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John Simkin

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  1. Thanks Doug. Did you have any dealings with Ben Bradlee during the Watergate scandal?
  2. Ben Bradlee died last week. The day he died President Barack Obama issued a statement that said: “For Benjamin Bradlee, journalism was more than a profession - it was a public good vital to our democracy. A true newspaperman, he transformed the Washington Post into one of the country’s finest newspapers, and with him at the helm, a growing army of reporters published the Pentagon Papers, exposed Watergate, and told stories that needed to be told - stories that helped us understand our world and one another a little bit better. The standard he set - a standard for honest, objective, meticulous reporting - encouraged so many others to enter the profession. And that standard is why, last year, I was proud to honor Ben with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Today, we offer our thoughts and prayers to Ben’s family, and all who were fortunate to share in what truly was a good life.” (1) The Daily Telegraph described him as "the foremost American newspaper editor of his time" (2) and The Guardian claimed that he was "the most lauded and influential American journalist of his era". (3) The New York Times agreed and quoted one of his colleagues, Leonard Downie Jr. as saying “We would follow this man over any hill, into any battle, no matter what lay ahead." (4) Another colleague, went even further. David Von Drehle pointed out: "Charisma is a word, like thunderstorm or orgasm, which sits pretty flat on the page or the screen compared with the actual experience it tries to name. I don’t recall exactly when I first looked it up in the dictionary and read that charisma is a 'personal magic of leadership,' a 'special magnetic charm.' But I remember exactly when I first felt the full impact of the thing itself. Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee was gliding through the newsroom of the Washington Post, pushing a sort of force field ahead of him like the bow wave of a vintage Chris-Craft motor yacht. All across the vast expanse of identical desks, faces turned toward him - were pulled in his direction - much as a field of flowers turns toward the sun. We were powerless to look away." (5) Most of the obituaries carried a detailed account of the Watergate Scandal. However, as Christopher Reed has pointed out: "Watergate hurt Washington, but was also cited as proof that its political system worked – eventually." (6) The New York Times quoted Bradlee as saying: “No matter how many spin doctors were provided by no matter how many sides of how many arguments, from Watergate on, I started looking for the truth after hearing the official version of a truth.” None of the obituaries mention the interview that James Truitt gave to the National Enquirer that was published on 23rd February, 1976, with the headline, "Former Vice President of Washington Post Reveals... JFK 2-Year White House Romance". Truitt told the newspaper that Mary Pinchot Meyer was having an affair with John F. Kennedy. He also claimed that Mary had told them that she was keeping an account of this relationship in her diary. Truitt added that after Meyer had been murdered on 12th October, 1964, the diary had been removed from her house by Ben Bradlee and James Jesus Angleton and later destroyed. (7) The newspaper sent a journalist to interview Bradlee about the issues raised by Truitt. According to one eyewitness account, Bradlee "erupted in a shouting rage and had the reporter thrown out of the building". Nina Burleigh claims that it was Watergate that motivated Truitt to give the interview. "Truitt was disgusted that Bradlee was getting credit as a great champion of the First Amendment for exposing Nixon's steamy side in Watergate coverage after having indulgently overlooked Kennedy's hypocrisies." Truitt was also angry that Bradlee had not exposed Kennedy's affair with Mary Pinchot Meyer in his book, Conversations with Kennedy. Truitt had been close to Meyer during this period and had received a considerable amount of information about the relationship. (8) Ben Bradlee, who had gone on holiday with his new wife, Sally Quinn, gave orders for the Washington Post to ignore the story. However, Harry Rosenfeld, a senior figure at the newspaper, commented, "We're not going to treat ourselves more kindly than we treat others." (9) However, when the article was published it included several interviews with Kennedy's friends who denied he had an affair with Meyer. Kenneth O'Donnell described her as a "lovely lady" but denied that there had been a romance. Timothy Reardon claimed that "nothing like that ever happened at the White House with her or anyone else." (10) Ben Bradlee and James Jesus Angleton continued to deny the story. Some of Mary's friends knew that the two men were lying about the diary and some spoke anonymously to other newspapers and magazines. Later that month Time Magazine published an article on Truitt's story. (11) In an interview with Jay Gourley, Bradlee's former wife, and Mary's sister, Antoinette Pinchot Bradlee admitted that her sister had been having an affair with John F. Kennedy: "It was nothing to be ashamed of. I think Jackie might have suspected it, but she didn't know for sure." (12) Bradlee's strategy of not answering questions from reporters eventually worked and the story disappeared from the newspapers. His next crisis came in 1979 when Deborah Davis published her book Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post. Davis covered the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer and commented on Bradlee being unwilling to talk about the matter. However, what really upset Bradlee was his involvement in Operation Mockingbird, the CIA's attempt to control the media. This threatened to destroy Bradlee's reputation as a fearless investigator of the truth. According to Davis, the articles on Watergate that appeared in the Washington Post was a CIA "limited hangout" operation. In an interview Davis gave to Kenn Thomas of Steamshovel Press in 1992 she pointed out that it was Bradlee's work with United States Information Agency in Paris that was one of the causes of this anger. "It was the propaganda arm of the embassy. They produced propaganda that was then disseminated by the CIA all over Europe. They planted newspaper stories. They had a lot of reporters on their payrolls. They routinely would produce stories out of the embassy and give them to these reporters and they would appear in the papers in Europe... I published the first book just saying that he worked for USIE and that this agency produced propaganda for the CIA. He went totally crazy after the book came out. One person who knew him told me then that he was going all up and down the East Coast having lunch with every editor he could think of saying that it was not true, he did not produce any propaganda. And he attacked me viciously and he said that I had falsely accused him of being a CIA agent. And the reaction was totally out of proportion to what I had said." (13) As well as having conversations with other editors, Ben Bradlee, contacted William Jovanovich and threatened legal action against the publisher. Bradlee later admitted: "I wrote a letter to Davis's editor pointing out thirty-nine errors concerning the thirty-nine references to me." (14) Just six weeks after the book's release, over 20,000 copies were recalled and shredded even though it had already been nominated for an American Book Award. (15) As A. J. Liebling has pointed out, "freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one". I am lucky enough to own one of the copies of Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post that was published in 1979. I have checked the thirty-nine references to Bradlee in the book, and the vast majority of cases, the facts have been confirmed by the release of CIA documents and confessions of the people involved. This was substantiated when in 1987 Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post was published by Zenith Press. As the publisher pointed out: "This new, much-expanded and updated edition includes every word of the original plus new material on the post-Watergate years as well as documentary proof of Ms. Davis's revelations about Post editor Ben Bradlee. Katharine the Great covers many of the major issues and characters of 20th century Washington. On a personal level, it includes the stark portrayal of the unravelling of Katharine's husband Phil and an intimate view of the heights of power to which America's most powerful woman has risen since Watergate." Despite the so-called "thirty-nine errors" Bradlee made no effort to sue Davis or the publisher. It was Ben Bradlee himself who confirmed most of what Deborah Davis had said in his autobiography, A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures (1995). In the book he confessed that he had worked for Office of U.S. Information and Educational Exchange and had been involved in distributing CIA propaganda. He also admitted that Davis was right when she said that Robert Thayer, the CIA station chief in Paris, had paid him money to pay for travelling expenses. Bradlee described how "he (Thayer) reached nonchalantly into the bottom drawer of his desk and fished out enough francs to fly me to the moon." (16) However, the most surprising confession was that he had lied during the trial of Raymond Crump, the man accused of killing Mary Pinchot Meyer. Bradlee admitted in the book that he had searched for Meyer's diary with James Jesus Angleton: "We (Bradlee and his wife) asked him (Angleton) how he'd gotten into the house, and he shuffled his feet. (Later, we learned that one of Jim's nicknames inside the agency was 'the Locksmith,' and that he was known as a man who could pick his way into any house in town.) We felt his presence was odd, to say the least, but took him at his word, and with him we searched Mary's house thoroughly. Without success. We found no diary. Later that day, we realized that we hadn't looked for the diary in Mary's studio, which was directly across a dead-end driveway from the garden behind our house. We had no key, but I got a few tools to remove the simple padlock, and we walked toward the studio, only to run into Jim Angleton again, this time actually in the process of picking the padlock. He would have been red-faced, if his face could have gotten red, and he left almost without a word. I unscrewed the hinge, and we entered the studio." (17) However, according to Ron Rosenbaum, when he interviewed Angleton, he described Bradlee as a xxxx and denied he had ever been in Mary's studio. (18) Bradlee claims that his wife found the diary in a later search: "Much has been written about this diary-most of it wrong since its existence was first reported. Tony took it to our house, and we read it later that night. It was small (about 6" x 8") with fifty to sixty pages, most of them filled with paint swatches, and descriptions of how the colors were created and what they were created for. On a few pages, maybe ten in all, in the same handwriting but different pen, phrases described a love affair, and after reading only a few phrases it was clear that the lover had been the President of the United States, though his name was never mentioned. To say we were stunned doesn't begin to describe our reactions. Tony, especially, felt betrayed, both by Kennedy and by Mary." (19) It has been claimed that the Bradlee's also found love letters sent by Kennedy to Meyer and these were destroyed. (20) The following day Antoinette Pinchot Bradlee gave the diary to Angleton and expected him to destroy it: "But it turned out that Angleton did not destroy the document, for whatever perverse, or perverted, reasons. We didn't learn this until some years later, when Tony asked him point blank how he had destroyed it. When he admitted he had not destroyed it, she demanded that he give it back, and when he did, she burned it, with a friend as witness. None of us has any idea what Angleton did with the diary while it was in his possession, nor why he failed to follow Mary and Tony's instructions." (21) After the publication of his book, The Good Life (1995), Cicely d'Autremont Angleton and Anne Truitt wrote a letter to the New York Times Book Review to "correct what in our opinion is an error" in Bradlee's autobiography: "This error occurs in Mr. Bradlee's account of the discovery and disposition of Mary Pinchot Meyer's personal diary. The fact is that Mary Meyer asked Anne Truitt to make sure that in the event of anything happening to Mary while Anne was in Japan, James Angleton take this diary into his safekeeping. When she learned that Mary had been killed, Anne Truitt telephoned person-to-person from Tokyo for James Angleton. She found him at Mr. Bradlee's house, where Angleton and his wife, Cicely had been asked to come following the murder. In the phone call, relaying Mary Meyer's specific instructions, Anne T'ruitt told Angleton for the first time, that there was a diary; and in accordance with Mary Meyer's explicit request, Anne Truitt asked Angleton to search for and take charge of the diary." (22) At the trial of Raymond Crump, the man accused of killing Mary Pinchot Meyer, Bradlee was the first witness called to the stand. Alfred L. Hantman, the chief prosecutor, asked him under oath, what he found when he searched Mary's studio. "Now besides the usual articles of Mrs. Meyer's avocation, did you find there any other articles of her personal property?" Bradlee replied that he found a pocketbook, keys, wallet, cosmetics, and pencils. He did not tell the court that he found a diary that he had passed on to James Jesus Angleton. (23) In fact, Bradlee had committed a very important crime of joining with Angleton in the destruction of evidence relevant in a murder case. Strange behaviour from the man President Barack Obama said "set a standard for honest, objective, meticulous reporting". On 2nd December, 2011, The Washington Post published a letter from Angleton's children. They also questioned the account provided by Ben Bradlee: "Anne Truitt, a friend of Tony Bradlee and Bradlee's sister, Mary Meyer, was abroad when Meyer was killed in the District. Truitt called Bradlee and said that Meyer had asked her to request that Angleton retrieve mid burn certain pages of her diary if anything happened to her. James and Cicely Angleton were with Ben and Tony Bradlee at the Bradlees' home when Tony Bradlee received the call. Cicely, our mother, told her daughter Guru Sangat Khalsa, "We all went to Mary's house together." She said there was no break-in because the Bradlees had a key. The diary was not found at that time. Later, Tony Bradlee found it and gave it to James Angleton. He burned the pages that Meyer had asked to be burned and put the rest in a safe. Years later, he gave the rest of the diary to Bradlee at her request." (24) Some researchers have questioned this account. Anne Truitt knew that Mary Pinchot Meyer was highly critical of the CIA covert activities. James Jesus Angleton would have been the last one Mary would have wanted to know about the diary. Peter Janney, the author of Mary's Mosaic (2012) has argued that his research into the case suggests that it is highly unlikely that the Angleton's children story is true: "Is it now to be believed not only that Mary Meyer entrusted the safekeeping of her diary to Jim Angleton, but that she had also specifically instructed him to 'burn certain pages of her diary if anything happened to her'? Nothing could be further from the truth... It is not known (nor likely ever will be) how Angleton twisted the arm of Anne Truitt to declare that on the night of Mary's murder she should call the Bradlees and inform them that such a diary existed and that Mary had told her to make sure Angleton took charge of it, should anything happen to her. The answer to the question of who called the Truitts in Tokyo to inform them of Mary's demise now becomes more obvious: It was Angleton himself." (25) David Talbot has argued that Ben Bradlee's account in his book "left more unexplained than answered". Talbot interviewed Bradlee about this issue in 2004. "He denied that the diary contained any secrets about the CIA or other revealing information, beyond the passages about her romance with JFK." Bradlee was more interested in explaining the role of James Jesus Angleton. He claimed that his break-in was possibly connected to his amorous obsession with Mary Pinchot Meyer. "I thought Jim was just like a lot of men, who had a crush on Mary. Although the idea of him as a lover just stretches my imagination, especially for Mary, because she was an extremely attractive woman. And he was so weird! He looked odd, he was off in the clouds somewhere. He was always mulling over some conspiracy when he wasn't working on his orchids. It was hard to have a conversation with him. I bet there are still twelve copies of Mary's diary in the CIA somewhere." (26) David Talbot also questions the way that Bradlee dealt with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He points out that Bradlee's lack of interest in the subject was investigated by Robert G. Kaiser in an article in Rolling Stone. Kaiser points out that The Washington Post failure to commit investigative resources to the case was "especially puzzling" because of the newspaper's "courageous handling of Watergate and the intimate friendship Bradlee had with President Kennedy." When he asked Bradlee to explain his lack of interest in the case, he replied "I've been up to my ass in lunatics... Unless you can find someone who wants to devote his life to the case, forget it." (27) While researching his book, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years (2007) David Talbot went to interview Bradlee about the assassination. Talbot told Bradlee that his research showed that on hearing of his brother's death, Robert F. Kennedy "immediately suspected the CIA and its henchmen in the Mafia and Cuban exile world." Talbot reports that Bradlee did not seem surprised: "Jesus, if it were your brother... I mean if I were Bobby, I would certainly have taken a look at that possibility... I've always wondered whether my reaction to all of that was not influenced by sort of a total distaste for the possibility that (Jack) had been assassinated by..." Talbot points out that he did not finish the sentence, but the rest was clear: "by his own government". (28) The journalist, C. David Heymann, began writing a book that was eventually published as Georgetown Ladies' Social Club (2004). The book concerned the group of women that had been part of this group that existed in the 1950s and 1960s. This included Mary Pinchot Meyer. Heymann became interested in her death and in February, 2001, he requested an interview with Cord Meyer, who at the time, was himself dying of lymphoma. Heymann asked Meyer if he had told the truth in his book, Facing Reality: From World Federalism to the CIA (1980) when he said: "I was satisfied by the conclusions of the police investigation that Mary had been the victim of a sexually motivated assault by a single individual and that she had been killed in her struggle to escape." (29). Meyer replied: "My father died of a heart attack the same year Mary was killed, " he whispered. "It was a bad time." And what could he say about Mary Meyer? Who had committed such a heinous crime? "The same sons of bitches," he hissed, "that killed John F. Kennedy." (30) (1) Robert G. Kaiser, The Washington Post (22nd October, 2014) (2) The Daily Telegraph (22nd October, 2014) (3) Christopher Reed, The Guardian (22nd October, 2014) (4) Marilyn Berger, New York Times (22nd October, 2014) (5) David Von Drehle, Time Magazine (21st October, 2014) (6) Christopher Reed, The Guardian (22nd October, 2014) (7) National Enquirer (23rd February, 1976) (8) Nina Burleigh, A Very Private Woman (1998) page 286 (9) Howard Bray, The Pillars of the Post (1980) page 138 (10) Nina Burleigh, A Very Private Woman (1998) page 287 (11) Time Magazine (8th March, 1976) (12) Nina Burleigh, A Very Private Woman (1998) page 288 (13) Kenn Thomas, Popular Alienation (1995) page 83 (14) Ben Bradlee, The Good Life (1995) page 138 (15) Peter Janney, Mary's Mosaic (2012) page 75 (16) Ben Bradlee, The Good Life (1995) page 138 (17) Ben Bradlee, The Good Life (1995) page 267 (18) Ron Rosenbaum and Phillip Nobile, New Times (9th July, 1976) (19) Ben Bradlee, The Good Life (1995) page 268 (20) Bernie Ward and Granville Toogood, National Enquirer (2nd March, 1976) (21) Ben Bradlee, The Good Life (1995) page 271 (22) Cicely d'Autremont Angleton and Anne Truitt, letter to the New York Times Book Review (5th November, 1995) (23) Trial transcript (20th July, 1965) page 47 (24) Letter to The Washington Post (2nd December, 2011) (25) Peter Janney, Mary's Mosaic (2012) page 79 (26) David Talbot, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years (2007) page 203 (27) Robert G. Kaiser, Rolling Stone (24th April, 1975) (28) David Talbot, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years (2007) page 391 (29) Cord Meyer, Facing Reality: From World Federalism to the CIA (1980) page 34 (30) C. David Heymann, Georgetown Ladies' Social Club (2004) page 168
  3. No. Nigel West who has seen the KGB archives has not reported a spy based in Seoul. However, the archives show that over 200 American civilians were Soviet spies. This is a far higher number than British spies. I suspect it was probably someone in American intelligence.
  4. When Donald Maclean defected in 1951 Philby became the chief suspect as the man who had tipped him off that he was being investigated. The main evidence against him was his friendship with Guy Burgess, who had gone with Maclean to Moscow. Philby was recalled to London. CIA chief, Walter Bedell Smith ordered any officers with knowledge of Philby and Burgess to submit reports on the men. William K. Harvey replied that after studying all the evidence he was convinced that "Philby was a Soviet spy". (1) James Jesus Angleton reacted in a completely different way. In Angleton's estimation, Philby was no traitor, but an honest and brilliant man who had been cruelly duped by Burgess. According to Tom Mangold, "Angleton... remained convinced that his British friend would be cleared of suspicion" and warned Bedell Smith that if the CIA started making unsubstantiated charges of treachery against a senior MI6 officer this would seriously damage Anglo-American relations, since Philby was "held in high esteem" in London. (2) On 12th June, 1951, Philby was interviewed by Dick White, the chief of MI5 counter-intelligence. Philby later recalled: "He (White) wanted my help, he said, in clearing up this appalling Burgess-Maclean affair. I gave him a lot of information about Burgess's past and impressions of his personality; taking the line that it was almost inconceivable that anyone like Burgess, who courted the limelight instead of avoiding it, and was generally notorious for indiscretion, could have been a secret agent, let alone a Soviet agent from whom strictest security standards would be required. I did not expect this line to be in any way convincing as to the facts of the case; but I hoped it would give the impression that I was implicitly defending myself against the unspoken charge that I, a trained counter-espionage officer, had been completely fooled by Burgess. Of Maclean, I disclaimed all knowledge.... As I had only met him twice, for about half an hour in all and both times on a conspiratorial basis, since 1937, I felt that I could safely indulge in this slight distortion of the truth." (3) White told Guy Liddell that he did not find Philby "wholly convincing". Liddell also discussed the matter with Philby and described him in his diary as "extremely worried". Liddell had known Guy Burgess for many years and was shocked by the news he was a Soviet spy. He now considered it possible that Philby was also a spy. "While all the points against him are capable of another explanation their cumulative effect is certainly impressive." Liddell also thought about the possibility that another friend, Anthony Blunt, was part of the network: "I dined with Anthony Blunt. I feel certain that Blunt was never a conscious collaborator with Burgess in any activities that he may have conducted on behalf of the Comintern." (4) Nicholas Elliott was one friend who remained convinced that Philby was not a spy. "Elliott was wholeheartedly, unwaveringly convinced of Philby's innocence. They had joined MI6 together, watched cricket together, dined and drunk together. It was simply inconceivable to Elliott that Philby could be a Soviet spy. The Philby he knew never discussed politics. In more than a decade of close friendship, he had never heard Philby utter a word that might be considered left-wing, let alone communist. Philby might have made a mistake, associating with a man like burgess; he might have dabbled in radical politics at university; he might even have married a communist, and concealed the fact. But these were errors, not crimes." (5) CIA chief, Walter Bedell Smith, had been convinced by the report produced by William K. Harvey and wrote directly to Stewart Menzies, the head of MI6, and made it clear that he considered that Philby was a Soviet spy and would not be permitted to return to Washington and urged the British government to "clean house regardless of whom may be hurt". Burton Hersh, the author of The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA (1992), has claimed that the underlying message was blunt: "Fire Philby or we break off the intelligence relationship." (6) Dick White also wrote to Menzies suggesting that MI6 take action as a matter of urgency. Menzies refused to believe Philby was a Soviet spy but realised he would have to dismiss him. He agreed to give him a generous payoff, £4,000, equivalent to more than £32,000 today. Philby was not happy with the settlement: "My unease was increased shortly afterwards when he told me that he had decided against paying me the whole sum at once. I would get £2,000 down and the rest in half-yearly instalments of £500." (7) (1) Ben Macintyre, A Spy Among Friends (2014) page 156 (2) Tom Mangold, Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton: The CIA's Master Spy Hunter (1991) page 45 (3) Kim Philby, My Secret War (1968) page 182 (4) Guy Liddell, diary (TNA KV 4/473) (5) Ben Macintyre, A Spy Among Friends (2014) page 163 (6) Burton Hersh, The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA (1992) page 321 (7) Kim Philby, My Secret War (1968) page 184
  5. I will have more to say about Angleton and Mary Pinchot Meyer later this week. Interestingly, William King Harvey wrote a report in 1951 saying that he was convinced that Kim Philby was a spy (it is said the main reason for his hostility to Philby was that Guy Burgess insulted his wife at a Philby party). Walter Bedell Smith, Director of the CIA, believed Harvey rather than Angleton and told MI6 that while he was in post they would not share intelligence with the UK. In other words, it was the CIA that got Philby sacked.
  6. Despite the fact that both Helms and Hoover both leaked information to the Warren Commission about Yuri Nosenko giving their different interpretations of the evidence, his name is not mentioned in the final report. Although the commission favoured Hoover’s interpretation that he was a genuine defector, it was decided that it was better not to include the information in the report. This was decided after Nosenko’s CIA case-officer, Tennant H. Bagley, spoke to commission members on 24th July, 1964: “Nosenko is a KGB plant and may be publicly exposed as such some time after the appearance of the Commission’s report. Once Nosenko is exposed as a KGB plant, there will arise the danger that his information will be mirror-read by the press and public, leading to conclusions that the USSR did direct the assassination.” According to Mark Riebling: “That was enough to settle the question. The commission had been founded for no other reason to avert rumors which might cost ‘forty million lives’, and later that afternoon decided it would be ‘undesirable to include any Nosenko information’ information’ in its report. The defector’s FBI debriefings would remain classified in commission files.” Richard Helms points out that Hoover was not happy with this decision: “When the Warren people sided with us, it cut across Mr. Hoover’s assertion that the Russians had had nothing to do with the assassination.”
  7. Ben Bradlee has died. Another important figure in the JFK cover-up no longer able to talk about his role in this matter. http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKbradleeB.htm
  8. In most discussions about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, it is very difficult to come to any definite conclusions. The main problem is the evidence is often incomplete and is of the type that is open to different interpretations. Therefore, the participants in any discussions, view the information mainly from their own established position on the assassination. As a result, it is very difficult to have any really meaningful discussion on the subject. However, thanks to the opening up of the KGB archives, we can look at some of this evidence and come to some definite conclusions. This includes the information provided by Yuri Nosenko, who defected to the United States in 1964. Before I look at what the KGB archives say about Nosenko's defection I want to consider the way senior figures in the CIA and FBI, such as Richard Helms, James Jesus Angleton and J. Edgar Hoover, dealt with this evidence. In doing so, I will show that their own interpretations were overwhelmingly influenced by their own ideological views and more importantly, their own political needs, at the time. In discussing this issue I will also show that this case shows that we have very little chance of discovering who planned and carried out the assassination of President Kennedy. In January 1964, Yuri Nosenko, deputy chief of the Seventh Department of the KGB, contacted the CIA in Geneva and said he was willing to defect to the United States. Once in custody he was interviewed by CIA officers (26th-27th February). He claimed that he had been put in charge of the KGB investigation into Lee Harvey Oswald when he defected in 1959. After interviewing Oswald it was decided by the KGB that he was not intelligent enough to work as an agent. They were also concerned that he was "too mentally unstable" to be of any use to them. It was Nosenko's department that recommended that Oswald's application for a re-entry visa be denied. Nosenko also claimed that he had the opportunity to see the KGB file on Oswald shortly after the assassination and it was clear that the Soviet Union was not involved in the death of John F. Kennedy. (1) Richard Helms, the CIA's Deputy Director of Plans, was one of those who was not convinced by Nosenko. In his autobiography, A Look Over My Shoulder (2003), he points out that Nosenko had been providing information to the CIA since June 1962. "From a security viewpoint, Nosenko's alleged background and Moscow assignment - he served in the American Department of the internal counter-intelligence service of the KGB - made him an extremely attractive source. His targets were American diplomatic and consular personnel, journalists, and tourists in the USSR. As an agent, he appeared to offer an inside view of high-priority KGB operations against the United States." (2) However, Helms and other senior figures in the CIA began to have doubts about the credibility of Nosenko. One of the reasons for this was the testimony of another Soviet defector, Anatoli Golitsyn, who had walked into the American embassy in December 1961 and asked for political asylum. (3) In these interviews Golitsyn argued that as the KGB would be so concerned about his defection, they would attempt to convince the CIA that the information he was giving them would be completely unreliable. He predicted that the KGB would send false defectors with information that contradicted what he was saying. Was this then the role of Yuri Nosenko? Richard Helms pointed out that even before Nosenko's arrival in February, the CIA had been having severe doubts about the truth of his testimony. Nosenko's case officer in June 1962, was Tennant H. Bagley. Later that year he was appointed as chief of counter-intelligence for the Soviet Bloc Division. On 19th December, 1963, he had circulated a twelve-page memo on the subject, recommending that if Nosenko recontacted the CIA he "should be regarded as under Soviet control". (4) Helms goes on to argue: "It was nineteen months... before Nosenko returned to Geneva. To our complete surprise, and contrary to his earlier statement, Nosenko abruptly announced that he now wanted to defect immediately. He insisted that his security had been compromised, that he would be arrested if he returned to Moscow. Then, with barely a pause, he delivered another surprise. In the days following President Kennedy's assassination. Nosenko informed us, he had reviewed the entire KGB file on Lee Harvey Oswald's three-year residence in the USSR. Nosenko assured us that the KGB had found Oswald unstable, had declined to have anything to do with him, and he was not in any way involved in President Kennedy's assassination." (5) According to Thomas Powers, the author of The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA (1979), Helms had a private meeting with Chief Justice Earl Warren in 1964, to tell him about the doubts he had about Nosenko. (6) Helms also later told a Senate Committee about the CIA's views on Nosenko in 1964: "Since Nosenko was in the agency's hands this became one of the most difficult issues that the agency had ever faced. Here a President of the United States had been murdered and a man had come from the Soviet Union, an acknowledged Soviet intelligence officer, and said his service had never been in touch with Oswald and knew nothing about him. This strained credulity at the time. It strains it to this day." (7) The main opponent of Nosenko at the CIA was James Jesus Angleton. Before looking at his thoughts on the defector it is worth looking at Angleton's state of mind at the time. 1963 had been a traumatic year for Angleton. On 23rd January, Kim Philby, had defected to the Soviet Union. Angleton was shattered by the news. Philby had been his close friend since 1942 when Angleton, an Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officer, was sent to England for his training. It was the start of a long friendship: "Once I met Philby, the world of intelligence that had once interested me consumed me. He had taken on the Nazis and Fascists head-on and penetrated their operations in Spain and Germany. His sophistication and experience appealed to us... Kim taught me a great deal." (8) In 1949 Kim Philby became SIS representative in Washington, as top British Secret Service officer working in liaison with the CIA and FBI. He also handled secret communications between the British prime minister, Clement Attlee and President Harry S. Truman. According to Ray Cline, it had been left to the Americans to select their preferred candidate and it was Angleton who was the main person advocating appointing Philby. (9) Philby wrote in My Secret War (1968): "At one stroke, it would take me right back into the middle of intelligence policy making and it would give me a close-up view of the American intelligence organisations." (10) Philby's home in Nebraska Avenue became a gathering place for Washington's intelligence elite. This included Walter Bedell Smith (Director of the CIA), Allen Dulles (Deputy Director of the CIA), Frank Wisner (head of the Office of Policy Coordination), James Jesus Angleton (head of staff Office of Policy Coordination), William K. Harvey (CIA counter-intelligence) and Robert Lamphere (FBI Soviet Section). Philby made a point of dropping in on the offices of American intelligence officers in the late afternoon, knowing that his hosts would sooner or later "suggest drifting out to a friendly bar for a further round of shop talk." (11) As one CIA officer pointed out: "Intelligence officers talk trade among themselves all the time... Philby was privy to a hell of a lot beyond what he should have known." (12) Philby was especially close to Angleton. Philby later explained they had lunch at Harvey's Restaurant every week: "We formed the habit of lunching once a week at Harvey's where he demonstrated regularly that overwork was not his only vice. He was one of the thinnest men I have ever met, and one of the biggest eaters. Lucky Jim! After a year of keeping up with Angleton, I took the advice of an elderly lady friend and went on a diet, dropping from thirteen stone to about eleven in three months. Our close association was, I am sure, inspired by genuine friendliness on both sides. But we both had ulterior motives. Angleton wanted to place the burden of exchanges between CIA and SIS on the CIA office in London - which was about ten times as big as mine. By doing so, he could exert the maximum pressure on SIS's headquarters while minimizing SIS intrusions into his own. As an exercise in nationalism, that was fair enough. By cultivating me to the full, he could better keep me under wraps. For my part, I was more than content to string him along. The greater the trust between us overtly, the less he would suspect covert action. Who gained most from this complex game I cannot say. But I had one big advantage. I knew what he was doing for CIA and he knew what I was doing for SIS. But the real nature of my interest was something he did not know." (13) When Donald Maclean defected in 1951 Philby became the chief suspect as the man who had tipped him off that he was being investigated. The main evidence against him was his close friendship with Guy Burgess (they had lived together in Washington), who had gone with Maclean to Moscow. Philby was recalled to London. CIA chief, Walter Bedell Smith ordered any officers with knowledge of Philby and Burgess to submit reports on the men. William K. Harvey replied that after studying all the evidence he was convinced that "Philby was a Soviet spy". (14) James Jesus Angleton reacted in a completely different way. In Angleton's estimation, Philby was no traitor, but an honest and brilliant man who had been cruelly duped by Burgess. According to Tom Mangold, "Angleton... remained convinced that his British friend would be cleared of suspicion" and warned Bedell Smith that if the CIA started making unsubstantiated charges of treachery against a senior MI6 officer this would seriously damage Anglo-American relations, since Philby was "held in high esteem" in London. (15) Bedell Smith, had been convinced by the report produced by Harvey and wrote directly to Stewart Menzies, the head of MI6, and made it clear that he considered that Philby was a Soviet spy and would not be permitted to return to Washington and urged the British government to "clean house regardless of whom may be hurt". Burton Hersh, the author of The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA (1992), has claimed that the underlying message was blunt: "Fire Philby or we break off the intelligence relationship." (16) Dick White also wrote to Menzies suggesting that MI6 take action as a matter of urgency. Menzies refused to believe Philby was a Soviet spy but realised he would have to dismiss him. He agreed to give him a generous payoff, £4,000, equivalent to more than £32,000 today. Angleton was devastated when Philby defected in 1963. Philby and Angleton had thirty-six meetings at CIA headquarters between 1949 and 1951. Every one of the discussions were typed up by Angleton's secretary Gloria Loomis. This was also true of the weekly meeting they had at Harvey's Restaurant in Washington. Angleton was so ashamed about all the CIA secrets he had given to Philby he destroyed all these documents. Angleton told Peter Wright: "I had them burned. It was all very embarrassing." (17) It was not the last time that Angleton destroyed evidence to protect his reputation. CIA agent, Miles Copeland, was aware of these regular meetings. He later commented: "What Philby provided was feedback about the CIA's reactions. They (the KGB) could accurately determine whether or not reports fed to the CIA were believed or not... what it comes to, is that when you look at the whole period from 1944 to 1951, the entire Western intelligence effort, which was pretty big, was what you might call minus advantage. We'd have been better off doing nothing." (18) Ted Shackley, a senior figure in the CIA, believed that the Philby case had contributed to his paranoia and had been a major contribution to his hostile reaction to Yuri Nosenko. (19) Evan Thomas, the author of The Very Best Men (1995), attempts to explain Angleton's state of mind. "Angleton never got over suspecting that the Russians or Cubans plotted to kill Kennedy. He thought that the Russians or Cubans plotted to kill Kennedy. He thought the Russian defector, Yuri Nosenko, who claimed that the Kremlin was innocent, was a KGB plant to throw the CIA off the trail. But most reputable students of the Kennedy assassination have concluded that Khrushchev and Castro did not kill Kennedy, if only because neither man wanted to start World War III." (20) J. Edgar Hoover held very different views to those of Helms and Angleton concerning Nosenko. "Nosenko's assurances that Yekaterina Furtseva herself had stopped the KGB from recruiting Oswald gave Hoover the evidence he needed to clear the Soviets of complicity in the Kennedy murder - and, even more from Hoover's point of view, clear the FBI of gross negligence. Hoover took this raw, unverified, and untested intelligence and leaked it to members of the Warren Commission and to President Johnson." (21) Members of the Warren Commission were pleased to hear this information as it helped to confirm the idea that Oswald had acted alone and was not part of a Soviet conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy. Once again we have to consider Hoover's state of mind in 1964 to show why he was so keen to accept Nosenko's story. To do this we have to go back to events that took place thirty years previously. In the early 1930s NKVD agents based in the United States began recruiting American citizens as spies. Hoover was not unaware of this. As early as 1933 the FBI identified Gaik Ovakimyan, an engineer at Amtorg (American-Soviet Trading Corporation) in New York City, as being in control of NKVD activities in the United States. Although occasionally Ovakimyan was followed, the FBI only had 50 agents dealing with Soviet espionage and for most of the time his activities went unrecorded. (22) On 5th November 1938, Walter Krivitsky, a senior NKVD agent, defected to America. David Shub, a supporter of Leon Trotsky, put him in touch with journalist, Isaac Don Levine, who had good contacts with the American media. Levine told Krivitsky that he could get him a lucrative deal for a series of articles. The first of these articles appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in April 1939. Hoover was very angry when he read the article. He was extremely annoyed that the American public had discovered in the article that Joseph Stalin was "sending NKVD agents into the United States as if the the FBI did not exist". (23) Krivitsky was eventually interviewed by the FBI on 27th July 1939. Krivitsky claimed that there were about 15 Soviet agents in New York City. He named Boris Bykov as one of the main agents in the country. The FBI was not convinced by Krivitsky's testimony: "Krivitsky accepts his own conclusions as facts and so relates them and that in reply to a question he would state his opinion as a fact, rather than admit a lack of definite knowledge." (24) The FBI was also concerned that Krivitsky's lawyer, Louis Waldman, was a well-known socialist. (25) The view was that Krivitsky was a disinformation agent. Walter Krivitsky was reluctant to give the names of spies who he considered to be "ideological". Krivitsky was opposed to what Joseph Stalin was doing in the Soviet Union, he was still a Marxist and so he was unwilling to betray those who shared his beliefs. However, he was willing to name spies who were taking money for providing information. For example, he gave the names of Soviet spies, John Herbert King and Ernest Holloway Oldham, who were based in London. Krivitsky was also invited to appear before Martin Dies and the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) on 11th October, 1939. In the closed session Krivitsky explained that the American Communist Party was under the control of the Soviet Union. According to Joseph Brown Matthews, who was an investigator for the HUAC: "Krivitsky told me that the OGPU was determined to assassinate Trotsky and himself." Krivitsky added: "If I am ever found dead and it appears to be suicide, please don't accept that belief. It will just appear to be a suicide. But it really will be murder. Trotsky is to be murdered and I am too. Please go to Mexico City and warn Trotsky." Matthews later recalled: "I went to Mexico City soon after this conversation, and saw Trotsky... I told Trotsky what the General had said." Trotsky apparently replied: "General Krivitsky is right. We are the two men the OGPU is sworn to kill." (26) In 1940 the FBI decided to take a closer interest in Gaik Ovakimyan. On one occasion he was seen meeting with Jacob Golos, who ran a travel agency, World Tourists in New York City. The FBI was aware that it was a front for Soviet clandestine work and his office was raided by officials of the Justice Department. (27) Some of these documents showed that Earl Browder, the leader of the Communist Party of the United States, had travelled on a false passport. Browder was arrested and Golos told his girlfriend, and fellow agent, Elizabeth Bentley: "Earl is my friend. It is my carelessness that is going to send him to jail." Bentley later recalled that the incident took its toll on Golos: "His red hair was becoming grayer and sparser, his blue eyes seemed to have no more fire in them, his face became habitually white and taut." (28) According to Bentley, United States officials agreed to drop the whole investigation, if Golos pleaded guilty. He told her that Moscow insisted that he went along with the deal. "I never thought that I would live to see the day when I would have to plead guilty in a bourgeois court." He complained that they had forced him to become a "sacrificial goat". On 15th March, 1940, Golos received a $500 fine and placed on four months probation. (29) Once again it was a botched operation. Golas was the most important Soviet spy in the United States. We now know that he ran agents that included Victor Perlo, Harry Dexter White, Nathan Silvermaster, Abraham George Silverman, Nathan Witt, Marion Bachrach, Julian Wadleigh, William Remington, Harold Glasser, Charles Kramer, Elizabeth Bentley, Duncan Chaplin Lee, Joseph Katz, William Ludwig Ullmann, Henry Hill Collins, Frank Coe, Abraham Brothman, Mary Price, Cedric Belfrage and Lauchlin Currie. The FBI was also not doing a very good job protecting Walter Krivitsky. He was found dead on 9th February, 1941, in Bellevue Hotel in Washington. The police declared that he had committed suicide. Frank Waldrop of The Washington Times-Herald ridiculed the police investigation: "Anybody'd rather be a second-guessing citizen than Chief of Police Ernest W. Brown, with such a staff of lunkheads to do the field work in homicide matters." (30) However The Daily Worker disagreed: "The capitalist press is desperately trying to make a frame-up murder case out of what is clearly established in the suicide of General Walter Krivitsky." (31) Louis Waldman campaigned for the FBI to treat the case as murder. "The issue is much deeper than the discovery of whether the general's death was the result of murder or suicide... When one considers that General Krivitsky was a witness, giving valuable information as to foreign espionage in our own country to a legislative committee, to the State Department, and to the FBI itself, then in my opinion, there is the clear duty of the FBI to track down those malevolent forces which were responsible for his death." (32) Waldman told the FBI that he had evidence that Hans Brusse was the killer. When the FBI reopen the case he went to the press with his evidence. Recently released documents show that in March 1941 a certain Lee Y. Chertok, a Russian living in the United States, claimed to have information on the killers of Krivitsky. J. Edgar Hoover sent a memo telling the FBI not to follow up this evidence: "The Bureau is not interested in determining whether Krivitsky was murdered or whether he committed suicide." (33) Whittaker Chambers, a Soviet spy, who like Walter Krivitsky, was disillusioned by the policies of Joseph Stalin, definitely believed that he had been killed by the NKVD: "He had left a letter in which he gave his wife and children the unlikely advice that the Soviet Government and people were their best friends. Previously he had warned them that, if he were found dead, never under any circumstances to believe that he had committed suicide." Krivitsky once told Chambers: "Any fool can commit a murder, but it takes an artist to commit a good natural death." (34) Chambers had for some time been trying to inform the authorities about the Soviet spy ring operating in the United States. In August 1939, Isaac Don Levine arranged for Chambers to meet Adolf Berle, one of the top aides to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After dinner Chambers told Berle about government officials spying for the Soviet Union: "Around midnight, we went into the house. What we said there is not in question because Berle took it in the form of penciled notes. Just inside the front door, he sat at a little desk or table with a telephone on it and while I talked he wrote, abbreviating swiftly as he went along. These notes did not cover the entire conversation on the lawn. They were what we recapitulated quickly at a late hour after a good many drinks. I assumed that they were an exploratory skeleton on which further conversations and investigation would be based." (35) According to Levine the list of "espionage agents" included Alger Hiss, Donald Hiss, Laurence Duggan, Lauchlin Currie, Harry Dexter White, John Abt, Marion Bachrach, Nathan Witt, Lee Pressman, Julian Wadleigh, Noel Field and Frank Coe. Chambers also named Joszef Peter, as being "responsible for the Washington sector" and "after 1929 the "head of the underground section" of the Communist Party of the United States. Chambers later claimed that Berle reacted to the news with the comment: "We may be in this war within forty-eight hours and we cannot go into it without clean services." Berle, who was in effect the president's Director of Homeland Security, later claimed that he raised the issue with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "who profanely dismissed it as nonsense." J. Edgar Hoover claims that it was not until 1943 that the FBI received a copy of Berle's memorandum. Whittaker Chambers was now interviewed by the FBI but Hoover concluded, after being briefed on the interview, that Chambers had little specific information. However, this information was sent to the State Department security officials. One of them, Raymond Murphy, interviewed Chambers in March 1945 about these claims. Chambers now gave full details of Hiss's spying activities. A report was sent to the FBI and in May, 1945, they had another meeting with Chambers. In August 1945, Elizabeth Bentley walked into an FBI office and announced that she was a former Soviet agent. In a statement she gave the names of several Soviet agents working for the government. This included Harry Dexter White and Lauchlin Currie. Bentley also said that a man named "Hiss" in the State Department was working for Soviet military intelligence. In the margins of Bentley's comments about Hiss, someone at the FBI made a handwritten notation: "Alger Hiss". In 1947 Hede Massing told Robert Lamphere (FBI Soviet Section), that she was a member of a spy network that included Vassili Zarubin, Boris Bazarov, Elizabeth Zarubina, Laurence Duggan, Alger Hiss, Joszef Peter, Earl Browder and Noel Field. Massing repeated the allegations of a Soviet network in the United States at the trial of her husband, Gerhart Eisler in July 1947. During this evidence Eisler's lawyer, Carol Weiss King, pointed at Robert Lamphere and shouted, "This is all a frame-up by you." (36) On 3rd August, 1948, Whittaker Chambers appeared before the House of Un-American Activities Committee. He testified that he had been "a member of the Communist Party and a paid functionary of that party" but left after the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact in August 1939. He explained how the Ware Group's "original purpose" was "not primarily espionage," but "the Communist infiltration of the American government." Chambers claimed his network of spies included Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White, Lauchlin Currie, Abraham George Silverman, John Abt, Lee Pressman, Nathan Witt, Henry H. Collins and Donald Hiss. Silverman, Collins, Abt, Pressman and Witt all used the Fifth Amendment defence and refused to answer any questions put by the HUAC. (37) The FBI still took no action against the people. The main reason was that Hoover was unwilling to expose the fact that the FBI had completely failed in preventing Soviet espionage in the United States. Robert Lamphere worked closely with Hoover on these cases: "Director Hoover had his faults and idiosyncrasies - but he was indeed a great man." Lamphere believed that Hoover's main weakness was that he could not take criticism. "Hoover... believed that the organization he had built, the FBI, should repulse all attacks on it, whatever the source." This was especially true "in the area that he made mistakes". Hoover would do anything to stop the exposure of these mistakes. This included the destruction of documents. (38) 1948 was the year that Meredith Gardner and his team at Arlington Hall began successfully decode a backlog of over 200,000 communications between Moscow and its foreign missions. The project, named Venona (a word which appropriately, has no meaning), began identifying over 200 American citizens who had been spying for the Soviet Union since the early 1930s. (39) The people exposed by Venona included Cedric Belfrage, Elizabeth Bentley, Marion Bachrach, Joel Barr, Abraham Brothman, Earl Browder, Karl Hermann Brunck, Louis Budenz, Whittaker Chambers, Frank Coe, Henry Hill Collins, Judith Coplon, Lauchlin Currie, Hope Hale Davis, Samuel Dickstein, Martha Dodd, Laurence Duggan, Harry Gold, David Greenglass, Ruth Greenglass, Gerhart Eisler, Noel Field, Harold Glasser, Vivian Glassman, Jacob Golos, Theodore Hall, Alger Hiss, Donald Hiss, Joseph Katz, Charles Kramer, Duncan Chaplin Lee, Harvey Matusow, Hede Massing, Paul Massing, Boris Morros, William Perl, Victor Perlo, Joszef Peter, Lee Pressman, Mary Price, William Remington, Julius Rosenberg, Alfred Sarant, Abraham George Silverman, Helen Silvermaster, Nathan Silvermaster, Alfred Dean Slack, Morton Sobell, Alfred Stern, William Ludwig Ullmann, Julian Wadleigh, Harold Ware, William Weisband, Nathaniel Weyl, Donald Niven Wheeler, Harry Dexter White, Nathan Witt and Mark Zborowski. It was argued that you could not use Venona material in court as it would let the Soviets know that their secret code had been broken. However, one of the senior figures at Arlington Hall, William Weisband was also a Soviet spy. In February 1948 a Soviet official wrote an internal memorandum about the work of Weisband. "For one year, a large amount of very valuable documentary material concerning the work of Americans on deciphering Soviet ciphers, intercepting and analyzing open radio-correspondence of Soviet institutions (the Venona project), was received from (Weisband). From these materials, we came to know that, as a result of this work, American intelligence managed to acquire important data concerning the stationing of the USSR's armed forces, the productive capacity of various branches of industry, and work in the field of atomic energy in the USSR... On the basis of Weisband's materials, our state security organs carried out a number of defensive measures, resulting in the reduced efficiency of the American deciphering service. This has led to the considerable current reduction in the amount of deciphering and analysis by the Americans." (40) To make sure that the FBI was unaware that they knew that the code had been broken, they continued to use it. The "operatives" were instructed "every week to compose summary reports or information on the basis of press and personal connections to be transferred to the Center by telegraph." As Allen Weinstein, the author of The Hunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America (1999) has pointed out the "Soviet intelligence's once-flourishing American networks, in short, had been transformed almost overnight into a virtual clipping service." (41) Those identified in the Venona transcripts were interviewed by the FBI but unless they broke down and confessed, charges could not be made against them. Harry Gold, David Greenglass and Ruth Greenglass did confess and this led to the conviction of Julius Rosenberg, Ethel Rosenberg (innocent) and Morton Sobell. Abraham Brothman and Miriam Moskowitz (innocent) were charged and convicted of “conspiracy to obstruct justice.” Others such as Alger Hiss and William Remington, were found guilty of perjury. Remington paid a heavy price for this as he was murdered in prison for being a "communist". William Weisband, the man who gave away the Venona secret, was convicted of contempt and sentenced to a year in prison after failing to appear before the grand jury. Judith Coplon was one of the most important Soviet spies in the United States. She worked for the FBI in the Justice Department and was able to warn any agents under investigation. Coplon's main attention was focused on the main Justice Department counter-intelligence archive that collected information from the various government agencies - FBI, OSS, and naval and army intelligence. She passed to her NKVD contact a number of documents from this archive. This included FBI materials on Soviet organizations in the United States and information on leaders of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA). A review of the data shocked NKVD. "The materials show how thoroughly the smallest facts from conversations, correspondence, and telephone talks held by our organizations, individual representatives, and workers in the country are recorded." (42) Coplon was arrested on 4th March, 1949 in Manhattan as she met with Valentin Gubitchev, her Soviet contact. They discovered that she had in her handbag twenty-eight FBI memoranda. This included details of the intensive monitoring of individuals such as David K. Niles, Frederic March, Edward G. Robinson and Edward Condon, who were all supporting Henry Wallace in his 1948 Presidential Campaign. Judith Coplon was charged with espionage. At her trial that began on 25th April 1949 Coplon claimed "she was meeting Gubitchev because they were in love and was not planning to give him the documents. But he was married, and prosecutors brought out that she had spent nights in hotels with another man at about the same time." (43) Coplon was helped in her defence by the decision of Judge Albert Reeves to rule that in order to convict her on the charge of unauthorized possession of classified documents, government prosecutors must produce in open court the originals of the FBI documents found in her handbag at the time of her arrest. During the trial, Coplon's lawyer, Archie Palmer, argued that the evidence from the confidential informant was in fact from illegal telephone taps. Then, over the strenuous objections of the FBI, he succeeded in getting raw FBI data collected on many famous people admitted as evidence, although they had nothing to do with the case. At the end of her trial Coplon was found guilty of espionage. The following year Coplon and Valentin Gubitchev were charged with conspiracy. As Hayden B. Peake has pointed out: "The alleged telephone taps became a major element in the second trial in New York, when Coplon and her case officer, Gubitchev, were convicted together. During the first trial, FBI special agents had denied direct knowledge of the taps. At the second, however, one of them admitted that taps had been used to collect evidence presented at trial. Later, the authors found a memorandum acknowledging the recordings and indicating that they had been intentionally destroyed to avoid having to reveal their existence." (44) Both Coplon were found guilty and Gubitchev was deported. However, Coplon appealed against both convictions. "The appellant judge in New York concluded that it was clear from the evidence that she was guilty, but the FBI had lied under oath about the bugging. Moreover, he wrote, the failure to get a warrant was not justified. He overturned the verdict, but the indictment was not dismissed. In the appeal of the Washington trial, the verdict was upheld, but, because of the possible bugging, a new trial became possible." (45) The case caused considerable embarrassment to the FBI. As Athan Theoharis, the author of Chasing Spies (2002) has pointed out : "Their public release confirmed that FBI agents intensively monitored political activities and wire-tapped extensively - with the subjects of their interest ranging from New Deal liberals to critics of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and with information in fifteen of the twenty-eight reports coming from wiretaps. And because Coplon's own phone had been wiretapped, her conviction was later reversed on appeal. The appeals judge concluded that FBI wiretapping had possibly tainted Coplon's indictment, under the Supreme Court's 1937 and 1939 rulings in Narclone v. U.S., requiring the dismissal of any case based on illegal wiretaps." (46) Once again, the FBI had failed to get a conviction of a Soviet spy. In 1963 Hoover was petrified that it would be discovered that Lee Harvey Oswald was part of a Soviet conspiracy that assassinated John F. Kennedy. No wonder he was overjoyed to hear about the defection of Yuri Nosenko and the story he had to tell. The Warren Commission welcomed the news and enabled them to provide a report wanted by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. As he told Richard B. Russell when he asked him to serve on the commission on 29th November, 1963: "It has already been announced and you can serve with anybody for the good of America and this is a question that has a good many more ramifications than on the surface and we've got to take this out of the arena where they're testifying that Khrushchev and Castro did this and did that and chuck us into a war that can kill 40 million Americans in an hour." (47) So who was right about Yuri Nosenko - J. Edgar Hoover or James Jesus Angleton? The Mitrokhin Archive shows us that Nosenko was indeed a genuine defector. So also was Anatoli Golitsyn (at least Angleton got that one right). The KGB gave orders for both men to be assassinated. As late as 1975 they had found a gangster willing to take out a contract on Nosenko for $100,000. But before he could do so the gangster was arrested for other crimes. (48) References (1) Gerald D. McKnight, Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why (2005) pages 388-389 (2) Richard Helms, A Look Over My Shoulder (2003) pages 238-39 (3) Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (2009) page 435 (4) David Martin, Wilderness of Mirrors (1980) page 153 (5) Richard Helms, A Look Over My Shoulder (2003) pages 240 (6) Thomas Powers, The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA (1979) page 328 (7) John Ranelagh, The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA (1987) page 320 (8) Joseph Trento, The Secret History of the CIA (2001) page 37 (9) Anthony Cave Brown, Treason of Blood (1995) page 386 (10) Kim Philby, My Secret War (1968) page 145 (11) Kim Philby, letter to Leonard Mosley (April, 1977) (12) Ben Macintyre, A Spy Among Friends (2014) page 131 (13) Kim Philby, My Secret War (1968) page 151 (14) Ben Macintyre, A Spy Among Friends (2014) page 156 (15) Tom Mangold, Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton: The CIA's Master Spy Hunter (1991) page 45 (16) Burton Hersh, The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA (1992) page 321 (17) Tom Mangold, Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton: The CIA's Master Spy Hunter (1991) page 46 (18) Michael Howard Holzman, James Jesus Angleton, the CIA, and the Craft of Counterintelligence (2008) page 125 (19) Ted Shackley, Spymaster: My Life in the CIA (2005) page 93 (20) Evan Thomas, The Very Best Men: The Early Years of the CIA (1995) page 308 (21) Joseph Trento, The Secret History of the CIA (2001) page 284 (22) Robert J. Lamphere, The FBI-KGB War (1986) page 25 (23) Walter Krivitsky, Saturday Evening Post (April 1939) (24) Gary Kern, A Death in Washington: Walter G. Krivitsky and the Stalin Terror (2004) page 213 (25) Louis Waldman, Labor Lawyer (1944) pages 344-346 (26) The Chicago American (2nd November, 1941) (27) Silvermaster FBI File 65-56402-1976 (28) Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes, The Secret World of American Communism (1995) page 11 (29) The Washington Post (15th March, 1940) (30) Frank Waldrop, The Washington Times-Herald (1st Aptil, 1941) (31) The Daily Worker (2nd November, 1941) (32) Gary Kern, A Death in Washington: Walter G. Krivitsky and the Stalin Terror (2004) page 289 (33) J. Edgar Hoover, memorandum to B. E. Sackett (15th March, 1941) (34) Whittaker Chambers, Witness (1952) page 485 (35) Whittaker Chambers, Witness (1952) page 464 (36) Robert J. Lamphere, The FBI-KGB War (1986) pages 59-60 (37) Sam Tanenhaus, Whittaker Chambers: A Biography (1997) page 246 (38) Robert J. Lamphere, The FBI-KGB War (1986) page 69 (39) David Stout, The New York Times (18th August, 2002) (40) Yuri Bruslov, memorandum on William Weisband (February, 1948) (41) Allen Weinstein, The Hunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America (1999) page 286 (42) Venona File 35112 page 131 (43) Jim Fitzgerald, The Washington Post (4th March, 2011) (44) Hayden B. Peake, The Spy Who Seduced America: Lies and Betrayal in the Heat of the Cold War— The Judith Coplon Story (14th April, 2007) (45) Hayden B. Peake, The Spy Who Seduced America: Lies and Betrayal in the Heat of the Cold War— The Judith Coplon Story (14th April, 2007) (46) Athan Theoharis, Chasing Spies (2002) page 87 (47) President Lyndon Baines Johnson, telephone conversation to Richard B. Russell (29th November, 1963) (48) Mitrokhin Archive (Volume 2, Appendix 3)
  9. I met Ed Sherry many years ago in Dallas. Ever since then he has been sending me information relating to the JFK assassination. He was a great guy who used his spare-time to help JFK researchers.
  10. It should be pointed out that the full Mitrokhin Archive has never been published. We have only seen what the British intelligence wanted us to see. Vasili Mitrokhin joined the KGB in 1954. He worked in the archives, where his main job was answering queries from other departments. During this period Mitrokhin became aware that secret files were being removed. For example, he discovered that Nikita Khrushchev had ordered Beria's personal archive to be destroyed so as to leave no trace of the compromising material he had collected on his former colleagues. In June 1972, the First Chief (Foreign Intelligence) Directorate left its overcrowded central Moscow offices in the KGB headquarters at the Lubyanka and moved to a new building at Yasenevo. For the next ten years working from a private office in Lubyanka, Mitrokhin was responsible for checking and sealing over 300,000 files in the FCD archive prior to their transfer to the new headquarters. Once reviewed by Mitrokhin, each batch of files was placed in sealed containers which were transported to Yasenevo. Mitrokhin decided to take notes on the most interesting files in minuscule handwriting on scraps of paper which he crumpled up and threw into his wastepaper basket. Each evening, he retrieved his notes from the basket and smuggled them out concealed in his shoes. The security guards confined themselves to occasional inspections of bags and briefcases without attempting body searches. Each night when he returned to his Moscow flat, Mitrokhin, his hit notes beneath his mattress. At weekends he took them to his family dacha and typed up as many as possible. The dacha was built on raised foundations. The typescripts and notes were placed in aluminum cases and buried in the ground beneath the dacha. Vasili Mitrokhin retired in 1984. He now spent his time typing up the rest of the notes he had smuggled out of the FCD. It was only with the break-up of the Soviet Union and the decline in security measures at the new borders of the Russian Federation at last open the way for Mitrokhin to take his archive to the West. In March 1992 he boarded an overnight train in Moscow bound for the newly independent republic of Latvia. With him he took a case full of clothes but included samples of his archive. The next day he arrived at the American embassy in Riga and asked if he could defect. "CIA officials at the embassy, struggling to cope with hundreds of Russian exiles trying to flee the crumbling Soviet Union, were not interested. They reasoned that Mitrokhin was not a spy, just a librarian, and the handwritten documents were probably fakes." He was told to return at a later date. He now tried the British embassy and asked to speak to "someone in authority". The young woman diplomat who received him was fluent in Russian and soon became aware that he would be a valuable source of information on KGB activities in Britain. MI6 arranged for Mitrokhin to bring his complete archive to Britain. Over the next few months MI6 shared details of its archive with other intelligence services. In August 1993, Ronald Kessler published his best-selling book, The FBI: Inside the World's Most Powerful Law Enforcement Agency, reported that the FBI had been interviewing a former KGB employee who had access to KGB files. "According to his account, the KGB had had many hundreds of Americans and possibly more than a thousand spying for them in recent years. So specific was the information that the FBI was quickly able to establish the source's credibility." Other journalists followed up the story and Time Magazine reported that "sources familiar with the case" of the KGB defector had identified him as a former employee of the First Chief Directorate, but described Kessler's figures of recent Soviet spies in the United States as "highly exaggerated". Kessler was indeed right about "many hundreds of Americans" spying for the Soviet Union but he was wrong to say they were "recent" as the numbers referred to those who had been spies since the 1920s. MI6 decided that they would allow the publication of some of the Mitrokhin archive. In late 1995 Mitrokhin was introduced to Christopher Andrew, the official historian of MI5. As Andrew points out a "few months later, we began writing a lengthy volume, based chiefly on the material he had smuggled out of Yasenevo." The Mitrokhin Archive was published in 1999. It contained very little that had not been disclosed by others. The one exception to this was Melita Norwood, an 87-year-old great-grandmother, living in Bexleyheath, had been betraying British secrets to the Soviet Union for 40 years. For example, according to The Mitrokhin Archive (1999) Deutsch recruited twenty agents and made contact with a total of twenty-nine. Christopher Andrew only names those agents who have been exposed from other sources. This included Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, John Cairncross and Michael Straight. Yet we know that there was another high-level spy, who tipped off Philby in 1962 but he is not named. Christopher Andrew admitted that Ronald Kessler was right about "many hundreds of Americans" spying for the Soviet Union but he was wrong to say they were "recent" as the numbers referred to those who had been spies since the 1920s. However, in the The Mitrokhin Archive he only published the names of those spies that had already been named in books such as Deadly Illusions (1993) and The Secret World of American Communism (1995), that had been based on access to KGB archives. Some more of these spies have been named in books such as Allen Weinstein’s, The Hunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America (1999), Athan Theoharis’s, Chasing Spies (2002) and Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes, Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America (2010). However, the numbers so far exposed do not match up to those contained in the Mitrokhin Archive. http://spartacus-educational.com/Vasili_Mitrokhin.htm
  11. In 1992 Vasili Mitrokhin, a retired senior KGB archivist, provided the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) with six large cases of top-secret material from the KGB's foreign intelligence archive. Some of this material deals with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It includes the claim, from Polish sources, that Clinton Murchison and H. L. Hunt had been involved in the funding of the assassination. The KGB archives show that the Soviet Union helped fund the publishing the books claiming that Kennedy was killed as a result of a right-wing conspiracy. Some of this money was sent to Carl Marzani (codenamed NORD). Among the books published by Marzani in 1964 was Oswald: Assassin or Fall Guy? by the German writer, Joachim Joesten. The KGB also arranged for Mark Lane to receive $1,500 to help his research. However, the document makes it clear that Lane was not told the source of the money. The same person arranged for Lane to receive $500 to help pay for a trip in Europe in 1964. KGB agent, Genrikh Borovik, was also assigned to help Lane with his research for Rush to Judgement (1965). Probably the most interesting material from this archive concerns the KGB assessment of the relationship between John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Ever since the Soviets started sending agents into the United States in the 1920s they had been encouraging members of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) to become involved in the struggle for civil rights. For example, they enjoyed great success in their propaganda campaign for the Scottsboro Boys in 1931. After the Second World War the Soviets used the way that African-Americans were treated in the United States as an attempt to gain influence in the Third World. At first they welcomed the campaigns of Martin Luther King against the Jim Crow Laws as it provided evidence of the worldwide struggle against American imperialism. However, to the dismay of the KGB. King repeatedly linked the aims of the civil rights movement to the fulfilment of the American dream and "the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence". After King's inspirational letter from Birmingham Jail on 16th April, 1963, where he argued "We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America, is freedom", it was decided by the KGB to mount a smear campaign against the leader of the civil rights movement. The task was given to Yuri Modin, deputy head of Service A (KGB's disinformation unit). Modin is an interesting character who has been largely ignored by historians. Modin was the man who in 1947 he was sent to London and became the main contact of Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross. Modin also arranged the flight of Maclean and Burgess in 1951 and was in Beirut when Philby went missing in January 1963. One of the great ironies in history is that while the KGB were trying to portray King as betraying African-Americans, J. Edgar Hoover was telling William C. Sullivan, the head of the Intelligence Division of the FBI, that “King was an instrument of the Communist Party” and posed “a serious threat to the security of the country.” Hoover instructed Sullivan to get evidence that “King had a relationship with the Soviet bloc”. Despite an intensive surveillance campaign, Sullivan was unable to find a clear link between King and the Communist Party of the United States. This did not stop Hoover from using his contacts in the press to write stories giving the impression that King was a communist. The KGB campaign against King was stepped up with the passing of civil rights legislation under President Lyndon B. Johnson. Modin arranged for articles to appear in the African press which could be reprinted in American newspapers, portraying King as an "Uncle Tom" who was secretly receiving government subsidies to tame the civil rights movement and prevent it threatening the Johnson administration. One of the most interesting documents in the KGB archive is dated August 1967 and authorizes Modin: "To organize, through the use of KGB residency resources in the US, the publication and distribution of brochures, pamphlets, leaflets and appeals denouncing the policy of the Johnson administration on the Negro question - and exposing the brutal terrorist methods being used by the government to suppress the Negro rights movement. To arrange, via available agent resources, for leading figures in the legal profession to make public statements discrediting the policy of the Johnson administration on the Negro question. To forge and distribute through illegal channels a document showing that the John Birch Society, in conjunction with the Minuteman organization, is developing a plan for the physical elimination of leading figures in the Negro movement in the US." http://spartacus-educational.com/Yuri_Modin.htm
  12. On 27th January, 1964, Tomás Harris was killed in a motor accident at Lluchmayor, Majorca. Some observers have suggested that Tomás Harris was murdered. Andrew Lownie has argued: "One afternoon driving along a familiar stretch of road in Majorca, where he lived, Harris' new Citroen inexplicably veered off the road. He had not been drinking or speeding and the suspicion has always been that someone had tampered with the car." (1) Who would have wanted Tomás Harris dead? Was this event connected to his friendship with Kim Philby? Did it have anything to do with the death of Aileen Philby in 1957? Had he been killed because of his work in the Second World War? In early 1941 Tomás Harris joined MI5. (2) Harris became involved in what became known as the Double-Cross System. Created by John Masterman, it attempted to "influence enemy plans by the answers sent to the enemy (by the double agents)" and to "deceive the enemy about our plans and intentions". (3) Operation Torch was the first major Allied offensive of the war. Planning the invasion of French North Africa began in July 1942. Eight double agents were used to pass disinformation to the enemy. Harris was the case-officer of the Spanish double agent, Juan Pujol García (GARBO). Christopher Andrew, the author of The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (2009) has argued: "The most inventive disinformation came from the Spanish double agent GARBO and his full-time case officer, Tomás Harris... who formed one of the most creative and successful agent-case-officer partnerships in MI5 history." (4) As MI5 wanted to use GARBO in later operations, it was agreed that he should send accurate details of the planned Allied invasion. However, it was arranged for these reports to be delayed in the post. They did not reach GARBO's case-officer until 7th November, a a few hours before the Allied landings and after the invasion force had already been spotted by the Germans. It did not occur to the Abwehr to blame GARBO for the delay or to suspect the involvement of British intelligence. His German case-officer told him: "Your last reports are all magnificent, but we are very sorry they arrived late." By 1943 GARBO had convinced Abwehr that he had a network of highly productive sub-agents. It was claimed that the twenty-eight agents, were mostly in the UK but some of them were as far afield as North America and Ceylon. Duff Cooper reported to Winston Churchill that "GARBO works on average from six to eight hours a day - drafting secret letters, enciphering, composing cover texts, writing them and planning for the future. Fortunately he has a facile and lurid style, great ingenuity and a passionate and quixotic zeal for his task." (5) As a result of receiving this information Churchill apparently said: "In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies." Tomás Harris and GARBO played an important role in the deception plans for the D-Day landings. The key aims of the deception were: "(a) To induce the German Command to believe that the main assault and follow up will be in or east of the Pas de Calais area, thereby encouraging the enemy to maintain or increase the strength of his air and ground forces and his fortifications there at the expense of other areas, particularly of the Caen area in Normandy. ( To keep the enemy in doubt as to the date and time of the actual assault. © During and after the main assault, to contain the largest possible German land and air forces in or east of the Pas de Calais for at least fourteen days." (6) According to Christopher Andrew: "During the first six months of 1944, working with Tomás Harris, he (GARBO) sent more than 500 messages to the Abwehr station in Madrid, which as German intercepts revealed, passed them to Berlin, many marked 'Urgent'... The final act in the pre-D-Day deception was entrusted, appropriately, to its greatest practitioners, GARBO and Tomás Harris. After several weeks of pressure, Harris finally gained permission for GARBO to be allowed to radio a warning that Allied forces were heading towards the Normandy beaches just too late for the Germans to benefit from it." (7) In 1945, as a result of his role in the success of the D-Day landings, Tomás Harris was awarded the OBE. Is it possible that a German far-right group was gaining revenge on a man who played a significant role in their defeat in 1945? There is little evidence that these kind of assassinations took place after the war. However, it is possible that another foreign government wanted Tomás Harris dead. On 12th December 1957, Aileen Philby was discovered dead in the bedroom of her house in Crowborough. Her friends believed she had killed herself, with drink and pills. However, her psychiatrist suspected, that she "might have been murdered" by Kim Philby because she knew too much. "The coroner ruled she had died from heart failure, myocardial degeneration, tuberculosis, and a respiratory infection having contracted influenza. Her alcoholism undoubtedly accelerated her death." (8) Aileen's friend, Flora Solomon, definitely believed that Philby had been responsible for her death. However, it was not until several years later, that she decided to gain her revenge. Solomon was a strong supporter of Israel and had been upset by what she considered to be Philby's pro-Arab articles in The Observer. It has been argued that "her love for Israel proved greater than her old socialist loyalties." (9) In August 1962, during a reception at the Weizmann Institute, Flora Solomon told Victor Rothschild, who had worked with MI6 during the Second World War and enjoyed close connections with Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, that she thought that Tomás Harris and Kim Philby were Soviet spies: "How is it that The Observer uses a man like Kim? Don't the know he's a Communist?" She then went on to tell Rothschild that she suspected that Philby and his friend, Tomás Harris, had been Soviet agents since the 1930s. "Those two were so close as to give me an intuitive feeling that Harris was more than a friend." (10) Rothschild arranged for Solomon to be interviewed by Arthur Martin. Another MI5 agent, Peter Wright, was also involved and later wrote about it in his book, Spycatcher (1987): "I monitored the interview back at Leconfield House on the seventh floor. Flora Solomon was a strange, rather untrustworthy woman, who never told the truth about her relations with people like Philby in the 1930s, although she clearly had a grudge against him. With much persuasion, she told Arthur a version of the truth. She said she had known Philby very well before the war. She had been fond of him, and when he was working in Spain as a journalist with The Times he had taken her,out for lunch on one of his trips back to London. During the meal he told her he was doing a very dangerous job for peace - he wanted help. Would she help him in the task? He was working for the Comintern and the Russians. It would be a great thing if she would join the cause. She refused to join the cause, but told him that he could always come to her if he was desperate. Arthur held back from quizzing her. This was her story, and it mattered little to us whether she had, in reality, as we suspected, taken more than the passive role she described during the 1930s." (11) Arrangements were made to interview Tomás Harris about these charges but as he was living in Spain the meeting was delayed and he was killed before it took place. Chapman Pincher, the author of Their Trade is Treachery (1981), agrees that it is possible that Harris had been eliminated by the KGB: "The police could find nothing wrong with the car, which hit a tree, but Harris's wife, who survived the crash, could not explain why the vehicle had gone into a sudden slide. It is considered possible, albeit remotely, that the KGB might have wanted to silence Harris before he could talk to the British security authorities, as he was an expansive personality, when in the mood, and was outside British jurisdiction. The information, about which MI5 wanted to question him and would be approaching him in Majorca, could have leaked to the KGB from its source inside MI5." (12) Pincher goes onto argue that the source was probably Roger Hollis, the director-general of MI5. Flora Solomon was one of those who thought Tomás Harris had been murdered. Peter Wright reported that she was very scared. "I will never give public evidence. There is too much risk. You see what has happened to Tomás since I spoke to Victor... It will leak, I know it will leak, and then what will my family do?" Although Solomon never provided any hard evidence against Harris, who was also a close friend of both Guy Burgess, he had already been under suspicion that he was a Soviet spy. "Solomon could not have known it was Harris who had been instrumental in rescuing Philby from operational oblivion in SOE... Just how Harris himself managed to jump to MI5 has never been accounted for. Burgess, who was responsible for obtaining Harris's semi-official MI6 status, had no direct office contact with Liddell." (13) Kim Philby clearly had a great deal of respect for Tomás Harris. He later wrote in My Secret War (1968) how he worked with him at Brickendonbury Hall, the Special Operations Executive training establishment: "Our outstanding personality, however, was undoubtedly Tomás Harris, an art-dealer of great distinction.... He was the only one of us who acquired, in those first few weeks, any sort of personal contact with the trainees. The work was altogether unworthy of his untaught but brilliantly intuitive mind." (14) Shortly before his death on 11th May 1988, Philby agreed to be interviewed by the journalist, Phillip Knightley. Philby admitted that it was Harris got him a job with British intelligence: "It was now more than ever necessary for me to get away from the rhododendrons of Beaulieu. I had to find a better hole with all speed. A promising chance soon presented itself. During my occasional visits to London, I had made a point of calling at Tomás Harris's house in Chesterfield Gardens, where he lived surrounded by his art treasures in an atmosphere of haute cuisine... Harris had joined M15 after the break-up of the training-school at Brickendonbury." (15) Knightley asked him if he had any regrets. Philby replied: "None in the sense that no course of action is ever entirely right or entirely wrong. So, trying to strike a balance in my life I would say that the right I've done is greater than the wrong I've done. I accept that many would disagree with me." "It's hard to believe that you have no regrets at all" Knightley persisted. "Of course I regret what happened to my relationship with friends. People like Tommy Harris." It is interesting that the only person mentioned by Philby was Harris. (16) Was he reflecting on the fact that he had informed the KGB that he would need to be eliminated because of the information given by Flora Solomon to Victor Rothschild? Philby was responsible for the deaths of several people who were on the verge of exposing him as a spy. In his book, My Secret War, he dismissed these people as "a nasty piece of work" who "deserved what he got". Philby is considered by many as someone who was unable to show any empathy for his victims. Maybe, it is with the case of Tomás Harris that he becomes a man who does feel guilt. Tomás Harris has an entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. However, there is no mention in that article about him being suspected as a Soviet spy. Maybe that is because the article was written by his close friend, and the man who helped him to join MI5. That is to say, Anthony Blunt, who confessed to being a Soviet spy on 23rd April, 1964, only two months after Harris was killed. http://spartacus-educational.com/Tomas_Harris.htm References (1) Andrew Lownie, The Spectator (5th November, 1988) (2) Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (2009) page 284 (3) John Masterman, The Double-Cross System in the War of 1939-45 (1972) (4) Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (2009) page 284 (5) Duff Cooper, letter to Winston Churchill (5th November, 1943) (6) Michael Howard, British Intelligence in the Second World War (1990) pages 106-107 (7) Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (2009) page 305 (8) Ben Macintyre, A Spy Among Friends (2014) page 212 (9) John Costello, Mask of Treachery (1988) page 387 (10) Flora Solomon, Baku to Baker Street (1984) page 226 (11) Peter Wright, Spycatcher (1987) pages 172-173 (12) Chapman Pincher, Their Trade is Treachery (1981) pages 169-170 (13) John Costello, Mask of Treachery (1988) page 388 (14) Kim Philby, My Secret War (1968) page 17 (15) Phillip Knightley, Philby: KGB Masterspy (1988) pages 35-37 (16) Phillip Knightley, Philby: KGB Masterspy (1988) pages 254
  13. Teachers and those teaching your children from home might be interested in a classroom activity I have produced on Walter Tull, the first Black combat officer in the British Army. I have also included material on his childhood (he was forced to live in an orphanage in Bethnal Green after the death of his parents) as well as his career as a professional footballer and his time in the British Army in the First World War. The subject is topical as on Wednesday it was announced that Tull will appear on the new £5 coin. http://spartacus-educational.com/FWWtull.htm http://spartacus-educational.com/ExamFWWU1.htm
  14. On 11th December, 1948, the FBI questioned Laurence Duggan about information that he was a Soviet spy. On 20th December, Laurence Duggan fell to his death from the sixteenth floor of his office building. Time Magazine reported: "In the raw, early darkness of a Christmas-week evening, Manhattan's slushy 45th Street rustled with the shuffling sound and movement of people. Fifth Avenue's traffic brayed and rumbled close by. But the opened window, 16 floors above the din, was just an anonymous rectangle of light - one of thousands held by the city's glowing towers against the black sky. No one in the streets noticed the man who was silhouetted in its frame. No one saw him start his long, tumbling drop to the street. He fell on a heap of dirty snow. Passersby stopped, turned, and saw him then; a thin, black-haired man lying broken and dying." Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles, who had been Duggan's immediate superior in the State Department, sent a telegram to New York's Mayor O'Dwyer which said: "I find it impossible to believe his death was self-inflicted . . . I hope you will take every step . . . to find out whether there may not be some other explanation." Mayor O'Dwyer responded by putting 33 detectives on the case. However, after a few weeks it was announced that Laurence Duggan committed suicide. However, I am convinced he was murdered. There are two main reasons for this claim. Time Magazine reported on 3rd January, 1949: "Police, who hurried to the Institute's 16th floor offices, found few clues. Duggan's brown tweed overcoat and his briefcase (which contained a ticket for an airplane trip to Washington the next day) were placed near his desk. His left overshoe was on the floor; he had been wearing only the right one when he fell. Police found no note." Now, why would a man take off one of his shoes if he was just about to jump out of a window? However, it is very easy to understand a man losing his shoe in a struggle if a couple of men were trying to throw you out the window. The second reason is the evidence that has recently emerged from the KGB archives. Laurence Duggan was indeed a Soviet spy. He also knew the names of other Soviet spies in the State Department. We know that the Soviets routinely “suicided” people who they suspected would soon be giving information to the FBI. For example, Ignaz Reiss, a senior figure in the NKVD and his wife, Elsa Poretsky, defected in August, 1937. On 15th August, 1937, Iskhak Akhmerov, a Soviet agent based in New York, sent a message to Moscow: "(Reiss) knew about (Duggan) and his wife.... Also, apparently, Reiss, being at your place at home (NKVD headquarters in Moscow), became acquainted with personnel files of our network." Akhmerov pointed out that Reiss and his wife also knew about Hede Massing and Noel Field. On 11th September, 1937, NKVD officials in Moscow informed Iskhak Akhmerov: "(Reiss) is liquidated, but not yet his wife. So far, we do not know to what extent she knows about (Duggan) and what steps she will take in future. Now the danger that (Duggan) will be exposed because of (Reiss) is considerably decreased." The NKVD did not only assassinate agents from the Soviet Union. The Soviet archives reveal that when they suspected Elizabeth Bentley of being about to tell the FBI about her spying activities, they recruited Joseph Katz to kill her. Luckily for Bentley, she got to the FBI before Katz got to her. Duggan had already been interviewed by the FBI on 11th December, 1948. The Soviets had a spy in the FBI offices. Judith Coplon was able to tell the NKVD that Duggan had refused to talk but he was considered to be weak and that he might well make a full confession. By sending in this report she was signing Duggan’s death warrant. http://spartacus-educational.com/Laurence_Duggan.htm
  15. David Kaiser has suggested that the Polish intelligence source might have been George de Mohrenschildt.
  16. In 1992 the former KGB officer, Vasili Nikitich Mitrokhin, fled to the West. He brought with him “six cases containing the copious notes he had taken almost daily for twelve years… on notes he had taken almost daily for twelve years… on top secret KGB files going as far back as 1918.” Mitrokhin became a British citizen and the material was made available to the historian, Christopher Andrew. The Mitrokhin archive contains material on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In December, 1963, the deputy chairman of the KGB reported to the Central Committee that three oilmen in Texas, Sid Richardson, Clint Murchison and Haroldson L. Hunt, had organized the assassination: “A reliable source of the Polish intelligence service, an American entrepreneur and owner of a number of firms closely connected to the petroleum circles of the South, reported in late November that the real instigators of this criminal deed were three leading oil magnates from the South of the USA – Richardson, Murchison and Hunt, all owners of major petroleum petroleum reserves in the southern states who have long been connected to pro-fascist and racist organizations in the South.” One of the problems of this theory is that Richardson died of a heart attack on 30th September, 1959. The KGB also reported that a journalist on The Baltimore Sun “said in a private conversation in early December that on assignment from a group of Texas financiers and industrialists headed by millionaire Hunt, Jack Ruby, who is now under arrest, proposed a large sum of money to Oswald for the murder of Kennedy.” It seems that Nikita Khrushchev seems to have been convinced by the KGB view that the aim of the right-wing conspirators behind Kennedy’s assassination was to intensify the Cold War and “strengthen the reactionary and aggressive elements of American foreign policy.” Although there is no evidence of this in the Mitrokhin archive. it is possible that the KGB fed this information back to friendly journalists in the West. For example, Thomas G. Buchanan, worked as a journalist for the Washington Evening Star, but was sacked in 1948 when it was discovered that he was a member of the Communist Party of the United States. Blacklisted, he moved to Paris and the French newspaper, L’ Express published his articles on the assassination. Buchanan claimed in the newspaper that the Warren Commission had discovered that Jack Ruby knew Lee Harvey Oswald. He argued that Ruby lent him money to pay back the State Department for the $435.71 the U.S. had loaned Oswald when he returned from the Soviet Union. These articles caught the attention of Richard Helms. He sent a memo to John McCone, Director of the CIA: "Buchanan's thesis is that the assassination of President Kennedy was the product of a rightest plot in the United States. He alleges in his articles that the slain Dallas policeman, Tippett (sic) was part of the plot against President Kennedy." Helms went onto inform McCone that a "competent" CIA informant had disclosed that a book by Buchanan on the assassination would be published by Secker and Warburg on 15th May 1964. Helms informant was right and Buchanan book, Who Killed Kennedy? was published in London in May. Buchanan appears to have been the first writer to suggest that the Military Industrial Congress Complex was behind the assassination. He also argues that the assassination was funded by a Texas oilman. When the book was eventually published in the United States, it was mainly ignored. However, Time Magazine reviewed it and made much of the fact that Buchanan was a former member of the Communist Party of the United States. However, Buchanan did have his supporters. The left-wing journalist, Cedric Belfrage, argued in the journal, Minority of One, that it was "irrelevant whether Buchanan was a former communist or a former Zen Buddhist". Belfrage went on to state that what was important was Buchanan's "common sense of the assassination and the American crisis it symbolizes". We now know via Venona and the Mitrokhin archive that Belfrage had been working for Soviet intelligence since 1942 (codename UCN/9). It seems that the KGB continued to believe that Texas oilmen were behind the assassination of Kennedy. In 1991 Boris Yeltsin asked Yevgeni Primakov, the head of the Soviet Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) what the KGB had in the archives on the Kennedy assassination. The SVR report claimed that Oswald had been selected as the assassin by "a group of Texas financiers and industrialists headed by millionaire Hunt". It goes on to argue: "Oswald was the most suitable figure for executing a terrorist act against Kennedy because his past allowed for the organization of a widespread propaganda campaign accusing the Soviet Union, Cuba, and the US Communist Party of involvement in the assassination. But... Ruby and the real instigators of Kennedy's murder did not take into account the fact that Oswald suffered from psychiatric illness. When Ruby realized that after a prolonged interrogation Oswald was capable of confessing everything, Ruby immediately liquidated Oswald." Oleg Nechiporenko, a KGB officer, points out in his book, Passport to Assassination (1993), that he met Lee Harvey Oswald twice in Mexico City in October 1963. He argues that the plot was organized by Texan oilmen and that the CIA was involved. However, he undermines his case by mixing up E. Howard Hunt and Haroldson L. Hunt. He writes that "billionaire E. Howard Hunt played a special role" in the assassination. http://spartacus-educational.com/spartacus-blogURL37.html
  17. The Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) is pleased to host a conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the release of the Warren Commission Report on the Assassination of President Kennedy: "The Warren Report and the JFK Assassination: A Half Century of Significant Disclosures." The three-day conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bethesda, Maryland, September 26 through September 28, 2014. The Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law will co-sponsor the conference. Many noted authorities have committed to speak at the conference, including Russell Baker; Prof. G. Robert Blakey; Jim DEugenio; Marie Fonzi; Robert Groden; Dan Hardway, JD; David Kaiser, PhD; Prof. Joan Mellen; Jefferson Morley; Prof. John Newman; Dr. Randolph Robertson; Prof. Peter Dale Scott; Dr. Wayne Smith; Tony Summers; Dr. Donald Thomas; Prof. Ernst Titovets, MD, PhD; Lamar Waldron; Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, MD, JD; and many others. A complete list of confirmed speakers and more details about the conference will be found at the AARCs website. Our hotel host has extended a very special room rate of only $119 (+ tax) per night for conference attendees. Double-occupancy surcharges and in-room Wi-Fi charges have been waived. For those who may want to extend your visit to the D.C. area the Hyatt-Regency has agreed to extend this special room rate to three days preceding and following the conference. The conference will focus on what we have learned of major significance from the additional 4 million pages released since the issuance of the Warren Report on September 26, 1964. Particular attention will be paid to disclosures made under the JFK Records Act and on the need to secure the release of the Act documents that remain withheld a half century later. Register at our web site now (http://aarclibrary.org/), and please pass the word on to your respective networks. Also please register for e-mail updates at our web site and please also consider becoming a dues-paying member of the AARC. For further information contact Jerry Policoff, Executive Director: Cell: (717) 682-4434 jpolicoff@aarclibrary.org
  18. Fascinating interview. You must have been frustrated by the limited time given to you to explain your story. You make an interesting point about the importance of secret files on politicians as a means of controlling their behaviour. The same thing happens in the UK as the recent disclosures about child sexual abuse amongst leading politicians.
  19. It is reported that public opinion polls in Israel show 95% of its citizens support its government policy of the bombing of Gaza. Whereas polls show in the UK that 62% believe Israel is guilty of war crimes in Gaza. It reminds me of the Rosenberg case in 1951. In the United States only the Daily Worker and the Jewish Daily Forward opposed the death sentence for the Rosenbergs and this is reflected in the public opinion polls taken at the time. However, the rest of the world was appalled by the decision and it led to protests taken place in all major cities. Judge Irving Kaufman, who had passed the death sentence, considered the whole thing a communist conspiracy. Interestingly, one person campaigning behind the scenes against the sentence was J. Edgar Hoover. He thought in the long-term that it would reflect badly on the FBI. He was right of course, we now have the documents that it was Hoovers idea that Ethel Rosenberg should be arrested and used as a means of getting Julius to confess. (It was a tactic that he had borrowed from Stalin who had the wives and children of leading Bolsheviks arrested and threatened with execution in order to gain confessions.) http://spartacus-educational.com/USArosenberg.htm http://spartacus-educational.com/USArosenbergE.htm
  20. I don't think many of them do. I have just read Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy (2009) by Kathryn S. Olmstead. It has a very good chapter on the JFK assassination. Olmstead is a much respected historian who has written a great deal on the FBI and the CIA. She makes it clear that she she considers the Warren Report was a cover-up. However, she refuses to speculate on who actually killed JFK. As a historian, she just cannot do that. The cover-up was too successful.
  21. I think you are being too harsh on historians. The problem was mainly about the failure of journalists to investigate the crime when it happened. Historians rarely speculate. They are only interested in the evidence that is available. That has enabled them to point out the failings of the original investigation but has not allowed them to provide details of who had him killed. The evidence is just not available for them to do that.
  22. James Bamford's book, Body of Secrets (page 135) deals with Meredith Gardner's investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald. Meredith Gardner, the cryptanalyst, exposed over 200 Soviet spies, but was unhappy that it led to the execution of the Rosenbergs. Peter Wright met Meredith Gardner in London after the arrests of the atom spies: "He was a quiet, scholarly man, entirely unaware of the awe in which he was held by other cryptanalysts. He used to tell me how he worked on the matches in his office, and of how a young pipe-smoking Englishman named Philby used to regularly visit him and peer over his shoulder and admire the progress he was making. Gardner was rather a sad figure by the late 1960s. He felt very keenly that the cryptanalytical break he had made possible was a thing of mathematical beauty, and he was depressed at the use to which it had been put." Wright revealed that he was upset that his research had resulted in McCarthyism and the executions of Julius Rosenberg and Ethel Rosenberg. Wright quotes Gardner as saying: "I never wanted it to get anyone into trouble." Wright added that Gardner "was appalled at the fact that his discovery had led, almost inevitably, to the electric chair, and felt (as I did) that the Rosenbergs, while guilty, ought to have been given clemency. In Gardner's mind, VENONA was almost an art form, and he did not want it sullied by crude McCarthyism." http://spartacus-educational.com/Meredith_Gardner.htm
  23. Best of luck with the venture. You may want to discuss how people become new members. At the moment they are emailing me about joining.
  24. It all depends how much you are willing to pay people not to give evidence against you. Apparently, the prosecution had talks with three of those who pleaded guilty, about them giving evidence against Brooks. However, all three eventually decided against this. Clearly Murdoch was willing to pay large sums of money to keep quiet about Brooks but not about Coulson.
  25. Not at all. What I am saying is that they might be holding back the files because they made terrible mistakes in the investigation. The FBI protected Hiss not because he was a communist (J.Edgar Hoover hated them) but because they did not arrest him and the other members of the spy ring when they received the information in 1943. Hoover later blamed Roosevelt and Truman for this but it is clear that they could have taken action against these spies. The arrest and non-persection of Jacob Golos, the head of the Soviet spy ring in 1943 is another strange case.
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