A couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal published a short interview dating back to 2011 with convicted Communist agent Morton Sobell, now 101 years old. As a member of the Rosenberg spy ring in the 1940s, Sobell passed US ballistic missile secrets to the USSR — secrets, the paper reminds readers fleetingly, that were “used against America in both Korea and Vietnam.”
Just to de-antisepticize things, “America” translates into grandfathers, fathers, husbands, brothers and sons who were sent to fight communists on the brutal battlefields of Asia in the 1950s and 1960s, after other communists had “occupied” our own government in the 1930s — the early Deep State — and managed to help Stalin seize massive territories in Europe and Asia in the 1940s. Unbelievably, we still believe that the free world, and not just another totalitarian death machine (USSR), really won World War II.
This long-hidden history couldn’t be more relevant today. Without seeing the continuity of subversion over the previous century, it’s hard to appreciate what is unfolding as the Deep State today, triggered by Trump, panics and exposes itself. This is why “court historian” efforts to enage in Soviet-style disinformation against fuller accountings are so darn incriminating.
Sobell’s interviewer, David Evanier, has now written his biography. I will be curious to see if Evanier works in Sobell’s uncle, Morris Pasternak, who ran the Communist Party cell in Sunnyside, Queens, to which, just to add a little color and because it connects, David Horowitz’s parents belonged. This same cell also included, for a time, Rosenberg ring member, Nathan Sussman. I mention such things because Horowitz does not write about them in all of his autobiographical writings. Nevertheless, he has widely touted his rupture with Morris Pasternak’s daughter, Carol Pasternak, his close childhood friend, as part of his self-proclaimed Whittaker-Chambers-like efforts to school American conservatives about the way it was inside communist America; however, he has not revealed that both his childhood friend and parents’ cell leader were closely related to a Rosenberg ring principal. This is really the way it was inside communist America.
Carol Pasternak, on the other hand, has written about it:
My parents were called to testify before the Grand Jury in the Rosenberg-Sobell case, because my father was Morton Sobell’s uncle. Later that night they sat silently in the kitchen with my uncle Louis writing and then erasing on a small blackboard. It was forbidden to disclose any information about Grand Jury proceedings, and they were afraid that the apartment might be bugged. They had no doubt about the telephone. My father had gotten rid of his radical books and pamphlets by the time the FBI agents came to interview them at home. I was followed to and from school. Only later did my father tell me of their fear they would be arrested, since they provided a link between the defendants and the Communist Party. They had made arrangements for me, I learned.
There’s another Horowitz-Rosenberg item to note because David Horowitz does not. His father, Philip Horowitz, was teaching English class at Seward Park High School in New York City all the while six teenagers who would later achieve “Rosenberg ring” infamy went to school there (Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Ruth Greenglass, Anne and Mike Sidorovitch, Harry Hyman). Is it possible that as an active and covert Communist Party member, Philip Horowitz (Communist Party name Philip Ross?) talent-spotted any of these kids as likely recruits for the glory of the Kremlin? One of the questions Philip refused to answer in 1952 before being fired by New York City Schools was “Did he ever attempt to recruit students into the American Youth for Democracy?” American Youth for Democracy was a Communist organization previously known as the Young Communist League. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, for example, became YCL members.
This is a shocking but logical question that the “radical son” has not answered, even as he has made confessional biography the basis of a lucrative career as a conservative “guide” to the American Marxist underworld — just not all the parts that cut too close.
The Evanier piece reports Sobell to be unrepentant still, after having only confessed to his espionage in 2008, more than half a century after his conviction.
I asked him if spying for the Soviet Union was part of being progressive.
“To me, it was natural, yes,” he replied. “But the U.S.S.R. was the biggest disillusionment. Capitalism has its points. It’s dynamic! Theirs was very static. They didn’t understand the dynamics of growth.”
But there was the monstrous terror, too.
Without batting an eyelash: “Well, that comes with the territory.”
My pal Caroline wrote in to say she was instantly reminded of Nellie Ohr, the woman in the middle of the Steele dossier, and her practice of weighing the Soviet state extermination of peoples, say, against its presumably “progressive” policies — as when Ohr wrote of “the terror and excitement of the Stalin era.” It is as though there is some way to evaluate terror separate from what Ohr calls “excitement” — Marxist dictates — just as though terror “comes with the territory.”
This is the deceptive mind and amoral soul of Marxism. Truth is a tool, and morality is for worms. From Sobell’s Soviet communism to Ohr’s academic “revisionism,” this doesn’t change.
Fount of Rosenbergiana Radosh recently highlighted these same traits in his own parents, “political tourists,” he calls them, to Stalin’s Soviet Union in the 1930s. (Now at least we know his lying is congenital.)
I wonder if Radosh’s parents might have been visiting his uncle and aunt, around that same time studying sabotage, bomb-making and street-fighting at the notorious Lenin School. He doesn’t say. Here’s what he wrote about his parents on their being importuned by a miserable, suffering Soviet relative:
Abrams asked if when they returned to New York, they would tell the truth about how people really lived in the workers’ paradise. Reuben Radosh told him that he would not, since he had to defend the idea of the Soviet revolution, not depict its reality ...
Yes. Terror, excitement — it goes with the territory.
Full article: Terror, Excitement — It Goes with the Territory (Diana West)
Note: For archiving purposes, a full version of the article will remain here.