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MOCKINGBIRD

The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA

"You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month." - CIA operative discussing with Philip Graham, editor Washington Post, on the availability and prices of journalists willing to peddle CIA propaganda and cover stories. "Katherine The Great," by Deborah Davis (New York: Sheridan Square Press, 1991)
As terrible as it is to live in a nation where the press in known to be controlled by the government, at least one has the advantage of knowing the bias is present, and to adjust for it. In the United States of America, we are taught from birth that our press is free from such government meddling. This is an insideous lie about the very nature of the news institution in this country. One that allows the government to lie to us while denying the very fact of the lie itself.

The Alex Constantine Article

                            Tales from the Crypt
                                      
                       The Depraved Spies and Moguls
                                      
                     of the CIA's Operation MOCKINGBIRD
                                      
                            by Alex Constantine
                                      
   Who Controls the Media?
   
   Soulless corporations do, of course. Corporations with grinning,
   double-breasted executives, interlocking directorates, labor squabbles
   and flying capital. Dow. General Electric. Coca-Cola. Disney.
   Newspapers should have mastheads that mirror the world: The
   Westinghouse Evening Scimitar, The Atlantic-Richfield Intelligentser .
   It is beginning to dawn on a growing number of armchair ombudsmen that
   the public print reports news from a parallel universe - one that has
   never heard of politically-motivated assassinations, CIA-Mafia banking
   thefts, mind control, death squads or even federal agencies with
   secret budgets fattened by cocaine sales - a place overrun by lone
   gunmen, where the CIA and Mafia are usually on their best behavior. In
   this idyllic land, the most serious infraction an official can commit
   is the employment of a domestic servant with (shudder) no
   residency status.
   
   This unlikely land of enchantment is the creation of MOCKINGBIRD.
   
   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 Operation MOCKINGBIRD.
   
   "By the early 1950s," writes formerVillage Voice reporter Deborah
   Davis in Katharine the Great, "Wisner 'owned' respected members of the
   New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles, plus
   stringers, four to six hundred in all, according to a former CIA
   analyst." The network was overseen by Allen Dulles, a templar for
   German and American corporations who wanted their points of view
   represented in the public print. Early MOCKINGBIRD influenced 25
   newspapers and wire agencies consenting to act as organs of CIA
   propaganda. Many of these were already run by men with reactionary
   views, among them William Paley (CBS), C.D. Jackson (Fortune), Henry
   Luce (Time) and Arthur Hays Sulzberger (N.Y. Times). 
   
   Activists curious about the workings of MOCKINGBIRD have since been
   appalled to f__ind in FOIA documents that agents boasting in CIA
   office memos of their pride in having placed "important assets" inside
   every major news publication in the country. It was not until 1982
   that the Agency openly admitted that reporters on the CIA payroll have
   acted as case officers to agents in the field.
   
   "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 tha__t "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.
   
   "Nixon," writes John Loftus, a former attorney for the Justice
   Department's Office of Special Investigations, took "a small boy's
   delight in the arcane tools of the intelligence craft - the hidden
   microphones, the 'black' propaganda." Nixon especially enjoyed his
   visit to a Virginia training camp to observe Nazis in the "special
   forces" drilling at covert operations.
   
   One of the fugitives recruited by the American intelligence
   underground was heroin smuggler Hubert von Blücher, the son of A
   German ambassador. Hubert often bragged that that he was trained by
   the Abwehr, the German military intelligence division, while still a
   civilian in his twenties. He served in a recon unit of the German Army
   until forced out for medical reasons in 1944, according to his wartime
   records. He worked briefly as an assistant director for Berlin-Film on
   a movie entitled One Day ..., and finished out the war flying with the
   Luftwaffe, but not to engage the enemy - his mission was the smuggling
   of Nazi loot out of the country. His exploits were, in part, the
   subject of Sayer and Botting's Nazi Gold, an account of the knockover
   of the Reichsbank at the end of the war.
   
   In 1948 he flew the coop to Argentina. Posing as a photographer named
   Huberto von Bleucher Corell, he immediately paid court to Eva Peron,
   presenting her with an invaluable Gobelin tapestry (a selection from
   the wealth of artifacts confiscated by the SS from Europe's Jews?).
   Hubert then met with Martin Bormann at the Hotel Plaza to deliver
   German marks worth $80 million. The loot financed the birth of the
   National Socialist Party in Argentina, among other forms of Nazi
   revival.
   
   In 1951, Hubert migrated northward and took a job at the Color
   Corporation of America in Hollywood. He eked out a living writing
   scripts for the booming movie industry. His voice can be heard on a
   film set in the Amazon, produced by Walt Disney. Nine years later he
   returned to Buenos Aires, then Düsseldorf, West Germany, and
   established a firm that developed not movie scripts, but anti-chemical
   warfare agents for the government. At the Industrie Club in Düsseldorf
   in 1982, von Blücher boasted to journalists, "I am chief shareholder
   of Pan American Airways. I am the best friend of Howard Hughes. The
   Beach Hotel in Las Vegas is 45 percent financed by me. I am thus the
   biggest financier ever to appear in the Arabian Nights tales dreamed
   up by these people over their second bottle of brandy."
   
   Not really. Two the biggest financiers to stumble from the drunken
   dreams of world-moving affluence were, in their time, Moses Annenberg,
   publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer, and his son Walter , the
   CIA/mob-anchored publisher of the TV Guide.  Like most American
   high-rollers, Annenberg lived a double life. Moses, his father, was a
   scion of the Capone mob. Both Moses and Walter were indicted in 1939
   for tax evasions totalling many millions of dollars - the biggest case
   in the history of the Justice Department. Moses pled guilty and agreed
   to pay the government $8 million and settle $9 million in assorted tax
   claims, penalties and interest debts. Moses received a three-year
   sentence. He died in Lewisburg Penitentiary.
   
   Walter Annenbeg, the TV Guide magnate, was a lofty Republican. On the
   campaign trail in April, 1988, George Bush flew into Los Angeles to
   woo Reagan's kitchen cabinet. "This is the topping on the cake,"
   Bush's regional campaign director told the Los Angeles Times. The Bush
   team met at Annenberg's plush Rancho Mirage estate at Sunnylands,
   California. It was at the Annenberg mansion that Nixon's cabinet was
   chosen, and the state's social and contributor registers built over a
   quarter-century of state political dominance by Ronald Reagan, whose
   acting career was launched by Operation MOCKINGBIRD.
   
   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 1952, at MCA, Actors' Guild president Ronald Reagan - a screen idol
   recruited by MOCKINGBIRD's Crusade for Freedom to raise funds for the
   resettlement of Nazis in the U.S., according to Loftus - signed a
   secret waiver of the conflict-of-interest rule with the mob-controlled
   studio, in effect granting it a labor monopoly on early television
   programming. In exchange, MCA made Reagan a part owner. Furthermore,
   historian C. Vann Woodward, writing in the New York Times, in 1987,
   reported that Reagan had "fed the names of suspect people in his
   organization to the FBI secretly and regularly enough to be assigned
   'an informer's code number, T-10.' His FBI file indicates intense
   collaboration with producers to 'purge' the industry of subversives."
   
   No one ever turned a suspicious eye on Walter Cronkite, a former
   intelligence officer and in the immediate postwar period UPI's Moscow
   correspondent. Cronkite was lured to CBS by Operation MOCKINGBIRD's
   Phil Graham, according to Deborah Davis.
   
   Another television conglomerate, Cap Cities, rose like a horror-film
   simian from CIA and Mafia heroin operations. Among other
   organized-crime Republicans, Thomas Dewey and his neighbor Lowell
   Thomas threw in to launch the infamous Resorts International, the
   corporate front for Lansky's branch of the federally-sponsored mob
   family and the corporate precursor to Cap Cities. Another of the
   investors was James Crosby, a Cap Cities executive who donated
   $100,000 to Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign. This was the year that
   Resorts bought into Atlantic City casino interests. Police in New
   jersey attempted, with no success, to spike the issuance of a gambling
   license to the company, citing Mafia ties.
   
   In 1954, this same circle of investors, all Catholics, founded the
   broadcasting company notorious for overt propagandizing and general
   spookiness. The company's chief counsel was OSS veteran William Casey,
   who clung to his shares by concealing them in a blind trust even after
   he was appointed CIA director by Ronald Reagan in 1981.
   
   "Black radio" was the phrase CIA critic David Wise coined in The
   Invisible Government to describe the agency's intertwining interests
   in the emergence of the transistor radio with the entrepreneurs who
   took to the airwaves. "Daily, East and West beam hundreds of
   propaganda broadcasts at each other in an unrelenting babble of
   competition for the minds of their listeners. The low-price transistor
   has given the hidden war a new importance," enthused one foreign
   correspondent.
   
   A Hydra of private foundations sprang up to finance the propaganda
   push. One of them, Operations and Policy Research, Inc. (OPR),
   received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the CIA through private
   foundations and trusts. OPR research was the basis of a television
   series that aired in New York and Washington, D.C. in 1964, Of People
   and Politics, a "study" of the American political system in 21 weekly
   installments.
   
   In Hollywood, the visual cortex of The Beast, the same CIA/Mafia
   combination that formed Cap Cities sank its claws into the film
   studios and labor unions. Johnny Rosselli was pulled out of the Army
   during the war by a criminal investigation of Chicago mobsters in the
   film industry. Rosselli, a CIA asset probably assassinated by the CIA,
   played sidekick to Harry Cohn, the Columbia Pictures mogul who visited
   Italy's Benito Mussolini in 1933, and upon his return to Hollywood
   remodeled his office after the dictator's. The only honest job
   Rosselli ever had was assistant purchasing agent (and a secret
   investor) at Eagle Lion productions, run by Bryan Foy, a former
   producer for 20th Century Fox. Rosselli, Capone's representative on
   the West Coast, passed a small fortune in mafia investments to Cohn.
   Bugsy Seigel pooled gambling investments with Billy Wilkerson,
   publisher of the Hollywood Reporter. 
   
   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.
   
   Most consumers of the corporate media were - and are - unaware of the
   effect that the salting of public opinion has on their own beliefs. A
   network anchorman in time of national crisis is an instrument of
   psychological warfare in the MOCKINGBIRD media. He is a creature from
   the national security sector's chamber of horrors. For this reason
   consumers of the corporate press have reason to examine their basic
   beliefs about government and life in the parallel universe of these
   United States.