Cold War Spy Testimony Revealed
The atomic secrets investigation that led to the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953 was at once the most infamous and celebrated spy case of the Cold War. Today the National Archives added substantially to the public history of the case with the release of hundreds of more pages of grand jury testimony that had been secret for more than 50 years. (Read through it here.)
Just before the release, Sam Roberts of the New York Times reported that he had interviewed the Rosenbergs' co-defendant, Morton Sobell, who for the first time admitted that he had been a Soviet spy. Sobell, who served nearly 19 years in prison, has always maintained his innocence.
Sobell, in the interview, implicated Julius Rosenberg in a conspiracy that delivered to the Soviets vital classified military information and what the American government claimed was the secret to the atomic bomb.
Historians are still poring over the newly released testimony, but MSNBC reports that the transcripts may cast doubt on how much Ethel Rosenberg participated in her husband's activities. Although Ethel's sister-in-law, Ruth Greenglass, testified in an open trial that Ethel had typed her husband's communications with Soviet handlers, Greenglass' grand jury testimony (PDF) indicates that Greenglass may have passed the information in her own longhand.
By The Editors |
September 11, 2008; 5:25 PM ET
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