Talk:VENONA project/Archive 1

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Moved text

Here is some text I moved from the one-time pad page to the talk section for now until someone wants to integrate it. Chadloder 03:57, 24 January 2003

By the time the effort ended in the 1970s(?), the United States had fully or partially decrypted several thousand of the hundreds of thousands of Soviet messages from the U.S. to Moscow during and just after World War II. Some of those messages provided evidence of the identity of members of the "Atom Spy" ring which operated in WWII. You can find a history of this project, code named Venona, at the NSA web site.

Alger Hiss and his alleged codename

He's referenced as being either "ALES" or as "GISS"- I assume only one of these would be accurate. Good luck! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:38, 31 May 2004

one part of article says Alger Hiss WAS IDENTIFIED. another part says it's UNCERTAIN. which? 08:16, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I don't know, but one possibility tbat springs to mind is that Alger Hiss was identified as an agent, but it's uncertain exactly whether "ALES" was his codename; maybe? Hmm...However, the "Alger Hiss" article suggests that not everyone agrees he was certainly a spy, so maybe it does indeed need to be altered for NPOV. — Matt Crypto 00:59, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

In re: GISS. Russian has no 'H'. It is usually transliterated to Cyrillic 'G'. Thus HISS in Latin letters would be transliterated to GISS (or GIS) in Cyrillic.

I have to correct my previous paragraph, in re: GISS; it is irrelevant. NSA's footnote iv says that HISS was spelled out in the Latin spelling alphabet. This means there was no "GISS". It was sent as HISS. I have no idea where GISS is coming from, it is NOT in the GRU message, nor the ALES message. See NSA decrypt 1579, Sept 28, 1943. The rest of my comments stands.

Further, both HISS and ALES could be one person. It's not either/or.

Prof Haynes has made the comment that it is uncertain who HISS was in the one decrypt where he is mentioned. It could be Alger Hiss's brother Donald.

From some recent exchanges in H-DIPLO, the identification of ALES as Hiss was apparently made by Robert Lamphere, the FBI agent assigned as liaison to the VENONA project. The reason for the identification isn't clear. Some of the correspondents in H-DIPLO firmly believe that ALES is Alger Hiss, and some firmly believe it isn't.

Only one decrypt mentions HISS, and only one mentions ALES.

As for me, I am resolved to stay out of Hissing matches.

User: John K. Taber, jktaber à charter point net. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:52, 7 April 2005

It appears many of the code names were translitered audibly, i.e. one Soviet Case Officer heard the name rather than referenced a written spelling of it, transforming it into a homophone. We see this in the various spelling of the code name for Joel Barr = Metre = Metr = Meter. Numerous other examples can cited. ALES (pronounced Al-ess) & ALEX are homophones to a non-native speaker of English. nobs 17:42, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

While I agree with you about the use of homophones in transliterations, your examples are not well chosen. Meter is not homophone convergence, but variant spelling. meter/center is American English; metre/centre is British, and metre in VENONA is most likely due to the British contingent at Arlington Hall. METR is Russian spelling.

A good example of homophonic confusion is DAJTON, the cipher clerk in New York GRU traffic. The NSA note says it is not possible to determine the nationality of the name nor what it represented. For simplicity I use DAYTON, but it could be DEIGHTON, or several other names.

Also, I'm not sure what you are saying about ALES:ALEX. ALEX is an easy transliteration to ALEKS in Cyrillic. Could you explain your AL-ESS contention a little more? Someplace I thought I saw that Lamphere thought ALES was ALger hISS, but I can no longer find the citation.

I wonder if it would be helpful if I explained the spelling alphabets used in VENONA?

User John K. Taber 16:54, 19 August 2005 (UTC) jktaber à charter point net

Thanks for the interest. Native readers of English read "Ales" something like "ails"; this in incorrect. "Ales" is more properly like "Alice" (Al-es), which is softer and less gutteral (i.e. epiglotteral) than "Aleks" ("Alex"). Here's another example
Jacob Epstein = Harry = Garri (KGB U.S. and Mexico City line). nobs 17:15, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Thank you, the pronunciation of ALES is what I was missing. Your explanation is a big help. Jktaber 13:59, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

The one message with ALES in it is now available in the Russian text as reconstructed by the NSA code breakers. See [1]. There is one typo, the text says "No. 28," but should be "No. 283."

Prof Schindler provides a line by line translation. However, his translation is not completely accepted, especially line 6.

In a discussion in the History Network, H-HOAC (History of American Communism) Prof Eduard Mark says ALES is the Russian version of Aloysius, a rare name in Russian. This is the best explanation of ALES I have seen and convinces me. Jktaber 23:28, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Thank you. No. 5, "Recently ALES and his whole group were awarded Soviet medals" certainly provides the corroboration to the Soviet Archive evidence in Weinstein & Vasileiv also. See Harold Glasser. Thanks again. nobs 01:36, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

all caps

Why is VENONA in all caps? Is it an acronym? Gamaliel 03:11, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

It is a codename. It is conventional to write codenames in all caps. Securiger 12:06, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Block deletion of Australian material

I have reverted a block deletion of the entire Australian section, and made some comments on the reasons why at Lacrimosus' talk page. Securiger 12:58, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Duplicate one-time pads

The way that I heard the duplicate one-time pads explained was that one of the printers in Moscow "didn't get the concept" and reused a bunch of printing plates when printing one-time pads. This presumably because under stress of war and need to meet production schedules. I have no references for this. linas 18:44, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

First, it was pages that were duplicated, not pads. According to Cecil Phillips each page consisted of 60 5-digit random numbers. Haynes reproduced Phillips explanation.

The pads must be paired to work. Normally, an original sheet and a carbon were produced, and a bunch of paired sheets constituted a pad and its twin. Just how the random numbers were generated is not known.

Haynes repeats Phillips's guess that the Soviets were greatly stressed by the German invasion, and used up their pads faster than anticipated. They needed more random numbers than they could produce.

Nigel West says the Soviets resorted to producing three carbons. The extra pair was randomly paged in different pads. I know this is confusing, but it was the pages that were duplicated, not the pads. Thus, the duplicated sheets appeared randomly in another pad pair.

My belief is that the Soviet cryptographers knew what they were doing. Soviet cryptography according to Kahn was and is sophisticated. Some of the best mathematicians in the world were and are Russian. They must have figured that it would be very difficult to find which messages had been super-encrypted with the same sheet, so that the exposure was minimal. They were wrong, but even so, not that wrong. The NSA found some 30,000 duplicated pages among 700,000 (or 750,000 depending on whom you read) intercepted messages. I have read that the NSA estimates they found perhaps half, so perhaps 70,000 pages were duplicated. These are only guesses.

It probably wasn't carelessness or stupidity, but the devastation of the invasion that forced duplicated sheets. User John K. Taber jktaber à charter point net

Coe, Adler & Strong

Can someone who knows how download the image from this site Coe, Adler & Strong. It related to Venona, Frank Coe, Solomon Adler and Anna Louise Strong, all confirmed Soviet spies in the Venona project. Thanks. Nobs01 03:58, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Does right clicking the image in your web browser and selecting the "Save Picture/Image" option work? — Matt Crypto 14:22, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yah, but I don't know how to upload it or check for copyright permisssion, etc. Thx.Nobs01 14:27, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

List of Americans in Venona Papers

Because it's gotten a little unwieldy, I propose we spin this out to List of Americans in Venona Papers. Any objections? — Matt Crypto 23:05, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Not at all. Good idea. nobs 00:02, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
Probably 5% or less of the people here were mentioned in Venona. What has happened is people read about things which happened in Venona, and speculated that these people were involved. The idea that it is an encyclopediac fact that all of the people listed here were Soviet spies is absurd. I am removing this list. Ruy Lopez 17:51, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
Complete removal of the list is wholly inappropriate; if you have names which you think are listed in error, by all means lets look into them, but to simply remove the entire list seems to me to be more motivated by ideology than research. Many of these people are actually named (i.e. names spelled out, not cover-names) in Venona messages (flipping through a few messages, I see Allen Wardwell, Attwood, F. W. Russell, Magdorf (sic), Kramer, Perlo, Flato, Glasser, Fitzgerald - and that's in only 10 messages or so) - although I should caution that some of these are not named as sources, but as e.g. contacts, bosses of sources, etc. Others are given in reputable works on the Venona traffic (e.g. West's book); e.g. the first name on the list, John Abt, is included in the Glossary of Soviet Covernames which is included in West's book as an appendix (alas, the list is organized alphabetically by cover-name, so I can't look them all up quickly); Abt was AMT. Noel (talk) 19:09, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
"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." So it is being cited as fact in an encyclopedia article that Harry Magdoff, IF Stone, Harry Dexter White and so forth are Soviet spies. This is ridiculous. Your solution is that with little or no evidence, Nobs can accuse whoever he wants of being a spy, and this has to stay, unless I present evidence dis-proving them of being one (I'm not sure how that works), where we'll then "look into" it. I don't think so. As far as Nobs's "research" as you term it - Google has four hits for "magdoff and kant and venona". One hit is Wikipedia. One is a white supremacist site. One is a red-under-every-bed John Birch type site similar to Nobs. This nonsense clearly does not belong here. Ruy Lopez 19:43, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
And of course Jnc is completely correct, to accuse Harry Magdoff, IF Stone and Harry Dexter White of being Soviet spies is "research" while saying it's nonsense is "motivated by ideology". Clearly Nobs nor Jnc are motivated by ideology, obviously. Ruy Lopez 19:47, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
First, as I have noted elsewhere, your use of the term "spies" is loose and imprecise; the NKVD carefully distinguished between "agents" (someone who had a formal relationship with the NKVD, sometimes involving money), and "sources", a term which covered a wide range of people, some of whom might just be gossips, not witting helpers.
Second, I never used the word "research" in connection with Nobs (whom I never mentioned; I don't need to rely on his work); I used it in connection with you. And I used the word "research" in a generic sense; i.e. looking for data - something your reference to Google indicates you also are doing.
Third, I also didn't say this has to stay, unless [you] present evidence dis-proving them of being one. What I said was if you have names which you think are listed in error, by all means lets look into them, by which I meant "let's see what evidence there is that they were described in Venona traffic", i.e. I was not asking you to "prove a negative". But simply removing the whole list, when many of them are people whose names are amply documented in numerous secondary sources as having been sources of information to the Soviet intelligence system, is just completely unreasonable.
Yes, we could go through secondary sources about Venona messages (such as Nigel West, Venona: The Greatest Secret of the Cold War (HarperCollins, London, 1999)) and provide a footnoted reference to them for every last name in the list. However, I'm more interested in working on adding content to articles we either don't have, or are woefully short (e.g. RED (cipher), which I've yet to get back to) than in such essentially pointless work - which, to judge from your comments at Talk:Harry Magdoff, wouldn't satisfy you anyway. Noel (talk) 21:53, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
Oh, if anyone does want to undertake that project, I just ran across Cover Name, Cryptonym, CPUSA Party Name, Pseudonym, and Real Name Index - A Research Historian's Working Reference, which is a searchable file that one can use to cross-reference the names from the list with cover-names, which one can then look in the appendixes of West (the index in that book only lists references in the main text, not in the appendixes). Noel (talk) 22:06, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
Excellent resource, and from here John Earl Haynes you can access the Gorsky Memo too. Between those two resources, you have pretty much the entire list (link is available on the main page). Also, that Haynes list is updated frequently, and there are changes on that list from the Appendix's in Haynes and Klehr's 1999 Venona book, meaning additional identifications have been made since publication. nobs 22:18, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Note to — Matt Crypto, in light of the present arguement, I temporarily rescind my earlier statement and am in agreement with Noel until these matters are resolved. Thank you. nobs 20:06, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

I've been lurking during this dispute thinking about this issue, and I have to finally say I'm not convinced about this list. Lots of people were mentioned in Venona, and to single these particular people out implies or just outright says to the reader something about these people. If they are just mentioned in Venona, why single them out to list here? If you are saying all these people are operatives, I don't think the facts support that. Gamaliel 18:47, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

The list as it exists, is far from complete. 179 have been confirmed to have covert contacts with Soviet espionage agents. There are about 134 on the list as it stands. This list has essentially every identified employee of the United States Govenrnment who had covert contact with Soviet intelligence operatives. The list has some names of civilian employees of government defense contrators, but is not complete there. It contains names of prominent journalists, however that may be incomplete. A few ordinary civilians outside government, outside defence contractors, and outside media are also named, mostly in connection with atomic espionage ring. There are a few names that occur in Venona traffic who were not engaged in espionage activity, Stephen Attwood, for example. His name does not appear. Any names that do appear, there is ample evidence, sources, and citations available, beginning with source material derived from researchers empowered by statue law to render findings. nobs 19:04, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
Note on recent additions: I would have preferred to check out Haynes and Klehr's citation on a case by case basis as was previously being done, to check thier sourcing and look for other corroborating materials, however due to recent vandalism to the main article page all additional names from Haynes and Klehr's VENONA; Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, Yale University Press, 1999, Appendix A, YUP Web site information on the book with the exception of three, has been included. nobs 21:22, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
Let's take IF Stone as an example. Ruy Lopez disagrees with his presence on the list, the Stone article states flat out that he was not an operative. So why is he on the list? Gamaliel 19:09, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
The Oleg Kalugin citation in the text of the I.F. Stone article is the corroboration necessary. No question he was mentioned in the Venona project materials, and also appears in the FBI's Venona file. All properly sourced. nobs 20:54, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
So he was mentioned, so what? So were perhaps thousands of people. What is the point of having a list of people mentioned when we can just link to the complete one on the internet? Gamaliel 20:57, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
This is a list of persons who had covert relationships with Soviet intelligence, not just a wholesale list of all names mentioned. There were "unwitting" agents, persons who information was gathered from by a person close to them, without their knowledge, Stephen S. Attwood and Walter Lippmann for example; they are not "spies". And a list here links to a biographical page. Many of these people had very interesting lives, and there espionage activities are part of it. It is a unique learning tool, not just for historical relevence by how a large and successful espionage organization operates. Personally, I would prefer biographical sketches that include their espionage activity, not just the crap drawn from counterespionage files, because counterespionage is really an entirely different field from espionage. But if people still wish to argue that the world is flat, in spite of the all evidence, then so be it. nobs 21:22, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't think raising some perfectly legitimate questions about the content of this article deserves the kind of rude response as in your last sentence. Gamaliel 06:42, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

My apologies. I was metaphorically speaking (and the comment was not directed toward yourself, as you have definetely acted in good faith). There is a problem, however, in that objections have not been stated (by others) in a coherent manner. There is only one objection, as best I can determine, and that is the sourcing for the list. I hope this has been resolved with the footnotes placed in last night. I would be delighted to work with any serious sceptics, and will infact assist(1) in providing some of the best critical rebuttal material available (as you can see I did on the Talk:Harry_Dexter_White#Stuff_moved_from_talk_pages for User:John Kenney when he was called in to examine the resource methods and data). Again, my apologies and I wish to give you heartfelt thanks for your interest in this article. nobs 18:32, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
The problem is you list dozens of Americans as being mentioned in Venona and as being spies. Except they are not listed in Venona - ALES is listed in Venona, and thus Alger Hiss becomes a Soviet spy mentioned in Venona only if it is a fact that ALES is Hiss. Yes, some suspect ALES is Hiss, but that does not make a fact that it is so. Yet you list all of these people as confirmed Soviet spies, whereas doubt exists for many of them. And not just the ones with the asteriks - I mean Earl Browder, Rose Browder, William Browder, Eugene Dennis, Alger Hiss, Donald Hiss, Harry Magdoff, Julius Rosenberg, Ethel Rosenberg, IF Stone, and Harry Dexter White. I'm sure I and others would have a problem with the lesser known names if we studied it more. Not that you do - it's fairly clear you have no idea who Harry Magdoff is or IF Stone was, you are just throwing up the names of hundreds of people and saying it is a fact they were Soviet spies. Ruy Lopez 22:00, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
As the section in question states,
"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..." (source Haynes and Klehr, Venona, Appendix A, Source Venona: Americans and U.S. Residents Who Had Covert Relationships with Soviet Intelligence Agencies, pgs. 339-370).
Haynes and Klehr cite Venona, i.e., the Archives of the National Security Agency (custodian of documents for the Army Signals Intelligence Agency) as the source for Appendix A. Robert L. Benson of the NSA Archives Cryptological Museum uses this language'
"the UN conference (attended by KGB agent Harry Dexter White)." [2]
The Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy, authorized by statue to make an investigation into the use of secrecy in government published this finding in its final report,
"The complicity of Alger Hiss of the State Department seems settled. As does that of Harry Dexter White of the Treasury Department." (Moynihan Commssion on Government Secrecy, Appendix A, 7. The Cold War).
Now, we can go over all 171 names in Haynes & Klehr's Appendix A, case by case, if you so choose. But it appears (1) the question regarding "original research" will not hold up, and (2) the publications of the NSA's Archives & the final report of the Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy is what is being questioned. Can we agree upon that? nobs 02:52, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Full qualification of Venona project#List of Americans in Venona Papers is exstracted from Haynes and Klehr VENONA; Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, (Yale University Press 1999) and available here Talk:Conspiracy_allegations_about_Harry_Magdoff#Cberlet.27s_original_research. nobs 19:40, 30 July 2005 (UTC)


Note (1): Cold War Ghosts, Victor Navasky, The Nation 16 July 2001

Maybe a bit too much View?

The tacit decision to keep the translated messages secret carried a political and social price for the country. Debates over the extent of Soviet espionage... The whole paragraph is a bit too much interpretation and conclusion in my view. It tries to judge as to why the decision too keep it secret from a lot of people was the correct thing to do. Already the introduction alluding to a price already bear certain prejudice, because only a person aware of the decision could actually pay that price. In my view that whole paragraph should just be dropped --Ebralph 14:44, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Fair criticism; it does not seek to justify, excuse, or criticize. It is in the subhead ==Significance==, and seeks to simply do just that, explain the significance, which, one can assume, will spawn a debate over whether the decision was the correct decision or not. Also, the decision had big consequences. Also, the people who made the decision were neither elected legislators nor political appointees in the executive branch. They were career military and FBI. The language is simply an attempt to bring these facts out in the open, then allow public discussion whereever appropriate. nobs 17:35, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
In that case it might be better to say it more explicit and less justifying - at least that is the feel that passage makes on me. Debates over the extent of Soviet espionage in the United States were polarized in the dearth of reliable information then in the public domain. Anti-Communists suspected that some spies—perhaps including a few who were known to the US Government—remained at large. Those who criticized the government's loyalty campaign as an overreaction, on the other hand, wondered if some defendants were being scapegoated; is something which is pretty much value-free. What follows is guessing as to what people at the time sensed and that can be difficult to argument for. I would also suggest to either reformulate or drop the following sentence: Given the dangerous international situation and what was known by the government at that time, however, continued secrecy was not illogical. It might be ok to say that the government considered the international situation dangerous, but far more divsive is the claim to say that is *was* dangerous. The same thing goes for the last sentence in the paragraph. I wouldn't say that war with the Soviet Union was a possiblity but maybe more that the decision makers considered it a real possibility. That way one does not have to defend a view of that situation but still makes the reasons why people decided as they did understandable. I would also suggest to point out the fact more explicitly, that the decisions were made by career people, not elected legislators, etc. It clarifies the motivation of the author and other people to debate the point. --Ebralph 10:49, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
That's all true and a well reasoned presentation of the facts. As to "Given the dangerous international situation and what was known by the government at that time, however, continued secrecy was not illogical", I am working right now, and for the next day or two, on a description of the dangerous situation, which is actually intended for another article (I have shied away from it for some time, cause a discription of China is gonna be a Pandora's Box of POV's); so to get into the details of the international situation in 1949-1950 may not be appropriate for this page, other than a passing reference. The business of career bureaucrats, however, is extrememly important and does need to be clarified in the main article. nobs 16:45, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
I would agree that the whole issue would provide a article in itself. There is an article on the Red Scare which is dedicated to the hysteria associated with the subject. As you can imagine it has become a battle ground over how much hysteria and truth was actually there. That might also provide a useful link in that connection. --Ebralph 23:43, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
The narrative overview of the dangerous situation is at McCarthyism#Tensions_of_the_times. nobs 01:15, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Yikes! Let's not go ballistic

Folks, folks, folks. There is a middle path. Haynes and Klehr have a list, but I do not think it is fair to list all of the people in that list as confirmed Soviet spies. The terms being bandied about include "covert relationships with Soviet intelligence." but that is being used to imply that people were confirmed operatives or agents. I don't think that is fair. Language is important. At the same time, folks just can't claim that Haynes and Klehr don't exist, or that Romerstein doesn't count as a source. Yet is it fair to assert that these researchers have a bias. But then most of us do, or we would not be editing these pages. Can we please have a discussion over terminology and lists and names, and disputed analysis that can extend to the use of the Venona material and unredacted FBI & other U.S> government agency files on other pages. This is all getting way out of hand.--Cberlet 21:34, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

If the path now is to question the veracity of Venona materials themselves, I would suggest (1) the Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy Report (link available from the article, and will be happy to direct you to relevent portions), and (2) Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Secrecy: The American Experience, before you get to committed to a POV. nobs 21:58, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
I do not question the fact that the Venona materials exist. I question the highly POV interpretation (extrapolations and interpolations, really) of certain authors. Don't make problems when none exist.--Cberlet 22:21, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
The veracity of the Venona transcripts has not yet been questioned. Meaning the actual decoded transcripts of messages, not notes jotted afterward by Americans on the margin of these transcripts, or appended (by Americans) as footnotes and whatnot.
The title of this section said "List of Americans" then right after that it said some of these people were not Americans...please do some internal consistency for this. The Venona transcripts mention codenames, any spying activity says "Agent TOVARISCH copied the secret documents for us", they do not say "Joe Smith from Columbus, Ohio copied secret documents for us". Thus if any list appears it should be of code names, not people suspected of being those code names. You can not just go around, put up a list of dozens of people and say they're all spies without proof. Ruy Lopez 06:11, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
This is the second time you say that you say that the transcripts mention codenames, not real people. If you look at the discussion further up, you will find that others say that for several there is a reasonable amount of evidence as to who are behind the codenames. If you have specific people, why don't you list them? The tag at the top is enough to warn anybody to the specifics and we can discuss the other in detail as much as you like.
The ones you have mentioned so far didn't seem to fit in with this fact. What you seem to imply is that any list created by an American is doubtful. In that case you can't be helped because that is no working basis - that is prejudice. I'm reverting the changes you made by taking out the list of names. I take the point with the title and will put that back in.
As a suggestion: it might be a good idea to seperate the names into several categories thereby making it more obvious which ones are reasonably well established, which are not corroborated, etc. Obviously just being mentioned in a transcript is not enough to be called spy and of course we should make sure that nobody lands on a list which implies as much. On the other hand we should list those which were informants - unwittingly or not. --Ebralph 10:20, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

The list was put back, but the suggestions above by Ebralph seem reasonable. I have rewritten the list intro for accuracy and NPOV. That should make things easier. The category "Soviet spies" seems way over the top, but I did not cut it. It seems not accurate and POV, however.--Cberlet 11:26, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

nobs, your edits are POV and not accurate. The category Soviet Spies includes the name Harry Magdoff. Yet you are in the middle of an editing debate over that very question on a Magdoff page, where the debate is over that very question.--Cberlet 19:29, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't quite agree with you on Harry Magdoff. Looking on the Talk:Harry_Magdoff#original_research talk page of him, it seems quite clear that there is enough peer reviewed material to support what was said about him. --Ebralph 13:22, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
I have refuted several of the claims being made. In one case there is a claim that the U.S. government named Magdoff as a spy, when in fact it turned out to be a history produced by one agency that was only citing the claim of Elizabeth Bentley.[[Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, A Counterintelligence Reader, vol. 3, chap. 1, p. 31. (Official History of Counterintelligence Operations in the United States)[[3]] Another document that was claimed to "corroborate" that Magdoff was "complicit" in espionage tunred out not to indicate that at all. See: [[4]].
Note: See Talk:Harry_Magdoff#original_research in response to concerted vandalism that oocurred regarding discussion of Magdoff. nobs 19:51, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Fine tuning

We have made tremendous progress. Thanks to everyone for really stretching to be constructive.

This phrase still leaves the wrong impression:

"The decrypts include code names for 349 individuals who had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence. It is likely that there were more than 349 participants in Soviet... "

I know that some of you think the list is of "Soviet spies." That is what the current phrasing implies to the average reader. Folks who have spent a long time reading primary and secondary material about intelligence, counterintelligence, and spying might--might--figure out that the list is really just the names that appeared in the unredacted KGB and other Soviet files. But for most people there needs to be a clarification as to what the list really represents. The line that contines "349 participants in Soviet..." cements the contested claim that all 349 were witting participants in espionage.

This paragraph needs to be made NPOV, accurate and helpful to the average reader.--Cberlet 12:56, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Here is the source phrase it was borrowed from from Haynes & Klehr:
"This annotated list of 349 names includes U.S. citizens, noncitizen immigrants, and permanent residents of the United States who had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence that is confirmed in the Venona traffic."
Note: APPENDIX C Foreigners Temporarily in the United States Who Had Covert Relationships with Soviet Intelligence Agencies
[5] is "foreigners", hence names drawn from Appendix A & D are properly qualified "Americans". nobs 02:29, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
More specifically, the number or 349 is the number of individual persons, either identified by "true name", or unidentified (i.e. only a codename is available), is the total number of persons (i.e. human beings, not corporate entities, etc.) who, as Haynes & Klehr (and others) have identified as "had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence that is confirmed in the Venona traffic." Having had contact with Soviet intelligence, by this definition, is a "covert relationship". Some of these individuals, "having had contact", as confirmed in the Venona transcripts, lack evidence of their recruitment into the espionage service of the Soviet Union. These individuals are indentified in Appendix D. I refer to them as "uncorroborated"; Haynes & Klehr refer to them as "potential sources", or "potential recruits", or "attempted recruitment", always with the qualifier that a lack of evidence exists as to their recruitment having been accomplished. They are marked in the wiki article with an (*) as "uncorroborated". There are, I believe only three names in the wiki list from Addendix D, only because they are required links to other biographical pages, and the appropriate disclaimers exist as per these individuals (J. Robert Oppenheimer, for example, appears in Haynes & Klehr's Appendix D, yet does not appear on this articles list. This subject, I presume, will take a few years to examine completely). Of the 349 identified individuals, 178 are yet to be identified by other than codename. The remaining 171, are divided between Appendix's A & D, less the "Foreigners" in Appendix C. Does this answer the question? nobs 16:57, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Cberlet's claims

Cberlet: Your argument is not with me; it is with

No, my problem is a substantial disagreement with you over how you represent the actual quotes and content from these sources. You bury these talk pages with source material, but when I go to the underlying sources, I draw different conslusions than you, and feel that the way you present the material is heavily POV. That's what we need to keep talking about.--Cberlet 20:44, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Ok, we all agree that we don't want to draw any conclusions here. We are not doing research. The touchstone question is: do the mentioned sources say Harry Magdoff was an agent, spy or something else? In writing? I'll admit that I haven't read them, so I can't say - I'm taking it on trust, that the sources do claim that. On the other hand the question to Cberlet is also: is there an article, book, etc. calling into question the accusation? Do you have valid sources that refute the claim?
Still, to reiterate my former suggestion to get the Tag away: Let's just define something like 3-5 categories (Agent, Source, unwitting Source, etc.) describing the difference at the head of every category and then list the people. For those sources which are contentious, let us mark them as such, link to the page of the person and portrait the two positions. That is surely the most NPOV way to the whole thing. --Ebralph 21:16, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Cberlet: Please clarify, I beleive I have read two instances where you acknowledged the validity of the underlying evidence. As to "POV" I am somewhat confused; as stated above it is a broad charge, yet no citation of instance (or instances), and they may not be available because of extensive editing (and in some instances, questionable editing, i.e. vandalism). nobs 21:22, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Cberlet: As to this insertion from Schrecker: "documents from more accessible sources", could you qualify (1) what this vague reference refers to, and (2) why it should be included here. Thank you. (Please note, I requested Cberlet's comment before making a wholesale edit. Thank you.) nobs 21:51, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Second question on Schrecker, there are two reference works listed, yet only one quote. Is there a reason for this. Also, please note, there is a much broader political implication vis-a-vis the release of the Venona transcripts, regarding the use of government secrecy, as discussed in the Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy Report. I would suggest partisan arguements be held to minimum, and can be properly discussed elsewhere. And there is a large interest in Venona among a younger generation of cryptographers, who have little interest in or understanding of it's historical significance, let alone political implications for persons living or dead. nobs 22:30, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Response to nobs. I do not have to explain Schrecker, I just have to quote her accurately. Both of her books talk about the hysteria, false accusations, and guilt by association smears common the the McCarthy Era. They call into question the claims of people who are defending the McCarthy Era. Partisan arguments are at the ehart of this debate. The goal is to sort out what is a fair and accurate summary of the secondary sources and what they claim on both sides. In my opinion you consistenty misrepresent the claims of the underlying documents that you cite endlessly over and over rather than actually answering questions that have a specific focus. I am just explaining why I keep asking the same questions. I do not believe you are answering my questions. It is very, very, very frustrating. If I am not making my questions clear enough, I apologize. I thought the question I asked at [[7]] was very clear. I think it would be useful if you suggested an alternate wording that responds in some constructive, concrete way to my concerns.--Cberlet 01:53, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
OK, I beleive I understand the question now; I wasn't sure if it was even my language to begin with because of the extensive editing; I will only be available for another 30 minutes or so tonite. Will look at the problem over nite, and I do have some tiresome comments of my own I would like to make. So if we can begin constructively, we may work out some understanding. Be happy to work to a solution. It's not like we have to have this completed tomorrow. (Moynihan's book says it took a generation to get the documents out, and it proboably will take another generation to understand it's meaning. Perhaps we can knock off a decade or two). Thank you. nobs 02:16, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
Cberlet: I won't presume to rush you through the mass of material I laid on you from the Moynihan Commission & Moynihan's book. I am appreciative you are taking the time to invesitigate and won't rush you. As you may see, there are much broader questions then the partisan bickering of recycled arguments from 1948. In reading through your resume and publications, one thing leaped out at me, to which, if you are interested in this project for the longhaul, we may seek common ground. This is regarding the evident subversion of President Roosevelt's Four Freedoms to which the Venona materials attest. Please let me know if you would be interested in working in that direction. Thank you. nobs 01:41, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Relevent portions of Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy placed here for purposes of Mediation.

nobs 02:11, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Simple question - Simple Answer

Please just answer the question. I have been researching and writing about government intelligence abuse, surveillance, and covert action for over 30 years, including bylines in the New York Times and Boston Globe. Let me repeat the qustion:

This phrase still leaves the wrong impression:
"The decrypts include code names for 349 individuals who had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence. It is likely that there were more than 349 participants in Soviet... "
I think it would be useful if you suggested an alternate wording that responds in some constructive, concrete way to my concerns....

It is a simple question. Please do not write me a long essay, or point me to a report. I have read all that you have linked to and more. Please just answer the question by writing a new version of the paragraph that I think is misleading. --Cberlet 14:02, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

I know this isn't directed at me, but I can't see what is misleading. These people had some sort of covert relationship with Soviet intelligence, otherwise they wouldn't have shown up in the transscripts, right? Could you specify misleading more? --Ebralph 16:24, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
Many people were named in these messages who were not covert agents. The list of people named runs into the thousands and includes, among others, Harry Truman. Gamaliel 17:04, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
In response to Gamaliel: the 349 figure does not count persons named where a "covert relationship" is unconfirmed, i.e. "unwitting" (Stephen S. Attwood, Walter Lippmann, for example). An additional 21 persons were approached, however there is yet to be uncovered evidence as to their recruitment being completed, in either Soviet Archives, or further counterintelligence work. 3 persons of those 21 are included in the list, and cited with an (*), properly sourced and qualified as "uncorroborated" as to recruitment having been consumated. Those 3 individuals do not belong in Category:Soviet spies, based upon presumption of innocence. Simply stated, the 349 figure are confirmed covert relationships, either identified or unidentified; it is not a bulk number of names & code names.nobs 18:10, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
The article does not make entirely clear that the "349" is a subset of the code names. Mirror Vax 18:48, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
Also, the article should not flatly state that the 349 "had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence", since this is disputed. Statements like that should be prefaced by a source attribution, e.g. "According to research by..." Mirror Vax 18:57, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
The article says,
Historians John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr have counted 171 U.S. citizens, noncitizen immigrants, and permanent residents of the United States by true name and 178 known only by a cover name based upon the Venona transcript materials. The persons identified represent only a partial list of persons used as information sources by the KGB, and most are listed below.(3)
and properly footnoted to
Note (3): John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, Appendix A, Source Venona: Americans and U.S. Residents
and previously read,
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. The persons identified represent only a partial list and many are listed below. Twenty-one persons targeted for recruitment remain uncorroborated as to it being accomplished. These individuals are marked with an asterisk (*). [8]
until the page had been vandalized, which I specifically stated a good faith request that it not be done so. I will rewrite and restore text to meet all concerns if counterproposed language is not forthcoming. Thanks you all, so much. nobs 19:39, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

In response to Cberlet: I disagree as to clarity or meaning; however, what would you counterpropose? Thank you. nobs 18:12, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

"The decrypts include code names for 349 individuals for whom the Soviet intelligence services assigned code names, and for whom some researchers have assigned an identity. It is not clear that all of these people were aware that information from them was being passed to the KGB, although in some cases this appears probable. Based on the documents decrypted it is likely that there were hundreds of participants in Soviet... "--Cberlet 02:11, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Why don't you just respond to my proposal instead of repeatedly pasting piles of cites?

Sources for "349"

Published sources citing 349 who had covert relationships

All cite 349 Americans who had covert relationships with Soviet intelligence, i.e. "confirmed". Could bring up a few published sources if necessary.

I repeat the same question--again

Here is my proposed text. How would you edit it?--Cberlet 02:11, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

"The decrypts include code names for 349 individuals for whom the Soviet intelligence services assigned code names, and for whom some researchers have assigned an identity. It is not clear that all of these people were aware that information from them was being passed to the KGB, although in some cases this appears probable. Based on the documents decrypted it is likely that there were hundreds of participants in Soviet... "--Cberlet 02:11, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Two questions: (1) what is the source for "it is not clear"; the second question I will reserve. Thank you. nobs 18:17, 4 August 2005 (UTC)


Some points of clarity are in order. The 349 codenames are persons who "had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence that is confirmed in the Venona traffic" drawn from Haynes & Klehr Venona Appendix A, i.e. confirmed "witting" consensual relationships. Appendix B consists of evidence of a covert relationship of 139 persons from sources otherthan Venona. Appendix D consists of candidates for recruitment, where evidence of consensual contact took place, but remains uncorroborated as to the recruitment being consumated. Lets refer to them this way,

  • Appendix A: known operatives
  • Appendix B: known operatives from evidence outside Venona
  • Appendix D: uncorroborated

There is no wiggle room for "unwitting" within 349 identified in Appendix A, or the 139 identified outside Venona (Appendix B).

Of the 349 identified in Appendix A, 171 have been identifed by true name. 178 are identified only by codename. Of the 178 confirmed witting consensual codenames, it is known that some codenames were changed from time to time. So that of the 178 unidentifed codenames, some may be unknown codenames for persons already identifed in Appendix A, Appendix B, or Appendix D.

  • If one of the 178 unidentified codenames is later found to match a true name already in Appendix A, it is simply more evidence.
  • If one of the 178 unidentified codenames is found to match a true name already in Appendix B, that person is moved out of the otherthan category and placed within known witting contacts who had a covert relationship with Soviet intelligence as confirmed in the Venona materials.
  • If one of the 178 unidentified codenames is found to match a true name already in Appendix D, that is corroborative evidence that confirms a covert relationship took place, i.e. their recruitment was consumated.

Hence, among the figure of 178 unidentifed codenames of known, confirmed, witting, consenual covert relationships, some people may actually be counted twice, so both the actual numbers of 349 known covert relationships, and 178 unidentified codenames, may actually be lower. nobs 20:52, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

See also Talk:Harry_Magdoff#Shooting_down_Navasky. nobs 23:32, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Lets find resolve the 349 Names issue

I would like to bring the issue with the names to a conclusion, if we can. My personal feeling is that Nobs has portrayed very well why these names are not just a mass list but a verified list from peer reviewed material. I have already expressed this view, but I would like to find a way not to loose all the questions and controvery that were brought up here. Some of these questions and answers were very interesting and educating. My suggestion therefore would be to create an article - How the names of the VENONA Papers were identified - and discuss all those things and link to it from this page with a text saying something to the fact that some scholars dissent on the final conclusions. --Ebralph 21:59, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

That is a very interesting proposal. I would suggest it gets well into the suject of cryptography and counterintelligence, and the marraige of those two. Such a study may not be limited to just Venona, but have some very modern day applications. nobs 01:05, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Notes on Soviet methods

Some understanding of structure of Soviet intelligence operations may be in order
(see Talk:History_of_Soviet_espionage_in_the_United_States#Outline). In any given country, there are essentially two twin Soviet intelligence agencies operating, KGB and GRU, each under its own Rezident, analgous to CIA Station Chief. Both KGB & GRU then likewise have twin Illegal organizations, each under its own Illegal Rezident. The legal apparatuses are made up of legal persons, i.e., Soviet operatives resident on valid visas, and even registered under the FARA Act (Foreign Agents Registration Act). The Illegal apparatuses are created essentially if a break in diplomatic relations occurs, they don't have to start over, they have an organization in place. These persons opperate under "deep cover", they are what we describe today as "sleepers", remember there was a long period of training and cooperation between Soviet intelligence agencies and various Islamic radical groups during the Cold War were this method and structure was taught to various Islamic terrorists groups.

The Illegal appartatus operatives have one primary function, avoid detection. They may, however, be called upon from time to time, to engage in some active operation that for some reason the legal Rezidenturas are not fit to handle. And various elements of the Illegal apparatus are not always in "sleeper mode", i.e., some may still canvas for targets, and make recruitment etc, into their Illegal operation. Also, the Illegals can be made up of both foreign nationals and legal residents of the country they are operating in.

What makes the Communist operation so complex from 1921 to sometime in the late 1940s is, in addition to these four basic Soviet operations, the CPUSA functioned the same way, that is, it had its own twin network of Illegals, or underground secret apparatus, that was closely analagous to both KGB & GRU Illegal apparatuses. And in most cases, these Americans worked directly for the Legal KGB & GRU Rezidenturas. As well as, some individuals floated back and forth between various apparatuses. Add to that, during wartime, GRU also had a minute "GRU Naval" Rezidentura.

Please be patient, I know this probably adds more confusion than clarity, but for those interested, stay tuned. nobs 20:24, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Astronishing Bias

You guys rely way too much on Klehr and Haynes -- and Moynahan for that matter -- all of whom treat the VENONA transcripts as if they were the unvarnished truth handed down from God. Klehr and Haynes have been grinding the same axe for many years and refuse to acknowledge any of the many problems with the Venona papers. Can anyone trace the provenance of even one message? Of course not. How did the orignal material reach the fellow who encoded it and sent it to Moscow? No one knows. Was it collected from one source or many sources, and who were they? How accurate was it in the first place? Were there translation problems, or any problems at all, anywhere along the chain from intial collection to final transmission? Were the Agents under pressure from Moscow to produce? One would assume so, and if so, what were the consequences for those agents who did not produce? Would it be too far-fetched to assume an agent might elaborate a bit to make himself look good to his bosses? And if one did or did not, how would anyone in the Venona know for certain?

Raw intelligence reports are notoriously unreliable. I've interview FBI agents from that period who openly told me that under pressure from Hoover to produce their monthly quota of Communist Party informers, an impossible task to maintain, they resorted to picking names out of phone books and the newspapers and maintained them as sources by assigning information garnered from taps and bugs to these made-up sources. If FBI agents, in the face of pressure from above, resorted to such ruses, what are the odds the other side, with far worse consequences awaiting unproductive agents, did not do the same?

Then there is the problem of the decoding itself. We know that the FBI worked closely with the cryptanalysts, supplying surmise at points (Ales as "probably Hiss; also the codenamed agent, identified as Morton Sobel, who was said to have a wooden leg. The problem here being that Mort doesn't have a wooden leg. I know Mort. I've seen both his legs, and both are his own). Where else did the FBI provide material? How often were they wrong? We don't know because they won't say, or even reveal the extent of FBI influence on the final product. If the FBI's influence was undue in any fashion then all we would have in those instances is not confirmation, but the FBI confirming itself.

The notion that VENONA reveals the names of 349 Americans working as Soviet espionage agents is just not true, nor can be it be sustained by the record, no matter what Klehr and Haynes assert. If you want to do a fair and accurate job you should at least look to the critics, and those who take a more measured approach. For a start try reading "Venona and Alger Hiss," by John Lowenthal. Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 15, Autumn 2000, Number 3. I believe you'll find food for thought there. --Griffin Fariello67.120.98.144 07:47, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Hi Griffin, we've covered this ground already in the last few days and I would appreciate if you took the time to read the other posts on this page before getting into this. I've reverted your changes but don't understand it as an attempt to remove your view. It's been difficult enough to reach the current state as it is. Please list the specific name, source which reasons that the person was not an agent and then lets try to get those into the pages as they are. The second set of changes were unconstructive to the extreme. --Ebralph 14:19, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
Note to Griffin: I would be delighted to have a dialogue; as you may not be aware, there is a problem of persistent vandalism to various articles. I will assume good faith, and I humbly request you give a few days for me to catch up on some maintainence chores. Let declare, this is not an attempt at a wholesale hatchet job, it is simply an effort to bring out various open source materials in their proper context. All issues I propose be dealt with fairly. I note your copyright 1992 book is pre-Venona release, so I will need time if you will permit, to understand and place those materials likewise in a proper context.
So with your cooperation, I extend the invitation to collaborate. All appropriate disclaimers can be placed where necessary. Thank you so much. nobs 18:30, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
P.S.: I thought "wooden leg" was codeword for "drinks too much". nobs 17:52, 11 August 2005 (UTC)


Due to the interst in this article and discussion of persons named etc., please see Talk:Significance of Venona. I propose, for now, removing names from the text of this article of persons identified in the Venona transcripts with the exception of the List of Americans named in Venona. This would entail I beleive removing two paragraphs from the "Significance" subhead relating to Philby, Fuchs & few others, and removing the entire "Hiss" subhead and section. The new article Significance of Venona, is essentially created from these paragraphs. Also, Anon who signed his name Mr. Griffin Fariello, contributions to the main article which were reverted have been retrieved and placed on the Talk page for discussion. nobs 20:36, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Note to Cberlet: There is a good faith effort underway to depoliticize the controversies around release of Venona materials and return this wiki article page to the practicianers of the cryptographic arts. All names of persons referred to in Venona transcripts have been removed from this main page article, and the two sections Significance of Venona, and List of Americans in the Venona papers have been spun off into separate articles. Someone forgot to remove the dispute tag on this page. I would request that you remove the dissenting opinion Navasky material from this page to where you may deem it more appropriate (I hope we cooperate and get a feel for the structural contents of where all this material will be placed without an unneccessary edit war. Feel free to contact me with you sentiments once you have caught up on what has transpired over the past two weeks). As always, I remain trustfully dedicated to the relentless pursuit of truth, justice, & a persons God-given right to believe whatever lies they so choose. Thank you. nobs 17:49, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Alright nobs, you got me.

Although I still cannot see how you guys are going to get from A to Z in this fashion -- particularly with the resources and references you appear to be so heavily relying upon, this indeed is Wikipedia, a cooperative effort, as you say. I'm not quite sure how any other voices get into this mix, but I'll be putting my two cents in.

Like now:

Why there is an insistence on listing the names I do not understand at all. One should consider the moral responsibility of the act. It is impossible, at this late date, when we have no clear idea how and why each and every one of those names got into the files, to determine who actually cooperated with the Soviets and who didn't, or if they did to what extent, or how knowingly. Thus, to list these names, and to claim they all were soviet agents essentially becomes the same game that was played during the Red Scare when thousands of Americans found their names smeared on one blacklist or another and were forced into the impossible task of trying to prove their innocence. That most of those listed are quite likely dead by now saves you from a lawsuit, but I do not believe it relieves you (and here I use the editorial you) of the heavy burden of proof, and of basic decency. The work of Klehr and Haynes is not well thought of outside right-wing circles, and their insistence on these names has not gained them any respect. It is poor history, to put it mildly, and to further their efforts in this regard does Wikipedia no credit. To smear the memory of a dead man is no morally different than to smear that of the living. How can you and the other editors ever be sure you are not doing just that?--Grif Fariello67.120.98.144 07:40, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Thank you Grif. I don't suppose we can discuss everything that needs to be discussed in just a few postings, and what you specifically cite is valid and needs discussion. Somewhere either in the Moynihan Report or Moynihan's book it says it took a generation to get the documents out and probably will take another generation to understand its meaning. I can't possibly seek to justify everything here in this short posting, and there are numerous issues to be considered. There are the conclusions regarding government secrecy in the Moynihan Report, there is the historical significance, the cryptographical & espionage lessons to be learned, there is the matter of completing well rounded biographical scetches, very importantly as you stated the moral questions. This work needs to be done, and this is merely the starting point. Things can be moved, merged, checked, rechecked, analyized and so on for accuracy. This is a review, in many respects, of FBI & NSA's work over a 40 year period. For now, I think we've set a good tone, and I very much hope to continue a cooperative effort & discussion. Thank you. nobs 20:00, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

moving the names

187 names, taking up 187 lines of alleged spies are in this article. On Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Significance of Venona, TJive and others have said this article is too long. So I have moved the list of names to List of American names and code names in VENONA. Having 187 people listed one to a line in this 559 line article is quite silly. Thus, as they moved the discussion of the significance to to its own article, so I am moving the names from this section. Ruy Lopez 16:24, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

That makes sense. — Matt Crypto 16:46, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Are you guys making changes just to annoy each other? Just asking. Mirror Vax 17:02, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

I suggest we wait til the VfD on Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Significance of Venona expires. nobs 18:11, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

You moved the section you wanted out, I moved the section I wanted out. This article was approx. 3,848 words (559 lines) before I moved it out. The new article has 187 entries (one to a line) and approx. 1734 words. If this is the time to move out sections, we should move them both out, and then see what happens. And of course, it is within your power to VFD the new article. Ruy Lopez 18:22, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

I am shocked at User:Nobs01's vandalism. He moved[9] List of American names and code names in VENONA to the nonsensical List of Americans in Venona Papewr and then removed the link to the page. I am beside myself in shock at his blatant vandalism. Ruy Lopez 19:18, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Look, I don't have any views on your dispute, but it's quite plain that the list of names is better stored in a separate list article, as most long lists are on Wikipedia. So can we just leave them at List of American names and code names in VENONA and stop the edit warring? Cheers. — Matt Crypto 23:12, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Thank you Matt. The problem (1) is the title of that article, it is unqualified to begin with because it contains no code names. And there are other issues invloved, (2) the lack of good faith editing on the part of User:Ruy Lopez. I would very much like to give this page back to the crpytographers, for their use, but you may not be aware of what Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said "it may take a generation to understand [Venona project's] meaning". I've outlined a proposal below to cut sometime off that. nobs 23:33, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Your second reason I reject outright; on Wikipedia we don't just undo a good change simply because we don't get on with someone or think they're doing it in bad faith. Your first reason also makes little sense; the best remedy is move the list to a new name, not to undo the spinning out of the list in the first place. — Matt Crypto 11:40, 12 August 2005 (UTC)