Art for episode 1053

1053: Lefties are Right

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 55m
July 22nd, 2018
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Executive Producers: John Robinette, Ser Funk of the Trolls

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Fish, Baronet Sir Karys, William Geffken

Cover Artist: Darren O'Neill

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Syria
Assad is back for good in Syria '' and with Trump's blessing | The Spectator
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 14:46
Amid the confusion and the almost deafening cries of treachery and collusion over Donald Trump's relations with Russia, few noticed the most tangible outcome of this week's Helsinki summit. In the lead-up to his face-to-face talk with Vladimir Putin, senior US and Russian diplomats '-- in close coordination with leaders from mutual ally Israel '-- brokered a deal among all the warring parties (bar the Islamist terrorists) finally to end the devastating seven-year Syrian civil war. As is often the case with Trump, the hype tends to drown out the message but it was there for anyone paying close enough attention. The US, Russians and Israelis have agreed on a solution to Syria. His name is Bashar al-Assad.
The summit agreed on the need for a permanent ceasefire between Syria and Israel (the two countries have been in a state of war since 1948) and the Syrian government will offer guarantees regarding the Jewish state's security. With Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said to be behind Israel, and Turkey scrambling to fall into line behind Russia, it's a done deal. Assad, in short, is here to stay '-- and the West must now begin the process of coming to terms with the fact that it backed the losing side in the Syrian civil war.
Given America was close to going to war against Assad not so long ago, it's quite a shift '-- and one that has been some time in preparation. Last month, Trump quietly abandoned the US-backed Islamist rebels in south-western Syria. This was the birthplace of an uprising against Assad that began as a peaceful student protest but quickly drew in every major regional player, as well as key Nato members and Russia. Most of the rebels surrendered, and have been given safe passage to their last redoubt in the north. Those who remain now await what promises to be a final, devastating onslaught from the Syrian army and their allies in the Russian Air Force. And yes, we should expect the two to act in tandem: Syria is now, to all intents and purposes, a Russian protectorate.
Most PopularJean-Claude drunkerJean Quatremer 21 July 2018 Assad is back for good in Syria - and with Trump's blessingJohn R. Bradley 21 July 2018 Kate Hoey on Jo Swinson vote pairing row: 'she was okay to go on an anti-Trump demonstration'Steerpike 19 July 2018 The Syrian rebels who spent so long begging for American help and arms can now expect to be entirely abandoned. As part of the de-escalation process, Trump is said to be eager to withdraw the 2,000 or so US special forces still stationed in Syria. This way he could (rightly) claim to be honouring his campaign pledge to keep US soldiers out of interminable foreign conflicts whenever possible, while '-- in a 'Mission Accomplished' photo op '-- announcing the defeat of Islamic State in Syria. And all in time for US midterm elections in November.
None of this would have been possible without the Israelis' consent. Days before the Helsinki summit, Benjamin Netanyahu dropped his own diplomatic bombshell following yet another meeting with Putin in Moscow (they have met at least nine times during the past 18 months). Israel, he said, would have no problem working with an Assad regime in Syria in the future. This is despite his repeated calls for regime change, and the Israeli air force bombing military targets inside the country dozens of times over the past few years.
So why is Bibi now keen on Assad? Because his main concern is routing the Iranian forces who have been settling down in Syria '-- often with Russian connivance. Israel also wants fighters from Hezbollah to return to Lebanon, and for Syria's own forces to stay away from the border areas with Israel. If Russia would agree to this, Israel would be content to accept that Syria is under Russian management '-- and that the Kremlin has its own naval base on the Mediterranean.
Putin seems to have convinced Netanyahu that he would do everything in his power to see off the Iranians, and keep everyone far from the Israeli border. Given the almighty mess inside Syria, that is as much as Israel should reasonably expect of Putin in the short term. And what do the Iranians get in return? In what appears to be compensation for selling them out, Putin announced $50 billion in direct Russian investment in Iran's oil and gas sectors '-- up from precisely nada the day before. Hezbollah can now retreat to southern Lebanon and Iran can even save face by saying its revolutionary guard has seen off Assad's enemies.
Israel seems rather impatient for this new deal to begin, and has been bombing the bejesus out of Hezbollah and Iranian regime targets in Syria '-- even as the summit was convening. No one in Moscow has said anything significant about them publicly. And as a further concession, Putin has shelved plans to sell Assad Russia's formidable S-400 air-defence systems, which would have been used to successfully repel further Israeli strikes. Trump now has a new red line: getting Iran out of Syria. 'I made clear we will not allow Iran to benefit from our successful campaign against Isis,' he said in Helsinki.
And as for Assad? The man Trump was calling a 'monster' as recently as April? The President is now willing to look the other way. Trump's adviser John Bolton said that Assad's continued rule in Syria is no longer a 'strategic issue' for the US. As comebacks go, this is rather extraordinary. Assad has gone from being the focus of western ire '--with the House of Commons even taking a vote on whether to bomb his army '-- to being there for good.
As one seasoned Middle Eastern observer has drily noted, the West and its allies threw everything at him '-- but to no avail. Assad is now the first Arab leader to survive an attempt at regime change coordinated by the West, Gulf Arabs and Israel since Egyptian strongman Gamal Abdul Nasser emerged unscathed from the Suez debacle back in 1956. Even his alleged use of chemical weapons '-- punished by Trump himself in a missile strike three months ago '-- has not derailed his campaign.
The impotence of Assad's enemies was almost comically illustrated when last week Syria was given the rotating presidency of the UN-backed Conference on Disarmament. Quite something for a leader judged by the UN to have used chemical weapons as a routine weapon of war.
Far more important for Assad is that, in the eyes of most of the Syrian people, he is a hero '-- and not least for having saved their bacon by wiping out Islamic State. An annual survey of Arab public opinion published last week revealed that the US (84 per cent) and Israel (90 per cent) are still perceived by Arabs as the greatest threats to regional security, ahead of Syrian allies Iran and Russia. More to the point, according to the same survey an overwhelming majority of Arabs (81 per cent) were also found to view US foreign policy towards Syria negatively.
No one is likely to congratulate Trump for having skilfully navigated the Syrian minefield. But his decision to leave Syria's fate to the Syrians (and their new friends in Russia) is the bravest and most logical decision by a US president when it comes to the Middle East since Eisenhower ordered Britain, France and Israel to withdraw from Suez. His comments at the Helsinki press conference underlined how little interest he has in the conflict: he sees it as someone else's war. And if American withdrawal means handing Russia a large sphere of influence in the Middle East, another Mediterranean asset to go along with Ukraine, then so be it.
We had best get used to this American disinterest. Once, Washington policed the Middle East because it thought it would always depend on the region for its energy. Now America will soon be energy self-sufficient '-- and the expectation of this is visibly shaping its foreign policy. Last year the US produced 90 per cent of its domestic energy needs. So why should the US continue to spend blood and treasure keeping peace in the Middle East? Fracking means it can now finally leave, as long as the Saudis remain willing to help control oil prices.
Under Trump, Americans can now envisage a time when their country isn't directly involved in a military conflict in the combustible Arab world '-- with all sides desperate to end the disastrous Saudi-led war on Yemen, and US troops playing an ever more marginal role in Iraq '-- for the first time in living memory. While it would be naive to hope that the terror threat in the West has disappeared, it is true to say that Islamic State is now effectively defeated and al-Qaeda is a shadow of its former self. Thankfully, even war against Iran remains a distant neocon fantasy, with Trump opting instead for economic sanctions as a way of bringing about regime change in Tehran. (It won't work, but that's another story.) He also achieved almost overnight what many had thought impossible: getting the Saudis to abandon their hateful Wahhabi ideology and to stop funding terror abroad.
The result of the Helsinki summit Syrian peace initiative that Trump pulled out of his hat, then, promises to be a win-win for everyone other than the terrorists over there and the warmongers in our midst. Russia gets a proxy in Syria and keeps its warm-water naval port on the Mediterranean coast, as a reward for its brilliant military gamble and massive financial investment in saving Assad. The US gets out of the quagmire. The Gulf Arabs' paranoia about Iranian expansionism is less acute. Israel gets rid of the threat on its border posed by Iran and Hezbollah. And even the latter can console themselves with the knowledge that their sacrifices prevented a genocide against their fellow shia.
And the West? Well, the West is proving itself to be a bit of an irrelevance. But bearing in mind how much death and destruction our reckless military interventions have caused in the region over the past few decades '-- to those on the receiving end, most obviously, but to us too, in the form of our soldiers' deaths and the blowback from Islamist terrorism and the migrant crisis '-- that is perhaps the best outcome of all. Putin is filling the vacuum, but only the most unhinged anti-Putin fanatic believes that Russia has plans to invade Europe.
And come to think of it, the Putin''haters should be happiest of all. Having to deal with the permanent headache that is trying to resolve the Arab world's intractable conflicts is something one really should wish on one's worst enemy.
Over 1.7 mln Syrian refugees to return to their homes in near future
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 17:01
MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. More than 1.7 mln Syrian refugees are expected to return to their homes in the near future, Head of the Russian National Defense Management Center Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev said on Friday.
"According to preliminary estimates, more than 1.7 mln refugees may return to their places of residence in the near future," he said at the founding open-door meeting of the Joint Coordination Center set up by the Defense and Foreign Ministries to manage the return of Syrian refugees.
"As many as 76 settlements least affected by hostilities may accommodate 336,500 people, first and foremost, those returning from Lebanon and Jordan," Mizintsev pointed out.
According to the Russian general, more than 6,900,000 people have left Syria since 2011, 45 countries are currently hosting the majority of them. "Most refugees are residing in Syria's neighboring countries - Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq," Mizintsev noted.
Russia's proposals on refugees' return to SyriaRussia has submitted to the United States a list of steps on how organize the refugees' return in Syria in line with the Helsinki agreements of the Russian and US presidents, according to Mizintsev.
The US considers the Russia-drafted proposals for Syria's infrastructure rebuilding, he added.
"Agreements achieved by the Russian and US presidents at their summit in Helsinki have helped to make headway in that field, since taking them into account, [we] submitted detailed proposals to the US side for organization of the work on refugees' return to pre-war residence," he said.
"We suggested setting up a joint group to fund the restoration of Syria's infrastructure," he said. "The proposals submitted by Russia are being considered by the US side."
According to the general, "a package of proposals is as follows: a joint plan should be drawn up on refugees' return to places of their residence before the conflict; Syrian citizens should be urgently returned from Lebanon and Jordan; a Russia-US-Jordan group should be set up on the basis of the Amman monitoring center; and a similar group should be formed in Lebanon."
Headquarters' meetingOn Friday, the Russian Defense and Foreign Ministries held an open session of their joint coordination center for refugees' return to Syria.
According to Mizintsev, "at present, the Syrian government forces supported by the Russian Aerospace Force's group are retaking the country's territory from the remaining terrorist groups."
"The Syrian government's efforts, supported by Russia, help peaceful life to come back to liberated areas and the infrastructure to be rebuilt," he said adding "units of the Russian military police assist local authorities in ensuring security, and law and order."
In the areas, which had been earlier controlled by rebel groups, prices of food and medicines have plunged and residents have access to medical services.
"In these conditions, the return of refugees and internally displaces persons to places of their residence and temporary accommodation is becoming a top priority to set peaceful life back on track and to rebuild the country as soon as possible," the general concluded.
US to attempt rescue of trapped Syrian White Helmets at Golan border | The Times of Israel
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 10:17
WASHINGTON '-- US officials say the United States is finalizing plans to evacuate several hundred Syrian civil defense workers and their families from southwest Syria as Russian-backed government forces close in on the area.
Two officials familiar with the plans said Thursday that the US, Britain and Canada are spearheading the evacuation that would transport members of the White Helmets group to transit camps in neighboring countries.
From there, they will be sent to third countries, including Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and possibly Canada, according to the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.
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It was not immediately clear if Israel had any role in the operation. The IDF maintains its side of the Quneitra crossing, and has used it to transfer supplies to refugees as well as to evacuate wounded Syrians for medical care.
Friday, August 29, 2014, an unspecified armed group of rebels gather at Syria's Quneitra border crossing between Syrian- and Israeli-controlled parts of the Golan Heights. (photo credit: AP/Ariel Schalit, File)
The officials, and a member of the White Helmets who is due to be evacuated from Quneitra province, said the operation appears to be imminent as the Syrian army continues to gain ground in its latest offensive.
The White Helmets, who have enjoyed backing from the US and other Western nations for years, are likely to be targeted by Syrian forces as they retake control of the southwest, according to the officials.
The officials said planning for the evacuation has been taking place for some time but accelerated after last week's NATO summit in Brussels.
Syrian government forces' soldiers walk in the city of Quneitra after taking it back to the rebels, on July 19, 2018. (AFP/ Youssef KARWASHAN)
''These are hard hours and minutes,'' the White Helmets volunteer in Quneitra said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear for his life. ''This is the worst day of my life. I hope they rescue us before it is too late.''
The evacuation is expected to take place from Quneitra, which straddles the frontier with the Golan Heights and where the civil defense team is trapped. It is the last sliver of land still outside government control in the region.
A picture taken on July 19, 2018 from the Golan Heights shows smoke rising in an area where Russian-backed government forces in Syria have been carrying air strikes near the village of al-Rafid in the southern Syrian province of Quneitra. (AFP/ JALAA MAREY)
Since the government offensive began in June, the area along the frontier with the Golan Heights has been the safest in the southwestern region, attracting hundreds of displaced people because is along the disengagement line with Israel demarcated in 1974 after the Yom Kippur War. The Syrian government is unlikely to fire there or carry out airstrikes.
On Tuesday, approximately 200 Syrians who were displaced by the recent onslaught approached the Israeli border, some of them waving white flags, in an apparent effort to get assistance from the Jewish state. Israel has refused to accept any refugees, including those seeking transfer to a third country.
Soldiers used bullhorns to tell them to back away from the fence.
A picture taken on July 17, 2018 from the Golan Heights shows refugees coming to fence border between Syria and Israel by a camp for displaced Syrians near the Syrian village of Burayqah in the southern province of Quneitra. (AFP /JALAA MAREY)
''Go back before something bad happens. If you want us to be able to help you, go back,'' an Israeli officer told the crowd in Arabic, according to Reuters. ''Get a move on.''
An IDF spokesperson said this was due to concerns that they were approaching a live minefield near the border.
Negotiations are also ongoing to evacuate armed rebels and their families who don't want to accept the return of the rule of Bashar Assad's government to Quneitra, which the rebels have controlled for years. The fighters will be evacuated to the northern part of Syria, where the opposition still holds sway.
Except from that sliver of land, the southern tip of the southwestern region that lies along the border with Jordan and the Golan Heights is occupied by an Islamic State-affiliated group. The area is expected to be the target of the next government advances and the civil defense teams don't operate there.
Syrian government supporters accuse the White Helmets, who only operate in opposition-held areas where government services are almost non-existent and aerial bombings are recurrent, of being politically affiliated with the rebel groups. Russia and the Syrian government have repeatedly accused them of staging chemical attacks in opposition areas, a charge that has never been proven.
They have continued to receive US support even as President Donald Trump presses ahead with his plans to withdraw all American forces from Syria as soon as Islamic State forces are routed.
Civil Defense volunteers, known as the White Helmets, carry a wounded man into a makeshift hospital in the rebel-held town of Douma, following air strikes by regime forces on the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on February 20, 2018. (Hamza Al-Ajweh/AFP)
In June, the State Department freed up a small portion '-- $6.6 million out of some $200 million '-- in frozen funding for Syria stabilization programs to keep the White Helmets operating through the end of this year.
In other parts of Syria, where government control has been restored, civil defense volunteers have almost always evacuated to other opposition-controlled areas. It is not clear why this time they will be evacuated out of the country.
Any Collusion
Judicial Watch Obtains Carter Page FISA Court Documents - Judicial Watch
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 11:17
July 21, 2018(Washington, DC) '' Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding today's release of 412 pages of documents about FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrants targeting Carter Page, who had been a Trump campaign adviser:
These documents are heavily redacted but seem to confirm the FBI and DOJ misled the courts in withholding the material information that Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC were behind the ''intelligence'' used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team. Given this corruption, President Trump should intervene and declassify the heavily redacted material.
The documents were due to Judicial Watch yesterday but were emailed around 5:30 pm today.
The warrants are controversial because the FISA court was never told that the key information justifying the requests came from a ''dossier'' that was created by Fusion GPS, a paid agent of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The initial Carter Page warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election. Today's document release supports criticisms by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee who released a memo that criticized the FISA targeting. The memo details how the ''minimally corroborated'' Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ's applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.
The document production comes in a February 2018 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the DOJ rejected a July 19, 2017, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00245)). The lawsuit is seeking:
Copies of all proposed and all final signed FISA applications submitted to the FISC relating to Russian interference in the 2016 election, allegations of collusion between people associated with the Trump campaign and Russia, and any known Trump associates regardless of context;
Copies of all FISC responses to the above-mentioned applications in which the Court notified the FBI or Justice Department that it would not grant the proposed applications or recommended changes. If any such FISC responses were provided orally, rather than in writing, please provide copies of FBI or Justice Department records memorializing or otherwise referencing the relevant FISC responses;
Copies of all FISC orders relating to the above mentioned applications, whether denying the applications and certifications, denying the orders, modifying the orders, granting the orders, or other types of orders.
In April, the DOJ told the court it was ''processing for potential redaction and release certain FISA materials related to Carter Page,'' and agreed to a production schedule for responsive records to be completed July 20, 2018.
###
Update: Mueller Suspected of Giving Podesta Brothers Immunity to Indict Manafort and Is HIDING THIS FROM PUBLIC
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 22:08
We report the truth - And leave the Russia-Collusion fairy tale to the Conspiracy media
by Jim Hoft July 17, 2018Guest post by Joe Hoft
Earlier today it was reported that Robert Mueller is seeking to give immunity to five potential witnesses in the Paul Manafort trial according to a new court filing Tuesday. It's now suspected that two of the witnesses are creepy and criminal Podesta brothers, the Democrats' poster boys.
Mueller is filing the requests under seal; Manafort is facing charges of bank and tax fraud and his trial begins next Wednesday in the Eastern District of Virginia.
The five potential witnesses have not been charged and their identity has not been released to the public.
Via NBC reporter Tom Winter: NEW: The Special Counsel's Office notifies the court that they will seek immunity for up to 5 people to testify under conditions of immunity in the upcoming trial against Paul Manafort in Virginia. They say these people have not been publicly named before in the case.
NEW: The Special Counsel's Office notifies the court that they will seek immunity for up to 5 people to testify under conditions of immunity in the upcoming trial against Paul Manafort in Virginia.
They say these people have not been publicly named before in the case.
'-- Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) July 17, 2018
The Special Counsel says they aren't sure if they will call any of the witnesses so they want to file the requests for immunity under seal.
The Special Counsel's Office says they aren't sure if they will call any of the witnesses so they want to file the requests for immunity under seal.
'-- Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) July 17, 2018
From the filing: ''The motions indicate that the named individuals will not testify or provide other information on the basis of their privilege against self-incrimination, and that the government is requesting that the Court compel them to testify at the upcoming trial.''
From the filing: ''The motions indicate that the named individuals will not testify or provide other information on the basis of their privilege against self-incrimination, and that the government is requesting that the Court compel them to testify at the upcoming trial.''
'-- Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) July 17, 2018
Before people jump to conclusions it is important to note that this potential testimony could be tied to prior ''bad acts'' SCO has indicated may be presented.
We also don't know who and what they may testify to. This happens in trial.
'-- Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) July 17, 2018
It's now suspected that two of the criminals that Mueller is aligning himself with are the creepy and criminal Podesta brothers.
.@Tom_Winter We see this for what it is. Robert Mueller is necessarily granting immunity to John and Tony Podesta while prosecuting Paul Manafort (their former contracted employee). Team Mueller also wants the court records sealed to hide the partisan deal from public sunlight. https://t.co/Uzam29ziLv
'-- TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) July 17, 2018
We've written extensively about the corrupt Podesta brothers. John was Hillary's crooked Campaign Manager whose emails were released to the public before the 2016 election. These emails included numerous incidents of criminal acts, pay for play by the Clintons and other corrupt, elitist and dishonest behaviors. Apparently, Manafort used to work for the Podestas.
This is outrageous and criminal.
Lawful Intercept Overview - Cisco
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:13
Table Of ContentsLawful Intercept Overview
Information About Lawful Intercept
Feature History for Lawful Intercept
Benefits of Lawful Intercept
Restrictions for Lawful Intercept
Interception Using Layer 2 and Layer 3 Taps
Initiating SNMPv3 Provisioning Lawful Intercept Requests
Lawful Intercept for MLP
Using RADIUS to Request Lawful Intercepts
Intercepting Conversations Using CALEA for Voice
Network Components Used for Lawful Intercept
Mediation Device
Intercept Access Point
Collection Program
Lawful Intercept Processing
CISCO-TAP2-MIB
Related Information
Lawful Intercept Overview This chapter provides information about Lawful Intercept (LI) and contains the following information:
'Information About Lawful Intercept
'CISCO-TAP2-MIB
'Related Information
Caution This guide does not address legal obligations for the implementation of lawful intercept. As a service provider, you are responsible to ensure that your network complies with applicable lawful intercept statutes and regulations. We recommend that you seek legal advice to determine your obligations.
Information About Lawful Intercept Lawful intercept is a process that enables a Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) to perform electronic surveillance on an individual (a target) as authorized by a judicial or administrative order. To facilitate the lawful intercept process, certain legislation and regulations require service providers (SPs) and Internet service providers (ISPs) to implement their networks to explicitly support authorized electronic surveillance.
The surveillance is performed through the use of wiretaps on traditional telecommunications and Internet services in voice, data, and multiservice networks. The LEA delivers a request for a wiretap to the target's service provider, who is responsible for intercepting data communication to and from the individual. The service provider uses the target's IP address or session to determine which of its edge routers handles the target's traffic (data communication). The service provider then intercepts the target's traffic as it passes through the router, and sends a copy of the intercepted traffic to the LEA without the target's knowledge.
The Lawful Intercept feature supports the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which describes how service providers in the United States must support lawful intercept. Currently, lawful intercept is defined by the following standards:
'Telephone Industry Association (TIA) specification J-STD-025
'Packet Cable Electronic Surveillance Specification (PKT-SP-ESP-101-991229)
For information about a Cisco lawful intercept solution, contact your Cisco account representative.
Feature History for Lawful Intercept Cisco IOS Release
Description
Release 12.2(31)SB12
The Lawful Intercept for MLP feature was added on Cisco 10000 series router for PRE2 and PRE3.
Release 12.3(7)XI
This feature was integrated in Cisco IOS Release 12.3(7)XI and implemented on the Cisco 10000 series router for the PRE2.
Release 12.2(28)SB
This feature was enhanced to support RADIUS-based lawful intercept and the CISCO-TAP2-MIB replaces the CISCO-TAP-MIB.
Release 12.2(31)SB2
This feature was enhanced to include the CISCO-USER-CONNECTION- TAP-MIB.
Benefits of Lawful Intercept Lawful intercept has the following benefits:
'Allows multiple LEAs to run a lawful intercept on the same target without each other's knowledge.
'Does not affect subscriber services on the router.
'Cannot be detected by the target.
'Allows LEAs to perform lawful intercepts without the knowledge of service providers.
'Uses Simple Network Management Protocol Version 3 (SNMPv3) and security features like the View-based Access Control Model (SNMP-VACM-MIB) and User-based Security Model (SNMP-USM-MIB) to restrict access to lawful intercept information and components.
'Hides information about lawful intercepts from all but the most privileged users. An administrator must set up access rights to enable privileged users to access lawful intercept information.
'Provides two secure interfaces for performing an intercept: one for setting up the wiretap and one for sending the intercepted traffic to the mediation device.
'The Cisco 10000 series router supports intercept taps on the following PPPo X sessions:
''PPPoA
''PPPoE
''PPPoEoA
''PPPoEoVLAN
''PPPoEoQinQ
'In Cisco 10000 series router, IPv4 Lawful Intercept support the traffic for the following MLP bundle interfaces:
''MLP over Serial
''MLP over Single VC ATM
''MLP over Multi VC ATM
''MLP over FR
Note IPv6 tapping on Multilink bundle interfaces is not supported. Interception of Multicast traffic over Multilink bundle interfaces is also not supported.
'In Cisco IOS Release 12.2(31)SB2 and later releases, the router supports lawful intercepts with Routed Bridged Encapsulation (RBE) configured on the router (RFC 1483).
Restrictions for Lawful Intercept Lawful Intercept has the following restriction:
' Lawful Intercept is not supported on Network Management Ethernet (FastEthernet0/0/0) interfaces on the Cisco 10000 series router.
'Lawful Intercept tapping for traffic belonging to IP sessions is not supported on the Cisco 10000 series router.
Interception Using Layer 2 and Layer 3 Taps The Lawful Intercept feature supports Layer 2 and Layer 3 taps as the following describes:
'Layer 2 taps'--Session-based taps that intercept all traffic to and from the session regardless of its Layer 3 content. Layer 2 taps are configured using SNMP version 3 provisioning and RADIUS-based lawful intercepts, and use the CISCO-TAP2-MIB and CISCO-USER- CONNECTION-TAP-MIB.
'Layer 3 taps'--Intercepts at the IP layer that are accessible using SNMPv3 provisioning. Layer 3 taps use the CISCO-TAP2-MIB and CISCO-IP-TAP-MIB.
For additional information on Layer 2 and Layer 3 taps, see Table 2-2 on page 2-5 .
Initiating SNMPv3 Provisioning Lawful Intercept Requests SNMPv3 provisioning lawful intercept requests are initiated by the mediation device using SNMPv3 messages, and all traffic data traveling to or from an IP address or session is passed to a mediation device. SNMPv3 provisioning uses the following lawful intercept MIBs:
'CISCO-TAP2-MIB
'CISCO-IP-TAP-MIB
'CISCO-USER-CONNECTION-TAP-MIB
Note For SNMPv3 to provision lawful intercept requests, ensure that session-based taps are done on the LAC.
Lawful Intercept for MLP The Cisco 10000 series router is a content intercept access point (IAP) in the network. The Lawful Intercept (LI) for MLP feature gives support for Lawful Interception of subscriber traffic over an MLP bundle interface. The support for LI on MLP bundles is restricted only to IPv4 traffic interception.
Using RADIUS to Request Lawful Intercepts A RADIUS-based lawful intercept solution enables intercept requests to be sent to the NAS or to the LAC from the RADIUS server using Access-Accept packets or CoA-Request packets. All traffic data going to or from a PPP or L2TP session is passed to a mediation device.
An advantage of RADIUS-based lawful intercept is the synchronicity of the solution'--the tap is set with Access-Accept packets so that all target traffic is intercepted.
Intercepting Conversations Using CALEA for Voice The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) for Voice feature allows the lawful interception of voice conversations that are running on voice over IP (VoIP). Although the Cisco 10000 series router is not a voice gateway device, VoIP packets traverse the router at the edge of the service provider's network. CALEA for Voice is one component of a complete lawful intercept solution, consisting of external monitoring and third-party management devices.
When an approved government agency determines that a telephone conversation is interesting, CALEA for Voice copies the IP packets comprising the conversation and sends the duplicate packets to the appropriate monitoring device for further analysis. Neither the network administrator nor the calling parties is aware that packets are being copied or that the call is being snooped.
Note On a PRE2, CALEA for Voice supports Layer 3 tap functionality, including 32 concurrent taps and 6.1 Mbps (of any traffic) maximum rate without detection.
Network Components Used for Lawful Intercept The following network components are used for lawful intercepts:
'Mediation Device
'Intercept Access Point
'Collection Program
For information about lawful intercept processing, see the "Lawful Intercept Processing" section.
Mediation Device A mediation device (supplied by a third-party vendor) manages most of the processing for the lawful intercept. The mediation device:
'Provides the interface used to set up and provision the lawful intercept.
'Generates requests to other network devices to set up and run the lawful intercept.
'Converts the intercepted traffic into the format required by the LEA (which can vary from country to country) and sends a copy of the intercepted traffic to the LEA without the target's knowledge.
Note If multiple LEAs are performing intercepts on the same target, the mediation device makes a copy of the intercepted traffic for each LEA. The mediation device is also responsible for restarting any lawful intercepts that are disrupted due to a failure.
Intercept Access Point An intercept access point (IAP) is a device that provides information for the lawful intercept. The following are two types of IAPs you can use:
'Identification (ID) IAP'--A device, such as an authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) server, that provides intercept related information (IRI) for the intercept (for example, the target's username and system IP address). The IRI helps the service provider determine which content IAP (router) the target's traffic passes through.
'Content IAP'--A device, such as a Cisco 10000 series router, that the target's traffic passes through. The content IAP:
'Intercepts traffic to and from the target for the length of time specified in the court order. The router continues to forward traffic to its destination to ensure that the wiretap is undetected.
'Creates a copy of the intercepted traffic, encapsulates it in User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets, and forwards the packets to the mediation device without the target's knowledge.
Note The content IAP sends a copy of intercepted traffic to the mediation device. If multiple LEAs are performing intercepts on the same target, the mediation device makes a copy of the intercepted traffic for each LEA.
Collection Program The collection program is a software program that runs on equipment at the LEA. This program stores and processes traffic intercepted by the service provider.
Lawful Intercept Processing After acquiring a court order or warrant to perform surveillance, the LEA delivers a surveillance request to the target's service provider. Service provider personnel use an admin function that runs on the mediation device to configure a lawful intercept to monitor the target's electronic traffic for a specific period of time (as defined in the court order).
After the intercept is configured, user intervention is no longer required. The admin function communicates with other network devices to set up and execute the lawful intercept. The following sequence of events occurs during a lawful intercept:
1. The admin function contacts the ID IAP for intercept related information (IRI), such as the target's user name and the IP address of their system, to determine which content IAP (router) the target's traffic passes through.
2. After identifying the router that handles the target's traffic, the admin function issues SNMPv3 get and set requests to the router's MIBs to set up and activate the lawful intercept. The router's MIBs include the CISCO-TAP2-MIB and CISCO-IP-TAP-MIB, and CISCO-USER-CONNECTION-TAP- MIB.
3. During the lawful intercept, the router:
a. Examines incoming and outgoing traffic and intercepts any traffic that matches the specifications of the lawful intercept request.
b. Creates a copy of the intercepted traffic and forwards the original traffic to its destination so the target does not suspect anything.
c. Encapsulates the intercepted traffic in UDP packets and forwards the packets to the mediation device without the target's knowledge.
Note The process of intercepting and duplicating the target's traffic adds no detectable latency in the traffic stream.
4. The mediation device converts the intercepted traffic into the required format and sends it to a collection function running at the LEA. Here, the intercepted traffic is stored and processed.
If the router intercepts traffic that is not allowed by the judicial order, the mediation device filters out the excess traffic and sends the LEA only the traffic allowed by the judicial order.
Note When there are multiple lawful intercepts, packet count is based on the mediation device entry and not on individual data streams. For example, lawful intercept is tapping two streams and 1000 packets are sent on each stream. The medication device receives 2000 packets and the packet count for each stream is 2000. When non-hardware tapped packets are routed using the route processor (RP), packet count is according to the stream.
5. When the lawful intercept expires, the router stops intercepting the target's traffic.
CISCO-TAP2-MIB The CISCO-TAP2-MIB contains SNMP management objects that control lawful intercepts on the router. The mediation device uses the MIB to configure and run lawful intercepts on targets whose traffic passes through the router. The MIB is bundled with Cisco software images that support the lawful intercept feature.
CISCO-TAP2-MIB Contents
The CISCO-TAP2-MIB contains several tables that provide information for lawful intercepts that are running on the router:
'cTap2MediationTable'--Contains information about each mediation device that is currently running a lawful intercept on the router. Each table entry provides information that the router uses to communicate with the mediation device (for example, the device's address, the interfaces to send intercepted traffic over, and the protocol to use to transmit the intercepted traffic).
'cTap2StreamTable'--Contains information used to identify the traffic to intercept. Each table entry contains a pointer to a filter that is used to identify the traffic stream associated with the target of a lawful intercept. Traffic that matches the filter is intercepted, copied, and sent to the corresponding mediation device application (cTap2MediationContentId).
The table also contains counts of the number of packets that were intercepted, and counts of dropped packets which should have been intercepted, but were not.
'cTap2DebugTable'--Contains debug information for troubleshooting lawful intercept errors.
The MIB also contains several SNMP notifications for lawful intercept events. For detailed descriptions of MIB objects, see the MIB.
CISCO-TAP2-MIB Processing
The admin function (running on the mediation device) issues SNMPv3 set and get requests to the router's CISCO-TAP2-MIB to set up and initiate a lawful intercept. To do this, the admin function performs the following actions:
1. Creates a cTap2MediationTable entry to define how the router is to communicate with the mediation device executing the intercept.
Note The cTap2MediationNewIndex object provides a unique index for the mediation table entry.
2. Creates an entry in the cTap2StreamTable to identify the traffic stream to intercept.
3. Sets cTap2StreamInterceptEnable to true(1) to start the intercept. The router intercepts traffic in the stream until the intercept expires (cTap2MediationTimeout).
CISCO-TAP2-MIB Extension MIB
The CISCO-TAP2-MIB includes the following extension MIBs:
'CISCO-IP-TAP-MIB'--intercepts based on IP addresses
'CISCO-USER-CONNECTION-TAP-MIB'--RADIUS-based user connection intercepts
Related Information For additional information on lawful intercept, contact your Cisco account representative.
DOCUMENT: Peter Strzok Was CIA And FBI At The Same Time, Say Experts - Big League Politics
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:53
Washington is still reeling from Peter Strzok's testimony on Capitol Hill, where House lawmakers grilled him about his efforts to use FBI government power to try to stop President Donald Trump's campaign and current presidency.
Strzok was the main operative in ''Operation Crossfire Hurricane,'' a Deep State plot to run legal attacks on President Trump's team.
Now we know that Strzok was really a CIA agent. He only held a ceremonial title in the Bureau, but was really operating under the leadership of the CIA, including Obama's vindictive CIA director John Brennan.
Trending: Lisa Page Confirms: The Chinese, Not The Russians, Hacked Hillary's Emails
intellihub reports: ''A sheep-dipped Peter Strzok has been covertly operating as the Section Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's Counterespionage Group during his secret 24 year tenure with the agency while masquerading as Deputy Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Counterintelligence Division where he was in charge of investigating Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server along with the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.
The bombshell information published first on BrassBalls.blog reveals that the ''joint CIA/FBI position was created by Congress in 1996'' which allowed Strzok to hold both posts.
A unclassified document printed on FBI letterhead dated January 20, 2016, which contains the subject line ''Supplemental Classification Review and Determination'' was addressed to the Bureau of National Security's
Assistant Secretary Gregory B. Starr from Peter Strzok who is listed as ''Section Chief'' of the ''Counterespionage Section'' in reference to Strzok's CIA post. Keep in mind, this is not an FBI post as Strzok's position at the FBI is ''Deputy Assistant Director Counterintelligence Division'' not ''Section Chief'' which is a CIA post.
intellihub passage ends
HERE IS THE ORIGINAL SOURCE DOCUMENT:
https://www.scribd.com/document/320564549/FBI-and-State-Letters-Clinton-Top-Secret-Emails#from_embed
Peter Strzok was integrally involved in every aspect of the plot to get President Trump. Now we know he's a CIA Brennan guy. Here's our reporting on some of the moves he was involved with:
Here's How Comey and Brennan Used Peter Strzok To Set Up Trump and Flynn
DHS cyber chief says the election system 'works,' is resilient to tampering
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 04:22
By Lauren C. WilliamsJul 20, 2018The U.S. election system may be under attack, but Christopher Kreps argues that democracy's defenses are resilient.
Krebs, the Department of Homeland Security's undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate, stressed during a July 20 Washington Post cyber event that individuals' voting rights were safe despite persistent cybersecurity threats to election infrastructure.
"The way the system by law -- not just the technical system but the broader election system is constructed -- is that if you, anyone in this room or watching online, shows up to vote and something is wrong with your registration, either you're not in the system or you're clearly not a woman and this says you are, you have the right by law to request a provisional ballot," he said.
"It can take a little bit of time, it can be disruptive on election day and can cause a little bit of concern, but this happens already without Russians getting involved."
The 2018 midterm elections do remain a target. Krebs told senators during a July 11 hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee that while the elections remain a potential target for Russian disinformation campaigns, there's no evidence that activity has reached 2016 levels.
"What we're saying is we haven't seen a campaign on the scale of 2016 of concerted attacks against the election infrastructure, concerted attacks against these campaigns," Krebs said -- the latter point referring to a senior Microsoft executive's July 19 assertion that three 2018 candidates' campaigns were being targeted by phishing campaigns similar to those seen in 2016. (Krebs said DHS and the FBI are working with Microsoft to share information and "shore up defenses.")
The biggest issue, Krebs said, is lack of cooperation between the private sector and state and federal governments, which has prompted development of a new risk management initiative.
DHS is preparing to launch an initiative that will have "integrated cross sector government-industry collaboration in the cybersecurity, critical infrastructure protection space," and include the Treasury and Energy Departments as well as other sector-specific agencies, he said. Together they will create "a coordination capability" that combines and supports cybersecurity and industrial control system expertise.
"No company out there, no state out there is going to work on this challenge by themselves, we have to work together," Krebs said. "We're pushing a collective security model where we work together to manage risk."
About the Author
Lauren C. Williams is a staff writer at FCW covering defense and cybersecurity.
Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.
Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at lwilliams@fcw.com, or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.
Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.
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Peter Strzok Statements About Weiner/Abedin Laptop Conflict With DOJ Inspector General Claims About Weiner/Abedin Laptop'...
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 04:29
Former DOJ/FBI Attorney Lisa Page testified to a closed joint-committee on July 13th and July 16th. Has anyone else noticed how democrats are not demanding a release of the Page transcript?
With the exceptional help of John Spiropoulos we investigate a conflict completely ignored by media and congress. Peter Strzok, the FBI's lead Investigator in the Clinton email investigation, never intended to investigate the laptop before the election. The evidence, in his own words, is in the report by the Inspector General. In addition, the IG report includes a jaw dropping contradiction regarding the investigation of the laptop. Strzok says one thing; the FBI's computer experts say another. It calls into question the entirety of the laptop investigation. WATCH:
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There is a great deal of inconsistent application of law surrounding the DOJ/FBI investigative authority during 2015 and 2016. There is also a great deal of fatigue surrounding discussion of those inconsistent applications. Contradictions, inconsistency and obtuse justifications are as rampant in our midst as the political narratives shaping them. Perhaps that's by design.
Reading Chapter 11 of the IG Report reinforces an acceptance that not only is there a need for a special counsel, but there is a brutally obvious need for multiple special counsels; each given a specific carve-out investigation that comes directly from the content of the Inspector General report. This issue of the handling of the Weiner/Abedin laptop screams for a special counsel investigation on that facet alone. Why?
Well, consider this from page #388 (emphasis mine):
Midyear agents obtained a copy of the Weiner laptop from NYO immediately after the search warrant was signed on October 30.
The laptop was taken directly to Quantico where the FBI's Operational Technology Division (OTD) began processing the laptop. The Lead Analyst told us that given the volume of emails on the laptop and the difficulty with de-duplicating the emails that ''at least for the first few days, the scale of what we're doing seem[ed] really, really big.''
Strzok told us that OTD was able ''to do some amazing things'' to ''rapidly de-duplicate'' the emails on the laptop, which significantly lowered the number of emails that the Midyear team would have to individually review. Strzok stated that only after that technological breakthrough did he begin to think it was ''possible we might wrap up before the election.'' (pg 388)
The key takeaway here is two-fold. First, the laptop is in the custody of the FBI; that's important moving forward (I'll explain later). Also, specifically important, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, the lead investigative authority in the Hillary Clinton MYE (Mid-Year-Exam), is explaining to the IG how they were able to process an exhaustive volume of emails (350,000) and Blackberry communications (344,000) in a few days; [Oct 30 to Nov 5]
Note: ''OTD was able ''to do some amazing things to rapidly de-duplicate'' the emails on the laptop.''
OK, you got that?
Now lets look at the very next page, #389 (again, emphasis mine):
['...] The FBI determined that Abedin forwarded two of the confirmed classified emails to Weiner. The FBI reviewed 6,827 emails that were either to or from Clinton and assessed 3,077 of those emails to be ''potentially work-related.''
The FBI analysis of the review noted that ''[b]ecause metadata was largely absent, the emails could not be completely, automatically de-duplicated or evaluated against prior emails recovered during the investigation'' and therefore the FBI could not determine how many of the potentially work-related emails were duplicative of emails previously obtained in the Midyear investigation. (pg 389)
See the problem? See the contradiction?
Strzok is saying due to some amazing wizardry the FBI forensics team was able to de-duplicate the emails. However, FBI forensics is saying they were NOT able to de-duplicate the emails.
Both of these statements cannot be true. And therein lies the underlying evidence to support a belief the laptop content was never actually reviewed. But it gets worse, much worse'....
To show how it's FBI Agent Peter Strzok that is lying; go back to chapter #9 and re-read what the New York case agent was saying about the content of the laptop.
The New York FBI analysis supports the FBI forensic statement in that no de-duplication was possible because the metadata was not consistent. The New York FBI Weiner case agent ran into this metadata issue when using extraction software on the laptop.
CHAPTER 9: The case agent assigned to the Weiner investigation was certified as a Digital Extraction Technician and, as such, had the training and skills to extract digital evidence from electronic devices.
The case agent told the OIG that he began processing Weiner's devices upon receipt on September 26. The case agent stated that he noticed ''within hours'' that there were ''over 300,000 emails on the laptop.''
The case agent told us that on either the evening of September 26 or the morning of September 27, he noticed the software program on his workstation was having trouble processing the data on the laptop. (pg 274)
The New York Case Agent then describes how inconsistent metadata within the computer files for the emails and Blackberry communications, made it impossible for successful extraction. The FBI NY case agent and the Quantico FBI forensics agent agree on the metadata issue and the inability to use their software programs for extraction and layered comparison for the purposes of de-duplication.
Both NY and Quantico contradict the statement to the IG by FBI Agent Peter Strzok. However, that contradiction, while presented in a factual assertion by the IG, is entirely overlooked and never reconciled within the inspector general report. That irreconcilable statement also sheds more sunlight on the motives of Strzok.
Next up, there were only three FBI people undertaking the October Clinton email review. To learn who they are we jump back to Chapter #11, page #389.
The Midyear team flagged all potentially work-related emails encountered during the review process and compared those to emails that they had previously reviewed in other datasets. Any work-related emails that were unique, meaning that they did not appear in any other dataset, were individually reviewed by the Lead Analyst, [Peter] Strzok, and FBI Attorney 1 [Tashina Gauhar] for evidentiary value. (pg 389)
Pete Strzok, Tash Gauhar and the formerly unknown lead analyst we now know to be Sally Moyer. That's it. Three people.
This is the crew that created the ''wizardry'' that FBI Director James Comey says allowed him to tell congress with confidence that 1,355,980 electronic files (pg 389), containing 350,000 emails and 344,000 Blackberry communications were reviewed between October 30th and the morning of November 6th, 2016.
Three people.
Pete, Tash, and Sally the lead analyst. Uh huh.
Sure.
The Inspector General just presents the facts; that's obviously what he did. Then it's up to FBI and DOJ leadership to accept the facts, interpret them, and apply their meaning.
No bias?
But FBI is committed to bias training?
FUBAR.
There is an actual hero in all of this though. It's that unnamed FBI Case Agent in New York who wouldn't drop the laptop issue and forced the FBI in DC to take action on the laptop. Even the IG points this out (chapter #9, page 331):
We found that what changed between September 29 and October 27 that finally prompted the FBI to take action was not new information about what was on the Weiner laptop but rather the inquiries from the SDNY prosecutors and then from the Department. The only thing of significance that had changed was the calendar and the fact that people outside of the FBI were inquiring about the status of the Weiner laptop. (pg 331)
Those SDNY prosecutors only called Main Justice in DC because the New York case agent went in to see them and said he wasn't going to be the scape goat for a buried investigation (chapter #9, pg 303) ''The case agent told us that he scheduled a meeting on October 19 with the two SDNY AUSAs assigned to the Weiner investigation because he felt like he had nowhere else to turn.'' '... ''The AUSAs both told us that the case agent appeared to be very stressed and worried that somehow he would be blamed in the end if no action was taken.''
On October 20, 2016, the AUSAs met with their supervisors at SDNY and informed them of their conversation with the Weiner case agent. The AUSAs stated that they told their supervisors the substantive information reported by the case agent, the case agent's concerns that no one at the FBI had expressed interest in this information, and their concern that the case agent was stressed out and might act out in some way. (pg 304)
Why would the New York Case Agent be worried?
Consider Page 274, footnote #165:
fn 165: No electronic record exists of the case agent's initial review of the Weiner laptop. The case agent told us that at some point in mid-October 2016 the NYO ASAC instructed the case agent to wipe his work station. The case agent explained that the ASAC was concerned about the presence of potentially classified information on the case agent's work station, which was not authorized to process classified information.
The case agent told us that he followed the ASAC's instructions, but that this request concerned him because the audit trail of his initial processing of the laptop would no longer be available. The case agent clarified that none of the evidence on the Weiner laptop was impacted by this, explaining that the FBI retained the Weiner laptop and only the image that had been copied onto his work station was deleted. The ASAC recalled that the case agent ''worked through the security department to address the concern'' of classified information on an unclassified system. He told us that he did not recall how the issue was resolved.
Now watch embed tweet video:
In light of IG's failure to look at leaking/anti-Clinton bias among agents in NYC field office, this seems quite relevant. Nunes says "good FBI agents" told him about Weiner laptop in late September 2016. pic.twitter.com/BU6ysY7Xwn
'-- Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) June 15, 2018
.
Summary:There were only three people in the Mid-Year-Event team granted authority to physically do the Clinton email review.They were: FBI Agent Peter Strzok, FBI Attorney-1 Tashina ''Tash'' Gauhar, and an Sally Moyer, the lead analyst.FBI Agent Peter Strzok says they were able to cull the number of emails through the use of ''some amazing things to rapidly de-duplicate'' the emails.The New York FBI case agent assigned to the Weiner investigation, a certified Digital Extraction Technician, as well as the FBI forensics team in Quantico say it was impossible to use the conflicted metadata to ''de-duplicate'' the emails.Someone is lying.FBI Director James Comey said his investigative unit used some form of ''wizardry'' to review the content of the Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner laptop.The Inspector General makes no determination as to who is telling the truth; and never asked the question of whether an actual review of the laptop emails took place.The FBI still has possession of the Abedin/Weiner laptop..
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'‡‘ These Cannot Both Be True '‡' .
CIA watchdog withdraws nomination after allegations of retaliation against colleagues - CNNPolitics
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 15:03
Washington (CNN) Christopher Sharpley, the acting Inspector General of the Central Intelligence Agency, is withdrawing his nomination after former colleagues alleged he retaliated against them for blowing the whistle on CIA IG officials' alleged mishandling of evidence.
According to two sources familiar with the matter, and confirmed by the CIA, Sharpley sent an email to staff on Wednesday telling them he was pulling back his nomination to be CIA Inspector General and would be retiring from CIA within 30 days to seek other opportunities. His specific reason for withdrawing now was not immediately clear.
His resignation comes as President Donald Trump continues to face difficulties installing his candidates in key roles -- and as the intelligence community comes under increased pressure from the White House surrounding the various investigations into Russian meddling during the 2016 US presidential elections.
Sharpley, the former deputy Inspector General under President Barack Obama, has served in watchdog offices across government for decades after he left the Air Force. He has served in the acting role since 2015.
Sharpley has been the subject of complaints made by multiple former employees within the Inspector General's Office. Andrew Bakaj and Jonathan Kaplan, two of the retired officials whose complaints are now public, alleged that Sharpley punished them for reporting wrongdoing within the office. There are additional complaints from employees who have not revealed their names.
The officials' alleged Shapley interrupted witness interviews to try and identify whistleblowers in an ongoing investigation into top officials' mishandling of evidence in a contracting bribery case, forcing prosecutors at the Department of Justice to toss out evidence and settle.
Sharpley said during his confirmation hearing at the Senate Intelligence Committee, in response to questions from Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat, about Kaplan and Bakaj's complaints, that he was not aware of the ongoing investigations into his conduct. "I'm not aware of any ongoing investigations or the details of any complaints and no actions or conclusions of wrongdoing have been made about my career or anything that I've done," said Sharpley.
However, he was interviewed for the investigations and his signature is on multiple filings related to the cases. His failure to acknowledge those investigations led multiple senators to stonewall his confirmation.
The agency also "punted" on doing in-depth investigations into the deaths of American officials in Benghazi, Libya, Kaplan alleged, and pushed for more law enforcement capabilities like the ability to carry guns.
Kaplan and Bakaj allege they suffered negative consequences in their careers after filing complaints against Sharpley. Bakaj, the author of the CIA's rules on how to properly handle whistleblowers without retaliation, was put on administrative leave without pay for 18 months before he chose to leave. Kaplan, who alleges he was restricted from doing his job, left the agency and his security clearance was revoked.
Both officials are involved in ongoing investigations into the CIA Inspector General's actions, which outside agencies, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, are handling. According to Bakaj's lawyers, DHS has nearly completed its investigation. The CIA confirmed to CNN that Sharpley would be leaving and praised his decades of service in the agency. They did not make Sharpley available for comment. In the past, the agency has said that Sharpley has not had any black marks in his record of wrongdoing or misconduct and built multiple IG offices from the ground up.
"CIA is grateful to Acting Inspector General Chris Sharpley for his service to the Agency, including his work to professionalize the Office of Inspector General," wrote a CIA spokesperson.
"After three decades of public service, he has decided to continue his career outside the Agency, and we wish him the best in this new chapter. CIA's commitment to rigorous, independent oversight is unwavering, and the Office of Inspector General will carry on that important mission through the transition."
Mark Zaid and John Tye, attorneys representing the whistleblowers through a new nonprofit Whistleblower Aid, said Sharpley's failure to get confirmed showed the whistleblower system working properly.
"These two men have shown incredible dedication and sacrifice," said Zaid, a national security lawyer in Washington who regularly works on security clearance issues.
"The IG system plays a crucial role in oversight ... in recommending solutions. It's especially important for the 17 US intelligence agencies because so much of what they do is secret," said Tye, a former whistleblower himself. "Even members of Congress have a very limited view into what the intelligence agencies are doing."
The CIA IG has in the past investigated key issues including gender disparity at the agency, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Bush-era enhanced interrogation program, and the Iran-Contra scandal -- and serves an important independent oversight role. Whistleblowers are meant to be able to approach the IG or the congressional committees to file complaints of fraud, waste, abuse, or illegality.
It's unclear when or if the Trump administration will nominate a new candidate to be the top watchdog at CIA. However, the administration recently worked to confirm a new inspector general for the intelligence community overall, the Intelligence Community Inspector General. Michael Atkinson was confirmed in May, after Congress held him up due to the ICIG's own controversy over delayed cases, turf battles, and whistleblower reprisal.
"Christopher Sharpley is not the permanent Inspector General because of brave whistleblowers willing to publicize his office's problems. In a community clouded by darkness, these whistleblowers provided a light and made a difference," said Irvin McCullough, a national security analyst for the Government Accountability Project, which also represents government whistleblowers.
"We're looking forward to the President confirming an independent replacement with integrity. It's time for someone to right the ship," he said.
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin want to create a new world order | Financial Times
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 12:24
The US press coverage of the Trump-Putin summit'-- variously dubbed the ''surrender summit'' and the ''treason summit'' '-- has focused almost entirely on the president selling out his own intelligence institutions and US democracy itself to an adversary.
It is self-evident to all Americans who came of age in the cold war, and to many born since, that Russia is an adversary. But it is time to stretch our imaginations and picture the world '-- and the world order '-- that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin would create if they could, and to take that vision seriously.
The Helsinki summit was a meeting between two macho megalomaniacs. Each identifies his country's interests with his own personal aggrandisement. But both men also tap into a deep current of anger, resentment and nostalgia for an imagined past that was orderly, predictable and patriarchal. In this lost era, men were the heads of households and nations; their masculinity was measured in toughness, swagger and spoils. Women were obedient and decorative. White people were superior to non-whites; children married within the tribe in clearly demarcated cultures.
From this perspective, Putin supporters in Russia and Trump supporters in the US are ideological allies, working together to elect like-minded parties across Europe and to support leaders, from Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel to Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, who embrace the same values and methods. They reject a free press and the rule of law, preferring a tame media and loyal judges. They favour symbolism over substance; and rule in the name of tradition, nationalism and ethnic purity.
This ideology of authoritarian patriarchy rejects any constraint on the ruler at home or the state abroad. Mr Trump and Mr Putin support a return to an era of unfettered state sovereignty. They would dismantle international and supranational organisations of all kinds and return to multipolar ''Great Power'' politics, in which alliances shift and are transactional. As Mr Trump has said, America's allies can be ''foes'' on some issues and ''friends'' on others, without any overarching loyalties based on niceties like a shared commitment to liberal democracy.
Above all, nations would not be subject to globalist dictates about how they should treat the people within their borders. They would control and protect their definition of national purity.
From this vantage point, Nato and the EU are intolerable exemplars of the ''liberal international order'' '-- an order built in support of a set of anti-nationalist values that were encapsulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The preamble to the North Atlantic Treaty reaffirms the parties' ''faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,'' including the universal principles of ''democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law''.
Similarly, the EU proclaims as ''fundamental values'', and indeed requirements for membership in the union, ''respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law''. Not national dignity and rights, but human.
The Russian president may indeed have some kind of hold over Mr Trump, as former CIA director John Brennan has suggested. But opposition to the current international order does not require a scene out of a spy novel. The extreme right of the Republican party has been exaggerating the danger of the UN for decades. Mr Trump is only taking their views mainstream.
A 2017 poll shows more than half of Republicans say the US and Russia should work more closely together. That is still less than 20 per cent of the population, but they are ''America first-ers'', the would-be architects of a new world. And they are reaching out to Britain-firsters, Hungary-firsters, France-firsters, Israel-firsters '-- wherever nationalists are to be found. They seek a return to the rules of the 19th century.
And why not? The post-second-world-war order is just 70 years old '-- a blip in the history of multi-polar diplomacy. The Soviet Union lasted 70 years. It collapsed but Russia endures. The EU could collapse and European countries would endure. Nato could collapse and transatlantic relations would endure, on a bilateral and plurilateral basis.
It is incumbent upon those of us who see an arc of progress bending towards peace and universal human rights to appreciate the full scope of the threat posed to our 20th-century global architecture. Our response has to be more than defending the status quo. We must begin sketching an affirmative counter-vision of state and non-state institutions that empower their members more than they constrain them and solve problems effectively together.
The writer is president of New America and an FT contributing editor
EuroLand
Jean Claude-Juncker accused of being an alcoholic who cannot govern | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 13:12
The EU Council President is an alcoholic who binges on gin and leaves his ambitious but unelected deputy to govern, according to explosive new claims.
Jean-Claude Juncker - one of the most powerful men in Brussels - has been spotted stumbling around and unable to walk at the recent NATO summit.
He has repeatedly denied claims that he is an alcoholic and insisted that his sometimes shambolic appearance is down to chronic back pain known as sciatica.
But in an explosive new account, a Brussels insider says that he had heard the EU politician is 'a little too fond of the bottle'.
And Mr Juncker has left his ambitious and unelected chief civil servant Martin Selmayr - dubbed 'the monster' - to run the Commission, it is claimed.
Writing in The Spectator, Jean Quatremer - a French journalist who has covered the EU for years - says Brussels is awash with talk of the President's out-of-control drinking.
The EU Council President (pictured being helped along as he stumbles at the NATO summit earlier this month) has been accused of being an alcoholic who binges on gin and leaves his ambitious but unelected deputy to govern, according to explosive new claims
Mr Juncker (pictured being helped along at the NATO summit earlier this month) has always strongly denied claims he is an alcoholic
Mr Juncker was also photographed unable to climb the steps to the podium and being pushed around in a wheelchair at last week's NATO summit (pictured) - raising questions about his health and ability to govern
He wrote: 'Numerous people, in Luxembourg, in Brussels and in European capitals, can attest to several examples of Juncker drinking.'
He said that one former minister told him: 'When a bailiff brings him a glass of water at a council of ministers, we all know it's gin.'
WHAT IS SCIATICA? The term sciatica describes the painful symptoms when the sciatic nerve, which runs from your hips to your feet, is irritated due to something pressing or rubbing on it.
The most common cause of sciatica is a slipped disc '' which is when a soft cushion of tissue between the bones of your spine pushes out.
Other causes include a back injury, spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the part of your spine where nerves pass through) and spondylolisthesis (when one of the bones in your spine slips out of position).
If you have sciatica, your bottom, backs of your legs and/or feet and toes may feel painful (the pain may be stabbing, burning or shooting); tingly (like pins and needles), numb and/or weak.
Source: NHS England
Mr Juncker was photographed stumbling, unable to climb the steps to the podium and being pushed around in a wheelchair at last week's NATO summit in Brussels.
The meeting was a crunch showdown between Donald Trump and his defence partners - including many in the EU - after the US President had threatened to tear up the defence and security alliance.
Mr Juncker, 63, insisted that he was not drunk - and blamed his appearance on his back pain.
In a scathing assessment of his account, The Spectator piece states: 'But the "sciatica" explanation does not really stand up to scrutiny.
'It would suggest Juncker suffered agonising back pain, but he did not seem to be in any discomfort.
'The video shows him smiling, laughing, talking and kissing his partners as they helped him walk.'
It went on: 'The other explanation '-- and the assumption of a great many in Brussels '-- is Mr Juncker is a bit too fond of the bottle. Which he constantly denies.'
At a 2015 summit in Riga in Latvia, Mr Juncker welcomed the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbn with a shout of 'The dictator is coming!' and then a playful slap to the face, according to the account.
While the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel was greeted with a kiss on his bald head.
Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured sharing a beer at the Bavarian parliament in June) has been accused of enjoying the bottle too much
Some commentators claim that Jean Claude Juncker (pictured at a summit with his then aide Martin Selmayr late last year) has left the ambitious and unelected chief civil servant - dubbed 'the monster' - to run the Commission
Mr Quatremer says that while these antics have been put down to Mr Juncker's boisterous personality, they raise serious questions about his health and suitability for office.
And he said that while the elected EU President looks unable to govern, Mr Selmayr - who is dubbed the monster because he can work at all hours and is known for his brutal tactics - has been quietly taking over the reins of power.
He wrote: 'The deterioration of Juncker combined with the power of Selmayr indicates an unusual set-up with the President as the puppet.
'Pull back the gin-soaked curtain and we may find the real influence is wielded by Selmayr, an unelected and unaccountable Eurocrat.
Juncker is often pictured with a glass in his hand. He raises a toast to Angela Merkel in 2010
An aide pours out a glass of red for Juncker as he attends an European finance ministers meeting in Brussels in 2011
'Mr Juncker's spokesman insists there is "no anxiety whatsoever about Juncker's ability to work hard, as he always does".
Mr Juncker hit back at the reports of his drinking and denied the allegations when speaking to reporters yesterday.
Asked directly if alcohol played a role in his stumbling at NATO, he said: 'I'm really impressed by the interest some people are taking in these not even marginal issues and I am asking for respect.'
He added: 'I had sciatica and moreover I had cramps in my legs' adding that he 'laughed at the pettiness' of what was being said about him.
German bus stabbing in Luebeck leaves 14 wounded, reports say
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 16:43
Image copyright AFP Image caption A bus sits at the side of the road in L¼beck after a knife attack A man armed with a knife has attacked passengers on a bus in the northern German city of L¼beck, wounding several people, one seriously.
A suspect was arrested at the scene and taken into custody, police said. An area surrounding a bus stop in the K¼cknitz neighbourhood was sealed off.
Local newspaper reports put the number of wounded at 14.
"The exact number of injured is still unclear. There were no dead," police said in a statement.
"The background to the crime is still unclear and is the subject of the ongoing investigation," the statement added.
Image caption Police declared a "major operation" The attack took place at 13:47 local time (11:47 GMT). Police said the suspect was overpowered by officers at the scene.
"We ask for your understanding that we cannot provide any information about the identity of the suspect at the moment," local police said on Twitter.
"The bus was full," the police added, appealing to passengers who fled the scene to contact them.
An eyewitness told the local L¼becker Nachrichten newspaper that a passenger had just given up his seat for an older woman, when the attacker stabbed him in the chest.
The local prosecutor said no motive had been ruled out, including terrorism.
Twelve people died in Berlin in December 2016 when a Tunisian who had links to Islamist militants ploughed into a crowded Christmas marketplace.
Sweden invests millions to teach migrants how to have sex 'with blonde women'
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 12:21
The Swedish government wants to allocate 5 million Swedish crowns (around half a million euros) in migrant sex courses, news outlet Fria Tider reports. A portion of the money will be spent on the government's sex information website ''Youmo'', which provides translation in Arabic, Somali and Dari.
The goal of the website is to teach migrants ''health, sexuality and gender equality''. On the website, sex information is illustrated, among other things, with several pictures of foreign men with blonde, Swedish women.
Under the tab ''Being in love'', illustrated by a picture of a young blonde woman kissing a dark-skinned man, one can read, among other things, that ''Being in love is usually a lovely feeling. Some people have been in love many times, others have never been in love. ''
Now, the Ministry of Youth and Civil Affairs (MUCF) is commissioned to further the education efforts in collaboration with the online youth reception network (UMO).
''The mission includes expanding the information on Youmo, expanding skills-enhancing efforts for professionals who meet young new arrivals, as well as providing long-term skills training for professionals through the development of web-based education,'' the government writes.
The development of the website will primarily include the topics of prostitution and human trafficking, honour-related violence and oppression, including genital mutilation, sexual violence and sexual harassment.
CCF
The Userpation of the Free Press by the CIA
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 17:03
In 1948 Frank Wisner was appointed director of the Office of Special Projects. Soon afterwards it was renamed the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). This became the espionage and counter-intelligence branch of the Central Intelligence Agency. Wisner was told to create an organization that concentrated on "propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world."Later that year Wisner established Mockingbird, a program to influence the domestic American media. Wisner recruited Philip Graham (Washington Post) to run the project within the industry. Graham himself recruited others who had worked for military intelligence during the war. This included James Truitt, Russell Wiggins, Phil Geyelin, John Hayes and Alan Barth. Others like Stewart Alsop, Joseph Alsop and James Reston, were recruited from within the Georgetown Set. According to Deborah Davis (Katharine the Great): "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles."
In 1951 Allen W. Dulles persuaded Cord Meyer to join the CIA. However, there is evidence that he was recruited several years earlier and had been spying on the liberal organizations he had been a member of in the later 1940s. According to Deborah Davis, Meyer became Mockingbird's "principal operative".
One of the most important journalists under the control of Operation Mockingbird was Joseph Alsop, whose articles appeared in over 300 different newspapers. Other journalists willing to promote the views of the CIA 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 (Miami News), Herb Gold (Miami News) and Charles Bartlett (Chattanooga Times). According to Nina Burleigh (A Very Private Woman) these journalists sometimes wrote articles that were commissioned by Frank Wisner. The CIA also provided them with classified information to help them with their work.
After 1953 the network was overseen by Allen W. Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. By this time Operation Mockingbird had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. These organizations were run by people with well-known right-wing views such as William Paley (CBS), Henry Luce (Time Magazine 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).
The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) was funded by siphoning of funds intended for the Marshall Plan. Some of this money was used to bribe journalists and publishers. Frank Wisner was constantly looked for ways to help convince the public of the dangers of communism. In 1954 Wisner arranged for the funding the Hollywood production of Animal Farm, the animated allegory based on the book written by George Orwell.
According to Alex Constantine (Mockingbird: The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA), in the 1950s, "some 3,000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts". Wisner was also able to restrict newspapers from reporting about certain events. For example, the CIA plots to overthrow the governments of Iran and Guatemala.
Thomas Braden, head of the of International Organizations Division (IOD), played an important role in Operation Mockingbird. Many years later he revealed his role in these events: "If the director of CIA wanted to extend a present, say, to someone in Europe - a Labour leader - suppose he just thought, This man can use fifty thousand dollars, he's working well and doing a good job - he could hand it to him and never have to account to anybody... There was simply no limit to the money it could spend and no limit to the people it could hire and no limit to the activities it could decide were necessary to conduct the war - the secret war.... It was a multinational. Maybe it was one of the first. Journalists were a target, labor unions a particular target - that was one of the activities in which the communists spent the most money."
In August, 1952, the Office of Policy Coordination and the Office of Special Operations (the espionage division) were merged to form the Directorate of Plans (DPP). Frank Wisner became head of this new organization and Richard Helms became his chief of operations. Mockingbird was now the responsibility of the DPP.
J. Edgar Hoover became jealous of the CIA's growing power. He described the OPC as "Wisner's gang of weirdos" and began carrying out investigations into their past. It did not take him long to discover that some of them had been active in left-wing politics in the 1930s. This information was passed to who started making attacks on members of the OPC. Hoover also gave McCarthy details of an affair that Frank Wisner had with Princess Caradja in Romania during the war. Hoover, claimed that Caradja was a Soviet agent.
Joseph McCarthy also began accusing other senior members of the CIA as being security risks. McCarthy claimed that the CIA was a "sinkhole of communists" and claimed he intended to root out a hundred of them. One of his first targets was Cord Meyer, who was still working for Operation Mockingbird. In August, 1953, Richard Helms, Wisner's deputy at the OPC, told Meyer that Joseph McCarthy had accused him of being a communist. The Federal Bureau of Investigation added to the smear by announcing it was unwilling to give Meyer "security clearance". However, the FBI refused to explain what evidence they had against Meyer. Allen W. Dulles and both came to his defence and refused to permit a FBI interrogation of Meyer.
Joseph McCarthy did not realise what he was taking on. Wisner unleashed Mockingbird on McCarthy. Drew Pearson, Joe Alsop, Jack Anderson, Walter Lippmann and Ed Murrow all went into attack mode and McCarthy was permanently damaged by the press coverage orchestrated by Wisner.
Mockingbird was very active during the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. People like Henry Luce was able to censor stories that appeared too sympathetic towards the plight of Arbenz. Allen W. Dulles was even able to keep left-wing journalists from travelling to Guatemala. This including Sydney Gruson of the New York Times.
In 1955 President Dwight Eisenhower established the 5412 Committee in order to keep a check on the CIA's covert activities. The committee (also called the Special Group) included the CIA director, the national security adviser, and the deputy secretaries at State and Defence and had the responsibility to decide whether covert actions were "proper" and in the national interest. It was also decided to include Richard B. Russell, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. However, as Allen W. Dulles was later to admit, because of "plausible deniability" planned covert actions were not referred to the 5412 Committee.
Dwight Eisenhower became concerned about CIA covert activities and in 1956 appointed David Bruce as a member of the President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities (PBCFIA). Eisenhower asked Bruce to write a report on the CIA. It was presented to Eisenhower on 20th December, 1956. Bruce argued that the CIA's covert actions were "responsible in great measure for stirring up the turmoil and raising the doubts about us that exists in many countries in the world today." Bruce was also highly critical of Mockingbird. He argued: "what right have we to go barging around in other countries buying newspapers and handling money to opposition parties or supporting a candidate for this, that, or the other office."
After Richard Bissell lost his post as Director of Plans in 1962, Tracy Barnes took over the running of Mockingbird. According to Evan Thomas (The Very Best Men) Barnes planted editorials about political candidates who were regarded as pro-CIA.
In 1963, John McCone, the director of the CIA, discovered that Random House intended to publish Invisible Government by David Wise and Thomas Ross. McCone discovered that the book intended to look at his links with the Military Industrial Congress Complex. The authors also claimed that the CIA was having a major influence on American foreign policy. This included the overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran (1953) and Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala (1954). The book also covered the role that the CIA played in the Bay of Pigs operation, the attempts to remove President Sukarno in Indonesia and the covert operations taking place in Laos and Vietnam.
John McCone called in Wise and Ross to demand deletions on the basis of galleys the CIA had secretly obtained from Random House. The authors refused to made these changes and Random House decided to go ahead and publish the book. The CIA considered buying up the entire printing of Invisible Government but this idea was rejected when Random House pointed out that if this happened they would have to print a second edition. McCone now formed a special group to deal with the book and tried to arrange for it to get bad reviews.
Invisible Government was published in 1964. It was the first full account of America's intelligence and espionage apparatus. In the book Wise and Ross argued that the "Invisible Government is made up of many agencies and people, including the intelligence branches of the State and Defense Departments, of the Army, Navy and Air Force". However, they claimed that the most important organization involved in this process was the CIA.
John McCone also attempted to stop Edward Yates from making a documentary on the CIA for the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). This attempt at censorship failed and NBC went ahead and broadcast this critical documentary.
In June, 1965, Desmond FitzGerald was appointed as head of the Directorate for Plans. He now took charge of Mockingbird. At the end of 1966 FitzGerald discovered that Ramparts, a left-wing publication, was planning to publish that the CIA had been secretly funding the National Student Association. FitzGerald ordered Edgar Applewhite to organize a campaign against the magazine. Applewhite later told Evan Thomas for his book, The Very Best Men: "I had all sorts of dirty tricks to hurt their circulation and financing. The people running Ramparts were vulnerable to blackmail. We had awful things in mind, some of which we carried off."
This dirty tricks campaign failed to stop Ramparts publishing this story in March, 1967. The article, written by Sol Stern, was entitled NSA and the CIA. As well as reporting CIA funding of the National Student Association it exposed the whole system of anti-Communist front organizations in Europe, Asia, and South America. It named Cord Meyer as a key figure in this campaign. This included the funding of the literary journal Encounter.
In May 1967 Thomas Braden responded to this by publishing an article entitled, I'm Glad the CIA is Immoral, in the Saturday Evening Post, where he defended the activities of the International Organizations Division unit of the CIA. Braden also confessed that the activities of the CIA had to be kept secret from Congress. As he pointed out in the article: "In the early 1950s, when the cold war was really hot, the idea that Congress would have approved many of our projects was about as likely as the John Birch Society's approving Medicare."
Meyer's role in Operation Mockingbird was further exposed in 1972 when he was accused of interfering with the publication of a book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia by Alfred W. McCoy. The book was highly critical of the CIA's dealings with the drug traffic in Southeast Asia. The publisher, who leaked the story, had been a former colleague of Meyer's when he was a liberal activist after the war.
Further details of Operation Mockingbird was revealed as a result of the Frank Church investigations (Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) in 1975. According to the Congress report published in 1976: "The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets." Church argued that the cost of misinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year.
Frank Church showed that it was CIA policy to use clandestine handling of journalists and authors to get information published initially in the foreign media in order to get it disseminated in the United States. Church quotes from one document written by the Chief of the Covert Action Staff on how this process worked (page 193). For example, he writes: ''Get books published or distributed abroad without revealing any U.S. influence, by covertly subsidizing foreign publicans or booksellers.'' Later in the document he writes: ''Get books published for operational reasons, regardless of commercial viability''. Church goes onto report that ''over a thousand books were produced, subsidized or sponsored by the CIA before the end of 1967''. All these books eventually found their way into the American market-place. Either in their original form (Church gives the example of the Penkovskiy Papers) or repackaged as articles for American newspapers and magazines.
In another document published in 1961 the Chief of the Agency's propaganda unit wrote: ''The advantage of our direct contact with the author is that we can acquaint him in great detail with our intentions; that we can provide him with whatever material we want him to include and that we can check the manuscript at every stage'... (the Agency) must make sure the actual manuscript will correspond with our operational and propagandistic intention.''
Church quotes Thomas H. Karamessines as saying: ''If you plant an article in some paper overseas, and it is a hard-hitting article, or a revelation, there is no way of guaranteeing that it is not going to be picked up and published by the Associated Press in this country'' (page 198).
By analyzing CIA documents Church was able to identify over 50 U.S. journalists who were employed directly by the Agency. He was aware that there were a lot more who enjoyed a very close relationship with the CIA who were ''being paid regularly for their services, to those who receive only occasional gifts and reimbursements from the CIA'' (page 195).
Church pointed out that this was probably only the tip of the iceberg because the CIA refused to ''provide the names of its media agents or the names of media organizations with which they are connected'' (page 195). Church was also aware that most of these payments were not documented. This was the main point of the Otis Pike Report. If these payments were not documented and accounted for, there must be a strong possibility of financial corruption taking place. This includes the large commercial contracts that the CIA was responsible for distributing. Pike's report actually highlighted in 1976 what eventually emerged in the 1980s via the activities of CIA operatives such as Edwin Wilson, Thomas Clines, Ted Shackley, Raphael Quintero, Richard Secord and Felix Rodriguez.
Church also identified E. Howard Hunt as an important figure in Operation Mockingbird. He points out how Hunt arranged for books to be reviewed by certain writers in the national press. He gives the example of how Hunt arranged for a ''CIA writer under contract'' to write a hostile review of a Edgar Snow book in the New York Times (page 198).
Church comes up with this conclusion to his examination of this issue: ''In examining the CIA's past and present use of the U.S. media, the Committee finds two reasons for concern. The first is the potential, inherent in covert media operations, for manipulating or incidentally misleading the American public. The second is the damage to the credibility and independence of a free press which may be caused by covert relationships with the U.S. journalists and media organizations.''
In February, 1976, George Bush, the recently appointed Director of the CIA announced a new policy: ''Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station.'' However, he added that the CIA would continue to ''welcome'' the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists.
Carl Bernstein, who had worked with Bob Woodward in the investigation of Watergate, provided further information about Operation Mockingbird in an article in Rolling Stone in October, 1977. Bernstein claimed that over a 25 year period over 400 American journalists secretly carried out assignments for the CIA: "Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors-without-portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested it the derring-do of the spy business as in filing articles, and, the smallest category, full-time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad."
It is almost certain that Bernstein had encountered Operation Mockingbird while working on his Watergate investigation. For example, Deborah Davis (Katharine the Great) has argued that Deep Throat was senior CIA official, Richard Ober, who was running Operation Chaos for Richard Nixon during this period.
According to researchers such as Steve Kangas, Angus Mackenzie and Alex Constantine, Operation Mockingbird was not closed down by the CIA in 1976. For example, in 1998 Kangas argued that CIA asset Richard Mellon Scaife ran "Forum World Features, a foreign news service used as a front to disseminate CIA propaganda around the world."
On 8th February, 1999, Kangas was found dead in the bathroom of the Pittsburgh offices of Richard Mellon Scaife. He had been shot in the head. Officially he had committed suicide but some people believe he was murdered. In an article in Salon Magazine, (19th March, 1999) Andrew Leonard asked: "Why did the police report say the gun wound was to the left of his head, while the autopsy reported a wound on the roof of his mouth? Why had the hard drive on his computer been erased shortly after his death? Why had Scaife assigned his No. 1 private detective, Rex Armistead, to look into Kangas' past?"
(1) Thomas Braden, Saturday Evening Post (20th May, 1967)
In the early 1950s, when the cold war was really hot, the idea that Congress would have approved many of our (CIA) projects was about as likely as the John Birch Society's approving Medicare.
(2) John Playford, Political Scientists and the CIA, Australian Left Review (1968)
The role of US trade unions and student bodies in Cold War, projects inspired and financed by the huge, international agency of subversion known as the Central Intelligence Agency, is now widely known in Australia. Far less publicity has been given to the ties that were shown to exist between the CIA and the US Information Agency (USIA), the propaganda arm of the US government, while nothing at all has appeared in the press on the links revealed between the USIA and Dr. Evron M. Kirkpatrick, Executive Director of the prestigious American Political Science Association (APSA), which has a membership of about 16,000. 4 Before being appointed the first full-time Executive Director of APSA in 1954, Kirkpatrick held a succession of senior posts in the State Department: Chief of the External Research Staff 1948-52, Chief of the Psychological Intelligence and Research Staff 1952-54, and Deputy Director of the Office of Intelligence Research 1954. In 1956 he edited Target: The World Communist Propaganda Activities in 1955, which was published by the Macmillan Co. of New York. In the Preface, he drew attention to the fact that the US Government had devoted systematic attention to research on Communist propaganda: ''Many social scientists are aware of the work the government is doing and have seen some of its results; many have participated in it. The present volume has been made possible only by drawing upon this government research, and it is the product, therefore, of the work of many people.'' In the following year, Kirkpatrick edited and Macmillan published a companion volume entitled Year of Crisis - Communist Propaganda Activities in 1956. Both works bear all the earmarks of a USIA operation...
Kirkpatrick has also been President of Operations and Policy Research, Inc. (OPR) since its formation in 1955. A non-profit research organisation set up by a group of social Scientists, lawyers and businessmen to help the USIA distribute more persuasive and polished literature both in the US and abroad, OPR reads and gives expert opinion on books which USIA then plants with publishers, without the sponsorship being publicized. It employed on a part-time basis, according to Kirkpatrick, more than a hundred social scientists, many of them members of APSA. Sol Stern has correctly summed up OPR as ''a Cold War-oriented strategy organization.''
Kirkpatrick's wife, Mrs. Jean J. Kirkpatrick, is a staff member of Trinity College in Washington DC, a Catholic women's college conducted by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. From 1951 to 1953 she had been an intelligence research analyst in the State Department, and since 1956 she has been a consultant to OPR. Mrs. Kirkpatrick has also had close connections with the USIA. She edited and wrote the introductory essay for The Strategy of Deception: A Study in World-Wide Communist Tactics, which was published in 1963 by Farrar, Straus and Co. of New York, and made a ''special alternate selection'' by the Book-of-the-Month Club. At no time was it mentioned that the USIA subsidised the book's creation. The USIA described its venture into covert publishing as the ''book development program,'' of which the USIA official then in charge of it, Reed Harris, stated in testimony before the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee in March 1964:
This is a program under which we can have books written to our own specifications, books that would not otherwise be put out, especially those books that have strong anti-communist content, and follow other themes that are particularly useful for our program. Under the book development program, we control the thing from the very idea down to the final edited manuscript.
Subsequently, the Director of the USIA, Leonard Marks, appeared before the same body in September 1966 and was asked why it was wrong ''to let the American people know when they buy and read the book that it was developed under government sponsorship?'' His reply was straight to the point: ''It minimises their value.''
The USIA did not pay Farrar, Straus; it paid $US 16,500 to The New Leader, whose editor, the late S. M. Levitas, conceived of the book and sold the idea to the USIA. A liberal militantly anti-Communist journal, The New Leader was for more than thirty years under the editorship of Levitas, ''a bitter anti-Communist out of the East European Socialist tradition'' who died in 1961. In recent years, The New Leader has lost much of the blind anti-Communism which allowed it to accept too readily the positions of the ''China Lobby'' and the ''Vietnam Lobby.''
(3) Nina Burleigh, A Very Private Woman: The Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer (1998)
The social connections with journalists were a crucial part of the CIA's propaganda machine. Chief among CIA friends were the Alsop brothers. Joseph Alsop wrote a column with his brother Stewart for the New York Herald Tribune and they occasionally penned articles at the suggestion of Frank Wisner, based upon classified information leaked to them. In exchange, they provided CIA friends with observations gathered on trips abroad. Such give-and-take was not unusual among the Georgetown set in the 1950s. The CIA also made friends with Washington Post publisher Phil Graham, Post managing editor Alfred Friendly, and New York Times Washington bureau chief James Reston, whose next-door neighbor was Frank Wisner. Ben Bradlee, while working for the State Department as a press attache in the American embassy in Paris, produced propaganda regarding the Rosenbergs' spying conviction and death sentence in cooperation with the CIA... Some newspaper executives - Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times, among them - actually signed secrecy agreements with the CIA...
When Carl Bernstein reported that one CIA official had called Stewart Alsop a CIA agent, Joe Alsop defended his brother to Bernstein, saying: "I dare say he did perform some tasks-he just did the correct things as an American.... The Founding Fathers (of the CIA) were close personal friends of ours.... It was a social thing, my dear fellow."
Cord Meyer developed and nurtured his own friendships among journalists. He seconded the nomination of Washington Post writer Walter Pincus for membership in the Waltz Group, a Washington social organization. Pincus went on to become the Post's premier intelligence reporter. Cord also maintained friendly ties with William C. Baggs of the Miami News and foreign-affairs writer Herb Gold. Cord's ties to academia served him when he needed favors from publishers and journalists. In some accounts, he and Time writer C. D. Jackson together recruited Steinem. According to his journal, Cord dined at the Paris home of American novelist James Jones. He was also close to Chattanooga Times writer Charles Bartlett throughout his life.
(4) Thomas Braden, interview included in the Granada Television program, World in Action: The Rise and Fall of the CIA (June, 1975)
It never had to account for the money it spent except to the President if the President wanted to know how much money it was spending. But otherwise the funds were not only unaccountable, they were unvouchered, so there was really no means of checking them - "unvouchered funds" meaning expenditures that don't have to be accounted for.... If the director of CIA wanted to extend a present, say, to someone in Europe - a Labour leader - suppose he just thought, This man can use fifty thousand dollars, he's working well and doing a good job - he could hand it to him and never have to account to anybody... I don't mean to imply that there were a great many of them that were handed out as Christmas presents. They were handed out for work well performed or in order to perform work well.... Politicians in Europe, particularly right after the war, got a lot of money from the CIA....
Since it was unaccountable, it could hire as many people as it wanted. It never had to say to any committee - no committee said to it - "You can only have so many men." It could do exactly as it pleased. It made preparations therefore for every contingency. It could hire armies; it could buy banks. There was simply no limit to the money it could spend and no limit to the people it could hire and no limit to the activities it could decide were necessary to conduct the war - the secret war.... It was a multinational. Maybe it was one of the first.
Journalists were a target, labor unions a particular target - that was one of the activities in which the communists spent the most money. They set up a successful communist labor union in France right after the war. We countered it with Force Ouvriere. They set up this very successful communist labor union in Italy, and we countered it with another union.... We had a vast project targeted on the intellectuals - "the battle for Picasso's mind," if you will. The communists set up fronts which they effectively enticed a great many particularly the French intellectuals to join. We tried to set up a counterfront. (This was done through funding of social and cultural organizations such as the Pan-American Foundation, the International Marketing Institute, the International Development Foundation, the American Society of African Culture, and the Congress of Cultural Freedom.) I think the budget for the Congress of Cultural Freedom one year that I had charge of it was about $800,000, $900,000, which included, of course, the subsidy for the Congress's magazine, Encounter. That doesn't mean that everybody that worked for Encounter or everybody who wrote for Encounter knew anything about it. Most of the people who worked for Encounter and all but one of the men who ran it had no idea that it was paid for by the CIA.
(5) Angus Mackenzie, Secrets: The CIA War at Home (1997)
Following the buildup of U.S. troops in Vietnam and the assassination of Diem, Sheinbaum decided it was his patriotic duty to publicize information that he hoped might put the brakes on U.S. involvement. Writing about the connections between Michigan State University, the CIA, and the Saigon police (with the help of Robert Scheer, a young investigative reporter), the Sheinbaum story was to appear in the June 1966 issue of Ramparts magazine. The article disposed that Michigan State University had been secretly used by the CIA to train Saigon police and to keep an inventory of ammunition for grenade launchers, Browning automatic rifles, and .50 caliber machine guns, as well as to write the South Vietnamese constitution. The problem, in Sheinbaum's view, was that such secret funding of academics to execute government programs undercut scholarly integrity. When scholars are forced into a conflict of interest, he wrote, "where is the source of serious intellectual criticism that would help us avoid future Vietnams?"
Word of Sheinbaum's forthcoming article caused consternation on the seventh floor of CIA headquarters. On April 18, 1966, Director of Central Intelligence William F. Raborn Jr. notified his director of security that he wanted a "run down" on Ramparts magazine on a "high priority basis." This strongly worded order would prove to be a turning point for the Agency. To "run down" a domestic news publication because it had exposed questionable practices of the CIA was clearly in violation of the 1947 National Security Act's prohibition on domestic operations and meant the CIA eventually would have to engage in a cover-up. The CIA director of security, Howard J. Osborn, was also told: "The Director [Raborn] is particularly interested in the authors of the article, namely, Stanley Sheinbaum and Robert Scheer. He is also interested in any other individuals who worked for the magazine."
Word of Sheinbaum's forthcoming article caused consternation on the seventh floor of CIA headquarters. On April 18, 1966, Director of Central Intelligence William F. Raborn Jr. notified his director of security that he wanted a "run down" on Ramparts magazine on a "high priority basis." This strongly worded order would prove to be a turning point for the Agency. To "run down" a domestic news publication because it had exposed questionable practices of the CIA was clearly in violation of the 1947 National Security Act's prohibition on domestic operations and meant the CIA eventually would have to engage in a cover-up. The CIA director of security, Howard J. Osborn, was also told: "The Director [Raborn] is particularly interested in the authors of the article, namely, Stanley Sheinbaum and Robert Scheer. He is also interested in any other individuals who worked for the magazine."
Osborn's deputies had just two days to prepare a special briefing on Ramparts for the director. By searching existing CIA files they were able to assemble dossiers on approximately twenty-two of the fifty-five Ramparts writers and editors, which itself indicates the Agency's penchant for collecting information on American critics of government policies. Osborn was able to tell Raborn that Ramparts had grown from a Catholic lay journal into a publication with a staff of more than fifty people in New York, Paris, and Munich, including two active members of the U.S. Communist Party. The most outspoken of the CIA critics at the magazine was not a Communist but a former Green Beret veteran, Donald Duncan. Duncan had written, according to then CIA Deputy Director Richard Helms, "We will continue to be in danger as long as the CIA is deciding policy and manipulating nations." Of immediate concern to Raborn, however, was Osborn's finding that Sheinbaum was in the process of exposing more CIA domestic organizations. The investigation of Ramparts was to be intensified, Raborn told Osborn.
At the same time, Helms passed information to President Lyndon Johnson's aide, William D. Moyers, about the plans of two Ramparts editors to run for Congress on an antiwar platform. Within days, the CIA had progressed from investigating a news publication to sending domestic political intelligence to the White House, just as a few members of Congress had feared nineteen years earlier.
Upon publication, Sheinbaum's article triggered a storm of protests from academicians and legislators across the country who saw the CIA's infiltration of a college campus as a threat to academic freedom. The outcry grew so loud that President Johnson felt he had to make a reassuring public statement and establish a task force to review any government activities that might endanger the integrity of the educational community. The task force was a collection of political statesmen--such as Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare John Gardner--but also included Richard Helms, the CIA official who himself had been dealing in political espionage. The purpose of the task force, it soon became clear, was to forestall further embarrassment and preclude any congressional investigation of CIA operations. Helms, furthermore, organized an internal task force of directorate chiefs to examine all CIA relationships with academic institutions but that review, from all appearances, was designed only to ensure that these operations remained secret...
Meanwhile, CIA officers spent April and May of 1966 identifying the source of Ramparts's money. Their target was executive editor Warren Hinckle, the magazine's chief fund-raiser and a man easy to track. He wore a black patch over one eye and made no secret of the difficult state of the magazine's finances as he continually begged a network of rich donors for operating funds. The agents also reported that Hinckle had launched a $2.5 million lawsuit against Alabama Governor George Wallace for calling the magazine pro-Communist (information that Osborn dutifully passed on to Raborn). The real point of the CIA investigation, however, was to place Ramparts reporters under such dose surveillance that any CIA officials involved in domestic operations would have time to rehearse cover stories before the reporters arrived to question them.
Next, Raborn broadened the scope of his investigation of Ramparts's staff by recruiting help from other agencies. On June 16, 1966, he ordered Osborn to "urge" the FBI to "investigate these people as a subversive unit." Osborn forwarded this request to the FBI, expressing the CIA's interest in anything the FBI might develop "of a derogatory nature." One CIA officer, who later inspected the CIA file of the Ramparts investigation, said that the Agency was trying to find a way of shutting down the magazine that would stand up in court, notwithstanding the constraints of the First Amendment...
On March 4, 1967, Richard Ober got a report from a person who attended a Ramparts staff meeting at which magazine reporters had discussed their interviews of high executive branch government officials and their attempts to meet with White House staff members. Now Ober knew who was saying what to whom. Three days later, Ober's task force found out that a Ramparts reporter was going to interview a CIA "asset": that is, someone under CIA control. In preparation, CIA officers told the asset how to handle the reporter, and after the interview the asset reported back to the CIA.
On March 16, two of Ober's men drove from CIA headquarters to a nearby airport to pick up a CIA agent who was a good friend of a Ramparts reporter. They went to a hotel, where the CIA agent was debriefed. Then the agent and his case officers reviewed his cover story, which he went on to tell his Ramparts contact as a means of obtaining more information. During the same period Ober was trying to recruit five former Ramparts employees as informants. "Maybe they were unhappy," a CIA agent would later explain. On April 4, Ober completed a status report on his Ramparts task force. His men had identified and investigated 127 Ramparts writers and researchers, as well as nearly 200 other American civilians with some link to the magazine.
Three more CIA officers joined Ober's team, bringing to twelve the number of full-time or part-time officers coordinating intelligence and operations on Ramparts at the headquarters level. On April 5, 1967, the task force completed its tentative assessment and recommendations, setting forth future actions--which, the CIA was still insisting in 1994, cannot be released under the Freedom of Information Act. CIA officer Louis Dube described the recommendations as "heady shit" but refused to be more specific.
It is known that Ober became fascinated with Ramparts advertisers. "One of our officers was in contact with a source who provided us with information about Ramparts's advertising," Dube admitted. On April 28, a CIA analyst working for Ober tried to learn if the CIA had any friends who might have influence with Ramparts advertisers, apparently with the intention of getting them to drop their accounts.
(6) Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Government Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities (April, 1976)
The Covert Use of Books and Publishing Houses: The Committee has found that the Central Intelligence Agency attaches a particular importance to book publishing activities as a form of covert propaganda. A former officer in the Clandestine Service stated that books are "the most important weapon of strategic (long-range) propaganda." Prior to 1967, the Central Intelligence Agency sponsored, subsidized, or produced over 1,000 books; approximately 25 percent of them in English. In 1967 alone, the CIA published or subsidized over 200 books, ranging from books on African safaris and wildlife to translations of Machiavelli's The Prince into Swahili and works of T. S. Eliot into Russian, to a competitor to Mao's little red book, which was entitled Quotations from Chairman Liu.
The Committee found that an important number of the books actually produced by the Central Intelligence Agency were reviewed and marketed in the United States:
* A book about a young student from a developing country who had studied in a communist country was described by the CIA as "developed by (two areas divisions) and, produced by the Domestic Operations Division... and has had a high impact in the United States as well as in the (foreign area) market." This book, which was produced by the European outlet of a United States publishing house was published in condensed form in two major U.S. magazines."
* Another CIA book, The Penkorsky Papers, was published in United States in 1965. The book was prepared and written by omitting agency assets who drew on actual case materials and publication rights to the manuscript were sold to the publisher through a trust fund which was established for the purpose. The publisher was unaware of any US Government interest.
In 1967, the CIA stopped publishing within the United States. Since then, the Agency has published some 250 books abroad, most of them in foreign languages. The CIA has given special attention to publication and circulation abroad of books about conditions in the Soviet Bloc. Of those targeted at audiences outside the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, a large number has also been available in English.
Domestic "Fallout": The Committee finds that covert media operations can result in manipulating or incidentally misleading the American public. Despite efforts to minimize it, CIA employees, past and present, have conceded that there is no way to shield the American public completely from "fallout" in the United States from Agency propaganda or placements overseas. Indeed, following the Katzenbach inquiry, the Deputy Director for Operations issued a directive stating: "Fallout in the United States from a foreign publication which we support is inevitable and consequently permissible."
The domestic fallout of covert propaganda comes from many sources: books intended primarily for an English-speaking foreign audience; CIA press placements that are picked up by an international wire service; and publications resulting from direct CIA funding of foreign institutes. For example, a book written for an English-speaking foreign audience by one CIA operative was reviewed favorably by another CIA agent in the New York Times. The Committee also found that the CIA helped create and support various Vietnamese periodicals and publications. In at least one instance, a CIA supported Vietnamese publication was used to propagandize the American public and the members and staff of both houses of Congress. So effective was this propaganda that some members quoted from the publication in debating the controversial question of United States involvement in Vietnam.
The Committee found that this inevitable domestic fallout was compounded when the Agency circulated its subsidized books in the United States prior to their distribution abroad in order to induce a favorable reception overseas.
The Covert Use of 11.5. Journalists and Media Institutions on, February 11, 1976, CIA Director George Bush announced new guidelines governing the Agency's relationship with United States media organizations: "Effective immediately, CIA will not enter into any paid or contractual relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station."
Agency officials who testified after the February 11, 1976, announcement told the Committee that the prohibition extends to non-Americans accredited to specific United States media organizations.
The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets.
Approximately 50 of the assets are individual American journalists or employees of US media organizations. Of these, fewer than half are "accredited" by US media organizations and thereby affected by the new prohibitions on the use of accredited newsmen. The remaining individuals are non-accredited freelance contributors and media representatives abroad, and thus are not affected by the new CIA prohibition.
More than a dozen United States news organizations and commercial publishing houses formerly provided cover for CIA agents abroad. A few of these organizations were unaware that they provided this cover.
The Committee notes that the new CIA prohibitions do not apply to "unaccredited" Americans serving in media organizations such as representatives of US media organizations abroad or freelance writers. Of the more than 50 CIA relationships with United States journalists, or employees in American media organizations, fewer than one half will be terminated under the new CIA guidelines.
The Committee is concerned that the use of American :journalists and media organizations for clandestine operations is a threat to the integrity of the press. All American journalists, whether accredited to a United States news organization or just a stringer, may be suspects when any are engaged in covert activities.
(7) Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Government Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities (April, 1976)
In examining the CIA's past and present use of the U.S. media, the Committee finds two reasons for concern. The first is the potential, inherent in covert media operations, for manipulating or incidentally misleading the American public. The second is the damage to the credibility and independence of a free press which may be caused by covert relationships with the U.S. journalists and media organizations.
(8) Alex Constantine, Mockingbird: The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA (2000)
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 Mockingbird..."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 that "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...
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 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.
(9) Deborah Davis, interviewed by Kenn Thomas of Steamshovel Press (1992)
Kenn Thomas: Let's get back to Ben Bradlee. I know part of what's in the book and part of what upset those forces that caused the withdrawal of its first publication is what you've said about Ben Bradlee and his connection to the Ethyl and Julius Rosenberg trial. Would you talk about that a bit?
Deborah Davis: In the first edition, the one that was recalled and shredded, I looked in State Department lists for '52 and '53 when Bradlee was serving as a press attache supposedly in the American embassy in Paris. This was during the Marshall Plan when the United States over in Europe had hundreds of thousands of people making an intensive effort to keep Western Europe from going Communist. Bradlee wanted to be part of that effort. So he was over in the American embassy in Paris and the embassy list had these letters after his name that said USIE. And I asked the State Department what that meant and it said United States Information Exchange. It was the forerunner of the USIA, the United States Information Agency. It was the propaganda arm of the embassy. They produced propaganda that was then disseminated by the CIA all over Europe. They planted newspaper stories. They had a lot of reporters on their payrolls. They routinely would produce stories out of the embassy and give them to these reporters and they would appear in the papers in Europe. It's very important to understand how influential newspaper stories are to people because this is what people think of as their essential source of facts about what is going on. They don't question it, and even if they do question it they have nowhere else to go to find out anything else. So Bradlee was involved in producing this propaganda. But at that point in the story I didn't know exactly what he was doing.
I published the first book just saying that he worked for USIE and that this agency produced propaganda for the CIA. He went totally crazy after the book came out. One person who knew him told me then that he was going all up and down the East Coast having lunch with every editor he could think of saying that it was not true, he did not produce any propaganda. And he attacked me viciously and he said that I had falsely accused him of being a CIA agent. And the reaction was totally out of proportion to what I had said.
Kenn Thomas: You make a good point in the book that other people who have had similar kinds of--I don't even know if you want to call them accusations--but reports that they in some way cooperated with the CIA in the '5Os, that the times were different and people were expected to do that kind of thing out of a sense of patriotism and they blow it off.
Deborah Davis : That's right. People say, yeah, this is what I did back then, you know. But Bradlee doesn't want to be defined that way because, I don't know, somehow he thinks it's just too revealing of him, of who he is. He doesn't want to admit a true fact about his past because somehow he doesn't want it known that this is where he came from. Because this is the beginning of his journalistic career. This is how he made it big.
Subsequent to my book being shredded in 1979, early 1980, I got some documents through the Freedom of Information Act and they revealed that Bradlee had been the person who was running an entire propaganda operation against Julius and Ethyl Rosenberg that covered forty countries on four continents. He always claimed that he had been a low level press flack in the embassy in Paris, just a press flack, nothing more. Julius and Ethyl Rosenberg had already been convicted of being atomic spies and they were on death row waiting to be executed. And the purpose of Bradlee's propaganda operation was to convince the Europeans that they really were spies, they really had given the secret of the atomic bomb to the Russians and therefore they did deserve to be put to death.
The Europeans, having just very few years before defeated Hitler, were very concerned that the United States was going fascist the way their countries had. And this was a very real fear to the Europeans. They saw the same thing happening in the United States that had happened in their own countries. And so Bradlee used the Rosenberg case to say, "No this isn't what you think it is. These people really did this bad thing and they really do deserve to die. It doesn't mean that the United States is becoming fascist." So he had a very key role in creating European public opinion and it was very, very important. This was the key issue that was going to determine how the Europeans felt about the United States.
Some of the documents that I had showed him writing letters to the prosecutors of the Rosenbergs saying "I'm working for the head of the CIA in Paris and he wants me to come and look at your files." And this kind of thing. So in the second edition, which came out in 1987, I reprinted those documents, the actual documents, the readers can see them and it's got his signature and it's very, very interesting. He subsequently has said nothing about it at all. He won't talk about it all. He won't answer any questions about it. So I guess the point about Bradlee is that he went from this job to being European bureau chief for Newsweek magazine and to the executive editorship of the Post. So this is how he got where he is. It's very clear line of succession. Philip Graham was Katharine Graham's husband, who ran the Post in the '50s and he committed suicide in 1963. That's when Katharine Graham took over. Bradlee was close friends with Allen Dulles and Phil Graham. The paper wasn't doing very well for a while and he was looking for a way to pay foreign correspondents and Allen Dulles was looking for a cover. Allen Dulles was head of the CIA back then and he was looking for a cover for some of his operatives so that they could get in and out of places without arousing suspicion. So the two of them hit on a plan: Allen Dulles would pay for the reporters and they would give the CIA the information that they found as well as give it to the Post. So he helped to develop this operation and it subsequently spread to other newspapers and magazines. And it was called Operation Mockingbird. This operation, I believe, was revealed for the first time in my book.
(10) Evan Thomas, The Very Best Men: The Early Years of the CIA (1995)
He (Frank Wisner) considered his friends Joe and Stewart Alsop to be reliable purveyors of the company line in their columns, and he would not hesitate to call Cyrus Sulzberger, the brother of the publisher of the New York Times. "You'd be sitting there, and he'd be on the phone to Times Washington bureau chief Scotty Reston explaining why some sentence in the paper was entirely wrong. "I want that to go to Sulzberger!" he'd say. He'd pick up newspapers and edit them from the CIA point of view," said Braden.
(11) Deborah Davis, Katharine the Great (1979)
The Washington Post was in many ways like other "companies," as Walter Lippmann called the news organizations, fighting deadlines, living uneasily with unions, suffering with "technical conditions (that) do not favor genuine and productive debate." But the Post was also unique among news companies in that its managers, living and working in Washington, thought of themselves simultaneously as journalists, businessmen, and patriots, a state of mind that made them singularly able to expand the company while promoting the national interest. Their individual relations with intelligence had in fact been the reason that the Post Company had grown as fast as it did after the war; their secrets were its corporate secrets, beginning with MOCKINGBIRD. Philip Graham's commitment to intelligence gave his friends Frank Wisner and Allen Dulles an interest in helping to make the Washington Post the dominant news vehicle in Washington, which they did by assisting with its two most crucial acquisitions, the Times-Herald and WTOP. The Post men most essential to these transactions, other than Phil, were Wayne Coy, the Post executive who had been Phil's former New Deal boss, and John S. Hayes, who replaced Coy in 1947 when Coy was appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
(12) Mary Louise, Mockingbird: CIA Media Manipulation (2003)
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 news gathering, 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.
(13) David Guyatt, Subverting the Media (undated)
In an October 1977, article published by Rolling Stone magazine, Bernstein reported that more than 400 American journalists worked for the CIA. Bernstein went on to reveal that this cozy arrangement had covered the preceding 25 years. Sources told Bernstein that the New York Times, America's most respected newspaper at the time, was one of the CIA's closest media collaborators. Seeking to spread the blame, the New York Times published an article in December 1977, revealing that ''more than eight hundred news and public information organisations and individuals,'' had participated in the CIA's covert subversion of the media.
''One journalist is worth twenty agents,'' a high-level source told Bernstein. Spies were trained as journalists and then later infiltrated '' often with the publishers consent - into the most prestigious media outlets in America, including the New York Times and Time Magazine. Likewise, numerous reputable journalists underwent training in various aspects of ''spook-craft'' by the CIA. This included techniques as varied as secret writing, surveillance and other spy crafts.
The subversion operation was orchestrated by Frank Wisner, an old CIA hand who's clandestine activities dated back to WW11. Wisner's media manipulation programme became known as the ''Wisner Wurlitzer,'' and proved an effective technique for sending journalists overseas to spy for the CIA. Of the fifty plus overseas news proprietary's owned by the CIA were The Rome Daily American, The Manilla Times and the Bangkok Post.
Yet, according to some experts, there was another profound reason for the CIA's close relations with the media. In his book, ''Virtual Government,'' author Alex Constantine goes to some lengths to explore the birth and spread of Operation Mockingbird. This, Constantine explains, was a CIA project designed to influence the major media for domestic propaganda purposes. One of the most important ''assets'' used by the CIA's Frank Wisner was Philip Graham, publisher of the Washington Post. A decade later both Wisner and Graham committed suicide '' leading some to question the exact nature of their deaths. More recently doubts have been cast on Wisner's suicide verdict by some observers who believed him to have been a Soviet agent.
(14) Michael Hasty, Secret Admirers: The Bushes and the Washington Post (5th February , 2004)
In an article published by the media watchdog group, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), Henwood traced the Washington Post's Establishment connections to Eugene Meyer, who took control of the Post in 1933. Meyer transferred ownership to his daughter Katherine and her husband, Philip Graham, after World War II, when he was appointed by Harry S. Truman to serve as the first president of the World Bank. Meyer had been "a Wall Street banker, director of President Wilson's War Finance Corporation, a governor of the Federal Reserve System, and director of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation," Henwood wrote.
Philip Graham, Meyer's successor, had been in military intelligence during the war. When he became the Post's publisher, he continued to have close contact with his fellow upper-class intelligence veterans - now making policy at the newly formed CIA - and actively promoted the CIA's goals in his newspaper. The incestuous relationship between the Post and the intelligence community even extended to its hiring practices. Watergate-era editor Ben Bradlee also had an intelligence background; and before he became a journalist, reporter Bob Woodward was an officer in Naval Intelligence. In a 1977 article in Rolling Stone magazine about CIA influence in American media, Woodward's partner, Carl Bernstein, quoted this from a CIA official: "It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from." Graham has been identified by some investigators as the main contact in Project Mockingbird, the CIA program to infiltrate domestic American media. In her autobiography, Katherine Graham described how her husband worked overtime at the Post during the Bay of Pigs operation to protect the reputations of his friends from Yale who had organized the ill-fated venture.
After Graham committed suicide, and his widow Katherine assumed the role of publisher, she continued her husband's policies of supporting the efforts of the intelligence community in advancing the foreign policy and economic agenda of the nation's ruling elites. In a retrospective column written after her own death last year, FAIR analyst Norman Solomon wrote, "Her newspaper mainly functioned as a helpmate to the war-makers in the White House, State Department and Pentagon." It accomplished this function (and continues to do so) using all the classic propaganda techniques of evasion, confusion, misdirection, targeted emphasis, disinformation, secrecy, omission of important facts, and selective leaks.
Graham herself rationalized this policy in a speech she gave at CIA headquarters in 1988. "We live in a dirty and dangerous world," she said. "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."
(15) Doug Henwood, The Washington Post: The Establishment's Paper (January, 1990)
After World War II, when Harry Truman named this lifelong Republican as first president of the World Bank, Meyer made his son-in-law, Philip L. Graham, publisher of the paper. Meyer stayed at the Bank for only six months and returned to the Post as its chairman. But with Phil Graham in charge, there was little for Meyer to do. He transferred ownership to Philip and Katharine Graham, and retired.
Phil Graham maintained Meyer's intimacy with power. Like many members of his class and generation, his postwar view was shaped by his work in wartime intelligence; a classic Cold War liberal, he was uncomfortable with McCarthy, but quite friendly with the personnel and policies of the CIA. He saw the role of the press as mobilizing public assent for policies made by his Washington neighbors; the public deserved to know only what the inner circle deemed proper. According to Howard Bray's Pillars of the Post, Graham and other top Posters knew details of several covert operations - including advance knowledge of the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion - which they chose not to share with their readers.
When the manic-depressive Graham shot himself in 1963, the paper passed to his widow, Katharine. Though out of her depth at first, her instincts were safely establishmentarian. According to Deborah Davis' biography, Katharine the Great, Mrs. Graham was scandalized by the cultural and political revolutions of the 1960s, and wept when LBJ fused to run for reelection in 1968. (After Graham asserted that the book as "fantasy," Harcourt Brace Jovanovich pulled 20,000 copies of Katharine the Great in 1979. The book as re-issued by National Press in 87.)
The Post was one of the last major papers to turn against the Vietnam War. Even today, it hews to a hard foreign policy line - usually to the right of The New York Times, a paper not known or having transcended the Cold War.
There was Watergate, of course, that model of aggressive reporting by the Post. But even here, Graham's Post was doing the establishment's work. As Graham herself said, the investigation couldn't have succeeded without the cooperation of people inside the government willing to talk to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
These talkers may well have included the CIA; it's widely suspected that Deep Throat was an Agency man (or men). Davis argues that Post editor Ben Bradlee knew Deep Throat, and may even have set him up with Woodward. She produces evidence that in the early 1950s, Bradlee crafted propaganda for the CIA on the Rosenberg case for European consumption. Bradlee denies working "for" the CIA, though he admits having worked for the U.S. Information Agency - perhaps distinction without a difference.
In any case, it's clear that a major portion of the establishment wanted Nixon out. Having accomplished this, there was little taste for further crusading. Nixon had denounced the Post as "Communist" during the 1950s. Graham offered her support to Nixon upon his election in 1968, but he snubbed her, even directing his allies to challenge the Post Co.'s TV license in Florida a few ears later. The Reagans were a different story - for one thing, Ron's crowd knew that seduction was a better way to get good press than hostility. According to Nancy Reagan's memoirs, Graham welcomed Ron and Nancy to her Georgetown house in 1981 with a kiss. During the darkest days of Iran-Contra, Graham and Post editorial page editor Meg GreenfieId - lunch and phone companions to Nancy throughout the Reagan years - offered the First Lady frequent expressions of sympathy. Graham and the establishment never got far from the Gipper.
(16) Carl Bernstein, CIA and the Media, Rolling Stone Magazine (20th October, 1977)
In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America's leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.
Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty-five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters.
Some of these journalists' relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services - from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go-betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors-without-portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested it the derring-do of the spy business as in filing articles, and, the smallest category, full-time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements America's leading news organizations.
The history of the CIA's involvement with the American press continues to be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception...
Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were William Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Time Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the Louisville Courier-Journal and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, The Miami Herald, and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald-Tribune. By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with The New York Times, CBS, and Time Inc.
From the Agency's perspective, there is nothing untoward in such relationships, and any ethical questions are a matter for the journalistic profession to resolve, not the intelligence community...
Many journalists were used by the CIA to assist in this process and they had the reputation of being among the best in the business. The peculiar nature of the job of the foreign correspondent is ideal for such work; he is accorded unusual access, by his host country, permitted to travel in areas often off-limits to other Americans, spends much of his time cultivating sources in governments, academic institutions, the military establishment and the scientific communities. He has the opportunity to form long-term personal relationships with sources and -- perhaps more than any other category of American operative - is in a position to make correct judgments about the susceptibility and availability of foreign nationals for recruitment as spies.
The Agency's dealings with the press began during the earliest stages of the Cold War. Allen Dulles, who became director of the CIA in 1953, sought to establish a recruiting-and-cover capability within America's most prestigious journalistic institutions. By operating under the guise of accredited news correspondents, Dulles believed, CIA operatives abroad would be accorded a degree of access and freedom of movement unobtainable under almost any other type of cover.
American publishers, like so many other corporate and institutional leaders at the time, were willing us commit the resources of their companies to the struggle against ''global Communism.'' Accordingly, the traditional line separating the American press corps and government was often indistinguishable: rarely was a news agency used to provide cover for CIA operatives abroad without the knowledge and consent of either its principal owner; publisher or senior editor. Thus, contrary to the notion that the CIA era and news executives allowed themselves and their organizations to become handmaidens to the intelligence services. ''Let's not pick on some poor reporters, for God's sake,'' William Colby exclaimed at one point to the Church committee's investigators. ''Let's go to the managements. They were witting'' In all, about twenty-five news organizations (including those listed at the beginning of this article) provided cover for the Agency...
Many journalists who covered World War II were close to people in the Office of Strategic Services, the wartime predecessor of the CIA; more important, they were all on the same side. When the war ended and many OSS officials went into the CIA, it was only natural that these relationships would continue.
Meanwhile, the first postwar generation of journalists entered the profession; they shared the same political and professional values as their mentors. ''You had a gang of people who worked together during World War II and never got over it,'' said one Agency official. ''They were genuinely motivated and highly susceptible to intrigue and being on the inside. Then in the Fifties and Sixties there was a national consensus about a national threat. The Vietnam War tore everything to pieces - shredded the consensus and threw it in the air.'' Another Agency official observed: ''Many journalists didn't give a second thought to associating with the Agency. But there was a point when the ethical issues which most people had submerged finally surfaced. Today, a lot of these guys vehemently deny that they had any relationship with the Agency.''
The CIA even ran a formal training program in the 1950s to teach its agents to be journalists. Intelligence officers were ''taught to make noises like reporters,'' explained a high CIA official, and were then placed in major news organizations with help from management. ''These were the guys who went through the ranks and were told, ''You're going to be a journalist,'' the CIA official said. Relatively few of the 400-some relationships described in Agency files followed that pattern, however; most involved persons who were already bona fide journalists when they began undertaking tasks for the Agency. The Agency's relationships with journalists, as described in CIA files, include the following general categories:
* Legitimate, accredited staff members of news organizations - usually reporters. Some were paid; some worked for the Agency on a purely voluntary basis.
* Stringers and freelancers. Most were payrolled by the Agency under standard contractual terms.
* Employees of so-called CIA ''proprietaries.'' During the past twenty-five years, the Agency has secretly bankrolled numerous foreign press services, periodicals and newspapers -- both English and foreign language -- which provided excellent cover for CIA operatives.
* Columnists and commentators. There are perhaps a dozen well-known columnists and broadcast commentators whose relationships with the CIA go far beyond those normally maintained between reporters and their sources. They are referred to at the Agency as ''known assets'' and can be counted on to perform a variety of undercover tasks; they are considered receptive to the Agency's point of view on various subjects.
Murky details of CIA relationships with individuals and news organizations began trickling out in 1973 when it was first disclosed that the CIA had, on occasion, employed journalists. Those reports, combined with new information, serve as casebook studies of the Agency's use of journalists for intelligence purposes.
The New York Times - The Agency's relationship with the 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...
CIA officials cite two reasons why the Agency's working relationship with the Times was closer and more extensive than with any other paper: the fact that the Times maintained the largest foreign news operation in American daily journalism; and the close personal ties between the men who ran both institutions...
The Columbia Broadcasting System - CBS was unquestionably the CIA's most valuable broadcasting asset. CBS president William Paley and Allen Dulles enjoyed an easy working and social relationship. Over the years, the network provided cover for CIA employees, including at least one well-known foreign correspondent and several stringers; it supplied outtakes of newsfilm to the CIA; established a formal channel of communication between the Washington bureau chief and the Agency; gave the Agency access to the CBS newsfilm library; and allowed reports by CBS correspondents to the Washington and New York newsrooms to be routinely monitored by the CIA. Once a year during the 1950s and early 1960s, CBS correspondents joined the CIA hierarchy for private dinners and briefings...
At the headquarters of CBS News in New York, Paley's cooperation with the CIA is taken for granted by many news executives and reporters, despite the denials. Paley, 76, was not interviewed by Salant's investigators. ''It wouldn't do any good,'' said one CBS executive. ''It is the single subject about which his memory has failed.''
At Newsweek, Agency sources reported, the CIA engaged the services of several foreign correspondents and stringers under arrangements approved by senior editors at the magazine...
''To the best of my knowledge:' said [Harry] Kern, [Newsweek's foreign editor from 1945 to 1956] ''nobody at Newsweek worked for the CIA.... The informal relationship was there. Why have anybody sign anything? What we knew we told them [the CIA] and the State Department.... When I went to Washington, I would talk to Foster or Allen Dulles about what was going on .... We thought it was admirable at the time. We were all on the same side.'' CIA officials say that Kern's dealings with the Agency were extensive...
When Newsweek was purchased by the Washington Post Company, publisher Philip L. Graham was informed by Agency officials that the CIA occasionally used the magazine for cover purposes, according to CIA sources. ''It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from,'' said a former deputy director of the Agency... But Graham, who committed suicide in 1963, apparently knew little of the specifics of any cover arrangements with Newsweek, CIA sources said...
Information about Agency dealings with the Washington Post newspaper is extremely sketchy. According to CIA officials, some Post stringers have been CIA employees, but these officials say they do not know if anyone in the Post management was aware of the arrangements...
Other major news organizations - according to Agency officials, CIA files document additional cover arrangements with the following news gathering organizations, among others: the New York Herald Tribune, Saturday Evening Post, Scripps-Howard Newspapers, Hearst Newspapers, Associated Press, United Press International, the Mutual Broadcasting System, Reuters and The Miami Herald...
''And that's just a small part of the list,'' in the words of one official who served in the CIA hierarchy. Like many sources, this official said that the only way to end the uncertainties about aid furnished the Agency by journalists is to disclose the contents of the CIA files - a course opposed by almost all of the thirty-five present and former CIA officials interviewed over the course of a year.
The CIA's use of journalists continued virtually unabated until 1973 when, in response to public disclosure that the Agency had secretly employed American reporters, William Colby began scaling down the program. In his public statements, Colby conveyed the impression that the use of journalists had been minimal and of limited importance to the Agency.
He then initiated a series of moves intended to convince the press, Congress and the public that the CIA had gotten out of the news business. But according to Agency officials, Colby had in fact thrown a protective net around his most valuable intelligence assets in the journalistic community...
At the headquarters of CBS News in New York, Paley's cooperation with the CIA is taken for granted by many news executives and reporters, despite the denials. Paley, 76, was not interviewed by Salant's investigators. ''It wouldn't do any good,'' said one CBS executive. ''It is the single subject about which his memory has failed.''
Time and Newsweek magazines. According to CIA and Senate sources, Agency files contain written agreements with former foreign correspondents and stringers for both the weekly news magazines. The same sources refused to say whether the CIA has ended all its associations with individuals who work for the two publications. Allen Dulles often interceded with his good friend, the late Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life magazines, who readily allowed certain members of his staff to work for the Agency and agreed to provide jobs and credentials for other CIA operatives who lacked journalistic experience.
At Newsweek, Agency sources reported, the CIA engaged the services of several foreign correspondents and stringers under arrangements approved by senior editors at the magazine...
After Colby left the Agency on January 28th, 1976, and was succeeded by George Bush, the CIA announced a new policy: ''Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any US news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station.'' ... The text of the announcement noted that the CIA would continue to ''welcome'' the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists. Thus, many relationships were permitted to remain intact.
(17) David Guyatt, Subverting the Media (undated)
In discussing the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Dan Rather, the well-loved anchorman for CBS Television, described the now famous Zapruder film that captured footage of the shot which killed President John F. Kennedy. The movie, taken by amateur cameraman, Abraham Zapruder, was quickly snapped-up by Life magazine for $250,000.00. Although Life published still frames of the movie, the 18 second film was kept under lock and key '' not to be seen by Americans until 1975.
But Rather's remarks were misleading. He told his viewers that the film showed JFK falling forward '' confirming the official view that Kennedy had been shot from behind. However, the film clearly showed Kennedy lurching violently backwards, evidence of a frontal shot. To add to the confusion, the Warren Commission report printed two frames of the film in reverse '' again implying a rear shot - an accident the FBI typified as a ''printing error.''
Meanwhile, still pictures lifted from the Zapruder film were also published by Life magazine. Remarkably, they too were published in reverse order, thereby creating the impression that the President had been shot from behind by lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald. Until the film was shown to Americans in its entirity, no one was the wiser. Following the broadcast in 1975, a massive controversy followed giving rise to ongoing allegations of conspiracy.
The Zapruder film clearly showed President Kennedy had also been shot from the front. The result immeasurably strengthened the charge - that had been bubbling in the background '' that the President had been assassinated as a result of a well orchestrated conspiracy, and that this was covered-up to protect the guilty, who many now believe involved senior figures in the CIA and US military. Not least it was pointed out that Henry Luce, the founder of Life magazine was a close personal friend of Allen Dulles, the Director of the CIA. Moreover, the individual who purchased the Zapruder film for Life magazine was C.J. Jackson, formerly a ''psychological warfare'' consultant to the President.
Inevitably, these events were to lead to accusations that the media were culpable of the worst form of toadying and propaganda. This, in turn raised serious questions about the role and integrity of the mass media. Some years later, Washington Post reporter, Carl Bernstein '' who came to fame with his colleague Bob Woodward, for their expose of the Nixon administration's illegal re-election campaign activities, known as ''Watergate'' '' dropped a media bombshell on an unsuspecting America.
In an October 1977, article published by Rolling Stone magazine, Bernstein reported that more than 400 American journalists worked for the CIA. Bernstein went on to reveal that this cozy arrangement had covered the preceding 25 years. Sources told Bernstein that the New York Times, America's most respected newspaper at the time, was one of the CIA's closest media collaborators. Seeking to spread the blame, the New York Times published an article in December 1977, revealing that ''more than eight hundred news and public information organisations and individuals,'' had participated in the CIA's covert subversion of the media.
''One journalist is worth twenty agents,'' a high-level source told Bernstein. Spies were trained as journalists and then later infiltrated '' often with the publishers consent - into the most prestigious media outlets in America, including the New York Times and Time Magazine. Likewise, numerous reputable journalists underwent training in various aspects of ''spook-craft'' by the CIA. This included techniques as varied as secret writing, surveillance and other spy crafts.
The subversion operation was orchestrated by Frank Wisner, an old CIA hand who's clandestine activities dated back to WW11. Wisner's media manipulation programme became known as the ''Wisner Wurlitzer,'' and proved an effective technique for sending journalists overseas to spy for the CIA. Of the fifty plus overseas news proprietary's owned by the CIA were The Rome Daily American, The Manilla Times and the Bangkok Post.
Yet, according to some experts, there was another profound reason for the CIA's close relations with the media. In his book, ''Virtual Government,'' author Alex Constantine goes to some lengths to explore the birth and spread of Operation Mockingbird. This, Constantine explains, was a CIA project designed to influence the major media for domestic propaganda purposes. One of the most important ''assets'' used by the CIA's Frank Wisner was Philip Graham, publisher of the Washington Post. A decade later both Wisner and Graham committed suicide '' leading some to question the exact nature of their deaths. More recently doubts have been cast on Wisner's suicide verdict by some observers who believed him to have been a Soviet agent.
Meanwhile, however, Wisner had ''implemented his plan and owned respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communication vehicles, plus stringers'...'' according to Deborah Davis in her biography of Katharine Graham '' wife of Philip Graham - and current publisher of the Washington Post. The operation was overseen by Allen Dulles, Director of Central Intelligence. Operation Mockingbird continued to flourish with CIA agents boasting at having ''important assets'' inside every major news outlet in the country.'' The list included such luminaries of the US media as Henry Luce, publisher of Time Magazine, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, of the New York Times and C.D. Jackson of Fortune Magazine, according to Constantine.
But there was another aspect to Mockingbird, Constantine reveals in an Internet essay. Citing historian C. Vann Woodward's New York Times article of 1987, Ronald Reagan, later to become President of the US, was a FBI snitch earlier in his life. This dated back to the time when Reagan was President of the Actor's Guild. Woodward says that Reagan ''fed the names of suspect people in his organisation to the FBI secretly and regularly enough to be assigned an informer's code number, T.10.'' The purpose was to purge the film industry of ''subversives.''
As these stories hit the news, Senate investigators began to probe the CIA sponsored manipulation of the media '' the ''Fourth Estate'' that supposedly was dedicated to acting as a check and balance on the excesses of the executive. This investigation was, however, curtailed at the insistence of Central Intelligence Agency Directors, William Colby and George Bush '' who would later be elected US President. The information gathered by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee chaired by Senator Frank Church, was ''deliberately buried'' Bernstein reported.
Despite this suppression of evidence, information leaked out that revealed the willing role of media executives to subvert their own industry. ''Let's not pick on some reporters,'' CIA Director William Colby stated during an interview. ''Let's go to the managements. They were witting.'' Bernstein concluded that ''America's leading publishers allowed themselves and their news services to become handmaidens to the intelligence services.'' Of the household names that went along with this arrangement were: Columbia Broadcasting System, Copley News Service '' which gave the CIA confidential information on antiwar and black protestors '' ABC TV, NBC, Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Newsweek, Time, Scripps-Howard, Hearst Newspapers and the Miami Herald. Bernstein additionally stated that the two most bullish media outlets to co-operate were the new York Times and CBS Television. The New York Times even went so far as to submit stories to Allen Dulles and his replacement, John McCone, to vet and approve before publication.
Slowly, the role of Mockingbird in muzzling and manipulating the press began to be revealed. In 1974, two former CIA agents, Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, published a sensational book entitled ''The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence.'' The book caused uproar for the many revelations it contained. Included amongst them was the fact that the, until then, widely respected Encounter magazine was indirectly funded by the CIA. The vehicle used to covertly transfer funds to Encounter and many other publications, was the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF)'' a CIA front. A decade earlier, in 1965, the CCF was renamed Forum World Features (FWF) and purchased by Kern House Enterprises, under the direction of John Hay Whitney, publisher of the International Herald Tribune and former US Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
The Chairman of Forum World Features was Brian Crozier, who resigned his position shortly before the explosive book went on sale. Crozier, a former ''Economist'' journalist, was a ''contact'' of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). His employment to head up the CIA financed Forum World Features in 1965, caused a row with MI6 who felt the CIA had breached the secret agreement between the UK and USA by recruiting one of their own assets.
Crozier's media style was more discrete than Mockingbird. He preferred, when possible, to insert his pre-spun propaganda stories to unwitting members of the media, who would reprint them unaware of the bias they contained. In time, Crozier would go on to head up a shadowy anti subversive and dirty tricks group called the ''61,'' that sought to counter communist propaganda. Another group of which he was a member was the Pinay Cercle '' a right wing Atlanticist group funded by the CIA - that claimed credit for getting Margaret Thatcher elected as British Prime Minister.Another propaganda operation, run from Lisburn barracks in Northern Ireland, and under nominal British Army control, participated in extensive media manipulation around the same time. Known as ''Clockwork Orange'' this involved the construction of propaganda material designed to discredit prominent members of the then Labour government as well as some in the Conservative shadow cabinet. Especially targeted was then Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Clockwork Orange relied heavily on forged documents that would be given to selected journalists for publication. Many of these forgeries sought to demonstrate secret communist ties '' or east bloc intelligence affiliations '' amongst high profile politicians.
The aim was to destabilise Wilson and the Labour government by falsely showing them to be soft on communism or even pro communist. This operation clearly favoured a right wing Conservative administration under the leadership of Mrs. Thatcher. In the event, Wilson resigned, said to have been sickened by the numerous personal snipe attacks against him. During the time he was under siege, Wilson experienced numerous break ins at his office, as well as having his phone lines tapped -courtesy of unnamed officials in the security service, it is believed. By 1979 the Conservative party was returned to power.
Yet, with the demise of the cold war the motive for media propaganda has collapsed. Or has it? James Lilly, former Director of Operations at the CIA later became Director of Asian studies at the American Enterprise Institute '' a think tank heavily staffed by former intelligence types. Lilly, in giving testimony to a Senate committee during 1996 observed: ''Journalists, I think, you don't recruit them. We can't do that. They've told us not to do that. But you certainly sit down with your journalists, and I've done this and the Station Chief has done it, others have done it'...''
But even as the cold war rationale for subverting the media recedes into the distance, press manipulation continues anon. A classified CIA report surfaced in 1992, that revealed the Agency's public affairs office '''... has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation.'' The report added that the benefits of these continued contacts had been fruitful to the CIA by turning ''Intelligence failure stories into intelligence success stories'...'' Basking in a glow of self satisfaction, the report continued ''In many cases, we have persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold or even scrap stories that could have adversely affected national security interests.''
But the last word goes to Noam Chomsky. A Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chomsky has extensively investigated the role of today's media. His analysis is un-nerving. The democratic postulate, Chomsky says, ''is that the media are independent and committed to discovering and reporting the truth'...'' Despite this axiom, Chomsky finds that the media supports ''established power'' and is ''responsive to the needs of government and major power groups.'' He additionally argues that the media is a mechanism for pervasive ''thought control'' of elite interests and that ordinary citizens need to ''undertake a course of intellectual self-defence to protect themselves from manipulation and control'...'' The covert role of the media has now apparently shifted its focus. One time expediter of the ''cold war,'' it now clamours for the extension of ''corporate power.''
(18) Steve Kangas, The Origins of the Overclass (1998)
The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere.
The origins of this machine, interestingly enough, can be traced back to the CIA. This is not to say the machine is a formal CIA operation, complete with code name and signed documents. (Although such evidence may yet surface - and previously unthinkable domestic operations such as MK-ULTRA, CHAOS and MOCKINGBIRD show this to be a distinct possibility.) But what we do know already indicts the CIA strongly enough. Its principle creators were Irving Kristol, Paul Weyrich, William Simon, Richard Mellon Scaife, Frank Shakespeare, William F. Buckley, Jr., the Rockefeller family, and more. Almost all the machine's creators had CIA backgrounds.
During the 1970s, these men would take the propaganda and operational techniques they had learned in the Cold War and apply them to the Class War. Therefore it is no surprise that the American version of the machine bears an uncanny resemblance to the foreign versions designed to fight communism. The CIA's expert and comprehensive organization of the business class would succeed beyond their wildest dreams. In 1975, the richest 1 percent owned 22 percent of America's wealth. By 1992, they would nearly double that, to 42 percent - the highest level of inequality in the 20th century.
How did this alliance start? The CIA has always recruited the nation's elite: millionaire businessmen, Wall Street brokers, members of the national news media, and Ivy League scholars. During World War II, General "Wild Bill" Donovan became chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. Donovan recruited so exclusively from the nation's rich and powerful that members eventually came to joke that "OSS" stood for "Oh, so social!"
Another early elite was Allen Dulles, who served as Director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961. Dulles was a senior partner at the Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, which represented the Rockefeller empire and other mammoth trusts, corporations and cartels. He was also a board member of the J. Henry Schroeder Bank, with offices in Wall Street, London, Zurich and Hamburg. His financial interests across the world would become a conflict of interest when he became head of the CIA. Like Donavan, he would recruit exclusively from society's elite...
Although many people think that the CIA's primary mission during the Cold War was to "deter communism," Noam Chomksy correctly points out that its real mission was "deterring democracy." From corrupting elections to overthrowing democratic governments, from assassinating elected leaders to installing murderous dictators, the CIA has virtually always replaced democracy with dictatorship. It didn't help that the CIA was run by businessmen, whose hostility towards democracy is legendary. The reason they overthrew so many democracies is because the people usually voted for policies that multi-national corporations didn't like: land reform, strong labor unions, nationalization of their industries, and greater regulation protecting workers, consumers and the environment...
Journalism is a perfect cover for CIA agents. People talk freely to journalists, and few think suspiciously of a journalist aggressively searching for information. Journalists also have power, influence and clout. Not surprisingly, the CIA began a mission in the late 1940s to recruit American journalists on a wide scale, a mission it dubbed Operation MOCKINGBIRD. The agency wanted these journalists not only to relay any sensitive information they discovered, but also to write anti-Communist, pro-capitalist propaganda when needed.
The instigators of MOCKINGBIRD were Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham was the husband of Katherine Graham, today's publisher of the Washington Post. In fact, it was the Post's ties to the CIA that allowed it to grow so quickly after the war, both in readership and influence.
MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda. At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIA's testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names of those recruited reads like a Who's Who of journalism...
The CIA also secretly bought or created its own media companies. It owned 40 percent of the Rome Daily American at a time when communists were threatening to win the Italian elections. Worse, the CIA has bought many domestic media companies. A prime example is Capital Cities, created in 1954 by CIA businessman William Casey (who would later become Reagan's CIA director). Another founder was Lowell Thomas, a close friend and business contact with CIA Director Allen Dulles. Another founder was CIA businessman Thomas Dewey. By 1985, Capital Cities had grown so powerful that it was able to buy an entire TV network: ABC.
For those who believe in "separation of press and state," the very idea that the CIA has secret propaganda outlets throughout the media is appalling. The reason why America was so oblivious to CIA crimes in the 40s and 50s was because the media willingly complied with the agency. Even today, when the immorality of the CIA should be an open-and-shut case, "debate" about the issue rages in the media...
In the mid-1970s, at this historic low point in American conservatism, the CIA began a major campaign to turn corporate fortunes around. They did this in several ways. First, they helped create numerous foundations to finance their domestic operations. Even before 1973, the CIA had co-opted the most famous ones, like the Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations. But after 1973, they created more. One of their most notorious recruits was billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. During World War II, Scaife's father served in the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA. By his mid-twenties, both of Scaife's parents had died, and he inherited a fortune under four foundations: the Carthage Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Scaife Family Foundations and the Allegheny Foundation. In the early 1970s, Scaife was encouraged by CIA agent Frank Barnett to begin investing his fortune to fight the "Soviet menace." From 1973 to 1975, Scaife ran Forum World Features, a foreign news service used as a front to disseminate CIA propaganda around the world. Shortly afterwards he began donating millions to fund the New Right.
(18) CIA Document Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report (#1035-960)
1. From the day of President Kennedy's assassination on, there has been speculation about the responsibility for his murder. Although this was stemmed for a time by the Warren Commission report, (which appeared at the end of September 1964), various writers have now had time to scan the Commission's published report and documents for new pretexts for questioning, and there has been a new wave of books and articles criticizing the Commission's findings. In most cases the critics have speculated as to the existence of some kind of conspiracy, and often they have implied that the Commission itself was involved. Presumably as a result of the increasing challenge to the Warren Commission's report, a public opinion poll recently indicated that 46% of the American public did not think that Oswald acted alone, while more than half of those polled thought that the Commission had left some questions unresolved. Doubtless polls abroad would show similar, or possibly more adverse results.
2. This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization. The members of the Warren Commission were naturally chosen for their integrity, experience and prominence. They represented both major parties, and they and their staff were deliberately drawn from all sections of the country. Just because of the standing of the Commissioners, efforts to impugn their rectitude and wisdom tend to cast doubt on the whole leadership of American society. Moreover, there seems to be an increasing tendency to hint that President Johnson himself, as the one person who might be said to have benefited, was in some way responsible for the assassination.
Innuendo of such seriousness affects not only the individual concerned, but also the whole reputation of the American government. Our organization itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation. Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us. The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments.
3. Action. We do not recommend that discussion of the assassination question be initiated where it is not already taking place. Where discussion is active [business] addresses are requested:
a. To discuss the publicity problem with and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out that the Warren Commission made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation.
b. To employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passing to assets. Our ploy should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (I) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (I) politically interested, (III) financially interested, (IV) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (V) infatuated with their own theories. In the course of discussions of the whole phenomenon of criticism, a useful strategy may be to single out Epstein's theory for attack, using the attached Fletcher article and Spectator piece for background. (Although Mark Lane's book is much less convincing than Epstein's and comes off badly where confronted by knowledgeable critics, it is also much more difficult to answer as a whole, as one becomes lost in a morass of unrelated details.)
4. In private to media discussions not directed at any particular writer, or in attacking publications which may be yet forthcoming, the following arguments should be useful:
a. No significant new evidence has emerged which the Commission did not consider. The assassination is sometimes compared (e.g., by Joachim Joesten and Bertrand Russell) with the Dreyfus case; however, unlike that case, the attack on the Warren Commission have produced no new evidence, no new culprits have been convincingly identified, and there is no agreement among the critics. (A better parallel, though an imperfect one, might be with the Reichstag fire of 1933, which some competent historians (Fritz Tobias, AJ.P. Taylor, D.C. Watt) now believe was set by Vander Lubbe on his own initiative, without acting for either Nazis or Communists; the Nazis tried to pin the blame on the Communists, but the latter have been more successful in convincing the world that the Nazis were to blame.)
b. Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others. They tend to place more emphasis on the recollections of individual witnesses (which are less reliable and more divergent - and hence offer more hand-holds for criticism) and less on ballistics, autopsy, and photographic evidence. A close examination of the Commission's records will usually show that the conflicting eyewitness accounts are quoted out of context, or were discarded by the Commission for good and sufficient reason.
c. Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States, esp. since informants could expect to receive large royalties, etc. Note that Robert Kennedy, Attorney General at the time and John F. Kennedy's brother, would be the last man to overlook or conceal any conspiracy. And as one reviewer pointed out, Congressman Gerald R. Ford would hardly have held his tongue for the sake of the Democratic administration, and Senator Russell would have had every political interest in exposing any misdeeds on the part of Chief Justice Warren. A conspirator moreover would hardly choose a location for a shooting where so much depended on conditions beyond his control: the route, the speed of the cars, the moving target, the risk that the assassin would be discovered. A group of wealthy conspirators could have arranged much more secure conditions.
d. Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride: they light on some theory and fall in love with it; they also scoff at the Commission because it did not always answer every question with a flat decision one way or the other. Actually, the make-up of the Commission and its staff was an excellent safeguard against over-commitment to any one theory, or against the illicit transformation of probabilities into certainties.
e. Oswald would not have been any sensible person's choice for a co-conspirator. He was a "loner," mixed up, of questionable reliability and an unknown quantity to any professional intelligence service.
f. As to charges that the Commission's report was a rush job, it emerged three months after the deadline originally set. But to the degree that the Commission tried to speed up its reporting, this was largely due to the pressure of irresponsible speculation already appearing, in some cases coming from the same critics who, refusing to admit their errors, are now putting out new criticisms.
g. Such vague accusations as that "more than ten people have died mysteriously" can always be explained in some natural way e.g.: the individuals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes; the Commission staff questioned 418 witnesses (the FBI interviewed far more people, conduction 25,000 interviews and re interviews), and in such a large group, a certain number of deaths are to be expected. (When Penn Jones, one of the originators of the "ten mysterious deaths" line, appeared on television, it emerged that two of the deaths on his list were from heart attacks, one from cancer, one was from a head-on collision on a bridge, and one occurred when a driver drifted into a bridge abutment.)
5. Where possible, counter speculation by encouraging reference to the Commission's Report itself. Open-minded foreign readers should still be impressed by the care, thoroughness, objectivity and speed with which the Commission worked. Reviewers of other books might be encouraged to add to their account the idea that, checking back with the report itself, they found it far superior to the work of its critics.
Original: http://alexconstantine.blogspot.com/2007/06/operation-mockingbird.html
International Organizations Division - Wikispooks
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 16:47
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The International Organizations Division was a division of the CIA set up in 1950 to promote anti-communism[1] by manipulating international[2] psychological warfare operations. Its first head was Tom Braden.[3]
The IOD operated according to the same principles that guided Wisner's management of the Non-Communist Left. The purpose of supporting leftist groups was not to destroy or even to dominate, but rather to maintain a discreet proximity to and monitor the thinking of such groups; to provide them with a mouthpiece so that they could blow off steam; and, in extremis, to exercise a final veto on their publicity and possibly their actions if they ever got too 'radical'. Braden issued clear instructions to his newly established IOD posts in Europe: 'Limit the money to amounts private organisations can credibly spend; disguise the extent of American interest; protect the integrity of the organisation by not requiring it to support every aspect of official American policy.'[4]References '†‘ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/03/AR2009040302795.html '†‘ http://www.umsl.edu/~thomaskp/mormey.htm '†‘ Who Paid the Piper, The CIA and the Cultural Cold War, Francis Stonor Saunders, Granta Books, 2000, p97. '†‘ Who Paid the Piper, The CIA and the Cultural Cold War, Francis Stonor Saunders, Granta Books, 2000, p98.
The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters '-- Central Intelligence Agency
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 16:10
Intelligence in Recent Public LiteratureBy Frances Stonor Saunders. New York: The New Press, 2000. 509 pages.
Reviewed by Thomas M. Troy, Jr.
If The Cultural Cold War had been published in the 1960s or 1970s, it most likely would have caused a sensation and been a best seller. It would have provoked anguished editorials in major Western newspapers and a barrage of "we-told-you-so" items in the communist-controlled media. Published at the turn of the century, however, the book is something of a curiosity.1 It contains a long cry of moral outrage over the fact that the CIA committed "vast resources to a secret program of cultural propaganda in western Europe."2 At the same time, the author, an independent filmmaker and novelist, has produced a well-written account of a basically unfamiliar story with a cast of many larger-than-life characters who played roles in the Cold War.
To over-simplify the historical background: In the late 1940s, Washington did not take it for granted that the people in Western Europe would support democratic governments and that their states would effectively oppose the Soviet Union and support the United States. To help promote democracy and to oppose the Soviet Union and West European communist parties, the CIA supported members of the non-communist left, including many intellectuals. Because the CIA's activities were clandestine, only a few of the beneficiaries were witting of the Agency's support, although a large number suspected Agency involvement.
Frances Saunders evidently was dismayed and shocked! shocked! to learn there was gambling in the back room of Rick's caf(C). She finds the Agency's activities to be reprehensible and morally repugnant and believes that the CIA's "deception" actually undermined intellectual freedom. She rejects the "blank check" line of defense offered by some people that the Agency "simply helped people to say what they would have said anyway."3 She reminds readers that the CIA overthrew governments, was responsible for the Bay of Pigs operation and the Phoenix Program, spied on American citizens, harassed democratically elected foreign leaders, and plotted assassinations. The CIA denied these activities before Congress and, "in the process, elevated the art of lying to new heights."4 Ms. Saunders vents her spleen mainly in her introduction, but in the text she repeatedly returns to the theme that the CIA injured the cause of intellectual freedom by clandestinely supporting (oh, irony of ironies!) champions of intellectual freedom. Not adverse to using clich(C)s, Saunders refers to the CIA at various times as a "wilderness of mirrors," an "invisible government," and a "rogue elephant."
According to Saunders, the list of CIA covert activities during the 1950s and 1960s is long. The Agency subsidized European tours of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and paid for the filming of George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm. It clandestinely subsidized the publishing of thousands of books, including an entire line of books by Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., and the renowned work by Milovan Djilas, The New Class . It bailed out, and then subsidized, the financially faltering Partisan Review and Kenyon Review .
The centerpiece of the CIA's propaganda campaign'--and the focus of Saunders's book'--was the Congress for Cultural Freedom and its principal publication, the journal Encounter . Saunders's diligence and hard work shows as she describes the creation, activities, and downfalls of the Congress and the journal. She read the Church Report, performed research in various archives, and conducted many interviews, including some with retired CIA officers.5 Her fine writing style and occasionally even gossipy method of presenting the material makes what could have been a dry-as-dust account of institutions read easily. She also has some fascinating characters, for the people discussed in The Cultural Cold War are among the leading intellectual figures of post-World War II Europe and America. She presents these people with wit and occasionally a pen dripping with acid.
After the CIA established and funded the Congress for Cultural Freedom and Encounter magazine, did it then call all the shots? Did the Agency determine what the Congress should support or what Encounter should publish? Evidently, no. In the 15 years that the Agency "ran" the magazine, Encounter probably published about 2,000 articles and reviews. Saunders can cite only two (rather dubious) cases in which the CIA may have intervened to prevent the journal from printing articles.
For Saunders, however, the CIA's "interference" was much more invidious. She writes that, "The real point was not that the possibility of dissent had been irrevocably damaged...or that intellectuals had been coerced or corrupted (though that may have happened too), but that the natural procedures of intellectual enquiry had been interfered with."6 And, "Whilst Encounter never shrank from exposing the useful lies by which communist regimes supported themselves, it was never truly free itself of the `bear trap of ideology,' of that pervasive Cold War psychology of `lying for the truth'." Encounter "suspended that most precious of western philosophical concepts'--the freedom to think and act independently'--and trimmed its sails to suit the prevailing winds."7 I must admit that as I read such passages, I kept thinking "those poor stupid intellectuals."
Saunders deserves praise for presenting opposing views. She admits that other people thought and think much differently than she does on the issue of the CIA's stifling of intellectual freedom. She offers quotes from, inter alia , George Kennan, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Michael Josselson that in effect are rebuttals to her arguments.8
She also does a fine job in recounting the intriguing story of how the CIA worked with existing institutions, such as the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and established numerous "bogus" foundations to "hide" its funding of the Congress for Cultural Freedom and its other covert activities. Everything came a cropper in 1967, however, as a result of press articles, especially revelations in the long-gone Ramparts magazine.
The Cultural Cold War has some major shortcomings. First and foremost, despite Saunders's assertions that the CIA undermined intellectual freedom, she does not present any examples of people whose intellectual growth was stunted or impaired because of the Agency's programs. Nor does she provide any examples of people switching ideological sides after the revelations about the Agency's role in the Congress and Encounter . She mentions that Jean Paul Sartre switched sides'--or just "dropped out" of the Cold War; however, Sartre denounced the Soviet Union and repudiated communism after the USSR invaded Hungary.9
Saunders also fails to discuss the results of the CIA programs. Granted, it would be difficult to measure objectively the effectiveness of propaganda programs or campaigns. What did CIA achieve by "running" the Congress for Cultural Freedom and Encounter ? I would venture the guess that Irving Brown and Jay Lovestone won more "hearts and minds" in Western Europe by working with the trade unions than any 20 people involved in the Congress or all the articles in Encounter . (Of course, according to Ms. Saunders, the CIA also subsidized the activities of Brown and Lovestone.) I also suspect that the ham-handed tactics of the Soviet Union and its allies had a far more profound impact on the West European populaces than any Western propaganda program. Saunders, however, is so intent on asserting that the CIA "crippled" West European intellectuals that she does not take time to analyze the effectiveness of the Agency's propaganda campaigns.
Another flaw in The Cultural Cold War is that the book discusses only the Western side and barely mentions communist participants in the Cold War. The author does not mention the communist coup in Czechoslovakia in 1948, the Soviet military intervention in East Germany in 1953, or the upheaval in Poland in 1956. There is one sentence each about the Berlin blockade and the Berlin Wall. She does devote two pages to the Soviet invasion of Hungary, but offers several pages on Western "desertion" of the Hungarian rebels. Perhaps Saunders thought her readers would know all about the Soviet cruelties and decided it was unnecessary to discuss or even mention them. A more captious view would be that she did not want to discuss Soviet actions lest it appear that perhaps the CIA and the West in general had real reasons for doing what they did in the "cultural Cold War" in Europe.
The Cultural Cold War contains some silly mistakes and some real gaffes. For example, Charles Bohlen was not the US Ambassador to France in 1948;10 he became Ambassador to France in 1962. Edward Barrett was never Secretary of State;11 he is correctly identified as an assistant secretary of state elsewhere in the text.12 The KGB did not have a spy "planted" on Willy Brandt in West Berlin in 1962;13 unless Saunders knows something nobody else does, she is probably mistakenly referring to East German spy Guenter Guillaume, who infiltrated Brandt's office in Bonn in 1969. If the Cuban missile crisis was an "imperial blunder," then it was a Soviet imperial blunder, not an American one.14 Finally, the author relates a story from an interview with former CIA officer Tom Braden that David Rockefeller frequently donated money to aid the CIA, including at one time writing a check for $50,000 to assist European youth groups.15 Saunders believes that such "freelance transactions" and "governmental buccaneering" created a culture that eventually resulted in "Oliver North-type disasters." She says the comparison is "apt" because "like the architect of Irangate" these "earlier friends of the CIA were never once afflicted by doubt in themselves of their purpose." I think the comparison is absurd.
As should be clear, I do not share Frances Saunders's opinion about the "morality" of CIA's activities and do not accept her notion that CIA undermined "intellectual freedom" in Western Europe. I highly enjoyed and strongly recommend her book, however. Consider it to be similar to your favorite TV broadcast: enjoy the program and ignore the commercials.
Footnotes
Thomas M. Troy, Jr., served in CIA's Directorate of Intelligence.
How the C.I.A. Played Dirty Tricks With Culture - The New York Times
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 16:07
Many people remember reading George Orwell's ''Animal Farm'' in high school or college, with its chilling finale in which the farm animals looked back and forth at the tyrannical pigs and the exploitative human farmers but found it ''impossible to say which was which.''
That ending was altered in the 1955 animated version, which removed the humans, leaving only the nasty pigs. Another example of Hollywood butchering great literature? Yes, but in this case the film's secret producer was the Central Intelligence Agency.
The C.I.A., it seems, was worried that the public might be too influenced by Orwell's pox-on-both-their-houses critique of the capitalist humans and Communist pigs. So after his death in 1950, agents were dispatched (by none other than E. Howard Hunt, later of Watergate fame) to buy the film rights to ''Animal Farm'' from his widow to make its message more overtly anti-Communist.
Rewriting the end of ''Animal Farm'' is just one example of the often absurd lengths to which the C.I.A. went, as recounted in a new book, ''The Cultural Cold War: The C.I.A. and the World of Arts and Letters'' (The New Press) by Frances Stonor Saunders, a British journalist. Published in Britain last summer, the book will appear here next month.
Much of what Ms. Stonor Saunders writes about, including the C.I.A.'s covert sponsorship of the Paris-based Congress for Cultural Freedom and the British opinion magazine Encounter, was exposed in the late 1960's, generating a wave of indignation. But by combing through archives and unpublished manuscripts and interviewing several of the principal actors, Ms. Stonor Saunders has uncovered many new details and gives the most comprehensive account yet of the agency's activities between 1947 and 1967.
This picture of the C.I.A.'s secret war of ideas has cameo appearances by scores of intellectual celebrities like the critics Dwight Macdonald and Lionel Trilling, the poets Ted Hughes and Derek Walcott and the novelists James Michener and Mary McCarthy, all of whom directly or indirectly benefited from the C.I.A.'s largesse. There are also bundles of cash that were funneled through C.I.A. fronts and several hilarious schemes that resemble a ''Spy vs. Spy'' cartoon more than a serious defense against Communism. Traveling first class all the way, the C.I.A. and its counterparts in other Western European nations sponsored art exhibitions, intellectual conferences, concerts and magazines to press their larger anti-Soviet agenda. Ms. Stonor Saunders provides ample evidence, for example, that the editors at Encounter and other agency-sponsored magazines were ordered not to publish articles directly critical of Washington's foreign policy. She also shows how the C.I.A. bankrolled some of the earliest exhibitions of Abstract Expressionist painting outside of the United States to counter the Socialist Realism being advanced by Moscow.
In one memorable episode, the British Foreign Office subsidized the distribution of 50,000 copies of ''Darkness at Noon,'' Arthur Koestler's anti-Communist classic. But at the same time, the French Communist Party ordered its operatives to buy up every copy of the book. Koestler received a windfall in royalties courtesy of his Communist adversaries.
As it turns out, ''Animal Farm'' was not the only instance of the C.I.A.'s dabbling in Hollywood. Ms. Stonor Saunders reports that one operative who was a producer and talent agent slipped affluent-looking African-Americans into several films as extras to try to counter Soviet criticism of the American race problem.
The agency also changed the ending of the movie version of ''1984,'' disregarding Orwell's specific instructions that the story not be altered. In the book, the protagonist, Winston Smith, is entirely defeated by the nightmarish totalitarian regime. In the very last line, Orwell writes of Winston, ''He loved Big Brother.'' In the movie, Winston and his lover, Julia, are gunned down after Winston defiantly shouts: ''Down with Big Brother!''
Such changes came from the agency's obsession with snuffing out a notion then popular among many European intellectuals: that East and West were morally equivalent. But instead of illustrating the differences between the two competing systems by taking the high road, the agency justified its covert activities by referring to the unethical tactics of the Soviets.
''If the other side can use ideas that are camouflaged as being local rather than Soviet-supported or -stimulated, then we ought to be able to use ideas camouflaged as local ideas,'' Tom Braden, who ran the C.I.A.'s covert cultural division in the early 1950's, explained years later. (In one of the book's many amusing codas, Mr. Braden goes on in the 1980's to become the leftist foil to Patrick Buchanan on the CNN program ''Crossfire.'')
The cultural cold war began in postwar Europe, with the fraying of the wartime alliance between Washington and Moscow. Officials in the West believed they had to counter Soviet propaganda and undermine the wide sympathy for Communism in France and Italy.
An odd alliance was struck between the C.I.A. leaders, most of them wealthy Ivy League veterans of the wartime Office of Strategic Services and a corps of largely Jewish ex-Communists who had broken with Moscow to become virulently anti-Communist. Acting as intermediaries between the agency and the intellectual community were three colorful agents who included Vladimir Nabokov's much less talented cousin, Nicholas, a composer.
The C.I.A. recognized from the beginning that it could not openly sponsor artists and intellectuals in Europe because there was so much anti-American feeling there. Instead, it decided to woo intellectuals out of the Soviet orbit by secretly promoting a non-Communist left of democratic socialists disillusioned with Moscow.
Ms. Stonor Saunders describes how the C.I.A. cleverly skimmed hundreds of millions of dollars from the Marshall Plan to finance its activities, funneling the money through fake philanthropies it created or real ones like the Ford Foundation.
''We couldn't spend it all,'' Gilbert Greenway, a former C.I.A. agent, recalled. ''There were no limits, and nobody had to account for it. It was amazing.''
When some of the C.I.A.'s activities were exposed in the late 1960's, many artists and intellectuals claimed ignorance. But Ms. Stonor Saunders makes a strong case that several people, including the philosopher Isaiah Berlin and the poet Stephen Spender, who was co-editor of Encounter, knew about the C.I.A.'s role.
''She has made it very difficult now to deny that some of these things happened,'' said Norman Birnbaum, a professor at the Georgetown University Law School who was a university professor in Europe in the 1950's and early 1960's. ''And she has placed a lot of people living and dead in embarrassing situations.''
Still unresolved is what impact the campaign had and whether it was worth it. Some of the participants, like Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., who was in the O.S.S. and knew about some of the C.I.A.'s cultural activities, argue that the agency's role was benign, even necessary. Compared with the coups the C.I.A. sponsored in Guatemala, Iran and elsewhere, he said, its support of the arts was some of its best work. ''It enabled people to publish what they already believed,'' he added. ''It didn't change anyone's course of action or thought.''
But Diana Josselson, whose husband, Michael, ran the Congress for Cultural Freedom, told Ms. Stonor Saunders that there were real human costs among those around the world who innocently cooperated with the agency's front organizations only to be tarred with a C.I.A. affiliation when the truth came out. The author and other critics argue that by using government money covertly to promote such American ideals as democracy and freedom of expression, the agency ultimately stepped on its own message.
''Obviously it was an error, and a rather serious error, to allow intellectuals to be subsidized by the government,'' said Alan Brinkley, a history professor at Columbia University. ''And when it was revealed, it did undermine their credibility seriously.''
Continue reading the main story
Congress for Cultural Freedom
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 15:57
'–¼ Primary Sources '–¼In August 1949, Arthur Koestler, Ruth Fischer, Franz Borkenau and Melvin Lasky met in Frankfurt to develop a plan where the CIA could be persuaded to fund a left-wing but anti-communist organisation. This plan was then passed onto Michael Josselson, who was chief of its Berlin station for Covert Action. Finally it reached Josselson's boss, Lawrence de Neufville. He later recalled: "The idea came from Lasky, Josselson and Koestler and I got Washington to give it the support it needed. I reported it to Frank Lindsay, and I guess he must have taken it to Wisner. We had to beg for approval. The Marshall Plan was the slush fund used everywhere by CIA at that time, so there was never any shortage of funds. The only struggle was to get approval."
The proposal reached Frank Wisner, the head of the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), in January 1950. Wisner was in charge of "propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world". Wisner accepted the proposal on 7th April and gave it an original budget of $50,000. Wisner put Michael Josselson in charge but insisted that Melvin Lasky and James Burnham should be "kept out of sight" for the time as they were too well known for their anti-communism. Wisner said he "feared their presence would only provide ammunition to Communist critics".
The first meeting of the Congress for Cultural Freedom took place in Frankfurt on 25th June, 1950. People who attended included Arthur Koestler, Arthur Schlesinger, James Burnham, Sidney Hook, Franz Borkenau, George Schuyler, Melvin Lasky, Hugh Trevor-Roper, James T. Farrell, Tennessee Williams, Ignazio Silone, David Lilienthal, Sol Levitas, Carson McCullers and Max Yergan.
Frances Stonor Saunders, the author of Who Paid the Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War? (1999), pointed out: "Some delegates speculated who was footing the bill. The grand scale on which the Congress was launched at a time when Europe was broke seemed to confirm the rumour that this was not quite the spontaneous, independent event its organizers claimed. Hugh Trevor-Roper commented: "When I arrived I found the whole thing was orchestrated on so grandiose a scale... that I realized that... financially it must have been funded by some powerful government organization. So I took it for granted from the beginning that it was organized by the American government in one form or another. That seemed to be obvious from the start."
As Jason Epstein pointed out the objective of the group was to counter communism: "The Stalinists were still a very powerful gang... There was a good reason, therefore, to question the Stalinists right to culture." The conference was considered to be a success and an international committee was named, and included Andr(C) Malraux, Bertrand Russell, Igor Straveinsky, Ignazio Silone, Benedetto Croce, T. S. Eliot and Karl Jaspers.
It has been argued by Frances Stonor Saunders that the Congress for Cultural Freedom was funded by the CIA as they wanted to promote what they called the Non-Communist Left (NCL). Arthur Schlesinger later recalled that the NCL was supported by leading establishment figures such as Chip Bohlen, Isaiah Berlin, Averell Harriman and George Kennan: "We all felt that democratic socialism was the most effective bulwark against totalitarianism. This became an undercurrent - or even undercover - theme of American foreign policy during the period."
Thomas Braden, the head of the International Organizations Division (IOD), was placed in charge of the Congress for Cultural Freedom.The objective of the IOD was to control potential radicals and to steer them to the right. Braden oversaw the funding of groups such as the National Student Association, Communications Workers of America, the American Newspaper Guild, the United Auto Workers, National Council of Churches, the African-American Institute and the National Education Association.
Braden later admitted that the CIA was putting around $900,000 a year into the Congress of Cultural Freedom. Some of this money was used to publish its journal, Encounter. Braden and the IOD also worked closely with anti-Communist leaders of the trade union movement such as George Meany of the American Federation of Labor. This money was used to fight Communism in its own ranks. As Braden said: "The CIA could do exactly as it pleased. It could buy armies. It could buy bombs. It was one of the first worldwide multinationals." Arthur Schlesinger has supported the role of the CIA during this period: "In my experience its leadership was politically enlightened and sophisticated."
The CIA funding of the Congress for Cultural Freedom remained a highly secret operation but in 1966 stories began to appear in the New York Times suggesting that the CIA had been secretly funding left-wing groups. This in fact, was not a new claim. Joseph McCarthy had made similar accusations in 1953. He had been given this information by J. Edgar Hoover who had described the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) as "Wisner's gang of weirdos". In August, 1953, Richard Helms, Wisner's deputy at the OPC, told Cord Meyer, who was Braden's deputy at the International Organizations Division, that McCarthy and the FBI had accused him of being a communist. The FBI added to the smear by announcing it was unwilling to give Meyer "security clearance".
John Clinton Hunt, Michael Josselson and Melvin Lasky.In September, 1953, Meyer was shown the FBI file against him. It included allegations that his wife, Mary Pinchot Meyer, was a former member of the American Labor Party. It also listed several people linked to Meyer who had "supported pro-Communist policies or have been associated with Communist front organizations or organizations pro-Communist in their sympathies." The list included the publisher Cass Canfield, the president and chairman of Harper & Brothers. Canfield had indeed been receiving money from the CIA to help publish left-wing but anti-communist books. He was along with Jason Epstein of Random House, who had blocked the publication of L(C)o Sauvage's The Oswald Affair - an Examination of the Contradictions and Omissions of the Warren Report, a key figure in the CIA sponsored Congress of Cultural Freedom.
McCarthy's assistant, Roy Cohn, argues in his book McCarthy (1968) that they had discovered that communist agents had infiltrated the CIA in 1953: "Our files contained allegations gathered from various sources indicating that the CIA had unwittingly hired a large numbers of double agents '' individuals who, although working for the CIA, were actually communist agents whose mission was to plant inaccurate data'.... We also wanted to investigate charges that the CIA had granted large subsidies to pro-Communist organizations." Cohn complained that this proposed investigation was stopped on the orders of the White House. "Vice-President Nixon was assigned to the delicate job of blocking it'... Nixon spoke at length, arguing that an open investigation would damage national security, harm our relations with our allies, and seriously affect CIA operations, which depended on total secrecy'... Finally, the three subcommittee members, not opposed to the inquiry before they went to dinner, yielded to Nixon's pressure. So, too, did McCarthy, and the investigation, which McCarthy told me interested him more than any other, was never launched."
Allen Dulles refused permission for the FBI to interrogate Frank Wisner and Cord Meyer and Hoover's investigation also came to an end. Joseph McCarthy was in fact right when he said that the CIA was funding what he considered to be pro-communist organisations. He was wrong however in believing they had infiltrated the organisation. Frances Stonor Saunders, the author of Who Paid the Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War? (1999) has pointed out it was the other way round.
It might seem strange that the non-communist left should be paid to write articles and books attacking the Soviet Union. After all they would have done that anyway. However, the important aspect of this policy was to compromise these left-wing writers by paying them money or by funding their organisations. It also put them in position where they could call on their help in times of crisis such as the death of John F. Kennedy. The support of the Non-Communist Left was vitally important in the cover-up of the assassination.
Technically, Michael Josselson was subordinate to Lawrence de Neufville, but he rarely, if ever, tried to overrule him: "I saw Josselson every day, or if not, every week, and I would go to Washington with whatever he wanted to accomplish. If I agreed, which I usually did, I would try and help. I saw my job as trying to facilitate the development of Congress by listening to people like Josselson who knew better than I did. He did a wonderful job." Thomas Braden agreed: "Josselson is one of the world's unsung heroes. He did all this frenetic work with all the intellectuals of Europe, who didn't necessarily agree on much beyond their basic belief in freedom, and he was running around from meeting to meeting, from man to man, from group to group, and keeping them all together and all organized and all getting something done. He deserves a place in history." Arthur Schlesinger was another one who was impressed with the work Josselson did and described him as "an extraordinary man".
In October, 1955, Josselson, aged forty-seven, suffered a major heart attack. Cord Meyer decided to send recent CIA recruit, John Clinton Hunt, to work as his assistant to "lighten the load". In order to provide cover for Hunt, he officially applied for the job. Interviewed by Josselson in February 1956, Hunt was formally appointed to the Congress Secretariat shortly afterwards.
Frances Stonor Saunders, the author of Who Paid the Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War? (1999) has argued: "During the height of the Cold War, the US government committed vast resources to a secret programme of cultural propaganda in western Europe. A central feature of this programme was to advance the claim that it did not exist. It was managed, in great secrecy, by America's espionage arm, the Central Intelligence Agency. The centrepiece of this covert campaign was the Congress for Cultural Freedom, run by CIA agent Michael Josselson... At its peak, the Congress for Cultural Freedom had offices in thirty-five countries, employed dozens of personnel, published over twenty prestige magazines, held art exhibitions, owned a news and features service, organized high-profile international conferences, and rewarded musicians and artists with prizes and public performances. Its mission was to nudge the intelligentsia of western Europe away from its lingering fascination with Marxism and Communism... Membership of this consortium included an assorted group of former radicals and leftist intellectuals whose faith in Marxism and Communism had been shattered by evidence of Stalinist totalitarianism."
Michael Josselson and Arthur Schlesinger in 1955Josselson became disillusioned by the United States foreign policy in 1960s. He was especially critical of its involvement in the Vietnam War: "In the 1950s our motivation was buttressed by America's historic promises... in the second half of the 1960s our individual values and ideals had been eroded by our intervention in Vietnam and by other senseless U.S. policies." According to Frances Stonor Saunders Josselson now looked to move the Congress for Cultural Freedom "away from the habits of Cold War apartheid, and towards a dialogue with the East."
In 1966 the New York Times published an article by Tom Wicker that suggested that the CIA had been funding the Congress for Cultural Freedom. On 10th May the newspaper published a letter from Stephen Spender, Melvin Lasky and Irving Kristol. "We know of no indirect benefactions... we are our own masters and part of nobody's propaganda" and defended the "independent record of the Congress for Cultural Freedom in defending writers and artists in both East and West against misdemeanors of all governments including that of the US."
The reason is that most of these sponsored journalists refused to support the government policy on Vietnam. In the case of I. F. Stone, he found it to his financial advantage to oppose the policy. Stone had barely 20,000 subscribers to I.F. Stone Weekly before the outbreak of the war. By 1969 he had over 70,000.
The story of CIA funding of Non-Communist Left journalists and organizations was fully broken in the press by a small-left-wing journal, Rapparts. The editor, Warren Hinckle, met a man by the name of Michael Wood, in January 1967, at the New York's Algonquin Hotel. The meeting had been arranged by a public relations executive Marc Stone (the brother of I.F. Stone). Wood told Hinckle that the National Student Association (NSA) was receiving funding from the CIA. At first Hinkle thought he was being set-up. Why was the story not taken to I.F. Stone?
However, after further research, Hinckle was convinced that the CIA had infiltrated the Non-Communist Left: "While the ADA-types and the Arthur Schlesinger model liberal kewpie dolls battled fascism by protecting their right flank with domestic Red-baiting and Cold War one-upmanship, the Ivy League delinquents who fled to the CIA '' liberal lawyers, businessmen, academics, games-playing craftsmen '' hatched a master plan of Germanic ambition that entailed nothing less than clandestine political control of the international operations of all important American professional and cultural organisations: journalists, educators, jurists, businessmen, et al. The standing CIA subsidy to the National Student Association was but one slice of a very complex pie." Hinckle even had doubts about publishing the story. Sol Stern, who was writing the article for Rapparts, "advanced the intriguing contention that such a disclosure would be damaging to the enlightened men of the liberal internationalistic wing of the CIA who were willing to provide clandestine money to domestic progressive causes."
Hinckle did go ahead with the story and took full-page advertisements in the Tuesday editions of the New York Times and Washington Post: "In its March issue, Ramparts magazine will document how the CIA has infiltrated and subverted the world of American student leaders, over the past fifteen years." For its expos(C) of the CIA, Rapparts, received the George Polk Memorial Award for Excellence in Journalism and was praised for its "explosive revival of the great muckraking tradition."
After the article was published Dwight Macdonald angrily asked Michael Josselson: "Do you think I would have gone on the Encounter payroll in 1956-57 had I known there was secret U.S. Government money behind it? One would hesitate to work even for an openly government-financed magazine... I think I've been played for a sucker." Josselson was not impressed with this reaction. He claimed that they were all aware that it had been funded by the CIA. As he pointed out, MacDonald had asked him in 1964 if he could employ his son, Nick, for the summer. "This, at a time when anybody who was anybody had at least heard rumours connecting the Congress to the CIA."
Lawrence de Neufville later claimed: "Who didn't know (the Congress for Cultural Freedom was being funded by the CIA), I'd like to know? it was a pretty open secret." John Clinton Hunt added, "They knew, and they knew as much as they wanted to know, and if they knew any more, they knew they would have had to get out, so they refused to know." Frances Stonor Saunders, the author of Who Paid the Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War? (1999) has argued: "The list of those who knew - or thought they knew - is long enough". This included : Arthur Koestler, Louis Fischer, Arthur Schlesinger, James Burnham, Sidney Hook, Melvin Lasky, Sol Levitas, George Kennan, Jason Epstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Dwight MacDonald, Willy Brandt, Stuart Hampshire, Edward Shils, Daniel Bell, Mary McCarthy, Lionel Trilling, Diana Trilling and Sol Stein.
On 20th May 1967 Thomas Braden, the former head of the CIA's International Organizations Division, that had been funding the National Student Association, wrote an article that was published in the Saturday Evening Post entitled, I'm Glad the CIA is Immoral Braden admitted that for more than 10 years, the CIA had subsidized progressive magazines such as Encounter through the Congress for Cultural Freedom - which it also funded - and that one of its staff was a CIA agent. He also admitted that he had paid money to trade union leaders such as Walter Reuther, Jay Lovestone, David Dubinsky and Irving Brown.
According to Frances Stonor Saunders, the author of Who Paid the Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War? (1999): "The effect of Braden's article was to sink the CIA's covert association with the Non-Communist Left once and for all." Braden later admitted that the article had been commissioned by CIA asset, Stewart Alsop.
John Clinton Hunt, a CIA agent who worked very closely with Braden at the International Organizations Division, pointed out in a revealing interview: "Tom Braden was a company man... if he was really acting independently, would have had much to fear. My belief is that he was an instrument down the line somewhere of those who wanted to get rid of the NCL (Non-Communist Left). Don't look for a lone gunman - that's mad, just as it is with the Kennedy assassination... I do believe there was an operational decision to blow the Congress and the other programs out of the water."
'–² Main Article '–²Primary Sources(1) Frances Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War? (1999)During the height of the Cold War, the US government committed vast resources to a secret programme of cultural propaganda in western Europe. A central feature of this programme was to advance the claim that it did not exist. It was managed, in great secrecy, by America's espionage arm, the Central Intelligence Agency. The centrepiece of this covert campaign was the Congress for Cultural Freedom, run by CIA agent Michael Josselson from 1950 till 1967. Its achievements - not least its duration - were considerable. At its peak, the Congress for Cultural Freedom had offices in thirty-five countries, employed dozens of personnel, published over twenty prestige magazines, held art exhibitions, owned a news and features service, organized high-profile international conferences, and rewarded musicians and artists with prizes and public performances. Its mission was to nudge the intelligentsia of western Europe away from its lingering fascination with Marxism and Communism towards a view more accommodating of 'the American way'.
Drawing on an extensive, highly influential network of intelligence personnel, political strategists, the corporate establishment, and the old school ties of the Ivy League universities, the incipient CIA started, from 1947, to build a 'consortium' whose double task it was to inoculate the world against the contagion of Communism, and to ease the passage of American foreign policy interests abroad. The result was a remarkably tight network of people who worked alongside the Agency to promote an idea: that the world needed a pax Americana, a new age of enlightenment, and it would be called The American Century.
The consortium which the CIA built up - consisting of what Henry Kissinger described as "an aristocracy dedicated to the service of this nation on behalf of principles beyond partisanship" - was the hidden weapon in America's Cold War struggle, a weapon which, in the cultural field, had extensive fall-out. Whether they liked it or not, whether they knew it or not, there were few writers, poets, artists, historians, scientists or critics in post-war Europe whose names were not in some way linked to this covert enterprise. Unchallenged, undetected for over twenty years, America's spying establishment operated a sophisticated, substantially endowed cultural front in the West, or the West, in the name of freedom of expression. Defining the Cold War as a "battle for men's minds" it stockpiled a vast arsenal of cultural weapons: journals, books, conferences, seminars, art exhibitions, concerts, awards.
Membership of this consortium included an assorted group of former radicals and leftist intellectuals whose faith in Marxism and Communism had been shattered by evidence of Stalinist totalitarianism. Emerging from the Pink Decade of the 1930s, mourned by Arthur Koestler as an "abortive revolution of the spirit, a misfired Renaissance, a false dawn of history", their disillusionment was attended by a readiness to join in a new consensus, to affirm a new order which would substitute for the spent forces of the past. The tradition of radical dissenter, where intellectuals took it upon themselves to probe myths, interrogate institutional prerogative, and disturb the complacency of power, was suspended in favour of supporting "the American proposition". Endorsed and subsidized by powerful institutions, this non-Communist group became as much a cartel in the intellectual life of the West as Communism had been a few years earlier (and it included many of the same people)....
"Who didn't know, I'd like to know? it was a pretty open secret," said Lawrence de Neufville. The list of those who knew - or thought they knew - is long enough: Stuart Hampshire, Arthur Schlesinger, Edward Shils (who confessed to Natasha Spender that he had known since 1955), Denis de Rougemont, Daniel Bell, Louis Fischer, George Kennan, Arthur Koestler, Junkie Fleischmann, Francois Bondy, James Burnham, Willy Brandt, Sidney Hook, Melvin Lasky, Jason Epstein, Mary McCarthy, Pierre Emmanuel, Lionel Trilling, Diana Trilling, Sol Levitas, Robert Oppenheimer, Sol Stein, Dwight McDonald. Not all of them were "witting" in the sense that they were active participants in the deception. But they all knew, and had known for some time. And if they didn't, they were, said their critics, cultivatedly, and culpably, ignorant... John Hunt claimed, "They knew, and they knew as much as they wanted to know, and if they knew any more, they knew they would have had to get out, so they refused to know."
(2) Warren Hinckle, If You Have a Lemon, Make Lemonade (1973) While the ADA-types and the Arthur Schlesinger model liberal kewpie dolls battled fascism by protecting their right flank with domestic Red-baiting and Cold War one-upmanship, the Ivy League delinquents who fled to the CIA '' liberal lawyers, businessmen, academics, games-playing craftsmen '' hatched a master plan of Germanic ambition that entailed nothing less than clandestine political control of the international operations of all important American professional and cultural organisations: journalists, educators, jurists, businessmen, et al. The standing CIA subsidy to the National Student Association was but one slice of a very complex pie.
(3) Thomas Braden, Saturday Evening Post (20th May, 1967)On the desk in front of me as I write these lines is a creased and faded yellow paper. It bears the following inscription in pencil: "Received from Warren G. Haskins, $15,000. (signed) Norris A. Grambo."
I went in search of this paper on the day the newspapers disclosed the "scandal" of the Central Intelligence Agency's connections with American students and labor leaders. It was a wistful search, and when it ended, I found myself feeling sad.
For I was Warren G. Haskins. Norris A. Grambo was Irving Brown, of the American Federation of Labor. The $15,000 was from the vaults of the CIA, and the piece of yellow paper is the last memento I possess of a vast and secret operation whose death has been brought about by small-minded and resentful men.
It was my idea to give the $15,000 to Irving Brown. He needed it to pay off his strong-arm squads in Mediterranean ports, so that American supplies could be unloaded against the opposition of Communist dock workers. It was also my idea to give cash, along with advice, to other labor leaders, to students, professors and others who could help the United States in its battle with Communist fronts.
It was my idea. For 17 years I had thought it was a good idea. Yet here it was in the newspapers, buried under excoriation. Walter Lippmann, Joseph Kraft. Editorials. Outrage. Shock.
"What's gone wrong?" I said to myself as I looked at the yellow paper. "Was there something wrong with me and the others back in 1950? Did we just think we were helping our country, when in fact we ought to have been hauled up before Walter Lippmann?
"And what's wrong with me now? For I still think it was and is a good idea, an imperative idea. Am I out of my mind? Or is it the editor of The New York Times who is talking nonsense?"
And so I sat sadly amidst the dust of old papers, and after a time I decided something. I decided that if ever I knew a truth in my life, I knew the truth of the cold war, and I knew what the Central Intelligence Agency did in the cold war, and never have I read such a concatenation of inane, misinformed twaddle as I have now been reading about the CIA.
Were the undercover payments by the CIA "immoral"? Surely it cannot be "immoral" to make certain that your country's supplies intended for delivery to friends are not burned, stolen or dumped into the sea.
Are CIA efforts to collect intelligence anywhere it can "disgraceful"? Surely it is not "disgraceful" to ask somebody whether he learned anything while he was abroad that might help his country.
People who make these charges must be na¯ve. Some of them must be worse. Some must be pretending to be na¯ve.
Take Victor Reuther, assistant to his brother Walter, president of the United Automobile Workers. According to Drew Pearson, Victor Reuther complained that the American Federation of Labor got money from the CIA and spent it with "undercover techniques." Victor Reuther ought to be ashamed of himself. At his request, I went to Detroit one morning and gave Walter $50,000 in $50 bills. Victor spent the money, mostly in West Germany, to bolster labor unions there. He tried "undercover techniques" to keep me from finding out how he spent it. But I had my own "undercover techniques." In my opinion and that of my peers in the CIA, he spent it with less than perfect wisdom, for the German unions he chose to help weren't seriously short of money and were already anti-Communist. The CIA money Victor spent would have done much more good where unions were tying up ports at the order of Communist leaders.
As for the theory advanced by the editorial writers that there ought to have been a Government foundation devoted to helping good causes agreed upon by Congress - this may seem sound, but it wouldn't work for a minute. Does anyone really think that congressmen would foster a foreign tour by an artist who has or has had left-wing connections? And imagine the scuffles that would break out as congressmen fought over money to subsidize the organizations in their home districts.
Back in the early 1950's, when the cold war was really hot, the idea that Congress would have approved many of our projects was about as likely as the John Birch Society's approving Medicare. I remember, for example, the time I tried to bring my old friend, Paul-Henri Spaak of Belgium, to the U.S. to help out in one of the CIA operations.
Paul-Henri Spaak was and is a very wise man. He had served his country as foreign minister and premier. CIA Director Allen Dulles mentioned Spaak's projected journey to the then Senate Majority Leader William F. Knowland of California. I believe that Mr. Dulles thought the senator would like to meet Mr. Spaak. I am sure he was not prepared for Knowland's reaction:
"Why," the senator said, "the man's a socialist."
"Yes," Mr. Dulles replied, "and the head of his party. But you don't know Europe the way I do, Bill. In many European countries, a socialist is roughly equivalent to a Republican." Knowland replied, "I don't care. We aren't going to bring any socialists over here."
The fact, of course, is that in much of Europe in the 1950's, socialists, people who called themselves "left"-the very people whom many Americans thought no better than Communists-were the only people who gave a damn about fighting Communism.
But let us begin at the beginning.
When I went to Washington in 1950 as assistant to Allen W. Dulles, then deputy director to CIA chief Walter Bedell Smith, the agency was three years old. It had been organized. like the State Department, along geographical lines, with a Far Eastern Division, a Western European Division, etc. It seemed to me that this organization was not capable of defending the United States against a new and extraordinarily successful weapon. The weapon was the international Communist front. There were seven of these fronts, all immensely powerful:
1. The International Association of Democratic Lawyers had found "documented proof" that U.S. forces in Korea were dropping canisters of poisoned mosquitoes on North Korean cities and were following a "systematic procedure of torturing civilians, individually and en masse."
2. The World Peace Council had conducted a successful operation called the Stockholm Peace Appeal, a petition signed by more than two million Americans. Most of them, I hope, were in ignorance of the council's program: "The peace movement. . . has set itself the aim to frustrate the aggressive plans of American and English imperialists... The heroic Soviet army is the powerful sentinel of peace."
3. The Women's International Democratic Federation was preparing a Vienna conference of delegates from 40 countries who resolved: "Our children cannot be safe until American war-mongers are silenced." The meeting cost the Russians six million dollars.
4. The International Union of Students had the active participation of nearly every student organization in the world. At an estimated cost of $50 million a year, it stressed the hopeless future of the young under any form of society except that dedicated to peace and freedom, as in Russia.
5. The World Federation of Democratic Youth appealed to the non- intellectual young. In 1951, 25,000 young people were brought to Berlin from all over the world, to be harangued (mostly about American atrocities). The estimated cost: $50 million.
6. The International Organization of Journalists was founded in Copenhagen in 1946 by a non-Communist majority. A year later the Communists took it over. By 1950 it was an active supporter of every Communist cause.
7. The World Federation of Trade Unions controlled the two most powerful labor unions in France and Italy and took its orders directly from Soviet Intelligence. Yet it was able to mask its Communist allegiance so successfully that the C.I.O. belonged to it for a time.
All in all, the CIA estimated, the Soviet Union was annually spending $250 million on its various fronts. They were worth every penny of it. Consider what they had accomplished.
First, they had stolen the great words. Years after I left the CIA, the late United Nations Ambassador Adlai Stevenson told me how he had been outraged when delegates from under-developed countries, young men who had come to maturity during the cold war, assumed that anyone who was for "Peace" and "Freedom" and "Justice" must also be for Communism.
Second, by constant repetition of the twin promises of the Russian revolution-the promises of a classless society and of a transformed mankind-the fronts had thrown a peculiar spell over some of the world's intellectuals, artists, writers, scientists, many of whom behaved like disciplined party-liners.
Third, millions of people who would not consciously have supported the interests of the Soviet Union had joined organizations devoted ostensibly to good causes, but secretly owned and operated by and for the Kremlin.
How odd, I thought to myself as I watched these developments, that Communists, who are afraid to join anything but the Communist Party, should gain mass allies through organizational war while we Americans, who join everything, were sitting here tongue-tied.
And so it came about that I had a chat with Allen Dulles. It was late in the day and his secretary had gone. I told him I thought the CIA ought to take on the Russians by penetrating a battery of international fronts. I told him I thought it should be a worldwide operation with a single headquarters.
"You know," he said, leaning back in his chair and lighting his pipe, "I think you may have something there. There's no doubt in my mind that we're losing the cold war. Why don't you take it up down below?"
It was nearly three months later that I came to his office again - this time to resign. On the morning of that day there had been a meeting for which my assistants and I had prepared ourselves carefully. We had been studying Russian front movements, and working out a counteroffensive. We knew that the men who ran CIA's area divisions were jealous of their power. But we thought we had logic on our side. And surely logic would appeal to Frank Wisner.
Frank Wisner, in my view, was an authentic American hero. A war hero. A cold-war hero. He died by his own hand in 1965. But he had been crushed long before by the dangerous detail connected with cold-war operations. At this point in my story, however, he was still gay, almost boyishly charming, cool yet coiled, a low hurdler from Mississippi constrained by a vest.
He had one of those purposefully obscure CIA titles: Director of Policy Co-ordination. But everyone knew that he had run CIA since the death of the war-time OSS, run it through a succession of rabbit warrens hidden in the bureaucracy of the State Department, run it when nobody but Frank Wisner cared whether the country had an intelligence service. Now that it was clear that Bedell Smith and Allen Dulles were really going to take over, Frank Wisner still ran it while they tried to learn what it was they were supposed to run.
And so, as we prepared for the meeting, it was decided that I should pitch my argument to Wisner. He knew more than the others. He could overrule them.
The others sat in front of me in straight-backed chairs, wearing the troubled looks of responsibility. I began by assuring them that I proposed to do nothing in any area without the approval of the chief of that area. I thought, when I finished, that I had made a good case. Wisner gestured at the Chief, Western Europe. "Frank," came the response, "this is just another one of those goddamned proposals for getting into everybody's hair."
One by one the others agreed. Only Richard G. Stilwell, the Chief, Far East, a hard-driving soldier in civilian clothes who now commands U.S. forces in Thailand, said he had no objection. We all waited to hear what Wisner would say.
Incredibly, he put his hands out, palms down. "Well," he said, looking at me, "you heard the verdict."
Just as incredibly, he smiled.
Sadly I walked down the long hall, and sadly reported to my staff that the day was lost. Then I went to Mr. Dulles's office and resigned. "Oh," said Mr. Dulles, blandly, "Frank and I had talked about his decision. I overruled him." He looked up at me from over his papers. "He asked me to."
Thus was the International Organization Division of CIA born, and thus began the first centralized effort to combat Communist fronts.
Perhaps "combat" does not describe the relative strengths brought to battle. For we started with nothing but the truth. Yet within three years we had made solid accomplishments. Few of them would have been possible without undercover methods.
I remember the enormous joy I got when the Boston Symphony Orchestra won more acclaim for the U.S. in Paris than John Foster Dulles or Dwight D. Eisenhower could have bought with a hundred speeches. And then there was Encounter, the magazine published in England and dedicated to the proposition that cultural achievement and political freedom were interdependent. Money for both the orchestra's tour and the magazine's publication came from the CIA, and few outside the CIA knew about it. We had placed one agent in a Europe-based organization of intellectuals called the Congress for Cultural Freedom. Another agent became an editor of Encounter. The agents could not only propose anti-Communist programs to the official leaders of the organizations but they could also suggest ways and means to solve the inevitable budgetary problems. Why not see if the needed money could be obtained from "American foundations"? As the agents knew, the CIA-financed foundations were quite generous when it came to the national interest.
I remember with great pleasure the day an agent came in with the news that four national student organizations had broken away from the Communist International Union of Students and joined our student outfit instead. I remember how Eleanor Roosevelt, glad to help our new International Committee of Women, answered point for point the charges about germ warfare that the Communist women's organization had put forward. I remember the organization of seamen's unions in India and in the Baltic ports.
There were, of course, difficulties, sometimes unexpected. One was the World Assembly of Youth.
We were casting about for something to compete with the Soviet Union in its hold over young people when we discovered this organization based in Dakar. It was dwindling in membership, and apparently not doing much.
After a careful assessment, we decided to put an agent into the assembly. It took a minimum of six months and often a year just to get a man into an organization. Thereafter, except for what advice and help we could lend, he was on his own. But, in this case, - we couldn't give any help whatsoever The agent couldn't find anybody in the organization who wanted any.
The mystery was eventually solved by the man on the spot. WAY, as we had come to call it, was the creature of French intelligence - the Deuxi¨me Bureau. Two French agents held key WAY posts. The French Communist Party seemed strong enough to win a general election. French intelligence was waiting to see what would happen.
We didn't wait. Within a year our man brought about the defeat of his two fellow officers in an election. After that, WAY took a pro-Western stand. But our greatest difficulty was with labor. When I left the agency in 1954, we were still worrying about the problem. It was personified by Jay Lovestone, assistant to David Dubinsky in the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
Once chief of the Communist Party in the United States, Lovestone had an enormous grasp of foreign-intelligence operations. In 1947 the Communist Conf¨d¨ration G¨n¨rale du Travail led a strike in Paris which came very near to paralyzing the French economy. A takeover of the government was feared.
Into this crisis stepped Lovestone and his assistant, Irving Brown. With funds from Dubinsky's union, they organized Force Ouvri¨re, a non-Communist union. When they ran out of money, they appealed to the CIA. Thus began the secret subsidy of free trade unions which soon spread to Italy. Without that subsidy, postwar history might have gone very differently.
But though Lovestone wanted our money, he didn't want to tell us precisely how he spent it. We knew that non-Communist unions in France and Italy were holding their own. We knew that he was paying them nearly two million dollars annually. In his view, what more did we need to know?
We countered that the unions were not growing as rapidly as we wished and that many members were not paying dues. We wanted to be consulted as to how to correct these weaknesses.
I appealed to a high and responsible labor leader. He kept repeating, "Lovestone and his bunch do a good job."
And so they did. After that meeting, so did we. We cut the subsidy down, and with the money saved we set up new networks in other international labor organizations. Within two years the free labor movement, still holding its own in France and Italy, was going even better elsewhere.
Looking back now, it seems to me that the argument was largely a waste of time. The only argument that mattered was the one with the Communists for the loyalty of millions of workers. That argument, with the help of Lovestone and Brown, was effectively made.
By 1953 we were operating or influencing international organizations in every field where Communist fronts had previously seized ground, and in some where they had not even begun to operate. The money we spent was very little by Soviet standards. But that was reflected in the first rule of our operational plan: "Limit the money to amounts private organizations can credibly spend." The other rules were equally obvious: "Use legitimate, existing organizations; disguise the extent of American interest: protect the integrity of the organization by not requiring it to support every aspect of official American policy."
Such was the status of the organizational weapon when I left the CIA. No doubt it grew stronger later on, as those who took charge gained experience. Was it a good thing to forge such a weapon? In my opinion then-and now-it was essential.
Was it "immoral," "wrong," "disgraceful"? Only in the sense that war itself is immoral, wrong and disgraceful.
For the cold war was and is a war, fought with ideas instead of bombs. And our country has had a clear-cut choice: Either we win the war or lose it. This war is still going on, and I do not mean to imply that we have won it. But we have not lost it either.
It is now 12 years since Winston Churchill accurately defined the world as "divided intellectually and to a large extent geographically between the creeds of Communist discipline and individual freedom." I have heard it said that this definition is no longer accurate. I share the hope that John Kennedy's appeal to the Russians "to help us make the world safe for diversity" reflects the spirit of a new age.
But I am not banking on it, and neither, in my opinion, was the late President. The choice between innocence and power involves the most difficult of decisions. But when an adversary attacks with his weapons disguised as good works, to choose innocence is to choose defeat. So long as the Soviet Union attacks deviously we shall need weapons to fight back, and a government locked in a power struggle cannot acknowledge all the programs it must carry out to cope with its enemies. The weapons we need now cannot, alas, be the same ones that we first used in the 1950's. But the new weapons should be capable of the same affirmative response as the ones we forged 17 years ago, when it seemed that the Communists, unchecked, would win the alliance of most of the world.
(4) Thomas Braden, interview included in the Granada Television program, World in Action: The Rise and Fall of the CIA (June, 1975)It never had to account for the money it spent except to the President if the President wanted to know how much money it was spending. But otherwise the funds were not only unaccountable, they were unvouchered, so there was really no means of checking them - "unvouchered funds" meaning expenditures that don't have to be accounted for.... If the director of CIA wanted to extend a present, say, to someone in Europe - a Labour leader - suppose he just thought, This man can use fifty thousand dollars, he's working well and doing a good job - he could hand it to him and never have to account to anybody... I don't mean to imply that there were a great many of them that were handed out as Christmas presents. They were handed out for work well performed or in order to perform work well.... Politicians in Europe, particularly right after the war, got a lot of money from the CIA....
Since it was unaccountable, it could hire as many people as it wanted. It never had to say to any committee - no committee said to it - "You can only have so many men." It could do exactly as it pleased. It made preparations therefore for every contingency. It could hire armies; it could buy banks. There was simply no limit to the money it could spend and no limit to the people it could hire and no limit to the activities it could decide were necessary to conduct the war - the secret war.... It was a multinational. Maybe it was one of the first.
Journalists were a target, labor unions a particular target - that was one of the activities in which the communists spent the most money. They set up a successful communist labor union in France right after the war. We countered it with Force Ouvriere. They set up this very successful communist labor union in Italy, and we countered it with another union.... We had a vast project targeted on the intellectuals - "the battle for Picasso's mind," if you will. The communists set up fronts which they effectively enticed a great many particularly the French intellectuals to join. We tried to set up a counterfront. (This was done through funding of social and cultural organizations such as the Pan-American Foundation, the International Marketing Institute, the International Development Foundation, the American Society of African Culture, and the Congress of Cultural Freedom.) I think the budget for the Congress of Cultural Freedom one year that I had charge of it was about $800,000, $900,000, which included, of course, the subsidy for the Congress's magazine, Encounter. That doesn't mean that everybody that worked for Encounter or everybody who wrote for Encounter knew anything about it. Most of the people who worked for Encounter and all but one of the men who ran it had no idea that it was paid for by the CIA.
(5) Andrew Roth, The Guardian (22nd May, 2004)Melvin Lasky, who has died aged 84, was, as editor of the magazine Encounter from 1958 to 1990, and of Der Monat (the Month) for 15 years, a combatant in the struggle to keep western intellectuals in the United States' cold war camp. But in 1967, it was disclosed that both Encounter and Der Monat had been covertly financed by the US Central Intelligence Agency and Mel's reputation shrivelled...
Mel's origins in the anti-Communist Russian-Jewish community help explain why, at 22, he became literary editor of the New Leader, an organ of anti-Communist Jewish liberals. He held the post from 1942 to 1943. In 1944, Mel belatedly signed up, as a US Army combat historian in Europe.
Postwar, with the cold war, Der Monat was launched in Berlin in 1948 with Mel as editor, a job he did until 1958 and again from 1978 to 1983. His intellectual and linguistic abilities were never in question, and in 1958, as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament took off, Mel replaced Irving Kristol - co-editor since 1953 with poet Stephen Spender - on Encounter. At that time, many British intellectuals had clustered around Kingsley Martin's New Statesman, which tended towards a cold war neutrality. US government thinking was that if a Labour government were returned to power, dissident left-wing MPs would make it difficult for the US to retain Britain as a secure ally.
Encounter's function was to combat anti-Americanism by brainwashing the uncertain with pro-American articles. These were paid for at several times the rate paid by the New Statesman and offered British academics and intellectuals free US trips and expenses-paid lecture tours. There was no room for the objective-minded in this cold war to capture intellectuals.
Enormously industrious, Mel doubled up by running publishing houses for his masters. The premise was that they published pro-American books knowing that the bulk of each edition would be purchased by US agencies to donate to book-starved libraries in the third world.
Even at its peak Encounter had never claimed a circulation above 40,000. Its spider's web began to come apart in 1966-67 with publication of pieces in the New York Times and the radical magazine Ramparts. And Thomas Braden, previously a CIA divisional chief, confirmed in the Saturday Evening Post that, for more than 10 years, the CIA had subsidised Encounter through the Congress for Cultural Freedom - which it also funded - and that one of its staff was a CIA agent. (Lasky had been the CCF's sometime executive secretary). The magazine also covertly received British government money.
Mel's coeditor, Professor Frank Kermode, resigned, proclaiming he had been misled by Mel. "I was always reassured that there was no truth in the allegations about CIA funds."
Mel admitted breezily that "I probably should have told him all the painful details." Spender also quit the monthly and many contributors pulled out.
The CIA funds, had, in fact been replaced in 1964 by Cecil King's International Publishing Corporation - the then owners of the Daily Mirror - which bought the magazine. King's deputy, Hugh Cudlipp, sprang to Mel's defence, insisting that "Encounter without him [Mel] would be as interesting as Hamlet without the Prince".
(6) Richard Fletcher, How CIA Money Took the Teeth Out of Socialism (undated)Since the Second World War the American Government and its espionage branch, the Central Intelligence Agency, have worked systematically to ensure that the Socialist parties of the free world toe a line compatible with American interests...CIA money can be traced flowing through the Congress for Cultural Freedom to such magazines as Encounter which have given Labour politicians like Anthony Crosland, Denis Healy and the late Hugh Gaitskell a platform for their campaigns to move the Labour Party away from nationalisation and CND-style pacifism. Flows of personnel link this Labour Party pressure group with the unlikely figure of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, who has for 20 years sponsored the mysterious activities of the anti-Communist Bilderberg group launched with covert American funds.
There is no suggestion that these prominent Labour politicians have not acted in al innocence and with complete propriety. But it could be asked how such perspicacious men could fail to enquire about the source of the funds that have financed the organisations and magazines which have been so helpful to them for so long. Nevertheless, they are certainly proud of the crucial influence their activities had in the years following 1959 when they swung the British Labour Party away from its pledge to nationalisation, enshrined in the celebrated Clause IV, and back towards the commitment to NATO from which the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament had deflected it. CIA operators take the credit for helping them in this decisive intervention which changed the course of modern British history.
The cloak and dagger operations of America's Central Intelligence Agency are only a small part of its total activities. Most of its 2000 million-dollar budget and 80,000 personnel are devoted to the systematic collection of information - minute personal details about tens of thousands of politicians and political organisations in every country in the world, including Britain. And this data, stored in the world's largest filing system at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, is used not only to aid Washington's policy-machine, but in active political intervention overseas - shaping the policies of political parties, making and unmaking their leaders, boosting one internal faction against another and often establishing rival breakaway parties when other tactics fail.
In fact the CIA carries out, at a more sophisticated level, exactly the same sort of organised subversion as Stalin's Comintern in its heyday. One of its targets in the years since the Second World War has been the British Labour Party.
The Labour Party emerged from the war with immense prestige. As the sole mass working-class party in Britain it had the support of a united trades union movement whose power had been greatly enhanced by the war, and it had just achieved an unprecedented electoral victory. The established social democratic parties of Europe had been destroyed by the dictators, while in America all that remained of the socialist movement was a handful of sects whose members were numbered in hundreds. Labour was undisputed head of Europe's social democratic family.
But as the euphoria wore off, old differences began to emerge with prolonged post-war austerity. The Left wanted more Socialism and an accommodation with the Russians, while the Right wanted the battle against Communism to take precedence over further reforms at home. And those who took this latter view organised themselves around the journal Socialist Commentary, formerly the organ of anti-Marxist Socialists who had fled to Britain from Hitler's Germany. The magazine was reorganised in the autumn of 1947 with Anthony Crosland, Allan Flanders and Rita Hinden who had worked closely with the (C)migr(C)s as leading contributors. And Socialist Commentary became the mouthpiece of the Right wing of the Labour Party, campaigning against Left-wingers like Aneurin Bevan, whom they denounced as dangerous extremists. Crosland, who ended the war as a captain in the Parachute Regiment, had been President of the Oxford Union, and a year later, in 1947, became Fellow and lecturer in economics at Trinity College, Oxford. Flanders was a former TUC official who became an academic specialist in industrial relations and later joined the Prices and Incomes Board set up by the Wilson Government. Rita Hinden, a University of London academic from South Africa, was secretary of the Fabian Colonial Bureau - an autonomous section of the Fabian Society which she had set up and directed since the early Forties. In this position she exercised considerable influence with Labour Ministers and officials in the Colonial Office, maintaining close links with many overseas politicians.
The new Socialist Commentary immediately set out to alert the British Labour movement to the growing dangers of international Communism, notably in a piece entitled Cominformity, written by Flanders during a period spent in the United States studying the American trade union movement. The journal's American connections were further extended by its U.S. correspondent, William C. Gausmann, who was soon to enter the American Government Service, where he rose to take charge of US propaganda in North Vietnam, while support for the moderate stand taken by Crosland, Flanders and Hinden came from David C. Williams, the London Correspondent of the New Leader, an obscure New York weekly specialising in anti-Communism. Williams made it his business to join the British Labour Party and to take an active part in the Fabian Society.
This close American interest in Socialism on the other side of the Atlantic was nothing new. During the war the American trade unions had raised large sums to rescue European labour leaders from the Nazis, and this had brought them closely in touch with American military intelligence and, in particular, with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), whose chief in Switzerland and Germany from 1942 to 1945 was Allen W. Dulles, later, of course, to become famous as head of the CIA in its heyday.
The principal union official in these secret commando operations had been Jay Lovestone, a remarkable operator who had switched from being the leader of the American Communist Party to working secretly for the US Government. And as the Allied armies advanced, Lovestone's men followed the soldiers as political commissars, trying to make sure that the liberated workers were provided with trade union and political leaders acceptable to Washington - many of these leaders being the (C)migr(C)s of the Socialist Commentary group. In France, Germany, Italy and Austria the commissars provided lavish financial and material support for moderate Socialists who would draw the sting from Left-wing political movements, and the beneficiaries from this assistance survive in European politics to this day - though that is another story...
In 1953 the Congress for Cultural Freedom launched Encounter, an English language monthly which was an immediate success under the editorship of Irving Kristol, another of Levitas's New Leader prot(C)g(C)s and an ex-Lovestoneite, and soon a bewildering range of publications in several languages had joined the CCF stable, with Encounter becoming one of the most influential journals of liberal opinion in the West.
As the CCF network grew it embraced many prominent figures in the British Labour Party -among them Anthony Crosland, who began attending CCF seminars, where he met Daniel Bell, who was at this period moving away from journalistic red-baiting in the New Leader towards academic respectability. Bell's thinking was later summarised in his book The End of Ideology, and it formed the basis of the new political thesis set out in the major work that Crosland was now writing and which was published in 1956 under the title The Future of Socialism. The book had also been influenced by the arguments put forward at the Conference of the Congress for Cultural Freedom held in the previous year in Milan, where principal participants had included Hugh Gaitskell, Denis Healey and Rita Hinden as well as Daniel Bell and a bevy of American and European politicians and academics.
Put at its simplest. Bell and his colleagues argued that growing affluence had radically transformed the working-class in Europe - and Britain - which was now virtually indistinguishable from the middle-class, and thus Marx's theory of class struggle was no longer relevant. Future political progress, they thought, would involve the gradual reform of capitalism and the spread of equality and social welfare as a consequence of continued economic growth.
Crosland's book, though not original in content, was a major achievement. In over 500 pages it clothed the long-held faith of Labour's new leader Hugh Gaitskell in the academic respectability of American political science and was immediately adopted as the gospel of the Party leadership. Labour's rank-and-file, however, still clung to their grassroots Socialism, and Gaitskell's obvious preferences for the small coterie of cultured intellectuals and visiting foreigners who met at his house in Frognal Gardens, Hampstead, alienated the Party faithful, and gave added bitterness to the internecine quarrels that were to follow Labour's defeat in the 1959 election.
In 1957 Melvin Lasky had taken over the editorship of Encounter which had, by then, cornered the West's intelligentsia through its prestige and the high fees it was able to pay. Lasky was a trusted member of Gaitskell's inner circle and was often to be seen at his parties in Hampstead, while Gaitskell became at the same time a regular contributor to the New Leader. Sol Levitas would drop in at his house on his periodic tours to see world leaders and visit the CCF in Paris.
It was during the Fifties furthermore, that Anthony Crosland, Rita Hinden and the other members of the Socialist Commentary group adopted the argument put forcibly in the New Leader that a strong united Europe was essential to protect the Atlantic Alliance from Russian attack, and European and Atlantic unity came to be synonymous in official thinking as Gaitskell and his friends moved into the Party leadership. They received transatlantic encouragement, furthermore, from a New York-based group called the American Committee on United Europe, whose leadership was openly advertised in the New York Times as including General Donovan, wartime head of OSS. George Marshall, the US Secretary of State, General Lucius D. Clay and Allen Dulles of the CIA...
But early in 1967 the US journal Ramparts revealed that since the early Fifties the National Student Association of America had, with the active connivance of its elected officers, received massive subventions from the CIA through dummy foundations and that one of these was the Fund for Youth and Student Affairs which supplied most of the budget of ISC. The International Student Conference, it appeared, had been set up by British and American Intelligence in 1950 to counteract the Communist peace offensive, and the CIA had supplied over 90 per cent, of its finance. The Congress for Cultural Freedom was similarly compromised. Michael Josselson admitted that he had been chanelling CIA money into the organisation ever since its foundation - latterly at the rate of about a million dollars a year - to support some 20 journals and a world-wide programme of political and cultural activities. Writing of Sol Levitas at the time of his death in 1961, the editor of the New Leader, William Bohm said "the most amazing part of the journalistic miracle was the man's gift for garnering the funds which were necessary to keep our paper solvent from week to week and year to year. I cannot pretend to explain how this miracle was achieved. We always worked in an atmosphere of carefree security. We knew that the necessary money would come from somewhere and that our cheques would be forthcoming."
The "Miracle" was resolved by the New York Times: the American Labour Conference for International Affairs which ran the New Leader had for many years been receiving regular subventions from the J. M. Kaplan Fund, a CIA conduit.
The CIA had taken the lessons taught back in the early Fifties by Burnham and the New Leader to heart. With its army of ex-communists and willing Socialists it had for a while beaten the Communists at their own game -but unfortunately it had not known when to stop and now the whole structure was threatened with collapse. Rallying to the agency's support, Thomas Braden, the official responsible for its move into private organisations, and Executive Director of the American Committee on United Europe, explained that Irving Brown and Lovestone had done a fine job in cleaning up the unions in post-war Europe. When they ran out of money, he said, he had persuaded Dulles to back them, and from this beginning the worldwide operation mushroomed.
Another ex-CIA official, Richard Bissell, who organised the Bay of Pigs invasion, explained the Agency's attitude to foreign politicians: "Only by knowing the principal players well do you have a chance of careful prediction. There is real scope for action in this area: the technique is essentially that of 'penetration' . . . Many of the 'penetrations' don't take the form of 'hiring' but of establishing friendly relationships which may or may not be furthered by the provision of money from time to time. In some countries the CIA representative has served as a close counsellor... of the chief of state."
After these disclosures the CCF changed its name to the International Association for Cultural Freedom. Michael Josselson resigned - but was retained as a consultant - and the Ford Foundation agreed to pick up the bills. And the Director of the new Association is none other than Shepard Stone, the Bilderberg organiser who channelled US Government money to Joseph Retinger in the early Fifties to build the European Movement and then became International Director of the Ford Foundation.
Chiner$
Congress to Leave Trump's Deal With China's ZTE Untouched
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 18:10
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Six Week Cycle
Berkeley High Graduate Pleads Guilty to Trying to Help Terrorists, Defense Says It Was a 'Sting'
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 16:59
{snip}
Amer Sinan Alhaggagi, 23, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group and three counts of identity theft before U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer and about 100 family members and supporters, the East Bay Times reported. He could face decades in prison. He remains in Glenn E. Dyer jail in Oakland, where he's being held without bail.
Authorities say Alhaggagi acknowledged that in 2016 he created social media accounts for people he believed were Islamic State supporters.
In a document attached to his new plea, Alhaggagi wrote that he was initially contacted by ISIS supporters through a chat app called Telegram in October of 2016. He admitted to engaging in ''trolling'' behavior, including falsely reporting other users of the app as Shiite Muslims in hopes moderators would block them, the East Bay Express reported. He re-posted pro-ISIS messages and was later approached by two individuals through the online forum who asked him to create social media accounts.
A court filing said Alhaggagi also met with undercover federal agents to plan a potential terrorist attack.
Prosecutors say Alhaggagi also possessed a device to make counterfeit credit cards {snip}.
Alhaggagi allegedly told an undercover FBI agent that he wanted to kill 10,000 people in the Bay Area with bombs and rat-poison-laced cocaine that he planned to distribute at San Francisco nightclubs, according to court documents unsealed in July 2017.
{snip}
Mary McNamara, Alhaggagi's attorney, told the San Francisco Chronicle that her client ''is a guy that is just being slammed by the system.''
{snip}
And she told the East Bay Express that when an undercover FBI agent asked Alhaggagi to shop for chemicals and bomb-making materials, he refused. He later broke off contact with one undercover agent.
{snip}
Original Article
Topics: Crime, Muslim Immigration, Terrorism
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Shut Up Slave!
PG&E, utility customer disconnections prompt hunt for fixes
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 12:38
PG&E and other investor-owned utilities in California cut off service to a record 886,000 households last year, leaving an estimated 2.5 million Californians without electricity, natural gas or both.
That's a head-spinning 62 percent higher than the 547,000 disconnections in 2010, one of the worst years of the Great Recession that led to widespread foreclosures and other economic pain across the state.
The 2.5 million people who lost service from PG&E, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and SoCalGas were nearly equivalent to the combined population of San Jose at 1.05 million, San Diego at 1.37 million and Oakland at 391,000.
The worrying rise in disconnections has prompted state regulators to launch a far-reaching effort to address the problem. The state's Public Utilities Commission, under orders from the governor and state Legislature, voted 5-0 on Thursday to investigate the causes and to identify solutions.
''Disconnections can have not only a huge economic impact, they can have a huge societal impact,'' said PUC Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves, prior to the PUC vote Thursday. Guzman Aceves has brought attention to the disconnection issue at the state agency. ''Unfortunately, the disconnection rate is going up in California, even though, theoretically, the economy is getting better,'' she said.
The Utility Reform Network compiled the figures in a study, cited by the PUC during Thursday's meeting, which also included comments from several California residents who had to face the daunting prospect of a power or gas disconnection in recent years.
One of those was Sheila Clark, an Oakland resident and PG&E customer who said she had to choose between food and power during 2017.
''Over the winter, the cold days caused me so much pain because of my rheumatoid arthritis,'' Clark said.
She turned on the heat to keep warm and ward off the arthritic aches.
''I didn't realize that just keeping the house warm would make my utility bill so high,'' Clark said. ''I try to keep my bills low by turning off lights and washing clothes in cold water. I cut back on food and other needs, but I'm still going to be shut off.''
''PG&E views disconnections as a last resort and continually seeks to strike a balance between customer service and our fiduciary responsibility to collect for gas and electric services consumed,'' said Matt Nauman, a spokesman for San Francisco-based PG&E. ''We understand our customers may face difficult financial times, and we want our customers to know we are here to work with them if they are having difficulty managing their energy bills. We urge our customers to call us as soon as they know they will have trouble paying their bill, and we can take proactive measures to work with them to resolve their past due balances, reduce their future bills and to avoid service disconnections.''
TURN's report, which was compiled from PUC statistics, shows a three-year streak of rising disconnections. The group determined that the four utilities conducted 884,000 shutoffs in 2016, which topped the 816,000 disconnections in 2015.
''Energy insecurity is on the rise,'' the TURN report warned.
But exactly why shutoffs are rising appeared to mystify PUC officials, who are responsible for regulating utility rates and operations.
''Disconnections are increasing, and we really don't know why,'' PUC Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen said.
A staff report prepared for the commissioners wasn't able to identify a singular cause, such as the steady stream of utility rate increases in recent years.
''There may be multiple factors that can result in failure to pay by a utility customer, including loss of employment, geographic location, and life events such as a medical event or death,'' the PUC staff report stated. ''Income or employment status is not always directly correlated with nonpayment, however, and nonpayment is not always consistently followed by disconnection.''
Of great concern to the PUC is the timing of these power shutoffs in the midst of a booming economy.
The robust job market, as measured by total payroll employment, is growing at an annual pace of 1.8 percent a year in California, 2.3 percent in the Bay Area and 3.2 percent in Santa Clara County. All of those outstrip the 1.6 percent job growth nationwide.
For some, the disconnections may come with little warning. That's because the advent of new technologies such as smart meters appears to have reduced the frequency of warnings customers receive from their power providers in California, the TURN report stated.
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Previously, utility companies were obliged to dispatch a crew to manually disconnect and reconnect the services. However, smart meters have made it possible for utility giants to replace in-person disconnections with remotely operated disconnections.
''Ironically, as shutoffs have increased, the number of disconnection notices sent to customers has decreased,'' TURN stated. ''The data from all four utilities suggest that shutoffs are increasingly used by utility companies as a collection strategy and that they rely far less on disconnection notices.''
OTG
India: Whatsapp Curbs Message Forwarding in Bid to Deter Lynch Mobs | News | teleSUR English
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 13:56
Inc's WhatsApp is rolling out a global test measure to rein in messages forwarded by users, the messaging app said, after the spread of rumors led to several killings in India and sparked calls for action from authorities.
RELATED:
India: Mob Lynchings Attributed to Fake News on Whatsapp
Violence triggered by incendiary false messages in India, WhatsApp's largest market with more than 200 million users, has spurred government demands to prevent circulation of false texts and provocative content and caused a public relations nightmare.
False messages about child abductors on WhatsApp have led to mass beatings this year of more than a dozen people in India, some of whom have died.
"We believe that these changes - which we'll continue to evaluate - will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app," WhatsApp said in a blog post on Thursday, announcing its comprehensive test of limits on forwards.
WhatsApp did not say what the limit on forwarded messages would be elsewhere, but in India specifically, they will be limited to five chats at a time, whether among individuals or groups. Also in India, WhatsApp will remove the quick forward button placed next to media messages.
Both moves are designed to deter mass forwards in India, a country that WhatsApp says more messages, photographs, and videos than any other forwards.
Technology experts welcomed the latest changes.
"This change is going to make it difficult for people to forward messages, it's going to add a layer of friction to the process," said Nikhil Pahwa, a co-founder of advocacy group Internet Freedom Foundation.
RELATED:
India: Despite Measures, Whatsapp-Induced Fake News Continues to Take Lives
WhatsApp will also meet non-government bodies and other groups in New Delhi, the capital, on Friday to discuss ways to curb the spread of false messages, said one source at the company, who asked not to be named, invoking company policy.
India's technology ministry, which had already this month demanded that WhatsApp rein in misuse said in a statement late on Thursday that it wanted more effective measures to ensure accountability and ease law enforcement.
"When rumors and fake news get propagated by mischief mongers, the medium used for such propagation cannot evade responsibility and accountability," it said. "If they remain, mute spectators, they are liable to be treated as abettors and thereafter face consequent legal action."
WhatsApp has been told the issue is grave and "deserves a more sensitive response," it added.
Responding to the ministry's earlier call, WhatsApp had rolled out a new feature to label forwarded messages and alert recipients that the sender had not created the message.
In its first such effort to combat the flurry of fake messages, the firm took out advertisements last week in key Indian newspapers aiming to dispel misinformation.
But it has also said a partnership with the government and society is required to curb the spread of false information.
Last weekend police arrested more than 48 people they said were part of a mob that killed a tech industry worker in southern India over suspicions that he and a group of friends were child abductors.
AT&T adds three more cities to mobile 5G rollout plan - CNET
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 13:56
AT&T adds three more US cities to its 5G rollout plan.
Getty Images AT&T is thinking big -- and midsize -- when it comes to its rollout plan for mobile 5G .
The wireless giant said Friday it's added Oklahoma City, as well as Charlotte and Raleigh, both in North Carolina, to the list of cities slated to get access to AT&T's super speedy network this year. The three join Atlanta, Dallas and Waco, Texas, as part of the dozen markets that are supposed to get 5G from AT&T this year.
AT&T said it's deliberately choosing medium-size markets in addition to large ones.
"One competitor recently boasted 'New York matters more than Waco' when discussing their future plans," AT&T said in a statement, referring to comments made by a T-Mobile executive earlier this year. "We politely disagree -- all Americans should have access to next-gen connectivity to avoid a new digital divide."
Now Playing: Watch this: What you should know about 5G
2:46
The announcement marks another step toward actually deploying the next generation of wireless technology, which promises heightened speeds, superior responsiveness and better coverage. 5G is seen as the foundational technology for other areas like self-driving cars and streaming virtual reality, and it starts with these early deployments.
Verizon also plans to launch limited mobile 5G service this year, while T-Mobile and Sprint are setting things up now for a commercial launch early next year. Handset makers and chipmakers are working to get devices ready for 2019 as well.
AT&T has said that the first 5G devices this year will be "pucks," or mobile hot spots. The first 5G-capable phones are slated to come early next year.
More cities slated to get AT&T's 5G are expected to be announced in the coming months.
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Spatial Orientation and the Brain: The Effects of Map Reading and Navigation ~ GIS Lounge
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 13:59
The human brain is a remarkable organ. It has the ability to reason, create, analyze, and process tons of information each day. The brain also gives humans the ability to move around in an environment using an innate sense of direction. This skill is called spatial orientation, and it is especially useful for finding routes in an unfamiliar place, following directions to another person's house, or making a midnight raid of the refrigerator in the dark. Spatial orientation is crucial for adapting to new environments and getting from one point to another. Without it, people will walk around in endless circles, never being able find which way they want to go.
The brain has a specialized region just for navigating the spatial environment. This structure is called the hippocampus, also known as the map reader of the brain. The hippocampus helps individuals determine where they are, how they got to that particular place, and how to navigate to the next destination. Reading maps and developing navigational skills can affect the brain in beneficial ways. In fact, using orientation and navigational skills often can actually cause the hippocampus and the brain to grow, forming more neural pathways as the number of mental maps increase.
A study by scientists at University College in London found that grey matter in the brains of taxi drivers grew and adapted to help them store detailed mental maps of the city. The drivers underwent MRI scans, and those scans showed that the taxi drivers have larger hippocampi when compared to other people. In addition, the scientists found that the more time the drivers spent on the job, the more the hippocampus changes structurally to accommodate the large amount of navigational experience. Drivers who spent more than forty years in a taxi had more developed hippocampi than those just starting out. The study shows that experience with the spatial environment and navigation can have a direct influence on the brain itself.
However, the use of modern navigational technology and smartphone apps has the potential to harm the brain depending on how it is used in today's world. Map reading and orienteering are becoming lost arts in the world of global positioning systems and other geospatial technologies. As a result, more and more people are losing the ability to navigate and find their way in unfamiliar terrain. According to the BBC, police in northern Scotland issued an appeal for hikers to learn orienteering skills rather than relying solely on smartphones for navigation. This came after repeated rescues of lost hikers by police in Grampian, one of which included finding fourteen people using mountain rescue teams and a helicopter. The police stated that the growing use of smartphone apps for navigation can lead to trouble because people become too dependent on technology without understanding the tangible world around them.
At McGill University, researchers did a series of three studies on the effects of using GPS devices on the brain. The scientists wanted to measure the brain activity of people while using two methods that humans employ when navigating. The first method is called spatial navigation, and this is where landmarks are used to build those cognitive maps that help us determine where we are in a particular environment. The second is called stimulus-response. In this situation, humans run on auto-pilot mode and retrace their steps according to repetition. For example, taking the same route home from work becomes second nature after a while, and sooner or later you find yourself retracing the route out of habit, not thinking about how you got home. Researchers claimed that this mode is more closely related to the way a GPS is used to navigate.
What researchers found was significant in terms of how spatial orientation affects the brain. After performing fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans on people using both of those strategies, the individuals that used a spatial navigation strategy had an increased activity in the hippocampus. Conversely, they found that using a GPS excessively might to lead to atrophy in the hippocampus as a person ages, and this could put them at higher risk for cognitive diseases later in life. One of these diseases might be Alzheimer's which impairs the hippocampus and leads to problems with spatial orientation and memory. Researchers also found a greater volume of grey matter in those who used spatial navigation, and this group scored higher on standardized cognition tests than those who used the other strategy. The results of this study demonstrate that using orienteering and building cognitive maps might be better for the brain than using a GPS.
From the journal article; ''Correlation of volume change with time as a taxi driver.'' This figure takes a look at the changes in the volume of gray matter in taxi drivers over time. The study found that ''the volume of gray matter in the right hippocampus was found to correlate significantly with the amount of time spent learning to be and practicing as a licensed London taxi driver, positively in the right posterior hippocampus (b) and negatively in the anterior hippocampus (c).''
Researchers are now questioning whether modern global positioning systems and advanced maps are doing humans any good. Studies done by the British Cartographic Society have determined that high-tech maps can get users from Point A to Point B but are falling short compared to traditional paper maps. Old-fashioned printed maps not only show users how to navigate but also give other important information about an area such as historical landmarks, government buildings and cultural institutions. The fear of using a GPS exclusively is a loss of cultural and geographic literacy. The more humans use GPS, the more cut off from the real world they might become.
Dr. Toru Ishikawa, a researcher and specialist in human spatial behavior, has done numerous studies on how using a GPS device affects the ability of humans to navigate the surrounding environment. Ishikawa and colleagues at the University of Tokyo asked three groups of people to find their way through an urban environment on foot using various means of navigation. One group used a mobile phone with a built-in GPS and another group used a paper map. Researchers actually showed the last group the route they needed to take before navigating on their own. The study found that the group that used the GPS walked slower, made more stops, and walked farther than the others. They made more errors and took longer to reach their destination. After their walks, the GPS users also exhibited a poorer knowledge of the terrain, topography, and the routes they took when asked to draw a map. The group shown the route beforehand by researchers did the best in the study.
Researchers who point out the benefits of paper maps claim that using a GPS actually makes it harder for people to navigate. A GPS device encourages people to stare down at a screen instead of looking around at their environment. The size of GPS screen also means that users cannot view both their location and their destination at the same time. However, paper maps do not rely on getting a signal, and using a map in conjunction with a compass gives people a better feel for the natural world. Anyone can learn orienteering with a map and compass, no matter what navigational skills they are born with. Those in favor of paper maps also point on that there is a big difference between precision and accuracy when using a GPS. A device can be precise without being accurate. Anyone who has found themselves in the wrong place but exactly where the GPS told them to go knows what that means.
A GPS can only go so far in aiding people with navigation. Barry Brown, co-director of the Mobile Life Center and co-author of a research study called, ''The Normal Natural Troubles of Driving with GPS'' tells the story of a man from San Diego who flew to the East Coast. When he arrived, he picked up a rental car outfitted with a GPS but, after twenty minutes of driving, the man sensed he had been headed in the wrong direction. He then realized that he had entered his own California address and that the GPS was leading him 3,000 miles away. Similarly, according to More Intelligent Life, a magazine from the Economist, Princess Diana's niece once told a taxi driver to take her Stamford Bridge, a football (soccer) stadium in London. Instead, she ended up 150 miles in the wrong direction in the village of Stamford Bridge. A GPS cannot always save us from our own human errors.
Those in favor of GPS devices argue that in-car navigation systems are most helpful when driving. These digital maps are helpful because they can tell the driver the location of the nearest restaurant or gas station. Some GSP devices can also help people make contact with friends though location-based social networking. In fact, a Taiwanese study suggested that GPS devices outdid paper maps when it came to driving efficiency. However, a study by Barry Brown and the University of California, San Diego found another way in which GSP navigation could be harmful to the human brain. Drivers who use GPS often find that their navigation skills have atrophied. Like any other cognitive skill, map reading and navigation need to be practiced in order to not diminish.
The concern over GPS devices and its effects on the human brain only highlights a greater unease of what technology is doing to critical thinking and memorization. With information only a click away, people are losing their common sense. Each new innovation of Google Maps only brings about a decrease in basic geographical knowledge. Moreover, there are even apps for people to find what floor they are on in a building as if looking for floor numbers is too difficult. Researchers, academics, and even hike leaders are becoming concerned that technology is decreasing our mental capacity and observation skills. Then, if technology fails, people will be incapable of determining where they are.
Gender also has an important effect on navigation and spatial orientation skills. Several studies have demonstrated that men and women use different strategies when trying to navigate. A study from the Netherlands asked men and women to find their way back to their cars in a crowded parking lot. As a result, men tended to use more mileage terms when describing the route while women mentioned landmarks more often. A professor at Utrecht University, Albert Postma, claims that a man's brain is better suited to precise distances while women focus more on the relationship between objects. These differences in spatial orientation, although rather small, are the results of biological differences in the brains between genders but also different learning experiences.
Several studies have analyzed the difference between men and women when it comes to map reading and navigation.
Another study asked a group of men and women in a Mexican village to gather mushrooms. The researchers fitted them with satellite positioning devices and heart rate monitors. The study found that the women expended less energy and seemed to know where to go. The women were also more likely to recall their routes using landmarks and retraced their paths to the most productive areas. Although men are usually better at reading and using maps, women usually get to their destination quicker because they are better at remembering landmarks. Consequently, women are less likely to get lost.
Other studies demonstrate that men and women develop different methods of navigating and orienting themselves to the spatial environment because of differences in roles as hunters and gatherers. This could explain the reason why men get lost in supermarkets while women can find their way around in minutes. Research done at Queen Mary, University of London demonstrated that men are better at finding hidden objects while women are better at remembering where objects are at. In addition, Frank Furedi, a sociology professor at Kent University, states that women are better at making judgment calls while men tend to overcomplicate the most basic navigational tasks.
The use of map reading and navigating skills to explore the spatial environment can benefit the brain and cause certain areas to grow while the use of modern technology for navigation seems to only hinder the brain. No matter which strategy men and women use for navigation, it is important to practice those skills and tune into the environment. While technology is a useful tool, in the end the human brain remains the most sophisticated map reader.
References
BBC News. ''Hillwalking Warning over Smartphones after Cairngorms Rescue.'' BBC News. BBC, 14 Aug. 2012. Accessed: 08 Mar. 2013.
Cox, Lauren . ''Study Shows People Walk in Circles in the Woods.'' ABC News . N.p., 20 Aug. 2009. Accessed 08 Mar. 2013.
Eleanor A. Maguire, David G. Gadian, Ingrid S. Johnsrude, Catriona D. Good, John Ashburner, Richard S. J. Frackowiak, and Christopher D. Frith. ''Navigation-related structural change in the hippocampi of taxi drivers''. PNAS 2000 97 (8) 4398-4403; published ahead of print March 14, 2000, doi:10.1073/pnas.070039597
Faulkner, Katherine. ''Men are better at map reading, but women are superior at remembering routes, study finds.'' Mail Online. N.p., 2 May 2010. Accessed 8 Mar. 2013.
Madrigal, Alexis C. ''How Google Builds Its Maps '' --and What It Means for the Future of Everything.'' The Atlantic. N.p., 6 Sept. 2012. Accessed 08 Mar. 2013.
McKinney, John . ''Paper Maps Not Ready to Fold Yet.'' Pacific Standard. N.p., 22 Mar. 2010. Accessed 08 Mar. 2013.
Miller, Rebecca. ''Google Maps illustrates how people depend too much on technology.'' Arizona Daily Wildcat . N.p., 11 Apr. 2012. Accessed 08 Mar. 2013.
Nierenberg, Cari. ''Where's the car? Men are (a little) better at remembering'' NBC News. N.p., 26 Nov. 2012. Accessed 08 Mar. 2013.
Stross, Randall. ''GPS and Human Error Can Lead Drivers Astray'' The New York Times. N.p., 1 Sept. 2012. Accessed 08 Mar. 2013.
Study suggests reliance on GPS may reduce hippocampus function as we age
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 13:59
Home Neuroscience November 18, 2010 November 18, 2010 by Lin Edwards, Medical Xpress report The hippocampus is located in the medial temporal lobe of the brain. Image via Wikipedia.(PhysOrg.com) -- McGill University researchers have presented three studies suggesting depending on GPS to navigate may have a negative effect on brain function, especially on the hippocampus, which is involved in memory and navigation processes.
There are two major ways of navigating: by spatial navigation or by stimulus-response methods. The spatial method uses landmarks and visual cues to develop cognitive maps that enable us to know where we are and how to get where we want to go. The second method relies on repeatedly traveling by the most efficient route, as though on auto-pilot. The second method will be familiar to those using GPS.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans were taken of older adults who were GPS and non-GPS users. The subjects accustomed to navigating by spatial means were found to have higher activity and a greater volume of grey matter in the hippocampus than those used to relying on GPS. These adults also did better on a standardized test used in the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, which often precedes the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
The hippocampus is believed to be involved in memory and in navigation processes such as the ability to find new routes and identify short cuts. It is one of the first areas of the brain to be affected by Alzheimer's disease, which results in memory loss and difficulties in spatial orientation.
An earlier study by University of London researchers showed that in London taxi drivers, who spend three years learning their way around London by spatial methods rather than GPS), part of their hippocampus is larger than in a control group of non-taxi drivers. See the PhysOrg article: http://www.physorg.com/news140336390.html, for example. As in the current research, the presence of a link does not necessarily show causality, and in the London cabbies, the sheer volume of knowledge they must gather may also be involved.
Neuroscientist Veronique Bohbot of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, said the results of the studies suggest using spatial memory regularly may improve the function of the hippocampus and could help ward off cognitive impairment as we age.
Bohbot suggested it may be wise to restrict GPS use to an aid in finding the way to a new destination, but to turn it off on the way back or when going somewhere that is not new. Building cognitive maps takes time and effort, but with the hippocampus, it may be a case of 'use it or lose it,-- and Bohbot said she does have fears that reducing the use of spatial navigation strategies may lead to earlier onset of Alzheimer's or dementia.
The McGill University studies were presented at the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting last weekend.
More information: Neuroscience's annual meeting: www.sfn.org/am2010/
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Venezuela
Trump Admin Closes Venezuela Sanctions Loophole in Favour of US Bondholders
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 04:28
Merida, July 20, 2018 (venezuelanalysis.com) '' The United States Treasury Department has modified the wording of its latest round of sanctions against Venezuela. The changes allow US bondholders to seize the South American country's assets should the Caracas government default in the repayment of its state oil company bonds, which are due to expire in 2020.
Under the May 21 US executive order the seizure of government-owned collateral for any unpaid Venezuelan bond would have been illegal. This, however, reportedly raised concerns in Washington that the Maduro government may take advantage of the sanctions to ''default on its bond obligations without consequence.''
General License 5, which was emitted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Thursday, authorises US citizens and firms ''to engage in all transactions related to, the provision of financing for, and other dealings in the Petroleos de Venezuela SA [PDVSA] 2020 8.5 percent bond that would be prohibited by Subsection 1(a)(iii) of Executive Order 13835 of May 21, 2018.''
The regulation makes no reference to bonds or commercial dealing other than the 2020 PDVSA bonds..
Executive order 13835 was issued by the Trump administration as a direct response to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's landslide victory in May 20 elections and builds on a series of prior financial sanctions issued in August 2017 and March 2018 as well as the March 2015 decree branding Venezuela an ''unusual extraordinary threat'' to US national security.
Subsection 1(a) prohibits US and foreign citizens or companies operating in the US from purchasing existing Venezuelan sovereign debt, debt held as collateral, or acquiring assets in which Caracas has a fifty percent or greater ownership stake.
Speaking back in May, Venezuela's foreign minister described the sanctions as ''crazy, a barbarity, an absolute contradiction of international law.''
Under the new modification, in the event of default, US bondholders are now free to seize a string of assets owned by the Venezuelan government, including ''vessels, properties, or financial assets.''
The legal change also raises particular concerns over the future of PDVSA's US-based subsidiary, CITGO, which is used as collateral for the bonds in question and mentioned specifically by OFAC.
CITGO, which owns three large US-based refineries, has come under heightened pressure in recent days with its president having his US visa revoked by local migratory authorities.
The firm has also been the focus of attention in a recent legal dispute between the Venezuelan state and US oil giant ConocoPhillips, which is attempting to collect the USD$2.04 billion recently awarded by the International Chamber of Commerce as compensation for the 2007 expropriation of the firm's Venezuelan assets. Apart from targeting PDVSA's Caribbean assets, there are concerns that ConocoPhillips will go after CITGO's sizeable assets in the US.
PDVSA's 2020 bonds are reportedly the only current Venezuelan bond which are not in a state of repayment delay or default. However, with international trading and borrowing difficulties increasing for Caracas, many have predicted a partial default on the repayment obligations despite rising oil prices.
The modification of the US sanctions has so far received no reaction from the Maduro government.
Amid mounting foreign financial pressure, including the inviability of using Swiss banking networks due to sanctions, the Venezuelan government has been forced to review its international trade agreements to avoid further seizures and difficulties.
This week it was announced that Caracas is due to start refining its gold in Turkey rather than Switzerland, with 20.15 tonnes of gold already heading that way this year. The gold is due to return to the Venezuelan central bank's reserves once refined.
Venezuela's mining minister, Victor Cano, explained, ''Imagine what would happen if we sent gold to Switzerland and we are told that it has to stay there because of sanctions.''
International sanctions on Venezuela have been widely condemned by a host of world-renowned personalities and multilateral institutions, including the United Nations Human Rights Council, which credit the US-led measures with exacerbating the Caribbean country's health and food supply problems brought on by a deep economic crisis. UN Rapporteur Alfred de Zayas has even claimed that the sanctions are responsible for excess deaths in Venezuela and has described them as a ''crime against humanity.''
SJWBLMLGBBTQQIAAPK
Rudyard Kipling's 'If' Poem Scrubbed off Wall by Students Who Claim He Was a 'Racist'
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 16:54
He is regarded as one of England's greatest writers, whose poems were praised as the nation's favourites and whose books were lauded as classics of children's literature.
But it appears that Rudyard Kipling has fallen out of favour with today's generation of students, after it emerged that his ''If'' poem has been scrubbed off a building by university students who claim he was a ''racist''.
Student leaders at Manchester University declared that Kipling ''stands for the opposite of liberation, empowerment, and human rights''.
The poem, which had been painted on the wall of the students' union building by an artist, was removed by students on Tuesday, in a bid to ''reclaim'' history on behalf of those who have been ''oppressed'' by ''the likes of Kipling''.
In lieu of Kipling's If, students used a black marker pen to write out the poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou on the same stretch of wall.
today, as a team, we removed an imperialist's work from the walls of our union and replaced them with words of the maya angelou '' god knows black and brown voices have been written out of history enough, and it's time we try to reverse that, at the very least in our union pic.twitter.com/VT5N3zlfyN
'-- Fatima Abid (@fatimabidSU) July 16, 2018
Sara Khan, the liberation and access officer at Manchester's students' union (SU), blamed a ''failure to consult students'' during the renovation of the SU building for the Kipling poem being painted on the wall in the first place.
''We, as an exec team, believe that Kipling stands for the opposite of liberation, empowerment, and human rights '' the things that we, as an SU, stand for,'' Miss Khan said.
''Well-known as author of the racist poem 'The White Man's Burden', and a plethora of other work that sought to legitimate the British Empire's presence in India and de-humanise people of colour, it is deeply inappropriate to promote the work of Kipling in our SU, which is named after prominent South African anti-Apartheid activist, Steve Biko.
''As a statement on the reclamation of history by those who have been oppressed by the likes of Kipling for so many centuries, and continue to be to this day, we replaced his words with those of the legendary Maya Angelou, a black female poet and civil rights activist.''
Fatima Abid, the general secretary of Machester's SU, said that after seeing the Kipling poem on the wall last Friday, student leaders decided within an hour that it must be taken down.
''God knows black and brown voices have been written out of history enough, and it's time we try to reverse that, at the very least in our union,'' said Miss Abid, 24.
Manchester University declined to comment, saying it was a matter for the students' union.
A spokesman for Manchester's SU said: ''We understand that we made a mistake in our approach to a recent piece of artwork by failing to garner student opinion at the start of a new project. We accept that the result was inappropriate and for that we apologise''
Kipling, who was one of the most popular writers in the country during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
A pioneer of the short story, his books '-- including Just So Stories and The Jungle Book '-- are regarded as classics of children's literature.
But his popularity was dented during the twentieth century, when he was seen as an apologist for colonialism, with George Orwell accusing Kipling of being ''morally insensitive'' and a ''prophet of British imperialism''.
Kipling, who was born in Bombay, has been attacked for writing from a British colonialist perspective, with some of his most famous works have been accused of having racist overtones.
His poem The White Man's Burden has been criticised for suggesting that it was incumbent on the Americans to go and civilise the savages in the Philippines.
However, Kipling's biographer Andrew Lycett has told how the poet is now enjoying something of a revival among a new generation of researchers who have moved beyond the ''knee jerk'' reaction to him and have a ''wider perspective of the world''.
Speaking at a history festival last summer, Lycett said: ''There's a younger generation of researchers, PhD students, who are going back to Kipling.
''He is taught at universities more, there is much more of a sort of willingness to look at him afresh, and to look again at his works and to see what was good about him.
''People now have a wider perspective on the world and they see that Kipling was a sort of global writer really, he wrote about the world''.
Original Article
Topics: Censorship, Multiculturalism and Diversity, Race and Universities, Terrorism, the War on White Heritage
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Joking That Trump And Putin Are Gay Is Homophobia
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 11:51
Since the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, LGBTQ people have been confronted with a curiously offensive idea that we've been told to accept as humor: that the strange relationship between President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin could in some way be romantic or sexual.
We saw it in ''protest art'' in the months after the election. The internet enjoyed a period of Photoshopping suggestive photos of the pair together. Late-night hosts found themselves in hot water for jokes of their own about a Trump/Putin romance. Many writers explained then just how corrosive the conceit was.
Yet on Monday, queer people were once again forced to digest a depiction of Trump and Putin engaging in weirdly sexual and romantic acts when The New York Times tweeted out a particularly heinous animated comic, originally published last month, from their ''Trump Bites'' series.
What is so remarkable about this short animation is that it relies entirely upon the premise of homophobia in order to make an impact. There is no larger message, no big-picture takeaway. Just the supposed humor embedded within the idea that tenderness between two men is in some way mockable.
When I wrote on this topic in February 2017 in response to ''protest art'' of a naked Putin fondling a pregnant Trump, I was met with a barrage of tweets and emails telling me that I couldn't take a joke '• including some from LGBTQ people. A handful of readers went out of their way to let me know that I was being a ''special snowflake'' and that my millennial sensitivity is what is ruining this country.
But these reductive depictions of Trump and Putin are all built upon an underlying and insidious foundation of homophobia '• an idea that men who love or have sex with other men are in some way weak, more effeminate and inherently contemptible than those identifying as straight.
The ''joke'' within these sexualized depictions of Trump and Putin we've seen over the last several years is an anxiety about the fragility of masculinity and those who fail our cultural expectations of what masculinity looks like.
LGBTQ people, and queer men in particular, have had to contend with and fight against how masculinity has shaped and affected their lives throughout the course of human history. Countless queer men have been murdered over the decades for not conforming to heteronormative ideas of what masculinity should look like. Horrific acts of violence have been committed because queer men dared to display affection with one another in a public space.
And effeminate men, myself included, have to think every single day about the way that their ''failure'' of masculinity could potentially impact their safety as they navigate the world. As a result, it's pretty difficult to not read joking same-sex affection between Trump and Putin as a ''fuck you'' to queer people '• especially when it's given space in as influential of a publication as the Times.
We all deal with periods of political turmoil and uncertainty in different ways. But queer men '• and all LGBTQ people '• deserve better than weaponizing sex and romance between men as a way to criticize and ridicule our president.
Please, New York Times, do better.
Paramount Fires President of TV Unit - WSJ
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 14:07
Updated July 19, 2018 11:28 p.m. ETThe president of Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Television unit was fired Thursday for inappropriate remarks.
Amy Powell, who ran the unit for five years, was let go because of comments ''inconsistent with our company's values,'' said Paramount Pictures Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Gianopulos in a memo to the studio.
The firing came after an investigation...
The president of Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Television unit was fired Thursday for inappropriate remarks.
Amy Powell, who ran the unit for five years, was let go because of comments ''inconsistent with our company's values,'' said Paramount Pictures Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Gianopulos in a memo to the studio.
The firing came after an investigation by Paramount's human resources and legal team this week after complaints were made about Ms. Powell's conduct, according to the memo. ''It is imperative that we uphold our values and ensure that all employees feel safe and included in the workplace,'' Mr. Gianopulos said.
While the memo doesn't disclose what Ms. Powell said, a person familiar with the matter said the remarks in question were ''racial in nature.'' Specifically she made remarks on a conference call about black women being angry and about black children being raised by a single parent.
A person on the call reported the incident to human resources and it was confirmed by others on the call, but Ms. Powell denied it occurred, the person familiar with the matter said.
The call was in relation to a TV reboot of the movie ''The First Wives Club'' that Paramount Television is making for its sister cable channel, Paramount Network.
Ms. Powell said she couldn't comment and hung up when reached by The Wall Street Journal.
Later, through a spokesman, Ms. Powell said, ''There is no truth to the allegation that I made insensitive comments in a professional setting'--or in any setting. The facts will come out and I will be vindicated.''
The high-profile firing is the latest over inappropriate remarks in American corporations. Last week Papa John's International Inc. Chairman John Schnatter resigned after using a racial slur, and last month Netflix Inc. fired its head of communications, Jonathan Friedland, for the same offense.
Paramount's TV division is seen as a crucial engine for reviving the studio, which has struggled in recent years. Once one of the top studios, Paramount had all but abandoned the television business when its parent, Viacom, spun off CBS Corp. more than a decade ago. In 2013, Paramount re-entered the TV business with Ms. Powell at the helm.
While still a relatively small player compared with AT&T Inc.'s Warner Bros., Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox, Paramount Television has had some recent producing successes, including the Netflix teen drama ''13 Reasons Why'' and ''The Alienist'' on TNT.
News of Ms. Powell's firing was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
In his memo, Mr. Gianopulos said the studio will immediately look for Ms. Powell's successor.
Write to Joe Flint at joe.flint@wsj.com
Vegas Massacre
MGM turns to never-tested law to sue Vegas shooting victims - ABC News
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 12:56
The unprecedented move from MGM Resorts International to sue hundreds of victims of last year's mass shooting in Las Vegas using an obscure U.S. law never tested in court has been framed by the casino-operator as an effort to avoid years of costly litigation '-- but the legal maneuver may not play out that way.
The company is not seeking money in the lawsuits filed in at least seven states over the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Instead, it wants federal courts to declare that it has no liability to survivors or families of slain victims under a federal law enacted after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
MGM argues that the Oct. 1 shooting met two conditions of the law: it qualifies as an act of terrorism and federally certified security services were used at the venue where 22,000 concertgoers were gathered as gunfire rained down from the company's Mandalay Bay casino-resort.
But experts believe legal resolutions won't come quickly because appeals are practically guaranteed and a U.S. court may not be the appropriate entity to determine whether the shooting is considered terrorism. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Friday that the law authorizes its leader to make that declaration.
MGM's lawsuits target victims who have sued the company and voluntarily dismissed their claims or have threatened to sue after a gunman shattered the windows of his hotel suite and fired on a crowd of country music fans. Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more before killing himself.
MGM is invoking the Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002, enacted to urge development and use of anti-terrorism technologies by providing companies a way to limit liability if their federally certified products or services fail to prevent a terrorist attack. After 9/11, manufacturers and others were concerned they could be sued out of business after an attack.
The law has never been used to avoid liability after mass violence, such as the shooting at a Colorado movie theater in 2012, because previous attacks haven't involved services or products certified by Homeland Security. The department has only approved about 1,000 services and technologies, including airport screening equipment and stadium security.
MGM said in the lawsuits filed in Nevada, California, Utah and other states that its security vendor for the outdoor concert venue, Contemporary Services Corp., was federally certified.
The Department of Homeland Security said in response to MGM's lawsuits that its secretary "possesses the authority to determine whether an act was an 'act of terrorism'" under the law in question, and it "has not made any such determination regarding the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting incident."
The agency says it's reviewing the matter. The law broadly defines it as an unlawful act that harms a person in the U.S. and "uses or attempts to use" weapons or other methods that can cause mass destruction.
MGM says Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is not the only one with authority to make the call and that her public statements "make clear" the attack meets the law's requirements.
The company's argument is "far too broad of an interpretation of the statute. It should be fairly clear that what MGM did is not what was intended in the statute," said Brian Finch, a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in Washington D.C. "It is (the secretary's) responsibility, not that of a judge."
CSC's general counsel, James Service, said the company doesn't comment on litigation.
MGM faced immediate backlash over the lawsuits this week, and it insisted in tweets and statements that it is trying to expedite resolutions for the victims. It stressed that it is "not asking for money or attorney's fees" and directed the complaints "only at people who have already sued us or have threatened to sue us."
"We are seeking justice through the federal court system in order to reach a timely resolution. We want to resolve these cases quickly, fairly and efficiently," spokeswoman Debra DeShong said on MGM's Twitter account.
Victims' attorneys and a legal scholar told The Associated Press that the company's strategy won't speed up anything.
Alfred Yen, associate faculty dean and professor at Boston College Law School, said the law is not perfectly clear, and unless the parties settle, the matter could reach the U.S. Supreme Court because whoever loses is likely to appeal.
"This is a high-stakes, controversial case. A court would be very careful not to rush to a judgment on this," Yen said. "It is going to take a long time for a court to decide the merits of this case."
'--'--'--
Follow Regina Garcia Cano on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reginagarciakNO
Hate Trumps Love
Urban Dictionary: conudle
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 13:04
Get a conudle mug for your fish Rihanna.
Poop Police
Pyrmont poo jogger: Blonde woman may be 'on the run' around suburb
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 13:11
SYDNEY'S own poo jogger '-- a blonde woman caught on CCTV defecating outside a Pyrmont bottle shop '-- may be ''on the run'' around the inner city suburb.
The female poo jogger, whose actions were revealed by The Sunday Telegraph, was caught after Porters Liquor at Pyrmont found a ''deposit'' in its back lane.
''Rumour has it there are other locations around Pyrmont suffering from the same situation,'' Porters owner Jim Schwilk told news.com.au.
The story unfolded when owners saw what they thought was the second deposit by a large dog at the back of the bottle shop on Tuesday morning.
The mess hadn't been there when one of the owners went out, around 9am in broad daylight, but was there when he returned just an hour later, with shreds of toilet paper.
This allowed Porters to view a small window of its store CCTV and the owners were astonished to see it was a blonde runner pulling down her activewear to poo in the lane.
''Most people will find it somewhat amusing, while other people will be deeply offended by it,'' Mr Schwilk said.
Coming two months after revelations of a male poo jogger in the Brisbane suburb of Greenslopes, the story of a female Sydney version took off.
''Where do we go from here? It has a life of its own. It's gone viral,'' Mr Scwilk said.
''But we are very concerned about the mental wellbeing of the poopertrator, or perpetrator.''
Mr Schwilk said Porters' owners had since had many conversations with customers about the culprit, who told The Sunday Telegraph she had been ''incredibly ill'' and could not ''control it''.
And according to unconfirmed reports the unidentified woman may have used the laneways outside other shops or residences to respond to urgent calls of nature.
Mr Schwilk said he was ''hoping it won't be the case'' that Porters back lane will again be used by the woman, but that the store's owners ''will absolutely not'' be reporting it to police.
NSW Police told news.com.au no-one had made a complaint and they would not be investigating the incidents.
That was the case initially for Brisbane's poo jogger, who was caught after allegedly leaving around 30 deposits on the private pathway of a residential apartment block.
A previously unidentified man had been running past the block three times a week and ducking up the path ''like clockwork'' in darkness of early morning to poo on it.
The residents orchestrated a plan to capture the man in the act, and in May they hit pay dirt.
''One of the neighbours set up a night camera and got a few images and so we had a time he was doing it, so then I decided to go and wait with a camera in the and I was there a few mornings and then last Friday I got him,'' neighbour Steve, who took the photo, told news.com.au last month.
''There's a red light which goes on before the camera's flash goes off and he saw that and looked at me as the photograph was taken.
''Then he just said, 'Hello'. At that point I decided to just walk away.''
The photograph shows a grey-haired man with his pants down.
Holding a piece of toilet paper, he is pictured squatting over a concrete path by a brick wall and looking in the direction of the camera.
Queensland Police did take action and a 54-year-old man was charged with creating a public nuisance. He was later revealed to be a corporate executive.
The Pyrmont poo jogger refused to reveal her identity when approached by The Sunday Telegraph.
Clips
VIDEO - Texas to pass Iraq and Iran as world's No. 3 oil powerhouse
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 14:19
Don't mess with Texas. It's a global oil superpower. The shale oil boom has brought a gold rush mentality to the Lone Star State, which is home to not one but two massive oilfields.
Plunging drilling costs have sparked an explosion of production out of the Permian Basin of West Texas. In fact, Texas is pumping so much oil that it will surpass OPEC members Iran and Iraq next year, HSBC predicted in a recent report.
If it were a country, Texas would be the world's No. 3 oil producer, behind only Russia and Saudi Arabia, the investment bank said.
"It's remarkable. The Permian is nothing less than a blessing for the global economy," said Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group, a consulting firm.
The hyper growth out of Texas is needed because oil prices have risen sharply and major players like Saudi Arabia are quickly maxing out their production.
Related: Growing pains ripple across America's biggest oilfield
Much of the excitement in Texas centers around the Permian Basin. Some oil execs believe the amount of oil in the Permian rivals Saudi Arabia's Ghawar Field, the world's largest conventional oilfield.
Rapid technological advances have dramatically brought down the cost of pumping oil everywhere, especially out of the Permian. Wells there can be profitable below $40 a barrel.
"The industry cracked the code on fracking," said McNally.
The rise of Texas, which is also home to the Eagle Ford oilfield in the state's south, shows how the shale oil revolution has reshaped the global energy landscape. The United States is pumping more oil than ever before, making it less reliant on the turbulent Middle East for imports.
"It's not going to make the world peaceful, but it will make it less volatile," said McNally, a former White House official.
Scott Sheffield, the chairman of major Permian player Pioneer Natural Resources ( PXD ) , told CNNMoney last month that the United States will become the world's biggest oil producer by the fall.
The combined output of the Permian and Eagle Ford is expected to rise from just 2.5 million barrels per day in 2014 to 5.6 million barrels per day in 2019, according to HSBC. That means Texas will account for more than half of America's total oil production.
By comparison, Iraq's daily production is seen at about 4.8 million barrels, while Iran is projected to pump 3 million. Oil supplies from Iran are likely to plunge due to tough sanctions from the United States.
Related: Why oil prices are suddenly tanking
However, the boom in Texas has been so rapid that growing pains have emerged.
The Permian Basin is quickly running out of pipelines to transport oil out of Texas, forcing companies to explore costly and potentially dangerous alternatives like rail and trucks. More pipelines are getting built, but they won't be ready in time to fix the bottlenecks that have formed.
Fifty-five percent of executives surveyed by the Dallas Federal Reserve expect the lack of crude oil pipeline capacity will slow activity in the Permian.
HSBC called the Permian a "victim of its own success" and predicted that logistical constraints will cause production growth will slow in the future.
The pipeline shortage is already hurting local prices. The price of oil in West Texas recently traded at a $15 discount to Houston prices.
Some oil companies are also tapping the brakes. The number of oil rigs in the Permian dropped by five in June even as the overall US rig count was stable, according to the International Energy Agency.
"We're not in a hurry to grow it fast against a system that's completely constrained today," ConocoPhillips ( COP ) CEO Ryan Lance reportedly said in May.
Another headache: the rush to pump in the Permian is making it more expensive to pay for supplies and services. The cost to service oilfields has spiked by 10% to 15% for some companies in the Permian, HSBC said.
At the same time, oil executives are complaining that it's difficult to find employees. The challenge is magnified by low unemployment in Texas and nationally.
"The labor shortage is getting critical," one exec told the Dallas Fed.
CNNMoney (New York) First published July 17, 2018: 2:18 PM ET
VIDEO - Nutrisystem, Inc. Launches Groundbreaking DNA Body Blueprint' Nationwide - YouTube
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VIDEO - Cuomo: Trump's Hatred Of 'Fake News' Is Hatred Of America (VIDEO) '' True PunditTrue Pundit
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 10:46
Politics TVCuomo: Trump's Hatred Of 'Fake News' Is Hatred Of America (VIDEO)The CNN anchor who said that 12-year-old girls who don't want to look at a transgender's penis in the locker room are being intolerant, now says that President Trump is the one who hates America.
Speaking from his perched position at CNN, Chris Cuomo said that President Trump declaring the fake news media ''the real enemy of the people'' is a proof-positive that President Trump hates this country.- READ MORE
Between President Trump's trip to the NATO summit last week and his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, the liberal media had been trying to portray Trump as a bull in a china shop damaging relationships with allies and upending global norms. During Wednesday's edition of Cuomo PrimeTime, CNN host Chris Cuomo attempted to continue that narrative only to have it turned around on him by Brigadier General Anthony Tata (U.S. Army Retired).
Cuomo was offended that President Trump was demanding NATO members pay the defense obligations they agreed to and was hoping to get the General to slam the President for it. ''This idea that the United States will back you as a NATO ally if you pay your share, is that the right message to send,'' Cuomo scoffed.
But General Tata didn't buy into Cuomo suggestions. ''I think any discussion on the threshold on decision-making with regard to combat or decision-making regarding coming to the aid of a NATO member is a good discussion to have,'' he stated. ''The President has been consistent on his message. You've got to pay your fair share. And you know, it's a good discussion to have.'' '' READ MORE
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VIDEO - The Magnitsky Act - Behind the Scenes
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 10:36
Who was Magnitsky and why are we supposed to believe he was a hero?
The official story:>Bill Browder was an American businessman who ran a hedge fund in Russia.>Corrupt Russian cops with the help of the Russian mafia stole his business thro...
Who was Magnitsky and why are we supposed to believe he was a hero?
The official story:>Bill Browder was an American businessman who ran a hedge fund in Russia.>Corrupt Russian cops with the help of the Russian mafia stole his business through a convoluted fraud scheme.>The lead cop grew rich from his stolen money.>Sergei Magnitsky was Browder's recently lawyer.>Magnitsky reported the fraud to the Russian government.>Magnitsky was arrested and brutally treated in jail.>7 riot cops beat Magnitsky to death while he was handcuffed.>The official cause of death listed ''heart failure''.>Browder has now spent his life lobbying Western governments to sanction Russian individuals in honor of Magnitsky.>Numerous official reports back up his story.
The director of this documentary, (the Magnitsky Act - Behind the Scenes) was a true believer in the story. When he was filming the story as it was told a lot of details didn't add up. So he decided to do his own investigation.
>Bill Browder used a simple power of attorney to transfer his company to the Russian mafiosi.>Magnitsky was never a lawyer, but rather an accountant.>Magnitsky had worked for Browder since the 1990s.>Magnitsky met with the Russian mafia to transfer the ownership.>Browder used this period of unclear ownership to launder over $200 million.>That mafiosi then died mysteriously. Along with several other mafiosi>The lead cop bought his house before property values went up.>The lead cop sold his house to fund a defamation lawsuit against Browder.>A woman who worked for Browder reported the crime.>Browder and HSBC called the report false.>Magnitsky went to jail and was asked to testify.>No record exists of Magnitsky reporting any crime.>Magnitsky had diabetes and was left alone when he died.>Magnitsky's mother believes the prison was negligent, but not intentional.>Browder is using the Magnitsky story to avoid an Interpol warrant for tax fraud in Russia.>Browder's sworn testimony in the US contradicted his company's statements in Russia.>Browder's sworn testimony relies on him not remembering details he wrote a book about.>Every official Western report relied solely on Browder's sources.
VIDEO - YouTube - SJW Vegan has an epiphany at a Pet Store
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 11:48
VIDEO - YouTube
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 11:34
VIDEO - The other new revolutionary Russian weapons systems: ASATs | The Vineyard of the Saker
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 17:37
[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the March 1st, 2018, speech of President Putin to the Federal Assembly, had a tectonic effect on the world public opinion. Initially, some tried to dismiss it as ''Russian propaganda'' and ''bad CGI'', but pretty soon the reality hit hard, very hard: the Russians either had already deployed or were about to deploy weapon systems which were decades ahead of anything similar in the West and against which the West had no defensive measures.
For those interested in a good summary about these weapons, please check this rather well done RT video:
Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, bluntly speaking of hypersonic weapons declared under oath that:
''Our defense is our deterrent capability. We don't have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us, so our response would be our deterrent force, which would be the triad and the nuclear capabilities that we have to respond to such a threat.''
In plain English this means the following: there are only two ways to deter an attack '' denial or punishment. Denial is when you prevent your adversary from striking you; punishment is when you make him pay dearly for the price of this attack. Punishment is a very tricky and undesirable situation, not only because it gives ''escalation dominance'' to the other side, but also because using nuclear capabilities against a peer or even higher than peer nuclear superpower like Russia basically entails collective suicide. Think of this in simple, practical terms. Say Russia disables or even sinks a US Navy carrier with a couple of hypersonic missiles. What would you do as a US President? The Russian Navy simply does not have as lucrative (and highly symbolic) target as a US aircraft carrier anyway, but even if you decided to strike at the Admiral Kuznetsov or the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Petr Velikii, would you risk using nukes even though the Russians might reply in kind? There is currently no US cruise missile capable of hitting, nevermind sinking, either the Kuznetsov or the Petr Velikii (who both have advanced air defenses which can easily defeat even a swarm of subsonic US anti-ship missiles, especially if they are escorted, which they will be).
The bottom line is this: the recent Russian advances in missile technology have basically made the US surface fleet pretty much useless in a conflict against Russia (and probably against China too). At the same time, Russian advances in air defenses have not only made the entire US ABM system basically useless, it also denies the USA the cornerstone of all its tactics: air superiority. This reality is slowly but surely sinking in. This means that many billions of US tax dollars have gone to waste. Not only that, but the entire US military strategy is now obsolete.
But there is more bad news for the AngloZionist Empire: in a recent interview by General Iurii Borisov, Deputy Prime Minister for Defense and Space Industry named six weapons systems which, in his opinion, have no counterpart in western arsenals. These include two almost never (or very rarely) mentioned before:
The ''Sarmat'' heavy MIRVed ICBMThe Sukhoi Su-57 aka ''PAKFA'', the 5th generation jet fighter being developed for air superiority and attack operationsThe revolutionary T-14 ''Armata'' main battle tankThe long-range S-500 air defense systemThe mobile anti-satellite system '' Nudol ''The ground-based mobile jamming system for satellite communications '' Triada-2S ''While the first four systems listed have been known for a while, very little is known about the Nudol ASAT or the Triada-2S jamming systems. A couple of years ago, in 2015, The Washington Free Beacon wrote one article about the Nudol system entitled ''Russia Flight Tests Anti-Satellite Missile Moscow joins China in space warfare buildup'' but I did not find anything at all in English about the Triada-2S. There are a few articles published about these two systems in Russian however, and I will summarize them here beginning with the Nudol system
The Nudol weapons system
Artists' representation of the Nudol weapons system
One Russian blogger posted what he says was a drawing of the Nudol system taken from an internal calendar of the Almaz-Antey Corporation. This is what Nudol is supposed to look like (see image). While still interesting, this image really reveals very little about Nudol. A transporter erector launcher (TEL) and two missile containers, just like in the S-300V, not much to go on. A Russian source identifies Nudol as part of a much larger system code-named ''A-235/RTTs-181M/OKR Samolet-M'' which is formed by integrating three separate systems, a long-range, intermediate range, and a short range. If true, this would indicate that while the Nudol missile launcher is mobile, it would probably have a targeting datalink from both mobile and fixed Russian air defense radars. In fact, the same source confirms that these systems will be fully integrated into the massive Don-2M (and, probably, the Voronezh and Darial) early warning radars. It appears that the Russians had been working on initial concepts for such a weapon system since the 1990s and that 30 years later, this system is still in development. However, some parts of it, such as the Nudol itself, seems to be near completion. It is also interesting to note here that the S-500 ''Prometheus'' system also mentioned by General Borisov, which is supposed to replace both the S-300s and the S-400s in the Russian armed forces also reportedly has (low-orbit) anti-satellite capabilities (along with anti-ballistic and anti-aircraft missile capabilities). While the specifics are still unclear, what appears to be happening is that the Russians have decided to build a multi-layered but fully integrated air defense, anti-ballistic and anti-satellite system and now that the USA has fully withdrawn from the ABM Treaty, they are preparing to deploy it in the ABM and ASAT segments in the next couple of years.
The Triada-2S system
It appears that, again, we are not dealing with one system here, but two: the mobile anti-satellite complex Rudolf and the mobile complex of radio electronic destruction of communication satellites Triada-2S. Russian sources refer to Rudolf as a mobile ''strike'' system implying the physical destruction of the targeted satellite while the Triada-2s appears to be destroying the satellite's electronic communications (called ''electronic suppression'' in Russian terminology). Just as in the case of the Nudol, these systems appear to still be in the development phase and have not been accepted for deployment yet. It is worth mentioning here that the late Soviet Union had already developed some anti-satellite capabilities, including the ASAT rocket 79Ð'6 (fired from a MiG-21D interceptor) and the Rokot/Nariad-V land-based rocket/missile system. This is all highly classified stuff and the specifics remain unclear, but the fact that work is continuing on these systems and that General Borisov has decided to publicly mention these systems indicate that the Russians are making a determined effort to develop a robust anti-satellite capability.
Porubshchik-2 '' the newly revealed ASAT
In a recent article by RIA Novosti news agency yet another ASAT system is described: the Porubshchik-2. RT picked up on this article and posted this article in English. While the RT article focuses mostly on the new electronic warfare capabilities of this aircraft, the Russian text puts more emphasis on the fact that this EW aircraft will have ASAT capabilities. This system is still in development, but at the very least these show that the Russians are now developing a full array of anti-satellite systems.
Let's add this all up
The Russian plan to counter the US military threat is becoming clearer and clearer with each passing day. I would summarize as follows:
US CapabilityRussian ResponseABM systemmaneuverable hypersonic ballistic and very long-range cruise missilesUS aircraft carriers and surface fleetmaneuverable hypersonic ballistic and very long-range cruise missilesUS airpower and cruise missilesadvanced and integrated air defenses + 5th generation multirole fightersUS attack submarinesadvanced diesel-electric/AIP submarines in littoral and coastal watersUS command, control, communications, networks, and satelliteselectronic warfare and anti-satellite systemsUS/NATO deployments near RussiaTank Armies with T-14s, doubling of the size of the Airborne Forces, Iskander missiles (see here)US nuclear forcesDeployment of a next-generation SSBNs, road-mobile and rail-mobile ICBMs, PAK-DA (next generation bomber) and ABM systemsBy targeting US space-based capabilities Russia is aiming at an exceedingly important and currently extremely fragile segment of the US armed forces and the impact of that cannot be overstated. It is already well known that the US military has almost no practice operating in a highly contested electronic warfare environment and that, in fact, US EW capabilities have stagnated over the years. In the age of advanced communication and network-centric warfare, the disruption or elimination of any meaningful segment of the US space-based capabilities would have a dramatic impact on US warfighting capabilities. Just like US tactical air is practically completely dependent on AWACs support, all the branches of the US military have grown accustomed to enjoying advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities (C4ISR) and this is what the Russians want to deny them (and you can bet that the Chinese are working along the exact same lines).
This is not to say that Russia has achieved anywhere near full-spectrum dominance over the United States but it does mean that the United States has totally failed in its efforts to achieve anything near full-spectrum dominance over Russia and, therefore, over the rest of the planet. It is important to understand that while, for the USA, it is crucial to achieving superiority, for Russia it is enough to deny that superiority to the USA. Russia, therefore, has no need to achieve anything even remotely resembling full-spectrum dominance over the USA/NATO '' all she needs to achieve is to make it impossible for the Empire to make her submit by force or threat of force.
The big problem of internal competition
Just as I had predicted in my article ''Making Sense of the Russian 5th Generation Fighters in Syria'' there is now high-level official statements indicating that Russia might only produce a limited amount of Su-57s. The reason? That the 4++ generation Su-35S is already very good good and much cheaper than the Su-57 and that Russian money should go towards developing a 6th generation multirole fighter. In other words, the main threat to the Su-57 program is not foreign competition (the Russians want to offer the Su-57 for export!), but internal competition. The same thing happened to the MiG-35 program (and before that to the MiG 1.44 project): they were beaten by Sukhoi. The MiG-35 appears to finally have been selected as a frontal aviation fighter, but the overall pattern is clear: unlike the USSR, Russia cannot afford to develop many similar or overlapping weapons systems at the same time. Some weapons systems will be produced in limited quantities while others might be canceled altogether.
Something similar will probably happen inside the Russian ASAT programs: projects will compete and not all will be deployed. Still, what is clear is that the Russians are working with a great deal of intensity on a number of different technologies whose purpose will be to take out US space capabilities in the early phases of any conflict. In contrast, the USA has spent so much money on very lucrative but useless weapons systems, that to restart a full-scaled ASAT program will take a lot of time (even if Trump has already declared that he wants to build ''space forces'' '' check out this excellent commentary by Philip Giraldi on this topic), probably decades.
Modern weapon system developments have a huge ''inertia'': they are hard to start, hard to develop and hard to stop once started. This is especially true for a profoundly corrupt and delusional Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) like the US one (see my review of Andrei Martyanov's excellent book on this topic here). Considering the current crisis of the AngloZionist Empire and the trade/sanctions war Trump is currently waging on most of the planet, the chances of the US force planners correcting their past mistakes and adequately reacting to the new reality is probably very close to zero. Trump's attempt to develop space forces is therefore yet another case of too little, too late. The gap between the advertised and the actual US military capabilities will only get bigger in the foreseeable future.
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VIDEO - The Onion trolls CNN
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 17:11
Just yesterday Twitchy covered The Onion blasting Rahm Emanuel and gun control harpies in general and here we are again today covering their latest take on CNN.
Or maybe we should call it a 'troll' of CNN.
It's spectacular, doncha think?
CNN Anchors Speechless After Guest Goes On Long, Coherent Thought https://t.co/vKHdenslbY pic.twitter.com/SFiMS4k9GX
'-- The Onion (@TheOnion) July 19, 2018
The Onion wins again.
From The Onion:
CNN Anchors Brooke Baldwin and Dana Bash reportedly sat speechless Thursday after their guest Dr. Gina Jimenez went on a long, coherent thought, unleashing a tirade of articulate points completely relevant to the topic at hand. ''Dr. Jimenez, if I could just quickly interrupt you for a moment'--could you please go back and rephrase that last remark as a bit more of a muddled, unhinged rant?'' said Bash, breaking the moment of stunned silence that resulted after the Stanford constitutional law professor laid out a clear thesis backed up by logically consistent supporting arguments, all while maintaining a calm and pleasant demeanor throughout.
*snort*
Can't. Stop. Laughing.
'-- Vanessa Chester. (@VanessaChester) July 19, 2018
When the Onion is more real than reality'....
'-- Mike Davis (@Minizorg) July 19, 2018
Truth hurts.
PS: They tweeted this earlier today as well:
NBC Announces Fall Cancellation Lineup https://t.co/I3ObdK6NfX pic.twitter.com/0uYMwDKAXf
'-- The Onion (@TheOnion) July 20, 2018
They're onto something here, folks.
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VIDEO - Millennials outraged after baseball team advertises 'Millennial Night' with avocados, participation ribbons and napping stations | Fox News
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:04
MONTGOMERY, Ala. '' If I say lover of naps, ''selfies'' and participation ribbons, you would say . . . Millennials?
According to one Alabama minor league baseball team, those are the pillars of life for people born between the 1980s and early 2000s, along with avocados, craft beer and safe spaces.
In an effort to bring younger fans to the ballpark, the Montgomery Biscuits are hosting "Millennial Night" this weekend, but their advertising on social media set off an eruption of mixed feedback from the very group they're trying to attract.
The Tampa Bay Rays' Double-A affiliate, currently with a record of 15-11, tweeted last week: ''Want free things without doing much work? Well you're in luck! Riverwalk Stadium will be millennial friendly on Saturday, July 21, with a participation ribbon giveaway just for showing up, napping and selfie stations, along with lots of avocados.''
Vice president of fan engagement, Mike Murphy, told Fox News this is just one of 70 promotions the Biscuits offer for their home games, ranging from Outdoors Night to Military Wednesdays and Autism Friendly Night.
The Riverwalk Stadium has a capacity of 7,000 people. (Fox News)
This season marks the first full year under new management, and the team is testing out its funny bone.
''80 percent of the people in our front office are millennials, myself included, and we're just having fun with some of the clich(C)s that people point out about millennials,'' Murphy said.
The tweet advertising Millennial Night has since gone viral, with nearly 700 retweets, 600 comments and 1,500 favorites.
The backlash on Twitter was swift, criticizing the post for its insensitivity and thoughtlessness.
One tweet read: ''As a non-millennial, I think your copy was supposed to read, 'Riverwalk Stadium will have a condescending promo intended to ensure millennials never visit again.'''
Dallas Godshall, 21, said he expects attendance to decline after the advertising. ''I'm not gonna go to it, so it didn't work on me,'' he chuckled. ''More than targeting millennials, it's sort of targeting older generations who like to make fun of millennials and like to say that millennials don't like working and don't like caring for themselves.''
Though for every angry comment, another appears to fire back in defense.
One person tweeted, ''Bravo Biscuits! You know millennials won't dig in unless it's gluten free!''
Another Twitter user said, ''If you're an offended millennial complaining about this, aren't you basically furthering the stereotype? #thinkaboutit.''
Murphy said the team is sorry if its advertising offended anybody, but they are standing by Millennial Night and would not change anything about their approach.
The Montgomery Biscuits' tweet advertising 'Millennial Night' received nearly 600 comments. (Twitter: @gswaller)
After the initial explosion of angry tweets, the Biscuits took to Twitter again, urging anyone who's offended to fight their battles IRL '' slang for in real life '' and submit a valid complaint in person to the ''Millennial Night Thinktank.''
The team itself is largely made up of millennials, none of whom, according to pitcher Benton Ross, are even remotely offended by the theme night.
After throwing the ball around with one of his teammates in the un-ignorable heat, Ross told Fox News: ''If it's insensitive, then maybe they should just have thicker skin.''
He said the theme night is all in good fun. ''I don't think [Biscuit employees] meant anything sour by it or to cast a negative light on the next generation at all,'' Ross defended. ''I think they're trying to make light of it and encourage the next generation to come out, support the Biscuits, support baseball and just be themselves.''
Fellow minor league baseball team, the Lexington Legends, also hosted Millennial Night earlier this year and faced similar backlash. A spokesperson for the Legends told Fox News they saw above-average attendance at its Millennial Night game.
The Biscuits are hoping for a similar effect, and one public relations expert said they could very well pack the house at Saturday's game. The Riverwalk Stadium has a capacity of 7,000.
''From a PR professional's perspective, they're kind of accomplishing what all of us want to accomplish, and that is people talking about your organization, not only here locally, but it's got a lot of reach outside of our own community, outside of our state as well,'' said Melissa Warnke, vice president of Public Relations Council of Alabama.
But Warnke warned companies must be mindful of how their messages will be perceived by different audiences, adding that the Biscuits will have to work extra hard to show their appreciation for the millennial fans they lost.
For now, Murphy is enjoying the newfound attention on the Biscuits, exposing people across the country to their players, gear and name. ''So many people have said, 'Oh my gosh, I never knew there was a team named the Biscuits!'''
VIDEO - Media Training Firm Frames Papa John's Founder John Schnatter | Matt Dubiel
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 14:52
You won't see this interview with Papa John's Founder John Schnatter on the mainstream media.When I first saw this story, so close to the NFL/Papa John's ''scandal'' my spidey senses started to tingle. I told my wife, this is fishy. This reeks of a setup '' but I didn't know how or why.
Is suspected maybe the ''Pizza Wars'' much like the airline wars of late might have something to do with it. If you watch a story lines on the Showtime series Billions, you'll begin to understand what I mean.
These hedge fund managers and traders can't always get an ''edge'' so sometimes they create the edge by either sabotaging companies or EVEN EASIER, sabotaging the company's reputation by using a surrogate, the American Drive-By Media and the morons who swallow what they present as news, hook, line and sinker.
Then I found this interview where Papa John's Founder John Schnatter lays it all out very simply. He was setup by a shady PR firm who wanted him to put Snoop Dogg or someone who might ''endear Papa John's to the black community'' to make this NFL thing go away.
Here's what really happened according to Schnatter's accounts in this video:John Schnatter's remarks about the NFL were taken out of context in November 2017The Media pounced and therefor the public was spookedJohn Schnatter stepped away from the spotlightPapa John's hired a PR Firm to coach them on how to avoid this sort of firestormThe PR Firm/Agency tried to convince John Schnatter to collaborate with ''someone'' from the black celebrity community who uses the N word frequently (3:07)John Schnatter rejected this idea more than once.The Agency and Papa John's executives had a conference call to discuss the idea againOn the call John Schnatter was challenged by the Agency because Schnatter refused to endorse or associate ''Papa John's'' with a person who uses the ''N word'' (whoever the celebrity/brand they were recommending)To illustrate how bad the idea was John Schnatter repeated the language he DID NOT want to have associated with Papa John's and explained how he and the company would not be associating with that termThe Agency they hired to help them resolve the fallout from the NFL comments (taken out of content) then attempted to extort John Schnatter and Papa John's for $6million dollars to ''make this call go away''.Papa John's and Schnatter refused to be extortedThe Agency and President of the Agency took the story to ForbesForbes printed the trashNow everyone is reacting to John Schnatter doing the OPPOSITE of what he actually did.He's not a racist, and he was actually working against a PR firm/agency trying to link Papa John's with a known celebrity or artist who actually DOES use the N-word with no negative consequencesThough out it all, and even thought he's been set up by this ''agency'', John Schnatter is accepting 100% responsibility for HIS actionsNo one is stepping up to back up John Schnatter. The partners and ''big shots'' are all afraid to say what really happened, and what this really isRacism is wrong, and so is extortionShare this video with people you know who are sick of the media twisting stories for clicks, views and ratings.
Related
VIDEO - Power & Politics on Twitter: ""Try facts. They're better": @TJHisLaw, @hckosovogta and @salhousser spar over the federal government's carbon plan https://t.co/HMSLML5mxL"
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 22:30
VinSanitY @ VinceSharma
25m Replying to
@PnPCBC @TJHisLaw and
2 others BC AND QUEBEC have booming economies and will keep carbon pricing so there you go.
View conversation · Ivon Bartok @ Ivonbartok
24m Replying to
@PnPCBC @TJHisLaw and
2 others Chad... it's must be tiring having to lie all the time.
View conversation · Charmer @ Charm_
22m Replying to
@PnPCBC @TJHisLaw and
2 others Fact. No carbon tax, but cap and trade charged on my natural gas bill. HST then charged on that charge. Total increase of 10%. It is not a no cost to Ontario residentsS
View conversation · george 🇨ðŸ‡... @ geocoss
18m Replying to
@PnPCBC @TJHisLaw and
2 others Does this guy want coal just trying to understand... can he come up with any solutions climate is an issue and we need a change
View conversation · Neil @ neil_ndbress
7m Replying to
@PnPCBC @TJHisLaw and
2 others CO2 tax is a dead tax walking.
View conversation · LC @ Nousername61
7m Replying to
@VinceSharma @PnPCBC and
3 others Why are they getting transfer payments then? Would the cash not be better spent on new tech if they don't need the cash?
View conversation ·
VIDEO - Whoopi Goldberg and Jeanine Pirro get into explosive argument at 'The View'
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 22:11
Page Six
By Mara Siegler
July 19, 2018 | 4:37pm
Jeanine Pirro and Whoopi Goldberg ABC ; Getty Images
Whoopi Goldberg and Jeanine Pirro got into an explosive argument backstage at ''The View'' on Thursday '-- after an intense on-the-air exchange got even more heated behind-the-scenes, sources exclusively tell Page Six.
The confrontation ended with liberal Goldberg allegedly shouting, ''F''k you, get the f''k out!'' at President Trump supporter and Fox News host Pirro.
During the screaming match, Pirro told Goldberg, ''I've done more for abused women than you will ever do,'' we hear.
The trouble, sources told us, started before Pirro even went on-air to promote her new book, ''Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy'' '-- when Pirro arrived at ''The View'' to learn that anti-Trump CNN contributor Ana Navarro was filling in for Joy Behar.
''When Jeanine arrived on set she was looking for a fight and refusing to be on with Ana, demanding [Ana] not be in the segment,'' an insider said. ''[Pirro] was yelling at ['The View'] executive producer and her staff like, 'You need to handle this.'''
Another source told us that Pirro ''was upset that Ana was there because she wasn't told until the last minute. Ana is 24-7 anti-Trump. Jeanine wasn't yelling, but you could tell they felt like the segment was being hijacked by shoving in an anti-Fox, anti-Trump person.''
Navaro did appear in Pirro's segments, and things came to a head on the ABC show when the ''Justice with Judge Jeanine'' host accused left-wing Goldberg of having ''Trump Derangement Syndrome.''
Goldberg responded of Trump, ''I have never seen anybody whip up such hate.''
A shouting match started with Pirro declaring, ''You know what's horrible? When people who shouldn't be here end up murdering the children of American citizens!'' and Goldberg shot back, ''What is horrible is when the president of the United States whips up people to beat the hell out of people '... Say goodbye. I'm done!''
Goldberg left the stage, but the fireworks went off again with the cameras off: Backstage when the two crossed paths, a source told us, ''Jeanine tried telling her she's fought for victims her whole life.'' That's when ''Whoopi got in her face and said that they've known each other a long time, but still, 'F''k you, get the f''k out of this building.' Jeanine looked stunned.''
Another source told us, ''Jeanine could have walked by her. There was one more segment to do. She could have walked by her easily, she put her finger in her face and said, 'I've done more for abused women than you will ever do' and that's when Whoopi said, 'You and I have never had a problem,' before everything else was said.''
We hear the ABC show's producers and Goldberg have reached out to Pirro to have a conversation about what happened.
Reps declined to comment.
Goldberg apologized to the audience for the on-air blowup, saying, ''You saw me do something I very rarely do '... I very rarely lose my cool and I'm not proud of it. I don't like it. But I also don't like being accused of being hysterical because that is one of the things I try not to be on this show.''
VIDEO - YouTube - Dutch fuck off bbc
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 20:36
VIDEO - What's Inside A Scientology E-Meter? | Hackaday
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 20:24
This is something we've been waiting a very long time for. The Church of Scientology uses devices called E-Meters to measure Thetans in the body. We're not going to discuss this further, because we don't want to be murdered. In reality, the E-Meter is simply a device that costs five thousand dollars and only measures the resistance of the human body. It does this by having the subject hold two copper cylinders and a simple Wheatstone bridge. Why does the E-Meter cost five thousand dollars? As [Play With Junk] found out, it's an exquisitely engineered piece of hardware.
[Play With Junk] acquired this E-Meter from eBay for something around $100, and from a system-level analysis, it's really not anything special. There's a fancy analog meter, yes, but most of this wouldn't be out of place in any 90s-era piece of test equipment. There's an 8051 microcontroller reading what are probably some fancy ADCs, and there's an LCD driver on board. Slap it in a fancy injection-molded case, and you have an E-Meter.
What's most impressive is the quality of the components that go into a machine that effectively only measures the resistance of the human body. The 'trim' pot is a Vishay wire-wound precision potentiometer that costs somewhere between $20 and $60. The power switch is an over-specced switch that probably costs $5. The control pots look and feel great, and the wiring is wrapped around chokes.
This is an exceptionally well-engineered device, and it shows. There's an incredible amount of work that went into the electronics, and a massive amount of money that went into the fancy injection molded enclosure. If you're looking for an example of a well-engineered tool, price be damned, you need only look at an E-Meter.
Check out the video below of the entire teardown.

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