Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Grand Jury Testimony from Rosenberg Trial To Be Released


The ONLY spies executed in the 20th Century were the Rosenbergs. (Although the Solviet Archives later confirmed that the Rosenbergs had been spies for Russia, it did not confirm that the nuclear secrets had been shared by the Rosenbergs.)

Now Pollard rots in prison, with the longest conviction for spying--life in prison.

Coincidence that they are Jews? Coincidence they were both spying for "friendly" countries (Russia was a US alli during WWI and WWII). Hmmmm.

By the way, David Tenenbaum was the subject of a government report which detailed how the US Army's religious bias led to espionage charges against him. See a great collection of articles regarding this case on the Pollard website.

Here's a little background on the
espionage act, if you don't know much about it. It was passed in 1917 just after the Bolshevik revolution in order to protect the United States from socialism. It prescribed a $10,000 fine and 20 years' imprisonment for interfering with recruiting of troops, disclosing information about national defence and refusing military duty. Approximately 900 people were imprisoned in the first year after the act was approved, mostly anti-war activists such as Eugene V. Debs, Bill Haywood, Philip Randolph, Victor Berger, John Reed, Max Eastman, and Emma Goldman.

On 23rd August six members of the Frayhayt, a group of Jewish anarchists based in New York were arrested. Charged under the Espionage Act, the group were accused of publishing articles in the Der Shturm that undermined the American war effort. This included criticizing the United States government for invading Russia after the Bolshevik government signed the Brest-Litovsk Treaty.

One of the group, Jacob Schwartz, was so badly beaten by the police when he was arrested that he died soon afterwards. Mollie Steimer was found guilty and sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment. Three of the men, Samuel Lipman, Hyman Lachowsky and Jacob Abrahams received twenty years.

Over 450 conscientious objectors were imprisoned as a result of this legislation including Rose Pastor Stokes who was sentenced to ten years in prison for saying, in a letter to the Kansas City Star, that "no government which is for the profiteers can also be for the people, and I am for the people while the government is for the profiteers." Soon afterwards Kate Richards O'Hare was sentenced to five years for making an anti-war speech in North Dakota.

The socialist journal, The Masses was prosecuted in 1918 under the Espionage Act. It was claimed by the authorities that articles by Floyd Dell and Max Eastman and cartoons by Art Young, Boardman Robinson and H. J. Glintenkamp had undermined the war effort. The legal action that followed forced the journal to cease publication.

During the Red Scare (1919-20) A. Mitchell Palmer, the attorney general and his special assistant, John Edgar Hoover, used the Espionage Act and the Sedition Act to launch a campaign against radicals and left-wing organizations. Under these two laws 1500 people were arrested for disloyalty.

Posted: 4:02 am
July 23, 2008

Nearly all the secret grand-jury testimony from the sensational 1950s Ethel and Julius Rosenberg espionage case will be made public, a Manhattan federal judge said yesterday, with at least one glaring omission - that of Ethel's turncoat brother.

US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein - responding to a petition led by a group of historians and backed by the executed Cold War couple's grown children - agreed to release testimony of all but 10 of the more than 40 grand-jury witnesses in the case.

The judge did not say when the testimony would be made public, but lawyers indicated it would occur in the fall.

The released testimony is from witnesses who have either died or consented to have their statements made public.

But one witness who refused to allow his testimony to be made public was David Greenglass, Ethel's older brother.

Greenglass is infamous for implicating his sister. He has since said he was pressured to lie by the feds.

The testimony of Greenglass, whom his sister called "Doovey," was crucial to the government's weak case against Ethel, and is credited with sending her to the electric chair.

The Rosenbergs, originally from The Bronx, were convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and sent to the electric chair at Sing Sing in 1953.

Years of research indicate that Julius was a spy, while Ethel's role remains unclear.

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