Tim Blair


New Criterion



Friday, July 25, 2003

two of the Cold War’s most infamous victims, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg have their case put to us by one of their sons, Robert Meeropol, on Auntie's Deep End last Wednesday night.

The Rosenbergs were "killed" agrees host Francis Leach. Victims of McCarthyist hysteria. Just like the situation in George W Bush's America, both host and guest agree.

Host Francis Leach is probably best known in Australia for his work as a Triple J presenter in the 1990s ...[and] has a strong social conscience and is a passionate supporter for the things he believes in, from Aboriginal reconciliation and youth issues .

And he has a license to misinform on Auntie's Radio National, the "Specialist arts and journalism network".

The Rosenbergs were important spies for Stalin.

They were convicted after trial and executed.

Since then the hard left has denied their guilt and treated them as martyrs. We are the first victims of American fascism the Rosenbergs claimed, and good leftists have always taken them at their word.

The latest edition of the Trotskyite International Socialist Review repeats the view that the Rosenbergs were not tried and executed because they were spies, but because the U.S. government needed a political show trial, and the Rosenbergs fit the bill.

The Age gave this line a run last month in the form of an apologia for his parents from Robert Meeropol.

Unfortunately for the friends of the Soviet Union, the service the Rosenbergs gave to Stalin is now established beyond reasonable doubt. Transcripts of Soviet radio traffic have been released, the so-called Venona transcripts. They were not available at the trial, of course. The post-Soviet KGB and its officers have confirmed it.

As Saul Bellow once said, “a great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”

Thank you, Auntie.