CIC 477

Past Issues
CIC 476
CIC 475
CIC 474
CIC 473
CIC 472
CIC 471
CIC 470
CIC 469
CIC 468
CIC 467
CIC 466
CIC 465
CIC 464
CIC 463
CIC 462
CIC 461
CIC 460
CIC 459
CIC 458
CIC 457
CIC 456
CIC 455
CIC 454
CIC 453
CIC 452
CIC 451
CIC 450
CIC 449
CIC 448
CIC 447
CIC 446
CIC 445
CIC 444
CIC 443
CIC 442
CIC 441
CIC 440
CIC 439
CIC 438
CIC 437
CIC 436
CIC 435
CIC 434
CIC 433
CIC 432
CIC 431
CIC 430
CIC 429
CIC 428
CIC 427
CIC 426
CIC 425
CIC 424
CIC 423
CIC 422
CIC 421
CIC 420
CIC 419
CIC 418
CIC 417
CIC 416
CIC 415
CIC 414
CIC 413
CIC 412
CIC 411
CIC 410
CIC 409
CIC 408
CIC 407
CIC 406
CIC 405
CIC 404
CIC 403
CIC 402
CIC 401
CIC 400
CIC 399
CIC 398
CIC 397
CIC 396
CIC 395
CIC 394
CIC 393
CIC 392
CIC 391
CIC 390
CIC 389
CIC 388
CIC 387
CIC 386
CIC 385
CIC 384
CIC 383
CIC 382
CIC 381
CIC 380
CIC 379
CIC 378
CIC 377
CIC 375
CIC 374
CIC 373
CIC 372
CIC 371
CIC 370
CIC 369
CIC 368
CIC 367
CIC 366
CIC 365
CIC 364
CIC 363
CIC 362
CIC 361
CIC 360
CIC 359
CIC 358
CIC 357
CIC 356
CIC 355
CIC 354
CIC 353
CIC 352
CIC 351
CIC 350
CIC 349
CIC 348
CIC 347
CIC 346
CIC 345
CIC 344
CIC 343
CIC 342
CIC 341
CIC 340
CIC 339
CIC 338
CIC 337
CIC 336
CIC 335
CIC 334
CIC 333
CIC 332
CIC 331
CIC 330
CIC 329
CIC 328
CIC 327
CIC 326
CIC 325
CIC 324
CIC 323
CIC 322
CIC 321
CIC 320
CIC 319
CIC 318
CIC 317
CIC 316
CIC 315
CIC 314
CIC 313
CIC 312
CIC 311
CIC 310
CIC 309
CIC 308
CIC 307
CIC 306
CIC 305
CIC 304
CIC 303
CIC 302
CIC 301
CIC 300
CIC 299
CIC 298
CIC 297
CIC 296
CIC 295
CIC 294
CIC 293
CIC 292
CIC 291
CIC 290
CIC 289
CIC 288
CIC 287
CIC 286
CIC 285
CIC 284
CIC 283
CIC 282
CIC 281
CIC 280
CIC 279
CIC 278
CIC 277
CIC 276
CIC 275
CIC 274
CIC 273
CIC 272
CIC 271
CIC 270
CIC 269
CIC 268
CIC 267
CIC 266
CIC 265
CIC 264
CIC 263
CIC 262
CIC 261
CIC 260
CIC 259
CIC 258
CIC 257
CIC 256
CIC 255
CIC 254
CIC 253
CIC 252
CIC 251
CIC 250
CIC 249
CIC 248
CIC 247
CIC 246
CIC 245
CIC 244
CIC 243
CIC 242
CIC 241
CIC 240
CIC 239
CIC 238
CIC 237
CIC 236
CIC 235
CIC 234
CIC 233
CIC 232
CIC 231
CIC 230
CIC 229
CIC 228
CIC 227
CIC 226
CIC 225
CIC 224
CIC 223
CIC 222
CIC 221
CIC 220
CIC 219
CIC 218
CIC 217
CIC 216
CIC 215
CIC 214
CIC 213
CIC 212
CIC 211
CIC 210
CIC 209
CIC 208
CIC 207
CIC 206
CIC 205
CIC 204
CIC 203
CIC 202
CIC 201
CIC 200
CIC 199
CIC 198
CIC 197
CIC 196
CIC 195
CIC 194
CIC 193
CIC 192
CIC 191
CIC 190
CIC 189
CIC 188
CIC 187
CIC 186
CIC 185
CIC 184
CIC 183
CIC 182
CIC 181
CIC 180
CIC 179
CIC 178
CIC 177
CIC 176
CIC 175
CIC 174
CIC 173
CIC 172
CIC 171
CIC 170
CIC 169
CIC 168
CIC 167
CIC 166
CIC 165
CIC 164
CIC 163
CIC 162
CIC 161
CIC 160
CIC 159
CIC 158
CIC 157
CIC 156
CIC 155
CIC 154
CIC 153
CIC 152
CIC 151
CIC 150
CIC 149
CIC 148
CIC 147
CIC 146
CIC 145
CIC 144
CIC 143
CIC 142
CIC 141
CIC 140
CIC 139
CIC 138
CIC 137
CIC 136
CIC 135
CIC 134
CIC 133
CIC 132
CIC 131
CIC 130
CIC 129
CIC 128
CIC 127
CIC 126
CIC 125
CIC 124
CIC 123
CIC 122
CIC 121
CIC 120
CIC 119
CIC 118
CIC 117
CIC 116
CIC 115
CIC 114
CIC 113
CIC 112
CIC 111
CIC 110
CIC 109
CIC 108
CIC 107
CIC 106
CIC 105
CIC 104
CIC 103
CIC 102
CIC 101
CIC 100
CIC 99
CIC 98
CIC 97
CIC 96
CIC 95
CIC 94
CIC 93
CIC 92
CIC 91
CIC 90
CIC 89
CIC 88
CIC 87
CIC 86
CIC 85
CIC 84
CIC 83
CIC 82
CIC 81
CIC 80
CIC 79
CIC 78
CIC 77
CIC 76
CIC 75
CIC 74
CIC 73
CIC 72
CIC 71
CIC 70
CIC 69
CIC 68
CIC 67
CIC 66
CIC 65
CIC 64
CIC 63
CIC 62
CIC 61
CIC 60
CIC 59
CIC 58
CIC 57
CIC 56
CIC 55
CIC 54
CIC 53
CIC 52
CIC 51
CIC 50
CIC 49
CIC 48
CIC 47
CIC 46
CIC 45
CIC 44
CIC 43
CIC 42
CIC 41
CIC 40
CIC 39
CIC 38
CIC 37
CIC 36
CIC 35
CIC 34
CIC 33
CIC 32
CIC 31
CIC 30
CIC 29
CIC 28
CIC 27
CIC 26
CIC 25
CIC 24
CIC 23
CIC 22
CIC 21
CIC 20
CIC 19
CIC 18
CIC 17
CIC 16
CIC 15
CIC 14
CIC 13
CIC 12
CIC 11
CIC 10

Short Rounds

The Farnsworth Case

John Semer Farnsworth (b. 1893) graduated from Annapolis in 1915.   Among his classmates he had the reputation of being a rather dull student, earning him the nickname "Dodo," but his final standing was toward the upper end.  His classmates also considered him “happy-go-lucky, good natured, hard drinking,” and "daring and reckless," which was quite accurate. 

Farnsworth was assigned to duty with the Asiatic Fleet, serving for a while in destroyers, before being transferred to the cruiser Galveston (CL-17) in 1916.  Meanwhile he married a Maryland belle from a good family, and apparently expensive tastes, which Farnsworth shared.  With the outbreak of World War I,  Farnsworth was promoted to temporary lieutenant, jg., and sent home for duty.  During the war he held various assignments, and did some sea time, despite being laid up for several months in a naval hospital due to an illness.  After the war, by then a substantive lieutenant, Farnsworth served in the new destroyer Roper (DD-147) on a cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Leaving Roper in 1920, Farnsworth attended flight school and won his wings in 1922, qualifying in seaplanes and airships.   Considering him a "brilliant aviator," the Navy arranged for Farnsworth to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and several other institutions for advanced training in aeronautical engineering. 

Over the next couple of years, Farnsworth alternated between aviation units and administrative duties, for a time helping to train reservists at San Diego.

Meanwhile, despite promotion to lieutenant commander, by the late '20s Farnsworth was finding his $250 a month plus flight pay (easily $10,000 today based on minimum wage) insufficient to support his wife and four children, and his extravagant life style.  His free spending had begun to create financial problems.

Farnsworth, from the 1915 Naval Academy yearbook nbsp;

In 1927, while assigned to VO-6, the observation squadron of the Scouting Force, stationed at Norfolk, Virginia, Farnsworth borrowed money from several enlisted men.  He then stiffed the men.  When they protested, he threatened to use his position to inflict dire consequences on them.  Despite Farnsworth's threats, the men complained up the chain of command.  The result was that Farnsworth was court martialed, and dismissed from the Navy on Nov. 12, 1927, for "scandalous conduct tending to the destruction of good morale" and related charges.

Out of the service, Farnsworth found it even more difficult to support himself, especially after the Crash of '29.  Living in genteel poverty and verging on bankruptcy, he decided to become a spy, offering his services to several countries, among them Italy and the Soviet Union, all of whom rejected him.  But in 1932 the Japanese took him on, putting him on the payroll at $300 a month, a great deal of money by Depression standards.   

Over the next few years Farnsworth supplied the Japanese with a great deal of classified material.  His methods were often innovative.  Once he donned his old uniform and showed up at a recently commissioned destroyer.  It was apparently a Saturday night, and most of the ship’s company was ashore.  Pretending to be drunk, Farnsworth conned the duty officer, a recently minted ensign, into giving him a tour of the ship, during which he squeezed extensive information about her capabilities out of the ensign and the few sailors on duty and filched a few confidential documetns that were lying around.

Farnsworth would often arrange to spend a few days visiting one or another of his former shipmates at their homes, or casually dropping in at their offices, even in the Navy Department buildings in Washington.  Since his “cover” was that he was supporting himself by contributing articles to various aviation and naval publications, his old buddies often openly let him have a look at classified materials, sometimes even lending him secret documents (in those much less security-minded times officers often brought classified materials home).  At other times he would merely swipe the documents, have them copied, and quietly return them.

Farnsworth’s greatest coup was in securing a copy of "The Service of Information and Security," a deliberately mis-named highly classified document that contained information on battle formations and tactics based on lessons learned during the fleet maneuvers.  He accomplished this by simply wandering around a Navy Yard, popping in on various offices, until he found a copy lying around.  He casually “borrowed” the publication, had photostats made at the yard's repro navy facility (!), and then returned the original to where it belonged. 

From 1934 Farnsworth was “handled” by Yamaguchi Tamon, the new Japanese naval attaché, a capable spy master.   Oddly, it was just about then that Farnsworth’s activities came to the attention of the Office of Naval Intelligence and the FBI.  Farnsworth visited the Annapolis  home of an officer of his acquaintance and talked the man's wife into letting him see some confidential papers.   The woman reported the incident.  Trough radio intercepts, ONI had been aware for some time that the Japanese were getting valuable information from an "Agent K," and the pieces began to fall into place.  Rather than bust Farnsworth immediately, however, ONI and the FBI mounted a  joint operation to keep tabs on him.  He was soon under 24 hour surveillance.

By July of 1936 Farnsworth seems to have realized he was under surveillance, and decided that game was up.  In a surprisingly foolhardily move, he visited the offices of the Universal News Service in Washington offered to give them his personal written account of how he had spied for the Japanese for nearly five years in return for $20,000 in cash and a one way ticket to Germany on the next flight of the Hindenburg.  The reporters, who worked for the Hearst Corporation, pretended to go along, and promptly notified the FBI.

Farnsworth was arrested on 14 July 1936 on charges that in 1935 he had sold to the Japanese a copy of "The Service of Information and Security."

When the case broke, the Japanese embassy issued a statement describing the charges as "astonishing" and stated that the first time they had ever heard of Farnsworth was on the day before his arrest when someone called the embassy twice to ask for money in connection with a recent spy case.  Meanwhile, taking advantage of his diplomatic immunity, they hastily sent Yamaguchi home.   

Farnsworth went on trial in November of 1936.  Asserting his innocence, he advanced several improbable defenses.  First he claimed that his actions had been due to mental impairment due to an aviation accident while on active duty, an accident for which there was no record, and even claimed that he may have accidentally included some official documents with his belongings when he left the service, though asserting that they had been destroyed in a fire.  He even demanded that various Japanese naval officers be deposed by the American Consul in Tokyo, a request that the Japanese government flatly rejected.  Finally, with the prosecution marshaling some 50 witnesses against him, on Feb. 15, 1937, Farnsworth changed his innocent plea to nolo contendere.  On the 27th he was sentenced to between four and twelve years.  Various appeals followed, but in the end Farnsworth went to jail.

Although the Japanese considered Farnsworth valuable enough to have paid him substantial sums – reportedly totaling as much as $50,000 – for the information that he provided, there is no way of knowing how much damage he did to national security.  During his years as a spy he had provided the Japanese with information on codes, new equipment, and tactics, details of the construction of several ships, including the new carrier Ranger, maps of naval installations, and more.  There is a even hint that the initial planning for Fleet Problem XVIII, scheduled for April of 1937, may have been altered in the light of Farnsworth’s activities.

Released from prison in 1948, Farnsworth died Maryland in late 1952


"You Say 'Tomato', and I say 'Tomato'."

The line about England and America" being two countries "separated by the same language" was never more noticeable than during World War II, when the two nations united their efforts to defeat the Axis.

Hammering out military policy and strategy was the responsibility of the "Combined Chiefs of Staff," a committee composed of the principal service chiefs of the two nations.  The British delegates were the Chief of the Imperial General Staff and the heads of the British Army, Navy, and Air Force, and their American counterparts, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the heads of the Army, the Navy, and the Army Air Forces.  Some of these officers did not like each other, and Chief of Naval Operations Ernest J. King particularly did not like Britons.  Naturally, when these men met to discuss how to fight the war considerable acrimony was sometimes the result.

And the English language often proved of little help.

One day, they chiefs were discussing a particularly complex problem, on which it was clear that the Americans were in favor while the Britons were opposed.   The discussion got hot and heavy, with no compromise in sight.

So the American delegation reluctantly decided to postpone the issue. 

Naturally, one of them said, "Let's table the matter."

The Britons appeared shocked, and opposed tabling the issue.  This took the Americans aback, since they couldn't understand why, having opposed the measure thus far, their British counterparts were suddenly loath to drop it.

After a few minutes of confused conversation, the matter became clear.

It turned out that while in American parliamentary procedure the phrase "to table" means to postpone a question, in British usage it meant "move the question," that is, require an immediate vote.

So the matter was "tabled" in the American sense, at least for time being.


© 1998 - 2021 All rights Reserved.,, FYEO, For Your Eyes Only and Al Nofi's CIC are all trademarks of
Privacy Policy