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I thought the Ware Group deserve their own thread here since it included a number of people of interest, including John Abt, Alger Hiss and Nate Weyl.

There seems to be something going on here that could be of relevance. - BK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ware_Group

The Ware group was a covert organisation of Communist Party operatives within the United States government in the 1930s which aided Soviet intelligence agents. [1]

The group was founded by Harold Ware, a Communist Party (CP) official working for the federal government in Washington D.C.., and it is for him that it is named. By 1934 the group had around 75 members, divided into about eight cells.

The members were initially recruited into Marxist study groups, and then into the CP itself. They shared a belief that Marxist ideologies were the correct way to approach the problems of the ongoing Great Depression. The agents not only provided classified documents to Soviet intelligence, but also used their political influence to further the CP's goals.

The Ware group initially consisted of young lawyers and economists hired by the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), a New Deal agency that reported to the secretary of agriculture but was independent of the Department of Agriculture bureaucracy.

[edit] Notable members

Members of the Ware group included:

Harry Dexter White, then Director of the Division of Monetary Research in the United States Department of the Treasury, was also affiliated with the group.

</H1>

Edited by William Kelly
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I thought the Ware Group deserve their own thread here since it included a number of people of interest, including John Abt, Alger Hiss and Nate Weyl.

There seems to be something going on here that could be of relevance. - BK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ware_Group

The Ware group was a covert organisation of Communist Party operatives within the United States government in the 1930s which aided Soviet intelligence agents. [1]

The group was founded by Harold Ware, a Communist Party (CP) official working for the federal government in Washington D.C.., and it is for him that it is named. By 1934 the group had around 75 members, divided into about eight cells.

The members were initially recruited into Marxist study groups, and then into the CP itself. They shared a belief that Marxist ideologies were the correct way to approach the problems of the ongoing Great Depression. The agents not only provided classified documents to Soviet intelligence, but also used their political influence to further the CP's goals.

The Ware group initially consisted of young lawyers and economists hired by the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), a New Deal agency that reported to the secretary of agriculture but was independent of the Department of Agriculture bureaucracy.

[edit] Notable members

Members of the Ware group included:

Harry Dexter White, then Director of the Division of Monetary Research in the United States Department of the Treasury, was also affiliated with the group.

</H1>

If you go to google/books and enter

Advocate and Activist: Memoirs of an American Communist Lawyer

By John J. Abt/Michael Myerson

you can get a preview of the book.....When Ware died in an automobile accident his widow married John Abt........according to the wiki page on John Abt.

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I thought the Ware Group deserve their own thread here since it included a number of people of interest, including John Abt, Alger Hiss and Nate Weyl.

There seems to be something going on here that could be of relevance. - BK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ware_Group

The Ware group was a covert organisation of Communist Party operatives within the United States government in the 1930s which aided Soviet intelligence agents. [1]

The group was founded by Harold Ware, a Communist Party (CP) official working for the federal government in Washington D.C.., and it is for him that it is named. By 1934 the group had around 75 members, divided into about eight cells.

The members were initially recruited into Marxist study groups, and then into the CP itself. They shared a belief that Marxist ideologies were the correct way to approach the problems of the ongoing Great Depression. The agents not only provided classified documents to Soviet intelligence, but also used their political influence to further the CP's goals.

The Ware group initially consisted of young lawyers and economists hired by the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), a New Deal agency that reported to the secretary of agriculture but was independent of the Department of Agriculture bureaucracy.

[edit] Notable members

Members of the Ware group included:

Harry Dexter White, then Director of the Division of Monetary Research in the United States Department of the Treasury, was also affiliated with the group.

</H1>

If you go to google/books and enter

Advocate and Activist: Memoirs of an American Communist Lawyer

By John J. Abt/Michael Myerson

you can get a preview of the book.....When Ware died in an automobile accident his widow married John Abt........according to the wiki page on John Abt.

When Harold Ware was killed in about l935, Abt not only married Ware's widow, Jessica Smith, but also succeeded him as leader of the group.

Smith was a Socialist and a member of the AFSC, and had been to Russia in the '20's on a relief mission with Ware.

Abt is most often associated with the CPUSA, but there was a time that the Communists (under Browder's leadership) actually supported Norman Thomas' (Socialist Party) presidential campaigns. Thomas, like Ruth Paine, was a native of Ohio.

As far as I am aware, RP had been very active in the AFSC at least up until moving to DFW.

Jessica Smith's Russian trip with Ware had involved "Agricultural collectivization projects", as well as relief work. Back in the US of A, the pair conducted a nine month survey of life in rural America, with the results being published in the "American Farmer". Naturally, Ware concluded that the Soviet system was far superior.

A snip from RP's testimony:

Mr. Jenner.

Have your parents had any interests in political matters?

Mrs. Paine.

Yes. Most of that interest I absorbed from hearing it told about, rather than being around when it was going on. Most of the activity was in New York and, as I have said, I moved 2 weeks after I was born from New York. But they have always been interested in what is called the cooperative movement.

Mr. Jenner.

Tell me what you understand----

Mrs. Paine.

My understanding is that the consumer owns the business. In other words, holds the shares, the stock that control, and determine the management of the business, and share in the profits.

Mr. Jenner.

Is that something like what I would call a farmers cooperative?

Mrs. Paine.

I don't know what farmers cooperative is.

Mr. Jenner.

Would you describe what you understand the cooperative movement is?

Mrs. Paine.

I think consumers cooperative is somewhat different. I am not certain what farmers cooperative is. I know that they were interested in and voted for Norman Thomas when they were in New York.

Mr. Jenner.

Have you ever had any interests of that nature, that is an active political interest in a political party? For example, the Socialist Party which Mr. Thomas was the head, or leader?

Mrs. Paine.

No.

Mr. Jenner.

I take it from this thumbnail sketch of your life up to the present moment, your interests were largely in the Friends and recreation for children, people who needed help. Your interests were in the social area, but not a political party interest.

Mrs. Paine.

That is a correct statement.

********************

I could argue with that... the AFSC was started up by a group of Socialist Quakers in order to help draft resisters. RP is a political animal - even if she wants to semantically disguise that (with a little help from Jenner).

What got me looking at this was reading somewhere that Abt's home phone number was unlisted. Don't know about the US - but here, if a phone number is unlisted, the phone company won't give out any info - it's the whole reason why people have it unlisted to start with. If all of this is true - then Lee could NOT have got Abt's home number from the operator as claimed by the DPD. RP then sprang to mind... and I looked to see if she may have had any connections to the attorney... my question is, does the AFSC via Jessica Smith show the possibility of such a connection?

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  • 3 weeks later...
I thought the Ware Group deserve their own thread here since it included a number of people of interest, including John Abt, Alger Hiss and Nate Weyl.

There seems to be something going on here that could be of relevance. - BK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ware_Group

The Ware group was a covert organisation of Communist Party operatives within the United States government in the 1930s which aided Soviet intelligence agents. [1]

The group was founded by Harold Ware, a Communist Party (CP) official working for the federal government in Washington D.C.., and it is for him that it is named. By 1934 the group had around 75 members, divided into about eight cells.

The members were initially recruited into Marxist study groups, and then into the CP itself. They shared a belief that Marxist ideologies were the correct way to approach the problems of the ongoing Great Depression. The agents not only provided classified documents to Soviet intelligence, but also used their political influence to further the CP's goals.

The Ware group initially consisted of young lawyers and economists hired by the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), a New Deal agency that reported to the secretary of agriculture but was independent of the Department of Agriculture bureaucracy.

[edit] Notable members

Members of the Ware group included:

Harry Dexter White, then Director of the Division of Monetary Research in the United States Department of the Treasury, was also affiliated with the group.

</H1>

If you go to google/books and enter

Advocate and Activist: Memoirs of an American Communist Lawyer

By John J. Abt/Michael Myerson

you can get a preview of the book.....When Ware died in an automobile accident his widow married John Abt........according to the wiki page on John Abt.

When Harold Ware was killed in about l935, Abt not only married Ware's widow, Jessica Smith, but also succeeded him as leader of the group.

Smith was a Socialist and a member of the AFSC, and had been to Russia in the '20's on a relief mission with Ware.

Abt is most often associated with the CPUSA, but there was a time that the Communists (under Browder's leadership) actually supported Norman Thomas' (Socialist Party) presidential campaigns. Thomas, like Ruth Paine, was a native of Ohio.

As far as I am aware, RP had been very active in the AFSC at least up until moving to DFW.

Jessica Smith's Russian trip with Ware had involved "Agricultural collectivization projects", as well as relief work. Back in the US of A, the pair conducted a nine month survey of life in rural America, with the results being published in the "American Farmer". Naturally, Ware concluded that the Soviet system was far superior.

A snip from RP's testimony:

Mr. Jenner.

Have your parents had any interests in political matters?

Mrs. Paine.

Yes. Most of that interest I absorbed from hearing it told about, rather than being around when it was going on. Most of the activity was in New York and, as I have said, I moved 2 weeks after I was born from New York. But they have always been interested in what is called the cooperative movement.

Mr. Jenner.

Tell me what you understand----

Mrs. Paine.

My understanding is that the consumer owns the business. In other words, holds the shares, the stock that control, and determine the management of the business, and share in the profits.

Mr. Jenner.

Is that something like what I would call a farmers cooperative?

Mrs. Paine.

I don't know what farmers cooperative is.

Mr. Jenner.

Would you describe what you understand the cooperative movement is?

Mrs. Paine.

I think consumers cooperative is somewhat different. I am not certain what farmers cooperative is. I know that they were interested in and voted for Norman Thomas when they were in New York.

Mr. Jenner.

Have you ever had any interests of that nature, that is an active political interest in a political party? For example, the Socialist Party which Mr. Thomas was the head, or leader?

Mrs. Paine.

No.

Mr. Jenner.

I take it from this thumbnail sketch of your life up to the present moment, your interests were largely in the Friends and recreation for children, people who needed help. Your interests were in the social area, but not a political party interest.

Mrs. Paine.

That is a correct statement.

********************

I could argue with that... the AFSC was started up by a group of Socialist Quakers in order to help draft resisters. RP is a political animal - even if she wants to semantically disguise that (with a little help from Jenner).

What got me looking at this was reading somewhere that Abt's home phone number was unlisted. Don't know about the US - but here, if a phone number is unlisted, the phone company won't give out any info - it's the whole reason why people have it unlisted to start with. If all of this is true - then Lee could NOT have got Abt's home number from the operator as claimed by the DPD. RP then sprang to mind... and I looked to see if she may have had any connections to the attorney... my question is, does the AFSC via Jessica Smith show the possibility of such a connection?

Although the WARE Group is not exactly a well-known entity, there is at least one book, which mentions it, and the dynamics of certain figures in the Labor movement and their real and suspected involvement with the Communist apparatus, to some degree.

In 1999, author Gilbert J. Gall published Pursuing Justice: Lee Pressman, the New Deal, and the CIO - Albany State University of New York Press, 1999.

To anyone who realizes how pertinent having an understanding of the chronology of individuals, such as John Abt, Lee Pressman, to cite a couple of persons, the book is a goldmine......

I found one passage, particularly illuminating.....

....[Lee] Pressman, certainly ever since his association with the Ware Group, had maintained an active interest in international affairs, though he did not take a lead role in this area as some other CIO officers and staffers did. He would, however, make a speech from time to time. Thus, at a conference of the Inter-American Bar Association in Mexico City in August 1944, he gave a quintessential anti-U.S. imperialism speech. He strongly endorsed Franklin Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy and pointed out how the CIO had worked to ensure U.S. war contracts in Latin America that would contain wage increases for Latin American workers. Given Pressman's interests and his role as a general advisor, then, it was not too surprising that Philip Murray would request his general counsel to serve as part of the CIO delegation to the founding of the WFTU.* To lead the delegation, Murray nominated Sidney Hillman, long interested in international affairs, with CIO Secretary-Treasurer James B. Carey filling the second highest officer slot. John Abt, as Hillman's general counsel, joined the entourage too, as did other officers and staff members, seemingly balanced between the Left and Right on the industrial federation's political spectrum. Of course, to some, the appointment of Pressman, Abt, and other trade union leaders sympathetic to the CP was a windfall for the Soviets. State Department analyst George Kennan, in fact, thought the Soviets regarded the WFTU as a potential tool of Russian foreign policy more useful than the national CPs. Many leaders of national labor movements were Communists; their friendliness to the Soviet Union's international ambitions, as well as the Soviet Union's own trade unions' participation, would give the new organization a pronounced Left influence. FN3

FN3. See, for example, Pressman's remarks in Lee Pressman, "A Basis for Inter-American Cooperation," Address before the Committee on Industrial, Economic, and Social Legislation of the Third Conference of the Inter-American Bar Association, Mexico City, July 31–August 8, 1944, reprinted in Lawyer's Guild Review 4:10 (1940):10–13; Abt, Advocate and Activist, 113–14.

The WFTU conferences coincided with the issuance of the "Duclos" letter by French Communist theoretician Jacques Duclos, which implicitly criticized American CP leader Earl Browder's decision to reform the U.S. domestic Party as an "interest" group. Within the American party, the Duclos letter launched an internal power struggle between Browder and William Z. Foster. Foster ultimately won and returned the U.S. CP back to its original formulation. To some observers, the Duclos letter signalled a return to a more aggressive or expansionistic form of international Marxism. Under either version of U.S. communism, though, the participation of Communist trade unionists in the WFTU would be important, for it was hoped that the organization could play a potentially significant role in the coming international peace conferences. For a fascinating "inside" look at the issuance of the Duclos letter and its subsequent impact on the internal political life of the Party, see Joseph R. Starobin, American Communism in Crisis, 1943–1957 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972), 71–120. On Browderism, see Maurice Isserman, Which Side Were You On?: The American Communist Party During the Second World War (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1982), 187–243.

The WFTU started with an initial conference in February 1945. "Never before in history was there so representative, so all-inclusive a gathering of the leaders of organized labor around the world," John Abt wrote. In attendance were 204 delegates representing labor bodies with a membership total of nearly 60 million workers. Watched closely by U.S. diplomats, this initial gathering endorsed a panoply of social welfare economic reform measures, de-nazification of Germany, and the right to participate in all international discussions regarding the economic and political structure of the post-war world.......

Pressman had not been able to attend the initial London conference, but soon joined the subsequent discussions.Toward the end of April 1945, as the founding meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco neared, the WFTU's steering committee, which included both Murray and Hillman, met nearby in Oakland to plan the WFTU founding convention for that fall. The nearby location of the labor meeting intended to signal labor leaders' determination that international labor meant to play a role in shaping post-war policy. "What we discussed there," Pressman recalled, "was the basic framework of the constitution for the organization, the method of representation, . . . the basic problems pertaining to an organization were . . . worked out. And there weren't too many disagreements." Hillman, according to Abt, again utilized the radical politics of the two lawyers by arranging for them to be the drafters of the WFTU's constitution, thereby helping to win Soviet assent to a compromise he had worked out on organizational structure and voting rights.

Philip Murray, discomforted at first with the thought of sitting down with Communists, soon bonded with the Soviets top official, Vasselli Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov had met with the CIO executive board en route to California and had immediately put Murray at ease. The Russian diplomat had spent time at Carnegie Mellon and had worked in a Ford auto factory before returning to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. To Murray, in several ways Kuznetsov seemed quite like all the Slavs he had known back home in Pennsylvania. And although Kuznetsov was a Communist, he was also a trade unionist, and this commonality with Murray smoothed over ideological tensions. Even so, the Russians could not resist pointing out the difference status accorded labor in the two countries......

* World Federation of Trade Unions

...If one google's the WFTU, one might tend to read between the lines, and draw conclusions......That is ones perogative, but it is not a very scholarly approach to educating ones self regarding complex political organizations. As a matter of fact, there are some who feel that approach was taken by the ideological enemies of the Kennedy Administration.

Edited by Robert Howard
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Although the WARE Group is not exactly a well-known entity, there is at least one book, which mentions it, and the dynamics of certain figures in the Labor movement and their real and suspected involvement with the Communist apparatus, to some degree.

In 1999, author Gilbert J. Gall published Pursuing Justice: Lee Pressman, the New Deal, and the CIO - Albany State University of New York Press, 1999.

To anyone who realizes how pertinent having an understanding of the chronology of individuals, such as John Abt, Lee Pressman, to cite a couple of persons, the book is a goldmine......

I found one passage, particularly illuminating.....

....[Lee] Pressman, certainly ever since his association with the Ware Group, had maintained an active interest in international affairs, though he did not take a lead role in this area as some other CIO officers and staffers did. He would, however, make a speech from time to time. Thus, at a conference of the Inter-American Bar Association in Mexico City in August 1944, he gave a quintessential anti-U.S. imperialism speech. He strongly endorsed Franklin Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy and pointed out how the CIO had worked to ensure U.S. war contracts in Latin America that would contain wage increases for Latin American workers. Given Pressman's interests and his role as a general advisor, then, it was not too surprising that Philip Murray would request his general counsel to serve as part of the CIO delegation to the founding of the WFTU.* To lead the delegation, Murray nominated Sidney Hillman, long interested in international affairs, with CIO Secretary-Treasurer James B. Carey filling the second highest officer slot. John Abt, as Hillman's general counsel, joined the entourage too, as did other officers and staff members, seemingly balanced between the Left and Right on the industrial federation's political spectrum. Of course, to some, the appointment of Pressman, Abt, and other trade union leaders sympathetic to the CP was a windfall for the Soviets. State Department analyst George Kennan, in fact, thought the Soviets regarded the WFTU as a potential tool of Russian foreign policy more useful than the national CPs. Many leaders of national labor movements were Communists; their friendliness to the Soviet Union's international ambitions, as well as the Soviet Union's own trade unions' participation, would give the new organization a pronounced Left influence. FN3

FN3. See, for example, Pressman's remarks in Lee Pressman, "A Basis for Inter-American Cooperation," Address before the Committee on Industrial, Economic, and Social Legislation of the Third Conference of the Inter-American Bar Association, Mexico City, July 31–August 8, 1944, reprinted in Lawyer's Guild Review 4:10 (1940):10–13; Abt, Advocate and Activist, 113–14.

The WFTU conferences coincided with the issuance of the "Duclos" letter by French Communist theoretician Jacques Duclos, which implicitly criticized American CP leader Earl Browder's decision to reform the U.S. domestic Party as an "interest" group. Within the American party, the Duclos letter launched an internal power struggle between Browder and William Z. Foster. Foster ultimately won and returned the U.S. CP back to its original formulation. To some observers, the Duclos letter signalled a return to a more aggressive or expansionistic form of international Marxism. Under either version of U.S. communism, though, the participation of Communist trade unionists in the WFTU would be important, for it was hoped that the organization could play a potentially significant role in the coming international peace conferences. For a fascinating "inside" look at the issuance of the Duclos letter and its subsequent impact on the internal political life of the Party, see Joseph R. Starobin, American Communism in Crisis, 1943–1957 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972), 71–120. On Browderism, see Maurice Isserman, Which Side Were You On?: The American Communist Party During the Second World War (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1982), 187–243.

The WFTU started with an initial conference in February 1945. "Never before in history was there so representative, so all-inclusive a gathering of the leaders of organized labor around the world," John Abt wrote. In attendance were 204 delegates representing labor bodies with a membership total of nearly 60 million workers. Watched closely by U.S. diplomats, this initial gathering endorsed a panoply of social welfare economic reform measures, de-nazification of Germany, and the right to participate in all international discussions regarding the economic and political structure of the post-war world.......

Pressman had not been able to attend the initial London conference, but soon joined the subsequent discussions.Toward the end of April 1945, as the founding meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco neared, the WFTU's steering committee, which included both Murray and Hillman, met nearby in Oakland to plan the WFTU founding convention for that fall. The nearby location of the labor meeting intended to signal labor leaders' determination that international labor meant to play a role in shaping post-war policy. "What we discussed there," Pressman recalled, "was the basic framework of the constitution for the organization, the method of representation, . . . the basic problems pertaining to an organization were . . . worked out. And there weren't too many disagreements." Hillman, according to Abt, again utilized the radical politics of the two lawyers by arranging for them to be the drafters of the WFTU's constitution, thereby helping to win Soviet assent to a compromise he had worked out on organizational structure and voting rights.

Philip Murray, discomforted at first with the thought of sitting down with Communists, soon bonded with the Soviets top official, Vasselli Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov had met with the CIO executive board en route to California and had immediately put Murray at ease. The Russian diplomat had spent time at Carnegie Mellon and had worked in a Ford auto factory before returning to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. To Murray, in several ways Kuznetsov seemed quite like all the Slavs he had known back home in Pennsylvania. And although Kuznetsov was a Communist, he was also a trade unionist, and this commonality with Murray smoothed over ideological tensions. Even so, the Russians could not resist pointing out the difference status accorded labor in the two countries......

* World Federation of Trade Unions

...If one google's the WFTU, one might tend to read between the lines, and draw conclusions......That is ones perogative, but it is not a very scholarly approach to educating ones self regarding complex political organizations. As a matter of fact, there are some who feel that approach was taken by the ideological enemies of the Kennedy Administration.

Thanks Robert. Pressman comes across as an imposing individual.

There is a lot of good information on this group also to be found in searching alt.assassination.jfk archives. One example:

Robert Morris and Walker were both very active in considering John Abt a "threat", I have "
No Wonder We are Losing
" and Abt is mentioned in the book as follows: "
The head of the next most important group of Soviet espio­nage agents with whom Bentley has maintained liaison was Victor Perlo, of the War Production Board. Members of this group were introduced to Bentley early in 1944 at the apartment of John Abt, general counsel for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, CIO, in New York City
."

This group was considered the "Ware Group" after Harold Ware, which also had Dallas operations. -
posted by Jim Olmstead Jan 25, 2000
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Although the WARE Group is not exactly a well-known entity, there is at least one book, which mentions it, and the dynamics of certain figures in the Labor movement and their real and suspected involvement with the Communist apparatus, to some degree.

In 1999, author Gilbert J. Gall published Pursuing Justice: Lee Pressman, the New Deal, and the CIO - Albany State University of New York Press, 1999.

To anyone who realizes how pertinent having an understanding of the chronology of individuals, such as John Abt, Lee Pressman, to cite a couple of persons, the book is a goldmine......

I found one passage, particularly illuminating.....

....[Lee] Pressman, certainly ever since his association with the Ware Group, had maintained an active interest in international affairs, though he did not take a lead role in this area as some other CIO officers and staffers did. He would, however, make a speech from time to time. Thus, at a conference of the Inter-American Bar Association in Mexico City in August 1944, he gave a quintessential anti-U.S. imperialism speech. He strongly endorsed Franklin Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy and pointed out how the CIO had worked to ensure U.S. war contracts in Latin America that would contain wage increases for Latin American workers. Given Pressman's interests and his role as a general advisor, then, it was not too surprising that Philip Murray would request his general counsel to serve as part of the CIO delegation to the founding of the WFTU.* To lead the delegation, Murray nominated Sidney Hillman, long interested in international affairs, with CIO Secretary-Treasurer James B. Carey filling the second highest officer slot. John Abt, as Hillman's general counsel, joined the entourage too, as did other officers and staff members, seemingly balanced between the Left and Right on the industrial federation's political spectrum. Of course, to some, the appointment of Pressman, Abt, and other trade union leaders sympathetic to the CP was a windfall for the Soviets. State Department analyst George Kennan, in fact, thought the Soviets regarded the WFTU as a potential tool of Russian foreign policy more useful than the national CPs. Many leaders of national labor movements were Communists; their friendliness to the Soviet Union's international ambitions, as well as the Soviet Union's own trade unions' participation, would give the new organization a pronounced Left influence. FN3

FN3. See, for example, Pressman's remarks in Lee Pressman, "A Basis for Inter-American Cooperation," Address before the Committee on Industrial, Economic, and Social Legislation of the Third Conference of the Inter-American Bar Association, Mexico City, July 31–August 8, 1944, reprinted in Lawyer's Guild Review 4:10 (1940):10–13; Abt, Advocate and Activist, 113–14.

The WFTU conferences coincided with the issuance of the "Duclos" letter by French Communist theoretician Jacques Duclos, which implicitly criticized American CP leader Earl Browder's decision to reform the U.S. domestic Party as an "interest" group. Within the American party, the Duclos letter launched an internal power struggle between Browder and William Z. Foster. Foster ultimately won and returned the U.S. CP back to its original formulation. To some observers, the Duclos letter signalled a return to a more aggressive or expansionistic form of international Marxism. Under either version of U.S. communism, though, the participation of Communist trade unionists in the WFTU would be important, for it was hoped that the organization could play a potentially significant role in the coming international peace conferences. For a fascinating "inside" look at the issuance of the Duclos letter and its subsequent impact on the internal political life of the Party, see Joseph R. Starobin, American Communism in Crisis, 1943–1957 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972), 71–120. On Browderism, see Maurice Isserman, Which Side Were You On?: The American Communist Party During the Second World War (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1982), 187–243.

The WFTU started with an initial conference in February 1945. "Never before in history was there so representative, so all-inclusive a gathering of the leaders of organized labor around the world," John Abt wrote. In attendance were 204 delegates representing labor bodies with a membership total of nearly 60 million workers. Watched closely by U.S. diplomats, this initial gathering endorsed a panoply of social welfare economic reform measures, de-nazification of Germany, and the right to participate in all international discussions regarding the economic and political structure of the post-war world.......

Pressman had not been able to attend the initial London conference, but soon joined the subsequent discussions.Toward the end of April 1945, as the founding meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco neared, the WFTU's steering committee, which included both Murray and Hillman, met nearby in Oakland to plan the WFTU founding convention for that fall. The nearby location of the labor meeting intended to signal labor leaders' determination that international labor meant to play a role in shaping post-war policy. "What we discussed there," Pressman recalled, "was the basic framework of the constitution for the organization, the method of representation, . . . the basic problems pertaining to an organization were . . . worked out. And there weren't too many disagreements." Hillman, according to Abt, again utilized the radical politics of the two lawyers by arranging for them to be the drafters of the WFTU's constitution, thereby helping to win Soviet assent to a compromise he had worked out on organizational structure and voting rights.

Philip Murray, discomforted at first with the thought of sitting down with Communists, soon bonded with the Soviets top official, Vasselli Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov had met with the CIO executive board en route to California and had immediately put Murray at ease. The Russian diplomat had spent time at Carnegie Mellon and had worked in a Ford auto factory before returning to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. To Murray, in several ways Kuznetsov seemed quite like all the Slavs he had known back home in Pennsylvania. And although Kuznetsov was a Communist, he was also a trade unionist, and this commonality with Murray smoothed over ideological tensions. Even so, the Russians could not resist pointing out the difference status accorded labor in the two countries......

* World Federation of Trade Unions

...If one google's the WFTU, one might tend to read between the lines, and draw conclusions......That is ones perogative, but it is not a very scholarly approach to educating ones self regarding complex political organizations. As a matter of fact, there are some who feel that approach was taken by the ideological enemies of the Kennedy Administration.

Thanks Robert. Pressman comes across as an imposing individual.

There is a lot of good information on this group also to be found in searching alt.assassination.jfk archives. One example:

Robert Morris and Walker were both very active in considering John Abt a "threat", I have "
No Wonder We are Losing
" and Abt is mentioned in the book as follows: "
The head of the next most important group of Soviet espio­nage agents with whom Bentley has maintained liaison was Victor Perlo, of the War Production Board. Members of this group were introduced to Bentley early in 1944 at the apartment of John Abt, general counsel for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, CIO, in New York City
."

This group was considered the "Ware Group" after Harold Ware, which also had Dallas operations. -
posted by Jim Olmstead Jan 25, 2000

The fact that Morris and Walker considered Abt a "threat," probably does not come as much of a surprise to anyone here on the Forum, but I did not know that particular factoid you posted. In my research, it is amazing to discover how many sub-plots in the JFK assassination have to do with real and or imagined fears about certain people being Communist's. Considering the McCarthy Hearings, and like-minded individuals, this dynamic inevitably connects to those individuals who were Jewish.....

Bendersky's The Politics of Anti-Semitism in the U S Army, is required reading to fully understand how the military, in general was suspicious of those who were Jewish, especially those in government. The counterpoint can be found in World of Our Fathers - The Journey of the East European Jews to America and The Life They Found And Made - Irving Howe.....

To summarize a fairly complex situation, it would go something like this, if you were Jewish in Russia in 1904 and living under a monarchy completely out of touch, with ordinary people and were treated like something less than human, upon coming to the United States, it would be understandable to recognize some of the same prejudices in the New World that you had left the old world to get away from. It is all about being "different," the same dynamic appplies even today. Yes, there were some Yiddish anarchists who lived in New York City, but in all probability, only 1% of all millions of Jewish immigrants were so hard-core, to the point where they were seeking to overthrow the US government......There is something profoundly disturbing in recalling that Army Intelligence, the U S Army and the extreme right of the 1950's & 1960's, rationalized their prejudices and hatred, by virtue of the Ultimate Conspiracy Theory, called the Protocols of Zion, which, in reality was written by the very same individuals who were persecuting the Jews in the first place......

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  • 3 weeks later...
Although the WARE Group is not exactly a well-known entity, there is at least one book, which mentions it, and the dynamics of certain figures in the Labor movement and their real and suspected involvement with the Communist apparatus, to some degree.

In 1999, author Gilbert J. Gall published Pursuing Justice: Lee Pressman, the New Deal, and the CIO - Albany State University of New York Press, 1999.

To anyone who realizes how pertinent having an understanding of the chronology of individuals, such as John Abt, Lee Pressman, to cite a couple of persons, the book is a goldmine......

I found one passage, particularly illuminating.....

....[Lee] Pressman, certainly ever since his association with the Ware Group, had maintained an active interest in international affairs, though he did not take a lead role in this area as some other CIO officers and staffers did. He would, however, make a speech from time to time. Thus, at a conference of the Inter-American Bar Association in Mexico City in August 1944, he gave a quintessential anti-U.S. imperialism speech. He strongly endorsed Franklin Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy and pointed out how the CIO had worked to ensure U.S. war contracts in Latin America that would contain wage increases for Latin American workers. Given Pressman's interests and his role as a general advisor, then, it was not too surprising that Philip Murray would request his general counsel to serve as part of the CIO delegation to the founding of the WFTU.* To lead the delegation, Murray nominated Sidney Hillman, long interested in international affairs, with CIO Secretary-Treasurer James B. Carey filling the second highest officer slot. John Abt, as Hillman's general counsel, joined the entourage too, as did other officers and staff members, seemingly balanced between the Left and Right on the industrial federation's political spectrum. Of course, to some, the appointment of Pressman, Abt, and other trade union leaders sympathetic to the CP was a windfall for the Soviets. State Department analyst George Kennan, in fact, thought the Soviets regarded the WFTU as a potential tool of Russian foreign policy more useful than the national CPs. Many leaders of national labor movements were Communists; their friendliness to the Soviet Union's international ambitions, as well as the Soviet Union's own trade unions' participation, would give the new organization a pronounced Left influence. FN3

FN3. See, for example, Pressman's remarks in Lee Pressman, "A Basis for Inter-American Cooperation," Address before the Committee on Industrial, Economic, and Social Legislation of the Third Conference of the Inter-American Bar Association, Mexico City, July 31–August 8, 1944, reprinted in Lawyer's Guild Review 4:10 (1940):10–13; Abt, Advocate and Activist, 113–14.

The WFTU conferences coincided with the issuance of the "Duclos" letter by French Communist theoretician Jacques Duclos, which implicitly criticized American CP leader Earl Browder's decision to reform the U.S. domestic Party as an "interest" group. Within the American party, the Duclos letter launched an internal power struggle between Browder and William Z. Foster. Foster ultimately won and returned the U.S. CP back to its original formulation. To some observers, the Duclos letter signalled a return to a more aggressive or expansionistic form of international Marxism. Under either version of U.S. communism, though, the participation of Communist trade unionists in the WFTU would be important, for it was hoped that the organization could play a potentially significant role in the coming international peace conferences. For a fascinating "inside" look at the issuance of the Duclos letter and its subsequent impact on the internal political life of the Party, see Joseph R. Starobin, American Communism in Crisis, 1943–1957 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972), 71–120. On Browderism, see Maurice Isserman, Which Side Were You On?: The American Communist Party During the Second World War (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1982), 187–243.

The WFTU started with an initial conference in February 1945. "Never before in history was there so representative, so all-inclusive a gathering of the leaders of organized labor around the world," John Abt wrote. In attendance were 204 delegates representing labor bodies with a membership total of nearly 60 million workers. Watched closely by U.S. diplomats, this initial gathering endorsed a panoply of social welfare economic reform measures, de-nazification of Germany, and the right to participate in all international discussions regarding the economic and political structure of the post-war world.......

Pressman had not been able to attend the initial London conference, but soon joined the subsequent discussions.Toward the end of April 1945, as the founding meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco neared, the WFTU's steering committee, which included both Murray and Hillman, met nearby in Oakland to plan the WFTU founding convention for that fall. The nearby location of the labor meeting intended to signal labor leaders' determination that international labor meant to play a role in shaping post-war policy. "What we discussed there," Pressman recalled, "was the basic framework of the constitution for the organization, the method of representation, . . . the basic problems pertaining to an organization were . . . worked out. And there weren't too many disagreements." Hillman, according to Abt, again utilized the radical politics of the two lawyers by arranging for them to be the drafters of the WFTU's constitution, thereby helping to win Soviet assent to a compromise he had worked out on organizational structure and voting rights.

Philip Murray, discomforted at first with the thought of sitting down with Communists, soon bonded with the Soviets top official, Vasselli Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov had met with the CIO executive board en route to California and had immediately put Murray at ease. The Russian diplomat had spent time at Carnegie Mellon and had worked in a Ford auto factory before returning to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. To Murray, in several ways Kuznetsov seemed quite like all the Slavs he had known back home in Pennsylvania. And although Kuznetsov was a Communist, he was also a trade unionist, and this commonality with Murray smoothed over ideological tensions. Even so, the Russians could not resist pointing out the difference status accorded labor in the two countries......

* World Federation of Trade Unions

...If one google's the WFTU, one might tend to read between the lines, and draw conclusions......That is ones perogative, but it is not a very scholarly approach to educating ones self regarding complex political organizations. As a matter of fact, there are some who feel that approach was taken by the ideological enemies of the Kennedy Administration.

Thanks Robert. Pressman comes across as an imposing individual.

There is a lot of good information on this group also to be found in searching alt.assassination.jfk archives. One example:

Robert Morris and Walker were both very active in considering John Abt a "threat", I have "
No Wonder We are Losing
" and Abt is mentioned in the book as follows: "
The head of the next most important group of Soviet espio­nage agents with whom Bentley has maintained liaison was Victor Perlo, of the War Production Board. Members of this group were introduced to Bentley early in 1944 at the apartment of John Abt, general counsel for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, CIO, in New York City
."

This group was considered the "Ware Group" after Harold Ware, which also had Dallas operations. -
posted by Jim Olmstead Jan 25, 2000

The fact that Morris and Walker considered Abt a "threat," probably does not come as much of a surprise to anyone here on the Forum, but I did not know that particular factoid you posted. In my research, it is amazing to discover how many sub-plots in the JFK assassination have to do with real and or imagined fears about certain people being Communist's. Considering the McCarthy Hearings, and like-minded individuals, this dynamic inevitably connects to those individuals who were Jewish.....

Bendersky's The Politics of Anti-Semitism in the U S Army, is required reading to fully understand how the military, in general was suspicious of those who were Jewish, especially those in government. The counterpoint can be found in World of Our Fathers - The Journey of the East European Jews to America and The Life They Found And Made - Irving Howe.....

To summarize a fairly complex situation, it would go something like this, if you were Jewish in Russia in 1904 and living under a monarchy completely out of touch, with ordinary people and were treated like something less than human, upon coming to the United States, it would be understandable to recognize some of the same prejudices in the New World that you had left the old world to get away from. It is all about being "different," the same dynamic appplies even today. Yes, there were some Yiddish anarchists who lived in New York City, but in all probability, only 1% of all millions of Jewish immigrants were so hard-core, to the point where they were seeking to overthrow the US government......There is something profoundly disturbing in recalling that Army Intelligence, the U S Army and the extreme right of the 1950's & 1960's, rationalized their prejudices and hatred, by virtue of the Ultimate Conspiracy Theory, called the Protocols of Zion, which, in reality was written by the very same individuals who were persecuting the Jews in the first place......

I would like to interject a seemingly unrelated dynamic to this thread.

Taken from Madame Blavatsky's Baboon.....page 283

http://books.google.com/books?id=gS0FAQAACAAJ&dq

.....Circa Early 1930's England.....If the [Theosophical] Society was now finished as a major social and political force in Britain, its influence on spiritual trends was also in decline. Christian evangelism was reviving in the shape of Moral Rearmament, the Oxford Group and their Catholic equivalents, [1] while youthful idealism went into the Communist Party and the Peace Pledge Union [2] -- or into their right-wing counterpart, Sir Oswald Mosely's Union of Fascists. This pattern was repeated throughout Europe In France opinion was polarising between socialism and the Catholic right, while in Germany Hitler moved against all organisations showing the slightest resistance to his regime, including Theosophy and Anthroposophy, which shared the fate of Christian resistance. Churches of the Steinerite Christian were early victims, not least because Hitler detested pacifists. After the Anschluss and the annexations of Poland and Czechoslovakia, Waldorf schools were closed throughout the Reich and its dependencies. Even Keyserling was persecuted by the state. The Nazi party was too confident of its own ability to embody the German Mission to need help or competition from elsewhere. [3]

1. See Chapter 11, note 10.

2 On the Peace Pledge union see chapter 17.

3 That is not to say, of course, that Hitler had no time for spiritual matters. On the contrary, he is famous for dabbling in the occult, consulting court astrologers in the later years of his reign before making important decisions.

Other leading Nazis were involved with occult schools of various kinds, Hess at one time cultivating Steinerism, while Rosenberg took an interest in Gurdjieff. More generally, Nazi myth-making made explicit the Aryan connotations of recent Europe occultism. Wagner provided a useful focal point for both parties. Hitler's passion for Parsifal rivalled Steiner's, though he drew rather different conclusions from it, finding in the opera not the symbolic representation of Christian mysticism but the celebration of sacrifice in a higher racial cause.

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It would be a mistake to mention the WARE Group, without mentioning another obscure group known as the Perlo Group.

What was the PERLO Group?

The Perlo Group

Victor Perlo was one of the original members of the Ware group of young Communist professionals that Whittaker Chambers met when he arrived in Washington in 1934. Perlo's parents were immigrants from Russia, and he attended Columbia University, gaining bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics. After leaving Columbia he became a statistician for the National Recovery Administration and transferred to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in 1935. In 1937 Perlo went to the Brookings Institution for two years to hone his credentials as an economist. He reentered government employment in 1939 at the Commerce Department. In 1940 he moved to an agency that eventually became the wartime Office of Price Administration, and three years later he became a senior economist at the War Production Board. In 1945, with the wartime agencies disbanding, he transferred to the Division of Monetary Research at the Treasury Department, then headed by Frank Coe, a fellow secret Communist.

The accounts of Hope Davis and Herbert Fuchs depict Perlo as a senior member of the Communist underground in Washington in the late 1930s. Perlo is mentioned in numerous deciphered KGB cables of the Venona Project and was a central figure in Elizabeth Bentley's account of Soviet espionage in the 1940s.

Bentley said that in November 1943 Earl Browder put Golos in touch with a group of Washington Communists that she later came to designate as the Perlo group. Golos met once in New York with the leading figures of the group to discuss their cooperation with his espionage apparatus. He died the same month, however, before a second meeting. Bentley at that point had not met any of its members and knew little about them.

Since Bentley had been acting as Golos's assistant and courier to many of his sources, both the KGB and Earl Browder initially welcomed her taking over much of Golos's role. Early in 1944 Browder urged her to renew Golos's attempt to approach the Perlo group and arranged a meeting, which most likely took place on Sunday, March 5. Bentley could not clearly remember the date, except that it was a rainy Sunday in March. She had also remembered that one participant, Harry Magdoff, had been on sick leave recovering from an operation and was about to return to work at the War Production Board. The FBI checked and found that Magdoff had been on sick leave from January 10 to March 7 for a gall bladder operation, and that it had rained in New York on both Sunday, February 27, and March 5. The bureau was inclined to regard the latter date as the most likely. Elizabeth Bentley FBI deposition, 30 November 1945, FBI file 65-14603; Elizabeth Bentley, Out of Bondage: The Story of Elizabeth Bentley (New York: Ivy Books, 1988), 163–165; New York FBI memo, 16 January 1947, FBI Silvermaster file (FBI file 65-56402), serial 1936.

Elizabeth Bentley met the group at the New York apartment of John Abt, who had been the intermediary between Browder and this Washington-based group. Abt, however, was an increasingly visible labor lawyer, and both he and Browder thought it wise to withdraw him from covert activity. Bentley explained that Abt had introduced her to the group and from that point on had no contact with her espionage apparatus. In addition to Abt, she recalled that Perlo (War Production Board), Charles Kramer (Senate Subcommittee on War Mobilization), Edward Fitzgerald (War Production Board), and Harry Magdoff (War Production Board) had all traveled to New York from Washington for the meeting.

Bentley learned at this meeting that other members of the group included Donald Wheeler (Office of Strategic Services) and Allan Rosenberg (Foreign Economic Administration). Later she was told that the group included among its contacts Harold Glasser (Treasury), Sol Leshinsky (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration), and George Perazich (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration).

Three deciphered KGB cables corroborate Bentley's account. In these Venona cables of April 27, May 13 , and May 30, 1944, the KGB officer Iskhak Akhmerov reported on the reorganization of the KGB system of collecting intelligence from the American Communist party after Golos's death. Golos had worked with Soviet intelligence for a very long time, at least since the mid-1930s and probably earlier, had been born and raised in Russia, and was an ‘‘Old Bolshevik” who had been part of the movement before the 1917 revolution and, if the story he told Bentley is true, even a veteran Chekist (Soviet secret policeman). His death disrupted long-established relationships and required shifting arrangements regarding who reported to whom.

These three cables are Akhmerov's initial report on the Perlo group. Akhmerov stated that after Golos's death, Bentley, acting on Browder's instructions, had taken over liaison with two covert Communist groups in Washington that had reported information to the CPUSA. The messages are not completely deciphered and contain several garbled passages. But in regard to the Perlo group the messages show that Bentley established contact through John Abt. The readable sections of the April 27 KGB cable name as part of the group Charles Kramer, Victor Perlo, Charles Flato, Harold Glasser, and Edward Fitzgerald and state that several other, unnamed persons belonged as well. Flato, an official in the Board of Economic Warfare, is unusual in that he was not named by Bentley in her deposition to the FBI or in her memoir Out of Bondage. Bentley either forgot about him or chose for some reason not to disclose his name. The May 13 message adds this judgment: “They are reliable Fellowcountrymen [Communists], politically highly mature; they want to help with information.” It also names Harry Magdoff as a participant. That Abt's name does not occur in any readable Venona messages after those of April 27 and May 13 conforms to Bentley's account that he handed over the Perlo group and then left clandestine work. Of the ten persons she named as members of the Perlo group (Abt, Perlo, Kramer, Fitzgerald, Magdoff, Wheeler, Glasser, Rosenberg, Leshinsky, and Perazich), the first seven come up in the three deciphered Venona messages discussed here as well as in numerous others

from pages 116-117 Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America by John Earl Haynes/Harvey Klehr

Another item of possible interest would be a movie that some individuals speculate could be a real stunner.

The movie is called My Son John.

My Son John (1952) was directed by Leo McCarey, and was a Paramount Pictures production. It has been mentioned on the internet as one of, the most difficult movies to find period.......

There is a Dallas connection to this movie, and George Sokolsky actually reviewed this movie, if I am not mistaken...

Also See

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.com/?p=14758

Edited by Robert Howard
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  • 4 weeks later...
It would be a mistake to mention the WARE Group, without mentioning another obscure group known as the Perlo Group.

What was the PERLO Group?

The Perlo Group

Victor Perlo was one of the original members of the Ware group of young Communist professionals that Whittaker Chambers met when he arrived in Washington in 1934. Perlo's parents were immigrants from Russia, and he attended Columbia University, gaining bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics. After leaving Columbia he became a statistician for the National Recovery Administration and transferred to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in 1935. In 1937 Perlo went to the Brookings Institution for two years to hone his credentials as an economist. He reentered government employment in 1939 at the Commerce Department. In 1940 he moved to an agency that eventually became the wartime Office of Price Administration, and three years later he became a senior economist at the War Production Board. In 1945, with the wartime agencies disbanding, he transferred to the Division of Monetary Research at the Treasury Department, then headed by Frank Coe, a fellow secret Communist.

The accounts of Hope Davis and Herbert Fuchs depict Perlo as a senior member of the Communist underground in Washington in the late 1930s. Perlo is mentioned in numerous deciphered KGB cables of the Venona Project and was a central figure in Elizabeth Bentley's account of Soviet espionage in the 1940s.

Bentley said that in November 1943 Earl Browder put Golos in touch with a group of Washington Communists that she later came to designate as the Perlo group. Golos met once in New York with the leading figures of the group to discuss their cooperation with his espionage apparatus. He died the same month, however, before a second meeting. Bentley at that point had not met any of its members and knew little about them.

Since Bentley had been acting as Golos's assistant and courier to many of his sources, both the KGB and Earl Browder initially welcomed her taking over much of Golos's role. Early in 1944 Browder urged her to renew Golos's attempt to approach the Perlo group and arranged a meeting, which most likely took place on Sunday, March 5. Bentley could not clearly remember the date, except that it was a rainy Sunday in March. She had also remembered that one participant, Harry Magdoff, had been on sick leave recovering from an operation and was about to return to work at the War Production Board. The FBI checked and found that Magdoff had been on sick leave from January 10 to March 7 for a gall bladder operation, and that it had rained in New York on both Sunday, February 27, and March 5. The bureau was inclined to regard the latter date as the most likely. Elizabeth Bentley FBI deposition, 30 November 1945, FBI file 65-14603; Elizabeth Bentley, Out of Bondage: The Story of Elizabeth Bentley (New York: Ivy Books, 1988), 163–165; New York FBI memo, 16 January 1947, FBI Silvermaster file (FBI file 65-56402), serial 1936.

Elizabeth Bentley met the group at the New York apartment of John Abt, who had been the intermediary between Browder and this Washington-based group. Abt, however, was an increasingly visible labor lawyer, and both he and Browder thought it wise to withdraw him from covert activity. Bentley explained that Abt had introduced her to the group and from that point on had no contact with her espionage apparatus. In addition to Abt, she recalled that Perlo (War Production Board), Charles Kramer (Senate Subcommittee on War Mobilization), Edward Fitzgerald (War Production Board), and Harry Magdoff (War Production Board) had all traveled to New York from Washington for the meeting.

Bentley learned at this meeting that other members of the group included Donald Wheeler (Office of Strategic Services) and Allan Rosenberg (Foreign Economic Administration). Later she was told that the group included among its contacts Harold Glasser (Treasury), Sol Leshinsky (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration), and George Perazich (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration).

Three deciphered KGB cables corroborate Bentley's account. In these Venona cables of April 27, May 13 , and May 30, 1944, the KGB officer Iskhak Akhmerov reported on the reorganization of the KGB system of collecting intelligence from the American Communist party after Golos's death. Golos had worked with Soviet intelligence for a very long time, at least since the mid-1930s and probably earlier, had been born and raised in Russia, and was an ‘‘Old Bolshevik” who had been part of the movement before the 1917 revolution and, if the story he told Bentley is true, even a veteran Chekist (Soviet secret policeman). His death disrupted long-established relationships and required shifting arrangements regarding who reported to whom.

These three cables are Akhmerov's initial report on the Perlo group. Akhmerov stated that after Golos's death, Bentley, acting on Browder's instructions, had taken over liaison with two covert Communist groups in Washington that had reported information to the CPUSA. The messages are not completely deciphered and contain several garbled passages. But in regard to the Perlo group the messages show that Bentley established contact through John Abt. The readable sections of the April 27 KGB cable name as part of the group Charles Kramer, Victor Perlo, Charles Flato, Harold Glasser, and Edward Fitzgerald and state that several other, unnamed persons belonged as well. Flato, an official in the Board of Economic Warfare, is unusual in that he was not named by Bentley in her deposition to the FBI or in her memoir Out of Bondage. Bentley either forgot about him or chose for some reason not to disclose his name. The May 13 message adds this judgment: “They are reliable Fellowcountrymen [Communists], politically highly mature; they want to help with information.” It also names Harry Magdoff as a participant. That Abt's name does not occur in any readable Venona messages after those of April 27 and May 13 conforms to Bentley's account that he handed over the Perlo group and then left clandestine work. Of the ten persons she named as members of the Perlo group (Abt, Perlo, Kramer, Fitzgerald, Magdoff, Wheeler, Glasser, Rosenberg, Leshinsky, and Perazich), the first seven come up in the three deciphered Venona messages discussed here as well as in numerous others

from pages 116-117 Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America by John Earl Haynes/Harvey Klehr

Another item of possible interest would be a movie that some individuals speculate could be a real stunner.

The movie is called My Son John.

My Son John (1952) was directed by Leo McCarey, and was a Paramount Pictures production. It has been mentioned on the internet as one of, the most difficult movies to find period.......

There is a Dallas connection to this movie, and George Sokolsky actually reviewed this movie, if I am not mistaken...

Also See

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.com/?p=14758

John Abt, the lawyer associated with Lee Harvey Oswald is also a name which comes up in the OSS Era, as well as Earl Browder.

A book which is essential to having a grasp of the intrigues which were part of events taking place decades before the Kennedy Assassination, let alone understanding them is Elizabeth Bentley: Out of Bondage......In that book, there is the following passage.

The accounts of Hope Davis and Herbert Fuchs depict Perlo as a senior member of the Communist underground in Washington in the late 1930s. Perlo is mentioned in numerous deciphered KGB cables of the Venona Project and was a central figure in Elizabeth Bentley's account of Soviet espionage in the 1940s.1

Bentley said that in November 1943 Earl Browder put Golos in touch with a group of Washington Communists that she later came to designate as the Perlo group. Golos met once in New York with the leading figures of the group to discuss their cooperation with his espionage apparatus. He died the same month, however, before a second meeting. Bentley at that point had not met any of its members and knew little about them.

Since Bentley had been acting as Golos's assistant and courier to many of his sources, both the KGB and Earl Browder initially welcomed her taking over much of Golos's role. Early in 1944 Browder urged her to renew Golos's attempt to approach the Perlo group and arranged a meeting, which most likely took place on Sunday, March 5. Bentley could not clearly remember the date, except that it was a rainy Sunday in March. She had also remembered that one participant, Harry Magdoff, had been on sick leave recovering from an operation and was about to return to work at the War Production Board. The FBI checked and found that Magdoff had been on sick leave from January 10 to March 7 for a gall bladder operation, and that it had rained in New York on both Sunday, February 27, and March 5. The bureau was inclined to regard the latter date as the most likely. Elizabeth Bentley FBI deposition, 30 November 1945, FBI file 65-14603; Elizabeth Bentley, Out of Bondage: The Story of Elizabeth Bentley (New York: Ivy Books, 1988), 163–165; New York FBI memo, 16 January 1947, FBI Silvermaster file (FBI file 65-56402), serial 1936.

Elizabeth Bentley met the group at the New York apartment of John Abt, who had been the intermediary between Browder and this Washington-based group. Abt, however, was an increasingly visible labor lawyer, and both he and Browder thought it wise to withdraw him from covert activity. Bentley explained that Abt had introduced her to the group and from that point on had no contact with her espionage apparatus. In addition to Abt, she recalled that Perlo (War Production Board), Charles Kramer (Senate Subcommittee on War Mobilization), Edward Fitzgerald (War Production Board), and Harry Magdoff (War Production Board) had all traveled to New York from Washington for the meeting.

Bentley learned at this meeting that other members of the group included Donald Wheeler (Office of Strategic Services) and Allan Rosenberg (Foreign Economic Administration). Later she was told that the group included among its contacts Harold Glasser (Treasury), Sol Leshinsky (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration), and George Perazich (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration).

Three deciphered KGB cables corroborate Bentley's account. In these Venona cables of April 27, May 13 , and May 30, 1944, the KGB officer Iskhak Akhmerov reported on the reorganization of the KGB system of collecting intelligence from the American Communist party after Golos's death. Golos had worked with Soviet intelligence for a very long time, at least since the mid-1930s and probably earlier, had been born and raised in Russia, and was an ‘‘Old Bolshevik” who had been part of the movement before the 1917 revolution and, if the story he told Bentley is true, even a veteran Chekist (Soviet secret policeman). His death disrupted long-established relationships and required shifting arrangements regarding who reported to whom.

These three cables are Akhmerov's initial report on the Perlo group.3 Akhmerov stated that after Golos's death, Bentley, acting on Browder's instructions, had taken over liaison with two covert Communist groups in Washington that had reported information to the CPUSA. The messages are not completely deciphered and contain several garbled passages. But in regard to the Perlo group the messages show that Bentley established contact through John Abt. The readable sections of the April 27 KGB cable name as part of the group Charles Kramer, Victor Perlo, Charles Flato, Harold Glasser, and Edward Fitzgerald and state that several other, unnamed persons belonged as well. Flato, an official in the Board of Economic Warfare, is unusual in that he was not named by Bentley in her deposition to the FBI or in her memoir Out of Bondage. Bentley either forgot about him or chose for some reason not to disclose his name. The May 13 message adds this judgment: “They are reliable Fellowcountrymen [Communists], politically highly mature; they want to help with information.” It also names Harry Magdoff as a participant. That Abt's name does not occur in any readable Venona messages after those of April 27 and May 13 conforms to Bentley's account that he handed over the Perlo group and then left clandestine work. Of the ten persons she named as members of the Perlo group (Abt, Perlo, Kramer, Fitzgerald, Magdoff, Wheeler, Glasser, Rosenberg, Leshinsky, and Perazich), the first seven come up in the three deciphered Venona messages discussed here as well as in numerous others

Elizabeth Bentley, Out of Bondage: The Story of Elizabeth Bentley (New York: Ivy Books, 1988)

Robert.....

It is difficult if not impossible to know everything about everything when it comes to the various names, people, and groups

associated with the Kennedy Assassination. John Abt's activities from say 1961-1963, before the Kennedy Assassination, are an area I am not extremely well versed in, although I have heard that he had ceased and desisted from any relationship with the Communist Party, although I definitely could not confirm that by any documents I've seen. I do see the Oswald/Abt affair as more of possibly one last move in Oswald's career as a U.S. covert operative, than as the Communist Oswaldovich seeking out his nefarious KGB friends, whoever is still doing the "KGB did it" bit these day's.

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In the spirit of a retrospective of the chronology of the ever-changing Soviet-American relationship, I would encourage anyone attempting to absorb this information to the book which can be partially viewed at.....

http://books.google.com/books?id=M8p00bTFv...RA1-PR14-IA2,M1

Entitled Venona:Decoding Soviet Espionage, there is a particularly intruiging account of something called RTsKhIDNI......Comintern Archives.....

It becomes apparent to any serious scholar of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, that the convoluted history of American, Soviet, and British intelligence and espionage, political and not so incidental particulars, in an ascending chronology, is a prerequisite for ascertaining a true and unabashed accounting of the dynamics of the Kennedy Assassination.

It was one of the original goals of the men behind the guns, that the assassin had to be linked to the Communist Party or, at the very least to a political affiliation that reached to the far left.

Why?

Not just in order to pin the assassination on a patsy, but for a reason that is far deeper than even that still controversial assertion; controversial, at least in the minds of the defenders of the original conclusion. Consider initial reports from Communist countries that the assassination was a far-right plot, the argument could be made that had a world leader in Europe been assassinated, there would have been a detailed search of all groups of any political persuasion, right or left, instead of what transpired in regards to JFK.

[so, while there is the obvious qualifier that "your ideological enemies in the Communist world's" statements should be taken with massive grains of salt. The evidence should have been followed wherever it led; the fact that it wasn't is why we are all here on the Forum in the first place.]

The reason why, is that no matter how obvious it was that a certain amount of intellectual sleight-of-hand in retrospect had been used to do this, Example That Lee Oswald was a "card carrying member of the Communist Party," it would be essential that no matter how transparent this "fact" in effect was, it was neccesitated so that any and all detractors of the pronouncement of guilt upon Lee Harvey Oswald, and subsequently the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro could also be labelled as Communist's, communist-sympathisers or people who hate and hated America. This dynamic, I assert, is active even to this day.

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It becomes apparent to any serious scholar of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, that the convoluted history of American, Soviet, and British intelligence and espionage, political and not so incidental particulars, in an ascending chronology, is a prerequisite for ascertaining a true and unabashed accounting of the dynamics of the Kennedy Assassination.

It was one of the original goals of the men behind the guns, that the assassin had to be linked to the Communist Party or, at the very least to a political affiliation that reached to the far left.

Why?

Not just in order to pin the assassination on a patsy, but for a reason that is far deeper than even that still controversial assertion; controversial, at least in the minds of the defenders of the original conclusion. Consider initial reports from Communist countries that the assassination was a far-right plot, the argument could be made that had a world leader in Europe been assassinated, there would have been a detailed search of all groups of any political persuasion, right or left, instead of what transpired in regards to JFK.

[so, while there is the obvious qualifier that "your ideological enemies in the Communist world's" statements should be taken with massive grains of salt. The evidence should have been followed wherever it led; the fact that it wasn't is why we are all here on the Forum in the first place.]

The reason why, is that no matter how obvious it was that a certain amount of intellectual sleight-of-hand in retrospect had been used to do this, Example That Lee Oswald was a "card carrying member of the Communist Party," it would be essential that no matter how transparent this "fact" in effect was, it was neccesitated so that any and all detractors of the pronouncement of guilt upon Lee Harvey Oswald, and subsequently the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro could also be labelled as Communist's, communist-sympathisers or people who hate and hated America. This dynamic, I assert, is active even to this day.

I'm throwing this question out apropos of Robert's post, not in response to it: One has to wonder what Oswald's motive was, precisely.

Was he being blackmailed, was he an anti-communist patriot allowing himself to be sheep-dipped by the US? What brought him to Dallas and what put him in the TSBD? Did he think he could expose the plan? Did he not know that he was working with anti-Castro forces?

I'm entertaining and researching the notion - but not yet supporting it - that Mexico City was explained to him as an establishing of his false pro-Castro credentials, with the payoff being his opportunity to get asylum in Cuba, and then kill Castro.

At least, all that sheep-dipping may have been explained to him as such - I can't think of why else he'd have gone along with it, unless he was just drawing checks for showing up. Late applications to upgrade his discharge and re-enlist, possible warnings sent to the FBI - those may have been second-track attempts at evading the mission entirely, if they occurred.

Any interest in a thread in which we might synthesize the leads to Oswald's motivation? What expectations or hopes of his were betrayed when he was captured in the theater?

Edited by David Andrews
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It becomes apparent to any serious scholar of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, that the convoluted history of American, Soviet, and British intelligence and espionage, political and not so incidental particulars, in an ascending chronology, is a prerequisite for ascertaining a true and unabashed accounting of the dynamics of the Kennedy Assassination.

It was one of the original goals of the men behind the guns, that the assassin had to be linked to the Communist Party or, at the very least to a political affiliation that reached to the far left.

Why?

Not just in order to pin the assassination on a patsy, but for a reason that is far deeper than even that still controversial assertion; controversial, at least in the minds of the defenders of the original conclusion. Consider initial reports from Communist countries that the assassination was a far-right plot, the argument could be made that had a world leader in Europe been assassinated, there would have been a detailed search of all groups of any political persuasion, right or left, instead of what transpired in regards to JFK.

[so, while there is the obvious qualifier that "your ideological enemies in the Communist world's" statements should be taken with massive grains of salt. The evidence should have been followed wherever it led; the fact that it wasn't is why we are all here on the Forum in the first place.]

The reason why, is that no matter how obvious it was that a certain amount of intellectual sleight-of-hand in retrospect had been used to do this, Example That Lee Oswald was a "card carrying member of the Communist Party," it would be essential that no matter how transparent this "fact" in effect was, it was neccesitated so that any and all detractors of the pronouncement of guilt upon Lee Harvey Oswald, and subsequently the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro could also be labelled as Communist's, communist-sympathisers or people who hate and hated America. This dynamic, I assert, is active even to this day.

I'm throwing this question out apropos of Robert's post, not in response to it: One has to wonder what Oswald's motive was, precisely.

Was he being blackmailed, was he an anti-communist patriot allowing himself to be sheep-dipped by the US? What brought him to Dallas and what put him in the TSBD? Did he think he could expose the plan? Did he not know that he was working with anti-Castro forces?

I'm entertaining and researching the notion - but not yet supporting it - that Mexico City was explained to him as an establishing of his false pro-Castro credentials, with the payoff being his opportunity to get asylum in Cuba, and then kill Castro.

At least, all that sheep-dipping may have been explained to him as such - I can't think of why else he'd have gone along with it, unless he was just drawing checks for showing up. Late applications to upgrade his discharge and re-enlist, possible warnings sent to the FBI - those may have been second-track attempts at evading the mission entirely, if they occurred.

Any interest in a thread in which we might synthesize the leads to Oswald's motivation? What expectations or hopes of his were betrayed when he was captured in the theater?

If you conclude that Oswald was set up as the patsy, as he himself claimed to be, then his motive(s) could be totally unconnected with those of the acutal assassin(s), who may have been pure mercinaries for the money, or an anti-Castro Cuban/mobster with a grudge/beef as a motive.

If you are looking for a motive for Oswald to kill the President, I'm afraid you will have to submit to the same conclusions as the Warren Report, Posner, Bugliosi and others who try to portray him as the actual assassin and deranged, lone-nut. There wasn't any.

BK

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If you conclude that Oswald was set up as the patsy, as he himself claimed to be, then his motive(s) could be totally unconnected with those of the acutal assassin(s), who may have been pure mercinaries for the money, or an anti-Castro Cuban/mobster with a grudge/beef as a motive.

If you are looking for a motive for Oswald to kill the President, I'm afraid you will have to submit to the same conclusions as the Warren Report, Posner, Bugliosi and others who try to portray him as the actual assassin and deranged, lone-nut. There wasn't any.

BK

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>

Righto - I should have discussed my motivations. I believe that if we can understand Oswald's motivations coherently across a range of actions (White Russian newspapers in the service; falsely [?] defecting to Russia; leaflets at the Trade Mart and voter registration in Clinton; apparent dropping out of the plot prior to Dallas; Mexico City; Sylvia Odio visit [?]; involvements with characters like Ruby, Hemming, Nagell; taking TSBD job; Texas Theater), we can create an approach to the circumstances that caused him to become the patsy, and thus understand the logistics of events in Dallas better.

Does he have a personal mission here? Is he an infiltrator of the plot for another? Is he just a GI who once defected as a spy, and now is scuffling for government work? Did he issue warnings? Was he an accessory before the fact?

Unlike the Warren Report, I have no doubts that Oswald was an intel op - but to what purpose? Did he have expectations and hopes, good or evil, or was he just a willing footsoldier for covert ops? The more we can plausibly analyze the motives for his actions, the closer we may see how he was used, and whether he was a conspirator or an accessory.

Some of my own interest comes from trying to reconcile Richard Case Nagell's experience of an Oswald apparently convinced that he was to be the shooter. When I wonder why a shooter would want to be so sheep-dipped, I consider writers who suggest that Oswald may have been told that his end mission was not to end up a patsy, but to earn the bona fides to get up next to Castro and kill him, like the World Historical Individual he once wrote about (or allowed himself to be sheep-dipped to write). I don't want to go out on a limb with Castro - but looking for support for that is influencing my reading.

Edited by David Andrews
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If you conclude that Oswald was set up as the patsy, as he himself claimed to be, then his motive(s) could be totally unconnected with those of the acutal assassin(s), who may have been pure mercinaries for the money, or an anti-Castro Cuban/mobster with a grudge/beef as a motive.

If you are looking for a motive for Oswald to kill the President, I'm afraid you will have to submit to the same conclusions as the Warren Report, Posner, Bugliosi and others who try to portray him as the actual assassin and deranged, lone-nut. There wasn't any.

BK

>

>

Righto - I should have discussed my motivations. I believe that if we can understand Oswald's motivations coherently across a range of actions (White Russian newspapers in the service; falsely [?] defecting to Russia; leaflets at the Trade Mart and voter registration in Clinton; apparent dropping out of the plot prior to Dallas; Mexico City; Sylvia Odio visit [?]; involvements with characters like Ruby, Hemming, Nagell; taking TSBD job; Texas Theater), we can create an approach to the circumstances that caused him to become the patsy, and thus understand the logistics of events in Dallas better.

Does he have a personal mission here? Is he an infiltrator of the plot for another? Is he just a GI who once defected as a spy, and now is scuffling for government work? Did he issue warnings? Was he an accessory before the fact?

Unlike the Warren Report, I have no doubts that Oswald was an intel op - but to what purpose? Did he have expectations and hopes, good or evil, or was he just a willing footsoldier for covert ops? The more we can plausibly analyze the motives for his actions, the closer we may see how he was used, and whether he was a conspirator or an accessory?

Then, of course, you are following the hare, Ozzie Rabbit, down the rabbit's hole, chasing the bait, the patsy and fall guy, while the real assassins get away.

Having been fraimed for a crime he didn't commit, we can limit the suspects to those who knew him well, and those who put him in a position to be the fall guy, not a long list.

BK

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Bill, I'd love to dig up some traitors' bodies and behead and burn them, as was done to Cromwell and other English anti-monarchists after the Restoration. :lol: I'd like to see some living people subpoenaed or indicted for their involvement, too. Seriously, I feel that Dallas was a great shame and blight on America, and set the agenda for later and current damage in foreign and domestic policy, and more murders. And the intel-political-business links fascinate me.

But perhaps my interests as a historian also draw me toward Oswald. Like the victim in a con game, he hoped to get something. What was it? I think we can better understand some of his handlers and contacts, like Hemming, Nagell, Ferrie, et al, by approaching them through their relation to Oswald's own interests.

Beyond my political and social and justice interests at large, I'll always have an intense interest in what went down in Dealey, and at the level just above the physics and geometry is Oswald.

At 24, Oswald had racked up a career of experiences and associations that no 24-year-old I ever heard of ever had. He had a clear trail back to Cuba and Russia, expanded from his early defector-spy and FPCC provocateur experiences by the Mexico City adventures. So they really picked a good one, not a schlub like that bookstore owner out west, or Thomas Arthur Vallee.

*But why was Oswald willing to be at the TSBD?* And why did he submit to the Mexico City dipping, even if only the parts he knew about? How did that fit in with his interests? It takes two to make a con game, and Oswald's participation is important to consider.

Edited by David Andrews
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