Ernest Hemingway vs. The Nazis

I don’t think of the CIA as a very forthcoming organization. But since 1955 it has published a journal called Studies in Intelligence. In the latest issue (if I may borrow a phrase from celebrity magazine interviews) the CIA opens up about its relationship Ernest Hemingway during World War II.

While other American sailors were volunteering their boats and their time along the East Coast to spot U-boats, Hemingway’s concept of operations went further. He would pretend to be fishing, wait until a German submarine came alongside to buy fresh fish and water, and then attack the enemy with bazookas, machine guns, and hand grenades. Hemingway would use Basque jai alai players to lob the grenades down the open hatches of the unsuspecting U-boats.

Are you fucking kidding me? Of course not. You’re the CIA.

The article goes on to describe how Hemingway led a band of French resistance fighters into Paris to “liberate” the Ritz, and his involvement with the predecessor to the KGB. Apparently the spy agencies of the 1940s were reluctant to work with him because he was too much of an “individualist.”

This is the Ernest Hemingway that America loves, the one who could star in a G.I. Joe-style Saturday morning cartoon. I never imagined anyone would say this, but our nation owes a debt of gratitude to the CIA for publishing some of the most entertaining literature of the year.

– Brian Hurley

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