Saturday, September 27, 2008

Robert Meeropol Responds to New Rosenberg Testimony

Friday, September 26, 2008 11:27 PM

Dear Friends,

By now many of you have heard that last week, on

September 11th, the transcript covering testimony of 43

of the 46 witnesses who appeared in front of the Grand

Jury investigating my parents in 1950-1951, was made

public. (Only a portion of the testimony of Harry Gold,

a key prosecution witness, was made available, and legal

efforts to date have failed to win the release of

testimony of three other witnesses, including Ethel

Rosenberg's brother, David Greenglass, the most crucial player in the case.)

This historic release of information coincided with an

article that appeared on the same date in the New York

Times, interviewing Morton Sobell, my parents' co-

defendant. Ever since his arrest more than 50 years

ago, Mort has maintained his innocence. But in last

week's interview he admitted that he, along with Julius

Rosenberg, passed non-atomic military intelligence to

the Soviets during World War II in an effort to help them defeat the Nazis.

Over the last week I have read all 930 pages of Grand

Jury testimony that have been released, and my brother

has spoken to Mort directly to clarify Mort's statement.

Many of you are wondering about my reaction to these revelations.

Here are my initial thoughts after integrating the

information from this last week with the rest of the historical record.

1) Since the 1980's I have maintained that it is

possible that my father engaged in non-atomic espionage,

but that he did NOT participate in ANY activities that

resulted in him obtaining or passing the "secret of the

Atomic Bomb" to the Soviets. Mort's statement moves me

to acknowledge that it is virtually certain, that Julius

did, in fact, participate with others in passing along

military information. But at the same time, I believe

the still-evolving record makes it even clearer that

Julius did not "steal" or transmit the "secret of the

Atomic Bomb," the crime for which he was executed.

2) Ruth Greenglass's Grand Jury testimony provides

several bombshells, but I will only highlight one here.

Ruth and her husband David, (my mother's sister-in-law

and brother), cooperated with the prosecution in

exchange for a comparatively light sentence for David,

and for no charges being brought against Ruth. It was

Ruth's trial testimony that provided the one, key piece

of evidence that led to my mother's conviction. Ruth

stated at trial that Ethel typed David's handwritten

notes describing the Atomic Bomb, an act that would have

made Ethel an active participant in the alleged spy

ring. However, despite being a cooperative witness

trying to remain in the prosecutor's good graces, Ruth's

Grand Jury testimony included NOTHING about Ethel ever

typing any notes; included NOTHING about Ethel even

being present at the meeting involving the notes; and in

a damning contradiction to her later trial testimony,

stated that RUTH hand-wrote the only notes and they

described the buildings at Los Alamos not the Atomic Bomb.

3) All that I have learned in the last week, coupled

with all that I have gleaned from the information

already available, reinforces the biggest lesson to be

taken from my parents' case- that the U.S. Government

abused its power in truly dangerous ways that are still

very relevant today. Those in power who were involved in my parents' case:

* Created and fueled anti-communist hysteria

* Capitalized on that political climate by targeting

my parents, then making them the focus of the public's Cold War-era fear and anger

* Manufactured testimony and evidence

* Facilitated judicial misconduct

* Hounded witnesses for their political beliefs and

associations rather than about any alleged illegal activities

* Arrested Ethel simply as leverage to try to get

Julius to cooperate with the prosecution

* Used the ultimate weapon- the threat of death-to try

extort a confession from my parents and to force them

to name and testify against others

* Created the myth that there was a key "secret" of

the Atomic Bomb, and then devised a strategy to make

it appear that Julius had sought out and passed on that "secret"

* Executed Julius when he refused to cooperate.

despite knowing that the "secret" used to justify the

death penalty, was a prosecution-created fallacy

* Executed Ethel when she refused to cooperate,

despite knowing that she was not guilty of ANY charges

against her and was not an active participant in ANY

espionage activities.

And finally, the agencies and individuals involved in my

parents' case, systematically and emphatically covered-

up and denied all these abuses.

Ultimately, these new revelations have made me even more

steadfast in my commitment to helping those whom the

Rosenberg Fund for Children supports: today's families

experiencing similar targeting and suffering similar

personal tragedies.

I thank you all for the many messages of support and

solidarity you have sent to me and my family, and I

invite any of you who would like more information,

(including details on how to view the Grand Jury

transcripts yourselves), to visit the RFC website at

Robert Meeropol

Executive Director

Rosenberg Fund for Children

tel: (413) 529-0063

fax: (413) 529-0802

116 Pleasant St. , Suite 348

Easthampton, MA 01027


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