Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Cberlet and Nobs01

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Cberlet and Nobs01

Cberlet seeks mediation with nobs over endless disagreements and lack of constructive editing progress at the following related pages: VENONA project; Significance of Venona; Harry Magdoff; Harry Magdoff and espionage; and others. I have spent over one month trying to forge compromise text on these pages. A third party suggested we debate the multiple issues at Talk:VENONA project and filed an RfC for that page. The RfC has not produced the desired results. Nobs argues in circles, produces mountains of unrelated and dubious arguments, fights over simple citations, makes claims not supported by underlying documents, and continues to insert his POV and questionable claims into the pages rather than arriving at an agreement on the Talk:VENONA project page. I have tried to write NPOV text on several pages pending a resolution on Talk:VENONA project. Nobs simply ignores this and inserts only his side of the issues. In addition, a number of other editors have had the same experience with Nobs on several other pages. I am willing to try to hammer out a compromise on the Talk:VENONA project that will serve as a model for these other disputes. Most recently, and what prompted this request for mediation, Nobs declared we had reached a major agreement, and then promptly inserted his POV version of the text. Without mediation, there is no hope of resolving this matter. At issue is how to cite and summarize information from various government agencies and secondary sources regarding Soviet era espionage.--Cberlet 18:04, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Added later for reference: See also: Talk:VENONA project; Talk:Significance of Venona; Talk:Harry Magdoff; Talk:Harry Magdoff and espionage.--Cberlet 13:38, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Sounds legit... I think I'll assign Flcelloguy to this case. Tell him if you want mediation onwiki, in irc/other chat service (provided he has it), or through email. Also, make sure Nobs01 accepts the case. Redwolf24 (talk) 03:29, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
Note to Flcelloguy, when you respond move this paragraph to #Mediator has responded and when it becomes Active move to the appropiate category. Redwolf24 (talk) 03:50, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
I'd be happy to try and help. I've left a message on both Cberlet's and nobs's talk pages. I would prefer that it stays on wiki (through talk pages and this page), but email is also fine with me. Unfortunately, I don't have IRC or any form of chat. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 19:29, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
Hi! Thanks for the help. I'd very much prefer it stay here through talk pages and this page. My e-mail is a nightmare. I suppose the Talk:VENONA project page might be a start, but we could also divert over to Harry Magdoff and espionage. Let me know what's next.--Cberlet 22:15, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
I am concerned about the pattern of persistent misreprentation directed at me. In educating myself on wikipedia mediation, I've learned now what flaming is, which is as per Wikipedia:Avoiding common mistakes is "just not done". I believe there is ample evidence of this directed at me. Above Cberlet states "Nobs declared we had reached a major agreement", where as in response to the various flaming incidence I had merely reported "progress" [1] [2]. "Agreement" [3] is his own language. Frankly I'm at a loss how to respond seeing even Cberlet's mediation request is unbalanced. nobs 01:26, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Illustration 2: "endless disagreements and lack of constructive editing" at Talk:Significance of Venona#Schrecker; Cberlet has exactly 2 edits there, the first he actually agree's with me, the second is a mediation request 5 weeks later. I have no idea how to respond to the above mediation request as stated. nobs 04:31, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
My mistake; Cberlet disagree's with his own source. nobs 04:54, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
My mistake again: Cberlet says "Don't doubt this is true" Talk:Significance of Venona#Schrecker. In Cberlet's only contribution to the discussion on that page, he agreed with me, and disagreed with his own source contibution. (this would be funny if it wasn't so sad). nobs 05:06, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Nobs, all I was trying to say is that I thought it would be more conducive to constructive mediation if you stopped editing the pages on which we have had so many contested points. Please just agree to mediation and we can work out with the mediator how to find some sort of compromise language and citation format. --Cberlet 19:12, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Proposal: Address issues at Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Cberlet and Nobs01/Workshop. nobs 19:25, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

I think it would be better if Nobs actually agrees to mediation before we decide where the discussion is going to take place. I have already suggested Talk:VENONA project or Harry Magdoff and espionage, since those are two pages where there is specific text in dispute. I am looking forward to mediation over the actual writing of text, and not an arbitration case, which is what appears to have been created at Wikipedia:Requests_for_mediation/Cberlet_and_Nobs01/Workshop. I really think having the mediation focus on the writing of text on a public talk page is going to be of much greater value, since there are a number of similar disputes over wording and citation with a number of other editors across Wikipedia. In this way our collective efforts will be more helpful to a greater number of editors. Can we please all agree to mediation and then decide on what page to craft text?--Cberlet 19:29, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Cberlet: You are free to rewrite the Request for Mediation then, I cannot in good faith and good conscience agree to the blatant falsehoods you have stated above. nobs 19:34, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

OK, I've moved Nobs01's previous workshop to a subpage and created a new workshop. There, I've created three sections- one section where both of you should agree on a few policies, another section where you should state your goals of mediation (i.e. what you hope to accomplish), and then a section where each side can give a summary of the dispute. I ask that you do not respond to the other party's summary yet. Thanks! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 20:36, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

The issues apart from the substantive issues at Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Cberlet and Nobs01/Workshop/Nobs01 must addressed. Cberlet has been notified twice over the past two months all issues regarding the volumnious personal attacks he has buried in Talk pages must addressed. nobs 22:05, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Now that both of you have listed your goals, you will notice that your goals are extremely similar- both of you are here trying to help Wikipedia by creating accurate, NPOV, and comprehensive articles. Both of you only differ in your approach to creating such an utopian article — which is a formidable task by any standards. Nobs, would you mind agreeing to the terms that Cberlet has agreed to at the workshop? Also, Nobs, were you planning to write a new summary of the dispute, or were you going to submit the one that I have moved to Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Cberlet and Nobs01/Workshop/Nobs01? Many thanks. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 14:18, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Flcelloguy: Based upon Wikipedia:Conflict of interest, I believe it is only appropriate to ask that the matter Chip Berlet and the Brecht Forum/Marxist School of New York, pgs. 125-127 (PDF) be addressed before proceeding any farther. Thank you. nobs 01:39, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Nobs: please just agree to the terms of mediation and let's get on with actual editing.--Cberlet 02:25, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Nobs, I've viewed the pdf link that you sent me. Remember that we all have our biases — I have biases, Jimbo has biases, and everyone else in the world has biases. Just because someone has a bias in a particular field doesn't mean that s/he shouldn't write or edit on that subject matter; on the contrary, that person may be more knowledgeable on the matter. Instead, the writer must simply be more aware of his writing and attempt to not place any POV into the article. If Cberlet says that his POV will not interfere in the process of creating a NPOV, unbiased article, I see no reason not to beleive him. Cberlet, do you think that your biases will in any way influence your writing of the article? Nobs, it would be greatly appreciated if you could agree to the terms that Cberlet has already agreed to. While I have complete trust in both of you, I urge you to agree to those terms so that we may proceed. Many thanks! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 13:57, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Look, both Nobs and I are biased, and we bring our biases to the editing keyboard. But as Wiki editors we are supposed to recognize our bias and seek to set it aside to craft accurate and NPOV text. I am willing to try to do that and look forward to mediation as a way to have a third person help keep us on track. There is a lot of misinformation about me floating around the web, so let me just say here that I am not a fan of communism, and have written about this. And I don't like spies, either--for any country. But even if I was a communist, if I was able to set aside my bias to edit accurate and NPOV text on Wikipedia, I should be welcomed and not subject to red-baiting and God knows what else. I would like to see the "pdf link" that the other parties to the process have now read. Fair is fair. What am I being accused of?--Cberlet 14:28, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I understand that all of us are biased. However, I don't feel that either your biases or Nob's biases will play any part in this; as long as the article is written in NPOV, unbiased way, there should be no problem. Nob sent me this pdf link on my talk page: Chip Berlet and the Brecht Forum/Marxist School of New York, pgs. 125-127 (PDF). It doesn't reveal much, except to prove that every single one of us has biases and our own personal opinions. All of this should not matter, as long as we are crafting a NPOV, unbiased article. Nobs, would you mind agreeing to the terms of mediation that Cberlet has agreed to? Thanks again. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 14:36, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Flchelloguy:Thanks for the prompt response. Note Cberlet does not speek for myself. As noted previously I must study processes and issues. Timeframes do concern me, and I would be happy to be kept apprised regarding that. It is my assumption that editing on Wikipedia is done in good faith, and I believe I have always done so as such, and hereby pledge to continue to do so. I need an understanding as to by signing above, if that reflects a pledge to accept Cberlet's statements and/or editing in good faith; because I believe I have ample evidence he has acted to the contrary. Any assistance you can advise me would help in furthering the process. (And there are ways Cberlet can reestablish good faith, as I have persistently forgiven him for the series of personal attacks and smears he has directed at me.) nobs 18:31, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Note to Cberlet: A Disclosure request is not an accusation. nobs 18:56, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Nobs, I'm glad that you assume good faith - we should all assume good faith. Remember that no one here is getting paid; we're here strictly to help Wikipedia and (hopefully) have some fun as well. Do you have a specific concern with any one of the terms? The first term, in my opinion, should be automatic — making personal attacks (which I trust that neither of you will make) does not do any good except to aggravate the situation further. The second term simply asserts that both of you will make good-faith efforts in mediation, and both of you are already doing that. The third term is extremely similar to the second one- that both of you want to achieve the same thing (and the similarity of your goals corroborate this), but just differ in the approach. As for past events, I urge you to look forward. Remember that we can't change the past, and holding someone's action in the past — when we're trying to reach an agreement for the future — against someone will be counterproductive. Cberlet has already promised by signing under the terms that he will make a good-faith effort to achieve a NPOV, unbiased article, and try his hardest to resolve the dispute. I see no reason not to trust either of you once you sign your name under the terms, so I urge you to do the same. Thanks again. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 19:50, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Thank you. That is very well stated I believe we have an understanding of each other. As per my requests, I would think it proper for Cberlet to speak for himself, specifically regarding the issue as to whether or not he is being paid to pursue alternative language to the already NPOV language which exists in the various articles in question. A declaration by Cberlet one way or the other would be sufficient, without any challenge by me to its veracity. Also, an issue of precedent is involved, I have declared to Cberlet at least twice that if mediation were to be pursued, he must answer the volumn of personal attacks he has engaged in, which I have not responded to, and in no way should be considered my accession to such. A simple admission to the effect that, at times he has not acted in good faith and some comments be misconstrued as excessive or 'over the top' would be sufficient. Then I'd be happy to bury the matter and we can proceed. nobs 20:17, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Nobs, if Cberlet wishes to answer your first questions, he can. However, please respect his right to refuse to answer; if he does not wish to reply, he has a right not to — in either case, as long as both of you are not letting your biases get into the article, it shouldn't matter. As for the actions in the past, I want to reiterate that we're here for the future. Finger-pointing really doesn't do any good, and mediation isn't the ArbCom — we're not here to dole out punishments or to determine who's "right" and who's "wrong", if there is such a thing. However, because Cberlet has agreed, under the terms, to make a good-faith effort to resolve this dispute, I don't see how either acknoledging or denying past actions helps us here. As long as both of you agree to make good-faith efforts here (which Cberlet has done so already), I frankly don't think we need to determine the legitimacy of anyone's past actions. Thanks for your understanding. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 20:35, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

(Move indent) I understand. I will give him several hours to respond. As to proceedural matters, in signing above, is this a declaration that I am accepting the above stated terms, i.e. (a) the validity of Cberlet's request (b) Cberlet's pledge to pursue mediation in good faith for a "positive result"? Stated as such, a "positive result", as the evidence suggests, may be construed to mean driving the process to RfArb to pursue punitive action & banning. While I am convinced Cberlet views that as a "positive result", we may differ on our understanding as applied to either of us. If you can assist in clarifying, that would be very helpful. In absence of a response from Cberlet to the issues I've raised ({a} being paid; (b) personal attacks, abuse or references; (c) apology or admission of departing from good faith efforts at times), I can only respond to the RfM with a declaration of good faith, with an amendment that I do not accept Cberlet pursueing this process, or his activities once the process begins, as in good faith. Thank you so much. nobs 20:59, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

I do not think it is useful for either Nobs or I to make a list of all the past lapses of courtesy. Both our lists would be long. I assume we both regret them, and apologize to each other. I also do not think it is useful for Nobs to speculate as to why I presume to edit the "already NPOV language which exists in the various articles in question." Of course, much of that language currently exists because Nobs has systematically deleted and rewritten my edits...which is why we are here in the first place. I think it is absurd to imply that my editing is suspiciously motivated by some paid communist plot. It is motivated by a desire to make Wikipedia more accurate and NPOV. I am sorry I have lost my temper in the past. I am not being paid to edit Wikipedia. I am not an attorney, but am a paralegal member of the National Lawyers Guild, which sued the U.S. government for listing it as a communist front during the McCarthy Era and won the lawsuit, forcing the listing to be rescinded; a fact ignored by many. I think I once may have met Magdoff for about ten seconds when I was going to the Brecht Forum for a speech or somesuch. None of this should matter if we are assuming "good faith," looking forward rather than backward, and entering mediation with the intent to write accurate and NPOV text.--Cberlet 21:11, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Nobs, Cberlet has answered your first question. As I have stated before, I do not feel that it is productive to list past mistakes. A mediator (I) is (am) not here to decide whether previous actions were "right" or "wrong", but to instead focus on working together for the future. We are all human; we all make mistakes. We are here, though, to focus on resolving the dispute and crafting a NPOV and unbiased article, which both of you stated in your goals. Because Cberlet has promised under the terms that he will make a good-faith effort to resolve this dispute through mediation, I urge you to as well, Nobs. Do you have any specific objections to any of the terms? Many thanks again. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 21:17, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Thank you both. That is sufficient (I will accept "suspiciously motivated by some paid communist plot" in good humor, we both have a sense of humor). My apologies likewise if I have ever offended. nobs 21:21, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks very much! I hope both of you have gained greater respect for each other, and understand that both of you are here in good-faith trying to help out Wikipedia. Now we can proceed to the articles — is there any specific point in the articles that you two wish to address first? Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 21:31, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

(Move indent) My summary approach will be very different from Cberlet's. I understand his objective to craft language to "serve as a model". I would suggest beginning with a list of the sourcing, primary first, then secondary (supportive & contradictory), and this should begin with the material in Venona project and Significance of Venona (but lets do one at a time). Also, we need to clarify groundrules, like using a secondary source to impeach a primary source, etc. nobs 21:39, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

If there are to be groundrules, I suggest we rely on the Chicago Manual of Style 14th edition (usually available in even small libraries) as the most definitive and detailed work of its kind. I also think we need to keep an eye on the difference between what a primary source states in its actual text, and what original research by Wiki editors concludes it "proves." But I would actually prefer to take one paragraph at a time from any page in controvery and actually edit it.--Cberlet 23:07, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
My suggestion is we identify the primary sources, agree on the names, or how they are to be cited; what constitutes a primary source; what constitutes a qualified secondary source. The Significance of Venona may an apt starting place. Also, we may differ on the overall object; I would understand your efforts aimed at establishing or denying, or in some cases casting doubt on a named individuals complicity; let me be unambiguous—that is not my primary object. I believe there are two very much larger issues of concern regarding the Venona project, the first being a study of government processes and secrecy, the second being foreign policy aspects related to government decision making. Both of these have direct relevent historical implications, and can even be traced to contemporary events. And neither study of those two objectives can properly proceed without the biographical foundations being laid here. We should keep in mind our finished product may not be definitive or conclusive. And let me remind you once again, beginning an historical examination with a conclusionary premise is a flawed method, and will only complicate things.
Perhaps there are other items we should discuss as well. Thank you. nobs 03:12, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
OK, then. Shall we begin with Significance_of_Venona, as suggested by Nobs? Do you two want to take a topical, general view of the article first, or should we dive directly into the "Background" section? Are there any specific issues you wish to address in the "Background"? Thanks again. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 14:49, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Let's just jump over to Talk:Significance_of_Venona and start there.--Cberlet 15:16, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

(Moving indent) Perhaps not. Let me amend my above suggestion: perhaps we should either continue here or begin with identifing sourcing, primary, secondary etc. I will fully articulate Summary of Dispute but it may take a few days as I study other precedents etc. I do not beleive it helpful to get into the game of trashing sources ("axe to grind") etc., before they are even identified and qualified as primary or secondary. Likewise, "axe to grind" is clearly original research, and should have no place in mediation unless it is supported by qualified secondary sourcing. It was a mistake to suggest Talk:Significance of Venona, because that's were some ID'd names are, and it very rapidly degenerated into a politcal dispute. My summary basically will present the dispute is more over method of approach, rather than language derived from method. Again, we need groundrules, identify the primary sourcing, identifying the qualified secondary sourcing, define a method that a secondary source can impeach a primary; likewise if a secondary is to impeach a secondary, it must stand up to crossexamination. I have no interest in engaging in a wholesale slime-o-rama with unqualified & original research terms like "axe to grind". nobs 18:26, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

There is no point to having more esoteric discussions. This is not about theories of editing. This is about editing text on specific Wiki pages. I have started doing this on Talk:Significance of Venona, a page suggested by Nobs and agreed to by the mediator. Our goal is to craft accurate and NPOV text with the help of a mediator. Let's go! --Cberlet 19:27, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Please reread my stated goal: (1) maintain integrity of pirmary source valid historical documents. Please understand what the "integrity" of a primary source document is. "Integrity" cannot be sacrificed to unsourced, unqualified, and original research terms like "axe to grind" to achieve "balance" or "NPOV", as the term has come to be abused. We need a discussion and clarity on approach. nobs 19:38, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Nobs, we have fundamental disagreements over how to accurately interpret, cite, summarize, and describe numerous primary and secondary source documents in an NPOV manner. That's why we ended up with a mediator. Restating our disgreements will lead nowhere. Lets work them out with the help of the mediator as we edit actual text on actual pages.--Cberlet 19:59, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
So wouldn't you agree identifying the primary and secondary sources is the proper way to proceed, and not editing text with invented claims by "scholars" who do not exist? nobs 20:10, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

In light of this abuse [4] I think we may have to give serious consideration to private mediation. nobs 21:19, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

What does "Privacy" mean as a subhead? What is "private" mediation? We have a mediator provided by Wiki, a volunteer, willing to help us. I am not Bk0. I did not write what you are objecting to. Mediation is for a dispute between just two people. Could we just please edit some text? This is very frustrating.--Cberlet 22:54, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

We should wait til we here from the mediator; it wasn't 24 hours from my acceptance of good faith, and we began discussion of substanstive issues in this dispute, and I was slimed by a User you solicited for input. This user has scant record of participating in any previous discussions, and these invitations went out to at least nine others. I think private e-mail should be discussed, or what the mediator may advise. nobs 00:37, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
Nobs, let's keep in mind here that Cberlet is not Bk0, and Cberlet should not be held responsible for any of Bk0's actions. In addition, I don't see a problem with soliciting input from someone else- the whole basis of Wikipedia is the consensus of the community, and asking someone for a third opinion on a RfC is acceptable. Is there anything that you object to in the above diff and this diff on my talk page? In any case, I don't beleive Cberlet is violating good faith, and I ask that you assume that he is acting in good faith unless proven otherwise. Right now, I feel that our efforts would be more productive on editing the article; after all, wasn't that the main point of the dispute? Do both of you agree with starting on Significance_of_Venona rather than Venona Project? Many thanks again. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 02:39, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
Flcelloguy: Thanks for the quick response; my concern was that we appeared to be addressing issues directly (as I have been seeking for months) when a third party user interfered in the process. If this becomes a problem, I may seek private e-mail. Please note I've posted my Summary of Dispute. Thank you. nobs 02:59, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
Note to Cberlet: I am holding the Chicago Manual of Style 15th edition; if you can direct me to where the proper citation for a Federal Agency Report is, I can give you an answer to use it or not. Thank you my friend. nobs 18:34, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
15th is OK. I have both. A lot of writers find the changed format of the 15th to be difficult to use. The specific reference information for government agencies is on page 741 in section 17.317 "Executive department documents." Where it states: "When authors are identified, their names should be cited."--Cberlet 22:09, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
OK, now that both of you have your summaries posted, I'm going to ask both of you to comment on the other person's summary. I've created a new sub-section under each summary; there, please tell me what you agree with, and what you don't agree with. Whatever you don't agree with, please provide some counter-argument. In other words, if party A says "XYZ was ...", party B may respond by saying "No, according to <book>, written by <author>, he was ...". Remember to be polite, and refrain from all personal attacks. Please don't respond back on the other party's comments on your summary yet. I hope that this will help both of you identify with each other's views, and identify what you agree with, and what you don't agree with. In addition, by providing counter-arguments, we can begin to evaluate and discuss the articles, and how to improve them. Thanks very much! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 18:39, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
Proceedural question: Do I respond to these items Talk:Significance_of_Venona#New_Edits as well? nobs 18:55, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
All of that should have been covered in the summary, if not in detail. Short answer: I'd prefer not at this moment. Feel free to discuss there, of course. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 19:06, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
Note to Cberlet: I appologize; I realize my prose can be dense at times. If you have questions regarding specific wording, I'd be happy to elucidate. Thank you. nobs 20:13, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
So, Flcelloguy, I really think we need to go to Significance_of_Venona and just start discussing actual sentences. I am very willing to join in requesting that for the time being, other people do not insert comments. Alternatively, we could create a workshop page consisting of disputed paragraphs from Significance_of_Venona as a subpage here, and edit there without interuption. But I don't think trying to proceed from our summaries is going to be as useful as it might be for other editors. Nobs and I really do approach things from very differenet perspectives. I am sure he is as frustrated with me as I am of him.  :-) --Cberlet 22:14, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
I am glad we are focused upon substantive issues. I do intend to respond to both sections, Summary of Dispute & the questions at Talk:Significance of Venona at the same time. It may take a few days to properly respond, because I am performing two tasks simultaneously (learning Wikipedia:Policies, Proceedures & Guidelines, and performing another historical examination. I'm sorry, the proper method of historical examination is not simply picking and choosing what facts you like, there is a defined process for accuracy.) If the two summary's with disputed text could be formally linked for process I'd sure appreciate it. Thank you. nobs 01:00, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
I am not interested in another tour of the "proper method of historical examination." I have suffered through weeks of this type of argument. I am interested in editing text. I do not need to be lectured about the proper way to write history, the proper form of citation, the proper methodology, the proper attitude, the proper writing style, the proper experts, or the proper way to discuss editing. I want to edit! I do not think that is an unreasonable request. I am tired of being walked in circles. I am tired of wasting time. I am tired of all of this. Let's edit text! What on earth is this about? We are editing an encyclopedia! Let's edit text! --Cberlet 01:51, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
You are asking me to perform an historical examination I have already examined, in inverse order. Your goal is to "craft text" to "serve as a model" "across Wikipedia"; yet you chose as your Summary an individual to whom has a weak case to destroy Haynes & Klehr's classifications. That's why I suggested the broader Talk:Significance of Venona. I suggest, now that the process is in motion, we follow the process. nobs 02:39, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Sentence by sentence

Nobs: how would you write this sentence I redrafted from Significance of Venona?

Can we agree this is fair, accurate and NPOV?. If not, please write an alternative. Please do not refer to previous editing disputes. Thank you. If you prefer, we can edit this on Talk:Significance of Venona. However I have no intention of having the same debate on two pages at the same time. Pick one page. Edit text. --Cberlet 03:17, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Cberlet: How would you incorporate this material --> Talk:Harry Magdoff and espionage#629 Venona, sentence by sentence, as the process requires. Thank you. nobs 03:13, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Sir, do as you please; but I would only suggest amending you Summary of Dispute then. Thank you. nobs 03:21, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
You just said we should edit text from Significance of Venona! I am not going to edit multiple pages at the same time. It is unreasonable and a waste of time.--Cberlet 03:19, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
All of the claims at Talk:Harry Magdoff and espionage#629 Venona are 100% original research and are invalid for inclusion on Wikipedia on their face. Please cite a published secondary source to back up your claims. Even the FBI now refuses to call Magdoff a Soviet spy. Not even Haynes & Klehr call Magdoff a Soviet spy. If you dispute this, please cite the page number of the secondary source that makes this claim. However, I would prefer to edit the page Significance of Venona! --Cberlet 03:26, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Ok, I will follow the process, unless the mediator makes another suggestion (the insertions can and will be made to primary & secondary citations as outlined at Talk:Harry Magdoff and espionage#629 Venona). I'm guessing, 3 or 4 days, hopefully less to respond at Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Cberlet and Nobs01/Workshop#Response by Nobs. Please be patient. Thank you. nobs 03:34, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Process issue needs to be resolved

The above is the type of exchange that makes my head spin. I thought Nobs and I had agreed to edit the page Significance of Venona. Suddenly Nobs is discussing the page Harry Magdoff and espionage. Now Nobs says he "will follow the process," and will respond to my summary at Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Cberlet and Nobs01/Workshop. Now, instead of being forced to jump between four pages (VENONA project, Significance of Venona, Harry Magdoff, Harry Magdoff and espionage), I now have to respond on two more pages: Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Cberlet and Nobs01, and Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Cberlet and Nobs01/Workshop. This is not mediation, this is metastasization.

If we are to seriously seek to resolve this dispute we should pick from two options:

Or

But forcing me to edit six pages at the same time is not reasonable. I petition the mediator (Flcelloguy) to step in and help resolve this process issue before we proceed any further.--Cberlet 09:35, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Wow. I don't log in for a few hours, and... Well, both of you were making progress at first. I don't think it is fair for anyone to have to check six or seven pages regarding one dispute right now. I would prefer that the focus be instead on this page and the workshop. If there's anyone else at the article talk pages that wishes to join in the discussion, they are more than welcome to join in mediation here. However, I do request that most discussion occur here and at workshop. Thanks! On to the second item — Nobs, do you mind both responding to Cberlet's summary and discussing the articles at the same time? My intent in having both of you give counter-summaries was not to drag out the process longer; I'm not going to rush you, but I (and I'm sure Cberlet) would appreciate it if you could either both discuss the article here and give the response, or expedite writing your response. That would be greatly appreciated.
Regarding the articles, do both of you agree to start editing sentence by sentence at Significance of Venona? I beleive that it is best to focus our efforts on this one article first; once this article has been done, then we can move on to more articles. Thanks for your understanding! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 14:27, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm going to take the initiative and jump-start the process here. Here's the opening sentence that serves as the lead for Significance of Venona:
  • The Significance of Venona discusses the results and implications of the VENONA project, a long-running and highly secret collaboration between the United States intelligence agencies and the United Kingdom's MI5 that involved the cryptanalysis of Soviet messages.
What do you two think of that lead? Any objections or concerns about it? Thanks. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 14:31, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

(Move indent) Flcelloguy: I am going to ask you to admonish Cberlet for leaping ahead of the process; he began raising issues at Significance of Venona before I responded to his Summary in the Workshop; this is the second time he has ran ahead of the process. His Summary does not address my concerns, i.e. his lack of sourcing to base any of his concerns. I have yet to respond to his summary because of this problem:

16 September 2005

  • 01:42
    • In a subhead entitled ==Nobs has once again misrepresented sources in his espionage paragraphs== Cberlet charges nobs with "misrepresentation", "inaccurate", "biased", and "false"; Cberlet extracts,
      • " 'The following were members of the Victor Perlo Network'; That statement is not qualified as 'According to Elizabeth Bentley', or 'Elizabeth Bentley has alleged', etc."; says " this is a misrepresentation. " [5]

30 September

  • 12:46

I have great difficulting figuring out what the dispute is about, other than I'm a bad guy and he doesn't like me. At Significance of Venona he openly states he wishes to challenge Haynes & Klehr, yet offers nothing to challenge them with. If his goal, as stated, is to "craft text" to "serve as a model" "across Wikipedia" for Venona related disputes, one would presume sourcing would be the place to start. If he wishes to challenge Haynes & Klehr, to establish that their classifications were either (a) sometimes correct (b) sometimes in doubt, and (c) sometimes incorrect, one would think the Workshop Summary of Dispute would be the place to start, yet it appears he's shifted his argument again.

Remember, maintainting the integrity of the documents is my primary goal, and inserting unsourced "alleged to's" does not do that. nobs 16:07, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Responding to the following text from Significance of Venona:
  • The Significance of Venona discusses the results and implications of the VENONA project, a long-running and highly secret collaboration between the United States intelligence agencies and the United Kingdom's MI5 that involved the cryptanalysis of Soviet messages.
I have no objections to this text.--Cberlet 16:22, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Good! Nobs, do you have any concerns about the lead? Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 18:40, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
And regarding your comments, Nobs: I'm not here to "admonish" anyone, nor I am here to act as a judge. I am a mediator, not the ArbCom. In any case, I do not feel that Cberlet has done anything improper; in my opinion, it is in our best interest if we can all discuss the text line by line while waiting for you to finish your response. The responses take a more topical overview and will certainly be considered; however, they (or the lack of) should not prevent us from starting to edit Significance of Venona. Thanks! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 18:40, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Ok, I suppose we can proceed; however, I do not believe it fair for Cberlet to run ahead of the process, as he has done twice now, and request that you convey that to him. As per the first sentence in the Significance of Venona text, I am fine with it. I am ready to move to Talk:Significance of Venona now; and again, if we agree to carry on mediation there, I would ask that Cberlet not begin editing in other articles which are subject to this mediation. Further, if he were to do so again, I would consider it a breach of an agreement, editing in bad faith, and an abuse of the process. Thank you. Let's proceeed. nobs 19:21, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Instead of editing the text at Talk:Significance of Venona, I've placed a notice there, redirecting people to this page. I did this so that 1) all the efforts of mediation would be consolidated under this page and a few other pages, and 2) there does not appear to be many other people editing the article; if people wish to give input, I've invited them here to give their opinion in as brief and concise a manner as possible. I hope neither of you mind keeping the discussion here. And Cberlet, per Nobs's request, would you mind not editing any of the other articles while mediation is ongoing? Nobs, would you also agree to your own request? Many thanks.
Here's the next paragraph from Significance of Venona; it's the first paragraph in background. Judging from Talk:Significance of Venona, text from this point forward will be disputed, but I'll go ahead and copy the paragraph below:
This decryption and cryptanalysis project became known to the Soviets not long after the first breaks. It is not clear whether the Soviets knew how much of the message traffic, or which messages, had been successfully decrypted. At least one Soviet penetration agent, British SIS Representative to the US, Kim Philby, was told about the project in 1949, as part of his job as liaison between British and US intelligence. The project continued for decades, long after Philby left British intelligence.
Do either of you have any comments or problems with this paragraph? If so, what? Thanks again! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 23:48, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Thank you. Let's proceed constructively. It might expediate matters if Cberlet were to give the name of any source information he proposes to use to cite fundemental changes to the text, or question the validity or integrity of documented materials. Thank you again. nobs 00:29, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes, sources would help immensely once we get to a part where the factual accuracy is disputed. If that ever arises, I would prefer to see sources (preferably from both of you) so that we can attempt to craft a fair, unbiased article that isn't emphasizing one perspective over the other. Right now, though, do either of you have any objections to the text above? If not, then we can proceed to the next paragraph. Thanks! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 13:23, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
I have no objections to this text.--Cberlet 03:21, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
No objections. nobs 03:34, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

<- (back to left) Good! Now, here's the next paragraph:

The decrypted messages from Soviet aid missions, GRU spies, KGB spies, and some diplomatic traffic, known collectively as the VENONA papers, gave important insights into Soviet behavior in the period during which duplicate one-time pads were used. On 20 December 1946, Meredith Gardner made the first break into the code, revealing the existence of Soviet espionage at Los Alamos National Laboratories.[1] Others worked in Washington in the State Department, Treasury, Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and even the White House. Identities soon emerged of American, Canadian, Australian, and British spies in service to the Soviet government, including Klaus Fuchs, Alan Nunn May and another member of the Cambridge Five spy ring, Donald Maclean.

Comments? Objections? Thanks. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 13:40, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Who was called a spy, and why? What is a "Covert Relationship"

I think the next two paragraphs under discussion are the heart of the dispute. They contain a number of assertions that are easier to address when broken down into several clusters. If we move two sentences (at least temporarily) down to the bottom, it will make this discussion much easier. I am not suggesting they stay there, just that as a broad summary statements, discussing them is best after previous sentences offering specific evidence are discussed. For example, a list of agencies where spies where identified should follow the discussion of the evidence for "Alger Hiss; Harry Dexter White, and Lauchlin Currie."

Here is the current text:

  • The decrypts include 349 code names for persons known to have had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence. It is likely that there were more than 349 participants in Soviet espionage, as that number is from a small sample of the total intercepted message traffic. Among those identified are Alger Hiss; Harry Dexter White, the second-highest official in the Treasury Department; Lauchlin Currie, a personal aide to Franklin Roosevelt; and Maurice Halperin, a section head in the Office of Strategic Services. Almost every military and diplomatic agency of any importance was compromised to some extent, including the Manhattan Project.

Here is the text rearranged by proof package:

  • (A4) Almost every military and diplomatic agency of any importance was compromised to some extent, including the Manhattan Project.
  • (A6) It is likely that there were more than 349 participants in Soviet espionage, as that number is from a small sample of the total intercepted message traffic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cberlet (talkcontribs)

Sources

  • Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Secrecy: The American Experience, (New Haven: Yale University Press 1998), pg. 54; "these intercepts provided...descriptions of the activities of precisely the same Soviet spies who were named by defecting Soviet agents Alexander Orlov, Walter Krivitsky, Whittaker Chambers, and Elizabeth Bentley."
  • Moynihan, Secrecy, p.54; "In these coded messages the spies' identities were concealed beneath aliases, but by comparing the known movements of the agents with the corresponding activities described in the intercepts, the FBI and the code-breakers were able to match the aliases with the actual spies."

nobs 19:01, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

What is a covert relationship?

Meredith Gardner, by definition an eyewitness, writes in "Covernames in Diplomatic Traffic," 30 August 1947,

"3. Use of covernames.
"...agencies of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics engaged in conspiratorial activities are accumstomed, for reasons of security, to refer to persons that are furthering these activities by covernames..."
"4. Covernames in [redacted]
"...contained in the formula: 'A (henceforth B)'..."
"5. Reliability of "readings"
"...process...has yieled many values that were later verified..."

Document is reproduced in Robert Louis Benson and Michael Warner, eds., Venona: Soviet Espionage and the American Response, 1939–1957 (Washington, D.C.: National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, 1996) [7]

Haynes & Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, pg. 36 fn 21 cites this same document, reprinted in Benson and Warner, Venona, pgs. 93–104, for this statement,

"when the KGB in the United States established a relationship with a new source, it would send a message to Moscow giving the agent's real name and then stating a new cover name that would be used in the future."

Did the secondary witness (Haynes & Klehr) accurately report the primary testimony (Meredith Gardner) as a whole? (Ref)

Yes.

If not, in what details did he accurately report the primary testimony? (Ref)

By extrapolation, the formula A (henceforth B) would apply when a new source's name is sent in the clear, where "A" would be a name in the clear, and "B" would be the assigned cover name, which appears in Venona traffic hereafter. This is evident throughout the Venona materials. The Gardner memo uses the word "changes", which would apply when existing agents had cover names changed. Nonetheless, the recruitment of a "new source", and the assignment of a cover name, is itself a "change", from a relationship between Soviet intelligence and the agent that did not exist prior. The "change" is from no cover name (A = name in the clear) to B (cover name).

Note: Haynes & Klehr use the terms "source", and "agent", interchangeably in the passage in question.

Haynes & Klehr's Venona, pg. 349, adds this qualifier,

"context indicates...judgment about the status of the person behind the cover name is possible. "

Note to mediator and others following discussion: I reserve the right to apply the same rigorous standards to alleged critics of Haynes & Klehr. Thank you. nobs 20:59, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Text A1
I have no objections to this paragraph, other than to point out that we need to add quotes to at least part of the current phrase based on the underlying document text: "on December 20, 1946, Meredith Gardner made the first break into the VENONA code, revealing the existence of Soviet espionage at Los Alamos," to avoid obvious plagiarism of the underlying document. [8] --Cberlet 16:02, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Ratified. nobs 17:25, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Text A2
I have no objections to this paragraph. --Cberlet 16:02, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
No objections. nobs 17:27, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Text A3
I have objections to this paragraph. This claim needs to be cited to Haynes & Klehr. What is meant by a "covert relationship with Soviet intelligence?" If Haynes & Klehr did not call them spies, why should we? I have other objections as well which we can discuss here.--Cberlet 16:02, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Haynes & Klehr, Venona pgs. 9-10, elsewhere in the same work; not complete, other sources too, I'm still looking. Would be interested in hearing the other objections. ty. nobs 18:52, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Here is my edited verion:
  • Government analysts assigned identities to the coded names from the Venona documents during their investigation. Among those named were Alger Hiss; Harry Dexter White, the second-highest official in the Treasury Department; Lauchlin Currie, a personal aide to Franklin Roosevelt; and Maurice Halperin, a section head in the Office of Strategic Services. What is disputed is the accuracy of the identifications based on codes and fragments of transmissions; and the extent to which the available evidence indicates these people (and others named in the Venona documents) were aware of or complicit in espionage activities. Investigations in a number of cases did not lead to indictments, and several persons, notably Hiss, White, Halperin, and Currie, denied they were spies, and were never indicted. Haynes & Klehr state these people had a "covert relationship with Soviet intelligence," but do not define that phrase further. The claim that Hiss, White, Halperin, and Currie were involved in espionage is still debated by scholars.
This is a well-rounded rendition of the issues and claims.--Cberlet 13:06, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Terms in question:
assigned
those named;
perhaps "those identified";
What is disputed et. seqq.;
we need sourcing for dispute, and what is being disputed. After saying "Government analysts assigned", this subtley separates NSA decrypters from FBI field investigators, whereas I believe the 1995 release should be presented as a whole.
What is disputed is the accuracy, etc.;
again we need to strictly qualify all identifications of all codenames (persons & organizational entities) apart from the 171 identified as to having covert relationships, and stop this wholesale deception of trying to confuse the fact that simply because a codename was decyphered and identified, that somehow NSA analysts and subsequent researchers leveled the charge that they all were complicit.
Disclaimers are appropriate and should be inserted where appropriate.
I would suggest we use the Venona Historical Monographs as a guide, and any secondary source claims that dispute anything in those Mongraphs be properly sourced.
I will ask the mediator here, to ask Mr. Cberlet, any proposals on language be brought to the table with sourcing. I believe this is proper proceedure, should be followed, and will ultimately save all of us time. Respectfully, nobs 18:21, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Here is round one of sources from Chip:
Victor Navasky, editor and publisher of The Nation, has written an editorial highly critical of the interpretation of recent work on the subject of Soviet espionage.
  • In Appendix A to their book on Venona, Haynes and Klehr list 349 names (and code names) of people who they say "had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence that is confirmed in the Venona traffic." They do not qualify the list, which includes everyone from Alger Hiss to Harry Magdoff, the former New Deal economist and Marxist editor of Monthly Review, and Walter Bernstein, the lefty screenwriter who reported on Tito for Yank magazine. It occurs to Haynes and Klehr to reprint ambiguous Venona material related to Magdoff and Bernstein but not to call up either of them (or any other living person on their list) to get their version of what did or didn't happen.
  • The reader is left with the implication--unfair and unproven--that every name on the list was involved in espionage, and as a result, otherwise careful historians and mainstream journalists now routinely refer to Venona as proof that many hundreds of Americans were part of the red spy network.
  • My own view is that thus far Venona has been used as much to distort as to expand our understanding of the cold war--not just because some researchers have misinterpreted these files but also because in the absence of hard supporting evidence, partially decrypted files in this world of espionage, where deception is the rule, are by definition potential time bombs of misinformation. [9]
Ellen Schrecker agrees. "Because they offer insights into the world of the secret police on both sides of the Iron Curtain, it is tempting to treat the FBI and Venona materials less critically than documents from more accessible sources. But there are too many gaps in the record to use these materials with complete confidence" (1998, pp. xvii-xviii). 3 ^3 Ellen Schrecker, Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America (Boston: Little Brown, 1998) pp. xvii-xviii.
Other skeptics include Walter and Miriam Schneir [10]. Here is what they wrote:
  • Although Belmont offered a number of reasons for not using Venona messages as judicial evidence--including a wish to keep the Soviets from learning "the degree of success the U.S. had in breaking their codes"--the principal reasons were twofold: The decrypted material might not meet the standards for evidence set by US law, and, even if it did, it suffered from certain deficiencies that might limit its usefulness as proof.
  • [Belmont Memo:] In the first place, we do not know if the deciphered messages would be admitted into evidence.... The defense attorney would immediately move that the messages be excluded, based on the hearsay evidence rule. He would probably claim that...the contents of the messages were purely hearsay as it related to the defendants.
  • Belmont made it clear that apart from the legal hurdle of the hearsay evidence rule, the successful use of the messages in a court of law to prove guilt would be difficult. The evidence had inherent weaknesses:
  • [Belmont Memo:] The messages [deleted] furnishes the Bureau are, for the most part, very fragmentary and full of gaps. Some parts of the messages can never be recovered again because during the actual intercept the complete message was not obtained. Other portions can be recovered only through the skill of the cryptographers and with the Bureau's assistance. Frequently, through an examination of the messages and from a review of Bureau files, the Bureau can offer suspects for individuals involved.
  • Belmont was frank with his colleagues:
  • [Belmont Memo:] It must be realized that the [deleted] cryptographers make certain assumptions as to meanings when deciphering these messages and thereafter the proper translations of Russian idioms can become a problem. It is for such reasons that [deleted] has indicated that almost anything included in a translation of one of these deciphered messages may in the future be radically revised.
  • [Belmont Memo:] Another very important factor to be considered when discussing the accuracy of these deciphered messages is the extensive use of cover names noted in this traffic. Once an individual was considered for recruitment as an agent by the Soviets, sufficient background data on him was sent to headquarters in Moscow. Thereafter, he was given a cover name and his true name was not mentioned again. This makes positive identifications most difficult since we seldom receive the initial message which states that agent "so and so" (true name) will henceforth be known as "____" (cover name). Also, cover names were changed rather frequently and the cover name "Henry" might apply to two different individuals, depending upon the date it was used....
  • Belmont was forthrightly skeptical in the assessment to his colleagues: "All of the above factors make difficult a correct reading of the messages and point up the tentative nature of many identifications."
  • [Walter & Miriam Schneir criticizing Haynes & Klehr]....Appendix A, titled "Source Venona: Americans and U.S. Residents Who Had Covert Relationships with Soviet Intelligence Agencies," is said to contain the true names or cover names of 349 people mentioned in Venona messages. Serving as judge and lord high executioner, Haynes and Klehr assemble a mixed bag for their Appendix A, ranging from those who made substantial contributions to Soviet espionage to many scores of men and women whose alleged connections with KGB spying were so vague, trivial or irrelevant as to indicate that the list is heavily padded.
--Source: Schneir, Walter & Miriam, "Cables Coming in From the Cold," review, The Nation, July 5, 1999[11]. See also: Schneir, Walter & Miriam, "Cryptic Answers," The Nation, 261:5, August 14, 1995.
See also: Bernice Schrank, "Reading the Rosenbergs After Venona," Labour/Le Travail Spring 2002 [12]
I am not aware that anyone has ever challenged the fact that Alger Hiss; Harry Dexter White; Lauchlin Currie; and Maurice Halperin, denied they were spies. This is on the public record, and has been mentioned in the Wiki artilces on these persons.--Cberlet 19:41, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Thank you. Let me point out the subject under discussion now is Venona materials. These references basically are refutations of a specific FBI Memo and Haynes & Klehr. As per the Wiki article, Historical method#Eyewitness Evidence
"the whole or the gist of the primary testimony upon which the secondary witness may be his only means of knowledge. In such cases the secondary source is the historian's 'original' source, in the sense of being the 'origin' of his knowledge. In so far as this 'original' source is an accurate report of primary testimony, he tests its credibility as he would that of the primary testimony itself." (Understanding History, 165)
Without getting into an extensive discussion on method, it should be noted all authoritve secondary sources use primary citations to Robert L. Benson, Venona Historical Monographs; the primary source, Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy Report uses Venona Historical Monographs as primary source; Venona decryptions lack historical narrative; Venona Historical Monographs, from the same Issueing Agency, issued at the same time, with the intent to offer valid historical narrative can be properly called, and cited, as primary source, particularly in the form of historical narrative. It's authors are fully qualified, in that they most obviously knew thier subject extrememly well long before reputable secondary scholars ever heard of the Venona project. So to dispute what you posted below, I believe we can properly designate Venona Historical Monographs as the primary source in the form of historical narrative, and this would be the appropriate starting place, with some additions from the Chairman's Forward & various Appendix's of the Secrecy Report. Thank you. nobs 20:36, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Nobs misunderstands and misrepresents what is being discussed at Historical method We are not discussing eyewitness testimony. We have primary government documents, and we have secondary sources that analyze the documents in different ways. Nobs tends to cite one set of secondary sources, I tend to cite another set of secondary sources. I totally reject Nobs' summary. The Venona transcripts and the FBI memos are the primary documents. The Venona Historical Monographs are secondary sources. To take one example, Monograph #4 is written by "Robert Louis Benson" and Benson cites a number of primary documents. See: [13]. I have cited specific sources and quotes. I ask that Nobs stop lecturing everyone on methodology and just provide cites to justify changes in the text I have proposed.--Cberlet 21:13, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
We've evidently hit a proceedural snag. Cberlet proposes departing from accepted practices, and all the other standards laid down by subsequent authors on the subject of Venona materials (not to mention ignoring the historical method). What makes it difficult is, I did not author this disputed text here in wiki, hence I cannot properly cite without "going back into the documents", to use a jargon phrase; that may take an inordinate amount of time to perform a redundant task. I can attest, based on years of reading, the disputed text is essentially a paraphrase of Benson & the Moynihan Report. References to "349", most likely come from Haynes & Klehr. No one, to my knowledge, not even Shcrecker or Navasky, have presented an arguable case to dispute some of the foundational work of either Benson and/or the Secrecy Report.
Do the texts in question need proper citations? Yes. Is this a priority right now? To do so, we might as well just rewrite the whole text. Yet again, there is no credible refutations to the basic introductory information being presented.
Perhaps a way to proceed would be to accept the basic text "as is" (and proper sourcing will be inserted once I have the time to review Benson & Moynihan materials properly); if we could proceed to the point of "349", Haynes & Klehr, and write a text based upon what they represent their materials to be ("qualified"), and then present Navasky's rebuttal.
As to Belmont to Boardman, true, this is a very important primary source document. I love the formal title to it, "Explaination and History of the Venona Project". It may rightfully deserve its own ==subhead== here in the Significance of Venona article. Sen. Moynihan's book, Secrecy: The American Experience, likewise has been recognized as primary source, being that he was an eyewitness to Committee proceedings, etc. And I would love to draw on some material from there to address Belmont to Boardman. Moynihan Secrecy is even referenced as such in the FBI Venona file description [14] (Belmont to Boardman is the last 14 pages). And as you propose, we can let the document speak for itself (in my understanding, truelly NPOV language). As to "eyewitness", let's look at what this Wiki article—one we can be proud of—says in context,
most information comes from "indirect witnesses," people who were not present on the scene but heard of the events from someone else (A Guide to Historical Method, 292). Gottschalk says that a historian may sometimes use hearsay evidence. He writes, "In cases where he uses secondary witnesses, however, he does not rely upon them fully. On the contrary, he asks: (1) On whose primary testimony does the secondary witness base his statements? (2) Did the secondary witness accurately report the primary testimony as a whole? (3) If not, in what details did he accurately report the primary testimony? Satisfactory answers to the second and third questions may provide the historian with the whole or the gist of the primary testimony upon which the secondary witness may be his only means of knowledge. In such cases the secondary source is the historian's 'original' source...". [15]
So it discusses fully qualifying the historians 'original source' etc. In otherwords, Benson doesn't contradict Venona documents, i.e. maintains their integrity. nobs 21:56, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
This is gibberish. We are not talking about eyewitess accounts. Just edit the damn paragraph! --Cberlet 16:34, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • (2) Did the secondary witness accurately report the primary testimony (Venona decrypts) as a whole?
Yes.
  • (3) If not, in what details did he accurately report the primary testimony?
Not applicable; in fact Venona Historical Monographs, which accompanied release of decypts added important primary source narrative details & context.
Satisfactory answers to the second and third questions may provide the historian with the whole or the gist of the primary testimony upon which the secondary witness may be his only means of knowledge. In such cases the secondary source is the historian's 'original' source....(Louis Gottschalk, Understanding History: A Primer of Historical Method, Alfred A. Knopf: New York (1950), p. 165).

So the wiki article misnames the subhead, or else there is a sublte difference between "eyewitness" in the paralegal sense, and that used by historians (not really, because the evidence gathering and rules of evidence are the same between the two professions; only historians are much more dependent on secondary tellings of events). nobs 18:41, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

This is just nonsense. There is no eyewitness material being discussed in this section. This is a total waste of time. Please do not engage in any more of these obtuse pompous lectures. We know that some government analysts and some scholars have concluded that certain people were supplying information to the Soviets. We know that some of the accused denied the charges. We know that some government analysts and some scholars dispute the reliability of the identification of code names, and dispute the assumptions being made. The only issue is how to fairly summarize this material. I have provided specific cites to my wording. Do likewise. --Cberlet 01:31, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

(Move indent) Duh, I think you unfairly mischaracterize the discussion. You've provided language. You've provided sources. You haven't linked proposed language to sources. We know what NSA identifications say. We know what the Historical Monorgraphs say. We know what Secrecy Commission says. We know what Senator Moynihan says. We know Benson & Warner say in another primary source document. We know what the NACIC says. This is all primary source. It is reflected in the text. The Schneirs question FBI documents; all else questions other secondary sources. Really now, it is impractical to ask me to do all your work for you. I reviewed the very first two postings I ever sent to you, and guess what they say,

  • the proper proceedure is to (First) examine the credibility of the source, and (Second) examine the substance of source material. [16]
  • Let's discuss the credibility of each source cited, then discuss substance. [17]

We could have saved ourselves two months by follwing established rules of evidence. nobs 01:58, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

We could have saved months if you stopped writing long essays on method and just edited text. That is why I have broken the parapgraphs down into simple sentences and statements. Please try to focus on the text, and writing alternate language, rather than writing long essays on method. --Cberlet 03:33, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

More on "Source Venona": Haynes website states:

"[source Venona]: NSA/FBI footnotes to the Venona messages released by the National Security Agency as well as the Venona monographs prepared by Robert Louis Benson and other documents of the Venona project.[18], footnoted to [19], reads,
"Images of the Venona documents, organized by chronology, are available on the Web at: http://www.nsa.gov/venona/. Other Venona related documents and Benson’s highly useful monographs are also accessible from that site. Benson’s monographs include: Robert L. Benson, The Venona Story, pamphlet (Ft. Meade, MD: Center for Cryptologic History, National Security Agency, 2001); Robert Louis Benson, The KGB and GRU in Europe, South America, and Australia: Venona Historical Monograph #5, pamphlet, Venona Historical Monograph (Fort Meade, Maryland: Center for Cryptologic History, 1998); Robert Louis Benson, The KGB in San Francisco and Mexico City: The GRU in New York and Washington: Venona Historical Monograph #4, pamphlet, Venona Historical Monograph (Fort Meade, Maryland: Center for Cryptologic History, n.d.); Robert Louis Benson, The 1944–45 New York and Washington-Moscow KGB Messages: Venona Historical Monograph #3, pamphlet, Venona Historical Monograph (Fort Meade, Maryland: Center for Cryptologic History, n.d.); Robert Louis Benson, The 1942–43 New York-Moscow KGB Messages: Venona Historical Monograph #2:, pamphlet, Venona Historical Monograph (Fort Meade, Maryland: Center for Cryptologic History, n.d.) Robert Louis Benson, Venona: New Releases, Special Reports, and Project Shutdown: Venona Historical Monograph #6, pamphlet, Venona Historical Monograph (Fort Meade, Maryland: Center for Crytologic History, n.d.); Robert Louis Benson, Introductory History of Venona and Guide to Translations, pamphlet, Venona Historical Monograph (Fort Meade, Maryland: Center for Cryptologic History, n.d.).

All primary source. nobs 20:56, 23 October 2005 (UTC)



A3-a

Government analysts assigned identities to the coded names from the Venona documents during their investigation.

Chip has no objections to this sentence--Cberlet 02:12, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Unsourced and a waste of time. nobs 02:13, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Is Nobs disputing this? It is not a waste of time. It identifies the primary source of the claims that specific code names were linked to specific persons.--Cberlet 03:13, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
I read three times; still don't see any sourcing. nobs 03:57, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Chip cites:
  • "Over 200 named or covernamed persons found in the VENONA translations, persons then present in the U.S., are claimed by the KGB and the GRU in their messages as their clandestine assets or contacts. Many of these persons have been identified, many have not been. Introductory History of VENONA and Guide to the Translations.
  • "...the contents of traffic encrypted...must necessarily be fragmentary and subject to correction in detail....only about 15 per cent of the equivalences [matches of code names to real persons] are identified, some only tentatively." Meredith Gardner memorandum, "Covernames in Diplomatic Traffic," 30 August 1947, [20].
  • "U.S. Army's Signal Intelligence Service, a forerunner of the National Security Agency, began a small, very secret program, later codenamed VENONA. The object of the VENONA program was to examine and possibly exploit, encrypted Soviet diplomatic communications. These messages had been accumulated by the Signal Intelligence Service (later renamed the U.S. Army Signal Security Agency and commonly called Arlington Hall after the Virginia location of its headquarters)...." Introductory History of VENONA and Guide to the Translations.
So we can rewrite the sentence and cite as follows:
  • Government analysts from the "U.S. Army's Signal Intelligence Service, a forerunner of the National Security Agency," working at a facility named Arlington Hall, assigned identities to the coded names from the Venona documents during their investigation Introductory History of VENONA and Guide to the Translations; Meredith Gardner memorandum, "Covernames in Diplomatic Traffic," 30 August 1947, [21].
I hope this settles this issue.--Cberlet 16:05, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Two questions (A) where does the term "assigned" come from? (second time this question was asked) and (B) based upon your stated rejection of the historical method, why should this not be considered WP:NOR?. Thank you. nobs 17:06, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
I do not reject the historical method, I suggest that you have no place to lecture anyone on it. If you do not like the word "assigned," what word would you use to explain to the reader that the code names were linked to real persons primarily by U.S. intelligence analysts? They were not a product of God speaking to the true believers, nor of space aliens delivering 200 or 349 names by spaceship. --Cberlet 17:35, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
(Note error above, reads "349 names", should read "349 cover names"; there's a big difference which both the historical method, and rules of evidence require due dilligence. Thank you). nobs 21:19, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
A3-b

Among those named were Alger Hiss; Harry Dexter White, the second-highest official in the Treasury Department; Lauchlin Currie, a personal aide to Franklin Roosevelt; and Maurice Halperin, a section head in the Office of Strategic Services.

Chip has no objections to this sentence--Cberlet 02:12, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

"those identified" is accurate. nobs 02:14, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Identified by whom? Provide a cite. --Cberlet 03:13, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Introductory History of VENONA and Guide to the Translations,
"Over 200 named or covernamed persons found in the VENONA translations, persons then present in the U.S., are claimed by the KGB and the GRU in their messages as their clandestine assets or contacts. Many of these persons have been identified, many have not been. " nobs 03:54, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
And yet, Nobs still refuses to provide an actual cite for the text in question, So I have created sub-subheadings and await an actual answer to the simple questions:--Cberlet 16:05, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Which text? You've provided so many WP:NOR without WP:CITE sources, I can't keep up with them. nobs 18:18, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
This sentence:
  • Among those named were Alger Hiss; Harry Dexter White, the second-highest official in the Treasury Department; Lauchlin Currie, a personal aide to Franklin Roosevelt; and Maurice Halperin, a section head in the Office of Strategic Services.
Is broken down in the sections below into simple, easy to understand questions, which require simple answers.--Cberlet 03:33, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
The term is "identified"; and all subjects have been extensively cited & sourced, properly, within Wikipedia. nobs 04:07, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
=Alger Hiss=

Please cite a specific document and page where Alger Hiss is named, and provide the term used to state that he was involved in some form of espionage.--Cberlet 16:05, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. Secrecy: Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. VI. Appendices: A. Secrecy: A Brief Account of the American Experience. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1997, pgs. 36, 39. (PDF 746K) [22]
  • Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Secrecy: The American Experience, (New Haven: Yale University Press 1998), pg. 146-47; "Hiss was indeed a Soviet agent and appears to have been regarded by Moscow as its most important."
Full context:
"A fault line appeared in American society that contributed to more than one political crisis in the years that followed. Belief in the guilt or innocence of Alger Hiss became a defining issue in American intellectual life. Parts of the American government had conclusive evidence of his guilt, but they never told. The "anti-anti-Communists," to use Richard Gid Powers's term, were left to rant on about "scoundrel time" and witch-hunts and blacklists."
"With the publication of the Venona documents, the evidence of Hiss's guilt became public. Hiss was indeed a Soviet agent and appears to have been regarded by Moscow as its most important." nobs 19:33, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
=Harry Dexter White=

Please cite a specific document and page where Harry Dexter White is named, and provide the term used to state that he was involved in some form of espionage.--Cberlet 16:05, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Please see below Monographs below; also my posting here [23], and here Process issues (I've been asked to not lecture on method; so if you wish for me to document more of your invalid WP:NOR POV research approaches, frankly I'm tiring of your arguing in circles and lack of constructive editing). nobs 16:24, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
I am hardly the one arguing in circles. I am asking fro specific cites and the crafting of specific language--like I have been asking for months to no avail.--Cberlet 03:33, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. Secrecy: Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. VI. Appendices: A. Secrecy: A Brief Account of the American Experience. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1997, pg. 39. (PDF 746K) [24]
  • Robert L. Benson, The Venona Story, National Security Agency Historical Publications. [25]
  • United States Government Printing Office, Report on the Morgenthau Diaries prepared by the Subcommittee of the Senate Committee of the Judiciary appointed to investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and other Internal Security Laws, Introduction, by Dr. Anthony Kubek, Professor of History at Dallas University, November 1967, two volumes, v.i., pg. 80.
    • August 1948 - Harry Dexter White denies Elizabeth Bentley's accusation of espionage.[26]; died within days.
    • 16 October 1950 - two years later FBI memo idenitifies White as cover name JURIST, based on Venona documents.
    • 1967 - Senate SISS reports, "The concentration of Communist sympathizers in the Treasury Department, and particularly the Division of Monetary Research, is now a matter of record. White was the first director of that division...White, Coe, Glasser, Kaplan, and Perlo were all identified as participants in the Communist conspiracy…". [27]
Conclusion:
(A) White never denied accusation of being a Soviet spy based upon the Significance of Venona evidence;
(B) White was not identifed by Venona documents til after his death;
(C) U.S. Government reported White was identified as a participant in the "Communist conspiracy" in 1967, not based upon Venona documents. nobs 19:00, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
=Lauchlin Currie=

Please cite a specific document and page where Lauchlin Currie is named, and provide the term used to state that he was involved in some form of espionage.--Cberlet 16:05, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

  • United States. National Counterintelligence Center. A Counterintelligence Reader. NACIC, no date. pg. 31. <http://www.nacic.gov/history/CIReaderPlain/Vol3Chap1.pdf>. nobs 05:53, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Robert J. Hanyok, Eavesdropping on Hell: Historical Guide to Western Communications Intelligence and the Holocaust, 1939-1945. Ft. Meade, MD: National Security Agency, Center for Cryptologic History, 2005. "The involvement of Currie and White in the negotiations is significant for another reason: both men were longtime agents for the Soviet secret police organization, the NKVD. In the U.S. Army translations of the NKVD messages from 1943 to 1946, known as Venona and issued by the Army Security Agency, both men figure prominently. Currie, known as PAZh (Page) and White, whose cover names were YuRIST (Jurist) and changed later to LAJER (Lawyer), had been Soviet agents since the 1930s. They had been identified as Soviet agents in Venona translations and by other agents turned witnesses or informants for the FBI and Justice Department. From the Venona translations, both were known to pass intelligence to their handlers, notably the Silvermaster network. White also was known to exert substantial influence on Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau.
=Maurice Halperin=

Please cite a specific document and page where Maurice Halperin is named, and provide the term used to state that he was involved in some form of espionage.--Cberlet 16:05, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

  • CIA Publications, The Office of Strategic Services: America's First Intelligence Agency, no date. [28]; "Duncan C. Lee, R&A labor economist Donald Wheeler, MO Indonesia expert Jane Foster Zlatowski, and R&A Latin America specialist Maurice Halperin, nevertheless passed information to Moscow."
  • Peake, Hayden B. OSS and the Venona Decrypts. Intelligence and National Security (Great Britain) 12, no.3 (July 1997): 14-34. [29]. nobs 18:02, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
A3-c

What is disputed is the accuracy of the identifications based on codes and fragments of transmissions; and the extent to which the available evidence indicates these people (and others named in the Venona documents) were aware of or complicit in espionage activities.

Chip has no objections to this sentence--Cberlet 02:12, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

This is nonsense. Unsourced. nobs 02:15, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Chip cites: Ellen Schrecker, Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America (Boston: Little Brown, 1998) pp. xvii-xviii. Victor Navasky: "Cold War Ghosts," The Nation, July 16, 2001 [30]. Walter and Miriam Schneir, "Cables Coming in From the Cold," The Nation, July 5, 1999 [31]. Bernice Schrank, "Reading the Rosenbergs After Venona," Labour/Le Travail Spring 2002 [32]. Belmont to Boardman memo: FBI memo, Belmont to Boardman, February 1, 1956. --Cberlet 03:13, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
This is totally invalid WP:NOR claim. You must cite specifically if Haynes & Klehr are being disputed, or the NSA. Thank you. nobs 03:37, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
According to the U.S. government, regarding matching code names to real names: "the contents of traffic encrypted...must necessarily be fragmentary and subject to correction in detail....only about 15 per cent of the equivalences [matches of code names to real persons] are identified, some only tentatively." Meredith Gardner memorandum, "Covernames in Diplomatic Traffic," 30 August 1947, [33]
In addition, the underlying documents claim only about 200 identitites were confirmed: "Over 200 named or covernamed persons found in the VENONA translations, persons then present in the U.S., are claimed by the KGB and the GRU in their messages as their clandestine assets or contacts. Many of these persons have been identified, many have not been" Introductory History of VENONA and Guide to the Translations.
So even the U.S. Government refutes Nobs.--Cberlet 16:05, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Document dated 1947 only discusses the status of the investigation upto the date of the document; its misuse here violates that documents (and others) integrity, and other accepted historical methods. Reference from Venona Monograph #1 clearly is mistated: Cberlet alleges "the underlying documents claim only about 200 identitites were confirmed", whereas clearly in context the statement clearly reads
"claimed by the KGB and the GRU in their messages as their clandestine assets or contacts".
This has nothing to do with "identitites were confirmed". Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "identitity was confirmed"; Henry Morgenthau's "identitity was confirmed"; Walter Lippman's "identitity was confirmed"; Stephen S. Attwood's "identitity was confirmed"; the U.S. State Department's "identitity was confirmed"; the U.S. War Department's "identitity was confirmed"; the Board of Economic Warfare's "identitity was confirmed"; the Manhattan Project's "identitity was confirmed"; Los Alamos's "identitity was confirmed"; San Francisco's "identitity was confirmed"; none of these "identified codenames" were claimed by the KGB and the GRU in their messages as their clandestine assets or contacts, or U.S. citizens, noncitizen immigrants, and permanent residents of the United States who had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence that is confirmed in the Venona traffic where the context indicates a judgment about the status of the person behind the cover name is possible. Cberlet's presentation is, once again, WP:NOR aimed to promote POV, using nothing but invalid research methods. nobs 17:43, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
So this would be accurate:
  • Navasky, Schrecker, the Schneirs and other scholars dispute the accuracy of the identifications based on codes and fragments of transmissions; and the extent to which the available evidence indicates these people (and others named in the Venona documents) were aware of or complicit in espionage activities.
That's 100% accurate, correct?--Cberlet 19:40, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
"Navasky, Schrecker, the Schneirs and other scholars dispute the accuracy of the identifications", once again, you do not cite if Navasky, Schrecker, the Schneirs and others dispute NSA or secondary sources. nobs 21:10, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
It doesn't matter. They are reputable published sources. --Cberlet 03:33, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
WP:NOR. nobs 03:45, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
A3-d

Investigations in a number of cases did not lead to indictments, and several persons, notably Hiss, White, Halperin, and Currie, denied they were spies, and were never indicted.

Chip has no objections to this sentence--Cberlet 02:12, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Relevency here? other issues and objections possibly. The cases of Hiss & White are settled; the others I believe also. Some mention of indictments is possible within Significance of Venona, however I do not believe these are good examples. It really weakens the case of "sceptics" to use these particular subjects. nobs 05:29, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Fairness and accuracy matter here on Wikipedia.--Cberlet 16:05, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
The Primary sources speak for themsleves. Also, if you speak for Wikipedia, you should declare it. Otherwise, you should stop pretending to do so, or misrepresenting yourself as such. And I will request of the mediator to intervene and clarify this issue if you represent yourself as such again. nobs 18:34, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Get over it. I am not speaking for Wiki, I am asking that text be fair and accurate, which all encyclopedias aspire to.--Cberlet 03:33, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
One example of weakness and flaw in this reasoning,
  • Hiss (in prison; statute of limitimations ran out)
  • White (deceased)
  • Currie (emigrated)
  • Halperin (emigrated)
Of coarse they were never indicted. nobs 00:35, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
A3-e

Haynes & Klehr state these people had a "covert relationship with Soviet intelligence," but do not define that phrase further.

Chip has no objections to this sentence--Cberlet 02:12, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

POV; WP:RS#Evaluating_sources; other factors. nobs 02:17, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Definition from Haynes & Klehr (1995):
"It is no longer possible to maintain that the Soviet Union did not fund the American party, that the CPUSA did not maintain a covert apparatus, and that key leaders and cadres were innocent of connection with Soviet espionage operations. Nowhere in the massive Comintern archives or in the American party's own records did the authors find documents indicating that Soviet or CPUSA officials objected to American Communists cooperating with Soviet intelligence or even having second thoughts about their relationship. Both the Soviet Union and the American Communist leadership regarded these activities as normal and proper. Their only concern was that they not become public."
Source:. Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes, and Fridrikh Igorevich Firsov, The Secret World of American Communism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995), pp. 18-19. nobs 02:28, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
On the page where Haynes & Klehr list 349 persons, their language is "covert relationship with Soviet intelligence." On what other page is this list of persons specifically referenced? There is no direct connection between the sentences on pp. 18-19 and this specific list. They are speaking in generalities.--Cberlet 03:13, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Haynes & Klehr Venona, pgs. 36,
"when the KGB in the United States established a relationship with a new source, it would send a message to Moscow giving the agent's real name and then stating a new cover name that would be used in the future.
they cite Meredith Gardner memorandum, “Covernames in Diplomatic Traffic,” 30 August 1947, [34] reprinted in Benson and Warner, eds., Venona: Soviet Espionage and the American Response, 1939–1957 (Washington, D.C.: National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, 1996), pg. 93–104 as thier source. nobs 03:34, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
I read the Meredith Gardner memorandum. It does not answer my objection, nor support your claim. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cberlet (talkcontribs)

Note on above exchange: the 1995 Haynes & Klehr definition is from a different book, The Secret World of American Communism, pp. 18-19; Cberlet may have misunderstood reference to pgs. 18-19 are in the earlier book. nobs 01:37, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

I am not misunderstanding the reference, I am pointing out it has no direct connection to the list of 349 names. --Cberlet 02:58, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
Duh, let's restate the subject,
"Haynes & Klehr state these people had a "covert relationship with Soviet intelligence," but do not define that phrase further. "
Duh, the question is "What is a covert relationship?".
Duh, the question is restated exactly as such here [35], here [36], here [37], and here [38]. This may be the classic illustration for "argueing in circles", one for the history books. nobs 03:18, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
No, the issue is that you have consistently inflated the underlying sources. If you cannot find a place where Haynes & Klehr define the phrase "covert relationship with Soviet intelligence," then we must assume they are using artful language to not call all of the people listed witting and conscious agents of Soviet intelligence.--Cberlet 03:33, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
"Persons engaged in conspiritorial activities." nobs 03:53, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
"Covert relationship" is not "artful language" of Haynes & Klehr; it is in fact a common jargon phrase.
  • US Dept. of State FOIA - Church Report (1975) [39]
  • Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship, (1991)
  • Defining the Future of the NRO for the 21st Century, National Reconnaissance Office (26 August 1996) [42]
  • British House of Commons, Regulation of Investigatroy Powers Bill, (2000) [43]
  • Scottish Executive, Covert Human Intelligence, Code Partices (2000) [44]
  • Supreme Court of Canada, Full Memorandum re CAFFII, Court File No. S.C.C. No. 28227, (13 August 2001) [45]
  • Bob Woodward, Secret CIA Units Playing a Central Combat Role, Washington Post, (18 November 2001) [46]
  • US Objectives In Central And South Asia, The Nation, (5 February, 2002) [47]
  • Correspondence, South Africa's Nuclear Decisions, (2002) [48]
  • U.S. Supreme Court 03-1395: Tenet v. Doe - Reply (Petition), (2003) [49]
  • US Army Professional Writing Collection, Soldiers of the State: Reconsidering American Civil-Military Relations, (2004) [50]
  • Chip Berlet & Matthew N. Lyons, Liberal & Neoconservative Cooperation with State Repression, The Public Eye, (no date) [51]
  • Google Results 1,890,000 for covert+relationship [52]
This spurious arguement may even be a little disengenous. nobs 05:56, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
A3-f

The claim that Hiss, White, Halperin, and Currie were involved in espionage is still debated by scholars.

Chip has no objections to this sentence--Cberlet 02:12, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Objections. nobs 05:20, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
What are the objections?--Cberlet 03:34, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
Text A4
  • (A4) Almost every military and diplomatic agency of any importance was compromised to some extent, including the Manhattan Project.
I have objections to this paragraph. This claim needs to be cited to a published source. I have other objections as well which we can discuss here.--Cberlet 16:02, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
This language predates my input [53], I began editing ~23 April 2005, and I am unable to find an exact source. While I thought it was somewhat of a paraphrase of Benson Monographs (and other writers), I'm not certain if it can be directly attributed. I do believe in the validity of the underlying statement, and we could craft language begining with the recognized primary sources. ty. nobs 19:16, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
So, without a cite, we delete the sentence.--Cberlet 16:05, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Restatement: "I do believe in the validity of the underlying statement", still in process; please assume good faith. nobs 18:41, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
That's the cite for the Manhattan Project. What's the cite for the claim: "Almost every military and diplomatic agency of any importance was compromised to some extent." --Cberlet 03:33, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  • U.S. Department of Energy, Office of History and Heritage, The VENONA Intercepts, 1946-1980, "This program led to the eventual capture of several Soviet spies within the Manhattan Project." nobs 03:41, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Hayden Peake, Naval War College Review The Venona Progeny, Volume LIII, No. 3, Sequence 371, Summer 2000; "VENONA makes absolutely clear that they had active agents in the U.S. State Department, Treasury Department, Justice Department, Senate committee staffs, the military services, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the Manhattan Project, and the White House, as well as wartime agencies. No modern government was more thoroughly penetrated." nobs 17:32, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
Hayden B. Peake is curator of CIA’s Historical Intelligence Collection. (Incidentally, Peake's Reader's Guide cites Laird Wilcox Bibliography on Espionage and Intelligence Operations, "more than 3,000 book titles, many on assassination and terrorism". TERRORISM Reference Materials nobs 04:29, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
Text A5
I have objections to this paragraph. This claim needs to be cited to a published source. Are we talking about accused spies, persons investigated by the FBI as spies? Persons identified by government analysts from the Venona documents? Confessed? Indicted? Convicted? I have other objections as well which we can discuss here.--Cberlet 16:02, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Likewise with this one, and it shouldn't be too hard to support. This appears to be an introductory overview. nobs 05:49, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
That's one...--Cberlet 16:05, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Hayden Peake, Naval War College Review The Venona Progeny, Volume LIII, No. 3, Sequence 371, Summer 2000; "VENONA makes absolutely clear that they had active agents in the U.S. State Department, Treasury Department, Justice Department, Senate committee staffs, the military services, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the Manhattan Project, and the White House, as well as wartime agencies. No modern government was more thoroughly penetrated." nobs 17:30, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Marine Corps Intelligence Association, Quantico VA [54]; " showed conclusively the Soviet penetration of the White House, the atomic energy program, FDR's cabinet, and even the OSS. Doubts about the Rosenbergs, Hiss, White (Treasury), and the true nature of the American Communist Party were dispelled forever."
Text A6
  • (A6) It is likely that there were more than 349 participants in Soviet espionage, as that number is from a small sample of the total intercepted message traffic.
I have objections to this paragraph. This claim needs to be cited. What is meant by a "participants in Soviet espionage? If Haynes & Klehr did not call them spies, why should we? How did we get from "covert relationship" to "participants in Soviet espionage?" I have other objections as well which we can discuss here.--Cberlet 16:02, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Samething regarding the evidence; the 349 should be clarified to code names. As to the speculation about "likely more", that could be further supported by testimonies of various defectors, Louis Budenz for example, and others. Some speculate the number as high as 800, others 1200. nobs 05:55, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
So it should not be difficult to find an actual cite.--Cberlet 16:05, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Counter A3
  • "Arlington Hall crptographers found hundreds of cover names for institutions and persons, some engaged in conspiritorial activities. This included 349 cover names for persons known to have had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence that is confirmed in the Venona traffic where the context indicates a judgment about the status of the person behind the cover name is possible. Among those identified are Alger Hiss; Harry Dexter White, the second-highest official in the Treasury Department; Lauchlin Currie, a personal aide to Franklin Roosevelt; and Maurice Halperin, a section head in the Office of Strategic Services.

This is fair, accurate, balanced and NPOV. nobs 19:45, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Notes A3
    • Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. Secrecy: Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1997. [55]
    • Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Secrecy: The American Experience, (New Haven: Yale University Press 1998), pg. 146-47; "Hiss was indeed a Soviet agent and appears to have been regarded by Moscow as its most important."
    • United States Government Printing Office, Report on the Morgenthau Diaries prepared by the Subcommittee of the Senate Committee of the Judiciary appointed to investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and other Internal Security Laws, Introduction, by Dr. Anthony Kubek, Professor of History at Dallas University, November 1967, two volumes, v.i., pg. 80.
    • Robert L. Benson, The Venona Story, Nataional Security Agency Historical Publications. [56]
    • United States. National Counterintelligence Center. A Counterintelligence Reader. NACIC, no date. pg. 31. <http://www.nacic.gov/history/CIReaderPlain/Vol3Chap1.pdf>.
    • CIA Publications, The Office of Strategic Services: America's First Intelligence Agency, no date. [57]; "Duncan C. Lee, R&A labor economist Donald Wheeler, MO Indonesia expert Jane Foster Zlatowski, and R&A Latin America specialist Maurice Halperin, nevertheless passed information to Moscow."
Counter A4
  • "Almost every military and diplomatic agency of any importance was compromised to some extent, including the Manhattan Project1.
Notes A4
    • ^1 U.S. Department of Energy, Office of History and Heritage, The VENONA Intercepts, 1946-1980, "This program led to the eventual capture of several Soviet spies within the Manhattan Project."
Counter A5
Notes A5
  • ^1 Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. Secrecy: Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. VI. Appendices: A. Secrecy: A Brief Account of the American Experience. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1997, pg. 9 (PDF 746K) [58]; "KGB cables indicated that the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in World War II had been thoroughly infiltrated with Soviet agents."

Truelly NPOV and collabortative. Thank you. nobs 21:49, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Haynes & Klehr

Very good. Very well stated articulation of valid questions. I will proceed to respond to each valid point raised. These six texts, I believe are drawn mostly from (1) Venona Historical Monographs, Robert L. Benson; (2) Moynihan Commission Report (3) Hanyes & Klehr, Venona. There may be some Arthur Herman in there as well (note: while I had much input, the above is truelly a collaborative effort, and much was written before I began editing the Venona series). I will set to work on the proper sourcing on each item specified, and respond appropriately under each subhead. Meantime, under this new subhead, perhaps we can begin a discussion of Haynes & Klehrs' sourcing, and how they arrive at the 349 figure, also the 171 identified, the 178 unidentified, the 139 identified from sources other than Venona; and we can moreless by pass foreigners & Soviet national citizens for now.

I believe that upon inspection, we will conclude that the above stated figures, attributed to Haynes & Klehr, in fact is not their work. Haynes and Klehr "inherited", if you will, the status of the NSA investigation when it closed down in 1980. And Haynes & Klehr's classification is basically a restatement, or secondary source qualification, of how the NSA viewed each identified person, and identified code name, at the time the investigation ended in 1980. And this point, based upon a NPOV examination, we perhaps may be able to establish once and for all whether or not it is valid. (The converse as to the above stated premise is, if Haynes & Klehr erred regarding "witting" or "unwitting", that mistake ultimately could be traced to the NSA investigation.)

Where Haynes & Klehr have made statements regarding things the NSA may have overlooked, or new evidence came to light either after 1980, or after 1995-98 when Venona materials were released, it is usually clearly and properly identified as such in their text, and also subsequent writings since the 1999 release of their book.

I welcome any comment or response regarding Haynes & Klehr, or my reading of their texts. Thank you. nobs 16:35, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

We should cite each claim to the maker of the claim. If the NSA/FBI analysts claim someone has been identified in the Venona documents, we should say that. They should not be identified as a spy just because their name has been linked to a code name by NSA/FBI analysts. If Haynes & Klehr call them a spy, we should cite the page. We should also cite the claims (and page numbers) from published work that disputes the identification of a person as a spy. --Cberlet 18:38, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
chain of custody
I do not believe that has ever been ambiguous, except for those seeking ambiguity with a POV. The 171 "true name" persons identified in Haynes and Klehr's Appendix A, as having "covert relationships" are identified exactly as such; Haynes & Klehr cite "Source Venona"; "Venona", as Mr. Jack Taber, a recognized authority, has point out on the Talk:VENONA project page, was not the name of the NSA investigation throughout the lifetime of the project. It was simply the last code name assigned when it was shut down in 1980. It had at least eight other code names in its lifetime, however history has now assigned it the name "Venona project", which is what is usually used when writing about it (a similiar case is "KGB"; while the KGB did not come into existence until 1954, it has become the accepted practice of writers and historians to use KGB to refer to Cheka, OGPU, GPU, NKVD, MGB, SMERSH, KI, etc.; so this practice is not unprecedented). When secondary sources cite "Venona", they are citing (1) the original Army Signals Intelligence materials known at the time as "Gardner materials", and then later after 1947 (2) NSA investigators, which likewise has become the custodian of documents for the Army Signals Intelligence (in otherwords, like many FBI files have been taken from the FBI and held in archives elsewhere (ONCIX), so too are archived files that strictly speaking belong with the U.S. Army in the Pentagon, are now held by an agency outside the Pentagon). So a citation from a secondary source that reads "Source Venona", can properly and legitimately be said to read "Source: NSA, and it's predecessors". (Footnote:some of the predecessor names that appear in the "Venona transcripts" are "Ice Cream", "Trine", etc.).
On a personal note, I believe a fair and impartial reading of the documents will discover much as I have outlined. I might suggest that an NPOV approach to the documents, rather than seeking "circular reasoning", we can avoid such "circular responses". Hairsplitting ultimately is gonna be a collossal waste of time. And I would caution again against the use of any conclusionary premises. nobs 20:39, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
In the name of sanity, just edit the damn text! Don't walk us in circles of obscure muck. Just take the damn paragraph and write it the way you think it should be written. --Cberlet 16:34, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
The only NPOV issue I see that needs clarification is, clarifying the fact that not all ID's are spies. The NSA isolated 171 true name ID's with evidence in context based on analysis of what was recovered from the decrypts. Critics persistently attempt to exaggerate the fact that simply because a code name was identified, therefore, beginning with the NSA & Senator Moynihan, a vast right wing conspiracy emerged to smear ALL code names as spies. This is the only problem I can identify in existing text that needs NPOV treatment (other than proper sourcing of others editors texts). nobs 18:04, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
"spies"

Texts A3-A6 have one thread in common, use of the term "spies". Cberlet asks, "Haynes & Klehr do not call them spies, why should we?". Valid question. Let me share a portion of the contents of a private e-mail received from John Earl Haynes of the Library of Congress Manuscripts Division where Mr. Haynes pointedly discusses this matter:

"One matter you might consider is just rephrasing occasionally the identification of persons identified in Venona as Soviet spies as, for example, persons identified in Venona as Soviet spies BY NSA/FBI ANALYSTS and that these identifications have been accepted as reliable in major books written about Venona: Haynes and Klehr’s _Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America_, Romerstein, and Breindel’s _The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America’s Traitors_, Nigel West’s _Venona: the Greatest Secret of the Cold War_, Moynihan’s _Secrecy: The American Experience_ and direct corroboration is provided in Weinstein and Vassiliev’s _The Haunted Wood_ and by the Gorsky memo.
"Also some people wince at the term "spy." Just for polite variation I often also use the phrase "knowingly cooperated with Soviet espionage against the United States" or some such. That, of course, is the definition of a spy but some people find it easier to take.

The above is a direct attributed text which can be cited to Mr. Haynes which I have cached in an e-mail exchange. I hope it sheds light on the valid question Cberlet asks. So I will continue the task of properly identifying sourcing, and I will await Cberlet's response regarding Haynes & Klehr's use of the term "spies". Thank you. nobs 17:46, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

None of this is acceptable. All of it is original research. We must only cite to published work here on Wiki. --Cberlet 18:34, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
OK. All I know is what the guy told me. If you wanna waste time "arguing in circles" be my guest. The end result will be the same. nobs 19:18, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm not "arguing in circles," I am pointing out that the rules of editing here preclude original research, including e-mail correspondence with authors. Would you accept it if I e-mailed Victor Navasky and got him to denounce the work of Haynes & Klehr in stronger terms? I think not.--Cberlet 20:08, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
(That wouldn't be necessary, cause he's already done that in print). I don't believe the premise propounded that Haynes & Klehr contradict themselves, or their sources, will stand up. If we need to document the response to the question you've raised, fine; it's just gonna take a little longer. But both the idea, and the meaning is there. nobs 20:42, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm glad to see that you two are making substantial progress. Regarding the issue directly above this — it is my opinion that Wikipedia should accept what is generally accepted. Does most of the community believe they were spies and refer to them as so, or not? Is there a substantial amount of controversy regarding the term? If so, then that could be mentioned. I hesitate to include someone's email as a source to be cited; emails often are unreliable, and to my knowledge, no article in Wikipedia has cited an email. If this email was reproduced in a book and is acknowledged by the community, then that would be fine. I hope you two continue the progress you have made and keep up the good work. Thanks! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 23:23, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

The question as specifically addressed is, Are the 171 "true name" ID's in Haynes & Klehr's Appendix A "spies" who had "covert relationships" with Soviet intelligence. Haynes & Klehr's language & sourcing on the subject is clear. Also, Haynes & Klehr's citation to the NSA is supported by other secondary researchers, and all are based upon NSA documents. The challenge is to the broader group of all ID'd code names, and names sent in the clear, by those unwilling to accept the various published sources who examined the entire record of the NSA/FBI joint investigation. Those who challenge have a big problem, they (1) have not studied the documents; and (2) can not cite published sources who have challenged the same readings of Haynes and Klehr, Romerstein and Breindel, Nigel West, or Eduard Mark. Nor Sen. Moynihan's somewhat more limited view. Nor Weinstein and Vassiliev's corroboration from KGB archives.
In other words, Haynes & Klehr's presentation is a qualified list based upon the NSA/FBI files of the investigation. It is prequalified as to the intent derived from various actors, based upon the context whatever name or codename appears.
This is the complete unqualified list of names, code names, etc. [59]; some names, for example Franklin Delano Roosevelt, have code names. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the NSA moreless established, was neither a witting or unwitting "agent", "source", "mole", or whatever of the KGB. Yet his name has a code name (KAPITAN). It is these minute details, basically arguing what is "is", that is the challenge. And it should be noted, only Arthur Navasky challenges the qualified list (Appendix A). nobs 00:57, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Victor Navasky, author of a major study on the Red Scare, has challenged the Haynes & Klehr list and the wording they use to describe it. Others have challenged the reliance on Venona in general. Nothing in secondary work is "prequalified" by primary documents. The primary Venona documents represent the conclusions of NSA and FBI analysts as to the identity of persons linked to code names, and other matters. In many, many cases, the text of the documents are ambiguous or incomplete, and it is frequently unclear if the person claimed to be linked to a code name is aware that they are being used as an information source by the Soviets, much less deserving of being called a spy. In some cases Haynes & Klehr, in their text, assert that someone was a spy. Then we should attribute that assertion to Haynes & Klehr or some other source. When a person has been indicted, convicted, or they have confessed, this should be stated in the text. Likewise, if they denied the claim, this should be stated in the text.
The material from the KGB archives is also subject to interpretation, and it is often unclear if the person named is aware that they are being used as an information source by the Soviets, much less deserving of being called a spy.
It does not matter what books or documents I have read. What matters is what published secondary sources are cited to document each sentence placed into the Wiki entry. Most of the people who have studied these primary documents had the intention of proving that the Soviet Union had a huge spy apparatus in the U.S., and to refute claims that there had been excesses that violated civil liberties in the late 1940s and 1950s. There is no doubt that several government agencies and many scholars support this new research. Clearly the revelations have (and should) force historians to re-evaluate their assumptions. But we still need to choose our words carefully, and recognize that there are still a number of scholars who urge more skepticism and caution, and who argue that the analysis of Haynes & Klehr and their allies is highly biased and makes assumptions that are not supported by the primary documents.--Cberlet 13:10, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
OK. Very good. You have isolated several issues that need discussion, some I agree with some that warrant further examination.
"The primary Venona documents represent the conclusions of NSA and FBI analysts as to the identity of persons linked to code names, and other matters.
If I am reading you correct here, this endorses my #1 goal of "maintaining the integrity of primary source documents". If we can agree on this definition it would be helpful. nobs 17:34, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
I have no idea what you are talking about. I never have been able to make sense of this issue. I have read the page you point to. I apparently do not read it the way you do.--Cberlet 17:52, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Digression: Without getting into an arguement on procedural method, I maintain the primary source valid historical documents are by definition themselves NPOV; it is simply a matter of reflecting or elucidating what they say in a Wikipedia historical narrative. nobs 18:41, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, but I think this is just wrong. Bad historical methodology. It is as if you are claiming that we should not consider the ideological and political and social and cultural and geographic biases of persons writing primary documents. Thus, since Mein Kampf is a primary document by Hitler, it is NPOV. Nonsense.--Cberlet 19:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Further the digression using examples: If a secondary source wrote that Mein Kampf said something other than what it said, that would be imposing a POV and violating the integrity of a valid primary source historical document. Actually, we've even seen such an example right here in Wikipedia, citing Margaret Chase Smith's Declaration of Conscience [60]. nobs 20:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
"In many, many cases, the text of the documents are ambiguous or incomplete, and it is frequently unclear if the person claimed to be linked to a code name is aware that they are being used.
This is a valid point. The 171 true name identifications in Haynes & Klehr's Appendix A, and the 178 unidentified code names, are qualified by the NSA/FBI analyst's, based upon a reading in context, of having a "covert relationship" with Soviet intelligence. This is by definition knowingly, and thus even prosecutable given other factors (corroboration, statute of limitations, etc). The "unknowing", or "unwitting" sources, are not qualified in Appendix A. Some may have been assigned code names, sometimes the fragments of the original text cannot support a claim of a "covert relationship". Thus they are not identified in Appendix A, and in a few cases (24 to be exact), evidence exists of contact to which the subject was aware he was dealing with Soviet intelligence, either directly with a Soviet Case Officer, or a CPUSA cut out (I. F. Stone & J. Robert Oppenheimer being the two most high profile), however based upon the context recovered from decrypts (and further FBI investigation), the cases remain unclear and have been stated as such by both NSA/FBI and secondary sources. nobs 17:34, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
I do not believe this is accurate. The NSA/FBI analysts are making assumptions. Their claims should be identified as investigative claims. There have not been proven. Haynes & Klehr make additional claims and assumptions, they should be identified as such. They have not been proven.--Cberlet 17:52, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
All true. By parallel example neither John Wilkes Booth, not Lee Harvey Oswald were ever tried or convicted in a court of law. This is the example that should be followed in historical narrative. nobs 18:41, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Not good analogies. What I am saying is that the NSA/FBI identifications were investigative assumptions that were not, in fact, corroborated for the most part. They remain investigative assumptions. The fact that they appear in released primary documents from intelligence files not originally meant for public viewing should increase skepticism regarding the claims.--Cberlet 19:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
OK, this is a larger issue that we should expand upon in a new subhead. nobs 20:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
What needs to be made clear is, the idea that a person was named, either in the clear or with a decyphered code name, does not implicate complicity. Only the 171 true name ID's, and the 178 unidentified code name's, were conclusions made by the NSA based upon analysis of context, sometimes including corroboration by FBI field investigations.
"When a person has been indicted, convicted, or they have confessed, this should be stated
This I agree and I assume refers to specific bio-pages. It infact only applies to a handful of the 171 true name ID's with covert relationships. It should be noted, there actually remains classified information from some who cooperated with FBI investigators, and there are even some actual identified names which were redacted in the 1995-98 release (Margarita, for example). nobs 17:34, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
So we use what is on the public record and what has been claimed by secondary sources.--Cberlet 17:52, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
We agree, keeping in mind the 1995-98 Venona release is not complete. nobs 18:41, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Actually, we do not agree that 171 names are necessarily accurately linked to code names, nor that they are conclusively shown to be witting agents or informants for Soviet espionage.--Cberlet 19:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
OK then; you expose yourself to unsourced WP:NOR claims stated as such. Who, other than Navasky, can you cite specifically to the 171 (Haynes & Klehr Appendix A)? As per Navasky, I'd prefer not to do a hit job on him in discussion & agree to negotiate NPOV language to represent him in articles. nobs 20:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
"we still need to choose our words carefully"
I agree 100%. We must keep in mind, based on the large number of identified true names, the language can become redundant very rapidly in 171 separate bio-articles. It is a fine line between ambiguity, clarity, and maintaining the integrity of the primary source. And each separate case needs to be handled justly. nobs 17:34, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Agreed.--Cberlet 17:52, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Most of the people who have studied these primary documents had the intention of proving that the Soviet Union had a huge spy apparatus
This is little more than an original research claim by User:Cberlet, and needs secondary source qualification to support it. nobs 17:34, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
It's my opinion. I am not suggesting it go into the text. I think the evidence is overwhelming to support my opinion, however. Romerstein, especially is a POV warrior for the political right.--Cberlet 17:52, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Without discecting too much, I might point out I myself am somewhat at variance with John Earl Haynes in that personally I think the term "spy" carries too much of a Hollywood fictional connotation to it. And I suspect this can only be clarified or corrected in the various espionage related articles dealing with tradecraft, sources and methods, etc. Also, I have not used Romerstein as a source too much simply because I do not like the title to his book; as George Blake said, "How can you betray what you never were part of." nobs 18:41, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Cute line...--Cberlet 19:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Victor Navasky (my apologies)
As to Navasky, I respect him and welcome his knowledge and input. Though he may be viewed as somewhat of a partisan, he certainly can speak for himself, and wiki readers decide for themselves. I will just keep a watchful eye as to whether his balance is being exagerated or distorted. nobs 17:34, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
How come your sources are NPOV and my sources are POV? Baloney. :-) --Cberlet 17:52, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Again, I view the integrity of the Venona trascripts as NPOV (flaws and all). The primary source Moynihan Commission Report should put this to rest:
"The first fact is that a significant Communist conspiracy was in place in Washington, New York, and Los Angeles [61] nobs 18:41, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
That's the opinion of the Moynihan Commission. It should be cited as such. (I actually do not dispute this quote). I am only seeking the proper balance.--Cberlet 19:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
What I find extremely interesting is Moynihan's Secrecy should be used to balance the collective Commission report; in Secrecy, Moynihan says,
"The first fact is that a significant Communist constituency was in place in Washington, New York, and Los Angeles
nobs 20:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
"careful consideration"

Cberlet said,

"NSA/FBI identifications were investigative assumptions that were not, in fact, corroborated for the most part. They remain investigative assumptions. The fact that they appear in released primary documents from intelligence files not originally meant for public viewing should increase skepticism regarding the claims.

nobs responded,

We're not gonna undo the FOIA Act. We're not gonna undo the statutory authority of the Moynihan Secrecy Commission to subpoena the documents or write a report. All we have is the primary source materials to work with. I disagree with the assertion, or assumption that "NSA/FBI identifications" were "not corroborated for the most part", and would request sourcing for such a claim. (Also, I would ask that you narrow this claim specifically to "identifications" of the 171 cited above, not the broad base that includes FDR, et al, which only confuses others following this discussion).
True, they remain investigative assumptions (some might say "conclusions" or "findings"), as the Warren Commission Report remains an investigative assumption.
Cberlet says, "The fact that they appear in released primary documents from intelligence files not originally meant for public viewing should increase skepticism regarding the claims", touches on the very heart of the subject of the Moynihan Commission Report; all we can go on is the primary sources themselves VENONA Historical Monograph #4, from the National Security Agency, Venona Archives,
The release of VENONA translations involved careful consideration of the privacy interests of individuals mentioned, referenced, or identified in the translations. Some names have not been released when to do so would constitute an invasion of privacy.
Unless you wish to assert that a law was broken, or can present evidence of such, I would make the motion we proceed. Thank you. nobs 20:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Of course not, but the text you quote is a secondary source! It is the explanatory text written about the Venona documents which are linked. You keep confusing primary and secondary sources, and what the "government" has concluded, versus what certain agencies of the government and employees of those agencies have suspected or conculuded.--Cberlet 22:34, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Good job to both of you; substantial progress has been made! I'm just going to step in here briefly and add (clarify?) a point. It's not fair to assume that all primary documents are NPOV, nor is it fair to assume that all secondary documents are POV. It's also not fair to assume that primary documents are POV, or that secondary documents are NPOV. In other words, I don't believe a generalization or blanket statement can be made regarding primary and secondary documents; each document must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Also, just because something is NPOV doesn't mean that it is right or is the view widely accepted; if something is disputed, there will arguments for it on both sides. I hope that clears up some of the issues here; I hope you continue with the productive discussion. Thanks! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 23:33, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Digression on method (cont)
Continuing the digression on neutrality: When I say "maintaining the integrity of primary source documents", I simply mean the reading should be neutral. The document should be allowed to speak for itself, and not become clouded or discolored by those handling it (even if a primary source document says offensive things, like "Satan is God", or "your mother has sex with donkeys"; while we may find this offensive, and even consider shielding it from children's eyes, it would be highly improper to represent it as something other than what it is). Hence a neutral, or impartial reading. nobs 01:00, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Are you seriously suggesting that the suppositions and conclusions of the U.S. intelligence community and its allies are neutral? An impartial reading of U.S. intelligence community analysis over the last 100 years would lead an impartial analyst to conclude that they are paranoid incompetent fanatics. That would be the weight of secondary writing by scholars. --Cberlet 03:20, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
I suppose that's related to our differences in training; I approach whatever document as a listener, without any preconcieved notions or prejudices, trying to hear the voices. It doesn't matter if the document is an FBI file, the Bible, or a Greek Tragedy. I am an expert at breathing life into the dead script of a piece of paper. That's one reason I was asked to examine Venona documents. nobs 03:31, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
I have no interest in censoring or misrepresenting primrary documents, no matter how offensive or factually flawed I may think they are. I have an intense interest in reporting the text accurately. The Venona documents contain both the unaltered text from the decrypts, as well as analytical assumptions made by investigators. In neither case should these be presented as "facts." They should be properly attributed as to source, and the context provided. Therefore it is improper to state "Harry Dexter White" was a Soviet spy." It is proper to state that "based on their investigatory assumptions about the real identity of persons refered to in code, NSA and FBI analysts suspected that Harry Dexter White was an information source for Soviet espionage, and sought to determine if he was a witting agent."--Cberlet 12:58, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

(Move indent) Here's the problem with that: The primary source document, after a recitation of the investigatory evidence, uses the phrase "establishes conclusively the identity of White as Jurist". To challenge the integrity of the primary source document, a properly qualified secondary source needs more evidence then the fact (or rumour) that the author of the document was a drag queen; the evidence presented that lead to the "conclusion", needs to refute that,

  1. during April, 1944, he had reported on conversations between the then Secretary of State Hull and Vice President Wallace.
  2. reported on Wallace's proposed trip to China.
  3. On August 5, 1944, he reported to the Soviets that he was confident of President Roosevelt's victory in the coming elections unless there was a huge military failure.
  4. reported that Truman's nomination as Vice President was calculated to secure the vote of the conservative wing of the Democratic Party.
  5. It was also reported that Jurist was willing for any self-sacrifice in behalf of the MGB but was afraid that his activities, if exposed, might lead to a political scandal and have an effect on the elections. [62]
  6. [Venona project] indicates that Jurist and Morgenthau were to make a trip to London and Normandy and leaving the United States on August 5, 1944. [63]
  7. Venona decrypt also mentioned that he would be returning to Washington, D. C., on August 17, 1944. [64]
  8. Morgenthau and White left the United States on a confidential trip to the Normandy beachhead on August 5, 1944, and
  9. they returned to the United States on August 17, 1944.

Other testimony is available as well. nobs 19:35, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Hmm. I'm going to continue with the above text example. Was White a spy? From what I've been reading, both of you seem to agree that 1)the FBI and US government believed he was at the time and 2) the fact has been disputed later in secondary documents. Is this correct? Let me know if I'm missing something. If that is correct, then something to the lines of White was believed to be a spy for the Soviet by the FBI, because of <reasons>; however, later historians dispute this, claiming that he was not a spy because <reasons>. could be written. Thanks! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 22:57, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
What does this document say? -->1119–1121 KGB New York to Moscow, 4–5 August 1944, p.3
excerpted:
"there will be achieved a compromise to exclude from the Polish Government the most hostile elements"
"As regards the Baltic Countries, the COUNTRY thinks that we seized them, but the restoration of the pre-war situation will not arouse any protest in the COUNTRY.
"On the technique of control over Germany while reparations are bring paid there is for the time being no definite opinion. JURIST thinks that a definite amount of repartations should be set in marks and this amount should be subsequently reviewed and reduced if Germany fulfills her obligations; if not, Germany should be reoccupied.
"The trade policy of the COUNTRY [1 group unrecovered] which will be put into effect by means of bilateral agreements with individual states covering 2-3 years. There will be no one set of conditions or removal of tariff barriers.
"Loans. In this sphere the only concrete thing that is being done is preparation of a credit for us of 10 milliards
...... . The credit will be repaid by the export of our raw material to the COUNTRY [2 groups unrecovered] be caused by NABOB's (Morgenthau) not being able to get conversations on this business with CAPTAIN (Roosevelt).p.2
Pretty substantive foreign policy stuff. It doesn't matter if JURIST was Harry Dexter White or the Scarecrow in the Wizard of OZ; the primary source tells us that the USSR recieved important classified policy discussions from a source they considered properly sourced and qualified, and they acted upon it. This is what the Significance of Venona is about, not those with a POV to refute the published version of the United States Government, challenging the integrity of valid historical documents, or make the issue of identifying spies the big issue. And I invite you to visit Western betrayal, after reading some of the above, and discuss this with our Polish friends here in Wikipedia. NPOV would demand that you pay attention to these dull foreign policy issues.
As to Harry White, Moynihan Secrecy Commission says he did it, just as the Warren Commission says Oswald acted alone. So if you wanna raise this issue, get some published sources challenging the Moynihan Secrecy Commission (which neither Gerald Ford or Allen Dulles served on). This is the proper scholarly and encyclopedic standard, not the unsourced conspiracy theories your original research trashes the FBI with; cause the Secrecy Commission endorses the integrity of the documents. nobs 04:28, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
Monographs

Why are Venona Monographs valid primary source materials?

  • They are represented as such alongside Venona documents by the National Security Agency[65]
  • Monograph 1 states, "Introductory History of VENONA and Guide to the Translations" [66]
  • Monograph 2 states, "This second release, and subsequent releases of the remaining approximately 1800 VENONA translations, will not be thematic, but, rather, will be arranged chronologically by communications link. This monograph provides an overview of the content of the messages between the New York KGB Residency and Moscow Center, 1942-1943, which are the object of this second release." [67]
  • Monograph 3 states, "This monograph accompanies the third set of VENONA translations being released" [68]
  • Monograph 4 states, "This monograph accompanies the fourth set of VENONA translations being released" [69]
  • Monograph 5 states, "This monograph accompanies the fifth set of VENONA translations being released" [70]
  • NSA/CIA joint release of Venona Collection [71], another important primary source of Venona related materials states, "release of the Venona translations in 1995 and 1996 was accompanied by an original explanatory monograph authored by Robert Louis Benson" [72]
  • It is the primary source that introduces the hitherto unknown joint NSA/FBI investigation.
  • It is the primary source that introduces Meredith Gardner and other important personages; primary source on method and background.
  • qualified authorship; Robert L. Benson, Office of Security, National Security Agency; Michael Warner, Deputy Chief of the CIA History Staff.
  • Issueing Agency.
  • Timing of issue (or release).
  • Referred to as such by orther important foundational primary sources, the Moynihan Report and Moynihan Secrecy book, and numerous qualified secondary sources.
  • It is the primary source for the Wikipedia Venona project article, for which the Significance of Venona is a spinoff article.
  • Other factors.

nobs 03:22, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Sorry about the delay in getting back to you two; I've been busy for the past few days. Anyways, it looks like progress is being made. However, what I've noticed is that the discussion has shifted away from specific editing of text to more general points and overviews of the articles. While I don't mind the general discussion, I encourage you two to continue with a paragraph by paragraph editing of the text at Significance of Venona; otherwise, without any significant editing of the text, the process will be hindered significantly. I urge both of you to draft a copy of the paragraph that was discussed above, and state what you think is wrong with the current version of the paragraph. Do any of you mind doing that? Thanks! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 19:34, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Paragraph A3 - Restart

Another round of editing:

  • Arlington Hall cryptographers found hundreds of cover names for institutions and persons being transmitted to the Soviet espionage headquarters. According to Haynes & Klehr, 349 cover names were of persons who had a "covert relationship with Soviet intelligence." The government analysts assigned identities to many of the coded names from the Venona documents during their investigation. Among those linked to code names were Alger Hiss1; Harry Dexter White2, the second-highest official in the Treasury Department; Lauchlin Currie3, a personal aide to Franklin Roosevelt; and Maurice Halperin4, a section head in the Office of Strategic Services. A number of scholars have now concluded that Hiss, White, Halperin, and Currie wittingly passed information to the Soviets. Some scholars, however, dispute the accuracy of the identifications based on codes and fragments of transmissions; and the extent to which the available evidence indicates these people (and others named in the Venona documents) were aware of or complicit in espionage activities. Investigations in a number of cases did not lead to indictments. Several persons, notably Hiss, White, Halperin, and Currie, denied they were spies, and were never indicted; and the claim that they were wittingly involved in espionage is still debated by some scholars. Still, the Venona documents and material from Soviet archives has provided much detail corroborating the existence of an elaborate Soviet Espionage network operating in the U.S. during this period.

How's that (with footnotes added later)?--Cberlet 21:51, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

  • ^1 Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Secrecy: The American Experience, (New Haven: Yale University Press 1998), pg. 146-47; "Hiss was indeed a Soviet agent and appears to have been regarded by Moscow as its most important."
  • ^2 Robert L. Benson, The Venona Story, National Security Agency Historical Publications.
  • ^4 CIA Publications, The Office of Strategic Services: America's First Intelligence Agency, no date. [73]; "Duncan C. Lee, Research & Analysis labor economist Donald Wheeler, Morale Operations Indonesia expert Jane Foster Zlatowski, and Research & Analysis Latin America specialist Maurice Halperin, nevertheless passed information to Moscow."----
Cberlet: We're close; maybe a few words changed, but I'd like to discuss a bit about the structure of the article (see below). Right now, what about Navasky? I'll give more comments in detail later, but basically, it is workable. nobs 02:27, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

OK, this is close & workable. Let's continue the same constructive atmosphere, and look a few reservations dispationately (in no particular order).

  • some engaded in conspiratorial activities

needs to be in so as to distinguish that, just because a name appeared, doesn't mean they were accused. An encyclopedia is to educate, not make us dumber. (Also, please see your posting above 18:38, 6 October 2005 under =Haynes & Klehr=, 'They should not be identified as a spy just because their name has been linked to a code name by NSA/FBI analysts.')

  • assigned identities

"assigned" is what the KGB did; "identify" is what NSA/FBI did. This article fits within other Wiki articles on espionage & tradecraft. Its confusing enough already with the difference between intelligence terminology, and counterintelligence terminolgy, then KGB intelligence terminology, etc. A distinction would be helpful.

  • scholars

"scholars and journalists" would be acceptable (or commentators, writers, or something). As written, you've turned it into an academic debate with no reference to U.S. government's published reports. No problem with this because of the proper footnotes, unless your sources get out of hand.

  • Haynes & Klehr

Haynes & Klehr right now, as written, are only referenced through a secondary source, Hayden Peake. If you wanna "name names", then of course Navasky has to be named. I've read Navasky's input probably 349 times, and it does not address the primary sources, it is a direct hit on Haynes & Klehr. Thus (A) Navasky has to be named in the article, and (B) Navasky is vulnerable to payback. I don't wanna see this article (or others) turn into wholesale slime-o-rama's on sources. So a lots gonna depend on the wording of Navasky. In otherwords, I reserve the right to insert cover names for persons known to have had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence that is confirmed in the Venona traffic where the context indicates a judgment about the status of the person behind the cover name is possible, depending on how the Navasky language looks. Also, I don't wanna have to send a goon squad (figuratively) after Navasky throughout wiki articles (you know, "itself two spies", "alleged commie rag" in the 1940's etc).

  • indictments

I propose we withhold those references here, and give them full treatment, along with international issues & FBI CYA in a "Belmont to Boardman" subhead discussed below. All the Schneir material can be referenced there (I have no other sources to add there). Even the business about disputing identifications can be scaled down and treated with Belmont to Boardman. Really, the information in Belmont to Boardman is some of the most specific & concise, in a very few pages, dealing with the Significance of Venona, and Wikipedia really has a chance to be in the forefront of bringing it to light.

Schrecker appears peripheral at this point. This neglected article appears to be taking some shape. Thank you. nobs 03:39, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

A3,4,5

Arlington Hall cryptographers found hundreds of cover names for institutions and persons, some engaged in conspiritorial activities. According to Haynes & Klehr, 349 cover names were of persons who had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence. Government analysts identitied many of the coded names from the Venona documents during their investigation. Among those linked to code names were Alger Hiss1; Harry Dexter White2, the second-highest official in the Treasury Department; Lauchlin Currie3, a personal aide to Franklin Roosevelt; and Maurice Halperin4, a section head in the Office of Strategic Services. Almost every military and diplomatic agency of any importance was compromised to some extent5, including the Manhattan Project6. Others worked in Washington in the State Department, Treasury, Office of Strategic Services (OSS)7, and even the White House.

The Government, scholars and other writers have now concluded that Hiss, White,8 Halperin, and Currie wittingly passed information to the Soviets. Some scholars and observers, however, dispute the accuracy of the identifications based on codes and fragments of transmissions; and the extent to which the available evidence indicates these people (and others named in the Venona documents) were aware of or complicit in espionage activities. Still, the Venona documents and material from Soviet archives has provided much detail corroborating the existence of an elaborate Soviet Espionage network operating in the U.S. during this period.

Notes

  • ^1 Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Secrecy: The American Experience, (New Haven: Yale University Press 1998), pg. 146-47; "Hiss was indeed a Soviet agent and appears to have been regarded by Moscow as its most important."
  • ^2 Robert L. Benson, The Venona Story, National Security Agency Historical Publications.
  • ^4 CIA Publications, The Office of Strategic Services: America's First Intelligence Agency, no date. [74]; "Duncan C. Lee, Research & Analysis labor economist Donald Wheeler, Morale Operations Indonesia expert Jane Foster Zlatowski, and Research & Analysis Latin America specialist Maurice Halperin, nevertheless passed information to Moscow."
  • ^5 Hayden Peake, Naval War College Review The Venona Progeny, Volume LIII, No. 3, Sequence 371, Summer 2000; "VENONA makes absolutely clear that they had active agents in the U.S. State Department, Treasury Department, Justice Department, Senate committee staffs, the military services, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the Manhattan Project, and the White House, as well as wartime agencies. No modern government was more thoroughly penetrated."
  • ^6 U.S. Department of Energy, Office of History and Heritage, The VENONA Intercepts, 1946-1980, "This program led to the eventual capture of several Soviet spies within the Manhattan Project."
  • ^7 Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. Secrecy: Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. VI. Appendices: A. Secrecy: A Brief Account of the American Experience. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1997, pg. 9 (PDF 746K). "KGB cables indicated that the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in World War II had been thoroughly infiltrated with Soviet agents."
  • ^8 Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. Secrecy: Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. VI. Appendices: A. Secrecy: A Brief Account of the American Experience. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1997, pgs. 36, 39. (PDF 746K) [75]

Prosecution

I propose using portions of the Belmont to Boardman memo in its own subhead; here is scaled down edited text (covers many important subjects):


Counter A7

On 1 February 1956, Alan H. Belmont prepared an FBI memorandum9 on the significance of the Venona project and the prospects of using decryptions in prosecution. It considered that though decryptions may corroborate Elizabeth Bentley, and enable successful prosecution of subjects such as Judith Coplon and the Perlo and Silvermaster groups, a careful study of all factors compelled the conclusion it would not be in the best interests of the United States to use Venona project information for prosecution.

The Memo states that it was uncertain whether or not the Venona project information would be admitted into evidence. A defense attorney probably would immediately move to dismiss the evidence as hearsay, being that neither the Soviet official who sent the message, nor the Soviet official who received it was available to testify. A question of law was involved. The FBI reasoned that decrypts probably could have been introduced, on an exception to the hearsay rule, based on the expert testimony of cryptrographers.

The extensive use of cover names also made prosecution difficult. Once an individual had been considered for recruitment as an agent by the Soviets, sufficient background data on him was sent to Moscow. Cover names were used not only for Soviet agents but other people as well. President Roosevelt for example, was called "Kapitan" (Captain), and Los Alamos the "Reservation". Cover names also were frequently changed, and a cover name might actually apply to two different people, depending on the date it was used. Assumptions made by cryptographers, questionable interpretations and translations placed reliance upon the expert testimony of cryptographers, and the entire case would be circumstantial.

Defense attorneys also would probably request to examine messages which cryptographers were unsuccessful in breaking and not in evidence, on the belief that such messages, if decoded, could exonerate their clients. The FBI determined that that would lead to the exposure of Government techniques and practices in the cryptography field to unauthorized persons, compromise the Government's efforts in communications intelligence, and impact other pending investigations.

Before any messages could be used in court they would have to be declassified. Approval would have to come from several layers of bureaucracy, and probably the President, as well as notification to British counterparts working on the same problem. In an election year, the Bureau felt exposed to a violent political war with the FBI right in the middle.

International implications were considered as well. While no written record has been located, it was stated by NSA officials that during the World War II, Soviet diplomats were granted permission to use Army radio facilities at the Pentagon to send messages to Moscow. It has been state President Roosevelt granted this permission and accompanied it with the promise to the Soviets that their messages would not be intercepted or interfered with by United States. The FBI feared the Soviet international propaganda machine would work overtime proving that the U.S. never acted in good faith during the war, and vilify the U.S. as an unfaithful ally and false friend.

  • ^9 FBI Memorandum Belmont to Boardman, 1 February 1956, FBI Venona file, FBI documents of historic interest concerning Venona that are referenced in Daniel P. Moynihan's book, Secrecy, (PDF pgs. 61-72).

nobs 02:21, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Schneirs

Cberlet: As per WP:RS#Evaluating secondary sources, WP:V#When adding information, Wikipedia:Neutral point of view#A vital component: good research, and Historical method#Internal Criticism: Historical Reliability, please comment or reconcile these two passages.

Test 1

Haynes & Klehr, Venona, pg. 13-14

  • By early 1947, however, this indifference ended. The accumulation of information from defectors such as Elizabeth Bentley and Igor Gouzenko, along with the Venona decryptions, made senior Truman administration officials realize that reports of Soviet spying constituted more than FBI paranoia. No government could operate successfully if it ignored the challenge to its integrity that Stalin's espionage offensive represented. In addition, the White House sensed that there was sufficient substance to the emerging picture of a massive Soviet espionage campaign, one assisted by American Communists, that the Truman administration was vulnerable to Republican charges of having ignored a serious threat to American security. President Truman reversed course and in March 1947 issued a sweeping executive order establishing a comprehensive security vetting program for U.S. government employees. He also created the Central Intelligence Agency, a stronger and larger version of the OSS, which he had abolished just two years earlier.

Walter & Miriam Schneir, Cables Coming in From the Cold, The Nation, July 5, 1999

  • The authors also claim that by early 1947 the Venona decrypts were an important influence on the Truman Administration, leading the President that year to institute the loyalty program and create the Central Intelligence Agency. But they offer no shred of proof for this sweeping assertion, and newly available evidence, cited in Secrecy by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, strongly suggests that Truman was kept in the dark about the Venona project.

Please answer then,

Did the secondary witness (Walter & Miriam Schneir) accurately report the primary testimony (Haynes & Klehr) as a whole?
No.
If not, in what details did he (Schneirs) accurately report the primary testimony (Haynes & Klehr)?
Text reads "The accumulation of information from defectors such as Elizabeth Bentley and Igor Gouzenko..."
See Wikipedia Guideline WP:RS#Evaluating sources

Thank you. nobs 19:37, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Test 2

Belmont Memo

  • (IV.B) "In the first place, we do not know...
  • (III) "All of the above factors make difficult a correct reading of the messages and point up the tentative nature of many identifications.
Did the secondary witness (Walter & Miriam Schneir) accurately report the primary testimony (Belmont Memo) as a whole?
Distortion.
If not, in what details did he (Schneirs) accurately report the primary testimony (Belmont Memo)?
Section IV. Prosecution, Part B. Disadvantages, begins "In the first place...", discussing prosecution.
Section III., Nature of [Venona] Messages and Use of Cover Names, discusses use of covernames, not prosecution. Transposing Sec IV ("In the first place") ahead of Sec III ("All of the above factors"), appears to be a deliberate distortion that violates the integrity of the document.
Relevent Wikipedia Policy: WP:V#Checking content
  • The statement is key to the entry as a whole.
and others items. nobs

Test 3

Walter & Miriam Schneir, Cables Coming in From the Cold, The Nation, July 5, 1999

  • "without citing any source, they describe dramatically how US fliers during the Korean War were imperiled by superior Soviet MIG-15 jet fighters built with know-how provided to the KGB by William Perl, a US aeronautical engineer. However, the MIG-15 did not utilize espionage technology, according to US Air Force historian Dr. Richard Hallion, though it did benefit from an important foreign contribution: a Rolls-Royce Nene high-performance jet engine sold to the Soviets by the British.


Please answer then,

Did the secondary witness (Walter & Miriam Schneir) accurately report the primary testimony (Haynes & Klehr) as a whole?
No.
If not, in what details did he (Schneirs) accurately report the primary testimony (Haynes & Klehr)?

Haynes & Klehr p. 302 reads,

  • "Moscow KGB told the New York KGB that evaluators had judged Perl's material to be “highly valuable.”34 In April some of his latest material was called “valuable” and the rest ‘‘highly valuable.”35 The FBI later determined that Perl had gained access to numerous files on advanced military aircraft research which did not appear to have relevance to his own research. On one special trip in 1948 from Cleveland to Columbia University, he removed classified files on the development of jet turbine—powered helicopters and the results of expensive windtunnel tests of prototype aircraft and airfoil designs.36

Footnote 36 is to Radosh and Milton, The Rosenberg File, pg. 299; (fn's 34 & 35 are to the actual decrypts). The Introduction to Venona references Perl & MIG-15 without sourcing which is not necessarily required outside the body of text. Haynes & Klehr write,

  • "The FBI later determined that Perl had gained access to numerous files on advanced military aircraft research which did not appear to have relevance to his own research."

and cite Radosh & Milton which presumably is sourced to an FBI file, and is verifiable (that book is over at the Law Library, so I haven't gotten to it). Haynes & Klehr clearly state, "airfoil", i.e. body styling or design. This is supported by Doug Linder's Trial Account [76], which states,

  • "The data he provided aided the Soviets in the unique tail-fin design of the MIG fighter used in Korea."

So Haynes & Klehr, and Linder use "airfoil" and "tail-fin". The Schneirs make two pointed references which cannot be ignored (1) they openly name Haynes & Klehr by name, and proceed to make a false assertion; (2) they back up this false assertion with what they present as sourced research regarding the matter ("engine"), in question. So lack of objectivity, and extra effort on thier part to bolster an easily provable false assertion is disturbing.

Applicable Wikipedia Policy: WP:RS#Evaluating sources

  • Do they have an agenda or conflict of interest, strong views, or other bias which may color their report?

Others Wikipedia Policies may apply as well. nobs 21:03, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Schrecker

As per WP:V#Checking content,

  • The statement is key to the entry as a whole., and

and WP:RS#Evaluating secondary sources

  • Have they reported other facts reliably, including on different subjects?

Test 1

  • "it is tempting to treat the FBI and Venona materials less critically than documents from more accessible sources", Schrecker, Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America, (1998), Introduction, pp. xvii-xviii).

Test 2

  • "Haynes overlooks other sources that may have been just as significant in shaping our understanding of American communism and anticommunism: FBI files, in particular", Schrecker, Comments on John Earl Haynes', "The Cold War Debate Continues", Journal of Cold War Studies, (2000).

Test 3

  • "it is now abundantly clear that most of those who were identified as Soviet agents in the forties and fifties really were—and that most of them belonged to the Communist Party",

and

  • "as Venona and the Moscow sources reveal, the party recruited dozens, perhaps hundreds, of its members to spy for the Soviet Union.", Ellen Schrecker and Maurice Isserman, The Right's Cold War Revision, The Nation, July 24/31, 2000, pp. 21, 23-24. [77]

Test 4

  • "enough evidence about the KGB’s espionage operations had accumulated to convince most historians in the field, myself included", Ellen Schrecker, History in Red—and White and Blue, Radical History Review, Duke University Press, Volume 93, Number 1, Fall 2005, pp. 159-169(11) [78].

Please just edit text

I have a request. I would like to just edit text. I am not interested in all this side material and issues of methodology and historiography. I do not want to look at new paragraphs just yet. I would like to go through the paragraphs in dispute and finish them one at a time. Please. We still have not agreed on Paragraph A3. I beg the mediator to intervene here.--Cberlet 20:34, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Cberlet, I understand your frustration. Would both of you mind focusing on the paragraph in dispute right now? Topical overviews can be addressed later. Thanks! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 14:10, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
Recap: See my posting here [79] I responded two days ago ("workable" 03:39, 12 October 2005). Cberlet introduced FBI Belmont to Boardman memo [80] as source material here [81] four days ago (03:13 10 October 2005), and posted extensive portions of it [82] six days ago (19:52, 8 October 2005), as well as other references to it.
nobs response to Text 3A proposed removing references to "indictments" [83], and treating them under a separate subhead based on Belmont to Boardman ("Prosecution"), in keeping with a much earlier suggestion of the same. There is nothing improper introducing primary sourced based language and text, and this only counterbalances the reams of WP:NOR material I have been asked to simultaneously (a) edit (b) provide sourcing for what little bit of primary source material remained in passages after Cberlet introduced unsourced material into the same sentence.
Belmont to Boardman shouldn't be to difficult to edit, seeing we've discussed it for two and half months, and Cberlet should be familiar with by now. I'll give a few days to catch up. Thank you both. nobs 18:09, 13 October 2005 (UTC)


I have created a sub-page for paragraph A3

Wikipedia:Requests_for_mediation/Cberlet_and_Nobs01/A3

Just for editing one paragraph. When this paragraph is finished and agreed to, I will create a sub-page for the next paragraph. Etc.--Cberlet 21:39, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Continue collaborative process?

Nobs posted this message on the user page of the mediator:

  • I will no longer be participating in Cberlet's sentence by sentence attempt to subvert the nature of the Significance of Venona article. I believe there is ample evidence of him abusing the process, demanding from me citations for every sentence (which, in fact, I never even authored), and his totally unsourced sentence by sentence original research. It has been grossly unfair, and fruitless. He has consistently not presented any sourcing for any proposed changes.
  • I will be glad to continue the mediation process beginning with this text --> Belmont to Boardman. It is drawn entirely from primary source material, so it should not be difficult or controversial to edit. Cberlet's inclusion of secondary material is most welcome there. When it is done, we can rewrite the Introduction. Thank you. nobs 04:30, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

I hope Nobs will reconsider this ultimatum, and return to the collaborative editing process the mediator has been facilitating. I also hope that we can, in the future, continue a joint discussion here, rather than engaging the mediator in side conversations that exclude anyone involved in this process.--Cberlet 13:03, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

nobs response: [84] and Name the Conflict. nobs 15:39, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
Nobs has now simply returned to the Significance of Venona page and is inserting his text as if this mediation is not happening. I request that the mediator note this and make some decision about the future of this mediation. --Cberlet 13:41, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

What is all this stuff?

We are supposed to be editing on the other page, what is this mountain of stuff being posted here? [85] [86] [87]. It is burying the debate in mountains of POV that is a waste of time.--Cberlet 22:03, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

How come when I do the same diff (05:56, 17 October 2005) I get a different result [88]. nobs 01:06, 25 October 2005 (UTC)


Hmm...

Hmm... I've been trying to not interfere or comment the past few days, because of 1) Hurricane Wilma threatening Florida, and 2) I wanted to see if progress could be made without a third party (that's what a mediator is, after all). However, I'm going to make a few comments here. First, every time I attempt to step back a little bit and watch you two discuss the articles, the discussion has turned (or at least is on the verge of) becoming uncivil, with parties saying that the other person isn't cooperating or doesn't understand something. I encourage both of you to tone down the language, as implying that the other user isn't doing his best isn't going to do anything but further aggravate the situation. In addition, I also encourage both of you to try and minimize calling for mediator help — I'll be active in these pages and I'm watching at all times, and urging the mediator to intervene hinders discussion between the two of you. Instead of calling on me to intervene, why not try discussing it? I know you've tried discussing in the past, and some progress was made. I'm not trying to isolate myself from this, but if both of you are urging the mediator (me) to intervene, you're not talking with one another. Feel free to solicit my input on matters, but I'll be intervening or commenting whenever I see the need. In other words, try to talk to each other first, not talk to me. On a second point, I think one of you mentioned something about ArbCom a few days ago. No, the ArbCom doesn't take content-related dispute, and in either case, I know both of you don't want this to go that far. We'll try our best here, and hopefully come up with more progress. Finally, Cberlet, take your time in relaxing; I need some time to analyze this situation more. Many thanks for your understanding. (P.S. If I sound frustrated, it's not at you, it's because my home just went through the fourth hurricane in a little over a year.) Thanks again! Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 19:50, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Discussion has moved

We are curently working at:

Wikipedia:Requests_for_mediation/Cberlet_and_Nobs01/A3

Nobs: please continue discussion of text on that page and stop rewriting and adding material to this page until we are done editing one paragraph, which so far has taken weeks.--Cberlet 21:48, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

Nobs' refusal to edit text and mediator's failure to mediate

I think it is obvious that Nobs is incapable or unwilling to actually edit text. We have been at this for weeks, and Nobs has buried this mediation in mountains of material, and yet refuses to edit text. He has announced that he is unwilling to continue this mediation, then returns and inserts more mountains of text that has nothing to do with editing text. At some point this is no longer a mediation, but merely a farce. I really think that the mediator needs to be active in this mediation, or pass it off to someone willing to play a more active role. I really resent the current circumstance, in which I edit text and write compromise text, and Nobs plays us all for suckers. --Cberlet 02:51, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Howcome I never did get an answer why these two diffs, both dated 05:56, 17 October 2005, differ?
  • Cberlet's version [89]
  • nobs version [90]
    nobs 03:10, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Because they are from the same date and final time but span a diferent range of edits and have different starting times, and thus illustrate a different set of your edits, in my version showing a series of your edits, not just one.

25716654 -> 25459950 v. 25716654 -> 25708369

Not a conspiracy.--Cberlet 03:20, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

What? Is this some software acquired by the X-line through a covert relationship with the former KGB? nobs 03:30, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I really do apologize for stepping out for a week or two; I've been extremely busy. However, I won't deluge you with excuses; I admit that I probably should have found more time to participate, and I do sincerly apologize. However, it has been interesting watching you two discuss things. I regret, though, that you two have made little or no progress on your own. To be frank, we're going in circles here. Nobs01, is there any specific reason why you don't like editing paragraph by paragraph? Admittedly, you've raised some valid points, but I think that Cberlet has responded to all of them adequately. Admittedly, that doesn't mean the discussion should stop regarding those issues that you raise, but it shouldn't mean a halt in the "ground-work" of editting and agreeing on text slowly but surely. Both of you had made significant progress in some of the paragraph-by-paragraph editing, and I want to let both of you know that you should keep up the good work. Cberlet, I've been monitoring the Wiki-En-1 mailing list as well, and I'm glad that you've asked for community input on several issues. Though these issues are only tangentally related to the mediation, it's a proven step - ask the community for input. I've also been thinking about this a while (along with discussing it with other mediators), and I've been wondering whether asking for community input for several of the matters that both of you are more adamant about would do us any good. Are there any editors of the article who might wish to participate? If so, please let me know and we can start getting more community input on the parts where compromise might be hard to achieve between you two. Thanks a lot — mediation can definitely be a long and tiresome process, and I salute you both for carrying through. I'll be a lot more involved from now on, as my workload is started to decrease elsewhere. Thanks once again. Flcelloguy ( A note? ) 23:13, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
P.S. Can I also ask that edit summaries remain polite? Some of the current summaries may convey a hostile feeling or that of animosity; even this impression will do nothing but aggravate the situation. Remember at the beginning that you all agreed to refrain from all personal attacks. I'm not saying that any of you have ever done so, but please be careful. Thanks.
I need to take a break for a few days. When I return, I will try to help find a way to more productive and collaborative editing...and to work on my politeness.--Cberlet 23:59, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I returned from speaking at a conference on human rights held in Atlanata and what do I find? I find that Nobs has used my taking a break for a few days to launch a nasty attack on my entry Chip Berlet and the entry of my employer Political Research Associates. How does this square with our agreement to act in good faith?--Cberlet 15:05, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

19 October

  • 20:05
    • Cberlet raises issue,
      • "Whether or not the Category 'Soviet Spies'Category:Soviet spies is accurately named"[91]
        • note: this issue was raised earlier and agreed to by User:nobs to negotiate in mediation.

7 November

Comment: How does this square with our agreement to act in good faith? nobs 15:37, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Editors are under an obligation to report text in entries that might pose a legal liability to Wikipedia. Since this mediation was dragging on for weeks, I posted a note to a Wiki e-mail list and asked for a discussion. A number of other editors agreed there was a potential problem, and another editor posted a deletion notice and started a discussion about renaming the category. None of this should serve as a rationalization for using an actual encyclopedia entry as a form of vendetta against another editor.--Cberlet 17:14, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
No vendeta my friend; but it does appear time to negotiate compromise language for the Chip Berlet and PRA articles now, instead of the folding brochures for sales of PRA publications they have been become. nobs 17:43, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Request this mediation be suspended

Due to an unremitting attack on my text entry Chip Berlet on Wikipedia, and the entry for my employer Political Research Associates, I have today filed an arbitration case naming Nobs01 and others at: Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration#Nobs01_and_others_acting_in_concert.

Pending the outcome of that case, I am willing to resume mediation here. Until then, I request this mediation be suspended.--Cberlet 21:50, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Arbitration takes precedence over mediation, even though the matters are only tangentially related. However, because the Arbitration case involves both parties of the mediation, I will suspend this mediation until the outcome of the Arbitration case. Thank you. Flcelloguy (A note?) 20:21, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Inserted for the record [95]. nobs 20:37, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes? Cberlet does not have IRC and instead emailed me, where I asked him to clarify whether the Arbitration case that he has filed deals with VENONA project related articles. He responded that it did not. As such, I am hopeful that mediation can resume, pending the outcome of the Arbitration case. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 20:51, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Nobs, please respect the fact that this mediation is suspended due to the arbitration. Please stop editing this or any of the other pages in this mediation. Please act in accordance with Wikipedia policies and practices.--Cberlet 16:22, 18 November 2005 (UTC)