Kim Philby, the double agent whose betrayal of his country to the Soviet Union still marks British life, boasted in a 1981 lecture that was recently discovered by the BBC and broadcast on Monday of the ease with which he fooled a complacent establishment.
Mr. Philby, who defected to Moscow in 1963 and died there in 1988 at 76, delivered his hourlong lecture in English in East Berlin to members of the Stasi, the feared East German intelligence service, whose recording of the talk was discovered in the Stasi archives.
Aging and puffy, wearing large dark glasses, Mr. Philbyaddressed his audience as “dear comrades.” After describing his successes with a cut-glass accent and a deep note of satisfaction, he gave them his best advice: “Deny everything.”
Even when confronted with an incriminating document you wrote, said Mr. Philby, who survived numerous vettings even after his loyalties were in grave doubt, insist “it’s a forgery.”
With a thin smile, he said: “All I had to do really was keep my nerve. My advice to you is to tell all your agents that they are never to confess.”
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Image courtesy of AP
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