Attack On The Media, Through Covert Intel
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the CIA made its own foray into news control in the 1940s with a program to infiltrate the media, with the idea to have select journalists parrot the official government line under the guise of national patriotism. Some news members were simply duped, naively thinking that they were helping America by disseminating important news. Others were simply unscrupulous and morally deficient in their professional trade and were easily enough bought out, spewing whatever disinformation and propaganda that they could cash in on.
This project was known as “Operation Mockingbird,” the name alone was suggestive of the mission’s objective, total control of the U.S. media system. Many might naively scoff at such an idea, until perhaps they hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.
According to former CIA Director William Colby, “The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”
If that quote alone isn’t enough to raise a “Spock eyebrow” for some, then please consider this gem from another former CIA Director, William Casey, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”
One thing the CIA understands well is that information is as good as gold, and he who controls information can use that data for political gain, power and wealth.
Through the years Operation Mockingbird lured such venerable broadcast icons as Walter Lippmann, Edward R. Murrow, and Walter Cronkite, to name but just a few elite out of hundreds of broadcasters and noted journalists involved in the program.
According to released Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents, a great many of our hallowed media outlets were alleged to be involved with the Mockingbird project, including over 400 journalists who were used for numerous assignments, not to mention many publishing institutions which were also rumored to be involved
Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein was reportedly once told, “One journalist is worth twenty agents.”
The CIA policy is to use and manipulate these “assets” in order to plant disinformation in the U.S., the same way they have done for years overseas through their Office of Strategic Influence. The problem is, it is apparently sanctioned by Congress for them to do so abroad, but expressly illegal to do so domestically.
Over the years, it became increasingly apparent to many observers of the CIA’s effort to control the media through Operation Mockingbird. The biggest blow to the project came in 1974 when two ex-CIA agents, John D. Marks and Victor Marchetti published a book entitled “The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence” (ISBN 0440203368). The book opened the door for many questions following the tell-all expose on Project Mockingbird. Public scrutiny of the CIA hit a new high and drew a concerned response from many in the U.S., including quite a few people on Capitol Hill.
As word leaked out concerning the Mockingbird program and concern began to spread over the possible infiltration of the CIA into the U.S. media, the Senate began an investigation under the Church Committee, the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities.
The Church Committee in 1975 revealed Operation Mockingbird. Senator Frank Church (D-ID) testified that the overall expense of disinformation had cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year. That number has grown exponentially since the 70s.
The Church Report found that “over a thousand books were produced, subsidized or sponsored by the CIA before the end of 1967”.
For all that was uncovered, the commission was stopped in its tracks by none other than CIA Directors William Colby (73-76) and George HW Bush (76-77). The report from Frank Church’s committee was said to have been deliberately buried.
Despite its exposure, Mockingbird apparently did not die. FOIA documents were eventually uncovered that showed CIA agents openly bragging through interoffice memos that the agency still had in place “important assets” within every major news organization in the U.S. In 1982, the CIA admitted to having reporters on their payroll.
The American media facilitates the agenda of Operation Mockingbird by simply avoiding stories altogether that are meant to be kept from the public, or else by mixing some truth with blatant misinformation, to purposefully muddy the water and obfuscate the real facts behind the story.
Make no mistake about it, Operation Mockingbird, or a derivation of it, is still alive and operating as our media continues to mislead the public on everything and anything that those pulling the strings wish their paid media puppets to sell to us. Whether it be the numerous unreported incongruities of 9/11, the illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the orchestrated economic collapse, or the diversion of the gulf oil spill, the media has not told us anything close to the truth.
As the X-Files was famous for pointing out, “The truth is out there.” All we need to do is look.
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