Douglas Valentine has critiqued the progressive-left’s uncritical stance toward public luminaries, such as longtime CIA operative Daniel Ellseberg, or the functioning deity of American liberals, the New York Times itself. According to Valentine, political progressives demonstrate crucial blindspots in their adoration of such figures and institutions. Works and authors that shed light on the contradictory nature of this adoration are either ignored or derogated by what CIA official Cord Meyer termed “the Compatible Left,” notes Valentine.

Upon The Phoenix Program‘s publication in 1990 “the word went out to ignore the book, not just because it revealed CIA secrets,” observes Valentine,

but because it identified the media, and the Times in particular, as the reason why the public can’t see the CIA clearly for what it is: a criminal conspiracy on behalf of wealthy capitalists.

I had also noted that the release of the Pentagon Papers distracted attention from Congressional hearings into Phoenix. In subsequent books I added that it distracted attention from reports on CIA drug trafficking as well.

Indeed, Valentine argues that he was effectively “neutralize[d]” by CIA media assets, and even his allies responded in chorus that he’d “crossed the line and would never get another book published in the United States. So I learned the hard way,” he continues, “that the CIA has a strategic intelligence network of management level people in the information industry who know, through instruments like the Times Book Review section, what books and authors to marginalize.”

Valentine explains how author Peter Dale Scott was similarly marginalized as a result of his landmark books, The War Conspiracy (1972) and Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993). “Peter supported me,” Valentine recalls,

and a few years after the Phoenix book was published, I mentioned to him that I was writing an article based on my interviews with [CIA officers Frank] Scotton and [Lucien] Conein, about Ellseberg’s deep state political association with the CIA. Peter is Ellsberg’s friend, and even though the article had the potential to embarrass Ellsberg, he arranged for me to interview him. Peter gave me Ellsberg’s number and I called at a pre-arranged time. And the first thing Ellsberg said to me was, “You can’t possibly understand me because you’re not a celebrity.

CIA Operative and Progressive-Left Darling, Daniel Ellsberg. Image Credit: Huffington Post

If you want to understand the critical role celebrities play in determining what society accepts as real and valuable, read Guy Debord’s books The Society of the Spectacle and its sequel, Comments. Debord explains the symbolic role celebrities play (at times inadvertently) in maintaining the illusions we confuse with reality.

Debord cites the German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach, who famously said: “But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence… illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness.”

When Ellsberg told me he was a celebrity, he was saying that he underwent a symbolic transformation the moment he leaked the Pentagon Papers, and landed  in a social realm that alienated him from non-celebrities like me. He became an icon, and nobody on the left is about to say, “Oh, my god! Valentine had this revelation about Ellsberg. Let’s rethink everything we believe is true.”

Like its doppelgängers on the right, the management class on the left is invested in celebrity heroes who represent their business interests. they focus on the symbol and ignore any contradictory but essential facts, the way [journalists Glenn] Greenwald and [Jeremy] Scahill] ignore Pierre Omidyar’s funding of the Center for the United Action in Kiev, which was a Phoenix-style coordination center for covert political action.

Douglas Valentine, “How William Colby Gave Me the Keys to the CIA Kingdom (based on interview with James Tracy),” in The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World, Atlanta GA: Clarity Press, 2017, 31-32.

Leave a Reply

5 thought on “The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #96”
  1. Everyone with a functioning brain has observed the slow death of the print newspapers today. Frankly most of them deserve to die and will do us all a favor by doing so. Most editorial pages have three sections: The lowest being letters to the editor from readers, the next up opinion editorials by interested parties (propagandists) and the top, propaganda articles by writers who may or may not be employed by the newspaper. When you read say a letter to the editor by a reader, ask yourself this question: “How many other letters were rejected to publish this one and how many good points of the writer were censored out of the final version which was published? Of course we will never know the true answers to these questions, only speculation can be brought to bear.
    Editors of newspapers have a deathly fear of offending certain sacred cows or certain favored groups. Certain words can be offensive to some but not others. For example if you want to criticize the American Cancer Society you might have to buy the whole newspaper to get your letter published even if it is 100% true in every respect. Failing that, try having a brief summary published on a bill board. You might have to buy the whole billboard company to accomplish such a task. So much for freedom of speech and thought in “America” today. A number of years ago a newspaper repeatedly refused to publish my letters to the editor criticizing the American Cancer Society and local cancer treatment. In exasperation I tried to publish one in paid classified ad. I was directed to the managing editor who ordered me out of the building and threatened to call the police on me. Finally they did publish one strictly limited to 500 words in the spring of 2000. During the months up to this they published some 11,000 words and three picture pages promoting the American Cancer Society and its massive fraud “The Relay for Life”. So much for “freedom of speech” in America another one of the big lies of all those lies told to you in high school in Amerika today, then and now. And while the former print newspapers are virtually dead today we have already reached the age of censorship in the new “press” of the internet! Thanks to Professor James Tracy for these serious articles documenting the very evil nature of the terrorist criminal gangster…expletive deleted CIA which must be killed dead and buried forever if this country is to survive much longer.
    Winfield J. Abbe, Ph.D., Physics

    1. About a year ago I submitted a letter to the editor of a local newspaper not the one mentioned above. It was on a timely topic but somehow I included the phrase “Sandy Hook Hoax” in it although it was not about Sandy Hook or false flag attacks at all. This phrase was a red flag to that editor. He replied he liked my letter but would not publish it unless I removed the phrase “Sandy Hook Hoax” from the text. I refused so the letter was not published. We went back and forth a few times on this but he ignorantly insisted, without any proof at all, that the Sandy Hook Shooting happened exactly the way the lying media reported and would not consider any evidence to the contrary. While this single instance doesn’t prove anything, I do think it is representative of the ignorant bigotry which has infested the “profession” of journalism today. Could it be the “oldest” profession with due respect to true journalists like Professor Jim Tracy, Ph.D.? Recall the sage words of the genius level Founder of our country, “Advertisements contain the only truths to be believed in a newspaper.” Thomas Jefferson
      Some things never change in America do they?

    2. I get censored often by the Vail Daily in my letters to the editor. It’s a small town newspaper with an international reach on the net that is followed by some of Earth’s financial elite who have second homes here. My latest was my letter on the RED FLAG LAWS TRUMPETED BY OUR POLICE CHIEF in the same paper. That’s where cops get to take your guns if you are reported as mentally unstable, suicidal or have violent intent and or make threats. Sound good in theory but then what happens in practice? It will get abused heavily by law enforcement. I pointed out the Leadville, Colorado Police Chief who was arrested, convicted and served time for selling confiscated guns right out of the evidence room. That was without a RED FLAG LAW. Imagine the Chief with a Red Flag Law. I can just hear him now. “Sir… you look a little depressed, let’s just hold on to your guns for your own safety”… “But don’t worry Judge Smails will give you a fair hearing in about six months”… “You have nothing to worry about, just tell him you’re not crazy for owning 17 guns”…. ‘But Chief that’s my whole families gun collection and hunting season is just around the corner.” The authorities don’t need anymore power to take guns. They pretty much do whatever they want as it is.

  2. What did the CIA director William Casey arrogantly say about Operation Mocking Bird?… ‘We will know our disinformation campaign is a success when everything the American people believe is false’ or words to that effect. Casey was proud of what they were doing, deceiving the population on a massive scale allows them to not only do what they want with no electoral fallout, but actually get consent for wars of conquest, occupation and resource exploitation. Sometimes I think I was much happier not knowing there was a Deep State, much less knowing what evil they were up to. Grand illusions create the fabric of American society… Baseball played daily, 4th of July parades and “support our troops” bumper stickers… I’d like to write in “Why?” on every one I see. Because what “support our troops” really means is “support our wars”. Imagine what America would be today without the Civil War, the World Wars and every stinking war fought since them? The war industry would have never grown to the point of this giant with an insatiable appetite for destruction. Operation Iraqi Freedom for instance. How many American people still believe that? I ran into a Gulf War veteran about 10 years ago at the office supply store. We chatted for a while outside and he relayed a story that stayed with me. He encountered a boy around the corner of a building, who had a Ak-47 and was just walking. Our soldier had the drop on the boy. He didn’t shoot. That little hesitation allowed the boy to swing his gun up and shoot the soldier dead center in this chest. The soldier goes down writhing in pain and the boy runs away. Even with the vest, he was injured. How many other soldiers would have drilled that boy right between the eyes without hesitation? Operation Iraqi Freedom, imagine being able to say that with a straight face. Every time they honor the military at sporting events, It’s all part of the grand illusion programing to believe what we do is right, proper and honorable. The last time we went to a Rockies Baseball game, we missed the first two innings of the game due to TSA style security. What a nightmare, we were delayed even further as security sluthed out an errant paper clip in the dark recesses of my pocket. Wow! great job MLB, you managed to save us from dangerous paperclips and made us miss 22.22 % of the game. I wanted a quarter of our money back just for ruining my formerly glorious bread and circus experience. How about instead of Operation Iraqi Freedom, it was operation American Freedom from security checkpoint tyranny. One of the agendas of the mass shootings is make us feel vulnerable enough to accept TSA at any gathering of great numbers of people. That’s why the school shooting one week, the church shooting the next, then a mall shooting, a movie theatre shooting, a miltary base shooting. The PTB want you to live in fear and with that state of mind, you won’t only accept security checkpoints everywhere, you will expect it!

  3. FWIW, Ellsberg leaked classified information, during the Vietnam war, and if not for Watergate, would likely have spent life in prison. Valentine, got his information 15 years after the same war ended from official sources. Also, the essence of the Phoenix Program was already revealed in Congressional hearings. Valentine has referred to modern day political structures in America, including fusion centers, that have institutionalized Phoenix in America today. He stated this in an interview related to his book about the CIA as Organized Crime. In order to be in the same class of whistleblower as Ellsberg, Valentine has to deliver the news about the political structures of the Phoenix Program today in America. This would, IMO, divulge the national criminal harassment Program, organized by fusion centers, and talked about by Ted Gunderson, etc. It would also open the door to understanding the real (as opposed to PSYOP) mass shootings and other social anomalies causally related to these phenomenon.

Leave a Reply