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Kim Philby, British double agent, reveals all in secret video

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  • Kim Philby, British double agent, reveals all in secret video

    A previously unseen video of one of Britain's most infamous spies describing his career as a Soviet agent has been uncovered by the BBC.
    The tape is of Kim Philby giving a secret lecture to the Stasi, the East German Intelligence Service, in 1981.
    It is the first time the ex-MI6 officer can be seen talking about his life as a spy from his recruitment to his escape.
    He describes his career rising up the ranks of MI6 whilst providing its secrets to the Soviet Union's KGB.
    He ends with advice to the East German spies.
    "Dear Comrades."
    With those two words spoken in an impeccable upper-class English accent, one of Britain's most famous spies and its greatest traitor begins a masterclass in betrayal to a select audience of East German spies.
    Philby's hour-long address was preserved on video tape and never seen in public until now.
    The BBC unearthed it in the official archives of the Stasi in Berlin.
    It was never made for public consumption (and the grainy video and poorly synchronised sound shows the limits of technology at the time), but that means the former MI6 officer is open about his career in a way never heard before.
    'Enemy camp'

    After an introduction from East German spymaster Markus Wolf, who was so elusive to western spy agencies that he was known for many years as "the man without a face", Philby makes his way to the lectern to a hero's welcome.
    "I must warn you that I am no public speaker," Philby says.
    "I've spent most of my life trying to avoid publicity of any kind."
    That much is true. Previously the only known video of Philby speaking was a 1955 press conference in his mother's London flat.
    On that occasion he said very little, only denying he was a communist.

    In this newly discovered video, for the first time, we hear Philby himself boast about what he calls his "30 years in the enemy camp".
    He describes himself as born into "the ruling class of the British Empire" and explains how he first was drawn towards communism at Cambridge.
    He details his recruitment by the Soviet intelligence service, later known as the KGB, after he returned from working with activists in Austria.
    The most surprising thing about his recruitment, he says, was that it happened at all since he had no real job or prospects at that moment.
    "It was essentially a long range project. No immediate results were expected or could have been expected."

    More here.

    Damn traitor.
    Credo quia absurdum.

    Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

  • #2
    So glad he didn't particularly enjoy being exiled from Blighty - a little bit of 'pay back' for the damage he did, and the folks spying for the West he exposed to torture and death - including several hundred operators in and around Albania.


    • #3
      Here is a good older thread on Philby.


      • #4
        Did a review of the BBC document archiving systems at Caversham some time back. Was shown an old BBC script for a documentary on the work of the SIS (MI6). It had to be sent to them for clearance before being broadcast. On the bottom of the script was a note saying that it revealed nothing of importance. The note was signed by Philby. This was an example of who had signed it rather than the content of the document itself making it historically important.
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)


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