Wednesday, July 06, 2005

There Is No Threat

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist."
--Charles Baudelaire

SenatorJoe McCarthy and Roy Cohn

In the spirit of recent formal apologies on topics ranging from lynchings to US soldiers abusing prisoners, to US Senators abusing US soldiers, why don't we pause a moment to reflect another sad American chapter - The Red Scare and its only innocent victim, Joe McCarthy.

Thanks to the Venona project, a secret FBI/NSA/CIA program that intercepted and deciphered Soviet diplomatic transmissions from 1937 until 1980, it is clear now that McCarthy was exactly right about Communists in the American government. In fact, he had underestimated the depth, scope, and severity of the breach.

Soviet cables now make clear that 349 Americans were in fact working for Stalin from 1939-1957. The most famous among those confirmed as spies were Alger Hiss (whose unfortunate code name was "LIBERAL") and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. See below for a listing of identified Communists.

Although Venona became public in 1995, relatively little attention has been paid to it. Conservatives must champion this as the biggest "I told you so!" of the ages. If we don't, apparently no one else will. The lack of attention paid to Venona tells us as much about academic and media agenda today as it does during McCarthy's time.

Simply put -
Joe McCarthy deserves a posthumous apology from the US Senate. Further, the Democratic Party should own up to its grim history of Soviet appeasement, collaboration with, and support for a regime responsible for the deaths of over 100 million people. Some estimates have the Soviet machine responsible for over 170 million deaths worldwide.

Had the Democrats and Hollywood Left rejected and exposed Communists in their midst, perhaps the Cold War could have ended decades earlier with millions of lives saved.

However, with so many pledging their loyalties to the Russian cult of State, Liberals chose instead to destroy McCarthy, write fiction portraying "victimhood", and sling counter charges that the only danger we faced as Americans was from reckless Republicans with the audacity to ask about their fraternization with the enemy. While millions were marched off to gulags to dig their own graves, American Liberals sobbed hysterically about being blacklisted by film studios or questioned about their actual support for actual Communists. {Keep in mind that Democrats during this time supported the internment of thousands of innocent Japanese citizens.}

I guess it should come to no surprise how little attention has been paid to Venona by major media, the Democratic party, universities, high schools, show business, popular culture, etc.. Kids today are still reading Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter and Arthur Miller's The Crucible as allegories for McCarthy's crusade. Ann Coulter does a great job detailing this dynamic in her book , Treason.

How does this happen? CNN's Harvey Klehr examines the Red Scare and sums up major media's thoughts on the Venona revelations thus:

"This new evidence is forcing the revision of many of the prevailing myths about the internal communist threat to American democracy in the postwar era. None of it exculpates McCarthy. He remains a political bully who hurt a number of people."

A bully who hurt people? This would be a fine assessment of things had McCarthy not been right. How does Klehr suggest one should react to those secretly sending Stalin sensitive information? Tickling them into submission? I'm sure Nazi collaborators were "hurt" too when they were outed. And, I'll bet that cockroaches don't like it when the light turns on in the basement either.

In another "circle the wagons" assessment, the late Democratic Senator Daniel Moynihan reviewed the impact of Venona in a book entitled Secrecy: The American Experience published in 1998. In typical Liberal fashion, he blames everyone but the spies themselves and his own party's complicit tolerance of them. Below he specifically blames the FBI four decades later for keeping the spy list secret:

"Not for another forty years would government tell what it actually knew about the Communist conspiracy: there had indeed been one, but it had never been massive; it has first been contained, then suppressed. A democracy does not leave its citizens uninformed on these matters."

"Not been massive?" If you don't think that 349 Soviet spies working inside all three branches of government qualifies as massive, then what does? It's well known today that publicizing the names would have tipped off the Soviets that we had broken their codes. Knowing the risks involved, the names of those spying were kept confidential at the personal request of General Omar Bradley.

Suppressed? How so, Senator? Or, would detailing the damage done by Democrats during this era be too much even for today's Democrats to explain away? It's simply easier to claim, "There was no threat."

Sound familiar?

I take heart in the fact that what happened to McCarthy won't happen again. With tens of thousands of bloggers coming online everyday we're part of an "Information Reformation" that is returning truth to its rightful owners. The OMSM (once mainstream media) can no longer operate as the Ministry of Information for the Left. If they won't apply scrutiny - bloggers will.

Thanks to this new dynamic, Liberals now have to back up their charges as well as their denials. The Dick Durbins of the world now have to explain what they mean as their speeches are heard. Their behavior is observed. Their hyperbole deflated and their support for our enemies is more evident than ever. It's apparent now that we can't trust media to act as the "watchdog of government" if they attack and destroy those who would otherwise protects us.

In light of Venona, words like treason, sedition, and traitor have new relevance. Despite what Liberals would have you believe, loyalty is a valid topic for debate. There is dissent and loyal opposition - then there are lies from the mouths of Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean, Dick Durbin and company designed to embolden our enemies, slander our good names, and create more dangerous conditions for our soldiers.

Most likely, McCarthy will remain a bogeyman for some time to come. Without his convenient ghost to conjure , the Left would actually have to answer to critics questioning their aiding and abetting of our enemies.

Although the names and times have changed, the players are no different today than in McCarthy's time. We're at war, with many among us (mostly on the Left) claiming there is no real danger but that posed by John Ashcroft, or Alberto Gonzales, or Karl Rove, or Halliburton, or Conservatives in general. Meanwhile, the media seem content to report solely on the operational efficiency of the enemy or how American soldiers are forcing terrorist inmates to listen to rap music.

So when Michael Moore states, "Somebody needs to just say this: there is no terrorist threat..." you might reconsider his motives and take a look at the list of American traitors below who comprised "no threat" 50 years ago.

Courtesy of Wikipedia:
List of Americans in Venona Papers

349 U.S. citizens, noncitizen immigrants, and permanent residents of the United States who had covert relationships with Soviet intelligence were confirmed in the Venona traffic. Of these 171 are identified by true names and 178 are known only by a cover name.

Click Here for a complete listing of all the names and more information on the Venona Project.


Blogger John Dunshee said...

I think Arthur Miller's play was "The Crucible" not "The Scarlet Letter."

Other than that, a great post.

7/09/2005 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Like You said...

Thanks John!

I had both Hawthorne and Miller in my original draft. Looks like I goofed when editing the sentence for brevity.

Both are back in now and that sentence is better than ever!



7/10/2005 12:56:00 AM  
Blogger Bohemian Like You said...

It's worth noting that only a small fraction of Soviet diplomatic traffic was intercepted and successfully deciphered.

With this small sampling, 349 Americans were identified. It's certainly likely that many more were listed in the traffic yet to be decrypted.

It suggests that the Soviet Union had more than a cabal of spies here. Rather, they had a de facto Department of Espionage.

7/15/2005 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Ray B. said...

If you think the only innocent victim during the Red Scare of the 1950s was Joe McCarthy, then you're a nut!

7/22/2005 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Bohemian Like You said...

Ray, recent history shows he was right about Communist infiltration. Read the Venona project sometime.

I'm sure some were simply guilty by association, but please name me one person who was jailed or ruined by McCarthy.

I just can't get too upset over a handful of people who *might* not have been Communist sympathizers having to "fire the maid" as Coulter puts it. Compare their *suffering* to those in Stalin's Gulags.

7/26/2005 10:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Ray B., Richmond, VA said...

I'm no expert on McCarthy, but it is easy to see how McCarthyism (used by both Democrats and Republicans) ruined lives when people were threatened with imprisonment or blacklisting or "outing." Names were circulated to employers and those on the list fired or denied employment.

And all of this had nothing to with real security. It had more to do with weakening political opponents... For a longer essay on Coulter and McCarthy, see

And Bob Dylan said:

Well, I was feelin' sad and feelin' blue,
I didn't know what in the world I was gonna do,
Them Communists they wus comin' around,
They wus in the air,
They wus on the ground.
They wouldn't gimme no peace. . .

So I run down most hurriedly
And joined up with the John Birch Society,
I got me a secret membership card
And started off a-walkin' down the road.
Yee-hoo, I'm a real John Bircher now!
Look out you Commies!

Now we all agree with Hitlers' views,
Although he killed six million Jews.
It don't matter too much that he was a Fascist,
At least you can't say he was a Communist!
That's to say like if you got a cold you take a shot of malaria.

Well, I wus lookin' everywhere for them gol-darned Reds.
I got up in the mornin' 'n' looked under my bed,
Looked in the sink, behind the door,
Looked in the glove compartment of my car.
Couldn't find 'em . . .

I wus lookin' high an' low for them Reds everywhere,
I wus lookin' in the sink an' underneath the chair.
I looked way up my chimney hole,
I even looked deep inside my toilet bowl.
They got away . . .

Well, I wus sittin' home alone an' started to sweat,
Figured they wus in my T.V. set.
Peeked behind the picture frame,
Got a shock from my feet, hittin' right up in the brain.
Them Reds caused it!
I know they did . . . them hard-core ones.

Well, I quit my job so I could work alone,
Then I changed my name to Sherlock Holmes.
Followed some clues from my detective bag
And discovered they wus red stripes on the American flag!
That ol' Betty Ross . . .

Well, I investigated all the books in the library,
Ninety percent of 'em gotta be burned away.
I investigated all the people that I knowed,
Ninety-eight percent of them gotta go.
The other two percent are fellow Birchers . . . just like me.

Now Eisenhower, he's a Russian spy,
Lincoln, Jefferson and that Roosevelt guy.
To my knowledge there's just one man
That's really a true American: George Lincoln Rockwell.
I know for a fact he hates Commies cus he picketed the movie Exodus.

Well, I fin'ly started thinkin' straight
When I run outa things to investigate.
Couldn't imagine doin' anything else,
So now I'm sittin' home investigatin' myself!
Hope I don't find out anything . . . hmm, great God!

7/28/2005 02:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Ray B., Richmond, VA said...

A pretty cool guy who got crap from the gov't for his views:

7/29/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Bohemian Like You said...

"The Venona intercepts contained overwhelming proof of the activities of Soviet spy networks in America, complete with names, dates, places, and deeds."

Senator Daniel P. Moynihan (D-NY)

7/30/2005 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Like You said...

Here are the names recovered from Soviets cables:

* John Abt Department of Agriculture; Works Progress Administration; Civil Liberties Subcommittee, Senate Committee on Education and Labor; special assistant to the United States Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
* Solomon Adler, United States Department of the Treasury
* Lydia Altschuler
* Thomas Babin
* Marion Bachrach, (*) congressional office manager of Congressman John Bernard of the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party
* Rudy Baker
* Vladimir Barash
* Joel Barr, United States Army Signal Corps laboratories
* Alice Barrows, U.S. Office of Education
* Theodore Bayer, President, Russky Golos Publishing
* George Beiser, National Research Establishment, Research and Development Board; engineer Bell Aircraft
* Aleksandr Belenky, General Electric
* Cedric Belfrage, journalist; British Security Coordination
* Elizabeth Bentley
* Marion Davis Berdecio, Office of Naval Intelligence; Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs; United States Department of State
* Josef Berger, Democratic National Committee
* Joseph Bernstein, Board of Economic Warfare
* Walter Sol Bernstein, Hollywood Screenwriter, listed on the MPAA's Hollywood blacklist
* T.A. Bisson, Board of Economic Warfare
* Thomas Lessing Black, Bureau of Standards
* Samuel Bloomfield, (*) Eastern European Division, Research and Analysis Division, Office of Strategic Services
* Ralph Bowen, (*) United States Department of State
* Abraham Brothman, chemist
* Earl Browder, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the United States
* Rose Browder
* William Browder
* Michael Burd, head of Midland Export Corporation
* Pual Burns, employee of TASS
* Norman Bursler, United States Department of Justice Anti-Trust Division
* James Callahan
* Sylvia Callen
* Whittaker Chambers
* Frank Coe, Assistant Director, Division of Monetary Research, Treasury Department; Special Assistant to the United States Ambassador in London; Assistant to the Executive Director, Board of Economic Warfare; Assistant Administrator, Foreign Economic Administration
* Lona Cohen
* Morris Cohen
* Eugene Franklin Coleman, electrical engineer
* Henry J. Collins National Recovery Administration; Department of Agriculture
* Anna Colloms
* Judith Coplon, Foreign Agents Registration section, United States Department of Justice
* Lauchlin Currie, Administrative Assistant to President Roosevelt; Deputy Administrator of Foreign Economic Administration; Special Representative to China
* Eugene Dennis
* Samuel Dickstein, United States Congressman from New York
* William Dodd Jr.
* Laurence Duggan, head of United States Department of State Division of American Republics
* Demetrius Dvoichenko-Markov, U.S. Army
* Eufrosina Dvoichenko-Markov
* Frank Dziedzik, National Oil Products Company
* Nathan Einhorn, Executive Secretary of American Newspaper Guild
* Max Elitcher, (*) Naval Ordance Section, National Bureau of Standards
* Jacob Epstein
* Jack Fahy, Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs; Board of Economic Warfare; United States Department of the Interior
* Linn Markley Farish, liaison officer with Tito's Yugoslav Partisan forces, Office of Strategic Services
* Milton Felson, Office of Strategic Services, IB
* Nicholas Fisher
* Maria Fisher
* Edward Fitzgerald, War Production Board
* Charles Flato, Board of Economic Warfare; Civil Liberties Subcommittee, Senate Committee on Education and Labor
* Isaac Folkoff
* Jane Foster, Board of Economic Warfare; Office of Strategic Services; Netherlands Study Unit
* Zalmond David Franklin
* Isabel Gallardo
* Boleslaw Gebert, national officer of Polonia Society of International Workers Order
* Harrison George
* Rebecca Getzoff
* Harold Glasser, Director, Division of Monetary Research, United States Department of the Treasury; United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration; War Production Board; Advisor on North African Affairs Committee
* Bela Gold, Bureau of Intelligence, Assistant Head of Program Surveys, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Agriculture Department; Senate Subcommittee on War Mobilization; Office of Economic Programs in Foreign Economic Administration
* Harry Gold
* Sonia Steinman Gold, Division of Monetary Research U.S. Treasury Department; U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Interstate Migration; U.S. Bureau of Employment Security
* Jacob Golos
* George Gorchoff
* Gerald Graze, United States Civil Service Commission; Department of Defense, U.S. Navy official
* Stanley Graze, United States Department of State intelligence
* David Greenglass
* Ruth Greenglass
* Theodore Hall
* Maurice Halperin, Chief of Latin American Division, Research and Analysis section, Office of Strategic Services; United States Department of State
* Kitty Harris
* William Henwood, Standard Oil of California
* Alger Hiss, Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs United States Department of State
* Donald Hiss, United States Department of State; United States Department of Labor; United States Department of the Interior
* Louis D. Horvitz
* Rosa Isaak, Executive Secretary of the American-Russian Institute
* Herman R. Jacobson, Avery Manufacturing Company
* Bella Joseph, motion picture division of Office of Strategic Services
* Emma Harriet Joseph, (*) Office of Strategic Services
* Julius Joseph, Far Eastern section (Japanese Intelligence) Office of Strategic Services
* Gertrude Kahn
* David Karr
* Joseph Katz
* Helen Grace Scott Keenan, Office of the Co-ordinator of Inter-American Affairs; Office of U.S Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis War Criminals, Office of Strategic Services
* Mary Jane Keeney, Board of Economic Warfare; Allied Staff on Reparations; United Nations
* Philip Keeney, Office of the Coordinator of Information (later OSS)
* Alexander Koral
* Helen Koral
* Samuel Krafsur, jounralist TASS
* Charles Kramer, Senate Subcommittee on War Mobilization; Office of Price Administration; National Labor Relations Board; Senate Subcommittee on Wartime Health and Education; Agricultural Adjustment Administration; Civil Liberties Subcommittee, Senate Committee on Education and Labor; Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee
* Christina Krotkova, Office of War Information
* Sergey Nikolaevich Kurnakov
* Stephen Laird, Hollywood Producer; Time Magazine Reporter; Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) correspondent
* Rudolph Carl Lambert
* Oskar Lange
* Richard Lauterbach, Time Magazine
* Duncan Lee, counsel to General William Donovan, head of Office of Strategic Services
* Michael Leshing, superintendent of Twentieth Century Fox film laboratories
* Leo Levans, Shell Oil
* Morris Libau
* Helen Lowry
* Willaim Mackey
* Harry Magdoff, Chief of the Control Records Section of War Production Board and Office of Emergency Management; Bureau of Research and Statistics, WTB; Tools Division, War Production Board; Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, United States Department of Commerce; Statistics Division Works Progress Administration
* William Malisoff, owner of United Laboratories of New York
* Hede Massing, journalist
* Robert Owen Menaker
* Floyd Cleveland Miller
* James Walter Miller
* Robert Miller, Office of the Co-ordinator of Inter-American Affairs; Near Eastern Division United States Department of State
* Robert Minor, Office of Strategic Services
* Leonard Emil Mins, Russian Section of the Research and Analysis Division of the Office of Strategic Services
* Arthur Moosen
* Vladimir Morkovin, Office of Naval Research
* Boris Moros, Hollywood Producer
* Philip Mosely, Russian section of Office of Strategic Services; United States Department of State
* Nicola Napoli, president of Artkino, distributor of Russian films
* David Niles, advisor to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman
* Melita Norwood
* Eugénie Olkhine
* Rose Olsen
* Nicholas W. Orloff
* Nadia Morris Osipovich
* Edna Patterson
* William Perl, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) at Langley Army Air Base; Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory
* Victor Perlo, chief of the Aviation Section of the War Production Board; head of branch in Research Section, Office of Price Administration Department of Commerce; Division of Monetary Research Department of Treasury; Brookings Institution
* Burton Perry
* Aleksandr N. Petroff, Curtiss-Wright Aircraft
* Paul Pinsky
* William Pinsly, Curtiss-Wright Aircraft
* William Plourde, engineer with Bell Aircraft
* Vladimir Aleksandrovich Pozner, head Russian Division photographic section United States War Department
* Gertrude Pratt, Student Antifascist Committee
* Lee Pressman Department of Agriculture; Works Progress Administration; General Counsel Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)
* Mary Price, stenographer for Walter Lippmann of the New York Herald
* Esther Trebach Rand
* Peter Rhodes, Foreign Broadcasting Monitoring Service, Allied Military Headquarters London; Chief of the Atlantic News Service, Office of War Information
* Stephen Rich
* Kenneth Richardson, World Wide Electronics
* Samuel Rodman, United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
* Allan Rosenberg, Board of Economic Warfare; Chief of the Economic Institution Staff, Foreign Economic Administration; Civil Liberties Subcommittee, Senate Committee on Education and Labor; Railroad Retirement Board; Councel to the Secretary of the National Labor Relations Board
* Julius Rosenberg
* Ethel Rosenberg
* Amadeo Sabatini
* Alfred Sarant, United States Army Signal Corps laboratories
* Saville Sax, Young Communist League
* Marion Schultz, chair of the United Russian Committee for Aid to the Native Country
* Bernard Schuster
* Milton Schwartz
* John Scott, Office of Strategic Services
* Richard Setaro, journalist/writer Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)
* Charles Bradford Shepard, Hazeltine Electronics
* Anne Sidorovich
* Michael Sidorovich
* George Silverman, Director of the Bureau of Research and Information Services, US Railroad Retirement Board; Economic Adviser and Chief of Analysis and Plans, Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Material and Services, War Department
* Greg Silvermaster, Chief Planning Technician, Procurement Division, United States Department of the Treasury; Chief Economist, War Assets Administration; Director of the Labor Division, Farm Security Administration; Board of Economic Warfare; Reconstruction Finance Corporation Department of Commerce
* Helen Silvermaster
* Alfred Slack
* Morton Sobell, General Electric
* Jack Soble
* Myra Soble
* Robert Soblen
* Johannes Steele
* Alfred Kaufman Stern, Popular Front
* Martha Dodd Stern, Popular Front
* I. F. Stone, journalist for The Nation
* Anna Louise Strong, journalist for The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, The Nation and Asia
* William Henry Taylor, Assistant Director of the Middle East Division of Monetary Research, United States Department of Treasury
* Helen Tenney, Office of Strategic Services
* Mikhail Tkach, editor of the Ukrainian Daily News
* Lud Ullman, delegate to United Nations Charter meeting and Bretton Woods Conference; Division of Monetary Research, Department of Treasury; Material and Services Division, Air Corps Headquarters, Pentagon
* Irving Charles Velson
* Margietta Voge
* George Samuel Vuchinich, 2nt. United States Army assigned to Office of Strategic Services
* Bill Weisband, United States Army Signals Security Agency
* Donald Wheeler, Office of Strategic Services Research and Analysis division
* Enos Wicher, Wave Propagation Research, Division of War Research, Columbia University
* Maria Wicher
* Harry Dexter White, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury
* Ruth Beverly Wilson
* Ignacy Witczak
* Ilya Elliott Wolston, United States Army military intelligence
* Flora Wovschin, Office of War Information; United States Department of State
* Jones Orin York
* Daniel Abraham Zaret, United States Army Explosives Division
* Mark Zborowski

7/30/2005 10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Ray B. said...

You're right -- that sure is a good number of people involved.

I was looking online and found the first chapter of "Venona:
Decoding Soviet Espionage in America"
By JOHN EARL HAYNES and HARVEY KLEHR, Yale University Press:

Here's one paragraph from that chapter:

"There were broader consequences, as well, of the decision to keep Venona secret. The overlapping issues of Communists in government, Soviet espionage, and the loyalty of American Communists quickly became a partisan battleground. Led by Republican senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, some conservatives and partisan Republicans launched a comprehensive attack on the loyalties of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations. Some painted the entire New Deal as a disguised Communist plot and depicted Dean Acheson, Truman's secretary of state, and George C. Marshall, the Army chief of staff under Roosevelt and secretary of state and secretary of defense under Truman, as participants, in Senator McCarthy's words, in "a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so black that, when it is finally exposed, its principals shall be forever deserving of the maledictions of all honest men." There is no basis in Venona for implicating Acheson or Marshall in a Communist conspiracy, but because the deciphered Venona messages were classified and unknown to the public, demagogues such as McCarthy had the opportunity to mix together accurate information about betrayal by men such as Harry White and Alger Hiss with falsehoods about Acheson and Marshall that served partisan political goals."

-- Ray B., Richmond, VA writes:

All in all, a pretty messed up time in America. And you're right, most Americans, even today, don't know much about the Venona project. Even the archives of the Soviet Union have helped in figuring out who was (and who wasn't) an agent of the Soviet Union.

8/01/2005 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger nobs said...

Thnaks for the plug. There has been a concerted effort to suppress publication of the list within a group of Wikipedia editors. Mr. Roger Sandilands, author of 'Poliitcs and the Attack on FDR's Economists', Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates of Somerville MA, and Griffen Fariello author of 'Red Scare, Memories of an American Inquisition an Oral History', have all personally interceded to do so.

As the researcher who has been compiling the list, the list is still available through the main Venona project article, but has been moved to its own web page at
Venona names

Thank you, and excellant blog! nobs

8/15/2005 02:49:00 PM  

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