Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Joseph C. Goulden: How Russians Meddled In The 1938 Election


Veteran journalist and author Joseph C. Goulden (seen in the below photo), a noted authority on intelligence matters, offers a piece in the Washington Times on how the Russians have a history of meddling in U.S. politics.


Did Russia meddle in the 2016 presidential election?

President Donald Trump emphatically says “no.” But the hierarchy of the U. S. intelligence community is equally firm in saying “yes.” With three probes in progress — two by Congress, another by an independent counsel — an answer perhaps will eventually be found.

But such Moscow meddling would not be without precedent Documents from the archives of the Russian spy agency NKVD — later the KGB — detail a communist attempt in 1938 to unseat U.S. Rep. Howard W. Smith, who represented the 8th Congressional District in Northern Virginia.

Mr. Smith was one of many conservative congressmen who opposed President Roosevelt’s New Deal measures. As a result, the White House targeted them for replacement by reliable liberals.
But Moscow went against Mr. Smith for another reason. He wrote the so-called “Smith Act,” which made it a crime to advocate overthrow of the government by violent means, or to be a member of any group advocating such actions. The primary targets of Mr. Smith and other sponsors were worrisome to Nazi-oriented groups as war loomed in Europe.

But the Communist Party, USA, (CPUSA) was also on their minds. Hence Moscow’s alarm. (More than 100 CPUSA members would be convicted before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the act. But the party was decimated.)

As their candidate against Mr. Smith in the Democratic primary, the NKVD station in New York chose William Dodd, Jr., son of the U. S. ambassador in Berlin. NKVD files show that journalist I.F. Stone did the recruiting. Mr. Dodd was a sometime-journalist who wrote for several Communist publications, although he would always deny CPUSA membership.

At the insistence of the New York station, Moscow gave Mr. Dodd $1,500 — equivalent to $26,000 today. A receipt was obtained, which meant Mr. Dodd was now in Russia’s hands.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


  
You can also read my Counterterrorism magazine interview with Joseph C. Goulden via the below link:

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