July 3, 2017

THE LEFT IS THE RIGHT:

American Reds, Soviet Stooges (Harvey Klehr, JULY 3, 2017, NY Times)

It was not until 1956, when Khrushchev told Soviet Communists that Stalin had been a mass murderer, that American Communists were willing to believe what had been widely known for years. The persecutions of McCarthyism and the Cold War seriously depleted the ranks of the C.P.U.S.A., but it took the word of a Soviet Communist leader to destroy the faith in Communism that had sustained many Americans. By 1959, the C.P.U.S.A., which had once numbered nearly 100,000 members, was reduced to fewer than 3,000.

The C.P.U.S.A.'s vulnerability had a great deal to do with its dependence on Moscow. For much of its existence, the party could not have functioned without Moscow gold. One of its first leaders, the journalist John Reed, was given more than a million rubles' worth of czarist jewels and diamonds to smuggle into America to support the fledgling American movement. In the 1920s, Armand Hammer, the future head of Occidental Petroleum, used money derived from Soviet concessions to underwrite The Daily Worker and fund communist operations in Europe. Without Soviet money, the C.P.U.S.A. would not have been able to hire the hundreds of full-time organizers and support an array of front groups and publications that enabled it to outspend and out-organize its left-wing rivals.

Beginning in the late '50s and continuing into the late '80s, the K.G.B. delivered millions of dollars to the C.P.U.S.A. through two brothers, Jack and Morris Childs, both of whom were actually working for the F.B.I. as double agents. These subsidies, carefully monitored by the F.B.I., kept the C.P.U.S.A. alive as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Soviet Union. In return, the longtime party leader, Gus Hall, faithfully supported every Soviet foreign policy initiative, ranging from the U.S.S.R.'s conduct during the Cuban missile crisis to the crushing of the Prague Spring in 1968 and the party's subsequent denunciations of Eurocommunism.

Several hundred American Communists carried their devotion to the Soviet Union even further, working, mostly without recompense, for Soviet intelligence agencies. Virtually all of the approximately 500 Americans who served as Soviet spies between the '30s and early '50s, including senior government officials like Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White and Laurence Duggan, were either Communists or Communist sympathizers. The C.P.U.S.A. had a clandestine apparatus that cooperated with the K.G.B. and the Soviet intelligence directorate, vetting potential recruits and occasionally suggesting useful sources. Three successive party leaders -- Lovestone, Browder and Eugene Dennis -- knew and approved of this relationship.

That the leaders of an American political party always under attack for its Soviet connections would take the incredibly risky step of actually working with Soviet intelligence speaks volumes about the ultimate loyalties of the American Communist Party. 



Posted by at July 3, 2017 4:59 PM

  

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