Another old Red says, "Okay, I lied for almost 60 years by saying I wasn't a Russian spy- so sue me." For First Time, Figure in Rosenberg Case Admits Spying for Soviets - NYTimes.com
Sobell's case was part of the larger Rosenberg case, which itself was part of a pattern of Soviet espionage of the 40's and 50's.
From the 50's on up until at least the 90's it was an article of US eastern establishment intellectual liberal elite faith that Middle America's concerns over Soviet espionage in the US were nothing but bogus "red scare" tactics dreamed up by Joe McCarthy, Roy Cohn and other crypto-fascists on the right, in order to terrify a nation full of dullards and idiots. (Hmmm. Sound like a familiar accusation?) So thousands among the chattering classes and the Ivy League "old boy" network leaped to defend US State Department officer Alger Hiss against charges of being a spy for the Soviet Union. All the expected entertainment and celebrity "usual suspects" loudly backed Hiss, and mocked and maligned the chief witness against him - the homely and fat Whittaker Chambers, who admitted to having once been a member of the American Communist Party. All the Sean Penns, Madonnas and George Clooneys of the day flocked to Hiss, and their derision of anyone so bold as to say Hiss was actually guilty was savage. Hiss himself denied his guilt for the rest of his life, although he finally had to admit he did commit perjury about some related matters.
The Julius and Ethel Rosenberg spy ring got the same kind of liberal support when they were accused of having passed atomic secrets to the Soviets in the 40's.* The party line in that case was that antisemitism was the reason they had been charged. Julius and Ethel were convicted and executed and thus became an eternal cause celebre of the American left. Ethel's brother, David Greenglass, and the subject of the NYT story above, Martin Sobell, were also convicted of related charges. All vehemently maintained their innocence.
But then came the collapse of The Wall and the fall of the Soviet Union. Files and archives became available, new witnesses and sources were willing to speak, even Soviet Bloc espionage officers.
And it turns out they were all guilty after all.**
*The Rosenberg Ring shares responsibility for giving away the atomic bomb secrets to Stalin. Then other chief traitors were Manhattan Project physicist Klaus Fuchs; and the "Cambridge Five" spies: the mostly-gay coven of British Foreign Office members and Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, John Cairncross, Kim Philby and Sir Anthony Blunt - an art historian who served as Queen Elizabeth II's 'Surveyor of Pictures'. The Rosenberg conspirators were American; the others British (Fuchs was born German but fled to England and was granted British citizenship.) While the USSR would certainly have eventually discovered the atomic bomb knowledge on their own, these traitors without doubt shaved several years off the final count it took the Soviets to obtain a nuclear weapon, which they did in 1949. Imagine if the USSR didn't have the atomic bomb, and thus couldn't threaten its use, during North Korea's invasion of the South, and China's intervention - could the US have defeated PRNK outright, perhaps have defeated Red China and prevented Mao from consolidating power and murdering scores of millions? Imagine a non-Communist China! Perhaps the USSR could have been kicked out of Eastern Europe, and hundreds of millions of persons saved from 50 years of slavery and brutal occupation. These traitors are responsible for causing unimaginable damage and immense misery for millions.
**There remained some conflict in available evidence against Hiss, with some Soviet spy bosses saying Hiss was not their agent, and some saying he was. What was not in conflict was that Hiss had obviously lied about several key points which were consistent with him being a Soviet agent. The final nail in Hiss's coffin was the "Verona Project", which involved interception and later deciphering of cables secretly sent by various Soviet spy agencies to their espionage agents in the US - it was obvious form these that Hiss was in the employ of the Soviets. Today, no serious historian doubts the guilt of Hiss.
There are varying stories as to the degree of Ethel Rosenberg's actual participation in espionage for the Soviet Union. In the NYT story above, Sobell says she was "guilty of being Julius's wife". Except that post-Soviet collapse archives make clear she did indeed knowingly pass information and instructions between husband Julius and brother David Greenglass - as David indeed testified before he recanted his testimony. The most accurate statement about Ethel is that she became a Soviet spy primarily out of love and loyalty for her husband, and only secondarily because of her commitment to Communism and Russia; but her husband, brother and the other conspirators were spies primarily out of love and loyalty for the Soviet Union and Communism. Her motive matters not at all to her guilt.
Communism: The gift that keeps on giving.
Or the bowlingball you keep on dropping...
Your McCarthy fanboyism is frikkin hilarious, your crappy radiKal ideology ruined the life of lot of americans, yes, americans, in the land of the free (/sarcasm, if an american can't be communist if wants what the hell of castrated freedom is that)
Um, ok Lobo, that's nice.
Because Communism and freedom go together like land mines and soccer fields. And its not like the United States was founded on the ideals of individualism, competition and limited government interferance.
I still don't get why people are so dramatic about the Rosenberg Ring. The Soviet got atom bombs, but we are all still here. Alive. They would get them anyways, they are not called Soviets without a reason.
Ah, CPUSA, stooges of the KGB for most of the Cold War.
Beware of who you're a fanboy of Lobo. After all, it was the great Russian patriarch Lenin who called your kind "our useful idiots in the west."
Herr Ober, die Rechnung bitte
20th October 2007
So..? Are we all surprised now that there were double agents on both sides of the curtain in the cold war? I don't really get the noteworthy point of it.