Member since: Mon Oct 8, 2007, 11:23 AM
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Number of posts: 2,397
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...Evan Thomas, the author of The Very Best Men: The Early Years of the CIA (1995), argues that the Alsop brothers worked very closely with Frank Wisner, the first director of the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), the espionage and counter-intelligence branch of the CIA. He points out that he "considered his friends Joe and Stewart Alsop to be reliable purveyors of the company line in their columns". In 1953 the brothers helped out Edward Lansdale and the CIA in the Philippines: "Wisner actively courted the Alsops, along with a few other newsmen he regarded as suitable outlets. When Lansdale was manipulating electoral politics in the Philippines in 1953, Wisner asked Joe Alsop to write some columns warning the Filipinos not to steal the election from Magsaysay. Alsop was happy to comply, though he doubted his columns would have much impact on the Huks. After the West German counterintelligence chief, Otto John, defected to the Soviet Union in 1954, Wisner fed Alsop a story that the West German spymaster had been kidnapped by the KGB. Alsop dutifully printed the story, which may or may not have been true." ...
At the end of 1966, Desmond FitzGerald, Directorate for Plans, discovered that Ramparts, a left-wing publication, were planning to publish an article that the International Organizations Division had been secretly funding the National Student Association. FitzGerald ordered Edgar Applewhite to organize a campaign against the magazine. Applewhite later told Evan Thomas for his book, The Very Best Men: "I had all sorts of dirty tricks to hurt their circulation and financing. The people running Ramparts were vulnerable to blackmail. We had awful things in mind, some of which we carried off." This dirty tricks campaign failed to stop the magazine publishing this story in March, 1967. The article, written by Sol Stern, was entitled NSA and the CIA. As well as reporting CIA funding of the National Student Association it exposed the whole system of anti-Communist front organizations in Europe, Asia, and South America.
Stewart Alsop, who was now working for the Saturday Evening Post, asked Thomas Braden, the former head of the International Organizations Division (IOD) to write an article for the Saturday Evening Post in response to what Stern had written. The article, entitled, I'm Glad the CIA is Immoral , appeared on 20th May 1967. Braden defended the activities of the IOD unit of the CIA. Braden admitted that for more than 10 years, the CIA had subsidized Encounter through the Congress for Cultural Freedom - which it also funded - and that one of its staff was a CIA agent.
Hugh Wilford, the author of The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (2008) has argued: "It was a well-worn technique of the CIA to blow the cover of covert operations when they were no longer considered desirable or viable, and there were a number of reasons why, by April 1967, the Agency might have tired of its alliance with the non-communist left. For one, the NCL had become a far less reliable instrument of U.S. foreign policy than it had been a decade earlier. With their propensity for criticizing the war in Vietnam. ADA-style left-liberals such as the Reuther brothers were increasingly perceived in Washington as a hindrance rather a help in the prosecution of the Cold War." ...
Posted by MinM | Mon Aug 4, 2014, 08:21 AM (1 replies)
...“About five years ago it struck me that there were so few stories of young women who traveled together and became really good friends,” Ganis, one of the show’s executive producers, told Wired.com ahead of the show’s Sunday premiere. “My biggest frustration in our business is how uninformed people are about the world. I thought this would be a good vehicle for people to see our common humanity.”
So Ganis, a Pan American World Airways stewardess from 1968 to 1976, spent hours upon hours meticulously researching her former employer and getting jet-age stories from other past employees.
She ended up with tales of not only young women on far-flung journeys, but also of Pan Am’s involvement in State Department operations, behind-the-scenes missions prior to the Six-Day War and dangerous liaisons in Africa — all stories she hopes to work into future episodes...
Posted by MinM | Fri Aug 1, 2014, 10:22 AM (0 replies)
Alsop is an interesting case that Bernstein brings up. In an otherwise excellent piece from NPR's On the Media that was posted previously, Alsop's brother Stewart is given a free pass for dubious reporting ..
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Journalism has been called the first draft of history, but what if that first draft is never corrected or if the mistakes persist, despite many subsequent drafts? President Bush harkened back to the peril we faced during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962 and how we were saved by the uncompromising resolve of an earlier leader, in order to justify our need to take preemptive action in Iraq. He was drawing on the first draft of history, the one that said John F. Kennedy went eyeball to eyeball with Nikita Khrushchev over Russian missiles in Cuba and that Khrushchev blinked and withdrew. :
JOHN F. KENNEDY: We will not prematurely or unnecessarily risk the course of worldwide nuclear war in which even the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth. But neither will we shrink from that risk at any time it must be faced.
BOB GARFIELD: Major players in the Cuban Missile Crisis, including then presidential speech writer Ted Sorensen and former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, have tried in recent years to correct the record of those events, but the national myth seems pretty much unshakable. Fred Kaplan, Slate columnist and, incidentally, Brooke’s husband, has examined all the declassified material related to that crisis as it’s emerged over the years. We asked him to take us through the various drafts of the Cuba showdown.
FRED KAPLAN: The basic scenario came from an article published shortly after the crisis by Stewart Alsop who was a very establishment columnist of the day who got the information from aides to Kennedy in the White House who were authorized by Kennedy to give him this account. Eyeball to eyeball with the Russians, crazy generals, on one hand, wanting us to bomb the missiles right away, lunatic doves like Stevenson, on the other, wanting to negotiate their way out of it from the beginning and, you know, smart guys like Kennedy and McNamara and Bundy navigating a, a cool and calm course through the thickets and ending us up safe to shore.
BOB GARFIELD: That's a heroic and reassuring recounting of the events, and it's certainly not the first nor the last time that a journalist has run with leaked information, but do you think Alsop had any way to know that the story he was writing did not, in fact, reflect the events as we now know them?
FRED KAPLAN: No, I don't think he had any way of knowing that. This is what people told him and he certainly wasn't privy to any of the inside stuff going on. And, in fact, this was confirmed in the second draft of history, the memoirs written by two of what could be called the palace historians, Arthur Schlesinger and Ted Sorensen, Sorensen being Kennedy's speechwriter at the time who was present at all of the — what they called the ex-con meetings, the meetings of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council which got together for the 13 Days and deliberated what to do. And this basically told the same story, though with more detail...
Posted by MinM | Thu Jul 31, 2014, 11:16 AM (1 replies)
JFK probably would have lived longer had he not tried to push so hard for peace. Then again if he had not pushed back against those who had a death wish for the world there never would have been events like this speech for others to aspire..
Of course the same was probably true for many brave souls throughout history. Just in the past fifty years since Kennedy we've had Martin Luther King Jr., Anwar Sadat, Yatzhik Rabin, and Benazir Bhutto just to name a few.
Posted by MinM | Wed Jul 30, 2014, 11:32 PM (1 replies)
Interesting piece here ..
Excerpt from The Breaking of a President 1974 - The Nixon Connection
Marvin Miller, Compiler (Therapy Productions, Inc.©1975); LCCCN
BEBE THE BAGMAN
Secret Manipulations of President's Crony Still Pose Question Mark
To those of an inquiring turn of mind, it may seem odd that these two men from such radically different milieus—the earnest young Quaker lawyer and politician from rural Southern California , and the self‑made Cuban‑American businessman on Florida's Gold Coast —should have become friends in the first place, and soon become so close. Just who is Bebe Rebozo and what is his background? ...
BTW a little bit of entertainment trivia .. the short-lived television series Pan Am dealt with using airline employees as intelligence assets.
Posted by MinM | Wed Jul 30, 2014, 08:03 AM (1 replies)
Posted by MinM | Fri Jul 25, 2014, 08:43 PM (1 replies)
The Gray Man:
‘Shadow Warrior,’ by Randall B. Woods
By EVAN THOMAS
Published: May 3, 2013
William E. Colby, right, with another former director of central intelligence, George H. W. Bush, in 1978.
During the Vietnam War, Bill Colby of the Central Intelligence Agency ran the Phoenix program, which set out to “neutralize” the Viet Cong by capturing or killing them. In 1972, when Colby came home to a nation that had turned against the war, his face began appearing around Washington on “Wanted” posters. He was jeered on the street and peppered with death threats. Every day at 5 a.m., he was awakened at home by the same crank caller, accosting him as a murderer and a war criminal. Colby did not bother to get his home number changed. Instead, he began to use the predawn call as an alarm clock...
In “Shadow Warrior,” we get the occasional glimpse of emotion. When one of his young sons began arguing with him about the morality of the Vietnam War, Colby became “red-faced,” the son recalled, and “shouted that war was brutal — it brutalized everyone who came into contact with it — but sometimes there was no alternative. He himself, he admitted, had killed men in war, even with his bare hands.” But such moments of self-revelation are fleeting. Mostly Colby presented himself as Galahad in a fallen world, a modest knight to be sure, but bent on finding the grail amid sin and corruption. “He was a man who could distinguish between illusion and reality,” Woods, a professor of history at the University of Arkansas, writes. “Or so he convinced himself.”
In 1954, President Eisenhower commissioned Gen. James Doolittle to write a secret report on the state of American intelligence. Faced with an “implacable enemy,” the report found, the West would have, in effect, to fight fire with fire. Fair play was out: dirty tricks were in.
The realpolitik of the cold war raised an ancient philosophical question: If you adopt the underhanded tactics of the enemy, if you stoop to his level, do you become like him? Colby does not seem to have been troubled by the problem. He did not become a drunk or turn half-mad like so many spies and spy chasers of that tortured time, most notably James Jesus Angleton, the head of counterintelligence, who was Colby’s antagonist at the C.I.A. Colby was always rather a Boy Scout (indeed, he led a Boy Scout troop when he was at home on the weekends, and worshiped at the Church of the Little Flower). ...
Another interesting side note is that the late Michael Hastings makes a passing reference to the Phoenix Program in his posthumously published novel The Last Magazine.
William Colby stipulated to "foreign assassination plots"
Posted by MinM | Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:41 PM (1 replies)
A little off topic here but it was interesting last night that PBS' History Detectives investigation concluded that Hoffa was killed to prevent him from testifying to the Church Committee.
Ostensibly to keep him from spilling the beans any further about Russell Bufalino's (Philly/NY mob boss) ties to the CIA. Sam Giancana and Johnny Roselli were silenced in the Summer of 75 too (apparently for the same reason).
Posted by MinM | Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:50 AM (1 replies)
Given that good journalism tends to be in the eye of the beholder and views on what qualifies tends to differ wildly (even within the DU 'family').
It's worth noting that Gary Webb, who was once widely denounced, will now be immortalized on film:
Posted by MinM | Tue Jul 22, 2014, 11:48 AM (16 replies)
Jesse Katz admits that attacking journalist Gary Webb's CIA-cocaine expose ruined Webb's life
By Nick Schou Thursday, May 30 2013
Nine years after investigative reporter Gary Webb committed suicide, Jesse Katz, a former Los Angeles Times reporter who played a leading role in ruining the controversial journalist's career, has publicly apologized — just weeks before shooting begins in Atlanta on Kill the Messenger, a film expected to reinstate Webb's reputation as an award-winning journalist dragged through the mud by disdainful, competing media outlets.
Webb made history, then quickly fell from grace, with his 20,000-word 1996 investigation, "Dark Alliance," in which the San Jose Mercury News reported that crack cocaine was being peddled in L.A.'s black ghettos to fund a CIA-backed proxy war carried out by contra rebels in Nicaragua...
No journalist played a more central role in the effort to obscure the facts Webb reported than former L.A. Times reporter Katz. But on May 22, Katz, who has penned a Los Angeles magazine story hitting newsstands now that resurfaces the Gary Webb episode, essentially apologized, on KPCC-FM 89.3's AirTalk With Larry Mantle.
Katz was discussing "Freeway Rick Is Dreaming" in the July 2013 issue of Los Angeles magazine, in which he profiles Ricky Ross, the notorious crack-cocaine dealer with whom Katz has a long, tortured relationship. In 1994, shortly after Ross got out of prison for coke trafficking, Katz wrote that Ross was the mastermind of America's crack-cocaine epidemic, at his peak pushing half a million rocks a day.
"If there was one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles' streets with mass-marketed cocaine, his name was 'Freeway' Rick," Katz's 1994 L.A. Times article claimed. "Ross did more than anyone else to democratize it, boosting volume, slashing prices and spreading disease on a scale never before conceived."
But Webb's 1996 Mercury News series exposed a startling fact: Ross' mentor and chief supplier, who helped him climb to the top of the crack trade, was Nicaraguan exile Oscar Danilo Blandón Reyes. Blandón belonged to one of Nicaragua's most prominent political families and was a major backer of the "contras" — a rebel movement secretly created by the CIA to overthrow the leftist Sandinista rebels...
SOS .. some of the same treatment that Gary Webb received. At least posthumously Gary Webb is getting some belated accolades ..
Keep up the good fight Octafish.
Posted by MinM | Tue Jul 22, 2014, 09:28 AM (0 replies)