Michael Burd

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This article is part of the
Venona
series.

Secret apparatus
KGB

Michael W. Burd was an American citizen and owner of the Midland Export Corporation of New York in the 1940s. Along with his business partner, Robert Menaker, Burd was a Soviet intelligence operative during World War II.

Burd was reported to have transferred large amounts of money through his company to other Soviet intelligence operatives throughout Latin America. He also helped Soviet intelligence obtain American transit visas for two Soviet intelligence agents, Nicholas Fisher and his wife Maria Fisher. The Fisher's were both KGB illegal officers, posing as Swiss citizens, traveling to Mexico through the United States. Burd used his connections in Washington, D.C. to appeal to David Niles, an aide to President Roosevelt, and later Truman, for assistance in getting transit visas for the Fishers.

Venona decrypt 786 KGB New York to Moscow 1 June 1944 reads,

"Through Roosevelt's advisor David Niles will take 3 - 4 days, will cost $500. Round Niles there is a group of his friends who arrange anything for a bribe. Through them Burd obtains priority and has already paid them as much as $6,000. Whether Niles takes a bribe himself is not known for certain. Burd has talked to them about the payment."

Soviet intelligence assigned Michael Burd the cover names Tenor, Bass, Bas, and Ten. [1]

References

Notes

  1. Burd is referenced in the following Venona project decrypts: Venona 492 KGB Mexico City to Moscow, 9 June 1944; 526 KGB Moscow to Mexico City, 2 September 1944; 985 KGB New York to Moscow, 23 June 1943; 1000 KGB New York to Moscow, 24 June 1943; 1044 KGB New York to Moscow, 2 July 1943; 1088 KGB New York to Moscow, 7 July 1943; 786 KGB New York to Moscow, 1 June 1944; 889 KGB New York to Moscow, 23 June 1944; 943 KGB New York to Moscow, 4 July 1944; 1102–1103 KGB New York to Moscow, 2 August 1944; 1163 KGB New York to Moscow, 15 August 1944; 1239 KGB New York to Moscow, 30 August 1944; 1313 KGB New York to Moscow, 13 September 1944; 1336 KGB New York to Moscow, 18 September 1944; 1353 KGB New York to Moscow, 23 September 1944; 1470 KGB New York to Moscow, 17 October 1944; 1509 KGB New York to Moscow, 23 October 1944; 1741 KGB New York to Moscow, 12 December 1944; 1821 KGB New York to Moscow, 26 December 1944; 25 KGB New York to Moscow, 8 January 1945; 37 KGB New York to Moscow, 9 January 1945; 63–66 KGB New York to Moscow, 15 January 1945; 77 KGB New York to Moscow, 17 January 1945; 95 KGB New York to Moscow, 23 January 1945; 329 KGB Moscow to New York, 7 April 1945.
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