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     MindNet Journal - Vol. 1, No. 18
     V E R I C O M M / MindNet         "Quid veritas est?"


The following is reproduced here with the express permission of
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Permission is given to reproduce and redistribute, for
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The views and opinions expressed below are not necessarily the
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Editor: Mike Coyle 

Contributing Editors: Walter Bowart
                      Harlan Girard
                      Alex Constantine

Assistant Editor: Rick Lawler

Research: Darrell Bross


Tales from the Crypt

The Depraved Spies and Moguls of the CIA's Operation MOCKINGBIRD

by Alex Constantine

Who Controls the Media?
        Soulless corporations do, of course. Corporations with
grinning, double-breasted executives, interlocking directorates,
labor squabbles and flying capital. Dow. General Electric.
Coca-Cola. Disney. Newspapers should have mastheads that mirror
the world: The Westinghouse Evening Scimitar, The
Atlantic-Richfield Intelligentser. It is beginning to dawn on a
growing number of armchair ombudsmen that the public print
reports news from a parallel universe -- one that has never
heard of politically-motivated assassinations, CIA-Mafia banking
thefts, mind control, death squads or even federal agencies with
secret budgets fattened by cocaine sales -- a place overrun by
lone gunmen, where the CIA and Mafia are usually on their best
behavior. In this idyllic land, the most serious infraction an
official can commit is a the employment of a domestic servant
with (shudder) no residency status.

        This unlikely land of enchantment is the creation of

        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 Operation MOCKINGBIRD.

        "By the early 1950s," writes former Village Voice
reporter Deborah Davis in Katharine the Great, "Wisner 'owned'
respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other
communications vehicles, plus stringers, four to six hundred in
all, according to a former CIA analyst." The network was overseen
by Allen Dulles, a templar for German and American corporations
who wanted their points of view represented in the public print.
Early MOCKINGBIRD influenced 25 newspapers and wire agencies
consenting to act as organs of CIA propaganda. Many of these were
already run by men with reactionary views, among them William
Paley (CBS), C.D. Jackson (Fortune), Henry Luce (Time) and Arthur
Hays Sulzberger (N.Y. Times).

        Activists curious about the workings of MOCKINGBIRD have
since been appalled to find in FOIA documents that agents
boasting in CIA office memos of their pride in having placed
"important assets" inside every major news publication in the
country. It was not until 1982 that the Agency openly admitted
that reporters on the CIA payroll have acted as case officers to
agents in the field.

        "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.

        "Nixon," writes John Loftus, a former attorney for the
Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, took "a
small boy's delight in the arcane tools of the intelligence craft
-- the hidden microphones, the 'black' propaganda." Nixon
especially enjoyed his visit to a Virginia training camp to
observe Nazis in the "special forces" drilling at covert

        One of the fugitives recruited by the American
intelligence underground was heroin smuggler Hubert von Blucher,
the son of A German ambassador. Hubert often bragged that that he
was trained by the Abwehr, the German military intelligence
division, while still a civilian in his twenties. He served in a
recon unit of the German Army until forced out for medical
reasons in 1944, according to his wartime records. He worked
briefly as an assistant director for Berlin-Film on a movie
entitled One Day ..., and finished out the war flying with the
Luftwaffe, but not to engage the enemy -- his mission was the
smuggling of Nazi loot out of the country. His exploits were, in
part, the subject of Sayer and Botting's Nazi Gold, an account of
the knockover of the Reichsbank at the end of the war.

        In 1948 he flew the coop to Argentina. Posing as a
photographer named Huberto von Bleucher Corell, he immediately
paid court to Eva Peron, presenting her with an invaluable
Gobelin tapestry (a selection from the wealth of artifacts
confiscated by the SS from Europe's Jews?). Hubert then met with
Martin Bormann at the Hotel Plaza to deliver German marks worth
$80 million. The loot financed the birth of the National
Socialist Party in Argentina, among other forms of Nazi revival.

        In 1951, Hubert migrated northward and took a job  at the
Color Corporation of America in Hollywood. He eked out a living
writing scripts for the booming movie industry. His voice can be
heard on a film set in the Amazon, produced by Walt Disney. Nine
years later he returned to Buenos Aires, then Dusseldorf, West
Germany, and established a firm that developed not movie scripts,
but anti-chemical warfare agents for the government. At the
Industrie Club in Dusseldorf in 1982, von Blucher boasted to
journalists, "I am chief shareholder of Pan American Airways. I
am the best friend of Howard Hughes. The Beach Hotel in Las Vegas
is 45 percent financed by me. I am thus the biggest financier
ever to appear in the Arabian Nights tales dreamed up by these
people over their second bottle of brandy."

        Not really. Two the biggest financiers to stumble from
the drunken dreams of world-moving affluence were, in their time,
Moses Annenberg, publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer, and his
son Walter, the CIA/mob-anchored publisher of the TV Guide. Like
most American high-rollers, Annenberg lived a double life. Moses,
his father, was a scion of the Capone mob. Both Moses and Walter
were indicted in 1939 for tax evasions totalling many millions of
dollars -- the biggest case in the history of the Justice
Department. Moses pled guilty and agreed to pay the government $8
million and settle $9 million in assorted tax claims, penalties
and interest debts. Moses received a three-year sentence. He died
in Lewisburg Penitentiary.

        Walter Annenbeg, the TV Guide magnate, was a lofty
Republican. On the campaign trail in April, 1988, George Bush
flew into Los Angeles to woo Reagan's kitchen cabinet. "This is
the topping on the cake," Bush's regional campaign director told
the Los Angeles Times. The Bush team met at Annenberg's plush
Rancho Mirage estate at Sunnylands, California. It was at the
Annenberg mansion that Nixon's cabinet was chosen, and the
state's social and contributor registers built over a
quarter-century of state political dominance by Ronald Reagan,
whose acting career was launched by Operation MOCKINGBIRD.

        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 1952, at MCA, Actors' Guild president Ronald Reagan --
a screen idol recruited by MOCKINGBIRD's Crusade for Freedom to
raise funds for the resettlement of Nazis in the U.S., according
to Loftus -- signed a secret waiver of the conflict-of-interest
rule with the mob-controlled studio, in effect granting it a
labor monopoly on early television programming. In exchange, MCA
made Reagan a part owner. Furthermore, historian C. Vann
Woodward, writing in the New York Times, in 1987, reported that
Reagan had "fed the names of suspect people in his organization
to the FBI secretly and regularly enough to be assigned 'an
informer's code number, T-10.' His FBI file indicates intense
collaboration with producers to 'purge' the industry of

        No one ever turned a suspicious eye on Walter Cronkite, a
former intelligence officer and in the immediate postwar period
UPI's Moscow correspondent. Cronkite was lured to CBS by
Operation MOCKINGBIRD's Phil Graham, according to Deborah Davis.

        Another television conglomerate, Cap Cities, rose like a
horror-film simian from CIA and Mafia heroin operations. Among
other organized-crime Republicans, Thomas Dewey and his neighbor
Lowell Thomas threw in to launch the infamous Resorts
International, the corporate front for Lansky's branch of the
federally-sponsored mob family and the corporate precursor to Cap
Cities. Another of the investors was James Crosby, a Cap Cities
executive who donated $100,000 to Nixon's 1968 presidential
campaign. This was the year that Resorts bought into Atlantic
City casino interests. Police in New jersey attempted, with no
success, to spike the issuance of a gambling license to the
company, citing Mafia ties.

        In 1954, this same circle of investors, all Catholics,
founded the broadcasting company notorious for overt
propagandizing and general spookiness. The company's chief
counsel was OSS veteran William Casey, who clung to his shares by
concealing them in a blind trust even after he was appointed CIA
director by Ronald Reagan in 1981.

        "Black radio" was the phrase CIA critic David Wise coined
in The Invisible Government to describe the agency's intertwining
interests in the emergence of the transistor radio with the
entrepreneurs who took to the airwaves. "Daily, East and West
beam hundreds of propaganda broadcasts at each other in an
unrelenting babble of competition for the minds of their
listeners. The low-price transistor has given the hidden war a
new importance," enthused one foreign correspondent.

        A Hydra of private foundations sprang up to finance the
propaganda push. One of them, Operations and Policy Research,
Inc. (OPR), received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the
CIA through private foundations and trusts. OPR research was the
basis of a television series that aired in New York and
Washington, D.C. in 1964, Of People and Politics, a "study" of
the American political system in 21 weekly installments.

        In Hollywood, the visual cortex of The Beast, the same
CIA/Mafia combination that formed Cap Cities sank its claws into
the film studios and labor unions. Johnny Rosselli was pulled out
of the Army during the war by a criminal investigation of Chicago
mobsters in the film industry. Rosselli, a CIA asset probably
assassinated by the CIA, played sidekick to Harry Cohn, the
Columbia Pictures mogul who visited Italy's Benito Mussolini in
1933, and upon his return to Hollywood remodeled his office after
the dictator's. The only honest job Rosselli ever had was
assistant purchasing agent (and a secret investor) at Eagle Lion
productions, run by Bryan Foy, a former producer for 20th Century
Fox. Rosselli, Capone's representative on the West Coast, passed
a small fortune in mafia investments to Cohn. Bugsy Seigel pooled
gambling investments with Billy Wilkerson, publisher of the
Hollywood Reporter.

        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.

        Most consumers of the corporate media were -- and are --
unaware of the effect that the salting of public opinion has on
their own beliefs. A network anchorman in time of national crisis
is an instrument of psychological warfare in the MOCKINGBIRD
media. He is a creature from the national security sector's
chamber of horrors. For this reason consumers of the corporate
press have reason to examine their basic beliefs about government
and life in the parallel universe of these United States.

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