Tag Archives: The CIA and the Media

CIA Communications to Corporate News Media Deemed Classified

In Key FOIA Case Judge Grants Agency Broad Discretion in Leaking Info to Select Journalists, News Organizations

0

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #81

In early 1967 free-lance journalist Fred Powledge travelled to New Orleans to report on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation of the JFK assassination for New Republic magazine.

In one interview with Garrison the embattled DA told of the “’tremendous pressure from some sections of the Eastern press, especially those with connections with the administration’… that was causing potentially important witnesses who had initially contacted his office to become reluctant to come forward.”

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison

“’I couldn’t  contradict that,” Powledge observed in his June 17, 1967 article.

I had known, since the assassination, that the most influential purveyors of news in the nation had gone out of their way to present the Warren Commission side of the story, and ignore or downplay those who dissented. One organ of communication, I later learned, even sought the CIA’s advice on how to treat the story about the investigation. This, if Garrison’s allegations about CIA involvement are correct, is roughly comparable to a newspaper’s asking “Bull” Connor how he would handle a story on the Birmingham Freedom Ride massacre, and then following his advice.

“The Work of Ray Marcus,” Appendix VIII, in E. Martin Schotz, History Will Not Absolve Us: Orwellian Control, Public Denial, and the Murder of President Kennedy, Brookline MA: Kurtz, Ulmer and DeLucia Book Publishers, 1996, 252.

0

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #80

The CIA’s well-known MKULTRA mind control experimentation program that began in the early 1950s. Operation MKU was partly justified by the Agency and DCI Allen Dulles through a propaganda campaign using the news media to push the false notion that communist forces were carrying out similar tests on US prisoners of war.

Indeed, the term “’brainwashing’ was coined by Edward Hunter, a CIA-employed journalist who authored many emotionally-charged books and articles on the subject,” according to authors Martin Lee and Norman Solomon. During World War II Hunter worked with the Office of Strategic Services, in propaganda operations.

When he launched his crusade to bring “the facts about brainwashing … to the people,” Hunter was working for U.S. intelligence. Popularizing the concept of brainwashing was part of his job as a CIA operative, despite U.S. Army studies which”failed to reveal even one conclusively documented case of the actual ‘brainwashing’ on an American prisoner of war in Korea.” Indeed, it appears that the communist brainwashing scare was a propaganda ploy, a kind of “brainwashing” or mind control in its own right designed to dupe the American people.

Martin A. Lee and Norman Solomon, Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media, New York: Carol Publishing, 1992, 118.

0

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #78

Chief executive of CBS broadcasting network, William Paley, was a close acquaintance of CIA director Allen Dulles. Much like New York Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger, Paley made arrangements with the Agency for the network to provide cover for CIA officers. Paley’s chosen contact for the Agency was none other than Sig Mickelson—president of CBS News throughout the mid-to-late 1950s.

Sig Mickelson. Image Credit: AP

On one occasion, Mickelson protested to CBS President Frank Stanton “about having to use a pay telephone to call the CIA, and Stanton suggested he install a private line, bypassing the CBS switchboard, for the purpose. According to Mickelson, he did so.” Mickelson went on to become president of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, both well-documented CIA-backed propaganda organs.

Fun Fact: As with other CIA-media operatives, Mickelson’s 2000 New York Times obituary makes no mention of his indisputable Agency affiliation.

Carl Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media,” Rolling Stone, October 20, 1977.

0

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #77

Among the most admired and telegenic US presidents in recent history, William J. Clinton was also “a CIA asset” within the Agency’s infamous Operation CHAOS, according to CIA insiders. The CHAOS program violated the organization’s own charter by surveilling thousands of American political dissidents from 1959 to 1974 on US soil. This fact was largely ignored by former DCI and incumbent George H. W. Bush as he ran against Clinton in the 1992 US presidential election, as well as by US news media throughout Clinton’s eight years in the executive branch, and to this day.

“The time that Clinton was supposed to have gone to Moscow was the time when the CIA was very active recruiting American students and other students to go to Moscow,” former CIA officer Victor Marchetti observes. “Without revealing any secrets as to how I came to this conclusion, I would not be surprised to find out that Clinton was actually kind of working for the CIA.”

While successfully evading conscription during the Vietnam War, author Roger Morris argues that Clinton was a CIA informant operating within the peace movement both in the US and abroad. According to Morris, one former CIA officer recalls

going through archives of Operation CHAOS at Langley headquarters—part of an agency purge amid the looming congressional investigations of the mid-1970s—and seeing Bill Clinton listed, along with others, as a former informant who had gone on to run for or be elected to political office of some import, in Clinton’s case, attorney general of Arkansas. “He was there on the records,” the former agent said, “with a special designation.” Still another CIA source contended that part of Clinton’s arrangement as an informer had been further insurance against the draft. “He knew he was safe, you see, even if he got a lottery number not high enough and even if the ROTC thing fell through for some reason,” the source said, because the Company could get him a deferment if it had to, and it was done all the time.

Roger Morris, Partners in Power: The Clintons and Their America, New York: Henry Holt, 1996, 102-104, 234, 235.

0