Talk:John Anthony Walker

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Previous discussions without headers[edit]

According to this military historian's master's thesis [1], CWO John Walker was probably lying about walking into the Soviet embassy in Washington DC and that he probably walked into a different embassy when he was abroad with the navy. This inaccuracy should be removed from the article. (but not by me--I have poor writing style.) 24.43.87.201 00:31, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

We should be careful: I've heard that this student's master's thesis is "fraught with errors" (from a crypto history group). At least, I'd recommend we try to find a source for this information either way. — Matt Crypto 01:02, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
The Mitrokhin Archive disagrees with this master's thesis, e.i., states firmly that it was the Soviet embassy in Washington D.C. The name of the rezident is given, and the account is within a section about walk-ins to Soviet rezidentny in the United States. Now, there are criticisms of Mitrokhin, but by and large he is a reliable source. The account of the Walker spy ring can be found on pp. 205-6 of The Sword and the Shield, the first volume of the archive. -Fsotrain09 03:38, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I've readded the article, properly attributed -- it's a line of argument, it comes from a reliable source, and vague comments about its accuracy from unreliable sources need not be given weight. If there is a refutation using facts or even just argument, that could be written into the article, too. We are not bound to present only one version of events. --Dhartung | Talk 23:12, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Possible sources[edit]

I served in the Navy when the Walkers were caught, and I still remember just how despicable this man was. I think if this article was revamped, two sourse to use would be the books Family of Spies (I forgot the author's name) and Spy Hunter, by Robert W. Hunter, who was the FBI agent formaly introduced, with credentials, to the Walker boy just getting off the plane while wearing handcuffs. Also, what is the policy concerning photographs of these individuals for the site, if the photos happen to be taken by news organizations? Carajou 04:26, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Pete Earley, a former Wash. Post reporter, is author of Family of Spies. He was on the History Channel years ago when it ran the movie based on his book. There was also a BBC documentary (I've forgotten the name) I saw with a Navy reserve unit, which cited one of Walker's chiefs-of-the-boat (senior enlisted on a sub) as Bill Wilkinson, who was later a senior honcho (Grand Dragon?) in the KKK, so Walker learned early on how to use a subversive org. as a front (joining Birch Society, KKK): Wilkinson was an FBI informant.—BubbleDine 18:20, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

What exactly happened to the guy? is he still alive and kicking? where is he being held? the biography seems to come to an abrupt halt once he is sentenced.

I'm certain he got life in prison, although you're right, bio. doesn't say. BTW, the Rockville hotel where Walker was nailed is still there, but it's no longer a Ramada Inn.—BubbleDine 18:20, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

About twelve years ago, when I was still in the service, we were shown a documentary on Walker which included a reference to his P.I. days. He had been the subject of a five- or ten- minute profiling for the awesome carreer and lifestyle he had, talking about how he did the stuff "Tom Selleck could only dream of." The theme music from "Magnum, P.I." was playing in the background. It had been on one of those shows like "A Current Affair" or "Inside Edition", and had been made BEFORE he was identified as a spy and arrested, which I thought was incredible. I wish I could remember it or get more info about either the TV show or the documentary, because there was some other good info in it, including interviews with Walker in jail. (It was also in this documentary that he was quoted as having said "If I had access, consider it gone," as I had previously added but could not properly cite.) 165.97.69.26 (talk) 14:21, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Walker and KAL007?[edit]

I don't understand what John Walker has to do with the shootdown of KAL 007. If the claims cannot be substantiated, I think they should be removed. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 76.17.185.154 (talk) 00:56, 4 February 2007 (UTC).

It'd be a neat trick for Congressman McDonald to blame Walker for the KAL 007 shootdown, considering that McDonald died on that flight. Unless someone cites evidence for this accusation from beyond the grave, it should be removed. ANTPogo 05:31, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Andropov[edit]

Though he was head of the soviet union he never held the office of premier.

WP:BLP[edit]

This article really needs some attention, as it is quite full of violations of the WP:BLP policy. Passages such as: "However, before long, the marriage became very troubled due to the couple's long separations. Walker was a flamboyant, hard-drinking womanizer and there were reports that he neglected his wife and children.", are POV, and in addition, not cited with sources. Two references for such a controversial topic (a spy) is insufficient. There needs to be sources for statements like: "Walker was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Coming from a broken home, he had various problems with the law as a teenager. A high school dropout, Walker committed a string of petty thefts and was arrested for one of them in the summer of 1955. John's older brother Arthur Walker (already serving in the Navy) talked the judge into letting John join the Navy instead of going to prison.", that is unacceptable to have in an article without verification. Additionally, the article uses many words to avoid, such as "allegedly": "Initially, Walker maintained a defiant attitude, allegedly telling his interrogators "If I had access, consider it gone!" " It also has original research in it, such as: "Some researchers believe Walker's nearly two decades of spying contributed strongly to the unprecedented accession of then-KGB director Yuri Andropov (whose agents had overseen Walker's activities) to become head of the Soviet Union after the November 1982 death of Leonid Brezhnev." I'm going to place this article on the noticeboard for BLP issues, as these are fairly serious issues that will need to be resolved. I'm unfamiliar with the subject, so I'm hoping another editor will be able to address these very serious issues. Thank you for reading! ArielGold 09:29, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I have removed much and sourced everything except a couple of claims which are now tagged citation needed which I do not believe constitute substantial BLP violations. Given the similar language, I suspect that much of the above was sourced by the CourtTV article, which does have a substantially more lurid tone than Wikipedia articles are meant to. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:13, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I think the citation needed tag is overdone. An article with this many citations does not require each and every sentence to be cited inline! You will never find an article in an encyclopedia or anywhere with this many inline citations. Not everything requires it. I added a source and removed one of the ridiculous tags, but please restrain from tagging them for every single fact. MagnoliaSouth (talk) 05:48, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
You replaced two cite needed tags with cites, correcting two factual errors in the process.[2] That's why we need the citations. - SummerPhD (talk) 06:26, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Place of birth[edit]

First the article states that John was born in Washington, DC,
then it says also that he was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Which is right?
DocRushing (talk) 23:52, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Interesting. Scranton is incorrect. I'm going to remove it. He met and married in Scranton but John was born in Washington D.C. I have fixed it and sourced it. Clearly the person who wrote this only half read it. MagnoliaSouth (talk) 06:00, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

paragraph doesn't make clear what its point is[edit]

"In the June 2010 issue of Naval History Magazine, John Prados, a senior fellow with the National Security Archive in Washington, DC, pointed out that after Walker introduced himself to Soviet officials, North Korean forces seized the USS Pueblo (AGER-2). Prados added that North Korea subsequently shared information gleaned from the warship with the Soviets, enabling them to build replicas and gain access to the US naval communications system, which continued until the system was completely revamped in the late-1980s."... The point that Prados is pointing out might or might not be that Walker's contact with Soviets prompted them to get North Korea to capture the Pueblo. Or Prados might or might not be saying that some of the harm that Walker caused would have been caused anyway, since the Soviets got information by examining the Pueblo. It sounds like Prados knows a lot of good stuff, so let's get a clearer summary of what he said.2601:7:7700:1A6:9031:6C2F:7613:CDE0 (talk) 18:34, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

After Walker approached the Soviets, and after he established a relationship with them, then he started passing certain documents, some of which pertained to the Adonis cryptosystem, which was then one of the major systems used in the Naval Communication System.
The Soviets badly wanted to become able to decrypt Adonis message traffic.
They created and provided to Walker a reading device, which he then used to deduce the internal wiring of each of the rotors used in the Adonis machine; Walker then forwarded the results through his handler.
Then, predictably, the Soviets wanted an Adonis machine, along with other goodies, so they arranged for their stooges in North Korea to highjack Pueblo (which, of course, had at least one Adonis machine), imprison her crew, strip various hardware and documents, and promptly ship the Adonis machine and other prizes to the Soviet Union.
With the hardware in hand, the Soviets could decrypt US Adonis message traffic whenever it managed to get (through various channels) the monthly keylists (containing the daily combinations for the rings and the rotors inside the basket inserted into an Adonis machine.
You can feel sure that Prados knows his stuff.
If you wish, pursue this matter in the article quoted or elsewhere.
By an interesting coincidence, while Walker committed his crimes, and while the North Koreans captured Pueblo, I was on a tour of shore duty (1966-68), serving as the senior instructor in cryptography at the Naval Submarine School, Groton, Connecticut, teaching Adonis and other cryptosystems.
Yes, undeniably, beyond any question whatever, Walker caused or allowed immeasurable harm to the US and our military members.
Doc.
DocRushing (talk) 23:04, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, that's interesting and plausible...However, I never questioned that, in fact I'm positive that, walker caused horrible damage to our country! But I'm focused on making the article better by trying to determine what John Prados's point was. The paragraph isn't clear. What you have stated above, if it's basically what Prado had said, could and should be incorporated into the paragraph to clarify it. However, if what you stated above isn't what Prados had meant, your information could still be a valuable addition to the article, if verification from secondary sources can be provided.(As you may already know, being true isn't enough on wikipedia, it has to be verifiable.)2601:7:7700:1A6:9031:6C2F:7613:CDE0 (talk) 05:58, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

A contradiction about Michael and Barbara[edit]

In the first paragraph of the section entitled "Arrest and imprisonment", the last sentence says, "[Barbara] did not then know that Michael had become an active participant".
However, the second sentence declares, "When John drew Michael into his espionage activity, Barbara sought to put an end to the spying and save her only son".
Those two statements clearly contradict each other.
Which one is correct?
Maybe one or more of the watchers here know about that – or have access to the requisite reference materials.
Thanks.
Doc – DocRushing (talk) 17:26, 28 April 2014 (UTC).

Life in prison[edit]

is there any possible reliable source about how Walker fared in prison, such as assaults or treatment? Bearian (talk) 13:14, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Arthur Walker[edit]

Arthur Walker is mentioned and his sentence listed before his relation to John Walker is explained (in the next paragraph). NOwhere else in the story does Arthur Walker appear, so it's a mystery as to how and in what ways Arthur Walker was involved in the spying. - 64.187.160.52 (talk) 10:52, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on John Anthony Walker. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:John Anthony Walker/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

I don't understand what the Walker spy ring had to do with the shootdown of KAL 007. It seems like quite a stretch for me. If that link cannot be substantiated, I think it should be removed.

Last edited at 00:54, 4 February 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 20:06, 29 April 2016 (UTC)