Talk:List of Americans in the Venona papers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject United States / Government (Rated List-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
 List  This article has been rated as List-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject U.S. Government (marked as Low-importance).
WikiProject Military history (Rated List-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
List This article has been rated as List-Class on the quality assessment scale.

POV MUST STOP!!!!![edit]

I don't care if you don't like my taking the POV out of the article. It is clear bias. Continue, and I will submit the issue to whatever arbiters of appropriateness there are on this site. People are always whining about POV yet you and your ilk seem perfectly happy to impose it on others. If you can't tell the difference between "some" and "a few" or "most" then you need to go back to school. By the way, with the quality of the Venona evidence in all but the most glaring cases, no real scholar would accept the kinds of statements in the articles surrounding them on this site. Making a statement like: "most academics and historians believe that most of the following individuals were either clandestine assets and/or contacts of the KGB, GRU and Soviet Naval GRU." is really obnoxious and anything but scholarly and COMPLETELY FALSE. Many of these people and their memories are being slandered, libeled and defiled by the authors you so worship. Be happy your personal bias still resonates throughout these articles and go back to watching the strident banshees of "right" thinking people on FoxNews and leave these most blatant examples of POV out of the article.

<dryly> While your attempts to secure citations are admirable, you obviously show your own biases as well. (And regards FoxNews: It isn't hanging onto a Pulitzer won by one of its reporters who wrote lies for Stalin concerning barbarisms so monstrous that the Ukraine is asking for that award to be returned seventy years after the fact. Furthermore, I would submit that McCarthy has been vilified and slandered for a greater period of time with greater viciousness than anyone he ever accused (while they, in turn, are uniformly lionized as heroes even though, virtually to the last, they really were rank commies).-- (talk) 08:54, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


Huron as the physicist Byron T. Darling

  • Venona 912 KGB New York to Moscow, 27 June 1944;
  • Venona 1403 KGB New York to Moscow, 5 October 1944;
  • Venona 1429 KGB New York to Moscow, 9 October 1944;
  • Venona 164 Moscow to New York, 20 February 1945;
  • Venona 259 Moscow to New York 21 March 1945.


I think the British-born Cedric Belfrage actually was never cited in the US/UK VENONA papers. His name is only connected to UNC/9 by academics. Removal from the list?

NSA/FBI analysts identify Blefrage in the following Venona decrypts:
  • 592 KGB New York to Moscow, 29 April 1943
  • 725 KGB New York to Moscow, 19 May 1943
  • 810 KGB New York to Moscow, 29 May 1943
  • 952 KGB New York to Moscow, 21 June 1943
  • 974 KGB New York to Moscow, 22 June 1943
  • 1430 KGB New York to Moscow, 2 September 1943
  • 1452 KGB New York to Moscow, 8 September 1943
nobs 21:00, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Are people doing oringal research now on this page? Are some of the people listed still alive? If so {{db-g10}} Seems a page for deletion. If people want to read the book, they can buy the book. It's not a reliable source (accuracy). The book was widely panned.

 Administrator note: Speedy delete tag removed. Reaper Eternal (talk) 18:39, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

This list is false[edit]

The page says:

The Venona intercepts contained overwhelming proof of the activities of Soviet spy networks in America, complete with names, dates, places, and deeds...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.

This list is a John Seigenthaler type slander on hundreds of people. These people are being accused of being spies, yet no proof is offered. Some of them probably are spies, some I don't know, and some listed here I seriously doubt were spies. Five that I know about and specifically have a problem with are Alger Hiss, Harry Magdoff, Julius Rosenberg, IF Stone, and Harry Dexter White. Harry Magdoff is still alive, runs a popular magazine and I doubt he likes the slander of him being a spy here on Wikipedia. The person shoving all this nonsense all over Wikipedia, Nobs, was banned for a year.

Admittedly, I only know five of the names well. However, since these fives are listed, it calls into question the entire list, thus I am deleting all of them. I think it is a better idea to list the Code Names in Venona. Nobs is just speculating who might be attached to what code name here, to an extent that is slanderous. He has been banned for this type of slander on public persons a few days ago. Ruy Lopez 23:49, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

The list is hardly slander. No determination is made anywhere on this page that these people were spies. Relevant material on that issue is delat with on the respective articles. DTC 15:27, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
If the determination has been made by a government agency, then it is not our slander in any event, since this is just a parroting of what the NSA-CIA have determined one way or another. There should no cases where an individual Wikipedian makes such a determination (it would violate WP:NOR) but I doubt that has been done here. --Fastfission 23:38, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
You say this was determined by a government agency, that the NSA-CIA has determined all of these people, yet you give absolutely no proof of this. A handful of names mentioned here were "determined" by the government, most were not. The person who created this list has been banned for a year. Ruy Lopez 15:46, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
For personal attacks, not for this list. Fred Bauder 23:25, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Thank you, banned for conduct not for content. DTC 00:26, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
This list ostensibly represents all names compiled by the authors Klehr and Haynes. It does not represent published claims by either the NSA or CIA. There needs to be a better discussion about the controversy.--Cberlet 16:28, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
This list is libel, simply by being published. Is this what Wikipedia has become? An outpost for the extreme Right to spread disinformation and half-truth and guilt-by-insinuation and -association?
Pazouzou (talk) 23:05, 13 July 2009 (UTC)


What do the asterisks designate? --Fastfission 23:38, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

This page originated as an attempt to falsely call everyone "Soviet spies"[edit]

This list originated as a defamatory collection of names implying they were all Soviet spies. Changing the name helped a bit, but is not enough. We can discuss the required disclaimer text, and send people to the discussion at Significance of Venona, but smug deletions of the entire disclaimer will not do.--Cberlet 23:36, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

This list is not implying anything, as is evident by the wording of the article, but you are most certainly inferring. The header is a summary from Daniel Patrick Moynihan's comitee report. Now unless you are saying that he is some closet right wing McCarthyite, perhaps you will consider that you are overreacting just a wee bit. As far as the disclaimer material goes, you have attempted to cram Navasky's weak ass defense in every article related to this subject, and you continue to either take Schrecker out of context, as it has been made more than evident that she agrees for the most part with Haynes and Klehr, or use selective statements when it suits your arguement. Outside of a few fringe types, little controversy remains with VENONA material. DTC 00:59, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

In every single instance, the accounts were set up on 1/8/06 and they all made alterations to people listed on this list. Maybe it's time for Checkuser to be requested and I have my suspicions.--MONGO 03:03, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Maybe it's a conspiracy! Look, I have nothing to do with those edits. I am willing to discuss this page here. --Cberlet 18:03, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
What's to discuss, is there a problem with this page as it is, aside from it being a McCartyite, red baiting one? "Maybe it's a conspiracy!"...indeed, I find no humor in that, and it would seem to indicate to me that as had happened in this article, information was lost to cover up the truth, or to bias it from being NPOV.--MONGO 21:01, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Venona decrypts only go up to 1945; [1]whereby McCarthy and/or McCarthyism did not occur till 1950.[2]. The edit summary of: "outrageous McCarthyite POV Red-baiting" equals a personal attack: "Accusatory comments... can be considered personal attacks if said repeatedly, in bad faith, or with sufficient venom. [3] and that is why I revert the your version.--MONGO 08:51, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
This page emerged from an attempt by Nobs01 to add the name of everyone mentioned in the Klehr and Haynes book on Venona, and then state that they were "Soviet spies" through a category. I have changed the section heading. If folks want to edit the disclaimer, fine, but to revert it is not acceptable.--Cberlet 14:14, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Short on time...but this appears to be more than a disclaimer at the end: "This list, therefore, should not be construed as a list of Americans shown to have been wittingly involved in Soviet espionage." By wittingly, are we saying that their participation was innocently achieved? In other words, were they "spys" and not aware of it, unwittingly passing on information when they didn't realize they were doing it to the wrong ears?--MONGO 14:21, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Many on this list have been shown to have been "witting" collaborators with Soviet espionage, but not all. Some publicly said they were not, and were never indicted. "Witting" is a tradcraft term meaning a person clearly knows they are passing information to an espionage agent. Often agents will cultivate a relationship with someone who is not actually aware they are being used as an information source for espionage. This is very common. Haynes and Klehr, Romerstein, and others generally take the worst possible interpretation of the evidence and make assertions that are questionable in some cases. A disclaimer is needed, especially given the Pollyana text at the beginning.--Cberlet 14:41, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

OKay, but we have here a list of Americans that had known socialistic sympathy, correct. They therefore wittingly were conscious of their political leanings and or affiliations and of those in their group. In a free society such as the U.S., their rationale for this sympathy was not based on the need for more bread and other esentials of survival such as those folks in Soviet Russia, so they were a part of this ideology based on their witting belief that socialism was a grand experiment. I have serious doubts that any more than a few of those on the list, being of this mindthink, could have been foolish enough to not know when they were conversing with other socialsists and or communists.--MONGO 19:57, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

No cites, no proof, POV, OR and breathtaking assumptions. I am happy to cooperate with people to help edit a more accurate and resonsible pro and con section.--Cberlet 23:37, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Okay, what we can't do is state that some but not all those on the list knowingly passed on information and then in the counterargument state that the list should be taken with a grain of salt. I can see the list as polarizing so we need to figure out the best way to ensure the list is accurate and then allow your counterargument to stand, provided it doesn't summarily dismiss even those you hopefully agree as to being wittingly involved in espionage. I must say though that since affiliation with these political leanings in the early part of last century had somewhat different connotations than they did post WWII, it would surprise me to believe that they didn't know about each others activities to a degree, as it was mostly the intelligista as far as the U.S. is concerned. It was a definitely small inner circle.--MONGO 01:44, 13 January 2006 (UTC)


If TDC continues to revert war without substantative discussion or actual edits, then I suggest we request mediation as a group.--Cberlet 19:00, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

As per my edit summaries, you are putting in the same material on every Venona related article you contribute to. The information is mostly irrelevant, and in many cases flat out wrong. Perhaps a rewording of the introduction might bein order, but the constant inclsion of critical material in a list serves no purpose other than to poison the well. The article states no opinion as to the disposition of the individuals on the list, only a brief summary of who they were. DTC 00:23, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
This page originated as a blacklist that falsely implied that the people on the list were Soviet espionage agents. I have only edited a tiny handful of pages with disclaimer material. I have been busy. There are many other pages I have not edited. I will get right on that important task. Thanks for reminding me.--Cberlet 03:00, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I have all the time in the world to ensure you dont destroy all the hard work that Nobs has put into VENONA related articles. But I suppose it must really irk you that "Chip Berlet", respected author, writer and self described "right wing watchdog" is being outwitted and out argued by a 28 year old engineer, who takes break during modeling, to contribute to an encyclopedia. Busy indeed. DTC 03:30, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
It is really bad form to refer to me other than as Wiki editor "Cberlet." It is not about outwitting, it is about writing a fair, balanced, and accurate encyclopedia. Much of the "hard work" by Nobs01 involved false claims that hundreds of people had been identified by the U.S. Government as "Soviet spys." This was not true--and is not true. The work by Nobs01 on this topic was shoddy and hysterical, and he defended his faulty POV text with a zeal that raised serious questions as to whether or not he had the emotional or psychological attributes consistent with being a cooperative Wiki editor. Apparently he did not, as he is now banned for a year for outlandish personal attacks on me and my work. As for the text, I apologize for my previous "rewrite" that turned out to be hardly a rewrite. My editing window sometimes freezes and I sometimes browse back to save something and end up mssing up the save. I meant to save the rewrite I just posted. It was a mistake. Assume good faith. Let's focus on NPOV and editing - not a contest of wills--Cberlet 17:06, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I said it once, I will say it again, I will not allow you to turn every one of these article into a crusade against McCarthy. In many of the cases, the individuals you are citing hold an extreme minority view when thier thougts are actualy relevant to the material. DTC 17:27, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Request for comments filed[edit]

Since the introduction is the point of centention, I suggest temp:List of Americans in the Venona papers Into DTC 18:11, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Just to clear the record:[edit]

Were hundreds of individuals identified via VENONA found to have been Soviet Agents? Lets see what the sources say.

American authorities learned that since 1942 the United States had been the target of a Soviet espionage onslaught involving dozens of professional Soviet intelligence officers and hundreds of Americans I know you don’t like Haynes to much, but he is certainly notable
Soviet intelligence services devoted a tremendous amount of resources into spying on the United States and Britain. In the United States alone, hundreds of Americans provided secret information to the Soviet Union Department of Energy
Not a few “but hundreds of American Communists . . . abetted Soviet espionage in the United States” in the 1930s and 1940s The US Navy
U.S. Army intelligence, G-2, became alarmed at the information that was coming out of Arlington Hall. An Arlington Hall report on 22 July 1947 showed that the Soviet message traffic contained dozens, probably hundreds, of covernames, many of KGB agents, including ANTENNA and LIBERAL (later identified as Julius Rosenberg). One message mentioned that LIBERAL's wife was named "Ethel." The NSA
The New Republic was nevertheless right about one thing: Most of the historians and journalists cited above--including, by the way, Weisberg and Marshall--share in the "consensus" that Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs, defendants in the two most famous cold war cases, and scores if not hundreds of others, were Russian spies From Navasky, of all people

Clearly this is the vast consensus view of the subject, so can we end this semantics game? DTC 18:08, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

There is no serious dispute that many of the persons linked to cryptonyms in the Venona documents "abetted Soviet espionage in the United States." But not every American named in the Venona papers "abetted Soviet espionage in the United States;" nor is their evidence that every person listed as having been an information source was a "witting" information source, much less a "Soviet spy" as Nobs01 claimed. And not every cryptonym found in the Venona documents can be said with 100% accuracy to have been properly linked to an actual person's name. A lot of this was guesswork, and should be reporterd as such. Even a Justice Department memo worried about this problem of identity. This is not semantics. It is about the legacy of the Cold War, anticommunist Witch Hunts, Red-baiting, and McCarthyism. Haynes and Klehr and Romerstein are part of a project to make it appear that violations of civil liberties during the Cold War and McCarthyism were justified by communist subversion and Soviet espionage. Other scholars disagree with this claim. Which is why a disclaimer is needed. I prefer to edit. You appear satisfied with wholesale deletions and reverts. Who is helping write an accurate and NPOV encyclopedia?--Cberlet 18:22, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
No serious dispute, I guess that would explain your “Blacklist” comment. I think if you go to the temp page, you might find it agreeable. I don’t know what Justice Department memo you speak of, but I would be interested in seeing it, just to compare our interpretations. Its completely cynical to accuse Haynes and Klehr of it, because the only time either of them mention McCarthyism is any of their works is to “criticize” its excesses.
This is what I am sick to death of. You want to turn this into a debate about McCarthyism, when this is clearly not what the information is about. The foremost scholars on the subject, Haynes and Klehr, just want to do “good history”, closing once and for all the idea that Soviet espionage was not a factor during the early cold war, as the left has been arguing since 1945. I know that’s hard for their critics to believe, the idea that someone would argue a case based on factual and not ideological grounds, but it is true, and that is why on the factual matters at hand, even Navasky has had to admit that Haynes and Klehr have made their case to almost everyone who matters and one over most of their critics with their factual conclusion. Some may use the work of Haynes and Klehr to enable their own belief that McCarthyism was justified, but Haynes and Klehr most certainly do not, as all of their writing on the subject indicates. Information is truth, what some may do with it is irrelevant. I will not allow you to turn this article into your own personal diatribe against McCarthyism, when that subject has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. DTC 18:46, 17 January 2006 (UTC)


A request for mediation has been filed concerning this and related pages.[4]--Cberlet 15:51, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Original Research?[edit]

Unless this list is cited to a specific source or set of sources, it is original research and the entire page should be deleted. I am under the impression that this is the list from the Haynes/Klehr book appendix. If so, it is plagiarised and needs to be cited properly. If not, it needs to be cited to a published source or sources. Otherwise deletion is the proper path. In addition, there are a series of sweeping claims that are not properly cited. I have asked for cites.--Cberlet 16:53, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

My my, you want this up for a VFD? Imagine my surprise. Is this what you are left with after exhausting every tool to ruin this article? DTC 16:58, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
So if I go to the library and check "Secrecy : The American Experience". Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Yale University Press; December 1, 1999; and "The Venona story". Robert L Benson, National Security Agency Center for Cryptologic History; January 1, 2001; and I cannot find this list, it should be deleted, correct? Just trying to be clear.--Cberlet 17:51, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
The names are a compilation from all of the above sources. DTC 17:51, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
By whom? Where can I find a reputable published source for this list? Or was it created as Original Research by Nobs01?
I already told you, go through the sources, and see them for yourself. DTC 17:57, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
So you cannot find a reputable published source for this entire list, and agree that it was compiled on Wikipedia by Nobs01?--Cberlet 18:00, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
So, by that logic, any list on Wikipedia, which was compiled from multiple sources (which would be every list on Wikipedia) is also original research? Curious, I have not heard this issue raised previously? Curious indeed! DTC 18:04, 18 January 2006 (UTC),

<----Here is what the original page said about the list:

  • 349 U.S. citizens, noncitizen immigrants, and permanent residents of the United States who had covert relationships with Soviet intelligence were confirmed in the Venona traffic. Of these 171 are identified by true names and 178 are known only by a cover name.(2) The persons identified represent only a partial list and many are listed below. Twenty-four persons targeted for recruitment remain uncorroborated as to it being accomplished. These individuals are marked with an asterisk (*).(3) The NSA followed Soviet intelligence traffic for only a few years in World War II and decrypted only a small portion of that traffic. The evidence regarding another 139 persons from sources other than Venona decryptions has been documented and many can be found within the list of Category:Soviet spies.

So now the asterisks have been removed, meaning that some persons are improperly identified, and the fact that the list comes from Haynes and Klehr's book has been deleted. Good research! (OK not 139)--Cberlet 18:11, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

The list came from the Haynes and Klehr book. That's what this page originally stated. Don't promote plagiarism, please.--Cberlet 18:34, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
As you are well aware from these many edits, article changes and the many exchanges of information among people of good will, this is not the same article we were dealing with several weeks ago. DTC 18:43, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Haynes and Klehr's work is a compilation of many sources, as is this one. In fact, had you bothered to compare this list, as well as the Appendixes you cited, you would realize, that although similar, they do not share all the same names. DTC 18:36, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
It still is overwhelmigly taken from the appendix of Haynes and Klehr's book. Please note that more than 90% of the edits to this page were by Nobs01. The additions to the Haynes and Klehr list are minor. There has not been a lot of constructive editing. The removal of the asterisks and the explanation was particularly damaging and casued the page to be defmatory. Plagiarism and defamation--not the best framework for a Wiki article.--Cberlet 18:49, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Hey, I don’t know where Nobs got his information from, its not like I talk to him every day about this. Since I have found this same material in multiple source, perhaps there is more than one source for this material other than Haynes and Klehr's book, as you continue to insinuate. DTC 18:53, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

<--- Actually, on this point, Nob01 was right at the beginning of this page history. The list started from the appendix to the Haynes & Klehr book. As a matter of principle, we need to state that. Otherwise it actually is plagiarism. If we can figure out where the additional names come from, we can add a more spefici credit. At some point I will take my copy of H & K and cross check the list. In addition, in different texts, the language used to describe the folks on this list varies greatly. Even H & K use weasel words: "covert relationships with Soviet intelligence." What does that mean? Not the same thing as "Soviet spies," so maybe the txt on this page overstates the case without including that phrase attributed to H & K?

Wait a second, how do we know this is a "List of Americans in the Venona papers?" I'm back to the first question. Who compiled this list? Nobs01? From what sources other than H & K. Is the title wrong???
As I have stated before, the names on the list have multiple sources, maek sure you check all of them before throwing the the plagiarism charge around. DTC 19:31, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Let's stick with one simple question. What do the names on this list actually represent other than a blacklist created by Nob01 so he could create Wiki files on everyone, and then plonk in the material about them being Soviet information sources?--Cberlet 19:47, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, how can I stick with “one simple question”. Just today you have accused contributors of this article of engaging in plagiarism, original research, and making unaccredited sweeping claims. But to answer your “one simple question”, the names on this list represent individuals whose identities have been linked to their VENONA cover names by multiple sources, which include: Allen Weinstein, Alexander Vassiliev, Patrick Moynihan, Robert Benson of the NSA, Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin, Michael Warner of the NSA, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr. As to their role in espionage or their relationship with the KGB or GRU, that is covered in their respective articles. DTC 20:10, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I can only assume where Nobs compiled all of these names from, and since he is not here to explain and almost all of these names appear in multiple sources, lets not jump to any hasty conclusions. DTC 20:12, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

1) It's plagiarism if we don't cite all the sources properly. If Nobs01 used ten sources to create the list, we should list all ten. --Cberlet 20:29, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Are not all the sources cited properly now? Do you doubt that the current level of documentation is insufficient to cover the names listed? DTC 20:43, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

2)How do we know that every name represents identities that "have been linked to their VENONA cover names by multiple sources" rather than a list of suspected and documented persons linked to Soviet espionage through Venona documents and other intelligence documents and sources? --Cberlet 20:29, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, I could look into the matter, and look into “every” name on this list and see, specifically who was identified by whom, but I think that goes above and beyond what is called for. But, it could be done. DTC 20:43, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Or, we could change the name of the page to reflect what the list really is--except I don't know what it really is other than the list created by Nobs01. How about Americans mentioned in Soviet & U.S. intelligence files?
No, because these are all people listed in VENONA, that is thier only connection. DTC 22:12, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
How do we know that all these people are listed in Venona unless we check them against all the cited sources? When this list was first posted, it was specifically identified as the list from Haynes and Klehr, which I believe states that some names came from sources other than Venona? I am not at the library where I work, so I can't check my copy.--Cberlet 22:34, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, I checked mine, at least a sample, and the names do appear in Appendix A, along with more that are not on this page . DTC 22:47, 18 January 2006 (UTC)


i know there's some petty schoolyard rule here that indicates that "talk pages are not message boards," but i'm compelled to remark on what a flailing, singleminded fool cbartlet has made of himself here. its a realy disturbing read.

Pot... meet pot.

VENONA is crap. There are a few hundred of David Horrorshits little propaganda monkeys littering up articles with this drivel from Haynes and Klehr. It should all be expunged. If the American Historical Association isn't behind them, neither should Wiki. I hope we do not want that kind of shoddy and intellectually dishonest revisionism here. To call it scholarship would be ludicrous. I fervently hope that we shall soon see Haynes and Klehr follow their predecessor from another field, John Lott, down the toilet. Morton Sobell, ("a convicted spy"), is included on this questionable "list"...

From the Nation, Three Gentleman of Venona

"All the authors take for granted that the National Security Agency has published a true decryption of the Soviet cables. This assumption is quite remarkable in view of the past history of the NSA, which has not given scholars the opportunity to check the decryptions' accuracy.

The NSA's identification of the individuals with cover names is another questionable area. For example: The cover names Antenna and Liberal, which the NSA said identified Julius Rosenberg, were initially assigned to one Joseph Weichbrod, and it was only after David Greenglass, Julius's brother-in-law, was arrested, that the NSA said, Oops, we made a slight mistake. Strangely, I, a bona fide convicted spy, could not be found anywhere among the hundreds of identified spies, but this was not for lack of their trying.

In a very candid May 13, 1950, memo, which the FBI never thought would see the light of day, it writes of Venona: "The fragmentary nature of the messages themselves, the assumptions made by the cryptographers, in breaking the messages themselves, and the questionable interpretations and translations involved, plus the extensive use of cover names for persons and places, make the problem of positive identification extremely difficult." One would never know this from the way all the authors write about the decrypted Venona cables."

If he is actually named in VENONA, fine. If not, I hope that people here will put an end to this vandalism that is emanating from Horroshits and his smear merchants. To even see links to articles from that filth peddler's in the wiki entries rag is an embarassment to the Wiki project.

A Winter Patriot.

An academic purge of Haynes and Klehr, how Sovietesqe, and appropriate in this context. Considering that the Nation has employed at least 10 soviet spies, I tend to think they lack objectivity on this subject. But you want to see something really funny, see someone debate Haynes and Klehr on this topic, it’s a textbook definition of an ass whomping. Torturous Devastating Cudgel 18:54, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

This is the biggest piece of bullshit ever. It's totally made up, right out of Ann Coulter's piece of shit book. Even if there was ever a list named Venona with any of those people on it, the evidence against them was and is so scarce that's its not even worth mentioning it. - Wakefencer

Robert Oppenheimer[edit]

Where is he mentioned? 00:30, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

If this list survives deletion,[edit]

1) It should include all the (American) names in the Appendix.

I strongly disagree. If the name does not appear in the Verona documents, it should not be on this list. If someone has inferred that the person is associated with one of the Verona "code names", then it should be noted as such.
To my knowledge, Appendix D states that "Verona documents and documents from Russian archives" were the source for the conclusion that the individuals in Appendix D "were targeted" for recruitment, etc. Unless someone can find these names in the Verona documents proper, we can only assume they did not appear in Verona. Wysdom 09:11, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

2) The ones where it provides no evidence of successful recruitment (the ones with the asterisk) should be grouped separately

This I agree with--but again, only for the ones who appear in the Verona documents. But what's "it"? I sincerely hope we have another source or two (or more?) than Appendix D. Haynes/Klehr's book alone isn't sufficient--the only reason I'm going off Haynes' list alone at present is because it's the best I have, at present--and because it cites sources.
Appendix D alone isn't a sufficient source to include a name on this list--mutliple, reliable, verifiable, etc. Wysdom 09:11, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

3) Articles should be written about those still with redlinks to provide fora summary of the nature of the evidence

Again, using more than Harvey/Klehr's Verona, right? Wysdom 09:11, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

4) Death dates should be obtained if possible

Thank you. Wysdom 09:11, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

5) An attempt should be systematically made to complete the sketchy articles, many of which do not record the further career of the people concerned--not even whether of not they were ever indicted.

Double thank you, and amen. :) Wysdom 09:11, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

6) Some of the people on this list confessed (or boasted) they were spies, and this should be at least indicated even on the list.

With (here I do again) and only with verifiable, reliable sources cited. Please. Wysdom 09:11, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

I am glad attention was called to this in AfD, because it will result in stronger articles. DGG 09:40, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

You're welcome! :) :) :) (*wince* J/K! Don't hit me!!!) Wysdom 09:14, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
This all sounds reasonable to me -- and most of it doable. I am willing to put in (some) of the work outlined above (and it is quite a bit of work). But, look, I am also working on many other projects here at WP, not to say in real life, and the threat of someone coming to delete this, or other related articles, puts a damper on things (surprise, surprise!). I will be waiting for the results of AfD before investing much more time and effort into this particular area, but in the meantime, thanks for setting up the task at hand for this article, this should help. Turgidson 13:37, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Marion Bachrach[edit]

I object to the deletion of Marion Bachrach from the list. She definitely appears in the Venona papers. The John Earl Haynes list that I pointed you to is indeed useful as a check -- and I will not question each and every deletion you make based on that, I trust that some are justified, though I need to double check at some point -- but I must take exception with this one. First of all, the involvment of Bachrach in the Ware group is well-documented in the article on her. Second, there are several references in that article, including the "Venona" book by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr on which this list is based. Finally, if this is not enough, just look up the book, say here. Turgidson 01:07, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Turgidson--Please do not add Bachrach back without a citation. She does indeed appear on the page of the book to which you added a link. It says she was part of the Ware group, etc. It does not say her name appeared in the Verona documents, which is what this list covers. If she is not in Hayne's notes, she was likely not listed by that name IN those documents. Unless you have a citation/source that specifically puts her on the list, she does not belong here. Thanks. Wysdom 01:18, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
The article on Bachrach says it very clearly: On November 20, 1942 Soviet foreign intelligence (Dimitrov to Fitin, RTsKhIDNI 495-74-484) requested a background report on Bachrach from the Comintern and received a positive report. Now, I'm not sure why this does not appear on the Venona papers -- perhaps the intercept of the communication was done by other technical means? So let me use then this as a test case to understand precisely what are the criteria for inclusion on the list that you propose: an actual Venona intercept of communication between NKVD/OGPU/KGB operatives in the US and Moscow centre, mentioning the individual in cause, either directly by name, or by some code name that has been traced back to the individual? Are other factors that should come into play -- one way or the other?
That's enough right there, Turgidson: her name does not appear in the Verona papers. You said it. That's what this article is. Check the title. If her name did not appear in the Verona papers, it does not belong on this list. If you want to make a list of Soviet spies, that's differnt. But that's not this article.
NOW, if some researcher has, by whatever means, inferred that she was associated with one of the code names in the Verona papers, then by all means--let's add her name, cite it properly, and add a ref/footnote indicating that her name per se does not appear in the Verona documents, but this researcher believes that this codename (whatver code name here) is was her. Wysdom 02:19, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
To recap, extremely precisely:
  1. Bachrach appears in the "Venona" book by Haynes and Klehr -- as the Google Books link I provided above clearly shows.
  2. In her article, she is listed under Category:Venona Appendix D, which I think is correct, in view of the above.
  3. Haynes does not include her on his list.
  4. In her article, a Soviet intelligence communication from November 20, 1942 is mentioned, where her name comes up.
  5. The NSA/Venona site, where all the transcripts are maintained, does not have anything under that date. Unfortunately, one can only search by specific date--not by keyword, I guess because those are gif files, not text files.
My conclusion, based on data available so far, is that Bachrach is associated with Venona -- perhaps because of her association with Abt, Hiss, and the Ware group, or perhaps because of that communication from 1942 -- and this association is recorded in the Haynes and Klehr book, but that she cannot be tied up conclusively to an actual Venona intercept (at least, I can't). So OK, let's leave her out for now, if that's going to be the rule for inclusion. I'm not quite happy with that, but I can live with it, as long as there is a clearly spelled out rule for inclusion on the list, and it's applied consistently. Turgidson 02:51, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Good :) I'm glad we can agree on something. Truthfully, I believe we have a very similar agenda: truth and consistency. I did, I promise, go and check the book you provided the link to--and I think you're probably correct: she was probably involved with espionage in some way or another. We need to keep in mind, however, that the Verona documents were not a comprehensive catalogue of spies; indeed, some of the people appearing in the list may not have been spies at all, but somehow associated with spies, even without their knowledge. Again, if you can find a good, reliable source that places Bachrach, or anyone else not listed in this article, in the scope of the Verona documents, please add them. But please also add a clear citation and reference.
Also, just a note on the book, Verona (from the refernce footnote of this article), "Despite the title, this is less about Venona itself than about Communist Party USA espionage and support of espionage. It is based on research in the CPUSA archives made available to the authors in Moscow." Therefore, there are bound to be many names mentioned in that book that weren't necessarily in the Verona documents.
Best wishes, Wysdom 04:00, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Let me then bring up a second test case: Nadia Morris Osipovich, an article that for some reason someone singled out for an AfD. She does appear on John Earl Haynes' list -- just check it out. In fact, now that you got me going, to make 100% sure, I went directly to the NSA web site, and looked for a transcript of the actual Venona intercept -- sure enough theere it is: Gif file, with the name spelled out clearly at the bottom. Good enough? Turgidson 01:58, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
If her name appears in the Verona papers, then it should be on the list. It's pretty simple. You'll note I haven't removed her, but then I haven't gotten to the "O"s yet. :) Of course, since she's obviously confirmed by Hayes' notes, as you've stated, I won't be removing her. Wysdom 02:19, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

This is the kind of thing I'm talking about[edit]

According to Haynes' notes, this is what appears in the Verona documents:

Samuel Bloomfield, manager of the Progressive Book Shop in Washington

According to the list presented here, we have something a little different:

Samuel Bloomfield, Eastern European Division, Research and Analysis Division, Office of Strategic Services

I've fixed it. Wysdom 01:33, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Anna Colloms[edit]

I see she was deleted from the list, but that's another case that needs to be discussed. Yes, she's not on Haynes' list, but that could be an ommision. In her article, there are 5 Venona-intercepted communications from Mexico City to Moscow from March 14, 1944, in which she is said to be implicated. I read all 5 of them, and it's not quite clear to me where she fits. Clearly, both Jacob Epstein and Ruth Beverley Wilson appear there, so they should stay on the list. It could be that Colloms is one of the unidentified people on the Venona transcript (Juanita? Anita?), or perhaps she was simply too low-level to rate a mention in the cable (addressed to Lavrentiy Beria --code name Petrov-- himself!) Again, not sure what to say -- this seems a borderline case, to be kept in mind. Turgidson 03:55, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Turgidson--I know we got off to a rough start on the AfD discussion, so please know that I very much respect the work and research you're doing on your end. I do need you, and others, working with me and fact-checking me, and adding/adding back things that may have been omitted in Haynes' list, or by me, in error.
However, we also need to keep in mind that our best reference is the direct source--you didn't see her name in the Verona documents, she's not on Haynes' list, so it's pretty clear that name isn't there.
Now, from what I understand, the article here was compiled from several different sources: it may be that her name appears in one of them--i.e., a researcher has inferred (perhaps correctly) that she is the person codenamed "XYZ". That may even be the case with Bachrach. If we can find that information, then the names should be returned to the list, the source cited, and a footnote added explaining that, "(Researcher name) believes (name not appearing in Verona) is the identity of (codename in Verona)" or something similar.
A name actually appearing in Verona is conclusive. The inference, no matter how well educated, of researchers after the fact is less conclusive. We owe it to ourselves and to readers to make that distinction.
Thanks for your help in this, and your constructive dialogue. Wysdom 04:17, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Boleslaw Gebert[edit]

Turgidson (et al),

I noticed that, in Haynes' list, Boleslaw Gerbert is listed a Polish citizen and U.S. resident. That doesn't quite jive with the current name of the article ("...Americans apearing in...").

There are a couple of steps we might take to correct this. Here are my thoughts.

  • We make it a criteria that anyone currently appearing in the article who is/was not, in fact, American be removed


  • We change the name of the article to "List of people associated with the Verona documents".

The latter solution would solve more than one potential problem: A) inclusion/exclusion based on nationality would no longer be an issue and B) the change of "in" to "associated with" paves the road for later (when proven) addition of people like Bachrach and Anna Colloms--i.e., people who aren't in Verona by name, but are suspected to be the identities of code names in the documents.

What do you think?

Wysdom 04:30, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I know the article on Bolesław Gebert quite well-- I edited it at length yesterday. He was born in Poland in 1895, and immigrated to the US in 1918. Gebert was one of the founding members of the Communist Party USA, and a labor organizer in the Chicago area. He appears in nine Venona-intercepted KGB messages between May and October 1944 (he was the contact of Oskar R. Lange, an economist and professor at U. Chicago, who was a personal emissary from Roosevelt to Stalin on the "Polish question"). It was only after the end of World War II that Gebert returned to Poland, where he became an official in the Communist Goverment there (even Polish Ambassador to Turkey). A rather intriguing career path -- but I think it's safe to put him down as being an American citizen during the period covered by the Verona papers. (Although, to be 100% sure, one would need to know exactly when he was naturalized US citizen, and when he renounced his citizenship.)
As for the wider question — my tendency would be to widen the scope, and include also some people who were not American citizens, but were involved in this affair. After all, as someone rightly said, WP is not just about the U.S., but the whole world. By that token, if notable non-US citizens were mentioned in those transcripts, why draw an barrier? At any rate, that's my take... Turgidson 06:25, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Turgidson--Thanks for the feedback. I, too, think it's acceptable to widen the scope, but I feel in order to retain factual accuracy, we should agree to somehow alter the title of this article to reflect that wide scope.
Would "List of names appearing in the Verona documents" be acceptable? That broadens the criteria to include people like Gebert, and also allows for the inclusion of items that are a little more "speculative"--like Samuel Bloomfield. Looking at Appendix D, I'm not convinced the manager of the bookstore (which is the way he's identified in the actual Verona documents) and the guy working at the OSS were the same person. That's pure speculation on my part, but it's kind of hard to have a job at a government agency and manage a bookstore on the side, one would think, and Haynes/Klehr don't really make it plain how they made the association.
However, "List of names appearing..." etc would make it a little more feasible to add a note explaining how Haynes/Klehr believe that this is the same guy from the OSS, instead of completely restricting the identification to "bookstore manager".
Best wishes,
Wysdom 08:19, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

A few notes on the work in progress[edit]

So that no one mistakes my intentions, here are the criteria I'm working by (for right now--if there are things to be added/recovered later with good, cited sources, then #1 might not apply, for example):

1) If the name does not appear in Haynes, 2007 [5], out it goes.

2) If a name appears in Haynes, 2007, but does not state its source as "Verona", (e.g., [source Weinstein Vassiliev ''Haunted Wood'']), it gets a ** (meaning, this name does not actually appear in the Verona documents, etc--see my addition to the article intro)

3) If the identifying characteristics of an individual, such as the list of job titles following a name, does not appear in Haynes, 2007, I am removing it. This does not mean I object to this information being added back, BUT it needs to be sourced and cited. We need to be sensitive to the fact that just because someone is named "John Doe" and the Senior Correspondent Politico General Assistant Whatsit of Some Organization is also named "John Doe", they may not be the same person. Please remember, good research does not assume and requires proof.

4) I may have broken some Wikilinks in correcting the names/spellings of some individuals on the list. Having realised this, I'm going to go back and attempt to correct the matter--the articles that these individuals are linked to may contain better references/notes on which Verona documents, specifically, contain the person's name--which I'd like to see eventually cited here, as well. It's getting tedious citing the same source for these names, over and over ;)

I think that's it for now. Thanks everyone :)

Wysdom 05:59, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Just a comment on point 2): I would take that source quite seriously. After all, one of its authors, Allen Weinstein, is the Archivist of the United States, in charge of the National Archives and Records Administration (he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 16, 2005), so the presumption should be that he knows a thing or two about what he's talking about! Turgidson 06:32, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
  • lol* Far be it from me to suggest Mr. Weinstein was incorrect :) Remember, I'm only marking the name with a **, meaning the name "Joe Generic" doesn't actually appear in the Verona documents. That he was later identified as being "Agent XYZ"--who is in Verona--is another matter entirely. The ** isn't saying "this is wrong", just "this isn't in Verona, per se".
Where you feel that the researcher, as in Mr. Weinstein's case, will add weight to the identification, please add a citation :)
Thanks again, Wysdom 08:30, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

So far[edit]

Okay--it's 7:17 AM... do you know where Wysdom is? Still awake and cracked out at her laptop, that's where ;D Anyhoo, figured since I have to shower and drag my carcass into work, I'd leave a note as to the work thus far:

1) Finally managed to stop myself from typing "Verona" when I MEAN "Venona" (darn that Shakespeare!)

2) I've gone through the entire list of names. Once. *thunk* Many more passes remain in the future, methinks.

  • Spellings and alternates--How they appeared here v. how Haynes has them listed as appearing in Venona. I think this is important for both accuracy and fact-checking. In the vast majority of cases, I added the Haynes spelling/alterate to the Wikilink after the "pipe" (|), so the Wikilinks should still be good.

3) Any identifications not specified by Haynes as being provided in the Venona documents have been removed, replaced with a simple citation to the Haynes, 2007 list. I'm not trying to "cover up" anything; exceptional claims require exceptional sources. When we have the source(s), those things can be added back and cited, simultaneously.

  • By the same token, identifications provided by Haynes/Venona that differed from the ones provided here have been "corrected"--again, other info can be added as it's sourced.
  • A few of the identifications (the Rosenbergs, for example) that are kinda "gimmes" I've left alone--for the present. I still think it's imperative that it be properly sourced that the Julius Rosenberg--and yes, even the Alger Hiss--in Venona is the same as the person we're linking them to with the Wikilinks. It's just good policy.

4) Names not appearing in Haynes, 2007 have been removed entirely. I know this is going to be a topic of dispute, esp. with names appearing in Appendix D. The fact of the matter is, though, that there are names in Appendix D that do appear in Venona (according to Haynes, 2007)... and others do not. Additionally, Haynes, 2007 is rather exhaustively referenced--if one of his fellow researchers had listed the "absent" people in Appendix D as being associated with Venona, they would have been in the Haynes, 2007 list (see all the people in the article with ** marks). Pretty much, it doesn't appear at present that there's anything other than Haynes' research in the Soviet archives backing up the Appendix D names. Again, if I'm wrong, lets source/cite them puppies and add 'em back!

5) Minor edits to the inro (aside from inroducing the two asterisk notation). I know there's been substantial controversy over the presentation of "how many" researchers, scholars, etc. support or don't the Venona documents and the research related to them. "Many academics" (I believe it was) was changed to "A number of". I think that's pretty neutral--"A number" could be small OR large.

"A few" scholars who are skeptical has been eliminated entirely, simply stating that "To what extent any given individual named in the Venona documents was involved with Soviet intelligence is a topic of dispute." Best to keep it simple. There's no refuting that statement, and it's not weighted in either direction with implied numbers. The word "clandestinely" has also been removed from that passage--it's a matter of dispute to what extent (clandestinely, overtly, or not at all) they were involved, period. Again, keeping it simple. Finally (I think?) "named below" was changed to "named in the Verona documents"--since not all the individuals on the compiled list were named in the Venona documents, some having been inferred by researchers, etc.

Coming up next![edit]

1) Another pass through the list to add references as they appear in Haynes, 2007 (where Weinstein, West, et al back up the identifications, it should be noted)

2) Checking the articles Wikilinked to our list. Are they properly sourced and cited? Can we improve that, if not? Should they be removed, if they can't be improved?

3) Checking the Venona documents themselves --it's not clear in all cases where the identifications of individuals in Haynes, 2007 are actually cited in Venona and where he's making an "obvious" correlation. Anything not in Venona, again, should come off the list, initially, until it can be checked.

4) Compile a changelog (to make searching for the removed info easier). I know, I know... it's not very scientific to start with a conclusion and work backward, but I truly believe that anything untrue and unsubstantiated that has been removed will stay removed--a single source isn't enough to add something back in, and we all know that, as Wikipedians, researchers and honest folks.

5) Other stuff... I can't think right now *lol* My brain hurts.

Best wishes,

Wysdom 11:54, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Dubious claim[edit]

Someone keeps adding to the lead the following claim: "others suggest that most likely had no ill intent or committed no crimes", implying that these "others" are "academics and historians". But the supposed references for this claim go to some articles in the Nation (are the journalists there academics or historians?) and to some comments by Ellen Schrecker, who is a an academic and historian all right, but I do not see the exact quote in there. Thus, I view the above claim as dubious, and not backed up by reliable references -- and so I will tag it, accordingly. Turgidson 23:08, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

The full sentence in question is;
"While a number of academics and historians assert that most of the individuals mentioned in the Venona papers were likely either clandestine assets and/or contacts of the KGB, GRU and Soviet Naval GRU others suggest that most likely had no ill intent or committed no crimes."
I think it is obvious that leaving out the disclaimer phrase is excessively POV. This is a longstanding and extensively documented controversy. The arguments advanced for this being 'dubious' information seem exceedingly strained. YES, Victor Navasky from The Nation is an 'academic or historian'... it kind of goes with being a university professor who studies and writes about history. No, Ellen Schrecker did not use the exact words stated in this article, any more than Robert Benson or Sam Tanenhaus made the exact statements they are cited in support of, but a perusal of the linked text (or indeed the Wikipedia article on her for that matter) clearly shows that they are an accurate description of her position. --CBD 00:31, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Name change[edit]

The current name gives a false description of this page. This is not a list of Americans named in the Venona papers, but rather a list of Americans who one or more people have suggested might be individuals identified by codenames in the Venona papers. Many of these speculative identifications are disputed. Any suggestions for a corrected page name? I'm thinking something like, 'Americans suggested to correspond with Venona codenames'... though a less wordy way of saying it would be nice. --CBD 00:48, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Who exactly disputes the identifications from the Venona papers? These are not "speculative identifications" -- they are backed by a massive, decades-long decryption effort by the U.S Government, and certified by recognized scholars and historians. Turgidson 02:02, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
C'mon. If you know anything about Venona you know that many of the supposed identifications are disputed. Navasky, Schrecker, Kunstler, Lowenthal, and many others have questioned these identifications - as clearly shown in links already in this and other Venona articles. Heck, the government and McCarthyite leaning historians themselves frequently say things like 'possibly' or 'probably' in their identifications. Turning around and saying that these then AREN'T speculative is simply false. --CBD 11:27, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Labeling serious historians you don't agree with as "McCarthyite" in a transparent attempt at discrediting their work won't do -- the names in the Venona list are there for very sound reasons, despite what apologists like Navasky may or may not say (and even he doesn't dispute most of those names belonging to the list -- does he?) The Venona papers were declassified in 1995 by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Chairman of the bipartisan Commission on Government Secrecy. Moynihan wrote:
"[The] secrecy system has systematically denied American historians access to the records of American history. Of late we find ourselves relying on archives of the former Soviet Union in Moscow to resolve questions of what was going on in Washington at mid-century. [...] the Venona intercepts contained overwhelming proof of the activities of Soviet spy networks in America, complete with names, dates, places, and deeds." (Secrecy: The American Experience, Yale University Press, 1998, pg. 15. ISBN 0-300-08079-4)
Among many others, noted military historian and author, Nigel West, expressed confidence in the decrypts: "Venona remain[s] an irrefutable resource, far more reliable than the mercurial recollections of KGB defectors and the dubious conclusions drawn by paranoid analysts mesmerized by Machiavellian plots." (Venona--The Greatest Secret of the Cold War, Harper Collins, 1999, pg. 330. ISBN 0-00-653071-0)
So yes, there may be some who do not like the conclusions of the Venona project, but that's their problem. This does not invalidate the facts uncovered, or the huge amount of historical evidence adduced by the people who worked on the Venona project, or the conclusions of those historians who wrote about it. And that's what matters here at WP. Turgidson 12:06, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
The historians in question advance the same claims as Joseph McCarthy and via the same 'guilt by association' methodology... thus, 'McCarthyite', regardless of how 'serious' they may be. Quoting people doesn't change the fact that they are disputed by those you term "apologists". You obviously KNOW they are disputed... but say "that's their problem" and that only the views of the other side 'matter here at WP'. That's blatant naked POV... and why this article needs to be balanced with the dissenting views and facts you are so determinedly censoring. --CBD 11:24, 23 July 2007 (UTC)


I've been trying to correct the egregious point of view problems in this article a bit at a time, but as even the most glaringly biased/incorrect is being fought for I think we need to address the issue in general. It is permissible to have an article which says that various Americans are suspected by various researchers of being tied to codenames in the Venona papers - provided we also cite that many of these identifications are contested, as is the guilt of many of the individuals. It is not permissible to have an article which says that all of these people were probably involved in espionage. The former is fact which can be backed up by references while the latter is an opinion which is widely disputed.

Other problems in this article are the selective inclusion and exclusion of names (why exactly are names like 'Kapitan' = Franklin Roosevelt and 'Star' = Enrico Fermi excluded/removed?), the footnote supposedly identifying 24 individuals targetted for recruitment but not confirmed (which falsely implies that everyone else on the list was a confirmed agent), the second footnote which purports to identify individuals who were not named in the Venona decrypts (but then is not included on many whose real names were not used - Julius Rosenberg for instance), et cetera.

The article as it exists is just plain biased. If, as I suspect, some of these people are still alive then it is also a BLP violation. For instance, I know Bernstein was still alive a few years ago (Magdoff apparently died last year), but I'd have to hunt around to determine if he still is. Sorting through to identify and remove all the still living people would be a monumental task... so I think our options are to fix the biased text or delete the article entirely. --CBD 11:50, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

There was AfD discussion about this whole subject a few months ago, see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of Americans in the Venona papers, with much the same arguments brought up. The result was No consensus. Please familiarize yourself with that discussion (and the comments on this talk page that were brought up by that discussion) before pursuing this further. In particular, I recommend looking at the work done by User:Wysdom, who was the one who brought up the AfD in the first place, and ended up checking each and every entry on the list, keeping only those that could be checked independently, according to several reliable sources. As for the stunning discovery that FDR's name was mentioned in the Venona decrypts, that was done earlier here, but later retracted here by the same user, on the same grounds I did a few days ago. Turgidson 12:17, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm familiar with the AfD and that it correctly noted the BLP and POV problems in this article. Wysdom's work in reviewing and referencing has reduced the, also mentioned, verifiability and sourcing problems, but not changed the fact that this page and, as I now see, the numerous individual articles on these people, are presented in an excessively POV manner which violates our BLP policy for all those still living... of which I've confirmed Bernstein at least and likely several others. The removal of FDR is simply another example of the POV bias displayed here... it is being claimed that these people having code names which were used in the Venona intercepts means they were most likely spies. The fact that Roosevelt was in the exact same situation demonstrates how absurd that position is... so Roosevelt is removed from the list. Ditto Enrico Fermi... never any suspicion that he was a Soviet agent, and if he had been they wouldn't have had to go to other people for info on nuclear weapons - ergo, he's off the list. It is a biased presentation. The fact that the Soviets talked about someone does not inherently constitute any sort of evidence that the person was committing espionage... despite the claims to the contrary by your 'serious historians'. Which is why only a small percentage of these people were ever charged with any sort of crime. Accusing them of crimes, based on potentially erroneous identifications and pure 'guilt by association', is an obvious violation of BLP for the living and POV for the rest. --CBD 11:42, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
This page and the numerous related ones were the result of a project by primarily one editor. The outcome was the creation of a POV anti-communist blacklist using Wikipedia as its base. There are dozens of pages that were created just to claim that the individual was a Soviet spy. Every attempt to make it clear that many of the names involve people who may or may not have been properly identified in the decrypts; or may have simply been contacted unwittingly by Soviet intelligence; or may have been simply the idle boasts of lazy Soviet agents; has been met with fierce and sometimes fanatic resistance. We do not have to minimize the existence of Soviet intelligence during the cold war to recognize that many of these pages are full of crap. These pages disgrace Wikipedia as a reliable source. --Cberlet 13:16, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Berlet, the numerous articles you reference have evolved significantly since their creation, and most of them are well cited and well documented. Torturous Devastating Cudgel 14:50, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. Please have the common courtesy to address me using the Wiki custom of my user name. Tacky.--Cberlet 19:29, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but is Berlet not part of your name? Secondly, it obvious you disagree, but as shown many times before, your criticisms were off base. Torturous Devastating Cudgel 21:08, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I started seeing those articles when I looked to see if people on this list were still alive. Alot of them are still just, 'this person was mentioned in the Venona cables so they are a suspected spy' with references to the particular cables and the source of the supposed identification. I started deleting those yesterday as obvious BLP / A7 issues (someone says that this person may be someone who might have done something which might have involved espionage does not equal 'notability'). I haven't done anything with the 'expanded' ones thus far, but most of those just look like they've added general biographical information about the person (where they worked/went to school et cetera)... which still does nothing to assert notability or defuse the POV and BLP problems. --CBD 21:05, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Whatever is not referenced, ask for it and I will dig it up if it exists. Torturous Devastating Cudgel 21:09, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Not the issue. Alot of these articles consist of things like, 'This person was Venona codename XYZ, a Bell aviation employee and accused spy who gave a report to another Bell aviation employee who then gave it to the Soviets'. Even if the identification could be proven, rather than speculation falsely presented as fact... so what? There is nothing remotely notable about this person. Even if you then went and wrote their entire life story, with detailed references for all of it... an aircraft engineer who gave a report to a co-worker is NOT notable. Heck, even if you could prove that they weren't supposed to share the report. Even if you could prove it was 'classified' information. STILL not notable. Not even close. A person who was never tried, never the subject of any media coverage, et cetera. That's what something like 90% of these people are... just ordinary people that most users have never heard of and would never go looking for an article about. --CBD 21:28, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
It’s the articles subject notability not the content notability. Every person here has been identified by a researcher, or group of researchers. I think it would be acceptable to delete the names of any individual that does not have a description after it. If you think this lacks Notability, list the article under an AfD, just alert me know though, as I am watching over these articles for the prior editor. Torturous Devastating Cudgel 21:35, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I do not think that the solution is to make Wikipedia a more extensive POV blacklist.--Cberlet 21:59, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
What is the solution then? Torturous Devastating Cudgel 22:05, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Missing Names[edit]

Why is it that Roosevelt (KAPITAN), Churchill, Hull & Morgenthau (NABOB) (just to name several off the top of my head) are not on this list? Ok... Churchill's not American. They're certainly mentioned several/many times in VENONA. What's the distinguishing attribute that leaves these guys off the list? DEddy (talk) 22:35, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

restored title tag[edit]

I restored the "Inappropriate title" tag I put on a year ago. The content of the article seems to be more "List of Americans who have been asserted to have had code names which appear in the Venona papers and to have had some connection with Soviet intelligence operations." - a rather vague and probably POV-dependent list. The current title would be more appropriate for listing (USA) Americans whose names plainly appear in the papers, uncoded.John Z (talk) 03:37, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

single *[edit]

The text of the article says "Twenty-four persons targeted for recruitment remain uncorroborated as to it being accomplished. These individuals are marked with an asterisk (*)". I can find no names with a single '*'. Should this sentence be removed from the article text? Hmains (talk) 16:06, 11 July 2009 (UTC)


Why is it there's no list of Brits in Venona? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 21:45, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Robert Minor[edit]

The "Minor" mentioned in Venona (Moscow to Washington 3711 29 June 1945) is "Presumably Robert G. MINOR, an OSS employee." This is most definitely NOT Robert B. Minor, "political cartoonist, radical journalist, and a leading member of the American Communist Party." At this time, THAT Robert Minor was over 60 years old and serving as acting secretary of the CPUSA—although he did receive at least one coded cable from Moscow. (See Haynes & Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, p. 426, note 32) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:42, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Show Your Work?[edit]

Where is there the "work" that details how a VENONA code name is attached to a real person? I remember in high school math being reprimanded... just producing an answer was not enough. If there was no "work" to show the explicit details how I got the answer, that was simply not good enough.

Also... shouldn't we disassociate the NSA work on the actual cables (decryption & translation) from the work of associating the code names with real people. The NSA didn't have that sort of street level manpower, did they?

Where in the Haynes & Klehr collection is the work paper trail of HOW they got their answers? DEddy (talk) 00:23, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. If later discussion can arrive at an agreeable (consensus) new name, this article can be moved there as a technical request (or a notification on my Talk). -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:40, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

List of Americans in the Venona papersList of Hypothesized Names in Decoded Venona Messages – If not deleted because some of this is original research and much of it controversial, at a minimum the page should be renamed to emphasize that these are as much guesses as serious scholarship. I will also place a delete message here, the previous delete discussion was inconclusive and long ago. --Relisted Armbrust, B.Ed. WrestleMania XXVIII The Undertaker 20–0 09:10, 6 June 2012 (UTC) Washingtonian1976 (talk) 20:23, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

It is a bad idea to move a page while a deletion debate is in progress. Please put this on hold until the AfD has run its course. SpinningSpark 07:50, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

The deletion discussion has now closed. The suggested target needs decapitalising per WP:CAPS. A title more accurately reflecting the content of the article would be List of Americans alleged to be Soviet agents from the Venona decodes. SpinningSpark 12:17, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment. SpinningSpark's suggestion looks vastly preferable. Jenks24 (talk) 05:46, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. I was going to close this as moved to Spinningspark's suggestion, as seconded above, except that I don't know that decodes can be used as as a noun in this manner, and it sounds odd to me—if "decodes" was a term of art used in the article that would be different. only provides the verb form. Maybe instead (though I admit it's a mouthful) List of Americans alleged to be Soviet agents from decoding of the Venona papers.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 15:06, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
    You are right, I can't find it in any dictionary, including OED, but it is certainly verifiably a term of art [6][7]. Maybe I'll mosey over to Wiktionary and inflict it on them. SpinningSpark 16:53, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
    I've seen "decrypts", which I'd tend to use, since it's not actually a code. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 00:40, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Can we just try to delete again? Renaming won't deal with many of the legitimate issues affecting the article. I know an AFD recently closed, but I can't find any policy that would prevent another try. Since the previous attempts have resulted in no consensus, I don't think it's unreasonable to try a third (the closing admin on the second one suggested as much). This requested move raises the profile of the article (I didn't know about it before), and there's no reason we can't solicit further opinions. --BDD (talk) 21:55, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If the identification is made by the NSA in a footnote for a released decrypt, then it is not original research. If an article is original research, it should be deleted. Either way, it is not a reason to change the title. Kauffner (talk) 04:34, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Deletion Argument[edit]

Much of this is guesswork and some original research. The guesswork is largely driven by weak or even bad scholarship aimed at getting attention by making wild and sensational speculation. Perhaps the book some of this is based on should have a page, at most, but this list looks like confirmed scholarship and it simply is not. These often are suggested names of very high ranking officials for codenames that have not been reliably broken. Washingtonian1976 (talk) 20:22, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Verifiability, not truth. These people have been identified in a published source. How reliable it is, IDK. Don't like the claims, refute with better sources. Don't try to delete. It won't work. (If bogus & indefensible claims were deleted, this would've been gone long ago.) TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 02:49, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Verifiability and Veracity. We have a duty to be right. Carrite (talk) 05:37, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Then explain the claims in the linked page. They are a fiction from beginning to end. Moreover, WP policy does not demand veracity, only verifiability. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 06:55, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but verifiability must come from reliable sources. --BDD (talk) 21:55, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

The deletion debate is taking place at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of Americans in the Venona papers (2nd nomination). Your comments will be ineffective in influencing the debate on this page. SpinningSpark 07:48, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Thx... Forrest Gump where's my chocolates? 20:42, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on List of Americans in the Venona papers. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 03:15, 17 May 2017 (UTC)