Wednesday, February 26, 2014

But He's One Of Us: British MI6 Chiefs Tried To Protect Notorious Cambridge Spy Ring Double Agent Kim Philby As They Thought He 'Couldn't Possibly Be A Traitor'

I enjoyed watching a clever and funny British TV comedy series years ago called Yes, Minister. The show was about a bumbling political hack turned government minister who was aided (and foiled) by his assistant, a professional bureaucrat.

The show was later called Yes, Prime Minister, as the hack was voted in as the British Prime Minister.

I recall in one episode of Yes, Prime Minister where the head of the Secret Intelligence Service, or SIS (commonly called MI6), told the Prime Minister that despite claims by the press and other politicians, he didn't believe that an accused SIS officer could possibly be a Soviet spy.

"Why not?" asked the Prime Minister.

"Why, he's one of us!" replied the SIS chief as he stuffed his pipe.

"One of us?"

"Yes, Prime Minister. He is one of us."

Hugo Gye at the British newspaper the Daily Mail offers a piece on a new book on British traitor and spy Kim Philby that claims MI6 chiefs tried to protect the double agent because he was "one of us" - a member of the British establishment.

British spy bosses repeatedly tried to protect Soviet double agent Kim Philby because they believed he 'couldn't possibly be a traitor', according to a new book which was banned by MI6.  

Tim Milne, an MI6 spy who was Philby's oldest friend, has revealed the extraordinary lengths to which intelligence officials went in order to protect the notorious figure.

Philby came under suspicion when two other members of the Cambridge spy ring fled to Moscow - but despite a 12-year investigation, he was never brought to justice and was eventually allowed to defect to the USSR.

MI6 chiefs refused to believe that he could be guilty because of his apparently distinguished service and Establishment background, and shielded him from an MI5 probe.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


  1. You have me intrigued. I must now read more about Philby. When I do so, I hope I will not be reminded of our own homegrown scoundrels -- John Walker being at the top of my list as the most obnoxious.

  2. R.T.,

    I've long been interested in Kim Philby. He was a traitor and a spy and his espionage caused the death of a good number of people. He was a British communist and penetration agent who rose to near the top of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS).

    The character Bill Hayden in John le Carre's spy thriller "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" is based on Philby.

    There are a good number of books on Philby, and I look forward to reading Ben Macintyre's upcoming Philby book, but two of the better books out now are Philip Knightley's "The Master Spy," and Anthony Cave Brown's "Treason in the Blood."

  3. Thank you for suggesting the Philby books. I will be on the look out for one or more of them.

  4. R.T., has these books at very good prices.