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Rosenberg case was still wrong

September 22, 2008

Re "Case closed on the Rosenbergs," Opinion, Sept. 17

Professor Ronald Radosh's evident glee that the case against Julius Rosenberg is -- after only a few decades -- clearly resolved suggests a myopic academic's ethical callousness and flip dismissal of the major political issue.

We now have, as Radosh barely admits, more evidence of Ethel Rosenberg's innocence or, at worst, the prosecution's lack of credible evidence to convict. The state killed a Jewish woman without warrant or due process, and Radosh finds this to be a cause for celebration.

Those are absurd priorities -- where a writer cheers a death at the expense of the principle the death supposedly upholds.

Dan Fineman

Los Angeles

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As a retired American history professor and a person who lived through the repressive 1950s, I found Radosh's article informative but one-sided.

I admit that I told my class that the Rosenbergs were probably framed. But Radosh knows that this was a viewpoint very common for the time and not exclusively a left-wing position. As he knows well, history changes with the times.

We have known for some time from the Soviet archives that Julius Rosenberg was a spy. It is still doubtful he was very important in the Soviet espionage network. The charge that he handed down critical (more likely useless and outdated) data on sonar and radar that was "used by the Russians to shoot down American planes in the Korean and Vietnam wars" has not been proved.

Radosh also fails to mention that the Rosenbergs were still scapegoats for an anti-communist crusade gone wild and that their death sentences were way too extreme -- especially for Ethel, whose involvement was minimal. Radosh forgets that the repression of the 1950s destroyed hundreds of innocent Americans and was among the ugliest stains on our history.

Arthur Frank

Wertheim

Rancho Palos Verdes

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Sometimes things are exactly as they seem. All the years of agonizing over a "government wrong" has brought little good and mostly heartache for most involved.

Maybe in the future we could look closer at the facts and evidence and rely less on our emotions -- if that's possible in our polarized world.

Jim Smith

Arcadia

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During the apartheid era, Nelson Mandela's African National Congress willingly collaborated with Moscow against South Africa.

During the apartheid era in the U.S., the Rosenbergs collaborated with Moscow against the U.S.

Radosh needs to consider that many of us -- including African Americans such as myself -- considered the U.S. during the Jim Crow era to be no more legitimate than apartheid South Africa and equally undeserving of allegiance.

Gerald Horne

Chapel Hill, N.C.

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