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Operation Mockingbird
by John Friend

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 abroad."

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 remarked.

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 Mockingbird."

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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