Author Topic: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years  (Read 4102 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

richpo64

  • Guest
Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« on: September 23, 2008, 04:34:09 PM »
Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years

By Kathy Shaidle
FrontPageMagazine.com | 9/23/2008

For close to sixty years, Morton Sobell dined out on his reputation as one of the innocent “progressives,” wrongly convicted, along with Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, of spying for the Soviet Union. After his 1969 release from Alcatraz prison, Sobell was feted by communist regimes in Cuba and canonized by fellow leftists as yet another victim of a wicked American justice system. All that changed last week.

Sobell, now 91, has finally admitted the truth. He really had been a Soviet spy – and so had Julius Rosenberg. As the New York Times – no right-wing tribune – put it in a recent report, the pair was part of “a conspiracy that delivered to the Soviets classified military and industrial information, and what the American government described as the secret to the atomic bomb.” Sobell still maintains that the information he passed along to America’s enemies wasn’t especially significant, but he has at last abandoned the pretence, which he maintained for nearly half a century, that he was never a Soviet agent.

Sobell’s confession is not coincidental. It came just days before the National Archives released long-secret grand jury testimony in the world famous Rosenberg espionage case. Nevertheless, it has definitively shattered one of the enduring myths of the progressive Left. For generations of leftists, the innocence of the Rosenbergs was an article of faith. It bolstered their self-image as noble, if misunderstood idealists, forever doomed to persecution by a corrupt American system. Columbia University professor Eric Foner’s claim that the Rosenberg’s were singled out as part of “a determined effort to root out dissent” was a typical expression of the Left’s revisionism. Sobell’s admission has exposed it as self-serving nonsense. The Rosenbergs’ were in fact guilty as charged.

This much is apparent even to the Rosenbergs’ staunchest supporters: their children. Until Sobell’s confession, the Rosenbergs’ sons, Robert and Michael Meeropol, had championed their parents’ innocence. Even when declassified documents proved that Americans really had been spying for the Soviet Union, the Meeropols refused to acknowledge that their parents had been among them. As recently as two years ago, the Rosenbergs’ granddaughter, Rachel Meeropol, insisted that they “weren't guilty of what they were convicted of.” But even for the Meeropols, this defense is now indefensible. Michael Meeropol told the New York Times after Sobell’s confession, “I don't have any reason to doubt Morty.”

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the Rosenbergs' guilt, however, the Left will, in its standard tradition, continue to sacrifice truth on the altar of ideals. Larry Schweikart, author of 48 Liberal Lies About American History, notes that popular college history textbooks continue to give the convicted spies the benefit of the doubt and that the latest revelations are unlikely to change what students will learn about the Rosenbergs. “Some [textbooks] will use the cover-up phrases, ‘questions remain,’ or ‘some still argue’ to imply that the case isn't solved,” Schweikart predicts. “Most will state that the Rosenbergs were convicted of espionage, but what they did ‘wasn't that important.’”

Schweikart calls the representation of the Rosenbergs in these influential textbooks a

clear example of blatant bias. The textbooks state that they were innocent, and the ones that admit the Rosenbergs were guilty go on to excuse what they did by saying, "It wasn’t that bad. What they provided wasn’t important." I guess this means if a traitor gives away the army’s position, then the army moves and isn’t wiped out, everything is fine.

In any case, it’s inaccurate to dismiss the intelligence that the Rosenbergs’ passed along as insignificant. Schweikart notes that none other than Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev has acknowledged that the information provided by the Rosenbergs was “crucial to building the Soviet a-bomb.”

If historical textbooks are an unreliable guide to the Rosenberg case, the reporting of the establishment media is no better. Instead of underscoring the Rosenbergs’ guilt, media outlets have sought to raise additional doubts, especially about the allegedly unfair trial of Ethel Rosenberg. The Associated Press was quick to point out that the “grand jury testimony from [Ethel’s sister-in-law] Ruth Greenglass confirms that the trial testimony about Ethel Rosenberg typing secrets is a fabrication.” The same story was also careful to quote Meredith Fuchs, general counsel to the National Security Archive as saying, “The Rosenberg case illustrates the excesses that can occur when we’re afraid. In the 1950s, we were afraid of communism; today, we’re afraid of terrorism. We don’t want to make the same mistakes we made 50 years ago.” In truth the Rosenberg case illustrates no such thing. Whatever the flaws of Ethel’s trial – and serious historians like Ron Radosh have argued that “judicial transgressions” did take place in her case – the evidence of the Rosenbergs’ guilt is beyond any reasonable dispute.

The fact of the Rosenbergs’ guilt is of more than academic interest. During the Cold War, communist fellow travelers sought to undermine national security by exaggerating America’s abuses, often citing the Rosenbergs as an example. The trend continues today, as anti-war activists seek to portray terrorist captives as blameless victims caught in America’s clutches. It is no coincidence that Rachel Meeropol is a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents Guantanamo detainees. As Larry Schweikart observes, “The modern-day Rosenbergs are the defendants in the Guantanamo Bay court cases that will be coming up.” If so, Americans should rest assured that their country is on the right course.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A blogger since 2000, Kathy Shaidle runs FiveFeetOfFury.com. Her new e-book Acoustic Ladyland has been called a "must read" by Mark Steyn.

Michael Tee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12605
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2008, 06:21:31 PM »
<<In truth the Rosenberg case illustrates no such thing. Whatever the flaws of Ethel’s trial – and serious historians like Ron Radosh have argued that “judicial transgressions” did take place in her case – the evidence of the Rosenbergs’ guilt is beyond any reasonable dispute.>>

That sentence alone is a classic.  It acknowledges the serious flaws in the case against Ethel - - in fact there was no material evidence presented against her at trial that did not turn out later to be a fabrication - - and then goes on to baldly state that "the evidence of the Rosenbergs' guilt [i.e., the guilt of BOTH Julius and Ethel] is beyond any reasonable dispute."  Yet  nowhere in the entire article is there any mention of any evidence against Ethel that was NOT a fabrication.

Ethel Rosenberg was innocent and she was railroaded to her death.  The theory was that Julius would ultimately confess to spare Ethel, but he refused to do so because Ethel insisted that loyalty to the Party demanded that both die as martyrs to the cause.

The article is also wrong in claiming that many on the left protested Julius' innocence.  Originally some did. Others defended Julius as a Communist whose first loyalty had to be to the Communist International ("Comintern," officially disbanded in 1944.)  Still others defended Julius as having singlehandedly prevented the outbreak of nuclear war.  But with the collapse of the U.S.S.R. and the opening of Soviet archives, unmistakable evidence of Julius' (but not Ethel's) guilt began to emerge.  Very few leftists continued to defend Julius as innocent after that point in time.

IMHO, Julius and the other Soviet atomic spies prevented the outbreak of nuclear war, saving the lives of possibly hundreds of millions of people, and ought to be recognized as a world hero and martyr on a scale previously unimaginable.    Had the U.S.S.R. not, with his and others' assistance, broken the U.S. nuclear monopoly, U.S. aggression would have run rampant through the world and our wartime ally Russia would have been faced with a choice between two stark alternatives, unconditional surrender or nuclear anihilation.  So there is no question in my mind but that Julius Rosenberg be honoured as a hero, a martyr and a saviour today.

Plane

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 26993
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2008, 06:29:15 PM »
IMHO, Julius and the other Soviet atomic spies prevented the outbreak of nuclear war, saving the lives of possibly hundreds of millions of people, and ought to be recognized as a world hero and martyr on a scale previously unimaginable.    Had the U.S.S.R. not, with his and others' assistance, broken the U.S. nuclear monopoly, U.S. aggression would have run rampant through the world and our wartime ally Russia would have been faced with a choice between two stark alternatives, unconditional surrender or nuclear anihilation.  So there is no question in my mind but that Julius Rosenberg be honoured as a hero, a martyr and a saviour today.


That is a very interesting thought, I wonder why you would think it.

Before the Soviet Bomb was known of what preparations for world domination was the US engagued in , other than the decomissioning of hundreds of ships and disbanding of dozens of regiments?

Xavier_Onassis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27916
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2008, 07:05:48 PM »
I don't think that Julius Rosenberg revealed any really useful info to the Soviets that they did not already have. He probably would have if he had it, but he didn't have it.

Ethel Rosenberg was a housewife, and almost certainly did not reveal anything at all to the Soviets.
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Michael Tee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12605
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2008, 09:02:12 PM »
<<Before the Soviet Bomb was known of what preparations for world domination was the US engagued in , other than the decomissioning of hundreds of ships and disbanding of dozens of regiments?>>

I don't know what a historian would tell you, but personally I think it began when the U.S. abandoned the Morgenthau Plan and began to prepare for the reindustrialization of Germany contrary to understandings reached between FDR and Stalin at Yalta and Stalin and Truman at Potsdam.  This was not only the betrayal of an agreement, but rather obviously directed at the U.S.S.R.  Ultimately it resulted in the rehabilitation of the entire Nazi war-making apparatus, dressed up in new uniforms and now on "our" side.

Massive U.S. interference in the Italian elections of 1948 also indicated an unmistakable intention on the part of the U.S. to dictate world events from Washington and in an anti-Communist direction.  Similar interferences in internal postwar French politics, including the assassinations of pro-Communist labour leaders in Marseilles, were further evidences of U.S. aggression.

In a more general observation, the hostility of the U.S. ruling class to communism in general and to the Soviet Union in particular was well-known.  General Patton gave numerous examples of this during the war and even more so in the immediate postwar period just prior to his death.

I'm just guessing at this, but I'm pretty sure that position papers and studies were commissioned by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the C.P.S.U. would have drawn the only possible conclusion from the above and many more facts unknown to me, that the U.S. was preparing for an eventual war of aggression against the Soviet Union.  With those conclusions firmly established, directives would have gone out to the various CP members and operatives in various countries, including the Rosenbergs, to prepare defensive measures immediately to safeguard the Socialist Motherland.  These would obviously have included directives to strip the U.S. of its nuclear monopoly as quickly as possible, which, thankfully, they were able to do, albeit at the cost of their lives.  But IMHO they saved the lives of hundreds of millions from U.S. aggression and for that they deserve to be honoured.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2008, 03:40:00 PM by Michael Tee »

Plane

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 26993
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2008, 04:17:40 AM »
<<Before the Soviet Bomb was known of what preparations for world domination was the US engagued in , other than the decomissioning of hundreds of ships and disbanding of dozens of regiments?>>

"...but I'm pretty sure that position papers and studies were commissioned by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the C.P.S.U. would have drawn the only possible conclusion from the above and many more facts unknown to me, that the U.S. was preparing for an eventual war of aggression against the Soviet Union.  "


Sounds as if you are saying that the Soviets beleived their own propaganda.

Michael Tee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12605
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2008, 09:43:54 AM »
<<Sounds as if you are saying that the Soviets beleived their own propaganda.>>

What's really clear is that YOU believe implicitly in U.S. propaganda (peaceful, non-violent, non-aggressive)

Personally, I believe what happened is that the Soviets correctly assessed U.S. intentions based on past history, dating back to American participation in the armed foreign intervention in the Russian Civil War on the anti-Soviet side and including the fundamental weakness of the pro-Soviet forces in U.S. political life, considered all relevant factors and in one or more policy papers either came to the conclusion that the U.S. was preparing for an ultmate war of aggression or that, the intentions being unclear, in either case prudence would dictate that the sooner the U.S. was deprived of its nuclear monopoly, the safer the people of the U.S.S.R. would be.

They must have had a nuclear weapons committee to consider all aspects of nuclear war from both an offensive and a defensive POV and that committee made the only logical decision possible.  Either the Comintern, functioning under the radar since its 1944 official termination, or some other organ if the Comintern was really defunct, passed an order down to the CPs of every country with nuclear capability, including Canada, to cooperate with in-country Soviet agents on an extreme urgency basis to do everything possible to break the U.S nuclear monopoly.

How can it possibly be wrong if the Central Committee of the CPUSSR decides to save the live of hundreds of millions of Soviet citizens and how can it be wrong for the Rosenbergs to decide to do whatever they can to assist in that project?  The world should have thanked them for it (and most of the world did) but the U.S. executes them?  THAT is shameful.

hnumpah

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2483
  • You have another think coming. Use it.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2008, 10:36:31 AM »
What is/was the penalty for spying against Russia/the Soviet Union?
"I love WikiLeaks." - Donald Trump, October 2016

Xavier_Onassis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27916
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2008, 12:39:24 PM »
Of course, in the USSR anyone suspected of being a spy was executed. But I don't see why this was a justification for executing Ethyl Rosenberg. She was merely a supportive wife and would not have known an atomic secret had one bit her on the nose.

 I think they would have been just as well off to lock Julius up for a rather long time as well. I don;t think the death penalty is effective as a deterrent against ideologues who are prepared for martyrdom for the cause. As they get older, their stance often changes, however, and then they could be useful. Dead, they are just pushing up the daisies.
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

hnumpah

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2483
  • You have another think coming. Use it.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2008, 01:13:08 PM »
Quote
Of course, in the USSR anyone suspected of being a spy was executed.


I thought so. And for simply being suspected? Hmmm ....

Quote
But I don't see why this was a justification for executing Ethyl Rosenberg. She was merely a supportive wife and would not have known an atomic secret had one bit her on the nose.

As I understand it, from your own post, "...The theory was that Julius would ultimately confess to spare Ethel, but he refused to do so because Ethel insisted that loyalty to the Party demanded that both die as martyrs to the cause." If she was guilty, she was just as deserving of what she got as her husband. If not, maybe her husband should have ignored her and confessed to spare her. As it was, she was tried (not merely suspected), convicted and executed.
"I love WikiLeaks." - Donald Trump, October 2016

Xavier_Onassis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27916
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2008, 01:42:05 PM »
Well, I am pretty sure that spies were given something resembling a trial, in which the outcome was totally predictable.

Again, capital punishment is not a likely deterrent in cases like this, and keeping them around in prison MIGHT have been more useful.

I agree she was tried and convicted, and certainly her loyalty to the Party and desire for martyrdom were a factor. But the odds are she did nothing that endangered the US, even though Julius might have done so. I have read that the Rosenberg's testimony did not reveal anything that the Soviets did not already know.
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

hnumpah

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2483
  • You have another think coming. Use it.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2008, 02:07:23 PM »
Quote
I have read that the Rosenberg's testimony did not reveal anything that the Soviets did not already know.

You seem to think they  gave the Soviet Union something they needed.

Quote
... Julius and the other Soviet atomic spies prevented the outbreak of nuclear war, saving the lives of possibly hundreds of millions of people, and ought to be recognized as a world hero and martyr on a scale previously unimaginable.    Had the U.S.S.R. not, with his and others' assistance, broken the U.S. nuclear monopoly ...

Quote
... With those conclusions firmly established, directives would have gone out to the various CP members and operatives in various countries, including the Rosenbergs, to prepare defensive measures immediately to safeguard the Socialist Motherland.  These would obviously have included directives to strip the U.S. of its nuclear monopoly as quickly as possible, which, thankfully, they were able to do, albeit at the cost of their lives.

And that is the essence of spying. And spying was punishable by death.
"I love WikiLeaks." - Donald Trump, October 2016

Xavier_Onassis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27916
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2008, 02:13:31 PM »
You are confusing Tee's post with mine.

Tee seems to think that Rosenberg provided essential information without which the Soviets could not have built a bomb. Remember, the Soviets managed to snare a few Nazis and some documents from the Nazis about this.

I have read that the Soviets had all the info that they needed, and that at most Rosenberg's messages merely verified what they already know.

Rosenberg was clearly a spy and was clearly spying. I do not refute that he was guilty, but I have doubts about her.


I also do not think that the death penalty was as useful as life imprisonment might have been.



"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Michael Tee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12605
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2008, 03:38:06 PM »
<<Tee seems to think that Rosenberg provided essential information without which the Soviets could not have built a bomb. >>

Well, I think I equivocated on that.  In one part of my post, I said he was part of a larger effort that broke the U.S. nuclear monopoly but in another part, I might have implied that Julius himself gave essential information.  I'd like to remember Julius as a loyal Communist who contributed to the best of his ability and may or may not have succeeded in providing essential information to the U.S.S.R. at the cost of his own life.

About Ethel, I'm convinced she was innocent and as far as I know there is no untainted evidence that could possibly establish her guilt.  I believe that I read somewhere that although Eisenhower refused to commute her death penalty, he did voice an opinion somewhere that her execution was a miscarriage of justice and that it was being used as a weapon to get Julius to talk.  Ethel was by all accounts a much more devoted Communist than Julius and her loyalty to the Party led her to forbid Julius from "naming names," even to save her life.

They're both heroes and both deserve to be honoured as such by the entire world.

<<Remember, the Soviets managed to snare a few Nazis and some documents from the Nazis about this.>>

Well, the Nazis finished the war still in the dark about the secret of the atom bomb, although the irony is that with the assistance of the same Jewish scientists and mathematicians whom they had chased out of Europe, they and not the U.S.A. would have been the first to have developed nuclear weapons.

hnumpah

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2483
  • You have another think coming. Use it.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Rosenbergs: Still Guilty After All These Years
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2008, 03:46:40 PM »
Quote
They're both heroes and both deserve to be honoured as such by the entire world.

They were traitors and spies and deserved exactly what they got.
"I love WikiLeaks." - Donald Trump, October 2016