Sunday, July 29, 2012

Alger Hiss and the Obama Administration’s Blindspot Toward The Islamist Threat


by Barry Rubin

When Andrew McCarthy drew a parallel between the treatment of State Department official (and Soviet spy) Alger Hiss in the 1940s and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin Weiner today it reminded me of an interesting discovery from my own research, as documented in my history of the State Department, Secrets of State. As Andrew McCarthy notes, after Hiss was accused of being a Soviet spy and convicted of perjury, Secretary of State Dean Acheson–a friend and colleague in his law firm of Hiss’s brother–defended the accused spy.

This doesn’t mean that Huma Abedin Weiner–whose father, mother, and brother were very active in the Muslim Brotherhood and who herself worked for Brotherhood front groups–is guilty of any misbehavior. After all, Alger Hiss’s brother, Donald, was a respected lawyer who never did anything wrong either. A key influence in Alger’s life were the political views of his wife. And while Huma’s spouse, Anthony Weiner, has certain personal issues being a Muslim Brotherhood person isn’t one of them. On the other hand, though, Alger, unlike Huma–to continue the analogy–was never an official in a Communist front group.

Yet the Hiss case does offer us a lot of lessons for today.
After World War Two ended the State Department had to decide how to convert back to peacetime work. It did a thorough security review of 3000 employees to check for security risks and identified 285 people as possible problems. Most of them had either already quit; were forced to resign or encouraged to go elsewhere as soon as possible. A lot of them went to work for the United Nations.

Continue reading Alger Hiss, The “Loss” of China, and the Obama Administration’s Blindspot Toward The Islamist Threat

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, was published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand  Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media 

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