Talk:I. F. Stone

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Quotes[edit]

He sure seems like a great guy from his quotes, I guess its pretty key to figure out if he was sincere, or a lying traitor. ¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸ 13:38, 30 July 2005 (UTC)


I put in the not so great quote "Stalin was one of the giant figures of our time, and will rank with Ivan, Peter, Catherine and Lenin among the builders of that huge edifice which is Russia." This guy is a pretty interesting historical character....it would be nice to see all sides of him reflected in his Wikipedia page.

I am looking at you Kingturtle.

19:28, 7 May 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.139.166.154 (talk)

What is "not so great" about that quote? Stalin turned Russia from a mostly agrarian society into a industrialised society in under 15 years. He had a huge impact on Russia in many ways. He wasn't saying the man was "good". 203.38.62.211 (talk) 02:52, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Latest Rev, the KGB, the Soveits and Stone[edit]

There are many problems with the version I removed, aside from presenting blatant POV opinion as fact (i.e. the question of whether Stone was ever a witting collaborator with Soviet intelligence was settled definitively (and in the negative) by D.D. Guttenplan), the recent additions address the wrong issue. No one is saying that Stone was an agent for the KGB, at least not in the way Rosenberg or Hiss were.

An agent of influence is somoeon who, in Stone's case, was so sypathetic to Soviet aims and goals, that he could be told anything and trusted to report it unquestioningly. This is the crux of Kalugin's statements, not that he had to pay Stone to get an uninvestigated Soviet claim into the American press, but that he did not have pay Stone, as he was such a sycophant, he would do it for nothing. He was used, knowingly or unkowingly to pass Soviet disinformation out to his readers. That is, unless you believe his reports about Korea, reports that have been so completely debunked (from the use of biological weapons by the US, to Stone's statement that the South actually invaded the peace loving North), that they have lost all credibility.

If you are serious about turning the section from months of compromise into a POV screed ala The Nation Magazine (intereting didnt Stone write for them too), then you had best justify this in talk. DTC 00:29, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I would consider The Nation a perfectly valid source as, at the other end of the political spectrum, I would consider the National Review. I really thought it was too bad back 15 years or so ago when they stopped exchanging ad space in each other's magazines: I always rather liked running across two column-inches of commentary from either one while reading the other.
I've done my best to get all of the material from the two conflicting versions into the article and to give it a structure that can accomodate both sides. I know my version isn't final: in particular, there is a lot here that still needs citation. I would strongly suggest that the citation problems be among the first addressed. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:47, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

"An agent of influence is somoeon who, in Stone's case, was so sypathetic to Soviet aims and goals, that he could be told anything and trusted to report it unquestioningly."

Except that we know that was not true. Stone actually did take a trip to the USSR in 1956 and came back with an unfavorable report. If one wishes to place an emphasis on reporting during World War II, even then Stone wouldn't come out all that bad. In WWII it was not unusual for newspapers to speak of "Uncle Joe." I've never actually seen a quote from any of Stone's publications which descends to that level, but if he did it would hardly constitute evidence that he was a Soviet agent. People pick on Stone over this because they wish to attack his general politics. But if publishing a few PR pieces for a wartime ally in Moscow was enough of a reason to call someone a Soviet agent of influence then you'd be doing better to focus on TIME magazine or THE NEW YORK TIMES. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.69.140.37 (talk) 02:35, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

additions to KGB section[edit]

I added this information, to be cited shortly when I figure out how, from Myra MacPherson's recent bio of stone. she read the declassified reports from start to finish and they are cited in her bibliography. whether kalugin said he was an "agent of influence", I dont know or care. If the US Government couldnt find any evidence of treason (and stone did consider selling secrets dire treason) I'm thinking that the general debate over whether he ACUTALLY DID ANYTHING to jeopardize the national security of the US is over. VanTucky 05:43, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Myra MacPherson's interpretation of the available evidence is certainly one POV that needs to be expressed in the article, but I doubt it will be the last word on the subject. Stone’s sycophantic shenanigans with respect to Stalin and the USSR in the mid-late 30’s are very well documented. Torturous Devastating Cudgel 20:43, 28 August 2007 (UTC).
I made that statement a long time ago in the heat of the moment. My perspective on things has certainly matured. But the reason I got so hot in the above is that some people were adding statements to directly and unequivocally suggest that he was found guilty of spying. Which certainly isn't true, even if the debate is legit. While she certainly had her personal POV (as did every biographer of Stone) I think it's important to note that she was the first, and so far the only, biographer to have full, unhindered access to the reports of years of spying on Stone by the government. VanTucky (talk) 20:48, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I've added a quotation from the 2009 Commentary article by Klehr, Haynes, and Vassiliev. I also changed "not one shred of evidence" to "no evidence," at the top of the section. --TimScH (talk) 12:04, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

See Commentary's Trumped-Up Case Against I.F. Stone from FAIR. Nareek (talk) 12:01, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

It seems unlikely to me that Stone was a card-carrying Communist because he was an admirer of Kropotkin, who ridiculed Marxism. However that may be, Stone's "accusers" do appear to have metaphysical certainty that he was an "agent", which they define, not as a spy but as someone whom in 1936-38 the KBG trusted (i.e, a fellow-traveling opponent of Nazisim). Now, reputable historians typically don't make claims of metaphysical certainty about the past in this way. There is only evidence and probability. In 1952, the Washington DC F.B.I. had the VENONA reports and linked Stone to "BLIN". However,the NY FBI bureau countered that Stone could not have been BLIN because he made less than the $1,500 that the cables reported BLIN was making. The Washington bureau replied in 1952 only that Stone "could not be ruled out" (according to Gutteplan's book). The FBI then diligently investigated Stone for many years and accumulated a huge file and turned up nothing. Now a Russian journalist, Vassiliev, claims to have seen KBG evidence that Stone was BLIN in 1936. However, we have only his word. How reliable a character is Vassiliev? Well, he lost a libel case in Britain when the jury found his story in the Alger Hiss case unconvincing. The tone of certainty of Stone's detractors suggests an ulterior motive, the motive probably being to tarnish his posthumous reputation which has grown brighter as more and more of his predictions and interpretations, mostly based on accumulated evidence from careful reading, turn out to have been correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.167.73.139 (talk) 20:46, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Alleged Espinonage[edit]

This section is rife with problems. The narrative is long and meandering. This is mostly because it consists of accusations and innuendo by a few small circle of writers at Commentary magazine and their thorough debunking. The net effect of this section is to create the appearance of an extensive espionage controversy, although this allegation is confined to a McCarthyist right-wing faction known to routinely accuse dissidents of being soviet agents. This article is giving a tremendous amount of weight to some accusations by a biased organization.

This section can be updated with the newest evidence showing Feinstein was a KGB Spy. This information comes directly from KGB archives, not by a "McCarthyist right-wing faction". The Cold War is over, so there is no reason not to face up to the truth. In any case, evidence shows Stone was a traitor for "only" 3-4 years, not for his entire life.Eroche (talk) 15:57, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

If this section is to remain, it needs to be reduced down to the factual essentials, it needs to be cleared of innuendo, and it needs to answer basic questions about the theory of the crime:

  • What acts of espionage did I. F. Stone allegedly commit?
This is covered in the Spies book and they are not "alleged" but actual facts.Eroche (talk) 15:57, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
  • What secret intelligence did I. F. Stone have unique access to that the Soviet Union desired?
The evidence indicates Stone did NOT supply secret intelligence to the KGB. Instead, he acted as a courier between the KGB and various agents, and also acted as a so-called "talent spotter". This still is being a "spy", but is a slightly different - it is a type of support function.Eroche (talk) 15:57, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
  • When were these crimes allegedly committed?
The dates have been provided in the cables. 1936-1938. It appears he stopped working for the KGB at that time.Eroche (talk) 15:57, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
  • What hard evidence is there to support any of these accusations?
Yes, of course. There are KGB archives and they can be downloaded for free from the Woodrow Wilson center for anyone to read, providing they can read Russian.Eroche (talk) 15:57, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Can you post a link to the Woodrow Wilson center that identifies Stone as an agent. Greg Comlish (talk) 04:30, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Are there independent experts who support an interpretation of this evidence that indicts Stone?
Yes, but we need to wait for the journal articles to be published in fall of 2009.Eroche (talk) 15:57, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

If we can't answer these questions, then the section needs to be drastically reduced so we're not giving undue weight to baseless allegations. Greg Comlish (talk) 13:35, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

These are NOT "baseless allegations".Eroche (talk) 15:57, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
They are indeed totally baseless. The mystery is why, after 70 years is this sort of thing still going on? A job is a job, I guess.

The campaign to smear Stone bears the hallmarks of a foundation-funded campaign of right-wing media manipulation. The pages from Spies about Stone were excerpted in Commentary, a right-wing journal that has specialized in McCarthy-style attacks on honest liberals and leftists for more than thirty years. Within seconds of its posting on the Internet, it was trumpeted by Matt Drudge. Right-wing bloggers picked it up and without examining the evidence or, in many cases, even bothering to read the article, amplified its false conclusions. This is how modern-day McCarthyism works in an era when Matt Drudge is our authority on what constitutes news: an honest man's reputation is posthumously soiled while the truth is still tying its shoes Eric Alterman, The Nation

173.77.110.105 (talk) 00:28, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I.F. Stone's accusers, Haynes, Kleher, and Alexander Vassiliev have also written an article in the far right-wing National Review alleging that Ernest Hemingway was involved with Soviet espionage.[1]24.105.152.153 (talk) 17:16, 16 June 2009 (UTC)


I agree it needs to be cut down considerably, but for the opposite reason. The bulk of the section is a defense of Stone, with lots of redundancy (although much of that has been cut) and too little information about the evidence against him. Without getting into the name-calling, I think we can put together a better-edited section. And the accusation of "bias" in the sources applies quite nicely to the left-wing sources used here, like The Nation. --TimScH (talk) 19:46, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

The defenders of Stone appear to have done the bulk of their work prior to the release of the most recent KGB archive information.Eroche (talk) 15:59, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Could someone please put this part in chronological order? Obviously the persons writing in 1992 had incomplete information, so their incorrect conclusions should not be compared with opinions verified by the newest evidence provided in May of 2009.Eroche (talk)
That's one possible structure. Still, if that's the approach tot take, it should at least be headed with a summary of the charges and of the arguments pro and con, followed by a few sentences roughly outlining the chronology. After all, we're not writing cliffhanger spy novels here. Consider contributing such an introduction yourself, if you feel you can avoid POV treatment. (Example of POV immediately above: your "incomplete information". We still don't know everything about these Stone/Soviet contacts; nobody has complete information, even now. As you yourself admit with your comment further above: "we need to wait for the journal articles to be published in fall of 2009". Be careful.) Yakushima (talk) 06:32, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev's 1999 The Haunted Woods (page 31) states BLIN was a NY Post reporter (I F Stone wasn't with the Post). This is from a footnote in Guttenplan's 2009 biography.Nitpyck (talk) 06:46, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
The Alleged Espionage section is laughably biased. The following sentence is a perfect example: "I.F. Stone wrote essays and articles for the public, which speak best for Stone not being a Communist and certainly not a "spy"". It is absolutely impossible to argue that that quote is neutral. The following can also be said of this sentence: "Also, it is important to note that Stone was in fact critical of the Soviet Union during the 1930s, as Stalin consolidated control of that nation". Thank you, oh wise one, for telling the rest of us what you feel it is "important to note" as if we couldn't already figure out, based on the absurdly biased tone of the entire section, the conclusion at which you wanted us to arrive. I am removing the sentence about Stone clearly not being a "spy"(quotation marks in the original). As for the first commenenter in this talk section preposterously alleging that too much is devoted to Stone's accusers I can only state that he must have read a different entry than everyone else because 75% of the section that is supposed to be devoted to espionage allegations is devoted to "rebutting" those charges, with most of the "rebuttal" being taken, in some cases almost verbatim, from Eric Alterman's defenses of Stone. As for the supposedly biased nature of those peddling the charges against Stone, such charges of bias in regards to this case are hypocritical, to say the least, when one considers that Stone's most vehement defenders(from whom almost all of the so-called "rebuttal" in the Espionage Section is taken) ALL write for a far-left magazine, "The Nation", that literally spent decades claiming that Alger Hiss and The Rosenbergs were not guilty of espionage, a position that has been rejected by pretty much everyone. The tactic of claiming all the corroborating primary sources demonstrating guilt are unreliable has Victor Navasky and "The Nation's" fingerprints all over it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.141.153.78 (talk) 16:58, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I just noticed that Eric Alterman himself has written a comment in this section in regards to the notion that some sort of nefarious right-wing cabal headed by Commentary, which for good measure he accuses of McCarthyism, is attempting to smear Stone(evidently Eric Alterman doesn't believe blithely throwing around blanket accusations of McCarthyism is a smear). And his attempts to claim the accusations have no merit because it was linked on Drudge(Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky were not available for comment)is fuc*ing pathetic. Sorry, but someone who writes for a magazine that spend decades claiming that Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs weren't guilty of espionage is not in the position to accuse another publication of wrongdoing in regards to allegations of spying for the Soviets. Mr. Alterman needs to stick to writing pieces for which the The Nation is most known ie minimizing the crimes of the Khmer Rouge, railing against the horribleness of waving the American Flag out of one's window or apologizing for terrorist organizations like Hamas. I'm curious, Eric, are the people at The Nation still laughably claiming that the VENONA transcripts are too unreliable to prove Alger Hiss was a spy for the Soviets, or have they finally abandoned that ridiculous fiction? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.141.153.78 (talk) 17:39, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I urge everyone here to read Ronald Radosh's piece "Eric Alterman-the Left's Most Dishonest Journalist-and the Controversy over "Spies"." You will see that the left played the same "McCarthyism" and "Right Wing foundation-financed smear job" cards after a book discussing the Rosenberg's guilt was published. Except for the people at The Nation who claimed for decades that the Rosenbergs were innocent, we all know who history vindicated in that case. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.141.153.78 (talk) 17:49, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
The left, 30 years ago(a few years ago for The Nation): Claims that the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss were Soviet spies have no evidence to support them and are nothing more than a right wing-funded smear job and a perfect example of McCarthyism. The left, now: Claims that IF Stone was a Soviet spy have no evidence to support them and are nothing more than a right wing-funded smear job and a perfect example of McCarthyism. To paraphrase the Bible, there is nothing new under the sun. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.141.153.78 (talk) 18:00, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • "What acts of espionage did I. F. Stone allegedly commit?" --- The Left has historically covered the tracks, whitewashed the actions of Fellow Travelers, as well as out and out spies. Alger Hiss is still defended to this day, by the left, despite his almost certain efforts as a paid Soviet spy. It matters, almost, not at all whether IF Stone was an actual paid spy. What does matter is that Stone served the purpose of Useful Idiot. He became a national figure alleging that the North Vietnamese were freedom fighters, akin to American Revolutionaries, fighting to fend off the "Aggressive White Man", Western Civilization. And unfortunately, many dups listened to this man. 10stone5 (talk) 16:53, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Further Reading section needs work[edit]

I've cleaned up the citation style a little, and added ISBNs for all books. But more work is needed. One problem is redundancy. (E.g., the Macpherson bio appears both here and under "Biographies".)

A bigger problem might be relevance. For example, Donner's Age of Surveillance has no mention of I.F. Stone, at least none found under Google Book Search snippet view. General titles on the McCarthyism period don't have much claim to a place on this list unless they treat I.F. Stone at the chapter level, at least. Some of these books seem to be listed only because they are cited in the section about allegations of spying for the KGB. Of course these works deserve full footnote citations -- these allegations are a noteworthy aspect of a noteworthy figure, and the sources advancing or debating the allegations should be made as accessible as possible, ideally, from a link from the footnote itself. However, if these books don't treat of I.F. Stone extensively, they aren't really "further reading" about I.F. Stone per se. Better to fill out the relevant footnotes with bibliographic information.

At any rate, with ISBN links for all the book titles, it should now be easier for the rest of you (by searching on Google Book Search or on Amazon) to determine relevance and appropriate location for yourselves. Yakushima (talk) 06:32, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

POV problems with rewrite by Bdell555[edit]

I have no doubt that Bdell was acting in good faith to clean up a sloppy article, but the numerous edits by Bdell555 have created more POV problems than I have time to delineate. Here are a few examples:

  1. Major sections of legitimate criticism of the accusations have been removed wholesale, including statements made by the IF Stone website.
  2. Other critics of these accusations have been marginalized. For instance an article from Columbia Journalism Review simply became an opinion hold by one "Cassandra Tate".
  3. Other exculpatory facts have removed.
  4. John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr are simply described as "historians" although they have a long history of accusing their political opponents of being soviet agents. All indications that Haynes and Klehr had ideological motivations have been removed from the article.
  5. Major emphasis is placed on Haynes and Klehr's claim that I. F. Stone "was a spy" even though Haynes and Klehr don't even claim that Stone ever engaged in actual espionage or that he even had any intelligence the Soviets wanted.
  6. The article conflates BLIN and Stone.
  7. Several references were deleted.

This list is not comprehensive.

Furthermore, none of these edits address the major deficiencies with the section on the accusations: nowhere is it simply written what acts Stone allegedly engaged in and what evidence is there for those accusations. Greg Comlish (talk) 14:53, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I shortened the whole section down considerably. That means some deletion. I see now that the 1992 allegations section is again enormous. If one is of the view that this Soviet agent business is all a smear against IF Stone, then I would think the allegations could be dismissed more concisely and quickly. Wikipedia is not really the place for "criticism". If it is, then why are only sources affiliated with, say, The Nation quoted and not sources affiliated with the National Review etc? If you are going to have all that left wing punditry, then right wing punditry would have to be added as well, which makes for an enormous article (in addition to an article that is inconsistent with Wiki's encyclopedic guidelines). re Cassandra Tate, who is this person such that she has special expertise and authority? Absent an answer to that question, what is the argument or evidence she revealed? It also dates from 1992; the author could have retracted her contention entirely in light of subsequent developments. Finally, why not revise that point particularly, ie proceed on a word by word or sentence by sentence basis instead of wholesale revision - I provided reams of explanation yet all that explanation is suppposedly undone by a wholescale reversion that says my edits are biased. We are not going to build a collaborative encyclopedia if we proceed like that. Haynes and Klehr are indeed considered historians. Where are the "indications that" The Nation writers have "ideological motivations"? Or may they be quoted without reference to ideology whereas credentialed historians (which the Nation writers are not) must be identified as ideologues of a certain stripe? I linked to their Wiki bios since that is where that debate, if any, belongs. Look at the sources beyond just the narrow The Nation type sources and you will see that the generally accepted view is that H&K have indeed found more Soviet agents in America than most people had thought prior to their work. If these guys are quacks then the proper thing to do is not give any time at all to their charges and remove the whole Soviet agent section entirely, not have a running argument whereby the info they reveal is described and then it is "critiqued" (with no counter-critque). Re the "spy" contention, note that I added a cite to a source that noted that there was no evidence of "espionage" (the exact same thing MacPherson recently did on HuffPo, in fact). What more does one want? One has to quote Haynes and Klehr's "spy" charge if one is going to quote sources denying the charge.Bdell555 (talk) 18:24, 17 June 2009 (UTC)


I have restored a lot of the sources that Bdell55 removed. I also reverted his edits to the Vladimir Pravdin article due to his outright dishonest claim that Myra Macpherson today accepts that stone was a Soviet agent. Machpherson said no such thing in her huffington post article. annoynmous 01:38, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
There is no evidence that MacPherson continues to refuse to accept the contention that BLIN is Stone. I have not seen any argument that BLIN is not Stone since the Soviet side material came out, in fact. All the argument I have seen is to the effect of an implied acknowledgment that BLIN may be Stone, and Stone may be an "agent", but there is no evidence of "espionage" or anything else that would necessarily mean Stone being described as an "agent" in both VENONA and Soviet archives really meaning anything. MacPherson has spoken up (on HuffPo) since the Soviet archive material was presented in the new book by H, K, and V and she did not elect to advance her earlier arguments about how BLIN could not be Stone. In any case as I left this article it did not claim that BLIN was Stone, it merely noted that H&K (and others) identified BLIN as Stone.Bdell555 (talk) 18:24, 17 June 2009 (UTC)


Here is what you wrote in your edit summary of the Vladmir Pravdin article:

"I am cutting all of MacPherson's stuff because a plain reading of her 2009 writing suggests she accepts new Soviet archive evidence that BLIN=Stone"


Once again nowhere in her Huffington post article does she say that she accepts that BLIN was Stone. All she says is that the evidence provided by Klehr and Haynes doesn't show that BLIN was involved in any serious espionage activity.
As for your claim that theres no argument today that BLIN wasn't stone here is Guttenplans recent review in the Nation:


What is this proof? On page 144 of Spies we see what purports to be Vassiliev's handwritten Russian notes. Halfway down the page it says: "'Blin' ('Liberal's' lead)--Isidore Feinstein, a commentator for the New York Post." Liberal, according to the authors, was Frank Palmer, managing editor of Federated Press, a labor wire service. The English text claims that this note comes from an April 13, 1936, memo from KGB New York to Moscow, though whether Vassiliev was summarizing or transcribing we are not told. Farther down the same page is another handwritten Russian text, which claims (in May 1936) that "Relations with 'Pancake' [Stone] have entered 'the channel of normal operational work.' He went to Washington on assignment for his newspaper. Connections in the State Dep. and Congress." (The single quotes around "normal operational work" are clearly meant as the historical equivalent of furious cello bowing on the soundtrack.) "Over the next several years, documents recorded in Vassiliev's notebooks make clear, Stone worked closely with the KGB."


Also this:


"Even if Spies proved that in 1936 Blin really was Stone (which it doesn't), there is no reason to assume, given Moscow's frequent recycling of cover names, that 1944's evasive "Blin" was the same man. At different times "Bumblebee" was Ethel Rosenberg's brother David Greenglass--or Walter Lippmann!"


It's also interesting as pointed out above that you left out the fact that Cassandra Tate wrote her opinion in the Columbia Journalism Review, making it seem like it was just another partisan opinion.
Also if you despise the Nation so much than why did you add Max Holland who often writes for the Nation.
You also completely removed Macphersons rebuttals in "All Governments Lie" to VENONA Decrypts agent BlIN section due to your own personal belief that she had accepted that BLIN was stone.
You also removed the section that explains that Kalugin routinely met with journalists other than stone and gave this curious edit summary:

"how is who else Kalugin met with relevant? section is already too long"


Well excuse me, but it is relevant, it shows that kalugin had luncheons with many prominent journalists and that Stone was not some special case.


You also have the habit of declaring anything you don't like as irrelvant. You say that the Todd Gitlin article is irrelevant to stone when he says this in the article title:

I.F. Stone, Journalist -- and Spy?

Was "Pancake" working with the KGB? The evidence is inconclusive.


That seems pretty relevant to Stone to me. You also say that Guttenplans 2009 article does not add or challenge evidence. That is just plain false. Guttenplan questions not just the accusations against Stone, but many of the accusations made by Klehr and Haynes in the past. He even decribes a civil trial that Alexander Vassiliev lost a few years in regards to the accusations of whether or not Alger Hiss was ALES.
The issue with this article was not length, it was that it was an "unpublished synthesis of published material". I tried to fix that by dividing the accusations into the 3 seperate eras in which they occurred. I haven't erased any of the material you added, I simply put back the rebuttals that you erased. It's obvious that many people object the Klehr and Haynes accusations and the arguments for and against deserve to be explored thoroughly. If your going to accuse somone of something as serious as espionage than all the arguments deserve to be heard.
Now if you want to add arguments in support of Klehr and Haynes book from the National Review or something than by all means go ahead. Arguments should not be dismissed under the conveneint banner of reducing an articles length.annoynmous 00:51, 18 June 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.33.201.198 (talk)



I removed the Eric Alterman response and the Miriam Schneir article in the 1992 allegations section because I agree there are a lot of Nation articles on this page. I'm willing to consider removing the Todd Gitlin article and The I.F. Stone website response, but for right now I feel they should stay.annoynmous 02:02, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

The primary point I'd make here is that of interest is the state of the argument over I.F. Stone's legacy TODAY. The argument over Alger Hiss has shifted over time, and it would be inappropriate to repeat all of the defences of Hiss that were mounted decades ago, primarily because many experts are no longer inclined to support those contentions. To consider this I.F. Stone article, the section on the 1992 allegations pretty much reflects the state of the debate at that time (17 years ago). As such, it is obsolete, and the obsolete material should be cut back. It shouldn't take a public retraction from Stone's defenders for this, it should rather take a consideration of what the angle of the argument CURRENTLY being pursued by Stone's defenders is. That angle places more emphasis on interpreting what, if any, significance is to be assigned to Stone's status as an agent as opposed to denying he was an agent.Bdell555 (talk) 20:37, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

If the argument was really over, then somebody would be able to succinctly summarize what Stone did, when he did it, and provide solid evidence to back up these claims. To date, this has not been done. Instead detractors of Stone, all of whom have ideological motivations, have simply rehashed permutations of the same claims. In an transparently dishonest move, the detractors of Stone have repeatedly called him a "spy" even though they have no evidence that Stone ever engaged in espionage. Greg Comlish (talk) 14:56, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

POV problem in section heading[edit]

The new addition "by right-wing critics" to the subject heading "Allegations of being a Soviet agent" is pure POV. The phrase "right-wing" is an attack phrase that serves solely to insinuate that these are fringe allegations and should not be seen as credible. (In fact, the book is a serious scholarly work published by Yale University Press.) Indeed, it's debatable whether it's even accurate to describe Alexander Vassiliev as being on the right at all.

The old title, "Allegations of being a Soviet agent," did a perfectly satisfactory job of indicating that the facts are in dispute. We don't need the source of the allegations in the title any more than the next section title needs to read "1992 allegations and their rebuttal by left-wing defenders." Since my fix has been reverted, I'm attaching the POV tag instead. C76 (talk) 04:57, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

The reason that section is POV is because it gives undue weight to the accusations and speculation of Stone's adversaries and because it baselessly suggests that Stone illegally collaborated with Soviet Union. The article dedicates paragraphs to the baseless speculation that Stone had an active relationship with the KGB through Oleg Kalugin, even though these claims were made by Stone's adversaries and there is *no evidence* to support them. The only vaguely credible accusation against Stone is that of Vassiliev, but Vassiliev has never been able to substantiate the records he claims to have seen, nor was Stone's alleged act (exposing Nazis) even illegal. Greg Comlish (talk) 14:09, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Your reply is nonresponsive. My issue is with the title. If you have a problem with POV in the section, you cannot fix it by adding the opposite POV to the title. Do you dispute the fact that the "right-wing" label is naked POV (and inaccurate as applied to Vassiliev)?
Also, it's simply not true that Vassiliev has never been able to substantiate his records. His notebooks contain information that was not available to the public at the time, but was later substantiated by the Venona decrypts. (This is in the book.) Moreover, as a Russian with no involvement in US politics, Vassiliev had no reason to fabricate a slander against a now-obscure journalist from the 1960s.C76 (talk) 22:05, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Can you provide a specific citation for these independently obtained "Venona decrypts" that specifically name Stone as an agent? Greg Comlish (talk) 23:28, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
No. The Venona decrypts substantiate Vassiliev's notebooks generally, not on every point (obviously). You are still not responding to my issue with the title. Will you please do so? C76 (talk) 16:33, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
  • WRT the title, I believe that the small amount of information from Vassiliev could be moved into another section with a different title. I don't think the numerous baseless claims made in the editorial pages of right-wing newspapers should be credited with a neutral point of view in the title which was how they were previously described.
  • Vassiliev was never able to substantiate his claims with respect to Stone, and the original documents his claims are based upon are not publicly available. The fact that other claims of Vassiliev were substantiated is not of primary interest in an article about I. F. Stone. And I doubt that "substantiate" is even the right word to use since Vassiliev released an entire book on the Venona project prior to releasing his notebooks.Greg Comlish (talk) 18:17, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Let me make sure I'm understanding you. You concede that your title does not express a neutral point of view, but you argue that a non-neutral POV is necessary to counter the point of view expressed in the section. Is that right? C76 (talk) 00:00, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I do not believe that labeling right-wing critics as such is POV. Greg Comlish (talk) 14:54, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
That is nonsense. Whether someone is on the left, right, or neither is precisely a point of view. Can you cite a reliable source that places Stone's critics on the right? Of course not; it's not the sort of thing that admits verification. (Beyond that, the "right wing" label is a political attack phrase.)
I'm disappointed that after nearly two weeks no one else has taken an interest in this. Clearly we are at an impasse. C76 (talk) 15:15, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Having "by right-wing critics" in the header is definitely POV. I have removed it. I have also changed some of the POV language and removed some of the opinions. The sections still need a lot of POV clean up. Kingturtle (talk) 00:00, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Myra MacPherson[edit]

If Myra MacPherson is a historian, she's not a conventional one. At 1:49:00 in Part I of the video transcript here of a Wilson Center conference she says "...there was much concern even among the CIA that indeed the South might have been trying to push the war more than the North Koreans... As Bruce Cumings [has said,] Izzy's book holds up very well in that way." Who is Bruce Cumings? According to this historian Cumings has "insist(ed) that South Korea initiated the Korean War". The point, here, is to suggest that Wikipedia should not overweight the fringe theory that South Korea was the aggressor in 1950 in its presentation of and use of Stone and/or MacPherson.Bdell555 (talk) 00:57, 8 September 2010 (UTC)


Mitchell J. Freedman writes on November 7, 2010: Who made decision to delete the following?

In addition, it is often assumed, without evidence, that Stone was pro-Soviet Union and pro-Stalin during the 1930s or beyond when in fact Stone's writings were fairly critical of the Soviet Union and Stalin during that time.[40][41] Stone was a public journalist who aired his views in public. 40. "MF Blog » Blog Archive » I.F. Stone, American". MF Blog. 2009-10-03. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 41. "MF Blog » Blog Archive » Berman Misleads". MF Blog. 2009-10-05. Retrieved 2009-12-26.

I am still trying to understand the rules and mechanics here, but find it rather presumptuous of someone to simply delete something that has been up for much of this year without attempting to contact the person who added the comment. I am the author of the blog sources, and the above statement--and know my subject pretty darned well. I would challenge Klehr or the others in my point, which is that Stone was a public writer and his views were publicized by himself. Stone was not pro-Soviet in most of his writings in the 1930s and that point needs to be stated, as people have assumed his writings were pro-Soviet based upon a misreading of original sources, i.e. his public writings. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mitchell Freedman (talkcontribs) 06:35, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Blogs are not reliable sources, and just because you know the subject well does not mean that the information you have provided meets Wikipedia policies and guidelines for inclusion; Wikipedia is not about truth but rather verifiability. If you want to add that information, it needs to be verified by reliable, secondary sources. -- -- Irn (talk) 14:47, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Mitchell Freedman responds: I think I understand your point. However, I was citing the books of essays Stone wrote and was showing how people have misread those essays, with quotes. I do see the problem of being a mere blogger and I do strongly support the integrity of Wiki. Still, I was actually quoting Stone himself and the biographer of Stone (Cottrell). Doesn't that qualify as reliable sources?

Also, are you employed with Wiki? Just wondering as I try to learn more here. Thank you for your fast response to my comment last night, by the way. Impressive! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mitchell Freedman (talkcontribs) 01:26, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

I haven't actually been to your blog to see the argument you make there, but instead of linking to your blog as the source, if you use those sources themselves, that would appear to solve that problem. However, you potentially run into another problem: WP:SYNTH. If you're using different sources to make an argument that none of those sources put forth, that's considered original research. But if that's the case, chances are you're not the first person to make that argument, and you should be able to find someone else doing so.
And, no, I don't work for Wikimedia - just like pretty much everyone else who edits Wikipedia, in fact. -- Irn (talk) 06:34, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Stalin-Hitler Treaty[edit]

In the very last sentence of the section detailing the espionage allegations against Stone, the term "Stalin-Hitler Treaty" is used. Referring to the pact in such a way is very uncommon and it is almost exclusively referred to as the "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact". Unless anyone has any objections, I am going to change it.74.141.153.78 (talk) 20:57, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
  2. It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given
  3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.

Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 04:50, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

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