Ninety-Plus Years of Democratic Silence on Russian Meddling

Under extraordinary pressure brought by prosecutors activated by charges of Russian meddling in America’s democratic process, Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who once said he’d do anything to protect the President, now says his first loyalty is to his family and country.

Cohen even echoed Democratic talking points about Russian interference himself, saying, “As an American, I repudiate Russia’s or any other foreign government’s attempt to interfere or meddle in our democratic process, and I would call on all Americans to do the same.”

For the record, I too call on all Americans to do the same – starting with Russia’s successful attempts to interfere in our democratic process in the past.

According to Ion Mihai Pacepa, former chief of intelligence in Communist Romania, after all:

During the Cold War, more people in the Soviet bloc worked for the dezinformatsiya machine than for the Soviet army and defense industry put together. The bloc’s intelligence community alone had over one million officers (the KGB had over 700,000) and several million informants around the world. All were involved in deceiving the West—and their own country—or in supporting the effort.

For instance, in 1928, the Communist International, or “Comintern,” began a plan to recruit southern Blacks in an effort to push for “self-determination in the Black Belt.”  By 1930 that plan had morphed into work toward establishing a full-fledged separate black state in the South, intended as a foothold for spreading revolution to America.

Where were the Democrats? So far from calling them out, when Franklin D. Roosevelt had his first opportunity to name a member of the Supreme Court, he appointed a life member of the Ku Klux Klan, Sen. Hugo Black, Democrat of Alabama.

Russia also interfered in our democratic process in the past to dodge responsibility for the 1932-33 Ukraine Terror Famine.  As millions starved, for instance, The New York Times’Pulitzer Prize–winning Walter Duranty,surrounded by Soviet agents of influence in Moscow, on March 1, 1933 rationalized the forced mass expulsion of a million peasant families, claiming that:

The Russian masses may and do grumble about shortages and other difficulties, but there is no sign they are horrified, alarmed or even disapproving at the sight of “removals” of recalcitrant peasants . . .They accept the Bolshevist explanation that “class enemies” must be defeated and made powerless, and, as far as this writer can see, they accept it readily as a natural and indeed excellent thing.

Remember that the next time the New York Times objects to Russian interference.

The Russians also managed to meddle in our democratic process to pin the 1940 Katyn Forest massacre of 22,000 Polish officers on the Germans when Stalin himself signed the execution order.

Specifically, British diplomat Owen O’Malley wrote a report on Katyn in the spring of 1943 concluding the Soviets were guilty, and Churchill gave the report to Roosevelt.

Army Capt. Donald B. Stewart likewise Stewart sent a coded message in 1943 to military intelligence indicating that he and Van Vliet believed the Soviets were guilty of the massacre.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. George H. Earle testified that he personally gave Roosevelt evidence the Soviets were behind Katyn in 1944.

On May 22, 1945, U.S. Army Lt. Col. John H. Van Vliet presented Katyn information on Soviet guilt he’d gained as a POW directly to the head of military intelligence, Gen. Clayton Bissell – who tagged the report Top Secret, and, according to Van Vliet, “then dictated the letter directing me to silence.”

Perhaps the silence on the part of the Democratic Administration and the military itself in the face of the Russian crimes was part of the War effort, to maintain the unholy alliance with Stalin.

But less than a decade ago, newly uncovered documents showed Capt. Stewart was ordered in 1950 — long after the War was over, though soon before the Congressional committee looking into Katyn began its work — “never to speak about a secret message on Katyn.”

What about Pearl Harbor? A 2012 book details how Russians interfered with our democratic processes during the Roosevelt Administration to provoke the Japanese into launching the Pearl Harbor attack of December 7, 1941 with what was dubbed Operation Snow, also the book’s title.

The book “shows how Joseph Stalin and the KGB used a vast network of double-agents and communist sympathizers—most notably, Harry Dexter White—to lead Japan into war against the United States, demonstrating incontestable Soviet involvement behind the bombing of Pearl Harbor.”

Remember all the Democrats outraged about Russian interference after the release of Operation Snow in 2012?  Me neither.

We also know that the Russians interfered with our democratic processes to engineer the Allied withdrawal from the Italian front to re-invade the Continent on D-Day, June 6, 1944, over Churchill’s objections, to move Allied forces as far from Soviet forces as physically possible, opening a so-called Second Front.

And to decide upon a policy of Unconditional Surrender thus helping Hitler, lengthening the war and worsening the Holocaust to break Germany on Russia’s doorstep.

And to prolong the War by concocting the Morgenthau Plan to destroy Germany’s industrial capability, thus motivating Hitler’s soldiers still further, to increase the level of destruction and open Eastern Europe for Stalin’s domination.

And to gain approval to smuggle uranium and nuclear secrets through Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Mont. to the Soviet Union, supposedly as part of the Lend-Lease program, likely accelerating the USSR’s path to nuclear weapons, the onset of the Cold War, and the Korean War.

And to funnel $2-3 million a year from 1935 to at least 1953 to its primary American front group, enlisting the support of at least 3,500 professors as “dues-paying members, many others as fellow travelers, some as out-and-out espionage agents, some as adherents of the party line in varying degrees, and some as the unwitting dupes of subversion.”

According to defector KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov, that was accomplished by “exchanging students with Moscow, flooding college campuses with Marxist literature; participating in international seminars; infiltrating universities with radical leftists (often unknowingly under the guidance of KGB subverters); establishing Communist-staffed news media; and organizing “study groups” to disseminate Communist propaganda.”

Remember all the Democratic protests and New York Timeseditorials about that Russian interference?  Me neither.

According to a now-declassified CIA document from 1981, Russia had by then trained an estimated 13,955 students from Latin American and the Caribbean in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe since 1956 as part of its “support for revolutionary movements” in our hemisphere, to supports its “long-term objectives of eroding and supplanting US influence in Latin America,” yet moving “in ways designed to avoid directly provoking the United States.”

Russia also tried to corrupt and coopt the American civil rights movement, including unleashing active measures to wield the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a weapon against us.

According to KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin and his coauthor, those efforts ultimately failed, as King generally linked his struggle not to the Soviets’ worldwide struggle against American imperialism but to the fulfillment of the American dream and “the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.”

So instead, in August 1967 the Soviets approved a new operational plan crafted by the deputy head of the KGB’s Service A, the unit tasked with carrying out “active measures” around the world, including misinformation, to political propaganda, to assassinations. Metrokhin and his coauthor report that:

[T]he plan was to discredit King and his chief lieutenants by placing articles in the African press, which could then be reprinted in American newspapers, portraying King as an “Uncle Tom” who was secretly receiving government subsidies to tame the civil rights movement and prevent it threatening the Johnson administration.

My favorite is that Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., directly asked the Russians to intervene on behalf of the Democratic party in the 1984 elections.

This came out in 1991 when Tim Sebastian, a reporter for theLondon Times, stumbled across it in the newly opened Soviet archives.

Remember the special prosecutor?  The FBI seizing 3 million items from Sen. Kennedy’s personal lawyer?

No.  Sen. Kennedy died on August 25, 2009, 18 years later, still a sitting United States Senator.

Whereas Michael Cohen is under intense prosecutorial pressure – in a case that almost certainly started as a Russian attempt to interfere in America’s democratic process.

Don’t expect to hear from the Democrats anytime soon on that one, either.