The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #91

Immediately following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy the CIA used its own disinformation conduits to link the event to Cuban President Fidel Castro. The Nov. 23, 1963, special edition of the magazine, Trinchera (in English: Trenches), was published by members of the Cuban Student Directorate (DRE), a CIA-funded organization operating out of Miami.

The CIA funneled leaders of the Directorate $51,000 per month in 1963 dollars ($389,000 per month in 2013 dollars), or about $4.8 million per year, according to Agency records. Trinchera’s publication was paid for by the CIA officer George Joannides, who was chief of psychological operations at the CIA’s station in Miami.

In August 1963, agents in Joannides’s organization provided the public backdrop for their November 23 Trinchera publication by counter-protesting Oswald’s one-man chapter of the pro-Castro “Fair Play for Cuba Committee.”  Trinchera’s November 23, 1963 special edition also highlighted comments Oswald made during an August 1963 debate on a New Orleans radio program with DRE Delegate Carlos Bringuier. Drawing on this, the DRE argued that Oswald and Castro were “the presumed assassins.”

Joseph Lazarro, “First JFK Assassination Conspiracy Theory Was Paid For By the CIA,” International Business Times, December 5, 2013.

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2 thoughts on “The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #91”

  1. The first time I realized how closely the US media was allied with the intelligence services was one day about 20 years ago when I stopped at a roadside antiques mart that had lots of old books. In a cardboard box were several newspapers, complete, dated Saturday Nov 23, 1963.

    Among these was the New York Times, along with other NY area papers, as well as several from Pennsylvania and other states. Someone had gone to the trouble of collecting all these papers, which now smelled of mold. Amazingly they all reported the assassination in pretty much the same way.

    The New York Times was totally filled, front to back, with articles pertaining to the assassination, JFK, and the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, complete with photos and myriad details, even though the event had occurred only a number of hours before the NY Times had to go to press the evening of Nov 22. Several of the pages of this edition can be seen here:

    https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/ref/national/KENNEDY_ANNIVERSARY.html?_r=1

    How did they compile all that information so comprehensively and provide such thorough analysis in just a few hours (without computer technology)? And how did the other newspapers get the same information concurrently – and why did they cover the assassination in almost exactly the same way? Although I was surprised at first, it did not take long to figure it out.

    1. Assassination occurred at 1:30PM EST, which means the NY Times had around six hours to amass all that information. This parallels Fletcher Prouty’s observation that New Zealand newspapers had published detailed reportage of the event before or around the time of it transpiring in Dallas.

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