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The Cambridge Spy Ring


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#1 Ian Yeung

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 09:20 AM

The Cambridge Spy Ring: its creation, significance, and effects on Britain and the West

In 1934, three students at Cambridge University were recruited by the KGB (the intelligence service of the USSR) to become spies. Over the next few years, two more joined their group. At the time, this group of five young students was relatively unimportant and had no name. However they have since become known as the “Cambridge Spy Ring”, arguably the greatest spy ring the West had ever seen. The reason for their infamy was because of their very success in penetrating deep into an important western political establishment, namely the British Intelligence Services.

The initial group of undergraduates consisted of Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, and Harold “Kim” Philby. Guy Burgess was having a homosexual relationship at that time with another fellow Cambridge alumnus Anthony Blunt, who was later recruited in 1937 along with John Cairncross. This was the central group of five. Additional KGB spies recruited at Cambridge were Leo Long, Michael Witney Straight, Dennis Proctor and Alister Watson (although he never confessed) but these men were relatively independent and thus were not really members of the Cambridge Spy Ring as such. All the members of the central five including Leo Long were undergraduates at Trinity College, Cambridge except Donald Maclean who was at Trinity Hall.

At the pinnacle of the Ring’s power and importance, all the members were in extremely influential positions. Long worked for British Military Intelligence during the war and tried to join MI5 (the British organization in charge of counter-espionage) but failed to do so. Watson worked for the Radar and Signals Establishment of the Navy before becoming head of the Submarine Detection Research Station at the Admiralty Research Laboratories where he had access to many secrets but was subsequently transferred to a less sensitive post when MI5 discovered his Marxist leanings. Proctor was Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Fuel and Power by 1965 and previously had been Stanley Baldwin’s private secretary. Straight was an American who was later discovered by the FBI (the American counterespionage and domestic security agency) and provided one of the first leads for the security services in uncovering the spy ring.

Cairncross had worked for the Treasury and during the war for the Government Code and Cipher School (GC&CS; the forerunner of GCHQ, which is the Government Communications Headquarters for intelligence gathering by electronic means). The pinnacle of his career however was when he was secretary to Lord Hankey, Minister without Portfolio in Churchill’s war cabinet. Here he was able to pass over information relating to the development of atomic bombs (arguably the most important information from a tactical and strategic perspective during the 1940s). He was also part of MI6 (the British organization dealing with intelligence about foreign nations) for a time.

Maclean was Head of the American Department in the Foreign Office. Thus he was able to betray to the Soviets all policy and discussions between the British and the Americans along with all the codes and ciphers he had access to. For example, he betrayed many of the messages between Roosevelt and Churchill during the war. Additionally, he had access to highly classified information on Nuclear Weapons Development. In his book, Yuri Modin (the last KGB controller of the spy ring) described Maclean’s political intelligence as being “valuable”.

Burgess was also a member of the Foreign Office and was Second Secretary under Philby in Washington. He had also worked for MI5. Yuri Modin described Burgess as “the real leader of the group”.

Blunt also worked for MI5 during the war but left to become the Director of the Courtauld Institute in London and later became the surveyor of the Queen’s pictures. Blunt admits that he left MI5 because “I needed my art”. The reason the Soviets did not resist this was because they had the intelligence services thoroughly penetrated with the “Third Man” of the spy ring: Kim Philby.

Kim Philby was brilliant. Modin describes him as “the greatest spy of the century”. Philby’s career in intelligence began in the summer of 1940 when he joined the Special Operations Executive (SOE). The SOE was a wartime organization, which was responsible for carrying out covert operations against the Nazis in Occupied Europe (eg. working with the French Resistance). Philby then joined the Secret Intelligence Service (aka MI6) in 1941. He rose quickly within the organization and in the summer of 1944 executed the “master stroke of Communist subversion” as described by Anthony Glees in his book on the matter. Philby became the head of Section IX in MI6. Section IX dealt with counter-espionage efforts against the Soviets. This is a masterstroke by the KGB because from then on, any effort by the British to catch Soviet spies would be fruitless. Philby would discover about any such attempt and use his influence and considerable power to spoil such an attempt. Additionally he would be able to warn his Soviet controllers and thus they could take appropriate action.

Even more damaging, Philby (and to a lesser extent the others in the spy ring who were also working within the intelligence services) knew the identity of almost every British (and probably most American) spies in the Soviet Union. The KGB could then either eliminate the spies (which would throw suspicion on Philby) or even more cunningly begin to feed these spies with false information. As Philby knew the identity of so many spies and British intelligence was so thoroughly penetrated by the Soviets, the KGB would be able to confuse MI5 and MI6 to such an extent that they would effectively become severely paralyzed. They would then be forced to spend valuable resources in an attempt to follow every lead and thus never be able to find the real spies. To compound the problem during the 1950s, according to Peter Wright’s book, KGB officers and spies were outnumbering MI5 officers by more than three to one. Faced with such odds and obstacles it is not surprising that MI5 seemed to be rarely successful during the 1950s and 1960s. Additionally much of MI5’s tradecraft was compromised. Blunt betrayed the use of special microphones (called special facilities) to the KGB and thus for many years MI5 was unable to successfully and optimally bug many sites (eg. The Communist Party of Great Britain’s headquarters).

Philby was a successful spy because he possessed the qualities needed. He was highly intelligent and hard working. In fact, all the members of the spy ring were highly intelligent; Cairncross had come first in the Foreign Office entrance exam. Philby was also facile and at times an excellent actor. But his hallmark was his charm. Although he had a slight stutter, he became immensely popular in MI6 and acquired many friends and contacts in MI5, MI6, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; the American intelligence service directed against foreign powers). Philby in fact trained the future CIA head of counter-intelligence, James Jesus Angleton, and was friendly with him. Proof of his incredible social skills was the fact that he was able to maintain a reasonable façade of innocence from 1951, when Burgess and Maclean were forced to defect to the USSR, till 1963 when he himself had to defect from Beirut as his arrest became imminent. However the ultimate evidence of his unparalleled charm as a spy was on November 7th 1955, when the Foreign Secretary and future Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan publicly cleared Kim Philby of all suspicion of being the “Third Man” in the Cambridge Spy Ring in public, in the House Of Commons.

The Cambridge Spy Ring was very close. All five members knew each other and also knew each other’s hidden secrets. One point to note is that from an operational perspective, it was myopic to have each man know the full membership of the spy ring, as the investigation of one could have rapidly revealed the other members of the group. In fact that was mostly how the spy ring became unravelled in the end. But the creation of this group of idealistic young Cambridge students was a unique by-product of the political climate of the time.

In the 1930s, Fascism was on the rise. Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933. Many saw Fascism as a threat to the liberal democracies of Europe including that of Britain. Additionally, Marxism had become quite popular among many intellectuals especially those in Oxbridge. Blunt himself confessed that “when I returned to Cambridge from London, everyone had become Marxists”. The Cambridge Spy Ring saw Marxism as the way forward and also the way that Europe could be defended from the likes of Hitler and Mussolini.

In 1941, Hitler launched Operation Barbarrossa. This was the codename for his plan to attack and conquer the USSR. In doing so, he broke the Treaty of Non-Aggression between the two countries and pushed the USSR onto the same side as the UK. Thus from 1942 onwards, the UK and the USSR were allies and agreed to cooperate fully on all fronts. The UK did so completely and honestly. The USSR however did not and took advantage of the opportunity to plant various spies in the Establishment (the upper echelons of British society and government) which could serve Soviet post-war plans. These plans were the setup of worldwide revolution (as ordered by Lenin) and more importantly the setup of a communist Eastern Europe. There are several reasons why the alliance made Soviet espionage on Britain easier.

Firstly, both countries were now pursuing the same goal, which was the defeat of Nazi Germany. This allowed for the easier recruitment of spies. Also this meant that for the spies in Cambridge, they could continue their activities in the belief that they were not committing treason as they were allied to the Soviets now. Thus they could assuage any doubts they had from their conscience if they possessed any about their activities. Additionally, this may have made them more committed as they now clearly saw that what they were doing was benefiting both sides. Blunt said that he himself felt that “we weren’t doing enough for the Soviets and thus felt his role was crucial as it helped them further”.

One example of the spies helping the Soviets during the war is John Cairncross leaking Ultra information. Ultra was the codename given to intelligence derived at Bletchley Park by GC&CS. Using primitive computers, Bletchley Park was able to decrypt many German encrypted messages including those of the highest importance, which were encrypted by the vaunted German Enigma machines. Cairncross was working at GC&CS during the war and was able to leak many Ultra reports to the Soviets. It was one of these reports that allowed the Soviets to win the Battle of Kursk, which was a turning point in the war.

The second reason why the wartime alliance aided Soviet intelligence efforts was the order by the then Prime Minister, Winston Churchill to stop further attempts in deciphering and reading Soviet encrypted messages. True to the spirit of the alliance, Churchill thought it would be wrong to continue the Venona project against the Soviets. The Venona project was the most guarded intelligence secret by western intelligence services during the Cold War. It was an effort to systematically read and decipher the “one-time pads” encryption systems used by spies and embassies by most countries of the time. It was believed that “one-time pads” were the most secure form of encryption possible because they were used only once. However a breakthrough by a mathematician in the National Security Agency in America allowed Western Intelligence agencies to read much of the Soviet one-time pads compromising Soviet communications. As described in Peter Wright’s book, compromised communications are one method by which spies can be caught. Thus the decision by Churchill to cease further efforts to decipher Soviet communications made the detection of the Cambridge Spy Ring by MI5 much more difficult.

However there is another explanation of why the decision was taken on June 22nd 1941, to cease Venona work against the Soviets. Both Philby and Blunt occasionally sat on the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). The JIC was a committee with members from MI5, MI6 and other British intelligence services. It’s therefore possible that Blunt and Philby somehow influenced the decision that eventually made detection of them and their fellow spies more difficult. This introduces a new concept. That the Cambridge Spy Ring were not spies, but rather moles. The definition of a spy is a person who reports information back to the organization running him or her. A mole is far more insidious individual because additionally he/she can directly influence decisions and policy themselves. Thus because of the importance and high status of the Cambridge Spy Ring members within the government and the British intelligence services, the Soviets were able to directly manipulate the British government to a certain extent. This is one reason why the group was so damaging to this country’s interests and has fascinated many scholars ever since.

Worst still, one should remember that Foreign Policy is formulated with information derived from intelligence sources. If those intelligence sources are compromised, those polices are thus not optimally effective. This means that while the Cambridge Spy Ring was operational, Britain was severely hampered on the world stage in its interactions with the USSR.

One reason for the disproportionate amount of influence wielded by the five members of the Cambridge Spy Ring can be explained by the British social structure of the 1940s and 1950s. At that time, the country was ruled by small elite section of society known as the “Establishment”. Being firmly rooted in it, thus the Cambridge Spy Ring members had a great deal of power. Additionally, a unique trait of English society at that time helped the Cambridge Spy Ring members as well. These were the formal and informal networks that existed at the top. Formal networks were the strict hierarchical links that the members of the Ring had with their respective organizations. Informal networks were the links that the spies had to other important people in Whitehall via school and university friendships for example. An example of this is the Apostles Society. This was an elite secret Cambridge society for left wing intellectuals, which at the time also comprised a substantial homosexual membership. Many of the Cambridge Spy Ring were members of this and maintained their contacts with fellow members. As homosexuality was illegal in the 1930s, those in the society were extremely loyal to one another to avoid their undergraduate activities being exposed. This is one reason why MI5 were loathe to investigate the Cambridge Spy Ring fully as many of their friends and contacts were important public figures now and thus potentially embarrassing to investigate. Subversion by of these important public figures by members of the Spy Ring via informal networks is extremely hard to study as few records exist of party conversations for example. Thus confessions are needed from the Cambridge Spy Ring members themselves if the full truth is ever to be known. As all the members of the Cambridge Spy Ring are now deceased, it is unlikely that this will ever occur.

The effects of the Cambridge Spy Ring on Britain and the West are vast. The first major effect was on Whitehall and public morale after the 1951 defection of Burgess and Maclean to the Soviet Union. The very concept that intelligent, well-brought-up sons of England could betray the country frightened and horrified the nation. In MI5, it brought to the surface deep fears among the senior officers of penetration and MI5 became intensely introspective and paranoid for many years to come. One by-product of this witch-hunt for suspected moles within the intelligence services was that it ruined the careers of many decent and able-bodied individuals.

The second implication was the exaggeration of the existing antipathy between MI5 and MI6. MI5 felt that MI6 could not be trusted due to Philby’s presence there and MI6 felt that MI5 had been meddling in MI6 business all along. This was counter-productive for the country as only through full cooperation between all branches of the intelligence services, can foreign agent provocateurs be effectively apprehended in Britain and valuable intelligence material gleaned about Britain’s neighbours on the world stage. Intriguingly this theme of co-operation between intelligence agencies within Britain and with other NATO countries (especially those of the USA) is especially relevant in today’s modern world as the West seeks to find extreme Islamic fundamentalists across the world and to win the “global war on terror”.

Anglo-American relations were sorely affected as well. J Edgar Hoover, who was Head of the FBI from 1924 till 1972, was notoriously anti-British. The existence of the Cambridge Spy Ring and thus Soviet penetration of the British intelligence community merely confirmed his own self held beliefs. This led to further mistrust by the FBI of its British cousins well into the later half of the 20th century. A similar effect occurred with the CIA. Negotiations were also affected. At the time, the British were negotiating with the Americans for full access to the nuclear research being done by America. However the Americans were highly reluctant to divulge such secrets as again they perceived the British as being insecure, which was arguably true.

Furthermore, the Cambridge Spy Ring was responsible for the post-war Soviet domination of Yugoslavia and other Eastern European countries. By suppressing intelligence information about resistance movements in Eastern Europe to Whitehall, those resistance movements came to rely on Soviet help and thus made Soviet domination of those countries after World War II that much easier.

Finally, the Ring helped bring down the Macmillan government. It was a succession of security scandals including the Burgess and Maclean defections and culminating in the Profumo affair, which finally forced Harold Macmillan to resign in 1963. Similarly, the Thatcher government came close to ruin, with the publication of various books about the Cambridge Spy Ring and other intelligence matters in the early 1980s along with the public naming of Sir Anthony Blunt’s traitorous affairs in 1979. However Margaret Thatcher enjoyed a strong majority in Parliament and was thus was able to weather the storm.

Therefore to summarize, the Cambridge Spy Ring was arguably the finest and most thorough penetration of any country’s government in living memory. It remains such a supreme and elegant example of an intelligence operation that it must surely be compulsory reading for intelligence services and historians worldwide. However it would be wrong for Oxford University aficionados and fans, to foolishly believe that Oxford did not produce its own share of traitors during this time period. An Oxford Spy Ring did exist at the same time. Members included Phoebe Pool (a courier for the Oxford Ring and a colleague of Blunt’s at the Courtauld Institute), Peter Floud (Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum), Bernard Floud (a senior Labour MP), Jenifer Hart (who joined the Civil Service and married an MI5 officer), Sir Andrew Cohen (a senior diplomat), and Arthur Wynn (who was active in trade union circles and joined the Civil Service). The Oxford Ring was investigated by MI5 in the 1960s but when many of its members began committing suicide to avoid capture, MI5 decided that public knowledge of such things would be undesirable and so ceased all investigations. However the Oxford Ring never amounted to much and was never able to cause the same level of damage. This was due to the Cambridge Ring’s penetration of more vital institutions such as British Intelligence compared to the Oxford Ring. Thus to conclude once could say that Cambridge remains superior to Oxford even when it comes to treason.


Ian Yeung is a junior doctor at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust. But was previously a student at Trinity College, Oxford University. This essay is a previous winner of the 1998 Trinity College Douglas Sladen Essay Prize.


References

1. Roper HT-. Philby Affair. London: Kimber, 1968.
2. Glees A. The Secrets of the Service: British Intelligence and Communist Subversion, 1939-51. Hardcover ed. London: Jonathan Cape, 1987.
3. Costello J. The Mask of Treachery: Anthony Blunt - The Most Dangerous Spy in History. Hardcover ed. London: HarperCollins, 1988.
4. Wright P. Spycatcher: The Candid Autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer. Hardcover ed. London: Viking Publishing, 1988.
5. Agency NS. Introductory History of VENONA and Guide to the Translations: National Security Agency, 1994.
6. Yuri Modin DL. My Five Cambridge Friends. Paperback ed. London: Headline Book Publishing Ltd, 1995.
7. Brown AC. Treason in the Blood. Hardcover ed. London: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
8. Colin Brown JC. How a Soviet Mole United Tito and Churchill. The Independent 1997.
9. Smith M. Fifth Man gave atomic bomb to Russians. Sydney Morning Herald 1998.
10. Huxley A. A talk with Sir Andrew Huxley, an undergraduate at Trinity in the late 1930s at Downing College, Cambridge University on February 8th 2000.
11. Wikipedia. Cambridge Five: Wikipedia, 2006.

#2 Ian Yeung

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 10:38 AM

Dear all,

Hello! Have just posted the above article. And would like to thank John Simkin for his help in all this.

I am aware that a lot of people reading this will be more knowledgable than I about this.
So if it helps, I'm more than happy to release this essay as a public domain article. And happy for people to edit/improve it appropriately. Or to send it/link it to other places if relevant. I only ask for me to be creditted still if possible.

Otherwise, hope people find this article interesting.
Do drop me an email if I can be of further help.

cheers
ian
ian.yeung@cantab.net

#3 John Simkin

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 04:12 PM

The Cambridge Spy Ring: its creation, significance, and effects on Britain and the West

In 1934, three students at Cambridge University were recruited by the KGB (the intelligence service of the USSR) to become spies. Over the next few years, two more joined their group. At the time, this group of five young students was relatively unimportant and had no name. However they have since become known as the “Cambridge Spy Ring”, arguably the greatest spy ring the West had ever seen. The reason for their infamy was because of their very success in penetrating deep into an important western political establishment, namely the British Intelligence Services.

The initial group of undergraduates consisted of Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, and Harold “Kim” Philby. Guy Burgess was having a homosexual relationship at that time with another fellow Cambridge alumnus Anthony Blunt, who was later recruited in 1937 along with John Cairncross. This was the central group of five. Additional KGB spies recruited at Cambridge were Leo Long, Michael Witney Straight, Dennis Proctor and Alister Watson (although he never confessed) but these men were relatively independent and thus were not really members of the Cambridge Spy Ring as such. All the members of the central five including Leo Long were undergraduates at Trinity College, Cambridge except Donald Maclean who was at Trinity Hall.


It is an interesting story of how the KGB was able to penetrate MI5/MI6. An important figure in this was Charles Maxwell Knight.

In 1924 Knight joined the British Fascisti (BF), an organization established to counter the growing powers of the Labour Party and the Trade Union movement. Its leader, Rotha Lintorn-Orman, explained why she established the group in 1923: "I saw the need for an organization of disinterested patriots, composed of all classes and all Christian creeds, who would be ready to serve their country in any emergency." Members of the British Fascists had been horrified by the Russian Revolution. However, they had gained inspiration from what Benito Mussolini had done it Italy.

Linton-Orman was impressed by Knight and soon after he joined the British Fascists he was appointed as the organization's Director of Intelligence. In this role he had responsibility for compiling intelligence dossiers on its enemies; for planning counter-espionage and for establishing and supervising fascist cells operating in the trade union movement.

Knight's work as Director of Intelligence for the British Fascists brought him to the attention of Vernon Kell, Director of the Home Section of the Secret Service Bureau. This government organization had responsibility of investigating espionage, sabotage and subversion in Britain and was also known as MI5.

In 1925 Kell recruited Knight to work for the Secret Service Bureau. Knight played a significant role in helping to defeat the General Strike in 1926 and by the early 1930s was placed in charge of B5b, a unit that conducted the monitoring of political subversion. Knight recruited people who were members of far right groups. This eventually became the policy of MI5 (I suspect it still is). The KGB discovered what was happening and decided to use this against MI5.

Kim Philby was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge. While at university he met Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and Anthony Blunt. Like most deep thinking young students in the 1930s, this group became strongly anti-fascist. After university Philby went to Vienna where he met Litzi Friedman, a member of the Austrian Communist Party. With the emergence of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, Friedman was in danger of being arrested. Philby married Friedman and was then able to take her to England. Soon afterwards Philby became an agent of the Soviet Union.

In order to be recruited to the British intelligence services, Philby began openly expressed right-wing opinions. Philby and Guy Burgess joined the Anglo-German Fellowship, a pro-Nazi pressure group. This group was under the control of Maxwell Knight. Philby got himself appointed as a reporter with The Times and on the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War he was sent to Spain. Over the next couple of years he provided articles that were very sympathetic to General Francisco Franco and the Nationalist Army. Franco was grateful for the support Philby gave to the Nationalists and on 2nd March, 1938, awarded him the Red Cross of Military Merit.

These reports convinced those on the right-wing of British politics that Philby had abandoned his former political views. In 1939 Guy Burgess suggested to Marjorie Maxse, chief organization officer of the Conservative Party, and chief of staff of MI6 Section D's training school for propaganda, that she should recruit Philby. Maxse agreed and Philby therefore had become the first of the Cambridge Group to get into MI5/MI6.

http://www.spartacus...k/SSknightM.htm

http://www.spartacus.../SSburgessG.htm

http://www.spartacus...uk/SSphilby.htm

#4 William Kelly

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 08:02 AM

[quote name='Ian Yeung' date='Feb 11 2007, 10:38 AM' post='93588']
Dear all,

Hello! Have just posted the above article. And would like to thank John Simkin for his help in all this.

I am aware that a lot of people reading this will be more knowledgable than I about this.
So if it helps, I'm more than happy to release this essay as a public domain article. And happy for people to edit/improve it appropriately. Or to send it/link it to other places if relevant. I only ask for me to be creditted still if possible.

Otherwise, hope people find this article interesting.
Do drop me an email if I can be of further help.

cheers
ian
ian.yeung@cantab.net

Hello Ian, and welcome.

JS certainly recruits an interesting lot.

You have certainly summarized the essence of the Cambridge Spy Ring story and indeed, you are correct that it should be manditory study for any professional spy or counter-spy, just as the JFK assassination should be subject for political science students, both still unfolding dramas.

There are issues that could be expounded on, and points thad dovetail with the assassination.

Michael Straight, the American millionaire, provided the fatal evidence of Philby's treason, during his FBI background check after being nominated by JFK to be the head of the federal arts agency.

Anthony Blunt came to USA in 1963 and may have met one of the anti-Castro Cubans connected to the JFK assassination.

William Harvey was one of the first to suspect Philby as being a KGB double-agent, while Angleton, who was trained by Philby in the covert arts, was totally taken in.

It was Philby who also betrayed the CIA's use of private foundations for the laundering of operational funds (See: My Silent War).

It is my theory, which I will subject forum members to for critical response, that Ian Fleming began to write his 007 spy novels as a psychological warfare operation designed to boost the moral of the betrayed British Secret Service and salvage some of the intelligence networks exposed by Philby.

James Bond, the American ornithologist from whom Fleming appropriated the name for his hero, was also a Cambrige man, who was a member of the same student club as Burgess - the Pitt Club, and sailed with Somerset Maugham, one of William Wiseman's agents out of MI6 NY.

As with the JFK assassination, I don't think we have all of the pieces to the Cambrige Spy Ring puzzle.

I think there's also a member of this forum who hails from Cambridge.

Looking forward to a spirited response and further development of info on this.

Bill Kelly
bkjfk3@yahoo.comm

Edited by William Kelly, 12 February 2007 - 08:09 AM.


#5 Ian Yeung

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 08:12 AM

Thank you Bill for all that good information.
I didn't know all that. Thank you.

And thank you JS as well.

On a side note, I just found out that there is a Matt Damon film (The Good Shepherd) coming out or has recently come out that is partly based on the history of the early CIA.
And there is even a character who is partly based on Kim Philby. And one based on James Jesus Angleton.

What do you all think about this?
I'd be quite keen to have a look.

The URL is below.
Kind regard and best wishes,
yours
ian

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0343737/

#6 Sid Walker

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 09:13 AM

I think Roland Perry's The Fifth Man, summarized HERE, deserves a mention

I'd be interested in comments, critiques... anything really except for ouright abuse :blink:

I notice that John Simkin briefly mentions Perry's book HERE - only to dismiss it as 'unconvincing'. I'd be interested to know his reasoning.

My impression - based, unfortunately, only on the summary of Perry's book - is that Perry makes a reasonable case that Victor Rothchild was closely involved with some of the better known and now 'outed' Soviet spies such as Philby and Blunt.

However, Perry's overt conclusion - that Rothschild was a Soviet mole - seems uncovincing to me.

According to excerpts from Perry's own book, it seems more likely to me that Rothschild was a 'triple agent' with ultimate loyalty to the Zionist cause.

Try this, for example:

Months after Israel was formed, Rothschild was involved with Chaim Weizmann in setting up a special nuclear physics department in a scientific institute in Rehovoth. The establishment was named after Weizmann, the nation's first president and himself a distinguished biochemist.

Its aim even in those heady days of 1948 was to build nuclear weapons for Israel. It became the nation's best kept secret and the most fervent desire of the new nation's founders.{p. 222}

Here's another:

While Philby was using Rothschild's name to stir up his adversaries, the man himself was causing trouble for Israel's enemies in the Middle East. Rothschild had long urged Mossad to use as much modern technology as possible in preparation for probable war with its hostile neighbours. He had informed Mossad chiefs of the need for computerized data in intelligence work, even introducing them to contacts in the CIA via Angleton and Helms, who could secretly assist in the electronic upgrade.'

Since the early 1960s, Rothschild had pushed for the use of electronic listening devices (thanks in part to what he had learned from Peter Wright) to replace human agents as guards on Israel's vulnerable borders. Consequently, Mossad developed the signal side of its Intelligence operations so that it could intercept enemy communications.

By the mid-1960s, masts, antennae and radar discs began to appear on Mount Hermon above the Golan Heights. They allowed military Intelligence to listen to phone and signals traffic in Damascus, which was only forty-three miles away. The listening system was a replica of the one developed in Britain for use by America's National Security Agency, the CIA and British Intelligence in their techno-battle and war defence against the Soviet Union.


Of interest also are references to Angleton in The Fifth Man. Perry claims Angleton perceived Rothschild as a rival.

More likely, I would have thought, in the light of what we now know about Angleton and his strong ties to Israel, that they colluded.

Thus it is, IMO, possible to trace deep level Zionist penetration of the British Secret Services dating back to at least World War Two - and the simulataneous infiltration of American 'intelligence services' from their very inception.

Characters like Rothschild and Angleton played both 'sides' of the Cold War for suckers.

Edited by Sid Walker, 12 February 2007 - 10:17 AM.


#7 John Simkin

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 07:52 PM

Therefore to summarize, the Cambridge Spy Ring was arguably the finest and most thorough penetration of any country’s government in living memory. It remains such a supreme and elegant example of an intelligence operation that it must surely be compulsory reading for intelligence services and historians worldwide. However it would be wrong for Oxford University aficionados and fans, to foolishly believe that Oxford did not produce its own share of traitors during this time period. An Oxford Spy Ring did exist at the same time. Members included Phoebe Pool (a courier for the Oxford Ring and a colleague of Blunt’s at the Courtauld Institute), Peter Floud (Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum), Bernard Floud (a senior Labour MP), Jenifer Hart (who joined the Civil Service and married an MI5 officer), Sir Andrew Cohen (a senior diplomat), and Arthur Wynn (who was active in trade union circles and joined the Civil Service).


I am afraid you are wrong to suggest Bernard Floud was a Soviet spy. Nor was Jenifer Hart a spy. Peter Wright named Floud and Hart as spies in his book, Spycatcher (1987):

Floud's attitude, when I began the interview, was extraordinary. He treated the matter as of little importance, and when I pressed him on Jennifer Hart's story he refused to either confirm or deny that he had recruited her.

"How can I deny it, if I can't remember anything about it?" he said repeatedly.

I was tough with him. I knew that his wife, an agoraphobic depressive, had recently committed suicide, but Floud was eager to conclude the interview, presumably lured by the scent of office. I explained to him in unmistakable terms that, since it was my responsibility to advise on his security clearance, I could not possibly clear him until he gave a satisfactory explanation for the Hart story. Still he fell back lamely on his lack of memory. The session ended inconclusively, and I asked for him to attend a further interview the following day. I did not make any progress with him, he maintaining that he had no recollection of recruiting Jennifer.

The next morning I got a message that Floud had committed suicide, apparently with a gas poker and a blanket.


Bernard Floud, the son of Sir Francis Floud, the High Commissioner to Canada, was born on 22nd March, 1915. Educated at Wadham College, Oxford, he became a secret member of the Communist Party.

Floud qualified as a lawyer but on the outbreak of the Second World War Floud joined the Intelligence Corps. Later he worked in the Ministry of Information (1942-45) and the Board of Trade (1945-51).

After the war Floud became an open member of the party and was active in the "Civil Servants Communist Group". Informed that he would never receive promotion as a civil servant because of his political views he resigned and became a farmer in Ongar. He joined the Labour Party and was a member of the Kelvedon Hatch Parish Council (1952-61). In 1955 Floud was employed by Granada as a television programme company executive.

Floud was elected to the House of Commons in October 1964. Soon afterwards Floud began asking questions about the case of Commander Lionel Crabb, an underwater sabotage expert, who had disappeared in April 1956 while on a secret mission to investigate the Russian cruiser Ordkhonikidze. This created a diplomatic row as the ship had brought over Nikita Khrushchev and Nikolai Bulganin on a goodwill mission to Britain. Floud seemed well-informed about the case and appeared to have obtained this information from MI6.

In 1964 Anthony Blunt was identified as a Soviet agent. Blunt confessed to his crimes in return for his immunity from prosecution. According to Peter Wright he named several other agents including Floud and Hart. Nothing was done about this allegation until Harold Wilson became prime minister. MI5 told Wilson that several Labour MPs were Soviet spies. This included Bernard Floud, John Diamond (Chief Secretary of the Treasury), John Stonehouse (parliamentary secretary, Aviation), Barnett Stross (parliamentary secretary, Health), Judith Hart (Under-Secretary of State for Scotland), Stephen Swingler (parliamentary secretary, Transport), Niall MacDermot (Financial Secretary, Treasury), Tom Driberg (National Executive of the Labour Party) and Will Owen (MP for Morpeth). As David Leigh points out in The Wilson Plot: "With the exception of the insignificant Will Owen, the spying allegations were all false."

As Leigh points out: "Of those who became secret members of the Communist Party in the 1930s, quite a few refused to do any spying in later life - Michael Straight, the rich American, for example, or the civil servants Bernard Floud and Jenifer Hart... His (Floud) profile was not that of an active underground mole at all. He had been an open supporter of Communism after the war. As a consequence, he had been 'purged' from Harold Wilson's Board of Trade in 1948 under the blacklisting procedure for civil servants. And if he had only pretended to leave the British Communist Party subsequently, his name would have been on the 55,000 files looted by MI5 from the CPGB under operation PARTY PIECE in 1955."

The naming of these left-wing MPs as Soviet spies was an attempt to undermine the 1964 Wilson government. In 1967 Harold Wilson decided to appoint Floud as a junior minister and MI5 was asked to provide him with a security clearance. Floud was interviewed by Peter Wright. After being interrogated he returned home and committed suicide on 10th October, 1967.

Floud was just another victim of MI5's dirt tricks. Floud's son, Professor Sir Roderick Floud, contacted me and pointed out that Wright was also wrong to suggest that his mother had committed suicide. She in fact died from a long-standing lung disease.

http://www.spartacus....uk/SSflood.htm

#8 John Simkin

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 06:09 PM

My impression - based, unfortunately, only on the summary of Perry's book - is that Perry makes a reasonable case that Victor Rothchild was closely involved with some of the better known and now 'outed' Soviet spies such as Philby and Blunt.

However, Perry's overt conclusion - that Rothschild was a Soviet mole - seems uncovincing to me.

According to excerpts from Perry's own book, it seems more likely to me that Rothschild was a 'triple agent' with ultimate loyalty to the Zionist cause.


Here is a good summary concerning the Fifth Man:

George A. Carver, The Fifth Man, Atlantic Online (September 1988)

If there actually was such a fifth man, the pool of serious candidates, with the requisite access and seniority, is very small. Indeed, it probably consists of no more than three people.

One is Guy Liddell, who was the deputy director general of MI5 from 1947 until he retired, in 1952. He, Burgess, and Blunt were friends, and Liddell was very much a part of the hothouse wartime circle revolving around Victor Rothschild's 5 Bentinck Street flat, in which Burgess and Blunt both lived. During the war Liddell ran MI5's counterespionage division, where Anthony Blunt was his personal assistant. Philby had a high regard for Liddell, whom he described in My Silent War - with Empsonian ambiguity - as "an ideal senior officer for a young man to learn from." In 1944 Liddell assisted Philby in the successful bureaucratic knifing of Philby's then superior, Felix Cowgill, so that Philby could become the head of SIS's expanding counterintelligence effort (which Philby terms his "Fulfillment"). Liddell, however, was greatly admired, professionally and personally, and has many staunch defenders. These include Sir Dick White, Philby's nemesis in both MI5 and MI6, both of which White headed, and Peter Wright (of Spycatcher fame), one of the most avid of all mole-hunters.

The two others are Graham Mitchell and Sir Roger Hollis. In 1951 Mitchell was in charge of counterespionage; he became deputy director general of MI5 (under Hollis) in 1956 and retired in 1963. He drafted the patently mendacious, demonstrably erroneous 1955 white paper on the Burgess-Maclean defection. On the strength of that document the Foreign Secretary, Harold Macmillan, gave Philby what the latter would call the happiest day of his life by publicly affirming Philby's innocence in the House of Commons - declaring, in a statement that Mitchell helped draft, that Philby was not the third man ("if indeed, there was one"). Hollis became deputy in 1953 and moved up in 1956 to be director general until his retirement, in 1965. Mitchell and Hollis were the subject of a series of investigations during the 1960s. Both were eventually declared innocent of any wrongdoing.


My own view is that Guy Liddell was the fifth man. In November 1979, Goronwy Rees, gave a deathbed confession that he had been a Soviet spy. He also claimed that Liddell was also a traitor and had been part of the Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and Anthony Blunt spy ring.

http://www.spartacus...k/SSliddell.htm

#9 John Simkin

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 04:34 PM

I think Roland Perry's The Fifth Man, summarized HERE, deserves a mention

I'd be interested in comments, critiques... anything really except for ouright abuse :rolleyes:

I notice that John Simkin briefly mentions Perry's book HERE - only to dismiss it as 'unconvincing'. I'd be interested to know his reasoning.


I think the idea that Victor Rothschild was part of a Soviet Jewish conspiracy is laughable.

Rothschild was a member of the famous banking dynasty, was born in 1910. A talented scientist, Rothschild joined MI5 during the Second World War. This included working with Arthur Koestler to produce anti-Nazi propaganda. In 1940 Rothschild suggested that Anthony Blunt should be invited to join the secret service. He also rented a house to his friend Guy Burgess.

After the liberation of France Rothschild worked with Dick White, Kim Philby and Malcolm Muggeridge at the MI6 offices established at the Rothschild family mansion in Paris.

It is clear that Rothschild was an anti-fascist in the 1930s and 1940s. So was virtually everyone who had half a brain. After the war he did nothing to help the Soviets. His big buddy was Peter Wright, a fanatical anti-communist.

In 1961 Rothschild passed on information to Arthur Martin that Kim Philby had tried to recruit Flora Solomon, as a spy in 1937. Rothschild also worked closely with Peter Wright and is believed to have supplied him with information that suggested that Roger Hollis was a Soviet spy.

Edward Heath was a great admirer of Rothschild and in 1970 he appointed him head of the government's Central Policy Review Staff. It was later claimed that Rothschild persuaded Heath to appoint Michael Hanley as Director General of MI5 in 1972. Later Margaret Thatcher appointed Rothschild as her unofficial security adviser. Remember, Thatcher would have seen Rothschild's file. (It was Thatcher who exposed Blunt).

Victor Rothschild died in 1990. Four years later, Roland Perry, published The Fifth Man, where he unconvincingly claimed Rothschild was one of the Cambridge Spy Ring (Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross). However, I am convinced that the real 5th man was Guy Liddell.

In November 1979, Goronwy Rees, gave a deathbed confession that he had been a Soviet spy. He also claimed that Liddell was also a traitor and had been part of the Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and Anthony Blunt spy ring. I see no reason why he should lie about this.

Rothschild also identified Philby as a spy in 1961. Philby only fled to the Soviet Union in January, 1963.

#10 Sid Walker

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 11:41 PM

I think Roland Perry's The Fifth Man, summarized HERE, deserves a mention

I'd be interested in comments, critiques... anything really except for ouright abuse :o

I notice that John Simkin briefly mentions Perry's book HERE - only to dismiss it as 'unconvincing'. I'd be interested to know his reasoning.


I think the idea that Victor Rothschild was part of a Soviet Jewish conspiracy is laughable.

Rothschild was a member of the famous banking dynasty, was born in 1910. A talented scientist, Rothschild joined MI5 during the Second World War. This included working with Arthur Koestler to produce anti-Nazi propaganda. In 1940 Rothschild suggested that Anthony Blunt should be invited to join the secret service. He also rented a house to his friend Guy Burgess.

After the liberation of France Rothschild worked with Dick White, Kim Philby and Malcolm Muggeridge at the MI6 offices established at the Rothschild family mansion in Paris.

It is clear that Rothschild was an anti-fascist in the 1930s and 1940s. So was virtually everyone who had half a brain. After the war he did nothing to help the Soviets. His big buddy was Peter Wright, a fanatical anti-communist.

In 1961 Rothschild passed on information to Arthur Martin that Kim Philby had tried to recruit Flora Solomon, as a spy in 1937. Rothschild also worked closely with Peter Wright and is believed to have supplied him with information that suggested that Roger Hollis was a Soviet spy.

Edward Heath was a great admirer of Rothschild and in 1970 he appointed him head of the government's Central Policy Review Staff. It was later claimed that Rothschild persuaded Heath to appoint Michael Hanley as Director General of MI5 in 1972. Later Margaret Thatcher appointed Rothschild as her unofficial security adviser. Remember, Thatcher would have seen Rothschild's file. (It was Thatcher who exposed Blunt).

Victor Rothschild died in 1990. Four years later, Roland Perry, published The Fifth Man, where he unconvincingly claimed Rothschild was one of the Cambridge Spy Ring (Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross). However, I am convinced that the real 5th man was Guy Liddell.

In November 1979, Goronwy Rees, gave a deathbed confession that he had been a Soviet spy. He also claimed that Liddell was also a traitor and had been part of the Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and Anthony Blunt spy ring. I see no reason why he should lie about this.

Rothschild also identified Philby as a spy in 1961. Philby only fled to the Soviet Union in January, 1963.


John

If the sentence of yours that I bolded was presented as a summary of the case I made previously, then I must have communicated very poorly.

If, on the other hand, it's a summary of Perry's claim in The Fifth Man, then it's not really accurate; Perry claimed Rothschild was a Soviet agent, although much of his book does seem to dwell on favours Rothschild performed for the Zionist cause.

No, my claim was that Rothschild was most likely a triple agent:

1/ Overtly a British spook (or, in later life, 'ex'-spook)

2/ Secretly part of the Soviet spook network operating within Britain and the USA, able to control the flow of events for the rest of the network, to a limited extent - and never 'outed' while alive.

3/ A (the?) leading Zionist of his time, midwife to the State of Israel.

His power would have been such that neither side of the cold war (east or east) would well positioned to expose him. In the west, he had superior networks and power to any of his potential enemies. On the Soviet side, I suspect, very knew about him; he would have been the equivalent for Stalin of Winston Churchill's Enigma (of which apparently Foriegn Secretary Anthony Eden was told precisely zero at the time it mattered most).

Even later on after Stalin's death, the Soviet top leadership probably had too much to gain by keeping him 'in the club', too much to lose by turning against him.

His spying for Britain, of course, was done in plain sight.

Remarkably, that also appears to have been the case in relation to his spying for Israel.

No-one in Britain seems to have questioned the approriateness of his evident use of information gleaned from British 'intelligence' to support the Zionist cause - even after 1948 when Israel became a separate country.

Yet at the time of its inception official Israeli and British policy were poles apart.

Before 1948 Rothschild was coy about his support for Israel. He postured as an agnostic on the issue.

But when the chips were down, in 1948, he came out as a full blown story of the Zionist State. His speech in the House of Lords is interesting, inter alia, because it foreshadows the essential elements of the mainstream Zionist narrative ever since.

Nations such as Britain, America and Russia demonstated, in the 20th century, their complete inability to run a tight intelligence ship. Each of them, we now know, had 'intelligence agencies' deeply penetrated by other intelligence agencies. Like the boy who plays with matches, these nations ended up getting more than they had bargained for. None of them have ever really had 'control' over their own secret services, yet these networks of spooks have gradually grown and accreted more power.

The entire system of competing national 'intelligence agencies' - rather like the complimentary 'drug wars' that came somewhat later - were really an invitation to the most powerful clandestine networks on the planet to get involved, get mega-rich and hide criminal activity behind an inpenetrable shield of 'national security'.

As the Allies were the 'winners' of the Second World War, the major spook networks in the west are thoroughly infiltrated by and subservient to Zionists. IMO, that was so in 1948 - and remains the case today.

Had the Axis been victorious in WW2, perhaps we would be making the same complaint today about the Yakuza?

Incidentally, Aarons and Loftus wrote about the USSR's rather out-of-character decision (later reversed) to support the Zionist State in the UN vote that gave it initial legitimacy. They claimed the crucial leverage over Stalin related to secrets over the nuclear program. The flow of leaked info to Russia - most if not all, I suspect, leaked by genuine, commited communists irrespectaive of their ethnic background - was eventually switched off - after the USSR and its satellites had cast their crucial votes supporting the establishment of Israel.

Pressure was also applied via Zionist networks on the Dominions, such as Australia. In 1948, it was rare indeed for Australia to oppose Britain on a matter of international affairs. Yet that's precisely what the Zionist lobby achieved in 1948.

The British Labour Government of the late 40s, that you so admire, I believe was admirable for another reason - a reason rarely mentiuoned today.

It stuck, with some tenacity, to the even-handed position of HMG on the future of Palestine - a position that was (if one reads the whole text) actually enshrined in the original Balfour Dclaration of 1917 - then affirmed by the late 1930s Peel Commission and re-confirmed in early 1939 by an overwhelming House of Commons vote. The Atlee Government did this, despite extreme Zionist pressure including very unpleasant terrorism.

It is one of the episodes in Britain's colonial past that could justifiably be the source of some pride - even if it ended in failure because of Zionist thuggery, bribery and what I like to call ethnic dirtying (forced removal en masse of one's fellow human beings from land in which they are resident).

Edited by Sid Walker, 15 February 2007 - 01:27 AM.


#11 Sid Walker

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:18 AM

A footnote to my previous post, just to make my position clear...

Q: Do I claim Perry - or Aarons & Loftus - to be credible sources?

A: Their connections are interesting and they are certainly well-connected in Zionist circles. That doesn't make what they say true or false. Their output must be sifted and evaluated like all other secondary sources. I think it likely contains both wheat and chaff.

There's a recent parallel.

In the 1990s, more and more astonishing information came out about the Israeli nuclear program of the 50s and 60s. Characters who had been central players in the drama, such as Shimon Peres, were clearly involved in the release of this info - even though it breached official Israeli policy by discussing the Israeli WMD program, still officially denied even then.

What was going on?

Among the various motivations for finally telling the truth (however partial and distorted) may be good old fashioned vanity.

I suspect Peres, for instance, wanted the world to know what a crucial role he'd played in his nation's affairs.

What's a good scam worth if - in the end - you can't even brag about it to your mates?

A servicable arrangement for Peres was to brag to his mates, but be sure he picked those mates with great care, so they'd observe necessary discretion as required and - of course - put a favourable spin on affairs from his perspective.

Even after a key historical player is deceased, there are often family interests that seek to establish, uphold or defend their reputations.

Edited by Sid Walker, 15 February 2007 - 07:10 AM.


#12 William Kelly

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 05:39 AM

Thank you Bill for all that good information.
I didn't know all that. Thank you.

And thank you JS as well.

On a side note, I just found out that there is a Matt Damon film (The Good Shepherd) coming out or has recently come out that is partly based on the history of the early CIA.
And there is even a character who is partly based on Kim Philby. And one based on James Jesus Angleton.

What do you all think about this?
I'd be quite keen to have a look.

The URL is below.
Kind regard and best wishes,
yours
ian

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0343737/


Ian, Have not yet seen the movie but will.

With a main character named Ed Wilson, that must be intentional.

I don't know why they have to fictionalize things in Hollywood, when the real story and real people are more interesting.

Don't think the miss statements re: Floud and Hart take away from the article's main thrust - the continuing effect of the Cambridge spys.

Will let other comments run out before I lay out my Ian Fleming/Cambridge Spy thesis.

BK

#13 William Kelly

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 05:23 AM

Here's my thesis that Ian Fleming's spy novels were part of a psych war operation against the Russians as a direct result of the betrayals of the Cambridge Spy ring. BK

CAMBRIDGE SPY RING & 007 -

More secrets have been revealed since the death of James Bond in 1989.

New information came out in The Private Life of James Bond, a profile of James Bond the ornithologist, by history professor David R. Contosta (Sutter House, 1993), and another biography of Fleming, The Man Behind James Bond (Turner Books, 1995) by Andrew Lycett.

With the official approval and cooperation of Fleming's estate, family and friends, Andrew Lycett continued to promote the false myth that Fleming began his spy novels on a lark, to take his mind of marriage, and despairingly refers to the real James Bond as an "unknown academic."

Yet Lycett teases with the truth by brining the Cambridge spy ring to the table.

During World War II Fleming had said he wanted to write "the spy story to end all spy stories," and when he sat down to is desk at his Jamaican beach house in January, 1952, the biggest spy story of the century was slowly unfolding in back alleys, capitol offices and headlines around the world.

It was unthinkable that the best and brightest of England's native sons could betray their nation's most precious secrets to the Soviet Union, yet that was what was just beginning to be understood. One year earlier, on May 28, 1951, Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess disappeared shortly before McLean was to be arrested for espionage, setting off a search for a "Third Man," suspected of tipping them off as to MacLean's impending doom.

Since both Burgess and Mclean attended Cambridge University, suspicion immediately fell on their former schoolmate and friend Kim Philby, the MI6 British Secret Service liaison to the United State's CIA, former head of the MI6 bureau responsible for Soviet counter-intelligence, and one of the few primary candidates to head the British Secret Service. While the suspicions put a strain in U.S. – British relations, it also strongly affected Ian Fleming, a Philby colleague whose generation of friends and associates were caught exposed and vulnerable by the betrayal their own friends, associates and countrymen.

Four months after Burgess and Maclean escaped to Russia, Ian and his wife Ann visited their friends Prime Minister Anthony Eden and his wife Clarissa. According to Lycett, "The Prime Minister was unwell, largely as a result of the anguish he was experiencing about the enduring subject of the 'Missing Diplomats'. A White Paper on Burgess and Maclean's defection to Moscow had just been published and the government was being forced to lie about the case, falsely denying that the two traitors' colleague Kim Philby was the 'Third Man'. Clarissa Eden begged her guests not to mention any of these names in front of her husband. When they were alone, Ian and Ann asked her for more details."

The subject was also taboo when Fleming sat down with his old friend and mentor, Sir William Stephenson [The man called INTREPID], reports Lycett, as "Curiously, Ian did not mention…the intelligence-related matter which obsessed the chattering classes of the time – the disappearance in May of two senior Foreign Office officials, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, who were suspected of being communist spys. When Ian and Ann had entertained Cyril Connolly and Noel Coward in September, they had spoken of little else. How could such pillars of the Establishment nurtured an ideological commitment for Marxism?"

Connolly was actually with Maclean on the day before he fled, and [in Douglas Southerland's [i]The Fourth Man – The Story of Blunt, Philby, Burgess and MacLean[/i], Arrow Books, 1980], Connolly is quoted as saying, "…I knew them both and actually

Lunched with Maclean the day before he disappeared. The point I wanted to mention to you was that on that day I am sure he had no intention of leaving the way he did. He spoke to me so normally as to his private affairs…this makes me feel that, subsequent to meeting me on May 24th, he received some warning that he was under suspicion, and immediately left the country with Burgess. It may be, therefore, that someone in the Foreign Office told him…." Now we know that person was Kim Philby.

The Sunday Times had commissioned Cyril Connolly to write a story on the missing diplomats, and Fleming wanted to expand the article into a book for his publishing house, Queen Ann Press, whose offices share the same Queen Anne's Gate underground stop with those who work at the offices of the British Secret Service.

While mocking Fleming's actual intentions and motives, Lycett acknowledged that Fleming's first novel was inspired by the betrayals of the Cambridge syps when he wrote, "What raised Casino Royale out of the usual run of thrillers was Ian's attempt to reflect the disturbing moral ambiguity of a post-war world that could produce traitors like Burgess and Maclean. Although Bond is presented like Bulldog Drummond with all the trappings of a traditional fictional secret agent (such as his Bentley), in fact he needs 'Marshall Aid' from Leiter to enable him to continue his baccarat game with Le Chiffre. Bond is rescued from his kidnappers not by the British or the Americans but by the Russians, who complete the job he should of done of eliminating Le Chiffre. Bond does not even get the girl: [ Vesper ] she has been duplicitous throughout, betraying not only him personally but all Western Intelligence's anti-Soviet operations. No wonder, feeling let down and abandoned, he fails to conceal his bitterness at the end and spits out, 'The bitch is dead now.'"

Casino Royale was Ian Fleming's response to the betrayal of the Cambridge spy ring, portraying the women who loved James Bond as the sexy snake who actually worked for the opposition, much like the sexual ambiguity and background of the Cambridge spies. After writing Casino Royale in Jamaica in January, Fleming and his wife returned to England for the birth of their son Casper.

After dropping her off a the hospital, Fleming visited an old friend from school days, the American born Whitney Straight, chairman of the BOAC airlines. Both Whitney Straight, described as a playboy race driver, and his younger brother were personal friends of Guy Burgess and according to Lycett the case of the Missing Diplomats is what they discussed.

Ian Fleming's father had established the family banking interests in America with J. P. Morgan, a firm that included Whitney and Michael Straight's father, and with whom Fleming himself was affiliated with for a while. Both Whitney and Michael Straight attended Cambridge, where they knew Guy Burgess from the hunting and drinking social set at the Pitt Club. Straight considered Burgess an "alcoholic adventurer, a name dropper and a gypsy." At Cambridge Michael Straight, was recruited into the Cambridge spy cell by art historian Anthony Blunt, the Fourth Man.

Although a reluctant Soviet spy, Michael Straight retained his friendship with Blunt, Philby, Burgess and Maclean. As editor and publisher of the New Republic Michael Striaght published some of Philby's commentaries from Lebanon, where he was exiled to in 1956.

Ian Fleming even went so far as to reach out to Burgess and Maclean, after they defected, asking his friend and associate Dick Hughes, the Far East correspondent, to try to contact them. Hughes, also a character in Fleming's novels, introduced both Fleming and Somerset Maugham to the intricacies and lifestyle of Tokyo, as reflected in their novels. Hughes, one of Fleming's Mercury team, obtained the first ever interview with Burgess and Maclean in exile, by urging the Russians to produce the two defectors before a planned summit conference. In February, 1956, Burgess and Maclean met Hughes in the lobby of a Moscow hotel and handed him a statement, the first acknowledgement that Burgess and Maclean were spys, had defected and were living comfortably behind the Iron Curtain.

The summit itself was interrupted in true Flemingesque fashion, when a frogman, "Buster" Crabb, was sent into the Thames to inspect the hull and propellers of the Russian cruiser that brought diplomats to London. When Crabb failed to surface, and his headless body later washed ashore, exposing supposedly secret operations, heads rolled at St. James Gate. The subsequent public scandal became almost as significant as the U2 incident that later cancelled the Eisenhower-Kruschev summit. Nicholas Elliot was second in the chain of command on the operation, and had personally selected Crabb as the frogman. So that stain on Elliot's career, and his steadfast faith in Philby, would set him up to put an end to the Philby problem. It was Elliot, Fleming's primary contact with MI6, who was selected to confront Philby when evidence of his duplicity would be undeniable.

Although you wouldn't know it from reading his official biographies, which promote the real James Bond as an "unknown academic" and the 007 novels as being written, in ornithological terms, "on a lark," Ian Fleming was actually in the thick of the double-agent duplicity.

In November, 1956, Sir Roger Hollis of MI5 visited Washington D.C. to brief the Americans about the missing diplomats and Third Man affair. Driving Hollis around Washington, Richard Helms of the CIA asked Hollis, "Who's this writer Ian Fleming?" Helms mentioned the recently published book Live and Let Die, but Hollis simply replied, "Don't know."

A few days later it was revealed that Prime Minister Anthony Eton had flown to Jamaica to spend some time at Fleming's Goldeneye beach house, sparking Helms to assume "The man lied. Hollis must have cleared the prime minister to stay with Fleming," writes Tom Bower [in [i]The Perfect English Spy[/i] – The Unknown Man In Charge During The Most Tumultuous, Scandal-Ridden Era In Espionage History], a biography of Sir Dick White.

Bower also notes, "Michael Straight, an accomplished American whose family boasted East Coast wealth and influence, had known Anthony Blunt in 1934 while studying at Trinity [College, Cambridge]. Already inclined towards socialism, Straight had become immersed in Cambridge's communist movement. Before returning to America in 1937, he had been invited to join Blunt and Burgess' conspiracy but had refused. Even thirteen years later when he met Burgess again in Washington, he volunteered that he had never betrayed his friends. But in 1963 Straight was offered a government post and, apparently fearful of exposure, he had spent June closeted with FBI officers….By any measure, the confession was a major breakthrough. Not surprisingly, the MI5 officer returned to Britain excited about the disclosure. The molehunt had been legitimized."

Michael Straight kept his secret knowledge of the Cambridge spy ring until John F. Kennedy, President of the United States, wanted to appoint Michael Straight director of the National Endowment for the Arts, which he first accepted and then turned down when confronted with an FBI background check.

According to John Costello (Mask of Trechery – Spys, Lies and Betrayal, Warner Books, 1988), Straight confessed to the FBI and told them about his attempted recruitment while a student at Cambridge. Costello, who died suspiciously while writing about these things, Straight "…was given a list of eighty-five Americans who attended Cambridge University between the years 1930 and 1934, from which he picked out one American, who he knew casually at the Department of State. He then named two more Americans with whom he had studied at Cambridge between 1936 and 1937 and whom he knew to have been Trinity cell members or Communist sympathizers…The FBI representatives in the U.S. embassy in London recommended a full review of all Americans who studied at either Oxford or Cambridge before the war."

As head of the FBI, responsible for counter-intelligence in the United States, J. Edgar Hover inexplicitly, according to Costello, balked at "the political repercussions of an investigation of over 500 American citizens with no basis for such an inquiry in fact…".

The CIA however, had no such qualms, and says Costello, "as a result, the records of nearly six hundred American who had attended either Oxford or Cambridge before World War II were carefully compiled, examined and scrutinized," among them James Bond, who not only attended Cambridge, but was a member of the exclusive Pitt Club.

Born in Philadelphia on January 4, 1900, Bond attended the exclusive St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, but because Bond's father had business in England and eventually married an Englishwomen, James Bond attended Harrow and Cambridge, before returning to America and embarking on his ornithological pursuit and survey of birds that led to the publication of his book Birds of the West Indies.

It was not the first time the American intelligence agencies had taken an interest in James Bond. During World War II Bond went to Haiti on an ornithological expedition to a remote area of the island country, where he encountered a German on Morne La Selle mountain, a recluse who maintained an airstrip. Bond told his friend Brandon Barringer about the German, and Bond was subsequently interviewed by Army and Navy Intelligence investigators at his office at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. According to Mrs. Bond, "The intelligence people asked a lot of foolish questions and seemed far more suspicious about Jim's reason for climbing Morne La Selle than about the German's activities."

As one of the American students at Cambridge before World War II, James Bond was one of the over 500 such students who fit the profile of those being investigated, although Bond was there a decade before the Cambridge spy cell was first organized. If recruited by a professor however, others students could have been to Cambridge, been recruited and left without being uncovered, and remain as sleeper agents in high government offices.

With Michael Straight's confession to the FBI and then to the British MI5, Philby could no longer bluff his way out of being exposed at the Third Man after all. Chosen to go to Beruit to confront Philby and get his confession, Nicholas Elliot was Ian Fleming's contact at MI6, where Fleming's older brother Peter also worked as a special agent.

Nicholas Elliot's father, Charles Elliot, was the headmaster at Eton, where the old school ties began with the original "C," Sir Stewart Menzies, and continued with other Etonians, including Ian Fleming and Guy Burgess. As Maclean lunched with Cryil Connolly on the day before he fled, Burgess returned to his old school and visited with a former history professor, ostensibly to discuss the biography Burgess was writing about the Earl of Sandwich.

Their defection would spark Philby's relocation to Lebanon, where Philby would remain in Beruit until confronted by Elliot, and finally acknowledge his betrayal. But before Philby was allowed to flee on the heels of Burgess and Maclean, Fleming himself visited Beruit.

Before the civil war, Beruit was the jewel of the Mediterranean, with hotels, casinos and a bustling nightlife. When Fleming arrived he immediately checked in with Elliot. According to Lycett, "Their conversation ranged over a variety of intelligence-related topics, including Kim Philby, a key participant in the Missing Diplomats affair, who had been working in Beirut as a newspaperman since 1956. Ian told Elliot that he had his own minor freelance intelligence assignment to perform: the then NID chief Vice Admiral Sir Norman Denniung had asked him for information about the Iraqi port of Basra…Ian did not delay…. he asked to leave, saying he had a rendezvous with an Armenian in the Place de Canons in the center of town."

"Perhaps," speculates Lycett, "Ian was meeting Philby," But again belittling the situation, he writes that, "Elliot had the distinct impression his dinner guest had arranged to see a pornographic film in full color and sound." Shortly thereafter, Philby, like Burgess and Maclean before him, disappeared, only to surface a few months later in Moscow, sending back postcards, from Russia, with love.

Whether Fleming went to Beruit to see a porno film or meet with Philby, the betrayal of the Cambridge spy cell weighted heavy on Fleming, and undisputedly affected his work, both professionally and his literature, and by extension, the mass market movies based on his stories. Yet this whole subterranean world is ignored by the mainstream, official biographers, and only hinted at as a truthful tease.

In Die Another Day, the last James Bond film starring Pierce Brosnan, 007 stops at a cabana beach bar in Cuba where he orders a drink while perusing a book, which if you look closely, is clearly Birds of the West Indies by James Bond.

"I'm here for the birds," 007 announces, as Halle Berry walks out of the water in a scene from the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, in which 007 masquerades as an ornithologist, and Ursula Andress emerged from the surf as the first "Bond Girl."

In the new movie, a throwback to the original Casino Royale, Daniel Craig portrays the new 007 in the 21st Bond film, which returns somewhat to Fleming's original portrayal of James Bond, without all the "guns, girls and gadgets" that came to dominate the later movies.

In a fictional "biography of James Bond," Fleming's original, official biographer, John Pierson, claims that in the course of his researching the life of Fleming, he discovered the existence of the real James Bond, who he met in the lobby of an island hotel. Pierson wrote that Fleming's real purpose in writing the James Bond stories was to make James Bond such a comic book super hero that the Russians would fail to take the real James Bond seriously, allowing him to continue his secret work anonymously.

Such a secret, literary psychological warfare operation was not unique, as Jim Hougan demonstrates [in [i]Secret Agenda – Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA[/i] (Random House, 1984)], where he mentions that Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt is also, "The author of more than four dozen pulp thrillers and novels of the occult."

According to Hougan, "Hunt left the agency in furtherance of a counterintelligence scheme that revolved around his literary efforts. The purpose of the scheme, according to government sources familiar with Hunt's curriculum vitae at the agency, was to draw the KGB's attention to books that Hunt was writing under the pseudonym David St. John. These spy novels alluded to actual CIA operations in Southeast Asia and elsewhere, and contained barely disguised portraits of political figures as diverse as Prince Norodom Sihanouk and the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy. It was the CIA's intention that the KGB be led to believe that the books contained security breeches, and towards that end the agency created a phony 'flap' that was capped by Hunt's supposedly 'forced retirement.'…"


Hunt's literary scheme that "contained barely disguised portraits of political figures" was unoriginally based on Fleming's success with James Bond. Fleming had created a network of fictional characters based on real people whose stories wove a web of intrigue that is even more incredible than the novelized or Hollywood accounts.

In retrospect, unlike other mythical super heroes like Sherlock Holmes and Superman, its kind of reassuring to know that there was a real James Bond. A James Bond who really was an anonymous hero, who did go far into the field and discover something new, reported what he learned, and as a proficient naturalist, made the world a better place to live.

William Kelly


bkjfk3@yahoo.com

Edited by William Kelly, 19 February 2007 - 05:34 AM.


#14 Sid Walker

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 06:17 AM

Here's my thesis that Ian Fleming's spy novels were part of a psych war operation against the Russians as a direct result of the betrayals of the Cambridge Spy ring. BK

CAMBRIDGE SPY RING & 007 -

William Kelly

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A most interesting read, Bill. Very publishable.

Why did Ian Fleming choose the name 'James Bond'?

#15 John Simkin

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 11:01 AM

Bill, I have started a thread on Ian Fleming here:

http://educationforu...?showtopic=9385



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