Character Study: Alger Hiss


Character Study:

Alger Hiss, Soviet  Agent – Opens Pandora’s Box

Alger Hiss  1904 – 1996

from pp. 31-32:

Alger Hiss  is a name which should live in infamy immediately following those of Judas  Iscariot and Benedict  In fact, Hiss pretty much should take second place behind Iscariot.  Since then, we can add the names of Hansen, Pollard and a few others who also  betrayed this country in the 20th Century.

Yet the conspiracy against mankind which Hiss represented has been allowed to exert itself for half  a century to muddy the record in its effort to obscure Hiss’s guilt in betraying, not just his own country, but others as well, to the cause of  world socialism . Liberals  are still pretending it is not an historical fact, while the latest gimmick is to make unsupported charges the FBI  phonied up the record.  And what individual lacking knowledge of the case can refute this blanket charge? 

One writer of that era said, “Those among us who like to maintain the fiction of Hiss ’s innocence can do so only by ignoring the overwhelming evidence and testimony of others who were in the same cell (Communist ) with him.  They focus on the self-confessed lies of Whittaker Chambers  as if having lied once, he was a professional liar – ignoring the lies of Hiss.  They find it difficult to reconcile the persona with whom they were acquainted with the secret persona of the Soviet  spy.  Chambers bared his soul in his book, Witness, about these years and those he knew and mentions that "From 1946 through1948, special agents of the F.B.I., too, were frequent visitors.  Usually, they were seeking information about specific individuals.....Most of these investigators went about their work in a kind of dogged frustration, overwhelmed by the vastness of the conspiracy, which they could see all around them, and depressed by the apathy of the country and the almost total absence in high places of any desire to root out communism...The apathy, I concluded, lay elsewhere......) [i]

“Confirmation of Hiss ’ treachery outlined in his perjury trial occurred nearly fifty years later when the secret Venona  files were confirmed by investigators into the Soviets’ files.  Haynes & Klehr  reported in their very recent publication on Venona that:

            “The Venona  decryptions confirm that eight of those whom Chambers  named in September, 1939, later cooperated with Soviet  espionage  against the United States .  They were  Alger Hiss ,  then a mid-level State Department  official……….”[ii]


            The record shows Hiss  was associated with Soviet military espionage , the GRU  -- not the Soviet Secret police known as the NKVD , according to Venona decryptions.  Evidence  exists of a power struggle between these two agencies for his control, discussed in confessions of former Soviet agents. The reluctant testimony of Whittaker Chambers was backed up by the production of files bearing Hiss's signature and handwriting, supporting that not only was Hiss a Communist Party member, but a Soviet spy. Nathaniel Weyl  said Hiss was a member of the same Communist  Cell in the AAA with him in 1933.  Recruiting agent for the NKVD,  Hede Massing , former wife of Gerhardt Eisler , espionage agent, said she and Hiss competed for Noel Field ’s recruitment.[iii]  Field  was destined to  disappear behind the “Iron Curtain ,” as did Massing’s  husband, Gerhardt Eisler .   Hede  also claimed responsibility for recruiting Lawrence Duggan ,  for whom Soviet apologists are still claiming “innocence,” blaming his plunge from a New York high-rise apartment  on harassment from the FBI, rather than on Soviet agents, as recently uncovered Venona  papers indicate.   Dean Acheson’s incompetent friend, Archibald MacLeish  (UNESCO  activist, see his character study)  was ballistic over Duggan ’s death at the time of its occurrence. 

[i] pages 510, 511, Witness, Chambers, 1952

[ii] Pg 90, Venona , Decoding Soviet  Espionage

[iii] L.A. Herald & Express, 8/2/51


from pp. 37-38:


The lid has been clamped on most events resulting from the interference of Hiss’s cabal of Communists in the State Department during World War II, even though as Thomas Jefferson had said, “The past is prologue to the future” –a prologue which still casts a long shadow. 

One of the early, major cover-ups regarded the deliberate murder of John Birch, an American missionary in China, linguist and Captain in American Intelligence though only in his twenties, without whose efforts, operating alone behind Japanese lines, many lives would have been lost.  Birch was murdered deliberately by a group of Chinese Communists, a fact well known to this cabal in the State Department.  His death might well have been a warning but the information was covered up and kept secret even from John Birch’s parents for many years, so long it was too late to have any effect upon policies. And, in that era, it took a brave man to step forward and blow the whistle on treason in the State Department.

Former So.. American Ambassador Spruille Braden   recounted a little known episode of Alger Hiss’s activities  where great damage was done to the reputation of the United States  as well as to negotiations underway with the Republic  of Panama  with regard to a special agreement on 134 protective American air bases established during World War II surrounding the Panama Canal

From the time the U.S.S.R . abandoned support of Hitler, the policy was to pretend to be  an ally of the United States .  As such the Soviet was certainly dependent  on the U. S. for war materiel, despite which the not-so secret policies of espionage and sabotage included the theft of all the ingredients for the manufacture of A-bombs.   Immediately the war was over, the Soviet policy was  to stab the U. S. in the back.[i] 

It should be noted here, the physical condition of Russia after the war was as devastated as any of the European countries which had been bombed almost to oblivion, apparent to anyone visiting the country, and which had to be known to those in Washington, in effect, it was a country at what might be considered death’s door, .yet it was like the town bully, continuing threats and blackmail.  According to a Senate committee:

“…agitation for return of the bases to Panama  arose among Panamanian Communists  2 years after V-J Day.  Simultaneously, the Soviet  delegation to the United Nations  opened its attack on so-called American aggression.  The proof of such aggression, according to the Soviet propaganda line, was the location of American airbases outside the boundaries of the United States .”[ii]

            Mr. Braden  told Senate Committee members  the Governor of the Canal Zone , an American official, submitted a routine annual report on canal operations to his superiors as had been done from the beginning.   Getting wind of this report, Hiss   insisted the report was required under the UN  Treaty to be submitted to the UN.   Spruille Braden  said this was perfectly ridiculous.  The Canal Zone was self-governing. 

“It would complicate us with the Republic  of Panama . It brought the United Nations  into something where they had no right to be…..It was a thoroughly bad move to make….I stormed around quite a bit on this problem…it was appealed to the Under Secretary of State …Mr. Acheson .

“When I tried to state my case, Mr. Acheson, as a lawyer, agreed with Mr. Hiss,  and I didn’t even have a chance to state my case.  I remember that I came out of that meeting boiling with rage at what happened……The only thing we got out of Mr. Hiss’ office was an expression I don’t understand very clearly… he put in a phrase that this was submitted to the United Nations, this report of the Governor, on a pragmatic basis for this year, for the year 1946.  What this means, I don’t know, but it was supposed to take care of our objections, which needless to say, it did not.

“….You can, therefore, imagine my utter astonishment when one morning I picked up the Washington  Post  at my apartment and here on the front page was announcement that we had reported to the United Nations  on the Canal Zone as an occupied territory. When I read that I realized that was really putting the fat in the fire in our relations with Panama  in the substantiation of the Russian allegations and in our relations with all of the American Republics ;  it was such a nasty situation.

Mr. Grimes:  In other words, our State Department  had officially reported it to the U.N . that Panama  was one of our occupied territories?

                        “.. I learned about it for the first time from the newspapers.”[iii]

            Mr. Braden  rushed to the State Department  to investigate the origins of this outrageous breach of diplomacy threatening U. S. relations with the government of Panama .  His staff had also learned the story from the papers, the origin of which was traced to Alger Hiss so Braden   went down to Acheson ’s office with fire in his eyes, demanding the report be withdrawn from the United Nations .  Acheson  said nothing could be done and asked for Hiss  whereabouts.

            “…Mr. Hiss  was not to be found that day in Washington . He had left his home, he had not come to his office. He was presumed to be in some meetings, but his office said he had not come in, …they couldn’t find him anywhere.  That whole day went by without the appearance of Mr Hiss.       …The delay, I may say, of course, was doing great harm because of inaction …

“Hiss  turned up late in the day by which time Mr. Braden  was in a meeting he could not leave, so he sent an aide to Acheson’s office to discuss the matter and how to make reparations.  The aide reported back Acheson  had upheld Hiss,  who had been ‘oh, so apologetic….and charming….oh, so sorry…we should have been consulted …it was just one of those things…a mistake.  He was very regretful about it….but it was there, and it would do great harm to withdraw it’…Acheson  sustained Hiss…”

Later, in the fall of 1947, Mr. Braden  said, he read  once again in the papers, we “had to give up those bases which our military said were highly essential for the defense of the canal and of the United States .”[iv]

            Today, of course, the Canal, built by American tax dollars and sweat, is controlled by Communist China , thanks to the great humanitarian ex-President Jimmy Carter, and the rabid liberal, William Clinton

[i] The Venona  authors, Harvey & Klehr, point out:  “The Soviet  Union ’s unrestrained espionage  against the United States  from 1942 to 1945 was of the type that a nation directs at an enemy State. By the late 1940'’ the evidence provided by Venona of the massive size and intense hostility of Soviet intelligence operations caused both American counterintelligence professionals and high-level policymakers to conclude that Stalin  had already launched a covert attack on the United States.  In their minds, the Soviet espionage offensive indicated that the Cold War had begun not after World War II  but many years earlier.” pg 22

[ii] Ibid,  pg 11

[iii] Ibid, pg. 13

[iv] Ibid, pg. 13


from pp. 39-40:


The black box containing the Charter of the United Nations which Alger Hiss  personally carried in 1945 from San Francisco and opened in Senate chambers unleashed more trouble in the world than the fabled Pandora’s box ever knew.  As the organizer and secretary of the San Francisco conference to found the United Nations, Hiss had also been one of the architects of the fledgling world government.  As Director of the State Department’s Office of Special Political Affairs, not only did Hiss appoint members to the U. S. delegation, but he nominated 494 individuals to jobs in the U.N.

Earl Browder, former General Secretary of the Communist Party, U.S.A. , said in a book he wrote (Victory and After) ...the American Communists worked energetically and tirelessly to lay the foundation for the United Nations which we were sure would come into existence.”

Hiss may well have felt like Moses  bringing the tablet down from the heights when he escorted the UN  charter in its “black box,” with concepts remarkably similar to the Soviet  constitution, from San Francisco to Washington , D. C.  to present to the Senate. 

We can never know his state of mind, we can only speculate. He couldn’t tell anyone about it, but he must have been triumphant.  He had pulled off the biggest con game of the Centuries…”your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.”[i]  

The Soviets liked Hiss and what he had done so well they  nominated him to be the first Secretary General of the UN .  Hiss  must have been  jubilant when the Senate took only a month and a couple of days to accept the UN with only two votes of dissent.  As per usual, few members of Congress waded through the proposed Treaty.  

Surely Hiss  secretly gloated.  Surely he was maliciously jubilant. He had helped change the destiny of America —no, not just America , the whole world, and he couldn’t tell anyone – and the end is not yet in sight, even now  60 years later. No matter how inimical to free societies the UN reveals itself, no one dares suggests kicking it out.

And all those who opposed Hiss  are gone, as well. 

            Not until hearings  in 1953 before a Senate panel while Hiss  was still in jail for perjury was  the extent of his control revealed  over the hiring of Americans  for U.N . jobs. The Senate Committee found a letter, dated 1946,  from the Secretary of State ,  James Byrnes ,  to then Senator Karl Mundt , at the time a House member,  showing “recruitment of American employees in the U.N. was done “mainly” by the Office of Special Political Affairs  which Hiss headed.

            Mundt    raised the question in 1946 about U.N . employment because “on a trip to Europe he found what he called ‘extreme left-wingers’ in control of the United Nations  Educational, Social and Cultural Organization.’”  

Brynes’ reply said “the State Department  will decide whether any information of a derogatory character is of sufficient substance to warrant the conclusion the individual would appear through political affiliation or sentiment to be a poor risk in terms of adherence to his oath as an international civil servant and therefore constitute a probable source of future injury to the U.N .”   

This was at odds with testimony of State Department  officials who “conveyed the impression” the main object was the “security of the United States .”[ii]

            A House Committee under Democratic Congressman Chelf (Ky) said a “flagrant example of the U.N ’s hiring disloyal Americans ” was that of U.N. Economic Chief David Weintraub,  who,  the  State Department  security chief said, had been promoted by the U.N. even after it had received an “adverse report” on him.[iii]  

Dozens of others left U.N . employment after they appeared before Senate panels, most of whom refused to answer questions whether they had ever been members of the Communist  Party, using the 5th Amendment to shield themselves. 

De Toledano  tells us that “In private, Harry Truman  said to intimates, “Sure, I know Alger Hiss  is guilty as hell.  But the Republicans are not attacking Hiss —they’re attacking me.” Party above country.

            While the Massachusetts  State Bar did not doubt Hiss’s guilt either, nevertheless, after his time was served, he successfully sued in Massachusetts for restoration of his privilege to practice law which he lost as a convicted felon. Since he had not been convicted of espionage, but only of perjury, he collected a pension from the Federal government until his death at the age of 92.  Massachusetts, home of the  Pilgrims/Puritans who covenanted together on board the Mayflower “for the furtherance of the faith”-–the same state which keeps returning Chappaquiddick Kennedy to Washington -- the same state whose Supreme Court  has sanctioned same sex marriages.   . 

No one paid a price for Alger Hiss’s teachery as did a courageous Vermont couple a few years later, although at the time of his first trial and conviction who could have guessed what extremes the relentless and unforgiving left would descend to once they had a bit of unchecked power.

Lucille Miller, wife and mother, with her husband,  Manuel Miller,  lived in Bethel , Vermont , where they published a newsletter, The Green Mountain Rifleman, “a mimeographed political pamphlet dedicated to the preservation of the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America by exposing the Communists seeking to destroy it from within.”[iv] 

            In 1955  Judge Ernest Gibson  committed Lucille Miller to an institution in another town, not the nearest,  but a selected private insane asylum. The death rate in this Institution from so-called “psychiatric treatment” was making headlines at the time.  The case is discussed in detail in Part II, Chapter 3.  

Many issues were involved in this shocking case, but it sprang largely from the fact that Lucille Miller would not be silent about the involvement of a cadre of known Communists who summered in her town, friends of Alger Hiss.  Her political writings were cited by the District Attorney in his motion of February 23, 1955 , as his sole reason for believing that she was insane.

            “Why go to Korea to fight communists when we have them right here in Bethel?” was her cry…Manuel declared that Lucille was uniquely qualified to write on this subject “as the Communist plan for invisible revolution was painstakingly outlined to her, more than 25 years previously, by none other than Clossen Gilbert, the master theoretician and organizer of the fabulous Randolph Center Communist Colony which numbered among its members:  Nathan Witt, Lee Pressman, John Abt, Marian Bachrach, and other leading American Communist personalities.  He explained to her that the Communist revolution in America would not be accomplished by violence and fighting in the streets, directed by Red Russian Storm Troopers, but would be achieved gradually by schooling the most intelligent and aggressive young people in their philosophy and then pulling strings to get them placed in strategic positions in government –Administrators, Judges, Advisers to Cabinet Members and Legislative Committees.  This was to be a change of pace revolution; the Constitution was not to be declared null and void or even to be replaced, but was to be kept more or less as it is, to make the people think nothing had changed.  The word Communist was never to be used; just Liberal and Progressive.  A terrific plan!…..”  

            How about that?  Isn’t that just what has been taking place to the puzzlement of those who care enough to notice what’s going on and has been going on ever since Franklin Roosevelt wanted to “pack” the court—and although frustrated in trying to enlarge its membership, nevertheless, was able through death and retirement, to change the mental complexion of the justices, a packing which has gone on ever since.  Men were appointed to that ‘arbiter’ of justice who had no judicial experience whatsoever, but were ‘liberal’ or owed some political payoff.   Earl Warren, with NO judicial experience, was appointed by Eisenhower in 1953 as CHIEF Justice, justified as “a middle-of-the roader.” After all, Warren delivered the California vote at the Republican convention to Eisenhower when a majority of the delegates were for Taft and MacArthur.  A few years later Warren led the special investigation into the assassination of John Kennedy and came up with the superficial decision everyone wanted:  a lone assassin, despite the many strange unexplained variances in testimony of those witnesses called, ignoring witnesses not called who had different versions.

[i] Rev. 18:23 NKJV

[ii] L.A. Examiner, Jan. 5, 1953

[iii] L.A. Examiner, Jan. 2, 1953

[iv] From an Appeal filed with the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, on behalf of Lucille Miller, Feb. 1956

[v] The foregoing information is taken from Manuel Miller’s brief to the 2nd Circuit Court.