tv President Truman and Cold War Espionage CSPAN September 16, 2018 5:00pm-6:01pm EDT
objectives of that day, but on day.ollowing and by mid morning of september 13, the whole silly and had been liberated. announcer: watch american artifacts today at experience eastern. on american history tv on c-span3. >> american history tv, u.s. army command and staff college , and the truman presidential library archivist, discuss or astronauts and hunter efforts during the truman administration. topics include the president's response to the soviets retaining nuclear secrets through as you knowledge, mccarthyism and truman's reaction to allegations against accused spies, ethel and julius rosenberg. the harry s truman presidential library hosted this event. it is just under one hour.
>> let's talk about who we have today. i'm excited to have mr. lee lacy who is a assistant professor teaching an advance operation course. he is a graduate at the university of arkansas who received a master from webster university. he has been published in several academic journals on topics of intelligence, history, leadership, and distance education. and a retired lieutenant colonel in the u.s. army reserves. he served 28 years in the military intelligence as an officer. the service included two tours of the balkans. but first, we have our own professor. i have the pleasure of having an office a few doors fo from him. he has a hd in history from ohio universe did, he also read the in u.s. history from
ohio's date and his ma from ohio university. back inn archivist here the day, then he went back to maryland where he was a subject matter x on the nixon presidential material staff. then he returned here to be our archivist. we welcome dr. boucher to the stage. .hank you very much [applause] >> thank you for that. thank you for that kind introduction, jennifer. welcome, everybody to the harry s truman library. i am going to talk about a very big subjects. inch is, spies, subversives the dawn of the atomic age. it is a big subject and will require a lot of time to cover
it. so i will try to hit as many highlights as i can. pardon any omissions, and i know that there will be omissions, but hopefully i do the subject justice. by united states and the soviet union were allies in the fight against nazi germany and just hand during world war ii. but cracks in that alliance began to show themselves even before the end of the war, and that alliance soon broke down after the war, as the soviets imposed military, economic and political control over eastern europe, and threatened to expand communism to other parts of the world. that tension manifested itself in the united states in the second red hair. the first red scare of court after world war i -- second red scare. the first red scare occurred after world war i. in this talk, i explore an important element of the red scare, the effective spies real
and imagined, on the american political system and the fear of communist subversion of the communist way of life. several incidents occurred to reinforce america's fear of communist spies. one of the chief reasons for involved the atomic bomb, which was used during the war against japan in 1945. this slide here shows the bond that was detonated over nagasaki 1945.n on august 9, the first bomb was detonated over hiroshima three days earlier, august 6, 1945. between 1945s and 1949, the unit is six was the only nation in the world that possessed the atomic bomb. in july, 1945, a few weeks before the end of world war ii, harry truman informed soviet leader joseph stalin at a conference in germany of the u.s. development of the atomic bomb.
remember, this is just a few weeks before the bump was actually used against japan. harry truman visited pots thedam, a suburb in city of berlin, germany, where he visited with joseph stalin and the white tunic on the right and winston churchill. when truman involved stalin of -- informed stalin of the possession of the atomic bomb that had just been tested earlier, truman was surprised by stalin's passive reaction. thinking perhaps he did not understand the translation. in his memoirs truly wrote stalinrote that showed no special interest. all he said he was got to hear it and hope we would make good use of it against of the japanese." at this point, truman was still unaware of the extensive spy network the soviet union had
in place in the united states, and the extent to which the soviet leadership had and regularly provided information about the manhattan project. the soviet union tried to break the monopoly on the atomic bomb in part through the use of spies. in 1946, a file clerk in the soviet embassy in canada defected and provided documented evidence the soviets had spies, and atomic research in canada and the united states. this evidence possibly pointed to a state department official named alger hiss as a soviet spy. here he is at the right, seated at the far right on the screen. actually present during president truman's address to the united nations in june, 1945. the case of alger hiss demonstrated to many americans, that there were indeed spies in their own government. hiss was a former state
department official accused of espionage. in testimony before the house un-american activities ,ommittee also known as huac chaired by chairman richard whittakeraccused chambers an editor at the time , accused hiss of being a member of a communist cell with a mission influence on the policy of the truman administration. chambers himself admitted to having being a soviet spy in the 1930's, before rejecting communism. charged chambers slander,der resulting in chambers coming up with documents that he had smuggled out of the state department to give to the soviets in the 1930's -- that hiss had smuggled out of the state department to give to the soviets in the 1930's. after two widely publicized trials, hiss was convicted of perjury.
he was convicted and went to jail for 44 months. rich,onvince people that well educated, eastern people that fit a mise and could not be elitist,- that rich, seen bycated men were view of betrayal and salon of east europe to the soviets. the case is reverberated to this day. in in a 1978, the story but allen weinstein, in his book "perjury, co offered evidence of espionage and communist party affiliation. the nona is the name of a project, a joint american british project that decoded soviet cable traffic in the 1940's. that is, cable traffic between
union,viet washington and moscow. i apologize for the rainy photo, shows some ofit the work of codebreakers including young meredith gardner. she is featured in the center. they broke into the soviet code which appear to reveal the existence of soviet as manoj in tiananmen had an project -- soviet espionage in washington dc. the transcripts contain references to codenames and some believed the codename ales was code for alger hiss. atchison found himself a target himself. this after rallying to his defense. his and had known alger his brother, donald, for years. donald hiss was a law partner.
friend.47, and a close atchison was truman's secretary of state and he refused to condemn alger hiss, publicly saying that they had remained friends. drafted into the controversy by calling the case a "red herring" which contributed to a tax upon himself and his administration, kind of and interesting, fun cartoon here. turn my backend to on alger hiss, i did not intend m to turn my back on dean asked to sign. dean -- dean acheson. his950, just days after hissction for perjury --
'conviction, a british scientist named clouse was arrested for passing atomic secrets to the soviets while working in the thealamos area during manhattan project. ss had top-secret material which he had passed to the soviets. the soviets successfully tested their own atomic weapon years a 1949, years before u.s. intelligence estimates believed they could do it. the scientist was tried and convictedh in britain and served 14 years in prison. legal proceedings stemming from thehiss case led to conviction and execution three years later of the rosenbergs. my colleague will say much more about this in the next few minutes. you may be wondering, what was it to my administration doing ?uring this whole time frame
they did their part to fight alleged communists in government. truman issued an executive in 1947,mber 9835 which instituted a loyalty program which the president believed was intended to prevent a harsher response by the republican-controlled congress. congress had taken control of congress in a 1946. truman's executive order establishes a loyalty board before which a person charged with belonging to a subversive organization or engaging in subversive activities, was given a hearing and provided a resume of the charges. let us listen to harry truman himself explained the reasons for setting up the loyalty board. president truman: there 200,000, maybe 300,000 people on the government payroll
at the time. that is a larger percentage than the population -- that large number of people working for the government. retire anybodyto because he is charged with un-american activities. it is completely an absurd conclusion for anybody to come to that everybody working in the government is disloyal to the united dates. after all the uproar that these people created, only 1% forever found in the subversive class and are dismissed from the government. the mccarthy outfit had nothing to do with it.
the communism however, is a real threat. we are likely to be bothered with it for a long time, but there is no danger of communism of setting this government. the best thing we can do is to educate our children. >> in practice though, as truman admitted in his memoirs, the loyalty board was less than ideal, because all the data about the person remained in his -- even after he was cleared, meaning that he would have to be cleared over and over again as he changed jobs in the federal government, so damage was done. in addition to the loyalty board, truman established the
intelligence agents is, in the national security act. it was meant to be an intelligence gathering organization, but it's soon got involved in covert activities through documents like the 1951.5 issued in october in this photo from the truman papers, it describes the long commitment and careful reparation for covert act operations, which would be needed during the cold war. german also established the national security agency in 1952. case, case and the hiss it helps set the stage for senator john mccarthy, who claimed that he possessed the names of known communists in the government. mccarthy, a midwesterner and effect., had a profound his charges resulted in the firing of many innocent people and damaged morale in the
government. communism and acquisition of spies in the government however, were good politics for mccarthy and others, was from italy, richard nixon. mccarthyism held in the passage of the internal security act of 1950, which required companies to register with the attorney general and set up a subversive activities board to review the loyalty of government employees. truman vetoed the legislation, -- trumanresponsible vetoed the law, but congress overrode the veto in a 1950. immigration was also a factor in postwar fears of communism. senator mccarron of nevada introduced a second bill, this one unrestricted immigration from southern and eastern europe -- this one restricting immigration from southern and eastern, because he believed commonest slots to come to the -- he believed they sought to come to the
united states. in his veto message of the second bill, truman rejected mccarron's position that the united states needed to protect itself against being "flooded by immigrants from eastern europe. truman wrote -- the countries of eastern europe have fallen under the communist yoke. nobody passes their borders at the risk of his life. in his view, immigrants from these countries sought a life free from communist rule. that is truman's view. in a 1950 however, my current bill became law again, over truman's veto. one of mccarthy's victims was diplomats, an american who was dismissed from foreign service in a 1954, following accusations but mccarthy that davies and others had lost jenna to the communist in a 1949. communism had taken -- had
sucked over china in 1949. davies was a decorated world war ii hero and one of several china hands targeted during mcafee's attacks. mccarthy's victims was another foreign service officer named jon stewart service. service had been connected years earlier to the so-called on the ameriasian magazine case, which involved the employees of a magazine called amer=asia. witnesses pronounced him to be a loyal, government employee. accusations from mccarthy resulted in hearing on that loyalty board which concluded that it had "reasonable doubt" in concerning his loyalty and he
was subsequently discharged from the foreign service in a 1951. he was reinstated after a u.s. supreme court decision. the truman supreme court, also known as the fred vinson supreme court, because he was the chief justice of the united states at the time, that is him in the front and center, was mostly sympathetic to a fourth made by the u.s. government to fight alleged coming is subversion, regardless of civil liberties and concerns. in the 1951 case, dennis versus the u.s., the supreme court upheld the smith act of 1940, which had made advocating revolution a crime. this decision, the dennis decision, resulted in the ,onviction of 11 top communists who were convicted for advocating the violent overthrow of the united states government.
concerns, public's concerns, was a kim philby case, the british spy who give away sequence to his soviet masters. first as head of the soviet desk of british counterintelligence, and then from 1949-1951, as washington liaison to the cia. as a result of his disclosures, hundreds of agents, foreign died., failed be also tipped off several british spies, guy burgess and donald maclean, in a 1951. yet despite two secret trials, he was allowed to go on working for mi six command to he defected to the soviet union in 1963. it is important to remember however, that most of the work of the soviet union's intelligence organization, the kgb and are the organizations. involved unglamorous matters and the high profiles buys like filthy war four more the
exception than the rule. the book of spies -- the rise ,nd fall of the kgb in america, points out that the kgb in america, their operations involved largely industrialized espionage in the 1940's-1950's, conducted in the chemical, aviation, electronics and communications companies. they spied more on private sector engineers and government officials. these revelations of soviet espionage, coupled with the fall of china to communism in 1949, and the soviet union's successful testing of atomic 1949, asn september of well as these revelations of soviet espionage, adding to the inside -- added to the anxieties americans. communism seems to be on the rise and democracy seems to be on the retreats throughout the world, and the world appeared to
be a very dangerous place to americans in a 1949-1950. january 1950, in large part because of fears that the soviets could develop a nuclear weapon, even more powerful than the atomic bomb, president truman approved the development of a hydrogen bomb project. in a meeting with his top , secretary ofson , ate acheson, david lily wasmeeting, his advisor pressing his objections to going forward with this hydrogen bomb project. ,ruman cut them off, asking "can the russians do it?" as in, developed their own hydrogen bomb project. was,eply from lilienthal
yes. the russians could potentially develop the hydrogen bomb project. "in thatreply was case, we have no choice, we will go ahead. ." in addition to lilienthal, robert oppenheimer, the so-called "father of the atomic not to go ahead with it on moral grounds. as a result of his objections and his affiliation with left-wing people in the 1930's, and allegations that he himself was is by, his security clearance was taken away in december of 1953. soviet intelligence reportedly had tried to recruit him, but they could not. this led to the objections of oppenheim or and others, the destination of the world's first hydrogen bomb was done in the sky, inook lace in the
1952. added to all these tensions were the korean war, which we had an even mentioned yet. in june 1950, the korean war began when north korean troops korea. south the korean war became a protracted, frustrating stalemate that cost over 30,000 american lives. military intelligence had failed to produce the involvement of china in the korean war factor , a that contributed to truman's general douglas macarthur, whom the president fired from his command of the u.s. forces in april of 1951. initially veryas unpopular with the american public. macarthur was an american hero. , after all. this led some people to believe that the truman administration was defeatist and passive in the war against coming is and the spy -- the war against communists and the spies who serve them. by 1952, americans voted to elect eisenhower for president.
eisenhower was the beneficiary of the republican party's slogan 1c2 congo whichk stood for korean war, companies ," majorovernment political issues in a as 1952. president, eisenhower issued an executive order that revamp ed the oil program and extending the security program to all departments in a government area had also in 1953, now former president harry truman got into eisenhower'sh attorney general, herbert brownell, over harry dexter white, the appointment of harry dexter white to the international monetary fund, despite evidence that white, pictured there on the left, he himself had been a soviet agent.
the case against white had not , whoclear one, and truman was aware of the charges at the time, when he was president, decided to disregard them. angry at brownell, truman asserted, inaccurately, that the fbi had not warned him about harry dexter white. when presented with a subpoena asking for his testimony in this case, president truman refused declaring that former presidents were entitled to the ting privileges as fittinsit ones. >> interestingly, according to historian james patterson, no american officials were convicted of subversion during the red scare. but many public employees had their careers destroyed on allegations of dying. when historian had it estimate of the total number of government and nongovernment
dismissals during the truman and eisenhower administrations may well have been over 100,000. added to the number of people who resigned or the number of before resigned proceedings were completed. the numbers are all over the board -- all across the board in terms of estimates. it is really up to us to determine whether the costs were worth it, despite the considerable human cost. president truman and the core system mostly protected america from spies and established institutional methods like the nsa and the cia, by which america forthcoming as him. it was a long fight. the cold war between the u.s. years. soviet lasted 40 but the american government proved itself well armed to wage it. toi will now pass this along
lacy.lleague, lee [applause] lee: well first, i want to thank the criminal library institute, dr. sam rushay for inviting me to make this switch today. presidential libraries help us to understand our elected i think that by understanding the past, we can learn lessons from history that help us to hope the progress as a nation. i am very grateful to all of the truman presidential library as , here in independence, missouri, as well as the eisenhower presidential library, for providing the resources for my research on the cold war. and on the estrin edge on julius and other rosenberg, and how it
affected presidents truman -- and on the espionage case of julius and ethel rosenberg and how it affected presidents truman and eisenhower. few events have gathered as much controversy as the rosenberg era. libraries and the internet are full of research proclaiming their innocence or seeking to expose the rosenbergs as agents of the ussr. caught up in the height of the controversy, were presidents harry s truman and dwight diaz eisenhower.ight d. in the beginning, president truman would have the final word . as the rosenbergs appellate fell short, and there lee flakka their plea for clemency fell short. it did not happen that way. as the rosenberg request for
clemency wound its way through the truman administration, no action was taken. the issue fell upon the newly inaugurated dwight eisenhower , relying on presidential archives at the truman and eisenhower library it is possible to piece together the circumstances involving the rosenberg's executive clemency. it is a fascinating look at how two presidents made a life-and-death decision in light of the times of the early cold war. as my researched progressed, i could not figure out why the administration was so silent on the rosenberg. 1950 was a difficult year for the administration. alger hiss was convicted of
perjury and then joseph mccarthy made a speech in west virginia which started the intense criticism of the truman administration. also, senator joseph mccarthy was -- of criticism. [indiscernible] atomic scientist was marked as a spy for the soviet union. this implicated a man named harry gold. finally to julius rosenberg. headlines shocked the united states as war was revealed about atomic secrets. rosenberg was put on trial and was convicted and sentenced to death in 1981. -- little is said about the 1851. rosenbergs outside of the federal prosecutor. the only inkling of what the justice department thought was,
just before the trial, when the deputy attorney general wrote the u.s. attorney stating the crime that the rosenbergs were accused of war intended -- were intended -- war into the death the death warranted penalty. and we also know president truman and the trial judge had a telephone conversation in 1952 which floated the possibility of bringing the rosenberg sentences to life. truman at that time, declined to intervene. there is evidence within the truman administration that some advisers had trouble with the public message about the rosenbergs. the influential, psychological strategy board drafted pro-clemency statements and reversed themselves. none of these documents were made public and there is no
evidence that truman saw either memorandum of the final weeks of his presidency. in 1953, there was a press january conference where truman was asked if he made a decision on the rosenberg case. president truman replied "the rosenberg case has not come up to me, therefore i cannot reach a decision on it until it comes up." this is the only official mention of the rosenberg case directly attributed to president truman. the rosenbergs are not mentioned in his memoirs or any post-presidency interviews or writing. this is a contrast to truman's statements regarding elder harris and joseph mccarthy -- alger hiss and joseph mccarthy. in january, 1953, eisenhower was inaugurated as president. with this, he inherited the case of the rosenbergs.
-- clemency appeals of the rosenbergs. eisenhower deliberated a few weeks and ultimately decided to deny clemency. the rosenbergs were tried and convicted in the truman administration, the heavy responsibility of deciding their fate fell to president eisenhower. eisenhower's vice president, richard nixon, was privy to some of eisenhower's decision-making regarding the rosenbergs. when interviewed in 1983, nixon commented first eisenhower was influenced by personal experience in world war ii where he held military intelligence in regard. given his view on intelligence and the nature of crimes committed by the rosenbergs, it is doubtful eisenhower would grant clemency. according to nixon. furthermore, if the rosenbergs received full justice -- , therefore eisenhower declined to intervene. as nixon reflected on the events
that spanned from 1953 to 1983, he said no one in the administration had the full story on rosenberg. it was possible the case against her was painted. he went on to say "if i had known if president eisenhower, he might have taken a different view regarding her." events played out up until the hours the rosenbergs were executed. the eisenhower administration hoped to get a confession. both julius and ethel rosenberg died defiant. top-secret intelligence collected by the u.s. government revealed a treasure trove of espionage activity.
clandestine communication intercepted by the united states, starting in 1943, and these messages were decoded mostly between 1947 and 1952, these cables established proof that julius and ethel rosenberg were guilty but none of this was introduced to the trial to -- fourth deal of revealing -- for fear of revealing to the soviets their code was broken. the decryption might have explained the official silent -- asylum. and explain why he did not grant clemency. in 2003, novak investigated and concluded that truman was privy to intercept the communication. oliver kirby obtained his
information from a brigadier general who was a world war ii army signal intelligence chief. this was the forerunner of the national security agency. reportedly truman was briefed , six weeks after becoming president in 1945 and again in 1948 and 1950. novak knew julius rosenberg and alger hiss were implicated. although this is disputed by some scholars, novak is in defense of this position although it hinges on one person's knowledge and one white house meeting. when was not declassified until -- winona was not declassified until 1995, therefore it was not available for truman to publicly comment while in office.
the arrest trial and executions of julius and ethel rosenberg were defining moments of the cold war. the war was fought along ideological lines and was characterized by joseph mccarthy, and then who undoubtedly saw communism. [indiscernible] mccarthy and his supporters fought relentlessly in the trenches. often fighting in the trenches were untold numbers of individuals such as the rosenbergs who were soldiers for the communist party and proxies for the soviet union.
astonishingly former soviet , spymaster claimed in 1992 that the fbi discovered less than half of the soviet spy network in north america. in the spirit of these events were two of the most admired people in american history, harry truman, and dwight eisenhower. each man known for leadership. it remains a mystery forever why president truman remained silent during the rosenberg case and deferred action to his successor. while there is no mystery to president eisenhower's actions, when the fate of the rosenbergs became his responsibility, it is puzzling why history judges him harshly in light of circumstances. the case remained controversial 66 later after their execution -- 66 years later after their execution.
thank you for listening to our presentation today. we will take a few questions. razor hand so the mic can follow you. [applause] >> with all of the documents history genet rates -- generates, with you to as historians are you working your , way to the bottom of that stack? [laughter] how close to the bottom are you? >> i only just cracked the surface. my research took place in eisenhower library. my wife is in the audience and she endured an entire day of taking care of our nine-year-old
daughter while i was in the archives. i just could not get to all of it because i was trying to fit it into one business day. there's a lot of information out there. i will tell you one thing i did that brought this to life and made it more personal was when i was at the eisenhower library, i held the hand written appeal from rosenberg to president eisenhower. not a copy, but the actual appeal written on prison paper and that's made this and brought home the research i was doing in -- about how this was such a life-and-death decision. >> from my standpoint, the truman presidential library is a treasure. over 15 million pages in the archives and we digitized a small fraction. most of them are available for researchers at the library.
there is a small number still classified, but is a relatively small number. we are very happy when mr. lacey comes out to do research and mine our collections. we are fortunate because there is so much in harry truman's own hand. we heard an audio clip of his and that clip was recorded in the early 1960's, about 10 years after he left office. we have those recordings and half of the 15 million pages are truman's papers and the other half are 500 other people or organizations affiliated with him. part of the fun of my job is the new discovery you make. there is new interpretations of documents that researchers can draw connections.
thank you. thank you. >> you were talking about kim philby. years ago i read a book about , him. did they let him continue to watch and monitor once he had , been like -- i don't know the word. >> i don't know what she is asking. do you know? >> just my general knowledge, i served as a counter intelligence officer in the u.s. army and one thing that is often a technique is to try to discover what their network is and you might suspect somebody. you hope they lead you to their network. that might have been the reasoning. he spied for quite a long time. what i'm guessing is that,
probably, they were watching him for a long time and trying to discover who his handlers were, and so they cannot just arrest one person but the whole gang. >> and he escaped the net before the net could be attached. >> i would like to know, are you still getting any papers given to the truman library? any new collections? >> yes. the john paton davies papers. i showed a picture of him as a service officer. he served in china, one of the trusted china hands in the 1940's. we received his papers about 10 years ago. it is a super collection. it has a lot of transcripts of his own loyalty board hearings. davies was a subject of numerous loyalty board investigations and
had to revisit the same charges over and over again. he was the subject of maybe eight or nine board meetings. he finally got his clearance restored in the 1960's. we received his papers, a large collection of korean war materials from veterans from a museum that had been in springfield, illinois. that museum closed down last year and sent their materials to the truman library. it is nice for us because the documents we have in our collections are harry truman's in the truman administration is the diplomatic, strategic, sort of top-down view of korea. the veterans i provide the complement to that -- eye provides the complement to that. the veterans i view of the war. -- eye view of the war.
we are going through that collection, very large, and we are happy to have it. >> did senator mccarthy ever identify a true threat to anybody in the u.s.? >> i know he targeted a scholar in maryland. maybe it was baltimore. the charges against him were flimsy. if he was guilty only on what he would have considered on a scholarship so he is one example of who mccarthy specifically identified as a communist threat. the numbers varied. the west virginia speech and other places, vary from the 50's to 100s. >> they could never produce the numbers in the end. i think that led to his downfall in the senate was when he could
not come up with the large numbers he was talking about. >> spying has been going on almost forever. as far back as moses. [laughter] and now all the way through -- facebook. from what i heard from one of you about the story of stalin and truman was surprised he was not surprised about something. are we behind the eight ball and are we still somewhat naive and now that the lead of it between , then and now? >> in the late 1940's, the united states was behind in identifying soviet espionage especially. j edgar hoover was fighting organized crime, looking for not
nazi symbol versus -- subversives during world war ii. i think they were playing catch-up when the big spy network came on the scene about the middle of 1950. i do not know if he was privy to the transcripts. as far as today, the modern fbi army had its own counter intelligence organization and so does the navy and air force. they are very much on top of this. as a civilian employee of the army now, we see briefing on a regular basis. it is very much at the top of the agenda in terms of --
especially with the sophisticated wave how espionage takes place through information technology. >> just to build on that, i would emphasize the rush of events during the early cold war. the soviets had been an ally of ours in the fight against nazi germany and japan. ambivalentn was about that. as senator, he was quoted with he wanted to see both countries fight it out. the soviet union and nazi germany. he did not want to see germany win. truman himself had not been briefed as vice president of the united states. he served 482 days on the atomic
days.r 82 and was not kept in the loop -- for 82 days on the atomic bomb project and was not kept in the loop. truman did not have a deep background in foreign affairs to begin with, but he was a quick study and hard worker. he learned very quickly. he read a lot. truman also wanted to trust time -- at the time of july 1945. he needed the soviets help in the war against japan. even when he -- and he wrote that in his diaries published on our website. you can see the diaries and his writings. he is really interested in enlisting the soviet union's
help against the japan. even when he finds out the atomic tests were successful in the new mexico desert, a few days before, he wanted to report that to the soviets. that is interesting to me. you might want to keep that close to the vest, but he did report it. [laughter] i think he was holding out hope that he could get the soviets help in the war against japan and that the atomic bomb may not be enough to accomplish our ends. >> given the manhattan project was so secret that even truman did not know about it while he was president, how does ethel rosenberg's brother become part of the project? do you have any idea?
>> the rosenbergs worked their way in to the defense industry at the time during world war ii. a lot of them knew each other. brother had gotten the job and julius had the job. they worked their ways into it. even harry gold worked his way into it and had been recruited prior to world war ii. they did a very good job of hiding the network from officials. there was some vetting of employees, whether military members versus employees of the war department, but they were able to escape that and mask it. the way all of this was uncovered was that one person was discovered and told all.
>> what was their motive? financial, blackmail? they say follow the money. >> i believe the rosenbergs were ideological. they were committed to the communist movement. which is, if you think about it, is a stark contrast to the way the soviet union treated jewish people. many of these people were jewish, and if you look at how they treated people of the jewish faith, a lot of these people became committed to the communist party in the 1930's. a little bit in the wake of the great depression when communism seemed to take hold in the
1920's and 1930's. >> this was not motivated -- they cannot find where they were paid very well for this. almost all of them were very committed to the ideology. >> i couldn't help but notice the topic for today's speeches. trying to draw parallels between what is going on in our world today. there are some parties that believe russia is more friendly to us and some are less friendly to us, did this happen from the cold war thawing a bit or can you draw parallels to today? >> i became an officer during
the cold war, so most of my service was during that time when i was commissioned as second lieutenant in 1986. that was our main focus in the -- and the main adversary was the soviet union. we were always on guard to -- against soviet espionage. when the law fell and events happened in the early 1990's, it is known that the cia was caught off guard with the soviet union. things thawed a little bit. the former soviet union was in great disarray and they had political and economic troubles. that went away a little bit. we were decisively engaged which -- in the balkans which was a , result of the fall of the soviet union. we were later engaged in coves in kosovo. the soviet union was trying to find its place in the modern world that the time.
then, the rise of vladimir putin has brought russia back into a strong footing and they have become more of an adversary. in later years, putin has tried to restore some of the former glory of the soviet union. pay attention for a long time in there. that looks back on the forefront of the other intelligence agencies. the fbi, as you see in the headlines as well. [applause] >> thank you. >> american history tv is in prime time next week on c-span3. monday at 8 p.m. eastern, a discussion on the world of lack
teachers who fought against school segregation. emory university professor joins us. symposium on the concept of liberty, exploring how the ideas of freedom and liberty have changed their own history. wednesday, on oral history, women in congress series continues. historians look at the role of espionage and that u.s. conflict over the past century and a half. friday, unreal america, the world war ii film series why we fight about the outbreak of world war ii. ofrl harbor and the rise authoritarianism and germany, italy, and japan. watch american history tv next week in prime time on c-span3. morning, we are live in springfield, illinois, for the freddie forced stop on the
c-span capital tour. illinois state representative will be our guest on washington journal starting at 9:40 a.m. eastern. history tv is on c-span3 every weekend featuring museum pores, archival films, and programs on the presidency, the civil war, and more. here's a clip from a recent program. >> after i got elected, my stop was say, you cannot go down there and talk about being a welfare mother because that is all you will be known for. my answer was, if i don't do it, who will? come on. you've got to show by example. you cannot just talk about things. it turned out that was not all i was known for. and id stand on the floor
remember this. i was part of the welfare reform, one of the cochairs of the committee in the house when , i think it was the fourth year i was in congress. i would be talking about my experiences and the place would be, you could hear a pin drop. i heard somebody say, she's different. said, the picture of a welfare mom ise average welfare caucasian, has two kids, i have three, and they are on welfare and they are abandoned by the father and they are in the system of 4-5 years.
i was three years, i think. when you make people realize >> you can watch this and other american history programs on our website, where all our video is archived. that is c-span.org/history. ♪ >> 100 years ago, on september 12, 1918, the american expeditionary force launched their first independent operation of world war i. franceel to northeastern to visit a few locations and learn about