Tag Archives: communism

When The CIA Took Over The Media

I’m still reading this book about LBJ’s involvement in JFK’s assassination (LBJ: The Mastermind of The JFK Assassination by Phillip F. Nelson) and it introduced me to one part of the CIA’s history I either didn’t know about or have forgotten – something called OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD.

CIA Logo

Mockingbird isn’t some conspiracy theory – like MKULTRA and the 638 attempts at assassinating Fidel Castro, it’s a genuine part of CIA history. MOCKINGBIRD has been written about in detail since the late 70′s, but it’s one of those pieces of U.S. history that isn’t talked about much in the mainstream media. Why? I assume because they would prefer people don’ t know about it as it would make them ask too many questions, such as “how do we know the CIA isn’t controlling the media today as well?”

It’s also one of those events in history that should help us all realize that we’ve been manipulated and lied to by the government and the media in the past so it’s entirely rationale to believe they might be manipulating and lying to us still today.

SO WHAT WAS OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD? 

Basically Mockingbird was a CIA operation that ran from the 50′s through to the 70′s and which used the U.S. corporate media to deliberately spread lies to the American people and international readers (and media). 

Carl Bernstein, one of the guys who broke the Watergate scandal, wrote in Rolling Stone in 1977 that Mockingbird was the story of:

How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency

Bernstein goes on to explain that the most powerful people in the US media were happy to work with the CIA:

American publishers, like so many other corporate and institutional leaders at the time, were willing to commit the resources of their companies to the struggle against “global Communism.”

The CIA basically had the co-operation of the news media to publish lies about foreign governments (e.g. Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Indonesia), designed to indoctrinate the American people to believe the official stories and to look the other way while the CIA illegally overthrew governments and started civil wars. News organisation involved in Mockingbird included:

CBS, Time and Life Magazine, New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Star, The Miami News, The Louisville Courier-Journal, The Copley News Services and The Christian Science Monitor.

Of course, these same news organisations were used to promote the official version of JFK’s assassination (the “lone gun” theory) and completely ignoring the evidence tying LBJ and the CIA to the hit or the massive holes in the Warren Commission’s official report.

The MOCKINGBIRD story has lots of twists and turns. For example, the story of Mary Pinchot Meyer. Her husband, Cord Meyer, worked for the CIA and was heavily involved in MOCKINGBIRD. Her sister married Ben Bradlee, publisher of The Washington Post. Her best friend married James Angleton, chief of the CIA’s counterintelligence division. In the late 50′s, Cord Meyer decided to leave the CIA. Not long after, one of their sons was killed by a mysterious hit-and-run accident outside of their home and Cord changed his mind. Cord and Mary divorced in 1958. In 1961 Mary started having an affair with JFK, whom she had known since she was a teenager and had lived next door to in Washington for several years before he was President. According to Timothy Leary, the father of the LSD movement, Mary told him she and JFK were smoking marijuana together and taking LSD. She said this was part of a plan she had to influence the President to bring about world peace.

After Kennedy’s assassination, Mary called Leary and said “They couldn’t control him any more. He was changing too fast…They’ve covered everything up. I gotta come see you. I’m afraid. Be careful.”

A year later, two days after the Warren Commission’s report was released, Mary Meyer was shot to death. One bullet to the heart, another to the head. The man charged with the murder was found innocent, despite an eye-witness testimony. Meyer’s private life (who her ex-husband was and that she had been sleeping with JFK) was kept not only from the courtroom but also from the attorneys involved.

In 2001, several months before his death from lymphoma, when asked who killed his ex-wife, Cord Meyer said  “The same sons of bitches that killed John F. Kennedy.”

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The Propaganda Model

 

The propaganda model is a theory advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky that alleges systemic biases in the mass media and seeks to explain them in terms of structural economic causes.

The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

First presented in their 1988 book Manufacturing Consent: the Political Economy of the Mass Media, the propaganda model views the private media as businesses selling a product — readers and audiences (rather than news) — to other businesses (advertisers) and relying primarily on government and corporate information and propaganda. The theory postulates five general classes of “filters” that determine the type of news that is presented in news media: Ownership of the medium, the medium’s Funding, Sourcing of the news, Flak, and Anti-communist ideology.

The first three (ownership, funding, and sourcing) are generally regarded by the authors as being the most important. Although the model was based mainly on the characterization of United States media, Chomsky and Herman believe the theory is equally applicable to any country that shares the basic economic structure and organizing principles the model postulates as the cause of media biases. After the Soviet Union disintegrated, Chomsky said terrorism and Islam would be the new filter replacing communism.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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No Illusions Notes 20/06/2011

  • Iraq hunting $17 billion missing after U.S. invasion - “The missing money was shipped to Iraq from the United States to help with reconstruction after the ouster of Saddam Hussein….. All indications are that the institutions of the United States of America committed financial corruption by stealing the money of the Iraqi people, which was allocated to develop Iraq, (and) that it was about $17 billion,” said the letter sent to the U.N. with a 50-page report.”  That’s what these wars are about, folks – theft. Plain and simple. Theft of money from the U.S. taxpayers and theft of the natural resources of the Iraqi and Afghani people. Everything else they throw at you – Saddam, Bin Laden, the Taliban, etc – is just smoke and mirrors. It’s all about the rich stealing from the poor and the gullible. It’s the oldest trick in the book, a magnificent sleight of hand even Hypnotist Kenny would be proud of.
  • Another day another pedophile Catholic priest & cover-up by the Church - remembering, of course, that the key message here isn’t about the pedophiles themselves, it’s about the Catholic Church’s systematic and deliberate cover-up of the crimes to protect their cash. (See my earlier posts on the topic – GDay World 382 – Dr Wayne Chamley on Catholic Sexual Abuse in Australia, G’Day World Video – Peter Kennedy, Rebel Priest, part one, The Irish “Child Abuse Commission”).
  • WSJ has a brain aneurism when it learns the The Dalai Lama is a Marxist – “Earlier this month, the Dalai Lama told a group of Chinese students at the University of Minnesota, “I consider myself a Marxist . . . but not a Leninist.”” The author, philosopher Carlin Romano, then goes on to say “It’s an old, familiar position in Western secular intellectual life: Marxism wasn’t a God that failed, and the Soviet Union and Mao’s China don’t count against it, because Marxism was never tried—Communism perverted it.” That’s actually not the argument at all, Carlin.  The argument is that the Bolshevik’s perverted socialism. Had the Menshevik’s managed to wrest control of the Communist Party, we might have seen a very different 20th century Russia.
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The Afghanistan Debate

As the Australian parliament begins a long-overdue debate about our involvement in Afghanistan, expect to hear a lot of hot air about what a nasty piece of work the Taliban are and how we are there to put an end to their nastiness. You’ll hear about their theocracy, their imprisonment of women in burqas and nose-slitting for the disobedient.

Expect to hear statements, such as the one Foreign Minister Stephen Smith recently made, about Afghanistan being “current hotbeds or danger points” for international terrorism.

I have several issues with these arguments.

1. They Cut Both Ways

To begin with – as much as I dislike theocracies and religion in any form, from a diplomatic perspective, we have to realise that if disliking a country’s politics or religion gives us moral grounds to invade that country, then we are acknowledging that that country also has moral grounds to invade OUR country if they dislike OUR politics or religion. The USA didn’t like it very much the last time a handful of Saudis decided they didn’t like American politics. In fact, they used the attack that stemmed from that dislike as an excuse for invading a couple of countries. We have to be extremely careful what precedents we set interceding in international affairs.

2. They Are Hypocritical

The second issue, about being a “hotbed” for terrorism, is troubling for the same reason. It is a record of fact that the CIA has been a supporter of terrorists and dictators for many decades. Terrorists and dictators with names such as Saddam, Noriega, Pinochet, Suharto, Mobutu and “Papa Doc” Duvalier all received either direct or indirect support from the CIA. (Australia also was a direct supporter of at least one of these men – General Suharto.)

Of course it is also a matter of record that the CIA has been and is currently involved in supporting other terrorist organisations such as Israel’s MOSSAD and Pakistan’s ISI. If we argue that supporting terrorists makes a country open to invasion, we have to then acknowledge that it is equally acceptable for other people to invade our countries with the same justification.

So keep an eye out for any such hypocritical justifications during the government debates.

Of course, the typical politician will claim that our country (and our friends such as the USA) are justified in our/their support of terrorism or our politics. It’s one of the accepted truths of domestic politics that our position is right because it is our position. Capitalism is right and communism is wrong because we are capitalists. Christianity is right and Islam is wrong because the majority of our population is Christian.

We are right because it is unthinkable that we could possibly be wrong.

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a “debate” confined between two false poles

There’s a fascinating post on Dissident Voice about the battle going on in the UK between the BBC and corporate media who are apparently threatened by the breadth of the Beeb’s online offerings.

Quotes:

"The Murdochs of this world are naturally unable to conceive that corporate sponsorship compromises news reporting, showering pound and dollar-shaped sticks and carrots that inevitably cause journalism to slither in corporate-friendly directions."

"In his dystopian novel, 1984, George Orwell described the art of thought control called “Newspeak”:

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

We are offered a “debate” confined between two false poles: the claim that the BBC is a threat to the “independent news” provided by commercial interests, and the claim that the BBC is a rare source of “independent, truthful” reporting. Modern journalism acts to “narrow the range of thought”, thus serving the powerful interests that control the mass media."

This idea about "a debate confined between two false poles" is something that Chomsky has been talking about for decades. In the West, we’re told that we have a ‘free press’ but, in reality, we have a press that’s owned either by wealthy individuals (Packer, Murdoch, Stokes, et al) or the Government… whose hold on power is often regulated BY those wealthy individuals and their control over the way the population thinks due to their media assets. And so what tends to happen is that our media discusses the happenings of the day in a limited fashion, always confining the debate between two false poles, making it LOOK like we have choice and healthy debate, where in reality we’re only given a small range of options to discuss.

My favourite example in Australia is to look at our election coverage. What is the range of debate and discussion given in the Australian media, during election cycles or any other time for that matter, to alternatives to our consumerist capitalist economic model? Where is the open discussion about the benefits of Socialism or Communism? It doesn’t happen. Why? Because the aforementioned wealthy owners of the media companies don’t want the people thinking about Socialism or Communism unless, of course, it’s to talk about the failures of those alternative models. The reason they don’t want us thinking about these alternatives is that if we moved towards them, they would lose their wealth, power and privilege.

This is why we need a NEW media that isn’t controlled by corporate interests.

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