There are a number of interesting items in the Times story, but let's highlight the most important right away:
First of all, by awarding this signal honor to an atomic spy who "penetrated the Manhattan Project to build the atom bomb," Putin is acknowledging that the Soviet Union would not have been able to come up with the bomb on its own, but was only able to do so by piggy-backing on the work done by American & European-refugee scientists in the United States. This fact underscores the significance of the Soviet espionage operation in America, and the damage done by high-ranking traitors such as Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White.
Second, the tone of the article is completely adulatory, and the Times seems to admire and approve the criminal actions by which George Koval enabled the Soviet Empire to impose and maintain its hegemony over 300 million victims by nuclear blackmail against the West. Even at this late date, the Times continues the work of Walter Duranty in aiding and abetting Stalinism and its successors.
Koval was born in 1913 and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. His parents believed in the Soviet lie, and emigrated to the Siberian Jewish "homeland" of Birobidjan in 1932.
RTWDT for a glimpse into the blind naivety of American authorities, and the pro-communist adulation of the New Duranty Times.
By 1934, Dr. Koval was in Moscow, excelling in difficult studies at the Mendeleev Institute of Chemical Technology. Upon graduating with honors, he was recruited and trained by the G.R.U. and was sent back to the United States for nearly a decade of scientific espionage, from roughly 1940 to 1948.
How he communicated with his controllers is unknown, as is what specifically he gave the Soviets in terms of atomic secrets. However, it is clear that Moscow mastered the atom very quickly compared with all subsequent nuclear powers.
In the United States under a false name, Dr. Koval initially gathered information about new toxins that might find use in chemical arms. Then his G.R.U. controllers took a gamble and had him work under his own name. Dr. Koval was drafted into the Army, and by chance found himself moving toward the bomb project, then in its infancy.
The Army judged him smart and by 1943 sent him for special wartime training at City College in Manhattan. Considered a Harvard for the poor, it was famous for brilliant students, Communists and, after the war, Julius Rosenberg, who was executed for conspiring to steal atomic secrets for the Soviets.
But Dr. Koval steered clear of all debate on socialism and Russia, Dr. Bloom said. “He discussed no politics that I can recall. Never. He never talked about the Soviet Union, never ever, not a word.”
And don't forget that a lonely and persecuted Senator Joe McCarthy tried vainly to get the communists --and those who protected them-- out of the State Department and the Department of the Army.
The Soviet empire was built, among millions of other crimes, on the lies and deceptions of traitors like George Koval.
As other posts tonight will show, we are still vulnerable to enemy spies. Stay tuned.
Reliapundit adds: GREAT post! BTW: I did a word count on this article and of the 1668 words only one is "betrayal" or treachery or traitor or any other word with a negative connotation for Koval's actions. The rest is PRAISE. Very telling. Especially since this is the man MOST responsible for the arms race - for BILLIONS if not TRILLIONS spent during WW3/The Cold War. If he hadn't done what he did do then maybe all the people SOLD into slavery by Alger Hiss would have been freed decades earlier.