Many people question whether many of the choices made by the current occupants of the White House are in the best interests of the United States. The Obamas may have more than a few faults, but they have nothing on the Franklin Roosevelt White House.
Henry A. Wallace, Roosevelt's vice president from 1941 to 1944, was an admirer of Stalin and communist Russia. Had Roosevelt not replaced him with Harry Truman for his last term, the United States may have ended up with a president whose views were closer to Karl Marx than Adam Smith.
Even worse was Franklin's wife Eleanor who, crazy as it sounds, took steps to protect a communist mole in the Treasury Department. Harry Dexter White, was the number two man in the Treasury Department and an influential policy maker. In 1941 communist Russia found itself in the desperate struggle for survival against Nazi Germany which invaded Russia during the summer. Stalin's bumbling military leadership made things worse and Russia casualties quickly rose over 1 million. Russia had another million troops protecting the border in the east against Japan. If Russia could get Japan and America to go to war, the troops could be moved to fight the Germans. The American public was in no mood to go to war with either Germany or Japan. Japan was at war with China, then a friend of the United States, and the U.S. took economic steps with the hopes that it would curtail Japanese aggression. White realized that these steps were reasonable and not likely to escalate into a conflict, so he drafted a hard line list of demands he knew Japan would reject. He was able to get the Roosevelt administration to adopt this as official U.S. policy and Japan felt trapped. The result was Pearl Harbor. Russia was now able to move its Asia troops west to fight Germany.
White continued to serve the interests of the Soviets for the balance of the war. In 1944 Finnish troops fighting the Russians captured a diplomatic code book. Recognizing the value this information would have, the Finns sold the book to the United States. The FBI had long known that there were secret messages going out from Russian agents in the United States, but they did not know what these messages said because they were in code. Now they had the code book and were able to read everything. Much to their surprise they were able to identify White as working for the Russians. Was he stopped and arrested?
No, Eleanor Roosevelt found out about the code book and was furious that the United States would be reading the secret messages of one of our allies. She ordered the book returned to the Soviets who immediately changed the code. White was allowed to stay in office and continue to work for Soviet interests
The lesson to take from this is that it is important to know who we elect to positions of responsibility. Unfortunately, there are some politicians who think the interests of some foreign countries are more important than our own.
For more details on this story read
Operation Snow: How a Soviet Mole in FDR's White House Triggered Pearl Harbor
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