ESPIONAGE

I.F. Stone Unmasked as Soviet Spy

In a fascinating article in Commentary magazine, historians present documents proving—once and for all, they say—that left-wing hero journalist I.F. Stone was a Soviet spy. Conservative commentators such as Ann Coulter and Robert Novak have long accused Stone, who worked for the New York Post and then The Nation in the 1930s and ’40s, of being a spy—basing their arguments on a few vague but incriminating reports leaked from Russian sources. Stone, who died in 1989, has a legion of staunch defenders who see him as a pillar of truth-telling liberalism. But the notes of a former KGB officer turned journalist who co-authored the Commentary piece show Stone, whose code name was “Pancake” and who was paid for his work, served as a talent spotter, courier, and information source for the KGB from 1936 to 1939, and perhaps again in the 1940s.