After Whittaker Chambers accused Alger Hiss of espionage, the Left rallied to Hiss’s defense.

The intercepted Venona telegraphs proved that Hiss was a Soviet spy, as well as dozens of others. This should have ended the debate, but many Leftists still engage in historical revisionism.

Ron Rosenbaum describes the latest attempt at Historical Revisionism.

He begins by reviewing why the case was controversial in the first place.

Alger Hiss, you’ll recall, was a patrician-seeming favorite son of the American establishment: a Harvard-educated protégé of Supreme Court justices Oliver Wendell Homes and Felix Frankfurter, a rising star of FDR’s New Deal and the wartime State Department, present at the history-making Yalta conference, and a key architect of the United Nations.

Then, in 1948, Whittaker Chambers, a seedy Dostoevskian ex-spy and philosophe, made public allegations that Hiss spied for the Soviets in the years before the war, and Nixon pilloried Hiss before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Why the controversy? The Hiss trial led to the rise of Nixon and Joe McCarthy. The Left insists that Hiss was innocent, and everyone else insists Hiss was guilty.

There is proof that he was a spy: the intercepted Venona telegraphs.

The “decrypts” were partially decoded fragments of communiques back and forth from agents in America and their handlers in Moscow. They were first decoded in the ’40s and ’50s, but not released till the mid-’90s, and were never used in open court against Hiss because the fact that we had cracked the code would have been rendered valueless had we disclosed it at the time.

Venona revealed Ales was Hiss. When Hiss went to a location, the Soviets reported that Ales went to the same location. When Hiss returned to the US, the Soviets reported that Ales returned to the US. The Soviets referenced the time and location, whether it was Yalta, Mexico City or Washington.

The Ales-Hiss relation goes even deeper. In short, Hiss was “Ales” the Soviet Spy.

Bird and Chervonnaya dispute this account and try to frame a different man, Wilder Foote, as Ales. They claim to be objective, but their claims are odd in the first place.

Nonetheless, despite their protestations of scrupulous neutrality [a paragraph omitted in print] suggest that they, too, have an ideological predisposition, indeed an agenda behind their purportedly objective re-examination of the VENONA evidence.

The Web-only paragraph reads: “Even today, the Hiss affair remains a painful metaphor for the marginalization of left-wing New Dealers by anti-Communist crusaders, the weakness of the American Left for the last half century, and the less-than-courageous performance of American liberals during two generations of conservative ascendancy.”

Metaphor? He’s either guilty or innocent.

Their evidence? Alger Hiss visited Mexico City. The Soviets reported that Ales visited Mexico City at the same time. Hiss returned to the US and a few days later the Soviets believed Ales was still in Mexico City. They later corrected and continued following Hiss’ movements.

A bureaucrat named Gorsky made a mistake.

And so, after their disingenuous claim of ideological and forensic neutrality, and after damning the “marginalization” of leftists as Soviet sympathizers, they proceed to marginalize—virtually indict and convict—a hitherto untainted liberal as a “Soviet asset” in order to prove Hiss was not one.

Astonishingly, they do so by doing exactly what Nixon, the House Un-American Activities Committee, and Joe McCarthy did: rely heavily on guilt by association.

This is where the poor Wilder Foote enters this tragic-comedy. So how did Bird and Chervonnaya get evidence that Wilder Foote was a Soviet spy? Well, he hung around with some Anti-Nazi groups during World War II and may have been introduced to some Communist ideas.

Well, it’s a metaphor for McCarthyism I suppose. This type of revisionism is easier when Left-wing historians deny the concept of objective facts and reality and believe that everything is based on perspectives and narratives.

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