"Spies," cowritten by John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev, is based on Vassiliev's notes as a former KFB officer that he made after getting access to Stalin's intelligence records in the 90s.
While Hemingway took Soviet money and promised to do his best, he never managed to give the Russians any significant information and was cut from the Soviet ranks by the end of the decade after failing to turn over any "political information" (help them find higher placed people who could be turned) or become "verified" (kill anyone or commit treason).
Here's the KGB summary on "Argo," taken from the "Spies" excerpt on Hemingway reprinted in the National Review:
"Argo" - Ernest Hemingway (Ernest Hemingway), year of birth: 1898, born in Duke Park, Illinois (USA), American citizen, secondary education, a writer. During the First War of Imperialism, he was a correspondent in the French and Italian armies' medical units.
Our meetings with "Argo" in London and Havana were conducted with the aim of studying him and determining his potential for our work. Throughout the period of his connection with us, "Argo" did not give us any polit. information, though he repeatedly expressed his desire and willingness to help us. "Argo" has not been studied thoroughly and is unverified. We have a material password for renewing ties with "Argo."
In 1937, while in Spain, "Argo" wrote in defense of the Popular Front in his articles and appealed for help for Republican Spain, sharply criticizing isolationists in Congress and the U.S. State Department. "Argo" insisted that the U.S. lift the embargo on the importation of arms into Repub. Spain...
In 1941, before he left for China, "Argo" was recruited for our work on ideological grounds by "Sound." Contact was not established with "Argo" in China. In Sept. 1943, when "Argo" was in Havana, where he owned a villa, our worker contacted him and, prior to his departure for Europe, met with him only twice. In June 1943, the connection with "Argo" was once more renewed in London, where he had gone as an Amer. correspondent with the Allied Army in the field for the magazine "Colliers." This connection was soon interrupted, b/c "Argo" left for France. When "Argo" returned to Havana from France in April 1945, we met with him once. We could not maintain a connection with "Argo" in view of our worker's urgent summons out of the country. Since then, there have been no attempts to establish a connection with "Argo."
Tense negotiations are currently underway with the Cuban government to make Hemingway's moldering Cuban archives available online, including a rejected epilogue to "For Whom the Bell Tolls," coded letters about hunting for U-boats off the Cuban coast during WWII, and love letters to Marlene Dietrich. Revelations that Hemingway was working for Stalin may curtail turning his farm at Finca Vigia into a national landmark for either country.
Curiously, during the last Presidential election, both Barack Obama AND John McCain listed Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" as their favorite novel.
Ernest Hemingway: still making headlines, still playing both sides.
Posted by miracle on Thu, 09 Jul 2009 20:41:41 -0400 -- permanent link