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Alger Hiss

Alger Hiss

Alger Hiss testifying
Born November 11, 1904(1904-11-11)
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died November 15, 1996(1996-11-15) (aged 92)
New York City, New York, United States
Education Baltimore City College high school
Johns Hopkins University
Harvard Law School (1929)
Spouse Priscilla Fansler Hobson (1903–1987) (1929–1987) â«start: (1929)–end+1: (1988)â»"Marriage: Priscilla Fansler Hobson (1903–1987) to Alger Hiss" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.orghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alger_Hiss)
Parents Mary Lavinia Hughes
Charles Alger Hiss
Relatives Donald Hiss, brother
Anna Hiss, sister

Alger Hiss (November 11, 1904 – November 15, 1996) was an American lawyer, civil servant, businessman, author, and lecturer. He was involved in the establishment of the United Nations both as a U.S. State Department and UN official. Hiss was accused of being a Soviet spy in 1948 and convicted of perjury in connection with this charge in 1950.

On August 3, 1948, Whittaker Chambers, a former Communist Party member, testified under subpoena before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) that Hiss had secretly been a communist while in federal service, despite the fact that Chambers had previously testified under oath that Hiss had never been a communist. Called before HUAC, Hiss categorically denied the charge. When Chambers repeated his claim in a radio interview, Hiss filed a defamation lawsuit against him.

During the pretrial discovery process, Chambers produced new evidence indicating that he and Hiss had been involved in espionage, although both men had denied this under oath to HUAC. A federal grand jury indicted Hiss on two counts of perjury; Chambers admitted to the same offense, but, as a cooperating government witness, he was never charged. Although Hiss's indictment stemmed from the alleged espionage, he could not be tried for that crime because the statute of limitations had expired. After a mistrial due to a hung jury, Hiss was tried a second time. In January 1950, he was found guilty on both counts of perjury and received two concurrent five-year sentences, of which he eventually served 44 months.

Arguments about the case and the validity of the verdict took center stage in broader debates about the Cold War, McCarthyism, and the extent of Soviet espionage in the United States.[1] Since his conviction, statements by involved parties and newly exposed evidence have added to the dispute. Although the New York Times has identified a "growing consensus that Hiss, indeed, had most likely been a Soviet agent,"[2] in 1993 historian David Halberstam wrote, "Many other important files remained closed, including Soviet records, and ironically—even though the House Un-American Activities committee is long defunct—HUAC’s own documents. These were sealed in 1976 for an additional fifty years. Until we have full access, the Hiss controversy will continue to be debated."[3]

Contents

[edit] Early life and career

Hiss was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Mary Lavinia Hughes and Charles Alger Hiss, an executive in a wholesale dry goods company. After her husband Charles committed suicide when Alger was two years old, his widow Mary was obliged to rely largely on family members for financial support in raising her five children. The family lived in a Baltimore neighborhood that was described by writer G. Edward White as one of "shabby gentility". Two more family tragedies occurred during Alger's early twenties: his elder brother Bosley died of Bright's disease when Alger was twenty-two and he lost his sister Mary Ann to suicide when he was twenty-five.[4]

Hiss attended Baltimore City College (high school) and Johns Hopkins University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was voted "most popular student" by his classmates. In 1929, he received his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was a protΓ©gΓ© of Felix Frankfurter, the future U.S. Supreme Court justice. Like Frankfurter (who wrote a book about the case), Hiss believed in the innocence of Sacco and Vanzetti. In 1929, Hiss married Priscilla Fansler Hobson (1903–1987), a Bryn Mawr graduate and grade school teacher. Priscilla, previously married to Thayer Hobson, had a three-month-old son, Timothy. Hiss served for a year as clerk to Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., before joining Choate, Hall & Stewart, a Boston law firm.

In 1933, Hiss entered government service as an attorney in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal, first briefly on the staff of the Justice Department and then as a temporary assistant on the Nye Committee, which investigated wartime profiteering by military contractors such as the DuPont Corporation during World War I.[5] His also was a member of the legal team that defended the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA). against challenges to its legitimacy.

In 1936, Alger Hiss and his younger brother, Donald Hiss, began working in the United States Department of State. Alger served as assistant to Francis B. Sayre (son-in-law of Woodrow Wilson) and later was special assistant to the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs. In 1944, Hiss became Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs (OSPA), a policy-making office that concentrated on postwar planning for international organization. Hiss himself later became director of OSPA, and, as such, was executive secretary at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, which in 1944 finalized plans for the organization that would become the United Nations.

In February of 1945, Hiss was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Yalta Conference, where Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill met to coordinate strategy to defeat Hitler, draw the map of postwar Europe, and continue plans to set up the United Nations. Hiss's role at Yalta was limited to work on the United Nations. During the conference, Hiss argued against Stalin's proposal to give one vote to each of the Soviet Republics in the UN General Assembly (a total of 16 votes).[6] In the final compromise, the Soviets obtained three votes: one each for the Soviet Union itself, the Ukrainian SSR, and the Byelorussian SSR.

Hiss served as secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on International Organization (the United Nations Charter Conference) in San Francisco in 1945. He later became the full Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs. Hiss left government service in 1946 and became president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he served until May 5, 1949.

[edit] Accusation of espionage

August 25, 1948 – Whittaker Chambers testifies before HUAC as Hiss (circled) listens

In an appearance on August 3, 1948, before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), Whittaker Chambers, a senior editor at Time magazine and himself a former Communist, accused Alger Hiss of having been a member of a "Marxist discussion group" that he asserted was "an underground organization of the United States Communist Party".[7] The group, which Chambers called the Ware Group, had been run by the late agriculturalist Harold Ware, an American Communist interested in organizing tenant farmers (Ware had died in 1935). According to Chambers, the aim of the group had been the promotion of unspecified communistic policies in the U.S. government. Chambers made no mention of espionage activity and in fact later specifically denied that he or Hiss had engaged in espionage. Chambers later changed this story several times, and he would be forced to testify at the two Hiss trials that he had repeatedly perjured himself.

Chambers gave varying dates for the time when he broke with the Communist party; a point that was to prove important in his later accusations against Hiss. For nine years, between September 1, 1939, and November 17, 1948, Chambers claimed to have quit the Party in 1937. The 1938 Party-leaving date only emerged on November 17, 1948, when Chambers produced copies of State Department documents that he said Hiss had given him; the documents were dated 1938.[8][9]

Rumors had been circulating about Hiss since 1939, when Chambers went to Assistant Secretary of State Adolf A. Berle, Jr. accusing Hiss of having formerly belonged to an underground Communist cell.[10] In 1942 Chambers repeated this allegation to FBI. Two other sources also implicated Hiss: in 1945, Elizabeth Bentley, an American woman who said she had been a courier between Communist groups,[11] told the FBI that an employee of the State Department whom she identified as "Eugene Hiss" was a member an underground Communist group. The same year, a Belorussian code clerk named Igor Gouzenko defected to Canada and reported that an unnamed assistant to the U.S. Secretary of State was a Soviet agent. In both cases, the FBI decided that Alger Hiss was the most likely match.[7][12]

In response to Chambers's accusations against him before (HUAC), Hiss, then Chairman of the Carnegie Endowment, protested his innocence and insisted on appearing the committee to clear himself, a request which it granted. Testifying on August 5, 1948, Hiss denied having ever been a Communist and claimed not to know Chambers. The committee came under fire from the press and President Truman and were reluctant to continue the investigation. One member, congressman Richard Nixon, found Hiss "condescending" and "insulting in the extreme" and wanted to press on. Nixon had received information about Chambers's allegations and the suspicions around Hiss from John Francis Cronin, a Roman Catholic priest, who had infiltrated labor unions in Baltimore during WW II to report on Communist activities and had been given access to FBI files.[7][13] With some reluctance, the Committee voted to make Nixon chair of a subcommittee that would seek to determine who was lying, Hiss or Chambers, at least on the question of whether they knew each other.

Asked to identify Chambers from a photograph, Hiss indicated that the face "might look familiar" and requested to see him in person. When he later confronted Chambers in a hotel room with HUAC representatives present, Hiss claimed that he had known Chambers as "George Crosley", who had presented himself to Hiss as a freelance writer. Hiss said he had sublet his apartment to "Crosley" in the mid-1930s and had given him an old car.[7][14]

Chambers denied he had ever used the name Crosley, though it later came out that he had published poetry under that name. When Hiss and Chambers both appeared before a HUAC subcommittee on August 17, 1948, they had the following exchange:

HISS. Did you ever go under the name of George Crosley?
CHAMBERS. Not to my knowledge.
HISS. Did you ever sublet an apartment on Twenty-ninth Street from me?
CHAMBERS. No; I did not.
HISS. You did not?
CHAMBERS. No.
HISS. Did you ever spend any time with your wife and child in an apartment on Twenty-ninth Street in Washington when I was not there because I and my family were living on P Street?
CHAMBERS. I most certainly did.
HISS. You did or did not?
CHAMBERS. I did.
HISS. Would you tell me how you reconcile your negative answers with this affirmative answer?
CHAMBERS. Very easily, Alger. I was a Communist and you were a Communist.[15]

Because Chambers's statements were made in a congressional hearing, they were privileged against defamation suits. Hiss challenged him to repeat his charges in public without benefit of such protection. When Chambers publicly repeated his charge that Hiss was a Communist on the radio program Meet the Press, Hiss instituted a libel lawsuit against Chambers.

Chambers retaliated with the claim that Hiss not merely been a Communist but also a spy, a charge he had not made earlier; and, on November 17, 1948, he produced to support his charge physical evidence consisting of sixty-five pages of retyped State Department documents, plus four pages in Hiss's own handwriting of copied State Department cables. Chambers stated that he had obtained these from Hiss in the 1930s; the typed papers having been retyped from originals by Priscilla Hiss on the family's Woodstock typewriter.[7] These papers became known as the "Baltimore documents." The typeface characteristics of the Baltimore documents would become a key piece of evidence used to convict Hiss. In their previous testimony, both Chambers and Hiss had denied having committed espionage. By introducing the Baltimore documents, Chambers admitted he had previously lied, opening both Hiss and himself to perjury charges.

On the evening of December 2, 1948, Chambers produced the "pumpkin papers", five rolls of 35 mm film, two of which contained State Department documents. Chambers stated he had hidden the film in a hollowed-out pumpkin on his Maryland farm the previous day.[7]

[edit] Perjury trials and conviction

Alger Hiss in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary
(Photos courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Prisons)

Hiss was charged with two counts of perjury; the grand jury did not indict him for espionage since the statute of limitations had run out. Chambers was never charged with a crime. Hiss went to trial twice. The first trial started on May 31, 1949, and ended in a hung jury on July 7. Chambers was forced to admit on the witness stand that he had previously committed perjury several times while he was under oath. Chambers also was forced to admit that he needed to change key dates when confronted with contradictions in his story. Hiss's character witnesses at his first trial included such notables as future Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, and former Democratic presidential candidate John W. Davis. President Truman famously called the trial, "a red herring"[16] The second trial lasted from November 17, 1949, to January 21, 1950.

At both trials, a key piece of prosecution testimony was that of expert witnesses who stated that identifying characteristics of the typed Baltimore documents matched samples known to have been typed on a typewriter owned by the Hisses at the time of his alleged espionage work with Chambers. Also presented as prosecution evidence was the typewriter itself, which the Hisses had given away years earlier; it had been located by defense investigators.

In the second trial, Hede Massing, an ex-Communist and admitted spy for the Soviets, provided some slight corroboration of Chambers's story when she recounted meeting Hiss at a social function in which they both spoke obliquely about their Communist activities.[9] This time the jury found Hiss guilty by a vote of eight to four on both counts. "That, according to one of Hiss’s friends and lawyers, Helen Buttenweiser, was the only time that she had ever seen Alger shocked – stunned by the fact that eight of his fellow citizens did not believe him." [17] According to Anthony Summers, "Hiss spoke only two sentences in court after he had been found guilty. The first was to thank the judge. The second was to assert that one day in the future it would be disclosed how forgery by typewriter had been committed."[18] On January 25, 1950, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

At a subsequent press conference, Secretary of State Dean Acheson reacted emotionally, affirming, "I do not intend to turn my back on Alger Hiss”; Acheson quoted Jesus in the Bible: “I was a Stranger and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick and ye visited me, I was in prison and ye came unto me." Acheson's remarks enraged Nixon, who accused him of blasphemy."[19] The verdict was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (case citation 185 F.2d 822) and the Supreme Court of the United States denied a writ of certiorari (340 U.S. 948). Hiss served 44 months at the Lewisburg Federal Prison and was released on November 27, 1954. While in prison, Hiss acted as a voluntary attorney, advisor, and tutor for many of his fellow inmates.

The case heightened public concern about Soviet espionage penetration of the U.S. government in the 1930s and 1940s. As a well-educated, and highly connected government official from an old American family, Alger Hiss did not fit the profile of a typical spy. Publicity surrounding the case thrust Richard M. Nixon into the public spotlight, helping him move from the U.S. House of Representatives to the U.S. Senate in 1950, and to the vice presidency of the United States in 1952. Senator Joseph McCarthy made his famous Wheeling, West Virginia, speech two weeks after the Hiss verdict, launching his career as the nation's most visible anti-communist.

[edit] Post-incarceration

After his release in late 1954, Hiss, who had been disbarred, worked as a salesman for a stationery company. In 1957 his book In the Court of Public Opinion was published. It challenged the prosecution's case against him in detail, maintaining that the typewritten documents traced to his typewriter had been forged. Hiss separated from his first wife, Priscilla, in 1959, though he did not remarry until after Priscilla's death in 1986.

On November 11, 1962, Hiss appeared on the ABC television program Howard K. Smith: News and Comment, in a segment titled "The Political Obituary of Richard M. Nixon". The controversial and premature report, following Nixon's defeat in the 1962 election for governor of California, led sponsors to withdraw from Smith's program, while viewers bombarded ABC with complaints about the decision to invite a convicted perjurer on air. Smith's show was cancelled in June 1963.[20]

The five rolls of 35 mm film known as the "pumpkin papers" were thought until late 1974 to be locked in HUAC files. Independent researcher Stephen W. Salant, an economist at the University of Michigan, sued the U.S. Justice Department in 1975 when his request for access to them under the Freedom of Information Act was denied. On July 31, 1975, as a result of this lawsuit and follow-on suits filed by Peter Irons and by Alger Hiss and William Reuben, the Justice Department released copies of the "pumpkin papers" that had been used to implicate Hiss. One roll of film turned out to be totally blank due to overexposure,[21] two others are faintly legible copies of nonclassified Navy Department documents relating to such subjects as life rafts and fire extinguishers, and the remaining two are photographs of the State Department documents that had been introduced at the two Hiss trials.[22]

A few days after the pumpkin papers release, on August 5, 1975, he was readmitted to the Massachusetts bar. The state's Supreme Judicial Court overruled its Committee of Bar Overseers[23] and stated in a unanimous decision that, despite his conviction, Hiss had demonstrated the "moral and intellectual fitness" required to be an attorney. Hiss was the first lawyer ever readmitted to the Massachusetts bar after a major criminal conviction.[7]

In 1988 Hiss wrote an autobiography, Recollections of a Life. Hiss maintained his innocence and fought his perjury conviction until his death at age 92. He died of emphysema on November 15, 1996, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.[24][25]

[edit] Later evidence, for and against

[edit] Testimony by Bullitt and Weyl

In 1952, testifying before the McCarran Committee (the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee), William C. Bullitt claimed that, as Ambassador to France in 1939, he had been advised by Premier Γ‰douard Daladier of French intelligence reports that two State Department officials named Hiss were Soviet agents. When asked about it, however, Daladier, denied this.[26] Economist Nathaniel Weyl, a former Communist Party member "at large" who had worked for the Department of Agriculture during the early days of the New Deal and who had later become strongly anti-Communist, also appeared before the McCarran Committee. Weyl testified that in 1933 he had belonged to a secret Communist Party unit along with Harold Ware and labor lawyer Lee Pressman and he confirmed that Alger Hiss had also attended meetings. Weyl's is thus the only testimony that appears to corroborate some of Chambers' allegations. Two years earlier (in 1950), however, Weyl had written a book, Treason: The Story of Disloyalty and Betrayal in American History, in which the Ware Group was not mentioned. Moreover, in the book, published shortly after Hiss's conviction, Weyl had expressed doubt that Alger Hiss was guilty of espionage.[27] [9][28]

[edit] Questions raised about the typewriter in the motion for a new trial

At both trials, FBI typewriter experts testified that the Baltimore documents in Chambers's possession matched samples of typing done in the 1930s by Priscilla Hiss on the Hisses' home typewriter, a Woodstock brand. As early as December, 1948 the chief investigator for the Hiss defense, Horace W. Schmahl, set off a race to find Hiss's typewriter.[29] The FBI, with vastly superior resources was also searching for the typewriter, which the Hiss family had discarded some years earlier. Nevertheless, Schmahl, was able to track it down first, and the Hiss defense introduced with the intention of showing that its type face would not be a match for that on the FBI's documents. Surprisingly, the typefaces proved to be an excellent match and seemed to confirm the FBI's evidence.

After Hiss had gone to prison, his lawyer, Chester T. Lane, acting on a tip he had received from someone who had worked with Schmahl, that Hiss might have been framed, filed a motion in January 1952 for a new trial.[30] Lane sought to show that (1) forgery by typewriter was feasible and (2) such forgery had occurred in the Hiss case. Unaware that the feasibility of such forgeries had already been established throughout the War by the military intelligence services which engaged in such practices, the Hiss defense sought to establish feasibility directly by hiring a civilian typewriter expert, Martin Tytell, to create a typewriter that would be indistinguishable from the one the Hisses owned. Tytell spent two years creating a facsimile Woodstock typewriter whose print characteristics would match the peculiarities of the Hiss typewriter.[31]

To demonstrate that forgery by typewriter was not merely a theoretical possibility but had actually occurred in the Hiss case, the defense sought to show that Exhibit #UUU was not Hiss's old machine but a newer one altered to type like it. According to former Woodstock executives, the production date of a machine could be inferred from the machine's serial number. The serial number on the Exhibit #UUU typewriter indicated that it would have been manufactured after the man who sold the Hiss machine had retired from the company and the salesman insisted that he sold no typewriters after his retirement. Decades later, when FBI files were disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, it turned out that the FBI also doubted that the trial exhibit was Hiss's machine and for exactly the same reasons; although the FBI expressed these concerns internally as the first trial was about to begin, the public did not learn about the FBI's doubts until the mid-1970s.[32] To explain why typing from Exhibit #UUU seemed indistinguishable from the typing on Hiss's old machine, Lane assembled experts prepared to testify that Exhibit #UUU had been tampered with in a way inconsistent with professional repair work to make it type like Hiss's old typewriter. In addition, experts were prepared to testify that Priscilla Hiss was not the typist of the Baltimore documents.[33]

In summarizing the conclusions of the forensic experts he had assembled in his motion for a new trial, Chester Lane told the court, "I no longer just question the authenticity of Woodstock N230099. I now say to the Court that Woodstock N230099 — the typewriter in evidence at the trials — is a fake machine. I present in affidavit form, and will be able to produce at the hearing, expert testimony that this machine is a deliberately fabricated job, a new type face on an old body. This being so, it can only have been planted on the defense by or on behalf of Whittaker Chambers as part of his plot for the false incrimination of Alger Hiss."[34]

In July, 1952 Judge Goddard — expressing great skepticism that Chambers had the resources and know-how to commit forgery by typewriter and would have known where to plant such a fake machine so it would be found — denied Hiss's motion for a new trial. Professor Irving Younger wrote, "To leave the counterfeit Woodstock lying about for the defense to pick up and examine would serve only to expose the whole scheme to the risk of discovery—and for no reason."[7]

In his 1976 memoir, former White House counsel John Dean states that President Nixon's chief counsel Charles Colson told him that Nixon had admitted in a conversation that HUAC had fabricated a typewriter, saying, "We built one on the Hiss case."[35] According to author Anthony Summers, "When Dean’s book was published, Colson protested that he had 'no recollection of Nixon’s having said the typewriter was "phonied",' and Nixon himself characterized the claim as 'totally false.' Dean, however, insisted that his contemporary notes confirmed that Colson had quoted the president as he indicated and seemed serious when he did so."[36] Summers and others suggest that Dean's version of events is plausible: "'Had Nixon asked the FBI to manufacture evidence to prove his case against Hiss,' opined former FBI Assistant Director Sullivan, 'Hoover would actually been only too glad to oblige'. As to whether Nixon would actually have gone as far as to frame Hiss," Summers notes that, "the later record includes disquieting instances of forgery or planting false information." [37] In his book on anti-Communist classics of the Cold War, John V. Fleming disagrees, arguing that on the White House tapes Nixon never says anything that would have corroborated Colson's statement to Dean about forging a typewriter in the Hiss case. Fleming maintains that a statement on the Nixon tapes that sounds some to "Hissite" transcribers like "we made a typewriter" was likely instead, "we had typewriter.[38] On the other hand the Nixon tapes did repeatedly refer to the Hiss case, with Nixon emphasizing that he had tried Hiss in the press, not in the law courts, because that's how these things were done:

We won the Hiss case in the papers. We did. I had to lead stuff all over the place. Because the Justice Department would not prosecute it. Hoover didn’t even cooperate. . . It was won in the papers….I leaked out the papers. . . . I leaked out the testimony. I had Hiss convicted before he ever got to the grand jury. . . . Go back and read the chapter on the Hiss case [his book] in Six Crises and you’ll see how it was done. It wasn’t done waiting for the goddam courts or the attorney general or the FBI. . .[39]

According to Anthony Summers:

The one substantive piece of information indicating typewriter forgery features the OSS and its chief, William Donovan. In late 1948, when the Hiss defense and the FBI began the protracted hunt of the Woodstock typewriter, a man named Horace Schmahl jointed the defense team as an investigator. Schmahl had worked for either the OSS or army intelligence during the war, then joined the Central Intelligence Group, the organization that operated in between the closedown of the OSS and the inception of the CIA. After his stint for the Hiss side, Schmahl defected to the prosecution team.[40]

[edit] Evidence of government misconduct

Based on the documents released by the Justice Department in 1976, the Hiss defense filed a petition in federal court in July 1978 for a writ of coram nobis, asking that the guilty verdict be overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct. The petition was denied by a federal judge in 1982, and in 1983 the U.S. Supreme court declined to hear the suit. In the writ, Hiss's attorneys argued the following points:

  • The FBI illegally withheld important evidence from the Hiss defense team, specifically that typewritten documents could be forged. Unknown to the defense, military intelligence operatives in World War II, a decade before the trials, "could reproduce faultlessly the imprint of any typewriter on earth."[41]
  • With regard to the Woodstock No. 230099 typewriter introduced as Exhibit #UUU by the defense at the trial, the FBI knew there was an inconsistency between its serial number and the manufacture date of Hiss's machine but illegally withheld this information from Hiss.[7]
  • That the FBI had an informer on the Hiss defense team, a private detective named Horace W. Schmahl. Hired by the Hiss defense team, Schmahl reported on the Hiss defense strategy to the government.[42]
  • That the FBI had conducted illegal surveillance of Hiss before and during the trials, including phone taps and mail openings. Also that the prosecution had withheld from Hiss and his lawyers the records of this surveillance, none of which provided any evidence that Hiss was a spy or a Communist.[43]

In 1982, Judge Owen denied Hiss's coram nobis petition just as Judge Goddard had denied Hiss's motion for a new trial thirty years earlier. In his ruling, Judge Owen quoted in full two points made earlier by Judge Goddard: (1) "…there is not a trace of any evidence that Chambers had the mechanical skills, tools, equipment or material for such a difficult task [as typewriter forgery]." In addition, (2) "If Chambers had constructed a duplicate machine how would he have known where to plant it so that it would be found by Hiss?"

According to Salant, who had been studying the Hiss case since the early 1960s and whose requests under the Freedom of Information act had made known to the public the contents of the "pumpkin papers", Schmahl was not an FBI plant as Hiss and his lawyers had believed but a trained Army "spy-catcher" (as they called themselves) — a special agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC). [44] [45] At the Military Intelligence Training Center, CIC students like Schmahl were taught the rudiments of forgery and its detection, the matching of typed samples to the typewriter that produced them, etc.[46] During the 1940s, domestic surveillance of civilians like Hiss by the CIC was extensive but so covert that it usually escaped notice. Undercover CIC agents who were detected were often mistaken for FBI agents, since only the Bureau was authorized to investigate civilians.[47]

Domestic surveillance by the Army may be relevant to the case against Hiss. For example, Franklin Vincent Reno, employed as a civilian at the Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground, passed Whittaker Chambers information about Army weapons shortly after Army counterintelligence began monitoring Reno as a suspected communist subversive.[48] While it is unknown whether this led Army counterintelligence to monitor Chambers’ other associates, by the time Hiss presided over the UN Charter Conference as its secretary general, more than a hundred undercover CIC agents were in attendance.[49]

Unlike Whittaker Chambers (or the FBI), Army Military Intelligence had vast experience forging documents during World War II since every agent behind enemy lines required phony documentation to support his cover story. Moreover, with its special agent initiating the search for Hiss's typewriter while disguised as Chief Investigator for the Hiss defense, Military Intelligence was well positioned to plant forged evidence in the right location without arousing suspicion. Thus the two reasons given by the judges for disregarding the forensic evidence of forgery assembled in the motion for a new trial, while applicable to Chambers, certainly do not apply to Military Intelligence. In the future, some of the misconduct previously attributed to the FBI by Hiss and his defenders may turn out to have been the work of Army counterintelligence.

[edit] Soviet archives

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Alger Hiss petitioned General Dmitry Antonovich Volkogonov, who had become President Yeltsin's military advisor and the overseer of all the Soviet intelligence archives, to request the release of any Soviet files on the Hiss case. Both former President Nixon and the director of his presidential library, John H. Taylor, wrote similar letters, though their full contents have not been made publicly available.

Russian archivists responded by reviewing their files, and in late 1992 reported back that they had found no evidence that Hiss had ever engaged in espionage for the Soviet Union or that he was a member of the Communist Party. However, Volkogonov subsequently declared that he had spent only two days on the search and had mainly relied on the word of KGB archivists. "What I saw gave me no basis to claim a full clarification", he stated. Referring to Hiss's lawyer, he added, "John Lowenthal pushed me to say things of which I was not fully convinced."[50] General-Lieutenant Vitaly Pavlov, who ran Soviet intelligence work in North America in the late 1930s and early 1940s for the NKVD, provided some corroboration of the initial report in his memoirs, stating that Hiss never worked for the USSR as one of his agents.[51]

In 2003, General Julius Kobyakov, a retired Russian intelligence official, revealed that he had been the person who actually searched the files for Volkogonov. According to Kobyakov, his research revealed that there was no indication that Hiss had been either a paid or unpaid agent of the Soviet Union only "after careful study of KGB-NKVD archives and querying sister services" (military intelligence).[51] Although Mark Kramer, director of the Harvard Cold War Studies program, stated in a May 2009 conference hosted by the Wilson Center that he did not "trust a word [Kobyakov] says,"[52] in 2007 Russian researcher Svetlana Chervonnaya, who had been studying Soviet archives since the early 1990s, also testified that Hiss' name was absent from the archives.[53]

At the same May 2009 conference, Ronald Radosh stated that while he was researching Marshal Voroshilov's papers in Moscow with Mary Habeck, they came across two GRU files that referred to Alger Hiss as "our agent."[54]

[edit] Noel Field

In 1992, records were found in Hungarian Interior Ministry archives in which Noel Field named Alger Hiss as a Communist spy. Field was an American who had spied for the Soviet Union, but had been arrested while traveling through Eastern Europe on charges that he was actually spying for American intelligence. Field was imprisoned in Hungary from 1949 to 1954, and was interrogated often during this time. In the transcripts of these interrogations, he referred to Hiss as a fellow Communist and spy four times, including relating the following: "Around the summer of 1935 Alger Hiss tried to induce me to do service for the Soviets. I was indiscreet enough to tell him he had come too late." Hede Massing told a similar story to US authorities after her 1947 defection. She said that when she attempted to recruit Noel Field for one Soviet spy network (the OGPU), Field replied that he already worked for another (the GRU). Massing also claimed during Hiss's second trial that at a party at Noel Field's house in 1935 she had briefly joked with Hiss about recruiting Noel Field.[55] Field was released by the Hungarian secret police in 1954 but remained in Hungary until his death in 1970. Upon his release, he wrote a letter to the Communist Party's Central Committee in Moscow complaining that he had been tortured in prison and that this had caused him to "confess more and more lies as truth." Hiss's defenders argue that Field's implication of Hiss may have been one of these lies and that Field was trying to show his veracity as a Communist by connecting his activities to the well-known Hiss.[50][56] In 1957, Field wrote a personal letter to Hiss affirming his belief in Hiss's innocence and calling Hede Massing testimony at Hiss's second trial an "outrageous lie".[57]

[edit] Venona and "ALES"

In 1995, the CIA and U. S. National Security Agency made public for the first time the existence of the World War II Venona project, which had decrypted or partially decrypted thousands of telegrams sent from 1942 to 1945 to the Soviet Union by its U.S. operatives. Although known to the FBI, the existence of VENONA had been kept secret even from President Truman. One document, Venona # 1822, mentioned a Soviet spy codenamed ALES who worked with a group of "Neighbors". An FBI special agent, Robert Lamphere, concluded that the codename "ALES" was "probably Alger Hiss".[58][59] In 1997, Allen Weinstein, in the second edition of his book Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case (originally published in 1976), calls the Venona evidence "persuasive but not conclusive."[7] The bipartisan Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy, chaired by Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, however, stated in its findings that year: "The complicity of Alger Hiss of the State Department seems settled. As does that of Harry Dexter White of the Treasury Department."[60] In his 1998 book Secrecy: The American Experience, Moynihan wrote, "Belief in the guilt or innocence of Alger Hiss became a defining issue in American intellectual life. Parts of the American government had conclusive evidence of his guilt, but they never told."[61] In their numerous books, Harvey Klehr, professor of political science at Emory University, and John Earl Haynes, historian of twentieth-century politics at the Library of Congress, have mounted an energetic defense of agent Robert Lamphere's conclusion that ALES indeed referred to Alger Hiss.[62] National Security Agency analysts have also gone on record asserting that ALES could only have been Alger Hiss.[63] The Venona transcript # 1822, sent March 30, 1945, from the Soviets' Washington station chief to Moscow,[59] appears to indicate that ALES attended the February 4–11, 1945, Yalta conference and then went to Moscow. Hiss did attend Yalta and then traveled to Moscow in his capacity as adviser to Secretary of State Edward Stettinius.[64] Some, however, have questioned whether Venona cable # 1822 constitutes definitive proof that ALES was Hiss. For example, John Lowenthal pointed out the following:

  • ALES was said to be the leader of a small group of espionage agents but, apart from using his wife as a typist and Chambers as courier, Hiss was alleged by the prosecution to have acted alone.[65]
  • ALES was a GRU (military intelligence) agent who obtained military intelligence and only rarely provided State Department material. In contrast, during his trial, Alger Hiss, an employee of the State Department, was accused having obtained only non-military information and the papers he was accused of having passed to the Soviets on a regular basis were non-military, State Department documents.
  • Even had Hiss been a spy as alleged, after 1938 he would have been unlikely to have continued espionage activities as ALES did, since in 1938 Whittaker Chambers had broken with the Communist Party and gone into hiding, threatening to denounce his Communist Party colleagues colleagues unless they followed suit. Had Hiss been ALES, his cover would thus have been in extreme jeopardy and it would have been too risky for any Soviet agency to continue using him.
  • Recent information provided by Alexander Vassiliev places ALES in Mexico City at a time when Hiss was known to have been in Washington.[66]

Lowenthal posited that ALES in fact was not at the Yalta conference at all and that the cable instead was directed to Soviet deputy foreign minister Andrey Vyshinsky.[67] According to Lowenthal, in paragraph six of Venona # 1822, the GRU asks Vyshinsky to get in touch with ALES to convey thanks from the GRU for a job well done — which would have been unnecessary if ALES had actually gone to Moscow, because the GRU could have thanked him there in person.[57] The late Eduard Mark of the Center for Air Force History hotly disputed Lowenthal's analysis on this point.[68] In 2005 the National Security Agency released the original Russian of the Venona texts. At a symposium held at the Center for Cryptologic History that year, intelligence historian John R. Schindler concluded that the original Russian text of Venona # 1822, removes any ambiguity and shows that ALES was indeed at Yalta: "the identification of ALES as Alger Hiss, made by the U.S. Government more than a half-century ago, seems exceptionally solid, based on the evidence now available; message 1822 is only one piece of that evidence, yet a compelling one."[69]

Rebutting Lowenthal, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr argued that:

  • None of the evidence presented at the Hiss trial precludes the possibility that Hiss could have been an espionage agent after 1938 or that he had only passed State Department documents after 1938.
  • Chambers's charges were not seriously investigated until 1945 when Elizabeth Bentley defected, so the Soviets could in theory have considered it an acceptable risk for him continue his espionage work even after Chambers's 1938 defection.
  • Vyshinsky was not in the U.S. between Yalta and the time of the Venona message, and the message is from the Washington KGB station reporting on a talk with ALES in the U.S., rendering Lowenthal's analysis impossible.[70]

An earlier Venona document, # 1579, had actually mentioned "HISS" by name. This partially decrypted cable consists of fragments of a 1943 message from the GRU chief in New York to headquarters in Moscow. The fragment reads: "... from the State Department by name of HISS ..." The name "HISS" appeared "spelled out in the Latin alphabet" (according to a footnote by the cryptanalysts). Since there is no first name, "HISS" could refer either to Alger or Donald Hiss, who both worked at the State Department at that time. Lowenthal maintained that had Hiss really been a spy the GRU would have been unlikely to have referred to him by his real name[57] in a coded transmission, since this was contrary to their usual practice.[62]

At an April 2007 symposium, authors Kai Bird and Svetlana Chervonnaya presented evidence that they claimed showed that not Hiss but Wilder Foote, a U.S. diplomat, was the best match to ALES, based on the movements of all the officials present at the U.S.-Soviet Yalta conference.[71] Bird and Chervonnaya noted that Foote had been in Mexico City at a time when a Soviet cable placed ALES there, whereas Hiss had left Mexico several days earlier (see above). Haynes and Klehr, however, note that Foote doesn't fit aspects of the description of ALES. Haynes and Klehr maintain that the author of the Soviet cable was someone who managed KGB assets rather than GRU assets like ALES - and could have been mistaken when he stated that ALES was still in Mexico City.[72][73]

[edit] Oleg Gordievsky

In 1985, Oleg Gordievsky, a high ranking KGB agent, defected to the West. In his 1990 book Gordievsky reported attending a lecture before a KGB audience in which Iskhak Abdulovich Akhmerov identified Hiss, apparently as one of the Soviet Union's U.S. agents during World War II.[74] Although his reminiscence of the Akhmerov lecture remains unchallenged, Gordievsky went further and claimed that Hiss had the codename identity of "ALES". This at first appeared to be an independent corroboration of the codename, as it appeared before the Venona cables were revealed to the public. However, it was later revealed that Gordievsky's source for the ALES identity was an article by journalist Thomas Powell, who had seen National Security Agency documents on Venona years before their release.[75]

[edit] Haynes, Klehr, and Vassiliev

In 2009 Haynes, Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev published Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America(Yale University Press), which includes information from KGB documents reportedly hand-copied by Vassiliev, a former KGB agent. In it the authors attempted to show definitively that Alger Hiss was indeed a Soviet spy. They argue that KGB documents prove not only that Hiss was the elusive ALES, but that he also went by the codenames "Jurist" and "Leonard" and worked for the GRU (Soviet military intelligence). Some documentation brought back by Vassiliev also refers to Hiss by his actual name, leaving no room, in the authors' opinion, for doubt about his guilt. In view of what they refer to as the "massive weight of accumulated evidence", Haynes and Klehr concluded that "to serious students of history continued claims for Hiss's innocence are akin to a terminal case of ideological blindness."[76] Reviewing the book, in a 2009 article published in Journal of Cold War Studies, military historian Eduard Mark heartily concurred, stating that the documents "conclusively show that Hiss was, as Whittaker Chambers charged more than six decades ago, an agent of Soviet military intelligence (GRU) in the 1930s."[77] Newsweek magazine also reported that civil rights historian David Garrow, author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Martin Luther King, also concluded that, in his opinion, with respect to Alger Hiss, Haynes and Klehr's Spies, "provides irrefutable confirmation of guilt."[78]

Other historians, such as D. D. Guttenplan, Jeff Kisseloff, and Amy Knight, however, have asserted that Haynes and Klehr's conclusions were not borne out by the evidence and accused them of engaging in "shoddy" research.[79][80][81] Guttenplan stresses that Haynes and Klehr never saw and cannot even prove the existence of the documents that supposedly convict Hiss and others of espionage, but rather relied exclusively on handwritten notebooks authored by Vassiliev during the time he was given access to the Soviet archives in the 1990s. According to Guttenplan, Vassiliev was never able to explain how he managed, despite being required to leave his files and notebooks in a safe at the KGB press office at the end of each day he was allowed in the archives, to smuggle out the notebooks with his extensive transcriptions of documents.[82]

Guttenplan also suggested, moreover, that Vassiliev might have omitted relevant facts and selectively replaced covernames with his own notion of the real names of various persons.[82] According to Guttenplan, Boris Labusov, a press officer of the SVR, the successor to the KGB, has stated that Vassiliev could not in the course of his researches have possibly "met the name of Alger Hiss in the context of some cooperation with some special services of the Soviet Union."[82] Guttenplan also points out that Vasiliev admitted under oath in 2003 that he'd never seen a single document linking Alger Hiss with the cover name "Ales."[82]

Another critic of Haynes and Klehr, Jeff Kisseloff, calls Haynes and Klehr's conclusions about Vassiliev's notes unwarranted. For example, their assertion that the notes support self-confessed former spy Hede Massing's story about talking to Alger Hiss at a party in 1935 about recruiting their mutual friend and host Noel Field into the Communist underground. According to Kisseloff, "all that the files Vassiliev saw really indicate is that she was telling yet another version of her story in the 1930s. Haynes and Klehr never consider that, as an agent in Washington, D.C. who was having little success in the tasks assigned to her, she may have felt pressure back then to make up a few triumphs to reassure her superiors."[83] Kisseloff also disputes Haynes and Klehr's linking of Hiss with former Treasury Department official Harold Glasser, whom they allege was a Soviet agent.[84] Finally, Kisseloff states that some of the evidence compiled by Haynes and Klehr actually tends to exonerate rather than convict Hiss. For example, their book cites a KGB report from 1938 in which Iskhak Akhmerov, New York station chief, writes, "I don't know for sure who Hiss is connected with."[85] Haynes and Klehr also claim that Hiss was the agent who used the cover name "Doctor." According to Soviet sources, however, "Doctor" was a middle-aged Bessarabian Jew who was educated in Vienna.[86]

Other historians felt that Haynes and Klehr's information was suspect because their publisher, Crown (a division of Random House) obtained temporary and limited access to the KBG files through a payment of money (amount unspecified) to a pension fund for retired KBG agents, of whom Vassiliev was one).[87] Other historians had not been permitted to verify Vassiliev's data. In 2002 Vassiliev sued John Lowenthal for libel in a court of British law for publishing a journal article questioning his conclusions. Vassiliev lost the case before a jury and was further reprimanded by the Times of London for trying to exert a "chilling effect" on scholarship by resorting to the law courts.[88] Vassiliev has since also unsuccessfully sued Amazon.com for publishing a customer review critical of his work.[89] In 1978 Victor Navasky interviewed six people Weinstein had quoted in his book Perjury, and all six claimed to have been misquoted by Weinstein.[90] One of them, Sam Krieger, won a cash payment from Weinstein who issued an apology and promised to correct future editions of his book and to release his interview transcripts, which he subsequently failed to do.[91]

[edit] Footnotes

  1. ^ Rosenbaum, Ron (2007-07-16). "Alger Hiss Rides Again". Slate (not Real). http://www.slate.com/id/2170415/pagenum/all/. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  2. ^ Barron, James (2001-08-16). "Online, the Hiss Defense Doesn't Rest". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/16/technology/online-the-hiss-defense-doesn-t-rest.html?scp=1&sq=The%20Hiss%20defense%20doesn't%20rest&st=cse. Retrieved 2009-08-29.  See also:
    ...the vast majority of modern American historians today and particularly those specializing in domestic Cold War accept Chambers’ overall version of events. Oshinsky, David (2007-04-05). "Transcript, Alger Hiss and History, Inaugural Conference" (PDF). New York University, Center for the United States and the Cold War. http://www.nyu.edu/library/bobst/research/tam/hiss_david_oshinsky.pdf. 
    Yet the weight of historical evidence indicates that Hiss was ... a member of the communist underground and a Soviet spy. Elson, John (1996-11-25). "Gentleman and Spy?". Time. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,985571-1,00.html. 
    In the end, the publication of the Venona intercepts ... settled the matter — to all but the truest of believers. Stanley I. Kutler (2004-08-06). "Rethinking the Story of Alger Hiss". FindLaw. http://writ.lp.findlaw.com/books/reviews/20040806_kutler.html. 
    Most historians have conceded the argument to Weinstein. Bird, Kai and Chervonnaya, Svetlana. "The Mystery of Ales". American Scholar Summer 2007. 
  3. ^ David Halberstam, The Fifties (New York: Random House, 1993), p. 16. See also:
    "The question of his guilt or innocence remains controversial." Svetlana Chervonnaya Hiss, Alger (1904 – 1996) DocumentsTalk.com. Accessed: 2010-09-09.
  4. ^ White, G. Edward (2005). Alger Hiss's Looking-Glass Wars: The Covert Life of a Soviet Spy. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–4. ISBN 0-19-518255-3. 
  5. ^ See "Merchants of Death", on the U.S. Senate website.
  6. ^ "Hiss Identifies Yalta Notation". New York Times. 1955. http://homepages.nyu.edu/~th15/yalta2.html. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Weinstein 1997 pp. 5: pp. 316–317: pp 7: pp. 37, 46–47: pp. 153–157: pp. 163–170: pp. 499: pp. 502: pp. 519: pp. 512
  8. ^ Navasky, Victor (April 8, 1978). "The Case Not Proved Against Alger Hiss". The Nation. http://homepages.nyu.edu/~th15/navasky.html. 
  9. ^ a b c Cook, Fred J. (1958). The Unfinished Story of Alger Hiss. William Morrow Company. pp. 19: pp. 69–73: pp. 75–81 pp 155: pp. 126: pp. 147–151: pp. 156. ISBN 1-131-85352-0. 
  10. ^ William Fitzgibbon, "The Hiss-Chambers Case: A Chronology Since 1934" The New York Times, Sunday, June 12, 1949.
  11. ^ Joseph B. Treaster, "Victor Perlo, 87, Economist For Communist Party in U.S.", New York Times, December 10, 1999.
  12. ^ James Barros, "Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White: The Canadian Connection." Orbis vol. 21 no. 3 (Fall 1977), pp. 593–605
  13. ^ Cronin was the main author of Communists Within the Labor Movement: A Handbook on the Facts and Countermeasures, published by the Chamber of Commerce in 1947. See John T. Donovan, Crusader in the Cold War: a Biography of Fr. John F. Cronin, S.S. (1908–1994) (Peter Lang Publishing, 2005), pp. 48, 88, and passim. Cronin became Vice-President Nixon's advisor and chief speech writer during the 1950s.
  14. ^ Whalen, Robert G. (December 12, 1948). "Hiss and Chambers: Strange Story of Two Men; The Drama Since 1934". The New York Times. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30F14F63D5B157A93C0A81789D95F4C8485F9. Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  15. ^ Hearing of August 17, 1948 Special Subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities, U.S. House of Representatives. (Transcript at "The Alger Hiss Trials: An Account", Famous Trials, by Douglas Linder, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.) Retrieved July 15, 2009.
  16. ^ "Truman thought the anti-communist hearings were 'a red herring to keep people from doing what they ought to; do. They are slandering people who don’t deserve it'" (David McCullough, Truman, [New York: Simon and Schuster], p. 652). Truman told oral biographer, Merle Miller, "What they were trying to do, all those birds.” he said. "they were trying to get the Democrats. They were trying to get me out of the White House, and they would go to any lengths to do it. . . . They did do just about anything they could think of, all that witch hunting. . . . The constitution has never been in so much danger. . . .” (quoted in Anthony Summers, The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon [New York, London: Penguin-Putnam Inc, 2000], p. 65). Miller's accuracy in reporting Truman's statements has been questioned by some.
  17. ^ David Halberstam, The Fifties (New York: Random House, 1993), p. 16. Halberstam concludes that "Whether Hiss actually participated in espionage was never proved and the evidence, was at best, flawed" (Halberstam [1993], pp. 14–25).
  18. ^ Summers (2000), p. 73.
  19. ^ Rick Perlstein, Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (N.Y.: Scribner, 2008), p. 33.
  20. ^ "Smith, Howard K.". The Museum of Broadcast Communications. http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/S/htmlS/smithhoward/smithhoward.htm. Retrieved December 30, 2008. 
  21. ^ Noe, Denise (2005). "The Alger Hiss Case; The Pumpkin Papers". Crime Library. Courtroom Television Network. http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/terrorists_spies/spies/hiss/7.html. 
  22. ^ "Justice Department Releases Copies of 'Pumpkin Papers'". The New York Times. August 1, 1975. 
  23. ^ Stone, Geoffrey; M. Wald, Patricia; Fried, Charles; Scheppele, Kim Lane (Winter 2006). "Constitutions Under Stress: International and Historical Perspectives" (PDF). Bulletin of the American Academy. http://www.amacad.org/publications/bulletin/winter2006/StoneWaldFriedSchepple.pdf. 
  24. ^ "Alger Hiss Dead at 92.". Boston Globe. November 16, 1996. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=BG&p_theme=bg&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EADDC78A3348618&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 2008-03-17. "Alger Hiss, the high-ranking State Department official accused of espionage whose case became one of the most celebrated – and controversial – in US history, died yesterday in Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He was 92." 
  25. ^ Scott, Janny (1996-11-16). "Alger Hiss, Divisive Icon of the Cold War, Dies at 92". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D02E0D9143AF935A25752C1A960958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all. 
  26. ^ "French in 1939 Called Hiss Red, Bullitt Says", Washington Post, April 9, 1952, and "Daladier Does Not Recollect Giving Bullitt a Report on Hiss", Washington Post, April 10, 1952.
  27. ^ Weyl, Nathaniel (1950). Treason: The Story of Disloyalty and Betrayal in American History. Public Affairs Press. ISBN 1-296-19279-2. 
  28. ^ Weyl, Nathaniel (2003). Encounters With Communism. Xlibris Corporation. pp. 30–31, 114–118. ISBN 1-4134-0747-1.  Weyl told I. F. Stone that "nothing improper" had happened in the unit, but that he was so uncomfortable with Communist secrecy that he soon quit government to become a full-time organizer among agricultural workers. See J.J. Guttenplan, American Radical: The Life and Times of I. F. Stone (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009), p. 105.
  29. ^ "Sleuth "Hired by Hiss" Touched Off Hunt for Typewriter Here". Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. 1948-12-14. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.hiss1111.0182.001. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  30. ^ After Hiss had been jailed, his lawyer received a tip that ""Schmahl was implicated with the typewriter.' An investigator who had worked with Schmahl, Harold Bretnall, subsequently told the lawyer that Schmahl had been involved in forging the Hiss typewriter. “Hiss,” Bretnall said, 'was framed.' Schmahl, tracked down in 1973, admitted to a Hiss investigator he had been a 'consultant' on the typewriter forgery. He said the OSS had set Hiss up – just when was not clear – and the orders had come from through [OSS Director] Donovan’s law firm, Donovan, Leisure. Schmahl later retracted his statements and declined further interviews" (Summers [2000], p. 73).
  31. ^ Squier, Michael. "Typewriter Evidence; Alger Hiss' appeal in court may depend on the credibility of a mute witness.", The New York Times, February 3, 1952. Retrieved September 12, 2008.
  32. ^ John Lowenthal (1976-06-26). "What the FBI knew and hid". The Nation. http://homepages.nyu.edu/~th15/lowenthaltyp.html. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  33. ^ Alger Hiss (1957). In the Court of Public Opinion. Alfred Knopf. pp. 363–409. 
  34. ^ Alger Hiss (1957). In the Court of Public Opinion. Alfred Knopf. p. 401. 
  35. ^ Dean, John (1976). Blind Ambition: The White House Years. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0671224387. 
  36. ^ Summers, Anthony (2000). The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon. Penguin-Putnam Inc. p. 73. ISBN 0-670-87151-6. 
  37. ^ Summers concludes that, with the recent release of the decoded Venona and other material unearthed by Vassiliev from Moscow, “identification of ALES with Hiss is suggestive but must for now be regarded as tentative” and “It can be argued that the identification of ALES with Hiss is less than convincing.”

    "Alger Hiss was most likely a Soviet agent” a New York Times editorial intoned in 1998. Had he lived to hear of these developments, Richard Nixon would doubtless have been delighted. As things now stand, however, the newly available data from the old Soviet Union are not proof that Hiss was rightly convicted, at least not the sort of proof that history requires” (Summers [2000], p. 75).

  38. ^ Fleming, John F. (2009). The Anti-Communist Manifestos: Four Books that Shaped the Cold War. pp. 292–93. ISBN 9780393069259. 
  39. ^ See Barry Werth, 31 Days: The Crisis That Gave Us the Government We Have Today (New York: Nan Talese, 2006), pp. 84–87 and

    Don’t worry about his trial . . . Just get everything out. Try him in the press. Try him in the press. . . . leak it out. We want to destroy him in the press. Press. Is that clear . . . . I want somebody to take it just like I took the Hiss case. (Stanley I Kutler, Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes [New York: Touchstone, 1998], pp. 338–39)

  40. ^ Summers (2000), p. 73. The activities of Schmahl and his associates were to be linked to the CIA and – with Richard Nixon – in the decades that followed (Summers [2000], p. 491).
  41. ^ Lowenthal, John (June 26, 1976). "What the FBI Knew But Hid from Hiss and the Court". The Nation. http://homepages.nyu.edu/~th15/lowenthaltyp.html. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
    See also:
    Bradford, Russell R. and Bradford, Ralph B. (1992). "A History of Forgery by Typewriter". An Introduction to Handwriting Examination and Identification. http://homepages.nyu.edu/~th15/bradford.html. 
  42. ^ Weinstein 1997, p. 501; see also:
    "Horace W. Schmahl". The Alger Hiss Story. http://homepages.nyu.edu/~th15/schmahl.html. Retrieved 2007-04-10. 
  43. ^ Cook, Fred J. (October 11, 1980). "Alger Hiss — A Whole New Ball Game". The Nation. http://homepages.nyu.edu/~th15/cookcnbrief.html. 
  44. ^ Stephen W. Salant (2010). "Successful Strategic Deception: A Case Study". http://quod.lib.umich.edu/h/hiss/. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  45. ^ During the War, Schmahl graduated from the Military Intelligence Training Center "Graduates of Twenty-First Class". 2010. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.hiss1111.0216.001. Retrieved 2010-07-12.  and became a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. "Summary of St. Louis Personnel Record". 2010. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.hiss1111.0144.002. Retrieved 2010-07-12.  He confided his "present employment in Miitary Intelligence" to the FBI within two months of when the Hiss defense hired him as its Chief Investigator. "FBI Memorandum re Horace Schmahl". 2010. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.hiss1111.0161.002. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  46. ^ For a class lecture on forgery, typewriting, and alteration of documents, see Lieutenant Thompson (1942). "Handout on Questioned Documents (Handwriting, Typewriting)". http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.hiss1111.0222.001. Retrieved 2010-07-12.  For a textbook clarifying counterintelligence techniques taught at the time of the first Hiss trial, see "Counter Intelligence Corps Investigator". 1949-06. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.hiss1111.0224.001. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  47. ^ For the official rationale for such domestic activities despite the delimitation agreements with the FBI, see the official history "CIC in the Zone of the Interior". 1942. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.hiss1111.0220.001. Retrieved 2010-07-12.  especially p. 1093. For an academic historian's assessment of these violations, see Joan Jensen (2010-07-12). "World War II: Expanding the Boundaries". Army Surveillance in America, 1775-1980. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.hiss1111.0208.001. Retrieved 2010-07-12.  especially p. 219. For the accounts of special agents surveilling civilians suspected of (1) aiding communists, see Special Agent Duval Edwards (1994). Spy Catchers of the U.S. Army.  especially p. 88; (2) aiding Nazis, see Anthony Karge (2009). "Memorial Day parade grand marshal returns to service". Westport News. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.hiss1111.0234.001. Retrieved 2010-07-12. ; and (3) aiding all political shades in between, see Special Agent Isadore Zack (2010-07-12). "Isadore Zack-CIC Collection at the Milne Special Collection, University of New Hampshire Library". http://www.library.unh.edu/special/index.php/isadore-zack. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  48. ^ Franklin Victor Reno arrived on the Army base on July 26, 1937 and aroused enough suspicion by August 5, 1937 that the Army put him under surveillance. See "Franklin Victor Reno, 1937 investigation and incomplete IRR file". 2010-07-12. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.hiss1111.0221.001. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  49. ^ For the account of one agent working under cover at the San Francisco conference and photos of fellow agents there, see Special Agent Leonard L. (Igor) Gorin (2010-07-12). "United Nations Formation 1945—CIC Security Role". Golden Sphinx, Serial Issue #2004-3, Winter 2004-5, p. 16-20. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.hiss1111.0206.001. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  50. ^ a b Tanenhaus, Sam (April 1993). "Hiss: guilty as charged". Commentary V. 95. 
  51. ^ a b Kobyakov, Julius N. (2003-10-10). "Lowenthal and Alger Hiss". Humanities and Social Services Net. http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrowse.pl?trx=vx&list=h-diplo&month=0310&week=b&msg=xPNOEFLppoOgkkWbtl1dQw&user=&pw=. Retrieved 2007-10-25. ; and:
    Kobyakov, Julius N. (2003-10-16). "Alger Hiss". Humanities and Social Services Net. http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrowse.pl?trx=vx&list=h-diplo&month=0310&week=c&msg=/%2bj6%2bNHkqbEMRV0ioyVHUQ&user=&pw=. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  52. ^ The Vassiliev Notebooks and Soviet Intelligence Operations in the U.S video transcript of day 1, at 2:24:42 Wilson Center On Demand 20 May 2009
  53. ^ Pyle, Richard (2007-04-05). "Researcher adds to Alger Hiss debate". The Washington Post. Associated Press. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040402644.html. 
  54. ^ The Vassiliev Notebooks and Soviet Intelligence Operations in the U.S video transcript of day 2, Part I at 1:43:10 Wilson Center On Demand 21 May 2009
  55. ^ The Alger Hiss Story: The Cast: Hede Massing
  56. ^ Klingsberg, Ethan (November 8, 1993). "Case Closed on Alger Hiss?". The Nation. http://homepages.nyu.edu/~th15/klings2.html. 
  57. ^ a b c Lowenthal, John (Autumn 2000). "Venona and Alger Hiss" (PDF). The Alger Hiss Story. http://homepages.nyu.edu/~th15/lowenthal.pdf.  note #76 and pg. 119,
  58. ^ Venona 1822.
  59. ^ a b "Venona transcript #1822, with commentary by Douglas Linder". The Trials of Alger Hiss: A Commentary. http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/hiss/hissvenona.html. 
  60. ^ "Appendix A; SECRECY; A Brief Account of the American Experience" (PDF). Report Of The Commission On Protecting And Reducing Government Secrecy. United States Government Printing Office. 1997. pp. A–37. http://origin.www.gpo.gov/congress/commissions/secrecy/pdf/12hist1.pdf. 
  61. ^ Moynihan, Daniel Patrick (1998). Secrecy: The American Experience. Yale University Press. p. 146. ISBN 0-300-08079-4. 
  62. ^ a b Haynes, John Earl and Klehr, Harvey (2000). Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. Yale University Press. pp. 170: pp. 36. ISBN 0-300-08462-5.  For an assessment of Haynes and Klehr's perspective on the role of the American Communist Party in the 1930s, see James T. Patterson, "The Enemy Within", The Atlantic Monthly (October 1998).
  63. ^ "Secrets, Lies and Atomic Spies; Alger Hiss". Nova Online. 2002. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/venona/dece_hiss.html. 
  64. ^ Linder, Doug (2003). "The Venona Files and the Alger Hiss Case". Famous Trials: The Alger Hiss Trials - 1949-50. http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/hiss/hissVenona.html. Retrieved 2006-09-13. 
  65. ^ The CIA, however, concluded the "small group" comprised Alger, his wife Priscilla, and brother Donald.
  66. ^ Lowenthal, David (May 2005). "Did Allen Weinstein Get the Alger Hiss Story Wrong?". History News Network. http://hnn.us/articles/11579.html#_ednref13. Retrieved 2006-09-13. 
  67. ^ Also spelled "Vyshinskii", "Vishinsky" and "Vyshinski".
  68. ^ Mark, Eduard (September 2003). "Who was 'Venona's' 'ALES'? cryptanalysis and the Hiss case". Intelligence and National Security 18 (3): 45–72. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/routledg/int/2003/00000018/00000003/art00003;jsessionid=jofsc5hvfaaj.alice.  A Cold War hardliner, Eduard Mark had also maintained that that Venona proved that Roosevelt's close adviser, Harry Hopkins, originator of The New Deal, was a Soviet agent. See also Mark's previous (1998) article in the same periodical: “Venona’s Source 19 and the Trident Conference of May 1943: Diplomacy or Espionage?” Intelligence and National Security: 13: 2 (April 1998): 1–31.
  69. ^ Schindler, John R. (2005-10-27). "Hiss in VENONA: The Continuing Controversy". Center for Cryptologic History Symposium. http://www.johnearlhaynes.org/page61.html. 
  70. ^ Haynes, John Earl and Klehr, Harvey (2003). In Denial: Historians, Communism, and Espionage. pp. 158–163. ISBN 1-893554-72-4. 
  71. ^ Bird, Kai and Chervonnaya, Svetlana. "The Mystery of Ales". http://www.theamericanscholar.org/the-mystery-of-ales/. Retrieved 9/12/2009. 
  72. ^ Haynes, John Earl and Klehr, Harvey (2007-04-16). "Hiss Was Guilty". History News Network. http://hnn.us/articles/37456.html. 
  73. ^ Haynes, John Earl (2007-04-14). "Ales: Hiss, Foote, Stettinius?". http://www.johnearlhaynes.org/page63.html. 
  74. ^ Andrew, Christopher and Gordievsky, Oleg (1990). KGB: The Inside Story of Its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev. Harpercollins. p. 287. ISBN 0060166053. 
  75. ^ Weinstein, Allen (1997). "Letter to the Editors". New York Review of Books 44 (20). http://www.nybooks.com/articles/983. 
  76. ^ Haynes, John Earl; Mr. Harvey Klehr, Mr. Alexander Vassiliev (2010). Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300164386. 
  77. ^ "In Re Alger Hiss: A Final Verdict from the Archives of the KGB", in Journal of Cold War Studies (Summer 2009): 11:No. 3: 26–67.
  78. ^ David J. Garrow From Russia, With Love Newsweek 16 May 2009
  79. ^ Guttenplan, D. D., Red Harvest: The KGB in America, The Nation, 5/25/09. [1]
  80. ^ Kisseloff, Jeff,"'Spies': Fact or Ficton?", The Alger Hiss Story (2009).
  81. ^ Amy Knight, "Leonard?", Times Literary Supplement (June 26, 2009). Haynes responded to Knight on his website.
  82. ^ a b c d Guttenplan, "Red Harvest."
  83. ^ Kisseloff, "Spies: Fact or Fiction" (2009.
  84. ^ According to Kisseloff, "In the handwritten Glasser autobiography [copied by Vassiliev] . . . that Haynes and Klehr refer to in "Spies," Glasser says, as they report, that he met with a "Karl" [Chambers] on a regular basis through 1939. . . . But on December 31, 1948, Chambers told the FBI that he and Glasser had only met "on two or three occasions." Chambers also told the Bureau that "Glasser had not been part of his apparatus and he had no knowledge of his underground activities." (Chambers's comments didn't help Elizabeth Bentley's credibility either, as the FBI report noted the discrepancy between his comments and what Bentley had told them: that Glasser had been stolen from the Perlo group by Alger Hiss." (See Kisseloff (2009.)
  85. ^ "Kisseloff (2009).
  86. ^ Kisseloff (2009).
  87. ^ "Just a year after the collapse of the Soviet Union with economic chaos and inflation threatening pensions and government budgets, the intelligence services responded to an offer from Crown Publishers, which offered a substantial payment to a pension fund for its retired officers in return for cooperation on a series of books on Soviet intelligence. As part of the agreement that ensued the SVR gave Alexander Vassiliev permission to examine archival records for a book project that teamed a Russian (Vassiliev) and an American (Allen Weinstein) for a book on Soviet espionage in the 1930s and 40s," Haynes, Klehr, and Vassiliev, (2009), p. xxii.
  88. ^ Judge Eady also issued a separate opinion in which he stated that the book by Haynes et al., in asserting that the Hiss case was definitively "settled", had in effect "thrown down a gauntlet" to any would-be defender of Hiss; and that family, friends, or other defender of Hiss should not be penalized for "picking up that gauntlet."
  89. ^ Charles Arthur, "Former KGB agent sues Amazon over book review" ' 'The Independent' ', UK (May 3, 2003).
  90. ^ Jon Wiener, "Allen Weinstein, Historian With a History", LA Times , May 2, 2004 reprinted in the HNN.
  91. ^ See "Costly Error for Hiss Historian: Weinstein Pays for Mistake", New York Magazine (May 21, 1979), 61. For more on Weinstein, see also Jon Wiener, Historians in Trouble: Plagiarism, Fraud, and Politics in the Ivory Tower (New York: New Press, 2007).

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