In March of 1951, a young Jewish couple from New York City, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, both secret members of the American Communist Party, were tried in Federal Court for “conspiracy to commit espionage.” The Rosenbergs were accused of having passed secrets pertaining to the atomic bomb from Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass, who worked in a lab at Los Alamos, to the Soviets. In June of 1953, all legal appeals having been exhausted, the Rosenbergs were executed, becoming the only American civilians executed for espionage by the United States government.
In response to my latest item expressing bewilderment that Haley Barbour is considered a plausible Republican presidential candidate, a reader sends along this Newsweek profile from January: The Republican governor of Mississippi keeps a large portrait of the University Greys, the Confederate rifle company that suffered 100 percent casualties at Gettysburg, on a wall not far from a Stars and Bars Confederate flag signed by Jefferson Davis. Then there's the man himself.
James P. Gavin at National Review thinks the term "McCarthyism" is bigoted: McCarthy is an ethnically identifiable Irish Catholic name, yet it describes despicable political behavior that transcends ethnic and religious backgrounds. No other American ethnic, religious, or racial group has been so stigmatized for so long, with so little public outcry, by a word that is acceptable in polite society.
To the Editor: Although I could have done without the "pathological," believe it or not, a part of me is glad that, in her review of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America by John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev, Anne Applebaum refers to "Navasky's pathological inability to believe that there really were Soviet spies in America." The reason: It gives me a second shot at correcting an egregious New Republicerror. The last time a New Republic writer misstated my position on the fact of Soviet spies in America, it was Martin Peretz ("Red Dusk: The Rosenberg Bombshell,"
Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America By John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev (Yale University Press, 637 pp., $35) If one were trying to define the lowest point in the long and venerable tradition of American anti-communism, surely it came in 2003, with the publication of Ann Coulter's Treason.
Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth-Century America By Ted Morgan (Random House, 685 pp., $35) NEARLY FIFTY YEARS AGO the United States Senate voted to censure Senator Joseph McCarthy. Within three years of his disgrace, McCarthy was dead, his health destroyed by heavy drinking. His time in the limelight had been brief.
In the spring of 1995, Jim Clark, who had spent half his life spying on others, was sure someone was spying on him. He first noticed the person when he got off the plane in Germany. Now, at the train station in Bonn, he could see the man's reflection in the ticket counter window.