Gone are the days when the CIA secretly infiltrated American newsrooms, craftily tricking people into believing U.S. government propaganda was the real news. When they started the Vietnam War based on storm clouds in the Gulf of Tonkin, the CIA officer was in the corner of the copy room whispering, “Say the storm clouds were heavily armed. Say the lightning looked like Charlie! Do it!” Putting the CIA in every newsroom was a clandestine project called Operation Mockingbird, and it paid mighty dividends. The Helsinki Times reported that when Carl Bernstein unveiled the scandal in 1977, “The CIA admitted that at least 400 journalists and 25 large organizations around the world had secretly carried out assignments for the agency.”
The CIA, from its inception, carried out assassinations, coups, torture, and illegal spying and abuse, including of US citizens, many of which were exposed in 1975 by the Church Committee in the Senate and the Pike Committee in the House. Congress attempted to enact laws to curb the widespread criminal activity by the CIA. Senate and House intelligence oversight committees were created, and after the Iran-Contra scandal a statutory Inspector General at the CIA was appointed. But this oversight has largely collapsed following the attacks of 9/11 and the so-called war on terror. The activities of the CIA have once again reverted to the shadows. The CIA, at the same time, has transformed itself into a paramilitary organization, with its own armed units and drone program.
The US government employs many strategies to try to justify its intervention in the internal affairs and violation of the sovereignty of foreign nations. Chief among these deceptive tactics is Washington’s weaponization of accusations that its adversaries violate the freedom of expression. This is quite ironic, given that the United States is the world’s leading violator of press freedoms, according to any consistent definition of the term. And unlike the countries that Washington claims supposedly repress the freedom of expression within their borders, US government censorship of independent media outlets and suppression of alternative voices is global, hurting people across the planet. The Joe Biden administration has in particular gone to great lengths to depict itself as a defender of civil liberties.
Very few people in the United States trust the mainstream corporate media. This is confirmed by a July survey from the major polling firm Gallup, which found that just 11% of North Americans trust television news, and a mere 16% have confidence in newspapers. It’s quite easy to understand why. The US media apparatus has repeatedly shown itself over decades to be completely unreliable and highly politicized. The corporate media’s treachery has been especially clear in the demonstrably false stories it disseminated to try to justify the US wars on Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. This disgraceful legacy continues today, in the proxy war that Washington is waging on Russia via Ukraine. Fake news echoed by the press has served as a powerful form of US information warfare.
There aren’t a lot of journalists that Americans can look up to these days, especially in the mainstream media. Edward R. Murrow and his “boys” are long gone. Americans don’t have a Walter Cronkite to set their minds at ease. Even the venerable 60 Minutes has had a carousel of unremarkable talking heads since the retirements of Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, and Harry Reasoner. Instead, many (most, maybe?) Americans get their news from “news” channels that fall under the auspices of their networks’ entertainment divisions. They get their news from the likes of Ken Dilanian, the NBC News and MSNBC intelligence journalist who in 2014 was exposed sending his stories to the C.I.A. for comment and clearance before he sent them to his own editor.
Obvious examples of Central Intelligence Agency covert action abroad are difficult to identify today, save for occasional acknowledged calamities, such as the long-running $1 billion effort to overthrow the government of Syria, via funding, training and arming barbarous jihadist groups. In part, this stems from many of the CIA’s traditional responsibilities and activities being farmed out to “overt” organizations, most significantly the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Founded in November 1983, then-CIA director William Casey was at the heart of NED’s creation.
On Saturday, a month-long state of emergency was declared in the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan, in response to violent protests in response to government plans to revoke the autonomy of the north-eastern republic of Karakalpakstan , a decision which Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev would later drop following a visit to the region. Despite the current disturbances only starting several days ago, their sudden escalation to extreme violence, as well as the coordinated coverage of the situation by corporate media outlets, including the US government-funded Radio Free Europe, already bears all the hallmarks of a CIA regime change operation.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The United States has perfected the art of regime change operations. The US is the largest empire in world history with more than 1,000 military bases and troops operating throughout the world. In addition to military force, the US uses the soft power of regime change, often through 'Color Revolutions.' The US has been building its empire since the Civil War era, but it has been in the post-World War II-time period that it has perfected regime change operations.US military presence around the world Have the people of the United States been the victims of regime change operations at home? Have the wealthiest and the security state created a government that serves them, rather than the people? To answer these questions, we begin by examining how regime change works and then look at whether those ingredients are being used domestically.
Since 2016, US government-backed censorship of websites, YouTube channels, Facebook pages, Twitter profiles, and PayPal accounts has escalated alarmingly. Washington targets those who counter the narratives that the government and big business media feed us, whether it be about US intervention and attempted overthrow of other governments, Covid, or stories of Russian interference. With the war in Ukraine, the immense propaganda power of the US government and corporate media has been directed against Russia and intensified on an overwhelming scale.
The CIA and special operations forces from NATO members Britain, France, Canada, and Lithuania are physically in Ukraine, helping direct the proxy war on Russia, according to a report in The New York Times. These Western forces are on the ground training and advising Ukrainian fighters, overseeing weapons shipments, and managing intelligence. At least 20 countries are part of a US Army-led coalition, guiding Ukraine in its fight against Russian troops. Some Ukrainian combatants are even using US flag patches on their equipment. This is all according to a June 25 report in The New York Times, titled “Commando Network Coordinates Flow of Weapons in Ukraine, Officials Say.” The Times is a de facto organ of the US government. Although technically private, the paper closely follows the line of the CIA and Pentagon.
Spain’s National High Court has summoned former CIA director and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to give testimony on a massive spying operation he allegedly orchestrated against Julian Assange and a related Trump administration plot to kidnap or assassinate the WikiLeaks publisher in London. The summons, revealed by ABC Spain last Friday, was issued by National High Court Judge Santiago Pedraz. It reportedly compels Pompeo, along with former US National Counterintelligence and Security Center director William Evanina to testify before a Spanish court, either in person or by video link, later this month. Pompeo and Evanina have been subpoenaed in a criminal case against Davis Morales, a former Spanish marine who headed the UC Global private security firm.
It was very difficult to watch some of my former colleagues file into the front rows in full support of the nomination of a torturer to head the CIA. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), who had published a damning report on CIA torture in Dec. 2014, lost her nerve and let Haspel off the hook when she asked her if she had overseen the interrogation of al-Nashiri. Haspel: it’s classified. And, in fact, the answer was successfully kept out of the media until now, with Mitchell’s testimony. Intelligence Committee Chair, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) waxed eloquent, telling Haspel: “You are without a doubt the most qualified person the president could choose to lead the CIA and the most prepared nominee in the 70-year history of the agency. You have acted morally, ethically and legally over a distinguished 30-year career.” See what I mean by getting sick to my stomach?
Today, I have on Asa Winstanley to talk about a series that he’s been publishing at his Substack about Operation Gladio, that is the NATO ‘stay behind’ networks in Europe, and that is how in the first Cold War, NATO supported a bunch of former Nazis and fascists to wage a war against the Soviet Union but really it was also a war internally against socialism. And today, we’re going to talk about what Operation Gladio is. This is not that well known even though there’s so many documents that have been released proving definitively that after World War II, NATO, the CIA and European intelligence agencies created a series of secret armies that were not only preparing for a potential hot war with the Soviet Union, but also kind of internally acted as secret police and they were implicated in terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of people across western Europe and were also implicated in killing, spying on and torturing and kidnapping Leftists.
The history of the US intelligence operations goes back to World War II. Stephen Bandera was released from prison by OSS officers in 1944. Bandera was a Nazi operative whose militia slaughtered Poles, Jews and communist workers on the eastern front. The OSS/CIA recruited Bandera so he could fight the advancing Soviet Union. In all the years since then, the CIA has never had an annual audit of its trillion dollar budget, and of course nothing has changed. Just over ten years ago the CIA initiated its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) “Orange Revolution” to once more cravenly attempt to thwart the Russians, a country that has living wages for its population and free health care for all. This was one of the first color revolutions and it involved the same militant Nazis the CIA employed in its Ukraine coup in 2014.