Abstract

Abstract:

William Albertson, who was executive secretary of the New York Communist Party and a member of the National Committee of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), was framed as an informant for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1964. Only in recent years have newly released FBI records enabled scholars to understand why the FBI undertook the operation and how much damage it did to the CPUSA. In 1964 two leaks from the FBI hinted that the bureau had a high-level informant in the CPUSA who was providing information about secret Soviet subsidies. The leaks were accurate and endangered one of the FBI's most successful intelligence operations, Operation Solo, which involved the use of two brothers, Morris Childs and Jack Childs, who were confidants of CPUSA General Secretary Gus Hall, as key informants. The framing of Albertson was intended to deflect CPUSA and Soviet attention from the real FBI informants to a bogus one. The ploy succeeded. The forged documents the FBI planted convinced Hall and other senior CPUSA officials that Albertson was the FBI informant. Despite Albertson's vehement denials and energetic defense, he was expelled. The CPUSA thought it had eliminated the informant, and the Childs brothers were able to continue in their role until old age forced their retirement in 1977.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1531-3298
Print ISSN
1520-3972
Pages
pp. 63-85
Launched on MUSE
2020-08-21
Open Access
No
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