Former CIA director plays dumb on Operation Mockingbird and admitted state-backed media propaganda.
March 3, 2011
WeAreChange.org founder Luke Rudkowski confronts James Woolsey, former CIA Director, PNAC signatory, member the CFR and World Affairs Council, about the CIA’s historically established programs to control and influence the media.
Woolsey is asked about a statement from William Colby, CIA director from 1973-1976, who said, “The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” Woolsey denied the truth behind the statement, making reference to Colby’s untimely death by boating accident (though he didn’t die until 1996).
Moreover, Woolsey denied any knowledge of Operation Mockingbird, telling We Are Change that no such program existed ‘the way you described it.’ In the end of the encounter, Woolsey doesn’t deny the CIA’s influence over the media altogether, but deflects, claiming no policy of involvement has existed ‘for decades.’
Rudkowski writes, “If the CIA had control over media companies decades ago what do you think there role is now during the communication revolution?”
Documentation and detail over aspects of Operation Mockingbird exist in the following books, noted on Wikipedia, including Deborah Davis’ 1979 book, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and her Washington Post Empire, E. Howard Hunt’s 2007 memoir American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond, and Hugh Wilford’s 2008 The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America. Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein, famous for his investigation of the Watergate burglaries, also covers CIA & media, as some of his quotes below demonstrate.
- See Also: CIA & Radio Free Europe
- See Also: CIA & Operation Mockingbird
- See Also: White House paid propaganda-news scandals: here, here, here and here
- See Also: London Independent, 1995, Modern art was CIA ‘weapon’
“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”
–William Colby, former CIA Director, cited by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy
“You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month.”
–CIA operative, quoted in Katherine the Great, by Deborah Davis
“There is quite an incredible spread of relationships. You don’t need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are [Central Intelligence] Agency people at the management level.”
–William B. Bader, former CIA intelligence officer, briefing members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
“The Agency’s relationship with [The New York] Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. [It was] general Times policy … to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible.”
–The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein
“For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government…. I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations.”
–former President Harry Truman, 22 December 1963, one month after the JFK assassination, op-ed section of the Washington Post, early edition