Once dubbed a “conspiracy theory,” the Church Committee investigation in 1975 exposed a secret Central Intelligence Agency campaign to influence domestic and foreign media beginning in the 1950s.
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. In 1948, Wall Street lawyer Frank Wisner established Mockingbird, and recruited Philip Graham from The Washington Post to run the project within the industry. According to Deborah Davis in Katharine the Great; “By the early 1950s, Wisner ‘owned’ respected members of The New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles.” [Deborah Davis (1979). Katharine the Great. pp. 137–138.]
After 1953, Operation Mockingbird had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. It was discovered that from the 1950s through the 1970s, the CIA was paying many journalists in the USA and foreign locations to publish what they wanted. These organizations were run by people with well-known left-wing views such as William Paley (CBS), Henry Luce (Time and Life Magazine), Arthur Hays Sulzberger (New York Times), Alfred Friendly (managing editor of the Washington Post), Jerry O’Leary (Washington Star), Hal Hendrix (Miami News), Barry Bingham, Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal), James Copley (Copley News Services) and Joseph Harrison (Christian Science Monitor). [Carl Bernstein (20 October 1977). “CIA and the Media“, Rolling Stone Magazine.]
Media assets include ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International (UPI), Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service, etc. and 400 journalists, have secretly carried out assignments according to documents on file at CIA headquarters, from intelligence-gathering to serving as go-betweens.
In 1977, Rolling Stone alleged CIA controlled journalists included Stewart Alsop (New York Herald Tribune), Ben Bradlee (Newsweek), James Reston (New York Times), Charles Douglas Jackson (Time Magazine), Walter Pincus (Washington Post), William C. Baggs (The Miami News), Herb Gold (The Miami News) and Charles Bartlett (Chattanooga Times).
Today, the mainstream corporate media has become the mouthpiece of a emerging collectivist government and possesses an explicit capacity of advocacy and ability to frame political issues.
Their agenda is to advance the New World Order message.
“Democracy without honest information creates the illusion of popular consent, while enhancing the power of the state and the privileged interests protected by it. Democracy without accountability creates the illusion of popular control, while offering ordinary Americans only cheap tickets to the balcony. Too far away to see that the public stage has become just a reality TV set.” – Bill Moyers
An Associated Press investigation found that over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad, what it calls “the human terrain”, has grown by 63 percent, to at least $4.7 billion this year, according to Department of Defense budgets and other documents. In 2009, the Pentagon employed 27,000 people just for recruitment, advertising and public relations which makes it bigger in size, money and power than many media companies.
The U.S. Army’s 4th Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) Group at Ft. Bragg worked in the news division at CNN and NPR in 1998 and 1999. While the media outlets claim they have since been terminated, what do you think the odds are there are still CIA operatives employed in the mainstream media newsrooms?
President Trump calls out CNN as fake news…
The current emphasis on propaganda operations started with former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. In 2002, Rumsfeld established the Office of Strategic Influence that brought together public affairs and psychological operations. Congress demanded that the office be shut down. Rumsfeld responded in a speech he delivered on Nov. 18, 2002, “There’s the name. You can have the name, but I’m gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have.” In 2003, Rumsfeld issued a secret Information Operations Roadmap setting out a plan for public affairs and psychological operations to work together. It noted that with a global media, the military should expect and accept that psychological operations will reach the U.S. public.
Out of its Joint Hometown News Service located on an abandoned Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas, Pentagon staff writers pump out thousands of press releases, television releases and radio interviews, all provided free to news organizations around the world. The stories go out with authors’ names but not their titles, and do not mention Hometown News anywhere.
Despite a supposed prohibition on propaganda, spending on public affairs stories designed to influence the American public has more than doubled since 2003. A recent inspector general audit concluded that a public affairs program called “America Supports You” was conducted “in a questionable and unregulated manner” with funds meant for the military’s Stars and Stripes newspaper.
One of the fastest-growing parts of the military media is “psychological operations,” where spending has also doubled since 2003. Psychological operations are generally aimed at foreign audiences, not intended for American consumption. However, when an American TV anchor asked Gen. David Petraeus about the mood in Iraq, the general held up a glossy photo of the Iraqi national soccer team to show the country united in victory. In fact, it was U.S. psychological operations that had quietly distributed tens of thousands of the soccer posters in July 2007 to encourage Iraqi nationalism.
Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, director of strategic communications for the U.S. Central Command, says psychological operations must be secret to be effective. He says that in the 21st century, it is probably not possible to win the information battle with insurgents without exposing American citizens to secret U.S. propaganda.
Perhaps the most momentous fake news story for me was the BBC account of the collapse of Building 7 on Sept. 11. It was sorta like the deja-vu moment where there was a glitch in the matrix. This was the story that woke me up to the fact that we were not getting the true story about what happened that fateful day.
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. They feed them on falsehoods till wrong looks like right in their eyes.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe