Κυριακή, 5 Φεβρουαρίου 2017

Έρνεστ Χέμινγουεϊ – Κα Γκε Μπε

Έχω αναφέρει τον Κολομβιανό νομπελίστα λογοτέχνη Γκαμπριέλ Γκαρσία Μάρκες, ο οποίος μετέφερε τα γράμματα του Πάμπλο Εσκομπάρ στον Φιντέλ Κάστρο, όταν ο Φιντέλ Κάστρο περνούσε την κόκα του Εσκομπάρ στο Μαϊάμι.

Ένας ακόμη νομπελίστας λογοτέχνης που ήταν πράκτορας της KGB ήταν ο Αμερικανός  Έρνεστ Χέμινγουεϊ. Βλέπε Guardian Hemingway revealed as failed KGB spy”, Ιούλιος 2009.

Τον Χέμινγουεϊ τον προσέλαβε η KGB το 1941, και του έδωσε την κωδική ονομασία “Argo”. O Χέμινγουει συναντούσε τους πράκτορες της KGB στην Κούβα και το Λονδίνο, αλλά σύμφωνα με τα αρχεία της KGB δεν έδωσε ποτέ στην KGB πληροφορίες της προκοπής.

Δεν νομίζω όμως ότι ένας συγγραφέας θα μπορούσε να βοηθήσει πολύ την Σοβιετική κατασκοπεία. Μήπως ο Γκαμπριέλ Γκαρσία Μάρκες έδωσε στην KGB τίποτα σημαντικές πληροφορίες? Που να τις έβρισκε αυτές τις πληροφορίες? Αντιθέτως όμως ο ρόλος και των δύο στην προπαγάνδα ήταν καθοριστικός.

Να πω ότι η Guardian είναι κεντροαριστερή φιλο-Ισλαμική εφημερίδα, πολύ αντι-Ρωσική, και φαντάζομαι θα παίρνει πολύ διαφήμιση και από τους Άραβες του Κόλπου.

“Hemingway revealed as failed KGB spy”, Ιούλιος 2009
Up till now, this has been a notably cheerful year for admirers of Ernest Hemingway – a surprisingly diverse set of people who range from Michael Palin to Elmore Leonard. Almost every month has brought good news: a planned Hemingway biopic; a new, improved version of his memoir, A Moveable Feast; the opening of a digital archive of papers found in his Cuban home; progress on a movie of Islands in the Stream.
Last week, however, saw the publication of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America (Yale University Press), which reveals the Nobel prize-winning novelist was for a while on the KGB's list of its agents in America. Co-written by John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev, the book is based on notes that Vassiliev, a former KGB officer, made when he was given access in the 90s to Stalin-era intelligence archives in Moscow.
Its section on the author's secret life as a "dilettante spy" draws on his KGB file in saying he was recruited in 1941 before making a trip to China, given the cover name "Argo", and "repeatedly expressed his desire and willingness to help us" when he met Soviet agents in Havana and London in the 40s. However, he failed to "give us any political information" and was never "verified in practical work", so contacts with Argo had ceased by the end of the decade. Was he only ever a pseudo-spook, possibly seeing his clandestine dealings as potential literary material, or a genuine but hopelessly ineffective one?
The latter reading would chime with his attempts to assist the US during the second world war in his fishing boat El Pilar, patrolling waters north of Cuba in search of U-Boats, making coded notes but only one sighting.
Revelations made in recent years have not been kind to some of the writers and artists who made their reputations in the Spanish civil war. George Orwell's list of public figures who were crypto-communists, prepared for a Foreign Office propaganda arm in 1949, sullied his saintly image when it was published six years ago. Research in Soviet archives led Antony Beevor to call Andre Malraux a "mythomaniac". Robert Capa has been accused of faking the best-known photo of that conflict. The virulent hatred of Arabs of Martha Gellhorn - Hemingway's third wife, who covered the civil war with him - has been exposed. And now it's the turn of Hemingway himself, the biggest name of all, to lose some of his lustre

Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America By John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev: review
A common perception is that, both before and after the Second World War, the British Establishment was penetrated by Soviet spies (most notably by the Cambridge Spy Ring) while America somehow escaped infiltration. This important new book, however, which is based on archival material – a rare luxury for intelligence historians – shows the huge extent of Soviet espionage activity in the United States during the 20th century.
The authors estimate that from the Twenties more than 500 Americans from all walks of life, including many Ivy League graduates and Oxford Rhodes Scholars, were recruited to assist Soviet intelligence agencies, particularly in the State Department and America’s first intelligence agency, the OSS.
John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr have previously collaborated on books about the Venona spy intercepts and American Communism. Their co-author Alexander Vassiliev, a Russian journalist and former intelligence officer, collaborated on The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America. That book was based on controlled Russian intelligence documents, access to which was negotiated during a moment of Glasnost in the Nineties with a view to supplementing the KGB pension fund, championing Russian intelligence successes and creating a bit of disinformation mischief. What hadn’t been known until recently is that while working on The Haunted Wood, Vassiliev had transcribed and summarised innumerable KGB documents which he had smuggled out with him – more than 1,000 pages of notes – when he began a new life in America. It is this information which forms the basis of Spies.
Placed alongside the Venona intercepts of Soviet intelligence communications, the evidence from the Mitrokhin archive of Soviet foreign intelligence – brought to the West and published in 1999 and 2005 – and the testimony of defectors, it has now been possible to fill in much of the Soviet espionage puzzle putting real names to cover names and identifying new spies.
Spies is a serious book, whose effectiveness is built up with detail, and it makes for sober reading both in terms of style and content. It proves beyond doubt that Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs were Soviet agents, reveals the full extent of Soviet efforts to steal the secrets of the atom bomb, gives details of technical and industrial espionage and names many new agents, including a spy who may later have given away Israeli nuclear secrets to the KGB.
It also shows just how many journalists worked for the KGB and argues that, while Ernest Hemingway (code-named 'Argo’) never provided significant information, he was recruited in 1941 and was in contact with Soviet agents for several years. The authors are also not afraid of setting the record straight. They prove, for example, that J Robert Oppenheimer, denounced for the last 50 years as the most damaging Soviet spy inside the Manhattan Project to build the atom bomb, was targeted but never became a KGB spy. Another revelation is the confirmation in more than 20 KGB documents of Harry Dexter White’s involvement in Soviet espionage. One of the architects of the Bretton Woods monetary agreement, White was senior adviser to the delegation at the founding conference of the UN in San Francisco and gave away the US negotiating strategy. He assured his KGB case officer that if the Soviet diplomats held firm on the USSR veto of UN actions then the Americans 'will agree’.
While it is clear that Soviet penetration of America was immense and started early, the British are not off the hook. There are sections on Michael Straight ('Nigel’) and John Cairncross ('Liszt’), both recruited by Burgess and Blunt at Cambridge, and on the two chief intelligence sources on the Manhattan Project – Melita Norwood ('Tina’) and a newly identified spy Engelbert Broda ('Eric’), a refugee Austrian physicist at the Cavendish Laboratory who probably recruited the British atomic spy Alan Nunn May.
And though he doesn’t appear in the book, the authors have also subsequently 'outed’ the former civil servant Arthur Wynn ('Scott’), a contemporary of Philby, Burgess and Blunt at Trinity College, Cambridge, as a recruiter for the Oxford Spy Ring. Although less well-known and less effective than the Cambridge Ring, the Oxford Ring had some notable successes and the naming of Wynn has opened up fresh areas of research. Perhaps a subject for the authors’ next book?
Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America
By John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev

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