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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Re: The Diana West Controversy

The controversy is this:

Diana West has a new book out, called American Betrayal, which details Soviet success in infiltrating the highest echelons of our government, particularly, the "Agent of Influence" Harry Hopkins in the White House, dictating American/Soviet Policy during WWII.

Front Page Magazine, and more specifically, historian Ron Radosh (who used to be a Communist himself, and is now a highly-respected Conservative Historian) have leveled bombastic criticism at West's book (see Radosh's article "McCarthy on Steroids").

I am certainly no expert in History, and I am downright naive when it comes to Espionage, so I consider the whole subject way above my pay grade.

Nevertheless, the arrogant, wailing nature of the Radosh's allegations against West's scholarship have led me to believe he must be a tad off. No one, especially not a scholar, would need to make so much noise, if he had a real point.

Tonight, I came across this article at the American Thinker, from Bernie Reeves, who seems to have written an eminently fair analysis of both sides, albeit fraught with this very intense accusation:
West also focuses on the 1996 Venona Conference, which I attended, that instigated the current investigation of Soviet operatives in the FDR administration. Held at the National War College at Fort McNair in Washington, DC, the CIA and NSA released intercepted cable traffic from Moscow to its American agents from as early as 1939 up to 1962. As the conference proceeded, a group of six or seven men (including Rosenberg accomplice Morton Sobell) began interrupting the proceedings, proclaiming that information from Venona was bogus because some of the facts were not true. I recognized the technique: by discrediting one detail, the goal was to discredit everything else. And the dissidents were successful in running off the media, already pre-conditioned not to report on Venona, once again obscuring the evidence that Americans were spying and influencing U.S. policy on behalf of Moscow. Radosh's reaction to West's book reminds me of that episode.
He then goes on to analyze important points brought to light by West, and their implications for, and integration into, the larger picture already developed by Cold War scholars since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union:
His (Radosh's) criticisms are valid in detail but lacking in general perspective. He trivializes the reality that communist agents were indeed infiltrating the U.S. government, while focusing on the opinion that West is a nut case for claiming Hopkins was one too. He calls her belief that Soviet agents influenced policy by saying pro-Soviet decisions were necessitated by conditions of war. Actually, it was both, but like West, Radosh cannot seem to manage a broad view. 
By 1946, codebreaker Meredith Gardner was able to discern patterns in the cables that proved the messages were going to American agents working for the Soviets in the U.S. government. As of today, approximately 400 agents have been identified -- far more than Senator Joseph McCarthy's famous "list" of 105. And only ten percent of the Venona files have been decrypted. 
West mines Venona, the testimony of "Red spy queen" Elizabeth Bentley -- who confessed her work for the communist underground to the FBI in 1945 -- and the book Blacklisted by History by M. Stanton Evans, a re-examination of the McCarthy era using Venona and hundreds of other recently declassified documents from the FBI, CIA, and other agencies. And West lambastes the Truman administration for not revealing data from Venona that would have exonerated McCarthy and informed the nation that Soviet agents had indeed infiltrated key departments of the FDR administration. 
Again, Radosh dissects this assertion with evidence Truman did not know about Venona, although there is contrariwise opinion cited by West that Radosh says is bogus. Radosh says there weren't specific references in the decoded decrypts to utilize until 1955. Even so, the President could have demanded that code breakers work harder and faster -- the modus operandi the public expected from Truman. Instead the country was unnecessarily torn apart by the McCarthy episode. 
The Rosenbergs, Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White, Laurence Duggan, and 397 more American agents have been confirmed and verified as Soviet agents. West claims Harry Hopkins has been outed too in Venona, but Radosh and other scholars say this identification is bogus. But the Soviets also ran important agents of influence with great attention to the security of their identities. In essence, whether or not Hopkins is ever identified in Venona, he remains, as the cops say, a person of interest. 
West's intensity is what is needed for Americans to grasp that our culture has been hijacked. For example, the national media and our major universities continue to ignore the Left's political agenda in which traditional American beliefs have been gradually undermined and replaced with utopian theoretical doctrines born in Marxism and other esoteric ideologies: political correctness, multiculturalism and an incessant condemnation of religion. 
Our culture today reads like the Comintern handbook, thanks largely to the gullibility of the American Left which swallowed propaganda dished up by communist agents of influence. And that is why the Left should never be taken seriously. Any individual or group that did not turn away in disgust from the murderous evil of the Soviet Union due to the belief that it was a better system than ours is beneath contempt. Yet it happened, and Diana West wants everyone to know how it happened
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Blogger Unknown said...

Excellent! You said it better that I ever could.

Sunday, September 01, 2013 9:44:00 pm  

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