Stalin’s Secret Agents


stTry a word association quiz with the phrase “Cold War,” and the first two responses that are almost certain to come to the mind of the general public are “paranoia” and “McCarthyism,” which is practically a synonym for paranoia. The common assumption, thanks to decades of public school indoctrination and the influence of leftist intellectuals, is that the Cold War, at least in its early decades, was all about suspicious Republicans fearing a Red under every bed and blacklisting innocents in Hollywood. But a recent book (the paperback edition hits bookshelves next month), lays out the historical evidence for massive Communist penetration of our government beginning in the New Deal era, increasingly rapidly during World War II, and afterward leading to gaping breaches of national security and the betrayal of free-world interests.

Contrary to the notion that domestic Communists were simply harmless, misguided idealists, Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government by M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein shows that widespread government infiltration by Soviet spies sabotaged our foreign policy and molded the post-WWII world in favor of the Soviet Union. Evans, the author of eight previous books including the controversial revised look at Joseph McCarthy called Blacklisted by History, is a former editor of the Indianapolis News, a Los Angeles Times columnist, and a commentator for the Voice of America. Romerstein is a leading Cold War expert, formerly head of the Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation at the U.S. Information Agency from 1983 until 1989, who has served on the staff of several congressional committees including the House Intelligence Committee.

The early Cold War spying which resulted in the theft of our atomic secrets, radar, jet propulsion, and other military systems was serious enough, but that wasn’t the major issue. “The spying,” as the authors put it, “was handmaiden to the policy interest,” which was by far the leading problem. As President Franklin Roosevelt’s health and mental ability waned, covert Communist aides exerted pro-Soviet influence on U.S. policy, which was reflected in postwar discussions by the Big Three powers about the new shape of the world. The policy impact of such deceptive influence on the part of Soviet agents

was to turn Western influence and support against the anti-Communist forces and in favor of their Red opponents, as U.S. and other Allied leaders based decisions on false intelligence from pro-Soviet agents. The effects were calamitous for the cause of freedom, as numerous countries were thus delivered into the hands of Stalin and his minions.

The three leaders – FDR, Churchill, and Stalin – “would ultimately decide what political forces would prevail where and the forms of government to be installed in formerly captive nations, including those in alignment with the victors.” Unfortunately, at that time “seeking Soviet ‘friendship’ and giving Moscow ‘every assistance’ summed up American policy [in meetings] at Teheran and Yalta, and for some while before those meetings.”

Three notable examples of countries “pulled into the vortex of Communist power” were Yugoslavia, Poland and China. Other nations in central Europe were absorbed into the Soviet empire as well, as prelude to the Cold War struggle. Similar results occurred in Asia, where millions were slaughtered in China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos where Communists came to power. “Red police states would in due course extend from the Baltic to the Pacific, and later to Africa and Latin America… The supposedly progressive twentieth century thus became a saturnalia of tyranny and violence, surpassing in this respect also all previous records of such horrors.”

The most powerful pro-Red influence was actually the President himself. He distanced himself from Churchill’s warier stance about Russian imperialism, and instead made common cause with Stalin. “His main object was to get Stalin to agree with the Rooseveltian vision of a peaceable kingdom to come via the United Nations.” FDR seemed to be “guided very heavily by his advisers and took no step independently,” as one observer noted. Harry Hopkins, FDR’s longtime and most powerful adviser, “held pro-Soviet views of the most fervent nature.” Indeed, the authors claim, “Throughout the war years, Moscow had no better official U.S. friend than Hopkins.” FDR’s wife too advocated in a pro-Red direction, and Vice President Henry Wallace was “arguably the most prominent pro-Soviet political figure of his time.”

But entities outside the government affected American foreign policy in these years too. The press corps, academics, lobbyists, and think tanks all helped mold a climate of opinion that paved the way for pro-Red policymakers in federal office. Media spokesmen then helped promote pro-Soviet policy “while attacking the views and reputations of people who wanted to move in other directions.” A complicit media helping to advance the Communist agenda while shutting down opposition voices – sound familiar?

The most famous example of infiltration was, of course, the spy Alger Hiss, whose “skill in positioning himself at the vectors of diplomatic information indicates the degree to which Soviet undercover agents were able to penetrate the U.S. government in crucial places, up to the highest policy-making levels.” Hiss rose from obscurity to become the custodian of all memoranda for the President on topics to be considered at the crucial Yalta summit. However, “he wasn’t an isolated instance, but only one such agent out of many.”

The authors’ conclusions are threefold: 1) Communist penetration in the American government in the WWII-era and early Cold War was deep and extensive, involving many hundreds of suspects; 2) the infiltrators wielded important leverage on U.S. foreign policy in that period; and 3) pro-Soviet penetration and the resulting policy damage occurred because Soviet agents preyed on the credulity of officials who were willfully ignorant of Communist methods. “The net effect of these converging factors was a series of free-world retreats” in the face of Marxist conquests across Europe, Indochina, Latin American states, and African nations.

The lessons of this highly readable and concise history are well worth taking to heart today, not merely as an historical study, but as a reflection of the subversive infiltration and influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on our current administration.

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  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    The Red's influence/infiltration/penetration (not unlike the green/Islamist side) is emblematic within everything which is playing out today, even to the point of Valerie Jarrett being the administration's "red" point woman. Of course their seeds were planted decades ago, and many Demsters have been their associates for decades. This is precisely how the academy became red-based, chiefly because their symbiotic relations with the political machine has never been broken. In other words, does anyone believe that Soviet influence has ever been contained, even as the Cold War was so called won? Of course not.

    So bear in mind how insidious their designs are, as the POTUS and his "left hand" woman are its poisonous fruits – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/09/28/valerie-jarre

    Hiding in plain sight.

    Adina kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • davarino

      Anybody remember Obama whispering sweet nothings into Medvedev's ear? We do not have an American in the Oval office, we have an "American", like the TV show on FX, thats all.

      • Cassandra

        We have a communist Muslim in the white house who hates America as it is.

    • Snow White

      America's Communists, many of whom have tenured positions in our colleges and universities, still think that Communism "will work if practiced in it's true form. It failed in the USSR because they were not practicing it right." The militant radical activists from the 60s Peace and Civil Rights movements now head up NGOs, which are dissident organizations supposedly organized to fight for certain causes. Their stated purpose is "To Unite all dissident groups and empower them to overthrow the government." Many brag that since the 1990s they have had perpetual funding built into federal agency budgets. Not only do they intend to enslave you in their Communist controlled country, they now have you paying for it.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    Vee have vays.

    – The East German St-asi was founded on 8 February 1950. Obama's acts are chillingly similar.

    The Ministry for State Security also included the following entities:

    Main Administration for Struggle Against Suspicious Persons was charged with the surveillance of foreigners — particularly from the West — legally traveling or residing within the country. This included the diplomatic community, tourists, and official guests.

    Division of Garbage Analysis: was responsible for analyzing garbage for any suspect western foods and/or materials.

    Administration 12 was responsible for the surveillance of mail and telephone communications.

    Administration 2000 operated a secret, unofficial network of informants.

    Penal System: to facilitate its mission of enforcing the political security of East Germany, the St-si operated its own penal system, distinct from that of the Ministry of the Interior. This system comprised prison camps for political, as opposed to criminal, offenders. . ~ wiki

  • ben t

    Not " millions were slaughtered" but scores of millions were slaughtered.

  • Stephen_Brady

    Indeed, Alger Hiss was one of the reasons why the news media and the DEMs never forgave Richard Nixon. As the counsel to the House Committee on Un-American Activities, he was intrigued by the two statements by two men. Namely, Whittaker Chambers (who admitted that he had been a communist spy), and Alger Hiss, (who said that he had not been). Chambers said that he knew Hiss, back in the good ole days of spying for the Soviet Union, and Hiss said that he had not even heard of Chambers. Both statements were under oath, which, of course, intrigues any attorney. Nixon started digging, and found out that Chambers told the truth.

    Since Hiss was a darling of the media, and it was widely rumored that he would run for President in 1952, Nixon was blamed, and … especially … the media's hatred of Nixon never ended. I argue that Nixon merely did his job.

    Is it any wonder that all of Eastern Europe fell under the power of the Soviet Union, since Hiss was Roosevelt's chief adviser at Yalta?

    Senator McCarthy was not hated because his investigations were bogus. He was hated for his style, and because Eisenhower encouraged the Left to go after him. A lot slipped on Ike's watch …

    • Mark LaRochelle

      Good observations, but two nit-picks: Nixon wasn't counsel to HUAC, he was a member of the committee; and Hiss wasn't FDR's chief adviser at Yalta; Averell Harriman was (Though Hiss was far more influential than generally thought: Aside from controlling FDRs access to documents — some of which never made it into his briefing books but did turn up in Moscow — Hiss was tasked by Stettinius to draw the new western Polish border. Hiss (at Malta) also took it upon himself to push Eden to pressure the Chinese to share power with the Communists.

      • Stephen_Brady

        Thanks for the corrections, Mark. I'm a philosopher, and not an historian! I do remember a picture of Roosevelt at Yalta, with Hiss standing just behind him and … appropriately … to his left. A long time ago, I read a book on the Yalta Conference, and your mention of Harriman triggered my memory of the picture.

        Every few years, elderly supporters of Hiss come out of the woodworks to try and "clear his name". The history of the man is there to see, however.

    • Chezwick

      Good stuff, Stephen. Hope all is well with you and yours.

      • Stephen_Brady

        All is well, Chez! How are things with you?

  • Omar

    "Try a word association quiz with the phrase “Cold War,” and the first two responses that are almost certain to come to the mind of the general public are “paranoia” and “McCarthyism,” which is practically a synonym for paranoia."

    The only political paranoia in the world comes from despotic regimes like North Korea and in some countries in Latin America like Cuba and Venezuela, where the Castro regime and its puppet, the Chavez/Maduro autocracy have always accused its political opponents of being "fascists", "Zionist extremists", "Yankee imperialists" and "CIA agents" as well as "counter-revolutionaries". The far-left in Latin America has always blame all of their problems on capitalism (the most successful economic system in the world and in history) and on so-called "Yankee imperialism" rather than on themselves and their Stalinist/Maoist (as well as Islamist-friendly) mentality. I say that since the far-left in Latin America keep calling us "Yankee imperialists", we should counter their insults by calling them "Mets imperialists" (the insults and counter-insults are in reference to the two Major League Baseball teams in New York City, the Yankees and the Mets). We need to defeat the Communist/Islamist threat in the world. We need to defeat the Mets imperialists (the far-left in the Western Hemisphere) in Latin America and elsewhere in the world and defeat the Islamists in the Middle East.

  • Jim

    If you think people against Communism are paranoid
    and
    There is a Nazi behind every George Bush.

    You just might be a Red

    forget the neck part.

  • Guest

    So, let me see. When the left gets its way, scores of millions die.
    That's as far as I need to go.

    But it seems like the current leftists, are pretty much as crazy as
    the world war two national socialists. And they're about as crazy
    as Romans during the gladiator eras. And from the skull count
    in Mexico, something was going on there too.
    The only thing that seems to really change is technology. It seems
    to be getting steadily better. It's almost like earth is some sort of
    sci-fi, simm-city experiment where man's social skills are frozen and
    other things are allowed to change. Aah we're all probably just data streams anyway.

    The only way to play this game is to achieve individual-hood. And then
    live as rationally as your intelligence allows. Even then there will be
    times when you won't be able to avoid the blast repercussions.

    But then again, maybe its this or everyone's in a silver jump suit with
    the same damn facial features.

  • http://twitter.com/paulvmarks @paulvmarks

    The key problem was pointed out at the start of the article – after decades of leftist dominated education (and leftist dominated media – especially entertainment media, films and so on) most people do not understand the Communist threat (they think it was made up by corporations – or whatever).

    So any book (not matter how well written and well researched) is running into an up hill battle. And will only reach a tiny minority of people anyway.

    And I was one of the fools who thought in 1989 that we had won the Cold War – ignoring the leftist domination of the basic cultural insitutions.

  • jahpdq

    Our intelligence service had learned that Henry Wallace was a Soviet agent and I have always suspected that this is the reason Wallace was suddenly dumped as Roosevelt's running mate at the 1944 convention.

    I have the NBC live coverage of that event if anyone wants to listen to it. Wallace was a shoe in, then something happened. Delegates were taken aside and within a matter of a few minutes, Wallace was out, and Truman was the frontrunner and ended up winning easily. Contact jahpdq@aol.com and I'll shoot you a copy of the relevant coverage and the actual vote.

  • timeklek

    FDR had significant correspondence with Col. Wendell House (Pres. Wilsons Handler) as well.