By Al Benson Jr.
Most governments, Communist ones included, are quite concerned if it is discovered that espionage agents from an opposing power have wormed their way into their governmental agencies and are busily passing along confidential information to potential adversaries. However, it seems that quite often the attitude in the United States government has been “whatever will be will be.” So the Communists are stealing top secret information from us—so what.
It is noteworthy that before World War 2, when Roosevelt was in office, this kind of activity was going on wholesale and those who had been warmed of it did nothing. Whittaker Chambers in his informative book Witness noted that when Roosevelt was told of Communist penetration of the State Department he just laughed. No one bothered to look into anything until the informants became numerous enough that the situation could no longer be ignored.
In his book Seeds of Treason Ralph de Toledano noted a man named Harold Ware. Old time anti-Communists should recognize the name. de Toledano described Ware as “…a top-notch agent of the Communist International—the Comintern. Ware’s mother was Ella Reeve Bloor—today ‘Mother’ Bloor to all Communists…His brothers and sisters had been weaned on Marxism and he himself was a charter member of the Communist Party.” In other words, Ware and his siblings were all “red-diaper” babies. In 1920 Ware had spent much of his time driving around the country, picking up information about American agriculture to pass along to Lenin. In the early 1920s he organized the first Communist front group in this country. It was the American Federated Russian Famine Committee. Ware made several trips to Russia in the 1920s, attending the Lenin School in Moscow, where most Soviet agents got their training in espionage, sabotage and “revolutionary organization. In this country his wife, whom he had met in Russia, started publication of a slick propaganda organ called Soviet Russia Today. I don’t know if it is still being published or not but I remember seeing copies in the 1970s.
What Ware did in this country was to begin “…the systematic creation of Communist cells wherever possible. Some of these agents were assigned to the colleges, some to the banks, some to industry. Ware, because of a seven-year tenure (1925-32) as a dollar-a-year man for the Agriculture Department was assigned to Washington to direct operations there.” According to an article in Human Events by Edna Lonigan: “Each cell (was to divide) and breed others. Directors of the NKVD (secret police) sat with maps of the ‘terrain’ of the Federal government, and moved their followers to one key position after another. Communists in government and the colleges were ordered to recommend their comrades for all desirable openings. They were told to locate the key jobs, to know when they would be vacant, and to pull the strings. Their people always had the ‘best’ recommendations.” You have to wonder how their people always got such glowing recommendations, seeing that they were Communists, but that tells you a little about the nature of the Federal government and the colleges at that time, doesn’t it?
In late July of 1948 Elizabeth Terrell Bentley testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities and a few days later, in early August, Whittaker Chambers testified before the same committee. According to James Burnham in The Web of Subversion “At those hearings in the summer of 1948, Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers told parallel and intersecting narratives. Miss Bentley had, she testified, acted for some years (1941-44) as the courier and paymaster of two espionage cells or networks that were operating within agencies of the United States government. From members of these cells she had gathered secret documents, plans, microphotographs, of all kinds of secret and confidential data, and had transmitted these, directly or indirectly, to Soviet representatives.” One wonders just how many of these cells were in operation in the 1930s and 40s. Between them Bentley and Chambers exposed the Ware cell, the Silvermaster cell and the Perlo cell. Though these cells working in the Federal government were exposed, I have heard from some sources that there were some Communist cells operating in Washington in the Federal government that were never caught or exposed. One can only assume that, to some degree, exercising a little caution, they continued to operate.
The high positions in government occupied by these people should come as a shock to many, though it probably won’t because these people almost never get mentioned in our “history” books and therefore, no one knows about them and the fact that they had sold out to the Soviet Union and betrayed their country. The history books would only mention them if they had been somewhere on the political right. As Communists being on the left, they were automatically given a pass.
Let’s look at some of the people in these cells. In the Ware cell there was Harold Ware, son of the infamous “Mother Bloor.” Mr. Ware worked with the Department of Agriculture. There was John B. Abt; Department of Agriculture, Works Progress Administration, Senate Committee on Education and Labor. There were also Nathan Witt, Lee Pressman, Alger Hiss, and Henry H. Collins, who all worked at one time of another for the Department of Agriculture. Alger Hiss, the most infamous of them also worked for the Justice Department and the State Department and was one of the chief architects in San Francisco of the United Nations. Does that give you any inclination as to where the UN was headed right from the beginning? Pressman worked for the Works Progress Administration and Collins worked for the National Recovery Administration. Alger’s brother, Donald, was part of this cell and also worked for the State Department and the Labor Department. Victor Perlo worked for the Office of Price Administration, the War Production Board, and the Treasury Department.
In the Silvermaster cell was Nathan Gregory Silvermaster, the Director of Labor Division, Farm Security Administration, Frank Coe, Assistant Director of the Division of Monetary Research in the Treasury Department. Also there was Lauchlin Currie. Some of you may have heard the name. He was administrative assistant to the President
In the Perlo cell, besides Perlo there was Donald Niven Wheeler of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and Harold Glasser of the Treasury Department. I haven’t listed all the people in all of these cells. Mr. Burnham’s book does list them, but there is enough here to give you some idea of the high government positions these Communists occupied in this country and bear in mind, there were lots more than these. This is the tip of the Marxist iceberg.
Unfortunately, this was not a new trend, even during World War 2. Back during the War of Northern Aggression we had the selfsame problem. In Lincoln’s administration one of the leading lights was a man named Charles A. Dana. He was a friend of Marx and Engels . Mr. Dana rose to the level of Assistant Secretary of War during Lincoln’s tenure in office. Dana was the managing editor of Horace Greeley’s newspaper and the man who, in 1851 hired Karl Marx to be a regular columnist for Greeley’s paper, the New York Tribune..
Walter Kennedy and I, in our book Lincoln’s Marxists noted, on page 152 that “Prior to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, no other American did more to promote the cause of communism in the United States than did Dana.”
You can see that we have had a problem with communism for a long time in this country. For those who think it has gotten any better, take a look at the current administration in Washington. This is what the people of this country, with the assistance of some rather unique vote-counting methods sent back to Washington so we could all enjoy another four years of class struggle. We re-elected the man who told the Russian ambassador to “Tell Vladimir (Putin) I will have more flexibility after the election.” Makes you almost want to ask “what did he know and when did he know it?”
Think Communism is dead? Don’t kid yourself. You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.