In a review in the London Times Online of the memoirs of Sir Winston Churchill's bodyguard, Brian Moynahan reveals a chilling insight that Walter Thompson recorded:
Had Churchill only known that the more relevant question should have been:
He saw Churchill at his lowest points, a frustrated "kicker of wastepaper baskets" during his wilderness years in the 1930s, weeping over the concessions Roosevelt made to Stalin at Yalta in 1945. "Why, Thompson, did they allow the president, almost dying on his feet, to be there?" he asked. "All Europe will suffer from the decisions made at Yalta."
Why did the American State Department allow a Soviet spy to serve as President Roosevelt's foreign policy adviser at Yalta?
That's a question that still deserves an answer.
UPDATE: First, read Reliapundit's excellent points in the comments. Then consider the following:
In my original post, I didn't spell out exactly why I thought that Walter Thompson's recollection of Churchill's despair after Yalta is so important. Here's why:
1)Churchill's reaction to the disaster of Yalta was immediate. He knew right at that time what a disaster it was.
2)Churchill knew that it didn't have to be that way. Despite what Soviet spy Alger Hiss later had to say about it, giving the Soviets hegemony over Eastern Europe was not a done deal before Yalta.
3) Churchill knew that it was up to the Americans to stand up to Stalin, and when FDR didn't do it, he knew that Western Europe wouldn't be in any position to stop the communist juggernaut.
4) Churchill mistakenly attributed FDR's surrender to Stalin to FDR's debilitated condition. Actually, as we know now from the Venona transcripts and information from KGB files, the State Department's top man in Yalta, Alger Hiss, was a committed communist and a conscious agent of the Comintern and Soviet intelligence. The State Department's interpretation of the situation undoubtedly played a major role in influencing FDR's decisions. And we now know that communicating the State Department's position to FDR was in the hands of a traitor.