Talk:Alger Hiss

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Footnotes[edit]

Declassified NSA memo implicating Hiss[edit]

On August 28, 2015, NSA formally declassified Is there a more substantive source for this statement? DEddy (talk) 05:59, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Several exhausting edit wars, some lasting a year of more, have been fought over the lede of this article. The compromise text was hammered out with great difficulty.
I have reverted an anonymous uncited addition to the lede that was not discussed on talk. That revert stands until a consensus of the editors agrees that the new text should be included in the lede.
I oppose including it in the lede. Even if true, it is no more particularly significant that any other data point regarding the possible innocence or guilt of Hiss.
Furthermore, if we're going to declare open season on the lede -- anything that any editor feels like adding, without getting consensus -- OH BOY are you going see the editors making some big changes, and I'll be the first. I'll starting by quoting in the lede all the Soviet experts who've stated Hiss never worked for the USSR. And I'll be chucking all the text regarding opinion on what "most" historians do or not believe regarding Hiss. Thanks. Joegoodfriend (talk) 06:22, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Today I notice a fresh section Declassified NSA memo implicating Hiss describing in "detail" this alleged NSA memo. The footnote is empty. DEddy (talk) 22:10, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

A correct footnote would be: https://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/oral_history_interviews/1976_rowlett_hiss.pdf
Suggest that the new text does not need its own subsection in the article. Joegoodfriend (talk) 02:27, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
Until and unless this primary source material is used by an historian or is discussed in a RS article, I am of the opinion it should remain out of this article. Capitalismojo (talk) 04:13, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
So c. 1944 Intelligence finds out Hiss was spying but do not record the message or tell anyone. In 1976 one of them tells the story but the tape recorder is turned off. Then in 1980 the story is recorded in a brief note but not acted upon. We need a reliable secondary source in order to determine the significance of the note. TFD (talk) 14:05, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
One random voice saying, "I was once involved in a secret project and heard something about Alger Hiss," doesn't seem very encyclopediaic to me. Joegoodfriend (talk) 18:27, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
@TFD Yes, that happens in intelligence all the time. (E.G. VENONA, Japanese Codes, ENIGMA) Intelligence that US could read Soviet diplomatic cables could be acted upon in only extremely rare cases, it would have been compartmentalized. Capitalismojo (talk) 18:39, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
This was part of the VENONA Project, so one would have expected to see the cable when the papers were publicly released in 1995. Frank Rowlett repeated his comments in 1992, (See The Venona Secrets, p. 27[1] and footnote, p. 520 and Haynes & Klehr, p. 48[2] and footnote p. 400), although he neglected to mention Hiss. But I suggest we use secondary sources for this article and leave all interpretative judgments to the experts who write them. TFD (talk) 21:08, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Would be more conclusive if they made available the decrypts. Why haven't they, one wonders? Mballen (talk) 23:46, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
They have. TFD (talk) 04:54, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
Really? Cables about alleged 1944 commission for Hiss as Colonel in Red Army (mentioning Hiss by name ??) has been made public?? News to me. Mballen (talk)
That cable has never been released because it never existed. TFD (talk) 21:55, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
A reasonable inference, to say the least. Mballen (talk) 22:30, 18 February 2016 (UTC)


Summary of later evidence, for and against[edit]

Under this "Later Evidence" section are the following sub-sections:

Testimony by Bullitt and Weyl

Fake typewriter hypothesis

Soviet archives

Noel Field

Venona and "ALES"

Oleg Gordievsky

This Later Evidence section begins by jumping right in with no introduction; some of these sub-section are very long; eventually the entire article ends with no concluding / summary statement regarding this huge overview. A few preliminary sentences to introduce this section including a brief summation of each sub-section, and a summary overview at the end would improve its readability. GeeBee60 (talk) 04:23, 27 December 2015 (UTC)



"Lowenthal argued that had Alger Hiss really been a spy, the GRU would not have mentioned his real name" States the current article, in the Venona section.

This needs to be changed to "Lowenthal stated ..." because this is not an argument at all. If Soviet intelligence had been so 100% perfect they would have not duplicated the one time pads. Yet Soviet intelligence did make this basic mistake, which enabled Venona. We are then asked to believe that minor errors in security were never made. AnnaComnemna (talk) 15:34, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

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