It’s not the medium, it’s the bias, stupid!

I just saw this piece from the New York Sun by Alicia Colon on Drudge. Ms. Colon highlights a blog that has been hidden by the mainstream media, Lucianne.com.

Lucianne exposes what I believe is the root cause of the shift of the educated middle class from the mainstream media to that of the fresh air of Web-based citizen journalists.

The Mendacity Of the Liberal Press

BY ALICIA COLON
December 15, 2006
http://www.nysun.com/article/45266

The first time I heard the word “mendacity” was in the film “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” I loved the way Burl Ives’s character spits out the word as something vile and unacceptable.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where untruthfulness is routinely accepted and even mandated by politicians, union leaders, and members of the press. New York is the headquarters of the biggest producer of mendacity, the New York Times. Fortunately, it’s also the home of the antidote, Lucianne.com.

I pity the Americans who do not have the computer expertise to access the exposés of lies of corrupt politicians and gullible television anchors, biased newspaper headlines, and anything from the Associated Press. If it were not for the Internet and Lucianne Goldberg’s Web news forum, I would never learn the truth behind the Times headlines as pitched by the Drudge Report.

Matt Drudge, who may or may not be a willing accomplice to the distortion of news reporting, must be held responsible for the dissemination of the bias in the liberal press. Studies have shown that the readership of the Times is down — as it is in other liberal publications — and so are the television ratings of the alphabet networks and CNN and MSNBC, while Fox News is up.

Nevertheless, the propaganda of the enemedia — an excellent descriptive term coined by one poster to Lucianne.com — continues to sully news coverage, thanks to Mr. Drudge. A study of press bias by a professor of political science at the University of California-Los Angeles, Tim Groseclose, listed the Drudge Report as one of the most liberal sites on the Web because it consistently posts articles from left-of-center sources.

My patience with the Drudge Report ended when I saw a photo of Frank Rich of the Times posted on the site along with his words: “We are losing in Iraq.” It isn’t too encouraging to the morale of the nation, but posts like this are common on Drudge.

The site gives top billing to every possible negative statement about the Iraq war and the Bush administration, and it gets about 13 million hits a day. Is it any wonder that President Bush has record low approval ratings?

The week before, Mr. Drudge posted a quote from the new secretary of defense, Robert Gates: “We are not winning in Iraq.” Did he really say those words? No. At Mr. Gates’s confirmation hearing, Senator Levin, a Democrat of Michigan, asked him if we were winning in Iraq, and he answered, “No.”

Lucianne, of course, pointed out that Mr. Gates went on to say we’re not losing, either. His exact words were: “Our military forces win the battles that they fight; our soldiers have done an incredible job in Iraq. And I’m not aware of a single battle that they have lost. And I didn’t want my comments to be interpreted as suggesting that they weren’t being successful in their endeavors.”

Mr. Gates, you can be 100% certain that everything you say from now on as secretary of defense will be misinterpreted by a certain New York publication headed by Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger.

This is the man who in the 1960s, according to author Harry Stein, when asked by his father whom he’d rather see shot when an American soldier runs into a North Vietnamese soldier, replied: “I would want to see the American get shot. It’s the other guy’s country.”

That statement is something Mr. Sulzberger appears to be proud of, as he repeats it from time to time. Maybe he actually believes that this lack of nationalistic empathy is necessary for good journalism. I think the truth would be a better measure of it, but the Times is continuing to put out news that is completely mendacious, even when it’s not about Mr. Bush or Iraq.

I was certain Pope Benedict XVI had given in to Muslim pressure. Why? Because the New York Times reported this in a headline: “In Reversal, Pope Backs Turkey’s Bid to Join European Union.” Of course it was posted on the Drudge Report. Was it true? Not according to Richard Neuhaus, the editor and founder of First Things, a distinguished religious publication. On December 1, he wrote, “Even by today’s standards, this is a breathtaking instance of journalistic shoddiness, if not downright dishonesty.”

But mendacity pays in this town, whose residents survived the worst attack on this country in history, yet they still can’t recognize the danger of lies in wartime if reported in the Old Gray Lady.

My name, Alicia, means truth, so here it is. We are at war. Our military is the best in the world and the smartest we’ve ever had. Our enemies are barbaric beheaders who want us dead — period. You cannot negotiate with them. They exist on mendacity.

You have been warned.

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3 thoughts on “It’s not the medium, it’s the bias, stupid!

  1. The bias has been with us for 50 years or more. That’s a lot of impressions on not so bright minds. So how can a few blogs make a difference? The Dan Rathers of the media will be held up as gods and Drudge and Mick Gregory as evil sh53t heads.

  2. OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD Is Live and Well Today ( info from Spartacus Educational) In 1948 Frank Wisner was appointed director of the Office of Special Projects. Soon afterwards it was renamed the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). This became the espionage and counter-intelligence branch of the Central Intelligence Agency. Wisner was told to create an organization that concentrated on “propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.” Later that year Wisner established Mockingbird, a program to influence the domestic American media. Wisner recruited Philip Graham (Washington Post) to run the project within the industry. Graham himself recruited others who had worked for military intelligence during the war. This included James Truitt, Russell Wiggins, Phil Geyelin, John Hayes and Alan Barth. Others like Stewart Alsop, Joseph Alsop and James Reston, were recruited from within the Georgetown Set. According to Deborah Davis (Katharine the Great): “By the early 1950s, Wisner ‘owned’ respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles.” In 1951 Allen W. Dulles persuaded Cord Meyer to join the CIA. However, there is evidence that he was recruited several years earlier and had been spying on the liberal organizations he had been a member of in the later 1940s. According to Deborah Davis, Meyer became Mockingbird’s “principal operative”. One of the most important journalists under the control of Operation Mockingbird was Joseph Alsop, whose articles appeared in over 300 different newspapers. Other journalists willing to promote the views of the CIA included Stewart Alsop (New York Herald Tribune), Ben Bradlee (Newsweek), James Reston (New York Times), Charles Douglas Jackson (Time Magazine), Walter Pincus (Washington Post), William C. Baggs (Miami News), Herb Gold (Miami News) and Charles Bartlett (Chattanooga Times). According to Nina Burleigh (A Very Private Woman) these journalists sometimes wrote articles that were commissioned by Frank Wisner. The CIA also provided them with classified information to help them with their work. After 1953 the network was overseen by Allen W. Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. By this time Operation Mockingbird had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. These organizations were run by people with well-known right-wing views such as William Paley (CBS), Henry Luce (Time Magazine and Life Magazine), Arthur Hays Sulzberger (New York Times), Alfred Friendly (managing editor of the Washington Post), Jerry O’Leary (Washington Star), Hal Hendrix (Miami News), Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal), James Copley (Copley News Services) and Joseph Harrison (Christian Science Monitor). The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) was funded by siphoning of funds intended for the Marshall Plan. Some of this money was used to bribe journalists and publishers. Frank Wisner was constantly looked for ways to help convince the public of the dangers of communism. In 1954 Wisner arranged for the funding the Hollywood production of Animal Farm, the animated allegory based on the book written by George Orwell. According to Alex Constantine (Mockingbird: The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA), in the 1950s, “some 3,000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts”. Wisner was also able to restrict newspapers from reporting about certain events. For example, the CIA plots to overthrow the governments of Iran and Guatemala. Thomas Braden, head of the of International Organizations Division (IOD), played an important role in Operation Mockingbird. Many years later he revealed his role in these events: “If the director of CIA wanted to extend a present, say, to someone in Europe – a Labour leader – suppose he just thought, This man can use fifty thousand dollars, he’s working well and doing a good job – he could hand it to him and never have to account to anybody… There was simply no limit to the money it could spend and no limit to the people it could hire and no limit to the activities it could decide were necessary to conduct the war – the secret war…. It was a multinational. Maybe it was one of the first. Journalists were a target, labor unions a particular target – that was one of the activities in which the communists spent the most money.” In August, 1952, the Office of Policy Coordination and the Office of Special Operations (the espionage division) were merged to form the Directorate of Plans (DPP). Frank Wisner became head of this new organization and Richard Helms became his chief of operations. Mockingbird was now the responsibility of the DPP. J. Edgar Hoover became jealous of the CIA’s growing power. He described the OPC as “Wisner’s gang of weirdos” and began carrying out investigations into their past. It did not take him long to discover that some of them had been active in left-wing politics in the 1930s. This information was passed to who started making attacks on members of the OPC. Hoover also gave McCarthy details of an affair that Frank Wisner had with Princess Caradja in Romania during the war. Hoover, claimed that Caradja was a Soviet agent. Joseph McCarthy also began accusing other senior members of the CIA as being security risks. McCarthy claimed that the CIA was a “sinkhole of communists” and claimed he intended to root out a hundred of them. One of his first targets was Cord Meyer, who was still working for Operation Mockingbird. In August, 1953, Richard Helms, Wisner’s deputy at the OPC, told Meyer that Joseph McCarthy had accused him of being a communist. The Federal Bureau of Investigation added to the smear by announcing it was unwilling to give Meyer “security clearance”. However, the FBI refused to explain what evidence they had against Meyer. Allen W. Dulles and both came to his defence and refused to permit a FBI interrogation of Meyer. Joseph McCarthy did not realise what he was taking on. Wisner unleashed Mockingbird on McCarthy. Drew Pearson, Joe Alsop, Jack Anderson, Walter Lippmann and Ed Murrow all went into attack mode and McCarthy was permanently damaged by the press coverage orchestrated by Wisner. Mockingbird was very active during the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. People like Henry Luce was able to censor stories that appeared too sympathetic towards the plight of Arbenz. Allen W. Dulles was even able to keep left-wing journalists from travelling to Guatemala. This including Sydney Gruson of the New York Times. In 1955 President Dwight Eisenhower established the 5412 Committee in order to keep a check on the CIA’s covert activities. The committee (also called the Special Group) included the CIA director, the national security adviser, and the deputy secretaries at State and Defence and had the responsibility to decide whether covert actions were “proper” and in the national interest. It was also decided to include Richard B. Russell, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. However, as Allen W. Dulles was later to admit, because of “plausible deniability” planned covert actions were not referred to the 5412 Committee. The Very Best Men The Mighty Wurlitzer Dwight Eisenhower became concerned about CIA covert activities and in 1956 appointed David Bruce as a member of the President’s Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities (PBCFIA). Eisenhower asked Bruce to write a report on the CIA. It was presented to Eisenhower on 20th December, 1956. Bruce argued that the CIA’s covert actions were “responsible in great measure for stirring up the turmoil and raising the doubts about us that exists in many countries in the world today.” Bruce was also highly critical of Mockingbird. He argued: “what right have we to go barging around in other countries buying newspapers and handling money to opposition parties or supporting a candidate for this, that, or the other office.” After Richard Bissell lost his post as Director of Plans in 1962, Tracy Barnes took over the running of Mockingbird. According to Evan Thomas (The Very Best Men) Barnes planted editorials about political candidates who were regarded as pro-CIA. In 1963, John McCone, the director of the CIA, discovered that Random House intended to publish Invisible Government by David Wise and Thomas Ross. McCone discovered that the book intended to look at his links with the Military Industrial Congress Complex. The authors also claimed that the CIA was having a major influence on American foreign policy. This included the overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran (1953) and Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala (1954). The book also covered the role that the CIA played in the Bay of Pigs operation, the attempts to remove President Sukarno in Indonesia and the covert operations taking place in Laos and Vietnam. John McCone called in Wise and Ross to demand deletions on the basis of galleys the CIA had secretly obtained from Random House. The authors refused to made these changes and Random House decided to go ahead and publish the book. The CIA considered buying up the entire printing of Invisible Government but this idea was rejected when Random House pointed out that if this happened they would have to print a second edition. McCone now formed a special group to deal with the book and tried to arrange for it to get bad reviews. Katharine the Great A Personal History Invisible Government was published in 1964. It was the first full account of America’s intelligence and espionage apparatus. In the book Wise and Ross argued that the “Invisible Government is made up of many agencies and people, including the intelligence branches of the State and Defense Departments, of the Army, Navy and Air Force”. However, they claimed that the most important organization involved in this process was the CIA. John McCone also attempted to stop Edward Yates from making a documentary on the CIA for the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). This attempt at censorship failed and NBC went ahead and broadcast this critical documentary. In June, 1965, Desmond FitzGerald was appointed as head of the Directorate for Plans. He now took charge of Mockingbird. At the end of 1966 FitzGerald discovered that Ramparts, a left-wing publication, was planning to publish that the CIA had been secretly funding the National Student Association. FitzGerald ordered Edgar Applewhite to organize a campaign against the magazine. Applewhite later told Evan Thomas for his book, The Very Best Men: “I had all sorts of dirty tricks to hurt their circulation and financing. The people running Ramparts were vulnerable to blackmail. We had awful things in mind, some of which we carried off.” This dirty tricks campaign failed to stop Ramparts publishing this story in March, 1967. The article, written by Sol Stern, was entitled NSA and the CIA. As well as reporting CIA funding of the National Student Association it exposed the whole system of anti-Communist front organizations in Europe, Asia, and South America. It named Cord Meyer as a key figure in this campaign. This included the funding of the literary journal Encounter. In May 1967 Thomas Braden responded to this by publishing an article entitled, I’m Glad the CIA is Immoral, in the Saturday Evening Post, where he defended the activities of the International Organizations Division unit of the CIA. Braden also confessed that the activities of the CIA had to be kept secret from Congress. As he pointed out in the article: “In the early 1950s, when the cold war was really hot, the idea that Congress would have approved many of our projects was about as likely as the John Birch Society’s approving Medicare.” Meyer’s role in Operation Mockingbird was further exposed in 1972 when he was accused of interfering with the publication of a book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia by Alfred W. McCoy. The book was highly critical of the CIA’s dealings with the drug traffic in Southeast Asia. The publisher, who leaked the story, had been a former colleague of Meyer’s when he was a liberal activist after the war. Further details of Operation Mockingbird was revealed as a result of the Frank Church investigations (Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) in 1975. According to the Congress report published in 1976: “The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets.” Church argued that the cost of misinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year. Frank Church showed that it was CIA policy to use clandestine handling of journalists and authors to get information published initially in the foreign media in order to get it disseminated in the United States. Church quotes from one document written by the Chief of the Covert Action Staff on how this process worked (page 193). For example, he writes: “Get books published or distributed abroad without revealing any U.S. influence, by covertly subsidizing foreign publicans or booksellers.” Later in the document he writes: “Get books published for operational reasons, regardless of commercial viability”. Church goes onto report that “over a thousand books were produced, subsidized or sponsored by the CIA before the end of 1967”. All these books eventually found their way into the American market-place. Either in their original form (Church gives the example of the Penkovskiy Papers) or repackaged as articles for American newspapers and magazines. In another document published in 1961 the Chief of the Agency’s propaganda unit wrote: “The advantage of our direct contact with the author is that we can acquaint him in great detail with our intentions; that we can provide him with whatever material we want him to include and that we can check the manuscript at every stage… (the Agency) must make sure the actual manuscript will correspond with our operational and propagandistic intention.” Church quotes Thomas H. Karamessines as saying: “If you plant an article in some paper overseas, and it is a hard-hitting article, or a revelation, there is no way of guaranteeing that it is not going to be picked up and published by the Associated Press in this country” (page 198). By analyzing CIA documents Church was able to identify over 50 U.S. journalists who were employed directly by the Agency. He was aware that there were a lot more who enjoyed a very close relationship with the CIA who were “being paid regularly for their services, to those who receive only occasional gifts and reimbursements from the CIA” (page 195). Church pointed out that this was probably only the tip of the iceberg because the CIA refused to “provide the names of its media agents or the names of media organizations with which they are connected” (page 195). Church was also aware that most of these payments were not documented. This was the main point of the Otis Pike Report. If these payments were not documented and accounted for, there must be a strong possibility of financial corruption taking place. This includes the large commercial contracts that the CIA was responsible for distributing. Pike’s report actually highlighted in 1976 what eventually emerged in the 1980s via the activities of CIA operatives such as Edwin Wilson, Thomas Clines, Ted Shackley, Raphael Quintero, Richard Secord and Felix Rodriguez. Church also identified E. Howard Hunt as an important figure in Operation Mockingbird. He points out how Hunt arranged for books to be reviewed by certain writers in the national press. He gives the example of how Hunt arranged for a “CIA writer under contract” to write a hostile review of a Edgar Snow book in the New York Times (page 198). Church comes up with this conclusion to his examination of this issue: “In examining the CIA’s past and present use of the U.S. media, the Committee finds two reasons for concern. The first is the potential, inherent in covert media operations, for manipulating or incidentally misleading the American public. The second is the damage to the credibility and independence of a free press which may be caused by covert relationships with the U.S. journalists and media organizations.” In February, 1976, George Bush, the recently appointed Director of the CIA announced a new policy: “Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station.” However, he added that the CIA would continue to “welcome” the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists. Carl Bernstein, who had worked with Bob Woodward in the investigation of Watergate, provided further information about Operation Mockingbird in an article in The Rolling Stone in October, 1977. Bernstein claimed that over a 25 year period over 400 American journalists secretly carried out assignments for the CIA: “Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors-without-portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested it the derring-do of the spy business as in filing articles, and, the smallest category, full-time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad.” It is almost certain that Bernstein had encountered Operation Mockingbird while working on his Watergate investigation. For example, Deborah Davis (Katharine the Great) has argued that Deep Throat was senior CIA official, Richard Ober, who was running Operation Chaos for Richard Nixon during this period. According to researchers such as Steve Kangas, Angus Mackenzie and Alex Constantine, Operation Mockingbird was not closed down by the CIA in 1976. For example, in 1998 Kangas argued that CIA asset Richard Mellon Scaife ran “Forum World Features, a foreign news service used as a front to disseminate CIA propaganda around the world.” On 8th February, 1999, Kangas was found dead in the bathroom of the Pittsburgh offices of Richard Mellon Scaife. He had been shot in the head. Officially he had committed suicide but some people believe he was murdered. In an article in Salon Magazine, (19th March, 1999) Andrew Leonard asked: “Why did the police report say the gun wound was to the left of his head, while the autopsy reported a wound on the roof of his mouth? Why had the hard drive on his computer been erased shortly after his death? Why had Scaife assigned his No. 1 private detective, Rex Armistead, to look into Kangas’ past? Time Search: Spartacus Educational Wikipedia: Operation Mockingbird (entry written by John Simkin) Forum Debates The Kennedy Assassination Operation Mockingbird Carl Bernstein: CIA and the Media Watergate (1) Thomas Braden, Saturday Evening Post (20th May, 1967) In the early 1950s, when the cold war was really hot, the idea that Congress would have approved many of our (CIA) projects was about as likely as the John Birch Society’s approving Medicare. (2) John Playford, Political Scientists and the CIA, Australian Left Review (1968) The role of US trade unions and student bodies in Cold War, projects inspired and financed by the huge, international agency of subversion known as the Central Intelligence Agency, is now widely known in Australia. Far less publicity has been given to the ties that were shown to exist between the CIA and the US Information Agency (USIA), the propaganda arm of the US government, while nothing at all has appeared in the press on the links revealed between the USIA and Dr. Evron M. Kirkpatrick, Executive Director of the prestigious American Political Science Association (APSA), which has a membership of about 16,000. 4 Before being appointed the first full-time Executive Director of APSA in 1954, Kirkpatrick held a succession of senior posts in the State Department: Chief of the External Research Staff 1948-52, Chief of the Psychological Intelligence and Research Staff 1952-54, and Deputy Director of the Office of Intelligence Research 1954. In 1956 he edited Target: The World Communist Propaganda Activities in 1955, which was published by the Macmillan Co. of New York. In the Preface, he drew attention to the fact that the US Government had devoted systematic attention to research on Communist propaganda: “Many social scientists are aware of the work the government is doing and have seen some of its results; many have participated in it. The present volume has been made possible only by drawing upon this government research, and it is the product, therefore, of the work of many people.” In the following year, Kirkpatrick edited and Macmillan published a companion volume entitled Year of Crisis – Communist Propaganda Activities in 1956. Both works bear all the earmarks of a USIA operation… Kirkpatrick has also been President of Operations and Policy Research, Inc. (OPR) since its formation in 1955. A non-profit research organisation set up by a group of social Scientists, lawyers and businessmen to help the USIA distribute more persuasive and polished literature both in the US and abroad, OPR reads and gives expert opinion on books which USIA then plants with publishers, without the sponsorship being publicized. It employed on a part-time basis, according to Kirkpatrick, more than a hundred social scientists, many of them members of APSA. Sol Stern has correctly summed up OPR as “a Cold War-oriented strategy organization.” Kirkpatrick’s wife, Mrs. Jean J. Kirkpatrick, is a staff member of Trinity College in Washington DC, a Catholic women’s college conducted by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. From 1951 to 1953 she had been an intelligence research analyst in the State Department, and since 1956 she has been a consultant to OPR. Mrs. Kirkpatrick has also had close connections with the USIA. She edited and wrote the introductory essay for The Strategy of Deception: A Study in World-Wide Communist Tactics, which was published in 1963 by Farrar, Straus and Co. of New York, and made a “special alternate selection” by the Book-of-the-Month Club. At no time was it mentioned that the USIA subsidised the book’s creation. The USIA described its venture into covert publishing as the “book development program,” of which the USIA official then in charge of it, Reed Harris, stated in testimony before the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee in March 1964: This is a program under which we can have books written to our own specifications, books that would not otherwise be put out, especially those books that have strong anti-communist content, and follow other themes that are particularly useful for our program. Under the book development program, we control the thing from the very idea down to the final edited manuscript. Subsequently, the Director of the USIA, Leonard Marks, appeared before the same body in September 1966 and was asked why it was wrong “to let the American people know when they buy and read the book that it was developed under government sponsorship?” His reply was straight to the point: “It minimises their value.” The USIA did not pay Farrar, Straus; it paid $US 16,500 to The New Leader, whose editor, the late S. M. Levitas, conceived of the book and sold the idea to the USIA. A liberal militantly anti-Communist journal, The New Leader was for more than thirty years under the editorship of Levitas, “a bitter anti-Communist out of the East European Socialist tradition” who died in 1961. In recent years, The New Leader has lost much of the blind anti-Communism which allowed it to accept too readily the positions of the “China Lobby” and the “Vietnam Lobby.” (3) Nina Burleigh, A Very Private Woman: The Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer (1998) The social connections with journalists were a crucial part of the CIA’s propaganda machine. Chief among CIA friends were the Alsop brothers. Joseph Alsop wrote a column with his brother Stewart for the New York Herald Tribune and they occasionally penned articles at the suggestion of Frank Wisner, based upon classified information leaked to them. In exchange, they provided CIA friends with observations gathered on trips abroad. Such give-and-take was not unusual among the Georgetown set in the 1950s. The CIA also made friends with Washington Post publisher Phil Graham, Post managing editor Alfred Friendly, and New York Times Washington bureau chief James Reston, whose next-door neighbor was Frank Wisner. Ben Bradlee, while working for the State Department as a press attache in the American embassy in Paris, produced propaganda regarding the Rosenbergs’ spying conviction and death sentence in cooperation with the CIA… Some newspaper executives – Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times, among them – actually signed secrecy agreements with the CIA… When Carl Bernstein reported that one CIA official had called Stewart Alsop a CIA agent, Joe Alsop defended his brother to Bernstein, saying: “I dare say he did perform some tasks-he just did the correct things as an American…. The Founding Fathers (of the CIA) were close personal friends of ours…. It was a social thing, my dear fellow.” Cord Meyer developed and nurtured his own friendships among journalists. He seconded the nomination of Washington Post writer Walter Pincus for membership in the Waltz Group, a Washington social organization. Pincus went on to become the Post’s premier intelligence reporter. Cord also maintained friendly ties with William C. Baggs of the Miami News and foreign-affairs writer Herb Gold. Cord’s ties to academia served him when he needed favors from publishers and journalists. In some accounts, he and Time writer C. D. Jackson together recruited Steinem. According to his journal, Cord dined at the Paris home of American novelist James Jones. He was also close to Chattanooga Times writer Charles Bartlett throughout his life. (4) Thomas Braden, interview included in the Granada Television program, World in Action: The Rise and Fall of the CIA (June, 1975) It never had to account for the money it spent except to the President if the President wanted to know how much money it was spending. But otherwise the funds were not only unaccountable, they were unvouchered, so there was really no means of checking them – “unvouchered funds” meaning expenditures that don’t have to be accounted for…. If the director of CIA wanted to extend a present, say, to someone in Europe – a Labour leader – suppose he just thought, This man can use fifty thousand dollars, he’s working well and doing a good job – he could hand it to him and never have to account to anybody… I don’t mean to imply that there were a great many of them that were handed out as Christmas presents. They were handed out for work well performed or in order to perform work well…. Politicians in Europe, particularly right after the war, got a lot of money from the CIA…. Since it was unaccountable, it could hire as many people as it wanted. It never had to say to any committee – no committee said to it – “You can only have so many men.” It could do exactly as it pleased. It made preparations therefore for every contingency. It could hire armies; it could buy banks. There was simply no limit to the money it could spend and no limit to the people it could hire and no limit to the activities it could decide were necessary to conduct the war – the secret war…. It was a multinational. Maybe it was one of the first. Journalists were a target, labor unions a particular target – that was one of the activities in which the communists spent the most money. They set up a successful communist labor union in France right after the war. We countered it with Force Ouvriere. They set up this very successful communist labor union in Italy, and we countered it with another union…. We had a vast project targeted on the intellectuals – “the battle for Picasso’s mind,” if you will. The communists set up fronts which they effectively enticed a great many particularly the French intellectuals to join. We tried to set up a counterfront. (This was done through funding of social and cultural organizations such as the Pan-American Foundation, the International Marketing Institute, the International Development Foundation, the American Society of African Culture, and the Congress of Cultural Freedom.) I think the budget for the Congress of Cultural Freedom one year that I had charge of it was about $800,000, $900,000, which included, of course, the subsidy for the Congress’s magazine, Encounter. That doesn’t mean that everybody that worked for Encounter or everybody who wrote for Encounter knew anything about it. Most of the people who worked for Encounter and all but one of the men who ran it had no idea that it was paid for by the CIA. (5) Angus Mackenzie, Secrets: The CIA War at Home (1997) Following the buildup of U.S. troops in Vietnam and the assassination of Diem, Sheinbaum decided it was his patriotic duty to publicize information that he hoped might put the brakes on U.S. involvement. Writing about the connections between Michigan State University, the CIA, and the Saigon police (with the help of Robert Scheer, a young investigative reporter), the Sheinbaum story was to appear in the June 1966 issue of Ramparts magazine. The article disposed that Michigan State University had been secretly used by the CIA to train Saigon police and to keep an inventory of ammunition for grenade launchers, Browning automatic rifles, and .50 caliber machine guns, as well as to write the South Vietnamese constitution. The problem, in Sheinbaum’s view, was that such secret funding of academics to execute government programs undercut scholarly integrity. When scholars are forced into a conflict of interest, he wrote, “where is the source of serious intellectual criticism that would help us avoid future Vietnams?” Word of Sheinbaum’s forthcoming article caused consternation on the seventh floor of CIA headquarters. On April 18, 1966, Director of Central Intelligence William F. Raborn Jr. notified his director of security that he wanted a “run down” on Ramparts magazine on a “high priority basis.” This strongly worded order would prove to be a turning point for the Agency. To “run down” a domestic news publication because it had exposed questionable practices of the CIA was clearly in violation of the 1947 National Security Act’s prohibition on domestic operations and meant the CIA eventually would have to engage in a cover-up. The CIA director of security, Howard J. Osborn, was also told: “The Director [Raborn] is particularly interested in the authors of the article, namely, Stanley Sheinbaum and Robert Scheer. He is also interested in any other individuals who worked for the magazine.” Word of Sheinbaum’s forthcoming article caused consternation on the seventh floor of CIA headquarters. On April 18, 1966, Director of Central Intelligence William F. Raborn Jr. notified his director of security that he wanted a “run down” on Ramparts magazine on a “high priority basis.” This strongly worded order would prove to be a turning point for the Agency. To “run down” a domestic news publication because it had exposed questionable practices of the CIA was clearly in violation of the 1947 National Security Act’s prohibition on domestic operations and meant the CIA eventually would have to engage in a cover-up. The CIA director of security, Howard J. Osborn, was also told: “The Director [Raborn] is particularly interested in the authors of the article, namely, Stanley Sheinbaum and Robert Scheer. He is also interested in any other individuals who worked for the magazine.” Osborn’s deputies had just two days to prepare a special briefing on Ramparts for the director. By searching existing CIA files they were able to assemble dossiers on approximately twenty-two of the fifty-five Ramparts writers and editors, which itself indicates the Agency’s penchant for collecting information on American critics of government policies. Osborn was able to tell Raborn that Ramparts had grown from a Catholic lay journal into a publication with a staff of more than fifty people in New York, Paris, and Munich, including two active members of the U.S. Communist Party. The most outspoken of the CIA critics at the magazine was not a Communist but a former Green Beret veteran, Donald Duncan. Duncan had written, according to then CIA Deputy Director Richard Helms, “We will continue to be in danger as long as the CIA is deciding policy and manipulating nations.” Of immediate concern to Raborn, however, was Osborn’s finding that Sheinbaum was in the process of exposing more CIA domestic organizations. The investigation of Ramparts was to be intensified, Raborn told Osborn. At the same time, Helms passed information to President Lyndon Johnson’s aide, William D. Moyers, about the plans of two Ramparts editors to run for Congress on an antiwar platform. Within days, the CIA had progressed from investigating a news publication to sending domestic political intelligence to the White House, just as a few members of Congress had feared nineteen years earlier. Upon publication, Sheinbaum’s article triggered a storm of protests from academicians and legislators across the country who saw the CIA’s infiltration of a college campus as a threat to academic freedom. The outcry grew so loud that President Johnson felt he had to make a reassuring public statement and establish a task force to review any government activities that might endanger the integrity of the educational community. The task force was a collection of political statesmen–such as Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare John Gardner–but also included Richard Helms, the CIA official who himself had been dealing in political espionage. The purpose of the task force, it soon became clear, was to forestall further embarrassment and preclude any congressional investigation of CIA operations. Helms, furthermore, organized an internal task force of directorate chiefs to examine all CIA relationships with academic institutions but that review, from all appearances, was designed only to ensure that these operations remained secret… Meanwhile, CIA officers spent April and May of 1966 identifying the source of Ramparts’s money. Their target was executive editor Warren Hinckle, the magazine’s chief fund-raiser and a man easy to track. He wore a black patch over one eye and made no secret of the difficult state of the magazine’s finances as he continually begged a network of rich donors for operating funds. The agents also reported that Hinckle had launched a $2.5 million lawsuit against Alabama Governor George Wallace for calling the magazine pro-Communist (information that Osborn dutifully passed on to Raborn). The real point of the CIA investigation, however, was to place Ramparts reporters under such dose surveillance that any CIA officials involved in domestic operations would have time to rehearse cover stories before the reporters arrived to question them. Next, Raborn broadened the scope of his investigation of Ramparts’s staff by recruiting help from other agencies. On June 16, 1966, he ordered Osborn to “urge” the FBI to “investigate these people as a subversive unit.” Osborn forwarded this request to the FBI, expressing the CIA’s interest in anything the FBI might develop “of a derogatory nature.” One CIA officer, who later inspected the CIA file of the Ramparts investigation, said that the Agency was trying to find a way of shutting down the magazine that would stand up in court, notwithstanding the constraints of the First Amendment… On March 4, 1967, Richard Ober got a report from a person who attended a Ramparts staff meeting at which magazine reporters had discussed their interviews of high executive branch government officials and their attempts to meet with White House staff members. Now Ober knew who was saying what to whom. Three days later, Ober’s task force found out that a Ramparts reporter was going to interview a CIA “asset”: that is, someone under CIA control. In preparation, CIA officers told the asset how to handle the reporter, and after the interview the asset reported back to the CIA. On March 16, two of Ober’s men drove from CIA headquarters to a nearby airport to pick up a CIA agent who was a good friend of a Ramparts reporter. They went to a hotel, where the CIA agent was debriefed. Then the agent and his case officers reviewed his cover story, which he went on to tell his Ramparts contact as a means of obtaining more information. During the same period Ober was trying to recruit five former Ramparts employees as informants. “Maybe they were unhappy,” a CIA agent would later explain. On April 4, Ober completed a status report on his Ramparts task force. His men had identified and investigated 127 Ramparts writers and researchers, as well as nearly 200 other American civilians with some link to the magazine. Three more CIA officers joined Ober’s team, bringing to twelve the number of full-time or part-time officers coordinating intelligence and operations on Ramparts at the headquarters level. On April 5, 1967, the task force completed its tentative assessment and recommendations, setting forth future actions–which, the CIA was still insisting in 1994, cannot be released under the Freedom of Information Act. CIA officer Louis Dube described the recommendations as “heady shit” but refused to be more specific. It is known that Ober became fascinated with Ramparts advertisers. “One of our officers was in contact with a source who provided us with information about Ramparts’s advertising,” Dube admitted. On April 28, a CIA analyst working for Ober tried to learn if the CIA had any friends who might have influence with Ramparts advertisers, apparently with the intention of getting them to drop their accounts. (6) Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Government Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities (April, 1976) The Covert Use of Books and Publishing Houses: The Committee has found that the Central Intelligence Agency attaches a particular importance to book publishing activities as a form of covert propaganda. A former officer in the Clandestine Service stated that books are “the most important weapon of strategic (long-range) propaganda.” Prior to 1967, the Central Intelligence Agency sponsored, subsidized, or produced over 1,000 books; approximately 25 percent of them in English. In 1967 alone, the CIA published or subsidized over 200 books, ranging from books on African safaris and wildlife to translations of Machiavelli’s The Prince into Swahili and works of T. S. Eliot into Russian, to a competitor to Mao’s little red book, which was entitled Quotations from Chairman Liu. The Committee found that an important number of the books actually produced by the Central Intelligence Agency were reviewed and marketed in the United States: * A book about a young student from a developing country who had studied in a communist country was described by the CIA as “developed by (two areas divisions) and, produced by the Domestic Operations Division… and has had a high impact in the United States as well as in the (foreign area) market.” This book, which was produced by the European outlet of a United States publishing house was published in condensed form in two major U.S. magazines.” * Another CIA book, The Penkorsky Papers, was published in United States in 1965. The book was prepared and written by omitting agency assets who drew on actual case materials and publication rights to the manuscript were sold to the publisher through a trust fund which was established for the purpose. The publisher was unaware of any US Government interest. In 1967, the CIA stopped publishing within the United States. Since then, the Agency has published some 250 books abroad, most of them in foreign languages. The CIA has given special attention to publication and circulation abroad of books about conditions in the Soviet Bloc. Of those targeted at audiences outside the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, a large number has also been available in English. Domestic “Fallout”: The Committee finds that covert media operations can result in manipulating or incidentally misleading the American public. Despite efforts to minimize it, CIA employees, past and present, have conceded that there is no way to shield the American public completely from “fallout” in the United States from Agency propaganda or placements overseas. Indeed, following the Katzenbach inquiry, the Deputy Director for Operations issued a directive stating: “Fallout in the United States from a foreign publication which we support is inevitable and consequently permissible.” The domestic fallout of covert propaganda comes from many sources: books intended primarily for an English-speaking foreign audience; CIA press placements that are picked up by an international wire service; and publications resulting from direct CIA funding of foreign institutes. For example, a book written for an English-speaking foreign audience by one CIA operative was reviewed favorably by another CIA agent in the New York Times. The Committee also found that the CIA helped create and support various Vietnamese periodicals and publications. In at least one instance, a CIA supported Vietnamese publication was used to propagandize the American public and the members and staff of both houses of Congress. So effective was this propaganda that some members quoted from the publication in debating the controversial question of United States involvement in Vietnam. The Committee found that this inevitable domestic fallout was compounded when the Agency circulated its subsidized books in the United States prior to their distribution abroad in order to induce a favorable reception overseas. The Covert Use of 11.5. Journalists and Media Institutions on, February 11, 1976, CIA Director George Bush announced new guidelines governing the Agency’s relationship with United States media organizations: “Effective immediately, CIA will not enter into any paid or contractual relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station.” Agency officials who testified after the February 11, 1976, announcement told the Committee that the prohibition extends to non-Americans accredited to specific United States media organizations. The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets. Approximately 50 of the assets are individual American journalists or employees of US media organizations. Of these, fewer than half are “accredited” by US media organizations and thereby affected by the new prohibitions on the use of accredited newsmen. The remaining individuals are non-accredited freelance contributors and media representatives abroad, and thus are not affected by the new CIA prohibition. More than a dozen United States news organizations and commercial publishing houses formerly provided cover for CIA agents abroad. A few of these organizations were unaware that they provided this cover. The Committee notes that the new CIA prohibitions do not apply to “unaccredited” Americans serving in media organizations such as representatives of US media organizations abroad or freelance writers. Of the more than 50 CIA relationships with United States journalists, or employees in American media organizations, fewer than one half will be terminated under the new CIA guidelines. The Committee is concerned that the use of American :journalists and media organizations for clandestine operations is a threat to the integrity of the press. All American journalists, whether accredited to a United States news organization or just a stringer, may be suspects when any are engaged in covert activities. (7) Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Government Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities (April, 1976) In examining the CIA’s past and present use of the U.S. media, the Committee finds two reasons for concern. The first is the potential, inherent in covert media operations, for manipulating or incidentally misleading the American public. The second is the damage to the credibility and independence of a free press which may be caused by covert relationships with the U.S. journalists and media organizations. (8) Alex Constantine, Mockingbird: The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA (2000) It was conceived in the late 1940s, the most frigid period of the cold war, when the CIA began a systematic infiltration of the corporate media, a process that often included direct takeover of major news outlets. In this period, the American intelligence services competed with communist activists abroad to influence European labor unions. With or without the cooperation of local governments, Frank Wisner, an undercover State Department official assigned to the Foreign Service, rounded up students abroad to enter the cold war underground of covert operations on behalf of his Office of Policy Coordination. Philip Graham,a graduate of the Army Intelligence School in Harrisburg, PA, then publisher of the Washington Post, was taken under Wisner’s wing to direct the program code-named Mockingbird… “World War III has begun,” Henry’s Luce’s Life declared in March, 1947. “It is in the opening skirmish stage already.” The issue featured an excerpt of a book by James Burnham, who called for the creation of an “American Empire,” “world-dominating in political power, set up at least in part through coercion (probably including war, but certainly the threat of war) and in which one group of people … would hold more than its equal share of power.” George Seldes, the famed anti-fascist media critic, drew down on Luce in 1947, explaining that “although avoiding typical Hitlerian phrases, the same doctrine of a superior people taking over the world and ruling it, began to appear in the press, whereas the organs of Wall Street were much more honest in favoring a doctrine inevitably leading to war if it brought greater commercial markets under the American flag.” On the domestic front, an abiding relationship was struck between the CIA and William Paley, a wartime colonel and the founder of CBS. A firm believer in “all forms of propaganda” to foster loyalty to the Pentagon, Paley hired CIA agents to work undercover at the behest of his close friend, the busy grey eminence of the nation’s media, Allen Dulles. Paley’s designated go-between in his dealings with the CIA was Sig Mickelson, president of CBS News from 1954 to 1961. The CIA’s assimilation of old guard fascists was overseen by the Operations Coordination Board, directed by C.D. Jackson, formerly an executive of Time magazine and Eisenhower’s Special Assistant for Cold War Strategy. In 1954 he was succeeded by Nelson Rockefeller, who quit a year later, disgusted at the administration’s political infighting. Vice President Nixon succeeded Rockefeller as the key cold war strategist… The commercialization of television, coinciding with Reagan’s recruitment by the Crusade for Freedom, a CIA front, presented the intelligence world with unprecedented potential for sowing propaganda and even prying in the age of Big Brother. George Orwell glimpsed the possibilities when he installed omniscient video surveillance technology in 1948, a novel rechristened 1984 for the first edition published in the U.S. by Harcourt, Brace. Operation Octopus, according to federal files, was in full swing by 1948, a surveillance program that turned any television set with tubes into a broadcast transmitter. Agents of Octopus could pick up audio and visual images with the equipment as far as 25 miles away. Hale Boggs was investigating Operation Octopus at the time of his disappearance in the midst of the Watergate probe… In the 1950s, outlays for global propaganda climbed to a full third of the CIA’s covert operations budget. Some 3,000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts. The cost of disinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year by 1978, a budget larger than the combined expenditures of Reuters, UPI and the AP news syndicates. In 1977, the Copely News Service admitted that it worked closely with the intelligence services – in fact, 23 employees were full-time employees of the Agency. (9) Deborah Davis, interviewed by Kenn Thomas of Steamshovel Press (1992) Kenn Thomas: Let’s get back to Ben Bradlee. I know part of what’s in the book and part of what upset those forces that caused the withdrawal of its first publication is what you’ve said about Ben Bradlee and his connection to the Ethyl and Julius Rosenberg trial. Would you talk about that a bit? Deborah Davis: In the first edition, the one that was recalled and shredded, I looked in State Department lists for ’52 and ’53 when Bradlee was serving as a press attache supposedly in the American embassy in Paris. This was during the Marshall Plan when the United States over in Europe had hundreds of thousands of people making an intensive effort to keep Western Europe from going Communist. Bradlee wanted to be part of that effort. So he was over in the American embassy in Paris and the embassy list had these letters after his name that said USIE. And I asked the State Department what that meant and it said United States Information Exchange. It was the forerunner of the USIA, the United States Information Agency. It was the propaganda arm of the embassy. They produced propaganda that was then disseminated by the CIA all over Europe. They planted newspaper stories. They had a lot of reporters on their payrolls. They routinely would produce stories out of the embassy and give them to these reporters and they would appear in the papers in Europe. It’s very important to understand how influential newspaper stories are to people because this is what people think of as their essential source of facts about what is going on. They don’t question it, and even if they do question it they have nowhere else to go to find out anything else. So Bradlee was involved in producing this propaganda. But at that point in the story I didn’t know exactly what he was doing. I published the first book just saying that he worked for USIE and that this agency produced propaganda for the CIA. He went totally crazy after the book came out. One person who knew him told me then that he was going all up and down the East Coast having lunch with every editor he could think of saying that it was not true, he did not produce any propaganda. And he attacked me viciously and he said that I had falsely accused him of being a CIA agent. And the reaction was totally out of proportion to what I had said. Kenn Thomas: You make a good point in the book that other people who have had similar kinds of–I don’t even know if you want to call them accusations–but reports that they in some way cooperated with the CIA in the ‘5Os, that the times were different and people were expected to do that kind of thing out of a sense of patriotism and they blow it off. Deborah Davis : That’s right. People say, yeah, this is what I did back then, you know. But Bradlee doesn’t want to be defined that way because, I don’t know, somehow he thinks it’s just too revealing of him, of who he is. He doesn’t want to admit a true fact about his past because somehow he doesn’t want it known that this is where he came from. Because this is the beginning of his journalistic career. This is how he made it big. Subsequent to my book being shredded in 1979, early 1980, I got some documents through the Freedom of Information Act and they revealed that Bradlee had been the person who was running an entire propaganda operation against Julius and Ethyl Rosenberg that covered forty countries on four continents. He always claimed that he had been a low level press flack in the embassy in Paris, just a press flack, nothing more. Julius and Ethyl Rosenberg had already been convicted of being atomic spies and they were on death row waiting to be executed. And the purpose of Bradlee’s propaganda operation was to convince the Europeans that they really were spies, they really had given the secret of the atomic bomb to the Russians and therefore they did deserve to be put to death. The Europeans, having just very few years before defeated Hitler, were very concerned that the United States was going fascist the way their countries had. And this was a very real fear to the Europeans. They saw the same thing happening in the United States that had happened in their own countries. And so Bradlee used the Rosenberg case to say, “No this isn’t what you think it is. These people really did this bad thing and they really do deserve to die. It doesn’t mean that the United States is becoming fascist.” So he had a very key role in creating European public opinion and it was very, very important. This was the key issue that was going to determine how the Europeans felt about the United States. Some of the documents that I had showed him writing letters to the prosecutors of the Rosenbergs saying “I’m working for the head of the CIA in Paris and he wants me to come and look at your files.” And this kind of thing. So in the second edition, which came out in 1987, I reprinted those documents, the actual documents, the readers can see them and it’s got his signature and it’s very, very interesting. He subsequently has said nothing about it at all. He won’t talk about it all. He won’t answer any questions about it. So I guess the point about Bradlee is that he went from this job to being European bureau chief for Newsweek magazine and to the executive editorship of the Post. So this is how he got where he is. It’s very clear line of succession. Philip Graham was Katharine Graham’s husband, who ran the Post in the ’50s and he committed suicide in 1963. That’s when Katharine Graham took over. Bradlee was close friends with Allen Dulles and Phil Graham. The paper wasn’t doing very well for a while and he was looking for a way to pay foreign correspondents and Allen Dulles was looking for a cover. Allen Dulles was head of the CIA back then and he was looking for a cover for some of his operatives so that they could get in and out of places without arousing suspicion. So the two of them hit on a plan: Allen Dulles would pay for the reporters and they would give the CIA the information that they found as well as give it to the Post. So he helped to develop this operation and it subsequently spread to other newspapers and magazines. And it was called Operation Mockingbird. This operation, I believe, was revealed for the first time in my book. (10) Evan Thomas, The Very Best Men: The Early Years of the CIA (1995) He (Frank Wisner) considered his friends Joe and Stewart Alsop to be reliable purveyors of the company line in their columns, and he would not hesitate to call Cyrus Sulzberger, the brother of the publisher of the New York Times. “You’d be sitting there, and he’d be on the phone to Times Washington bureau chief Scotty Reston explaining why some sentence in the paper was entirely wrong. “I want that to go to Sulzberger!” he’d say. He’d pick up newspapers and edit them from the CIA point of view,” said Braden. (11) Deborah Davis, Katharine the Great (1979) The Washington Post was in many ways like other “companies,” as Walter Lippmann called the news organizations, fighting deadlines, living uneasily with unions, suffering with “technical conditions (that) do not favor genuine and productive debate.” But the Post was also unique among news companies in that its managers, living and working in Washington, thought of themselves simultaneously as journalists, businessmen, and patriots, a state of mind that made them singularly able to expand the company while promoting the national interest. Their individual relations with intelligence had in fact been the reason that the Post Company had grown as fast as it did after the war; their secrets were its corporate secrets, beginning with MOCKINGBIRD. Philip Graham’s commitment to intelligence gave his friends Frank Wisner and Allen Dulles an interest in helping to make the Washington Post the dominant news vehicle in Washington, which they did by assisting with its two most crucial acquisitions, the Times-Herald and WTOP. The Post men most essential to these transactions, other than Phil, were Wayne Coy, the Post executive who had been Phil’s former New Deal boss, and John S. Hayes, who replaced Coy in 1947 when Coy was appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. (12) Mary Louise, Mockingbird: CIA Media Manipulation (2003) Starting in the early days of the Cold War (late 40’s), the CIA began a secret project called Operation Mockingbird, with the intent of buying influence behind the scenes at major media outlets and putting reporters on the CIA payroll, which has proven to be a stunning ongoing success. The CIA effort to recruit American news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators of propaganda, was headed up by Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, and Philip Graham (publisher of The Washington Post). Wisner had taken Graham under his wing to direct the program code-named Operation Mockingbird and both have presumably committed suicide. Media assets will eventually include ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International (UPI), Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service, etc. and 400 journalists, who have secretly carried out assignments according to documents on file at CIA headquarters, from intelligence-gathering to serving as go-betweens. The CIA had infiltrated the nation’s businesses, media, and universities with tens of thousands of on-call operatives by the 1950’s. CIA Director Dulles had staffed the CIA almost exclusively with Ivy League graduates, especially from Yale with figures like George Herbert Walker Bush from the “Skull and Crossbones” Society. Many Americans still insist or persist in believing that we have a free press, while getting most of their news from state-controlled television, under the misconception that reporters are meant to serve the public. Reporters are paid employees and serve the media owners, who usually cower when challenged by advertisers or major government figures. Robert Parry reported the first breaking stories about Iran-Contra for Associated Press that were largely ignored by the press and congress, then moving to Newsweek he witnessed a retraction of a true story for political reasons. In ‘Fooling America: A Talk by Robert Parry’ he said, “The people who succeeded and did well were those who didn’t stand up, who didn’t write the big stories, who looked the other way when history was happening in front of them, and went along either consciously or just by cowardice with the deception of the American people.” Major networks are primarily controlled by giant corporations that are obligated by law, to put the profits of their investors ahead of all other considerations which are often in conflict with the practice of responsible journalism. There were around 50 corporations a couple of decades ago, which was considered monopolistic by many and yet today, these companies have become larger and fewer in number as the biggest ones absorb their rivals. This concentration of ownership and power reduces the diversity of media voices, as news falls into the hands of large conglomerates with holdings in many industries that interferes in news gathering, because of conflicts of interest. Mockingbird was an immense financial undertaking with funds flowing from the CIA largely through the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) founded by Tom Braden with Pat Buchanon of CNN’s Crossfire. Media corporations share members of the board of directors with a variety of other large corporations including banks, investment companies, oil companies, health care, pharmaceutical, and technology companies. Until the 1980’s, media systems were generally domestically owned, regulated, and national in scope. However, pressure from the IMF, World Bank, and US government to deregulate and privatize, the media, communication, and new technology resulted in a global commercial media system dominated by a small number of super-powerful transnational media corporations (mostly US based), working to advance the cause of global markets and the CIA agenda. (13) David Guyatt, Subverting the Media (undated) In an October 1977, article published by Rolling Stone magazine, Bernstein reported that more than 400 American journalists worked for the CIA. Bernstein went on to reveal that this cozy arrangement had covered the preceding 25 years. Sources told Bernstein that the New York Times, America’s most respected newspaper at the time, was one of the CIA’s closest media collaborators. Seeking to spread the blame, the New York Times published an article in December 1977, revealing that “more than eight hundred news and public information organisations and individuals,” had participated in the CIA’s covert subversion of the media. “One journalist is worth twenty agents,” a high-level source told Bernstein. Spies were trained as journalists and then later infiltrated – often with the publishers consent – into the most prestigious media outlets in America, including the New York Times and Time Magazine. Likewise, numerous reputable journalists underwent training in various aspects of “spook-craft” by the CIA. This included techniques as varied as secret writing, surveillance and other spy crafts. The subversion operation was orchestrated by Frank Wisner, an old CIA hand who’s clandestine activities dated back to WW11. Wisner’s media manipulation programme became known as the “Wisner Wurlitzer,” and proved an effective technique for sending journalists overseas to spy for the CIA. Of the fifty plus overseas news proprietary’s owned by the CIA were The Rome Daily American, The Manilla Times and the Bangkok Post. Yet, according to some experts, there was another profound reason for the CIA’s close relations with the media. In his book, “Virtual Government,” author Alex Constantine goes to some lengths to explore the birth and spread of Operation Mockingbird. This, Constantine explains, was a CIA project designed to influence the major media for domestic propaganda purposes. One of the most important “assets” used by the CIA’s Frank Wisner was Philip Graham, publisher of the Washington Post. A decade later both Wisner and Graham committed suicide – leading some to question the exact nature of their deaths. More recently doubts have been cast on Wisner’s suicide verdict by some observers who believed him to have been a Soviet agent. (14) Michael Hasty, Secret Admirers: The Bushes and the Washington Post (5th February , 2004) In an article published by the media watchdog group, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), Henwood traced the Washington Post’s Establishment connections to Eugene Meyer, who took control of the Post in 1933. Meyer transferred ownership to his daughter Katherine and her husband, Philip Graham, after World War II, when he was appointed by Harry S. Truman to serve as the first president of the World Bank. Meyer had been “a Wall Street banker, director of President Wilson’s War Finance Corporation, a governor of the Federal Reserve System, and director of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation,” Henwood wrote. Philip

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