The Corner

Another Day, Another Attack on American Betrayal

Now it’s Conrad Black at National Review Online who seeks to stop all rational thought about the ideas contained in my book, American Betrayal. This time, however, the “debate” sinks into potty talk — new depths.

To attempt to save Roosevelt from new scrutiny as head of a White House effectively maneuvered by confirmed, agents of Soviet influence, Black resorts to calling me “a right-wing loopy who has occasionally aroused cautious hopefulness that she has been house-trained” and saying “the West farrago of lies has been thoroughly debunked, especially by Ron Radosh in his FrontPage Magazine piece titled “McCarthy on Steroids.”

My rebuttal to Radosh is forthcoming.

Black writes:

Rather than dwelling on the falsehoods of the [Diana] West or [Oliver] Stone accounts, I hope it is useful to recount the salient facts . . .

The Stone comparison is particularly ironic, given that in my younger days as a Washington Times reporter, I thoroughly debunked the falsehoods and distortions of Stone’s Born on the Fourth of JulyBut I digress.

It sounds to me as if Black hasn’t read the book — a common condition among those engaged in smearing its contents. No matter. Once upon a time again, Conrad Black proceeds to regale readers with own thoughts on the Roosevelt story — a lovely fable.

Why do I say fable? Because, as I argue in American Betrayalwriting about these events — FDR, WWII, the Cold War — without taking into account the documented evidence of Soviet penetration of the U.S. policy-making chain by American traitors working, shifting, edging, influencing events and policy to the Communist advantage is missing at least half the story. I’m talking about the evidence of Venona, of the Mitrokhin archive, of the Vassiliev notebooks, of FBI files, of congressional hearings, etc. Visit your favorite relevant history or biography or war history on Amazon and just search the word “Venona,” for example (referring to the archive of KGB cables about American traitors working often within the federal government for the Kremlin). Is Venona a significant source of material about the World War II–era events in the book? Is it a source, period?

Almost invariably, the answer is no. I put these two streams of history together, intelligence history and general history, in American Betrayal. The picture that emerges seems to have, as they say, touched a nerve.

What is most shocking, here, however, is the resolute refusal to engage in anything resembling civil debate. That started as soon as David Horowitz removed a positive review of my book by a FrontPage writer from the magazine’s website, and has only accelerated with the publication last week of the Radosh review Conrad Black and many others since have relied on to bash me. As I said, my rebuttal to Radosh is forthcoming.

Meanwhile, readers may find of interest the discussion of the gross omissions in conventional histories, which begins in Chapter 6 of my book, and which I offer below. Maybe it is this discussion that accounts for some of the rage, at least among those “experts” who have bothered to read before smearing.

Who reads the Communist press? Only a few people who are already Communists. We don’t have to propagandize them. What is our object? Who do we have to influence? We have to influence non-Communists if we want to make them Communists or if we want to fool them. So, we have to try to infiltrate the big press. — Vyacheslav Molotov

The Soviets live and breathe deception. You cannot understand what they are doing without understanding this. Indeed, you can’t even begin to understand Commu-nism without understanding deception, which is very rarely mentioned in text- books on Communism [emphasis added]— Joseph D. Douglass Jr.

Who stole our history?

Because stolen it was, diverted from its natural course and re- channeled to the point where the beaten path became a shortcut from reality to deception. This, I believe, is confirmed every single time one of those gigantic corrections of the false record, flagged by scholars shouting “Eu- reka!,” fails to enter our general histories, fails to capture popular imagination, fails to become part of our popular understanding, and fails to occur to us as a mainstream thought. Like a skiff on a dry creek bed, these corrections go nowhere.

Thus, when it comes to Harry Hopkins, for example—after Andrew and Gordievsky’s stunning revelation (1990), after Mark’s meticulous Hopkins-Venona study (1998), after Andrew and Mitrokhin’s endnote endorsement of Mark’s conclusions (1999), after Romerstein and Breindel’s extended analysis (2000) (and even more evidence of Hopkins’s treason, as I will argue below) . . .

(See how Harry Hopkins blew the cover of FBI surveillance of Soviet espionage against the defense industry here.)

Cambridge University Press can offer Yalta 1945 by Fraser J. Harbutt, 468 pages published in 2010, in which Harry Hopkins lives into posterity as simply that “close aide” FDR relied on. There is not even an asterisk to indicate the small but expert school of thought that attests to Hopkins’s activities on the Kremlin’s behalf, which require consideration in any study of this final and momentous (disastrous) meeting of the so-called Big Three. (Even worse is the tome’s black hole on GRU Agent Alger Hiss, who was all over Yalta like flypaper but rates exactly two mentions in passing.) All we get by way of elucidation is that Hopkins’s “monitoring and energizing talents were applied far and wide throughout the governmental bureaucracy and on the multiple boards and commissions that were conceived, often on very short notice, to fill unanticipated gaps and discharge urgent critical tasks.”

This isn’t untrue; it just ignores the central, unresolved controversy: on behalf of whom he was applying those talents. This omission is typical. To sample some of recent bios of FDR, in the 1,360 pages of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom by Conrad Black (PublicAffairs, 2003), in the 896 pages of Traitor to His Class by H. W. Brands (Doubleday, 2008), and in the relatively svelte 560 pages of Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship by Jon Meacham (Random House, 2003), the ubiquitous co-president, foreign secretary, and uranium snatcher Harry “Rasputin” Hopkins, is depicted as that most “intimate” of Roosevelt intimates, the most “versatile,” and most “indispensable.” Again, none of this is untrue. All of these recent histories, however, completely ignore the still-burning question about Hopkins that was first raised by experts a quarter century ago: indispensable to whom?

Such professional incuriosity is staggering. Then again, considering the amount of feet-of-clay-revealing spadework that a serious correction of the record will entail, perhaps it is also disappointingly understandable. It’s that “existing view of the world” again: No one wants to admit it’s a total phony. Once we finally incorporate the facts of Soviet-directed penetration of the U.S. government—the Communist-agent-occupation of the U.S. government— which began in earnest in 1933, everything we know about ourselves as a nation will also have to rearrange itself, our history taking on a brand-new pattern of revelation . . .

This is what they are all afraid of. Why?

Read American Betrayal for yourself. I have 900-plus endnotes. You can make up your own mind.


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