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Was FDR's Administration Riddled With Communists?

Is there any truth to this? Someone with actual knowledge of history please respond.

by Anonymousreply 6June 22, 2016 1:12 AM

No. People like Harry Hopkins, FDR's closest advisor, supported programs such as the WPA. When the depression caused many to be without jobs, this program put people to work in projects in return for government assistance. An example would be the national parks that benefited. With the advent of WW 2, FDR's government worked with their Soviet allies to defeat the Germans. It was the delusional House of Un-American activities that, years later, began to make allegations against people, some of whom were dead and could no longer defend themselves.

by Anonymousreply 1June 22, 2016 12:53 AM


by Anonymousreply 2June 22, 2016 1:00 AM

What we learn from Evans and Romerstein is that the Soviet war and post-war gains at the West’s expense were hardly an accident. They had ample assistance from a Roosevelt administration that was thoroughly laced with Stalin’s agents. The agents were sufficiently numerous and highly placed that almost any theft of secrets they might have accomplished was small potatoes compared to their influence upon policy. A central message of the book – never explicitly stated – is that there was an international conspiracy to, in effect, overthrow Western civilization. (The authors would never point it out, but readers of the book will notice that a high percentage of the people involved were Jewish. Readers of this review will notice, as well, that some of the key brave people sounding the alarm over this subversion were also Jewish.) Not only was the U.S. government penetrated at the highest level, but this organized Communist network also apparently controlled key positions in the U.S. opinion-molding business.

Nowhere was the subversive influence more important than at the pivotal Yalta Conference. It was there that Roosevelt made the major concessions that put the Red imprint on post-war Europe and opened the door for them in East Asia. One of the reasons we were so conciliatory to Stalin was supposedly that we needed the Soviet quid pro quo of their entry into the war against Japan 90 days after the defeat of Germany. But, according to Evans and Romerstein, Soviet agents of influence within the Roosevelt government played a key role in keeping intelligence estimates away from FDR that the Japanese were already so badly beaten that the Soviet assistance would not be needed. Perhaps no agent was more important than the notorious Alger Hiss. Here we pick up the Evans-Romerstein narrative early in Chapter 3 entitled “See Alger Hiss about this.” Bear in mind that FDR’s new secretary of state, Edward Stettinius Jr., was newly appointed and had very little experience in foreign affairs. He was, in short, in over his head:

At a White House briefing a month before the conference opened, Stettinius wrote, FDR said he wasn’t overly concerned about having any particular staffers with him at Yalta, but qualified this with two exceptions. “The President,” said Stettinius, “did not want to have anyone accompany him in an advisory capacity, but he felt that Messrs. Bowman and Alger Hiss ought to go (Authors’ footnote: Dr. Isaiah Bowman of Johns Hopkins University, who had been involved in the Versailles conference after World War I and was a Stettinius adviser. He did not go to Yalta, though Alger Hiss would do so.) No clue was provided by Stettinius or apparently by FDR himself, as to the reason for these choices.

Alger Hiss, it will be recalled, was a secret Communist serving in the wartime State Department, identified as a Soviet agent by ex-Communist Whittaker Chambers, a former espionage courier for Moscow’s intelligence bosses. This identification led to a bitter quarrel that divided the nation into conflicting factions and would do so for years to follow. The dispute resulted in the 1950 conviction of Hiss for perjury when he denied the Chambers charges under oath, denials that ran contrary to the evidence then and to an ever-increasing mass of data later.

Though Hiss is now well-known to history, in January 1945 he was merely one State Department staffer among many, and of fairly junior status – a mid-level employee who wasn’t even head of a division (third ranking in the branch where he was working). It thus seems odd that Roosevelt would single him out as someone who should go to Yalta – the more curious as it’s reasonably clear that FDR had never dealt with Hiss directly (a point confirmed by Hiss in his own memoirs).

by Anonymousreply 3June 22, 2016 1:03 AM

It is very, very hard to come to any other conclusion than that these two men, who could well be described as America’s leading surviving Red hunters, are covering up for Franklin D. Roosevelt. That impression is greatly reinforced by Evans in a presentation on the book that he made to The Heritage Foundation, which one can listen to here. He is asked specifically about Roosevelt’s complicity in permitting his government to be laced by Communist agents, and Evans attributes it all to FDR’s naivet. Perhaps someone should have also asked him about the failure of the FBI in all this, the people who have the national responsibility for counter-espionage. But the FBI ultimately works for the president. He had the power to make them stand down, and there is every indication that that is just what he did.

Further indication that the authors are covering up for Roosevelt is their failure to mention at all the Soviet defector Walter Krivitsky. Krivitsky, as former chief of Soviet intelligence in Europe, very likely knew a good deal more about Soviet infiltration of the U.S. government than Chambers did. But instead of being embraced and welcomed by the Roosevelt administration, he was harassed by them. In February of 1941 he was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in a Washington, DC, hotel room. The District police ruled the death a suicide after only a cursory investigation. Who would have had the power to, in effect, make the DC police stand down on this one?

The authors do talk about the very well connected Soviet spy, Michael Straight, who as publisher of The New Republic hired Henry Wallace as editor, but they have no reference to the extremely revealing biography Last of the Cold War Spies: The Life of Michael Straight, by Australian journalist Roland Perry. Perhaps that is because Perry, like Levine in his similarly ignored book, has a lot to say about Walter Krivitsky. Perry even suggests that Straight, a family friend of the Roosevelt’s working for the State Department at the time and feeling threatened, was involved in Krivitsky’s assassination. (See the review by Wes Vernon.)

by Anonymousreply 4June 22, 2016 1:04 AM

This book is filled with information on the hundreds of Communists that worked for the FDR administration.

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by Anonymousreply 5June 22, 2016 1:07 AM

Chapter 11 is promisingly titled “The Media Megaphone.” Unfortunately, we get only a pecking around the periphery of the sell-out to the Soviet Union during the Roosevelt era. We learn that I.F. Stone with his I.F. Stone’s Weekly was a Soviet agent and that two of the staffers for one of Oliver Stone’s heroes, columnist Drew Pearson, were Communist agents, those being the disreputable David Karr and Andrew Older. Karr was also a speech writer for Henry Wallace. We also learn a little bit about Communist propagandists like Edgar Snow, who was even able to get published in the generally conservative pages of the Saturday Evening Post. “His most famous journalistic effort, and basis for his reputation, was his 1938 book, Red Star Over China, which was for the most part an unabashed commercial on behalf of the Communist Mao Tse-tung.” They also tell us about Michael Straight and his New Republic and remind us of the selling job for Stalin that the infamous Walter Duranty had done in the pages of The New York Times.

When Evans and Romerstein talk about Duranty, though, they are even easier on those to whom he reported than they are on the man to whom Hopkins, Currie, and Niles reported:

Duranty arrived in Russia in August 1921, at the same time as [Armand] Hammer, and over the next decade would establish himself as the dean of Western journalists in the country. After a brief early period of hostility, he would experience a complete conversion and become an avid promoter of the Soviet system. Why he did so is uncertain. It doesn’t appear he was an ideological Communist, as he reportedly had no ideology at all beyond a kind of Nietzschean will-to-power view that didn’t mind dictators and apparently hardened him to scenes of suffering. This would have been useful emotional armor in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, when the suffering was intense and would get more so. (p. 73)

What motivated Duranty? Perhaps Dr. James Mace can clear things up for us a little:

In the 1980s during the course of my own research on the Ukrainian Holodomor [famine] I came across a most interesting document in the U.S. National Archives, a memorandum from one A.W. Kliefoth of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin dated June 4, 1931. Duranty dropped in to renew his passport. Mr. Kliefoth thought it might be of possible interest to the State Department that this journalist, in whose reporting so much credence was placed, had told him that, " ‘in agreement with The New York Times and the Soviet authorities,’ his official dispatches always reflect the official opinion of the Soviet government and not his own."

Note that the American consular official thought it particularly important for his superiors that the phrase, in agreement with The New York Times and the Soviet authorities, was a direct quotation. This was precisely the sort of journalistic integrity that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. – "A Tale of Two Journalists: Walter Duranty, Gareth Jones, and the Pulitzer Prize," Ukraine List 203, July 15, 2003.

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by Anonymousreply 6June 22, 2016 1:12 AM
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