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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.


Tag: Espionage

Edited by Gerald Boerner


Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbWe have seen some major events on March 6th over the past two hundred years. In 1836, this day witnessed the storming of the Alamo by Santa Ana’s forces; the 163 Texian defenders were overwhelmed by the Mexican army and most defenders lost their lives. But the Battle of san Jacinto a short time later would see the Texians win their independence and establish the Republic of Texas. The rallying cry for that latter battle was “Remember the Alamo!” The state of Texas would later make the Spanish Mission in San Antonio a historic site.


Also on this day we received two life and death decisions from our court system. The first, in 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the slave, Dred Scott, did not have grounds to gain freedom for himself or his family. This led to his continued enslavement and fed the fires of the abolitionists. More recently, in 1951, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg would face the court in their trial as spies for the Soviet Union. They were accused of passing nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union during World War II. They would be convicted and executed in 1953.

A milestone in broadcasting was passed in 1981 when Walter Cronkite, the dean of evening news anchors. On this night, Cronkite who had been the anchor of The CBS Evening News for nineteen years would retire his anchor spot. Dan Rather would take over the evening anchor desk. Cronkite was remembered for his ending of each broadcast with the iconic words, “And that’s the way it is: Friday, March 6, 1981.”

We now will proceed to examine some of the events that are associated with day in history... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 906 Words ]


Quotations Related to Slavery:

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“Slavery exists. It is black in the South, and white in the North.”
— Andrew Johnson

“Since the days of slavery, if you were a good singer or dancer, it was your job to perform for the master after dinner.”
— Spike Lee

“Slavery can only be abolished by raising the character of the people who compose the nation; and that can be done only by showing them a higher one.”
— Maria W. Chapman

“Should slavery be abolished there, (and it is an event, which, from these circumstances, we may reasonably expect to be produced in time) let it be remembered, that the Quakers will have had the merit of its abolition.”
— Thomas Clarkson

“Pervading nationalism imposes its dominion on man today in many different forms and with an aggressiveness that spares no one. The challenge that is already with us is the temptation to accept as true freedom what in reality is only a new form of slavery.”
— Pope John Paul II

“The North understand it better – they have told us for twenty years that their object was to pen up slavery within its present limits – surround it with a border of free States, and like the scorpion surrounded with fire, they will make it sting itself to death.”
— Robert Toombs

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Edited by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhotoRonald Reagan, when elected President in 1980, pursued an active campaign against world communism. This reversed the policy of containment first introduced in the Truman Doctrine after the second world war. The Cold War resulted from this policy, including the many Proxy Wars where the US and Ussr were represented in regional disputes like Korea War, the Suez Crisis, Vietnam, and, of course, the Space Race. This put off the need for the major powers to directly engage each other in battle.

When Reagan took office, he adopted the policy of the Escalation of the Cold War. This resulted in calls for the communist world to open up their borders. Reagan’s “Evil Empire” speech in 1983 before the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida forcefully introduced this new policy. It ultimately led to Reagan’s call to the Soviet Premiere Gorbachev to “tear down this wall,” referring to the Berlin Wall. It also started a series of high-level summits to discuss their differences.


This policy reached fruition during the Presidency of George H.W. Bush when the Berlin wall came down and those in the Soviet Blok were able to cross over into the west. The goal had been realized. Much credit must be given to President Reagan for this change.

Now we need to get started with our exploration of Reagan’s defined “Evil Empire” speech…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3973 Words ]


Quotations Related to EVIL:


“I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil.”
— Albert Einstein

“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.”
— Buddha

“Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.”
— Mohandas Gandhi

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Edited by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhotoFollowing the end of World War II, attention was focused on the Nuremburg War Crime Trials and the rebuilding of Europe. The clouds of the Cold War fell upon Eastern Europe with the establishment of the so-called “Iron Curtain.” In this country, this was associated with the search for communist spies embedded in the governmental bureaucracy; this created a fear of espionage by these spies forwarding our defense plans to our Cold War opponents, the U.S.S.R.

Within Congress, two separate investigative bodies emerged to study espionage within the Executive Branch. The Senate established the Senate Committee on Government Operations under the leadership of Joseph McCarthy, His vigorous search for communists was branded “McCarthyism”. In the House, on the other hand, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) which was much less over-zealous. HUAC would continue into the 1960s.

Alger Hiss was a featured case that was held out as an example of a spy within the State Department. The investigation lasted so long that the Statute of Limitations had run out and Hiss was finally convicted on perjury charges. After he served his sentence in prison, evidence was found defining possible governmental misconduct in the case.

Truman_signing_National_Security_Act_Amendment_of_1949We look back at this period with mixed feelings. Yes, there were probably spies within the government that reported to Soviet handlers. But our CIA also had spies embedded in the Soviet bureaucracy!

The exploration is again afoot; let’s proceed with our adventure…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3995 Words ]


Quotations Related to ESPIONAGE:


“McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled.”
— Joseph R. McCarthy

“I’m sort of fascinated by the whole espionage crime thing.”
— Aaron Eckhart

“I am amazed; until the day I die I shall wonder how Whittaker Chambers got into my house to use my typewriter.”
— Alger Hiss

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