Posted on | June 6, 2013 | 48 Comments
President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins
“A confidential message from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, reproduced in [Diana] West’s new book, told [White House aide Harry] Hopkins that a ‘continuing’ investigation had discovered that Russian diplomat (and Comintern agent) Vasily Zarubin had made a payment to U.S. Communist Party official Steve Nelson to help place espionage agents ‘in industries engaged in secret war production … so that information could be obtained for transmittal to the Soviet Union.’ This information had come from a ‘bug’ at Nelson’s home in Oakland, California, through which the FBI first learned of the Soviet effort (code-named ‘Enormous’) to obtain the atomic secrets of the Manhattan Project. Instead of warning President Roosevelt, however, Hopkins ‘privately warned the Soviet embassy in Washington that the FBI had bugged a secret meeting’ between Nelson and Zarubin, according to documents from the KGB archives smuggled out by [former Soviet intelligence officer Vasili] Mitrokhin.”
— ViralRead, “Top FDR Aide Hopkins Was Soviet Agent; Book Examines ‘Betrayal’”
“Robert Stacy McCain has seized on the conclusion . . .”
— Diana West, “American Betrayal: Making News”
Just doing my job, ma’am. “Seizing conclusions” is a fairly apt job description and, as was I reading through the book, my head nearly exploded when I saw the evidence against Harry Hopkins: “Holy freaking crap! Harry Hopkins ratted out the FBI to the Reds?”
The evidence pointing toward Harry Hopkins’s complicity in a plot of subversive Soviet influence within the FDR White House is more extensive than this one incident, but this incident by itself is shocking enough to deserve front-page headlines.
The FBI had gotten clear proof that the Soviet Union was using diplomatic cover to insert Comintern agents into the United States, and that these agents were, in turn, funding and directing espionage aimed at our top-secret Manhattan Project. And when J. Edgar Hoover told the president’s most trusted aide about this investigation, in a letter that emphasized the confidential nature of the information, Harry Hopkins tells the Soviet embassy about it?
And perhaps the most startling thing about this is that experts specializing in the history of Communist espionage have known of the suspicions about Hopkins’s subversive pro-Soviet activities since it at least 1990, when made headlines in the New York Times:
Roosevelt Aide Called an Unwitting Spy
A new book by a prominent Soviet K.G.B. defector names Harry L. Hopkins, an architect of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and his closest personal adviser, as an unwitting ”agent of major significance” for the Soviet Union. . . .
The book, co-written by a Cambridge University history professor, Christopher Andrew, says that Mr. Gordievsky concluded that Mr. Hopkins was valuable to the Soviets in the sense that he encouraged Roosevelt to take positions favored by Moscow, and not a knowing spy. It says Mr. Hopkins influenced the United States to accept Soviet control over Poland, the Baltic states and Romania. . . .
“Unwitting”? You could call Harry Hopkins a lot of things, but “unwitting” is the one thing he never was. And without regard for Gordievsky’s belief about the “unwitting” nature of Hopkins’s treachery, it’s important to quote Gordievsky’s original source:
Harry Hopkins, as ”Mr. New Deal” in the 1930’s, was a target of right-wing critics of Roosevelt’s liberal social policies. He later was an adviser to President Truman. The assertion that he unwittingly helped the Soviet Union stems from a lecture that Mr. Gordievsky attended in the K.G.B.’s headquarters in Moscow by Iskhak A. Akhmerov, who the book says was Alger Hiss’s wartime K.G.B. controller.
Mr. Hiss, who served in the State Department, was accused by Whittaker Chambers of having given him confidential documents to transmit to the Soviet Union. Mr. Hiss was convicted of perjury but denied having been a Soviet spy.
”Akhmerov identified the most important of all Soviet wartime agents in the United States,” the book says, ”as Harry Hopkins.”
Iskhak Akhmerov didn’t say “unwitting,” did he? No, and while specialist historians may want to debate the nature and extent of what Hopkins did for the Stalinist regime and why he did it, the very fact that such a dark suspicion could fall on such an important official — no one could dispute that Hopkins was as close to FDR as any presidential adviser could ever be — is headline-worthy news.
And yet I, having spent many years as an amateur student of Communist subversion, had never even heard this before? It immediately struck me that, if I didn’t know about it, the vast majority of Americans certainly don’t know about, and this startling ignorance is itself a mystery that requires an explanation.
Trying to find that explanation is really what Diana West’s book is about. How is that historians and journalists have ignored, or explained away, or deliberately suppressed, the evidence that U.S. policy in the 1930s and ’40s was not actually U.S. policy, but was in fact so influenced by Soviet penetration of our government that, to a great extent, Roosevelt’s policy was actually Josef Stalin’s policy?
Yesterday, I spent some time on the phone with the legendary M. Stanton Evans, who provides a dust-jacket recommendation for Diana West’s book, and Stan invoked Evans’s Law of Inadequate Paranoia: “However bad you think it is, it’s probably much worse.”
Evans last year published his own book, Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government, co-authored with the late intelligence expert Herb Romerstein, and anyone who has taken the time to explore the subject can understand the inadequacy of paranoia. Every time you dig a little bit deeper, you find another bizarre layer of treachery, another inexplicable connection between the supposedly random red dots in the pattern:
However, Evans noted Hopkins’s connections to other known or suspected Soviet agents, including his onetime assistant David Niles, who was mentioned in the Venona cables as helping two KGB agents obtain U.S. visas.
David Niles — that name is one worth Googling a bit, trust me.
How was it that Niles, an adviser to FDR, was connected to Soviet spy Michael Burd, who was in turn connected to Robert Menaker, whose niece was married to arch-traitor Victor Perlo, so that when the Reds wanted U.S. visas for two undercover agents, the encrypted secret Soviet cable contained this kind of stuff?
Through CAPITAN’S (Roosevelt’s) advisor David Niles –will take 3-4 days, will cost 500 dollars…. [A]round Niles there is a group of his friends who will arrange anything for a bribe. Through them TENOR (Michael W. Burd) obtains priorities and has already paid them as much as 6000 dollars. Whether NILES takes a bribe himself is not known for certain.
This isn’t guesswork or some paranoid fantasy, these are historical facts obtained directly from Soviet intelligence sources. Such was the atmosphere in FDR’s White House that when the Kremlin wanted to get its agents across the border from the U.S. to Mexico, there was “a group” of “friends” who were only too happy to collect $500 for this service to the Stalinist regime. This is documented history, I remind you, so why isn’t it more widely known?
“Implications” is a word you will encounter often in the pages of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character, and rightly so: What are the implications of this cover-up? What does it mean that, for more than a half-century, Americans have been taught a lie about their own nation’s history? What are the implications of this for the integrity of our education system?
If professors and teachers of history know about this Soviet subversion — and certainly, it is their business to know it — why isn’t it being taught in our colleges and universities and high schools? And why have we forgotten the real heroes of our own history?
There is no statue of Elizabeth Bentley at her alma mater, Vassar College, nor is there any memorial to her at Columbia University, where she received her master’s degree. Bentley’s career as a Communist spy could be the stuff of a Hollywood thriller, complete with a romantic interest in the form of her lover, Soviet intelligence agent Jacob Golos.
Yet Bentley is nearly forgotten today for the very reason that she became famous: She quit the Communist Party in 1945 and went to the FBI with the names of nearly 150 Soviet agents — including such prominent officials as Victor Perlo, chief of the aviation section of the War Production Board — and subsequently testified before Congress about the Communist espionage network she supervised.
Hollywood and academia don’t celebrate anti-Communists, but as Diana West points out, there is a professorship at Bard College named for arch-traitor Alger Hiss. . . .
Read the whole thing. And then read my ViralRead article about Harry Hopkins, and don’t stop there. You need to buy Diana West’s book, and a lot more books you’ve never read, because there is an entire history that hasn’t been taught to the American people, and you’ll never know the truth if you don’t start teaching yourself.