by Horace Cooper
In the wake of the recent arrest of Maryland nuclear engineer, Jonathan Toebbe, and his wife, Diana Toebbe on charges they tried to sell classified nuclear warship information to a foreign country, the mainstream media has focused on the “mystery” of how this could happen. But very little media coverage has focused on their progressive political background—the most likely key to their misdeeds.
In fact, strangely enough, husband and wife traitor teams are often linked to left-wing politics. Why hasn’t the establishment media focused on this tie?
Take the Toebbes: neighbors knew they were progressives. Images found online show that the couple proudly display a BLM flag in their front yard and even a casual examination of Diana Toebbe’s social media indicates that she was a vigorous supporter of the “Resistance” and even retweeted after Trump’s election: “To the rest of the world, due to an insufficient amount of moral courage, America is temporarily out of order. We hope to restore service as quickly as possible.”
Would treason restore service?
Notably, according to the indictment, Diana worked hand in glove with her husband in carrying out espionage. Together the couple received $100,000 in payments while trying to sell nuclear submarine schematics to a foreign government.
Unfortunately, little to no attention is given to their “woke” motivations. But this isn’t surprising.
In fact, a look at four earlier major treason cases reveals a similar trend: husbands and wives sell out their country and the media reports either that there is no motive for their treachery or they attribute their bad acts to mere greed.
But is there a stronger link than greed? Is it possible that the hatred for country that undergirds so much of progressivism is the catalyst for this profound level of perfidy?
First, look at the case of traitor Robert Hanssen, whose espionage was described by the Department of Justice as “possibly the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history.”
He started his traitorous behavior in 1979. While telling anyone who would listen that he was not motivated by “politics,” his behavior belies this claim. Hannsen sought out the Soviets during the height of the Cold War. He wasn’t recruited—he volunteered. He did so while the Soviets were invading Afghanistan and while they were building their nuclear arsenal at breakneck speed. Mind you, he worked at the FBI in their counterintelligence division focused on the Soviet Union when he started his espionage. Clearly, in that position he knew what a threat the USSR posed.
And similar to Jonathan Toebbe, Hannsen’s wife Bonnie knew about his espionage well before he was caught. But rather than contact law enforcement, we were told that she merely asked him to stop. If you loved your country, would you sit idly by as your spouse betrays her?
Or consider the Aldrich Ames case.
Ames exposed more than a dozen undercover agents working for the United States inside the Soviet bloc during the 1980s. All of them were jailed and most were executed.
The official report is that he, too, was motivated by greed. But take a look at his statements in interviews. They belie this argument. He told New York Times Magazine in 1994, “I know what’s damaging and I know what’s not damaging, and I know what the Soviet Union is really all about, and I know what’s best for foreign policy and national security” and he added, “I hate to sound like an old-line Stalinist or something but . . .” he continued that he didn’t believe his acts damaged the United States and also that socialism was a counter to international repression, claiming that it promoted “economic and social justice.” Do these comments evince an apolitical mindset primarily motivated by greed or those of an old-line Stalinist?
And what of the role of his wife Rosario? She was sentenced to five years and three months for her role in her husband’s $2 million career selling U.S. secrets to Soviet bloc espionage agencies. According to hidden recordings that the FBI placed in their home (among thousands of hours of the couples’ conversations) she never once expressed any displeasure at Ames working for the Russians and never once asked him to quit. How could this happen in the household of a family that “loves” America?
Next there’s Edward Lee Howard, the spy who got away.
Rather than being described as a political foe of the American way, Howard is cast as a disgruntled CIA recruit who had just received a coveted assignment in Moscow but was fired after failing a lie detector test. Notably, he is the first known member of the CIA to have defected to the Soviet Union in the entire history of the agency’s existence.
In assessing his motivations, we’re supposed to ignore his longtime interest in environmental issues or his time at the Peace Corps. And his choice of employment at the Agency for International Development also offers no clues to his philosophy. Even his violent assault on the son of a prominent New Mexico Republican purportedly gives no guidance.
Instead, we’re supposed to just accept his statements on Soviet TV years after he fled the United States: “I love my country . . . I have never done anything that might harm my country.”
The CIA accepts the claims that he had no apparent ideological sympathy for the Soviet Union (the country to which he gave our secrets and also defected). The CIA does admit, however, that his actions on behalf of the Soviet Union left U.S. intelligence efforts compromised worldwide.
Howard loved America so much that he relocated to live in our archenemy’s country? Keep in mind, in 1985 the greatest global threat to freedom on the planet was the USSR. Howard’s dead now and can’t answer these questions—apparently, he fell in his one-story home in Russia and broke his neck.
Let’s not forget the role of Mary, his wife. She was essential in making his escape from the United States possible. She helped him use a makeshift dummy to escape an FBI tail and then used a tape recording of his voice to trick law enforcement into thinking he was home while he was actually on a plane headed to Europe. Is this the act of a patriotic woman who loves her country?
Finally, there’s the case of Julius Rosenberg. A former engineer, he and his wife were convicted of espionage in 1951 after being caught. They were accused of passing top secret propulsion engine, radar, sonar and nuclear weapon designs to the Soviet Union. When they were executed in 1953, they were the first American civilians to be executed for espionage and also the first during peacetime.
For decades after the trial the Left had maintained that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were innocent of spying on their country and were just victims of Cold War paranoia. Some still make this claim today.
Unfortunately for those not convinced by the evidence at trial, the Venona papers (a trove of decoded Soviet cables) were declassified after the fall of the Soviet Union. They provided explicit confirmation of Julius’ role as a courier and recruiter for the Soviet Union.
They also revealed the truth about his beloved wife, Ethel. She was a key accessory to her husband who not only helped recruit her brother David into the spy ring, she also did clerical tasks such as typing up documents that Julius then passed to the Soviets.
Avowed and committed Marxists from their youth, their efforts hastened the existence of global nuclear proliferation—one of the greatest threats the world faces to this day.
How many cases involving couples motivated by left-wing ideas must we see before the media starts asking if there is any correlation to treasonous behavior against America and left-wing ideology?
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Horace Cooper is a senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research and is the author of the soon to be released book “How Trump is Making Black America Great Again.”
Photo “US Navy Seawolf Attack Submarine” by U.S. National Archives.