It was really the vision of Harry Dexter White, a figure whose name I've heard of but who turns out to be a rather extraordinary figure in this story and in the ramifications for all kinds of things, including Soviet espionage. Which is really remarkable.The above is from Russ Roberts during his conversation with Benn Steil, author of The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order. Which admission we find to be a really remarkable ourselves. Given all the publicity that White's Communist leanings have received in the past few years.
As we've detailed many times before, White's machinations while he was running the Morgenthau Treasury led to China's falling to the Communists. Two of White's Treasury colleagues Frank Coe and Sol Adler eventually defected to Mao's China. Adler lived long enough to enjoy a reunion with his old Chungking flatmate, John Stewart Service, in 1971. So we're going to recommend a little reading for Russ Roberts; our review of the preposterous Honorable Survivor by Lynne Joiner. From which;
A Masterpiece of the Genre
Unfortunately, the genre is Special-Pleading for Joe McCarthy's "Victims". And as well as Ms Joiner does it, she still can't avoid admitting things like;Lauchlin Currie was a Harvard colleague of White, who gave Currie his first job in the U.S. government (at Treasury). From there Currie--a monetary policy specialist--moved to the Federal Reserve, until he joined the White House in 1939 as a special adviser to FDR on China. Who then sent Currie on two personal missions to Chiang Kai-shek in 1941 and 1942.
1. As a U.S. diplomat, John Stewart Service shared a house with two Communist spies in Chungking. Treasury Dept official Sol Adler (who defected to Red China in the 1960s) and the American-trained economist (and Mao-mole) Chi Chao-ting who was working, supposedly, for Chiang Kai-shek's Finance Ministry (but who later turned up as one of Mao's central bankers).
2. Service was in direct, and frequent contact with FDR adviser Lauchlin Currie, who was named by both Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers as a Communist, and appeared in the Venona decrypted cables as 'Page'. Currie took Service's venomously anti-Chiang, pro-Mao dispatches to be read by FDR, as well as passing them on to other Communists and sympathizers (in and out of government). That Service 'eagerly accepted' the role as 'Lauchlin Currie's designated leaker'.
3. On leave from his China post, in Washington DC in 1944, Service briefed State, War, OSS, OWI and other groups. Telling them how well organized the Communists were, how good they were at rescuing downed U.S. pilots from Japanese controlled territory, of their 'enthusiastic willingness to cooperate with the United States in the war effort'. To which, Ms. Joiner had to comment; 'Some listeners thought Service sounded more like an advocate than an observer.'
Hey, so did Joe McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover.
Currie also convinced FDR to name Owen Lattimore as special adviser to Chiang in 1941. The same Owen Lattimore who'd visited Mao at Yenan in 1937 in the company of Philip Jaffe. Jaffe was the publisher of the magazine Amerasia, whose offices, when raided by the FBI in 1945, was found to be in the possession of almost 1,000 top secret documents. Some of them obviously given to Jaffe by that honorable survivor, John Stewart Service.
In addition to getting Currie into the government, Harry White also found time to employ, or give employment recommendations for economists Victor Perlo, Nathan Gregory Silvermaster, Harold Glasser, Ludwig Ullman, William Remington. All of whom were Communists and spies.
And, lest we forget, Harry White was the man who provoked the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor too. That's Operation Snow, as in Snow White.