Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 17162 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:34 pm Post subject: 1954 Alan Turing: Bletchley Park boffin assassinated by MI5?
scienceplease 2 wrote:
"The Imitation Game"
Pretty good movie - quite a few factual inaccuracies about code breaking, but surprisingly the letter to Churchill, Joan Clarke relationship, his long distance running ability and his childhood friend - all essentially true!
The Imitation Game Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Benedict Cumberbatch Movie HD
Philosophy professor Jack Copeland has questioned various aspects of the coroner's historical verdict, suggesting the alternative explanation of the accidental inhalation of cyanide fumes from an apparatus for gold electroplating spoons, using potassium cyanide to dissolve the gold, which Turing had set up in his tiny spare room. Copeland notes that the autopsy findings were more consistent with inhalation than with ingestion of the poison. Turing also habitually ate an apple before bed, and it was not unusual for it to be discarded half-eaten. In addition, Turing had reportedly borne his legal setbacks and hormone treatment (which had been discontinued a year previously) "with good humour" and had shown no sign of despondency prior to his death, in fact, setting down a list of tasks he intended to complete upon return to his office after the holiday weekend.
Cf with movie and popular idea that Turing could not function after his hormone treatment.
The movie does actually stress the importance of absolute secrecy - many people were warned they faced a firing squad if they ever, ever breathed a word of their work. And if any part of the movie is to be believed the one thing you do take away is that by the early 1950s, he was disliked by many people, that he did not fit in and was considered a "risk" because of his homosexuality.
Turing's conviction led to the removal of his security clearance and barred him from continuing with his cryptographic consultancy for the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British signals intelligence agency that had evolved from GC&CS in 1946 (though he kept his academic job). He was denied entry into the United States after his conviction in 1952, but was free to visit other European countries, even though this was viewed by some as a security risk. At the time, there was acute public anxiety about homosexual entrapment of spies by Soviet agents, because of the recent exposure of the first two members of the Cambridge Five, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, as KGB double agents. Turing was never accused of espionage, but in common with all who had worked at Bletchley Park, he was prevented by the Official Secrets Act from discussing his war work.
Consider his master work, the "universal computing machine" - original paper in 1936, his practical work on the "Bombs" - originally developed by the Poles and his work on the Automatic Computing Engine developed in 1945 and presented to NPL in 1946. The Pilot ACE was still being implemented in the early 1950s. "Pilot ACE 2 was installed at the Royal Radar Establishment (RRE) at Malvern and ran its first program in late 1952. It was used to calculate aircraft trajectories from radar data, but details of it are still secret." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_Computing_Engine
In the context of David Kelly, death of other inventors, the microbiologists after 9/11 Anthrax... there is a higher probability that there was a more sinister reason for his death.
Legendary code-breaker and computing boffin Alan Turing - seen by many as the father of modern computing and credited with a huge contribution to the Allied victory in World War Two - may have been murdered by the British security services, it has been claimed.
“The government should open a new inquiry into the death of gay war-time code-breaker, mathematical genius and computer pioneer Alan Turing, including an investigation into the possibility he was murdered by the security services,” LGBTI*-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell stated last week in a press release.
The statement continues:
Although there is no evidence that Turing was murdered by state agents, the fact that this possibility has never been investigated is a major failing. The original inquest into his death was perfunctory and inadequate. Although it is said that he died from eating an apple laced with cyanide, the allegedly fatal apple was never tested for cyanide. A new inquiry is long overdue, even if only to dispel any doubts about the true cause of his death.
Turing was regarded as a high security risk because of his homosexuality and his expert knowledge of code-breaking, advanced mathematics and computer science. At the time of his death, Britain was gripped by a MacCarthyite-style anti-homosexual witch-hunt. Gay people were being hounded out of the armed forces and the civil and foreign services.
In this frenzied homophobic atmosphere, all gay men were regarded as security risks - open to blackmail at a time when homosexuality was illegal and punishable by life imprisonment. Doubts were routinely cast on their loyalty and patriotism. Turing would have fallen under suspicion.
Mr Tatchell suggests that the "security services" would have feared that Turing might pass critical information to the Soviets, and would have sought to kill him for being homosexual and thus a security risk subject to blackmail. The reference to "security services" and counter-espionage suggests that he has specifically in mind the Security Service itself, also known as MI5 - or perhaps the Secret Intelligence Service (aka MI6), though that organisation is more focused on carrying out espionage abroad rather than preventing it at home.
The idea that British intelligence operatives can or do deliberately set out to assassinate British citizens with official sanction would seem to be poorly supported, other than in the case of certain military operations during the fighting in Northern Ireland. Even those latter would normally have been characterised for the record as combat operations rather than targeted killings. However such accusations are often made: for example by biz kingpin Mohamed al-Fayed, who alleges that MI6 orchestrated the car crash in which his son Dodi and Princess Diana were killed.
Ironically perhaps, at the time when Mr Tatchell speculates that MI5 may have been murdering Alan Turing for being gay and possibly a Soviet agent, MI5 itself genuinely had been infiltrated at a high level by a ring of Soviet agents, some of whom were in fact gay.
Alan Turing recently received a posthumous Royal pardon for his conviction on charges of gross indecency (the charge used against gay male sexual activity during that era) in 1952. ®
The verdict about Alan Turing’s suicide had been pronounced some 60 years ago but author Roger Bristow is set to change everything about the brilliant mathematician’s death. According to him, WWII codebreaker Alan Turing did not kill himself but was, instead, killed.
It can be remembered that Alan Turing was found dead in his Wilmslow, Cheshire room in June of 1954. Two years before his death, he was prosecuted for being a homosexual, convicted of gross indecency and was sentenced to chemical castration.
Post mortem reports about his death stated that there were traces of potassium cyanide found in his body, a chemical Alan Turing had used in several of his chemical experiments. Eventually, his death was attributed to suicide with the cause being cyanide poisoning.
But author Roger Bristow believes otherwise.
A founder member of the Bletchley Park Trust and a former Milton Keynes mayor, Roger Bristow had spent almost thirty years digging deep into Alan Turing’s life and his work in Britain’s central intelligence hub during the WWII years. And according to what he found out, Turing had been doing some secret work just before he died.
Roger Bristow maintains that the German Enigma code cracker was killed by the FBI because he held secrets that were either intensely embarrassing or damaging. The author further said that before he died, Alan Turing had been working on operation Verona, a top secret affair, which dealt with the deciphering of wartime radio signals for the identification of Russian agents sent as spies in the United States.
According to him, several of these agents were able to penetrate prominent positions in the government including one who became a personal assistant to then US President Franklin Roosevelt.
Author Roger Bristow
Author Roger Bristow
Roger Bristow supposes that Alan Turing was killed in line with the secret works he was doing and that his death was just made to look like he committed suicide.
In his theory, Roger Bristow pointed out that the brilliant math genius may have stumbled upon some information that would bring “certain people in America” to extreme damage or embarrassment.
To support his claims, the author turns to the way the WWII codebreaker’s body was “disposed” after his death. Alan Turing died on a Tuesday morning and by Wednesday afternoon, his remains were buried. Roger Bistow indicated that within that time period – the hasty preparation and burial – there wouldn’t have been enough time to conduct a through investigation regarding the circumstances of Turing’s death.
Alan Turing, Father of Computer Science
Secondly, the author said that there were no evidences indicating Turing had been or suffered from depression before he died. As a matter of fact, the mathematician’s neighbors reported that he seemed cheerful.
Finally, the strongest evidence Roger Bristow could give in support of his claims is this — the final sentence the pathologist who examined Turing’s body wrote in his report: “Death appears to to be due to violence”.
Roger Bristow stressed out that Britain, as a nation, need to have that sentence explained before [we] as one could accept one of the country’s greatest heroes died of suicide and not of cold-blood murder.
Alan Turing, recently portrayed by British actor Benedict Cumberbatch in the WWII movie The Imitation Game, received a royal pardon from the Queen herself last year. Additionally, then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had officially apologized in behalf of the British government way back in 2009 for the ghastly way the mathematician was treated because of his sexual orientation.
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