Friday, February 1, 2019

Statement on the passing of Rosenberg case co-defendant, Morton Sobell

Friends –

  It is important to note that lies were told, two people -- a mother and father of two children -- were killed by the state in what amounted to a witch hunt during a very fascist period in U.S. history (McCarthyism). Anyone who works for justice and peace should know that the U.S. Government is an empire that has little or no vested interest in peace or justice. The warmongers make their fortunes by keeping global tensions high and spending billions on weapons that have no right to exist in the first place. We shall overcome ...    Some Day. Peace and Hope,
Patrick O’Neill

Patrick is a member of the Kings Bay Plowshares. He wears an ankle monitor, while awaiting a trial date.  Three others are also wearing ankle monitors, while the other three remain in jail.  

  Some of you know that Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed at Sing Sing Prison on June 19, 1953.  Were you aware that Ethel’s first electrocution was botched?  Yes, she had to be electrocuted twice and an observer reported that smoke came out of her head.

   At that time, progressives were victims of McCarthyism.  Today, we are dealing with Trumpism.  A member of Joe McCarthy’s team was Roy Cohn, who would later become a mentor of Donald Trump.

   According to David Greenglass, Cohn pressured him into testifying against his sister Ethel. In an interview with 60 Minutes in 2003, Greenglass admitted he’d lied on the stand. He testified his sister typed notes sent on to the Soviets, but in fact she hadn’t. He also said that Cohn was the one who’d pushed him to incriminate Ethel. Greenglass’s testimony led to his sister’s execution.

Statement on the passing of Rosenberg case co-defendant, Morton Sobell
January 31, 2019

News has just broken that Morton Sobell, co-defendant of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, passed away December 26, 2018, at the age of 101. Following his conviction, Mort was sentenced to 30 years in prison and served 18 before being released in 1969.
For decades, Mort maintained his innocence. Then in 2008, in connection with the release of key, previously-secret documents from the case, he abruptly reversed course and admitted he had conspired with Julius to supply the Soviets with non-atomic military and industrial information.
The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and many other news outlets have run lengthy stories detailing Mort’s long and complex life. We’ve posted links to several of them on the RFC Facebook page, where we invite you to leave your comments.
The Rosenberg case was nothing, if not complicated, and that’s true for Morton Sobell’s role in it, as well. But a few simple truths stand out:

1) Mort stood in solidarity with Ethel and Julius at their darkest hour, at great personal cost.
2) His 2008 disclosure paved the way to the clear understanding of the key facts of the case that we have today, which include:
  • Mort and Julius engaged in acts of espionage, but did not “steal” or give to the Soviets what the U.S. government called “the secret of the atomic bomb.”
  • Ethel did not engage in espionage at all, and our government knew that, but prosecuted and executed her anyway.
With the passing of the last of the central figures in what was one of the most controversial legal cases of the 20th century, we’re reflecting on the notion of solidarity, and on the sacrifices people are willing to make for their most deeply held values and beliefs.

And we’re also thinking about how our government’s playbook of fearmongering and repression – so much a part of the prosecution of Morton Sobell and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg – is once again being embraced and utilized by those in power in our country today.
Rosenberg Fund for Children <>
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Easthampton, MA 01027

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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