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Editor's Corner: Americans who spied for Russia

It is difficult to find out what is going on in Washington, D.C., these days, with all the talk of Russians somehow having taken over the country, after which they sent secret messages to voters to make them cast ballots for Donald Trump. (All you people who voted for Trump because a Russian told you to do it, raise your hand.)

Unless you work for CNN or one of those other East Coast media, such as The New York Times, it is hard to know how that happened. But where there’s a will, there’s usually a way, and what the East Coast media geniuses are hoping is that people who work for Trump will turn out to be Russian spies.

A lot of supposedly intelligent people are writing and talking about that, and they may remember what Joseph Goebbels, the master propagandist for Adolph Hitler is alleged to have said. It is this: “If you tell a lie long enough, and loudly enough, pretty soon people will believe it.”

Trump, himself, tweeted more than a few lies during the campaign, so he may be getting some of his own medicine by being accused of harboring Russian agents in his campaign organization and his administration, and even dallying with then now.

Are American Republican politicians playing footsie with the Russians? Have the Russians somehow infiltrated the Republican Party by making or trying to make business deals with President Trump?

Oh, what is going on?

Beyond the blowing of a lot of hot air, nothing is going on. At least nothing that is immediately understandable.

One thing you can probably take to the bank is that the Republicans aren’t making many deals with the Russians to form spy networks against the Democrats, or the country as a whole, as has been implied since just after the election.

In fact, historically, it is others who have made the deals with the Russians to spy on the United States.

Those spying on us for the Russians during the Cold War, for example, were ... well you can see for yourself. Here are a few from the public record as reprinted by the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia:

  • Harry Samuel Magdoff, Aug. 21, 1913 to Jan. 1, 2006. He was a socialist and editor of the Marxist publication, Monthly Review. Got a job with the Works Progress Administration under the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat. He tried to get Henry Wallace, a socialist, elected president. Later went to Cuba and hooked up with Che Guevara.

  • Lee Harvey Oswald, the ex-Marine who lived in the USSR, was a self-proclaimed communist and Castro supporter. He assassinated John F. Kennedy.

  • Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who transmitted information about top-secret military technology to the Soviets to help the USSR build nuclear weapons, were left-wing political sympathizers until their deaths. Both were members of the Young Communist League. They received the death penalty for espionage.

  • Michael and Robert Meeropol, the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, were able to convince Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, a Democrat, to declare that Manhattan officially recognized, “the injustice suffered by Ethel Rosenberg and her family”, and declared an, “Ethel Rosenberg Day of Justice in the Borough of Manhattan.”

  • Martha Dodd, daughter of a high U.S. State Department official who worked in the Roosevelt administration and had strong Democrat ties, agreed to spy for the Soviet Union, and Dodd worked with several case officers prior to and during World War II. Dodd informed the Soviets of secret embassy and State Department business and provided details of her father’s reports to the State Department. Martha married New York millionaire Alfred Stern, an investment broker and backer of Democratic candidates, who acquired great wealth in a prior divorce from the daughter of Sears Roebuck tycoon Julius Rosenwald. According to Dodd, Stern was prepared to contribute $50,000 to the Democratic party to secure an ambassadorship.

  • Charles Kramer, originally Charles Krevisky (born December 14, 1906, date of death unknown) was an American economist who worked for U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of his brain trust. Among other contributions, he wrote the original idea for the Point Four Program. He also worked for several congressional committees and hired Lyndon B. Johnson for his first Federal job.

  • Samuel Dickstein (February 5, 1885 – April 22, 1954) was a Democratic Congressional Representative from New York and a New York State Supreme Court Justice. Authors Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev learned in 1999 that Soviet files indicate he was a paid agent of the NKVD. The Boston Globe stated: “Dickstein ran a lucrative trade in illegal visas for Soviet operatives before brashly offering to spy for the NKVD, the KGB’s precursor, in return for cash.”

  • There was one Republican in that espionage crowd: Whittaker Chambers. He was convicted, later recanted, did some prison time, was pardoned and rejoined polite society.

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