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.
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.”
This is a quick guide to the most recent Wikileaks news, for those people who can’t be bothered reading it in detail. I’ve discovered lately that a few friends I respect – intelligent, well-meaning people – have managed to extract the totally wrong idea about what’s going on from the deliberately spin that most of the mainstream media is indulging in.
Click Here to jump to the latest updates!
So here’s what you need to know:
1. Cablegate: 250,000 US Embassy Diplomatic Cables – On Sunday 28th November 2010, Wikileaks began publishing 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables.
2. A number of major news outlets, including The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel, have been running in depth coverage of the cables. Every media outlet in the world is covering the news in some form, but most aren’t delving into detailed analysis, content just to smear Wikileaks and founder Julian Assange and mention a couple of the less important cables.
3. Despite most of the media’s focus on a minority of cables that highlight snarky comments made about politicians and diplomats, the cables of MAJOR importance show the extent of US spying on its allies and the UN; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in “client states”; backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to advance those who have access to them.
4. Despite the media’s incessant coverage of the “rape” charges that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is facing in Sweden, the facts of the case are rarely mentioned. As far as I can gather, they seem to be that Assange had *consensual* sex with two female volunteers during his visit to Sweden in the middle of the year. However both women have since alleged that, although the sex *was* consensual, in both cases there were “condom malfunctions” – situations where the condom either broke or there wasn’t a condom present, they asked Assange to stop, and he didn’t. One of the women behind the charges gave an interview to the Swedish paper Aftonbladet in August. She stated that she was surprised to learn that the accusations were treated as a rape charge and denied that there had been any encounter with Assange involving violence or force. She suggested that the controversy had to do with Assange’s failure to use a condom during intercourse. This is the basis of the rape or “unwanted sexual conduct” charges. This is the basis of the “red notice” issued by Interpol. When was the last time Interpol issued a “red notice” for someone over a case of consensual sex? Update 02122010: According to this post about one of the accusers, Anna Ardin, she was tweeting positively about Assange for a few days after the alleged incident. Read a cached copy of her since-deleted tweets here. James Catlin has more on the story of the accusers in Crikey.
5. Of course, even if the charges of rape *are* justified, Assange’s personal life has nothing at all to do with the content of the diplomatic cables or Wikileaks’ mission. They are merely a tool the media is using to try to distract the public from the content of the leaked cables.
6. Various American and international figures are calling for the shutting down of the Wikileaks site and/or Assange’s arrest and/or assassination as well as the assassination of whoever released the cables to Wikileaks (assumed to be Bradley Manning but we don’t know for sure).
7. Of course, these same authorities aren’t calling for the shutting down of The Guardian, Der Spiegel or the New York Times’ papers and sites, or the arrest or assassination of their management. How are Wikileaks’ actions different from those of the major media outlets? Wikileaks received the cables (from sources unknown) and published them. The media outlets received them (from Wikileaks) and published them. Why the double standard?
8. The rumour is that Wikileaks is about to release some damaging information to do with the Bank Of America. Once corporations start getting attacked directly by Wikileaks, you can expect the establishment to come after him even harder than they are at the moment. Bank of America Corp experienced a 3 per cent fall on Tuesday.
Quite a few people – who obviously are too lazy to actually read beyond the headlines – seem to be under the opinion that the only thing the diplomatic cables have exposed is some embarrassing snippets about diplomats. Below is a list of some of the most incriminating cables released so far.
Saudi Govt controls the media to prevent dissident ideas and criticism of the royal family or SAG policy. (Where’s all the criticism of the Saudi govt then in the US media, the same as Cuba or Venezuela attracts for censoring the media?)
Revealed: Assange ‘rape’ accuser linked to notorious CIA operative
Cuban media says Anna Ardin, the primary complainant in the Swedish charges against Assange, used to work for a variety of CIA fronts.
Australian politician Mark Arbib told the USA that the PM of Australia was under a political challenge from within his own party – months before the Australian public were aware of it.
American security firm, DynCorp, organized child prostitution for Afghani police recruits. (Dyncorp received funding from US taxpayers.)
America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord
US diplomats spied on UN leadership
US Govt put pressure on Spanish Govt to stop murder trial.
Tonight I finally had a chance (thanks to Jason Nelson) to see Part 1 & 2 of Steven Soderbergh’s amazing film CHE, depicting the life of Che Guevara, starring (and produced by) Benicio Del Toro.
It’s an amazing film that, predictably, did very poorly at the US box office. I believe it opened in cinemas in Australia just recently so go see it if you can. If you can’t, try to pick it up when it comes out on DVD. The depiction of Che in these films is the most honest ever put into a major movie. It puts lie to the propaganda and lies told about Che by Americans for the last 50 years.
Jean-Paul Satre called Che "not only an intellectual but also the most complete human being of our age" and the "era’s most perfect man."
Listen to the full 1964 radio interview with Che which appears, in part, in the first film.
Iran? North Korea? Cuba? China?
No – the United States of America.
If President Obama and the Democratic Party aren’t willing to prosecute the people responsible for torturing and imprisoning a 12 year-old child, without a trial, without hope of defense, then what does that say about the current American administration?
June 14 is the birthday of Ernesto Guevara de la Serna known to most of us by his nickname "Che".
If all you know about Che is stuff you’ve picked up from US media, then take some time today to educate yourself about the other side of the Che story. I’ve added Jon Lee Anderson’s "Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life" to my book recommendations.
I dare anyone to read that book, along with Che’s diaries, and still think this man was a violent, bloodthirsty dictator.
I’ve read them both (along with a few other books about Che) and it just doesn’t add up in my mind. Violent dictators rarely talk endlessly about social justice. Che (and Fidel too, for that matter) spent his life arguing eloquently for the need to equal rights for all people. He put his life on the line to fight for the rights of the poor people in Cuba and Bolivia.
If all he wanted was power (which is usually what motivates dictators), why leave Cuba at the height of his success to go into the jungles of Bolivia? It doesn’t make sense.
Compare Che’s words to the speeches and writing of Hitler or Stalin or even the last half dozen American Presidents and you’ll spot the difference.
And, if you can, watch Steven Soderbergh’s recent film about Che. I don’t think it’s out on DVD yet but I’ve seen Part One and it’s terrific.