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Monday, 13 October 2014

The KGB and Martin Luther King

In 1992 Vasili Mitrokhin, a retired senior KGB archivist, provided the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) with six large cases of top-secret material from the KGB's foreign intelligence archive. Some of this material deals with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This includes the claim, from Polish sources, that Clinton Murchison and H. L. Hunt had been involved in the funding of the assassination.

The KGB archives show that the Soviet Union helped fund the publishing the books claiming that Kennedy was killed as a result of a right-wing conspiracy. Some of this money was sent to Carl Marzani (codenamed NORD). Among the books published by Marzani in 1964 was Oswald: Assassin or Fall Guy? by the German writer, Joachim Joesten. The KGB also arranged for Mark Lane to receive $1,500 to help his research. However, the document makes it clear that Lane was not told the source of the money. The same person arranged for Lane to receive $500 to help pay for a trip in Europe in 1964. KGB agent, Genrikh Borovik, was also assigned to help Lane with his research for Rush to Judgement (1965).

Probably the most interesting material from this archive concerns the KGB assessment of the relationship between John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Ever since the Soviets started sending agents into the United States they had been encouraging members of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) to become involved in the struggle for civil rights. For example, they enjoyed great success in their propaganda campaign for the Scottsboro Boys in 1931.

The rest of the article can be read here:

http://spartacus-educational.com/spartacus-blogURL41.html


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Simulations in the Classroom

In their book Simulation in the Classroom (Penguin, 1972), John Taylor and Rex Walford argued that an educational simulation has three main components:

(1) Students take roles which are representative of the real world and involve them making decisions in response to their assessment of the situation that they have been placed in.

(2) Students experience simulated consequences which relate to their decisions and their general performance in the simulation.

(3) Students monitor the results of their actions and are encouraged to reflect upon the relationship between their own decisions and the resulting consequences of their actions.

An essential part of a simulation involves the student playing a role of a character in the past. One of the major objectives of the creator of the simulation is to help the student understand the situation of that person. In other words, helping the student develop a sense of empathy.

http://spartacus-educational.com/spartacus-blogURL39.html

Monday, 4 August 2014

War Propaganda Bureau and the First World War

On the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, it might be worth looking at the way the government decided to "sell" the war. In August 1914, the British government discovered that Germany had a Propaganda Agency. David Lloyd George, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was given the task of setting up a British War Propaganda Bureau (WPB). Lloyd George, appointed the successful writer and fellow Liberal MP, Charles Masterman as head of the organization.

On 2nd September, 1914, Masterman invited twenty-five leading British authors to Wellington House, the headquarters of the War Propaganda Bureau, to discuss ways of best promoting Britain's interests during the war. Those who attended the meeting included Arthur Conan Doyle, Arnold Bennett, John Masefield, Ford Madox Ford, William Archer, G. K. Chesterton, Sir Henry Newbolt, John Galsworthy, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Gilbert Parker, G. M. Trevelyan and H. G. Wells.

For the rest of the article see:

http://spartacus-educational.com/spartacus-blogURL35.html

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Google, Bing and Operation Mockingbird. The CIA and Search-Engines

In January 2005, I wrote an article entitled Operation Mockingbird. At that time very little was known about this highly secret Central Intelligence Agency media operation that dated back to 1948 when Frank Wisner was appointed director of the Office of Special Projects. Soon afterwards it was renamed the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). This became the espionage and counter-intelligence branch of the CIA. Wisner was told to create an organization that concentrated on "propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world."

Later that year Wisner established Mockingbird, a program to influence the domestic American media. Wisner recruited Philip Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post, to run the project within the industry. Graham himself recruited others who had worked for military intelligence during the war. This included James Truitt, Russell Wiggins, Phil Geyelin, John Hayes and Alan Barth. Others like Stewart Alsop, Joseph Alsop and James Reston, were recruited from within the Georgetown Set. According to Deborah Davis, the author of Katharine the Great (1979): "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles." 

For the rest of this article see:

http://spartacus-educational.com/




Saturday, 7 June 2014

Is Wikipedia under the control of political extremists?

I was recently carrying out research into the Dewey Commission that took place in April 1937. It is a long forgotten event and when I typed in the words “Dewey Commission” at Google I got a short list of relevant pages. Top of the list was of course Wikipedia. When I read the entry I was deeply shocked. In my opinion it had been written from the prospective of a Joseph Stalin apologist. However, if someone did not know too much about the subject, they would be totally unaware of it. As far as I can see there is not one inaccurate fact on the page. It is the information that the entry leaves out that is important. 

The Wikipedia entry begins: “The Dewey Commission (officially the "Commission of Inquiry into the Charges Made against Leon Trotsky in the Moscow Trials") was initiated in March 1937 by the American Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky. It was named after its chairman, the philosopher John Dewey. Its other members were Carleton Beals, Otto Ruehle, Benjamin Stolberg, and Secretary Suzanne La Follette, Alfred Rosmer, Wendelin Thomas, Edward A. Ross, John Chamberlain, Carlo Tresca, and Francisco Zamora. It was seen by some at the time, as Dewey feared it would be, as a Trotskyist front organization. Following months of investigation, the Dewey Commission made its findings public in New York on September 21, 1937."

Without explaining what Leon Trotsky was accused of in the Moscow Show Trials or the evidence that the Dewey Commission was a “Trotskyist front organization” it immediately goes onto look at the hearings that took place between 10th April to 17th April, 1937.

For the rest of this article see:

http://spartacus-educational.com/spartacus-blogURL29.html

Monday, 14 April 2014

Why we will never discover who killed John F. Kennedy.

I have been a historian for over forty years. I have always been interested in subjects where there is a shortage of evidence. That there is a certain amount of mystery involved. Probably the first research I ever did was into the lives of working people in Britain at the end of the 18th century and the early part of the 19th century. I was drawn to this subject because we knew very little about the way this group saw the world. Most of them were unable to read and write and have left only a small amount of documentary evidence.

During my research I read a book that I found disturbing. The book was by the historian, E. H. Carr. In What Is History? (1961) Carr addresses the problem of the politically motivated historian. He points out that the historian is likely to only write about subjects he/she cares about. In the words of another historian, W. H. B. Court: "History free of all values cannot be written. Indeed, it is a concept almost impossible to understand, for men will scarcely take the trouble to inquire laboriously into something which they set no value upon."

Carr argues that the historian starts off with a theory that needs to be tested by the evidence. The theory will reflect the political views of the historian. Carr makes the important point about the nature of the facts that the historian uses: "The facts are really not at all like fish on the fishmonger's slab. They are like fish swimming about in a vast and sometimes inaccessible ocean; and what the historian catches will depend, partly on chance, but mainly on what part of the ocean he chooses to fish in and what tackle he chooses to use – these two factors being, of course, determined by the kind of fish he wants to catch. By and large, the historian will get the kind of facts he wants. History means interpretation." 

For the rest of the article see:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/spartacus-blogURL26.html