Tag Archives: Russia

Russian Interference Is Not New

No, I’m not writing about the administration you think. Instead, this is about the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, which was inundated with Soviet spies in about every department, even at the highest levels. Previously, I wrote about the Roosevelt administration regarding Pearl Harbor (LINK). While I don’t believe the Soviets (Russians) influenced any of Roosevelt’s four successful elections, I do believe they had a great influence over our policy.

Enter Harry Dexter White with a Ph.D. in economics. A pre-eminent economics journalist and an advisor to Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury, Dr. White was appointed to the Treasury Department in 1934. Soon thereafter, unbeknownst to the Administration or the Treasury, he joined the communist organization known as the Ware Group, which was led by Harold Ware, a member of the Communist Party of the United States. Ware worked closely with Joszef Peter, head of the underground section of the American Communist Party, whose plan was to influence policy at several levels of the government.

Dr. White was promoted through the Treasury Department until he was placed in charge of Monetary Research, and, by 1941, was assigned as Assistant to the Secretary. Dr. White was now in the position to exercise influence on U.S. foreign policy. His authority went beyond the scope of his defined position.Angus Cameron

Dr. White was recruited as a spy by Jacob Golos, then passed to Vasily Zarubin, the head of the Soviet Embassy in New York. Zarubin started handling White for several reasons, Golos was ill and Zarubin recognized the potential of White.

In 1944, White was one of the most important figures at the Bretton Woods conference. He argued for the end of economic blocks and a greater use of free trade agreements. At the Bretton Woods conference, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., was instrumental in establishing the International Monetary Fund (IMF), among other international organizations, for the end of “economic nationalism.” White’s goal was for Western nations to develop better economic and political relationships with the Soviet Union.

On September 16, 1944, the Morgenthau Plan, written by Dr. White and Mr. Morgenthau, was presented to President Roosevelt at the Quebec Conference. The plan was discussed and approved by Winston Churchill. It called for the stripping and pillaging of post-War Germany, converting it into an agrarian society. All industrial plants and mines not destroyed by military action would be dismantled or destroyed. One of the most unbelievable points called for an extensive list of Germans who would be shot upon apprehension, while the rest of the population would be held down to a standard of living no higher than bare subsistence. This plan was basically what the Soviet Union did with occupied East Germany.

Someone in White’s department leaked the plan to the press. This created a gigantic political problem for President Roosevelt, who denied its existence. Ultimately, Roosevelt had to make a statement that his Treasury Secretary had made “a serious blunder.” When Joseph Goebbels learned of the Morgenthau Plan, the Nazis used the information to scare the German people into not surrendering, which prolonged the war and the Jewish holocaust. Immediately, Germany stiffened its resistance on the Western front. Until then, it was thought the Germans might discontinue resistance to Allied forces, out of fear of their fate of Soviet occupation. Clearly, this ugly plan prolonged the war by months and caused communism to spread not only to East Germany, but to other eastern European countries.

In December 1945, the FBI sent President Truman a report showing that Dr. White was a Soviet spy. Truman ignored the warning. In 1946, White was promoted to executive director of the U.S. Mission to the International Monetary Fund. Again, the FBI sent President Truman a second report regarding Dr. White being a spy for the Soviet Union, but the President did nothing.

Elizabeth Bentley testified before the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) on July 31, 1948, that Harry Dexter White was a Soviet spy. Bentley told the hearing, “We were so successful getting information… largely because of Harry White’s idea to persuade Morgenthau to exchange information.” She went on to say that at least “seven or eight agencies” traded information, including branches of the military.

On August 13, 1948, Dr. White appeared before the committee. Before the hearing, White had sent a note to J. Parnell Thomas, the chairman of the HUAC, asking for rest periods of five or ten minutes for each hour of testimony, as he was recovering from a severe heart attack.

During his testimony, Dr. White denied being a communist with this statement: “The principles in which I believe, and by which I live, make it impossible for me to ever do a disloyal act or anything against the interests of our country… I believe in freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of the press, freedom of criticism and freedom of movement.” He admitted knowing some of those communists identified by Bentley, but just because they played softball and volleyball together did not mean they were part of a spy network.

Thomas replied, “For a person who had a severe heart condition, you certainly can play a lot of sports.” White retorted he had played sports before he developed a heart condition.

On August 16, just three days after his testimony, Dr. Harry Dexter White died of a heart attack.

In 1953, Senator Karl E. Mundt issued a report to the Committee on Government Operations documenting that Dr. White’s hand-picked Treasury assistants had transferred currency plates, currency paper and currency ink to the Soviet Union. This treachery assisted the Soviet Union in firming up their occupation of Eastern Europe and Germany with the use of U.S. credits. The occupation currency would eventually be redeemed by the U. S. Treasury at the cost of tens of millions to the American taxpayer.

The Russians and the Americans have been spying on each other since Lenin came into power, and it will likely go on until the end of time. This is just one example.

Were you aware that Roosevelt had spies in his Administration?

This Day in History – March 5, 1953 – The Death of Joseph Stalin

Today, March 5th in 1953 marks the 60th anniversary of the death of Joseph Stalin ending the reign of one of the most brutal butchers of the twentieth century.  He was the General Secretary of the Soviet Union and was the uneasy, untrusting ally of the United States and Great Britain during World War II.As soon as the war was over, he became the first face of the United States’ arch enemy in the Cold War.  Literally, tens of millions of common people and hundreds of political leaders from the Soviet Union died as a result of Stalin’s direct orders.

Stalin’s rise to power was as brutal as his rule. He had tentacles everywhere providing him information, including Lenin’s private office, where Stalin’s wife worked. In early 1923, Lenin believed Stalin was too rude and would not be tactful enough to handle the power that comes with the position of General Secretary. Lenin went so far as to write this.

As Lenin’s health failed, due to complications from a failed assassination attempt, Stalin would become his messenger. Also, with Lenin ailing, Stalin knew he would have to move and move quickly to seize power. Stalin set out to create conflict within the party and remove potential contenders.  At Lenin’s funeral, Stalin stated, “Leaving us, comrade Lenin left us a legacy of fidelity to the principles of the Communist International. We swear to you, comrade Lenin, that we will not spare our own lives in strengthening and broadening the union of laboring people of the whole world – the Communist International” (Simkin).  Stalin believed that he could present Lenin to the world as the “new Jesus Christ” and communism would soon displace Christianity (Simkin).

Following Lenin’s death, Stalin continued to divide and conquer within the Politburo, always finding allies and alienating enemies. Once his new allies would start working with him, he would have his enemies either sent to Siberia or killed. His internal power within the Communist Party came out of fear more than respect.

Silhouette fedora

Stalin’s rule came at a heavy price to the Russian people. Most of them had little to eat and many would starve to death during the harsh Russian winters. All this was done during the early 1930s when the world’s economy was so bad that there were no countries to offer help. This didn’t slow down Stalin at all, next he turned his attention to purge the Red Army of his detractors, based on his belief that the army was planning a military coup. By the time he was finished, an estimated 30,000 military personnel were executed. Lastly, Stalin turned against his own secret service, the NKVD.

As Stalin was finishing off the so-called “fascist elements” (Simkin) with his secret service, and he felt he had cleaned up his own backyard, he turned his focus on Hitler’s potential movements in Europe. Stalin wanted to build an alliance with other European countries, believing Hitler would not attack a united Europe. First, he reached out to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who didn’t trust or like the communist dictator Stalin. When the British rejected him, the paranoid Stalin believed that the British were encouraging Germany to attack east (Russia), rather than west (France and Great Britain). While Chamberlain has long been vilified for his opinion of Hitler, he was spot on with his evaluation of Stalin. Surprisingly, Churchill, who opposed Chamberlain’s position on Hitler, wished to form the alliance with Russia, despite the fact that Churchill disliked and did not trust Stalin.

Once Hitler started his quest through Europe, Stalin believed that Germany would not attack the Soviet Union until they had conquered both France and Britain. However, Stalin had one other move to get his union with the Allies; he would form an alliance with United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This would put him into an alliance with Great Britain. And so it was. Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt would form an uneasy alliance for the next five years. Roosevelt and Churchill would turn a blind eye to the atrocities carried out by their ally Stalin, while in the same breath condemn those of Hitler. All three allies spied on each other throughout the war. Currently, I am writing a book about the Soviet’s spying on the United States.

One of the factors in the United States’ decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan was not only to end the Pacific War, but to keep Stalin from taking over China and other countries in Asia. This was an ironic thought process, considering their division of Europe among the Soviets, the French and the British, and the Americans basically handed the Soviet Union to Eastern Europe to rule. The Soviet Union believed that if the United States was the only one with nuclear weapons, they would be at great risk. Stalin knew the Soviet Union must possess the atomic bomb, if he was to have any chance of advancing communism around the World. Stalin acquired the bomb through abduction of scientists and spies in the United States and Great Britain.

All this happened sixty years ago today. Today’s American headlines again discuss the threat of a Russian show of force using nuclear weapons. Do we see any similarities today between Stalin’s actions and those of Putin in the Ukraine?

 

WORK CITED

Simkin, John. “Joseph Stalin.” Spartus Educational. N.p ., Web. 5 Mar. 2014.