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

Gathered together in one place, for easy access, an agglomeration of writings and images relevant to the Rapeutation phenomenon.

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

Postby admin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:11 pm

So Remember All Those Times Democrats Said Russia Hacked The French Election? About That…
by Caitlin Johnstone
June 2, 2017



Over the course of the last month I have been told dozens of times that the Russian government attempted to manipulate the French presidential election. It comes up every single time when debating establishment loyalists about the unsubstantiated Russiagate conspiracy theory; they speak it as though it is an objective, indisputable fact, because the pundits who tell them what to think have been speaking it as though it is an objective, indisputable fact. Anyone who’s spent any time debating the official Russia narrative in the last few weeks has been on the receiving end of this argument — Putin hacked the US election, and he hacked the French election too. We know for a fact that he hacked the French election, so you’re either an idiot or a Russian shill if you think he didn’t hack the US election.
Trouble is, it’s all bullshit. There is literally nothing linking Russia to the hacking attempt France experienced, and there never was.

Michael Tracey ✔ @mtracey
Remember when it was taken as a given by self-assured pundits that "Russia" had hacked the Macron campaign servers? https://www.apnews.com/fc570e4b400f4c7d ... ing-Macron
1:31 PM - Jun 1, 2017
https://storage.googleapis.com/afs-prod ... e/800.jpeg
The Latest: France says no trace of Russian hacking Macron
ST.PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — The Latest on President Vladimir Putin's comments Thursday (all times local): 5:30 p.m. The head of the French government'

For whatever reason, be it a grudge with America or just good old-fashioned honesty, France is no longer playing along with this particular fabrication. Guillaume Poupard, the head of France’s cyber security agency, told the Associated Press that there was “no trace” of Russian meddling and that the hack of the Macron campaign “was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone.”

This is important to keep track of, because the propagandists are about to shift away from this gaping plot hole in the narrative they’ve been spinning for a month, and soon all the brainwashed Democratic neocons are going to be speaking as though it never happened in a creepy display of real-world Orwellian doublethink. So let’s all get very clear on this before the revisionism begins: these people were indeed using the story about Russia hacking France’s electoral infrastructure to bolster their case for the still completely unproven allegation that Russia hacked the Democratic party in the 2016 US election cycle.

Here is Snopes on May 10, calmly assuring its foam-brained readers that many trustworthy US sources attest that the Kremlin was responsible for the hack.

Here is Reuters on May 9 making its trusting audience aware that the US is “increasingly convinced that Russia hacked French election”.

Here is the New York Times on May 8 on how France has defied “Putin’s meddling”, and writing that “The Russian hacking attack intended to disrupt the French election was a reminder that cyberattacks can also be defeated” on May 10.

Here is the CIA-funded Washington Post reporting that “Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidential election, despite yet another Russian intervention in support of a candidate (Marine Le Pen) whose views are decidedly illiberal and pro-Kremlin” on May 8, commenting on how “Putin’s Russia’s meddling in the French election” on May 12, and providing a transcript of multiple Senators promulgating the narrative that Russia hacked the French election at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Here is The Register saying “Just so we’re all clear on this: Russia hacked the French elections, US Republicans and Dems” on May 9.

Here is Vox still advancing the false narrative a couple of days ago, saying “The fingerprints on the attack implicated Russian hackers; immediately comparisons were made to efforts to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election.”

There are many, many, many more; a Google search of “Russia French election hack” turns up 3.5 million results. This completely false story has been used for nearly a month to add fuel to the anti-Russia fire the mass media propaganda machine has been laboring day and night to keep going.

Glenn Greenwald ✔ @ggreenwald
Are there any important lessons - about journalism, skepticism and reason - to draw from this? https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/eu ... 2a3b97f608
6:02 AM - Jun 2, 2017

Again, this was something establishment loyalists brought up over and over and over again over the last month to substantiate their anti-Russia arguments. The intellectually honest thing to do when one of the points you claim to base your position upon collapses is to reevaluate your position, but this will not happen. It didn’t happen when gaping plot holes in the Crowdstrike report surfaced in March, it didn’t happen when Hillary’s “seventeen agencies agree it was Russian hackers” story was ripped to shreds last month when it turned out to have been only three agencies (one of which was the NSA, who got the French election data wrong), and it’s not going to happen now. There has not been one shred of proof presented to the public that Russia actually did the thing that sparked off all this Russophobic hysteria in the first place, and key points of the establishment argument keep collapsing, but these mindless automatons keep marching to the beat of the deep state drummer.

As I’ve been saying a lot lately, America’s unelected power establishment needs to push for regime change in both Damascus and Moscow in order to nail down a large amount of crucial geopolitical influence in some key regions, and they need to manufacture public support for the insane, world-threatening escalations necessary to do that. By constantly spinning Putin as a dangerous criminal mastermind who can dictate outcomes of elections, fill the internet with bots and shills and control the direction of public discourse despite Russia’s relatively tiny economy, the oligarchy is able to keep people sufficiently afraid to stop them from asking if maybe it’s time to start removing NATO troops from the Russian border and stay the fuck away from Syria.

David Swanson wrote a solid piece for Consortium News about how the whole anti-Russia narrative essentially boils down to the mass media repeating unsubstantiated assertions in an assertive, authoritative tone over and over again until people erroneously “assume that at some point someone actually established that it was a fact.”

Well nobody has established it as a fact. Repeating something over and over again as though it is a fact does not make it a fact. Saying it seems like something Russia would do does not make it a fact. Mocking someone who doesn’t believe it’s a fact does not make it a fact. Calling someone who disagrees with it a Russian shill does not make it a fact. For a nation with such an extensive history of using lies, propaganda and false flags to manufacture consent for military escalations, the American power establishment is coming up awfully short on facts. We need to keep pointing at this.
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:18 pm

A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack: Former NSA experts say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.
by Patrick Lawrence
The Nation
August 9, 2017



It is now a year since the Democratic National Committee’s mail system was compromised—a year since events in the spring and early summer of 2016 were identified as remote hacks and, in short order, attributed to Russians acting in behalf of Donald Trump. A great edifice has been erected during this time. President Trump, members of his family, and numerous people around him stand accused of various corruptions and extensive collusion with Russians. Half a dozen simultaneous investigations proceed into these matters. Last week news broke that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had convened a grand jury, which issued its first subpoenas on August 3. Allegations of treason are common; prominent political figures and many media cultivate a case for impeachment.

The president’s ability to conduct foreign policy, notably but not only with regard to Russia, is now crippled. Forced into a corner and having no choice, Trump just signed legislation imposing severe new sanctions on Russia and European companies working with it on pipeline projects vital to Russia’s energy sector. Striking this close to the core of another nation’s economy is customarily considered an act of war, we must not forget. In retaliation, Moscow has announced that the United States must cut its embassy staff by roughly two-thirds. All sides agree that relations between the United States and Russia are now as fragile as they were during some of the Cold War’s worst moments. To suggest that military conflict between two nuclear powers inches ever closer can no longer be dismissed as hyperbole.

All this was set in motion when the DNC’s mail server was first violated in the spring of 2016 and by subsequent assertions that Russians were behind that “hack” and another such operation, also described as a Russian hack, on July 5. These are the foundation stones of the edifice just outlined. The evolution of public discourse in the year since is worthy of scholarly study: Possibilities became allegations, and these became probabilities. Then the probabilities turned into certainties, and these evolved into what are now taken to be established truths. By my reckoning, it required a few days to a few weeks to advance from each of these stages to the next. This was accomplished via the indefensibly corrupt manipulations of language repeated incessantly in our leading media.

We are urged to accept the word of institutions and senior officials with long records of deception.

Lost in a year that often appeared to veer into our peculiarly American kind of hysteria is the absence of any credible evidence of what happened last year and who was responsible for it. It is tiresome to note, but none has been made available. Instead, we are urged to accept the word of institutions and senior officials with long records of deception. These officials profess “high confidence” in their “assessment” as to what happened in the spring and summer of last year—this standing as their authoritative judgment. Few have noticed since these evasive terms first appeared that an assessment is an opinion, nothing more, and to express high confidence is an upside-down way of admitting the absence of certain knowledge. This is how officials avoid putting their names on the assertions we are so strongly urged to accept—as the record shows many of them have done.

We come now to a moment of great gravity.

There has been a long effort to counter the official narrative we now call “Russiagate.” This effort has so far focused on the key events noted above, leaving numerous others still to be addressed. Until recently, researchers undertaking this work faced critical shortcomings, and these are to be explained. But they have achieved significant new momentum in the past several weeks, and what they have done now yields very consequential fruit. Forensic investigators, intelligence analysts, system designers, program architects, and computer scientists of long experience and strongly credentialed are now producing evidence disproving the official version of key events last year. Their work is intricate and continues at a kinetic pace as we speak. But its certain results so far are two, simply stated, and freighted with implications:

There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee’s system on July 5 last year—not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak—a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system. This casts serious doubt on the initial “hack,” as alleged, that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer.

Forensic investigations of documents made public two weeks prior to the July 5 leak by the person or entity known as Guccifer 2.0 show that they were fraudulent: Before Guccifer posted them they were adulterated by cutting and pasting them into a blank template that had Russian as its default language. Guccifer took responsibility on June 15 for an intrusion the DNC reported on June 14 and professed to be a WikiLeaks source—claims essential to the official narrative implicating Russia in what was soon cast as an extensive hacking operation. To put the point simply, forensic science now devastates this narrative.

This article is based on an examination of the documents these forensic experts and intelligence analysts have produced, notably the key papers written over the past several weeks, as well as detailed interviews with many of those conducting investigations and now drawing conclusions from them. Before proceeding into this material, several points bear noting.

One, there are many other allegations implicating Russians in the 2016 political process. The work I will now report upon does not purport to prove or disprove any of them. Who delivered documents to WikiLeaks? Who was responsible for the “phishing” operation penetrating John Podesta’s e-mail in March 2016? We do not know the answers to such questions. It is entirely possible, indeed, that the answers we deserve and must demand could turn out to be multiple: One thing happened in one case, another thing in another. The new work done on the mid-June and July 5 events bears upon all else in only one respect. We are now on notice: Given that we now stand face to face with very considerable cases of duplicity, it is imperative that all official accounts of these many events be subject to rigorously skeptical questioning. Do we even know that John Podesta’s e-mail address was in fact “phished”? What evidence of this has been produced? Such rock-bottom questions as these must now be posed in all other cases.

Two, houses built on sand and made of cards are bound to collapse, and there can be no surprise that the one resting atop the “hack theory,” as we can call the prevailing wisdom on the DNC events, appears to be in the process of doing so. Neither is there anything far-fetched in a reversal of the truth of this magnitude. American history is replete with similar cases. The Spanish sank the Maine in Havana harbor in February 1898. Iran’s Mossadegh was a Communist. Guatemala’s Árbenz represented a Communist threat to the United States. Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh was a Soviet puppet. The Sandinistas were Communists. The truth of the Maine, a war and a revolution in between, took a century to find the light of day, whereupon the official story disintegrated. We can do better now. It is an odd sensation to live through one of these episodes, especially one as big as Russiagate. But its place atop a long line of precedents can no longer be disputed.

Forensic investigators, prominent among them people with decades’ experience at high levels in our national-security institutions, have put a body of evidence on a table previously left empty.

Three, regardless of what one may think about the investigations and conclusions I will now outline—and, as noted, these investigations continue—there is a bottom line attaching to them. We can even call it a red line. Under no circumstance can it be acceptable that the relevant authorities—the National Security Agency, the Justice Department (via the Federal Bureau of Investigation), and the Central Intelligence Agency—leave these new findings without reply. Not credibly, in any case. Forensic investigators, prominent among them people with decades’ experience at high levels in these very institutions, have put a body of evidence on a table previously left empty. Silence now, should it ensue, cannot be written down as an admission of duplicity, but it will come very close to one.

It requires no elaboration to apply the above point to the corporate media, which have been flaccidly satisfied with official explanations of the DNC matter from the start.

Qualified experts working independently of one another began to examine the DNC case immediately after the July 2016 events. Prominent among these is a group comprising former intelligence officers, almost all of whom previously occupied senior positions. Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), founded in 2003, now has 30 members, including a few associates with backgrounds in national-security fields other than intelligence. The chief researchers active on the DNC case are four: William Binney, formerly the NSA’s technical director for world geopolitical and military analysis and designer of many agency programs now in use; Kirk Wiebe, formerly a senior analyst at the NSA’s SIGINT Automation Research Center; Edward Loomis, formerly technical director in the NSA’s Office of Signal Processing; and Ray McGovern, an intelligence analyst for nearly three decades and formerly chief of the CIA’s Soviet Foreign Policy Branch. Most of these men have decades of experience in matters concerning Russian intelligence and the related technologies. This article reflects numerous interviews with all of them conducted in person, via Skype, or by telephone.

The customary VIPS format is an open letter, typically addressed to the president. The group has written three such letters on the DNC incident, all of which were first published by Robert Parry at http://www.consortiumnews.com. Here is the latest, dated July 24; it blueprints the forensic work this article explores in detail. They have all argued that the hack theory is wrong and that a locally executed leak is the far more likely explanation. In a letter to Barack Obama dated January 17, three days before he left office, the group explained that the NSA’s known programs are fully capable of capturing all electronic transfers of data. “We strongly suggest that you ask NSA for any evidence it may have indicating that the results of Russian hacking were given to WikiLeaks,” the letter said. “If NSA cannot produce such evidence—and quickly—this would probably mean it does not have any.”

The day after Parry published this letter, Obama gave his last press conference as president, at which he delivered one of the great gems among the official statements on the DNC e-mail question. “The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking,” the legacy-minded Obama said, “were not conclusive.” There is little to suggest the VIPS letter prompted this remark, but it is typical of the linguistic tap-dancing many officials connected to the case have indulged so as to avoid putting their names on the hack theory and all that derives from it.

Until recently there was a serious hindrance to the VIPS’s work, and I have just suggested it. The group lacked access to positive data. It had no lump of cyber-material to place on its lab table and analyze, because no official agency had provided any.

Donald Rumsfeld famously argued with regard to the WMD question in Iraq, “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” In essence, Binney and others at VIPS say this logic turns upside down in the DNC case: Based on the knowledge of former officials such as Binney, the group knew that (1) if there was a hack and (2) if Russia was responsible for it, the NSA would have to have evidence of both. Binney and others surmised that the agency and associated institutions were hiding the absence of evidence behind the claim that they had to maintain secrecy to protect NSA programs. “Everything that they say must remain classified is already well-known,” Binney said in an interview. “They’re playing the Wizard of Oz game.”

New findings indicate this is perfectly true, but until recently the VIPS experts could produce only “negative evidence,” as they put it: The absence of evidence supporting the hack theory demonstrates that it cannot be so. That is all VIPS had. They could allege and assert, but they could not conclude: They were stuck demanding evidence they did not have—if only to prove there was none.

Research into the DNC case took a fateful turn in early July, when forensic investigators who had been working independently began to share findings and form loose collaborations.

Research into the DNC case took a fateful turn in early July, when forensic investigators who had been working independently began to share findings and form loose collaborations wherein each could build on the work of others. In this a small, new website called http://www.disobedientmedia.com proved an important catalyst. Two independent researchers selected it, Snowden-like, as the medium through which to disclose their findings. One of these is known as Forensicator and the other as Adam Carter. On July 9, Adam Carter sent Elizabeth Vos, a co-founder of Disobedient Media, a paper by the Forensicator that split the DNC case open like a coconut.

By this time Binney and the other technical-side people at VIPS had begun working with a man named Skip Folden. Folden was an IT executive at IBM for 33 years, serving 25 years as the IT program manager in the United States. He has also consulted for Pentagon officials, the FBI, and the Justice Department. Folden is effectively the VIPS group’s liaison to Forensicator, Adam Carter, and other investigators, but neither Folden nor anyone else knows the identity of either Forensicator or Adam Carter. This bears brief explanation.

The Forensicator’s July 9 document indicates he lives in the Pacific Time Zone, which puts him on the West Coast. His notes describing his investigative procedures support this. But little else is known of him. Adam Carter, in turn, is located in England, but the name is a coy pseudonym: It derives from a character in a BBC espionage series called Spooks. It is protocol in this community, Elizabeth Vos told me in a telephone conversation this week, to respect this degree of anonymity. Kirk Wiebe, the former SIGINT analyst at the NSA, thinks Forensicator could be “someone very good with the FBI,” but there is no certainty. Unanimously, however, all the analysts and forensics investigators interviewed for this column say Forensicator’s advanced expertise, evident in the work he has done, is unassailable. They hold a similarly high opinion of Adam Carter’s work.

Forensicator is working with the documents published by Guccifer 2.0, focusing for now on the July 5 intrusion into the DNC server. The contents of Guccifer’s files are known—they were published last September—and are not Forensicator’s concern. His work is with the metadata on those files. These data did not come to him via any clandestine means. Forensicator simply has access to them that others did not have. It is this access that prompts Kirk Wiebe and others to suggest that Forensicator may be someone with exceptional talent and training inside an agency such as the FBI. “Forensicator unlocked and then analyzed what had been the locked files Guccifer supposedly took from the DNC server,” Skip Folden explained in an interview. “To do this he would have to have ‘access privilege,’ meaning a key.”

What has Forensicator proven since he turned his key? How? What has work done atop Forensicator’s findings proven? How?

Forensicator’s first decisive findings, made public on July 9, concerned the volume of the supposedly hacked material and what is called the transfer rate.

Forensicator’s first decisive findings, made public in the paper dated July 9, concerned the volume of the supposedly hacked material and what is called the transfer rate—the time a remote hack would require. The metadata established several facts in this regard with granular precision: On the evening of July 5, 2016, 1,976 megabytes of data were downloaded from the DNC’s server. The operation took 87 seconds. This yields a transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.

These statistics are matters of record and essential to disproving the hack theory. No Internet service provider, such as a hacker would have had to use in mid-2016, was capable of downloading data at this speed. Compounding this contradiction, Guccifer claimed to have run his hack from Romania, which, for numerous reasons technically called delivery overheads, would slow down the speed of a hack even further from maximum achievable speeds.

Time stamps in the metadata indicate the download occurred somewhere on the East Coast of the United States—not Russia, Romania, or anywhere else outside the EDT zone.

What is the maximum achievable speed? Forensicator recently ran a test download of a comparable data volume (and using a server speed not available in 2016) 40 miles from his computer via a server 20 miles away and came up with a speed of 11.8 megabytes per second—half what the DNC operation would need were it a hack. Other investigators have built on this finding. Folden and Edward Loomis say a survey published August 3, 2016, by http://www.speedtest.net/reports is highly reliable and use it as their thumbnail index. It indicated that the highest average ISP speeds of first-half 2016 were achieved by Xfinity and Cox Communications. These speeds averaged 15.6 megabytes per second and 14.7 megabytes per second, respectively. Peak speeds at higher rates were recorded intermittently but still did not reach the required 22.7 megabytes per second.

“A speed of 22.7 megabytes is simply unobtainable, especially if we are talking about a transoceanic data transfer,” Folden said. “Based on the data we now have, what we’ve been calling a hack is impossible.” Last week Forensicator reported on a speed test he conducted more recently. It tightens the case considerably. “Transfer rates of 23 MB/s (Mega Bytes per second) are not just highly unlikely, but effectively impossible to accomplish when communicating over the Internet at any significant distance,” he wrote. “Further, local copy speeds are measured, demonstrating that 23 MB/s is a typical transfer rate when using a USB–2 flash device (thumb drive).”

Time stamps in the metadata provide further evidence of what happened on July 5. The stamps recording the download indicate that it occurred in the Eastern Daylight Time Zone at approximately 6:45 pm. This confirms that the person entering the DNC system was working somewhere on the East Coast of the United States. In theory the operation could have been conducted from Bangor or Miami or anywhere in between—but not Russia, Romania, or anywhere else outside the EDT zone. Combined with Forensicator’s findings on the transfer rate, the time stamps constitute more evidence that the download was conducted locally, since delivery overheads—conversion of data into packets, addressing, sequencing times, error checks, and the like—degrade all data transfers conducted via the Internet, more or less according to the distance involved.

“It’s clear,” another forensics investigator wrote, “that metadata was deliberately altered and documents were deliberately pasted into a Russianified [W]ord document with Russian language settings and style headings.”

In addition, there is the adulteration of the documents Guccifer 2.0 posted on June 15, when he made his first appearance. This came to light when researchers penetrated what Folden calls Guccifer’s top layer of metadata and analyzed what was in the layers beneath. They found that the first five files Guccifer made public had each been run, via ordinary cut-and-paste, through a single template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints. They were not: The Russian markings were artificially inserted prior to posting. “It’s clear,” another forensics investigator self-identified as HET, wrote in a report on this question, “that metadata was deliberately altered and documents were deliberately pasted into a Russianified [W]ord document with Russian language settings and style headings.”

To be noted in this connection: The list of the CIA’s cyber-tools WikiLeaks began to release in March and labeled Vault 7 includes one called Marble that is capable of obfuscating the origin of documents in false-flag operations and leaving markings that point to whatever the CIA wants to point to. (The tool can also “de-obfuscate” what it has obfuscated.) It is not known whether this tool was deployed in the Guccifer case, but it is there for such a use.

It is not yet clear whether documents now shown to have been leaked locally on July 5 were tainted to suggest Russian hacking in the same way the June 15 Guccifer release was. This is among several outstanding questions awaiting answers, and the forensic scientists active on the DNC case are now investigating it. In a note Adam Carter sent to Folden and McGovern last week and copied to me, he reconfirmed the corruption of the June 15 documents, while indicating that his initial work on the July 5 documents—of which much more is to be done—had not yet turned up evidence of doctoring.

In the meantime, VIPS has assembled a chronology that imposes a persuasive logic on the complex succession of events just reviewed. It is this:

On June 12 last year, Julian Assange announced that WikiLeaks had and would publish documents pertinent to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

On June 14, CrowdStrike, a cyber-security firm hired by the DNC, announced, without providing evidence, that it had found malware on DNC servers and had evidence that Russians were responsible for planting it.

On June 15, Guccifer 2.0 first appeared, took responsibility for the “hack” reported on June 14 and claimed to be a WikiLeaks source. It then posted the adulterated documents just described.

On July 5, Guccifer again claimed he had remotely hacked DNC servers, and the operation was instantly described as another intrusion attributable to Russia. Virtually no media questioned this account.

It does not require too much thought to read into this sequence. With his June 12 announcement, Assange effectively put the DNC on notice that it had a little time, probably not much, to act preemptively against the imminent publication of damaging documents. Did the DNC quickly conjure Guccifer from thin air to create a cyber-saboteur whose fingers point to Russia? There is no evidence of this one way or the other, but emphatically it is legitimate to pose the question in the context of the VIPS chronology. WikiLeaks began publishing on July 22. By that time, the case alleging Russian interference in the 2016 elections process was taking firm root. In short order Assange would be written down as a “Russian agent.”

By any balanced reckoning, the official case purporting to assign a systematic hacking effort to Russia, the events of mid-June and July 5 last year being the foundation of this case, is shabby to the point taxpayers should ask for their money back. The Intelligence Community Assessment, the supposedly definitive report featuring the “high confidence” dodge, was greeted as farcically flimsy when issued January 6. Ray McGovern calls it a disgrace to the intelligence profession. It is spotlessly free of evidence, front to back, pertaining to any events in which Russia is implicated. James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, admitted in May that “hand-picked” analysts from three agencies (not the 17 previously reported) drafted the ICA. There is a way to understand “hand-picked” that is less obvious than meets the eye: The report was sequestered from rigorous agency-wide reviews. This is the way these people have spoken to us for the past year.

Behind the ICA lie other indefensible realities. The FBI has never examined the DNC’s computer servers—an omission that is beyond preposterous. It has instead relied on the reports produced by Crowdstrike, a firm that drips with conflicting interests well beyond the fact that it is in the DNC’s employ. Dmitri Alperovitch, its co-founder and chief technology officer, is on the record as vigorously anti-Russian. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, which suffers the same prejudice. Problems such as this are many.

“We continue to stand by our report,” CrowdStrike said, upon seeing the VIPS blueprint of the investigation. CrowdStrike argues that by July 5 all malware had been removed from the DNC’s computers. But the presence or absence of malware by that time is entirely immaterial, because the event of July 5 is proven to have been a leak and not a hack. Given that malware has nothing to do with leaks, CrowdStrike’s logic appears to be circular.

In effect, the new forensic evidence considered here lands in a vacuum. We now enter a period when an official reply should be forthcoming. What the forensic people are now producing constitutes evidence, however one may view it, and it is the first scientifically derived evidence we have into any of the events in which Russia has been implicated. The investigators deserve a response, the betrayed professionals who formed VIPS as the WMD scandal unfolded in 2003 deserve it, and so do the rest of us. The cost of duplicity has rarely been so high.

I concluded each of the interviews conducted for this column by asking for a degree of confidence in the new findings. These are careful, exacting people as a matter of professional training and standards, and I got careful, exacting replies.

All those interviewed came in between 90 percent and 100 percent certain that the forensics prove out. I have already quoted Skip Folden’s answer: impossible based on the data. “The laws of physics don’t lie,” Ray McGovern volunteered at one point. “It’s QED, theorem demonstrated,” William Binney said in response to my question. “There’s no evidence out there to get me to change my mind.” When I asked Edward Loomis, a 90 percent man, about the 10 percent he held out, he replied, “I’ve looked at the work and it shows there was no Russian hack. But I didn’t do the work. That’s the 10 percent. I’m a scientist.”

Editor’s note: In its chronology, VIPS mistakenly gave the wrong date for CrowdStrike’s announcement of its claim to have found malware on DNC servers. It said June 15, when it should have said June 14. VIPS has acknowledged the error, and we have made the correction.

Editor’s note: After publication, the Democratic National Committee contacted The Nation with a response, writing, “U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian government hacked the DNC in an attempt to interfere in the election. Any suggestion otherwise is false and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration. It’s unfortunate that The Nation has decided to join the conspiracy theorists to push this narrative.”
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:59 pm

Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (EXCERPT)
by Guy Debord


THE relatively new concept of disinformation was recently imported from Russia, along with a number of other inventions useful in the running of modern states. It is openly employed by particular powers, or, consequently, by people who hold fragments of economic or political authority, in order to maintain what is established; and always in a counter-offensive role. Whatever can oppose a single official truth must necessarily be disinformation emanating from hostile or at least rival powers, and would have been intentionally and malevolently falsified. Disinformation would not be simple negation of a fact which suits the authorities, or the simple affirmation of a fact which does not suit them: that is called psychosis. Unlike the straightforward lie, disinformation must inevitably contain a degree of truth but one deliberately manipulated by an artful enemy. That is what makes it so attractive to the defenders of the dominant society. The power which speaks of disinformation does not believe itself to be absolutely faultless, but knows that it can attribute to any precise criticism the excessive insignificance which characterises disinformation; with the result that it will never have to admit to any particular fault.

In essence, disinformation would be a travesty of the truth. Whoever disseminates it is culpable, whoever believes it is stupid. But who precisely would this artful enemy be? In this case, it cannot be terrorism, which is in no danger of 'disinforming' anyone, since it is charged with ontologically representing the grossest and least acceptable error. Thanks to its etymology and to present memories of those limited confrontations which around mid-century briefly opposed East and West, concentrated spectacle and diffuse spectacle, the capitalism of today's integrated spectacle still pretends to believe that the capitalism of bureaucratic totalitarianism - sometimes even presented as the terrorists' base camp or inspiration - remains its fundamental enemy, despite the innumerable proofs of their profound alliance and solidarity. But actually all established powers, despite certain genuine local rivalries, and without ever wanting to spell it out, never forget what one of the rare German internationalists after the outbreak of the First World War managed to recall (on the side of subversion and without any great immediate success): 'The main enemy is within.' In the end, disinformation is the equivalent of what was represented in the nineteenth-century language of social war as 'dangerous passions'. It is all that is obscure and threatens to oppose the unprecedented happiness which we know this society offers to those who trust it, a happiness which greatly outweighs various insignificant risks and disappointments. And everyone who sees this happiness in the spectacle agrees that we should not grumble about its price; everyone else is a disinformer.

The other advantage derived from denouncing a particular instance of disinformation in this way is that it wards off any suspicion that the spectacle's global language might contain the same thing. With the most scientific assurance, the spectacle can identify the only place where disinformation could be found: in anything which can be said that might displease it.

It is doubtless by mistake - unless it be a deliberate decoy - that a project was recently set in motion in France to place a kind of official label on some parts of the media guaranteeing them 'free from disinformation'. This wounded certain media professionals, who still believe, or more modestly would still like it to be believed, that until now they had not actually been subject to censorship. But the concept of disinformation must never be used defensively, still less as part of a static defence, building a Great Wall or Maginot Line around an area supposedly out of bounds to disinformation. There must be disinformation, and it must be something fluid and potentially ubiquitous. Where the language of the spectacle is not under attack it would be foolish to defend it; and the concept would wear out very fast indeed if one were to try to defend it against all the evidence on points which ought on the contrary to be kept from public view. Moreover the authorities have no real need to guarantee that any particular information does not contain disinformation. Nor have they the means to do so: they are not respected to that extent, and would only draw down suspicion on the information concerned. The concept of disinformation is only valid for counter-attack. It must be kept in reserve, then rapidly thrown into the fray to drive back any truth which has managed to get through.

If occasionally a kind of unregulated disinformation threatens to appear, in the service of particular interests temporarily in conflict, and threatens to be believed, getting out of control and thus clashing with the concerted work of a less irresponsible disinformation, there is no reason to fear that the former involves other manipulators who are more subtle or more skilled: it is simply because disinformation now spreads in a world where there is no room for verification.

The confusionist concept of disinformation is pushed into the limelight immediately to refute, by its very name, any criticism that has failed to eliminate the diverse agencies of the organisation of silence. For example it could one day be said, should this seem desirable, that this text was an attempt to disinform about the spectacle; or indeed, since it is the same thing, that it was a piece of disinformation harmful to democracy.

Contrary to its spectacular definition, the practice of disinformation can only serve the state here and now, under its direct command, or at the initiative of those who uphold the same values. Disinformation is actually inherent in all existing information; and indeed is its main characteristic. It is only named where passivity must be maintained by intimidation. Where disinformation is named, it does not exist. Where it exists, it is not named.

When there were still conflicting ideologies, which claimed to be for or against some recognised aspect of reality, there were fanatics, and liars, but there were no 'disinformers'. When respect for the spectacular consensus, or at least a desire for spectacular kudos, prohibits any honest declaration of what someone is against, or equally what he wholeheartedly approves; and when at the same time he needs to disguise a part of what he is supposed to acknowledge because for one reason or another it is considered dangerous, then he employs disinformation; as if by blunder or negligence, or by pretended false reasoning. In political activity after 1968, for example, the incompetent recuperators known as 'pro-situs', became the first disinformers because they did their best to hide all practical manifestations which confirmed the critique they claimed to have adopted; and, without the slightest embarrassment at weakening its expression, never referred to anything or anyone, in order to suggest that they themselves had actually discovered something.
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:13 am

Jim Carrey: Hollywood Elites ‘Eat Whole Babies’ For Christmas
by Baxter Dmitry
December 27, 2017



Hollywood elites “eat whole babies for Christmas” according to Jim Carrey, who warns “dark forces” are “engaged in a battle for America’s soul“, and the outcome of this battle will have “long-lasting consequences for the entire world.“

“These kids are fattened up for the Christmas table like geese and turkeys, except the animals don’t go through the ritual abuse, the psychological torment that these kids are forced to suffer.“

“These people believe the more the child has suffered, the better it tastes. They believe the negative emotions coursing through the kid’s body, the adrenaline and hatred, will give them special powers. It’s a Hollywood thing influenced by old school Satanism.“

Speaking at a post-screening Q&A for documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond in New York, Carrey said that Christmas and New Year are a time of year he dreads, because of the “dark energy pulsating around Tinsel Town” and his knowledge of “what goes on behind the closed doors of the elite at this time of year.“

“Luciferians in Hollywood turn Christmas into the darkest festival of the year,” Carrey said, before explaining “there is a reason why people around the world feel a heaviness at this time of year.“

“Institutional oppression and Satanism hang in the air while we are all forced to wear smiles and ignore the gut feeling that all is not well.”

“Ever notice how all the homeless children you see throughout the year begin to dissapear at Xmas? You think it’s because they’ve found a home, found shelter, found love and warmth?“

“Christmas time is Satanic slaughter time. They are determined to pervert the most beautiful time of the year into a festival of suffering and blood.”

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond charts Jim Carrey’s evolution into cult comedian Andy Kaufman for 1999 film Man on the Moon, a performance which saw Carrey maintain the Kaufman’s oddball identity for the duration of the shoot. However in New York on Friday, Carrey warned of the seriousness of his allegations against Hollywood elite.

“The entertainment industry is the PR and brainwashing branch of the New World Order, the globalist empire of Lucifarianism,” Carrey said, warning. “There will be a strong push to normalize Satanism in 2018. Good old-fashioned devil worshipping.”

Jim Carrey Did NOT Say Hollywood Elites “Eat Babies For Christmas,” Despite Fake News
by Andrew Shuster
2:06 pm, December 27, 2017



Jim Carrey did not say Hollywood elites “eat whole babies for Christmas,” despite an absurd report from a website known for publishing fake news. Gossip Cop can exclusively debunk this story. All of the quotes attributed to the comedic actor were fabricated.

According to the unreliable blog YourNewsWire, Carrey recently went on a rant about “dark forces” in the entertainment industry following a New York screening of his Netflix documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond. The outlet fails to mention exactly when or where this screening took place, but quotes the actor as having told those in attendance, “Kids are fattened up for the Christmas table like geese and turkeys… These people believe the more the child has suffered, the better it tastes.”

The bogus site further quotes Carrey as saying he hates the holiday season because of the “dark energy pulsating around Tinsel Town.” “It’s a Hollywood thing influenced by old school Satanism,” the actor allegedly added. Carrey is also quoted as noting, “Ever notice how all the homeless children you see throughout the year begin to disappear at Xmas? You think it’s because they’ve found a home, found shelter, found love and warmth? Christmas time is Satanic slaughter time. They are determined to pervert the most beautiful time of the year into a festival of suffering and blood.”

Despite how insane this all sounds, Gossip Cop looked into the situation and we can confirm that Carrey never made any of the comments cited above. Also, had the actor actually publicly accused Hollywood elites of “eating babies,” it’s unlikely that YourNewsWire would be the only outlet reporting about it. Regardless, this is all nonsense.

In fact, the blog has a habit of falsely attributing outrageous and bizarre remarks to the comedian. Gossip Cop previously busted the site for wrongly reporting that Carrey accused Donald Trump of being a “reptilian Illuminati.” Shortly before that, the outlet alleged that Carrey said Apple’s new Face ID technology will lead to a “totalitarian New World Order.” This latest article, also filled with fabricated quotes, might be the most ridiculous one yet.
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:14 pm

MSNBC Does Not Merely Permit Fabrications Against Democratic Party Critics. It Encourages and Rewards Them.
by Glenn Greenwald
July 8 2018, 4:19 a.m.



Photo: Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/AP

DURING THE 2016 primary and general election campaigns, various MSNBC hosts were openly campaigning for Hillary Clinton. One of the network’s programs featured Malcolm Nance (pictured above), whose background is quite sketchy but is presented by the cable network (and now by NBC News) as an “intelligence expert” and former intelligence officer for the U.S. Navy.

On August 20, 2016, weekend host Joy Reid asked Nance about the supposed “affinity” for Russia harbored by Jill Stein supporters. In response, Nance told MSNBC viewers: “Jill Stein has a show on Russia Today.” You can still watch the video of this claim here on MSNBC’s own website or see it here:

Adam H. Johnson
Aug 25, 2016
Incidentally I'm waiting for @MalcolmNance to tell me what time your big money RT show is https://twitter.com/drjillstein/status/ ... 4715786240

Adam H. Johnson
this by @MalcolmNance was an out right lie. I'm curious: will @JoyAnnReid correct on air Saturday? @DrJillStein
7:12 PM - Aug 25, 2016

Whatever your views might be about Stein and her third-party candidacy, there is no disputing the fact that Nance’s statement was a falsehood, a fabrication, a lie. Stein did not have a show on RT, nor did she ever host a show on RT. What Nance said was made up out of whole cloth — fabricated — in order to encourage MSNBC viewers to believe that Stein, one of the candidates running against Clinton, was a paid agent of the Kremlin and employee of RT.

Reid allowed Nance’s lie to stand. Perhaps she did not realize at the time that it was a lie. But subsequently, a campaign was launched to urge MSNBC to correct the lie it broadcast, based on the assumption that MSNBC — which is part of NBC News — was a normal news outlet that functions in accordance with basic journalistic principles and would, of course, correct a false statement once that was brought to its attention.

The media watchdog group FAIR repeatedly documented the lie told by Nance and urged MSNBC to issue a correction. The Intercept wrote about this falsehood on several occasions and also noted that MSNBC was refusing to issue a correction of what everyone knows is a false — but an obviously quite significant — claim. Multiple tweets were directed at NBC News, MSNBC, Nance, and Reid asking them to correct the fabrication to their viewers:

FAIR: Challenging media bias since 1986.

September 13, 2016

Jill Stein Cites FAIR's Correction of MSNBC Falsehood

Adam H. Johnson
Former intelligence officer who also said Putin was going to invade Ukraine in October and thought Jill Stein had a show on RT

Joy Reid
Former intelligence officer: https://twitter.com/malcolmnance/status ... 8631467009

6:51 PM - Jan 4, 2017

Adam H. Johnson
Sep 17, 2016
Replying to @adamjohnsonNYC
this by @MalcolmNance was an out right lie. I'm curious: will @JoyAnnReid correct on air Saturday? @DrJillStein

Michael Corcoran
still no correction, @joyannreid ?
8:53 AM - Sep 17, 2016

Glenn Greenwald
Periodic reminder that MSNBC, during the campaign, falsely told its viewers Jill Stein had a show on RT & refuses to correct/acknowledge it.

Sam Sacks (bot)
Some more "spy'splaining" from the guy whose intel told him that Jill Stein had a show on RT & RU was planning an October Surprise invasion.

Malcolm Nance
WATCH: I'll be on @amjoyshow 1000 EST discussing & Spy'splaining the latest shocking revelations on Gen. Flynn, Nunes & Russian intelligence

Green Party US
After Naval officer Malcolm Nance stated, “Jill Stein has a show on RT,” @JoyAnnReid refused to correct him. http://fair.org/home/jill-stein-cites-f ... falsehood/
11:25 AM - Nov 5, 2016
Jill Stein Cites FAIR’s Correction of MSNBC Falsehood
In a piece for CounterPunch, Jill Stein cited FAIR's correction of a false claim made about her.

To date — almost two years later — neither NBC News nor MSNBC, nor a single journalist who works for either one of those media outlets has corrected this significant falsehood, despite obviously knowing that it was broadcast to their viewers. In other words, NBC News and MSNBC know that they told viewers something that was materially false, and yet refuse to correct it. Please, defenders of this network: Tell me what that says about its integrity, about its real function, about whether it is a real news outlet.

Worse, not only was Nance never sanctioned in any way for the lie he told, but he was rewarded: He has since gone from “MSNBC contributor” to “MSNBC intelligence analyst,” and is far more pervasive on the network, and its hosts have spent the month aggressively promoting his new book on how Vladimir Putin is destroying U.S. democracy.

On MSNBC, lies are not corrected; they are rewarded, provided the lies are designed to smear the reputations of Democratic Party critics. Is this not definitive and conclusive proof of that: that this is not a news outlet but a political arm of the Democratic Party?
What else could possibly explain, let alone justify, behavior like this? I’m asking that earnestly.

I BRING THIS UP again now not because I think MSNBC will ever correct its lie — it has made clear that lies designed to destroy the reputations of Democratic Party critics are perfectly permissible — but because a very similar event happened on Friday night involving the same MSNBC analyst.

This week, I traveled to Moscow to meet with Edward Snowden, as well as to participate in a cybersecurity conference, on a panel regarding “fake news” that included Alexei Venediktov, famous in Russia as a fierce critic of the Putin government in his position as editor-in-chief of Ekcho Moskvy radio station, along with Giovanni Zagni, head of an Italian website dedicated to checking politicians’ statements who is working with Facebook to determine “fake news.” (The Intercept paid for my travel and I was paid no fee for the trip).

The panel was moderated by RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan and also included Sergey Nalobin, acting deputy director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Given the presence of harsh Putin critics on the panel, the discussion included severe criticisms of both the U.S. and Russian governments, their propensity to lie, and their desire to control the internet.

After Nalobin claimed that Russia was the victim of disinformation and “fake news” campaigns, I responded by pointing out that while this was true, Russia is also the perpetrator of such campaigns, and that in general, the history of the Cold War has continued through today: whereby the U.S. and Russia both use the same tactics against one another while claiming to be the victim:

After the event, there were camera crews from numerous media outlets wanting to interview some of the panel participants. I spoke to all of them. One of them was RT, which published the full transcript of the three-minute interview, as well as selected video clips. The primary point I made that received the most attention — namely, that it has become regarded as suspicious, and even treasonous, merely to visit Russia, and that I accepted the invitation to attend in part to combat that toxic, dangerous, and xenophobic perception — is the statement of mine that RT highlighted on social media.

Obviously, anyone is free to criticize people who decide to visit Russia. Anyone is free to denounce those who speak with RT (such as Stephen Hawking, whose RT interview can be seen here, though I’d love to hear from those holding such views why it’s permissible to speak to think tanks such as Brookings and Center for American Progress, which are funded by Gulf state tyrannies). And, needless to say, anyone is free to attack or dispute any statements or views that I, or anyone else, express as part of such discussions.

Nance did none of that. What he did, instead, is exactly what he did on MSNBC to Jill Stein in August 2016: In two tweets, he outright lied about me on purpose, telling his 420,000 Twitter followers that I am “an agent of Moscow” and “deep in the Kremlin pocket.” He further lied by stating that I “helped Snowden defect” and that I “reports into [my] masters in Moscow.”

Malcolm Nance
READ: Glen Greenwald shows his true colors as an agent of Trump & Moscow. now we know why he helped Snowden defect, covers for Wikileaks attack on Democracy & shills for Fox News. He’s deep in the Kremlin pocket.

Malcolm Nance
@ggreenwald reports into his masters in Moscow to help set the record straight about how misunderstood Russia is (when not sucking up to Trump on Fox). This is the literal definition of a propaganda Useful Idiot. #NoYoureThePuppet. https://www.rt.com/usa/432042-greenwald-rt-interview-moscow/ …
7:27 AM - Jul 7, 2018

None of Nance’s statements here is opinion. These claims — especially that I am an “agent of Moscow” and “deep in the Kremlin pocket” — are intended to be factual statements: that I work for, and am paid by, Russia and the Kremlin, and that I aided Snowden in “defecting” to Moscow. They are all outright lies. There is no other way to describe them.

Thus far, his tweet has been retweeted by close to 5,000 people. After I noted that they were lies, Nance reaffirmed them and said how proud he was to have broadcast them.

This is because Nance knows that he is free to lie this way with impunity. That’s because he works for an organization — MSNBC — that masquerades as a news outlet but actively encourages its employees to lie this way about anyone who criticizes the Democratic Party.

He will be celebrated inside MSNBC, not sanctioned or even told to rescind his lie, because — just as happened with the lie he told about Jill Stein — the person he chose to falsely accuse of being a paid agent of Russia is someone that the MSNBC audience of Democratic partisans hates, and lying is thus permitted and encouraged, just the way it is in any partisan organization. The network is derided as “MSDNC” for a reason.

Obviously, Nance is simply adhering to the post-World War II tactic of the U.S. military and intelligence community from which he emerged: For decades, they accuse any journalists they dislike, or dissidents of any kind, of being covert agents of Moscow.

You would think that any real journalists inside NBC News might be bothered enough by this classically McCarthyite tactic — accusing a journalist of being an agent of Russia without a shred of evidence — to denounce it, but you would be quite wrong. Just look at how identical the script is used by Nance to the actual words Joseph McCarthy spoke at one of his notorious hearings:

Joseph McCarthy Congressional Hearings

That’s because NBC News and MSNBC have essentially merged with the CIA and intelligence community and thus, use their tactics. The network is filled with former generals and CIA officials who are part of the community that pioneered these smear tactics of accusing journalists and critics they dislike of being traitors, spies, and Kremlin loyalists. Indeed, Nance sometimes appears on MSNBC along with former CIA Director John Brennan, who MSNBC also hired as an “analyst.” This is who they are.

It’s also what the Democratic Party is: This is their go-to tactic. After my colleague Lee Fang reported on the numerous corporate interests for which Howard Dean secretly shills in exchange for large payments — everything from pharmaceutical companies to Iranian regime-change cults such as MEK — this was the response from Dean (who, needless to say, also frequently appears on MSNBC):

Howard Dean
Would be interesting to find out if the intercept gets money from Russia or Iran

Corinne Marasco@CorinneAM
PSA: Guilt by association is @ihfang's speciality because he fancies himself an "investigative journalist." twitter.com/rtraister/stat...
8:19 AM-21 Dec 2016

Anyone who criticizes the Democratic Party or its leaders is instantly accused of being a Kremlin agent despite the lack of any evidence. And the organization that leads that smear campaign is the one that calls itself a news outlet (and this is all independent of the fact that another one of its hosts recently lied about having her blog hacked and claimed she reported it to the FBI — a claim everyone in journalism knows is a lie — and not only was never sanctioned for it by was praised for doing that by MSNBC’s star host).

Needless to say, MSNBC is not the only cable outlet that acts as an arm of a political party and encourages its on-air personalities to lie and smear critics of that party. I have spent years documenting lies told by certain Fox News employees and denounced the willingness of some of their hosts to do exactly that while on Fox News itself.

But you can’t be a credible critic of lies — whether told by other cable outlets or politicians — if you not only permit but clearly encourage and reward your own on-air personalities when they do the same. And in the case of MSNBC, they not only do this, but they practice one of the most historically destructive versions of it: fabricated allegations that their critics, including journalists, are treasonous agents of a foreign power.
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:50 pm

Probers Reading the Script: The Story of CBS and the Plot to Invade Haiti
by Gus Constantine
Washington Star
February 26 1970



House Commerce Committee
Approved For Release 2001/07/26: CIA-RDP72-00337R000200040008-4

The Columbia Broadcasting System [CBS] has been accused in a confidential House subcommittee staff report of contributing close to $80,000 to a 1966 plot to invade Haiti.

According to the report, CBS in return obtained exclusive rights to film illegal shipments of arms and training sites of the plotters preparatory to filming the invasion itself.

It also charges that the network has been trying to hide its involvement and that it rebuked a CBS cameraman for reporting the matter to federal authorities.

Richard S. Salant

Richard Salant, president of CBS News, confirmed in New York yesterday that “CBS News filmed gun-running activities and training exercises as part of an investigative report on the activities of Cuban-Haitian exile groups.”

But he denied that the network helped finance the invasion plans or that it had “any complicity in the plot.”

Asked whether the network had knowledge whether law was being violated, Salant said:

“If you’re involved in filming guns and training exercises, obviously you have knowledge of a violation of law. But our general position is that where the violation is generally known, or there is reason to believe that law enforcement agencies know about it, then we proceed without notifying them.

Salant said CBS News’ expenditure for the “Haitian project” was between $150,000 and $170,000. “About $120,000 of this went for external costs – travel, board, lodging and payments to non-staff personnel,” he said.

Although CBS has been linked to the invasion attempt in earlier news accounts, details of the network’s involvement have never been disclosed. The invasion itself never came off.

“This committee has an excellent picture of what took place,” a member of the House Commerce Committee said in an interview.

The report, which was prepared for the subcommittee last June 20, caused some agonizing in the Commerce Committee over whether to call a public hearing.

Information in the report led to subpoenaing of CBS films, financial records and logs in connection with the invasion attempt. Executive sessions were held at which CBS personnel testified.

In their report, staff members of the Special Investigations subcommittee accused CBS of irresponsibility and said the network may have violated six federal statutes, including the Neutrality Act, the Munitions Control Law, the Communications Act of 1934 and several firearms laws.

The probers recommended that the network be called to public account in open hearings before the Commerce Committee, which has authority to investigate broadcast licensing under the Communications Act.

Salant said he would welcome public hearings “at this stage.” However, he said, “I’d have greater hope for such hearings getting at the truth if they could be held in a forum that offers the opportunity for cross-examination.”

The invasion finally was broken up by customs agents on Jan. 2, 1967, in a raid at Coco Plum Beach, Fla. CBS had ended its involvement the previous November.

Seven men were indicted by a grand jury as ringleaders of the plot. Six of them were tried and convicted in November 1967, while the charges against the seventh were dropped by the Justice Department. There is an appeal pending in New Orleans.

According to the Commerce Subcommittee staff report, the plot was hatched early in 1966 by Cuban and Haitian exiles as a two-step invasion which would seize Haiti from a base in the Dominican Republic, then use it as a jumping-off point to strike at Cuba.

The report contends CBS learned about it in March 1966, agreed in April to film invasion preparations, including weapons shipments and caches, and did so in June and at other times. It further contends that the network put up funds toward the rental of a yacht to serve as the invasion “flagship.”

CBS pulled out of the operation in November, the report said, when a customs agent who had been kept informed of the plans told the network the planned invasion of Haiti would not be permitted.

Salant said CBS officials wanted to pull out as early as September but that customs agents called and asked them to continue.

“As things developed by late summer, I got the feeling of something smelly. I felt we were being had,” Salant said.

Leading Figures

The leading “actors” in the “invasion” drama, according to the staff report, were:

Rolando Masferrer Rojas, a 52-year-old Cuban right-winger known as “The Tiger.” He controlled a private army in Cuba when Fulgencio Batista was dictator.

Late in March, Under Secretary of State Chester Bowles, during a period as Acting Secretary, learned of the [Bay of Pigs] invasion plan. On March 31 he wrote a memo to Rusk opposing it. He also asked Rusk to guarantee him half an hour to present his opposition to President Kennedy in the event the plan was approved. However, Bowles came away from his talk with Rusk with the belief that there would be no large-scale invasion. In the remaining two and a half weeks Bowles paid little attention to the matter; he had formed the impression it would be, at most, a small guerrilla landing.


Early in April the Cuban pilots at Retalhuleu were handed sealed envelopes and told to open them only after they were in the air. They obeyed. The orders were to proceed to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, the misnamed Happy Valley that was to be their home for the next few weeks. The entire air operation, including the American advisers, moved from Guatemala to Happy Valley. The exile brigade was airlifted to Puerto Cabezas, their port of embarkation. There, a CIA fleet had been assembled. What amounted to a sizable secret navy had been put together by the CIA chiefly under cover of the Garcia Line Corporation, of 17 Battery Place, New York.

The steamship line was Cuba's biggest. The twenty-five-year-old company, headed by Alfredo Garcia, owned half a dozen vessels. It had main offices in New York and Havana. It also had branch offices in Houston, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana, cities for which two of its ships were named. In the pre-Castro era it plied between East Coast ports, Havana and Central America, carrying rice and sugar.

After Castro, Alfredo Garcia's five sons, Eduardo, Marcos, Alfredo Jr., Lisardo and Francisco, came to the United States. The CIA needed a navy, and the Garcia Line, since it was Cuban-owned and the only Cuban shipping company still operating from Havana, was perfect cover. And the Garcias wanted to help, despite the risks.

The CIA secretly leased the ships. Working chiefly with Eduardo, the agency then mapped out a complex plan to get the vessels to Puerto Cabezas at the last possible moment. The line continued to serve Castro right up to the invasion. Alfredo remained behind in Cuba, which further served to divert suspicion. (He didn't leave there until March 21.) [viii]

As D-Day approached, one by one the Houston, Lake Charles, Rio Escondido, Caribe and Atlantico sailed for Puerto Cabezas. Their crews were told nothing at first, and believed they were on a normal voyage to Central America. At Puerto Cabezas they were informed about the invasion and given the choice of leaving. A few did -- they were held by the CIA at Puerto Cabezas until the invasion was over.

Each of the ships had about twenty-five crewmen, so there were more than a hundred seamen in all who suddenly found themselves in the middle of a shooting war.
The ships were 2,400 tons, except for the smaller Rio Escondido. The CIA also purchased two World War II LCIs, the Blagar and Barbara J., and added them to the invasion fleet.

The Garcia Line provided cover as well as transportation; some of the exiles recruited by the CIA were handed papers to fill out that led them to believe they were signing up, technically at least, as able-bodied hands with the Garcia Line.

While the CIA assembled its secret navy, there were important political moves back in the United States. On April 8 Miro Cardona, in a press conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, issued a call to arms urging Cubans to rise up and overthrow Fidel Castro. The same day Federal Immigration agents in Miami arrested Rolando Masferrer, a notorious Batista henchman who, under the dictator, had run a much-feared and much-hated private army known as "The Tigers."

Masferrer, who had fled Cuba the same day as Batista, was spirited to Jackson Memorial Hospital after his arrest and placed under guard. A "No Visitors" sign was posted on the door. The hospital listed Masferrer as a "possible coronary," but an attending physician told newsmen: There seems to be some misrepresentation. No coronary is evident."

Masferrer, it was announced, had been picked up as the result of a letter from Dean Rusk to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, which said in part: "The continued presence at large of Rolando Masferrer in the United States and particularly in Florida is prejudicial to our national interest from the point of view of our foreign relations." Two days later a Federal grand jury indicted Masferrer on charges of conspiring to outfit and send a military expedition against Cuba, a violation of the United States neutrality laws. [ix]

Masferrer was charged with breaking the law for mounting an invasion of Cuba -- ten days before the government mounted its own secret invasion.
Masferrer's character and reputation are irrelevant to the cynical manner of his arrest.

Ten days after the Bay of Pigs disaster Federal Judge Emmett C. Choate ordered Masferrer released and accused the Federal Government of having shipped him off to a "government concentration camp" in Texas. Assistant United States Attorney Paul Gifford said the Immigration Service acted on direct orders from President Kennedy. "The President," said Judge Choate, "has no authority to direct anyone to disobey the law." Seven months later, on November 9, 1961, the government quietly dropped the case against Masferrer without explanation.

One possible reason for Masferrer's arrest is that the administration believed that charging him with invading Cuba would divert suspicion from the government's own invasion plans, then in the final stage of preparation. It was a case of a straight political arrest, something not normally associated with life in the United States.

In addition, the President believed that Masferrer's arrest would demonstrate to the exiles and the world that the United States had no sympathy for Batista supporters. This became clear on April 12, when the President told his news conference: "The Justice Department's recent indictment of Mr. Masferrer, of Florida, on the grounds that he was plotting an invasion of Cuba, from Florida, in order to establish a Batista-like regime, should indicate the feelings of this country towards those who wish to re-establish that kind of an administration inside Cuba."

-- The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas B. Ross

The Rev. Jean Baptiste Georges, a Catholic priest and a former education minister under Haitian President Francois Cuvalier.
• Julie Aton Constanze-Pelau, a Cuban conspirator who allegedly assisted CBS in its filming. He was recently shot in Miami.
• Julio Cesar Hormilla, a Cuban who lost an eye while participating in the filming of invasion training.
Mitchell Wer Bell III, a munitions dealer linked to clandestine operations and upheaval in Latin America. He was hired by CBS as a consultant for the invasion story.
• Jay McMullen, CBS producer for the invasion story.
Andrew St. George, a free-lance writer who tipped off CBS on the invasion plans and was hired by the network as associate producer and writer of the story.
• James Wilson, the CBS cameraman who informed federal authorities of the invasion plans.

• Eugene Maximilian, Haitian consul to the United States and the target of an extortion attempt.
• Stanley Schacter, assistant customs agent in charge of enforcement at Miami, who kept track of the unfolding invasion scheme.

Plans Outlined

The subcommittee report says CBS’ association with the conspirators began in March 1966.

The conspiracy took shape initially as just one more Latin intrigue in Florida to topple the regime of Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

In this instance, the plan called for Masferrer to be installed as chief of Cuba while Father Georges took over Haiti, provided a two-stage invasion was successful.

CBS enters the picture through McMullen, a producer eager to film arms-smuggling activities. The special subcommittee’s chief investigator, James P. Kelly, himself a former CBS employee, is said to have worked on a project with McMullen in 1965 to film illegal export of surplus fighter aircraft. That project was dropped.

Familiar with the interests of the invasion planners and McMullen, Andrew St. George, free lance writer, is introduced in the report as the contact who approached McMullen in March 1966. St. George is said to have told McMullen of the preparation for a Haitian invasion, and asked if CBS was still interested in illegal munitions movements.

Wer Bell, identified in the staff report as a man with a background in arms sales to Latin governments, is introduced by St. George to McMullen in April at Wer Bell’s home in Powder Springs, Ga.

McMullen, said the report, was told of Wer Bell’s efforts to find a suitable base in the Dominican Republic for Masferrer to launch his invasion.

Price Tag Cited

McMullen was also told, according to the report, that for a price, exclusive CBS filming of clandestine arms shipments, training exercises and the actual invasion could be arranged.

McMullen agreed to pay close to $80,000 for these rights, the report says, and CBS hired St. George as associate producer and writer of the invasion story.

As a down payment, St. George delivered to Wer Bell $1,500 given to him by McMullen, the report says.

In June, McMullen brought a film crew to a Miami house belonging to Masferrer’s brother. An arms cache was photographed here and in other residences in the same vicinity.

Wer Bell was on location. So were immigration agents, who called to check on Masferrer’s whereabouts. Masferrer was on parole and was barred from Florida. Mistaking the callers for FBI agents, McMullen hid in the closet, according to the report.

CIA Contact Noted

A CBS cameraman, James Wilson, contacted CIA agents in Houston while on a space shot assignment, the report says.

The CIA informed the FBI, who called on Wilson and referred him to U.S. Customs.

From that point on, according to the report, Stanley Schacter, assistant customs agent in charge of enforcement in Miami, was kept informed by Wilson of developments.

MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda. At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIA’s testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names of those recruited reads like a Who's Who of journalism:

• Philip and Katharine Graham (Publishers, Washington Post)
William Paley (President, CBS)
• Henry Luce (Publisher, Time and Life magazine)
• Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Publisher, N.Y. Times)
• Jerry O'Leary (Washington Star)
• Hal Hendrix (Pulitzer Prize winner, Miami News)
• Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal)
• James Copley (Copley News Services)
• Joseph Harrison (Editor, Christian Science Monitor)
• C.D. Jackson (Fortune)
• Walter Pincus (Reporter, Washington Post)
• Associated Press
• United Press International
• Reuters
• Hearst Newspapers
• Scripps-Howard
• Newsweek magazine
• Mutual Broadcasting System
• Miami Herald
• Old Saturday Evening Post
• New York Herald-Tribune


It would be impossible to elaborate in this short space even the most important examples of the CIA/media alliance. Sig Mickelson was a CIA asset the entire time he was president of CBS News from 1954 to 1961. Later he went on to become president of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, two major outlets of CIA propaganda.

The CIA also secretly bought or created its own media companies. It owned 40 percent of the Rome Daily American at a time when communists were threatening to win the Italian elections. Worse, the CIA has bought many domestic media companies. A prime example is Capital Cities, created in 1954 by CIA businessman William Casey (who would later become Reagan’s CIA director). Another founder was Lowell Thomas, a close friend and business contact with CIA Director Allen Dulles. Another founder was CIA businessman Thomas Dewey. By 1985, Capital Cities had grown so powerful that it was able to buy an entire TV network: ABC....

Officially, the Knights of Malta are a global charity organization. But beginning in the 1940s, knighthood was granted to countless CIA agents, and the organization has become a front for intelligence operations. SMOM is ideal for this kind of activity, because it is recognized as the world’s only landless sovereignty, and members enjoy diplomatic immunity. This allows agents and supplies to pass through customs without interference from the host country. Such privileges enabled the Knights of Malta to become a major supplier of "humanitarian aid" to the Contras during their war in the 1980s.

A partial list of the Knights and Dames of Malta reads like a Who’s Who of American Catholicism:

• William Casey – CIA Director.
• John McCone – CIA Director.
• William Colby – CIA Director.
• William Donovan – OSS Director. Donovan was given an especially prestigious form of knighthood that has only been given to a hundred other men in history.
Frank Shakespeare – Director of such propaganda organizations as the U.S. Information Agency, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Also executive vice-president of CBS-TV and vice-chairman of RKO General Inc. He is currently chairman of the board of trustees at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank.
• William Simon – Treasury Secretary under President Nixon. In the private sector, he has become one of America’s 400 richest individuals by working in international finance. Today he is the President of the John M. Olin Foundation, a major funder of right-wing think tanks.
• William F. Buckley, Jr. – CIA agent, conservative pundit and mass media personality.
• James Buckley – William’s brother, head of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.
• Clare Boothe Luce - The grand dame of the Cold War was also a Dame of Malta. She was a popular playwright and the wife of the publishing tycoon Henry Luce, who cofounded Time magazine.
• Francis X Stankard - CEO of the international division of Chase Manhattan Bank, a Rockefeller institution. (Nelson Rockefeller was also a major CIA figure.)....

When this group gets together, obviously, the topics are spying, business and politics.

-- The Origins of the Overclass, by Steve Kangas[/quote

From time to time, the plotters sought funds from CBS and St. George was given money by McMullen to pay them, the report says. It mentions sums totaling almost $3,000 to Masferrer, $750 to Wer Bell for a trip to the Dominican Republic, $500 to Father Georges to perform “voodoo” rites in order to inspire the troops and $500 to Julio Aton Constanzo-Pelau, another conspirator, who doubled as film assistant for CBS.

A Comic Turn

Now the narrative shifts to New Jersey and takes a comic turn.

McMullen is told he can photograph a shipment of weapons from the Shiloh Hunting Lodge on Rt. 46 to Florida. He pays Masferrer $380 for the story but the story fails to materialize. In the mix-up, the car carrying the weapons loses contact with the CBS film crew, according to the report.

Later, a van carrying weapons from New York to Florida breaks down in Macon, Ga., and the driver has only $15 in cash. CBS provides financial help and a 1965 Mercury station wagon is sent to Macon to complete the trip, the report says.

McMullen then pays Wer Bell $3,000 toward rental of a yacht, the Poor Richard, which would be the invasion “flagship.” The leaky ship sinks.
McMullen, says the report, gets $2,500 back and Wer Bell keeps $500 for “expenses.”

CBS said yesterday it paid Wer Bell $1,500 for the boat. Salant said, “I understand it was to be the invasion boat. We were going to be on it. The money was for board and lodging. Another $1,500 was paid for a second yacht, which was used by St. George and later caught fire.”

Suit Against CBS

During the filming of a training scene at Kendall Park, Fla., trainee Julio Cesar Hormilla was injured when a defective weapon exploded. He later lost an eye.

Hormilla sued [CBS] for $1 million, alleging that McMullen transported weapons to Kendall and distributed them to the men. After his injury, Hormilla charged, medical aid was delayed until CBS cameramen could photograph the incident.

Rolando Masferrer (left) and Father Jean Baptiste George.
United Press International

Hormilla later settled his suit with CBS for $15,000, the report says.

According to the report, Wer Bell, Masferrer and St. George showed up at the Miami office of Haitian Consul Eugene Maximilian and offered to end preparations for the invasion if Duvalier put up $200,000.

When no answer appeared to be forthcoming, the staff report says the plotters offered through an intermediary to sell a tape of their conversation with Maximilian back to the consul for $10,000.

But the Haitian diplomat reported the matter to Duvalier, to the FBI and to U.S. Customs.

Salant said CBS was not involved in, nor knew anything about this incident until Wer Bell approached McMullen and said he had the tape.

“McMullen said, ‘Hell, I won’t touch it,’” according to Salant.

A falling out then apparently occurred between Masferrer and St. George and the latter goes to Stanley Schacter, the same Customs official briefed earlier by Wilson, to tell his version of the invasion story.

St. George, says the report, now drops out of the picture. He is hospitalized with bad burns suffered in a yacht accident and McMullen hires Wer Bell as a story consultant at $500 a week.

Another shift now takes place. The Dominican Republic is “uncooperative” over the use of its territory as a base for the Haitian invasion so the plotters decide to strike directly from the United States.

Appears a Scoop

A CBS crew is flown to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the network hires its own flagship for $2,500 to trail the rebel flotilla. NBC and ABC were struggling to catch up with the story but the “scoop,” it appeared, belonged to CBS.

Nov. 20 is the day before the invasion. But that night, CBS correspondent Bert Quint, in Haiti, reported a battle raging in the streets between rebels and forces loyal to Duvalier.

There is reason to believe, the congressional staff report says, that he was purposely fed misinformation by Duvalier to foil the invasion.

Schacter, meanwhile, informs Masferrer, Father Georges and McMullen that the invasion would not be allowed.

At this point, CBS ends its affiliation, the staff report says.

But Masferrer and his people shift to Coco Plum Beach and begin a new countdown. On Jan. 2, U.S. Customs officials take the “army” into custody and seize its armaments, including the transport vessel, the Elena G.

A grand jury then indicted the seven men, including Masferrer, Father Georges, Constanzo-Pelau and Wer Bell on charges they violated the Neutrality Act and the Munitions Control Laws.

Before the trial the Justice Department dropped Wer Bell as a defendant, and the congressional investigators reported that all attempts to get an explanation from Justice failed. The other defendants were found guilty and were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 60 days to four years. The verdict is on appeal in New Orleans.

In 1967 CBS refused to let officials of the Justice Department, Customs and the U.S. Attorney see the films it took in connection with the invasion plans, the report says.

According to the report, Bill Leonard, CBS vice president, rebuked Wilson for notifying the government.

Meanwhile, the House Commerce Committee continues to study the need for public hearings.

■ The Columbia Broadcasting System. CBS was unquestionably the CIA's most valuable broadcasting asset. CBS President William Paley and Allen Dulles enjoyed an easy working and social relationship. Over the years, the network provided cover for CIA employees, including at least one well‑known foreign correspondent and several stringers; it supplied outtakes of newsfilm to the CIA [3]; established a formal channel of communication between the Washington bureau chief and the Agency; gave the Agency access to the CBS newsfilm library; and allowed reports by CBS correspondents to the Washington and New York newsrooms to be routinely monitored by the CIA. Once a year during the 1950s and early 1960s, CBS correspondents joined the CIA hierarchy for private dinners and briefings.

The details of the CBS‑CIA arrangements were worked out by subordinates of both Dulles and Paley. “The head of the company doesn’t want to know the fine points, nor does the director,” said a CIA official. “Both designate aides to work that out. It keeps them above the battle.” Dr. Frank Stanton, for 25 years president of the network, was aware of the general arrangements Paley made with Dulles—including those for cover, according to CIA officials. Stanton, in an interview last year, said he could not recall any cover arrangements.) But Paley’s designated contact for the Agency was Sig Mickelson, president of CBS News between 1954 and 1961. On one occasion, Mickelson has said, he complained to Stanton about having to use a pay telephone to call the CIA, and Stanton suggested he install a private line, bypassing the CBS switchboard, for the purpose. According to Mickelson, he did so. Mickelson is now president of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, both of which were associated with the CIA for many years.

In 1976, CBS News president Richard Salant ordered an in‑house investigation of the network's dealings with the CIA. Some of its findings were first disclosed by Robert Scheer in the Los Angeles Times.) But Salant's report makes no mention of some of his own dealings with the Agency, which continued into the 1970s.

Many details about the CBS‑CIA relationship were found in Mickelson's files by two investigators for Salant. Among the documents they found was a September 13th, 1957, memo to Mickelson from Ted Koop, CBS News bureau chief in Washington from 1948 to 1961. It describes a phone call to Koop from Colonel Stanley Grogan of the CIA: "Grogan phoned to say that Reeves [J. B. Love Reeves, another CIA official] is going to New York to be in charge of the CIA contact office there and will call to see you and some of your confreres. Grogan says normal activities will continue to channel through the Washington office of CBS News." The report to Salant also states: "Further investigation of Mickelson's files reveals some details of the relationship between the CIA and CBS News.... Two key administrators of this relationship were Mickelson and Koop.... The main activity appeared to be the delivery of CBS newsfilm to the CIA.... In addition there is evidence that, during 1964 to 1971, film material, including some outtakes, were supplied by the CBS Newsfilm Library to the CIA through and at the direction of Mr. Koop4.... Notes in Mr. Mickelson's files indicate that the CIA used CBS films for training... All of the above Mickelson activities were handled on a confidential basis without mentioning the words Central Intelligence Agency. The films were sent to individuals at post‑office box numbers and were paid for by individual, nor government, checks. ..." Mickelson also regularly sent the CIA an internal CBS newsletter, according to the report.

Salant's investigation led him to conclude that Frank Kearns, a CBS‑TV reporter from 1958 to 1971, "was a CIA guy who got on the payroll somehow through a CIA contact with somebody at CBS." Kearns and Austin Goodrich, a CBS stringer, were undercover CIA employees, hired under arrangements approved by Paley.

Last year a spokesman for Paley denied a report by former CBS correspondent Daniel Schorr that Mickelson and he had discussed Goodrich's CIA status during a meeting with two Agency representatives in 1954. The spokesman claimed Paley had no knowledge that Goodrich had worked for the CIA. "When I moved into the job I was told by Paley that there was an ongoing relationship with the CIA," Mickelson said in a recent interview. "He introduced me to two agents who he said would keep in touch. We all discussed the Goodrich situation and film arrangements. I assumed this was a normal relationship at the time. This was at the height of the Cold War and I assumed the communications media were cooperating—though the Goodrich matter was compromising.

At the headquarters of CBS News in New York, Paley's cooperation with the CIA is taken for granted by many news executives and reporters, despite the denials. Paley, 76, was not interviewed by Salant's investigators. "It wouldn't do any good," said one CBS executive. "It is the single subject about which his memory has failed."

Salant discussed his own contacts with the CIA, and the fact he continued many of his predecessor's practices, in an interview with this reporter last year. The contacts, he said, began in February 1961, "when I got a phone call from a CIA man who said he had a working relationship with Sig Mickelson. The man said, 'Your bosses know all about it.'" According to Salant, the CIA representative asked that CBS continue to supply the Agency with unedited newstapes and make its correspondents available for debriefing by Agency officials. Said Salant: "I said no on talking to the reporters, and let them see broadcast tapes, but no outtakes. This went on for a number of years—into the early Seventies."

In 1964 and 1965, Salant served on a super-secret CIA task force which explored methods of beaming American propaganda broadcasts to the People's Republic of China. The other members of the four‑man study team were Zbigniew Brzezinski, then a professor at Columbia University; William Griffith, then professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and John Hayes, then vice‑president of the Washington Post Company for radio‑TV5. The principal government officials associated with the project were Cord Meyer of the CIA; McGeorge Bundy, then special assistant to the president for national security; Leonard Marks, then director of the USIA; and Bill Moyers, then special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson and now a CBS correspondent.

Salant's involvement in the project began with a call from Leonard Marks, "who told me the White House wanted to form a committee of four people to make a study of U.S. overseas broadcasts behind the Iron Curtain." When Salant arrived in Washington for the first meeting he was told that the project was CIA sponsored. "Its purpose," he said, "was to determine how best to set up shortwave broadcasts into Red China." Accompanied by a CIA officer named Paul Henzie, the committee of four subsequently traveled around the world inspecting facilities run by Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty (both CIA‑run operations at the time), the Voice of America and Armed Forces Radio. After more than a year of study, they submitted a report to Moyers recommending that the government establish a broadcast service, run by the Voice of America, to be beamed at the People's Republic of China. Salant has served two tours as head of CBS News, from 1961‑64 and 1966‑present. (At the time of the China project he was a CBS corporate executive.)

-- The CIA and the Media: How America's Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up, by Carl Bernstein
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:06 am

US spy operation that manipulates social media: Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda
by Nick Fielding and Ian Cobain
Thu 17 Mar 2011 09.19 EDT First published on Thu 17 Mar 2011 09.19 EDT



The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

The project has been likened by web experts to China's attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as "sock puppets" – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries".

Centcom spokesman Commander Bill Speaks said: "The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US."

He said none of the interventions would be in English, as it would be unlawful to "address US audiences" with such technology, and any English-language use of social media by Centcom was always clearly attributed. The languages in which the interventions are conducted include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto.

Centcom said it was not targeting any US-based web sites, in English or any other language, and specifically said it was not targeting Facebook or Twitter.

Once developed, the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command.

Centcom's contract requires for each controller the provision of one "virtual private server" located in the United States and others appearing to be outside the US to give the impression the fake personas are real people located in different parts of the world.

It also calls for "traffic mixing", blending the persona controllers' internet usage with the usage of people outside Centcom in a manner that must offer "excellent cover and powerful deniability".

The multiple persona contract is thought to have been awarded as part of a programme called Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), which was first developed in Iraq as a psychological warfare weapon against the online presence of al-Qaida supporters and others ranged against coalition forces. Since then, OEV is reported to have expanded into a $200m programme and is thought to have been used against jihadists across Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

OEV is seen by senior US commanders as a vital counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation programme. In evidence to the US Senate's armed services committee last year, General David Petraeus, then commander of Centcom, described the operation as an effort to "counter extremist ideology and propaganda and to ensure that credible voices in the region are heard". He said the US military's objective was to be "first with the truth".

This month Petraeus's successor, General James Mattis, told the same committee that OEV "supports all activities associated with degrading the enemy narrative, including web engagement and web-based product distribution capabilities".

Centcom confirmed that the $2.76m contract was awarded to Ntrepid, a newly formed corporation registered in Los Angeles. It would not disclose whether the multiple persona project is already in operation or discuss any related contracts.

Nobody was available for comment at Ntrepid.

In his evidence to the Senate committee, Gen Mattis said: "OEV seeks to disrupt recruitment and training of suicide bombers; deny safe havens for our adversaries; and counter extremist ideology and propaganda." He added that Centcom was working with "our coalition partners" to develop new techniques and tactics the US could use "to counter the adversary in the cyber domain".

According to a report by the inspector general of the US defence department in Iraq, OEV was managed by the multinational forces rather than Centcom.

Asked whether any UK military personnel had been involved in OEV, Britain's Ministry of Defence said it could find "no evidence". The MoD refused to say whether it had been involved in the development of persona management programmes, saying: "We don't comment on cyber capability."

OEV was discussed last year at a gathering of electronic warfare specialists in Washington DC, where a senior Centcom officer told delegates that its purpose was to "communicate critical messages and to counter the propaganda of our adversaries".

Persona management by the US military would face legal challenges if it were turned against citizens of the US, where a number of people engaged in sock puppetry have faced prosecution.

Last year a New York lawyer who impersonated a scholar was sentenced to jail after being convicted of "criminal impersonation" and identity theft.

It is unclear whether a persona management programme would contravene UK law. Legal experts say it could fall foul of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, which states that "a person is guilty of forgery if he makes a false instrument, with the intention that he or another shall use it to induce somebody to accept it as genuine, and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act to his own or any other person's prejudice". However, this would apply only if a website or social network could be shown to have suffered "prejudice" as a result.

• This article was amended on 18 March 2011 to remove references to Facebook and Twitter, introduced during the editing process, and to add a comment from Centcom, received after publication, that it is not targeting those sites.
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:54 am

The Bizarre Not-Murder of Arkady Babchenko: The story of a crusading Russian journalist who faked his death to expose his enemies will fuel Moscow’s accusations of Ukrainian deceit.
by Natasha Bertrand
The Atlantic
MAY 30, 2018



Arkady Babchenko speaking at a news conference. The Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, who was reported murdered in Ukraine on May 29, attends a news briefing by the Ukrainian state security service in Kiev, on May 30.VALENTYN OGIRENKO /

The news was grim. It was a murder. The apparent victim: Russian soldier-turned-reporter Arkady Babchenko. Obituaries were written, memorials were erected, and mourners gathered outside of his apartment.

And, then, something utterly remarkable happened. Babchenko appeared, alive, at a press conference about his own death.

Journalists gasped and then applauded as the supposedly dead Babchenko, known for his opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin and investigations of Russia’s foreign incursions, explained that his “murder” had actually been part of a months-long operation staged by Ukraine’s security services. The bizarre exercise immediately escalated tensions between Kiev and Moscow, with Ukraine accusing the Kremlin of orchestrating Babchenko’s murder before disclosing that his death had been faked.

The episode seemed to accentuate the smoke-and-mirrors atmosphere hanging over eastern Europe and Russia—a place where disinformation seems to flow freely, and Russia, which maintains an entrenched presence in eastern Ukraine, has long depended on propaganda to draw support from pro-Russian separatists and attack the pro-Western Ukrainian government. The Kremlin has not been the only entity to criticize Ukraine’s decision to fake the prominent journalist’s death—while Ukrainian officials celebrated the operation, many journalists and civil groups decried what they saw as the government’s manipulation of the truth in what is already a fragile moment for the media.

Russia, which has been sanctioned and widely condemned over its invasion of Ukraine in 2014, used the news to flip the narrative and cast Ukraine as the aggressor. Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, quickly called the episode a “masquerade” conducted for “propaganda” purposes. Konstantin Kosachyov, the chairman of the Russian Federation Council's foreign-affairs committee, called it a “provocation” by the Ukrainian government, according to the Russian newswire Interfax. Alec Luhn, a journalist based in Russia, worried that the operation would bolster Moscow’s characterization of Kiev as “deceitful and hapless.” “Babchenko’s staged murder is basically doing their job for them,” Luhn observed. Various journalists’-rights organizations were incensed—the Committee to Protect Journalists called the operation “extreme” and asked for answers. Reporters Without Borders expressed “its deepest indignation after discovering the manipulation of the Ukrainian secret services” and said “it is always very dangerous for a government to play with the facts.”

Garry Kasparov, the Russian chessmaster-turned anti-Putin activist, saw it differently. Speaking at the annual Oslo Freedom Forum—where, hours before, still thinking Babchenko had died, an opera was performed in Babchenko’s honor—Kasparov said the Ukrainian operation marked the first time that Putin’s tool of “fake news was being used against him.” He described the staged murder as “probably the most successful operation in the post-Soviet Union,” and joked that “people who are resurrected have a track record of doing great things.”

The security operation was elaborate. Ukrainian officials even confirmed Babchenko’s death to various media outlets, released photos of him lying facedown in blood, and installed a memorial plaque in his honor on a wall of slain journalists in Kiev. (The plaque was removed on Wednesday.) Not even Babchenko’s wife appeared to be in on it. “Special apologies to my wife, Olechka—there was no other option,” Babchenko said during Wednesday’s press conference. “The operation was under preparation for two months.”

Despite the criticism, Ukrainian police and government officials declared the operation a success. Vasily Gritsak, the head of the Ukrainian security service, told reporters on Wednesday that the investigation had been launched after Babchenko began receiving death threats. It is not clear what sparked them, but he fled Russia in 2016 after learning that the Kremlin was angry at him for saying in a Facebook post that he did not mourn the victims of a Russian defense ministry plane crash that year, according to Haaretz. By Wednesday, officials had detained one suspect: a former fighter based in eastern Ukraine who was allegedly paid $30,000 by Russian authorities to kill Babchenko.

It is still not clear how authorities, in staging Babchenko’s death, were allegedly able to confirm Russia’s involvement in the murder plot. But Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko congratulated the authorities on a “brilliant operation” and ordered around-the-clock security for Babchenko and his family. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenk, meanwhile, used the staged killing as an opportunity to attack Ukrainian politicians who had accused the police of failing to prevent Babchenko’s death, according to the Kyiv Post.

Anton Geraschenko, a Ukrainian member of parliament, said the police had “no other choice.” “In order to trace and document the chain from the killer to the organizers and customers it was necessary to create in them full confidence that the order was executed and force them to take a number of actions that will be documented by the investigation,” Geraschenko wrote on Facebook. He compared it to something Sherlock Holmes would do. “Sherlock Holmes successfully used the method of staging his own death for the effective investigation of complex and intricate crimes. No matter how painful it was for his family and Dr. Watson.”

The tension between Russia and Ukraine will likely escalate as Ukrainian authorities continue to release evidence they say proves the Kremlin had planned to have Babchenko murdered. On Wednesday afternoon, Ukraine’s security services released a video that purportedly showed the would-be hitman receiving his $30,000 payment—the police had placed a camera inside the bag. Babchenko, for his part, wrote on Facebook that he has promised to die at the age of 96, after “dancing on Putin’s grave.”

Kathy Gilsinan contributed reporting.
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Re: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, by Robert Parry

Postby admin » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:19 am

Part 1 of 2

Morale Operations Branch
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/10/18



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.


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

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.


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.


Dr. McKay


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


To: Robert Sherwood

From: Nelson Poynter


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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]


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.


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


12 November 1943


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.


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:
Security and Duty Officers
Daily Activities Reports
Liaison with Amgot
Dissemination Section (under a civilian) responsible for:
Radio (white)
Radio (black)
Motion pictures
Mobile Press
Local printing work
Propaganda displays
Photographs (front photographs as well as laboratory work at Advance Hqs.)
Intelligence (under an American Army Captain) responsible for:
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


12 November 1943


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.


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.


12 November 1943


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.


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



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.

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.

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.



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


The 305th Inf’ Division serves as Cannon Fodder.


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.


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.








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.


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 ….








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.

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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]


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]



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]




P.G. 28

June 2, 1943





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.,


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.


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.



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)


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


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)


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)


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)


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)




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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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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