Timefiction

Time Travel Logs

1954 Part 8

Chapter 8.

The next morning, the usual committee headed by Professor Robertson met with Bob Thomas and asked him, “Do any of the CIA briefings and news reports have any surprises?”

Bob Thomas answered, “The business between Muhammad Naguib and Nasser is confusing and I never learned the details before, so I can’t say if anything there is a surprise. I also didn’t remember the details of British politics in deciding on a treaty to pull out of the Suez base.  And finally, I was a little puzzled about how the Sevastopol naval base is now part of Ukraine.”

Colonel James asked, “Crimea wasn’t transferred to the Ukraine in your history?”

Bob Thomas said, “It was, but Sevastopol was never specifically mentioned. When Russia and Ukraine became independent it was a minor point of disagreement. Russia says that it was not part of the Crimean Oblast, and also as Soviet property it becomes Russian property.”

Professor Robertson said, “We’ll look into exactly what was transferred. What would it mean if Sevastopol was specifically included?”

Bob Thomas answered, “Maybe a Russian time traveler, or more specifically a Ukrainian one. It was a minor issue in my timeline, but maybe it could have caused a crisis or war later than my part of 2008, so maybe even a time traveler from a later time than mine.”

In the afternoon, Bob Thomas met with John Foster Dulles, and Allen Dulles.

Allen Dulles started, “We are trying as fast as we can to get you the information needed to determine if events are different from your history. One of the difficulties is that we do not want to tip off a Soviet time traveler that we have a time traveler. So, we can’t go asking around about a list of names, including ones unknown at this time, such as Boris Yeltsin, without a Soviet time traveler understanding that we have future knowledge.

While we are waiting, what are the Soviets doing in the next few years?”

Bob Thomas said, “Khrushchev is the one running the show there. He has come to some of the same conclusions that President Eisenhower has, that conventional war in Europe is not possible, and that coexistence is needed. Both the Soviets and the US were going to make the same defense choices in the next few years, drastically scaling back conventional forces, and equipping them with tactical nuclear weapons. While he wants coexistence, he is not about to abandon the Cold War. In my history, President Eisenhower was very frustrated that Khrushchev seemed reasonable, yet would not agree to proposals such as open skies, atoms for peace, or attempts to end the Cold War. Khrushchev wants communism to gain through a superior Soviet economy as an example, propaganda, covert action, diplomacy, and decolonization of the Western empires.

Next year, the Soviets will agree to a neutral Austria. The year after Hungary rebels after US encouragement, but are crushed with no US help. That is the same time as the Suez crisis.

China starts to challenge Soviet leadership, and by the early 1960’s they are actually enemies instead of allies. It takes the US until 1970 or so to start to align with China as a counterweight to the Soviets.”

Bob Thomas continued, “Let me address one area where the Soviets are much more effective, their KGB is running circles around your CIA.

Your main agent in East Berlin is actually a loyal Soviet General. He has you running one of the strangest CIA front companies almost as a joke. You don’t realize that the Soviets actually don’t get in trouble for having relations with West Berlin German women to the extent that they could be blackmailed.

More seriously, I think you were using this same supposed Soviet defector to identify Soviet spies. In general, the Soviets threw a huge number of double agents at you, so you always had a hard time knowing which were genuine and often concluded wrongly. They also had agents in the US government.

I suppose that is why you started MK Ultra for a truth serum. Even in 2008 there isn’t really anything that works, but there was a promising area in detailed detection of blood flow in the brain, in a way that doesn’t harm the person. It can detect surprise, although not deception. Surprise can be cleverly used in interrogation to determine if someone didn’t know something.

You also are starting another wild goose chase in Berlin. A tunnel to telephone cables in East Berlin. The British group included a real life Manchurian Candidate.”

Allen Dulles asked, “Manchurian Candidate?”

Bob Thomas answered, “I guess the book and movie aren’t out yet. Someone captured in the Korean war, returned brainwashed.”

Allen Dulles asked, “You mean George Blake?”

Bob Thomas was startled and said, “You know about him?”

Allen Dulles said, “Winston Churchill called me up and said he was very embarrassed, but George Blake is a double agent and anything he knew about has been compromised. He also said, they are going to keep him in place to feed disinformation.”

Bob Thomas said, “I am fairly sure this would have been in someone’s memoir. I never heard about it. In my history, the Soviets let the tunnel go on, and avoided saying anything very important over the phone there, but let most communications continue. They let it go a year, then found an excuse to find the tunnel without apparently knowing about it in advance. They did all that to avoid exposing George Blake. Then after he was arrested, years later, they broke him out of jail, and he went to Moscow.”

Allen Dulles said, “I don’t think I would have gone through with that tunnel. That means that history changed.”

John Foster Dulles said, “Churchill said he wanted to meet with Eisenhower. Initially we didn’t see much point right now, but perhaps he wants to talk about something important.”

Bob Thomas said, “There were a couple of things about Britain that I wasn’t familiar with, but thought were just details in 1954 that I didn’t know about. It looks like Churchill is turning against the idea of concluding a Suez evacuation treaty with Egypt. I know his opinion went back and forth, but I don’t think he was actually talking about canceling it in 1954. The other is the talk about having the Pound Sterling float. I know others talked about it, but I thought Churchill was never for it. Now it looks like he might be setting the stage for it to happen.”

Allen Dulles said, “We are going to recommend to the President to meet with Churchill, and for you to stand by to be part of that meeting if it seems appropriate. We are also going to pore through news reports and CIA information. We’ll meet again tomorrow.”

Story: 1954: Part 9

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