins”–as more evidence of what he characterizes as my “conspiratorial” if not also “unhinged” “claims” about Lend-Lease.
These claims, which lie at the heart of her conspiracy theory, are demonstrably wrong, and show that she even fails to understand the nature of unrefined uranium the Soviets actually received under Lend-Lease, which was not strategic in terms of making an atomic weapon.
Here, again we see Radosh inflating my discussion of uranium and attack his own inflation.
Radosh now goes on, book-report-style, into an irrelevant discourse on the state of Soviet technology based on Stalin and the Bomb, a 1996 book by Stanford’s David Holloway.
To underscore: this discussion is wholly and completely irrelevant to American Betrayal. That is, the state of Soviet labs in no way negates the unceasing Soviet efforts to procure uranium stocks from the US during the war, and, simultaneously, the unceasing pressure brought to bear on the Manhattan Project by the Lend-Lease bureaucracy to release uranium stocks to the Soviets. This is part of what I chronicle in American Betrayal.
But Radosh criticizes me for not following Holloway’s conventional research track. He writes:
All of this information can be found in David Holloway’s definitive study. Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956, which West seems not to be aware of.
Maybe that’s because this “definitive study” has so little to do with my book. Further, Holloway’s depiction of events is in fact deficient. True, Gen. Groves, for example, consented to an export license for uranium metal; however, Holloway (at least as quoted by Radosh) does not convey that this was done expressly because, as Groves would tell Congress, “we were very interested in knowing if anyone [in the US] knew how to make the metal.” Another Soviet application for uranium was approved, Groves said, only “with the idea of smoking them out [the Soviets] and seeing if they could get it.” Groves believed the embargo he placed on uranium exports was holding.
Not so–although neither Holloway nor Radosh tell this part of the story. In 1949, after Stalin exploded an atomic bomb, former US Army Lend-Lease “expediter” Major George Racey Jordan went public with his claim that he had shipped uranium to the Russian during World War II, and that Harry Hopkins was personally involved. Groves had no idea the Manhattan Project’s embargo had been broken until Jordan spoke up. What I do in American Betrayal is weigh Jordan’s testimony and reports, explain what aspects of his story have been corroborated and what have not. I examine Congressional investigations, histories, memoirs and the like. I pay close attention, for example, to the case of the great Soviet defector Victor Kravchenko, author of I Chose Freedom, who defected from the Soviet Lend-Lease office in Washington, DC. Jordan and Kravchenko had worked on opposite sides of Lend-Lease during World War II, but in dramatic testimonies before Congress after the war they would confirm relevant sections of each other’s stories.
Radosh channeling Holloway describes none of this. Instead, he drones on about the state of Soviet technology at the time, which is another giant non-sequiter: “bomb-grade U-235 … 0.7 percent of natural uranium … U-238 … isotopes … mining … refining … alloys … plutonium … Laboratory No. 2… urgent … uranium problem …”
He finally ties it all back to me. The Soviets were having a “uranium problem,” he writes.
Had the Hopkins flight provided the material Diana West says gave them the material for the bomb, all this concern would have been unnecessary.
Surreal time again: I didn’t say “the” (incorrect article) “Hopkins flight” gave the Soviets “the material for the bomb.” Simultaneously minimizing my evidence while also inflating (aggressively attacking) one detail, Radosh mixes everything up again to put across something that is not in my book.
My discussion is specifically related to “three shipments totaling nearly three-quarters of a ton” of uranium (American Betrayal, p. 140). Whether this was “the material” for “the bomb,” as Radosh hyperbolizes, it was highly significant, particularly given the lengths to which Harry Hopkins’ Lend-Lease went to get it, even breaking Gen. Leslie Groves’ embargo to do it.
Technical questions aside, in concocting her conspiracy theory of Lend-Lease as a Soviet plot to help Russia win the war and build an atomic bomb, West refuses to consider a range of political realities that had nothing to do with Kremlin agents. (Emphasis added.)
Here we go again. First, as I have demonstrated time and again, Radosh is not a reliable source as to what I have “refused” or not refused to consider. Second, once again, Radosh is impugning me for failing to following the conventional consensus on “political realities that had nothing to do with Kremlin agents.”
My book concocts nothing, and I advance no conspiracy theory. In 1950, the US Congress was able to establish the facts of a plan executed from within the Roosevelt administration bureaucracies to thwart the top-secret Manhattan Project’s embargo on uranium shipments to Stalin. That’s no theory, and it fits the definition of a conspiracy.
Naturally, this is not covered in Holloway, Radosh’s latest liberal professor of choice. How could it be there? Holloway doesn’t draw from the same sources I draw from. There is no Jordan memoir of Lend-Lease in his bibliography, no House Un-American Activities Committee Hearings Regarding Shipments of Atomic Materials to the Soviet Union during World War II, no life of Victor Kravchenko, the famous ex-Soviet who defected from Lend-Lease in Washington. Like Gaddis’s book before his, Holloway’s and my stories can’t possibly match.
For breaking out of the conventional groove, from seeing beyond the blinkered liberal consensus–for documenting everything–Radosh sees fit to smear me as “unhinged.”
THE AGGRESSIVELY ATTACKED DETAIL #3: TRUMAN AND VENONA
So far, the aggressive attacks on detail and my credibility seem calculated to protect Harry Hopkins from consideration as an agent of Soviet influence.
In this section, the attacks on my credibility are also about protecting Harry Truman.
From what? From knowledge about Venona. Or, rather, from the American people weighing evidence that as president, Harry Truman received specific allegations of Soviet infiltration of the US government and did nothing–and even elevated at least one such person (Harry Dexter White), while the Truman White House and Justice Department explored pressing perjury charges against a key witness to Soviet espionage inside the US government (Whittaker Chambers).
This, as I argue, is a high point in the American history of betrayal.
But I confess, on writing American Betrayal, I only knew the half of it.
Finally, I can thank Radosh for one piece of criticism that is constructive. Too bad for him, however, that as a result I can more completely demolish this particular critique of American Betrayal. Having done further research, I now find it much easier to punch through the frail edifice he has built around Harry Truman’s purity when it comes to forbidden knowledge of Soviet infiltration.
This particular controversy under consideration here kicked off a decade ago when Jerrold and Leona Schecter published their book Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History. Drawing from the recollections of a noted code-breaker and Venona program official, Oliver Kirby, the Schecters laid out the case that Truman as president was informed about the findings of Venona codebreakers, certainly by 1950, when codebreakers identified Harry Dexter White and Alger Hiss as spies.
Radosh sets up his discussion on Venona and Truman like so:
If Harry Truman, who became president in 1945, knew about the Venona decrypts (first de-classified in 1995), yet failed to pay attention to the evidence they provided of Soviet infiltration, it would bolster West’s claim that Truman was so anxious to avoid offending Stalin that even when confronted with hard evidence of Soviet treachery, he chose to do nothing about it.
For the record, Radosh has already and again attributed to me something else I didn’t write. Yes, I agree the evidence shows Truman was informed and did nothing about Soviet intelligence operations he learned about through the Venona project and, more important, through the FBI.
Nowhere in my book, however, did I write anywhere that Truman failed to act for fear of “offending Stalin.” There were other reasons. Radosh’s sloppy habits continue.
Why is the FBI more important here than Venona? It turns out that when I was writing American Betrayal I overlooked a truckload of FBI briefs and memos that J. Edgar Hoover sent to Truman and other senior administration officials beginning in 1945. These FBI documents alerted the president and his men to the presence of multiple American traitors in the federal government. Had I included this ample FBI evidence in American Betrayal, which M. Stanton Evans presents in Blacklisted by History, I could have established virtually without doubt the argument now driving Radosh into attack-mode: Truman Knew.
The detail under aggressive Radosh attack in this secton is the former Venona/NSA official Oliver Kirby.
The Schecters recount several meetings Kirby described or took part in.
Here are two of them in brief.
The first meeting sourced to Kirby took place on June 4, 1945, between Gen. Carter W. Clarke and Col. Ernest Gibson, both of Army intelligence, and Truman, and it lasted 15 minutes. (That the meeting took place has been verified.) While the G-2 officers could offer neither specific names nor operations to the president, they brought bad news nonetheless: As the Schecters write (source Kirby), “Clarke told the president that… initial work on the Soviet [cable] traffic indicated large scale Soviet intelligence operations in the United States.”
Radosh, contending these findings weren’t available in mid-1945, decides that this proves Truman was wholly innocent of Venona in mid-1945. Even if this were true, what, to coin a phrase, difference does it make? Not knowing in mid-1945 doesn’t render Truman permanently ignorant of Soviet infiltration for the rest of his administration–and certainly not after we recall the numerous, detailed memos that began coming his way a few months later from the FBI.
Radosh, however, insists that my discussion of the motivation behind Truman’s many years of inaction–his partisan political motives, for example, and other possible motives first raised by the Schecters, and so cited (but, in the Alinskyite tradition of isolating a target, transferred by Radosh to me alone)–is completely invalid. He calls it a “fanciful indictment,” as if Truman’s knowledge of Soviet espionage activities inside the US government somehow remains frozen in June 1945 along with, erroneously represented, my discussion .
Odder: Once again, this is not what I wrote in my book. I never attempted to pin my analysis to a 15-minute briefing in 1945, but rather to Truman’s entire time in office.
This is the most significant meeting involving Kirby that the Schecters relate.
“West,” Radosh writes, “then shifts the time frame five years forward”–almost as though there is something suspect is doing so. Radosh now cites my reliance on “an interview” Kirby gave the Schecters in the late 1990s. (In all, the Schecters interviewed Kirby on three occasions. Kirby also gave the Schecters his handwritten notes on this meeting.) Radosh writes: “Kirby told them that both Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White were `positively identified’ in decrypts in 1950, and that he brought this information to General Omar Bradley.”
For the record, there is an important temporal corroboration for Kirby here, as I put it on p. 165 of American Betrayal:
[Kirby] later told the Schecters that in 1950, Harry Dexter White and Alger Hiss were both “positively identified” as Soviet agents by Venona codebreakers, a date Robert L. Benson and Michael Warner affirm in their Venona study.”
Notice how Radosh omitted the Benson and Warner confirmation of this date in his retelling of the Kirby tale (above). This is the same metholodology he employs throughout. Better to leave the “yellow journalism” impression of “an interview” on the fly that I rely on with no additional confirmation.
Just to pile on, also remember what Truman had already heard about Hiss and White beginning in 1945 from J. Edgar Hoover.
American Betrayal on the 1950 Kirby account continues:
Kirby himself claimed to have brought this information to the attention of General Bradley, White House point man, as noted, on Venona. Kirby said, “When Bradley called me back later he said, “The President was most upset and agitated by this. Bradley reported President Truman’s words, ‘That G—— D—— stuff. Every time it bumps into us it gets bigger and bigger. It’s likely to take us down.’” The Schecters add, “Kirby said there was no doubt the President understood.66
American Betrayal again:
In other words, President Truman took in and grasped revelations that, according to Soviet secret cables, the most senior-level, trusted, and powerful U.S. government officials had been working on behalf of the Soviet Union, and then he, as president, did nothing about it. Suddenly, Truman’s domestic anti- Communism program starts to look like a giant act of misdirection…
Radosh’s misleading comment:
Once again, West shows that she does not know how to evaluate the reliability of a source or assess the evidence produced. The Schecter interviews with Kirby occurred nearly a half century after the events alleged to have taken place.
The passage of time doesn’t negate the recollections of a source, and Kirby, as a former key intelligence official charged with briefing the few members of the US government who were permitted Venona information, appears to have to be a solid source. Ten years ago, when the Schecters first published these findings about Truman, columnist Robert Novak re-interviewed Kirby and found him and his story completely credible. (More on that below.)
RADOSH GETS CONFUSED
Even worse, Kirby’s account is third-hand. He claimed that General Clarke told him this at some unspecified time, and acknowledges that he himself was not present at any meeting between Truman and Bradley. Nor is there any documentation to show that such a meeting ever took place.
Uh-oh. Ronald Radosh has just mixed up two meetings separated by five years into one mess.
Kirby’s account of his 1950 conversation with Bradley is not third-hand. It is first-hand. He had the conversations with Bradley himself. As far as “no documentation” goes, the Schecters cite Kirby’s handwritten notes for this same meeting.
Radosh is wrong again.
The Radosh mix-ups don’t stop. I would certainly let this next one ride but it includes another slap at my credibility.
Kirby told the Schecters that Clarke had long conversations with Bradley and Secretary of Defense James Forrestal about Venona. But contrary to West’s claim, Kirby acknowledged to the Schecters that he had no notes of this meeting. There is nothing in either Bradley’s or Forrestal’s own papers that would corroborate Kirby’s story. (Emphasis in the original.)
Not in my book.
Let’s be real #1: I actually didn’t write about such a Forrestal meeting as Radosh describes, so there is no “claim” I made regarding it.
Let’s be real #2: Is Radosh saying he has searched Bradley’s and Forrestal’s “own papers” to see if there is anything in them to corroborate Kirby’s story? Or is he just… saying?
Let’s be real #3: Radosh writes about Kirby telling the Schecters that “Clarke had long conversations with Bradley and Secretary of Defense James Forrestal about Venona.” But he’s wrong. It was Kirby who had the long conversations with Bradley and Forrestal! Clarke isn’t even part of this anecdote–at least not in the Schecters’ book.
Maybe Plokhy? Maybe Gaddis? Maybe Rees?
What the Schecters actually write is this: “However, Kirby, who worked for General Clarke, and had long, thoughtful conversations with General Bradley and Secretary Forrestal on VENONA, is certain the president was informed and was part of the dialogue.”
I will conclude this belabored section by noting that this line of Radosh attack is just a bullying and very confused version of an already heated exchange over the same material from the Schecters’ book–what Truman knew about Venona and when he knew it–that took place ten years ago. Back in 2003, the combatants were Haynes and Klehr on the Radosh side, with the late Robert Novak taking the Schecters’ and, by extension, my side today.
In the 2003 exchange–which, for the record, is footnoted in my book on p. 372 in another example of my not disregarding “the findings of the sources she does rely on when they contradict her yellow journalism conspiracy theories,” as I have been so falsely accused of doing–Novak wrote:
The heart of the dispute is the account by a living witness to these long ago events. Former National Security Agency officer Oliver Kirby told the Schecters and confirmed to me how the “Venona material was presented to Truman by General Omar Bradley…
While Klehr and Haynes call Kirby’s account “highly unlikely,” none of his recollections is contradicted as they claim. Kirby’s assertions that Truman knew are based on notes he made at the time he worked on Venona, contradicting the Klehr and Haynes dismissal of Kirby’s recollections “fifty years after the event.” The highly praised work by Haynes and Klehr on Venona was based primarily on documents supplied and edited by the government. (Emphasis added.)
Come to think it, this government-handout aspect to the Venona cables is an excellent point to keep in mind.
Novak: “As serious historians, they would have benefited had they conducted interviews with living participants in the Venona affair rather than engage in unfair and unwarranted attacks on the Schecters and me.”
Not to mention Kirby.
The record the Schecters preserved by interviewing Kirby is at least as debatable today as it was ten years ago, and it should be possible to do so without being smeared for, as Radosh writes yet again, promoting a “vast conspiracy theory.”
The only good to come of this exercise is that I am now aware of the evidence marshaled by M. Stanton Evans that makes it patently clear the extent and depth to which Truman was well-informed by the FBI of Soviet penetration of the federal government–and long before Venona came on line.
There is one more point to make. Radosh also sees Truman’s exoneration in what he describes as “a 1949 FBI memo indicating that Omar Bradley had decided not to inform Truman about the Venona program, which was at the time top-secret.”
That’s not at all what the 1949 FBI memo says. The memo simply states that Gen. Omar Bradley would assume the responsibility for briefing the president or anyone else in authority “if the contents of any of this [Venona] material so demanded.”
The memo doesn’t inform us whether Bradley decided one way or the other; just that he had assumed the responsibility to do so.
Radosh sums up:
In short, a third key element in West’s vast conspiracy theory is so much hot air.
Radosh can repeat the phrase “conspiracy theory” all he wants, but the evidence doesn’t back him up.
CHAPTER 5: THE AGGRESSIVELY ATTACK DETAIL #4, GEORGE H. EARLE
Chapter 10 of American Betrayal contains the most serious indictment of the US Communist movement for having spawned the traitors, fellow travelers and dupes who worked inside the federal government to advance Stalin’s interests. In so doing, they appear to have successfully thwarted multiple attempts by anti-Nazi, anti-Communist Germans to gain US assistance that might have helped them overthrow Hitler, surrender German armies to US and British forces in exchange for unspecified assistance in keeping the Red Army out of eastern and central Europe–a mission we spent the next four decades fighting to achieve from beleaguered bases in Western Europe. This might have brought World War II to a close much earlier than 1945.
Two high level Roosevelt administration officials–George H. Earle, former governor of Pennsylvania and FDR’s special emissary in Europe, and Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, a senior war strategist–would write after the war that they believed, if successful, these German Underground efforts might have helped bring World War II to a close as early as 1943.
In other words, there was a chance not taken due to Communist penetration of the policy-making chain in Washington and London that might have saved millions, even tens of millions of lives.
It is the story of these German Underground efforts that I discuss in Chapter 10, and the obstacles they faced in both Washington and London, where pro-Soviet influence–and Soviet influence operators and agents–were able to keep these anti-Nazi, anti-Communists at bay.
Why would that be the case? It was Stalin’s goal to take Europe. In 1943, his Red Army was still inside Russia. At a certain point in my research it began to dawn on me that as far as Stalin and his secret agents were concerned, World War II could conceivably end too soon – before Stalin had extended his evil empire into Europe. I describe this phenomenon at length in American Betrayal.
That’s the story I tell.
Typically, Radosh has other, wrong ideas–that is, ideas that are not in my book.
Should the United States have joined Germany to fight the Soviet Union? Bizarre as it might sound, this is the fourth pillar of West’s argument.
You bet it sounds bizarre. In fact, surrealism rules again: Radosh now embarks on another discussion that is not in my book. In other words, what Radosh is calling “the fourth pillar of West’s argument” is not contained within the pages of my book.
He continues with more statements that are not in my book:
In her effort to paint the Roosevelt administration as a puppet of Soviet intelligence, she argues that towards the end of the war, the American government turned down the opportunity to arm German soldiers willing to form a new army to go to war against the USSR.
Surrealism still rules: I never discuss any “opportunity” the US government “turned down” to “arm German soldiers.” Such a subject never comes up. None of these German efforts got farther than extending “peace feelers” and making inquiries. That is the whole point of the chapter.
Once again, the question forms: Did Radosh read my book? Did he understand what he read? Or did he purposefully distort it?
American leaders were so pro-Soviet, in other words, that they missed one final opportunity to halt the Red Army’s advance into Eastern Europe, thereby delivering these countries to Stalin’s tender mercies and precipitating the Cold War.
“American leaders” are not part of this part of the story of Chapter 10. I discuss at length the parleys between various American (and some English) representatives abroad, most of whom had connections to the OSS, with various anti-Nazi, anti-Communist Germans. These efforts invariably reach a point at which the Americans (or English) are blocked from moving up the command chain, more often than not from choke points manned or influenced by a Soviet agent or asset.
RADOSH MISSES (AND DISTORTS) THE CRUX OF MY THESIS AGAIN
Her case rests on a story told by FDR’s old friend and former Governor of Pennsylvania, George H. Earle.
This is a falsehood. No, it’s a lie. But thus begins Radosh’s last aggressive attack on detail: George H. Earle.
It is utterly false and absurd to say that my case rests on “a story” told by Earle.
Earle published his account of his work with the German Underground in an August 1958 article titled “F.D.R.’s Tragic Mistake” in Confidential magazine.
Here are some of my other sources besides Earle:
Allen Dulles, Germany’s Underground (New York: Macmillan, 1947).
“Full Story of Anti-Hitler Plot Shows That Allies Refused to Assist,” New York Times, March 18, 1946.
“Gen. Menzies, Ex-British Intelligence Chief, Dies,” New York Times, May 31, 1968.
“Eisenhower Praises Anti-Nazi Resistance,” New York Times, May 11, 1945.
Alexander Vassiliev Papers, White Notebook No. 1 Translation, 51, http://www.scribd.com/doc/84608249 /Alexander-Vassiliev-Papers-White-Notebook-No-1-Translation.
George McJimsey, Hopkins, 277. FRUS: Washington and Casablanca, 703.
Francis Biddle Papers, Georgetown Special Collections.
Peter Hoffman, The History of the German Resistance, 1933–1945, 3rd English ed. (Montreal: McGill- Queen’s University Press, 2001)
“Canaris Hanging Related,” New York Times, October 11, 1952.
“Lubavitch Jews Want Admiral Canaris Honoured by Yad Vashem,” Agence France Presse, August 6, 2009, http://www.ejpress.org/article/38250. “Following historical research we have established that Admiral Canaris saved Rabbi Yosef Schneerson—sixth in that lineage—and 500 other Jews from the Warsaw ghetto,” said [Rabbi Benjamin] Lipshitz.”
Czeslaw Milosz, The Captive Mind (New York: Vintage Books, 1981)
Ian Colvin, Hitler’s Secret Enemy (London: Pan Books, 1957).
Harry Hopkins Papers, Georgetown University Library.
Richard Harris Smith, OSS: The Secret History of America’s First Central Intelligence Agency (Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2005), 368, quoting Secret and Personal, by F. W. Winterbotham (New York: HarperCollins, 1969).
Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, Is Paris Burning? How Paris Miraculously Escaped Hitler’s Sentence of Death in August 1944 (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 1991).
Vassiliev’s White Notebook No. 3 notes (133) that Neumann’s KGB recruitment was approved on January 2, 1943. In 1942, Vassiliev’s notes also reveal, three still unidentified KGB agents considered Neumann “pro-Soviet.”
Jürgen Heideking and Christof Mauch, eds., American Intelligence and the German Resistance to Hitler: A Documentary History (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996).
Robert Stripling, Red Plot Against America
Peter Niblo, Influence
Robert Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins
FRUS: The Conferences at Washington, 1941–1942, and Casablanca, 1943, 506.
This record, by the way, wasn’t published until 1968—twenty-five years after the conference!
Albert C. Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports!
B. H. Liddell Hart, The German Generals Talk (New York: William Morrow, 1948), 292–93; see also Manly, Twenty-Year Revolution, 122–23.
M. B. B. Biskupski, Hollywood’s War with Poland
Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, The Rape of Poland (New York: Whittlesey House, 1948), 25.
M. Stanton Evans, Blacklisted by History, 95–97.
Klaus P. Fischer, Hitler and America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), 237.
John Dietrich, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (New York: Algora Publishing, 2002)
Geoffrey T. Hellman, “Profiles—House Guest II,” New Yorker, August 14, 1943
Bentley testimony of May 29, 1952, Interlocking Subversion in Government Departments, Report of the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws to the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 83rd Congress, 1st Session, July 30, 1953, http://www.archive.org/stream/interlockingsubv1953unit/interlockingsubv1953unit_djvu.txt.
Douglas Waller, Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage (New York: Free Press, 2011)
Sudoplatov and Sudoplatov, Special Tasks
Where was I?
She spends pages relating how Earle contacted German intelligence chief Admiral Wilhelm Canaris in 1943, and tried to persuade him to accept U.S. “peace feelers.” Although this is another well-known episode, West organizes the material to make the reader believe that it was ignored when first made public years ago, and that her own book is finally revealing its momentous significance.
Alas, if it’s so “well-known,” you would think Radosh would get the facts straight. But no. Canaris contacted Earle (not vice versa). Canaris issued the “peace feelers” to Roosevelt, which were conveyed to no avail to Hopkins, most likely, by Earle (not vice versa).
Radosh mixes everything up again.
As for me organizing material first made public “years ago”: What was that ho hum book about the Rosenbergs’ guilt somebody co-wrote three decades after Judge Kaufman found the atomic spies guilty as charged?
MY TRUE CRIME REVEALED – AGAIN
It is apparent that West is unfamiliar with much of the research that has been done on World War II, or the fact that her counterfactual speculations are not regarded as realistic possibilities by any reputable historian of the era.
Here we go again.
My “speculations” are “counterfactual” only so long as Radosh hides my copious sources.
Similarly, such “speculations” are “not regarded as realistic possibilities” so long as my sources remain hidden.
I am not a “reputable [read: liberal, conventional] historian of the era” because I am drawing from sources that are usually ignored so that I might try to better understand history of this era.
Those “reputable” historians Radosh cites not to debate me but to impugn me continually fail to consider evidence of Soviet infiltration of the US policy-making-chain as important enough to include in the “reputable” histories they write and teach.
Now that I’ve uncovered the larger canvas, both front and back, and the broader stage, both in public view and behind the scenes, there is no returning to the blinkered, false narrative again.
THE LAST LECTURE FROM THE LIBERAL, MAINSTREAM ORTHODOXY
She does not seem to know the context of the decisions that FDR, Churchill and the generals in the field made, or appreciate the factors they had to take into account. Or more likely she prefers to ignore them because her theories could not survive the encounter.
Again, I have found a larger, grimier, and, in my opinion, more realistic context in which to assess all of those decisions and factors. Meanwhile, Radosh, as has been established repeatedly, cannot be trusted to determine what theories I ignore or consider, He clearly doesn’t know himself what I have written.
RADOSH’S PLAGIARISM CALUMNY
It gets worse.
West has read historian Laurence Rees’ World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis, and the West British Book Award Book of the Year for History in 2009 and also the basis for a BBC television documentary which was aired on all American PBS stations.
What… is he getting at?
West cites Rees in her text, and clearly much of her account comes from his own findings and work.
I get it. Radosh is saying I read Rees, watched the TV show and copied “his own findings and work.”
This is outrageous. I do cite Rees about six times in my book, but not in the German section, as Radosh now implies. That’s because Rees, except for about two sentences in one paragraph, doesn’t report the story of the German Underground that I happen to develop into a chapter of 15,000 words with 78 endnotes.
This less-than-oblique charge of plagiarism is a lie.
Radosh continues in this ugly and outrageous vein:
When I myself read about George H. Earle’s advice to FDR in West’s book, it sounded very familiar, until I realized I had read the same account, with the same quotes and detail in Rees’ book.
I utterly and completely reject this non-specific, non-sourced charge of plagiarism, too.
MY TRUE CRIME REVEALED–AGAIN
But she has ignored all the evidence Rees assembles in his book, and all the arguments he makes that refute her conclusions.
Here we go again. I have used a different and. particularly in this case, far more extensive set of sources for this stream of history and reached a different and more extensive set of conclusions, and for that I get my knuckles rapped, again.
“She should not have written this book,” Horowitz wrote. My conclusions–my sources–are verboten in Radosh-Horowitz World.
Fortunately, not so in America.
PRAISE FOR WHAT IS CONVENTIONAL, CONDEMNATION FOR WHAT IS… NOT IN MY BOOK!
Rees gives a nuanced account… but Rees does not share West’s conspiratorial mindset, or her claim that the suppression [of Soviet guilt for the Katyn Forest Massacre], which Churchill demanded, was the result of machinations by Soviet agents. In fact Rees reaches conclusions quite the opposite from West’s, something readers of West’s book would be unaware of. (Emphasis added.)
How weird is this: First, I make no such claim regarding “Soviet agents”–or even, in this case, agents of influence, either. What I analyze in depth regarding Katyn is a case of moral decline and cowardice. Indeed, I am able to draw on Rees’s fine account in this same stretch regarding Katyn, and find his conclusions quite sound. In other words, Rees’ conclusions are not incompatible with what is, in fact, in my book. You might think as we approach the end that Radosh would ease up on the pace of calumnies and sloppinesses, but he could hardly be more wrong on more points than he is here. The critique is an utter shambles.
Meanwhile, I can find no evidence that Churchill did anything other than follow along in this ugly suppression, not “demand” it, as Radosh claims.
LIKE THE ENERGIZER BUNNY, HE KEEPS ON GOING
Rees asks an important question that West might have paid attention to: Could Western leaders have “prevented the Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe by acting differently during their partnership with Stalin?”
Is this some kind of horrible prank? I “might” have paid attention to this important question…? I have written an entire book paying attention to this question.
And then he gets it wrong, yet again:
The decision not to consider an entente with Hitler’s army against Stalin was a clear-headed affirmation of U.S. interests, not a betrayal as West virtually screams.
Not. In. My. Book.
Radosh quotes Rees to comment on the German Underground; Rees, who pronounces his own two-sentence encapsulation of the entire history of the German Underground as having presented a “disastrous course of action” that was best avoided. Thus, Radosh dismisses my entire 15,000 word chapter, which draws from multiple sources Rees did not draw from, rendering the comparison of our two narratives moot at best, and his own appraisal inapplicable to mine.
“This is the consensus of every historian of the war,” Radosh writes, once again pronouncing, denouncing my true crime–writing a non-consensus narrative that, Radosh and Horowitz clearly believe, must be stopped by any means necessary. This includes the willful and baseless attempt to destroy my own credibility and reputation to do so.
This includes the lies, distortions, fabrications and smears that I have endured and rebutted here.
But “the consensus of every historian”?
Whether or not Radosh is suddenly right about something, I can say with complete confidence: It is not the consensus of me.
 M. Stanton Evans, Blacklisted by History. The chapter is called, “What Hoover Told Truman.”