Tag Archives: The CIA and the Media

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #68

The failed Bay of Pigs invasion began just before midnight on April 16, 1961, when a group of roughly 1,500 Cuban exiles trained and supported by the CIA landed on Cuba’s south-central shore at the Bay of Pigs.

As author Vitaly Petrussenko chronicles, following the failed Bay of Pigs invasion the CIA sustained significant negative impact. To help restore its luster “and his own image at the top of the Establishment” then-CIA Director “Allen Dulles authorized a big article in Fortune magazine, written by his friend Charles J.V. Murphy.” Classified documents intended to place CIA officials in a positive light and relieve them of responsibility of the failed invasion were turned over to Murphy “with Dulles’s consent.”

Shortly thereafter Dulles became the standard public spokesman for the Agency when he “began cultivating relations with television companies as suggested by Attorney General Robert Kennedy who himself was instructed by his President-brother to re-organize the Agency.” For example, “NBC television was offered the unique opportunity of producing a film about the CIA narrated by David Brinkley, NBC’s star commentator. Naturally, the film vindicated the CIA, and praised its cloak-and-dagger agents.

Vitaly Petrusenko, Trans. By Nocolai Kozelsky and Vladimir Leonov, A Dangerous Game: CIA and the Mass Media, Prague: Interpress, 1977, 23.

0

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #67

In 1967 public opinion polls indicated that two-thirds of the American public rejected the Warren Commission Report’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin of President Kennedy. Nevertheless top CIA officials were assured they could depend on US news media to assuage such widespread public skepticism.

According to historian David Talbot, “An exchange of letters between CBS news director William Small and (CIA founder Allen) Dulles in July 1967 summed up the media’s lockstep allegiance to the officials story, no matter how many holes were punched in it by new research.” ’I hope you had a chance to view the four-part series on the Warren Commission,’ wrote Small, referring to his TV network’s massive apologia for the Warren Report. ‘We are very proud of them and I hope you found them a proper display of what television journalism can do.’ … After reviewing transcripts of the entire series that Small had obligingly provided him, Dulles assured the CBS news executive, ‘ If I have any nitpicking to pass on to you, I shall do so as soon as I have read them.’ The spymaster,” Talbot concludes, “was always happy to offer guidance to his media friends, down to the smallest details.”

David Talbot, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government, New York: Harper Perennial, 2015, 597-598.

0

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #66

In the mid-to-late 1960s the CIA initiated concerted efforts to defame independent researchers of the Kennedy assassination that contested the Warren Commission’s findings, seeking to suppress their message at every turn. By 1966 the most prominent of these researchers was New York-based attorney Mark Lane. “As part of the campaign to smear Warren Report critics,” writes historian David Talbot, former CIA Director Allen Dulles “compiled dirt on Mark Lane, whom he considered a particularly ‘terrible nuisance’ because of his growing media visibility and his influence overseas, where he was often invited to speak.” One of Dulles’ moles claimed to have located photos of Lane engaging in “’obscene acts’” with minors. “’He is supposedly Jewish,’” the informant wrote, “’but there are those who claim he is half Negro or at least has Negro blood. He is very dark complexioned, wears horn-rimmed glasses and he’s always in a hurry. My own personal opinion is that he’s deranged.’”

As Lane’s popularity developed the CIA “pressured TV and Radio programs to cancel interviews with him. When he traveled to foreign countries to speak about the Kennedy assassination, the agency sent bulletins to the U.S. embassies there announcing that Lane’s local appearances had been cancelled.”

David Talbot, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government, New York: Harper Perennial, 2015, 594, 595.

0

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #65

Udo Ulfkotte [Image Credit: blastingnews picture archive]
In 2017 publication of the English translation of German journalist and intelligence asset Udo Ulfkotte’s best-selling book, Gekaufte Journalisten (Bought Journalists) ceased when its publisher suddenly took down the book’s online promotional material without explanation or comment.  A best-seller in Europe, the work is a powerful first-hand account by a mainstream journalist of how the CIA alongside other intelligence agencies influence the output of Western news media. In early 2017 Next Revelation Press, an imprint of US-Canadian-based publisher Tayen Lane, tentatively released the English version of Bought Journalists, under the title, Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the New. Shortly thereafter Tayen Lane removed any reference to the title from its website.

When this author contacted Ulfkotte in early December 2015 to inquire on the book’s pending translation, he responded,  “Please find the link to the English edition here. http://www.tayenlane.com/bought-journalists . The above address once providing Bought Journalist’s description and anticipated publication date now leads to an empty page. Tayen Lane would not respond to requests for an explanation of the title’s disappearance.  As of April 13, 2018 the English translation of Bought Journalists sells for retail price of $997 at Amazon. As is suggested by previous posts in this series addressing CIA ties to the book publishing industry, Bought Journalists‘ subject matter and unexplained disappearance from the marketplace are cause for serious concern.

James F. Tracy, “English Translation of Udo Ulfkotte’s Bought Journalists Suppressed?” GlobalResearch.ca, July 31. 2017.

0

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #64

Daniele Ganser, the sole academic author thus far to have conducted comprehensive research on the NATO and CIA-supported Operation Gladio that terrorized Europe’s citizenry for two decades, describes how his pathbreaking work was stymied by the CIA’s unresponsiveness to numerous Freedom of Information Act requests. On December 14, 2000 Ganser “placed a FOIA request with the CIA, whereupon two weeks later the CIA replied to the author’s request “pertaining to ‘Operation Gladio’ in an evasive manner by stating that ‘The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of records responsive to your request,'” Ganser explains. “By raising FOIA exemptions B1 and B3 the CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator, Kathryn I. Dyer, with her letter declined all information on Operation Gladio.”

Shortly thereafter Ganser appealed, maintaining, “’The documents that were withheld must be disclosed under the FOIA, because the secrecy exemptions (b)(1) and (b)(3) can only reasonably refer to CIA operations which re still secret today.’” In February 2001 the CIA responded:

“Your appeal has been accepted and arrangements will be made for its consideration by the appropriate members of the Agency Release Panel. You will be advised of the determination made.”

In 2004, just before Ganser’s book manuscript went to press, “the CIA Agency Release Panel had still not answered the author’s request for information.” Dr. Ganser confirmed to this author in early 2018 that close to 20 years later the CIA has still not turned over the responsive documents or even provided him with a response.

Daniele Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, London and New YorK: Frank Cass, 2005, 35.

0

James Tracy Returns to FAU

Plants Flag on Boca Raton Campus

The two articles linked below discuss former FAU Professor James Tracy’s lecture in FAU Political Science Professor Marshall DeRosa’s April 5, 2018 Issues in American Politics class. Tracy presented a roughly 75-minute presentation on “The CIA and the Media.” The discussion was based on information from 1970s Congressional hearings and subsequent historical treatments of the phenomenon, which Tracy argued continues to this day. The presentation was followed by about 50 minutes of addressing questions from students.

Continue reading James Tracy Returns to FAU

0

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #63

The venerable New York Times. long a self-proclaimed bastion of truth and moderation, established its reputation in this way at the turn-of-the century by contrasting the Times brand with William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer-style sensationalism and what was often genuinely embellished or contrived “fake” news. Given its standing in this regard the Times has vigorously supported and benefited from Agency prerogatives since the 1950s . As Carl Bernstein explains in his largely ignored yet seminal investigative piece, “The CIA and the Media,” the CIA’s “relationship with the Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials.”

Between 1950 and 1966 around ten CIA personnel were given cover as Times employees under plans endorsed by the newspaper’s then-publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger. “The cover arrangements were part of a general Times policy—set by Sulzberger—to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible,” observes Bernstein. “Sulzberger was especially close to Allen Dulles. ‘At that level of contact it was the mighty talking to the mighty,’ said a high‑level CIA official who was present at some of the discussions. ‘There was an agreement in principle that, yes indeed, we would help each other. The question of cover came up on several occasions.  It was agreed that the actual arrangements would be handled by subordinates…. The mighty didn’t want to know the specifics; they wanted plausible deniability.’”

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

0