Since its organization the Soviet union was dedicated to universal adoption of socialism which created an us-them relationship with any nation that was dedicated to any other form of government and since their system had no moral code they were ready and willing to us any and all forms of subversion – including espionage and incitement to treason – in pursuit of their goal. About the time that the Russian Revolution was concluding our naval intelligence service was gearing up against great opposition who accused them – among other things – of being readers of gentleman’s mail. Since the treason trial of Aaron Burr the legal standard demanded not only conspiracy but concrete action in order to obtain a conviction which creates incredible obstacles to prosecution. That coupled with the fact that we were an open society where it was not a crime to be a communist gave the Soviets almost an open field to run in.
The first great wave of communists seeped and oozed its way into the government during the Roosevelt and Truman administrations and used that twenty year period to institutionalize both themselves and their fellow travellers to a point where they were impossible to completely dislodge. Alger Hiss and his circle actively spied for the Soviet Union while Harry Wallace and his circle did their best to turn America into a socialist state. Wallace and his gang were never called to task but the Congress finally discharged its duty in the 1950’s and while Hiss may have only been convicted of perjury it would lead to the fall of agents from Aldrich Ames to Robert Philip Hanssen and the conviction and execution of the Rosenbergs would awaken enough to the mortal peril that this country faced.
The greatest problem that this country has ever faced is its inability to focus on long-term problems as requiring long-term solutions. The fall of the Soviet Union did not end the threat of Russia no more than the supposed fall of communism has lessened the threat of China. There are still spies here working for every government and organization that has an interest in influencing policy. Even the British sent intelligence operatives over to bolster Roosevelt’s efforts to drag us into the Second World War and their place has been taken by dozens of others operating for princes and peoples who all wish to incline the last superpower to their needs. We can not waste our lives and resources trying to ferret out all of these agents of influence which is why it is imperative that we have leadership capable of articulating, enacting and enforcing our best interests and, as George Washington said, Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.
Spies: the rise and fall of the KGB in America New Haven: Yale University Press, c 2009 John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and . History. Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. liii, 650 p.: ill.; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 549-637) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
This book, based on KGB archives that have never come to light before, provides the most complete account of Soviet espionage in America ever written. In 1993, former KGB officer Alexander Vassiliev was permitted unique access to Stalin-era records of Soviet intelligence operations against the United States. Years later, living in Britain, Vassiliev retrieved his extensive notebooks of transcribed documents from Moscow. With these notebooks John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr have meticulously constructed a new, sometimes shocking, historical account.
Along with general insights into espionage tactics and the motives of Americans who spied for Stalin, Spies resolves specific, long-seething controversies. The book confirms, among many other things, that Alger Hiss cooperated with Soviet intelligence over a long period of years, that journalist I. F. Stone worked on behalf of the KGB in the 1930s, and that Robert Oppenheimer was never recruited by Soviet intelligence. Spies also uncovers numerous American spies who were never even under suspicion and satisfyingly identifies the last unaccounted for American nuclear spies. Vassiliev tells the story of the notebooks and his own extraordinary life in a gripping introduction to the volume.