How the CIA controls the news
How much of the news and history you come across can you trust? For decades, TBR has been saying that most information outlets are in the business of making money, not telling the truth. Project Mockingbird, the CIA operation to
buy journalists across the world and employ them to sing the propaganda strains
of the CIA, is the proof that U.S. spy agencies buy the news – and the controlled media has no problem being their compliant "mockingbirds."
President Donald Trump has been the victim of a coordinated
fake news media attack since he declared his candidacy in 2016. If the controlled media wants you to be "the enemy," the enemy you will be. Never before in recent memory has a chief executive been such a blatant target of U.S. intelligence.
In an era of "fake news" and the systematic use of deception
by the mainstream corporate mass media, Americans
of all political persuasions are becoming increasingly
aware they are being lied to and manipulated for political
purposes by America's "Fourth Estate." The oft repeated
notion that America has a"free press" that objectively
reports the news in this country is being discredited as each
day passes. It is plainly obvious that the controlled mass media,
which includes the major broadcast networks as well as
the iconic print publications, deceives the American public, promotes
and advances subversive cultural and political agendas,
and otherwise manipulates public opinion for elite special interests.
Having moved out of the realm of "conspiracy theory,"
these facts are now well known and uncontroversial – or they should be, to any honest student of American politics
and current events.
The mainstream corporate mass media's blatantly dishonest
treatment of and reporting on now-President Donald
Trump's 2016 presidential campaign did more than
perhaps any other series of events to help bring this issue
to light. Throughout the campaign, the mass media
in America did everything in its power to undermine, discredit
and sabotage the efforts of Trump, who ran on an
America first platform and, at least thus far, appears as
if he is determined to follow through on some of his campaign
promises. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the media's appallingly
dishonest treatment of Trump continues to this
very day, a fact the outspoken populist makes clear at
every opportunity available to him. Trump regularly
refers to the mainstream corporate mass media as "the
fake news media" and has gone so far as to declare that
they are "the enemy of the American people." Any honest,
objective analysis of the situation would have to conclude
the president is absolutely correct.
|In 1977, a Rolling Stone magazine article written by Carl Bernstein alleged that over 400 mainstream media journalists
were employed by the CIA to parrot their disinformation. He also claimed that one of the most important
journalists contracted by Operation Mockingbird was Joseph Alsop (top), who wrote for over 300 different newspapers.
Other journalists implicated by the investigation in promoting the tales of the CIA – true or false – were (pictured
above, left to right): Stewart Alsop (NewYork HeraldTribune), Ben Bradlee (Newsweek), James Reston (The
New York Times), Charles Douglas Jackson (Time), Walter Pincus (Washington Post) and Charles Bartlett (Chattanooga
Times). At far right is Carl Bernstein, pictured about the time of his Rolling Stone expose.|
While President Trump has been instrumental in
bringing to light the blatantly dishonest nature of the
mass media and the manner in which it is used to advance
certain political agendas in a modern context, the fact is the mass media has been used for political purposes
for decades – if not centuries – now, as most readers
are surely aware. Controlling information and public
perception – controlling "the narrative" – is a strategic
necessity for those who wish to rule. Military and intelligence
agencies have long recognized the prime importance
of shaping public opinion and disseminating
(or withholding) information to or from the masses. Thus,
it should surprise no one that American military, intelligence
and law enforcement agencies have manipulated,
infiltrated and otherwise collaborated with the major
media organizations operating in the United States
and around the world, especially since the inception and
establishment of the CIA following World War II.
Indeed, beginning in the early 1950s, the newly
formed CIA – which had its roots in the Office of Strategic
Services – began working covertly with virtually all
of the iconic and most influential mass media corporations
in America, a fact that was revealed in the mid-1970s
following a series of congressional investigations. This
scandal, which is ongoing to this very day, is commonly
referred to as Operation Mockingbird, and is well
known in alternative media circles.
Generally speaking, Operation Mockingbird is best
understood as a systematic campaign by the Deep State
(the CIA, the FBI and various state and private actors
and institutions working behind the scenes) to infiltrate
and manipulate major mass media outlets in an effort
to advance powerful political and economic interests
while undermining, discrediting and outright smearing
with fake stories political enemies (Trump comes to
mind, and President John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon
before him) using whatever means necessary.
According to Carl Bernstein, the world-renowned journalist
best known for his coverage of the Watergate scandal
while working for The Washington Post, over 400
American journalists secretly carried out assignments
on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency starting in
the 1950s shortly after the Cold War began in earnest.
The covert initiation of Operation Mockingbird had begun –
and it proved to be wildly successful.
"Some of these journalists' relationships with the
agency were tacit; some were explicit," Bernstein wrote
in an authoritative investigative report detailing the CIA's
close collaboration with major American media outlets
that was originally published in Rolling Stone magazine
on October 20, 1977. "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 in the derring do of the
spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category,
full time CIA employees masquerading as journalists
According to Bernstein and other investigators, the CIA
worked closely with CBS, Time magazine, The New York
Times, ABC, NBC, the Associated Press, United Press International,
Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Newsweek
magazine, The Miami Herald, and many other media outlets
in America and abroad. In many cases, the CIA's involvement
and collaboration with major American media
outlets was done with the full knowledge, consent and
complicity of the management of these corporations.
The CIA's primary purpose in infiltrating and collaborating
with the major mass media outlets in America was
twofold: to gather and assess information gleaned from
its many contacts, operatives and sources in the mass media
and to spread information (or misinformation) that
ostensibly advanced American national interests, at
least as perceived by the forces of the Deep State.
Many journalists who wrote propaganda stories on
behalf of the CIA viewed their collaboration as patriotic
justifying their actions as serving national interests
against communism. "I'm proud they asked me and proud
to have done it," Joseph Alsop, a noted American journalist
and syndicated columnist, unabashedly crowed after
it was discovered he (along with many other top journalists)
engaged in clandestine operations on behalf of
the CIA. "The notion that a newspaperman doesn't have
a duty to his country is perfect balls."
In congressional investigations into the CIA's relationship
and cooperation with major American media corporations,
which included both House and Senate committee
investigations in the 1970s, the agency acknowledged
utilizing journalists to gather and spread information.
However, as Bernstein notes in his report, "The
CIA's use of the American news media has been much
more extensive than agency officials have acknowledged
publicly or in closed sessions with members of Congress."
The Deep State's "special relationship" with the major
media outlets in America "enabled the CIA to post
some of its most valuable operatives abroad without exposure
for more than two decades," according to Bernstein.
"In most instances, agency files show, officials at
the highest levels of the CIA (usually director or deputy
director) dealt personally with a single designated individual
in the top management of the cooperating news
organization. The aid furnished often took two forms: providing
jobs and credentials ('journalistic cover' in agency parlance)
for CIA operatives about to be posted in foreign
capitals; and lending the agency the undercover services
of reporters already on staff, including some of the
best known correspondents in the business."
Suffice it to say, the CIA and other Deep State actors
had successfully infiltrated the major American media
outlets, establishing a base of operations in which information
could be gathered and spread to advance the
agency's clandestine agenda. "The CIA owns everyone
of any significance in the major media," William Colby,
who served as director of the CIA from 1973 to 1976, once
And although the extent of the CIAs involvement with
and infiltration of major American media outlets was not
entirely revealed, the fact the agency engaged in these
type of operations was becoming clear and well established.
"The mass media has been weaponized to target any and all enemies of the New World Order.
While the CIA viewed its media-related
activities as necessary in
the struggle against communism,
the fine line between advancing
broad American interests and those
of private special interests utilizing
the agency and its resources would
quickly be crossed. As TBR readers
are no doubt aware, virtually all of
the greatest crimes and deceptions
leveled against the American people
have been executed and allowed to
take place specifically due to the central
role of the mass media in distorting
the facts, covering up the crimes, and otherwise
facilitating the perpetrators. Examples abound.
Consider, for instance, Israel's attack on the USS Liberty
in 1967, which resulted in the deaths of 34 American
servicemen. An additional 174 were wounded during
the barbaric attack on the Liberty, a U.S. Navy technical
research vessel ill equipped to engage in a prolonged
battle. On June 8, 1967, during the Six-Day War, which
pitted the Jewish state against her Arab neighbors, Israeli
jet fighters, other aircraft and torpedo boats
opened fire on the U.S. vessel, which was in international
waters off the Egyptian coast. This act of terrorism was
and remains largely unknown to the American public due
to official government and media complicity in covering
up the event and distorting the facts surrounding it.
Other, more recent examples include the 9/11 attacks,
which all available evidence suggests was a false-flagstyle
event organized and executed by pro-Zionist criminals
in key positions of power and influence in the American
media and government and then blamed on Osama
bin Laden (and radical Islamic terrorism more generally)
in order to initiate and justify the "Global War on Terror."
This paradigm-changing event was facilitated by a
complicit "mockingbird" media, which was instrumental
in the success of the operation.
Additionally, the justification for the invasion of Iraq
was fraudulently articulated in the controlled media by
government agents and key supporters strategically
placed in major American media institutions, perhaps
most importantly The New York Times.
The simple fact of the matter is that rather than serving
as a check on power and objectively reporting the
facts, the mockingbird mass corporate media has been
weaponized to target political enemies—President
Trump, for example, or honest, objective yet "politically
incorrect" media outlets and publications, such as
TBR – while serving and advancing private special interests
and their political, cultural and economic agendas.
The systematic use of deception is regularly practiced
and shows no signs of abating. Operation Mockingbird
is still in full effect today.
Thankfully, President Trump is making
this all very clear, despite never
once uttering the words "Operation
In conclusion, while it is likely the
CIA infiltrated and collaborated with
the major American media outlets in
what its leaders, agents and collaborators
perceived to be legitimate and
genuinely patriotic efforts to advance
certain American interests in its
struggle against communism, it certainly
does not justify systematically
manipulating, conditioning and deceiving the public for
political purposes. It has become increasingly clear that
various private political and ethnic factions, many of
whom have ties directly to the U.S. government, the CIA,
and the Deep State, more broadly, have utilized their influence
in the controlled media and government to advance
their own unique interests, rather than the interests
of the American people. In too many cases, this has
been done with the complicity of representatives who
swore an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution.
Thankfully, this information is becoming more and
more mainstream in American society. The public
knows it is being lied to, although many may not realize
the full extent of the deceptions being carried out
against them. And many are coming to recognize the central
role the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies have
and continue to play in deceiving the American public,
targeting perceived enemies of the Deep State, covering
up and facilitating crimes and deceptions, and otherwise
advancing agendas and narratives that run contrary to
American national interests.
John Friend is a freelance writer based in Califronia.
This article is from the May/June Issue of The Barnes Review.
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