UPDATE - MORE ON ALLEN WEINSTEIN
Noted historians Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes have risen to the defense of Allen Weinstein against the charges of Roger Sandilands
" Roger Sandilands is entitled to trumpet his unhappiness with the nomination of Allen Weinstein to be the next Archivist of the United States. But there is something odd in being lectured to in strident, self-righteous tones about an internal American governmental appointment by a British citizen relying on the undocumented claims of a Russian, an unrepentant former KGB general, to smear a respected American scholar.
In the twenty-five years since Allen Weinstein published Perjury, his masterful analysis of the Hiss-Chambers case, no one has been able to challenge his conclusion that Whittaker Chambers told the truth and that Alger Hiss was a Soviet spy. The only other full-length scholarly study of the case, Sam Tanenhaus's Whittaker Chambers, reached a similar conclusion.
Professor Sandilands repeats the canard that Chambers was a "fantasist," a lie first leveled by Hiss's lawyer, the late John Lowenthal, suggesting that Chambers made up out of whole cloth his story of involvement in Soviet espionage. This requires that Sandilands ignore the voluminous evidence offered by former spies with whom Chambers worked, the handwritten and typed documents that Chambers saved and produced to verify his claims about Hiss and Harry Dexter White, and the enormous raft of material and evidence produced at Hiss's trials and in the decades since confirming Chambers's story and demonstrating that Hiss was a perjurer.
Professor Sandilands and a handful of other espionage deniers have frantically tried to discredit the Venona decryptions that made crystal clear the work done for the KGB by such American spies. He claims that "few scholars now accept the official NSA [National Security Agency] line that ALES was “probably Alger Hiss” in one of the telegrams. He is wrong. And his reliance on Major General Julius Kobyakov is strange. General Kobyakov has stated his nostalgia for the days of Soviet power and his disapproval of the partial opening of KGB archives in the early 1990s (ended by 1995). Why are Kobyakov's undocumented statements acceptable while the documents that Weinstein's collaborator, also an ex-KGB officer, Alexander Vassiliev, located in the KGB’s archives during its partial opening - documents quoted in The Haunted Wood - dismissed by Sandilands? Would Professor Sandilands similarly accept the unsupported word of a unrepentant Nazi intelligence chief about the files of his agency? If Ales is not Hiss, why doesn't Kobyakov tell us who Ales, this high-ranking State Department employee who spied for the Soviet Union, really was? Kobyakov once directed Soviet espionage against the United States. He has chosen not only to stonewall about what he knows but to attack those who attempt to bring to light the facts of Soviet espionage in the United States.
In the meantime, we are pleased that Dr. Weinstein, a distinguished scholar and writer, has been honored by this nomination to be Archivist of the United States".
Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes