Tuesday, August 09, 2005

"Venona and the Cold War": the origins of the Venona Project

This is another piece of fundamental importance to picture out the real dimension and depth of the Soviet Espionage against USA during the World War II.

Excerpt from the book "Venona : Decoding Soviet Espionage in America" by authors John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr

The Venona Project began because Carter Clarke did not trust Joseph Stalin. Colonel Clarke was chief of the U.S Army Special Branch, part of the War Department Military Intelligence Division, and in 1943 its officer heard vague rumor of secret German_Soviet peace negotiations. With the vivid example of the August 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact in mind, Clarke feared that a separate peace between Moscow and Berlin would allow Nazi Germany to concentrate its formidable war machine against the united States and Great Britain. Clarke thought he had a way to find out whether such negotiations were under way.

Clarke's Special Branch supervised the Signal Intelligence Service, the Army elite group of code-breakers and the predecessor of th National Security Agency (NSA). In February 1943 Clarke ordered the service to establish a small program to examine ciphered Soviet diplomatic cablegrams. Since the beginnings of World War II in 1939, the federal government had collected copies of international cables leaving and entering the United States. If the cipher used in the Soviet cables could be broken, Clarke believed, the private exchanges between Soviet diplomats in the united Sates and their superiors in Moscow would show whether Satin was seriously pursuing a separate peace.

The coded Soviet cables however, proved to be far more difficult to read than Clarke expected, American code-breakers discovered that the Soviet Union was using a complex two-part system involving a 'one-time pad' code that in theory was unbreakable, The Venona code-breakers, however, combined acute unintellectual analysis with painstaking examination of thousand of coded telegraphic cables to spot a Soviet procedural error that opened their cipher to attack. But by the time they had rendered the first messages into readable text in 1946, the war as over and Clarke initial goal was moot. Not dis the messages show evidence of a Soviet quest for a separate peace. What they did demonstrated however stunned American official. Messages thought to be between Soviet diplomats at the Soviet consulate in New York and the Peoples Commissariat of Foreign Affairs in Moscow turned out to be cables between professional intelligence filed officers and Gem. Pavel Fiton, head of the foreign intelligence directorate of the KGB in Moscow. Espionage, not diplomacy, was the subject of these cables. One of the first cables rendered into coherent text was a 1944 message from KGB officers in New York showing that the Soviet Union had infiltrated America most secret enterprise, the atomic bomb project (Manhattan project).

By 1948 the accumulating evidence from other decoded Venona cable showed that the Soviets had recruited spies in virtually every major American government agency of military or diplomatic importance. American authorities learned that since 1942 the United States had been the target of a Soviet intelligence officers and hundreds of Americans,many of whom were members of the American Communist party (CPUSA). The deciphered cables of the Venona Project identify 349 citizens, immigrants, and permanent residents of the United States who had had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence agencies. Further, American cryptanalyst's in the Venona project deciphered only a fraction of the Soviet intelligence traffic, so it was only logical to conclude that many additional agents were discussed int the thousand of unread messages. Some were identified from other sources, such as defector testimony and the confessions of Soviet spies.

The deciphered Venona messages also showed that a disturbing number of high-ranking U.S government official consciously maintained a clandestine relationship with Soviet intelligence agencies and had passed extraordinarily sensitive information to the Soviet Union that had had seriously damaged American interests. Harry White – the second most powerful official in the US treasury department, one of the most influential officials in the government, and part of the American delegation at the founding of the United Nations – had advised the KGB about how American diplomatic strategy could be frustrated. A trusted personal assistant to President Franklin Roosevelt, Launchlin Currie, warned the KGB that the FBI had started an investigation of on of the Soviets' key American agents, Gregory Silvermaster. This warning allowed Silvermaster, who headed a highly productive espionage ring, to escape detection and continue spying. Maurice Halperin, the head of a research section of the office of strategic Services (OSS), them America's chief intelligence arm, turned over hundreds of pages of secret American diplomatic cables to KGB. William Perl, a brilliant young government aeronautical scientist, provided the Soviets with the results of the highly secret test and design experiments for American jet engines and jet aircraft. His betrayal assists the Soviet Union in quickly overcoming the American technological lead in the developments of jets. In the Korean War, U.S. Military leaders expected the Air Force to dominate the skies, on the assumption that the Soviet aircraft used by North Korea and Communist China would be no match for American aircraft. They were shocked when Soviet Mig-15 jet fighters only flew rings around U.S. Propeller-driven aircraft but were conspicuously superior to the first generation of American jets as well. Only the hurried deployment of America newest jet fighter, the F-86 Saber, allowed the United States to match the technological capabilities of the MIG-15. The air Force prevailed, owing more to the skill of American pilots than to the design of American aircraft.

And then were the atomic spies (....)

Monday, August 08, 2005

The truth behind Pearl Harbor: Created by the influence of the Soviet Agents inside FDR government

From the book "Influence: The soviet “task” leading to pearl harbor, the iron curtain and the cold war"

The great game of espionage is a game of spies, sabotage, distortion, lies. But it is also about INFLUENCE – conveying the delusion of friendship and cooperation while influencing world events from whithin a foreign government. So it was that an internationally respected senior statesman serving the highest levels of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration was actually Stalin asset.

How did it happen, and-more importantly- how can we keep it from happening again? INFLUENCE outline both the motivation, machination, and consequences of a foreign power pilling the strings of high American official. INFLUENCE is both a thoroughly documented account of our failings, and our best hope to prevent a recurrence of history.

Peter B. Nobio has been a member of the American intelligence service since 1950, when he was stationed in Cairo, Vienna and Tokyo. Leter, as federal law enforcement officer, he server ins Dan Francisco, Washington, Honk Kong and London.

The memorandum drafted by White in May, 1941, was , with the approval of President Roosevelt, handed Japanese Ambassador Kichiaburo Nomura by Secretary of State Cordell Hull no November 26, 1941. It closed the door to any further peace efforts by either side. It opened the door to war between Japan and the United States. That was Moscow intention.

Key influence agent Harry White, the top assistant to the Secretary of the United States Treasury, performed the task correctly. From the beginning the message was designed to be rejected by Japan leadership, and it was. Points 3 and 4; “The Government of Japan will withdraw all military, naval, air and police forces form China and from Indo-China. The government of the United States and the government of Japan will not support – militarily, politically, economically – any misgoverned or regime in China other than the National Government of Republic of China .. in Chungking.”

A very recent excellent analysis of Japan reaction to the Ten Point proposal is provided by Robert Stinnett, author of “The day of Deceipt”:

From Japan point of view, renouncing the war in China was impossible... To abandon either the Tripartite Pact [with Germany and Italy] or the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere would have been equally difficult to Japan. Japanese officials felt that their nation survival depended upon access to the natural resources of Southeast Asia.

Historians William Langer and S. Everett Gleason summed up the document known th Ten Point Plan in their history “The Undeclared War”:

There can be no doubt that this document went beyond any previous statement in the long series of American-Japanese conversations Points 3 and 4, calling for the evacuation of China and Indo-China and for the abandonment of the Nanking regime, were in themselves stiff enough to put this paper in class by itself.. With the abrupt abandonment of the modus vivendi, and the equally sudden decision to substitute for it the most a settlement, the small initiative which the United States had been able to exert to save the peace passed wholly into the hands of Japan.

As the ten point proposal was handed to the Japanese Ambassador on November 26, 1941, the Japanese naval task force Kido Butai consisting of six aircraft carriers, two battle ships, two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and nine destroyers, were at the north end of the Kurile Islands. Kido Butai was given the green light to proceed.

Harry Dexter White drafted the ten point proposal in may, 1941. Did any one assist him?

If doubt still exists of the Kremlin involvement in the Pearl Harbor attack information contained in the Venona Secrets should put it to rest. Enter Vitaliy Pavlov of the NKVD. In may 1941, just as White was becoming “extraordinary interested in the Japanese question”, Komrad Pavlov was dispatched from Moscow to Washington to meet and give instructions to Harry Dexter White. Authors Rommerstein and Breindel of “The Venona Secrets” described contact with Harry White by Pavlov:

.. Pavlov phoned White and made a date for lunch at a restaurant known to White from previous meeting with Akhmerov.. At the restaurant, Pavlov handed White a note outlining themes that he wanted White to promote in the high councils of American foreign policy. Among these was a firm demand that Japan stop its aggression and recall its armed forces from China and Manchuria, and further, that Japan sell a large part of tis armaments to the United States. These demands.. were written in extremely harsh language, obviously designed to antagonize the Japanese.

The Soviet Union knowledge of and link to Japanese plans to attack the United States at Pearl Harbor is provided in “And I Was There” by Admiral Edwin Layton.

The Japanese Pearl Harbor Strike Force, known as Kido Butai, had been instructed by Tokyo to attack and sink any foreign flag vessel encountered by the Strike force to maintain total secrecy of the upcoming raid on Pearl Harbor, On November 28, 1941, as Japanese battle ships crossed the 180th degree of longitude and headed east through a fog blalnket for the Hawaiian Island, a Soviet flagged freighter named Uritsky departed San Francisco fro Vladivostok loaded with critical lend-Lease supplies. On December 5, Uritsky met the incoming Japanese Strike Force as it neared its target. It has now been established that Uritsky existence in the vast North Pacific and her intended routing had been signaled by Tokyo to the Strike Force before the ships met at sea.

Admiral Layton:

How the Japanese found out about a Russian freighter plowing a lonely course across the vast emptiness of the North Pacific so they knew its course with the Kido Butai, becomes an issue of extraordinary significance. It seems highly unlikely that an officer of the naval staff in Tokyo could simply have stumbled across Uritsky sailing orders. This raises the probability that Russians themselves. This deduction then leads to the logical assumption the Soviet intelligence knew precise details of the course to be taken across they Norther Pacific by Nagamo's striking force.

Admiral Layton and co-authors added:

That it took a quarter of a century for the Japanese Government to publicly confirm the interception is consistent with Japan reluctance to make any official admission of events that would open new questions about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Uritsky, loaded with Lend-lease gifts paid for by the people of the United States, continued safely on her course to Vladivostok.

“...a day which will live in infamy..” might have been avoided by President Roosevelt 'allies' in the Kremlin.