The increasingly unhinged American news media continues in its self-declared war against our 45th President, Donald Trump, because he has the effrontery to be Donald Trump and not Barack Obama. Added to the fact that Mr. Trump defeated them by winning the Presidency over their pathetic choice for Obama’s successor, they are out to kill. Currently, the leftists’ hysteria is focused on what they claim to be the Trump-assisted efforts by the nation of Russia to subvert the American democratic election process.
Russia, or as it was known in a previous iteration, the USSR, did in fact do terrible damage to Western democracy, not involving our 45th President, however, but with, among others, a vastly useful idiot in the person of an aristocratic, Cambridge-educated British diplomat by the name of Harold ‘Kim’ Philby.
Kim Philby was born in Ambala, India, in 1912 to a “famous British figure of good family and colonial aspirations.” Harry St. Bridger Philby was an author, desert explorer, Arab scholar and great friend to the only other Arabist of the time “who would be more famous,” T.E. Lawrence, later known as Lawrence of Arabia. At the time of his son’s birth, Philby was a civil servant in the Indian government, and would go on to ”become interior minister of Mesopotamia, adviser to Winston Churchill, chief British representative in Trans-Jordan, close advisor to Saudi King Ibn Saud, and explorer of the ‘desert vastness then known as the Empty Quarter of Arabia.’”
In 1930, the senior Philby resigned from the British Foreign Service, became a Muslim and took the name of Hajj Adbullah.
Kim Philby, nicknamed for the beloved fictional character created by British author, Rudyard Kipling, was exposed, through his peripatetic father, to many different influences in his young, pre-Cambridge, life, and through all the choices provided to him in these experiences, chose the path of Communism. He later described himself as having been “born into the ruling class of the British Empire,” and that confidence in his right to rule was manifested throughout his life, despite completely turning his back of the ruling class of England.
It was at Trinity College, Cambridge, that Philby initially allied himself with several like-minded individuals with whom he was to share not only the destructive social justice philosophy of Communism, but also to what became an immortal affiliation with a group of traitors later known as “The Cambridge Five.” This group included the equally notorious Guy Burgess and Donald MacLean, both of whom spent decades with the British Foreign & Secret Services spying for the Soviet Union and eventually defected to Moscow.
Of this despicable group, it is thought that Philby was the most successful Soviet spy.
With his sympathies established and tracked by officials of the future KGB, Philby, in an effort to determine how best to serve his masters, started out as a journalist with The Times of London, and spent time in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. By 1940, Philby was recruited into the British Secret Intelligence Service, or as it is popularly known, MI6. He was eventually appointed number two in “a new MI6 section, devoted to countering Soviet espionage.” In this highly sensitive post, he was responsible for “combatting Soviet subversion in western Europe.” This was known as Section V, and so in 1941, Philby was basically in charge of running British double agents. He was charged “ironically, with feeding false information to Britain’s wartime ally, the Soviet Union, allowing him to meet freely with Soviet intelligence officers.”
Though he was spying for the Soviets from the very beginning of his career with MI6, he very quickly, it was thought through his considerable personal charm, aided, of course, by his privileged background, rose through the ranks of the British Secret Service. Philby is remembered for “wearing an old military tunic that had once belonged to his father,” and served with both Graham Greene and Malcolm Muggeridge, “who later recalled Mr. Philby as a superb administrator.”
He was once asked by a group of Stasis (East German agents loyal to Moscow), how he could have been so successful on behalf of his adopted country for so long without being detected. His response? “It was easy.”
He related that he just became friends with the archivist who managed the files at the MI6, and arranged to “go out for drinks” with the fellow “two or three times a week.” That way, Philby related, he could “get hold of files that had nothing to do with his own job,” but that would be just as helpful to his Soviet masters.
By 1949, he was sent to Washington, D.C., to serve as the chief MI6 officer there, and as the top liaison office between the British and the US intelligence services. While it can never be known just how many died as a result of the despicable acts of Kim Philby – his actions in behalf of his adopted nation of the USSR, were always, and will always, be secret – one particularly heinous act can be directly attributable to him while he served in Washington.
In 1950, Philby learned of a top secret Allied mission to send anti-communist bands into Albania to overthrow the communist regime there, and soon revealed this information, in detail, to the USSR, “thereby assuring their defeat.” It is thought that thousands died as a result of this particular act of espionage. It was not his only despicable act while in Washington, D.C., Philby also made the effort to become intimately acquainted with the activities of the American CIA, thereby devastating not only the British Secret Service, but the principal American intelligence operation as well.
It is thought that the damage done to the American intelligence services by the actions of Kim Philby, and of his fellow travelers in the British Secret Service also stationed in Washington, “poisoned relations between the British and the Americans for many years, with residues that last until today.”
In 1951, while still serving in Washington, D.C., Philby learned that his increasingly erratic treasonous counterparts in Washington, Guy Burgess (active, often drunk, homosexual at a time when it was a blackmailable offense) and Donald Maclean, (often drunk, virulent anti-American) were suspected by the FBI of spying for the Soviet Union, and that action toward their apprehension was imminent. Philby immediately warned Burgess and Maclean, and they made a successful escape (it was later learned) to Moscow, where they spent the rest of their miserable lives.
After the disappearance of these two reprobates, suspicion of similar activity, “fell upon Mr. Philby.” He succeeded in avoiding the same fate as Burgess and Maclean, though, by acing a thorough and lengthy interrogation, and by being formally cleared by the British Prime Minister at the time, Harold Macmillan, after questions were raised about Philby in the British House of Commons.
By 1955, Philby was separated from the Secret Service and went to Beirut as the correspondent for The Economist and The Observer, where in these positions he could continue to be an effective spy for the Soviets. During this period as a journalist, he did indeed author numerous pieces for these publications, and “his articles were regarded as balanced, well informed and occasionally brilliant.” He was on his second wife by this time, and after she died leaving him with five children, he soon took on a third wife, the former wife of a New York Times reporter, who left Philby following her discovery of his affair with Donald Maclean’s wife, Melinda.
No honor among thieves there.
Kim Philby himself eventually defected to Moscow, in 1963, when it became known to him that his “involvement in Soviet spying was about to be revealed.” There he married a fourth time and was eventually given a generalship in the KGB. He developed a serious drinking problem, following his discovery that though he wanted to “give (the Soviets) everything he had, no one was interested.” He died in Moscow in 1988, never seeing Britain again.
It will never be known how much death and destruction Kim Philby caused by his faithful service to the Communists of the USSR, but it is known that it was considerable. It is also true that he and the rest of “The Cambridge Five,” did damage to the West that was of incalculable benefit to the USSR, and of equally incalculable harm to the West. Russia did indeed choose well in the case of Kim Philby.
But Donald Trump as the 2017 reincarnation of Kim Philby to help the Russians? It’s as ridiculous as the current behavior of our so-called mainstream media.
Susan Smith brings an international perspective to her writing by having lived primarily in western Europe, mainly in Paris, France, and the U.S., primarily in Washington, D.C. She authored a weekly column for Human Events on politics with historical aspects. She also served as the Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children, Family, Drugs and Alcoholism, and Special Assistant to the first Ambassador of Afghanistan following the initial fall of the Taliban. Ms. Smith is a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University and Georgetown University, as well as the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, France, where she obtained her French language certification. Ms. Smith now makes her home in McLean, Va.