Venona: Spies Against America

Review of John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.

The Venona Project began in 1943 under the U.S. Army’s Signal Intelligence Service. The project involved deciphering cables sent from Soviet diplomats in the United States to Moscow. However, the Soviet code was not broken until after 1945, so translations of the cables were not available to aid the U.S. war effort during World War II. But by 1948, enough cables had been deciphered to show that a massive Soviet spying program had infiltrated every important U.S. government agency.

The decryption of cables to the Soviet Union by the Venona project showed that the U.S. government was infiltrated by Soviet spies at the highest levels. These spies included Harry Dexter White, the second most powerful official at the Treasury Department and founder of the United Nations. White advised the Soviet Communist KGB about U.S. foreign policy strategies and how to undermine them. Lauchlin Currie, President Roosevelt’s personal assistant, warned the KGB about FBI investigation of Gregory Silvermaster, a Soviet spy. Maurice Halperin, head of research as the Office of Strategic Services, turned over secret diplomatic cables to the KGB. William Perl gave the Soviet Union the results of tests and experiments for jet engines and aircraft, allowing the Soviet Union to develop superior jet aircraft and dominate the airspace above Korea during the Korean war. Klaus Fuchs, Theodore Hall, and David Greenglass gave the Soviet Union the formula for exacting bomb-grade uranium and technical plans for production, which enabled the Soviet Union to create a plutonium bomb.

Venona documents identified Julius Rosenberg as head of a Soviet spy ring, David Greenglass as the spy at Los Alamos, and British diplomat Donald Maclean as a Soviet spy at the British embassy in Washington, D.C. Venona evidence caused Maclean and Guy Burgess, fellow diplomat and spy, to flee to the Soviet Union and led to the arrest of Judith Coplon, Robert Soblen, and Jack Soble.

The Venona cables confirmed the allegations of Elizabeth Bentley that several dozen Communists had penetrated the U.S. government and were reporting to Soviet intelligence. The Venona cables identified 349 Soviet spies, but only about half could be identified by name, leaving around 200 still working under cover. The Truman administration was indifferent to charges of spying, and Truman even covered up evidence pointing to the theft of classified documents in the Amerasia case. However, by 1947 the accusations grew in number and were better documented, forcing the Truman administration into damage-control mode.

In 1947 President Truman issued an Executive Order requiring stricter checks on government employees, and he created the CIA after having abolished the OSS two years earlier. The Truman administration also prosecuted Communist leaders under the 1940 Smith Act. Much of this change in policy was due to the translation of the Venona cables. The contents of the cables were passed to senior administration officials and senior members of Congress, who then fed the evidence to journalists.

Truman did not trust J. Edgar Hoover and may have suspected that Hoover was exaggerating reports of spying. Truman’s aides launched a campaign to discredit Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers and supported Communist Alger Hiss. Keeping the Venona cables secret allowed partisans to defend Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Alger Hiss, and David Greenglass for decades.

The Venona cables show that other spies did more damage to the U.S. than Rosenberg. Spies codenamed Fogel and Quantum, identities unknown, were top-level scientists able to pass on important nuclear secrets to Moscow.

Senator Joseph McCarthy charged that there was “a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so black that, when it is finally exposed, its principals shall be forever deserving of the maledictions of all honest men.”

However, Senator McCarthy was a latecomer to the project of exposing Soviet agents in the U.S. government. The most successful attacks on Communist spies in the U.S. government were made by Democratic Senator Patrick McCarran of Nevada. Many spies were interrogated by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, and this exposure led to resignations and prosecutions. Senator McCarthy lacked evidence for many of his allegations, and he was discredited by clever defenders of Communism in the Congress and the press. The term “McCarthyism” was coined by the Communist newspaper Workers Daily to deflect charges of Communist infiltration of the U.S. government, and this ploy served to discredit the entire project of exposing Communist spies, even though hundreds were working for the U.S. government.

By the 1960s, with the discrediting of McCarthy and the Venona cables still classified, most left-wing academics considered Communist spying in America to have been a minor matter and probably believed that no major officials had betrayed the United States. It was not well understood that Stalin had sponsored, and the American Communist party had carried out, large-scale espionage projects and had sponsored hundreds of front groups to enlist liberals to join organizations under Communist control. Without the Venona documentation and the documentation in the Soviet archives, U.S. Marxists could today continue to portray the prosecution of Communists as a “red scare” and a witchhunt lacking justification.

The Venona Project decrypted around 3000 messages sent to the Soviet Union and its embassies around the world. The texts remained classified until 1995. FBI files have also remained closed to the public, despite the Freedom of Information Act. Beginning in 1992, some of the Soviet archives were opened to researchers, but not all of the archives have been opened, and many are so large that they have been cursorily examined.

Beginning in 1942 the Soviet Union received more than $9 billion in aid under the Lend-Lease Act. To facilitate this aid program, the Soviet Union was invited to expand their staffs at embassies and to create special offices in the United States. Thousands of Soviet military and technical experts entered the United States to review and choose machines and weapons. Nearly 400,000 trucks were shipped to the Soviet Union. Among the personnel were KGB, Naval GRU, and military GRU personnel devoted to spying. Within the Soviet Union, the KGB alone had hundreds of thousands of employees and millions of part-time civilian spies sprinkled among the people. Every Soviet cargo ship that arrived in America to pick up supplies had several informants reporting to the KGB or Naval GRU. These were security personnel whose job was to spy on Soviet citizens, not U.S. citizens. However, spying on U.S. war efforts was a secondary goal of these intelligence agents, and many were able to penetrate U.S. security, which was generally lax in this period.

Venona shows that Stalin launched an intensive spy effort against the United States beginning in 1942. The Soviet spies communicated with the Soviet Union by shortwave radio, radiograms, and commercial telegraph. None of these methods was secure. Telegrams could be copied by any nation through which the cable passed, and the U.S. government kept copies of international cables as part of military security.

Harold Glasser was an economist with the Treasury Department. He became vice chairman of the War Production Board and Treasury representative to the UNRRA. He also did diplomatic work in Italy and Ecuador. He was also economic adviser to the World Bank and assistant director of the Treasury Office of International Finance.

Harry Dexter White was assistant director of the Division of Monetary Research in the Treasury department. He was connected with Whittaker Chambers. White was not a Communist party member and gave information at his own pace and on his own terms. The party wanted more from White, but he would not give in to pressure. Thus the party asked Glasser to check on White, and Glasser reported that White was giving all he could. Glasser was originally part of the Perlo group, then was transferred to work under Alger Hiss at the State Department. Glasser gave KGB information on analysis of Soviet war losses and Nazi gold in Swiss banks. Glasser became an advisor to the Allied War Crimes tribunal. The Secret Service investigated Glasser in 1941 and found evidence of espionage activity, but they passed their report to Harry White, who killed it. None of the Perlo group was prosecuted for espionage due to insufficient evidence or the government’s requirement that the evidence remain secret. The Venona cables confirm their spy activities.

Bentley was sent to contact Gregory Silvermaster in 1941. His wife, Helen, and William Ullmann, a close friend, led this group. Other spies included Solomon Adler, William Taylor, Frank Coe, William Gold, Sonia Gold, Irving Kaplan, Norman Bursler, Lauchlin Currie, Anatole Volkov, and Harry White. Bentley traveled to Washington once or twice a month to pick up documents from this group. They had a darkroom in the Silvermaster home and often passed film to KGB. Among the reports documented in the Venona cables were assessments of U.S. military capabilities, an analysis of German industrial organization, U.S. plans for the dissolution of the Nazi party, Lend-Lease plans for France and Italy, German assets in Spain, and Board of Economic Warfare reports on Germany and the Far East.

Nathan Silvermaster emigrated from Russia in 1914. He attended the Universities of Washington and California and got a doctorate in economics. His dissertation concerned Lenin’s prerevolutionary economic thought. In 1935 he entered the New Deal bureaucracy and held a variety of positions. By 1942 Silvermaster was under suspicion of being a Communist and a security risk. Silvermaster called upon other secret Communists in government to vouch for him. Harry White and Lauchlin Currie vouched for Silvermaster and relieved the pressure of security investigators. Silvermaster came under scrutiny of the Dies committee (HUAC), but he escaped prosecution. The Venona cables show that KGB paid Silvermaster a regular salary and awarded him a medal for his service to the USSR. Silvermaster provided the Soviet Union with information on production of weapons, copies of U.S. diplomatic cables, OSS reports, analysis of personal rivalries within the U.S. government, and postwar military planning. He also supplied technical manuals for U.S. aircraft.

William Ullmann was a graduate of Harvard Business School. He met the Silvermasters when he took a job with the National Recovery Administration in 1935. In 1939 the Silvermasters and Ullmann bought a house together. They lived together until 1947, when Silvermaster and Ullmann were forced to resign from the government. Ullmann was hired at Treasury by Harry Dexter White. His supervisor was Frank Coe. He was drafted in 1942, but George Silverman arranged for Ullmann to be assigned to the Pentagon, where he could continue his espionage work and continue to live with the Silvermasters. The Venona cables identify Ullmann as a co-manager of the Silvermaster spy network.

George Silverman was a high Communist party official who knew Whittaker Chambers. After working at a variety of government jobs, Silverman struck paydirt by getting assigned to the Air Force Staff for Material and Service. Silverman and Ullmann furnished KGB with reports on U.S. aircraft production and training. Harry Dexter White was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Franklin Roosevelt, second only to Secretary Henry Morgenthau. White and John Maynard Keynes were the architects of the Bretton Woods monetary agreement of 1944 that set up the international monetary system. Harry Truman appointed White Director of the International Monetary Fund. White was not a Communist party member, and Treasury was not a source of significant information for the KGB. White’s main value to Stalin was as the employer of other spies: Frank Coe, Harold Glasser, Ludwig Ullmann, Victor Perlo, Sonia gold, Gregory Silvermaster, George Silverman, Irving Kaplan, William Taylor, and Solomon Adler. White protected these spies when they came under investigation.

White was influential in getting a Communist spy, Chi Ch’ao-ting, assigned to the Nationalist government’s Ministry of Finance. Chi served as a liaison with Mao Tse-tung to Earl Browder. Mao asked Browder for Japanese Communist recruits for spying against the Japanese in China, set up a courier network among Chinese seamen, and collect funds from Chinese immigrants for the Chinese Communists. Chi also served as a spy for Mao from within the Nationalist Finance Ministry. He became a senior official in the Chinese Communist government when Mao seized power. White advised Stalin that the U.S. would not oppose the Soviet Union’s annexation and occupation of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. As a senior adviser to the U.S. delegation at the founding of the United Nations, White supplied Soviet intelligence with the U.S. negotiating strategy. This enabled the Soviets to get a veto over UN actions.

The Venona cables show that Moscow offered to pay for White’s daughter’s college education to keep him in the U.S. government. White was influential in arranging a U.S. loan of $10 billion to the USSR in 1945. However, the State Department opposed the loan, which was never made. White was instrumental in delaying shipment of U.S. gold reserves to China as part of a $500 million loan agreement with Chiang Kai-shek. Delaying shipment of the gold meant that hyperinflation continued to plague the Chinese economy throughout the civil war in China.

White hired Frank Coe at the International Monetary Fund in 1946. Coe lied to the FBI and to the HUAC in 1947 about his Communist affiliations and espionage activities. Coe was forced to resign from the IMF in 1950 due to unfavorable publicity. He was called before investigating committees in 1948, 1952, and 1956. He refused to answer questions and pled the Fifth Amendment. In 1948 he moved to Communist China. Solomon Adler was a high Treasury official protected by White and Coe. In 1950 he was forced to resign for being a security risk. Adler, Coe, and Sidney Rittenberg collaborated on translating Mao’s works into English in 1960. Coe died in China in 1980, and Adler died in China in 1994.

Lauchlin Currie held a Ph.D. from Harvard in economics and became a high official in the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board. He joined the White House staff in 1939. In 1942 Roosevelt sent Currie to China. In 1943 he served as head of the Board of Economic Warfare, responsible for administering the Lend-Lease Act. Currie was a fellow-traveler, not a member of the Communist party. He helped several Communist spies get U.S. government jobs and was connected with White and Silvermaster. His most important leak was that Roosevelt would support Stalin keeping half of Poland, which was contrary to Roosevelt’s public stance. Venona cables show that Currie had direct contacts with Anatoly Gromov, a KGB official in the Soviet embassy in Washington. Currie also met with Vasily Zubilin, Gromov’s predecessor as KGB chief, in 1943. Currie was investigated by HUAC in 1948 and denied his relations with other Soviet spies in the U.S. government. By 1950, however, the Venona cable translations had identified Currie as a spy and Currie, perhaps sensing that the game was up, renounced his U.S. citizenship and moved to Colombia.

Michael Straight was the son of the founders of the magazine New Republic. He attended Cambridge University and joined the Communist party of Great Britain in 1935. Recruited by Cambridge don Anthony Blunt, Straight then dropped his Communist connections, returned to the United States, and became a Wall Street banker under the directions of the Comintern. Through family connections Straight met Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and in 1938 became a presidential speechwriter. In 1940 he transferred to the State Department. Straight was known to have contacts with Iskhak Abdulovich Akhmerov, head of KGB in the U.S. from 1942 to 1945. Straight, however, was becoming disillusioned with Communism and was not important as a spy. Straight hired Henry Wallace at the New Republic, which gave Wallace a platform for his presidential run. But Straight didn’t care for Communist involvement in Wallace’s Progressive Party. In 1960 Straight supported John Kennedy and was asked to chair the Advisory Council on the Arts. However, Straight had to go through an FBI security check, at which time he confessed to his spy activities.

The deciphering of the Venona cables enabled the FBI to discover a mole in their midst, Judith Coplon, who was recruited as a spy in 1944. Coplon was identified in 1948. During those four years she had alerted the KGB to FBI counter-espionage activities. The FBI arrested Coplon in the act of handing over documents to Valentin Bubitchev, a KGB official working at the United Nations. However, the FBI was unwilling to reveal that it had broken the Soviet code with the Venona project, and so its grounds for arrest lacked probable cause. Coplon was tried a second time and found guilty but was freed by an appeals court. The government had to abandon the prosecution and watch a Soviet spy walk free. In fact it was difficult to prosecute spies under the U.S. legal system. In most cases, the charge was based on the word of a single witness without hard evidence. As a result of Bentley’s charges, Maurice Halperin, Duncan Lee, Frank Coe, and Lauchlin Currie denied the charges and then fled the country. Two others, Michael Greenberg and Solomon Adler, fled before they could be called to testify. Many of those who did testify claimed that their meetings with known Soviet agents were merely casual social meetings, and many complained about persecution of innocent liberals. None of the several dozen spies named by Bentley was brought to trial. The FBI’s evidence remained in the FBI’s files.

The investigations of congressional committees usually resulted in Fifth Amendment refusal to testify against oneself. The public came to believe that the congressional hearings were unreliable and perhaps too invasive of the rights of the innocent. The public was wrong. The Venona cables confirmed that Elizabeth Bentley was right. The United States government was infested with spy networks aiding the Soviet Union.

Alger Hiss was one of the original members of the Ware group of Communists in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration in the 1930s. By the end of World War II he had risen to senior assistant to the secretary of state. He was part of the delegation that accompanied President Roosevelt to Yalta in 1945 to negotiate the end of the war. He oversaw U.S. diplomacy regarding the United Nations and presided at the founding conference of the UN in San Francisco. In 1946 he left the State Department to head the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Hiss was known to be a spy by the time of the Truman administration, and he was quietly eased out of government.

In 1945 Igor Gouzenko gave Canadian authorities over 100 Soviet military intelligence documents. The Canadians learned for the first time that espionage operations had been conducted in Canada. The Canadian government used these documents to break up several Soviet spy networks and discharge government employees. Among the Soviet spies sent to prison were Allan May, a British scientist working in Canada on the atomic bomb project, Fred Rose, a Communist member of the Canadian parliament, and Sam Carr, secretary of the Communist Party of Canada. Canadian prime minister Mackenzie King contacted President Truman and handed over files in their investigations that affected America. These revelations identified Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy.

Whittaker Chambers did not accuse Hiss of being a spy, only a Communist. Hiss denied knowing Chambers (he had reported to Chambers), but Chambers provided details indicating his close relationship with the Hiss family, putting Hiss on the defensive. Hiss attempted to take the offensive by inviting Hiss to repeat his charges in public, so that Hiss could file a slander suit. Chambers repeated his charges on Meet the Press, then Hiss sued. Hiss’ lawyers demanded that Chambers produced any documents he had indicating that Hiss was a Communist. Chambers then produced four sheets of paper containing summaries of official information signed by Hiss, 65 typewritten pages copied from confidential State Department sources later shown to be typed on Hiss’ typewriter, and two microfilm reels of documents showing Hiss’ initials. A grand jury then indicted Hiss for perjury. Hiss was convicted of perjury in 1950 and served three and one half years in prison. He was never convicted of espionage because of the statute of limitations.

The Venona cables indicate that Hiss continued to spy for the Soviet Union into the 1940s. They also show that he was assisted by his wife Priscilla and his brother Donald.

Josephine Truslow Adams informed Earl Browder that she had a direct pipeline to FDR, and Earl Browder believed her. With the dissolution of the Comintern and the meeting of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin in 1943 at Tehran, Browder began to plan for a postwar alliance between Communism and the Democratic party. He dissolved the American Communist party and formed the Communist Political Association and prepared to take over the left wing of the Democratic party. He opposed attempts to form third parties, including the push to make Minnesota’s Farmer-Labor party part of the Democratic party. Stalin, however, did not approve of Browder’s new approach. The Communist Political Association quickly transformed itself back into the American Communist party. Word of Browder’s close relationship with Franklin Roosevelt leaked out and spread to conservative anti-Communists, who had new fuel for their fight against Roosevelt’s tolerance for Communism.

Eugene Dennis became head of the Communist party in 1945 following Browder’s ouster. He remained its head until 1959, when he was replaced by Gus Hall. Louis Budenz, a Communist leader who turned anti-Communist, came forward in 1948 with charges that Dennis had directed a ring of spies in the OSS. William Donovan approached Milton Wolff, commander of the Abraham Lincoln (Communist) battalion in Spain and asked him to help recruit Spanish Civil War veterans to serve with British commandos being readied for operations in Europe. Donovan ended up bringing Wolff’s recruits into the OSS. However, the KGB regarded this as a mistake, for it would give American and British intelligence the ability to infiltrate Communist spy networks. The Americans did not try to penetrate Soviet spy networks, and the recruiting was halted. Still a dozen or more agents were left inside the OSS.

The Venona cables name Maurice Halperin, Duncan Lee, Franz Neumann, Bella Joseph, and Julius Joseph, Carl Marzani as Soviet spies, with Eugene Dennis linked to Harold Glasser.

Communist spies were active in the west coast Communist network. One important agent was Steve Nelson, a party professional trained at the International Lenin School. He was put in charge of west coast espionage, where he recruited agents to infiltrate the oil and aircraft industries. He also recruited spies for the atom bomb project at the University of California at Berkeley. Nelson had links with Communist agents in the South Pacific and Communists in the Japanese detention camps.

In San Francisco Louise Bransten, a wealthy heiress, was the center of a hub of Communist subversives that extended to Silvermaster on the East Coast and included Martin Kamen, an atomic scientist who fed information to the KGB. She also knew Haakon Chevalier, who approached Robert Oppenheimer to ask for information on the atomic bomb. Whittaker Chambers became head of the foreign news department at Time magazine in 1944 and 1945, but his efforts to portray the Soviet Union accurately were opposed by two Communist staffers at Time, John Scott and Richard Lauterbach. Lauterbach was Time’s correspondent in Moscow. He was a secret party member. Scott had been a spy for the KGB while working at the OSS.

Another Communist agent at Time was Stephen Laird, supervisor of foreign correspondents. Another Hollywood communist was Walter Bernstein, writer of Fail Safe, the Front, The Molly Maguires, and Semi-Tough.

Venona cables confirm that David Karr, research associate of columnist Drew Pearson, was a Communist and a Soviet agent. Karr was called before the Dies committee but lied about his associations and falsely claimed to have been an FBI informant. A special congressional investigation exonerated him, but the FBI later investigated him for receiving leaked material from defendants in the Amerasia spy case.

In 1950 Joseph McCarthy attacked Pearson and denounced Karr as having KGB associations. Karr later became an associate of Armand Hammer and was involved in several multimillion-dollar business deals in the Soviet Union. Karr’s testimony implicated Armand Hammer before a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into bribery of Russian officials.

I.F. Stone, a left-wing journalist who portrayed himself as independent, was charged with being a KGB agent by Oleg Kalugin, a retired KGB general. Kalugin later modified his charges to say that the KGB had “regular contact” with Stone. These regular contacts did not have anything to do with secret information, however, as Stone had no access to secret government documents. The Soviets sent several agents to contact Stone, but he was coy about cooperating with the Soviet Union as he feared FBI exposure. Stone met regularly with Soviet journalists and KGB agents, but there is no hard evidence that he was anything more than sympathetic to the Soviet Union.

Venona cables confirm that Julius Rosenberg was a Soviet spy with a network of spies around him. One was Morton Sobell, an employee of Reeves Electronic, which performed secret military research. Sobell received a government security clearance in 1949, even though he had a long history of public Communist activities. Two other members of Rosenberg’s espionage network were Joel Barr and Alfred Sarant. These two were electrical engineers, and both worked on military radar at the Signal Corps laboratories in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Barr was fired in 1942 when he was discovered to be a Communist, but he got another job, with Western Electric, developing a secret radar bombsight. Sarant also moved to Western Electric. These two set up a darkroom for photographing secret documents, and passed the film to Rosenberg. Barr was denied a security clearance and was fired in 1946. Harry Gold was arrested by the FBI in 1950. They also arrested David Greenglass, Julius Rosenberg’s brother in law. With these arrests, Sarant fled to Mexico and Joel Barr, living in Paris, disappeared. Both ended up in Moscow, where they produced the first Soviet radar-guided anti-aircraft and surface-to-air missiles. Morton Sobell also fled to Mexico at that time, but he was extradited and convicted of espionage. He served a thirty-year sentence.

William Perl was a highly regarded engineer who was under consideration for an appointment to the Atomic Energy Commission, but the Rosenberg investigation turned him up. Perl testified under oath that he had never known Julius Rosenberg, and the government prosecuted him for perjury. He was sent to prison in 1953. Venona cables show that Perl provided the Soviet Union with information about jet engine technology.

The British atom bomb project began before the American project, and it was infiltrated by a Communist spy, Klaus Fuchs. Fuchs then came to the United States in 1943 along with 14 other British scientists to join the Manhattan Project. He did work on gaseous diffusion of uranium at Columbia University, then went to Los Alamos, where he worked until 1946. In 1948 the FBI turned over decoded Venona cables to the British proving that Fuchs was a spy. He confessed to spying and was convicted of espionage. He was released from prison in 1959 and then moved to East Germany, where he became director of their nuclear research. The link between Fuchs and the KGB was Harry Gold. The FBI arrested Gold in 1950, and he also confessed to espionage. He was released from prison in 1966. Fuchs turned over to Gold information on uranium separation, both gaseous and electromagnetic, developed at the University of California Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley.

At Los Alamos Fuchs had access to information on plutonium and the implosion mechanism used to detonate the plutonium bomb. (The first bomb dropped on Hiroshima was a uranium bomb, and the second was a plutonium bomb. The plutonium bomb is preferred as U-235 is rare, and its separation is expensive.) In 1941 plutonium was created (it does not exist in nature) at the Berkeley lab. With Gold’s confession, other spies were revealed. Among them were David Greenglass, a machinist at Los Alamos, his wife Ruth, and his brother in law, Julius Rosenberg.

Ruth Greenglass and David Greenglass confessed to espionage. The Greenglass’ testimony was important in convicting the Rosenbergs. David Greenglass served fifteen years in prison. His wife received no sentence due to her cooperation with the prosecution. Morton Sobell did not confess, but he was convicted of espionage and served 30 years in prison. The Rosenbergs were executed on June 19, 1953. They never confessed.

Two high-level spies at the Manhattan Project were never identified. One of these spies turned over plans of the manufacturing facilities at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A third Soviet agent was not identified until 1997, Theodore Alvin Hall. Hall passed his secrets to his roommate, Saville Sax. Hall provided the Soviets with the top scientists working on atomic bomb research and their projects. Another of Hall’s contacts was Lona Cohen. Hall also provided documentation on the implosion device and the methods to separate U-235. Hall later worked on cancer research and moved to Britain, where he was a biophysicist at Cambridge University. He retired in Britain and was never prosecuted.

Six known Communist spies worked at the Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley. Among them were Giovanni Lomanitz, Joseph Weinberg, and Martin Kamen. These agents were under the direction of Steve Nelson. Their information was passed to the Soviet consulate in San Francisco. The Soviets considered approach Frank Oppenheimer, a known Communist and brother of Robert Oppenheimer, but they probably desisted as they feared he was under government surveillance.

Robert Oppenheimer was active in Popular Front politics from the 1930s until 1942. He had contributed money to the American Communist Party, and he knew Steve nelson. Robert Oppenheimer’s wife, Katherine, was a Communist and had been previously married to Joseph Dallet, a professional revolutionary who died in the Spanish Civil War. Robert Oppenheimer reported to Manhattan security officials that some of his scientists had been approached to provide information to the Soviets. Later he changed his story to say that he had been personally approached by Haakon Chevalier, a professor at the University of California. Oppenheimer named Manhattan project scientists Giovanni Lomanitz, Joseph Weinberg, and David Bohm as persons of suspect loyalty. Oppenheimer lost his security clearance in 1954 and has since been under suspicion of espionage. Oppenheimer was a dedicated but secret Communist. He may have resisted passing information to the Soviets, but he sheltered Soviet spies on the project.

The Venona cables indicate that hundreds of Americans were Soviet spies in the 1930s and 1940s. They were able to penetrate the government with the massive hiring of New Deal bureaucrats, which often bypassed the normal Civil Service hiring procedures. OSS had between 15 and 20 spies, brought in from Communist brigades that fought in the Spanish Civil War. Other agencies with large numbers of spies included the War Production Board, the Board of Economic Warfare, the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, and the Office of War Information. At least six spies worked in the State Department. Eight known Soviet spies worked at Treasury under Harry White and Frank Coe. These spies were supported by an elaborate network of couriers and contacts and other Communists who provided safe houses, business covers, and fraudulent documents. The documents that passed to the Soviet Union remain in closed Soviet archives. The vast majority of these spies worked for no compensation, merely love of Communism. But some were provided with small bonus payments and Soviet medals.

The Venona cables ceased to have any particular value on day-to-day operations in the 1950s as Kim Philby reported that the Americans had broken the Soviet codes. The Venona cables clearly indicate that Stalin initiated the cold war against America by increasing his espionage efforts right at the time that the United States and the Soviet Union became allies in World War II. The clear presence of spies meant that Republicans and patriots were highly suspicious of the Roosevelt administration for harboring so many Communists and refusing to conduct proper background checks. The Truman administration was also suspect for covering up the presence of Soviet spies in the government, but it was later forced to take a stronger stand against subversives in the administration.

About The Author

I read over 500 books on the history of the New World Order, but you only need to read one book to make up for the poor education they gave you in the public schools. The Hidden Masters Who Rule the World is a scholarly history that will take you beyond all parties, all worldviews, all prophecies, and all propaganda to an understanding of the future that the global controllers have planned for us.


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