Spy Cases

George Blake

Included here:

1. Generally

2. Profits from Memoirs

3. Chronology

1. Generally

Blake, George. No Other Choice: An Autobiography. London: Jonathan Cape, 1990. No Other Choice. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.

Bourke, Sean. The Springing of George Blake. London: Cassell, 1970. New York: Viking Press, 1970. New York: Pinnacle, 1971. [pb]

Cecil, Clem. "George Blake Dreams of Cream for his Christmas Pud." Times (London), 14 May 2003. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk]

"[I]n his first interview with a British newspaper in more than a decade," George Blake told The Times that he "has abandoned hope of returning to Britain in his lifetime, but believes that future generations may judge him more kindly.... Blake expressed no remorse.... He said he still believed in the communist ideal, although he conceded that it had failed in the Soviet Union."

Cookridge, E.H. The Many Sides of George Blake, Esq.: The Complete Dossier. Princeton, NJ: Vertex, 1970. George Blake: Double Agent. London: Hodder, 1970. New York: Ballantine, 1982.

Hermiston, Roger. The Greatest Traitor: The Secret Lives of Agent George Blake. London: Aurum Press, 2013.

Peake, Studies 57.4 (Dec. 2013), calls this "the most complete and well-written account of the Blake case."

Hyde, H. Montgomery. George Blake, Superspy. London: Constable, 1987.

Isachenkov, Vladimir. "Russia Honors Cold War Spies for Soviets." Associated Press, 12 Nov. 2007. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 12 November 2007, Russian intelligence honored George Blake, "one of Moscow's most important Soviet-era spies." Blake was praised by "the Foreign Intelligence Service, a KGB successor agency, in comments carried by Russian media, and by the service's spokesman." The accolades for Blake, and the award of Russia's highest medal to George Koval, "another prominent Soviet spy, came five months after Queen Elizabeth II honored Oleg Gordievsky, a high-level KGB man who defected to Britain in 1985." An interview with Blake on his 85th birthday was broadcast by "Russia Today, an English-language cable TV network," on 11 November 2007.

O'Connor, Kevin. Blake, Bourke and the End of Empire. London: Prendeville, 2003.

George Blake and Sean Bourke [The Springing of George Blake (1970)].

Warren, Marcus. "Former Spy Blake Helps Primakov in Push for Power." Telegraph (London), 13 Oct. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

George Blake "has emerged to sing the praises of Yevgeny Primakov, the former KGB spy chief and presidential hopeful. Blake's admiration for Mr Primakov was one of the few details to emerge about a semi-secret trip by Blake to Vladivostok, the Pacific port and reported home of the KGB officers who recruited him during the Korean War."

2. Profits from Memoirs

Materials presented chronologically

Shaw, Terence. "Spy 'Must Not Profit from His Memoirs.'" Telegraph (London), 2 Apr. 1996. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

George Blake should not be allowed to keep £90,000 in profits from his memoirs, No Other Choice, the British High Court was told on 1 April 1996. "The case is being brought against Blake and his London publisher, Jonathan Cape, which has been holding the profits from the book, published in 1989, which were frozen under an earlier court order."

Johnston, Philip. "Traitor Can Keep £90,000 Profits." Telegraph (London), 22 Apr. 1996. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

The British Government is "considering an appeal against a High Court ruling [on 21 April 1999] that George Blake ... can keep £90,000 earned from the publication of his memoirs." Vice-Chancellor Sir Richard Scott "said an MI5 or MI6 agent owed a 'life-long duty' not to disclose confidential information acquired in the course of duty. 'The writing of a book by a member of the security services is not a breach of duty.' The judge, who also ruled against the Government in the Peter Wright Spycatcher case in 1987, concluded that once the information had ceased to be secret, the duty of confidence was extinguished."

Shaw, Terence. "Democratic Rights that Allowed Blake to Keep the Profits of His Treachery." Telegraph (London), 22 Apr. 1996. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

In opposing Blake's right to profit from his memoirs, the Government argued that "even if they did not disclose confidential information..., former SIS members owed a lifelong duty of fidelity to the Crown.... Vice-Chancellor Sir Richard Scott said the Crown's insistence on this lifelong duty was an interference with Blake's rights of free expression safeguarded by the European Convention on Human Rights."

Johnston, Philip. "Dilemma for Government." Telegraph (London), 22 Apr. 1996. [http:// www.telegraph.co.uk]

The High Court's ruling on 21 April 1999 in the George Blake case "has implications both for former security and intelligence officers and for crown servants in general."

Gibb, Frances. "Traitor To Be Given His Docked Royalties." Times (London), 27 Sep. 2006. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk]

On 26 September 2006, "the European court in Strasbourg ruled unanimously" that the British government had violated "Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights -- the right to a hearing within a reasonable time --" in the length of "time it took to bring a legal action over [George Blake's] biography, No Other Choice" (1991). Blake, a member of the British SIS (MI6) from 1944 to 1961, "is in his 80s and lives on a KGB pension."

3. Chronology

Telegraph (London). "The Trail of a Traitor." 22 Apr. 1996. [http://www.telegraph. co.uk]

"1944: Blake joins MI6, aged 21.

"1945: Secret operations against the Soviet Union and eastern bloc countries, aiming to recruit Soviet citizens and intelligence agents.

"1948: Sent to Seoul, Korea.

"1951: Captured in Korea, marched to near Chinese border and 'turned' by KGB.

"1951-60: Based by MI6 in Berlin and Beirut but worked for Russians, identifying up to 400 agents; betrays secret Western tunnel under East Berlin."

"1960: Unmasked by defecting Polish intelligence officer.

"1961: Jailed at Old Bailey for 42 years - it is claimed that this was one year for each agent sentenced to death by his betrayal.

"1966: Escapes over wall of Wormwood Scrubs and surfaces in Moscow. Awarded the Order of Lenin.

"1969: Marries Ida, whom he met on a Volga boat.

"1990: Memoirs published, proceeds frozen by Government.

"1991: Two anti-war campaigners long suspected of helping his break-out are acquitted."

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