Steve 41oo wrote:
But the Rosenbergs only passed on the information...and to an ally of the United States during WW2. It was Fuchs who stole it and understood its importance. And while he went on to pursue a prestigious career the wife of a communist sympathiser in the US was sentenced to the electric chair, for doing little more than being the wife of a communist sympathiser.
I dont believe Fuchs was the only leak from the Manhattan Project btw.
Fuchs wasn't the only one, however he accounted for the overwhelming majority of the significant nuclear weapons information and damage that resulted. Had he been tried in a U.S. court, he too would have been executed - and properly so in my view.
The trial of the Rosenbergs established clearly the active roles of both Julus and Ethyl Rosenberg in managing a network of agents in extracting and passing nuclear weapons information to the Soviets - and all done in knowing defiance of U.S. law. Under the law it is the act of treachery or treason - and not the motivation for it - that is punishable.
Throughout those years the British Diplomatic and intelligence services were rather thoroughly penetrated by long-term Soviet agents. Some of them like Kim Philby for example, reached very senior positions and did grave damage to our vital interests during a very dangerous period. They very likely had a role in protecting Fuchs. Though there are many areas in which the British can justly claim great accomplishments during the late struggle, this is not one.