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Notes on Owen Lattimore

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Was Owen Lattimore a spy, secret agent, dupe, fool, or victim of Joe McCarthy. For many years Owen Lattimore was America's most visible expert on Central Asia. Lattimore was also suspected of being a Communist Agent. Most of his detractors suggested he was working for the Soviets. A good argument could be made that he was working for the Red Chinese. Lattimore appears to have been one of those old China hands who went "native" and saw the Red Chinese as the best hope of the Chinese People. However many people claim he was a victim of McCarthyism. One old CIA agent who had served in Central Asia swore to me Lattimore was a good guy. I don't buy it, I think Lattimore was working to further the interests of Red China. Whatever you call him he had a particular ax to grind.

Actually the more I dig the more convinced I am that he was serving as an agent of the Chinese Communists. It appears that the spy ring continues to this day and continues to subvert US foreign policy.

  • Johns Hopkins Magazine -- September 2000
  • We now know that Currie, Lattimore's intimate friend and patron at the White House, was a Soviet spy. Lattimore's own pro-Soviet outlook was clearly expressed in a memo he wrote to the executive director of the Institute for Pacific Relations, a think tank financed by the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations, which published his magazine: "For the USSR -- back their international policy in general, but without using their slogans and above all without giving them or anybody else the impression of subservience."

    On Currie's advice, Lattimore hired a KGB collaborator named Michael Greenberg as his assistant at Pacific Affairs, and then on his own initiative, Chen Han-shen, a Chinese spy, as his co-editor. Lattimore put his request for the co-editor through the channels of the Comintern. Yet, in the battle with McCarthy, Lattimore was the put-upon hero in the eyes of liberals and Democrats (with important exceptions like Arthur Schlesinger). http://www.salon.com/news/col/horo/1999/12/06/weisberg/index3.html

    Lattimore was leaking information to the Soviets while he was an advisor to Chiang Kai-shek and that the Soviets considered Lattimore to be "working for them". http://foia.fbi.gov/owenlatt/owenlatt1a.pdf

    Height: 5 foot 9 inches.
    Weight: 175 pounds at age 49.
    Build: medium.
    Hair: brown receding hairline, with bald spot. Moustache.
    Wore glasses.
    Smoked a pipe.

    Lattimore was banned by the American legion because of his politics. http://foia.fbi.gov/owenlatt/owenlatt1a.pdf

    Lattimore allowed US naval intelligence officer and Soviet Spy Lieutenant Andrew Roth to stay at his home.

    "Owen Lattimore saw I. F. Nikishov, the head of the most murderous camp system in the Gulag, as having “a trained and sensitive interest in art and music and also a deep sense of civic responsibility.”" Hoover Digest- 1999 no. 3

    Or -- to take another fellow traveler virtually at random -- we should keep in mind the valuable work of Owen Lattimore of Johns Hopkins University. Prof. Lattimore visited Kolyma in the summer of 1944, as an aide to the vice president of the United States, Henry Wallace. He wrote a glowing report on the camp and on its chief warden, Commandant Nikishov, for the National Geographic. Lattimore compared Kolyma to a combination of the Hudson's Bay Company and the TVA. The number of the influential American fellow travelers was, in fact, legion, and I can think of no moral principle that would justify our forgetting what they did and what they did it in aid of. Marxist Dreams and Soviet Realities

    "McCarthy also had very revealing information about the Amerasia case. This involved John Stewart Service, a foreign service officer who had been stationed in China, who was arrested for passing classified information to Philip Jaffe, the editor of Amerasia, a pro-Communist magazine. In a major speech, McCarthy charged that the Justice Department failure to prosecute the case was a massive cover-up. "We now know that he was 100 percent correct," Evans said. The FBI wiretapped the meeting where the cover-up was arranged to get Service off. Laughlin Currie, an adviser to President Roosevelt and a known Soviet agent, was involved in this. The Tydings Committee said it could find nothing incriminating in the FBI files of McCarthy target Owen Lattimore, a key adviser to the State Department. Evans read from Lattimore's FBI file. It said in 1941 that Lattimore was a Communist who should be detained in the event of a national emergency. Currie, Service and Lattimore were all players in a conspiracy that engaged in espionage for the Communists and manipulated U.S. policy to their benefit. They maneuvered to cut off aid to the Chinese Nationalists in order to help Mao win control of China. Their efforts succeeded and the Nationalists fled to Taiwan in 1949. We and the Chinese have paid dearly for this betrayal." AIM Report - March A, 2000

    It was also during the mid-to-late Forties that Communist sympathizers in the State Department played a key role in the subjugation of mainland China by the Reds. "It is my judgment, and I was in the State Department at the time," said former Ambassador William D. Pawley, "that this whole fiasco, the loss of China and the subsequent difficulties with which the United States has been faced, was the result of mistaken policy of Dean Acheson, Phil Jessup, [Owen] Lattimore, John Carter Vincent, John Service, John Davies, [O.E.] Clubb, and others." Asked if he thought the mistaken policy was the result of "sincere mistakes of judgment," Pawley replied: "No, I don't." The New American - McCarthyism - Forty questions and answers about Senator Joseph McCarthy - May 11, 1987

    Owen Lattimore and Selig Harrison both corresponded with Sheila Payne wife of Robert Payne prolific author and biographer of many Communist leaders, Mao, Trotsky, Lenin, Marx, etc... http://www.sunysb.edu/library/mc318.htm Payne was also linked to O. Edmund Clubb.

    Alger Hiss, Owen Lattimore and Selig Harrison all have ties to Johns Hopkins University.

Alger Hiss Robert Payne

For Further Reading:

Thanks and best wishes,

J. Barry O'Connell Jr.

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