Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the only U.S. civilians ever executed for espionage, were convicted in 1951 primarily on the testimony of Ethel Rosenberg's brother, David Greenglass and his wife, Ruth. The Rosenbergs were accused of persuading Greenglass, who worked at the Los Alamos, New Mexico, atomic bomb development facility, to divulge design details for the implosion device needed to trigger the bomb, which the Rosenbergs then passed to the Soviets. Also convicted along with the Rosenbergs was fellow conspirator, Morton Sobell, who was sentenced to 30 years.
The conviction of the Rosenbergs outraged the American Left. The Rosenbergs had been communists since the 1930's, so there was the predictable charges of malicious prosecution based on 'red' paranoia. For over forty years the Left has staunchly maintained that the Rosenbergs were innocent.
Belief in the innocence of the Rosenbergs began to fade in the 1990's. The first blow to the 'exonerate the memory of the Rosenbergs' crowd came with the publication of an expanded edition of Nikita Khrushchev's memoirs in which the former Soviet premier said that the Rosenbergs "provided very significant help in accelerating the production of our atom bomb."
Then, in 1995, the National Security Agency began to declassify files from the Venona Project.
These files, like the one pictured at right, along with biographical details, implicated Julius Rosenberg beyond credible contradiction. They reveal that Julius Rosenberg, code named 'Liberal'- I'm not making this up-was actively engaged in the acquisition of U.S. atomic secrets and was an energetic recruiter for the Soviets.
Morton Sobell served 18 years of his 30 year sentence. Throughout those years, and in the face of all of the revelations that I've just recounted, Sobell had maintained his innocence. However, in a recent New York Times interview, Sobell finally came clean.
There is nothing really very surprising about this but for the way in which the Times reported it; "In 1951, Morton Sobell was tried and convicted with Julius and Ethel Rosenberg on espionage charges. He served more than 18 years in Alcatraz and other federal prisons, traveled to Cuba and Vietnam after his release in 1969 and became an advocate for progressive causes. Through it all, he maintained his innocence. But on Thursday, Mr. Sobell, 91, dramatically reversed himself, shedding new light on a case that still fans smoldering political passions. In an interview, he admitted for the first time that he had been a Soviet spy. And he implicated his fellow defendant Julius Rosenberg, in a conspiracy that delivered to the Soviets classified military and industrial information and what the American government described as the secret to the atomic bomb."
Once again, the Times writers and editors prove that the New York Times is behind the times.
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice no virtue." - Barry Goldwater
"Men who go around pushing old ladies into the path of on-coming buses, and men who go around pushing old ladies out of the path of on-coming buses, ought not to be lumped together as men who push old ladies around."- William F. Buckley Jr. In response to the suggestion that the CIA and the KGB are the same.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
"If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain." -?? Winston Churchill ??
"The nine most terrifying words in the english language are: ' I'm from the government and I'm here to help '." - Ronald Reagan
"To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." - Teddy Roosevelt
"A pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country, and to humanity, as is the most brutal wrongdoer." - Teddy Roosevelt
"It isn't that Liberals are ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan
"Broad-minded is just another way of saying a fellow's to lazy to form an opinion" - Will Rogers