Lies about Red Spies
Hoar, William P., The New American
ITEM: A Washington Post feature column for December 3 promoted several movies that ostensibly "tackle McCarthyism," including the documentary "Heir to an Execution" by Ivy Meeropol--described as "the granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, convicted of espionage at the height of the Cold War and executed in 1953.... The Rosenbergs chose to die rather than betray their convictions."
ITEM: A Toronto Star article for November 20 diminished the guilt of the Rosenbergs, saying, "Perhaps no other miscarriage of justice in post-war United States has embedded itself so deeply in the imagination as the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. In an atmosphere of anti-communist hysteria, the two were convicted of treason but the case against them was tenuous--no physical evidence was presented at the trial--and left sufficient doubts to fuel a five-decade debate about their guilt."
CORRECTION: Hailing the Rosenbergs as victims and principled martyrs to an altruistic cause is either misguided foolishness or purposeful prevarication. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were Communist traitors who betrayed their country by engaging in atomic espionage on behalf of a monstrous conspiracy ultimately responsible for the deaths of perhaps a hundred million people. They also chose to orphan their own young children (Robert and Michael Meeropol) rather than testily about their criminal complicity with their Soviet spy masters. It is likely that the government would not have demanded the death penalty if the Rosenbergs had confessed and identified their collaborators.
Any reasonable doubts about the Rosenbergs' guilt should have been swept away by the 1995 release of decrypted Soviet spy cables from the 1940s, including details of the Rosenbergs' espionage activities--evidence gleaned from a secret U. …