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Operation Mockingbird

Operation Mockingbird

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, the author of Katharine the Great (1979) : "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), C. D. Jackson (Time Magazine), Walter Pincus (Washington Post), Walter Winchell (New York Daily Mirror), Drew Pearson, Walter Lippmann, William Allen White, Edgar Ansel Mowrer (Chicago Daily News), Hal Hendrix (Miami News), Whitelaw Reid (New York Herald Tribune), Jerry O'Leary (Washington Star), William C. Baggs (Miami News), Herb Gold (Miami News) and Charles L. Bartlett (Chattanooga Times). According to Nina Burleigh, the author of A Very Private Woman, (1998) 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 such as William Paley (CBS), Henry Luce (Time Magazine and Life Magazine), Arthur Hays Sulzberger (New York Times), Helen Rogers Reid (New York Herald Tribune), Dorothy Schiff (New York Post), Alfred Friendly (managing editor of the Washington Post), Barry Bingham (Louisville Courier-Journal) and James S. Copley (Copley News Services).

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.

Henry Luce, the owner of a large media empire, became a key figure in Operation Mockingbird. David Halberstam has pointed out in The Powers That Be (1979): "Luce's politics hardened in the postwar years and Time had become increasingly Republican in its tone. He had been stunned by Truman's defeat of Dewey in 1948. Then in the fall of 1949 China had fallen, the Democratic administration had failed to save Chiang, and that was too much; Truman, and even more Acheson, would have to pay the price. Time was now committed and politicized, an almost totally partisan instrument. The smell of blood was in the air. There was a hunger now in Luce to put a Republican back in power. It was as if Luce, between elections, stood as the leader of the opposition, a kingmaker who had failed to produce a king. The fall of China and the rise of a post-war anti-Communist mood had produced the essential issue to use against the Democrats: softness on Communism."

Luce used his magazines to get Dwight D. Eisenhower elected as president. In 1953 Eisenhower appointed Clare Booth Luce ambassador to Italy; the first American woman ambassador to a major country. Claudio Accogli, a Italian historian, argues that luce was heavily involved in covert anti-communist activities with local cia personnel. Larry Hancock adds: "With no-holds barred political activism and heavy spending (including the support of the SIFAR/Italian Army Secret Service), Luce and the CIA managed to block the probable takeover of the center-left governments, an alliance between Christian Democrats (DC) and the Socialist Democratic Party (PSI)."

Jonathan P. Herzog, the author of The Spiritual-Industrial Complex: America's Religious Battle Against Communism in the Early Cold War (2011), has argued that Luce was motivated by his religious faith: "While he counted anti-Communists like Mundt, Cardinal Spellman, and Chambers as allies, he viewed the Communist threat differently. In his view, it was a symptom and not a disease. Like his wife, Clare, he understood faith as a psychological imperative sought by all people. If religious faith waned, other dogmas would take its place. The success of Communism, then, was not attributable to its message but rather to the fact that it offered people the spiritual certainty they no longer found in Christianity. All the shocking anti-Communist propaganda and shopworn tributes to democracy that America could muster would fail to arrest the Marxian surge. But if Americans filled the spiritual vacuum, if they made religious faith commensurate with military and economic power, then Communism would dissipate."

Warren Hinckle has argued: "Henry Luce believed that a morally slanted press was a responsible press... Life, the flagship picture book of the Luce fleet, afforded photojournalism some of its finest moments, while the text accompanying the pictures that were worth thousands of words was slanted with an ideological warp sufficient to stir Caxton in his grave." The cartoonist, Herbert Block, was equally critical: "Luce's unique contribution to American journalism... is that he placed into the hands of the people yesterday's newspaper and today's garbage homogenized into one neat package.

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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. Dulles was even able to keep left-wing journalists from travelling to Guatemala. This including Sydney Gruson of the New York Times.

Frank Wisner was also interested in influencing Hollywood. As Hugh Wilford points out in The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (2008): “Fortunately for the CIA, two factors predisposed the major Hollywood studios that dominated the industry to take a responsible position in the cultural Cold War. One was a strong tendency toward self-censorship, the result of many years' experience avoiding the commercially disastrous effects of giving offense to either domestic pressure groups like the American Legion or foreign audiences. The other was the fact that the men who ran the studios were intensely patriotic and anticommunist - they saw it as their duty to help their government defeat the Soviet threat."

Frank Wisner was helped by the fact that the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), chaired by J. Parnell Thomas, was carrying out an investigation into the Hollywood Motion Picture Industry. The HUAC interviewed 41 people who were working in Hollywood. These people attended voluntarily and became known as "friendly witnesses". During their interviews they named nineteen people who they accused of holding left-wing views.

One of those named, Bertolt Brecht, a playwright, gave evidence and then left for East Germany. Ten others: Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Albert Maltz, Adrian Scott, Samuel Ornitz, Dalton Trumbo, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner Jr., John Howard Lawson and Alvah Bessie refused to answer any questions and were sent to prison and were blacklisted from the industry.

The CIA and FBI also provided right-wing television producer, Vincent Harnett, with information about left-wing figures in the industry. In June 1950 Harnett published Red Channels, a pamphlet listing the names of 151 writers, directors and performers who they claimed had been members of subversive organisations before the Second World War but had not so far been blacklisted.

Lee J. Cobb was one of those actors who was originally blacklisted but eventually cooperated with the HUAC: “When the facilities of the government of the United States are drawn on an individual it can be terrifying. The blacklist is just the opening gambit - being deprived of work. Your passport is confiscated. That's minor. But not being able to move without being tailed is something else. After a certain point it grows to implied as well as articulated threats, and people succumb. My wife did, and she was institutionalized. In 1953 the HCUA did a deal with me. I was pretty much worn down. I had no money. I couldn't borrow. I had the expenses of taking care of the children. Why am I subjecting my loved ones to this? If it's worth dying for, and I am just as idealistic as the next fellow. But I decided it wasn't worth dying for, and if this gesture was the way of getting out of the penitentiary I'd do it. I had to be employable again.”

According to Frances Stonor Saunders, the author of Who Paid the Piper? (2000), Frank Wisner recruited several important figures for Operation Mockingbird. This included former OSS filmmaker John Ford and studio bosses Cecil B. DeMille (Paramount Pictures) and Darryl Zanuck (Twentieth Century-Fox).

Another important figure in this group was Howard Hughes, the boss of RKO Pictures. As Charles Higham points out in Howard Hughes: The Secret Life (2004), this was also good for business: “Hughes’s crusade against Communism” was “exacerbated by his desire to have Hughes Aircraft profit from the Korean and any future anti-Soviet wars”. For example, in June 1950, General Ira Eaker "signed an across-the-board agreement giving Hughes a monopoly in interceptors for the U.S. Air Force… despite the fact that it was in breach of the Sherman anti-monopolies act… By the end of 1950, the war had made Hughes even richer than before.”

Another important figure in this conspiracy was C. Jackson. He had joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1943. The following year he was appointed Deputy Chief at the Psychological Warfare Division at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). After the war, he became Managing Director of Time-Life International. When it became clear that Dwight D. Eisenhower stood a good chance of becoming president, the CIA arranged for Jackson to join his campaign. This involved Jackson writing speeches for Eisenhower. Jackson was rewarded in February 1953 by being appointed as Special Assistant to the President. This included the role of Eisenhower's liaison between the CIA and the Pentagon.

According to the Eisenhower Presidential Library files in Abilene, Kansas, Jackson's "area responsibility was loosely defined as international affairs, cold war planning, and psychological warfare. His main function was the coordination of activities aimed at interpreting world situations to the best advantage of the United States and her allies and exploiting incidents which reflected negatively on the Soviet Union , Communist China and other enemies in the Cold War."

Jackson was also involved in Operation Mockingbird. This was revealed after the death of Jackson. On December 15, 1971, Mrs. C.D. Jackson gave her husband’s papers to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library. This included details that Jackson was in contact with a CIA agent in Hollywood's Paramount Studios. The agent is not named by Jackson but Frances Stonor Saunders claims in Who Paid the Piper? (2000) that it was Carleton Alsop, a CIA agent employed by Frank Wisner. There is no doubt that Alsop was one of the CIA agents working at Paramount. However, Hugh Wilford argues in The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (2008) that it was a senior executive at Paramount, Lugi G. Laraschi, was the most important CIA figure at the studio. Laraschi was the head of foreign and domestic censorship at the studio, whose job was to "iron out any political, moral or religious problems". Other studios, including MGM and RKO, had similar officers, and were probably CIA placements. In a private letter to Sherman Adams, Jackson claims the role of these CIA placements was "to insert in their scripts and in their action the right ideas with the proper subtlety".

Although the main objective of Operation Mockingbird was to influence the production of commercial films the CIA also occasionally initiated film projects. The best documented instance of this concerns an animated version of Animal Farm, a satirical allegory about Stalinism by George Orwell. The book was highly popular when it was published in 1945 and it was only natural that the studios should be interested in making a film of the book. The problem for the CIA was that Orwell was a socialist whose book attacked both communism and capitalism. Therefore, it was important to make a film that restricted it to a condemnation of Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union.

In 1950 Wisner’s OPC arranged for Joe Bryan to recruit anti-communist documentary-maker Louis de Rochemont to produce a movie version of the tale. It was decided to get the film made in Britain to disguise CIA involvement in the project. Rochemont employed the British animation studio of husband and wife John Halas and Joy Batchelor to make the film. Most of the funding came from a CIA shell corporation, Touchstone. E. Howard Hunt was one of those agents involved in the production of the film whose role was to remove the socialist elements in Orwell’s allegory.

One unnamed member of the OPC sent a letter to John Halas called for the addition of scenes showing the other farms (that represented capitalist countries) in a more flattering light. The most important demand was to change the ending of Animal Farm. The CIA did not like the scene where the pigs and dogs face a liberation-style uprising of the other animals. The letter included the following: “It is reasonable to expect that if Orwell were to write the book today, it would be considerably different and that the changes would tend to make it even more positively anti-Communist and possibly somewhat more favorable to the Western powers.”

One of the main concerns of the CIA was the portrayal of race-relations in Hollywood movies. It was argued that the left was using this issue to undermine the idea that America was a democracy based on equal rights. Letters from Jackson sent to the producers of films called for scenes showing African Americans mixing on equal terms with whites. One of Jackson’s proposals involved “planting black spectators in a crowd watching a golf game in the Martin and Lewis comedy The Caddy”.

In 1955 Graham Greene published The Quiet American. The novel is set in Vietnam and involves the relationship between Thomas Fowler and Alden Pyle. Fowler is a veteran British journalist in his fifties, who has been covering the war in Vietnam for over two years. Pyle, the “Quiet American” of the title, is officially an aid worker, but is really employed by the CIA. It is believed that the Pyle character is partly based on that of Edward Lansdale.

Greene had worked for the British Secret Service during the Second World War. Although a fairly successful novelist at the time, Greene was also employed by The Times and Le Figaro as a journalist. Between 1951 to 1954 spent a long period of time in Saigon. In 1953 Lansdale became a CIA advisor on special counter-guerrilla operations to French forces against the Viet Minh.

While it is true that Graham Greene admitted that he never had the "misfortune to meet" Lansdale, the two men did know a lot about each other. Lansdale recalls that in 1954 he had dinner with Peg and Tilman Durdin at the Continental Hotel in Saigon. Greene was also there having a meal with several French officers. Lansdale claims that after he and the Durdins were leaving, Greene said something in French to his companions and the men began booing him.

Lansdale definitely thought that Pyle was based on him. He told Cecil B. Currey on 15th February, 1984: "Pyle was close to Trinh Minh Thé, the guerrilla leader, and also had a dog that went with him everywhere - and I was the only American close to Trinh Minh Thé and my poodle Pierre went everything with me."

In the book Pyle is sent to Vietnam by his government, ostensibly as a member of the American Economic Mission, but that assignment was only a cover for his real role as a CIA agent. According to one critic "Pyle was the embodiment of well-meaning American-style politics, and he blundered through the intrigue, treachery, and confusion of Vietnamese politics, leaving a trail of blood and suffering behind him." As Fowler points out in the novel, Pyle was attempting to "win the East for Democracy". However, according to Fowler, what the people of Vietnam really wanted was "enough rice" to eat. What is more: "They don't want to be shot at. They want one day to be much the same as another. They don't want our white skins around telling them what they want."

When the book was published in the United States in 1956 it was condemned as anti-American. Pyle (Lansdale) is portrayed as someone whose belief in the justice of American foreign policy allows him to ignore the appalling consequences of his actions. It was criticized by The New Yorker for portraying Americans as murderers.

The director, producer and screenwriter, Joseph L. Mankiewicz was chosen to make the film of The Quiet American. He visited Saigon in 1956 and was introduced to Edward Lansdale, whose cover was working at the International Rescue Committee’s office. The most controversial scene in the book is the bombing of a Saigon square in 1952 by a Vietnamese associate of Lansdale’s, General Trinh Minh Thé. In the novel, Greene suggests that Pyle/Lansdale, was behind the bombing. Lansdale suggested to Mankiewicz that the film should show that the bombing was “actually having been a Communist action”.

When he returned home Mankiewicz wrote to John O’Daniel, the chairman of the American Friends of Vietnam that he intended to completely change the anti-American attitude of Greene’s book. This included the casting of Second World War hero, Audie Murphy, as Alden Pyle.

In a letter that Edward Lansdale wrote to Ngo Dinh Diem he praised Mankiewicz’s treatment of the story as “an excellent change from Mr. Greene’s novel of despair” and “that it will help win more friends for you and Vietnam in many places in the world where it is shown."

As Hugh Wilford pointed out: “It was a brilliantly devious maneuver of postmodern literary complexity: by helping to rewrite a story featuring a character reputedly based on himself, Lansdale had transformed an anti-American tract into a cinematic apology for U.S. policy - and his own actions-in Vietnam.”

Graham Greene was furious with Mankiewicz’s treatment of his novel. "Far was it from my mind, when I wrote The Quiet American that the book would become a source of spiritual profit to one of the most corrupt governments in Southeast Asia."

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.

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.

It has been argued by Larry Hancock, the author of Someone Would Have Talked (2006), that Virginia Prewett was a close associate of David Attlee Phillips and was involved in promoting the activities of Alpha 66, led by Antonio Veciana: "Virginia Prewett appears to have been one of Phillips' significant media contacts and certainly one of the most consistent sources of media coverage for Alpha 66 activities. The other major source was Life magazine, part of the Luce Media family managed by Claire Booth Luce's husband Henry Robinson "Harry" Luce (a member of the Citizens Committee to Free Cuba, along with Phillips' friends Hal Hendrix and Paul Bethel). Articles by Prewitt and editorials by Time-Life provided the strongest challenge to the Kennedy position on Cuba and were quite consistent with the type of embarrass and back-to-the wall agendas Veciana attributed to Maurice Bishop."

In September, 1963, Hal Hendrix joined Scripps-Howard News Service as a Latin American specialist. Instead of moving to Washington he remained in Miami "where his contacts were". In an article on 24th September, 1963, Hendrix was able to describe and justify the coup that overthrew Juan Bosch, the president of Dominican Republic. The only problem was the coup took place on the 25th September. Some journalists claimed that Hendrix must have got this information from the CIA.

A few hours after John F. Kennedy had been killed, Hendrix provided background information to a colleague, Seth Kantor, about Lee Harvey Oswald. This included details of his defection to the Soviet Union and his work for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. This surprised Kantor because he had this information before it was released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation later that evening.

William E. Kelly later explained: "Seith Kantor, a local Dallas reporter who was in the Press Bus in the motorcade, knew something was wrong as they rode through Dealey Plaza, but the bus driver refused to follow the rest of the motorcade to Parkland Hospital and instead drove to their original destination, the Dallas Trade Mart. Once there however, Kantor got a ride to Parkand Hospital, where he interviewed a number of local Dallas officials and had a brief conversation with Jack Ruby, who had frequently fed Kantor interesting leads he developed into feature articles. While the Warren Commission rejected Kantor’s sworn testimony that Ruby was at Parkland, Kantor did make some phone calls, including one to his editor at the Scripps-Howard News Service (SHNS), and there are records of these calls. Years later, in 1975, Kantor learned that the records of one of the phone calls on that day was classified for reasons of national security, so he filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and obtained them to find out the big secret. He discovered that after taking to his editor, he was told to call another SHNS correspondent in Florida, Harold "Hal" Hendrix. From Florida, Hendrix supplied Kantor with detailed background information on Lee Harvey Oswald, who had just been arrested and named as the chief suspect in the assassination. Hendrix had more information in Florida than Kantor did at the scene of the crime, and we later learn why Kantor’s call to Hendrix was considered worthy of being classified for reasons of national security."

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Charles Douglas Jackson purchased the Zapruder Film on behalf of Henry Luce. The author, David Lifton, points out in The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2004) that: "Abraham Zapruder in fact sold the film to Time-Life for the sum of $150,000 - about $900,000 dollars in today's money... Moreover, although Life had a copy of the film, it did little to maximize the return on its extraordinary investment. Specifically, it did not sell this unique property - as a film - to any broadcast media or permit it to be seen in motion, the logical way to maximize the financial return on its investment... A closer look revealed something else. The film wasn't just sold to Life - the person whose name was on the agreement was C. Jackson." Luce published individual frames of Zapruder's film but did not allow the film to be screened in its entirety.

Soon after the assassination Charles Douglas Jackson also successfully negotiated with Marina Oswald the exclusive rights to her story. Peter Dale Scott argues in his book Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1996) that Jackson, on the urging of Allen Dulles, employed Isaac Don Levine, a veteran CIA publicist, to ghost-write Marina's story. This story never appeared in print.

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.

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. 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.

On 18th September, 1976, Orlando Letelier, who served as foreign minister under Salvador Allende, was traveling to work at the Institute of Policy Studies in Washington when a bomb was ignited under his car. Letelier and Ronni Moffitt, a 25 year old woman who was campaigning for democracy in Chile, both died of their injuries.

According to Gaeton Fonzi, the author of The Last Investigation (1993), Virginia Prewett, who was working for the Council for Inter-American Security, a right-wing think tank, attacked the journalists who assumed that Chilean generals were involved in murdering Letelier. "She, too, suggested that Letelier may have been sacrificed by leftists to turn world opinion and U.S. policy against the Pinochet regime."

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 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?

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.

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.”

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. 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.

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. 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.

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. 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.

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.

In examining the CIA’s past and present use of the U.S. journalists and media organizations.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Graham, Meyer's successor, had been in military intelligence during the war. When he became the Post's publisher, he continued to have close contact with his fellow upper-class intelligence veterans - now making policy at the newly formed CIA - and actively promoted the CIA's goals in his newspaper. The incestuous relationship between the Post and the intelligence community even extended to its hiring practices. Watergate-era editor Ben Bradlee also had an intelligence background; and before he became a journalist, reporter Bob Woodward was an officer in Naval Intelligence. In a 1977 article in Rolling Stone magazine about CIA influence in American media, Woodward's partner, Carl Bernstein, quoted this from a CIA official: "It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from." Graham has been identified by some investigators as the main contact in Project Mockingbird, the CIA program to infiltrate domestic American media. In her autobiography, Katherine Graham described how her husband worked overtime at the Post during the Bay of Pigs operation to protect the reputations of his friends from Yale who had organized the ill-fated venture.

After Graham committed suicide, and his widow Katherine assumed the role of publisher, she continued her husband's policies of supporting the efforts of the intelligence community in advancing the foreign policy and economic agenda of the nation's ruling elites. In a retrospective column written after her own death last year, FAIR analyst Norman Solomon wrote, "Her newspaper mainly functioned as a helpmate to the war-makers in the White House, State Department and Pentagon." It accomplished this function (and continues to do so) using all the classic propaganda techniques of evasion, confusion, misdirection, targeted emphasis, disinformation, secrecy, omission of important facts, and selective leaks.

Graham herself rationalized this policy in a speech she gave at CIA headquarters in 1988. "We live in a dirty and dangerous world," she said. "There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows."

After World War II, when Harry Truman named this lifelong Republican as first president of the World Bank, Meyer made his son-in-law, Philip L. Graham, publisher of the paper. Meyer stayed at the Bank for only six months and returned to the Post as its chairman. But with Phil Graham in charge, there was little for Meyer to do. He transferred ownership to Philip and Katharine Graham, and retired.

Phil Graham maintained Meyer's intimacy with power. Like many members of his class and generation, his postwar view was shaped by his work in wartime intelligence; a classic Cold War liberal, he was uncomfortable with McCarthy, but quite friendly with the personnel and policies of the CIA. He saw the role of the press as mobilizing public assent for policies made by his Washington neighbors; the public deserved to know only what the inner circle deemed proper. According to Howard Bray's Pillars of the Post, Graham and other top Posters knew details of several covert operations - including advance knowledge of the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion - which they chose not to share with their readers.

When the manic-depressive Graham shot himself in 1963, the paper passed to his widow, Katharine. Though out of her depth at first, her instincts were safely establishmentarian. According to Deborah Davis' biography, Katharine the Great, Mrs. Graham was scandalized by the cultural and political revolutions of the 1960s, and wept when LBJ fused to run for reelection in 1968. (After Graham asserted that the book as "fantasy," Harcourt Brace Jovanovich pulled 20,000 copies of Katharine the Great in 1979. The book as re-issued by National Press in 87.)

The Post was one of the last major papers to turn against the Vietnam War. Even today, it hews to a hard foreign policy line - usually to the right of The New York Times, a paper not known or having transcended the Cold War.

There was Watergate, of course, that model of aggressive reporting by the Post. But even here, Graham's Post was doing the establishment's work. As Graham herself said, the investigation couldn't have succeeded without the cooperation of people inside the government willing to talk to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

These talkers may well have included the CIA; it's widely suspected that Deep Throat was an Agency man (or men). Davis argues that Post editor Ben Bradlee knew Deep Throat, and may even have set him up with Woodward. She produces evidence that in the early 1950s, Bradlee crafted propaganda for the CIA on the Rosenberg case for European consumption. Bradlee denies working "for" the CIA, though he admits having worked for the U.S. Information Agency - perhaps distinction without a difference.

In any case, it's clear that a major portion of the establishment wanted Nixon out. Having accomplished this, there was little taste for further crusading. Nixon had denounced the Post as "Communist" during the 1950s. Graham offered her support to Nixon upon his election in 1968, but he snubbed her, even directing his allies to challenge the Post Co.'s TV license in Florida a few ears later. The Reagans were a different story - for one thing, Ron's crowd knew that seduction was a better way to get good press than hostility. According to Nancy Reagan's memoirs, Graham welcomed Ron and Nancy to her Georgetown house in 1981 with a kiss. During the darkest days of Iran-Contra, Graham and Post editorial page editor Meg GreenfieId - lunch and phone companions to Nancy throughout the Reagan years - offered the First Lady frequent expressions of sympathy. Graham and the establishment never got far from the Gipper.

In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.

Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty-five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters.

Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services - from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go-betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. 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. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements America’s leading news organizations.

The history of the CIA’s involvement with the American press continues to be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception...

Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were William Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Time Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the Louisville Courier-Journal and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, The Miami Herald, and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald-Tribune. By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with The New York Times, CBS, and Time Inc.

From the Agency’s perspective, there is nothing untoward in such relationships, and any ethical questions are a matter for the journalistic profession to resolve, not the intelligence community...

Many journalists were used by the CIA to assist in this process and they had the reputation of being among the best in the business. The peculiar nature of the job of the foreign correspondent is ideal for such work; he is accorded unusual access, by his host country, permitted to travel in areas often off-limits to other Americans, spends much of his time cultivating sources in governments, academic institutions, the military establishment and the scientific communities. He has the opportunity to form long-term personal relationships with sources and -- perhaps more than any other category of American operative - is in a position to make correct judgments about the susceptibility and availability of foreign nationals for recruitment as spies.

The Agency’s dealings with the press began during the earliest stages of the Cold War. Allen Dulles, who became director of the CIA in 1953, sought to establish a recruiting-and-cover capability within America’s most prestigious journalistic institutions. By operating under the guise of accredited news correspondents, Dulles believed, CIA operatives abroad would be accorded a degree of access and freedom of movement unobtainable under almost any other type of cover.

American publishers, like so many other corporate and institutional leaders at the time, were willing us commit the resources of their companies to the struggle against “global Communism.” Accordingly, the traditional line separating the American press corps and government was often indistinguishable: rarely was a news agency used to provide cover for CIA operatives abroad without the knowledge and consent of either its principal owner; publisher or senior editor. Thus, contrary to the notion that the CIA era and news executives allowed themselves and their organizations to become handmaidens to the intelligence services. “Let’s not pick on some poor reporters, for God’s sake,” William Colby exclaimed at one point to the Church committee’s investigators. “Let’s go to the managements. They were witting” In all, about twenty-five news organizations (including those listed at the beginning of this article) provided cover for the Agency...

Many journalists who covered World War II were close to people in the Office of Strategic Services, the wartime predecessor of the CIA; more important, they were all on the same side. When the war ended and many OSS officials went into the CIA, it was only natural that these relationships would continue.

Meanwhile, the first postwar generation of journalists entered the profession; they shared the same political and professional values as their mentors. “You had a gang of people who worked together during World War II and never got over it,” said one Agency official. “They were genuinely motivated and highly susceptible to intrigue and being on the inside. Then in the Fifties and Sixties there was a national consensus about a national threat. The Vietnam War tore everything to pieces - shredded the consensus and threw it in the air.” Another Agency official observed: “Many journalists didn’t give a second thought to associating with the Agency. But there was a point when the ethical issues which most people had submerged finally surfaced. Today, a lot of these guys vehemently deny that they had any relationship with the Agency.”

The CIA even ran a formal training program in the 1950s to teach its agents to be journalists. Intelligence officers were “taught to make noises like reporters,” explained a high CIA official, and were then placed in major news organizations with help from management. “These were the guys who went through the ranks and were told, “You’re going to be a journalist,” the CIA official said. Relatively few of the 400-some relationships described in Agency files followed that pattern, however; most involved persons who were already bona fide journalists when they began undertaking tasks for the Agency. The Agency’s relationships with journalists, as described in CIA files, include the following general categories:

* Legitimate, accredited staff members of news organizations - usually reporters. Some were paid; some worked for the Agency on a purely voluntary basis.

* Stringers and freelancers. Most were payrolled by the Agency under standard contractual terms.

* Employees of so-called CIA “proprietaries.” During the past twenty-five years, the Agency has secretly bankrolled numerous foreign press services, periodicals and newspapers -- both English and foreign language -- which provided excellent cover for CIA operatives.

* Columnists and commentators. There are perhaps a dozen well-known columnists and broadcast commentators whose relationships with the CIA go far beyond those normally maintained between reporters and their sources. They are referred to at the Agency as “known assets” and can be counted on to perform a variety of undercover tasks; they are considered receptive to the Agency’s point of view on various subjects.

Murky details of CIA relationships with individuals and news organizations began trickling out in 1973 when it was first disclosed that the CIA had, on occasion, employed journalists. Those reports, combined with new information, serve as casebook studies of the Agency’s use of journalists for intelligence purposes.

The New York Times - The Agency’s relationship with the Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. [It was] general Times policy to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible...

CIA officials cite two reasons why the Agency’s working relationship with the Times was closer and more extensive than with any other paper: the fact that the Times maintained the largest foreign news operation in American daily journalism; and the close personal ties between the men who ran both institutions...

The Columbia Broadcasting System - CBS was unquestionably the CIA’s most valuable broadcasting asset. CBS president William Paley and Allen Dulles enjoyed an easy working and social relationship. Over the years, the network provided cover for CIA employees, including at least one well-known foreign correspondent and several stringers; it supplied outtakes of newsfilm to the CIA; established a formal channel of communication between the Washington bureau chief and the Agency; gave the Agency access to the CBS newsfilm library; and allowed reports by CBS correspondents to the Washington and New York newsrooms to be routinely monitored by the CIA. Once a year during the 1950s and early 1960s, CBS correspondents joined the CIA hierarchy for private dinners and briefings...

At the headquarters of CBS News in New York, Paley’s cooperation with the CIA is taken for granted by many news executives and reporters, despite the denials. Paley, 76, was not interviewed by Salant’s investigators. “It wouldn’t do any good,” said one CBS executive. “It is the single subject about which his memory has failed.”

At Newsweek, Agency sources reported, the CIA engaged the services of several foreign correspondents and stringers under arrangements approved by senior editors at the magazine...

“To the best of my knowledge:’ said [Harry] Kern, [Newsweek’s foreign editor from 1945 to 1956] “nobody at Newsweek worked for the CIA.... The informal relationship was there. Why have anybody sign anything? What we knew we told them [the CIA] and the State Department.... When I went to Washington, I would talk to Foster or Allen Dulles about what was going on .... We thought it was admirable at the time. We were all on the same side.” CIA officials say that Kern's dealings with the Agency were extensive...

When Newsweek was purchased by the Washington Post Company, publisher Philip L. Graham was informed by Agency officials that the CIA occasionally used the magazine for cover purposes, according to CIA sources. “It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from,” said a former deputy director of the Agency... But Graham, who committed suicide in 1963, apparently knew little of the specifics of any cover arrangements with Newsweek, CIA sources said...

Information about Agency dealings with the Washington Post newspaper is extremely sketchy. According to CIA officials, some Post stringers have been CIA employees, but these officials say they do not know if anyone in the Post management was aware of the arrangements...

Other major news organizations - according to Agency officials, CIA files document additional cover arrangements with the following news gathering organizations, among others: the New York Herald Tribune, Saturday Evening Post, Scripps-Howard Newspapers, Hearst Newspapers, Associated Press, United Press International, the Mutual Broadcasting System, Reuters and The Miami Herald...

“And that's just a small part of the list,” in the words of one official who served in the CIA hierarchy. Like many sources, this official said that the only way to end the uncertainties about aid furnished the Agency by journalists is to disclose the contents of the CIA files - a course opposed by almost all of the thirty-five present and former CIA officials interviewed over the course of a year.

The CIA’s use of journalists continued virtually unabated until 1973 when, in response to public disclosure that the Agency had secretly employed American reporters, William Colby began scaling down the program. In his public statements, Colby conveyed the impression that the use of journalists had been minimal and of limited importance to the Agency.

He then initiated a series of moves intended to convince the press, Congress and the public that the CIA had gotten out of the news business. But according to Agency officials, Colby had in fact thrown a protective net around his most valuable intelligence assets in the journalistic community...

At the headquarters of CBS News in New York, Paley’s cooperation with the CIA is taken for granted by many news executives and reporters, despite the denials. “It is the single subject about which his memory has failed.”

Time and Newsweek magazines. According to CIA and Senate sources, Agency files contain written agreements with former foreign correspondents and stringers for both the weekly news magazines. The same sources refused to say whether the CIA has ended all its associations with individuals who work for the two publications. Allen Dulles often interceded with his good friend, the late Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life magazines, who readily allowed certain members of his staff to work for the Agency and agreed to provide jobs and credentials for other CIA operatives who lacked journalistic experience.

At Newsweek, Agency sources reported, the CIA engaged the services of several foreign correspondents and stringers under arrangements approved by senior editors at the magazine...

After Colby left the Agency on January 28th, 1976, and was succeeded by George Bush, 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 US news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station.” ... The text of the announcement noted that the CIA would continue to “welcome” the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists. Thus, many relationships were permitted to remain intact.

In discussing the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Dan Rather, the well-loved anchorman for CBS Television, described the now famous Zapruder film that captured footage of the shot which killed President John F. Kennedy. The movie, taken by amateur cameraman, Abraham Zapruder, was quickly snapped-up by Life magazine for $250,000.00. Although Life published still frames of the movie, the 18 second film was kept under lock and key – not to be seen by Americans until 1975.

But Rather’s remarks were misleading. He told his viewers that the film showed JFK falling forward – confirming the official view that Kennedy had been shot from behind. However, the film clearly showed Kennedy lurching violently backwards, evidence of a frontal shot. To add to the confusion, the Warren Commission report printed two frames of the film in reverse – again implying a rear shot - an accident the FBI typified as a “printing error.”

Meanwhile, still pictures lifted from the Zapruder film were also published by Life magazine. Remarkably, they too were published in reverse order, thereby creating the impression that the President had been shot from behind by lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald. Until the film was shown to Americans in its entirity, no one was the wiser. Following the broadcast in 1975, a massive controversy followed giving rise to ongoing allegations of conspiracy.

The Zapruder film clearly showed President Kennedy had also been shot from the front. The result immeasurably strengthened the charge - that had been bubbling in the background – that the President had been assassinated as a result of a well orchestrated conspiracy, and that this was covered-up to protect the guilty, who many now believe involved senior figures in the CIA and US military. Not least it was pointed out that Henry Luce, the founder of Life magazine was a close personal friend of Allen Dulles, the Director of the CIA. Moreover, the individual who purchased the Zapruder film for Life magazine was C.J. Jackson, formerly a “psychological warfare” consultant to the President.

Inevitably, these events were to lead to accusations that the media were culpable of the worst form of toadying and propaganda. This, in turn raised serious questions about the role and integrity of the mass media. Some years later, Washington Post reporter, Carl Bernstein – who came to fame with his colleague Bob Woodward, for their expose of the Nixon administration’s illegal re-election campaign activities, known as “Watergate” – dropped a media bombshell on an unsuspecting America.

In an October 1977, article published by Rolling Stone magazine, Bernstein reported that more than 400 American journalists worked for the CIA. More recently doubts have been cast on Wisner’s suicide verdict by some observers who believed him to have been a Soviet agent.

Meanwhile, however, Wisner had “implemented his plan and owned respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communication vehicles, plus stringers…” according to Deborah Davis in her biography of Katharine Graham – wife of Philip Graham - and current publisher of the Washington Post. The operation was overseen by Allen Dulles, Director of Central Intelligence. Operation Mockingbird continued to flourish with CIA agents boasting at having “important assets” inside every major news outlet in the country.” The list included such luminaries of the US media as Henry Luce, publisher of Time Magazine, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, of the New York Times and C.D. Jackson of Fortune Magazine, according to Constantine.

But there was another aspect to Mockingbird, Constantine reveals in an Internet essay. Citing historian C. Vann Woodward’s New York Times article of 1987, Ronald Reagan, later to become President of the US, was a FBI snitch earlier in his life. This dated back to the time when Reagan was President of the Actor’s Guild. Woodward says that Reagan “fed the names of suspect people in his organisation to the FBI secretly and regularly enough to be assigned an informer’s code number, T.10.” The purpose was to purge the film industry of “subversives.”

As these stories hit the news, Senate investigators began to probe the CIA sponsored manipulation of the media – the “Fourth Estate” that supposedly was dedicated to acting as a check and balance on the excesses of the executive. This investigation was, however, curtailed at the insistence of Central Intelligence Agency Directors, William Colby and George Bush – who would later be elected US President. The information gathered by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee chaired by Senator Frank Church, was “deliberately buried” Bernstein reported.

Despite this suppression of evidence, information leaked out that revealed the willing role of media executives to subvert their own industry. “Let’s not pick on some reporters,” CIA Director William Colby stated during an interview. They were witting.” Bernstein concluded that “America’s leading publishers allowed themselves and their news services to become handmaidens to the intelligence services.” Of the household names that went along with this arrangement were: Columbia Broadcasting System, Copley News Service – which gave the CIA confidential information on antiwar and black protestors – ABC TV, NBC, Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Newsweek, Time, Scripps-Howard, Hearst Newspapers and the Miami Herald. Bernstein additionally stated that the two most bullish media outlets to co-operate were the new York Times and CBS Television. The New York Times even went so far as to submit stories to Allen Dulles and his replacement, John McCone, to vet and approve before publication.

Slowly, the role of Mockingbird in muzzling and manipulating the press began to be revealed. In 1974, two former CIA agents, Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, published a sensational book entitled “The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence.” The book caused uproar for the many revelations it contained. Included amongst them was the fact that the, until then, widely respected Encounter magazine was indirectly funded by the CIA. The vehicle used to covertly transfer funds to Encounter and many other publications, was the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF)– a CIA front. A decade earlier, in 1965, the CCF was renamed Forum World Features (FWF) and purchased by Kern House Enterprises, under the direction of John Hay Whitney, publisher of the International Herald Tribune and former US Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

The Chairman of Forum World Features was Brian Crozier, who resigned his position shortly before the explosive book went on sale. Crozier, a former “Economist” journalist, was a “contact” of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). His employment to head up the CIA financed Forum World Features in 1965, caused a row with MI6 who felt the CIA had breached the secret agreement between the UK and USA by recruiting one of their own assets.

Crozier’s media style was more discrete than Mockingbird. He preferred, when possible, to insert his pre-spun propaganda stories to unwitting members of the media, who would reprint them unaware of the bias they contained. In time, Crozier would go on to head up a shadowy anti subversive and dirty tricks group called the “61,” that sought to counter communist propaganda. Another group of which he was a member was the Pinay Cercle – a right wing Atlanticist group funded by the CIA - that claimed credit for getting Margaret Thatcher elected as British Prime Minister.

Another propaganda operation, run from Lisburn barracks in Northern Ireland, and under nominal British Army control, participated in extensive media manipulation around the same time. Known as “Clockwork Orange” this involved the construction of propaganda material designed to discredit prominent members of the then Labour government as well as some in the Conservative shadow cabinet. Especially targeted was then Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Clockwork Orange relied heavily on forged documents that would be given to selected journalists for publication. Many of these forgeries sought to demonstrate secret communist ties – or east bloc intelligence affiliations – amongst high profile politicians.

The aim was to destabilise Wilson and the Labour government by falsely showing them to be soft on communism or even pro communist. This operation clearly favoured a right wing Conservative administration under the leadership of Mrs. Thatcher. In the event, Wilson resigned, said to have been sickened by the numerous personal snipe attacks against him. During the time he was under siege, Wilson experienced numerous break ins at his office, as well as having his phone lines tapped -courtesy of unnamed officials in the security service, it is believed. By 1979 the Conservative party was returned to power.

Yet, with the demise of the cold war the motive for media propaganda has collapsed. Or has it? James Lilly, former Director of Operations at the CIA later became Director of Asian studies at the American Enterprise Institute – a think tank heavily staffed by former intelligence types. Lilly, in giving testimony to a Senate committee during 1996 observed: “Journalists, I think, you don’t recruit them. We can’t do that. They’ve told us not to do that. But you certainly sit down with your journalists, and I’ve done this and the Station Chief has done it, others have done it…”

But even as the cold war rationale for subverting the media recedes into the distance, press manipulation continues anon. A classified CIA report surfaced in 1992, that revealed the Agency’s public affairs office “… has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation.” The report added that the benefits of these continued contacts had been fruitful to the CIA by turning “Intelligence failure stories into intelligence success stories…” Basking in a glow of self satisfaction, the report continued “In many cases, we have persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold or even scrap stories that could have adversely affected national security interests.”

But the last word goes to Noam Chomsky. A Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chomsky has extensively investigated the role of today’s media. His analysis is un-nerving. The democratic postulate, Chomsky says, “is that the media are independent and committed to discovering and reporting the truth…” Despite this axiom, Chomsky finds that the media supports “established power” and is “responsive to the needs of government and major power groups.” He additionally argues that the media is a mechanism for pervasive “thought control” of elite interests and that ordinary citizens need to “undertake a course of intellectual self-defence to protect themselves from manipulation and control…” The covert role of the media has now apparently shifted its focus. One time expediter of the “cold war,” it now clamours for the extension of “corporate power.”

The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere.

The origins of this machine, interestingly enough, can be traced back to the CIA. This is not to say the machine is a formal CIA operation, complete with code name and signed documents. (Although such evidence may yet surface - and previously unthinkable domestic operations such as MK-ULTRA, CHAOS and MOCKINGBIRD show this to be a distinct possibility.) But what we do know already indicts the CIA strongly enough. Its principle creators were Irving Kristol, Paul Weyrich, William Simon, Richard Mellon Scaife, Frank Shakespeare, William F. Buckley, Jr., the Rockefeller family, and more. Almost all the machine's creators had CIA backgrounds.

During the 1970s, these men would take the propaganda and operational techniques they had learned in the Cold War and apply them to the Class War. Therefore it is no surprise that the American version of the machine bears an uncanny resemblance to the foreign versions designed to fight communism. The CIA's expert and comprehensive organization of the business class would succeed beyond their wildest dreams. In 1975, the richest 1 percent owned 22 percent of America’s wealth. By 1992, they would nearly double that, to 42 percent - the highest level of inequality in the 20th century.

How did this alliance start? The CIA has always recruited the nation’s elite: millionaire businessmen, Wall Street brokers, members of the national news media, and Ivy League scholars. During World War II, General "Wild Bill" Donovan became chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. Donovan recruited so exclusively from the nation’s rich and powerful that members eventually came to joke that "OSS" stood for "Oh, so social!"

Another early elite was Allen Dulles, who served as Director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961. Dulles was a senior partner at the Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, which represented the Rockefeller empire and other mammoth trusts, corporations and cartels. He was also a board member of the J. Henry Schroeder Bank, with offices in Wall Street, London, Zurich and Hamburg. His financial interests across the world would become a conflict of interest when he became head of the CIA. Like Donavan, he would recruit exclusively from society’s elite...

Although many people think that the CIA’s primary mission during the Cold War was to "deter communism," Noam Chomksy correctly points out that its real mission was "deterring democracy." From corrupting elections to overthrowing democratic governments, from assassinating elected leaders to installing murderous dictators, the CIA has virtually always replaced democracy with dictatorship. It didn’t help that the CIA was run by businessmen, whose hostility towards democracy is legendary. The reason they overthrew so many democracies is because the people usually voted for policies that multi-national corporations didn't like: land reform, strong labor unions, nationalization of their industries, and greater regulation protecting workers, consumers and the environment...

Journalism is a perfect cover for CIA agents. People talk freely to journalists, and few think suspiciously of a journalist aggressively searching for information. Journalists also have power, influence and clout. Not surprisingly, the CIA began a mission in the late 1940s to recruit American journalists on a wide scale, a mission it dubbed Operation MOCKINGBIRD. The agency wanted these journalists not only to relay any sensitive information they discovered, but also to write anti-Communist, pro-capitalist propaganda when needed.

The instigators of MOCKINGBIRD were Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham was the husband of Katherine Graham, today’s publisher of the Washington Post. In fact, it was the Post’s ties to the CIA that allowed it to grow so quickly after the war, both in readership and influence.

MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda. At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIA’s testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names of those recruited reads like a Who's Who of journalism...

The CIA also secretly bought or created its own media companies. It owned 40 percent of the Rome Daily American at a time when communists were threatening to win the Italian elections. Worse, the CIA has bought many domestic media companies. A prime example is Capital Cities, created in 1954 by CIA businessman William Casey (who would later become Reagan’s CIA director). Another founder was Lowell Thomas, a close friend and business contact with CIA Director Allen Dulles. Another founder was CIA businessman Thomas Dewey. By 1985, Capital Cities had grown so powerful that it was able to buy an entire TV network: ABC.

For those who believe in "separation of press and state," the very idea that the CIA has secret propaganda outlets throughout the media is appalling. The reason why America was so oblivious to CIA crimes in the 40s and 50s was because the media willingly complied with the agency. Even today, when the immorality of the CIA should be an open-and-shut case, "debate" about the issue rages in the media...

In the mid-1970s, at this historic low point in American conservatism, the CIA began a major campaign to turn corporate fortunes around. They did this in several ways. First, they helped create numerous foundations to finance their domestic operations. Even before 1973, the CIA had co-opted the most famous ones, like the Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations. But after 1973, they created more. One of their most notorious recruits was billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. During World War II, Scaife's father served in the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA. By his mid-twenties, both of Scaife's parents had died, and he inherited a fortune under four foundations: the Carthage Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Scaife Family Foundations and the Allegheny Foundation. In the early 1970s, Scaife was encouraged by CIA agent Frank Barnett to begin investing his fortune to fight the "Soviet menace." From 1973 to 1975, Scaife ran Forum World Features, a foreign news service used as a front to disseminate CIA propaganda around the world. Shortly afterwards he began donating millions to fund the New Right.

1. From the day of President Kennedy's assassination on, there has been speculation about the responsibility for his murder. Although this was stemmed for a time by the Warren Commission report, (which appeared at the end of September 1964), various writers have now had time to scan the Commission's published report and documents for new pretexts for questioning, and there has been a new wave of books and articles criticizing the Commission's findings. In most cases the critics have speculated as to the existence of some kind of conspiracy, and often they have implied that the Commission itself was involved. Presumably as a result of the increasing challenge to the Warren Commission's report, a public opinion poll recently indicated that 46% of the American public did not think that Oswald acted alone, while more than half of those polled thought that the Commission had left some questions unresolved. Doubtless polls abroad would show similar, or possibly more adverse results.

2. This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization. The members of the Warren Commission were naturally chosen for their integrity, experience and prominence. They represented both major parties, and they and their staff were deliberately drawn from all sections of the country. Just because of the standing of the Commissioners, efforts to impugn their rectitude and wisdom tend to cast doubt on the whole leadership of American society. Moreover, there seems to be an increasing tendency to hint that President Johnson himself, as the one person who might be said to have benefited, was in some way responsible for the assassination.

Innuendo of such seriousness affects not only the individual concerned, but also the whole reputation of the American government. Our organization itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation. Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us. The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments.

3. Action. We do not recommend that discussion of the assassination question be initiated where it is not already taking place. Where discussion is active [business] addresses are requested:

a. To discuss the publicity problem with and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out that the Warren Commission made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation.

b. To employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passing to assets. Our ploy should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (I) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (I) politically interested, (III) financially interested, (IV) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (V) infatuated with their own theories. In the course of discussions of the whole phenomenon of criticism, a useful strategy may be to single out Epstein's theory for attack, using the attached Fletcher article and Spectator piece for background. (Although Mark Lane's book is much less convincing than Epstein's and comes off badly where confronted by knowledgeable critics, it is also much more difficult to answer as a whole, as one becomes lost in a morass of unrelated details.)

4. In private to media discussions not directed at any particular writer, or in attacking publications which may be yet forthcoming, the following arguments should be useful:

a. No significant new evidence has emerged which the Commission did not consider. The assassination is sometimes compared (e.g., by Joachim Joesten and Bertrand Russell) with the Dreyfus case; however, unlike that case, the attack on the Warren Commission have produced no new evidence, no new culprits have been convincingly identified, and there is no agreement among the critics. (A better parallel, though an imperfect one, might be with the Reichstag fire of 1933, which some competent historians (Fritz Tobias, AJ.P. Taylor, D.C. Watt) now believe was set by Vander Lubbe on his own initiative, without acting for either Nazis or Communists; the Nazis tried to pin the blame on the Communists, but the latter have been more successful in convincing the world that the Nazis were to blame.)

b. Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others. They tend to place more emphasis on the recollections of individual witnesses (which are less reliable and more divergent - and hence offer more hand-holds for criticism) and less on ballistics, autopsy, and photographic evidence. A close examination of the Commission's records will usually show that the conflicting eyewitness accounts are quoted out of context, or were discarded by the Commission for good and sufficient reason.

c. Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States, esp. since informants could expect to receive large royalties, etc. Note that Robert Kennedy, Attorney General at the time and John F. Kennedy's brother, would be the last man to overlook or conceal any conspiracy. And as one reviewer pointed out, Congressman Gerald R. Ford would hardly have held his tongue for the sake of the Democratic administration, and Senator Russell would have had every political interest in exposing any misdeeds on the part of Chief Justice Warren. A conspirator moreover would hardly choose a location for a shooting where so much depended on conditions beyond his control: the route, the speed of the cars, the moving target, the risk that the assassin would be discovered. A group of wealthy conspirators could have arranged much more secure conditions.

d. Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride: they light on some theory and fall in love with it; they also scoff at the Commission because it did not always answer every question with a flat decision one way or the other. Actually, the make-up of the Commission and its staff was an excellent safeguard against over-commitment to any one theory, or against the illicit transformation of probabilities into certainties.

e. Oswald would not have been any sensible person's choice for a co-conspirator. He was a "loner," mixed up, of questionable reliability and an unknown quantity to any professional intelligence service.

f. As to charges that the Commission's report was a rush job, it emerged three months after the deadline originally set. But to the degree that the Commission tried to speed up its reporting, this was largely due to the pressure of irresponsible speculation already appearing, in some cases coming from the same critics who, refusing to admit their errors, are now putting out new criticisms.

g. Such vague accusations as that "more than ten people have died mysteriously" can always be explained in some natural way e.g.: the individuals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes; the Commission staff questioned 418 witnesses (the FBI interviewed far more people, conduction 25,000 interviews and re interviews), and in such a large group, a certain number of deaths are to be expected. (When Penn Jones, one of the originators of the "ten mysterious deaths" line, appeared on television, it emerged that two of the deaths on his list were from heart attacks, one from cancer, one was from a head-on collision on a bridge, and one occurred when a driver drifted into a bridge abutment.)

5. Where possible, counter speculation by encouraging reference to the Commission's Report itself. Open-minded foreign readers should still be impressed by the care, thoroughness, objectivity and speed with which the Commission worked. Reviewers of other books might be encouraged to add to their account the idea that, checking back with the report itself, they found it far superior to the work of its critics.

More than a decade after the assassination, when I won a lawsuit against various police and spy organizations in the United States district court in Washington, D.C., pursuant to the order of the court, I received many long-suppressed documents.

Among them was a top-secret CIA report. It stated that the CIA was deeply troubled by my work in questioning the conclusions of the Warren Report and that polls that had been taken revealed that almost half of the American people believed as I did. The report stated, "Doubtless polls abroad would show similar, or possibly more adverse, results." This "trend of opinion," the CIA said, "is a matter of concern" to "our organization." To counter developing opinion within the United States, the CIA suggested that steps be taken. It should be emphasized, the CIA said, that "the members of the Warren Commission were naturally chosen for their integrity, experience, and prominence. Just because of the standing of the commissioners, efforts to impugn their rectitude and wisdom tend to cast doubt on the whole leadership of American society.

The purpose of the CIA secret document was apparent. In this instance, there was no need for incisive analysis. The CIA report stated "The aim of this dispatch is to provide material for countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments." The commission had been chosen in such a fashion so that it might subsequently be asserted that those who questioned its finding, by comparing the known facts to the false conclusions offered by the commission, might be said to be subversive.

Who were these people who wished to throw suspicion upon the leaders of the land? The CIA report listed them as Mark Lane, Joachim Joesten, as well as a French writer, Leo Sauvage. Most of the criticism was directed at me. The CIA directed that this matter be discussed with "liaison and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)," instructing these persons "that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition." The CIA continued: "Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation." The CIA was quite specific about the means that should be employed to prevent criticism of the report:

"Employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passage to assets. Our play should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (i) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (ii) politically interested, (iii) financially interested, (iv) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (v) infatuated with their own theories. In the course of discussions of the whole phenomenon of criticism, a useful strategy may be to single out Edward Jay Epstein's theory for attack, using the attached Fletcher Knebel article and Spectator piece for background." According to the CIA, my book, Rush to Judgment, was "much more difficult to answer as a whole." The agency document did not list any errors in the book.

Just in case the book reviewers did not get the point, the CIA offered specific language that they might incorporate into their critiques. "Reviewers" of the books "might be encouraged to add to their account the idea that, checking back with the Report itself, they found it far superior to the work of its critics."

Among those who criticized Rush to Judgment and other books along lines similar to those suggested by the CIA were the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and, especially, Walter Cronkite and CBS. Among those who did not march in lockstep with the intelligence agencies' effort to destroy the First Amendment were the Houston Post; Norman Mailer, who reviewed Rush to Judgment in the United States and Len Deighton, who reviewed it in London.

The question persists, in view of the elaborate and illegal program undertaken by the CIA to malign American citizens and to discourage publishers from printing dissents from the Warren Commission Report, as to the motivation for these efforts. Again, we turn to the CIA dispatch: "Our organization itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation." Yes, the CIA was directly involved and it did make its contribution to the investigation. What else the CIA did to constitute its "direct" involvement in the assassination was left unsaid by the authors of its report.

Let us focus at this point upon the information that the CIA contributed. Its major contribution was the presentation of the Mexico City story to Earl Warren. The CIA seemed desperately concerned that its Mexico City story might be questioned. Indeed, it was this aberrant behavior by the CIA with this aspect of the case that led me to focus more intently on the case.

The first book review of Rush to Judgment was never printed in any newspaper or journal, at least not in the form in which the review originally appeared. The book was published in mid-August 1966. Before I saw the printer's proofs, the CIA had obtained a copy. On August 2, 1966, the CIA published a document entitled "Review of Book - Rush to Judgment by Mark Lane." I did not learn the existence of that document for almost a decade. The review centered upon statements I had written about Oswald in Mexico City: "On pages 351 and 352, Lane discusses the photograph of the unknown individual which was taken by the CIA in Mexico City. The photograph was furnished by this Agency to the FBI after the assassination of President Kennedy. The FBI then showed it to Mrs. Marguerite Oswald who later claimed the photograph to be that of lack Ruby. A discussion of the incident, the photograph itself, and related affidavits, all appear in the Commission's Report (Vol. XI, p. 469; Vol. XVI, p. 638). Lane asserts that the photograph was evidently taken in front of the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City on 27 September 1963, and that it was furnished to the FBI on the morning of 22 November."

The concern about my relatively nonincriminating disclosure was surprising to me at the time, however, a decade after the assassination it became apparent that the case that the CIA had so painstakingly constructed, placing Oswald in Mexico City at the two embassies, had fallen apart as if it were a house of cards. Not one material bit of evidence remained. It was a new day. The war in Vietnam and crimes committed by authorities, including President Nixon, were beginning to convince the American people that simplistic explanations of past national tragedies might be challenged. Statements by leaders of government or federal police officials were no longer sacrosanct.

The CIA's choice of George Orwell's Animal Farm to produce as an animated film almost makes sense. Almost, but not quite, because the book's ending shows both the pigs and humans joined together as corrupt and evil powers. To use Animal Farm for its purpose, as Stonor Saunders reveals, the CIA's Office of Policy Coordination, which directed covert government operations, had two members of their Psychological Warfare Workshop staff obtain the screen rights to the novel. Howard Hunt, who became infamous as a member of the Watergate break-in team, is identified as head of the operation. His contact in Hollywood was Carleton Alsop, brother of writer Joseph Alsop, who was working undercover at Paramount. Working with Alsop was Finis Farr, a writer living in Los Angeles.

It was Alsop and Farr who went to England to negotiate the rights to the property from Sonia Orwell. Mrs Orwell probably knew Farr as she moved in literary and artistic circles as an assistant to the editor of Horizon magazine. This is well documented in The Girl from the Fiction Department by Hilary Spurling. Mrs Orwell signed after Alsop and Farr agreed to arrange for her to meet her hero, Clark Gable. "As a measure of thanks", a CIA official named Joe Bryan made the arrangements for the meeting, according to The Paper Trail, edited by Jon Elliston.

Hunt selected Louis De Rochemont to be the film's producer at Paramount. Before the war, in 1935, De Rochemont had created The March of Time, a new form of screen journalism that combined the newsreel and documentary film into a 15- to 20-minute entertaining short that went behind the news to explain the significance of an event. The March of Time, sponsored by the Time-Life Company, was a popular monthly series for over a decade before ending in 1951.

Hunt probably chose De Rochemont because he had once worked for him on The March of Time series. De Rochemont had also worked on socially and politically sensitive films for many years. He produced the anti-Nazi spy film The House on 92nd Street (1945) and Lost Boundaries (1949), one of the first racially aware films (it is about a black doctor who passes for white until he is unmasked by the black community).

A recently published book, British Cinema and the Cold War: the State, Propaganda and the Consensus by Tony Shaw, suggests De Rochemont chose Halas and Batchelor to animate the film as production costs were lower in England and because he questioned the loyalty of some American animators. The House Un-American Activities Committee hearings on communists in the film industry began in earnest in 1951 (Disney testified at short-lived hearings that were held in 1947) and several people in the animation industry were blacklisted, careers were ruined or disrupted.

On the other hand, Vivien Halas, daughter of the film's co-directors John Halas and Joy Batchelor, suggests the real reason they got the contract is that Louis De Rochemont was a Navy buddy and good friend of screenwriters-producers Philip Stapp and Lothar Wolff. De Rochemont had worked with them in the Navy's film unit and Vivien's mother had worked closely with Stapp in 1949 on a Marshall Plan film produced by Halas and Batchelor, The Shoemaker and the Hatter. Eventually Stapp and Wolff would be hired to work on Animal Farm's script.

Although the decision on what firm to hire came at a bleak moment for some American animation companies (the film could have been produced in Los Angeles by a studio whose reputation was beyond reproach), I suspect Halas and Batchelor's reputation, personal friendships and budgetary restraints were important factors in the decision to award them the contract.

Animal Farm was the first animated feature produced in England. John Halas (1912-1995) was born in Budapest and had worked as an animator before moving to Paris. He moved to England and in 1940 formed Halas and Batchelor with Joy Batchelor (1914-1991), a British animator and scriptwriter. They were married a year later. During the war they were kept busy with training, propaganda and other forms of government-sponsored films.

The animation firm was awarded the contract to make the feature in November 1951 and it was completed in April 1954. It is logical to assume that before the contract was signed De Rochemont made it quite clear that the film would not be identical to the book and he may have had a rough script or other guidelines. Vivien says that during the production, the script went through several changes before it was finalised...

Vivien recalls, "The changes came about as the film evolved. There were at least nine versions of the script and heated discussions about the end. My mother especially felt it was wrong to change the ending." She has a tape recording of her father saying that the ending they used offers a glimmer of hope for the future. In an interview on British television in 1980, he defended the ending as being necessary to give the audience hope for the future. "You can not send home millions in the audience being puzzled"...

The film did well at the box office and the reviews were favourable, but some critics suggested people should read the book to learn what was left out. The film was later distributed around the world by the United States Information Agency (USIA) through its overseas libraries.

Fortunately for the CIA, two factors predisposed the major Hollywood studios that dominated the industry to take a "responsible" position in the cultural Cold War. The other was the fact that the men who ran the studios were intensely patriotic and anticommunist - they saw it as their duty to help their government defeat the Soviet threat.

This spontaneous willingness of the moviemakers to cooperate with U.S. officialdom manifested itself in many ways. Some ways were overt (boosting the Army or Navy in war movies, for example, or helping the United States Information Agency make pro-American documentaries), others covert. The most dramatic instance of the latter was Militant Liberty, a multi-agency propaganda campaign devised in 1954 with the aim of embedding American-style democratic values in foreign cultures, especially in such new theaters of the Cold War as Central America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. (Secret planning documents identified "target" countries for "testing" the program, including Japan.)

Although the architects of Militant Liberty did not limit themselves to cinema other "informational" techniques discussed included letter-writing and leader exchanges - they did attach particular importance to film production, reflecting the common assumption of Cold War western propagandists that the moving image was the most appropriate medium for "Third World" audiences. Among the several Hollywood personalities who volunteered their services for this program were eminent director and former OSS filmmaker John Ford; the cinematic embodiment of the American masculine ideal, actor John Wayne; and world-famous studio boss/director Cecil B. DeMille (who had already agreed to serve as film consultant to the recently created USIA). Along with a few other key studio players, such as Twentieth Century-Fox boss Darryl Zanuck, this group composed what Frances Stonor Saunders has called the "Hollywood consortium," an informal but powerful group of movie artists and moguls who shared the belief that (in the words of foreign market specialist Eric Johnston), "We need to make certain our films are doing a good job for our nation and our industry."


Operation Mockingbird

The idea of a large organisation controlling the minds and thoughts of individuals, pushing them towards a specific ideology and certain life choices, may seem as science fiction, or as an absurd conspiracy that can be found in books and movies. However, for some, it is certainly not a new surprising discovery that corporations, organisations and politicians, manipulate public opinion in order to fit certain agendas. These, are in their turn manipulated by even bigger and more powerful organisations, such as the government itself.

The CIA controlling and manipulating civilians’ minds is not fiction: it is a conspiracy turned out to be true during the 1970s in the USA.

Following the Second World War, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was able to gain control over what was being published not only in the USA but more in general across the globe. It exerted much influence over what the public should be allowed to see, and what should be concealed. In essence, it ruled what ‘the public saw, heard and read on a regular basis’ (Tracy 2018).

Operation Mockingbird is a United States CIA campaign that aimed not only to influence the media but also infiltrate it.

Since the 1950s, the CIA started recruiting journalists, editors, and students in order to write and promulgate false stories. The CIA’s stories were entirely propaganda and their employees were paid huge salaries in order to promote such fake news. Essentially, the CIA managed to control both national and international newspapers through a bribe.

During the ‘50s, Cord Meyer and Allen W. Dulles devised and organised a propaganda outreach program. They recruited leading American journalists into a network in order to promulgate the CIA’s views.

The CIA went to the extremes of funding students, cultural organisations, and magazines that would spread the CIA’s views of events.

However, the suspicion that the CIA could manipulate public opinion arose between 1972-1974 due to the Watergate Scandal, which exposed President Nixon’s involvement in the war in Vietnam.

In fact, Nixon had adopted two strategies: whereas on the one side he was employing aggressive strategies in order to try and appease North Vietnam, on the other, he was trying to appease the protests in the U.S. by demonstrating through the press and the news that he was aiming to achieve a peace agreement and bring home the American troops. When the truth about Nixon’s Vietnamization was revealed, many started to question up to which point was the CIA enmeshed in the publishing of news and information (Slate 2018).

Moreover, during the Cold War, the CIA supported many prominent writers and artists such as Arthur Schlesinger and Jackson Pollock in their ‘propaganda war against the Soviet Union’ (Washington 2017).

In 1977, Carl Bernstein published The CIA and the Media in Rolling Stone. The article exposed much of the CIA’s attitude towards the spreading of fake news and it’s tacit’ as well as ‘explicit’ collaboration with journalists. Bernstein explains how journalists did not limit themselves to write what the CIA suggested: their relationship was much more complicated and intimate. In fact, reporters ‘shared their notebooks with the CIA’, some of the journalists were also award-winning writers, and others became spies in Communist countries (Bernstein 1977).

According to Dice (2016), more than a billion dollars were being invested each year in such propaganda programs. The CIA’s writers were generously retributed, and there were no limits on how much they could receive: sometimes they were paid more than half a million dollars to spread the information required by the CIA.

When the CIA was caught out in their wrongdoings, they did not reveal the newspapers and the names of the journalists with whom they had collaborated in the past (Harrock 1976).

However, in 1973, the Washington Star published the names of around three dozens of American journalists. According to the CIA, revealing the names of those who had worked with them, meant ‘endangering’ the writers’ and reporters’ lives, as well as making them appear in a ‘ridicule’ light (Harrock 1976).

Church Committee and actions to prevent the CIA’s involvement in the news

During the 1970s, the Church Committee was created by Senator Frank Church in order to investigate any ‘government operations and potential abuses’ carried out by the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and the IRS (Goldfarb 2018). During an interview, Senator Church publicly claimed: ‘we have quite a lot of detailed information and we will evaluate it and we will include any evidence of wrongdoing or any evidence of impropriety in our final report, and we will make recommendation’.

In 1973, the CIA published Family Jewels, a book which exposes all the information that had been hidden and/or manipulated through the years. The book is around seven-hundred pages long.
Moreover, in the same year the Director of the CIA, William E. Colby stated that ‘CIA will undertake no activity in which there is a risk of influencing domestic public opinion, either directly or indirectly. The Agency will continue its prohibition against the placement of material in the American media. In certain instances, usually, where the initiative is on the part of the media, CIA will occasionally provide factual non-attributable briefings to various elements of the media, but only in cases where we are sure that the senior editorial staff is aware of the source of the information provided’ (Slate 2018 citing Colby).

In 1975, the CIA admitted their manipulation of mainstream media in order to forge and redirect the opinions of American citizens. They admitted that information was distorted in order to fit specific agendas. Following a report published by the U.S. Congress 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’.

Although in 1975 George H.W. Bush publicly ended the CIA relations with the U.S. media, the CIA is still actively involved with foreign news organisations, which in turn, feed the United States media with information.

Bush established that ‘the CIA will not enter into any paid or contractual relationships with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any United States news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station’ (Slate 2018).

Although in 1976, Colby claimed that Central Intelligence had broken all relations and ties with journalists in 1973, this is hard to believe (Harrock 1976). Moreover, he also stated that he did not see any harm in purchasing information from ‘part-time correspondents who sell their information to news organisations in the country’ (Harrock 1976).

However, a general suspicion took over the Capitol City: all conservative journalists and former CIA employees that had rapidly achieved recognition within the news world were now regarded with mistrust (Harrock 1976).

The same year, Senator Church published in his report that the CIA had a strong network composed of ‘several hundred foreign individuals around the world’ that were dedicated to providing the Central Intelligence with misleading news (Slate 2018).

In fact, American journalist Scott Shane gives an account of his experience with the CIA: in 1979, he received their recruitment letter in which they ‘expressed “tentative interest” in [his] qualifications’ (Shane 2018). Shane declined the offer of collaborating with the CIA, and his file was placed in the ‘inactive section’ (Shane 201).

According to Bernstein (1977), the people that worked undercover for the CIA often were employed by the ‘CBS, Time, the New York Times, the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Copley News Service, ABC, NBC, Reuters’, and so on. Moreover, throughout the 1950s, the CIA invested much money in training their agents as journalists: according to members of the CIA, they ‘were taught to make noises like reporters’ before being placed in powerful organisations (Bernstein 1977).

In essence, mass media is able to implement manipulative strategies in order to alter ‘global perception’ about events, people, and situations (Washington 2017 citing Davis 2008). Certainly, it would be naive to believe that the government has stopped paying journalists ‘to spread disinformation’ (Washington 2017). The United States are often the first to spread information in order to serve their own objectives: as Washington (2017) points out, ‘the government plants disinformation in American media in order to mislead foreigners’.


The Craziest CIA Operations That The Government Doesn't Want You To Know About

Whether you realize it or not, the Central Intelligence Agency is controlling everything around you. Otherwise known as the CIA, these are the guys responsible for gathering any and all information going on throughout the world. They keep all matters of business in check, even if it's not their business in the first place. But what does this mean for us? Well, everything.

They are essentially pulling all of the strings. Their authority is truly far-reaching and overrides most common sense. Former CIA Director William Colby was quoted as once saying, "The CIA owns everyone of major significance in the major media." He isn't lying either.

It's their duty to protect the well being of their citizens, even if that means hurting them. We all know that the U.S. will go out of their way to run things the way they want. And most of the time, that means some dirty play is involved.

While they have chilled out in recent years, don't expect them to just slow their role down completely. They're still very much active and better at cleaning up their tracks than ever before. So the next time you are shocked at an unexplainable event or tragedy, just remember -- it's not always what it seems.

The Centralized Intelligence may just be behind it. Don't believe me? Check out the different ways they've manipulated the public in the past. These are the craziest CIA operations that the government doesn't want you to know about.

Project Pigeon (1944)

Technology was so primitive during World War II that the CIA actually enlisted pigeons to conduct some of their operations. So what exactly were they trained to do? Well just help guide their missile systems. Nothing important, really (sarcasm).

Researcher BF Skinner was hired by the agency to teach these birds a thing or two about defending our country. Unfortunately there was never really any progress as the pigeons would just fly off course. That's $25,000 down the drain for one of the stupidest projects in our country's history.

Operation Northwoods (1962)

The CIA proposed Operation Northwoods to President John F. Kennedy in 1962. The Cold War was in full effect and in order for the U.S. to take the upper hand against Cuba, they were forced to do something drastic. The controversial project entailed the U.S. government actually going out and committing a series of violent terror acts against their own people. From bombings, to hijackings, riots and assassinations, they were ready to dish it all out.

But why would the United States commit such heinous crimes against their own people? Well that's because they wanted to have a good excuse to put all of the blame on Cuba and wage war against the communists. They just needed a good reason. With Fidel Castro in power, they were looking for any way to remove this status. JFK eventually rejected this offer. These plans were released in 1997 and this may just have something to do with his assassination.

Operation Mockingbird (1951)

Americans were being fed tons of propaganda during the 1950s. And this was all thanks to Operation Mockingbird. The CIA conducted mass manipulation of some of the largest press agencies. Everything from the New York Times to Newsweek and even Time Magazine were a part of this.

Literally every story or headline they ran was controlled by the CIA. This was, as a result, a heavy influence to the public opinion. However this operation came to light in the 1960s and the public realized that they had3 been duped.

Acoustic Kitty (1967)

In perhaps the most wasteful attempt of obtaining intelligence, the CIA set out to use the common house cat as a master of espionage. The results? Well just as you'd expect.

Over $20 million was invested into "Acoustic Kitty" as recording devices were strapped to the felines and even had surgically implanted microphones, antennae and batteries in their tails. The goal was to release them around the Russian embassy to collect intel. Unfortunately the first cat put into the field was run over by a taxi and the operation was dropped shortly after.

The Bay of Pigs Invasion (1960)

The Bay of Pigs was supposed to be one of the biggest operations in our country's history. However after much miscue, the secret operation to invade Cuba ended up more violent than was intended.

Over 1,300 Cubans were trained by the CIA to dethrone Castro. However Cuban intelligence soon became aware of these plans. As a result of this project, 100 Americanized Cubans and 2,000 Cubans were killed. And that was all during the initial assault. Americans were soon forced to surrender as they were fully ready for an attack.

Operation Mongoose (1962)

In another attempt to overthrow Castro, the CIA implemented Operation Mongoose. This time it was a little more straightforward as members were looking to assassinate him.

One of the interesting ways they went about this was by poisoning his own personal supply of cigars. Fidel somehow ended up surviving all of these frivolous attempts and this operation was yet another failure.

Operation Midnight Climax (1950s)

During the 1950s and 60s, the United States was being introduced to a bounty of new drugs, many of which they didn't know the effects of yet. So what did they do? Well they tested them -- using human subjects of course.

LSD was one of the biggest mysteries and thanks to the CIA, citizens were being administered the trippy drug in an interesting way. The program used safe houses, from California to New York, filled with prostitutes to lure the people in. Once inside, the gentlemen would be more open to experimenting and from there agents could observe them through two-way mirrors.

Here they could see behavioral patterns of the drug and subsequently watch some free live porn. Not a bad deal I guess. But after sexual blackmail became an issue, the operation died down. Good thing they collected enough data.

The Stargate Project (1995)

As per usual, the CIA is always looking for any edge when it comes to collecting data. So when posed with the prospect of studying psychic abilities, they threw in a measly $20 million to launch the Stargate Project.

Using self-proclaimed psychics, this project turned out to be a major failure due to some pretty piss poor results. I guess if there really was such a thing as super human abilities, the government would be using them.

"Operation Gay Sex" (Ongoing)

On more than one occasion, the CIA considered actually producing their own gay porn. But not to be creepy or anything. They were said to have use communist leader look-alikes in order to change their people's perception of them. I guess that is a little creepy.

Especially in communist countries, these types of acts are frowned upon more than anywhere else in the world. The CIA last suggested to use this tactic during the second Gulf War using Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden. Fortunately, this went nowhere and we were all spared from some truly scary sh*t.

Project MK-ULTRA (1950s - Today)

In the most daring of operations conducted by the CIA, the agency decided to conduct experiments of mind control to essentially create "zombies" to perform certain tasks. The test subjects were once again American citizens who were recruited and given LSD or amphetamines, electric shocks and various forms of brain washing.

People were pretty much tortured and pushed to their limits, both physically and chemically. The results of Project MK-ULTRA were successful although what that entails remains to be classified. It is also said that these acts are still being carried out today, however on a much less hazardous scale.


Contents

Centralized operations under COINTELPRO officially began in August 1956 with a program designed to "increase factionalism, cause disruption and win defections" inside the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). Tactics included anonymous phone calls, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits, and the creation of documents that would divide the American communist organization internally. [7] An October 1956 memo from Hoover reclassified the FBI's ongoing surveillance of black leaders, including it within COINTELPRO, with the justification that the movement was infiltrated by communists. [28] In 1956, Hoover sent an open letter denouncing Dr. T. R. M. Howard, a civil rights leader, surgeon, and wealthy entrepreneur in Mississippi who had criticized FBI inaction in solving recent murders of George W. Lee, Emmett Till, and other African Americans in the South. [29] When the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an African-American civil rights organization, was founded in 1957, the FBI began to monitor and target the group almost immediately, focusing particularly on Bayard Rustin, Stanley Levison, and eventually Martin Luther King Jr. [30]

After the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Hoover singled out King as a major target for COINTELPRO. Under pressure from Hoover to focus on King, Sullivan wrote: [32]

In the light of King's powerful demagogic speech. . We must mark him now if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security.

Soon after, the FBI was systematically bugging King's home and his hotel rooms, as they were now aware that King was growing in stature daily as the most prominent leader of the civil rights movement. [33]

In the mid-1960s, King began to publicly criticize the Bureau for giving insufficient attention to the use of terrorism by white supremacists. Hoover responded by publicly calling King the most "notorious liar" in the United States. [34] In his 1991 memoir Washington Post journalist Carl Rowan asserted that the FBI had sent at least one anonymous letter to King encouraging him to commit suicide. [35] Historian Taylor Branch documents an anonymous November 21, 1964 "suicide package" sent by the FBI that contained audio recordings obtained through tapping King's phone and placing bugs throughout various hotel rooms over the past two years, [36] and that was created two days after the announcement of King's impending Nobel Peace Prize. [36] The tape, which was prepared by FBI audio technician John Matter, [36] documented a series of King's sexual indiscretions combined with a letter telling him: "There is only one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation". [37] King was subsequently informed that the audio would be released to the media if he did not acquiesce and commit suicide prior to accepting his Nobel Peace Prize. [36] When King refused to satisfy their coercion tactics, FBI Associate Director, Cartha D. DeLoach, commenced a media campaign offering the surveillance transcript to various news organizations, including Newsweek and Newsday. [36] And even by 1969, as has been noted elsewhere, "[FBI] efforts to 'expose' Martin Luther King Jr. had not slackened even though King had been dead for a year. [The Bureau] furnished ammunition to opponents that enabled attacks on King's memory, and . tried to block efforts to honor the slain leader." [37]

During the same period the program also targeted Malcolm X. While an FBI spokesman has denied that the FBI was "directly" involved in Malcolm's murder in 1965, it is documented that the Bureau worked to "widen the rift" between Malcolm and Elijah Muhammad through infiltration and the "sparking of acrimonious debates within the organization", rumor-mongering, and other tactics designed to foster internal disputes, which ultimately led to Malcolm's assassination. [38] [39] The FBI heavily infiltrated Malcolm's Organization of Afro-American Unity in the final months of his life. The Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Malcolm X by Manning Marable asserts that most of the men who plotted Malcolm's assassination were never apprehended and that the full extent of the FBI's involvement in his death cannot be known. [40] [41]

Amidst the urban unrest of July–August 1967, the FBI began "COINTELPRO–BLACK HATE", which focused on King and the SCLC, as well as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), the Deacons for Defense and Justice, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the Nation of Islam. [42] BLACK HATE established the Ghetto Informant Program and instructed 23 FBI offices to "disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist hate type organizations". [43]

A March 1968 memo stated the program's goal was to "prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups" to "Prevent the RISE OF A 'MESSIAH' who could unify . the militant black nationalist movement" "to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence [against authorities]." to "Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining RESPECTABILITY, by discrediting them to . both the responsible community and to liberals who have vestiges of sympathy. " and to "prevent the long-range GROWTH of militant black organizations, especially among youth". Dr. King was said to have potential to be the "messiah" figure, should he abandon nonviolence and integrationism, [44] and Stokely Carmichael was noted to have "the necessary charisma to be a real threat in this way" as he was portrayed as someone who espoused a much more militant vision of "black power". [45] While the FBI was particularly concerned with leaders and organizers, they did not limit their scope of target to the heads of organizations. Individuals such as writers were also listed among the targets of operations. [46]

This program coincided with a broader federal effort to prepare military responses for urban riots and began increased collaboration between the FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and the Department of Defense. The CIA launched its own domestic espionage project in 1967 called Operation CHAOS. [47] A particular target was the Poor People's Campaign, a national effort organized by King and the SCLC to occupy Washington, DC. The FBI monitored and disrupted the campaign on a national level, while using targeted smear tactics locally to undermine support for the march. [48] The Black Panther Party was another targeted organization, wherein the FBI collaborated to destroy the party from the inside out. [46]

Overall, COINTELPRO encompassed disruption and sabotage of the Socialist Workers Party (1961), the Ku Klux Klan (1964), the Nation of Islam, the Black Panther Party (1967), and the entire New Left social/political movement, which included antiwar, community, and religious groups (1968). A later investigation by the Senate's Church Committee (see below) stated that "COINTELPRO began in 1956, in part because of frustration with Supreme Court rulings limiting the Government's power to proceed overtly against dissident groups." [49] Official congressional committees and several court cases [50] have concluded that COINTELPRO operations against communist and socialist groups exceeded statutory limits on FBI activity and violated constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and association. [1]

Program revealed Edit

The program was secret until 1971, when the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI burgled an FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania, took several dossiers, and exposed the program by passing this material to news agencies. [51] The boxing match known as the Fight of the Century between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in March 1971 provided cover for the activist group to successfully pull off the burglary. Muhammad Ali was a COINTELPRO target because he had joined the Nation of Islam and the anti-war movement. [52]

Many news organizations initially refused to immediately publish the information, with the notable exception of The Washington Post. After affirming the reliability of the documents, it published them on the front page (in defiance of the Attorney General's request), prompting other organizations to follow suit. Within the year, Director J. Edgar Hoover declared that the centralized COINTELPRO was over, and that all future counterintelligence operations would be handled case by case. [53] [54]

Additional documents were revealed in the course of separate lawsuits filed against the FBI by NBC correspondent Carl Stern, the Socialist Workers Party, and a number of other groups. In 1976 the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities of the United States Senate, commonly referred to as the "Church Committee" after its chairman, Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho), launched a major investigation of the FBI and COINTELPRO. Many released documents have been partly or entirely redacted.

The Final Report of the Select Committee castigated the conduct of the intelligence community in its domestic operations (including COINTELPRO) in no uncertain terms:

The Committee finds that the domestic activities of the intelligence community at times violated specific statutory prohibitions and infringed the constitutional rights of American citizens. The legal questions involved in intelligence programs were often not considered. On other occasions, they were intentionally disregarded in the belief that because the programs served the "national security" the law did not apply. While intelligence officers on occasion failed to disclose to their superiors programs which were illegal or of questionable legality, the Committee finds that the most serious breaches of duty were those of senior officials, who were responsible for controlling intelligence activities and generally failed to assure compliance with the law. [1] Many of the techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all of the targets had been involved in violent activity, but COINTELPRO went far beyond that . the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propagation of dangerous ideas would protect the national security and deter violence. [49]

The Church Committee documented a history of the FBI exercising political repression as far back as World War I, and through the 1920s, when agents were charged with rounding up "anarchists, communists, socialists, reformists and revolutionaries" for deportation. From 1936 through 1976, the domestic operations were increased against political and anti-war groups.

The intended effect of the FBI's COINTELPRO was to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, or otherwise neutralize" groups that the FBI officials believed were "subversive" [55] by instructing FBI field operatives to: [56]

  1. Create a negative public image for target groups (for example through surveilling activists and then releasing negative personal information to the public)
  2. Break down internal organization by creating conflicts (for example, by having agents exacerbate racial tensions, or send anonymous letters to try to create conflicts)
  3. Create dissension between groups (for example, by spreading rumors that other groups were stealing money)
  4. Restrict access to public resources (for example, by pressuring non-profit organizations to cut off funding or material support)
  5. Restrict the ability to organize protest (for example, through agents promoting violence against police during planning and at protests)
  6. Restrict the ability of individuals to participate in group activities (for example, by character assassinations, false arrests, surveillance)

At its inception, the program's main target was the Communist Party. [46]

In an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr in February 1996, Noam Chomsky—a political activist and MIT professor of linguistics—spoke about the purpose and the targets of COINTELPRO, saying: [57]

COINTELPRO was a program of subversion carried out not by a couple of petty crooks but by the national political police, the FBI, under four administrations. by the time it got through, I won't run through the whole story, it was aimed at the entire new left, at the women's movement, at the whole black movement, it was extremely broad. Its actions went as far as political assassination.

While the declared purposes of these programs were to protect the "national security" or prevent violence, Bureau witnesses admit that many of the targets were nonviolent and most had no connections with a foreign power. Indeed, nonviolent organizations and individuals were targeted because the Bureau believed they represented a "potential" for violence—and nonviolent citizens who were against the war in Vietnam were targeted because they gave "aid and comfort" to violent demonstrators by lending respectability to their cause.

The imprecision of the targeting is demonstrated by the inability of the Bureau to define the subjects of the programs. The Black Nationalist program, according to its supervisor, included "a great number of organizations that you might not today characterize as black nationalist but which were in fact primarily black". Thus, the nonviolent Southern Christian Leadership Conference was labeled as a Black Nationalist-"Hate Group".

Furthermore, the actual targets were chosen from a far broader group than the titles of the programs would imply. The CPUSA program targeted not only Communist Party members but also sponsors of the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee and civil rights leaders allegedly under Communist influence or deemed to be not sufficiently "anti-Communist". The Socialist Workers Party program included non-SWP sponsors of anti-war demonstrations which were cosponsored by the SWP or the Young Socialist Alliance, its youth group. The Black Nationalist program targeted a range of organizations from the Panthers to SNCC to the peaceful Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and included every Black Student Union and many other black student groups. New Left targets ranged from the SDS to the InterUniversity Committee for Debate on Foreign Policy, from Antioch College ("vanguard of the New Left") to the New Mexico Free University and other "alternate" schools, and from underground newspapers to students' protesting university censorship of a student publication by carrying signs with four-letter words on them.

Examples of surveillance, spanning all presidents from FDR to Nixon, both legal and illegal, contained in the Church Committee report: [59]

    (1933–1945) asked the FBI to put in its files the names of citizens sending telegrams to the White House opposing his "national defense" policy and supporting Col. Charles Lindbergh. (1945–1953) received inside information on a former Roosevelt aide's efforts to influence his appointments, labor union negotiating plans, and the publishing plans of journalists. (1953–1961) received reports on purely political and social contacts with foreign officials by Bernard Baruch, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.
  • The Kennedy administration (1961–1963) had the FBI wiretap a congressional staff member, three executive officials, a lobbyist, and a Washington law firm. US Attorney GeneralRobert F. Kennedy received the fruits of an FBI wire tap on Martin Luther King Jr. and an electronic listening device targeting a congressman, both of which yielded information of a political nature. (1963–1969) asked the FBI to conduct "name checks" of his critics and members of the staff of his 1964 opponent, Senator Barry Goldwater. He also requested purely political intelligence on his critics in the Senate, and received extensive intelligence reports on political activity at the 1964 Democratic Convention from FBI electronic surveillance. (1969–1974) authorized a program of wiretaps, which produced for the White House purely political or personal information unrelated to national security, including information about a Supreme Court Justice.

Groups that were known to be targets of COINTELPRO operations include: [60]

    and socialist organizations.
  • Organizations and individuals associated with the civil rights movement, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Congress of Racial Equality, and other civil rights organizations. groups.
  • The Young Lords.
  • The American Indian Movement. groups, including the Ku Klux Klan.
  • The National States' Rights Party.
  • A broad range of organizations labeled "New Left", including Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen.
  • Almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, as well as individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation.
  • The National Lawyers Guild.
  • Organizations and individuals associated with the women's rights movement.
  • Nationalist groups such as those seeking independence for Puerto Rico, United Ireland, and Cuban exile movements including Orlando Bosch's Cuban Power and the Cuban Nationalist Movement.
  • Additional notable American individuals.

The COINTELPRO operators targeted multiple groups at once and encouraged splintering of these groups from within. In letter-writing campaigns (wherein false letters were sent on behalf of members of parties), the FBI ensured that groups would not unite in their causes. For instance, they launched a campaign specifically to alienate the Black Panther Party from the Mau Maus, Young Lords, Young Patriots and SDS. These racially diverse groups had been building alliances, in part due to charismatic leaders such as Fred Hampton and his attempts to create a "Rainbow Coalition". The FBI was concerned with ensuring that groups could not gain traction through unity, specifically across racial lines. One of the main ways of targeting these groups was to arouse suspicion between the different parties and causes. In this way the bureau took on a divide and conquer offensive. [46]

The COINTELPRO documents show numerous cases of the FBI's intentions to prevent and disrupt protests against the Vietnam War. Many techniques were used to accomplish this task. "These included promoting splits among antiwar forces, encouraging red-baiting of socialists, and pushing violent confrontations as an alternative to massive, peaceful demonstrations." One 1966 COINTELPRO operation tried to redirect the Socialist Workers Party from their pledge of support for the antiwar movement. [61]

The FBI has said that it no longer undertakes COINTELPRO or COINTELPRO-like operations. However, critics have claimed that agency programs in the spirit of COINTELPRO targeted groups such as the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, [62] the American Indian Movement, [12] [63] Earth First!, [64] and the anti-globalization movement. [65]

According to attorney Brian Glick in his book War at Home, the FBI used five main methods during COINTELPRO:

  1. Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. Their main purpose was to discredit, disrupt and negatively redirect action. Their very presence served to undermine trust and scare off potential supporters. The FBI and police exploited this fear to smear genuine activists as agents.
  2. Psychological warfare: The FBI and police used myriad "dirty tricks" to undermine progressive movements. They planted false media stories and published bogus leaflets and other publications in the name of targeted groups. They forged correspondence, sent anonymous letters, and made anonymous telephone calls. They spread misinformation about meetings and events, set up pseudo movement groups run by government agents, and manipulated or strong-armed parents, employers, landlords, school officials, and others to cause trouble for activists. They used bad-jacketing to create suspicion about targeted activists, sometimes with lethal consequences. [70]
  3. Harassment via the legal system: The FBI and police abused the legal system to harass dissidents and make them appear to be criminals. Officers of the law gave perjured testimony and presented fabricated evidence as a pretext for false arrests and wrongful imprisonment. They discriminatorily enforced tax laws and other government regulations and used conspicuous surveillance, "investigative" interviews, and grand jury subpoenas in an effort to intimidate activists and silence their supporters. [69][71]
  4. Illegal force: The FBI conspired with local police departments to threaten dissidents to conduct illegal break-ins in order to search dissident homes and to commit vandalism, assaults, beatings and assassinations. [69] The objective was to frighten or eliminate dissidents and disrupt their movements.
  5. Undermine public opinion: One of the primary ways the FBI targeted organizations was by challenging their reputations in the community and denying them a platform to gain legitimacy. Hoover specifically designed programs to block leaders from "spreading their philosophy publicly or through the communications media". Furthermore, the organization created and controlled negative media meant to undermine black power organizations. For instance, they oversaw the creation of "documentaries" skillfully edited to paint the Black Panther Party as aggressive, and false newspapers that spread misinformation about party members. The ability of the FBI to create distrust within and between revolutionary organizations tainted their public image and weakened chances at unity and public support. [46]

The FBI specifically developed tactics intended to heighten tension and hostility between various factions in the black power movement, for example between the Black Panthers and the US Organization. For instance, the FBI sent a fake letter to the US Organization exposing a supposed Black Panther plot to murder the head of the US Organization, Ron Karenga. They then intensified this by spreading falsely attributed cartoons in the black communities pitting the Black Panther Party against the US Organization. [46] This resulted in numerous deaths, among which were San Diego Black Panther Party members John Huggins, Bunchy Carter and Sylvester Bell. [69] Another example of the FBI's anonymous letter writing campaign is how they turned the Blackstone Rangers head, Jeff Fort, against former ally Fred Hampton, by stating that Hampton had a hit on Fort. [46] They also were instrumental in developing the rift between Black Panther Party leaders Eldridge Cleaver and Huey Newton, as executed through false letters inciting the two leaders of the Black Panther Party. [46]

Dhoruba Bin Wahad, a former Black Panther, reflects on how these tactics made him feel, saying he had a combat mentality and felt like he was at war with the government. When asked about why he thinks the Black Panthers were targeted he said, "In the United States, the equivalent of the military was the local police. During the early sixties, at the height of the civil rights movement, and the human rights movement, the police in the United States became increasingly militaristic. They began to train out of military bases in the United States. The Law Enforcement Assistance Act supplied local police with military technology, everything from assault rifles to army personnel carriers. In his opinion, the Counterintelligence Program went hand-in-hand with the militarization of the police in the Black community, with the militarization of police in America." [72]

The FBI also conspired with the police departments of many U.S. cities (San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Philadelphia, Chicago) to encourage repeated raids on Black Panther homes—often with little or no evidence of violations of federal, state, or local laws—which resulted directly in the police killing many members of the Black Panther Party, most notably Chicago Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton on December 4, 1969. [15] [69] [73] Before the death of Hampton, long-term infiltrator, William O'Neal, shared floor plans of his apartment with the COINTELPRO team. He then gave Hampton a dose of secobarbital that rendered Hampton unconscious during the raid on his home. [46]

In order to eliminate black militant leaders whom they considered dangerous, the FBI is believed to have worked with local police departments to target specific individuals, [74] accuse them of crimes they did not commit, suppress exculpatory evidence and falsely incarcerate them. Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, a Black Panther Party leader, was incarcerated for 27 years before a California Superior Court vacated his murder conviction, ultimately freeing him. Appearing before the court, an FBI agent testified that he believed Pratt had been framed, because both the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department knew he had not been in the area at the time the murder occurred. [75] [76]

Some sources claim that the FBI conducted more than 200 "black bag jobs", [77] [78] which were warrantless surreptitious entries, against the targeted groups and their members. [79]

In 1969 the FBI special agent in San Francisco wrote Hoover that his investigation of the Black Panther Party had concluded that in his city, at least, the Panthers were primarily engaged in feeding breakfast to children. Hoover fired back a memo implying the agent's career goals would be directly affected by his supplying evidence to support Hoover's view that the Black Panther Party was "a violence-prone organization seeking to overthrow the Government by revolutionary means". [80]

Hoover supported using false claims to attack his political enemies. In one memo he wrote: "Purpose of counterintelligence action is to disrupt the Black Panther Party and it is immaterial whether facts exist to substantiate the charge." [81]

In one particularly controversial 1965 incident, white civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo was murdered by Ku Klux Klansmen, who gave chase and fired shots into her car after noticing that her passenger was a young black man one of the Klansmen was Gary Thomas Rowe, an acknowledged FBI informant. [83] [84] The FBI spread rumors that Liuzzo was a member of the Communist Party and had abandoned her children to have sexual relationships with African Americans involved in the civil rights movement. [85] [86] FBI records show that J. Edgar Hoover personally communicated these insinuations to President Johnson. [87] [88]

FBI informant Rowe has also been implicated in some of the most violent crimes of the 1960s civil rights era, including attacks on the Freedom Riders and the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. [83]

The FBI also financed, armed, and controlled an extreme right-wing group of former Minutemen, transforming it into a group called the Secret Army Organization that targeted groups, activists, and leaders involved in the Anti-War Movement, using both intimidation and violent acts. [10] [89] [90] [91] [92]

Hoover ordered preemptive action "to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence." [22]

The final report of the Church Committee concluded:

Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and too much information has been illegally collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power. The Government, operating primarily through secret and biased informants, but also using other intrusive techniques such as wiretaps, microphone "bugs", surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of information about the personal lives, views, and associations of American citizens. Investigations of groups deemed potentially dangerous—and even of groups suspected of associating with potentially dangerous organizations—have continued for decades, despite the fact that those groups did not engage in unlawful activity.

Groups and individuals have been assaulted, repressed, harassed and disrupted because of their political views, social beliefs and their lifestyles. Investigations have been based upon vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection inevitable. Unsavory, harmful and vicious tactics have been employed—including anonymous attempts to break up marriages, disrupt meetings, ostracize persons from their professions, and provoke target groups into rivalries that might result in deaths. Intelligence agencies have served the political and personal objectives of presidents and other high officials. While the agencies often committed excesses in response to pressure from high officials in the Executive branch and Congress, they also occasionally initiated improper activities and then concealed them from officials whom they had a duty to inform.

Governmental officials—including those whose principal duty is to enforce the law—have violated or ignored the law over long periods of time and have advocated and defended their right to break the law.

The Constitutional system of checks and balances has not adequately controlled intelligence activities. Until recently the Executive branch has neither delineated the scope of permissible activities nor established procedures for supervising intelligence agencies. Congress has failed to exercise sufficient oversight, seldom questioning the use to which its appropriations were being put. Most domestic intelligence issues have not reached the courts, and in those cases when they have reached the courts, the judiciary has been reluctant to grapple with them. [93] [94]

While COINTELPRO was officially terminated in April 1971, domestic espionage continued. [95] [96] [97] Between 1972 and 1974, it is documented that the Bureau planted over 500 bugs without a warrant and opened over 2,000 pieces of personal mail. More recent targets of covert action include the American Indian Movement (AIM), Earth First!, and Committees in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. [98] Documents released under the FOIA show that the FBI tracked the late David Halberstam—a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author—for more than two decades. [99] "Counterterrorism" guidelines implemented during the Reagan administration have been described as allowing a return to COINTELPRO tactics. [100] Some radical groups accuse factional opponents of being FBI informants or assume the FBI is infiltrating the movement. [101] COINTELPRO survivor Filiberto Ojeda Rios was killed by the FBI's hostage rescue team in 2005, [102] his death described by a United Nations special committee as an assassination. [103]

Environmentalist Eric McDavid convicted on arson charges was released after documents emerged demonstrating that the FBI informant in his Earth Liberation Front group provided crucial leadership, information, and material without which the crime could not have been committed, [104] repeating the same pattern of behaviour of COINTELPRO. [105] It has been claimed these sorts of practices have become widespread in FBI counter-terrorism cases targeting left wing politics [106] and Muslims in the 2009 Bronx terrorism plot and others. [107] [108] [109] [110]

Authors such as Ward Churchill, Rex Weyler, and Peter Matthiessen allege that the federal government intended to acquire uranium deposits on the Lakota tribe's reservation land, and that this motivated a larger government conspiracy against AIM activists on the Pine Ridge reservation. [12] [63] [111] [112] [113] Others believe COINTELPRO continues and similar actions are being taken against activist groups. [113] [114] [115] Caroline Woidat says that, with respect to Native Americans, COINTELPRO should be understood within a historical context in which "Native Americans have been viewed and have viewed the world themselves through the lens of conspiracy theory." [113] Other authors argue that while some conspiracy theories related to COINTELPRO are unfounded, the issue of ongoing government surveillance and repression is real. [116] [117] FBI Agent Richard G. Held is known to have increased FBI support for the Guardians of the Oglala Nation (GOON) squads accused of the assault and murder of hundreds of AIM supporters. The Bureau refused to investigate the 64 cases of homicide directly linked to GOON, but committed its resources overwhelmingly to prosecute AIM. [9]

In April 2018, the Atlanta Black Star characterized the FBI as still engaging in COINTELPRO behavior by surveilling the Black Lives Matter movement. Internal documents dated as late as 2017 showed that the FBI had surveilled the movement. [118] In 2014, the FBI tracked a Black Lives Matter activist using surveillance tactics which The Intercept found "reminiscent of a rich American history of targeting black Americans," including COINTELPRO. [119] This practice, along with the imprisonment of black activists for their views, has been associated with the new FBI designation of "Black Identity Extremists". [120] [121]

Defending Rights & Dissent, a civil liberties group, cataloged known instances of First Amendment abuses and political surveillance by the FBI since 2010. The organization found that the feds devoted disproportionate resources to spy on peaceful left-leaning civil society groups, including Occupy Wall Street, economic justice advocates, racial justice movements, environmentalists, Abolish ICE, and various anti-war movements. [122] [123]

In December 2012, the FBI released redacted documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF). Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, the executive director of PCJF, said the documents showed that FBI counterterrorism agents had monitored the Occupy movement from its inception in August 2011 and that the FBI acted improperly by collecting "information on people's free-speech actions" and entering it into "unregulated databases, a vast storehouse of information widely disseminated to a range of law-enforcement and, apparently, private entities" (see Domestic Security Alliance Council). [124] The FBI also communicated with the New York Stock Exchange, banks, private businesses and state and local police forces about the movement. [125] In 2014, the PCJF obtained an additional 4,000 pages of unclassified documents through a Freedom of Information Act request, showing "details of the scrutiny of the Occupy protests in 2011 and 2012 by law enforcement officers, federal officials, security contractors and others." [126]

In October of 2020, Michigan state Senator Rosemary Bayer had an FBI task force come to her house and aggressively question her about a draft bill she had recently discussed which would have limited the use of tear gas against protesters. The Intercept reported about the incident: “Reiter said that the FBI’s visit left her confused and fearful. ‘It has impacted my sleep, it has caused me quite a bit of anxiety,’ she said. ‘And it has certainly impacted how we talk. I try not to let it, I’ll just be like, ‘No, we’re going to talk about this.’ But it’s in my mind all the time.’” [127]


Area 51

If you’ve watched 󈨞s sci-fi show The X-Files, you’ll know that one subject that comes up a lot is Area 51, an off-limits staging ground in the Nevada desert, where the U.S. Air Force supposedly conducted classified alien-related tests (the area around it has become known as the “Extraterrestrial Highway”). While the classic show likely stretched the truth a little to its favor, declassified historical documents do note that the location has been used to test military vehicles and weapons. Just what kinds is still classified.


Books

Lee published two books in her lifetime: To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and Go Set a Watchman (2015). She also worked on and off with her friend Capote on his famed book, In Cold Blood (1966).

&aposTo Kill a Mockingbird&apos

In July 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird was published and picked up by the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Literary Guild. A condensed version of the story appeared in Reader&aposs Digest magazine. The following year, the novel won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize and several other literary awards. A classic of American literature, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than 40 languages with more than a million copies sold each year.

The work&aposs central character, a young girl nicknamed Scout, was not unlike Lee in her youth. In one of the book&aposs major plotlines, Scout and her brother Jem and their friend Dill explore their fascination with a mysterious and somewhat infamous neighborhood character named Boo Radley.

The work was more than a coming-of-age story: another part of the novel reflected racial prejudices in the South. Their attorney father, Atticus Finch, tries to help a Black man who has been charged with raping a white woman to get a fair trial and to prevent him from being lynched by angry white people in a small town.

&aposGo Set a Watchman&apos

Lee published her second novel, Go Set a Watchman, in July 2015. The story was essentially a first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird and followed the later lives of the novel’s characters. 

Go Set a Watchman was submitted to a publisher in 1957. When the book wasn&apost accepted, Lee&aposs editor asked her to revise the story and make her main character Scout a child. The author worked on the story for two years and it eventually became To Kill a Mockingbird.

Lee&aposs Go Set a Watchman was thought to be lost until it was discovered by her lawyer Tonja Carter in a safe deposit box. In February 2015, it was announced that HarperCollins would publish the manuscript on July 14, 2015.

Go Set a Watchman features Mockingbird&aposs Scout as a 26-year-old woman on her way back home to Maycomb, Alabama, from New York City. Scout&aposs father Atticus, the upstanding moral conscience of To Kill a Mockingbird, is portrayed as a racist with bigoted views and ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

In Watchman, Atticus tells Scout: "Do you want Negroes by the carload in our schools and churches and theaters? Do you want them in our world?”

The controversial novel and shocking portrayal of a beloved character sparked debates among fans, and offered literary scholars and students fodder for analyzing the author&aposs creative process. Lee&aposs second novel also broke pre-sale records for HarperCollins.

With reports of 88-year-old Lee&aposs faltering health, questions arose about whether the publication was the author&aposs decision. Lee issued a statement through Carter: "I’m alive and kicking and happy as hell with the reactions to Watchman."

But even that message didn&apost put an end to questions: In a 2011 letter, Lee&aposs sister Alice had written that Lee would "sign anything put before her by any one in whom she has confidence." However, others who had met with Lee stated that she was behind the decision to publish. Alabama officials investigated and found no evidence that she was a victim of coercion.


Lesson Preparation

Materials

Optional Timeline Activity

At any time during the study of To Kill a Mockingbird, the creation of a timeline can enhance students&rsquo understanding of the story&rsquos sequence of events. In addition, whenever historical events and people are referenced in the text of To Kill a Mockingbird, the timeline gives students an opportunity to physically organize that information.

The timeline can span the years from 1890 to 2000. It should be large enough to be seen from any part of the room. For our purposes, the timeline was oriented horizontally across the front of the room, divided into decades, and color-coded so that literary happenings could be distinguished from historical events.

During the portion of the book that recounts Tom Robinson&rsquos wait for his trial and the formation of a mob outside the jail, the timeline is especially effective for demonstrating to students how pervasive and longstanding the record of violence against African-Americans has been.

Students should go to the home page of African American Perspectives: Materials Selected from the Rare Book Collection and enter the Timeline of African American History, 1852-1925 for 1881-1900 and 1901-1925.

Ask students to note the number of lynchings that take place during those years on black cards with white tags and attach them to the timeline. When the students have attached all the black cards to the timeline, ask them to calculate the total number of lynchings that took place between 1880 and 1925. Ask students how the crime of lynching relates to the story and how it impacts Tom Robinson.

Resources


Operation Mockingbird

Operation Mockingbird is a female fronted duo whose music focuses on the messy grey areas of human nature. Pulling from roots in classic Post-Punk and early Goth music, both The Janell (Vocals/Synths) and Chandler (Guitars/Bass/Drums/Synths) meld their personal take on the sounds they each grew up with.

Operation Mockingbird started in January, 2016 with Scott Chandler (Bass at the time) and Anthony Holguin (Drums) who met in the band Lincoln Six Echo. After deciding they both wanted to dedicate more time to music, they started coming up with new music and quickly needed guitars and synths. The Janell, who was sitting in OPMB studio since their first session offered to fill in on synths, not fully expecting to be a permanent member.

Several guitarists came through, however when it was decided that the direction that the band would take would be darker in nature, Mike Port (From Any Port In the Storm) was brought on as the guitarist. The lineup was now Chandler (Bass), Holguin (Drums), The Janell (Synths) and Port (Guitar).

After working for a month on the new material, OPMB started actively searching for a dedicated vocalist. Eventually Brooke Dickson competed the lineup and started adding vocals to several early renditions of OPMB's songs. However, shortly after Dickson's addition to the band, Holguin left to focus on his family and was replaced by Devin Chandler (The Trunks). Three months later and two weeks before OPMB's first scheduled live appearance, Dickson left stating that the band's music was "too dark" for her.

Vocal duties were now split between The Janell (Synths/Lead Vocals), Port (Guitar/Vocals) and Chandler (Bass/Vocals). OPMB then started recording their first EP, "Licorice + Postcards", and started picking up shows through LA and Orange County.

Upon release of "Licorice + Postcards" in October, 2016 both Port and D. Chandler left OPMB. The Janell assumed full vocal responsibilities and S. Chandler took over all musical duties including guitar, bass, synths and drums.

OPMB as a duo shifted the music to embrace a more gothic or post-punk sound. Live performances include bass, synths and drums on backing tracks, guitar played live by S. Chandler and all vocals performed by The Janell.

OPMB released their sophomore EP "Inertia & Ritual" in January, 2017, one year after Operation Mockingbirds first meeting. "Inertia & Ritual" included completely new material written by OPMB since The Janell and S. Chandler took the band over as a duo. The track "The Fix" can currently be heard on numerous radio stations across the globe.


Why Are the Media Taking the CIA’s Hacking Claims at Face Value?

December 15, 2016

The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia. (Reuters / Larry Downing)

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In 1977, Carl Bernstein published an exposé of a CIA program known as Operation Mockingbird, a covert program involving, according to Bernstein, “more than 400 American journalists who in the past 25 years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency.” Bernstein found that in “many instances” CIA documents revealed that “journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.”

Fast-forward to December 2016, and one can see that there isn’t much need for a covert government program these days. The recent raft of unverified, anonymously sourced and circumstantial stories alleging that the Russian government interfered in the US presidential election with the aim of electing Republican Donald J. Trump shows that today too much of the media is all too happy to do overtly what the CIA had once paid it to do covertly: regurgitate the claims of the spy agency and attack the credibility of those who question it.

On Friday, December 9, The Washington Post, fresh from publishing a front-page story that promoted a McCarthyite blacklist, published a piece that claimed that the CIA “concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency.” The Post also claimed that “Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked e-mails,” including those of John Podesta.

That same day, The New York Times reported that “the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee’s computer systems in addition to their attacks on Democratic organizations, but did not release whatever information they gleaned from the Republican networks.” The implication being that the Russians released the DNC e-mails to hurt Clinton, but held off on releasing the RNC e-mails in order to protect Trump.

The bombshell reports—and Trump’s quick dismissal of them as “ridiculous”—have dominated the news cycle in the days since their publication.

The current fight between Trump and the CIA is of potentially of historic consequence. Never before has the intelligence establishment shown so much hostility to a newly elected president. Never before has a president shown so little deference to the CIA.

And while the battle between Trump and the CIA continues to play out publicly, there remains the very real need for the public disclosure of as much evidence as possible, given the severe ramifications a successful foreign intervention in a US election would have on American democracy.

A Slam Dunk?

While Trump’s sin in committing an act of lèse majesté against the CIA has been treated as a grave transgression in the eyes of the media, serious questions remain over the veracity of the CIA’s finding. After all, several aspects of the Times and Post reports that actually undermine the dominant narrative of “Russian interference” are often carefully cropped out of the mainstream media’s portrayal of the controversy.

For example, The Washington Post noted, almost as an aside, that “intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin ‘directing’ the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks,” while the Times reported that the RNC had “issued a statement denying that it had been hacked.” Indeed, the FBI has yet to make a determination on whether the RNC was hacked, something that the RNC itself denies.

The lack of clarity over whether or not the Russian government hacked the RNC is a critical part of the story, since the CIA’s “secret assessment” that alleged that the Russians interfered in the election in order to elect Trump was, according to a US official who spoke to Reuters this week, “based on the fact that Russian entities hacked both Democrats and Republicans and only the Democratic information was leaked.”

Meanwhile, much of the media has ignored the rather salient fact that the FBI is by no means in agreement with the anonymous and secret CIA assessment that Russia interfered with the election in order to help elect Donald Trump.

Nor, for that matter, is the Office of the Director for National Intelligence (ODNI), which has declined to endorse the CIA report. This is perhaps less surprising than it first might seem, considering that as recently as November 17 ODNI Director James Clapper testified before the House Intelligence Committee and acknowledged that “as far as the WikiLeaks connection, the evidence there is not as strong and we don’t have good insight into the sequencing of the releases or when the data may have been provided.”

Indeed, evidence of a connection between the Russian government and the hackers that are believed to have stolen the DNC/John Podesta e-mails remains illusory. Cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr has observed that “there is ZERO technical evidence to connect those Russian-speaking hackers to the GRU, FSB, SVR, or any other Russian government department.” The very real possibility that non-state actors carried out the hack of the DNC has been conspicuously absent from the mainstream narrative of “Russian interference.”

And so, while the Russian government certainly could have been behind the DNC/Podesta e-mail hack, the possibility that it originated elsewhere should not be so easily dismissed. After all, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has repeatedly denied that Russia was the source of the DNC/Podesta emails, while a former British ambassador who is close to Assange has said the source of the e-mails is “an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack.”

But that hasn’t prevented the media from treating the anonymous, unverified claims of both The Washington Post and The New York Times, both based on a CIA “secret assessment,” as gospel.

Media Rushes to Defend The CIA

Last weekend, the influential Sunday morning talk shows took Trump to task for his dismissal of the CIA’s “secret assessment.” An incredulous George Stephanopoulos asked incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus: “How is a President Trump going to work with intelligence agencies if he doesn’t trust their work?”

“I want to know,” Stephanopoulos demanded, “why President-elect Trump doesn’t believe the conclusions of 17 intelligence agencies.”

On Face the Nation, Time magazine’s Michael Duffy said the CIA’s finding was “deeply disturbing” because “it means that Russia attacked the United States.” Duffy also expressed “shock” that Trump has “drawn a fairly dark cloud over his relationship with the intelligence community on whom he will rely and need as president.”

And over at NBC’s Meet the Press, moderator Chuck Todd warned viewers that the issue of Russian interference “is not about the results of the election, it’s about a hostile foreign government trying to influence our election.” Todd thought it “remarkable” that Donald Trump decided “to side with a foreign government over our own chief intelligence agency.”

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“Donald Trump,” he concluded, has “declared war on the intelligence community.”

The respected liberal columnist E.J. Dionne also sprung to the defense of the CIA’s honor in his column for The Washington Post on Monday. “When The Post revealed the CIA’s conclusions about Russia,” Dionne opined, “Trump’s response was to insult the CIA.” Still more alarming to Dionne, is that Trump would have the audacity to “happily trash our own CIA.”

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, December 13, liberal stalwart Keith Olbermann went much further. In a commentary for GQ he warned that “the nation and all of our freedoms hang by a thread. And the military apparatus of this country is about to be handed over to scum who are beholden to scum, Russian scum.” He then tweeted his considered belief that “If @realDonaldTrump will ignore CIA to listen instead to Russians, it’s treason.”

The working assumption here seems to be that the job of the president (and apparently of media outlets like CNN and The Washington Post) is to stand, salute, and never question Langley.

In Langley We Trust?

The high-profile anchors and analysts on CNN, CBS, ABC, and NBC who have cited the work of The Washington Post and The New York Times seem to have come down with a bad case of historical amnesia.

The CIA, in their telling, is a bulwark of American democracy, not a largely unaccountable, out-of-control behemoth that has often sought to subvert press freedom at home and undermine democratic norms abroad.

The columnists, anchors, and commentators who rushed to condemn Trump for not showing due deference to the CIA seem to be unaware that, throughout its history, the agency has been the target of far more astute and credible critics than the president-elect.

In his memoir Present at the Creation, Truman’s Secretary of State Dean Acheson wrote that about the CIA, “I had the gravest forebodings.” Acheson wrote that he had “warned the President that as set up neither he, the National Security Council, nor anyone else would be in a position to know what it was doing or to control it.”

Following the Bay of Pigs fiasco, President John F. Kennedy expressed his desire to “to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

The late New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan twice introduced bills, in 1991 and 1995, to abolish the agency and move its functions to the State Department which, as the journalist John Judis has observed, “is what Acheson and his predecessor, George Marshall, had advocated.”

A democracy, it is true, cannot function if its elections are the target of outside powers which seek to influence it. To see what a corrosive effect outside powers can have on democratic processes, one need look no further than the 1996 Russian presidential election, in which Americans like the regime-change theorist Michael McFaul (who was later to become US Ambassador to Russia from 2012–14) interfered in order to keep the widely unpopular Boris Yeltsin in power against the wishes of the Russian people.

For its part, the CIA has a long history of overthrowing sovereign governments the world over. According to the historian William Blum, the CIA has “(1) attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of which were democratically-elected, (2) attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries, (3) grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries, (4) dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries, (5) attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.”

Perhaps if it was doing the job of intelligence gathering rather than obsessively plotting regime change, the CIA would have amassed a record worthy of the establishment media’s incessant fawning.

But alas. Consulting the CIA’s historical record, one is confronted by a laundry list of failures, which includes missing both the break-up of the Soviet Union (during the 1980’s a CIA deputy director by the name of Bob Gates called the USSR “a despotism that works”) and the 9/11 attacks.

In the years following 9/11, the CIA has been caught flat-footed by, among other things, the lack of WMD in Iraq (2003) the Iraqi insurgency (2003) the Arab Spring (2010) the rise of ISIS (2013) and the Ukrainian civil war (2014).

More recently, CIA Director John Brennan made false statements before Congress over the CIA’s hacking into the computers of Congressional staffers.

And yet, despite its uninspiring record of the past 70 years, the media has driven itself into a self-righteous frenzy over what it perceives to be President-elect Trump’s grave show of disrespect to the CIA.

James Carden James W. Carden is a contributing writer for foreign affairs at The Nation. He served as a policy adviser to the Special Representative for Intergovernmental Affairs and the Office of Russia Affairs at the US State Department.


Q Anon jargon, explained

Like many conspiracy theories and prosperity scams before it , Q Anon is full of jargon and terms that only believers understand and apply correctly.

This has a two-fold effect: it makes believers feel like they have special knowledge that “normies” outside the conspiracy don’t have, and it discourages new people from sticking their nose in, which keeps the purity of true believers intact.

But Q Anon is starting to migrate from 8chan, Twitter, and Reddit to legitimate media outlets. There have been a slew of print and online pieces about Q and his/her believers recently, exposing it to people who ordinarily have no interest in conspiracy theories. Those who dive in to find more wind up in a thicket of codes, nicknames, military terminology, references to earlier posts, and obscure terms.

Here is a guide to some of the most widely used terms thrown out by both Q and Q followers on social media and the web:

Q/Q Anon: This is the self-given name to the poster claiming to put classified intelligence online for a growing group of followers. Q began his/her run under the name “Q Clearance Patriot” and since then has mostly identified just as “Q.” Theories abound as to who Q is , with guesses ranging from a member of President Donald Trump’s administration to Trump himself to various internet figures.

Drops: This is the name for the posts Q makes on 8Chan, which are then picked up and re-posted on Twitter, in Reddit subforums like r/greatawakening , and websites like qposts.online .

The vast majority of the drops take the form of cryptic statements, rhetorical questions, or responses to other 8Chan posts. Occasionally Q posts a picture, which they have claimed are all original or taken from hacked phones.

The Storm: Q Anon originally began making posts related to a cryptic comment President Trump made in October about “the calm before the storm” when referring to a group of military officers. Trump’s remark was October 7 , and the first Q post , referencing a 4chan comment about Hillary Clinton being arrested, dropped on October 28 th . It’s still not clear what “the storm” refers to, though there are a number of guesses, including mass arrest of Democrats, sex offenders, and enemies of Trump.

The Great Awakening: Initially, the theories created by Q followers pointed to Special Counsel Robert Mueller working in tandem with Trump to take down the cabal Trump was fighting. The destruction of the Democratic cabal became known as the “Great Awakening.”

Q used the term often in early posts, but much less since then, and the concept of Trump unleashing mass arrests has mostly fallen by the wayside in favor of general support of President Trump and a growing cult of personality around Q.

Q Clearance: Q’s justification for how he/she possesses the secrets he/she claims to drop. In reality, “Q access authorization” is a term used only by the Department of Energy , and is analogous to Top Secret clearance in the Department of Defense.

Proofs: Used in the plural, this refers to evidence that Q is real and/or that Q drops have revealed information on events that have come to pass.

Comms: Common abbreviation for “communications.” Q will often say “no outside comms” to claim that anyone posting as Q outside 8chan is fake.

Redpill: The act of exposing “normies” (ie, non-believers) to Q drops. Originated in the movie “The Matrix” and used by a variety of fringe groups seeking to turn non-believers into followers, specifically in the men’s rights movement .

Pedo-gate: Q has claimed that there are massive numbers of pedophiles in politics, entertainment, and business all part of a Satantic cult that eats children and openly flaunts its misdeeds through symbols and coded language. This is an offshoot of the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory , and uses some of its same concepts. Many of the early references to Q Anon were in conjunction with online sleuths trying to tie public figures to imaginary pedophilia rings.

News unlocks map: A Q catchphrase that refers to the web of corruption and pedophilia that has overtaken the U.S. government. Q followers have taken to turning this web into an actual map , which is extremely difficult to understand if you’re not soaked in the conspiracy.

Future proves past: Another Q catchphrase, this one denoting that future events will prove past Q drops and previously theorized conspiracies.

Sealed indictments: QAnon believers used to tout a massive number of sealed indictments in the federal district court system as proof that the mass arrests promised in the Great Awakening were about to happen. The large number appears to stem from a misunderstanding in how sealed court documents work, and the entire concept isn’t used much on Q-related social media anymore.

WWG1WGA: An abbreviation for “where we go one we go all,” and used by both Q and conspiracy believers. Q first used it on April 2 and attributed the quote to John F. Kennedy, but it appears to be a line of dialogue from the 1996 movie “ White Squall .”

Tripcode: The unique sequence of letters that Q’s 8chan account uses for posting. Q has had his/her tripcode compromised a few times.

Fireworks/Pain/Boom: Terms used by Q to denote bad things about to happen, or that have happened, to members of the cabal.

“Fireworks” usually means a major media story currently breaking (which Q attempts to retroactively predict), while “”Pain” is about something had happening to the cabal, and “Booms” are usually major revelations—real or imaginary.

Anons: the anonymous followers of Q who dissect drops for clues to their meaning.

Autists: Another term for the followers who obsess over the meaning and clues of Q drops. A takeoff on the term “ weaponized autism ,” used in reference to self-proclaimed online detectives who try to solve major crimes before police can.

187: Popular culture term for murder, stemming from California Penal Code section 187. Q will often make reference to figures being “187’d” by the deep state, including former DNC staffer Seth Rich, who has figured in a number of conspiracy theories due to fictional links between him and the hacking of the DNC.

5:5: A radio communications expression that means “loud and clear.” One of many military or technical terms Q will often throw out, trying to insinuate that some kind of special operations mission is being carried out under President Trump’s orders.

Hussein: The term Q uses to denote former President Barack Obama, whose middle name is Hussein.

No Name: Q’s code name for Arizona Sen. John McCain (R-Az.). It’s not clear why Q calls McCain this, but Q is faintly obsessed with predicting McCain’s imminent death or resignation.

LARP: Abbreviation for “Live Action Roleplaying Game.” A number of writers have speculated that Q Anon is simply an internet roleplaying game, which Q often mocks by posting links to articles about the conspiracy theory, and rhetorically asking “all for a LARP?”

Clowns: A reference to the CIA, who are also referred to as “C_A” for some reason.

Mockingbird: Refers to Operation Mockingbird, an alleged (though never proven) CIA operation to pay off and harass media figures to influence their coverage of American policy. Q used to reference Mockingbird quite often, but has only mentioned it once in 2018.

These aren’t the only terms that Q and his/her followers commonly use, but they’re the ones people need to know if they want to have some kind understanding of why the Q movement is gaining strength.