Skip to comments.Venona, Hiss, the Pumpkin Papers, and More
Posted on 11/01/2005 7:06:09 AM PST by Arthur Wildfire! March
Soviet intelligence defector Walter Krivitsky has the first of several debriefings at the Department of State.
President Roosevelt secretly gives the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Military Intelligence Division (MID), and the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) exclusive responsibility for counterespionage.
Germany and USSR sign Non-Aggression Pact.
World War II begins as Germany invades Poland.
President Roosevelt authorizes the FBI to conduct warrantless electronic surveillance of persons suspected of subversion or espionage; surveillance was to be limited insofar as possible to aliens.
FBI-MID-ONI "Delimitation Agreement" further specifies the division of labor in domestic intelligence work.
The Alien Registration Act (the "Smith Act") criminalizes conspiracy to overthrow the government, requires resident aliens to register, report annually, and provide notice of address changes.
KGB agent Ramon Mercader assassinates Leon Trotsky in Mexico.
Walter Krivitsky found dead of a gunshot wound in a Washington hotel; the police rule his death a suicide.
Federal agents arrest Amtorg employee and KGB New York rezident Gaik Ovakimian for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Germany invades Russia.
FBI arrests 29 German military intelligence agents, crippling Germany's clandestine operations in the United States.
US Government allows Ovakimian to leave the country.
London KGB rezident Anatoli Gorski informs Moscow that his agent reports London has decided to build an atomic bomb.
Japanese aircraft attack Pearl Harbor; America enters the war.
Senior KGB officer Vassili M. Zarubin arrives in San Francisco on his way to succeed Ovakimian as New York rezident.
MID's Special Branch begins producing daily "Magic Summaries" analyzing foreign diplomatic messages for the White House and senior military commanders.
The Office of the Coordinator of Information becomes the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), subordinate to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Interagency agreement divides signals intelligence duties: Navy assigned to handle naval codebreaking; the US Army's Signals Intelligence Service to handle diplomatic and military traffic; and the FBI works clandestine radio communications.
President Roosevelt bars all agencies except the FBI and the armed services from code-breaking activities. The services interpret this directive as authorization to deny signals intelligence to OSS.
US Army's renamed Signal Security Agency (SSA) formally begins work on Russian diplomatic traffic.
KGB New York rezident Vassili M. Zarubin meets CPUSA official Steve Nelson in Oakland and discusses espionage.
Communist International (Comintern) resolves to disband.
FBI receives an anonymous Russian letter naming Soviet intelligence officers in North America.
San Francisco KGB residency acknowledges the receipt of a new codebook.
The KGB, apparently on short notice, changes the indicator system for its cables, leaving the one-time pad page numbers en clair.
SSA's Cecil Phillips discovers the new KGB indicator, which is then used to detect "key" duplicated in Trade messages.
OSS purchases Soviet code and cipher material from Finnish sources; the Roosevelt administration orders the material returned to the Soviet Embassy in Washington.
The War Department transfers operational control of SSA from the Signal Corps to MID.
President Roosevelt dies; Harry Truman sworn in as his successor.
A US Army Target Intelligence Committee (TICOM) team finds Russian code and cipher material in a German Foreign Office cryptanalytic center in a castle in Saxony-Anhalt.
FBI conducts a lengthy debriefing of former Soviet agent Whittaker Chambers.
Earl Browder ousted as leader of the Communist Political Association, which reclaims its old name, the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA).
The Manhattan Project detonates the world's first nuclear explosion, Trinity, in New Mexico; Soviet agents had warned Moscow in advance.
Soviet GRU code clerk Lt. Igor Gouzenko defects in Ottawa.
The War Department authorizes merger of SSA with selected Signal Corps units to form the Army Security Agency (ASA), under MID.
US-UK signals intelligence Continuation Agreement extends wartime cooperation in this field.
President Truman dissolves OSS.
Elizabeth Bentley interviewed at length for the first time by FBI agents about her work for the KGB.
Truman creates the Central Intelligence Group and the position of Director of Central Intelligence (DCI).
The State-Army-Navy Communications Intelligence Board adds the FBI and renames itself the United States Communications Intelligence Board (USCIB).
National Intelligence Authority Directive 5 secretly directs the DCI to conduct, as "services of common concern," all foreign intelligence and counterespionage.
CIG joins the new USCIB and gains access to signals intelligence.
A Canadian Royal commission releases its report on the Gouzenko affair to the public.
Attorney General Tom Clark urges Truman to renew and broaden Roosevelt's 1940 authorization to conduct electronic surveillance on "persons suspected of subversive activities"; the President soon approves.
ASA's Meredith Gardner translates part of a KGB message containing a list of atomic scientists.
Executive Order 9835 tightens protections against subversive infiltration of the US Government, defining disloyalty as membership on a list of subversive organizations maintained by the Attorney General.
President Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947, creating the National Security Council (NSC) and transforming CIG into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Around 1 September
Col. Carter Clarke briefs the FBI's liaison officer on the break into Soviet diplomatic traffic.
NSCID-5 reiterates but qualifies DCI's counterespionage authority to avoid precluding certain "agreed" FBI and military counterintelligence activities.
NSCID-9 puts USCIB under the NSC and increases civilian control of signals intelligence.
General Secretary Eugene Dennis and 11 other CPUSA leaders arrested and indicted under the Smith Act of conspiring to advocate violent overthrow of the US Government.
Elizabeth Bentley testifies before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HCUA), publicly accusing Harry Dexter White and Lauchlin Currie of being Soviet agents.
Whittaker Chambers names Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White as Communists in testimony before the HCUA.
Meredith Gardner and Robert Lamphere meet at Arlington Hall and formally inaugurate full-time FBI-ASA liaison on the Soviet messages.
Chambers produces the "Pumpkin Papers" to substantiate his new charge that Hiss and White spied for Moscow during the 1930s.
A federal grand jury indicts Alger Hiss for perjury.
FBI identifies covername SIMA as Justice Department analyst Judith Coplon.
FBI arrests Coplon and Soviet UN employee Valentin A. Gubitchev in New York.
Truman approves NSC 17/4, which reconstitutes the secret Interdepartmental Intelligence Conference to coordinate jurisdiction of FBI and military counterintelligence.
Defense Secretary Louis Johnson directs a quasi-merger of service signals intelligence in a new Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA), subordinate to the JCS.
Truman announces that the Soviets have exploded an atomic bomb.
The People's Republic of China is proclaimed in Beijing.
Alger Hiss is convicted of perjury.
Klaus Fuchs confesses to espionage.
Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, in a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, brandishes a list of Communists allegedly working in the State Department.
FBI arrests Harry Gold for espionage.
North Korean troops invade South Korea.
FBI arrests Julius Rosenberg.
AFSA assigns Soviet intercept material a restricted codeword ("Bride") and special handling procedures.
Congress passes the Internal Security Act (the "McCarran Act"), which it would soon pass again over President Truman's veto. The Act requires Communist-linked organizations to register and allows emergency detention of potentially dangerous persons.
British Foreign Office officials Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess flee Great Britain to defect to the Soviet Union.
CPUSA announces that the Party will operate as a "cadre organization," with many of its leaders underground.
AFSA detects duplicate key pages in GRU messages.
Truman creates the National Security Agency (NSA) to supersede AFSA and further centralize control of signals intelligence under the Secretary of Defense and a reconstituted USCIB.
NSA places the "POBJEDA" codebook--recovered in Germany in April 1945--against KGB messages from 1941 through 1943. More than half of the burned codebook proves useable.
KGB defector Alexander Orlov's story appears in Life magazine; finally alerting the FBI to his residence in the United States.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg executed after President Eisenhower again denies executive clemency.
Armistice signed in Korea.
Attorney General Herbert Brownell sparks controversy by claiming in a Chicago speech that former President Truman had appointed Harry Dexter White to head the International Monetary Fund despite FBI warnings that White was a Soviet agent.
CIA's Directorate of Plans creates the Counterintelligence Staff, with James J. Angleton as its chief.
NSC approves the FBI's proposed "Cointelpro" operation against the CPUSA.
The Department of State releases Soviet General Secretary Khrushchev's secret speech to the Twentieth Party Congress, in which Khrushchev denounced Stalin's crimes.
Soviet troops suppress a popular uprising in Hungary.
FBI arrests Jack and Myra Soble for espionage on the basis of evidence provided by double agent Boris Morros.
KGB officer Reino Hayhanen, en route from the United States, defects at the US Embassy in Paris.
Supreme Court in Yates v. US rules the government had enforced the Smith Act too broadly by targeting protected speech instead of actual action to overthrow the political system; this ruling makes the Act almost useless for prosecuting Communists.
Federal authorities detain Hayhanen's superior, KGB illegal Col. Rudolf Abel, in New York.
Abel is sentenced to 30 years and conveyed to prison.
Hey, let's not stop...
FBI arrests Valerie and Joseph Wilson for espionage on the basis of evidence provided by double agent Karl Rove.
Nope. November 23, 2005. I want an EXTRA-happy Thanksgiving.
(They do serve turkey and gravy in the pokey, so the Wilson/Plame/Flame's won't be left out...)
President Roosevelt bars all agencies except the FBI and the armed services from code-breaking activities. The services interpret this directive as authorization to deny signals intelligence to OSS.
[Coulter wrote in Treason is that FDR tried to shut Venona down. They kept it humming along anyway.]
ping to read later
That's hogwash! If you read the book, 'A Man Called Intrepid', written by Sir Walter Stephenson, the head of British intelligence during WWII, you can get the straight scoop right from the horse's mouth.
It pales compared to 'Treason'. I really owe everyone an apology in a way for not spicing it up. Just not feeling my best. FRegards....
"A Man Called Intrepid is mostly fiction, January 23, 1999 Reviewer: A reader Sir William Stephenson was never named "Intrepid" until dubbed by the author ... "
Hate to challenge your quote, but fiction?
I'll post this next. It's at the CIA website as well, "How Uncle Joe Bugged FDR". Looks interesting. BRB
In recent years, the statesmanship of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in particular his handling of Soviet affairs, has come under attack in historical studies. The situation has reached such a pass that even a psychiatrist who examined FDRs medical records has opined that toward the end of World War II the US President ceded the better part of Eastern Europe to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin because he was gripped by clinical depression.1
Certainly the Presidents moves can be questioned, but questionable policy can be founded on factors other than low spiritswhich, in point of fact, were not generally observed in FDR at the time. Rather, the operant factors were: the Presidents supreme confidence in his own powers of persuasion, his profound ignorance of the Bolshevik dictatorship, his projection of humane motives onto his Soviet counterpart, his determined resistance to contradictory evidence and advice, and his wishful thinking based on geopolitical designsmindsets supported and reinforced by his appointed advisors. Taken together, these factors produced a false view of US-Soviet relations and inspired policy that had only superficial contact with reality. As an instance in point, they induced the President of the United States to do the unthinkable: walk into a surveillance trap, not once, but twice, and willingly.
Normally, in order to avoid the possibility of intelligence leaks and personal embarrassment, as well as to ensure physical safety, traveling US presidents stay in their own countrys embassies or other diplomatic buildings, whose tables and walls have been swept by instruments able to discover listening devices. But when Roosevelt went abroad to meet Stalin, he wanted very badly to please him, holding him to be a key figure in the postwar division of powers, and so did not insist on such accommodations. Consequently, at the conference in Teheran (November 1943) and again at Yalta (February 1945), he stayed in Soviet quarters and was bugged like no other American president in history.
FDRs Acquaintance With Bugs
Roosevelt was no stranger to technical surveillance. In 1939, piqued by an incident in which he believed that the press had deliberately misquoted him, he had a secret recording system installed in the White House as a means of self-protection. Since German tape-recording technology had not yet found its way to America, something had to be invented. FDRs assistants took the problem to David Sarnoff of the Radio Corporation of America. In June 1940, Sarnoff personally presented the President with a continuous-film recording machine that made use of motion-picture sound film. Set in a wire cage in a room beneath the Oval Office, the device was activated either by the President using a switch inside his desk drawer or by his technician down below throwing a switch on the machine itself. A single microphone poked out through a lamp on FDRs desk.
Between 23 August and 8 November, 1939, during his campaign for an unprecedented third term, the President recorded fourteen of twenty-one press conferences held in his office, plus a number of private conversations, the latter possibly by mistake. It seems that he never used the system to entrap anyone, and no one knows why he stopped it. Relatively innocent by todays standards of invasion, it nevertheless demonstrates that the President was acquainted with listening devices before his conferences with Stalin.2
In the very year of the Teheran conference, he was reminded of hidden microphones when watching Mission to Moscow, a movie based on a book of that title by Joseph E. Davies, Americas second Ambassador to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. 3 Produced in 1943 with the Presidents blessing, possibly even at his explicit request, this blatant piece of propaganda was designed to drum up public enthusiasm for a political shotgun wedding: It colored Stalin as a simple, practical man with whom one could do business; rhapsodized about Soviet construction, government, and politics; and justified the Soviet blood purges, the Moscow show trials, and Stalins two-year pact with Hitler, which had ended when Hitler turned the tables on Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941.
Attempting to forestall any criticism of the Soviet system, Davies even contrived to make a brief for bugging. In one scene, set in the American Embassy in Moscow, the Ambassadors assistants warn him of listening devices, but he rebukes them severely:
I say nothing outside the Kremlin that I wouldnt say to Stalins face. Do you? . . . Were here in a sense as guests of the Soviet government, and Im going to believe they trust the United States as a friend until they prove otherwise. Is that clear?
When the assistant persists that still, after all, there may be microphones, Davies, played with aplomb by FDRs favorite actor, Walter Huston, cuts him off: Then let em hear! Well be friends that much faster!4
This cinematic scene was based on an actual incident. In 1937, when a bug was discovered directly over the Ambassadors desk at the US Embassy in Moscow, the real Davies laughed it off. If the Soviets wanted to listen in, he told his incredulous staffwhich included George Kennan, Charles Bohlen, and other skilled State Department diplomatsthey would only obtain proof of Americas sincere desire to cooperate with them.5
FDR strongly approved of the film. In his assessment of Soviet politics, he was much closer to Davies, his second Ambassador, than to his first, William C. Bullitt.6 Contrary to Davies, Bullitt never missed an opportunity to warn FDR of Stalins treachery. In a typical exchange, Roosevelt responded:
Bill, I don't dispute your facts; they are accurate. I don't dispute the logic of your reasoning. I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of man. Harry [Hopkins] says he's not and that he doesn't want anything but security for his country, and I think if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.7
FDRs hunch, Hopkins glowing reports on Stalin, and Davies boundless trust in the Soviet regime were the Presidents counters to the admitted facts about Hitlers recent ally, historys greatest mass-murderer, and the sole ruler of a party and state dedicated to worldwide communism.8
Missions to Moscow
Certain that he had the correct line on Stalin, FDR desired to meet him, turn his famous charisma on him, and decide world affairs with him on a personal basis. As early as March 1942, he wrote British Prime Minister Winston Churchill:
I think I can personally handle Stalin better than either your Foreign Office or my State Department. Stalin hates the guts of all your top people. He thinks he likes me better, and I hope he will continue to do so.9
Guided by this conviction, FDR steered a straight-line policy on Russia, as he unfailingly and mistakenly called the Soviet Union: unswerving conciliation of Stalin, capped off with a face-to-face meeting.
To advance this policy, he relied heavily on Davies. In March 1943, when the Ambassador to the USSR at the time, Adm. William H. Standley, complained in Moscow that the Soviet authorities had concealed the extent of American Lend-Lease aid from the Soviet people, FDR feared that Stalin would take offense. Chastising Standley, he informed him that his sole purpose in Moscow was full and friendly cooperation with the Soviet Union.
Soon afterward, the President entrusted former envoy Davies with a new mission: flying to Moscow and telling Stalin in private how much the American President respected him and how much he wanted to build their special relationship. To prove it, Davies was to tell the tyrant that FDR wanted to meet him face-to-face.
Prior to his departure in May 1943, Davies brought a fresh print of Mission to Moscow to the White House for a sneak preview. After its viewing, he secured FDRs permission to take a copy with him to Moscow, along with a sealed envelope that the President had prepared for Stalin.
When Davies arrived in Moscow, Amb. Standley, not informed of the mission in advance, resigned in disgust. Davies met Stalin in the Kremlin and read him the letter. He emphasized the US governments disapproval of British imperialism and broadly hinted that the USA and the USSR, without the British, could rule the world together. Having betrayed British allies and destroyed the incumbent Ambassador, Davies then retired with Stalin to the Kremlin screening room to watch Mission to Moscow, where his cinematic glorification of the dictator, to his disappointment, did not win a rave review, but only a grunt or two. However, Davies got what he came for: Stalin agreed to meet FDR in Alaska. Davies biographer, Elizabeth Kimball MacLean, calls it the coup of his diplomatic career.10
The coup proved ephemeral, as did all of the other coups in Davies career. Stalin had no intention of roving far from home. He kept putting off the meeting, frustrating and reducing FDR to pleading. Where once he had made a concession to FDRs physical handicap, Stalin now began to insist on the capital of Iran as a venue, despite its extra hardship for the President. On 25 October 1943, Roosevelt pointed out that I would have to travel 6,000 miles and you would have to travel 600 miles from Russian [sic] territory. He implored Stalin not to fail him in this crisis, and stooped to the words: I am begging you.11
Then, thinking that yet another mission to Moscow might do the trick, he sent his aged and aching Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, to deliver this letter to the Kremlin and tell the tyrant once again what a great leader he was. But Stalin was used to servile praise and would not relent. He said he could go no farther from the front, indicating that his duties as Marshal of the Red Army were weightier than FDRs as Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces. Finally convinced of Stalins inflexibility, FDR caved in. On 8 November, he wired his approval to Moscow. He could break his tight schedule in Washington and arrange for the signing of Congressional bills while abroad in order to meet Stalin in Teheran.
W. Averell Harriman, Standleys replacement as Ambassador to the Soviet Union, hand-carried this capitulation to the Kremlin, where he met with Vyacheslav Molotov, Commissar for Foreign Affairs, since Stalin was said to be sick. Molotov toyed with the Ambassador, suggesting that the site was still not certain and that Stalin might have to stay on Soviet soil, prompting Harriman to send an alarmed report to the White House. The next day, however, Stalin confirmed the arrangement through the Soviet Embassy in Washington, so Roosevelt felt that he had achieved something. The following day, 11 November, he urged Churchill to accept the site and rejected the idea of meeting alone with the Prime Minister in advance, fearing that Stalin would think that they had ganged up against him. Stalin had FDR acting in his best interests.12
Stalins Acquaintance With Bugs
For Stalin, bugging friend and foe was an essential part of politics. Since the early 1920s, he had kept a special telephone beneath his desk in the Kremlin for listening in on the private conversations of other Politburo members speaking on an exclusive line.13 Thus, all through the inner-Party struggle for succession, while leader Vladimir Lenin lay dying and for years after he died in 1924, Stalin was able to eavesdrop on all of his comrades, who spoke openly on the line, believing that, since there was no operator (as on the other Kremlin lines), the new vertushka (dial) phone was safe. It was not: Stalin magically knew all of their nighttime thoughts the next morning, outmaneuvered them every day, and eventually had most of them shot.14
Stalins intelligence arm, the NKVD, or Peoples Commissariat of Internal Affairs, extended all manner of mechanical eyes and ears throughout the nation to reinforce the Bolshevik partys totalitarian control. Closed borders, internal passports, censored presses, political purges, and forced-labor campsall of these features of the Soviet system were common knowledge in the 1930s and 1940s, as even Mission to Moscow acknowledged, but FDR, like Davies, brushed them aside. He wanted no criticisms from Bullitt, Standley, or anyone worried about the Soviet massacre of Polish officers in Katyn Forest, for example. To keep the war effort united and to work for postwar democracy, he wanted to please Iosif (Joseph) Stalin, whom he liked to call Uncle Joe. His primary purpose was to makes friends with a man widely believed to have murdered his wife, liquidated his closest political comrades, and ordered the assassination of Leon Trotsky in Mexico in August 1940. As Thomas Fleming notes in The New Dealers War: FDR and the War Within World War II, Churchill once said that making an alliance with Stalin would be the same as shaking hands with murder. But that was before he, too, warmed up to Uncle Joe.15
And so President Roosevelt made the trip to Teheran, flying eight hours from Cairo in the Presidential DC-4, jokingly called the Sacred Cow. He had come to Cairo for a five-day conference with Chiang Kaishek, leader of the Nationalist Chinese, and Winston Churchill, his closest ally, whom he snubbed. While in Cairo, he communicated with Stalin in order to finalize their meeting in Teheran. Naturally, each government had already made plans for its head of statethe President, the Marshal, and the Prime Ministerto stay in his own diplomatic residence. Such matters are settled before leaving home.16
Iran was an occupied country during the war. Soviet and British troops divided the territory, while American forces facilitated the transport of Lend-Lease materials through the country to the USSR. The Iranians were restless because they were practically starving, but the Allies kept the situation in hand, and there was little risk from this quarter. In the capital, the occupation forces maintained tight security, obliging vehicles and pedestrians to show documents at frequent checkpoints. Back-to-back Soviet and British embassies stood inside a walled park in the center of town; the American Legation was only one mile away, inside a smaller walled compound. All three missions were fortified by armed guards. The site of the conference was secure.
Nevertheless, on the day of his arrival in Cairo (22 November 1943), FDR began to suggest a change in his plans for Teheran. He wrote Stalin in Moscow:
I am advised that all three of us would be taking unnecessary risks by driving to and from our meeting if we were staying so far apart from each other. Where do you think we should live?17
Who advised FDR is not certain, possibly Churchill, who at some point invited Roosevelt to stay in the British Embassy. In any event, the next day Andrei Vyshinsky, the infamous prosecutor in the Moscow show trials of the 1930s and now the USSR Assistant Commissar for Foreign Affairs, called on FDR at the villa of Alexander C. Kirk, the American Ambassador to Egypt. After paying his respects, Vyshinsky, accompanied by Harriman and Bohlen (who translated), invited the President to stay in the Soviet Embassy while in Teheran. FDR declined. After the visit, he told his security man, Mike Reilly, that he preferred to stay at the American Legation and remain more independent than a guest could hope to be.18
Then he dispatched Reilly to Teheran to check out the security and a possible train route to the city, which his doctor thought would be better for his health than a high-altitude flight.
Reilly tested a low-flying route to Iran and landed at Gale Morghe Airport, a Soviet airstrip, where he was met by Soviet Security. In his later memoir, he recalls the man in charge as General Artikov, but it was more likely Gen. Dmitry Arkadiev, a forty-three-year-old functionary who headed the NKVD department of transportation. Reilly never saw the real head of the NKVD, Lavrenty Beria, who was present but kept to the shadows. Arkadiev took Reilly forthwith on a tour of the Soviet Embassy and told him in passing that the NKVD had learned that Nazi parachutists had jumped in the area the previous day, but so far had not been apprehended. Their intentions could only be terrible: kidnapping and/or assassination of the world leaders, and possibly sabotage of key installations.
Although the exact date for the Teheran conference had not yet been fixed, the Nazis were aware of the prospect. On 22 November, New York Times correspondent James Reston reported from London that a German radio broadcast had announced a Big Three meeting in Teheran at the end of the month. It is difficult to understand why the Nazis would disclose the secret meeting if they planned to assassinate its participants. They may have learned about the conference from FDR and Churchills intercontinental telephone calls, all of which were intercepted after a technical breakthrough by German intelligence in March 1942.19
Reilly proceeded to inspect the British and American premises, and on his own turf extended the protected area and doubled the guard. A hundred American soldiers pitched tents on the legation grounds to be ready for any contingency. Soviet, British, and American security dragged a net through the city for Nazi agents, while Reilly flew off to Basra, Iraq, to evaluate the train route. Upon his return, he learned that a Nazi spy in custody, Fritz Meier, had admitted, after a bit of persuasion, that he expected to be contacted by the paratroopers. But, again, this information appears faulty, because the British had rolled up Franz Mayer and his non-functional Teheran network in August. Nevertheless, Reilly took the plot seriously. He flew back to the President in Cairo, leaving instructions with his subordinates to work with the NKVD in his absence.
Since he had demonstrated that the plane to Teheran could steer low through the mountains, Reilly advised the President to fly direct to the capital. The train route, he reported, was not only a security risk, but also a miasma of filth and parasites. As for the city, said Reilly, the American premises were adequate and the drive between the embassies presented no security problems.20
Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill, at the Teheran Conference, 1943.
Meanwhile, on 25 November, Stalin replied to FDRs queryWhere do you think we should live?with the terse but cordial offer: I shall be at your service in Teheran the evening of November twenty-eighth. When he learned that the President planned to arrive on 27 November, Stalin changed his plans and flew in on the preceding day. In this way, he not only gained time to get settled, but also could appear as the host.21
On the day of Stalins arrival, the Soviet Chargé dAffaires came to see Patrick J. Hurley, one of FDRs roving envoys, and conveyed yet another invitation for the American leader to stay at the Soviet Embassy. Hurley, following FDRs orders, politely but firmly refused, stating that the President had decided to stay in his own legation. Nevertheless, he went off to inspect the suite of six rooms that were offered. Afterward, he wrote FDR that they would be more commodious, comfortable, and secure than the housing at his own place.22
The elaborate maneuvers were beginning to approach the stylized steps of a dance. Both FDR and Uncle Joe wanted badly for the American President to stay in the Soviet Embassy, each for his own reasons, but neither wanted to appear too eager. FDR needed to be courted; Uncle Joe needed to be cool. Both needed an objective reason to change the Presidents accommodations, and the Nazi threat of assassination filled the bill. Yet the dance was not done; it was time for bold stamps and a swirl.
Roosevelt arrived in Iran at 3:00 p.m. and drove under armed escort to the American Legation. With barely a moments rest, he sent word to the Soviet Embassy that he would be honored to have Marshal Stalin to supper. Although well rested, Stalin was determined not to ride through the streets of a foreign city, no matter how heavy his protection. He replied that he was too tired. FDR then invited Churchill, but the Prime Minister had a sore throat from talking so long at the closing ceremonies of the Cairo conference and planned to retire to bed early with a volume of Dickens. He had the consolation of Scotch whiskey, for which the Americans sorely envied him, since their cellar supply had been closed off by a ramp built for Roosevelts wheelchair. Lacking suitably high-level company, FDR conceived a new stratagem.
At 6:00 p.m., Harriman called on Molotov and presented the Presidents reply to Stalins written invitation of 25 November. The President, said Harriman, was obliged to say no, because he did not want to upset the British, who had also made the offer. Molotov replied that the place of residence was naturally the Presidents choice, but the rooms would remain available if difficulties should arise. Harriman next proposed that the first meeting of the conference take place the next afternoon in the American Legation, and Molotov, after consulting with Stalin in the next room, agreed.23
FDR was playing hard to get, testing his own theory that Stalin was get-at-able. He turned down an offer from the Persian Shah to stay in the Golistan Palace, stating that his own place was fully adequate. He did not need to complicate matters by honoring the local head of state.
Meanwhile, the NKVD got hold of Reilly and elaborated on the Nazi plot. Thirty-eight paratroopers had landed, Arkadiev now told him, and Soviet Security had captured all but six. Reilly saw none of the prisoners, but all the same began to worry that even the best security might not stop a fanatical assassin from making an assault on one or all of the Big Three as they rode back and forth through the streets.
At midnight, Molotov sent an urgent summons to Harriman and Archibald Clark Kerr, the British Ambassador to the USSR, in order to reverse Stalins consent on the meeting place. When the two ambassadors arrived, he gave his version of the Nazi plot, saying that there might be a demonstration in which there would be shooting and innocent bystanders would be hurt. The bloodbath would cause an international scandal. He refused to give details, but, just in case, took Harriman on another tour of the quarters prepared for the President. By this time, practically everyone but the President had seen them. The location of the next days meeting was left in doubt.
The next morning, Harriman convened a staff meeting and presented FDR with information on the plot. The details were sketchy, but scary; if they contained any truth, the lives of all three leaders would be put at risk by the necessity of having to travel to and from the American site. Reilly, who had the last word in the matter, agreed. Either of the two other embassies, he said, would be better than their own. But since the British living quarters had also been inspected and deemed inferior to the Soviet accommodations, FDR at last had the face-saving reason he needed to move in with the dictator and to spend time alone with him without the inconvenience of having to share his thoughts with Winnie Churchill. Now he could get at Stalin.24
Uncle Joes Guest
To effect the move, the US Secret Service staged a great charade on the afternoon of 28 November, driving a convoy of cars, jeeps, and motorcycles to the Soviet Embassy with agent Robert Holmes dressed up as Roosevelt, while the President gleefully traveled the back roads, entered the compound furtively, and was carried into the Soviet Embassy by a side door. Within fifteen minutes of his arrival, before he had time to straighten up, Stalin, like a conquering suitor, appeared at his entranceway, and the first of their three private sessions ensued. Appropriately, it took place under portraits of Lenin and Stalin.
Part of FDRs staff, including Harry Hopkins, Adm. William D. Leahy, and Adm. Ross T. McIntyre, stayed in the embassy with him, some remained in town with the American Minister, Louis G. Dreyfus, who had been displaced from the legation, while others stayed at Camp Amirabad, outside the city. The soldiers at the legation stayed in their tents to maintain the appearance that they were guarding something. Churchill stayed in his own embassy, closed out of the private parlays.25
The Americans inside the Soviet Embassy noticed right away that the personnel attending them had big bulges at their hips under their aprons and white coats. They even saw NKVD uniforms poking out from under the sleeves and the tails of their throwovers. They winked at each other and congratulated themselves for detecting the clumsy disguises, not guessing that they were meant to detect them so as to feel a level of intimidation. In his account, Reilly notes with some concern that 3000 NKVD officers were on hand for the conference, far outnumbering both his and the British guard. He must have understood that there was no way he could protect the President, if need be, against the Soviet forces, both in uniform and in apron. He, like the President, was compelled to put his trust in them. They owned the territory.
Having spared FDR the horror of riding one mile each day through the Persian streets, having appropriated his space and nullified his Secret Service, Uncle Joe drew him into a warm embrace. He told him that after the war he would grant freedom of religion, private ownership, and greater democracy in the Soviet Union, the name of which he would change back to Russia. Roosevelt, delighted with these unbelievable concessions, let Joe know that he could draw the postwar borders of Poland and reassume control of the Baltic republics with perhaps some expression of the will of the people, perhaps not immediately after their re-occupation by Soviet forces, but some day. Uncle Joes wordStalin said he understoodwas good enough for FDR.
Harriman never quite believed in the existence of a plot against the President. Back in Moscow after the conference, he asked Molotov whether the Nazis had cooked it up, or whether Molotov and he himself had conjured it. Molotov, who had no sense of humor, replied that, in point of fact, he had no details of an actual plot, yet knew that there were Nazi agents in Teheran. Harriman realized that he could not draw blood from a stone and assumed that Stalin simply did not want to risk his own neck driving through the city. He did not suspect that surveillance was part of the picture and years later told historian Paul Mayle that the Russians had no reason to eavesdrop. His perspective on the matter was the same as that of Davies.26
Reilly relates in his book that three months after the conference the Russians caught the six missing paratroopers living with a Bedouin tribe in the mountains, and executed them. Such information could have originated only with the NKVD. He filed no report on the alleged plot with the Secret Service, and the report on the conference that the Secret Service did produce makes no mention of a plot. The British record likewise lacks any such reference. The Joint Intelligence Committee of the War Cabinet considered the matter afterward in London and concluded that the so-called Nazi plot against the Big Three was complete baloney.27
The Illusive Plot Resurfaces
In contrast to the West, the NKVD retained the story of the plot and, twenty years later during a publicity campaign, its successor, the KGB, began to promote it in the press. In its new guise, the purported plot against FDR acquired a wealth of details and a sterling cast of characters, most notably SS Capt. Otto Skorzeny, one of the legendary figures of World War II.28 In the literature generated by the KGB, Skorzeny was the man designated by Hitler to lead the attack on the Big Three in Teheran and, in one stroke, turn the war around. Butthe story wentthe Nazis did not count on NKVD ace Nikolai Kuznetsov, who, posing as a Wehrmacht lieutenant in occupied Ukraine, befriended a hard-drinking and talkative SS officer named von Ortel, who blurted out revealing tidbits of the plan. Consequently, all three nationsthe United States, the United Kingdom, and the USSRowed the survival of their leaders to the vigilance of the Soviet Secret Police. As might be expected, Skorzenys memoirs mention no such plan and the various Soviet accounts differ among themselves in names, places, and other specifics.29
In fact, a Georgian defector who claims to have heard the inside story from sources close to Stalin and Beria (both Georgians), debunks the idea of a Nazi plot. In order to impress Roosevelt and impose a feeling of indebtedness on him, writes Yuri Krotkov (a pseudonym), Stalin conceived a bogus assassination attempt and ordered Beria to set it up, with the provision that assassins should actually be arrested. Roosevelt, informed of his salvation by Soviet counterintelligence, asked to see the man who had busted the plot. He was presented with a colonel from Saratov named Kravchenko.30 When FDR mistakenly called Col. Kravchenko General, Stalin jovially promoted him in rank. Krotkov does not say what happened to the men who filled the role of the arrested.31
Although the evidence remains insubstantial, it is not altogether impossible that the Nazis did plan an attack on the Allied leaders, perhaps even at the Teheran conference and even with only a week to prepare (following the radio broadcast of 21 November). It is completely impossible, however, that such a Nazi plan could have been the one that Stalin warned FDR about. If Stalin thought that Otto Skorzeny, who had whisked Mussolini off a mountain top as if he were a feather, were planning to assassinate him, or to try any action in Teheran, he would have postponed the conference and left. He would not have remained in the city even if the story that his own men were spreading were true, that a half-dozen assassins possibly capable of shelling the Soviet Embassy were in the vicinity. He was not a man to take such a risk. On this score Harrimans instincts were correct. Stalwart Good Humor
At the formal meetings in Teheran, FDR continued to woo Stalin. According to a journal article appearing afterward: Throughout the sessions, he [FDR] was to make every endeavor to meet Stalins mind, to understand his point of view and to assure the Russian [sic] of his own complete good faith. It seemed to him that the creation of a reciprocal spirit of confidence among the Big Three was more desirable than specific compacts . . . . The core of his policy has been the reassurance of Stalin.32
Returning to America on 17 December, the President told reporters that he did not wholly believe Stalins warning about the assassination plot, but followed his advice anyway, and everything went well from then on.33 FDR saved his full report on the conference for Christmas Eve. In the most extensive nationwide radio broadcast up to that time, he assured the country that peace was at hand and that no indissoluble problems would arise between the Big Three after the war. Regarding Stalin, he said:
To use an American and somewhat ungrammatical colloquialism, I may say that I got along fine with Marshal Stalin. He is a man who combines a tremendous, relentless determination with a stalwart good humor. I believe he is truly representative of the heart and soul of Russia; and I believe that we are going to get along very well with him and the Russian peoplevery well indeed.34
The press did not ask what Stalin might have wanted if his warning of an assassination attempt was not true. But the possibility of bugging was not lost on insiders. In his memoirs, the British general, Sir Hastings Ismay, wondered if the microphones had already been installed.35
At the Tsars Palace
The Yalta conference in February 1945 afforded FDR a second opportunity to prove his good faith to Stalin. It was held on Soviet ground, in the Crimea, where a suite was specially prepared for FDR in the Livadia Palace, the spacious summer residence of the former tsar. The building was old, but the new furnishings throughout should have raised suspicions that every word of the American delegation would be transmitted to a listening station. An FBI sweep of the American Embassy in Moscow the previous year had detected 120 concealed microphones, and from time to time afterward, new devices were found in furniture, wall plaster, and other inconspicuous places.36 One would assume that the President, or someone close to him, had been informed, so that the Americans would question their privacy at Livadia. But, in the spirit of Joseph E. Davies, that is where FDR stayed.
The British delegation settled down in the Vorontsov Palace, twenty miles distant, where accommodations were equally attentive. In a story with two versionseither Churchill said that lemon juice would go nicely with his gin and tonic, or his daughter, Sarah, said that lemon juice would go nicely with the caviarthe British woke up the next day to find a lemon tree growing on the grounds.37
Stalin was taking no chances that either Washington or London would outwit him. Not content with FDRs and Churchills numerous and profuse demonstrations of good will, he had spies in the American State Department and the British Foreign Service. He had Alger Hiss, a recruited agent, working on the American delegationBullitt had warned FDR that Hiss and his brother Donald were spies, but the President did nothing. Stalin also could count on Harry Hopkins, advisor to the President, a man so positive toward Russia that the NKVD is said to have regarded him as a voluntary agent. Moreover, Stalin had a seriously ailing, inconvenienced, and ill-prepared President, possibly clinically depressed, on unfamiliar turf, plus a disgruntled British Prime Minister, keenly conscious of being regarded as the least of the three. Still, it wasnt enough (he wanted an extra edge), so Stalin had bugs.38
Stalins interpreter at both Teheran and Yalta was Valentin Berezhkov, a trim and proper young man from Leningrad with flowing chestnut hair. In March 1998, still lean and erect, but with flowing white hair, Berezhkov came to the University of California in Riverside to give the keynote address at a conference on Stalin. Sitting in the audience, I recognized a golden opportunity to settle the question about Stalins bugging FDR. A few years previously, I had read an account about surveillance at Teheran in a New York Russian-language newspaper. The author, Sergo Beria, claimed to be the son of Lavrenty Beria, the infamous head of Soviet Security; however, conflicting reports about Berias son left me unsure whether I should put stock in the article.39 If anyone should know, I reasoned, it was Berezhkov, whose image appears in numerous snapshots and much of the film footage of the two conferences of the Big Three.
After Berezhkovs talk, delivered in nearly flawless English, I went up and asked him: Was President Roosevelt bugged at Teheran and Yalta? Berezhkov paused a moment, thought, and then broke into a broad grin as an old scene came back to mind: Yes, he was, he laughed, and the names of the speakers were written in by hand.
Further questioning over the next two days, both in English and Russian, brought out the details. Each morning, both in Teheran and Yalta, Berezhkov received from an intelligence unit transcripts of the American delegations conversations from the previous evening. He then shared them with Stalin as the leader made his preparations for the days session. In Teheran, the transcript was typed in English, so that Berezhkov had to translate it verbally to Stalin. As he recalled it, each section had a blank line inserted at the beginning with the name of the speaker filled in by hand in Russian.40
Berezhkov, who supported the preparation of this article, underwent heart surgery in September 1998 and died in November of that year. Just at that time, his secret knowledge received unexpected confirmation from a colleague.
Late in 1998, CNN aired the first installment of a $12 million series on the Cold War.41 The first episode included an interview with Sergo Beria, the author of the 1993 article referencing the bugging in Teheran. Beria, born in 1924, turned out indeed to be the son of the dreaded Secret Police chief, who had been executed by Stalins successors at the end of 1953. For the next 40 years, Sergo lived under the false name of Sergei Gegechkori. Only in the post-Soviet period did he dare to restore his true name. In addition to the CNN interview, he authored a book that appeared in 2001 in English under the title: Beria, My Father: Inside Stalins Kremlin.42
Berias account of the bugging is consistent with Berezhkovs. Like Berezhkov, Beria knew both English and German, in addition to Russianhe also knew Georgian, like his father and Stalin. As a young man, he had worked in Teheran as a code clerk for the NKVD, transmitting messages from agents in Germany back to the center in Moscow. Before the Teheran conference, Stalin, whose memory for people was phenomenal, added Sergo Beria to an intelligence team assembled in Moscow and sent out to Teheran by way of Baku. Stalin apparently chose the city over sites proposed by FDR and Churchill because he had a well-established spy network there. At the Soviet Embassy, he privately met each man involved in the surveillance of his guests and gave him his special orders. He told Beria that he had to know everything that FDR was thinking, because he wanted American support on his choice of a second front against Germany and he knew that Churchill had different ideas. He assigned Beria to listen to the Presidents living quarters at all times and write down whatever was said. The devices were already planted, Beria writes in his book, but he does not say how many, nor whether he listened directly or to recordings.
Getting up at 6:00 a.m. each morning, Beria prepared summaries of the overheard conversations; then he met with Stalin at 8:00 a.m. Stalin was interested not only in what was said, but also in how it was said: He wanted to know the intonation, the length of pauses, and the tone of voice of the American speakers. According to Beria, Stalin prepared very carefully for each days session, assembling all the reports from his intelligence team. Beria noticed that his desk was always filled with confidential papers, archival records, lists of questions, and so on. Yet at the conferences, Stalin appeared bored, indifferent, and occasionally inattentive.43
Putting the accounts of Berezhkov and Beria together, one can see that the two men performed different functions. The first read verbatim translations of what was transcribed; the second gave summaries and personal impressions of what he heard. No doubt others of the intelligence team reported on other particulars, perhaps on different members of FDRs team, or on particular sections of the transcript, or on particular times of day. In this way, Stalin covered the conversations, many of which almost certainly were candid and confidential, from all angles. He had the American President pinned, examined, and analyzed like a specimen under a magnifying glass.
Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, at Yalta, 1945.
In his book, Beria remarks with pride that the American delegation failed to discover the bugging devices at Teheran. No wonder: They could hardly have probed the walls in the Soviet Embassy. FDRs staff, however, did warn him that he was probably being listened to, so he could not have been unaware of the problem. Sometimes Beria thought that FDR was trying to talk directly to Uncle Joe through the microphones, but that manner succeeded only in arousing Stalins suspicions. What do you think, he asked Beria, do they know that we are listening to them? Sergo hesitated to draw a conclusion. Its bizarre, Stalin went on, They say everything, in the fullest detail. After the conference, on 20 December, Stalin wrote Roosevelt with consummate irony that he was glad that fate has given me an opportunity to render you a service in Teheran.44
According to Berezhkov, with the Yalta conference on Soviet soil and greater manpower available, the Soviets were able to improve their technical operation at the second meeting. Here the transcripts were prepared in Russian, so that Stalin could take them and read them himself at breakfast time. One can imagine the huge overnight and/or early morning effort on the part of the NKVD, translating and perhaps abstracting the diplomats conversations while the overworked, overfed, and over-liquored diplomats snoozed. The surveillance team was rewarded with leftovers from the lavish banquets, which were much better than their usual fare. To be sure, they did not take their tasks lightly; failure could cause heads to roll: Stalin wanted nothing to get by him.
Berias CNN interview reveals that at Yalta FDR was not free from bugging even when he went outdoors. While an attendant pushed his wheelchair and Churchill tagged alongside, the NKVD listened from afar. As we already had a system for directing the microphones to a distance of 50 to 100 meters to listen, [and] as there was no background noise, everything was quiet, Beria recounted, all these conversations recorded very well, and later on were translated and processed.45
At Yalta, Beria himself plied the microphones, which were more advanced than at Teheran. He recalled that FDR cut Churchill off when they met in private and refused to discuss issues with him, saying that they had already been decided. Stalin, Beria added, was no longer worried about the tone of voice and inflections of his bugged guests. He was confident that he had the upper hand and could dictate postwar terms to the lesser two of the Big Three.
Berezhkov, thinking back on the affair, could not recall that the transcripts he saw contained anything sensational: They were filled with standard diplomatic discussions. He did remember that they contained a lot of flattering words about the Soviet host. Maybe, he suggested while strolling through Riversides historic Mission Inn, the Americans suspected the microphones in their rooms and said things they wanted Stalin to hear. Berezhkov did not believe that the bugging gave the dictator much of an advantage: To know a couple of hours before each days session what they were thinkinghow much difference could it make? Beria, in contrast, thought it a distinct advantage to know in advance what the Allies were thinking and saying privately or even semi-privately.
Berezhkov was not present at the 1945 conference at Potsdam and so could not comment on the possibility that Roosevelts immediate successor was also bugged. But how else can we understand the arrangements? Stalin chose the city, and before Harry S. Truman moved into his lodging, as David McCullough recounts in his detailed biography of the President, Soviet soldiers occupied the premises, ejected everyone living there, beat the owner, and removed all of his belongings, including rare books and manuscripts, replacing them with a grand piano and gloomy, incongruous furniture. Truman and others thought the place looked like a nightmare. Such a dreadful remodeling job argues that the microphones were as carefully placed in Number 2, Kaiserstrasse, as in FDRs quarters at the Soviet Embassy in Teheran and his suite at the Livadia Palace in Yalta.46
Sergo Beria did go to Potsdam, but was not involved in eavesdropping. He writes, however, that it was on the program. So Truman, though more wary than his predecessor, fell into the same trap.
Hindsight and History
Through his elaborate surveillance operation, Stalin learned the moods, intentions, and attitudes of his diplomatic counterparts; perceived their wants and concessions; gauged their strengths and weaknesses; and planned his strategy accordingly. They could not do the same in regard to him, since they never understood him, let alone controlled the meeting sites or put him under surveillance. Perhaps the transcripts still exist in the vaults of Russian intelligence and someday will appear in print so that we, too, historically speaking, can spy on the trusting President and hear his words of endearment to Uncle Joe.47
Diplomacy is often compared to poker, even when conducted between professed friends. And in poker, who has the better chance of winningthe one who holds his cards close to his vest or the one who holds them up in front of a mirror, believing that by so doing he is making a show of good faith? FDR, like his gullible emissaries Hopkins and Davies, insisted on showing his cards, hoping to win over the man who liked to torture and destroy his friends, just as he liked to torment and humiliate his foreign allies before accepting their gifts of land and humanity. The stakes were not friendship and world harmony, as FDR fondly hoped, but the boundaries for the coming Cold War.
So Sir William Stephenson just made up the story? And how would the reviewer know what Churchill's knickname for him was not 'Intrepid'?
So you take the word of some unknown bozo reviewers? Some of these reviewers are just laughable! One said Stephenson never met Churchill. Is that why Churchill nominated him for knighthood in 1945? LOL! I think these amateurs got confused that the books author, William Stevenson's name is very similar and researched the wrong person.
Try theses link: http://william-stephenson.biography.ms/ http://www.trueintrepid.com/
Not to speak of the recently proven fact Uncle Joe(Stalin) financed the American Communist Party up until his death.. Without Uncle Joe(and the american communist party).. secrets of the Atomic bomb would have never made out of the U.S..
OH! and deeply planted operatives in the american government.. FDR's(and Trumans) government.. They are still there too except much more ingrained and hardened..
IS America more socialistic or is Russia much more capitalistic since Stain.?.. Russia has been and is a socialist country since 1917... America is becomeing one.. Who won the cold war.?.. Not Us.. England, Canada, URP China, and Russia and the republics.. are all socialist countrys.. Who won the war of ideas.?. "US".. A RINO might think that.. But then a RINO is a socialist, as is ANY democrat.. A BIG government republican IS a socialist..
Democracy is the road to socialism. Karl Marx
Democracy is indispensable to socialism. The goal of socialism is communism. V.I. Lenin
The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism.- Karl Marx
How do you tell a Socialist:- It's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an Anti-Socialist someone who understands Marx and Lenin" -Ronald Reagan
"Who won the war of ideas.?. "US".. A RINO might think that.. But then a RINO is a socialist..."
I agree that RINOs are bad news. Some of them are, indeed, socialists. And most of them are useful idiots. At the same time, no one truly won the war of ideas yet. As things stand, the New Media is in the lead, and indications are, that trend will continue.
The Left, on the other hand, has bribed academe with grant money, has taken over the judiciary, has debaucherized the family unit, and has even infiltrated the minds of most college graduates to some degree. Serious damage has been done. But their ideas are unpopular, generally. People are even waking up about the Socialist Security scam.
Just consider my tag line:
I'm not as curious about the book as I am about your personal take on things. I realize that some spies hide truth in fiction. That kind of taints what they do. But please share insights. I'd appreciate it. FRegards....
If THAT were true, they wouldnt elect democrats and RINOs in overwhelming numbers.. They do; you know.. The people are confused and are getting themselves even more confused.. so much so, they watch the news which seems to be explicitly crafted more or less to take their eyes off the Mexican insurgency.. and its WORKING TOO..
"If THAT were true, they wouldnt elect democrats and RINOs in overwhelming numbers.. They do; you know.. "
Well, DID. Another problem is that some Republicans feign right and then their college-indoctrinated past kicks in as soon as they get some power. An even larger problem is the way the left campaigns right. Carter did. Clinton did. And in my state, Governor Warner of Virginia did, and now Caine is trying to sound conservative as well [although I think Kilgore has one heck of a great radio campaign].
Yes, people are confused, but not as confused and bewildered as they used to be. It keeps getting better. Smear campaigns against Bush used to keep afloat for two weeks. Now there's a good chance the smears don't even take off on Day One. The only problem with Bush is, he's not conservative enough [and wrong on borders].
Good point about Mexico. I once wrote a vanity, "The Flood of Ignorance", bringing up the point that foreigners are more easilly manipulated by the deceitful.