Harry Dexter White was a spy. Thanks, Captain Obvious. Let’s examine some excerpts from the article.
Over the course of 11 years, beginning in the mid-1930s, White acted as a Soviet mole, giving the Soviets secret information and advice on how to negotiate with the Roosevelt administration and advocating for them during internal policy debates.
Note that this begins pre-war and pre-peace conferences.
The truth about White’s actions has been clear for at least 15 years now, yet historians remain deeply divided over his intentions and his legacy, puzzled by the chasm between White’s public views on political economy, which were mainstream progressive and Keynesian, and his clandestine behavior on behalf of the Soviets.
LMFAO. It’s super puzzling.
He urges the United States to draw the Soviets into a tight military alliance in order to deter renewed German and Japanese aggression
This is a defensible policy pre-war. It’s a fscking retarded policy after Germany and Japan have unconditionally surrendered.
During World War II, a surprising number of U.S. officials provided covert assistance to the Soviets without considering themselves disloyal to the United States. “They were,” in the reckoning of one famous confessed spy, Elizabeth Bentley, “a bunch of misguided idealists. They were doing it for something they believed was right… . They felt very strongly that we were allies with Russia, that Russia was bearing the brunt of the war, that she [Russia] must have every assistance, because the people from within the Government … were not giving her things that we should give her … [things] that we were giving to Britain and not to her. And they felt … it was their duty, actually, to get this stuff to Russia.”
Truman nominated White to be the first American executive director of the IMF on January 23, 1946, intending to nominate him for the top job of managing director shortly thereafter. Truman did not know that White had by that time been under FBI surveillance for two months, suspected of being a Soviet spy. Two weeks later, the FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover, sent a report to the president describing White as “a valuable adjunct to an underground Soviet espionage organization” and accusing him of placing Soviet intelligence assets inside the U.S. government. Hoover warned that if White’s activities became public, it could endanger the IMF. But the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency, unaware of the allegations, had approved White’s nomination to become the fund’s U.S. executive director on February 5, the day after Hoover’s report was delivered.
In light of Hoover’s report, Secretary of State James Byrnes wanted Truman to withdraw the nomination; Treasury Secretary Frederick Vinson wanted White out of government altogether. Truman did not trust Hoover but realized that he had a potential scandal on his hands. He decided to stick with White as an IMF executive director, a huge step down from managing director. But nominating another American to a post above White’s would have raised eyebrows, since the White House would have had to explain why the fund’s chief architect had been passed over.
There’s some Presidential leadership right there.
A 35-year-old freshman Republican congressman named Richard Nixon, hoping to set White up for a perjury charge, prodded him to state categorically that he had never met Chambers. But White would not take the bait, replying only that he did not “recollect” having met Chambers. . . .
The next day, Nixon revealed on the floor of the House that he had in his possession “copies of eight pages of documents in the handwriting of Mr. White which Mr. Chambers turned over to the Justice Department.” The original documents composed a four-page, double-sided memorandum, written in White’s hand on yellow-lined paper, with material dated from January 10 to February 15, 1938, that had been part of Chambers’ life preserver. Handwriting analysis by the FBI and what was then the Veterans Administration confirmed White’s authorship.
I feel for Nixon. That’s the sort of thing that would make somebody paranoid.
I’ve reviewed 10-15 books on this issue from this era. There’s nothing in this article that is new. Let me repeat, there’s nothing in this article (other than decoded Venona information) that people didn’t know at the time. Of course, only crazy people believed it. There’s a lesson in that somewhere.