a reply to: DJW001
You might like to think that we will think the way you would like us to think but, when it is a known fact that the CIA is known to plant stories in
western MSM ,we can be sure that it is only western propaganda . There was a recent story supporting this fact but there is a older story as to how it
" By Carl Bernstein
October 20, 1977 In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did
not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went
at the request of the CIA.
Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central
Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some
were explicit. 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. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of
the managements of America’s leading news organizations.
WORKING PRESS — CIA STYLE
To understand the role of most journalist‑operatives, it is necessary to dismiss some myths about undercover work for American intelligence
services. Few American agents are “spies” in the popularly accepted sense of the term. “Spying” — the acquisition of secrets from a foreign
government—is almost always done by foreign nationals who have been recruited by the CIA and are under CIA control in their own countries. Thus the
primary role of an American working undercover abroad is often to aid in the recruitment and “handling” of foreign nationals who are channels of
secret information reaching American intelligence.
Many journalists were used by the CIA to assist in this process and they had the reputation of being among the best in the business. The peculiar
nature of the job of the foreign correspondent is ideal for such work: he is accorded unusual access by his host country, permitted to travel in areas
often off‑limits to other Americans, spends much of his time cultivating sources in governments, academic institutions, the military establishment
and the scientific communities. He has the opportunity to form long‑term personal relationships with sources and—perhaps more than any other
category of American operative—is in a position to make correct judgments about the susceptibility and availability of foreign nationals for
recruitment as spies.
“After a foreigner is recruited, a case officer often has to stay in the background,” explained a CIA official. “So you use a journalist to
carry messages to and from both parties”
Journalists in the field generally took their assignments in the same manner as any other undercover operative. If, for instance, a journalist was
based in Austria, he ordinarily would be under the general direction of the Vienna station chief and report to a case officer. Some, particularly
roving correspondents or U.S.‑based reporters who made frequent trips abroad, reported directly to CIA officials in Langley, Virginia.
The tasks they performed sometimes consisted of little more than serving as “eyes and ears” for the CIA; reporting on what they had seen or
overheard in an Eastern European factory, at a diplomatic reception in Bonn, on the perimeter of a military base in Portugal. On other occasions,
their assignments were more complex: planting subtly concocted pieces of misinformation; hosting parties or receptions designed to bring together
American agents and foreign spies; serving up “black” propaganda to leading foreign journalists at lunch or dinner; providing their hotel rooms or
bureau offices as “drops” for highly sensitive information moving to and from foreign agents; conveying instructions and dollars to CIA controlled
members of foreign governments.
Often the CIA’s relationship with a journalist might begin informally with a lunch, a drink, a casual exchange of information. An Agency official
might then offer a favor—for example, a trip to a country difficult to reach; in return, he would seek nothing more than the opportunity to debrief
the reporter afterward. A few more lunches, a few more favors, and only then might there be a mention of a formal arrangement — “That came
later,” said a CIA official, “after you had the journalist on a string.”
Another official described a typical example of the way accredited journalists (either paid or unpaid by the CIA) might be used by the Agency: “In
return for our giving them information, we’d ask them to do things that fit their roles as journalists but that they wouldn’t have thought of
unless we put it in their minds. For instance, a reporter in Vienna would say to our man, ‘I met an interesting second secretary at the Czech
Embassy.’ We’d say, ‘Can you get to know him? And after you get to know him, can you assess him? And then, can you put him in touch with
us—would you mind us using your apartment?”‘
Formal recruitment of reporters was generally handled at high levels—after the journalist had undergone a thorough background check. The actual
approach might even be made by a deputy director or division chief. On some occasions, no discussion would he entered into until the journalist had
signed a pledge of secrecy.
“One of the things we always had going for us in terms of enticing reporters,” observed a CIA official who coordinated some of the arrangements
with journalists, “was that we could make them look better with their home offices. A foreign correspondent with ties to the Company [the CIA] stood
a much better chance than his competitors of getting the good stories.”
Within the CIA, journalist‑operatives were accorded elite status, a consequence of the common experience journalists shared with high‑level CIA