Wednesday, August 18, 2004

"The Lonely, Bitter Hour"

...is Zak Smith's (known for his Pictures of What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow) Internet radio show, in collaboration with Jeronimo Elespe.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

contextualize, compare & contrast

Josh Marshall, reporting the latest in Alan Keyes' doomed effort to prevent Barack Obama from becoming Illinois' newest U.S. Senator:
...Keyes also claimed Obama advanced the genocide of the black race by supporting abortion rights. "We're the first people who have ever been pushed into genocide before our babies are born ... So the people who are supporting that position are actually supporting the systematic extermination of black America," he told a local radio station.

Gravity's Rainbow, p. 317:
Revolutionaries of the Zero, they mean to carry on what began among the old Hereros after the 1904 rebellion failed. They want a negative birth rate. The program is racial suicide. They would finish what the Germans began in 1904.

Monday, August 16, 2004

codenamed Englandspiel

A recent release of Foreign Office files suggests "that more than 50 Dutch agents working for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) may have been sacrificed as part of a complicated 'double double agent' game played against the Germans," according to today's Telegraph:
The agents, trained in Britain to carry out sabotage, were parachuted straight into the arms of the waiting enemy, which had penetrated the entire SOE network in Holland. Almost all were subsequently executed in concentration camps.

The agents were ensnared by the German operation codenamed Englandspiel (the English Game), which was regarded as one of the Third Reich's greatest counter-intelligence triumphs. It was also the greatest disaster suffered by SOE, which was created by Churchill in 1940 to wage war by sabotage.

The operation, which lasted from 1942 to 1944, involved the use of captured Dutch SOE radio operators and German operators using SOE codes to lure agents to their doom. It also resulted in the shooting down of several RAF aircraft during agent-dropping missions and the loss of vast quantities of weapons destined for the Dutch Resistance.

The official line on Englandspiel has remained unchanged for 60 years: that it was a first-class blunder resulting from the failure of British intelligence to heed warnings that the SOE network had been fatally compromised.

But previously secret files released recently at the National Archives suggest a chilling alternative: that SOE, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), or both, knew what was going on but were prepared to send men and women to their deaths in the interests of a bigger game.

The files suggest that the British were engaged in a complicated "double double agent" sting, in which they used their knowledge of the agents' capture to feed false information to the enemy and gain an insight into his thinking through analysis of false intelligence sent back to Britain.

Gravity's Rainbow, pp. 96-97:
It is she who, at some indefinite future moment, must push the Witch into the Oven intended for Gottfried. So the Captain must allow for the real chance she's a British spy, or member of the Dutch underground. Despite all German efforts, intelligence inputs still flow from Holland back to RAF Bomber Command in a steady torrent, telling of deploymenhts, supply routes, of which dark-green crumble of trees may hide an A4 emplacement--data changing hour-to-hour, so mobile are the rockets and their support equipment.