Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Spying successes in the U.S.

In http://www.lawrencehelm.com/2008/09/spying-and-dirty-tricks-in-america.html I mentioned reading Arthur Herman’s Joseph McCarthy,. I argued that the fact that the bulk of McCarthy’s allegations have now been proved to be valid (by the Venona papers and access to KGB files) ought to mean that McCarthy has been vindicated. Part of the Communist strategy at the time (also shown in the Venona papers and the KGB files) was to counter in any way possible anyone speaking out against their espionage efforts. They were manifestly successful in the case of McCarthy. Leftists have refused to budge from his previous poor opinion of McCarthy.

Many on the Left believe First amendment rights trump Treasonous activities. They wouldn’t put it in those terms because they really don’t believe Treason is possible in this modern liberalized world. Anyone can say anything he likes, and ought to; therefore what would treason consist of?

Homeland Security laws alarm the Leftists and they warn us that “Big Brother” is drawing nigh. I read George Orwell’s 1984 , and would remind those Leftists that it was the Soviet Union Orwell had in mind as Big Brother, not the U.S. McCarthy and many others at the time thought the Soviet Union an enemy to be countered. He thought that anyone who supported that enemy in a substantial way was treasonous and ought to be punished. Many Leftists at the time bought into the Communist pooh-poohing of the Communist espionage menace and as a consequence McCarthy’s reputation was destroyed, the Soviet Union continued to obtain U.S. military secrets and the First Amendment was preserved. Did the actions of the Soviet spies harm the U.S.? Leftists who admit that the Rosenbergs were spies describe their efforts as harmless, but we read in Ronald Radosh’s article cited in my article above, “Robert Meeropol minimizes the extent of the damage done by the “military information” he acknowledges that his father passed to the Soviets. Had he discussed the details in his press release, his readers would immediately find that it was a laundry list of top secret and dangerous military information, that in fact did much damage to the United States. The Meeropols have never dealt with the information revealed by Steven Usdin in his very important book, Engineering Communism (2005). Usdin shows that the Rosenberg network, especially his agents Joel Barr and Alfred Sarant, passed on the 12,000 page blueprints for the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star, airborne radars for nighttime navigation and bombing, and other new radar technology. “Rosenberg’s band of amateur spies,” Usdin writes, “turned over detailed information on a wide range of technologies and weapon systems that hastened the Red Army’s march to Berlin, jump-started its postwar development of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and later helped Communist troops in North Korea fight the American military to a standoff.” The Meeropols’ acknowledgment that Julius Rosenberg had passed on military information is conceded by them only to make it appear that what he gave was insignificant and nowhere harmful to the United States; much as Sobell tries to do the same thing by calling the material ‘junk.’” And other spies harmed us in other ways. The Cuban missile crisis, for example, (the closest we have come thus far to a nuclear war) would not have occurred had spies (Americans who spied for the Soviets) not giving the Soviet Union the means to construct atomic weapons.

Moving forward in time to the present we have a different sort of enemy but there is a parallel to earlier time. This enemy, the Islamist, may be any place in our society. Like the earlier Communist sympathizers perhaps he merely takes an intellectual stance. Perhaps he intends no harm. He just thinks that Islamism will ultimately conquer the world. But if he is someone who agrees with the teachings of Sayyid Qutb; then someone in our society ought to take notice of him. We should learn from our mistakes. We would have been safer back in the 40s and 50s if we had taken more effective notice of spies McCarthy was ridiculed for imagining. We should especially have paid attention to those in sensitive government positions that sympathized with Communism.

I’m not quite willing to say that all matters of treason trump First Amendment rights, but surely our society should have the means to protect itself against enemies who intend it harm. Also, it seems to me, reporters who in effect support the Islamist enemy by their acts even though their intention is to scoop the competition, are guilty of something. I believe the matter of protecting ourselves against our society’s enemies is one of the duties of our government. If members of our society give aid and comfort to our enemy, some sort of punishment should be imposed. The fact that these members allege that the President is doing something illegal if he sets up watch-dog agencies is irrelevant. Every Communist spy who sent atomic secrets to Moscow could have made such a claim. Every American Islamist (and Islamist in America) could make it as well. Surely it is the act and not the intention that must be judged. If the act harms our society and gives aid and comfort to our Society’s Enemy, it must be punished.

Lawrence Helm

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