The other night I was in the checkout line at a supermarket in Cumberland, Maryland when I saw this magazine on the rack. Most of you will recognize Julius Rosenberg, the American who was spying for the Soviets. He and his wife were both electrocuted at Sing Sing.
What I've been working on for more than two years intersects with their story. I don't want to spoil it, but my father was married to a Russian spy and that had a deep influence on my life. Lately, I've been coming to the understanding that it's one of the reasons I went on the run for so many years. On the run, where, it seems, I remain.
At one point, J. Edgar Hoover instructed the New York office of the FBI to put their top Soviet spy hunters on my father. Dad was a Turk, and the FBI conducted a massive investigation of him. Dozens of agents, many of whom were dispatched overseas any time my father so much as wrote a letter to someone in Europe to investigate the recipients. Phones monitored, mail opened, people picked up and interviewed secretly. Occasionally they arrested him, though evidently without ever convincing themselves that there was a fire, for all the smoke.
This was the response from the FBI New York field office to Hoover's instructions:
Who knows what would have happened if the FBI in New York hadn't basically told Hoover to go screw himself in that memo.
I've been trying to make sense of this story. It is incredibly complex and involves vast quantities of materials of every description, from intelligence files to State Department records, Army interviews of refugees, foreign secret police records, passenger manifests, immigration records, contracts, photographs, books, CIA reports on East German postage stamps, interrogation and trial transcripts (thanks to my old buddy Marc), even dealing with crazed Scientologists, you name it. The amount of work going into it is staggering, and I have those of you who support the Patreon campaign to thank for making it possible. I believe that it's going to make a good book. In the meantime, though, I negotiate constantly with the government for document releases and do what I can to try to get records in other countries by remote control. FBI alone says there are so many that it will take 17 years, so I get them in bits and pieces. I only have about 3000 pages of files so far. I have dozens of FOIA requests outstanding, dozens answered.
This is consuming work and it is the most important thing I've ever worked on. It is driving me into a state of homelessness, but Im not going to give it up, even if it means continuing to live out in the woods in frayed clothes and eating out of dented cans till the end. Roo, you may of course rest assured, continues to live the life of a billionaire.
It is a struggle, but I'll be damned if I'm going to give it up. I have a book proposal about it almost ready to go, but then another piece of information pops up and changes the story, so it's going to take time. Apart from Roo, it's more or less the only thing I live for. So, if you'd like to help me complete this, please do by signing up for the Patreon campaign here.
Incidentally, the similarities between the Russian handling of our president now and the way the KGB has worked for decades, including in the case involving my father, keep reappearing, in identical detail, every day. I speak to lots of people in intelligence. Spies on both sides and the people who hunted them.
Not one of them has ever expressed the slightest doubt that Trump is working on behalf of the Russians.