Term Paper: Espionage Has Largely

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[. . .] The Yalta Conference actually makes it possible for someone to gain a more complex understanding concerning feelings between the Soviets and the West. Both sides had received intelligence information prior to the event and were prepared to take on diplomatic attitudes with the purpose of achieving their goals. "While many, including Alger Hiss, have praised Stalin's negotiating skills at Yalta, and while Stalin may indeed have had good negotiation abilities, he also was able to rely on the vast amount of intelligence he was receiving about the American and British negotiating positions."

The prescription of the acts allowed certain aspects to come to light and have proven that the espionage activities during the pre-war period and especially during the Second World War were rather dynamic from both sides. The Russian system of espionage had specific people placed in the American administration that allowed the U.S.S.R. access to information related to military, economic, social, scientific decisions during this time. The American Presidential Administration had apparently received information with regard to how Hiss posed a great deal of risk as early as 1939. "It is at least plausible to assume that Lauchlin Currie, a White House staffer, identified as a Soviet asset in the Venona cables, may have intercepted Berle's memo claiming Hiss was a Soviet agent."

Shelton proceeds with emphasizing how most influential players associated with Hiss were not acquainted with the probability that Hiss was a spy or that he was cooperating with the Soviets. This is most probably the writer's attempt to criticize persons who were unable to identify a series of incriminating evidence associated with Hiss, as she practically relates to these people as being too blind to observe evidence that was right in front of them.

In this context, the role of Alger Hiss was important because it showed the vulnerability of the United States system as well as the American judicial system. He was accused of perjury but would later be proven guilty, although not in court, of espionage against the United States.

The case of Alger Hiss is not necessarily the most important one in American history of espionage, the examples of the American president's close friends as part of the Soviet espionage (and here reference is made to Michel Straight) are more significant largely due to the high degree of confidential information they had access to. It is important however because it revealed the complexity of the judicial system as well as that of the intelligence structure.

Hiss was by no means an ordinary man. Since his early beginnings, he proved to be an above average individual. "From the 1920s to the 1940s, Hiss gave the impression of good breeding and wealth, when he really used his talents to successfully develop this persona while networking with prominent upper-class people he came into contact with during his years at Hopkins and Harvard Law, then his Supreme Court clerkship."

Later in his career he managed to occupy important positions from a political standpoint, as well as in terms of influence and access to information. In this sense, he acted as "executive secretary of the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, held in Washington, D.C. (August -- October 1944), to formulate plans for the organization of the United Nations."

These positions were not essential from the point-of-view of the name but rather for the degree of confidentiality they triggered. More precisely, the Yalta Conference implied access to information related to shaping of the world after the end of the world, whereas the UN founding convention had a great impact on how the U.S.S.R. As well as the United States would later use this world body to share the pressure points of the sphere of influence during the Cold War.

The case that revealed Alger Hiss's duality and therefore adherence to the U.S.S.R. intelligence service was started by a man named Whittaker Chambers, who, up until the moment of his quest against Hiss had been a convinced Communist Party supporter

. Shelton goes at examining persons who had a strong influence of Hiss's personality and behavior. Chambers's ability to develop a close relationship with Hiss and his handling of Soviet relations with Hiss played an important role in Hiss' overall decision to betray his country.

The case of Chambers was not singular in the United States. There had been a lot of supporters of the Communist and even Nazi Party during the pre-war period. However, after the events that took place after the start of the war and the actions that were directed against the Jewish and the Polish during the Nazi rule, a lot of adherents came against the Soviet line of thinking and rebelled against other Communist adherents. The fact that Shelton associates Communism with Nazism is especially intriguing when considering her ability to have readers look at the two ideologies from the same perspective. This actually enables readers understand that the two political schools of thought are not as opposite as they seem, considering that they promote similar values and that they are responsible for a great deal of suffering that the modern society experienced.

Chambers was one of those persons. He addressed the issue of Alger Hiss as part of the Soviet intelligence unit before the UN conference in San Francisco. Given the fact that he failed to provide the substantial information to Berle, from the Attorney General Office, Alger Hiss completely denied any accusations related to these facts. This allowed him to fully attend the UN conference and benefit from the full support of the U.S. administration and further access to confidential information. The reputation of Hiss was further put to test when he was appointed head of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a think-tank that provided scholarly information and advice to decision makers in the United States. The position was one of the most important in the academic world as it managed to provide the necessary advice under the cover of non-governmental and un-biased advice.

The entire case behind the conviction of Alger Hiss revolved around the issue that from the very beginning Hiss had denied any allegiance to the Communist party, doctrine, or members. After the start of Chambers' allegations against Hiss, the latter fully denied any connection. Chambers' decision to inform Berle with regard to Hiss' activities represents one of the principal reasons why the Soviet spy was eventually unmasked. "After the meeting, Berle typed his notes into a memo titled "Underground Espionage Agent" and this memo became a government exhibit at Hiss' second trial."

The answer from Hiss was of complete denial, which triggered afterwards the charges of perjury.

The case of Alger Hiss drew the attention not only in terms of the way in which the justice system functioned and the communication between the institutions functioned (the Attorney General institution and afterwards the Federal Bureau of Investigation) but it also revealed the relations with other parts of the political sphere. In this sense, Richard Nixon, who would later become the President of the U.S., who initially supported the claim that that the initiative to accuse Hiss of espionage was in fact related to a political oriented attack. Nixon was a key actor in unveiling Hiss' activities. "On December 1, Nixon and Stripling visited Chambers at his Maryland farm. When pressed by his two visitors, Chambers told them he had more evidence."

The case that was built by Chambers was rather strong in the sense that it provided sufficient information to at least consider Hiss of wrongful doing. However, the case did not prove sufficiently strong to ensure that Hiss would at lest get a doubt on his record. In this case, Chambers provided the Pumpkin Papers. "The famous designation "Pumpkin Papers" came to refer to all the hard evidence Chambers had sequestered, whereas it was actually only the microfilm that was hidden in a carved-out pumpkin."

This was among the first items of actual evidence that had been provided by Chambers in his conviction of Hiss.

The case Chambers had built surrounding Alger Hiss was strong in relation to the American intelligence unit, because it was one of the few cases that brought to justice an infiltrated communist in the American espionage. It took into account the American justice system as well judicial one. This was a precedent that would eventually be used in other cases along the history of the U.S.

An important aspect in the trial facing Hiss was the actual evidence that was provided against him. More precisely, a connection had to be made between the Pumpkin Papers and Hiss. In this sense, it was well established that the documents provided as evidence had been in fact issued by Hiss. "One major highlight of the first trial was the Woodstock type-writer and whether or not the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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