Tag Archives: History

The Oldest Record of Espionage

The “earliest surviving record of espionage dates from the time of Pharaoh Rameses’ war with the Hittites and the battle of Kadesh. (c.1274 BC)…The Hittite king Muwatallis sent two spies into the Egyptian camp posing as deserters to convince pharaoh that the Hittite army was still quite distant. Rameses believed their story and unwittingly allowed part of his army to march into a Hittite ambush. Fortunately for the pharaoh, he captured two more Hittite spies and had his officers interrogate them … the Hittites spies revealed that an ambush had been set … Ramses was therefore able to bring up reserves and avert disaster at what became known as the battle of Kadesh.”

From: The Enemy Within: A History of Espionage, Thomas Crowdy

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Read aloud to better understand literature of the past

“When we read a text, we hear a voice talking to us. Yet the voice changes over time.

When we read a novel written today, we hear a voice
 that speaks pretty much the same language we speak, and that addresses people and things in a way we are used to. But much happens as a text ages – a certain type of alienation emerges. The reader may still hear a voice, but will not understand it fully and therefore risks missing important aspects…

… people often read texts aloud until the late 1700s, even when they were alone. So the recommendation to read older literature aloud in order to understand it better is given for good reason.

We who are more accustomed to silent reading are not as sensitive to the tone of voice as people were in the past. We simply cannot hear the voice very well. But the voice of a text is always important, just think of all the smileys we have started using to add clarity to texts”

More: http://m.phys.org/news/2012-10-voices-older-literature-differently-today.html

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Espionage Monopoly

“In WWII, agents of the British secret service unit MI9 oversaw the development and distribution of special-edition versions of the board game Monopoly to British POWS held in German camps. These boxes were secretly packed with maps, compasses and other tools that would be helpful to a solider who wanted to escape. The games were one of the items that were permitted by the Germans from humanitarian groups like the Red Cross. Each of the special-edition games concealed silk maps of the areas around known German POW camps, compasses, and real bank notes mixed in with the game money. British pilots were told to look for the games in the event of their capture, and some estimate that the games’ secret tools were used by thousands of POWs over the course of the war. Sadly, all the special edition sets known to exist were destroyed after the war.”

More: http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/gadgets-electronics/stories/4-unbelievable-spy-gadgets

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THE BLACK VAULT by Jack King:
It’s the year of election The Coup

The absurd world of espionage

“From propaganda catapults to exploding seashells, why do “intelligence” services come up with so many bad, and often absurd, ideas?

Well, maybe they aren’t coming up with all that many stupid ideas: maybe they come up with exactly as many stupid ideas as, say, the U.S. House of Representatives, but we pay more attention to the CIA’s nonsense because we’re more surprised by it. After all, these people, at least, are supposed to have some idea of what they’re doing.

But reading through some of these stories, you start to wonder if there might be another explanation. The CIA’s looniest notions, after all, bear remarkable resemblance to the loony ideas that seem to constantly pour out of totalitarian dictatorships, including current ones such as that of North Korea. Maybe it’s the very fact of brainstorming behind closed doors — six guys in a room trying to figure out a way to do whatever currently seems impossible — that encourages it. Desperation plus not having anyone to laugh at you (whether because of secrecy or, in the case of North Korea, because you’ve got the entire country in a headlock) must be a pretty potent combination.”

More: http://m.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/02/spy-agencies-have-had-some-very-dumb-ideas-new-documents-reveal/253238/

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Writers as political instruments

“In order to introduce our literature to the world, we should first set our ideology, since nothing can change world beliefs as literature does.

Unfortunately most writers do not take effort in studying our contemporary history… All superior novels of the world are ideology-oriented.

Revolutionary literature [is] the subgenre of political literature and … in the west, the effect of fiction on political and intellectual movements is measured and we see that before American invasion to Iraq, a number of novels had been written on the possibility of the event. They actually train their political writers and put them through valid and even ultra-confidential information.

In order to create revolution literature, we should first train researching writers who probe into the historical ground, causes and effects of revolution.”

http://www.ibna.ir/vdciv3az3t1aru2.ilct.html

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Concentration Camps

On this day in 1945 the Nazis began to evacuate the Auschwitz concentration camp, ten days later liberated by the advancing Soviet troops. Let’s remember the horrors instituted by blind militarization, homophobia, and nationalism, not least because of my grandfather who was imprisoned for 5 years in Auschwitz and Mauthausen.

According to Jesuit sources (Malachi Martin, The Keys of His Blood) the Nazis “established some 8,500 concentration camps on occupied Polish soil, and organized them into a brutal industry divided into 13 administrative districts. Of the some 18 million Europeans who were imprisoned in concentration camps, some 11 million were killed – of those 3.5 million were Poles, and 7.5 million other nationals”. Why such a high number of Poles? It was a part of the plan that was hatched on January 25, 1940, in “a secret circular” drafted by Hermann Göring. According to Hans Frank (the Governor-general of the General Government of occupied Poland) the circular was a handbook for “making certain that not one Polish man, woman, or child, was left alive to soil the territories now and forever part of the Third Reich“.

Concentration camps were set up for political enemies, prisoners of war, foreigners, criminals, etc. My grandfather spent over five years in Auschwitz and Mauthausen (survived a death march) simply because he was born Polish.

What were concentration camps?

“After 1945 the term concentration camp was almost completely associated with the German dictatorship; the dictionary definition of ‘concentration camp’ in English describes them as German and locates them firmly in the brief twelve years of the Third Reich. This focus on the concentration camp as a German phenomenon entirely distorts the historical reality, not only because it ignores the long history of concentration camps in other geographical locations.

[…] the concentration camp is essentially a product of the First World War and its immediate aftermath. This was the period in which what might be described as a ‘camp culture’ developed, encouraged by the growth of a large camp structure for prisoners-of-war and refugees, but more specifically the camps set up for enemy aliens. These camps concentrated the targeted group, created the physical pattern of future camps, and bred a crude popular culture of exclusion.” Source

What was Auschwitz?

“Auschwitz? That was a real Tower of Babel. But, what does it mean to be Polish? What does it mean to be a Slav? The French wore the same numbers on their forearms, and were beaten all the same, and the Gypsies were beaten even more. We [concentration camp survivors] know something that you cannot, because you could’ve been killed by bombs or soldiers, whereas we were beaten and beaten by wardens and could not be killed, because as long as you have respect for yourself you cannot be killed, only murdered. And if you survive, and continue to have respect for yourself, you will respect others, whether Poles, or French, or some other. We learned in Auschwitz that there is only one difference – a human, and an inhuman.” Maria Kuncewiczowa, in The Phantoms (my translation).

What was it like to be imprisoned inside a concentration camp? Look up Smoke over Birkenau, a first-hand witness account by Seweryna Szmaglewska.

As Spartacus Before Us

Gone are the days of writers such as Romain Rolland, the lonely voices of reason, who stood against wars, lies, and slavery of thought. This is the age of novelists (who shall remain nameless here) who cheer degenerate policies of our “leaders”, of aggression in all forms, and of mass blinding of populations by doublespeak. It was why this chance encounter with the now obscure, but once revered writer was such a refreshing read: The Yellow Cross, by Andrzej Strug is as enjoyable a suspense, as it is thought-provoking in its strong antiwar message. The novel can be summarized in this short snippet:

“As Spartacus did in the ancient time, when he organized the slaves to rise against Rome, so shall we, the soldiers, rise up today against our generals.”

I’m not sure whether the novel is available in the English language – it should be, as it is well worth a read.

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History of MI6 written with blood and sex

“An MI6 agent became a serial killer as he used pretty young women to lure Russians to their deaths with the promise of sex […]

A Cossack colonel called Mohammed Bek Hadji Lashet, and his gang used the women to attract communists to a lakeside villa where they were tortured and then killed, according to a new history of the intelligence service.

After moving to Stockholm he offered himself as an agent to the Americans but they were so worried by what he offered to do for them that they thought he was an “agent provocateur” and turned him down.

Lashet and 15 of his compatriots appear to have lured four Bolsheviks to their deaths, two of them Soviet embassy officials in Stockholm, which had become a hotbed of Western spies.

They used women who included a blonde and a dark-haired “exotic” woman from central Asia, to attract their targets.”

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/8010063/Communists-lured-to-their-deaths-by-MI6-with-promise-of-sex.html

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Britain’s “first” double agent

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“To his handlers in the Security Service, MI5, he was code-named Snow, while to his masters in German intelligence he was Johnny. Arthur Owens, Welsh nationalist, frustrated inventor, father of a future Hollywood starlet, was an unlikely spy, yet became one of the most important double agents of the Second World War.

The first German agent to be “turned” by British intelligence during the conflict, he was used to entrap other Nazi spies as part of the Double Cross system, possibly the most successful counter-espionage operation ever undertaken.

Run by the Twenty Committee – the Roman numeral XX a play on Double Cross – it resulted in the detection of every German agent in Britain and the feeding of false information, including the bogus location of the D-Day landings, to their masters in Berlin.

Yet, despite Owens’s prominent role in the secret war, he is to this day an enigma, his motives as unclear on the day of his death as they were when he decided to offer his services as a spy. Now, a new book seeks to illuminate corners of that shadowy life and fill in some the gaps in the strange career of Agent Snow.”

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/britainatwar/8980777/Britains-first-double-agent-the-spy-who-tricked-us-all.html

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Kim Philby and the woman who made him happy

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“Historians still argue why [ Kim] Philby, a British aristocrat and a graduate of the Cambridge University, suddenly chose to work for Soviet intelligence services. Was he a man of no principles who was ready to work for anyone who would pay him well – or did he really believe in the ideas of communism? Well, it looks like the second answer is closer to the truth, for it is known that Philby had a fancy for Marxism when he was a student.

[…] in 1933, Kim Philby started to work for Soviet intelligence services. It is by an order of the Soviet intelligence services that he integrated into the UK secret service in 1940.

Famous writer Graham Greene, known for his pro-Soviet sympathies, who himself used to work for the UK intelligence for some time, said that when Kim Philby was at the top of his career, practically every step and every plan of Western secret services immediately became known to the Soviet services.

“For the last 25 years of his life, Kim Philby lived in Moscow – but, at first, his life here was not simple. The Soviet authorities and Philby himself were afraid that he might be assassinated – and he had to live a very secluded life, until a fair woman appeared”…

More: http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/12/07/61745969.html

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