Operation Mockingbird: CIA Media Manipulation
By Mary Louise
The CIA’s secret activities, covert missions, and connections of control are all done under the pretense and protection of national security with no accountability whatsoever, at least in their minds. Considering the public is held accountable for everything we think, say, and do there is something seriously wrong with this picture. The CIA is the President’s secret army, who have been and continue to be conveniently above the law with unlimited power and authority, to conduct a reign of terror around the globe.
The “old boy network” of socializing, talking shop, and tapping each other for favors outside the halls of government made it inevitable that the CIA and Corporate America would become allies, thus the systematic infiltration and takeover of the media.
Under the guise of ‘American’ objectives and lack of congressional oversight, the CIA accomplish their exploits by using every trick in the book (and they know quite a few) that they actually teach in the notorious “School of the Americas”, nicknamed the “School of Dictators” and “School of Assassins” by critics. The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that 6 million people had died by 1987 as a result of CIA covert operations, called an “American Holocaust” by former State Department official William Blum. In 1948, the CIA recreated its covert action wing called the Office of Policy Coordination with Wall Street lawyer Frank Wisner as its first director. Another early elitist who served as Director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961 was Allen Dulles, a senior partner at the Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, which represented the Rockefeller empire and other trusts, corporations, and cartels.
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 newsgathering, 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.
The first tier of the nine giant firms that dominate the world are Time Warner/AOL, Disney/ABC, Bertelsmann, Viacom/CBS, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation/Fox, General Electric/NBC, Sony, Universal/Seagram, Tele-Communications, Inc. or TCI and AT&T. This is just the head of the octopus which has its second and third tier tentacles working together in unison or feigned division. This would include The Washington Post/Newsweek, The New York Times/Weekly Standard, Tribune Co., US News, Gannett/USA Today, Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Knight-Ridder, etcetera. A good site to visit for more information is Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a public interest media watchdog group, at www.fair.org/index.html, www.fair.org/mediafiles/index.html and www.fair.org/extra/9711/gmg.html. Media propaganda tactics include blackouts, misdirections, expert opinions to echo the Establishment line, smears, defining popular opinions, mass entertainment distractions, and Hobson’s Choice (the media presents the so-called conservative and liberal positions).
“Who Controls the Media? The Subversion of the Free Press by the CIA, The Depraved Spies and Moguls of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird”, “The CIA: America’s Premier International Terrorist Organization”, and “Virtual Government: CIA Mind Control Operations in America” by Alex Constantine are an excellent source of information on this topic: www.alexconstantine.50megs.com/the_cia_and.html and www.alexconstantine.50megs.com. David Guyatt has written books and many articles including one entitled “Subverting the Media” at www.deepblacklies.co.uk/subverting_the_media.htm. Then there are two articles called “A Timeline of CIA Atrocities” and “The Origins of the Overclass” by Steve Kangas that are very informative although from a more liberal perspective. Steve will not be writing anymore articles as he is no longer with us, having unfortunately met his untimely death that was ‘apparently’ from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. If you read about him on his web page that is still available, you will see that he did not seem like a person who was suffering from deep depression. In his memory, please take the time to read what he wrote at www.korpios.org/resurgent/CIAtimeline.html, www.korpios.org/resurgent/CIAtimeline.html, and www.korpios.org/resurgent/index.html.
CNN aired “Valley of Death” in June of 1998 and Time magazine (both owned by Time-Warner) ran a story about a secret mission called Operation Tailwind and the activities of SOG, Studies and Observations Group, a secret elite commando unit of the Army’s Special Forces that used lethal nerve gas (sarin), on a mission to Laos designed to kill American defectors. Suddenly the network was awash in denials and the story was hushed up, as usual. Acknowledged use of this gas coming at a time when the U.S. government was trying to get Saddam to comply with weapons inspections, was an embarrassment to say the least. What hypocrisy! Having actually used the weapons on our own troops, then complaining and accusing Saddam of potential use of stored similar weapons, of which some were manufactured in and supplied by the U.S. The broadcast was prepared after exhaustive research and rooted in considerable supportive data. To decide for yourself what the truth is read Floyd Abrams’ report on the CNN site at www.cnn.com/US/9807/02/tailwind.findings/index.html.
Journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward broke the stories on Watergate (late 70’s) in the Washington Post, having gained access to what the CIA was trying to keep from congress about its program of using journalists at home and abroad, in deliberate propaganda campaigns. It was later revealed that Woodward was a Naval intelligence briefer to the White House and knew many insiders including General Alexander Haig. A high-level source told Bernstein, “One journalist is worth twenty agents.” CFR/Trilateralist Katharine Graham, in a 1988 speech given to senior CIA employees at Agency headquarters said, “We live in a dirty and dangerous world. 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.” Maybe that’s another reason why folks get the impression that a suspicious agenda lurks behind the headlines. “25 Ways to Suppress Truth: Rules of Disinformation” and “8 Traits of the Disinformationalist” at www.proparanoid.com/truth.htm, sums it up very well.
Ralph McGehee was a CIA agent for 25 years, mainly in South-East Asia where he witnessed bombing and napalming of villages, which caused him to examine closely what the CIA was really all about. He has written about Vietnam’s Phoenix Program www.vwip.org/articles/m/McGeheeRalph_VietnamsPhoenixProgram.htm and after a long battle with CIA censors, he published the book “Deadly Deceits” in 1983. Ralph has been harassed by the CIA and FBI, involving bodily injury, and his CIABASE website was shut down on Spring of 2000. He copied some reports that can be found at http://serendipity.magnet.ch/cia/ciabase_report_1.htm (and 2.htm), http://serendipity.magnet.ch/cia/death_squads.htm, and www.thirdworldtraveler.com/CIA/Deadly_Deceits.html. He concluded that the CIA is not now nor has it ever been a central intelligence agency but rather the covert action arm of the President’s foreign policy advisors, of which disinformation is a large part of its responsibility and the American people are the primary target of its lies.
One of the primary reasons John F. Kennedy was assassinated had to do with the fact he dared to interfere in the framework of power. Kennedy was intent on exercising his ELECTED powers and not allowing them to be usurped by power-crazed individuals in the intelligence community, threatening to “splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the wind.” There were four things that filled the CIA with rage and sealed his fate; JFK fired Allen Dulles, was in the process of founding a panel to investigate the CIA’s numerous crimes, put a damper on the breadth and scope of the CIA, and limited their ability to act under National Security Memoranda 55.
There is such an overwhelming amount of information pertaining to the CIA that it is impossible to cover it all in one book, much less an article. Personally, I have come to the conclusion that the media is not only influenced by the CIA…..the media is the CIA. Many Americans think of their supposedly free press as a watchdog on government, mainly because the press itself shamelessly promotes that myth. One of the first tenets for the control of a population is to control all sources of information the population receives and mostly because of the pervasive CIA and Operation Mockingbird, the mainstream American Press is a controlled multi-national corporate/government megaphone. They are up to their eyeballs in dirty deeds and there will never be an end to the corruption that prevails unless the CIA is abolished. Otherwise, the CIA will just keep on using their tricks of propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, drug trafficking, sexual intrigue, kidnapping, beating, torture, intimidation, economic sabotage, false stories about opponents in the local media, infiltration and disruption of opposing political parties, demolition and evacuation procedures, death squads, and politically motivated assassinations. The CIA is the epitome of organized crime run amuck!