Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

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Morale Operations Branch
by Wikipedia
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Morale Operations was a branch of the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. It utilized psychological warfare, particularly propaganda, to produce specific psychological reactions in both the general population and military forces of the Axis powers in support of larger Allied political and military objectives.

Origins

William Joseph Donovan formed the Morale Operations Branch of the Office of Strategic Services on March 3, 1943.[1] Donovan admired the perceived effectiveness of Nazi propaganda and saw the United States' lack of similar operations as a significant weakness.[2] To that end, he created the Morale Operations branch, which used many different tactics in both the informational and physical domains to sap morale, induce confusion and sow distrust within the populations of Axis countries and within the ranks of their armed forces.

Donovan held the belief that warfare should be conducted with an eye specifically to the psychological effect of both the actions and deeds of parties to a conflict both upon the constituent populations of the warring parties and the armed forces of the parties themselves, asserting that such psychological considerations are as important in devising wartime strategy as any other factor considered in planning a military campaign.[3]

In a speech delivered by then Colonel Donovan, he cites the specific importance of the psychological effect of both physical action and communication in warfare:

"The element of surprise in military operations, which is psychological warfare translated into field tactics, is achieved by artifice and stratagem, by secrecy and rapidity of information, by mystifying and misleading the enemy. When you strike at the morale of a people or any army, you strike at the deciding factor, because it is the strength of their will that determines the length of wars, the measure of resistance, and the day of final collapse."[4]

New York Speech
12/12/42

Psychological warfare – not a new factor in war – it’s importance greatly accentuated by conditions in modern war and by new instruments.

Since war began psychological warfare has been used. A leader has always tried to win to his standard tribes or individuals or allied nations. Political devices have been used to woo support of potential enemies, to secure compliance by threats of military action and prevent military action when these devices have failed.

When you had professional armies you sought to influence those in command by such political or diplomatic action. But with nations in arms, with civilians in uniform, the emphasis of such warfare has changed.

But it is still true that if you can stampede the leaders, the full objective may be more quickly achieved. You direct your propaganda at the civilian population, at their national emotions, because by doing so you not only involve the leaders, you not only aim at destroying the force of the war machine, but the political or military group who runs that machine.

Psychological warfare not a new device. Practiced in every phase of history – the war paint of barbarous tribes, the Trojan Horse, the Pheric elephants, the leaflets and wshipers used by Richelieu to destroy the morale of the besieged population of La Rochelle. At different times and different periods all of these devices have been used.

The element of surprise in military operations, which is psychological warfare translated into fields tactics, is achieved by artifice and stratagem, by secrecy and rapidity of information, by mystifying and misleading the enemy. When you strike at the morale of a people or an army you strike at the deciding factor, because it is the strength of their will that determines the length of wars, the measure of resistance and the day of final collapse.

We have this on both sides. In the first World War effective use was made of social and ideological warfare. But then the Allies were the masters. They had organized the warring nations that operated on three continents; they had isolated Italy from the Triple Alliance; won over the United States; secured the cooperation of Greece; forced the acceptance of a blockade which produced the economic strangulation of the enemy and they had used propaganda to accentuate racial, ethnic and class differences. They distorted the motives and methods of the enemy regime; destroyed the faith of the Central European powers in the fighting services; produced peace overtures which weakened and finally disrupted the enemy.

Between wars, the democracies had not prepared in psychological warfare because they had not prepared for war physically or morally. But Hitler did prepare, and he changed the kind of political warfare. He said: “The place of the artillery barrage as a preparation for infantry attack will, in the future, be taken by revolutionary propaganda. Its task is to break down the enemy physically before the armies begin to function at all.” And under him the Germans developed a deliberate science and strategy of psychological warfare.

THE AIM AND THE INSTRUMENTS:

In this war of machines, the human element is, in the long run, more important than the machines themselves. There must be the will to make the machines, to man the machines, and to pull the trigger. Psychological warfare is directed against that will. Its object is to destroy the morale of the enemy and to support the morale of our allies within enemy and enemy occupied countries.

One instrument is propaganda. This has more powerful instruments than ever before. The radio reaches the home, the bomber drops leaflets on the cities. Secret communications enable reports to penetrate enemy countries.

But in fighting that kind of war, it is just as important to have intelligence as in fighting in the orthodox and traditional way. There must be known the psychology of the people; the elements of resistance; the degree of cooperation which you can count upon when your divisions go in there. You must know the morale effect of air attacks against that region. You must be able not only to know the ground but to prepare it and to mobilize cooperation.

The essence of rumoring is that you know what nobody else knows and that you want everybody to know that you know what they don’t know. It is this human weakness that has to be exploited.

The ammunition of psychological warfare consists of ideas more powerful than those used by the enemy.

The Nazis have produced in Europe a large measure of grudging acquiescence that grows on successive disappointments and through the comparative barrier of distance. You must combat that with the certainty of Allied victories. What we offer must be concrete; must be translated into individual experience. They must be able to see some pattern of existence after the war.

This is a question of today and tomorrow and not of an indefinite future, because we have to arm the people of Europe with the conviction that our cause is their cause.

Donovan on psychological warfare


In the same speech, Donovan somewhat incorrectly cites Adolf Hitler's assertion from Mein Kampf as an example of how Nazi Germany paid considerable attention to the psychological aspects of warfare in preparation for hostilities in the late 1930s:

"The place of the artillery barrage as preparation for infantry attack will be taken, in the future, by revolutionary propaganda. Its task is to break down the enemy physically before the armies begin to function at all."[5]

Donovan's template for the organization of the Morale Operations Branch may be attributed loosely to the 'black' propaganda elements of the British Political Warfare Executive (PWE), upon which OSS personnel drew heavily for guidance in designing the makeup and mission of the Morale Operations Branch.

Though MO Branch drew a great deal of its origins from the British PWE, there was tension between the US and British agencies on the use of what was then referred to as 'Terror Propaganda.' Donovan viewed Hitler's use of the threat of overwhelming violence followed by ultimatums for surrender as tactics that could be made to backfire, and took issue with Churchill's focus on 'unconditional surrender' as the only option for Nazi Germany following an Allied victory.[6] In a document outlining the purpose of the OSS to President Roosevelt, he wrote the following:

"Espionage is not a nice thing, nor are the methods employed exemplary. Neither are demolition bombs nor poison gas, but our country is a nice thing and our independence is indispensable. We face an enemy who believes one of his chief weapons is that none but he will employ terror. But we will turn terror against him - or we will cease to exist."[7][better source needed]

This statement, and the guiding principles Donovan set down for the OSS which placed a premium on the importance of 'influence' as the primary objective of many of the OSS's operations, set the tone for the activities of the entire service during its lifespan until 1945.

Organization

Dr. McKay

SECRET

December 4, 1942

Memorandum to Dr. Rogers

From: R.H. Knapp

Subject: The Use of Terror Propaganda

In line with our discussion of yesterday, I should like to put into writing the following thoughts:

Terror propaganda, while immensely successful under proper conditions, may well be used imprudently to increase the resolution and determination of the enemy. This is especially true when it is not accompanied by reassurances to the innocent or helpless in enemy territory.

It has been the aim of German and Italian domestic propaganda to picture the war to their peoples as al alternative between total victory or annihilation. The strategy is obvious. If all Germans and Italians can be persuaded of this view, then even those who have been strongly unsympathetic with the Nazi and Fascist regimes will now have, of necessity, common cause with them, and the unity and determination of the enemy nations as a whole will be increased.

In presenting unalloyed terror propaganda to the enemy, we are, I think, furthering the very conviction which the enemy is trying to foster among their own people. The case of Italy at this moment is an excellent example. Churchill’s declaration of intentions must be considered terroristic. Had it been made in conjunction with concrete assurances regarding the intentions of the allied nations to deal fairly and humanely with the Italian people, and at a time when the Italian people, or elements of them, would have some prospect of successful rebellion, its effect might be otherwise. As it now stands, there is great danger that this declaration may drive the Italians to their leaders, and into closer cooperation with Germany. Already, of course, the Germans have taken occasion to indicate to the Italian people that Churchill’s declarations merely confirm their predictions that if an allied victory is achieved, both Italy and Germany will be subjected indiscriminately to brutal retaliations.

In general, I think terror propaganda should be employed only under the following circumstances:

1. When there is the possibility of producing demoralizing panic.
(A comparatively rare situation.)

2. When it is presented in conjunction with reassurances to innocent or helpless within the enemy population.

3. When it is presented at such a time that elements of the enemy population have reasonable prospect of being able to operate effectively against their leaders, and thus demonstrate their loyalty to the allied cause and disaffection toward their leaders.

Conversely, terror propaganda should not be employed in the following situations:

1. When there is no hope to produce immediate panic.

2. When it is not accompanied by reassurances to the innocent or helpless within the enemy nation.

3. When there is no possibility of action by those within enemy territories who oppose the ruling regime.

Clearly, the factor of timing rules the advisability of employing terror propaganda. If properly timed, it may produce panic; if not, it may force additional cohesion among the enemy. If properly timed, and accompanied by reassurances, it may precipitate revolt within the enemy nation; if not, it may drive them into common cause with their leaders.

Use of Terror Propaganda


The Morale Operations Branch comprised five sections: the Special Communications Detachment, the Radio Division, the Special Contacts Division, the Publications and Campaigns Division, and the Foreign Division. The Special Communications Detachment was responsible for "combat propaganda operations in coordination with the U.S. Army in Europe."[2] The Radio Division "conducted all black or clandestine radio programs."[2] The Special Contacts Division "distributed propaganda to partisan groups."[2] The Publications and Campaigns Division "produced leaflets, pamphlets, and whispering campaigns."[2] The Foreign Division "conducted miscellaneous [Morale Operations] activities abroad."[2] Collectively these divisions carried out psychological warfare operations for the U.S. Army.

The Morale Operations Branch had outposts in several locations across the globe. Usually these stations were close to U.S. Army combat stations or integrated into Army intelligence posts.[2] By 1945 the Morale Operations Branch had one station in Algeria, Egypt, France, and Britain, two in Sweden, and six in Italy.[2] The most important of these stations was in London, Britain.[2]

Relationship with other wartime information agencies

Relationship with Political Warfare Executive


The Morale Operations Branch gained a great deal of its early sources of information through its liaison relationship with the British Political Warfare Executive.[8] This relationship was to continue for the duration of the war, and would vary in intensity given the particular inclinations of various officers involved with Morale Operations in the OSS and their British counterparts. The Morale Operations Branch took much inspiration for its tactical campaigns from tactics developed by the British, some of which dealt with the regular dissemination of rumors into sources of popular media in Axis occupied or neutral countries.[9]

Relationship with Office of War Information

The US Office of War Information was an office within the Executive Branch resulting from the consolidation of many of the more overt information dissemination services managed by the US government during the war. In June 1942, the OWI gained some of the overt broadcast components of the OSS's predecessor, Donovan's Office of the Coordinator of Information, while the more covert components charged with the conduct of subversion and deception became part of the MO Branch. Among other US media notables enlisted to serve the government during the war, playwright Robert E. Sherwood played a large role in determining the character and functions of both the OWI and MO Branch.[10] Sherwood served as an advisor to both organizations, and contributed greatly to many of Donovan's plans for coordinated psychological warfare against the Axis powers throughout the war.

July 25, 1941

Memorandum

To: Robert Sherwood

From: Nelson Poynter

MAJOR PREMISES

1. World public opinion is influenced most by spot news. The battle is for best short and medium wve radio program, and page one of the newspapers of the world.

2. Dynamic action and tough utterances backed by deeds are the most potent foreign propaganda today. All other propaganda effort in the radio and press should be secondary to the battle for "page one."

3. A government agency operating 24-hours a day, seven days a week is needed to coordinate intelligence and to stimulate the making of news at the source, chiefly the numerous government departments. If this can be achieved we can avoid a ministry of propaganda. It is undesirable to have a ministry of propaganda because:

a. Congressional resentment.
b. Domestic repercussions.
c. Central clearance will impede rather than speed up official statements and action.
d. Central clearances will be resented by government officials who would feel subordinated to the ministry of propaganda.
e. It is desirable at times for high government officials to make statements without responsibility to the White House. A ministry of propaganda is bound to have White House responsibility attached to it in the public mind, regardless of technical fact.

4. The U.S. government must make every effort to avoid taking over short and medium wave radio stations.

5. The U.S. government, as a government, must keep its hands off the broadcasting of spot news, because:

a. Peoples of the world have greater confidence in news reports from U.S. than from any other country for the very reason that they are considered independent of the government.

b. If government news men start handling news it may ultimately be distorted and we will lose audience as a result of lost confidence in the news. News men of high integrity, sympathetic to, but not of the government, are the men to handle the spot news reports.

c. The press of this country, and what’s left of the free press of the world do not like government tinkering with the news. Most of the editors of the totalitarian press even respect the ability of this government to keep its hands off the news. This is something to build on.

6. A central news room and central broadcasting studio is desirable for all or most all of the short-wave transmitters, because:

a. It is almost impossible to find enough good news and linguistic talent to staff seven different short wave news rooms.

b. It is impossible to relay all necessary information from Washington to seven scattered short-wave news rooms.

c. Difficulties of monitoring, of checking sabotage, of innuendo and of language in seven scattered operations. Master switches in central control room can avert many of these difficulties.

IMMEDIATE STEPS RECOMMENDED TO IMPROVE OUR PRESENT POSITION IN WORLD RADIO AND HEADLINE BATTLE.

1. A crack, central news studio with mikes to all short-wave transmitters.

2. Division of world areas among the seven transmitters according to need of government rather than latent commercial desires of broadcasters.

3. Flexibility which would enable all transmitters to broadcast same program simultaneously or on seven different beams in seven different languages simultaneously.

4. Pool news and newscasting talent of short-wave stations, augmenting if necessary.

5. Set up master schedule embracing all stations according to best interests of government.

6. Donovan office to set up New York liaison office consisting of a few crack newsmen to feed hunches, and suggest direction and emphasis, based on intelligence from Washington. This office also to provide checks against sabotage of news report in addition to checks which broadcasters themselves would set up.

7. New York Donovan news operation would be tied into Washington Donovan spot news operation. Crack men at both ends must have unimpeachable integrity, as well as a certain amount of sales ability to feed statements, wise-cracks and even suggest actions that will curl into headlines on radio and newspapers of the world. Such a staff can accelerate clearances and actions within our government without the necessity of building up a ministry of propaganda. We will have something better, faster and more flexible than Nazis. With ingenuity such an operation can make headlines from other government departments than White House and State department that presently carry most of the headline burden with resulting delays and bottlenecks. Instead of having active resistance of other departments, Donovan office can have their active support and gratitude because it can show them how they, too, can participate on the propaganda front.

IMMEDIATE STAFF NEEDED

Assume that all news processors, translators, initial checkers and newscasters will be paid for by broadcasters. Private payroll will avoid numerous government complications and enable employment of staff members who cannot afford to work for government salary.

Thus N.Y. Donovan news office immediately requires only:

Three key news men to divide tricks around clock, one to be boss of N.Y. office.

Three assistants when right three key men have been found.

Six full-time linguists for double checking, basic languages.

Part-time linguists to double check non-basic languages.

Washington Donovan spot news operation will need initially:

Spot News Director – including N.Y. Spot News operation.

Three key news men dividing up the clock.

Add, as good men found, six assistants to maintain liaison and help activate news from other government agencies.

ASSUMPTION RE: WASHINGTON STAFF – FCC Listening Post will have a spot operation to skim off highlights of opposition’s propaganda trends in various parts of the world, and therefore Donovan office will receive its initial short wave listening intelligence in fairly refined form. If FCC does not provide such facilities, add three key men, and twelve crack, multi-lingual listeners who can be trained to give news operation what is desired.

DILEMMAS TO BE RESOLVED:

1. Short-wave broadcasters reluctant to divide up world areas according to needs of government rather than their commercial ambitions.

2. Short-wave broadcasters lose money. Government proposing an even more expensive news operation for them.

Who shall pay line charges?

Who shall pay for better talent for news and newscasters?

Who shall pay for additional electricity, engineering time, and maintenance for broadcasting more hours per day.

We very roughly estimate such additional costs will run to $500,000 a year. (I have not had opportunity to check the electricity, engineering maintenance. This estimate may be low.)

The government has the money. Question is whether broadcasters want to accept it, and whether is sound policy for government get into broadcasting virtually as paying sponsor.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS:

1. Broadcasters, A.T.&T., power companies to share this increased expense.

2. Government to buy some official time for official communiqué, but not news time, and thus cover additional expense, or at least part of it. This would not be entirely devious. There are times when more outright official news should be pumped out, than it is desirable to feed through normal news channels without losing audience, without making the news smack too much of official propaganda.

Almost every week some government official is making a speech which it is desirable to broadcast by short-wave, or rebroadcast at a more favorable time. Thus the government can legitimately use the permanent lines which would be available for newscasting on a non-government basis.

Nelson Poynter
301 Taylor Drive
Alexandria, Va.
Telephone: Temple 2739

or

The St. Petersburg Times
St. Petersburg, Fla.
‘Phone: 5101

No ministry of propaganda


Archibald MacLeish, another luminary of the American media community also served a critical role in advising both the MO Branch and OWI, serving as the director of OWI's Office of Facts and Figures[11] and as senior advisor to OSS's Research and Analysis Branch on matters pertaining to Psychological Warfare strategy.[12]

The MO Branch and OWI coordinated their activities by design,[13] to the point the OWI occasionally allowed subversive content to be injected into overt OWI broadcasts in order to enhance the effect of covert MO Branch activities overseas.[14]

OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES
WASHINGTON, D.C.

October 14, 1943

To: Lt. Patrick Dolan

From: Robert H. Knapp

Subject: OWI Aid in Dissemination of Rumors

You will be interested to know that we have struck a deal with Doob of O.W.I. whereby he now is able to plant selected rumor items in O.W.I. for newscasts. Accompanying is a transcript of the German news broadcast of October 8th containing one of our rumors. This is found on page 9 and states in effect that party leaders have been misappropriating the houses of bombing evacuees from Bremen.

We are continuing to supply Doob with a considerable amount of material and are greatly encouraged over the use of it.

Incidentally, the programs are rebroadcast by B.B.C. Naturally this arrangement with Doob is on a purely informal and unofficial level and should be kept in the family.

attachment

from PS

OWI black propaganda memo, 1943[i]


Relationship with Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Psychological Warfare Division (PWD/SHAEF)

MO Branch additionally maintained operational detachments that were attached to major maneuver units of the US military under the operational control of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. These tactical teams were divided into three distinct categories: Combat Teams, Occupational Teams and Base Teams.[15]

United States SECRET Equals British MOST SECRET & SECRET

MEMORANDUM

12 November 1943

SUBJECT: PWB Field Teams - COMBAT TEAMS.

FROM: Frederick Oechsner

1. The PWB field set-up for the Sicilian campaign provided for three "waves" of teams, viz:

a. Combat Teams (or reconnaissance)
b. Occupational (or dissemination) Teams
c. Base (or permanent) Teams.

The make-up and activities of these various teams would obviously vary according to the problems faced, e.g. where the combat area was rural or urban in nature, densely or sparsely populated, advanced or backward in culture etc.

2. COMBAT TEAMS:

Combat teams were made up of three to five men, mixed military and civilian. One was attached to the 7th (American) Army under John Whittaker of MO, civilian, with one British and one American officer; and one attached to the 8th (British) Army under Lt. Col. McFarlane of PWE with a British and American officer. These teams were provided with Jeeps and trailers and with full field equipment for self subsistence and protection for anything up to five days or a week. Their duties were manifold, including not only the gathering of intelligence and the active prosecution of psychological warfare, but the "selling" of propaganda and psychological warfare to Field Commanders. It may be said that the Combat teams amply justified themselves in the Sicilian operation. The intelligence they procured was invaluable to the Base Areas for the preparation of radio programs and strategical leaflets, of black radio programs, as well as for tactical leaflets in the field; most of the intelligence procured was also of value to G-2 (with whom the Combat teams worked in close cooperation) and Field Security.

3. The essential duties of the Combat teams might be outlined as follows:

a. To locate, ear-mark for later use and to seize, when necessary, radio broadcasting stations, printing presses (for leaflets, posters, etc), newspaper plants (for the issuance of newspapers), stocks of paper and cinemas.

b. To locate and procure by force, if necessary, the essential parts of radio stations, printing presses, newspaper plants, which may have been removed by the enemy.

c. To estimate the damage caused by the enemy and the parts necessary and probable time required to repair the plants to usefulness.

In Siciliy some of us felt that it was desirable not to high pressure the population with posters, merely giving them a new type of political propaganda when what they really needed was a relief from high pressure propaganda after ten to twenty years of it.)

e. To collaborate further with the Civilian Administration Authorities in any "conditioning" of the local population that is required.

f. To enlist further local reliable assistants in the operation of radio stations, newspapers, printing presses, etc.

g. To take in whatever field equipment may be necessary (particularly mobile printing presses and loudspeaker units) to service combat teams in their further operations up forward.

5. The lessons to be learned from the experiences of the Occupational teams may be roughly described as follows:

a. The necessity of organizing a thoroughly reliable communications set-up as between the Advance (occupational team) base and the Base Hqs. for the transmission of material as well as for the transmission of Combat team material which the teams may not have been able to get through themselves.

b. The necessity of ascertaining accurately, by means of public opinion testing surveys, the attitude of the population in the area for purposes of propaganda. Such attitudes will have to be gauged by the Occupational teams more fully than the Combat Teams will be able to do; moreover an independent test is necessary for the reason that the attitude of the population may actually have changed between the time that the Combat team left and the Occupational team arrived.

c. The necessity of organizing good transportation of Advance Base Headquarters, not only for members of the Advance Base staff but also for the repair of the vehicles of Combat teams.

d. The necessity of remaining in close contact with G-2, Field Security, Civilian Administration Authorities and other authorities in the area.

e. The necessity of forming a radio program and newspaper content which will appeal to, rather than in any way antagonize, the population which will just be coming out from under the influence of several years of Axis propaganda.

f. The necessity of selection motion pictures for display in cinemas in the area from the same point of view as in e. above.

6. The functions of personnel of the Advance Headquarters (Occupational) Group were as follows:

Commanding Officer
Deputy Commanding Officer
Administration Section (under a British Captain) responsible for:
Billeting
Mess
Transportation
Security and Duty Officers
Equipment
Personnel
Secretariat
Daily Activities Reports
Liaison with Amgot
Dissemination Section (under a civilian) responsible for:
Press
Radio (white)
Radio (black)
Motion pictures
Mobile Press
Local printing work
Leaflets
Loudspeakers
Propaganda displays
Photographs (front photographs as well as laboratory work at Advance Hqs.)
Posters
Intelligence (under an American Army Captain) responsible for:
Monitoring
Liaison with G-2
Intelligence reports to Hq. Algiers, Tunis, London and Washington.
Communications (under an American Army Captain) responsible for:
Technical operation of the local radio
Technical operation of mobile radio
Technical operation of the loudspeaker unit
Technical operation of the intercept unit

MEMORANDUM

12 November 1943

SUBJECT: PWB Field Teams – OCCUPATIONAL TEAMS

FROM: Frederick Oechsner

1. The PWB field set-up for the Sicilian campaign provided for three “waves” of teams, viz:

a. Combat Teams (or reconnaissance)
b. Occupational (or dissemination) Teams
c. Base (or permanent) Teams.

The make-up and activities of these various teams would obviously vary according to the problems faced, e.g. where the combat area was rural or urban in nature, densely or sparsely populated, advanced or backward in culture etc.

2. OCCUPATIONAL TEAMS:

In Sicily established Advance Base Headquarters for the taking over of PWB activities from the Combat teams: they also served as field bases for the Combat teams. In Sicily the main Advance Headquarters was established at Palermo with a sub-section in Catania; the Palermo staff (including 25 persons in the mobile broadcasting company and about 10 persons shuttling to the forward areas) totaled 75 persons.

3. The Occupational team, which set-up Advance Headquarters under Frederick Oechsner of MO, proceeded from Tunis by troop transport to Syracuse on D plus 20, proceeded by airplane or motor vehicle (the mobile broadcasting company going under its own power) to Palermo and Catania where it took over there the Headquarters established by the Combat teams attached respectively to the 7th and 8th Armies.

4. The essential duties of the Occupational teams might be outlined as follows:

a. To open and commence the operation of radio stations, printing presses, newspapers and cinemas which have been located by the Combat TEams.

b. To conduct whatever white or black field radio broadcasting operations are indicated (mobile broadcasting units).

c. To serve Base Headquarters more amply than the Combat Teams were able to do with intelligence, intelligence evaluation, open radio program material and a steady flow of photographs.

d. To expand the display of posters (again only, of course, after it has been decided that it is desirable to use posters in any particular locality.

d. To report on all these matters to Base Headquarters.

e. To visit the Headquarters of enemy political organizations and seize whatever documents and other materials useful in the conduct of psychological warfare such as name lists, instructions and circulars, annual reports, etc.

f. To make direct contact with political leaders, friendly and unfriendly, and local dignitaries, for the purpose of securing the assistance of these persons or to securing their arrest through the appropriate field authorities (Field Security).

g. To distribute hand-bills and put up posters, where putting up of posters is desirable.

h. To collaborate with Civilian Administration Authorities in the printing of circulars and proclamations.

i. To interrogate prisoners for information useful at Base Hqs. in the preparation of radio programs and leaflets, or in the preparation of leaflets in the field.

j. To send full and continuous reports back to Base Hqs. by wireless and courier on all matters of morale among the population, including full descriptive messages suitable for using in open propaganda programs, as well as evaluation of material such as captured documents and prisoner of war interrogation.

k. To actually prepare all tactical leaflets for use against the immediately opposing enemy troops and the delivery of these leaflets by mortar or airplane.

l. To secure reliable local personnel to help in re-opening radio stations, printing presses, newspaper plants and cinemas.

m. To spread tactical rumours amongst the population.

4. The primary lessons to be learned from the experiences of the Combat Team in Sicily might be roughly described as follows:

a. Teams should go in on “D” Day, not later.

b. They may be of military and civilian make-up, but preferably under an officer of the rank of at least a Major or Lt. Colonel.

c. It is not necessary for all members of the team to be armed, but the teams as such should be adequately protected against emergencies.

d. All members of the team should speak fluently the language of the country in which they are going to operate.

e. They should be fairly young men (I should suggest between the ages of 28 and 45), in good physical condition to withstand long hours of work under arduous field conditions, should be men of coolness, poise, judgment and courage.

f. They should be fully equipped with [illegible] command cars, probably with trailers, so as to carry [illegible] but a supply of posters and hand-bills to distribute among [illegible] populations.

g. They should be supplied, if possible, with lists of [illegible] reliable and non-reliable, in the communities where they are going to [illegible] liberate.

h. They should have adequate communications with their [illegible] probably preferably via their own wireless sets; and such team should have a sturdy reliable radio receiver for monitoring enemy broadcasts in the field.

i. The training of the members of the Combat Teams should [illegible] some close combat and small arms practice as well as a general familiarity with the principal types of booby-traps and mines. It would also be desirable, of course, to have drivers who are familiar with automobile mechanics, as well as obviously a man capable of handling wireless telegraphy, if a transmitter is included in the equipment.

j. If there is enough time before the commencement of an operation, it would be highly desirable to have the Combat teams actually trained with the units to which they are to be attached in the field. Members of the Combat teams can thus get to know the officers with whom they are later going to have to work under combat conditions; conversely, the officers would become familiar with the personalities and methods of the team.

k. In Sicily there was only one team attached to the 7th Army and one to the 8th Army. Experience showed that in view of the necessity of the Combat teams keeping contact with various units, and meeting the problems of these units on different fronts, it is probably necessary to have a greater number of teams. Depending, of course, upon the size of the new team, the ideal might be one per Corps, or conceivably one per Division.

l. Leaflet shells are not yet perfect, though they permit a more accurate placing of leaflets than by plane (wind-drift, deflection of plane by ground force etc).

m. Loudspeakers are in general not desired at the front; they draw fire and are useful only in delivering a certain specific message to a certain specific unit known to be opposite one’s position; it is probably well to have a loudspeaker unit available if it should be called for in a particular operation.

n. Leaflets remain the single most important means of attack. In order to use them for tactical uses (especially gun delivery) mobile printing units are necessary which can be run right up to the front for work directly next to the leaflet gun.

o. The reporting functions of the team (primarily the sending back for Base radio programs of field reports; description of reactions of populations to liberation, battle descriptions, etc) needs strengthening.

p. A good make-up for Combat teams might be: one officer (probably Lt. Colonel) for constant liaison with Army Field Headquarters, G-2 use, [illegible] Intelligence man for centralizing and evaluating field intelligence (P/W interrogation, captured documents, interviews with agents etc) for field Base Headquarters and tactical (leaflet) use; and for general reports for Base radio programs; one radio man to locate radio stations, check equipment, power, operating personnel, extent of damage, and report back to Base; one movie man (where large cities or towns lie in the combat area) to check movie facilities and report back to Base.

MEMORANDUM

12 November 1943

SUBJECT: PWB Field Teams – BASE SECTION

FROM: Frederick Oechsner

1. The PWB field set-up for the Sicilian campaign provided for three "waves" of teams, viz:

a. Combat (or reconnaissance) tEAMS
b. Occupational (or dissemination) Teams
c. Base (or permanent) Teams.

The make-up and activities of these various teams would obviously vary according to the problems faced, e.g. where the combat area was rural or urban in nature, densely or sparsely populated, advanced or backward in culture etc.

2. BASE TEAMS:

The work of the Base or permanent Section is to take over the operation of radio, printing, newspapers, cinemas and other propaganda activities in an occupied territory on a permanent basis, leading eventually to turning over all these activities to local personnel with perhaps only one or two FWB representatives as supervisors. The Base team obviously remains in close contact with Civil Affairs Authorities; in effect the work of PWB personnel is to continue the “conditioning” of the occupied population in conformity with Civil Affairs “Administration” of the area.

[i]Psychological Warfare Branch Field Teams Memo


Campaigns

Leaflets

Fünf Minuten


The 'Fünf Minuten' leaflet campaign (translated as 'Five Minutes' from German) centered on inculcating a sense of futility within the German military and general German citizenry based on the industrial and manufacturing supremacy of the combined allied economies. The graphic leaflets dropped behind Axis lines presented audiences with facts about the number of US warplanes produced every five minutes in the United States in order to lead the audience to the conclusion that no matter how many US aircraft the Luftwaffe brought down, there were dozens more on the way. The central focus of this leaflet campaign was twofold - both to demoralize the German military by presenting them with odds that cannot be overcome, and instilling a sense of inferiority in the industrial workers that made up Germany's wartime manufacturing base.

IN AMERIKA
alle funf Minuten
ein neues Flugzeug!
Das amerikanische Kriegsproduktionsamt gab am 4. Dezember amtlich bekannt:
.. Im November wurden in den Vereinigten Staaten 8.789 Militarflugzeuge fertiggestellt” – dies bedeutet alle funf Minute nein neuoo Flugzeug.
Seit. Juli 1940 wurden 140,000 Militarflugzeuge in den Vereinigten Staaten erzeugt.
Die amerikanische Production ist bombensicher. Sie steigt standing.
In den Vereinigten Staaten warden jahrlich ungefahr 100,000 Piloten ausgebildet.
Funfzehn amerikanische Luftflotten stehen heute im Kampf.

IN AMERICA
every five minutes
a new plane!
The American War Production Office officially announced on December 4:
.. In November, 8,789 military aircraft were completed in the United States "- this means no jungoo plane every five minutes.
Since. In July 1940, 140,000 military aircraft were produced in the United States.
American production is bombproof. She is standing up.
In the United States, approximately 100,000 pilots are trained each year.
Fifteen American air forces are fighting today.

Fünf Minuten leaflet


Your Comrades are Okay!

Most German soldiers who get into captivity here in Italy know that they will be treated fairly. Nevertheless many of them say: "I didn't think it would be this good!

We allied soldiers value the German frontline soldier as a courageous opponent. That is why you can count on decent treatment in captivity.

Treatment of Prisoners of War

1. German PWs are removed immediately out of the battle-zone.

2. They receive the same rations and or hospital care as our own troops.

3. Their families are notified as soon as possible through the Red Cross. Postal communications with home are speedy and reliable.

4. After the end of the war PWs will see their homes again.

YOU HAVE THE CHOICE!

WHY AM I HERE?

That is what many a soldier of the 305th Infantry-Division is asking?

HERE IS THE ANSWER:

The 305th Inf’ Division serves as Cannon Fodder.

HERE ARE THE PROOFS:

Other German divisions have been battered in Italy. Some of them were sacrificed for a second time: First at Stalingrad, then here in Italy. Many regiments have lost here up to 70% of their men. Just as these, the 305th Inf. Division was already sacrificed once at Stalingrad.

The allied artillery is so superior that German soldiers are talking about a “constant allied fire-magic.” For every German shell 20 allied shells are fired.

The German Luftwaffe is nowhere. German soldiers are fighting without air cover. But the Allies have countless bombers, pursuit planes and the “tough double-rumpers.” The allied flyers go up 20 times as often as the Germans.

HERE IS YOUR OWN POSITION:

The 305th Division has not been put into the lines to attack. Its job is to win time – for others. And what is worse: The German leaders know it.

The 305th Division has an unusually high number of Poles, Yugoslavs, Greeks and Austrians. First foreigners work in German factories. Now foreigners are to fight on the German front. Many companies are full of these foreigners. Only units doomed to sacrifice go into battle with so many “Volksdeutsche.”

The 305th Division, completely wiped out at Stalingrad couldn’t count on veteran fighters. It consists largely of very young recruits.

The 305th Division went through the Genoa region in August. At that time communications still looked a bit better. Today lines of communication behind the 305th Inf. Division are being battered daily by our air force.

HERE IS THE CONCLUSION:

THE 305TH INF/ DIVISION IS CANNON FODDER!

Image

Image

Image

Image

WHAT IS THE GERMAN SAYING?

What isn’t the German saying, God damn all of them!

Yes, the Svabs are asking us to pay their debts. If you made debts, you should pay even if it hurts; even if you almost die in paying it. And if we don’t pay, it will be just too bad, and they declare war and take our country. You can take your fucking mother, but not our country.

They are frightening us with war, the ones who need seven to fight a rabbit.

Take it easy, German, shrink a little, because you may find your man, and if you cannot stay in your skin, we shall take you out of it.

You had been here for love, now you want to come to fight. It is all right, come and come fast. We shall see who is going to be sorry.

We can give you one good piece of advice. Come on very long legs, to be able to take long steps in time, we have you on the run.

We don’t use rifles against you; just a stick, like a dog, and we shall beat you and not even a nerve of ours will budge.

BULGARIA, WAKE UP! THE END OF THE WAR IS COMING!

The help and the victims we are giving daily will not postpone the fall of Germany and that of her allies. The Germans have understood a long time ago, that the war is lost for them – they declare it openly now. We, however, continue to execute their orders, and like fools, follow them towards ruin.

It’s about time that we put an end to the criminal activity of our government. It’s necessary that we break with Germany …. AT ONCE. We can still withdraw and ….

STOP THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR CITIES

BETTER OUR RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA

RENEW OUR GOOD RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES

AVOID THE INEVITABLE CIVIL WAR

STOP THE SHEDDING OF BULGARIAN BLOOD.

ALLIANCE WITH GERMANY – THE END OF INDEPENDENT BULGARIA.

FOL

We had been dumbbells long enough; we shall now be soldiers!

It was enough from ocarina; let’s have the war trumpets.

They hit us in the face, and kick us from behind. My country, how long do you want to take it? Don’t you wake up until the stormy skyi put you on fire by lightning. My country, how can the words of the thick-headed and small-hearted keep you in eternal brakes?

Or is it the way they say that the Hungarians from weakness and cowardice are not able to fight and have no will for it?

It is a lie, a very dirty lie; the same way that your tongue is.

The Hungarians, they don’t boast or rage openly, but they are quiet, full with internal fire, like their wine.

I wish there were a fight, and our blood could flow. You will see that the enemy shall die from the very drop of it.

Hurry up to bring your fame back to the sunshine which was put underground and was sullied by the German intrigue and rule.

Take your sabers out of their sheaths, the way the sun comes out of the clouds.

They should become blind and will become blind, those who look at it.

We had been dumbbells long enough; we shall now be soldiers!

It was enough from ocarina; let’s have the war trumpets.

Leaflet samples
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:11 am

Part 2 of 2

How Much Longer?

The "How Much Longer?" campaign was the first major black propaganda leaflet campaign. The campaign produced sixteen different leaflets. Each of these featured a cartoon depicting a burdensome situation and asked how much longer German citizens would tolerate it.[2] These leaflets were "distributed throughout Italy, southern France, and the Balkans."[1]

Skorpion West

Skorpion West was another successful leaflet campaign. After the German defeat at Normandy, a German propaganda team located in France created optimistic leaflets in an effort to boost morale. Germany then airdropped these leaflets over their lines to bolster the spirits of the German soldiers.

The Morale Operations branch obtained copies of these leaflets and immediately produced their own facsimiles. The Germans believed these false documents were genuine and began distributing them. The first of these leaflets indicated that the German high command did not believe their soldiers would be able to hold the line and "encouraged soldiers to scorch the earth before dying in a last stand for Nationalist Socialism."[2] The second ordered all soldiers to shoot any officers who attempted to surrender or retreat.[2] A third pamphlet ordered soldiers to carry out the evacuation of civilian populations by force (Morale Operations hoped that this would create traffic congestion and clog supply lines).[2]

Ultimately the Germans denounced all Skorpion West pamphlets, including the ones that the German propaganda team had created, as enemy propaganda and ordered all troops to ignore their messages.[2]

Poison-pen letters

Operation Hemlock


Operation Hemlock was a poison-pen letter campaign consisting of anonymous letters sent to Gestapo officers that implicated various German soldiers and officials in pro-Allied behavior.[2] One such letter implied that the Gestapo had killed German Major General Franz Krech after plotting to defect to the Allies.[16] In actuality, Greek guerillas had ambushed and killed Krech.[16]

Death notices

The Morale Operations Branch also sent letters to the families of German soldiers. These letters indicated that the recently deceased was a victim of a mercy killing at the hands of a German doctor.[2] Other letters claimed that Nazi Party officials had stolen valuable possessions while he lay on his deathbed.[2]

Lichtenau Letter

One Morale Operations letter appeared to be a Christmas greeting from the mayor of Lichtenau. At first glance it appeared as a morale booster for Nazi soldiers, but it also contained several indications of hardships resulting from the war. The letter included claims that government had drafted civilians into the military, that young teenagers were becoming pilots after only a few weeks of training, and that loved ones back home were sacrificing their health to promote the Nazi cause.[2]

Newspapers

Das Neue Deutschland


The Morale Operations branch created the Das Neue Deutschland newspaper to appear as if a fictional clandestine peace party in Germany had written it.[2] The goal of the newspaper was to promote an anti-Nazi revolution and the re-establishment of a liberal democracy.[2] Morale Operations sent thousands of peace party membership applications to enemy soldiers and civilians in Europe, leading Himmler to denounce the paper and threaten soldiers with execution if they read it.[2]

The Harvard Project

The Harvard Project created a four-page weekly business publication, Handel and Wandel, which appeared to analyze world economic news. The leaflet suggested that if Germany expelled the Nazi regime, Allied and German businessmen could work together to defend capitalism from an impending wave of Bolshevism.[2]

Operation Cornflakes

During Operation Cornflakes, Morale Operations agents interviewed German POWs who had worked as mail clerks to discover how the German postal service functioned.[16] Morale Operations then created replicas of German mailbags and stuffed them with various forms of printed propaganda.[2] They placed these bags near trains after an Allied air raid in hopes that the Germans would believe the bags were genuine and thus unwittingly distribute the propaganda.[2] The German postal service delivered a total 320 bags of Morale Operations propaganda.[2] Postwar interrogations of German prisoners revealed that many soldiers received Das Neue Deutschland as a result of this operation.[2]

Radio

Soldatensender


Soldatensender was a Morale Operations grey radio station that broadcast anti-Nazi propaganda hidden in news, music, and entertainment.[1] It quickly became the most popular station in Western Europe.[1] Morale Operations also used it to report news on German military failures, which eroded Nazi morale.[16] After the 1944 coup against Hitler during Operation Valkyrie, Soldatensender broadcast the names of hundreds of Germans in an attempt to cast suspicion on as many Germans as possible.[16] As a result of this the Gestapo arrested and executed roughly 2,500 Germans.[1]

Joker Campaign

German General Ludwig Beck, the former German Army Chief of Staff, died after the attempt on Hitler's life during Operation Valkyrie, although the Nazi regime never acknowledged his death. During the Joker Campaign a Morale Operations agent, pretending to be Beck, broadcast several messages from London to German soldiers and civilians.[16] These messages blamed German losses on Nazi incompetence and urged the German people to overthrow Hitler and sue for peace in hopes that this would stop the Allies from annihilating their country.[2]

Volkssender Drei

The Volkssender Drei campaign created the first Morale Operations radio station on the European continent. An agent claiming to be Hoffman, a German commander and the son of the general who signed the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, broadcast messages on a nightly basis. These messages stated that Hoffman had liberated a small town in the mountainous region of Germany and encouraged other German commanders to do the same.[2] The program ended in October 1944 when the Allies purportedly liberated the fictional city.[2]

Operation Anne / Radio 1212

Operation Anne, also known as Radio 1212, was one of the most successful radio operations of the war. It reportedly came from an anti-Nazi Rhineland group and initially provided accurate information, prompting Wehrmacht commanders to trust its information. After the Allies had broken through the Moselle region however, Radio 1212 issued false reports, evacuation and mobilization orders, and rumors in order to create maximum confusion and hysteria.[2] The station even created a fictional resistance group and encouraged listeners to join.[2]

Rumor

SECRET

DECLASSIFIED BY MC NARA Date: 7-15-09

P.G. 28

June 2, 1943

COPY NO. 16

OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES

PLANNING GROUP

DOCTRINE RE RUMORS

Mr. Taylor has submitted the attached memorandum from the MO Branch, together with a second memorandum from the Psychological Warfare Staff, for consideration of the Planning Group. In his memorandum of transmittal he stated:

“I am submitting to the Planning Group a short doctrinal paper on rumors from Mr. Knapp and a somewhat more comprehensive one worked up by members of my staff together with Mr. Knapp. I would have preferred to submit a single paper and suggested to Mr. Knapp that we turn over our material to him for final shaping but he did not feel he had enough time for this and we therefore agreed with him to submit both papers, it being felt that his short “Criteria of a Successful Rumor” might be useful to the Planning Group for hand reference in connection with rumors submitted while the longer paper, which he approves in all details, is intended rather for operators in the rumor field.

“In addition to discussing the contents of the Planning Staff paper I think it might be useful to have some discussion as to the distribution and general purpose of doctrinal papers of this type as we have several others in mind.”

A.H. Onthank
Colonel, M.I.,
Secretary.

THE CRITERIA OF A SUCCESSFUL RUMOR

The creation of a successful propaganda rumor is more an accomplishment of art than of science. Despite this concession to the intangible character of the good rumor, the following rules are submitted as tentative criteria of the successful story. These rules are neither mutually exclusive, nor are they all of equal importance. They are intended merely as necessarily rough guide posts to be used in appraising the merit of a particular example.

The successful propaganda rumor, as we define it, is self-propelling in a high degree, retains its original content with a minimum of distortion, and conforms to strategic requirements. The following are the characteristics of the successful rumor as defined above:

1. The successful rumor is easy to remember.

a. It is sufficiently brief and simple to survive in memory of successive narrators.

b. It concerns familiar persons, places and circumstances, and incorporates suitable “local color.”

c. It contains striking concrete detail.

d. It often incorporates stereotype phrase or slogan.

e. It contains a humorous twist when possible.

2. The successful rumor follows a stereotyped plot.

a. Its plot recapitulates precedents and traditions in the history and folklore of the group.

b. It observes the peculiar national dispositions of the group.

c. “It is the oldest story in the newest clothes.”

3. The successful rumor is a function of the momentary interests and circumstances of the group.

a. It is provoked by and provides an interpretation or elaboration of some isolated current happening or event.

b. It serves to supply information which is needed to fill a knowledge gap.

c. It stands upon the shoulders and derives support from other rumors or events.

d. It contains some accepted or verifiable detail.

4. The successful rumor exploits the emotions and sentiments of the group.

a. It expresses a widespread emotional disposition shared by members of the group.

b. It provides justification for suppressed fears, hatreds, or desires.

c. It serves to articulate a sentiment common to the group.

5. The successful rumor is challenging because:

a. It purports or appears to come from inside sources and usually has the character of “forbidden” information.

b. It is usually incapable of direct verification.

c. It is neither too plausible nor too implausible.

DEFINITION

The successful rumor is a simple, brief, concrete and vivid story, purporting to come from inside sources and concerning persons and events familiar to all members of the group. Its plot is usually drawn from established traditions or precedents, but it is occasioned by the immediate interests and preoccupations of the group. It mirrors and provides justification for emotions shared by the group and at the same time serves to fill a knowledge gap. It is neither too plausible nor too implausible, and it cannot be readily verified.

SUMMARY OF SOME PRINCIPLES FOR RUMOR WORK

WHAT RUMORS CAN DO:

Rumors can promote subversion and deception of enemy people and governments. The first, by creating and increasing fear, anxiety, confusion, over-confidence, distrust, and panic. The second, by forcing the release of enemy information and encouraging impotent enemy action. (P. 1)

KIND OF INTELLIGENCE ESSENTIAL TO RUMOR WORK:

Effective rumor design requires special kinds of intelligence on Rumor Targets. (q.v.) (P. 3)

RUMOR TARGETS:

A successful rumor must take advantage of the state of mind of the people for whom it is intended. The general principles are:

1. Those people who are most eager for information about events which effect them are the best targets for rumors supplying such information. (Pp. 3-4)

2. People with fears, hopes, and hostilities stemming from their involvement in the war are affected most by rumors that feed on those feelings. (Pp. 3-4)

PROPERTIES OF A RUMOR THAT MAKE IT SPREAD:

In addition to the above principles a successful rumor will embody one or more of the following characteristics:

1. Plausibility. Plausibility may be obtained by one or more of the following: Concreteness, unverifiability, authoritativeness, and credibility. (P. 6)

2. Simplicity. A good rumor characteristically presents one central, uncomplex idea. (P. 7)

3. Suitability to Task. “Slogan” rumors which summarize already accepted opinions, can be short and uncomplicated by qualifications and complexities of plot. Rumors suggesting new attitudes should be embedded in an interesting narrative allowing room for development of details and some complexity of plot. (P. 7)

4. Vividness. Rumors which make clear-cut mental pictures with strong emotional content are likely to be most effective. (P. 8)

5. Suggestiveness. Frequently rumors which merely hint or suggest something instead of stating it are particularly adapted to spreading fear and doubt. (P. 8)

MAKING THE RUMOR FIT THE CHANNEL:

Different channels of rumor initiation and dissemination frequently require different forms and contents for the rumor. Thus the channel which it is planned to use (undercover agents, black radio, enemy mail, diplomatic media, etc.) should always be kept in mind when designing the rumor. (P. 9)

PLANNING RUMOR WORK:

Planned lines of action against the enemy should include strategic themes for rumors.

To implement rumor suggestions stemming directly from these themes one or more of the following techniques can be used: Different rumors revealing the same “information”; planting the same rumor in different places; designing them so as to appear of independent origin; integrating them with black and white media. (P. 10)

PRINCIPLES FOR RUMOR WORK WITH ILLUSTRATIONS

WHAT RUMORS CAN DO

SUBVERSION

1. Exploit and increase fear and anxiety among those who have begun to lose confidence in military success.

EXAMPLE: In this class fall rumors such as those dealing with fearsome secret weapons which the Germans spread so effectively throughout France just prior to the Battle of Flanders. Similarly, we might spread stories in Germany describing the horrible psychic and physical effects which the Allied blitz had on the Afrika Korps in Tunisia.

2. To exploit temporary over-confidence which will lead to disillusionment.

EXAMPLE: In the early hours of the Polish invasion, Germans captured the Polish radio stations. Posing as Polish announcers, they spread enthusiastic and highly optimistic reports of successful Polish resistance to German forces. When the truth became known later, the shock to Polish morale was terrific.

3. Foster suspicion and hostility between persons or groups who might otherwise cooperate.

EXAMPLE: In late 1939 and 1940, one of the most potent rumors current in France was to the effect that England will fight to the last Frenchman; similarly, we spread rumors among Bulgarian troops that instead of being used for Balkan defense, they are to be sacrificed at the spearhead of a new Nazi drive into Russia.

4. Create distrust in news sources.

EXAMPLE: The successful manipulation of this type of rumor by the enemy is illustrated by the Bahnhof bombing incident early in the war. The Germans spread the rumor that the British, in a raid on Berlin, had severely damaged the Bahnhof. Eagerly, the BBC picked this story up and broadcast it. The Germans were then able to discredit British reportage by demonstrating that the Bahnhof was completely undamaged.

5. Lead civilian populations to precipitate financial, food and other crises through their own panicky reactions to rumors.

EXAMPLE: In 1917 the rumor was successfully spread in Germany that the German government was going to confiscate all livestock. Farmers slaughtered tremendous numbers of cows and sheep. As a result, in 1918 the German Army ran short of meat. Similarly, we might cause Italians to refuse to deal in paper money by spreading the rumor that local Fascist officials are operating a counterfeit lire ring; or precipitate runs on banks with a story that the gold backing for deposits has been removed to Germany.

6. Create confusion and nervous bewilderment as to our intentions and plans by the dissemination of a welter of contradictory reports.

EXAMPLE: In this category fall all the “war of nerves” rumors now circulating in Europe which suggest that our invasion will come in Norway, or perhaps Brittany, or Greece, or Italy, etc.

DECEPTION:

N.B. The accomplishment of these objectives requires close collaboration with military planning.

1. Cause enemy people to raise questions which will require actions by their governments (information services) that will reveal enemy plans or conditions.

EXAMPLE: As an extreme case, assume that we wish to know whether the 31st Division is on the Russian front. We spread the story throughout Bavaria that the 31st Division has been annihilated at Novorossisk. The 31st, we know from the German Order of Battle, was recruited largely in Bavaria. This rumor achieves wide-enough currency in Bavaria so that hundreds of civilians with men in the 31st Division demand from the government confirmation or denial. To satisfy the clamor, the government states that the 31st is not even fighting on that front.

2. Timed with military action, reveal false information about our plans which will result in diversionary or impotent action by the enemy.

EXAMPLE: Let the story “lead” out that, the 95th Brigade in northern England is being fitted with cold-weather clothing, ostensibly for a large-scale stab at objectives in Norway. The enemy moves troops from Denmark to cover this stab. The 203rd Brigade then strikes at Jutland.

COUNTER-RUMOR:

1. To nullify effective rumors initiated by the enemy.

EXAMPLE: German atrocity stories tress the brutal treatment which Germans may expect at Russian hands. We spread the rumor that large numbers of the Germans taken at Stalingrad are so well-treated that they have begged the Russians not to send them back to Germany in prisoner-of-war exchanges.

N.B. By and large, unless most subtly handled, counter-rumors may emphasize and increase the effectiveness of the rumor to be countered.

KIND OF INTELLIGENCE ESSENTIAL TO RUMOR WORK

1. From the principle that effective rumors supply “information” eagerly sought for by vulnerable groups or classes of people, the following kinds of intelligence are essential to good rumor design:

a. Intelligence on what kinds of information they are eager for.

b. With respect to (a), intelligence on what they actually know and what they lack.

2. From the principle that effective rumors capitalize on the fears, hopes, and hostilities of people, the following kinds of intelligence are essential to good rumor design:

a. Intelligence on their current fears, hopes, and hostilities relating to their war effort.

b. Research revealing their customary and traditional ways of expressing their anxieties, hopes, and aggressions, especially in conditions of national crisis.

RUMOR TARGETS

AND THE TAILORING OF RUMORS FOR THEM

1. Groups or classes of people that have become fearful and anxious about their personal well-being. Focus on “information” that confirms the pessimistic expectations of the group involved. Extreme rumors designed to produce open panic should be timed with military action.

EXAMPLE: The people of southern Italy and Sicily are extremely jittery at the moment about the possibility of our invasion force crossing the Mediterranean from Tunisia. Thus in this area we spread a rumor that large numbers of invasion barges are being concentrated at a point opposite Trapani.

Note on “Magic” rumors: In the special circumstances when a group or class of enemy people begin to show signs of seeing no course but disaster, focus on alleged events in which personages or “signs” from their religion or folklore present forebodings or prophesies of defeat, or of hope after defeat.

EXAMPLE: In southern Italy, Sardinia and Corsica, the “Evil Eye” superstition has long been strong among the largely illiterate, primitive people. Thus we spread the story that all the woes of the southern Mediterranean peoples date from the meeting of Hitler and Mussolini in 1934, at which time Hitler fixed the Duce with his Evil Eye. The result of this curse, we continue, was the Ethiopian failure, reverses in Spain, the current bombing of Italian cities, etc.

2. Groups or classes of people that have become unrealistically over-confident or hopeful. Focus on “information” which supports their hopes, which is consistent with information available to them, but which will ultimately produce disillusionment.

EXAMPLE: We know that the Italian people are thoroughly sick of the poor-quality food substitutes they have had to accept for the past four or five years. They might be kindly disposed toward us if they had grounds for believing we were coming with food as well as guns and planes. They are also generally aware that a Food Conference is in progress in the U.S. Thus we spread the rumor that the delegates at the Food Conference are unanimously in favor of feeding Italy abundantly in return for a quick capitulation. When this story has achieved fairly wide currency and hopes have been raised, we follow with the story that although the Italian King and Cabinet favor our generous food proposition, Mussolini and two or three top Fascists have blocked it. Thus we create hopes for the purpose of dashing them.

3. Groups of classes of people that are suspicious of or hate other groups of leaders. Focus on “information” that justifies and increases hostility.

EXAMPLE: The animosity between the Rumanians and Hungarians is a matter of record. Most Russians and Hungarians know that Antonescu has recently conferred with Hitler. Thus we tailor a rumor for the Hungarian Army that Antonescu’s consultation resulted in an agreement whereby Rumanian troops will be reserved for defense of the Balkans, while Hungarian divisions will be sent to the Russian front.

4. Groups or classes of people that lead monotonous lives which favor the use of fantasy.

EXAMPLE: In this class fall the inmates of prisons, concentration camps and army garrisons, factory workers compelled to work at dull tasks 14-16 hours daily, armies of occupation, etc. These groups, whose humdrum existences make it difficult for them to weigh and evaluate “news” searchingly, are especially susceptible to fantastic rumors of all sorts. They will believe and transmit stories that better-balanced persons will reject as implausible.

Thus among Rumanian factory workers compelled to do an intensely monotonous job we might spread a story that Hitler has decided that this factory is no longer needed and that the workers will shortly be permitted to return to their homes. Although on the face of it absurd, this story might well gain acceptance in the appropriate group. When it becomes clear later on that the story was unfounded, the workers would suffer a severe letdown in morale and efficiency, which was our original intention.

5. Special groups that lack information either as a result of especially vigorous censorship or discredited propaganda or illiteracy.

EXAMPLE: Germany and Italy, all reports indicate, are extremely receptive to well-formulated rumors because of the reputation their Propaganda Ministries have gained for suppressing, or sugar-coating bad news or news unfavorable to the regime. Likewise, populations in lands which for many years were kept well-informed by their own free press and radio, and then were abruptly blacked out from authentic news by Occupation, are dependent on rumor to fill the gaps in their understanding of happenings within their own country and outside. Sardinia is an example of a field where rumor has become an important media of news transmission because of the population’s high degree of illiteracy and because of their relatively isolated position.

Over-all general principle:

a. Those people who are most eager for information about events which affect them are the best targets for rumors which supply the desired “information.

b. People with fears, hopes, and hostilities stemming from their involvement in the war are affected most by rumors that feed on these feelings.

PROPERTIES OF A RUMOR THAT MAKE IT SPREAD

A good rumor is one which will spread widely in a form close to the original containing the basic message. The qualities of a rumor which give it this mobility appear to defy complete analysis at the moment. Probably the main factor determining success or failure is the degree to which a rumor is “tailored” to the state of mind of the audience. In addition, successful rumors seem to embody most of the following qualities:

1. Plausibility. Plausibility may be obtained by one or more of the following:

a. Making the rumor concrete and, so far as possible, specific in terms of familiar persons, places, and round numbers.

EXAMPLE: Poor Technique: People in areas that may be invaded are sewing American flags inside their coats.

Better Technique: 36 arrests were made in Sicily by Fascist authorities when they discovered that Sicilians were sewing crude American flags inside their coats.

b. Tying the rumor to known factor expectations.

EXAMPLE: Poor Technique: Among Near Eastern Moslems, who are familiar with Hitler’s anti-Semitism, spread the story that Hitler is going to seek Allied sympathy by resettling all European Jews in Palestine.

Better Technique: Tunisian Arabs know that some of their numbers were blown up by crossing German minefields. Among Arab populations we spread the following story: Not knowing the exact location of their own minefields, German panzer troops retreating from Bizerte drove scores of Arabs ahead of them to touch off the explosive charges.

c. Designing the rumor so that it consists in part of familiar, accepted information, and in part of “new information” which, though false, is unverifiable.

EXAMPLE: It is now widely known in Germany that the big RAF raid of May 24 did terrific damage to Dortmung. It is further known that Dortmund is an industrial center. We spread a story in Germany that the Dortmund raid knocked out completely one of only two plans in all Germany which manufacture electrodes indispensable to processing artillery steel. The vital part of this rumor is unverifiable, because even if it were true German authorities would suppress it. But it fits in with what Germans in, say, Bavaria know about industrial Dortmund and the recent raid.

It is known to German troops that there are now millions of foreign workers in Germany. They also know that pregnancy is a ground for exemption from labor service at home. So we spread the false story that their wives are dodging labor mobilization by bedding down with good-looking Belgians and Dutchmen and becoming pregnant. Troops far-removed from home, perhaps at the front, are in no position to check the unconfirmed portion of the story. And the elements of it which they know to be true (labor mobilization, foreign workers, pregnancy as a basis for exemption) tend to support the false element.

d.When relevant, making the rumor appear as an “inside story” which has leaked from an authoritative source.

EXAMPLE: Let us assume we wish to spread the idea that Hitler and von Rundstedt have quarreled.

Poor Technique: von Rundstedt and Hitler recently had a bitter quarrel when Rundstedt told the Fuhrer that German divisions for the defense of France are second-rate.

Better Technique: The wife of an officer on General von Rundstedt’s Staff reports that Hitler and von Rundstedt recently had a bitter quarrel when Rundstedt charged that German divisions for the defense of France are second-rate.

e. Not exaggerating the facts in terms of contrasts or magnitudes beyond the bounds of credibility.

EXAMPLE: Poor Technique: One American soldier using a bazooka destroyed 12 enemy tanks in Tunisia with one shot.

Better Technique: One American soldier using a bazooka knocked out one Mark VI tank completely and crippled another with a single shot.

2. SIMPLICITY. This means using only one central idea or core and keeping it uncomplex and thus memorable, regardless of the embellishments added for the sake of authenticity, plausibility or other reasons.

EXAMPLE: Poor Technique: The chief Germany Army medical officer in Italy is carrying on an affair with Ciano’s wife, and yet he has the nerve to issue an order stating that all Italian women in towns where German troops are garrisoned must be examined for venereal disease once a month in order to associate with members of the Wehrmacht.

Better Technique: The chief medical officer of the German Army has ordered that all Italian women must be examined once a month for venereal disease.

3. SUITABILITY TO TASK. The design of a rumor is largely determined by the job it has to do. For example, the slogan-type rumor (“England will fight to the last Frenchman”) is especially adapted to summarizing opinions or attitudes which are already widely accepted.

Narrative-type rumors, on the other hand, aim at introducing “information which will create or shape new attitudes.” In this category are the elaborately detailed and embellished stories such as the one which “proves” that Hitler was mortally ill. Slogan-type rumors will gain acceptance only when the ground has been prepared for them by narrative-type rumors or by other forms of propaganda.

4. VIVIDNESS. Regardless of length or type, rumors which make clearcut mental pictures with strong emotional content are likely to be most effective.

EXAMPLE: Poor Technique: We spread rumor among German troops at the front that their wives at home are complaining because they are lonesome. (The German soldier may regret this, but it will not disturb him inordinately._

Better Technique: We spread the rumor among German troops that because their wives are lonesome they are bedding down with foreign workmen. (To a German soldier who relies on fidelity and moral support from the home front, this is emotionally a strong, upsetting blow.)

SUGGESTIVENESS. Whereas extreme concreteness helps to give a rumor plausibility the very opposite quality sometimes gives great effectiveness to rumors. The type of rumor which merely hints or suggests something instead of stating it seems particularly adapted to spreading fear and doubt.

EXAMPLE: Hitler has had periodic visits recently from Dr. Hans Gluck. Dr. Gluck was decorated last year by the Munich Academy of Science for distinguished research in psychiatry.

German authorities in eastern Slovakia have requisitioned from Berlin 500 3-foot coffins.

MAKING THE RUMOR FIT THE CHANNEL

The form and content of a rumor, when possible, should be tailor-made for the channel through which it is to be initiated. These channels include:

1. Undercover agents.

2. Black radio or press, including false documents.

3. Enemy mail.

4. Compromised enemy communication media.

5. The media of international business, religious, professional, and other such organizations.

6. Diplomatic media.

7. Plants in neutral open propaganda media.

8. Plants in allied open propaganda media.

The importance of designing rumors for dissemination through outlets peculiarly adapted to them may be illustrated in the following way. Assume that our only channel for rumor-spreading in a particular area is through diplomatic representatives of various countries stationed there. Considering the outlet, it would obviously be futile to attempt to spread the rumor that a child of an Italian woman who had been seduced by a German officer was marked with a swastika stigmata at birth. The rumor would be written off as fantastic drivel at once by the first diplomat to whom it was told. It becomes clear then that for dissemination through diplomatic circles we must plan and design rumors of a high order of plausibility in terms of the group’s background, education, information, degree of sophistication, etc. It is likely, for example, that the sort of rumor that would spread most widely through such circles would be clever epigrams or witticisms dealing with current personalities or events.

RUMORS SHOULD BE PLANNED

1. Rumors should be expressly designed to implement planned lines of action against the enemy.

a. Lines of action in plans should include strategic themes for rumors.

b. Rumor suggestions should stem directly from these.

2. To implement effectively a given planned line of action, one or more of the following techniques may be used.

a. Design different rumors that reveal the same “information.”

b. Plant such rumors in different suitable places.

c. Design them so as to appear as of independent origin.

d. Integrate them with black and white media.

Doctrine Regarding Rumors


In coordination with the British PWE, MO Branch made significant use of carefully formulated rumors in order to cause confusion, sow distrust and ultimately incite revolt or assassination attempts in Axis occupied territory. MO Branch and PWE collaborated regularly on lists of 'sibs' (rumors) to be injected into mass media by recruited agents or to be used as themes in Allied-controlled propaganda outlets.[17]

Targeted rumors were also designed to create the notion in Axis occupied areas that attempts had been made by their fellow countrymen on Axis leaders, and thereby motivate disenfranchised populations under Axis control to make such attempts themselves. The purpose of such tactics was twofold: at once to provoke violent action against Axis leadership in order to cause the attention of Axis intelligence and operations units to focus on the source of the rumor or actual attempt, and at the same time provide populations in occupied areas with a cause (or at least an idea) to rally around in support and hope for liberation.[18]

December 12, 1942

DECLASSIFIED Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act PL105-246

MEMORANDUM to Dr. Rogers

From: R.H. Knapp

Subject: Rumor as a device for instigating assassinations.

It is a well established fact in psychology and sociology that crimes of violence, i.e., rape and assassinations, come in strings. This is particularly true if wide publicity or notoriety is given the first crime. It would seem that the publicizing of a single crime of this sort captivates the imagination of certain types of near psychotic personalities, and serves as a suggestion and pattern for their own crazed actions.

With this in view, would it not be possible to circulate persistent rumors to the effect that attempts had been made to assassinate Mussolini. These stories might well be accompanied by stories to the effect that a secret terroristic organization had been founded in Italy, with the purpose of killing the Italian leader. An appropriate name could be devised for this organization. Once these rumors are current, they could be reinforced by open propaganda and by clandestine propaganda in Italy. For example, it might be very effective, immediately after the first rumor of attempted assassination, to have the words “next time” scrawled on side-walks and buildings. The populace, seeking the meaning of these cryptic words, would by this process become acquainted with the fable of the secret vengeance society.

The prime hope of such a program would be that by repeatedly suggesting the assassination of Mussolini, someone might actually undertake to carry it out. Lacking such an outcome, the program would still have merit in focusing hatred against the Italian leader and probably give encouragement to those already disaffected toward the regime. Finally, it might lead to further security measures to protect the leader which would be a nuisance to the regime and perhaps tend to separate him still further from direct contact with the public.

On the other hand, it might well be that rumors of this sort would foster sympathy for the Italian leader or lead to additional security regulations which would prove an impediment to our subversive operations already in action. My judgment is that on the whole the plan is feasible, although I grant there is room for disagreement.

These rumors would probably find a ready reception among the Italian people. First of all, assassination is a venerated political institution among the Italians. Secondly, reports of attempted assassination lend credence by the fact that repeated attempts have been made in the past. Third, the tradition of the “vengeance society” has precedent in the history and folklore of the people. Finally, such rumors directly exploit the deep hostilitiy which many Italians feel for Mussolini and his regime.

Rumor as a device to instigate assassinations


Dec. 4, 1942

DECLASSIFIED Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act PL105-246

EXEMPT from automatic declassification per E.O. 11652, Sec 5(E)(2): BUSH, CIA 22 Dec. ‘76
Reason: C76-8 p. 33 Re-Review

Memorandum to Dr. Rogers

From: R.H. Knapp

Subject: Rumor as an Instrument of Psychological Warfare.

Although rumor is already a recognized instrument of enemy propaganda, its use by American Psychological Warfare Agencies has not apparently been fully exploited. There are many reasons why this neglect should be remedied, perhaps the most important being the peculiar susceptibility of the enemy to attack by this weapon. Below, under five headings, are considered several aspects of the problem of employing rumor against the enemy.

1. The Advantages of Rumor as an Instrument of Psychological Warfare.

Rumor as a device for disseminating ideas or sentiments has several unique merits which other devices do not enjoy. The following are several of its unique merits:

a. Of all methods of communication, rumor is the most difficult to control. While the press may be muzzled, and radio stations jammed, the dissemination of rumors is peculiarly unsusceptible to authoritarian restraint. (As a matter of fact, efforts to curtain rumor-mongering.

b. Unlike most other devices for disseminating propaganda, rumor employs the enemy’s communications system against himself, for rumors once started must be checked and taken note of. In this process, they are often even more widely disseminated.

c. Rumors are rarely detectable as enemy propaganda. If skillfully designed, they are disseminated in enemy territory with nothing about them to indicate their true source. For this reason they are most adaptable to the operations of “black propaganda.”

d. If rumors are skillfully designed, they serve to divert the enemies psychological forces against himself. Thus, his fears, hopes, and aggression which if properly controlled, make for high morale, may be redirected in such a manner as to precipitate unwarranted optimism, panic, defeatism, or internal dissensions.

2. The Vulnerability of the Enemy to Attack by Rumor

All existing evidence indicates that the enemy is most susceptible to attack by rumor. Within the last six weeks both Goering and Mussolini have spoken specifically against rumor-mongering at considerable length. Reports emanating from occupied territories as well as from both Italy and Germany indicate that the “grapevine” is well developed in these areas. This is to be expected, in view of conditions prevailing in these territories. Several of these are noted below.

a. In all occupied territories as well as in enemy territories there prevails acute social unrest, shifting of populations, and disorganization of the normal social life of the community. This leads, among other things, to a disruption of the normal communication system and the consequent increased reliance upon rumor.

b. The peoples of these areas are subject to great emotional duress. They share in common wishes, fears, hostilities and suspicions. This commonality of emotional needs is the father of rumors which arise to express and justify these underlying emotions.

c. The people of these areas share intense interests in common, but lack access to information which will satisfy their interests. This is because official enemy information is either lacking or distrusted. In the absence of reliable sources of information, the peoples of these territories are compelled to develop and rely upon the grapevine – to grasp at straws in an effort ot understand their circumstances.

d. Monotony, enforced inactivity, and personal disorganization is the fate of many individuals in these territories.

This leads to increased credulity and the impulse to share emotional feelings with others, one aspect of which is the impulse to spread and attend to rumors.

e. The fabric of enemy society, resting as it does upon intense personal rivalries and admitted irrationalism, makes a peculiarly fertile field for rumor mongering.

f. The avowed policy of enemy propaganda to their own people, and their history of broken promises, false claims, estc., have thoroughly disillusioned most of their populace; thus they are in a poor position to discredit rumors. The result is that they will probably be unable to control rumors except by force. As already noted, the use of force to control rumor may well increase rather than decrease rumor-mongering.

3. The Designing of Rumors for Enemy Propaganda.

If rumors are to be appealing to enemy or conquered populations, they must be “tailor made” to suit their interests, motives, and situation. It is of the utmost importance that care and skill be taken to frame the propaganda rumor, for lacking proper precautions the rumor may back-fire or may fail to take root. The following are a number of criteria which should be kept in mind in designing a rumor for enemy consumption.

a. It should be brief, preferably concrete, and a “good story.” If possible, it should incorporate a slogan, stereotyped phrase, or witticism.

b. It should concern contemporary happenings or situations.

c. It should be made to appear as “inside information” which has leaked.

d. It should meet the conscious and unconscious emotional needs of the enemy populace. It should justify their more undisciplined fears, confirm latent suspicions, etc.

e. It should be neither too plausible nor too implausible. If too plausible, it might seem trite; if too implausible, it might appear ridiculous.

f. It should be incapable of direct verification.

g. It should exploit stereotyped plots, precedents, and traditions in the history and folklore of the group.

4. The Strategies to which Rumor is Adapted.

Rumor as a weapon of propaganda is adaptable to a number of strategies.

a. To affect enemy morale.

1. Rumors playing upon the wishes and hopes of the enemy population may be employed (a) to encourage complaisance (b) to magnify the impact of subsequent defeats.

2. Rumors exploiting the fears and anxieties of the enemy populace may engender pessimism, defeatism and panic.

3. Rumors playing upon the internal hatreds, rivalries, and suspicions may be employed to divide the enemy within himself.

4. Rumors of atrocities committed by the enemy may be planted among the enemy populace to foster feelings of guilt.

b. Rumor may be used as a device for misleading the intelligence of the enemy. By planting false reports, permitting apparently unwitting leaks to occur, the enemy may be mislead as to our plans.

c. Cleverly designed rumors may force the enemy to release publicly, information desired by our intelligence. In the process of discrediting rumors, facts must be released, and these facts may be to our advantage.

5. Methods of Planting Rumors.

The Germans have used almost all devices, open and clandestine, for planting rumors. Among the most promising are the following:

a. Black Radio disseminating rumors allegedly already current in enemy or occupied territory.

b. Neutral Press, i.e. Sweden, Turkey, Spain, Switzerland, etc.

c. Agents in neutral, occupied or enemy territory.

d. Leaflets and pamphlets. These may be employed very effectively to disseminate poems, witticisms, or factual information with a propagandic purpose.

Rumor as an Instrument of PW


Much of the work done in relation to rumor was directed by Robert H. Knapp (fr), a notable academic with significant history of researching the anatomy and effectiveness of rumors. In addition to his wartime service to the OSS, he contributed readily to the body of academic knowledge on the psychology of suggestion, rumors and lies in many scholarly publications.

References

1. Central Intelligence Agency. (2010, July 9). The office of strategic services: morale operations branch. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/news-information/fe ... tions.html Archived May 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
2. Laurie, C. (1996). The propaganda warriors: America's crusade against Nazi Germany. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.
3. Donovan, William. "Lecture on Psychological Warfare" (PDF). US National Archives.
4. Donovan, William. "Speech on Psychological Warfare" (PDF). US National Archives.
5. Donovan, William. "Donovan Speech on Psychological Warfare" (PDF). US National Archives.
6. Donovan, William. "Use of Terror Propaganda" (PDF).
7. Donovan, William. "Donovan On The Creation of the OSS". http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWdonovanW.htm. Archived from the original on 2013-03-03. External link in |publisher= (help)
8. Edward, Taylor. "Report #2 on PWE Activities" (PDF). US National Archives.
9. Edward, Taylor. "The Value of Sibs" (PDF).
10. Sherwood, Robert. "No Ministry of Propaganda" (PDF). US National Archives.
11. Truman, Harry. "EO 8922". Presidency.ucsb.edu.
12. R&A Branch. "The Need for Intellectual Guidance in Psychological Warfare Research" (PDF). US National Archives.
13. Edward, Taylor. "OSS vs OWI Functions in Syria" (PDF). US National Archives.
14. Knapp, Robert. "Memorandum". US National Archives.
15. Oeschner, Frederick. "PWB Field Teams Memo" (PDF). US National Archives.
16. O'Donnell, P.K. (2004). Operatives, spies, and saboteurs. New York NY: Free Press.
17. Taylor, Edward. "The Value of Sibs" (PDF). US National Archives.
18. Taylor, Edward. "Rumor as a Device to Instigate Assassination" (PDF). US National Archives.

External links

• The Office of Strategic Services: Morale Operations Branch — Central Intelligence Agency CIA page on OSS Morale Operations
• OSS Society WikiMedia Commons Page
• The OSS Society
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:47 am

Doctrine Re Rumors
by Office of Strategic Services Planning Group
June 2, 1943

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


SECRET

DECLASSIFIED BY MC NARA Date: 7-15-09

P.G. 28

June 2, 1943

COPY NO. 16

OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES

PLANNING GROUP

DOCTRINE RE RUMORS

Mr. Taylor has submitted the attached memorandum from the MO Branch, together with a second memorandum from the Psychological Warfare Staff, for consideration of the Planning Group. In his memorandum of transmittal he stated:

“I am submitting to the Planning Group a short doctrinal paper on rumors from Mr. Knapp and a somewhat more comprehensive one worked up by members of my staff together with Mr. Knapp. I would have preferred to submit a single paper and suggested to Mr. Knapp that we turn over our material to him for final shaping but he did not feel he had enough time for this and we therefore agreed with him to submit both papers, it being felt that his short “Criteria of a Successful Rumor” might be useful to the Planning Group for hand reference in connection with rumors submitted while the longer paper, which he approves in all details, is intended rather for operators in the rumor field.

“In addition to discussing the contents of the Planning Staff paper I think it might be useful to have some discussion as to the distribution and general purpose of doctrinal papers of this type as we have several others in mind.”

A.H. Onthank
Colonel, M.I.,
Secretary.

THE CRITERIA OF A SUCCESSFUL RUMOR

The creation of a successful propaganda rumor is more an accomplishment of art than of science. Despite this concession to the intangible character of the good rumor, the following rules are submitted as tentative criteria of the successful story. These rules are neither mutually exclusive, nor are they all of equal importance. They are intended merely as necessarily rough guide posts to be used in appraising the merit of a particular example.

The successful propaganda rumor, as we define it, is self-propelling in a high degree, retains its original content with a minimum of distortion, and conforms to strategic requirements. The following are the characteristics of the successful rumor as defined above:

1. The successful rumor is easy to remember.

a. It is sufficiently brief and simple to survive in memory of successive narrators.

b. It concerns familiar persons, places and circumstances, and incorporates suitable “local color.”

c. It contains striking concrete detail.

d. It often incorporates stereotype phrase or slogan.

e. It contains a humorous twist when possible.

2. The successful rumor follows a stereotyped plot.

a. Its plot recapitulates precedents and traditions in the history and folklore of the group.

b. It observes the peculiar national dispositions of the group.

c. “It is the oldest story in the newest clothes.”

3. The successful rumor is a function of the momentary interests and circumstances of the group.

a. It is provoked by and provides an interpretation or elaboration of some isolated current happening or event.

b. It serves to supply information which is needed to fill a knowledge gap.

c. It stands upon the shoulders and derives support from other rumors or events.

d. It contains some accepted or verifiable detail.

4. The successful rumor exploits the emotions and sentiments of the group.

a. It expresses a widespread emotional disposition shared by members of the group.

b. It provides justification for suppressed fears, hatreds, or desires.

c. It serves to articulate a sentiment common to the group.

5. The successful rumor is challenging because:

a. It purports or appears to come from inside sources and usually has the character of “forbidden” information.

b. It is usually incapable of direct verification.

c. It is neither too plausible nor too implausible.

DEFINITION

The successful rumor is a simple, brief, concrete and vivid story, purporting to come from inside sources and concerning persons and events familiar to all members of the group. Its plot is usually drawn from established traditions or precedents, but it is occasioned by the immediate interests and preoccupations of the group. It mirrors and provides justification for emotions shared by the group and at the same time serves to fill a knowledge gap. It is neither too plausible nor too implausible, and it cannot be readily verified.

SUMMARY OF SOME PRINCIPLES FOR RUMOR WORK

WHAT RUMORS CAN DO:


Rumors can promote subversion and deception of enemy people and governments. The first, by creating and increasing fear, anxiety, confusion, over-confidence, distrust, and panic. The second, by forcing the release of enemy information and encouraging impotent enemy action. (P. 1)

KIND OF INTELLIGENCE ESSENTIAL TO RUMOR WORK:

Effective rumor design requires special kinds of intelligence on Rumor Targets. (q.v.) (P. 3)

RUMOR TARGETS:

A successful rumor must take advantage of the state of mind of the people for whom it is intended. The general principles are:

1. Those people who are most eager for information about events which effect them are the best targets for rumors supplying such information. (Pp. 3-4)

2. People with fears, hopes, and hostilities stemming from their involvement in the war are affected most by rumors that feed on those feelings. (Pp. 3-4)

PROPERTIES OF A RUMOR THAT MAKE IT SPREAD:

In addition to the above principles a successful rumor will embody one or more of the following characteristics:

1. Plausibility. Plausibility may be obtained by one or more of the following: Concreteness, unverifiability, authoritativeness, and credibility. (P. 6)

2. Simplicity. A good rumor characteristically presents one central, uncomplex idea. (P. 7)

3. Suitability to Task. “Slogan” rumors which summarize already accepted opinions, can be short and uncomplicated by qualifications and complexities of plot. Rumors suggesting new attitudes should be embedded in an interesting narrative allowing room for development of details and some complexity of plot. (P. 7)

4. Vividness. Rumors which make clear-cut mental pictures with strong emotional content are likely to be most effective. (P. 8)

5. Suggestiveness. Frequently rumors which merely hint or suggest something instead of stating it are particularly adapted to spreading fear and doubt. (P. 8)

MAKING THE RUMOR FIT THE CHANNEL:

Different channels of rumor initiation and dissemination frequently require different forms and contents for the rumor. Thus the channel which it is planned to use (undercover agents, black radio, enemy mail, diplomatic media, etc.) should always be kept in mind when designing the rumor. (P. 9)

PLANNING RUMOR WORK:

Planned lines of action against the enemy should include strategic themes for rumors.

To implement rumor suggestions stemming directly from these themes one or more of the following techniques can be used: Different rumors revealing the same “information”; planting the same rumor in different places; designing them so as to appear of independent origin; integrating them with black and white media. (P. 10)

PRINCIPLES FOR RUMOR WORK WITH ILLUSTRATIONS

WHAT RUMORS CAN DO

SUBVERSION


1. Exploit and increase fear and anxiety among those who have begun to lose confidence in military success.

EXAMPLE: In this class fall rumors such as those dealing with fearsome secret weapons which the Germans spread so effectively throughout France just prior to the Battle of Flanders. Similarly, we might spread stories in Germany describing the horrible psychic and physical effects which the Allied blitz had on the Afrika Korps in Tunisia.

2. To exploit temporary over-confidence which will lead to disillusionment.

EXAMPLE: In the early hours of the Polish invasion, Germans captured the Polish radio stations. Posing as Polish announcers, they spread enthusiastic and highly optimistic reports of successful Polish resistance to German forces. When the truth became known later, the shock to Polish morale was terrific.

3. Foster suspicion and hostility between persons or groups who might otherwise cooperate.

EXAMPLE: In late 1939 and 1940, one of the most potent rumors current in France was to the effect that England will fight to the last Frenchman; similarly, we spread rumors among Bulgarian troops that instead of being used for Balkan defense, they are to be sacrificed at the spearhead of a new Nazi drive into Russia.

4. Create distrust in news sources.

EXAMPLE: The successful manipulation of this type of rumor by the enemy is illustrated by the Bahnhof bombing incident early in the war. The Germans spread the rumor that the British, in a raid on Berlin, had severely damaged the Bahnhof. Eagerly, the BBC picked this story up and broadcast it. The Germans were then able to discredit British reportage by demonstrating that the Bahnhof was completely undamaged.

5. Lead civilian populations to precipitate financial, food and other crises through their own panicky reactions to rumors.

EXAMPLE: In 1917 the rumor was successfully spread in Germany that the German government was going to confiscate all livestock. Farmers slaughtered tremendous numbers of cows and sheep. As a result, in 1918 the German Army ran short of meat. Similarly, we might cause Italians to refuse to deal in paper money by spreading the rumor that local Fascist officials are operating a counterfeit lire ring; or precipitate runs on banks with a story that the gold backing for deposits has been removed to Germany.

6. Create confusion and nervous bewilderment as to our intentions and plans by the dissemination of a welter of contradictory reports.

EXAMPLE: In this category fall all the “war of nerves” rumors now circulating in Europe which suggest that our invasion will come in Norway, or perhaps Brittany, or Greece, or Italy, etc.

DECEPTION:

N.B. The accomplishment of these objectives requires close collaboration with military planning.

1. Cause enemy people to raise questions which will require actions by their governments (information services) that will reveal enemy plans or conditions.

EXAMPLE: As an extreme case, assume that we wish to know whether the 31st Division is on the Russian front. We spread the story throughout Bavaria that the 31st Division has been annihilated at Novorossisk. The 31st, we know from the German Order of Battle, was recruited largely in Bavaria. This rumor achieves wide-enough currency in Bavaria so that hundreds of civilians with men in the 31st Division demand from the government confirmation or denial. To satisfy the clamor, the government states that the 31st is not even fighting on that front.

2. Timed with military action, reveal false information about our plans which will result in diversionary or impotent action by the enemy.

EXAMPLE: Let the story “lead” out that, the 95th Brigade in northern England is being fitted with cold-weather clothing, ostensibly for a large-scale stab at objectives in Norway. The enemy moves troops from Denmark to cover this stab. The 203rd Brigade then strikes at Jutland.

COUNTER-RUMOR:

1. To nullify effective rumors initiated by the enemy.

EXAMPLE: German atrocity stories tress the brutal treatment which Germans may expect at Russian hands. We spread the rumor that large numbers of the Germans taken at Stalingrad are so well-treated that they have begged the Russians not to send them back to Germany in prisoner-of-war exchanges.

N.B. By and large, unless most subtly handled, counter-rumors may emphasize and increase the effectiveness of the rumor to be countered.

KIND OF INTELLIGENCE ESSENTIAL TO RUMOR WORK

1. From the principle that effective rumors supply “information” eagerly sought for by vulnerable groups or classes of people, the following kinds of intelligence are essential to good rumor design:

a. Intelligence on what kinds of information they are eager for.

b. With respect to (a), intelligence on what they actually know and what they lack.

2. From the principle that effective rumors capitalize on the fears, hopes, and hostilities of people, the following kinds of intelligence are essential to good rumor design:

a. Intelligence on their current fears, hopes, and hostilities relating to their war effort.

b. Research revealing their customary and traditional ways of expressing their anxieties, hopes, and aggressions, especially in conditions of national crisis.

RUMOR TARGETS

AND THE TAILORING OF RUMORS FOR THEM


1. Groups or classes of people that have become fearful and anxious about their personal well-being. Focus on “information” that confirms the pessimistic expectations of the group involved. Extreme rumors designed to produce open panic should be timed with military action.

EXAMPLE: The people of southern Italy and Sicily are extremely jittery at the moment about the possibility of our invasion force crossing the Mediterranean from Tunisia. Thus in this area we spread a rumor that large numbers of invasion barges are being concentrated at a point opposite Trapani.

Note on “Magic” rumors: In the special circumstances when a group or class of enemy people begin to show signs of seeing no course but disaster, focus on alleged events in which personages or “signs” from their religion or folklore present forebodings or prophesies of defeat, or of hope after defeat.

EXAMPLE: In southern Italy, Sardinia and Corsica, the “Evil Eye” superstition has long been strong among the largely illiterate, primitive people. Thus we spread the story that all the woes of the southern Mediterranean peoples date from the meeting of Hitler and Mussolini in 1934, at which time Hitler fixed the Duce with his Evil Eye. The result of this curse, we continue, was the Ethiopian failure, reverses in Spain, the current bombing of Italian cities, etc.

2. Groups or classes of people that have become unrealistically over-confident or hopeful. Focus on “information” which supports their hopes, which is consistent with information available to them, but which will ultimately produce disillusionment.

EXAMPLE: We know that the Italian people are thoroughly sick of the poor-quality food substitutes they have had to accept for the past four or five years. They might be kindly disposed toward us if they had grounds for believing we were coming with food as well as guns and planes. They are also generally aware that a Food Conference is in progress in the U.S. Thus we spread the rumor that the delegates at the Food Conference are unanimously in favor of feeding Italy abundantly in return for a quick capitulation. When this story has achieved fairly wide currency and hopes have been raised, we follow with the story that although the Italian King and Cabinet favor our generous food proposition, Mussolini and two or three top Fascists have blocked it. Thus we create hopes for the purpose of dashing them.

3. Groups of classes of people that are suspicious of or hate other groups of leaders. Focus on “information” that justifies and increases hostility.

EXAMPLE: The animosity between the Rumanians and Hungarians is a matter of record. Most Russians and Hungarians know that Antonescu has recently conferred with Hitler. Thus we tailor a rumor for the Hungarian Army that Antonescu’s consultation resulted in an agreement whereby Rumanian troops will be reserved for defense of the Balkans, while Hungarian divisions will be sent to the Russian front.

4. Groups or classes of people that lead monotonous lives which favor the use of fantasy.

EXAMPLE: In this class fall the inmates of prisons, concentration camps and army garrisons, factory workers compelled to work at dull tasks 14-16 hours daily, armies of occupation, etc. These groups, whose humdrum existences make it difficult for them to weigh and evaluate “news” searchingly, are especially susceptible to fantastic rumors of all sorts. They will believe and transmit stories that better-balanced persons will reject as implausible.

Thus among Rumanian factory workers compelled to do an intensely monotonous job we might spread a story that Hitler has decided that this factory is no longer needed and that the workers will shortly be permitted to return to their homes. Although on the face of it absurd, this story might well gain acceptance in the appropriate group. When it becomes clear later on that the story was unfounded, the workers would suffer a severe letdown in morale and efficiency, which was our original intention.

5. Special groups that lack information either as a result of especially vigorous censorship or discredited propaganda or illiteracy.

EXAMPLE: Germany and Italy, all reports indicate, are extremely receptive to well-formulated rumors because of the reputation their Propaganda Ministries have gained for suppressing, or sugar-coating bad news or news unfavorable to the regime. Likewise, populations in lands which for many years were kept well-informed by their own free press and radio, and then were abruptly blacked out from authentic news by Occupation, are dependent on rumor to fill the gaps in their understanding of happenings within their own country and outside. Sardinia is an example of a field where rumor has become an important media of news transmission because of the population’s high degree of illiteracy and because of their relatively isolated position.

Over-all general principle:

a. Those people who are most eager for information about events which affect them are the best targets for rumors which supply the desired “information.

b. People with fears, hopes, and hostilities stemming from their involvement in the war are affected most by rumors that feed on these feelings.

PROPERTIES OF A RUMOR THAT MAKE IT SPREAD

A good rumor is one which will spread widely in a form close to the original containing the basic message. The qualities of a rumor which give it this mobility appear to defy complete analysis at the moment. Probably the main factor determining success or failure is the degree to which a rumor is “tailored” to the state of mind of the audience. In addition, successful rumors seem to embody most of the following qualities:

1. Plausibility. Plausibility may be obtained by one or more of the following:

a. Making the rumor concrete and, so far as possible, specific in terms of familiar persons, places, and round numbers.

EXAMPLE: Poor Technique: People in areas that may be invaded are sewing American flags inside their coats.

Better Technique: 36 arrests were made in Sicily by Fascist authorities when they discovered that Sicilians were sewing crude American flags inside their coats.

b. Tying the rumor to known factor expectations.

EXAMPLE: Poor Technique: Among Near Eastern Moslems, who are familiar with Hitler’s anti-Semitism, spread the story that Hitler is going to seek Allied sympathy by resettling all European Jews in Palestine.

Better Technique: Tunisian Arabs know that some of their numbers were blown up by crossing German minefields. Among Arab populations we spread the following story: Not knowing the exact location of their own minefields, German panzer troops retreating from Bizerte drove scores of Arabs ahead of them to touch off the explosive charges.

c. Designing the rumor so that it consists in part of familiar, accepted information, and in part of “new information” which, though false, is unverifiable.

EXAMPLE: It is now widely known in Germany that the big RAF raid of May 24 did terrific damage to Dortmung. It is further known that Dortmund is an industrial center. We spread a story in Germany that the Dortmund raid knocked out completely one of only two plans in all Germany which manufacture electrodes indispensable to processing artillery steel. The vital part of this rumor is unverifiable, because even if it were true German authorities would suppress it. But it fits in with what Germans in, say, Bavaria know about industrial Dortmund and the recent raid.

It is known to German troops that there are now millions of foreign workers in Germany. They also know that pregnancy is a ground for exemption from labor service at home. So we spread the false story that their wives are dodging labor mobilization by bedding down with good-looking Belgians and Dutchmen and becoming pregnant. Troops far-removed from home, perhaps at the front, are in no position to check the unconfirmed portion of the story. And the elements of it which they know to be true (labor mobilization, foreign workers, pregnancy as a basis for exemption) tend to support the false element.

d.When relevant, making the rumor appear as an “inside story” which has leaked from an authoritative source.

EXAMPLE: Let us assume we wish to spread the idea that Hitler and von Rundstedt have quarreled.

Poor Technique: von Rundstedt and Hitler recently had a bitter quarrel when Rundstedt told the Fuhrer that German divisions for the defense of France are second-rate.

Better Technique: The wife of an officer on General von Rundstedt’s Staff reports that Hitler and von Rundstedt recently had a bitter quarrel when Rundstedt charged that German divisions for the defense of France are second-rate.

e. Not exaggerating the facts in terms of contrasts or magnitudes beyond the bounds of credibility.

EXAMPLE: Poor Technique: One American soldier using a bazooka destroyed 12 enemy tanks in Tunisia with one shot.

Better Technique: One American soldier using a bazooka knocked out one Mark VI tank completely and crippled another with a single shot.

2. SIMPLICITY. This means using only one central idea or core and keeping it uncomplex and thus memorable, regardless of the embellishments added for the sake of authenticity, plausibility or other reasons.

EXAMPLE: Poor Technique: The chief Germany Army medical officer in Italy is carrying on an affair with Ciano’s wife, and yet he has the nerve to issue an order stating that all Italian women in towns where German troops are garrisoned must be examined for venereal disease once a month in order to associate with members of the Wehrmacht.

Better Technique: The chief medical officer of the German Army has ordered that all Italian women must be examined once a month for venereal disease.

3. SUITABILITY TO TASK. The design of a rumor is largely determined by the job it has to do. For example, the slogan-type rumor (“England will fight to the last Frenchman”) is especially adapted to summarizing opinions or attitudes which are already widely accepted.

Narrative-type rumors, on the other hand, aim at introducing “information which will create or shape new attitudes.” In this category are the elaborately detailed and embellished stories such as the one which “proves” that Hitler was mortally ill. Slogan-type rumors will gain acceptance only when the ground has been prepared for them by narrative-type rumors or by other forms of propaganda.

4. VIVIDNESS. Regardless of length or type, rumors which make clearcut mental pictures with strong emotional content are likely to be most effective.

EXAMPLE: Poor Technique: We spread rumor among German troops at the front that their wives at home are complaining because they are lonesome. (The German soldier may regret this, but it will not disturb him inordinately._

Better Technique: We spread the rumor among German troops that because their wives are lonesome they are bedding down with foreign workmen. (To a German soldier who relies on fidelity and moral support from the home front, this is emotionally a strong, upsetting blow.)

SUGGESTIVENESS. Whereas extreme concreteness helps to give a rumor plausibility the very opposite quality sometimes gives great effectiveness to rumors. The type of rumor which merely hints or suggests something instead of stating it seems particularly adapted to spreading fear and doubt.

EXAMPLE: Hitler has had periodic visits recently from Dr. Hans Gluck. Dr. Gluck was decorated last year by the Munich Academy of Science for distinguished research in psychiatry.

German authorities in eastern Slovakia have requisitioned from Berlin 500 3-foot coffins.

MAKING THE RUMOR FIT THE CHANNEL

The form and content of a rumor, when possible, should be tailor-made for the channel through which it is to be initiated. These channels include:

1. Undercover agents.

2. Black radio or press, including false documents.

3. Enemy mail.

4. Compromised enemy communication media.

5. The media of international business, religious, professional, and other such organizations.

6. Diplomatic media.

7. Plants in neutral open propaganda media.

8. Plants in allied open propaganda media.

The importance of designing rumors for dissemination through outlets peculiarly adapted to them may be illustrated in the following way. Assume that our only channel for rumor-spreading in a particular area is through diplomatic representatives of various countries stationed there. Considering the outlet, it would obviously be futile to attempt to spread the rumor that a child of an Italian woman who had been seduced by a German officer was marked with a swastika stigmata at birth. The rumor would be written off as fantastic drivel at once by the first diplomat to whom it was told. It becomes clear then that for dissemination through diplomatic circles we must plan and design rumors of a high order of plausibility in terms of the group’s background, education, information, degree of sophistication, etc. It is likely, for example, that the sort of rumor that would spread most widely through such circles would be clever epigrams or witticisms dealing with current personalities or events.

RUMORS SHOULD BE PLANNED

1. Rumors should be expressly designed to implement planned lines of action against the enemy.

a. Lines of action in plans should include strategic themes for rumors.

b. Rumor suggestions should stem directly from these.

2. To implement effectively a given planned line of action, one or more of the following techniques may be used.

a. Design different rumors that reveal the same “information.”

b. Plant such rumors in different suitable places.

c. Design them so as to appear as of independent origin.

d. Integrate them with black and white media.


[Phone rings early morning in George’s room]

Image

[George Gorton] Hello.

[Dylan, CIA Man] Hey, you guys are good, you know. Really good.

[George Gorton] Who is this?

[Dylan, CIA Man] My name is Dylan, and I’m calling from Virginia. Do you have a minute? We could talk. It won’t take long.

Image

[George Gorton] Well, gee, I’m sorry. This isn’t the best time to talk, or place.

[Dylan, CIA Man] Understood. We just want to let you know that everyone at The Company is rooting for you and your team. But we are, however, concerned about the “loss scenario.” Per our sources, Zyuganov has come up with a secret maximum plan he’ll implement if he wins. Now, we don’t know what it is exactly, but it can’t possibly be good for us. So good luck, and keep up the good work, and we’ll be watching. [Hangs up]

***

Image

[Elvis Impersonator] [Singing] Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. I’ll see you later. Thank you very much.

[Team Yeltsin at the bar]

Image

[Dick Dresner] CI-Fucking-A. Is there anybody who doesn’t know we’re here?

Image

[George Gorton] I’m telling you, when I realized who it was, you know, I had a heart attack! You know, if they overhear that, they think we’re spies.

[Dick Dresner] “We’ll be watching you”. What does that mean? How? How? Watching what?

[Joe Shumate] It’s just the way spooks talk. What’s this “secret maximum plan” deal? How come we never heard about that?

[Dick Dresner] It wouldn’t be a secret if we had heard about it.

Image

[Elvis Impersonator has come up to the bar] I heard about it. Give me a drink and I’ll tell you.

[Dick Dresner] [Scoots bottle and glass to him] Help yourself.

***

Image

[George Gorton on balcony, dictating into his machine] A drunk Elvis impersonator told us about Zyuganov’s “secret maximum plan.” In a nutshell, the pinkos want to take the country back to the Dark Ages. Old USSR borders, re-nationalize the economy, and a vigorous prosecution of the Reformists.

Image

Of course, it’s just a rumor, but Russians are pretty paranoid if it leaks. Zyuganov may lose a vote or two. So we’ve got to leak it like crazy, of course.

-- Spinning Boris, directed by Roger Spottiswoode
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:58 am

Did NATO Promise Not to Enlarge? Gorbachev Says “No”
by Steven Pifer
Brookings
Thursday, November 6, 2014

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The documents show that multiple national leaders were considering and rejecting Central and Eastern European membership in NATO as of early 1990 and through 1991, that discussions of NATO in the context of German unification negotiations in 1990 were not at all narrowly limited to the status of East German territory, and that subsequent Soviet and Russian complaints about being misled about NATO expansion were founded in written contemporaneous memcons and telcons at the highest levels.

-- NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard, Briefing Book #613, by Svetlana Savranskaya and Tom Blanton


It is abundantly evident that Russian President Vladimir Putin is no fan of NATO. Indeed, he displays a pronounced—almost obsessive—antipathy toward the Alliance. He claims that NATO took advantage of Russian weakness after the collapse of the Soviet Union to enlarge to its east, in violation of promises allegedly made to Moscow by Western leaders. But no such promises were made—a point now confirmed by someone who was definitely in a position to know: Mikhail Gorbachev, then president of the Soviet Union.

“The documents show that multiple national leaders were considering and rejecting Central and Eastern European membership in NATO as of early 1990 and through 1991,” George Washington University National Security Archives researchers Svetlana Savranskaya and Tom Blanton wrote. “That discussions of NATO in the context of German unification negotiations in 1990 were not at all narrowly limited to the status of East German territory, and that subsequent Soviet and Russian complaints about being misled about NATO expansion were founded in written contemporaneous memcons and telcons at the highest levels.”

Indeed, Russian Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin have complained bitterly about the expansion of NATO towards their borders despite what they had believed were assurances to the contrary. “What happened to the assurances our western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today?” Putin said at the Munich Conference on Security Policy in 2007.“No one even remembers them. But I will allow myself to remind this audience what was said. I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr. Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: ‘the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee.’ Where are these guarantees?”

As the newly declassified documents show, the Russians might have had a point. While it was previously understood that Secretary of State James Baker’s assurance to Gorbachev that NATO would not expand “not one inch eastward” during a February 9, 1990, meeting was only in the context of German reunification....

Baker: And the last point. NATO is the mechanism for securing the U.S. presence in Europe. If NATO is liquidated, there will be no such mechanism in Europe. We understand that not only for the Soviet Union but for other European countries as well it is important to have guarantees that if the United States keeps its presence in Germany within the framework of NATO, not an inch of NATO's present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction.

We believe that consultations and discussions within the framework of the "two + four" mechanism should guarantee that Germany's unification will not lead to NATO's military organization spreading to the east.

***

Baker: I want to ask you a question, and you need not answer it right now. Supposing unification takes place, what would you prefer: a united Germany outside of NATO, absolutely independent and without American troops; or a united Germany keeping its connections with NATO, but with the guarantee that NATO's jurisprudence or troops will not spread east of the present boundary?

Gorbachev: We will think everything over. We intend to discuss all these questions in depth at the leadership level. It goes without saying that a broadening of the NATO zone is not acceptable.

Baker: We agree with that.

-- Record of Conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and James Baker, The National Security Archive, Source: Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation, Fond 1, Opis 1. Translated by Anna Melyakova, February 9, 1990


the new documents show that this was not the case.

Gorbachev only accepted German reunification—over which the Soviet Union had a legal right to veto under treaty—because he received assurances that NATO would not expand after he withdrew his forces from Eastern Europe from James Baker, President George H.W. Bush, West German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the CIA Director Robert Gates, French President Francois Mitterrand, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, British foreign minister Douglas Hurd, British Prime Minister John Major, and NATO secretary-general Manfred Woerner.

Indeed, as late as March 1991, the British were reassuring Gorbachev that they could not foresee circumstances under which NATO might expand into Eastern and Central Europe. As former British Ambassador to the Soviet Union recounted in March 5, 1991, Rodric Braithwaite, both British foreign minister Douglas Hurd and British Prime Minister John Major told the Soviet that NATO would not expand eastwards.

“I believe that your thoughts about the role of NATO in the current situation are the result of misunderstanding,” Major had told Gorbachev. We are not talking about strengthening of NATO. We are talking about the coordination of efforts that is already happening in Europe between NATO and the West European Union, which, as it is envisioned, would allow all members of the European Community to contribute to enhance [our] security.”


Of course, later, in 1994, Bill Clinton decided to expand NATO eastward despite the various assurances that the previous administration had offered Gorbachev—and despite legendary diplomat George F. Kennan’s repeated warnings.

-- Newly Declassified Documents: Gorbachev Told NATO Wouldn't Move Past East German Border. So what happened?, by Dave Majumdar


PRESIDENT PUTIN’S NATO NARRATIVE

The West’s supposed violation of a pledge not to enlarge NATO has long figured as a key element in Putin’s narrative about (and against) the Alliance. In his bombastic February 2007 speech to the Munich Security Conference, he said:

And we have the right to ask: against whom is this [NATO] expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances our Western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? … I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr. Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: ‘the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee.” Where are these guarantees?


The Russian president returned to the subject in his March 18, 2014, Kremlin speech justifying Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea: “… they [Western leaders] have lied to us many times, made decisions behind our backs, placed before us an accomplished fact. This happened with NATO’s expansion to the east, as well as the deployment of military infrastructure at our borders.” Although it has been clear for several years that the Alliance has no appetite for putting Ukraine on a membership track, Putin went on to express horror at the prospect of NATO forces in Crimea: Russian inaction “would have meant that NATO’s navy would be right there in this city of Russia’s military glory [Sevastopol], and this would create not an illusory but a perfectly real threat to the whole of southern Russia.”

Western leaders never pledged not to enlarge NATO, a point that several analysts have demonstrated. Mark Kramer explored the question in detail in a 2009 article in The Washington Quarterly. He drew on declassified American, German and Soviet records to make his case and noted that, in discussions on German reunification in the two-plus-four format (the two Germanys plus the United States, Soviet Union, Britain and France), the Soviets never raised the question of NATO enlargement other than how it might apply in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR).

THE WEST’S NATO COMMITMENT

What the Germans, Americans, British and French did agree to in 1990 was that there would be no deployment of non-German NATO forces on the territory of the former GDR. I was a deputy director on the State Department’s Soviet desk at the time, and that was certainly the point of Secretary James Baker’s discussions with Gorbachev and his foreign minister, Eduard Shevardnadze. In 1990, few gave the possibility of a broader NATO enlargement to the east any serious thought.

The agreement on not deploying foreign troops on the territory of the former GDR was incorporated in Article 5 of the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, which was signed on September 12, 1990 by the foreign ministers of the two Germanys, the United States, Soviet Union, Britain and France. Article 5 had three provisions:

1. Until Soviet forces had completed their withdrawal from the former GDR, only German territorial defense units not integrated into NATO would be deployed in that territory.

2. There would be no increase in the numbers of troops or equipment of U.S., British and French forces stationed in Berlin.

3. Once Soviet forces had withdrawn, German forces assigned to NATO could be deployed in the former GDR, but foreign forces and nuclear weapons systems would not be deployed there.

When one reads the full text of the Woerner speech cited by Putin, it is clear that the secretary general’s comments referred to NATO forces in eastern Germany, not a broader commitment not to enlarge the Alliance.

FORMER SOVIET PRESIDENT GORBACHEV’S VIEW

We now have a very authoritative voice from Moscow confirming this understanding. Russia behind the Headlines has published an interview with Gorbachev, who was Soviet president during the discussions and treaty negotiations concerning German reunification. The interviewer asked why Gorbachev did not “insist that the promises made to you [Gorbachev]—particularly U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s promise that NATO would not expand into the East—be legally encoded?” Gorbachev replied: “The topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years. … Another issue we brought up was discussed: making sure that NATO’s military structures would not advance and that additional armed forces would not be deployed on the territory of the then-GDR after German reunification. Baker’s statement was made in that context… Everything that could have been and needed to be done to solidify that political obligation was done. And fulfilled.”

Gorbachev continued that “The agreement on a final settlement with Germany said that no new military structures would be created in the eastern part of the country; no additional troops would be deployed; no weapons of mass destruction would be placed there. It has been obeyed all these years.” To be sure, the former Soviet president criticized NATO enlargement and called it a violation of the spirit of the assurances given Moscow in 1990, but he made clear there was no promise regarding broader enlargement.

Several years after German reunification, in 1997, NATO said that in the “current and foreseeable security environment” there would be no permanent stationing of substantial combat forces on the territory of new NATO members. Up until the Russian military occupation of Crimea in March, there was virtually no stationing of any NATO combat forces on the territory of new members. Since March, NATO has increased the presence of its military forces in the Baltic region and Central Europe.

Putin is not stupid, and his aides surely have access to the former Soviet records from the time and understand the history of the commitments made by Western leaders and NATO. But the West’s alleged promise not to enlarge the Alliance will undoubtedly remain a standard element of his anti-NATO spin. That is because it fits so well with the picture that the Russian leader seeks to paint of an aggrieved Russia, taken advantage of by others and increasingly isolated—not due to its own actions, but because of the machinations of a deceitful West.

Gates said he would like to pursue that issue further, but knew that Kryuchkov was busy, and would like to move on to two other subjects. First, the German question. Events are moving faster than anticipated. We might see some GDR initiative after the 18 March elections. Under these circumstances, we support the Kohl-Genscher idea of a united Germany belonging to NATO but with no expansion of military presence to the GDR. This would be in the context of continuing force reductions in Europe. What did Kryuchkov think of the Kohl/Genscher proposal under which a united Germany would be associated with NATO, but in which NATO troops would move no further east than they now were? It seems to us to be a sound proposal. There are in any case only three options for a unified Germany: either it would be a member of NATO, neutral, or a member of the Warsaw Pact.

Gates said that alignment with the Warsaw Pact clearly was not possible in terms of present realities. A neutral Germany would suffer from the same insecurities and uncertainties regarding its security that Germany had experienced before World War I. In an effort to assure its security it would be tempted to develop nuclear weapons and turn in different directions, seeking reassurance. A large, economically powerful Germany just could not be neutral. The third option, membership in NATO, would provide for a secure Germany integrated in Western Europe which the Soviet Union would have no reason to fear. It would anchor Germany in a way that would leave it secure, able to exercise a positive economic influence (including in the East), and without being a security problem for the USSR.

Kryuchkov replied that as Gates should know, the events in the GDR concern the Soviet people. The other countries are different. But the USSR had paid a terrible price in World War II - 20 million killed. "We can't exclude that a reborn, united Germany might become a threat to Europe. We would hate to see the US and USSR have to become allies again against a resurgent Germany."

"Germany's technical possibilities and intellectual potential are well known. It is difficult to predict what directions its military and technology might take." That is no idle question, for "influential forces in the FRG do not wish to recognize the results of the War or to accept the post-World War II borders." The Poles are also concerned. We never said that Germany could never reunite -- but the basis on which reunification took place was always important to us. Trust between the US and USSR is growing, true, but that trust still had to be "materialized." The Soviet Union, under present circumstances, could have "no enthusiasm" about a united Germany in NATO. We should look for other options. You, Great Britain, and France would develop a common view, and we in the Warsaw Pact would do so, and we would discuss them. We need not hurry so much. Kohl and Genscher had interesting ideas -- but even those points in their proposals with which we agree would have to have guarantees. We learned from the Americans in arms control negotiations the importance of verification, and we would have to be sure.

The U.S. had to participate in World War II even though it had been protected by oceans. Now the oceans were meaningless. An interdependent world would not allow any great power to escape involvement in a new war. "People here say that we have had peace for forty-five years because Germany is divided." And of course Japan did not become a military superpower. But the question of German unity is a very serious one, and requires far-reaching, frank exchanges of opinions between the US and USSR.

-- Memorandum of conversation between Robert Gates and Vladimir Kryuchkov in Moscow.


Steven Pifer: Nonresident Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, Center on the United States and Europe, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:04 am

Facebook Censorship and the Atlantic Council
by Jonathan Sigrist
Global Research
October 14, 2018

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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Yesterday we witnessed one of the greatest Facebook account and page purges since its formation over a decade ago. In total, 559 pages and 251 personal accounts were instantly removed from the platform, for having “consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior” according to Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s Head of Cybersecurity and former White House National Security Council Director of Cybersecurity Policy under Obama. This is but one of similar yet smaller purges that have been unfolding in front of our eyes over the last year, all in the name of fighting “fake news” and so called “Russian propaganda”.

What very few people know though, is that about 5 months ago, Facebook announced that is was officially partnering with the Atlantic Council in the form of an “election partnership […] to prevent [their] service from being abused during elections.” Indeed, the US midterm elections are only a couple of weeks away, so the Atlantic Council and its Digital Forensic Research Lab are now going at it with full force, closing facebook accounts left and right that they personally deem could be fake accounts, or accounts spreading misinformation, based on very shady criterias.

In February 2009, James L. Jones, then-chairman of the Atlantic Council, stepped down in order to serve as President Obama's new National Security Advisor and was succeeded by Senator Chuck Hagel.[3] In addition, other Council members also left to serve the administration: Susan Rice as ambassador to the UN, Richard Holbrooke as the Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, General Eric K. Shinseki as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Anne-Marie Slaughter as Director of Policy Planning at the State Department. Four years later, Hagel stepped down to serve as US Secretary of Defense. Gen. Brent Scowcroft served as interim chairman of the organization's Board of Directors until January 2014, when former ambassador to China and governor of Utah Jon Huntsman, Jr.[4] was appointed.

-- Atlantic Council, by Wikipedia


One doesn’t need to look far to understand who the Atlantic Council are and what they stand for : it is a think tank essentially funded by NATO, weapons manufacturers, Middle-Eastern oil-state monarchies, billionaires and different branches of the US military. In short, it has been described as being nothing less than NATO’s unofficial propaganda wing. The Atlantic Council doesn’t shy away from its political intents across the world, which can be seen solely by looking at who sits on its directors board -– the crème de la crème when it comes to US neocons & war criminals: Henry Kissinger, Condoleezza Rice, Frank Carlucci, James A. Baker, R. George P. Shultz, James Woolsey, Leon Panetta, Colin Powell, Robert Gates, and many more.

Needless to say, the Atlantic Council has been on the same side as every single war and conflict engendered by US and NATO imperialism over the last 50 years, and has itself played a role in abusing democratic elections around the world as well as spreading propaganda and misinformation both in home countries and abroad to achieve its political means.


A snippet of who funds the Atlantic Council, its organisation of Bellingcat and therefore Eliot Higgins and Ben Nimmo.

American Israel Public Affairs Committee
Bank of America Corporation
Bank of New York Mellon, Inc.
BASF Corporation (created Zyklon-B for Nazis)
BGR Group
Bloomberg Philanthropies
BP America Inc.
Crescent Petroleum
Elbit Systems of America, Inc.
European Investment Bank
European Union
Foreign & Commonwealth Office of the UK
Inter-American Development Bank
International Republic Institute
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Lockheed Martin Corproation
NATO
Northrop Grumman Corporation
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Hence, it should come as no surprise that when the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab gets down to work weeks before the upcoming midterms, it has little intention of putting a stop to actual disinformation groups and rather silences those that speak a message opposing their own. Many of the pages and accounts taken down have been political (often leftist), anti-war, independent journalists and media outlets that are known to go against the grain of mainstream media outlets. Anti-Media (antimedia.com), a reputable source of independent journalism, saw its page with over 2 million followers taken down overnight with no concrete explanation as to why. Shortly after, Twitter decided to take them down as well, as well as Carey Wedler‘s (editor at Anti-Media) own personal account for literally no reason:

Hello Carey,
Your account, CareyWedler has been suspended for violating the Twitter Rules.
Specifically, for:
Note that if you attempt to evade a permanent suspension by creating new accounts, we will suspend your new accounts. If you wish to appeal this suspension, please contact our support team.


Many of the pages taken down had already been targeted back in 2016 by the McCarthyist webpage PropOrNot.not, endorsed by the Washington Post, in an effort to arbitrarily mark pages that they believe somehow are connected to Russian propaganda efforts. Already back then it was clear that many of the pages targeted by PropOrNot were leftist, anti-war pages, and almost none of them had anything to do with Russia whatsoever. The Washington Post finally later on retracted their article endorsing PropOrNot, but this didn’t help the fact that these websites had now already been flagged as propaganda by many.

Other pages taken down are The Free Thought Project, also an anti-war critic of establishment politics with around 3.1 million followers on Facebook. RT Reporter Rachel Blevins with 70,000 followers on facebook and investigative journalist Dan Dicks with 350,000 followers also both saw their accounts taken down overnight -– both were very critical of mainstream journalism. These are but some of the many accounts affected, with certain accounts on the fringe far right also targeted. Facebook has suffered great pressure lately from Congress for its apparent role in the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, being blamed for not having taken on enough active measures to fight the spread of fake news. Under such pressure it is not surprising that Facebook chooes to cooperate with a congress-approved think tank –- the Atlantic Council --, and basically give them a free hand to censor as much as they want, in order for themselves to avoid any future heat from the US government. This can be argued as to seriously stain the name of Facebook as an independent social media platform, if it is going to bend down to any unreasonable demands coming from the US government.

In the name of fighting fake news and targeting “inauthentic behavior” and “misleading users”, Facebook has essentially indulged in what was in 1934 Germany called the “Gleichschaltung” of the media -– a synchronized outphasing of dissident voices in the media and a consolidation of political opinions.
The internet has traditionally always been a bastion of free speech, and it is hence not surprising that those in power seek to undermine its ability to openly criticize the powerful. The truth does not do them favor, hence they would rather not have it expressed too far and wide –- something that the internet has otherwise made possible. Given that censorship is still extremely frowned upon by the general public, doing so (just like when seeking to sell a war) requires the majority of people to approve of it. The fight against fake news and foreign propaganda efforts has done just that: it has given those in power a pretext to openly censor dissident voices all while being praised in the making for so-called “safeguarding western democracies”. More of the same behaviour can be expected from both Facebook and Twitter in the future, and we cannot expect major media outlets like The New York Times,The Washington Post, CNN or MSNBC to stand up against it. After all, many of these censored independent medias are the only actors left who dare hold the mainstream media into account for their role as mere propaganda outlets of the establishment.

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Jonathan Sigrist is a student at the University of Tromsø in Northern Norway, currently studying the geopolitical, environmental, cultural and economic relations between the Arctic nations (The US, Canada, Russia, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark/Greenland and Iceland), as well as the future of the Arctic’s role in global politics. He has lived in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and France, and is a fervent observer and critic of US foreign policy.
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:54 am

Removing Additional Inauthentic Activity from Facebook
by Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy and Oscar Rodriguez, Product Manager
Facebook Newsroom
October 11, 2018

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People need to be able to trust the connections they make on Facebook. It’s why we have a policy banning coordinated inauthentic behavior — networks of accounts or Pages working to mislead others about who they are, and what they are doing. This year, we’ve enforced this policy against many Pages, Groups and accounts created to stir up political debate, including in the US, the Middle East, Russia and the UK. But the bulk of the inauthentic activity we see on Facebook is spam that’s typically motivated by money, not politics. And the people behind it are adapting their behavior as our enforcement improves.

One common type of spam has been posts that hawk fraudulent products like fake sunglasses or weight loss “remedies.” But a lot of the spam we see today is different. The people behind it create networks of Pages using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names. They post clickbait posts on these Pages to drive people to websites that are entirely separate from Facebook and seem legitimate, but are actually ad farms. The people behind the activity also post the same clickbait posts in dozens of Facebook Groups, often hundreds of times in a short period, to drum up traffic for their websites. And they often use their fake accounts to generate fake likes and shares. This artificially inflates engagement for their inauthentic Pages and the posts they share, misleading people about their popularity and improving their ranking in News Feed. This activity goes against what people expect on Facebook, and it violates our policies against spam.

Topics like natural disasters or celebrity gossip have been popular ways to generate clickbait. But today, these networks increasingly use sensational political content – regardless of its political slant-– to build an audience and drive traffic to their websites, earning money for every visitor to the site. And like the politically motivated activity we’ve seen, the “news” stories or opinions these accounts and Pages share are often indistinguishable from legitimate political debate. This is why it’s so important we look at these actors’ behavior -– such as whether they’re using fake accounts or repeatedly posting spam -– rather than their content when deciding which of these accounts, Pages or Groups to remove.

Today, we’re removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior. Given the activity we’ve seen — and its timing ahead of the US midterm elections — we wanted to give some details about the types of behavior that led to this action. Many were using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names and posted massive amounts of content across a network of Groups and Pages to drive traffic to their websites. Many used the same techniques to make their content appear more popular on Facebook than it really was. Others were ad farms using Facebook to mislead people into thinking that they were forums for legitimate political debate.

Of course, there are legitimate reasons that accounts and Pages coordinate with each other — it’s the bedrock of fundraising campaigns and grassroots organizations. But the difference is that these groups are upfront about who they are, and what they’re up to. As we get better at uncovering this kind of abuse, the people behind it — whether economically or politically motivated — will change their tactics to evade detection. It’s why we continue to invest heavily, including in better technology, to prevent this kind of misuse. Because people will only share on Facebook if they feel safe and trust the connections they make here.
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:37 am

Trust Is Collapsing in America: When truth itself feels uncertain, how can a democracy be sustained?
by Uri Friedman
The Atlantic
January 21, 2018

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“In God We Trust,” goes the motto of the United States. In God, and apparently little else.

Only a third of Americans now trust their government “to do what is right”—a decline of 14 percentage points from last year, according to a new report by the communications marketing firm Edelman. Forty-two percent trust the media, relative to 47 percent a year ago. Trust in business and non-governmental organizations, while somewhat higher than trust in government and the media, decreased by 10 and nine percentage points, respectively. Edelman, which for 18 years has been asking people around the world about their level of trust in various institutions, has never before recorded such steep drops in trust in the United States.

“This is the first time that a massive drop in trust has not been linked to a pressing economic issue or catastrophe like [Japan’s 2011] Fukushima nuclear disaster,” Richard Edelman, the head of the firm, noted in announcing the findings. “In fact, it’s the ultimate irony that it’s happening at a time of prosperity, with the stock market and employment rates in the U.S. at record highs.”

“The root cause of this fall,” he added—just days after polling revealed that Americans’ definition of “fake news” depends as much on their politics as the accuracy of the news, and a Republican senator condemned the American president’s Stalinesque attacks on the press and “evidence-based truth,” and a leading think tank warned that America was suffering from “truth decay” as a result of political polarization and social media—is a “lack of objective facts and rational discourse.”

It used to be that what Edelman labels the “informed public”—those aged 25 to 64 who have a college degree, regularly consume news, and are in the top 25 percent of household income for their age group—placed far greater trust in institutions than the U.S. public as a whole. This year, however, the gap all but vanished, with trust in government in particular plummeting 30 percentage points among the informed public. America is now home to the least-trusting informed public of the 28 countries that the firm surveyed, right below South Africa. Distrust is growing most among younger, high-income Americans.

But whereas trust is falling in the United States and a number of other countries with tumultuous politics at the moment, including South Africa, Italy, and Brazil, it’s actually increasing elsewhere, most prominently in China. Eighty-four percent of Chinese respondents said they trusted government—levels the United States hasn’t seen since the early Johnson administration—and 71 percent said they trusted the media. The world’s two most powerful countries, one democratic and the other authoritarian, are moving in opposite directions. In each case, the trajectory is largely being determined by people’s views of government.

Chinese respondents are probably reflecting on the upward mobility and improving quality of life that their political leaders have helped deliver, David Bersoff, the lead researcher for the Edelman report, told me: “I’m looking at my life now and it looks a lot better than it did before, and I can look forward and still see things that would get even better.” When I asked Richard Edelman why survey participants tended to trust technology companies much more than government, he reasoned that it was because those companies “have products that perform for you every day—whether it’s your cell phone or your airline.” Chinese respondents might have been making a similar statement about the government’s performance.

“There’s a lot of chaos and uncertainty in the world, and when there is chaos and uncertainty in the world centralized, authoritative power tends to do better,” Bersoff added. (It’s worth noting that other countries with high trust levels in the report range politically from democratic India to more-or-less democratic Indonesia and Singapore to the undemocratic United Arab Emirates.)

Image
Percent Change in Trust in Government, Media, Business, and NGOs, 2017 — 2018
2018 EDELMAN TRUST BAROMETER


Why, though, is trust eroding in the United States in the absence of an economic crisis or other kind of catastrophe? What’s changed, according to the Edelman report, is that it’s gotten much harder to discern what is and isn’t true—where the boundaries are between fact, opinion, and misinformation.

“The lifeblood of democracy is a common understanding of the facts and information that we can then use as a basis for negotiation and for compromise,” said Bersoff. “When that goes away, the whole foundation of democracy gets shaken.”

“This is a global, not an American issue,” Edelman told me. “And it’s undermining confidence in all the other institutions because if you don’t have an agreed set of facts, then it’s really hard to judge whether the prime minister is good or bad, or a company is good or bad.” A recent Pew Research Center poll, in fact, found across dozens of countries that satisfaction with the news media was typically highest in countries where trust in government and positive views of the economy were highest, though it didn’t investigate how these factors were related to one another.

America actually falls in the middle of surveyed countries in terms of trust in the media, which emerges from the Edelman poll as the least-trusted institution globally of the four under consideration. (In the United States, the firm finds, Donald Trump voters are over two times more likely than Hillary Clinton voters to distrust the media.) Nearly 70 percent of respondents globally were concerned about “fake news” being used as a weapon and 63 percent said they weren’t sure how to tell good journalism from rumor or falsehoods. Most respondents agreed that the media was too focused on attracting large audiences, breaking news, and supporting a particular political ideology rather than informing the public with accurate reporting. While trust in journalism actually increased a bit in Edelman’s survey this year, trust in search and social-media platforms dipped.

Image
Percent Trust in Media and Change From 2017 to 2018
2018 EDELMAN TRUST BAROMETER


In last year’s survey, the perspective that many respondents expressed was “‘I’m not sure about the future of my job because of robots or globalization. I’m not sure about my community anymore because there are a lot of new people coming in. I’m not sure about my economic future; in fact, it looks fairly dim because I’m downwardly mobile,’” Edelman said. These sentiments found expression in the success of populist politicians in the United States and Europe, who promised a return to past certainties. Now, this year, truth itself seems more uncertain.

“We’re desperately looking for land,” Edelman observed. “We’re flailing, and people can’t quite get a sense of reality.” It’s no way to live, let alone sustain a democracy.
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:22 am

Failed Venezuela coup was fake news — designed to fool people in two nations: CNN and the New York Times made major reporting errors in covering the failed coup. Was it laziness or propaganda?
by Dave Lindorff
Salon
May 8, 2019 11:00AM (UTC)
This article was originally published by FAIR.org. Used by permission.

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Image
Opponents to Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro stand behind makeshift shields as they face off with Bolivarian National Guards who are loyal to the president, during an attempted military uprising in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, April 30, 2019. (AP/Ariana Cubillos)

After days of breathless reporting in the U.S. media about public and military support for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro collapsing, and about an April 30 coup by presidential poseur Juan Guaidó, we now know the truth: The whole thing was a fraud, staged at the instigation of Washington in hopes that the Venezuelan people and rank-and-file troops would fall for the trick and think an actual coup was underway.

We also know, from an excellent May 2 report by Michael Fox in the Nation, that the U.S. mainstream media and its reporters in country were promoting that dangerous fraud.


Image
CNN: Venezuela's Guaido: Final Phase of Operation Freedom
CNN ran Juan Guaido’s video, in which he falsely claimed to be “in the La Carlota air force base.”


Take CNN. In its reporting on the “uprising” announced by Guaidó on Tuesday, April 30, it ran a video from social media depicting Guaidó, accompanied by opposition leader Leopoldo López, along with some armed men in uniform, said to be military defectors, standing behind them. The video claimed they were on the La Carlota military airfield in eastern Caracas, which Guaidó said had been “liberated.” According to CNN, he was addressing “thousands of supporters” on the scene, urging the rest of the Venezuelan military to join the coup and oust the “usurper” Maduro.

But as Michael Fox and other observers noted, CNN didn’t show those “thousands” of supporters — because there were none. Nor did the cable network explain in its report that Guaidó and López were not actually at the airbase, but rather were standing on a highway overpass outside the base — which was, in fact, never in rebel hands at all.


Guaidó and his “deserting” soldiers quickly left the scene as government troops headed their way, with López later that day holing up in the Chilean and eventually the Spanish embassy, seeking asylum for himself and his family, and with some two dozen soldiers who had deserted in support of Guaidó asking for asylum in the Brazilian embassy.

There are two possibilities here: Either CNN’s U.S.-based editors were lied to by their reporters in Caracas, or they were well aware that their story of the takeover of a military airfield, along with reports of thousands of protesters on the scene in support of Guaidó, was a hoax. It’s not hard to imagine the latter being the truth, because CNN earlier was caught fraudulently reporting that Venezuelan troops had set aid trucks stopped at the Colombian border afire, when in fact the fires had been started by anti-Maduro protesters. Though this truth was proven by other reports and video, CNN never corrected its false story in that case, nor did it discipline its on-the-scene reporters.

Alan MacLeod@AlanRMacLeod
Terrible journalism from @cnn. SIX journalists wrote this! Pressure is clearly falling for Maduro. Juan Guaido has never stood for President. The elections were in May 2018 (maduro got 68%). What happened in January was a coup attempt, not an election.
edition.cnn.com/2019/05/05/ame ...
According to the Ministry of Defense, authorities are currently investigating the deadly crash.
It comes as pressure is mounting on Maduro to step down, following elections in January in which voters chose opposition leader Juan Guaido over him for president.
7:37 AM - 6 May 2019


Alan MacLeod (5/6/19) was one of several on Twitter who noted the absurd errors in CNN‘s May 5 report on Venezuela.

CNN’s standards of accuracy were further discredited by its May 5 claim that

pressure is mounting on Maduro to step down, following elections in January in which voters chose opposition leader Juan Guaidó over him for president.


Six reporters were credited for the story that contained this line, which has almost as many errors: Guaidó was not even a candidate in the May 2018 (not January 2019) presidential elections; Maduro won that race with 68 percent of the vote, a credible total given the opposition’s boycott of the balloting. Guaidó was chosen not by voters but by the National Assembly — which has been suspended by the Venezuelan Supreme Court — and ultimately by the Trump administration. As for “pressure … mounting on Maduro,” that seems like a dubious reading indeed of the post-coup-attempt political terrain.

After much social media ridicule, CNN corrected the line, keeping in the bit about mounting pressure, but acknowledging that Guaidó “declared himself interim president.”

The New York Times hasn’t done any better.
On the day of the fake coup, the Times reported, in an unusual unbylined article (at the end there was a note saying only that reporting was contributed by Isayen Herrera, Nicholas Casey, Anatoly Kurmanaev, Ana Vanessa Herrero, Rick Gladstone and Katie Rogers) headed “Venezuela Crisis: Guaidó Calls for Uprising as Clashes Erupt”:

“Today, brave soldiers, brave patriots, brave men attached to the Constitution have followed our call,” Mr. Guaidó said in a video posted on social media, speaking from Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda Air Base, a military airport in Caracas known as La Carlota.


The “newspaper of record” either made no effort to check its reporters’ “facts,” or went along deliberately with the charade that Washington’s hand-picked “legitimate president” Guaidó was actually speaking from a “liberated” military airfield, when he was really only standing on a highway overpass outside the airfield, which itself was never even contested, remaining in government hands throughout the day.

To compound the journalistic felony, the Times ran a Reuters wire photo showing Guaidó speaking to a street full of supporters, purportedly taken that day, but clearly not depicting where he had made his call for a coup, when he had only the camera to address, though incautious readers might well have assumed that is what the photo showed.

Did editors at the Times’ home office in New York double-check the reporters’ claims before running their incendiary report of the capture of a government military airbase? Why didn’t one of the paper’s many reporters and photographers in Caracas hightail it to the La Carlota base to get a firsthand report and video of the first victory in this so-called coup attempt?

Image
NYT: Venezuelan Opposition Leader Steps Up Pressure, but Maduro Holds On
UNREST IN VENEZUELA
OPPOSITION LEADER CALLS FOR UPRISING
The Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called for the military to rise up against the government of President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday. Fernando Liano / Associated Press
by Nicholas Casey


This New York Times article’s claim (4/30/19) of “a predawn takeover of a military base in the heart of the capital, Caracas,” remains uncorrected.

In another linked story published the same day, this time authored by Nicholas Casey, the Times again reported falsely:

It was the boldest move yet by Juan Guaidó, Venezuela’s opposition leader: At sunrise, he stood flanked by soldiers at an air force base in the heart of the capital, saying rebellion was at hand.


Clearly Casey was either making it up or, more likely, had been too lazy to go (or to dispatch one of his colleagues to go) to the airport to confirm the veracity of Guaidó’s “bold” claim. But this is not just fraudulent reporting, it is dangerous and incendiary propaganda. Its publication could have, and perhaps did, lead hundreds of coup backers to rush to the airport, where they were met by the Venezuelan military, with a number of protesters reportedly being injured in the ensuing confrontation.

Casey, in his article, writes that “by the end of the day,” it was clear that Guaidó had failed to precipitate a successful coup, but he doesn’t say what had been clear much earlier that day: that the airport had never been captured at all, and that Guaidó had not spoken from a liberated airfield, but from a bridge outside the airfield.

In fact, Casey must have known, or should have by day’s end, and well before the Times’ deadline, that his earlier report on Guaidó’s call-to-arms had been based on fake information. Instead, he was still pretending his story was fact-based, and presented as if he had been witness to the events he was reporting on. Even though his article notes that “by day’s end, news spread of another blow to the opposition: Leopoldo López, the political prisoner who heads Mr. Guaidó’s party, had fled into the Chilean Embassy, along with his wife, Lilian Tintori,” he continued with the fiction that an airbase had been captured and that the military was falling apart, writing:

The events also cast a harsh new light into the division within the armed forces, which puts Venezuela in a precarious position as the country’s political crisis deepens. While the highest ranks of the military dig into their support for Mr. Maduro’s government, many rank-and-file soldiers appear willing to defy their commanders and come to the aid of the opposition.


In fact, far from “many” soldiers deserting, it may have been no more than 25 men in uniform who defected in support of Guaidó, and they, as was well known by the time Casey filed his article, had sought asylum in the Brazilian embassy, a devastating sign of his failed call-to-arms, a reality which Casey didn’t bother to mention in his article. (Sitting at home on the evening of April 30 and reading reports in publications like Telesur English and Al Jazeera, I was able to learn about this and about López seeking asylum with his family in the Spanish embassy, so surely Times fact-checkers should have also been able to get that information challenging Casey’s reporting.)

Interestingly, Casey did quote the Maduro administration as stating late Tuesday night in a public TV broadcast that the La Carlota airport had never been threatened or taken over by defecting soldiers. Instead of verifying it as fact, all Casey did was cite Maduro’s denial, hinting that maybe it had not actually been “liberated.”

The Casey article, still available online, contains a correction at the end, dated May 1:

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misidentified the CNN program on which Mr. Pompeo made his remarks about plans for Mr. Maduro to fly to Cuba. It was The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer, not State of the Union.


But as of this story’s May 7 posting date, no correction has yet been made by the Times concerning the article’s fundamental and far more serious errors of reporting, such as the claim that there had been “a predawn takeover of a military base in the heart of the capital,” or that Guaidó had made his video appeal for a rebellion from that “liberated” airbase.

How does any self-respecting news organization allow such abysmally inaccurate reporting to remain this long online uncorrected? The only possible answer is that Casey, and the other in-country reporters who were said to have contributed to his bylined piece (Isayen Herrera, Ana Vanessa Herrero, Anatoly Kurmanaev and Katie Rogers), were giving the New York Times exactly the propaganda piece that its editors and the coup plotters in Washington wanted.
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:51 am

Once Again, Mainstream Media Get It Wrong on Venezuela: Foreign outlets, dutifully supporting Trump administration calls for regime change, reported that a widespread uprising was underway, even though Juan Guaidó’s coup attempt had little support.
by Michael Fox
The Nation
May 2, 2019

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Image
An anti-government protester throws a rock toward security forces inside La Carlota airbase in Caracas on May 1, 2019. (AP Photo / Ariana Cubillos)

Caracas—It began with a tweet.

In it, Venezuela’s self-declared president, Juan Guaidó, stands in front of a line of military vehicles and rows of Venezuelan soldiers in green uniforms. Beside them is opposition leader Leopoldo López, whom they have freed from house arrest, which stemmed from his role in the 2014 guarimba street protests in which dozens of people were killed.

Guaidó, dressed in a black suit and a white shirt, talks to the camera. “Today, the armed forces are clearly with the people,” he says. “The time is now.” He calls on the military to rise up and says they are in the streets. He insinuates that they have taken the Carlota military base in eastern Caracas.

My phone rings and then rings again.

“It looks like there was a coup,” says a friend’s voice. That is what people are thinking across the city. It’s just after 6 a.m., and the sky is still orange from dawn. Neighbors bang pots and pans, the sound rattling through the open window. School is canceled, and the metro is closed. Supporters of President Nicolás Maduro get the word that people are being called to defend Miraflores, the presidential palace, from a potential attack. They begin to make the trek across the city, some by foot, others by bus or car.

A stream of Guaidó supporters flows toward the opposition stronghold of Altamira and the Carlota base, just a few blocks away. But it’s clear that Guaidó has not taken the base; his video was recorded from an overpass nearby.

Hooded protesters hurl rocks and other projectiles toward soldiers loyal to Maduro, who force them back with tear gas. The smoke wafts into the crowds, and people stampede back up the street, screaming and covering their faces.

Estefani Braz stands on a small wall calling for those around her to stay calm. She’s 28, a mother and a graphic designer, with long curly brown hair. “I thought it was over,” she says. “But we’re going to continue fighting and supporting each other because we are going to get out of this.”

Maduro’s ouster seemed within grasp. As if she could almost touch it. But it was just an illusion. Within a few hours, Guaidó and López gave up hope of a military insurrection. López and his wife and daughter requested asylum first in the Chilean embassy and then in the Spanish embassy. Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro granted asylum to the couple of dozen Venezuelan soldiers who joined the opposition.

In a video that went viral over social media, at least a dozen soldiers who appeared in Guaidó’s early-morning call for an uprising said they were “tricked,” ordered there by a commanding officer.

Despite these setbacks, Guaidó led thousands in a march heading west from Altamira, but they were turned back by tear gas from the national guard. Rock-wielding hooded protesters and teams of opposition supporters on motorcycles played cat and mouse with the guard. In a scene reminiscent of the violent 2014 and 2017 protests, the protesters blocked roads and set fire to at least one bus and five motorcycles. Rocks and debris covered the streets. Several dozen protesters were injured, largely from tear gas, according to first-aid providers on the scene. Several guard troops were shot by live rounds from Guaidó’s small rebel force.

On the other side of town, thousands rallied before a stage outside Miraflores, where Chavista leaders spoke. They danced to music from large speakers at a rally that would continue through the night in order to ensure that no one would try to take Miraflores.

What began as a threat of wide-scale military insurrection against the Maduro government ended in disastrous failure for Guaidó and the opposition—yet another in a 20-year string of aborted US-backed attempts to overthrow the Bolivarian process.

Even so, thousands of opposition supporters came out for Guaidó’s May Day march on Wednesday, filling most of Altamira Plaza and surrounding streets.

“I don’t feel defeated,” said Aylen Cejas, a teacher and longtime supporter of the opposition. “Many Venezuelans might say this process is too slow, but sometimes it has to be like that.” But those in the crowd seemed subdued, stung by the previous day’s defeat, their hopes lifted and then crushed once more. Earlier, Guaidó said this rally would be one of the largest in Venezuelan history. It didn’t come close.

Guaidó is now calling for a series of rolling strikes leading up to a large national strike to push for Maduro to step down. It is hard to imagine how these strikes will be carried out, since most of Guaidó’s support comes from the middle to upper classes and the country is already suffering hyperinflation that is making it hard for people to get food. The last major strike by the opposition was long ago, the 2002–03 oil lockout, in which top executives in the state oil company, PDVSA, shut down the industry—and the country—for two months.

Meanwhile, across town, hundreds of thousands marched in support of Maduro.

“We are with Maduro—now more than ever,” said Carmen Mejía, an elderly hairdresser, as she marched the final stretch toward Miraflores. “We Venezuelans only have one president, and that’s Nicolás Maduro, and we need to support him.”

Many in the crowd said it was one of the largest and most vibrant demonstrations in support of the Maduro government, echoing marches from the era of his popular predecessor, Hugo Chávez. This point is key: If this march was any measure, the continuing push to overthrow Maduro has had the opposite effect, consolidating his base despite internal divisions and criticism of his government.

“Guaidó’s stupidity is Chavismo’s best ally, because it has unified people in support of Maduro,” said Gilberto Giménez, the president of the small, pro-Maduro Electoral People’s Movement party.

This is a far cry from the image that continues to be pushed by Washington and the opposition, as well as on social media and the international press. On Wednesday night, just two hours after the end of the Maduro rally, Guaidó told Fox News’ Trish Regan that Maduro’s government was crumbling.

“Today, between 91 and 95 percent of our population wants change. Today Maduro is very weak. He doesn’t even have the support of the armed forces,” Guaidó claimed. This illusion, like his Tuesday morning tweet, has helped distort the reality of events here for the foreign media.

Just one hour after Guaidó’s message, the Venezuelan defense minister tweeted that the military remained loyal to Maduro. The street protesters’ battles outside Carlota made clear that Guaidó did not hold that base and that he had no military support beyond a few dozen soldiers. Yet international outlets continued to report that a widespread military uprising was underway. In a story published that evening, which has now been revised, the BBC asked whether Guaidó controlled a substantial portion of the Venezuelan armed forces.

Venezuelans know the power of media. The pretext for the 2002 coup against Chávez was based on images recorded and manipulated by an opposition media outlet to show metropolitan police firing on unarmed protesters. It was a lie, as uncovered in several investigations, including the documentary Llaguno Bridge: Keys to a Massacre, which I narrated and translated into English 15 years ago.


The impact of these policies is profound. Donald Trump insists on Twitter that all options are still on the table for regime change in Venezuela. The fight for the image of Venezuela depends largely on who controls the story—one often told these days in less than 280 characters, in images and video.

Michael Fox is an independent multimedia journalist based in Brazil and a former editor of the NACLA Report on the Americas. More of his work can be found at his website, http://www.mfox.us.
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:24 pm

Chapter 6: The Times, Excerpt From The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden
by Carroll Quigley

Chapter 6: The Times

Beyond the academic field, the Milner Group engaged in journalistic activities that sought to influence public opinion in directions which the Group desired. One of the earliest examples of this, and one of the few occasions on which the Group appeared as a group in the public eye, was in 1905, the year in which Milner returned from Africa. At that time the Group published a volume, The Empire and the Century, consisting of fifty articles on various aspects of the imperial problem. The majority of these articles were written by members of the Milner Group, in spite of the fact that so many of the most important members were still in Africa with Lord Selborne. The volume was issued under the general editorship of Charles S. Goldman, a friend of John Buchan and author of With General French and the Cavalry in South Africa. Among those who wrote articles were W. F. Monypenny, Bernard Holland, John Buchan, Henry Birchenough, R. B. Haldane, Bishop Lang, L. S. Amery, Evelyn Cecil, George Parkin, Edmund Garrett, Geoffrey Dawson, E. B. Sargant (one of the Kindergarten), Lionel Phillips, Valentine Chirol, and Sir Frederick and Lady Lugard.

This volume has many significant articles, several of which have already been mentioned. It was followed by a sequel volume, called The Empire and the Future, in 1916. The latter consisted of a series of lectures delivered at King's College, University of London, in 1915, under the sponsorship of the Royal Colonial Institute. The lectures were by members of the Milner Group who included A. L. Smith, H. A. L. Fisher, Philip Kerr, and George R. Parkin.(1) A somewhat similar series of lectures was given on the British Dominions at the University of Birmingham in 1910-1911 by such men as Alfred Lyttelton, Henry Birchenough, and William Hely-Hutchinson. These were published by Sir William Ashley in a volume called The British Dominions.

These efforts, however, were too weak, too public, and did not reach the proper persons. Accordingly, the real efforts of the Milner Group were directed into more fruitful and anonymous activities such as The Times and The Round Table.

The Milner Group did not own The Times before 1922, but clearly controlled it at least as far back as 1912. Even before this last date, members of the innermost circle of the Milner Group were swarming about the great newspaper. In fact, it would appear that The Times had been controlled by the Cecil Bloc since 1884 and was taken over by the Milner Group in the same way in which All Souls was taken over, quietly and without a struggle. The midwife of this process apparently was George E. Buckle (1854-1935), graduate of New College in 1876, member of All Souls since 1877, and editor of The Times from 1884 to 1912. (2) The chief members of the Milner Group who were associated with The Times have already been mentioned. Amery was connected with the paper from 1899 to 1909. During this period he edited and largely wrote the Times History of the South African War. Lord Esher was offered a directorship in 1908. Grigg was a staff writer in 1903-1905, and head of the Imperial Department in 1908-1913. B. K. Long was head of the Dominion Department in 1913-1921 and of the Foreign Department in 1920-1921. Monypenny was assistant editor both before and after the Boer War (1894-1899, 1903-1908) and on the board of directors after the paper was incorporated (1908-1912). Dawson was the paper's chief correspondent in South Africa in the Selborne period (1905-1910), while Basil Williams was the reporter covering the National Convention there (1908-1909). When it became clear in 1911 that Buckle must soon retire, Dawson was brought into the office in a rather vague capacity and, a year later, was made editor. The appointment was suggested and urged by Buckle.(3) Dawson held the position from 1912 to 1941, except for the three years 1919-1922. This interval is of some significance, for it revealed to the Milner Group that they could not continue to control The Times without ownership. The Cecil Bloc had controlled The Times from 1884 to 1912 without ownership, and the Milner Group had done the same in the period 1912-1919, but, in this last year, Dawson quarreled with Lord Northcliffe (who was chief proprietor from 1908-1922) and left the editor's chair. As soon as the Milner Group, through the Astors, acquired the chief proprietorship of the paper in 1922, Dawson was restored to his post and held it for the next twenty years. Undoubtedly the skillful stroke which acquired the ownership of The Times from the Harmsworth estate in 1922 was engineered by Brand. During the interval of three years during which Dawson was not editor, Northcliffe entrusted the position to one of The Time's famous foreign correspondents, H. W. Stead.

Dawson was succeeded as editor in 1944 by R. M. Barrington-Ward, whose brother was a Fellow of All Souls and son-in-law of A. L. Smith. Laurence Rushbrook Williams, who functions in many capacities in Indian affairs after his fellowship in All Souls (1914- 1921), also joined the editorial staff in 1944. Douglas Jay, who graduated from New College in 1930 and was a Fellow of All Souls in 1930-1937, was on the staff of The Times in 1929-1933 and of the Economist in 1933-1937. He became a Labour M.P. in 1946, after having performed the unheard-of feat of going directly from All Souls to the city desk of the Labour Party's Daily Herald (1937-1941). Another interesting figure on The Times staff in the more recent period was Charles R. S. Harris, who was a Fellow of All Souls for fifteen years (1921-1936), after graduating from Corpus Christi. He was leader-writer of The Times for ten years (1925-1935) and, during part of the same period, was on the staff of the Economist (1932-1935) and editor of The Nineteenth Century and After (1930-1935). He left all three positions in 1935 to go for four years to the Argentine to be general manager of the Buenos Aires Great Southern and Western Railways. During the Second World War he joined the Ministry of Economic Warfare for a year, the Foreign Office for two years, and the Finance Department of the War Office for a year (1942-1943). Then he was commissioned a lieutenant colonel with the military government in occupied Sicily, and ended up the war as a member of the Allied Control Commission in Italy. Harris's written works cover a range of subjects that would be regarded as extreme anywhere outside the Milner Group. A recognized authority on Duns Scotus, he wrote two volumes on this philosopher as well as the chapter on "Philosophy" in The Legacy of the Middle Ages, but in 1935 he wrote Germany's Foreign Indebtedness for the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Harris's literary versatility, as well as the large number of members of All Souls who drifted over to the staff on The Times, unquestionably can be explained by the activities of Lord Brand. Brand not only brought these persons from All Souls to The Times, but also brought the Astors to The Times. Brand and Lord Astor were together at New College at the outbreak of the Boer War. They married sisters, daughters of Chiswell Dabney Langhorne of Virginia. Brand was apparently the one who brought Astor into the Milner Group in 1917, although there had been a movement in this direction considerably earlier. Astor was a Conservative M.P. from 1910 to 1919, leaving the Lower House to take his father's seat in the House of Lords. His place in Commons has been held since 1919 by his wife, Nancy Astor (1919-1945), and by his son Michael Langhorne Astor (1945- ). In 1918 Astor became parliamentary secretary to Lloyd George; later he held the same position with the Ministry of Food (1918-1919) and the Ministry of Health (1919-1921). He was British delegate to the Assembly of the League of Nations in 1931, chairman of the League Committee on Nutrition (1936-1937), and chairman of the council of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (since 1935). With help from various people, he wrote three books on agricultural problems: Land and Life (1932), The Planning of Agriculture (1933), and British Agriculture (1938). Both of his sons graduated from New College, and both have been Members of Parliament, the older in the period 1935-1945, and the younger since 1945. The older was secretary to Lord Lytton on the League of Nations Commission of Enquiry into the Manchurian Episode (1932) and was parliamentary private secretary to Sir Samuel Hoare when he was First Lord of the Admiralty and Home Secretary (1936-1939).

Lord Astor's chief importance in regard to The Times is that he and his brother became chief proprietors in 1922 by buying out the Harmsworth interest. As a result, the brother, Colonel John Jacob Astor, has been chairman of the board of The Times Publishing Company since 1922, and Brand was a director on the board for many years before 1944. Colonel Astor, who matriculated at New College in 1937, at the age of fifty-one, was military aide to the Viceroy of India (Lord Hardinge) in 1911-1914, was a Member of Parliament from 1922 to 1945, and is a director of both Hambros' and Barclay's Banks.

This connection between the Milner Group and The Times was of the greatest importance in the period up to 1945, especially in the period just before the Munich crisis. However, the chief center of gravity of the Milner Group was never in The Times. It is true that Lord Astor became one of the more important figures in the Milner Group after Milner's death in 1925, but the center of gravity of the Group as a whole was elsewhere: before 1920, in the Round Table Group; and after 1920, in All Souls. Lord Astor was of great importance in the later period, especially after 1930, but was of no significance in the earlier period — an indication of his relatively recent arrival in the Group.

The Times has recently published the first three volumes of a four-volume history of itself. Although no indication is given as to the authorship of these volumes, the acknowledgments show that the authors worked closely with All Souls and the Milner Group. For example, Harold Temperley and Keith Feiling read the proofs of the first two volumes, while E. L. Woodward read those of the third volume.

While members of the Milner Group thus went into The Times to control it, relatively few persons ever came into the Milner Group from The Times. The only two who readily come to mind are Sir Arthur Willert and Lady Lugard. (4)

Arthur Willert (Sir Arthur since 1919) entered Balliol in 1901 but did not take a degree until 1928. From 1906 to 1910 he was on the staff of The Times in Paris, Berlin, and Washington, and was then chief Times correspondent in Washington for ten years (1910-1920). During this period he was also secretary to the British War Mission in Washington (1917-1918) and Washington representative of the Ministry of Information. This brought him to the attention of the Milner Group, probably through Brand, and in 1921 he joined the Foreign Office as head of the News Department. During the next fifteen years he was a member of the British delegations to the Washington Conference of 1922, to the London Economic Conference of 1924, to the London Naval Conference of 1930, to the World Disarmament Conference of 1932-1934, and to the League of Nations in 1929-1934. He retired from the Foreign Office in 1935, but returned to an active life for the duration of the Second World War as head of the southern region for the Ministry of Information (1939-1945). In 1937, in cooperation with H. V. Hodson (then editor of The Round Table) and B. K. Long (of the Kindergarten), he wrote a book called The Empire in the World. He had previously written Aspects of British Foreign Policy (1928) and The Frontiers of England (1935).

The second person to come into the Milner Group from The Times was Lady Lugard (the former Flora Shaw), who was probably a member of the Rhodes secret society on The Times and appears to have been passing from The Times to the Milner Group, when she was really passing from the society to the Milner Group. She and her husband are of great significance in the latter organization, although neither was a member of the innermost circle.

Frederick Lugard (Sir Frederick after 1901 and Lord Lugard after 1928) was a regular British army officer who served in Afghanistan, the Sudan, and Burma in 1879-1887. In 1888 he led a successful expedition against slave-traders on Lake Nyasa, and was subsequently employed by the British East African Company, the Royal Niger Company, and British West Charterland in leading expeditions into the interior of Africa (1889- 1897). In 1897 he was appointed by the Salisbury government to be Her Majesty's Commissioner in the hinterland of Nigeria and Lagos and commandant of the West African Frontier Force, which he organized. Subsequently he was High Commissioner of Northern Nigeria (1900-1906) and Governor of Hong Kong (1907-1912), as well as Governor, and later Governor-General, of Nigeria (1912-1919). He wrote Our East African Empire (1893) and The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa (1922), and also numerous articles (including one on West Africa in The Empire and the Century). He was one of the chief assistants of Lord Lothian and Lord Hailey in planning the African Survey in 1934- 1937, was British member of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations from 1922 to 1936, was one of the more influential figures in the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and is generally regarded as the inventor of the British system of "indirect rule" in colonial areas.

Flora Shaw, who married Sir Frederick Lugard in 1902, when he was forty-four and she was fifty, was made head of the Colonial Department of The Times in 1890, at the suggestion of Sir Robert George Wyndham Herbert, the Permanent Under Secretary of the Colonial Office. Sir Robert, whose grandmother was a Wyndham and whose grandfather was Earl of Carnarvon, was a Fellow of All Souls from 1854 to 1905. He was thus elected the year following Lord Salisbury's election. He began his political career as private secretary to Gladstone and was Permanent Under Secretary for twenty-one years (1871-1892, 1900). He was subsequently Agent General for Tasmania (1893-1896), High Sheriff of London, chairman of the Tariff Commission, and adviser to the Sultan of Johore, all under the Salisbury-Balfour governments.

When Miss Shaw was recommended to The Times as head of the Colonial Department, she was already a close friend of Moberly Bell, manager of The Times, and was an agent and close friend of Stead and Cecil Rhodes. The story of how she came to work for The Times, as told in that paper's official history, is simplicity itself: Bell wanted someone to head the Colonial Department, so he wrote to Sir Robert Herbert and was given the name of Flora Shawl Accordingly, Bell wrote, "as a complete stranger," to Miss Shaw and asked her "as an inexperienced writer for a specimen column." She wrote a sample article on Egyptian finance, which pleased Bell so greatly that she was given the position of head of the Colonial Department. That is the story as it appears in volume III of The History of The Times, published in 1947. Shortly afterward appeared the biography of Flora Shaw, written by the daughter of Moberly Bell and based on his private papers. The story that emerges from this volume is quite different. It goes somewhat as follows:

Flora Shaw, like most members of that part of the Cecil Bloc which shifted over to the Milner Group, was a disciple of John Ruskin and an ardent worker among the depressed masses of London's slums. Through Ruskin, she came to write for W. T. Stead of the Pall Mall Gazette in 1886, and three years later, through Stead, she met Cecil Rhodes. In the meantime, in 1888, she went to Egypt as correspondent of the Pall Mall Gazette and there became a close friend of Moberly Bell, The Times correspondent in that country. Bell had been employed in this capacity in Egypt since 1865 and had become a close friend of Evelyn Baring (Lord Cromer), the British agent in Egypt. He had also become an expert on Egyptian finance and published a pamphlet on that subject in 1887. Miss Shaw's friendship with the Bell family was so close that she was practically a member of it, and Bell's children knew her, then and later, as "Aunt Flora."

In 1890, when Bell was transferred to Printing House Square as manager of The Times, Baring tried to persuade The Times to name Miss Shaw as Egyptian correspondent in Bell's place. This was not done. Instead, Miss Shaw returned to London and was introduced by Bell to Buckle. When Buckle told Miss Shaw that he wanted a head for the Colonial Department of the paper, she suggested that he consult with Sir Robert Herbert. From that point on, the account in The History of The Times is accurate. But it is clear, to anyone who has the information just mentioned, that the recommendation by Sir Robert Herbert, the test article on Egyptian finance, and probably the article itself, had been arranged previously between Moberly Bell and "Aunt Flora."

None of these early relationships of Miss Shaw with Bell, Buckle, and Herbert are mentioned in The History of The Times, and apparently they are not to be found in the records at Printing House Square. They are, however, a significant indication of the methods of the Milner Group. It is not clear what was the purpose of this elaborate scheme. Miss Moberly Bell apparently believes that it was to deceive Buckle. It is much more likely that it was to deceive the chief owners of The Times, John Walter III and his son, Arthur F. Walter.

Miss Shaw, when she came to The Times, was an open champion of Lord Salisbury and an active supporter of a vigorous imperial policy, especially in South Africa. She was in the confidence of the Colonial Office and of Rhodes to a degree that cannot be exaggerated. She met Rhodes, on Stead's recommendation, in 1889, at a time when Stead was one of Rhodes's closest confidants. In 1892, Miss Shaw was sent to South Africa by Moberly Bell, with instructions to set up two lines of communication from that area to herself. One of these was to be known to The Times and would handle routine matters; the second was to be known only to herself and was to bring confidential material to her private address. The expenses of both of these avenues would be paid for by The Times, but the expenses of the secret avenue would not appear on the records at Printing House Square. (5)

From this date onward, Miss Shaw was in secret communication with Cecil Rhodes. This communication was so close that she was informed by Rhodes of the plot which led up to the Jameson Raid, months before the raid took place. She was notified by Rhodes of the approximate date on which the raid would occur, two weeks before it did occur. She even suggested on several occasions that the plans be executed more rapidly, and on one occasion suggested a specific date for the event.

In her news articles, Miss Shaw embraced the cause of the British in the Transvaal even to the extent of exaggerating and falsifying their hardships under Boer rule. (6) It was The Times that published as an exclusive feature the famous (and fraudulent) "women and children" letter, dated 20 December 1895, which pretended to be an appeal for help from the persecuted British in the Transvaal to Dr. Jameson's waiting forces, but which had really been concocted by Dr. Jameson himself on 20 November and sent to Miss Shaw a month later. This letter was published by The Times as soon as news of the Jameson' Raid was known, as a justification of the act. The Times continued to defend and justify the raid and Jameson. After this became a rather delicate policy — that is, after the raid failed and had to be disavowed — The Times was saved from the necessity of reversing itself by the "Kruger telegram" sent by the German Kaiser to congratulate the Boers on their successful suppression of the raiders. This "Kruger telegram" was played up by The Times with such vigor that Jameson was largely eclipsed and the incident assumed the dimensions of an international crisis. As the official History of The Times puts it, "The Times was carried so far by indignation against the outrageous interference of the Kaiser in the affairs of the British Empire that it was able to overlook the criminality of Jameson's act." A little later, the same account says, "On January 7, Rhodes' resignation from the Premiership was announced, while the Editor found it more convenient to devote his leading article to the familiar topic of German interference rather than to the consequences of the Raid." (7)

All of this was being done on direct instructions from Rhodes, and with the knowledge and approval of the management of The Times. In fact, Miss Shaw was the intermediary between Rhodes, The Times, and the Colonial Office (Joseph Chamberlain). Until the end of November 1895, her instructions from Rhodes came to her through his agent in London, Dr. Rutherfoord Harris, but, when the good Dr. Harris and Alfred Beit returned to South Africa in order to be on hand for the anticipated excitement, the former gave Miss Shaw the secret code of the British South Africa Company and the cable address TELEMONES LONDON, so that communications from Rhodes to Miss Shaw could be sent directly. Dr. Harris had already informed Rhodes by a cable of 4 November 1895:

"If you can telegraph course you wish Times to adopt now with regard to Transvaal Flora will act."


On 10 December 1895, Miss Shaw cabled Rhodes:
"Can you advise when will you commence the plans, we wish to send at earliest opportunity sealed instructions representative of the Lond Times European Capitals; it is most important using their influence in your favor."


The use of the word "we" in this message disposes once and for all of Miss Shaw's later defense that all her acts were done on her own private responsibility and not in her capacity as a department head of The Times. In answer to this request, Rhodes replied the next day: "We do think about new year."

This answer made The Times' s manager "very depressed," so the next day (12 December) Miss Shaw sent the following cable to Rhodes:

"Delay dangerous sympathy now complete but will depend very much upon action before European powers given time enter a protest which as European situation considered serious might paralyze government."


Five days after this came another cable, which said in part:

"Chamberlain sound in case of interference European powers but have special reason to believe wishes you must do it immediately."


To these very incriminating messages might be added two of several wires from Rhodes to Miss Shaw. One of 30 December 1895, after Rhodes knew that the Jameson Raid had begun and after Miss Shaw had been so informed by secret code, stated:

"Inform Chamberlain that I shall get through all right if he supports me, but he must not send cable like he sent high commissioner in South Africa. Today the crux is, I will win and South Africa will belong to England."


And the following day, when the outcome of the raid was doubtful because of the failure of the English in the Transvaal to rise against the Boers — a failure resulting from that the fact that they were not as ill-treated as Miss Shaw, through The times, had been telling the world for months — Rhodes cabled:

"Unless you can make Chamberlain instruct the high commissioner to proceed at once to Johannesburg the whole position is lost. High commissioner would receive splendid reception and still turn position to England advantage but must be instructed by cable immediately. The instructions must be specific as he is weak and will take no responsibility." (8)


When we realize that the anticipated uprising of the English in the Transvaal had been financed and armed with munitions from the funds of the British South Africa Company, it is clear that we must wait until Hitler's coup in Austria in March 1938 to find a parallel to Rhodes's and Jameson's attempted coup in South Africa forty- two years earlier.

The Jameson Raid, if the full story could ever be told, would give the finest possible example of the machinations of Rhodes 's secret society. Another example, almost as good, would be the completely untold story of how the society covered up these activities in the face of the investigation of the Parliamentary Select Committee. The dangers from this investigation were so great that even Lord Rothschild was pressed into service as a messenger. It was obvious from the beginning that the star witness before the committee would be Cecil Rhodes and that the chief danger would be the incrimination of Joseph Chamberlain, who clearly knew of the plot. Milner, Garrett, Stead, and Esher discussed possible defenses and reached no conclusion, since Stead wanted to admit that Chamberlain was implicated in plans for a raid but not plans for the raid. By this, Stead meant that Chamberlain and Rhodes had seen the possibility of an uprising in the Transvaal and, solely as a precautionary measure, had made the preparations for Jameson's force so that it would be available to go to Johannesburg to restore order. The others refused to accept this strategy and insisted on the advantages of a general and blanket denial. This difference of opinion probably arose from the fact that Stead did not know that the prospective rebels in Johannesburg were armed and financed by Rhodes, were led by Rhodes's brother and Abe Bailey, and had written the"women and children" message, in collaboration with Jameson, weeks before. These facts, if revealed to the committee, would make it impossible to distinguish between "the raid" and "a raid." The event of 31 December 1895, which the committee was investigating, was the former and not the latter merely because the plotters in Johannesburg failed to revolt on schedule. This is clear from Edward Cook's statement, in his biography of Garrett, that Garrett expected to receive news of a revolution in Johannesburg at any moment on 30 December 1895. (9)

The difficulty which the initiates in London had in preparing a defense for the Select Committee was complicated by the fact that they were not able to reach Rhodes, who was en route from South Africa with Garrett. As soon as the boat docked, Brett (Lord Esher) sent "Natty" Rothschild from London with a message from Chamberlain to Rhodes. When Rothschild returned, Brett called in Stead, and they discussed the projected defense. Stead had already seen Rhodes and given his advice. (10) The following day (5 February 1896), Brett saw Rhodes and found that he was prepared to confess everything. Brett tried to dissuade him. As he wrote in his Journal, "I pointed out to him that there was one consideration which appeared to have escaped him, that was the position of Mr. Chamberlain, the Secretary of State. Chamberlain was obviously anxious to help and it would not do to embarrass him or to tie his hands. It appeared to me to be prudent to endeavour to ascertain how Chamberlain would receive a confidence of this kind. I said I would try to find out. On leaving me he said, 'Wish we could get our secret society.'" Brett went to Chamberlain, who refused to receive Rhodes's confession, lest he have to order the law officers to take proceedings against Rhodes as against Jameson. Accordingly, the view of the majority, a general denial, was adopted and proved successful, thanks to the leniency of the members of the Select Committee. Brett recognized this leniency. He wrote to Stead on 19 February 1897: "I came up with Milner from Windsor this morning. He has a heavy job; and has to start de novo. The committee will leave few of the old gang on their legs. Alas. Rhodes was a pitiful object. Harcourt very sorry for him; too sorry to press his question home. Why did Rhodes try to shuffle after all we had told him?" (11)

It is clear that the Select Committee made no real effort to uncover the real relationships between the conspirators, The Times, and the Salisbury government. When witnesses refused to produce documents or to answer questions, the committee did not insist, and whole fields of inquiry were excluded from examination by the committee.

One of these fields, and probably the most important one, was the internal policies and administration of The Times itself. As a result, when Campbell-Bannerman, an opposition leader, asked if it were usual practice for The Times correspondents to be used to propagate certain policies in foreign countries as well as to obtain information, Miss Shaw answered that she had been excused from answering questions about the internal administration of The Times. We now know, as a result of the publication of the official History of The Times, that all Miss Shaw's acts were done in consultation with the manager, Moberly Bell.(12) The vital telegrams to Rhodes, signed by Miss Shaw, were really drafted by Bell. As The History of The Times puts it, "Bell had taken the risk of allowing Miss Shaw to commit The Times to the support of Rhodes in a conspiracy that was bound to lead to controversy at home, if it succeeded, and likely to lead to prosecution if it failed. The conspiracy had failed; the prosecution had resulted. Bell's only salvation lay in Miss Shaw's willingness to take personal responsibility for the telegrams and in her ability to convince the Committee accordingly." And, as the evidence of the same source shows, in order to convince the committee it was necessary for Miss Shaw to commit perjury, even though the representatives of both parties on the Committee of Enquiry (except Labouchere) were making every effort to conceal the real facts while still providing the public with a good show.

Before leaving the discussion of Miss Shaw and the Jameson Raid, it might be fitting to introduce testimony from a somewhat unreliable witness, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, a member by breeding and education of this social group and a relative of the Wyndhams, but a psychopathic anti-imperialist who spent his life praising and imitating the Arabs and criticizing Britain's conduct in India, Egypt, and Ireland. In his diaries, under the date 25 April 1896, he says: "[George Wyndham] has been seeing much of Jameson, whom he likes, and of the gang that have been running the Transvaal business, about a dozen of them, with Buckle, The Times editor, and Miss Flora Shaw, who, he told me confidentially, is really the prime mover in the whole thing, and who takes the lead in all their private meetings, a very clever middle-aged woman. "(13) A somewhat similar conclusion was reached by W. T. Stead in a pamphlet called Joseph Chamberlain: Conspirator or Statesman, which he published from the office of The Review of Reviews in 1900. Stead was convinced that Miss Shaw was the intermediary among Rhodes, The Times, and the Colonial Office. And Stead was Rhodes's closest confidant in England.

As a result of this publicity, Miss Shaw's value to The Times was undoubtedly reduced, and she gave up her position after her marriage in 1902. In the meantime, however, she had been in correspondence with Milner as early as 1899, and in December 1901 made a trip to South Africa for The Times, during which she had long interviews with Milner, Monypenny, and the members of the Kindergarten. After her resignation, she continued to review books for The Times Literary Supplement, wrote an article on tropical dependencies for The Empire and the Century, wrote two chapters for Amery's History of the South African War, and wrote a biographical sketch of Cecil Rhodes for the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

A third member of this same type was Valentine Chirol (Sir Valentine after 1912). Educated at the Sorbonne, he was a clerk in the Foreign Office for four years (1872- 1 876) and then traveled about the world, but chiefly in the Near East, for sixteen years (1876-1892). In 1892 he was made The Times correspondent in Berlin, and for the next four years filled the role of a second British ambassador, with free access to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin and functioning as a channel of unofficial communication between the government in London and that in Berlin. After 1895 he became increasingly anti- German, like all members of the Cecil Bloc and the Milner Group, and was chiefly responsible for the great storm whipped up over the "Kruger telegram." In this last connection he even went so far as to announce in The Times that the Germans were really using the Jameson episode as part of a long-range project to drive Britain out of South Africa and that the next step in that process was to be the dispatch in the immediate future of a German expeditionary force to Delagoa Bay in Portuguese Angola. As a result of this attitude, Chirol found the doors of the Foreign Ministry closed to him and, after another unfruitful year in Berlin, was brought to London to take charge of the Foreign Department of The Times. He held this post for fifteen years (1897-1912), during which he was one of the most influential figures in the formation of British foreign and imperial policy. The policy he supported was the policy that was carried out, and included support for the Boer War, the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, the Entente Cordiale, the agreement of 1907 with Russia, the Morley-Minto Reforms in India, and the increasing resistance to Germany. When he retired in 1912, he was knighted by Asquith for his important contributions to the Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909 and was made a member of the Royal Commission on Public Services in India (1912-1914). He remained in India during most of the First World War, and, indeed, made seventeen visits to that country in his life. In 1916 he was one of the five chief advisers to Lionel Curtis in the preparatory work for the Government of India Act of 1919 (the other four being Lord Chelmsford, Meston, Marris, and Hailey). Later Chirol wrote articles for The Round Table and was a member of the British delegation at the Paris Peace Conference.

Chirol was replaced as head of the Foreign Department during his long absences from London by Leopold Amery. It was expected that Amery would be Chirol's successor in the post, but Amery entered upon a political career in 1910, so the position was given briefly to Dudley Disraeli graham, graham, a former classmate of many of the Kindergarten at New College, was a foreign correspondent of The Times for ten years (1897-1907) and Chirol's assistant for five (1907-1912), before he became Chirol's successor in the Foreign Department and Grigg's successor in the Imperial Department, thus combining the two. He resigned from The Times in 1914 to become editor of the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, Australia, and was subsequently a very important figure in Australian newspaper life.

This account, by no means complete, shows clearly that the Milner Group controlled The Times, indirectly from 1912 if not earlier, and directly from 1922. The importance of this control should be obvious. The Times, although of a very limited circulation (only about 35,000 at the beginning of the century, 50,000 at the outbreak of the First World War, and 187,000 in 1936), was the most influential paper in England. The reason for this influence is not generally recognized, although the existence of the condition itself is widely known. The influence depended upon the close relationship between the paper and the Foreign Office. This relationship, as we are trying to show, was the result of the Milner Group's influence in both.

This influence was not exercised by acting directly on public opinion, since the Milner Group never intended to influence events by acting through any instruments of mass propaganda, but rather hoped to work on the opinions of the small group of "important people," who in turn could influence wider and wider circles of persons. This was the basis on which the Milner Group itself was constructed; it was the theory behind the Rhodes Scholarships; it was the theory behind "The Round Table and the Royal Institute of International Affairs; it was the theory behind the efforts to control All Souls, New College, and Balliol and, through these three, to control Oxford University; and it was the theory behind The Times. No effort was made to win a large circulation for The Times, for, in order to obtain such a circulation, it would have been necessary to make changes in the tone of the paper that would have reduced its influence with the elite, to which it had been so long directed. The theory of "the elite" was accepted by the Milner Group and by The Times, as it was by Rhodes. The historian of The Times recognizes this and, after describing the departure from Printing House Square of Bell, Chirol, and Buckle, says, "It is a valid criticism of the 'Olaf Gang' that they had not realized that they were in the habit of valuing news according to the demands and interests of a governing class too narrowly defined for the twentieth century." It was on this issue that the "Old Gang" disputed with Northcliffe in the period 1908-1912 and that Dawson disputed with Northcliffe in 1919. Although the new owner protested to all who would listen, in 1908 and later, that he would not try to make The Times into a popular paper, he was, as The History of The Times shows, incapable of judging the merits of a newspaper by any other standard than the size of its circulation. After he was replaced as chief proprietor by Astor, and Dawson re-occupied the editor's chair, the old point of view was reestablished. The Times was to be a paper for the people who are influential, and not for the masses. The Times was influential, but the degree of its influence would never be realized by anyone who examined only the paper itself. The greater part of its influence arose from its position as one of several branches of a single group, the Milner Group. By the interaction of these various branches on one another, under the pretense that each branch was an autonomous power, the influence of each branch was increased through a process of mutual reinforcement. The unanimity among the various branches was believed by the outside world to be the result of the influence of a single Truth, while really it was the result of the existence of a single group. Thus, a statesman (a member of the Group) announces a policy. About the same time, the Royal Institute of International Affairs publishes a study on the subject, and an Oxford don, a Fellow of All Souls (and a member of the Group) also publishes a volume on the subject (probably through a publishing house, like G. Bell and Sons or Faber and Faber, allied to the Group). The statesman's policy is subjected to critical analysis and final approval in a "leader" in The Times, while the two books are reviewed (in a single review) in The Times Literary Supplement. Both the "leader" and the review are anonymous but are written by members of the Group. And finally, at about the same time, an anonymous article in The Round Table strongly advocates the same policy. The cumulative effect of such tactics as this, even if each tactical move influences only a small number of important people, is bound to be great. If necessary, the strategy can be carried further, by arranging for the secretary to the Rhodes Trustees to go to America for a series of "informal discussions" with former Rhodes Scholars, while a prominent retired statesman (possibly a former Viceroy of India) is persuaded to say a few words at the unveiling of a plaque in All Souls or New College in honor of some deceased Warden. By a curious coincidence, both the "informal discussions" in America and the unveiling speech at Oxford touch on the same topical subject.

An analogous procedure in reverse could be used for policies or books which the Group did not approve. A cutting editorial or an unfriendly book review, followed by a suffocating blanket of silence and neglect, was the best that such an offering could expect from the instruments of the Milner Group. This is not easy to demonstrate because of the policy of anonymity followed by writers and reviewers in The Times, The Round Table, and The Times Literary Supplement, but enough cases have been found to justify this statement. When J. A. Farrer's book England under Edward VII was published in 1922 and maintained that the British press, especially The Times, was responsible for bad Anglo-German feeling before 1909, The Times Literary Supplement gave it to J. W. Headlam-Morley to review. And when Baron von Eckardstein, who was in the German Embassy in London at the time of the Boer War, published his memoirs in 1920, the same journal gave the book to Chirol to review, even though Chirol was an interested party and was dealt with in a critical fashion in several passages in the book itself. Both of these reviews were anonymous.

There is no effort here to contend that the Milner Group ever falsified or even concealed evidence (although this charge could be made against The Times). Rather it propagated its point of view by interpretation and selection of evidence. In this fashion it directed policy in ways that were sometimes disastrous. The Group as a whole was made up of intelligent men who believed sincerely, and usually intensely, in what they advocated, and who knew that their writings were intended for a small minority as intelligent as themselves. In such conditions there could be no value in distorting or concealing evidence. To do so would discredit the instruments they controlled. By giving the facts as they stood, and as completely as could be done in consistency with the interpretation desired, a picture could be construed that would remain convincing for a long time.

This is what was done by The Times. Even today, the official historian of The Times is unable to see that the policy of that paper was anti-German from 1895 to 1914 and as such contributed to the worsening of Anglo-German relations and thus to the First World War. This charge has been made by German and American students, some of them of the greatest diligence and integrity, such as Professors Sidney B. Fay, William L. Langer, Oron J. Hale, and others. The recent History of The Times devotes considerable space and obviously spent long hours of research in refuting these charges, and fails to see that it has not succeeded. With the usual honesty and industry of the Milner Group, the historian gives the evidence that will convict him, without seeing that his interpretation will not hold water. He confesses that the various correspondents of The Times in Berlin played up all anti-English actions and statements and played down all pro-English ones; that they quoted obscure and locally discredited papers in order to do this; that all The Times foreign correspondents in Berlin, Paris, Vienna, and elsewhere were anti-German, and that these were the ones who were kept on the staff and promoted to better positions; that the one member of the staff who was recognized as being fair to Germany (and who was unquestionably the most able man in the whole Times organization), Donald Mackenzie Wallace, was removed as head of the Foreign Department and shunted off to be editor of the supplementary volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica (which was controlled by The Times); and that The Times frequently printed untrue or distorted information on Germany. All of this is admitted and excused as the work of honest, if hasty, journalists, and the crowning proof that The Times was not guilty as charged is implied to be the fact that the Germans did ultimately get into a war with Britain, thus proving at one stroke that they were a bad lot and that the attitude of The Times staff toward them was justified by the event.

It did not occur to the historian of The Times that there exists another explanation of Anglo-German relations, namely that in 1895 there were two Germanies — the one admiring Britain and the other hating Britain — and that Britain, by her cold-blooded and calculated assault on the Boers in 1895 and 1899, gave the second (and worse) Germany the opportunity to criticize and attack Britain and gave it the arguments with which to justify a German effort to build up naval defenses. The Times, by quoting these attacks and actions representative of the real attitude and actual intentions of all Germans, misled the British people and abandoned the good Germans to a hopeless minority position, where to be progressive, peaceful, or Anglophile was to be a traitor to Germany itself. Chirol's alienation of Baron von Eckardstein (one of the "good" Germans, married to an English lady), in a conversation in February 1900,(14) shows exactly how The Times attitude was contributing to consolidate and alienate the Germans by the mere fact of insisting that they were consolidated and alienated — and doing this to a man who loved England and hated the reactionary elements in Germany more than Chirol ever did.  
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