Soldiers patrol a street in Paris on Wednesday. France ordered 10,000 troops into the streets Monday to protect sensitive sites Ñ nearly half of them to guard Jewish schools Ñ as it hunted for accomplices to the Islamic militants who left 17 people dead as they terrorized the nation.
Published: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 9:52 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 9:52 a.m.
PARIS — France ordered prosecutors around the country to crack down on hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism, announcing Wednesday that 54 people had been arrested for those offenses since terror attacks left 20 dead in Paris last week, including three gunmen.
The order came as Charlie Hebdo’s defiant new issue sold out before dawn around Paris, with scuffles at kiosks over dwindling copies of the satirical newspaper that fronted the Prophet Muhammad anew on its cover.
France has been tightening security and searching for accomplices since the terror attacks began, but none of the 54 people have been linked to the attacks. That’s raising questions about whether President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government is impinging on the very freedom of speech that it so vigorously defends when it comes to Charlie Hebdo.
Among those detained was Dieudonne, a controversial, popular comic with repeated convictions for racism and anti-Semitism.
Like many European countries, France has strong laws against hate speech and especially anti-Semitism in the wake of the Holocaust. In a message distributed to all French prosecutors and judges, the Justice Ministry laid out the legal basis for rounding up those who defend the Paris terror attacks as well as those responsible for racist or anti-Semitic words or acts. The order did not mention Islam.
A top leader of Yemen’s al-Qaida branch claimed responsibility Wednesday for the Charlie Hebdo attack, saying in a video the massacre came in “vengeance for the prophet.” The newspaper had received repeated threats previously for posting caricatures of Muhammad.
The core of the irreverent newspaper’s staff perished a week ago when gunmen stormed its offices, killing 12 people and igniting three days of bloodshed around Paris. The attacks ended Friday when security forces killed all three gunmen.
Working out of borrowed offices, Charlie Hebdo employees who survived the massacre put out the issue that appeared Wednesday with a print run of 3 million — more than 50 times the paper’s usual circulation. Another run was being planned, one columnist said.
French police say as many as six members of a terrorist cell that carried out the Paris attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket may still be at large, including a man seen driving a car registered to the widow of one of the now-dead gunmen. The country has deployed 10,000 troops to protect sensitive sites, including Jewish schools and synagogues, mosques and travel hubs.
The Justice Ministry said the 54 people included four minors and several had already been convicted under special measures for immediate sentencing. Inciting terrorism can bring a 5-year prison term — or up to 7 years for inciting terrorism online.
In its message to prosecutors and judges, the ministry said it was issuing the order to protect freedom of expression from comments that could incite violence or hatred. It said no one should be allowed to use their religion to justify hate speech.
It warned authorities to be particularly attentive to any incidents that could lead to urban unrest or violence against police. That suggested the government fears new riots like the wave that swept through France’s neglected housing projects and immigrant communities a decade ago.
The government is also writing broader new laws on phone-tapping and other intelligence designed to fight terrorism, spokesman Stephane Le Foll said Wednesday.
In addition, the government is launching a deeper project to rethink France’s education system, urban policies and integration model, in an apparent recognition that last week’s attacks exposed deeper problems of inequality in France, especially at its housing projects.
Dieudonne, a comic who popularized an arm gesture that resembles a Nazi salute and who has been convicted repeatedly of racism and anti-Semitism, is no stranger to controversy. His provocative performances were banned last year but he has a core following among France’s disaffected youth.
In the Facebook post in question, which was swiftly deleted, the comic said he felt like “Charlie Coulibaly” — merging the names of Charlie Hebdo and Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who killed four hostages at a kosher market Friday, a day after he killed a Paris policewoman.
In a separate post, the comic wrote an open letter to France’s interior minister.
“Whenever I speak, you do not try to understand what I’m trying to say, you do not want to listen to me. You are looking for a pretext to forbid me. You consider me like Amedy Coulibaly when I am not any different from Charlie,” he wrote.
Author Russ Baker will be on THE JACK BLOOD SHOW to discuss this, and the Boston Bombing Trial : This Friday January 9th, 2015
Since the first moment of the announced “North Korean attack” on Sony, our alarm bells were going off. Of course, the New York Times and Washington Post took the lazy way out, quoting unnamed officials asserting that they knew it was North Korea behind the cyberattack, without any evidence at all. Apparently, they couldn’t even do the right thing and acknowledge that we should be highly skeptical of these claims—because that would immediately raise questions of why they were headlining them.
And of course everyone ran President Obama’s Dec. 19 press conference comments that “We can confirm that North Korea engaged in this attack.” And then the typically aggressive move, dripping with manipulative rhetoric: “We will respond. . . . We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States.” The public response, made on Jan. 2, was a new round of economic sanctions—a move that guarantees a story, whether or not the new financial restrictions will have any effect.
A number of journalists and cyber-specialists were out early advising caution in the rush to judgment, based largely on technical considerations and the range of possible culprits. (Glenn Greenwald has just published a good summary of the coverage, both the disappointing and the encouraging.)
My own thoughts were more along the lines of “been there, seen that”—a long history of the U.S. government falsifying allegedly belligerent acts in order to advance some stated agenda.
Today, we still don’t know who hacked Sony, or why. (Most facts in the case seem to point to an ‘INSIDE JOB’ by a disgruntled employee, with help from a Hacktivist group)
But the New York Times did finally catch up, running a short but sober piece by a fairly new reporter, raising the same doubts that others had earlier. It’s interesting that the paper’s original buy-in to the propaganda was co-authored by an old Times Washington hand, David Sanger, and a newbie, Nicole Perlroth, but its corrective was a sole byline of Perlroth, a younger, fairly recent addition to the Times staff based in the “new media” capital of San Francisco. And then, earlier this week, the Times Public Editor (ombudsman) took the paper to the woodshed for its handling of the story, especially its overuse of anonymous sources, noting that “there’s little skepticism in this article.”
Anyone who reads this site knows that it is principally about being skeptical of what we are being told—and pressured to accept without further inquiry—by those who claim to serve the public interest.
So we’re thrilled to see this rising tide of skepticism. One thing that distinguishes our site is that we go further, and look at the bigger picture. If the large news organizations are willing to be used in such a fashion, what does that tell us about how journalism must be reformed? More importantly, if the government is willing to lie to us, what does that tell us about the government itself—and about whether it is really the people, as in a democracy, guiding its leaders, or someone else?
That latter point is what makes everyone nervous, even those who are constantly expressing doubt on their respective platforms about government pronouncements. Because anyone who asks the “big questions” has traditionally been marginalized as a “conspiracist” or nut.
But with growing evidence that we cannot trust what we are being told, perhaps a new moniker would be appropriate. How about: “truthmonger”?
And how about all those brave skeptics taking on something really problematical—and really risky—like the Boston Marathon Bombing, where virtually no one has stepped out of line from the mandated narrative?
Contrast this lock-step approach with the blogosphere’s response to the claim that North Korea was responsible for the Sony hack. For example, security blogger Bruce Schneier wrote:
I am deeply skeptical of the FBI’s announcement on Friday that North Korea was behind last month’s Sony hack. The agency’s evidence is tenuous, and I have a hard time believing it. But I also have trouble believing that the U.S. government would make the accusation this formally if officials didn’t believe it.
Schneier is a cyber guy, and a decent one at that, but when will comparable people take a hard look at the government’s much more aggressive propaganda campaign to hype the evidence in the Boston Marathon bombing? In both the Korean story and the Boston one, the authorities have made all kinds of statements about what happened and why, while refusing to back them up with proof.
As the estimable Greenwald wrote, “Coverage of the episode was largely driven by the long-standing, central tenet of the establishment U.S. media: government assertions are to be treated as Truth.”
Veteran Fox News correspondent Dominic Di-Natale, who recently reported on the riots in Ferguson, Mo., has been found dead of an apparent suicide.
He was 43.
Officials discovered Di-Natale’s body Wednesday in Jefferson County, Co., where the international reporter owned property. The coroner said that he took his own life.
According to Fox News, the U.K. born journalist had been dealing with undisclosed health issues.
“We were extremely saddened to learn of Dominic’s passing and send our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” said a statement from a Fox News spokesperson. “He was an esteemed journalist and an integral part of our news coverage throughout the Middle East.”
Fox News’ Megyn Kelly expressed her condolences on Twitter.
So sad to hear Fox’s Dominic Di-Natale has died. A great reporter, who off-air was always trying to help US troops. I will miss him.
How does this outfit survive on ad revenues? Why do sponsors pay for 181,000 people?
WHAT COULD WE DO WITH CNN’S VAST RESOURCES????
CNN has no audience. It is liberal, and it has no audience.
Why should anyone believe that CNN represents a mass movement?
It is nice to know that Turner can see the futility of his major effort. He deserves no less.
Monday’s 9pmET timeslot on CNN drew 181,000 total viewers, the lowest for the time period since at least Oct. 1, 1991, as far back as Nielsen electronic records go. Anderson Cooper anchored a second live hour of AC360 at 9pm. It was also the lowest rated hour of CNN’s entire day. Cooper finished fourth in the hour behind Megyn Kelly on Fox News, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and Dr. Drew Pinsky on HLN, in both total viewers and the demo.
In her new memoir, Sharyl Attkisson says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” at what the analysis revealed.
“This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quotes the source saying.
She speculates that the motive was to lay the groundwork for possible charges against her or her sources.
Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”
The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.
The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.
“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”
THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS. WORSE THAN ANYTHING NIXON EVER DID.
Attkisson says her source — identified only as “Number One” — told her the spying was most likely not court-authorized because it went on far longer than most legal taps.
But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”
“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.
In her book, Attkisson says CBS lost interest in her coverage of the deadly attack on the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, and killed her stories of the federal “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal.
Members of the German media are paid by the CIA in return for spinning the news in a way that supports US interests, and some German outlets are nothing more than PR appendages of NATO,according to a new book by Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor ofFrankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany’s largest newspapers.
Ulfkotte is a serious mainstream journalist. Here he is on Germany’s leading political talk show a couple of years ago. The book is a sensation in Germany, #7 on the bestseller list. Its political dynamite, coming on the heels of German outrage of NSA tapping of their phones. Check out the RT.com story on it in the video below.
Here at Russia Insider, it has long been apparent to us that there is something distinctly odd about the German media regarding Russia. We follow it, and it is much more strident than even the anglo-saxon media regarding Russia, while German public opinion is much more positive towards Russia than in other countries.
Another interesting thing about it is that it is very disparate. Some major voices are very reasonable about Russia, but most are negative, and some are comically apocalyptic. This is what one would expect if there was some financial influence ginning the system.
We’ve been talking about this for a while now. German public opinion is becoming more and more fed up with the what they increasingly believe to be a rigged media, and its starting to come out everywhere.
The allegations, while shocking, are consistent with the CIA’s long and well-established history of media infiltration.
Operation Mockingbird, which began in the 1950s, was a secret CIA operation which recruited journalists to serve as mouthpieces for the American government. The program was officially terminated after it was exposed by the famous Church Committee investigations, but evidence of ongoing CIA influence over the media continues to accumulate.
Just last week Glenn Greenwald’s (of Edward Snowden fame) new groundbreaking investigative website, The Intercept, charged that the CIA leveraged its considerable influence – some might even say friendship – with media in order to discredit Gary Webb, the fearless American journalist who uncovered CIA cocaine trafficking as part of the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s.
On September 18, the agency released a trove of documents spanning three decades of secret government operations. Culled from the agency’s in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence, the materials include a previously unreleased six-page article titled “Managing a Nightmare: CIA Public Affairs and the Drug Conspiracy Story.” Looking back on the weeks immediately following the publication of “Dark Alliance,” the document offers a unique window into the CIA’s internal reaction to what it called “a genuine public relations crisis” while revealing just how little the agency ultimately had to do to swiftly extinguish the public outcry.
Thanks in part to what author Nicholas Dujmovic, a CIA Directorate of Intelligence staffer at the time of publication, describes as “a ground base of already productive relations with journalists,” the CIA’s Public Affairs officers watched with relief as the largest newspapers in the country rescued the agency from disaster, and, in the process, destroyed the reputation of an aggressive, award-winning reporter.
Website cofounded by Glenn Greenwald accuses ex-Tribune reporter of sending stories to CIA before publication
Emails between former Tribune reporter Ken Dilanian and press office at CIA are made public
A website cofounded by journalist Glenn Greenwald has published emails suggesting that a former Tribune Washington bureau national security reporter submitted some of his work to CIA officials prior to publication, a practice banned by many media outlets, including Tribune.
In documents made public by the website, Dilanian appeared to promise positive news coverage and on occasion sent the CIA press office entire story drafts for review prior to publication. In at least one instance, the CIA’s reaction appears to have led to significant changes in a story eventually published by Tribune newspapers, according to the emails.
In another exchange, the website reported, Dilanian sent a full draft of an unpublished report about drone strikes along with the subject line, “does this look better?” In another, he directly asks the agency officer: “You wouldn’t put out disinformation on this, would you?”
“We have a very clear rule that has been in place for quite a few years that tells reporters not to share copies of stories outside the newsroom,” Lauter said. “I am disappointed that the emails indicate that Ken may have violated that rule.
“We don’t have reason to believe that any of the stories we published were in any way inaccurate,” Lauter added.
Paul Colford, director of media relations for the AP, said: “We were satisfied that any pre-publication exchanges that Ken had with the CIA before joining AP were in pursuit of accuracy in his reporting on intelligence matters.”
Dilanian declined to comment.
Greenwald is a former reporter for the Guardian who has reported extensively on national security issues. He cofounded the Intercept in part as a means of reporting on documents uncovered by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
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)
“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” — William Colby, former CIA Director, cited by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy
“There is quite an incredible spread of relationships. You don’t need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are [Central Intelligence] Agency people at the management level.” — William B. Bader, former CIA intelligence officer, briefing members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein
“The Agency’s relationship with [The New York] 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.” — The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein
“Senator William Proxmire has pegged the number of employees of the federal intelligence community at 148,000 … though Proxmire’s number is itself a conservative one. The “intelligence community” is officially defined as including only those organizations that are members of the U.S. Intelligence Board (USIB); a dozen other agencies, charged with both foreign and domestic intelligence chores, are not encompassed by the term…. The number of intelligence workers employed by the federal government is not 148,000, but some undetermined multiple of that number.” — Jim Hougan, Spooks
“For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government…. I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations.” –former President Harry Truman, 22 December 1963, one month after the JFK assassination, op-ed section of the Washington Post, early edition
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 a 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 Bl�cher, 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 D�sseldorf, West Germany, and established a firm that developed not movie scripts, but anti-chemical warfare agents for the government. At the Industrie Club in D�sseldorf in 1982, von Bl�cher 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.
Richard Gage talked about his group, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, which claimed that the World Trade Center was brought down by explosive demolition on September 11, 2001. The group was founded in 2006 and said its mission was to “expose the official lies and cover-up surrounding the events of September 11, 2001 in a way that inspires the people to overcome denial and understand the truth.” Mr. Gage spoke via video link from San Francisco, California.
RT has managed to re-establish contact with Graham Phillips, a news contributor who was captured at Donetsk airport on Tuesday night while covering the Ukrainian conflict. Philips shared firsthand details of his three days in captivity with RT.
“I am in Poland. I am not exactly sure where I am. I just got to the border by the SBU (Ukrainian Security Service) quite recently, so I am getting my bearings,” Phillips told RT, which contacted the journalist via Skype after his release.
Phillips said he was deported from Ukraine and banned for three years on the grounds that he works for RT. “The reason they gave [me] that was simply that I work for RT, that was all it said in the form. They wouldn’t let me take it or copy it. Just said that ‘you work for RT, it’s the enemy.’ I wasn’t given the chance to defend myself. I was just taken to the border.”
The journalist said it all started three days ago when he was on his way to film fire exchanges between government forces and militants just a few hundred meters away from the airport in Donetsk. He was with Vadim Aksyonov, a stringer for ANNA News agency.
“RT told me not to go in strong terms, but I went anyway with the local journalist Vadim. And we were taken by Ukrainian soldiers and Vadim was pretty badly beaten right in front of me by Ukrainian soldiers. He was on the ground, his head in the ground, just a young guy punching him and kicking him,” Phillips said.
“Vladimir Putin doesn’t control a crime scene in a foreign country. I think it’s quite ludicrous for you to ask that question,” Lavelle responded, adding that Putin has called for a complete investigation.
The Russia Today host instead pointed a finger at the State Department, which he said was relying on Twitter and YouTube for evidence.
“Maybe you haven’t been following it, but the U.S. has actually [come] out with its own intelligence” connecting Russia to possibly assisting the separatists, Cuomo said.
“What forensic evidence are you referring to? Twitter?” Lavelle replied.
“I do not think, Peter, that this is something to be flip about—298 people lost their lives, let’s not play politics here,” Cuomo shot back.
The hosts continued talking over each other about the investigation and Russia’s involvement.
“Peter, why are you afraid to hear what I’m saying? I’m not here to fight with you. I just left the crime scene; the last thing I want to see is more violence of any kind, verbal or otherwise,” Cuomo said.
Lavelle said the U.S. should be releasing and comparing satellite data and when Cuomo said it has done so, Lavelle told the anchor, “You’re living in a parallel universe!”
“Peter, calm down, take a breath. We’ve already had something bad happen, there’s no reason to compound it,” Cuomo said.
Lavelle snapped back, “Ask me an intelligent question.”
“I think I’ve asked you several. Your answers, I don’t know about the intelligence of, but the questions are pretty spot on. Let me ask you again because I’m not a representative of the U.S.; you seem to be acting like a representative of Russia,” Cuomo said.
Lavelle interjected, “Great, character assassination. So you went to character assassination in what? Five minutes?”
“You sound like Jen Psaki at the U.S. State Department,” Lavelle continued.
“No, what I sound like is a reporter who feels deeply for the 298 lives who were lost, who were not part of this conflict and don’t need to be part of your discussion about whether Russia is being unfairly blamed,” Cuomo replied.
The pair continued in a lengthy back and forth and speaking over one another, before Cuomo expressed exasperation.
“This is a joke. We gotta get out of this,” Cuomo said.
After ending the segment, Cuomo told viewers, “The last thing I want to do is to stoke some type of useless conversation, the emotion sometimes gets the better of you, especially when you’ve been on the scene … I apologize for getting involved for what became more about emotion than reason there for a moment.”