Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Say, Good Night, pgl

Glutton for punishment pgl at Angry Bear does the moth to the flame thing better than anyone in the economics profession, and didn't disappoint with his summary of the ridiculous George Clooney movie, Good Night and Good Luck.

Not being able to resist pretending to know about something he clearly is woefully ignorant of, Soviet espionage in America:

Update: Patrick Sullivan revisits the Angrybear to let us know that PrestoPundit’s smear of Mr. Murrow had to do with the allegation that Laurence Duggan was a Stalinist. Laurence Duggan 1905-1948: In Memoriam would be an interesting read:

Memorial volume for a brilliant and distinguished young civil servant who apparently committed suicide after two members of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, Richard M. Nixon and Karl Mundt revealed to reporters testimony that Whittaker Chambers claimed Duggan was a Communist, charges that Chambers himself repudiated. Includes tributes, statements, and transcripts of articles and radio broadcasts by Sumner Welles, Marquis Childs, Eleanor Roosevelt, Edward R. Murrow, Elmer Davis, Archibald MacLeish, and others. Subsequent investigation cleared Duggan of all charges. The affair caused one of the earlist and most forceful denunciations of the Committee.

As we have documented here before, there is simply no doubt Duggan was a Communist and a spy for Joseph Stalin. In demonstrating that rather well-known information to the fact-resistant denizens of AB's comment section--in particular, one die-hard who holds out hope that the code names from Soviet archives and the Venona decrypts might not be reliable identifiers of actual spies--a bit of new information surfaced.

The co-author of the Haunted Wood, Alexander Vassiliev, had to produce all his notes from his research in KGB archives in Moscow in the early 1990s (after the collapse of the Soviet Union) in a libel trial in England. Thus, some information not included in that book came out, including this list of not only code names of Stalin's spies, but there real names as well.

Where we can read this entry under Redhead's [Hede Massing] Group:

4. Prince – Laurence Duggan (aka 19), former State Department official. Suicide.

And we know that Vassiliev's notes are accurate, because the completeness of the lists allowed historians to identify minor figures whose code names hadn't yet yielded their real identities. As John Earl Haynes demonstrated here:

...deciphered WWII KGB cables identify someone with the cover name Huron as a Soviet spy.

....The deciphered Venona cables show that Huron was involved in technical/scientific espionage and likely a scientist. In Venona 259 Moscow to New York 21 March 1945 the Moscow KGB headquarters orders that Huron be directed to go to Chicago to reestablish contact with two senior physicists in the Manhattan Project.

This suggests that Huron was a scientist of a sort that would make his contact with these physicists ordinary rather than something unusual which might have attracted American security concern or caused his targets to become suspicious of why he was approaching them.

But, beyond identifying Huron as a spy, likely a physicist, and able to get to Chicago in 1945, the deciphered cables provide few indications of Huron's identify. Nothing about where he worked or what firm or institution he worked for or other personal information.

....The Gorsky memo resolves the matter by identifying Huron as the physicist Byron T. Darling, whose specialties included sub-atomic physics, thus the appropriateness of his approaching two Manhattan Project physicists who worked in the same area. He was also working in Detroit in 1945, making a trip to Chicago an easy one.

Additionally, evidence of his having links to the CPUSA prompted his being called to the House Committee on Un-American Activities in

So, Angry Bear marketeers, Good Night, you're outa luck. As usual.

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