Thursday, August 14, 2014

Standing with Sources and more FDR Criticism – PT Two

Herbert Romerstein
John R. Houk
© August 14, 2014

This is where I continue from Part One. I will get to the Marxist infiltration of the FDR Administration in more detail, but I still need to address the Conservative source that I sense Leftists will gripe as Right Wing propaganda.

I had to explain using Jonah Goldberg as a source because he was the source DTN used to compare FDR New Deal actions with totalitarian nations Germany, Italy and Japan which operated on a Fascist paradigm of Corporate Nationalistic Socialism. Then I went to M. Stanton Evans as a source of some of the revelations of Soviet-Marxist infiltration Roosevelt’s U.S. Government.

For me Evans is the expert on Soviet infiltration, but as I discovered in Part One, Ronald Radosh is the go-to-guy for all things Cold War involving the former USSR. Radosh criticizes Evans’ 2007 book, “Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies”. And Radosh is fairly critical of Evans’ scholastic work. Evans responds to Radosh’s criticism of his scholarly work with just as much vigor in a response. So unless you read the primary sources for yourself you are left with the decision – Whom do you believe?

Trust me, both Radosh and Evans have plenty of fellow Conservatives that agree with each one of them. The irony is that both of them agree on one thing; viz. that there was Marxist-Soviet infiltration in the U.S. Government. Their disagreement is largely based on each other’s interpretation of the primary sources to the degree of infiltration and as to who was an actual infiltrator and who was character assassinated by Senator Joe McCarthy. Radosh sticks to the vilification of McCarthy and Evans takes the path that McCarthy’s image needs to be redeemed from vilification.

I first became acquainted with “Blacklisted” via Ann Coulter in her review that I included in an old post I entitled “The Redemption of Joe McCarthy”. Since the days of 2007 Evans has written a kind of update or sequel to “Blacklisted” along with the former head of the U.S. Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation - Herbert Romerstein. This book was published in late 2012 and is entitled, “Stalin's Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt's Government”.

So how credible is Herbert Romerstein? Romerstein passed away in May 2013. To get a feel for just how significant his knowledge base I read two obituaries. One from Wes Vernon on Renew America and the other from Cliff Kincade at Accuracy in Media (AIM).

… His expertise earned him high intelligence and counter-subversion posts in the legislative and executive branches of government. His positions included being a lead investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities (later the House Committee on Internal Security), and the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence. His encyclopedic knowledge was also shared in testimony before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee and the Subversive Activities Control Board.

He had an understanding of the Cold War that was so voluminous it would be a challenge to find anyone who can match it and carry on its work. Of course, much of that understanding has been building up over the years in his own personal library. Thankfully those works will be preserved by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. But how can one possibly duplicate the volumes of detailed material that Herb carried in his head? …

Herb – born in 1931 – joined the Communist Youth League, and then the Communist Party. In 1950 when the Korean War broke out, his nagging doubts about communism quickly became revulsion, and he joined the U.S. Army, fought the Communists on the battlefields of Asia, and returned home to wage lifelong war against them on the battlefield of ideas with an investigative fervor fixated on exposing their subversion of U.S. society and their mischief throughout the world.

Herb's other volumes included The KGB Against the Main Enemy: How the Intelligence Service Operates in the U.S. (co-authored with Stanislav Levchenko); Soviet Active Measures and Propaganda: New Thinking in the Gorbachev Era; The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America's Traitors, co-authored by Eric Breindel (where no relevant details in the record of FDR Svengali Harry Hopkins are spared – more on that below); and Stalin's Secret Agents: the Subversion of Roosevelt's Government co-authored with M. Stanton Evans. (This book provides shocking revelations on which the current series of our column is based.)

READ ENTIRETY (Herbert Romerstein (RIP): Part 7: Stalin's Secret Agents (and an American who fought them for over 60 years until his dying breath); By Wes Vernon; Renew America; 5/16/13)

Five months before Barack Obama was elected to his first term as president, Herbert Romerstein and I finished a Washington, D.C. briefing on “The Stealth Candidate”—Barack Obama—and his communist connections. …

It’s true that Herb worked for the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He also worked for the House Internal Security Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, and headed the Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation and Active Measures of the United States Information Agency. He was part of the Reagan Revolution that safeguarded our freedom and turned back the Soviet Union and its proxies in the 1980s. As a result of his research in the archives of the Communist International in Moscow, which were briefly opened for outside inspection after the Soviet collapse, Herb ascertained that Harry Bridges of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union had been a secret member of the Communist Party USA. Bridges had always denied party membership.

Herb’s passing has left the anti-communist cause without a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about the conflict between communism and freedom. His archives have been acquired by the Hoover Institution. Milbank and other reporters would rather see them burned.

Some may not know that this fierce anti-communist was once a communist himself. Herb was in the tradition of Whittaker Chambers, the ex-communist who exposed Alger Hiss. His books included The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage, co-authored with Eric Breindel, and Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government, co-authored with veteran journalist M. Stanton Evans. It documents how hundreds of Soviet agents infiltrated the U.S. government during and after the World War II period.

Herb’s masterful report, “From Henry Wallace to William Ayers – the Communist and ‘Progressive’ Movements,” analyzes how Henry Wallace’s Third Party Movement in 1948—the Progressive Party—was under total Communist Party control, and he explains how the “New Left” of the 1960s and 70s included Communists involved in such groups as Students for a Democratic Society and its terrorist offspring, the Weather Underground. Some of them would later become members of “Progressives for Obama.”

The problems in Congress did not escape Herb’s attention and will be the subject of a forthcoming book from Trevor Loudon. In addition to exposing Ted Kennedy’s collaboration with the KGB against the Reagan Administration, Herb filled in some of the most important details about the communist background of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).

Herb’s interest in the Barbara Lee story actually began in 1984, when Herb was selected, along with Michael Ledeen, to analyze documents captured on Grenada after the U.S. liberation of that island from communists. The result was Grenada documents: an overview and selection, an extraordinary compilation of documents on how a communist regime operates.

Some of the documents demonstrated that … READ ENTIRETY (The Wit and Wisdom of Herbert Romerstein; By Cliff Kincaid; AIM; 5/13/13)

The once reputable Kirkus Reviews has harsh words in reviewing “Stalin’s Secret Agents” by Evans and Romerstein:

… Evans and Romerstein discuss the roles of Alger Hiss and Armand Hammer, and they cite an impressive array of sources in both English and Russian. However, as has been their practice for decades, the authors equate presence at an event—e.g., Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill at Yalta—with the covert wielding of tremendous influence. That Hiss, Hammer and others accused of treason by Evans and Romerstein could have achieved the results for which they are blamed falls into the realm of speculation, no matter the breadth of research. Their speculation is interesting, and some may be true, but their seeming inability to distinguish between factual evidence and assumption weakens the book. …

This treatment of an important topic is tainted by excesses of preconception and ideology. (Kirkus Reviews: “STALIN'S SECRET AGENTS: The Subversion of Roosevelt's Government”)

The original Kirkus Reviews had its beginning by its founder Virginia Kirkus in the early 1930s originally as a book reviewer for Librarians. This lineage ended in 2009. I don’t know the story of who picked up the rights to the brand name but the Kirkus Reviews was resurrected in 2010 as an online book reviewer. The blog The Passive Voice exposes the current Kirkus Reviews as a mere shell of its former integrity. PG excerpts from an article at Indies Unlimited. PG provides a link but seems to have removed the original article or perhaps changed its url address. When I did a search on Indies Unlimited I discovered their outlook must have changed about Kirkus Reviews because now the only related posts seem to be pertaining to glowing relationship based on interviews with the current Kirkus Reviews Senior Editor Karen Schechner. Regardless of the change of attitudes by Indies Unlimited you should read the excerpts from PG. I excerpt PG’s feelings about Kirkus Reviews which can be found at the of the Indies Unlimited original excerpts (How’s that for repetitive and confusing name-usage?):

PG says Old Kirkus had some credibility. In his unflinchingly humble opinion, for indies, New Kirkus is pretty much a vanity review publisher.

The article in Indies Unlimited estimates Kirkus has a circulation of about 3,000. That’s fewer people than come to The Passive Voice on most days.

The point being when it comes to political reviews Kirkus Reviews seems to concur with Leftist generalizations than praising the original documentation for what it is. The Kirkus Reviews of Evans and Romerstein’s expose on the FDR and to a certain extant the Truman Administration simultaneously uses the words “breadth of research” its culminating sentence: “This treatment of an important topic is tainted by excesses of preconception and ideology.” Wow, talking about bias in preconception and ideology. There is criticism without actual critical citation.

End Part Two

JRH 8/14/14

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