William Colby (1920 - 1996), former and murdered Central Intelligence Agency director, once remarked that the CIA controlled nearly every news establishment of importance in America. Mark Lane, who was the target of many CIA smear operations, documents in his superb book, Last Word, specific CIA memos and experiences related to this control, and also names some of the CIA assets used to conduct disinformation and smear operations.
In Lane’s case, the animus of the CIA towards him stemmed from his critique of the Warren Commission Report. Why the CIA would be so disturbed about disagreement to that report is puzzling. After all, wasn’t it so intuitively obvious that a lone nut gunman murdered the president? So obvious in fact that 26 volumes were required to bury the doubts? Wasn’t the case so open and shut that a trial was not necessary – nay, would have been a nuisance to seeing the patent obviousness of it all. O, my dear good Occam, the fuss and bother should have been unnecessary
Clearly the CIA had much to hide – namely its guilt in the murder of the President. The very fact that the CIA involves itself in domestic politics – something its charter forbids – makes it a terrorist organization whose very presence is a menace to the people of the United States and its government.
Sometimes the control tactics are heavy handed, while at others they are more velvet gloved, but the effect is the same – anyone who disagrees with the lies of the CIA will be dealt a heavy blow from many directions. One technique which Lane documents is the use of talking points and language to be used by its paid and friendly authors.
One such friendly author is the British Christopher Andrew whose vocation as an historian and author is much prized by the CIA – so prized in fact that the CIA includes him on secret and select committees and provides him with highly classified information normally not available outsiders as well as many insiders. Andrew has made a career of attempting to discredit Lane with minimal success since the facts are rarely if ever on Andrew’s side. In fact he required a lie that the KGB paid Lane 500 USD in airfare to the International Association of Democratic Lawyers in an effort to discredit Rush to Judgment.
Another CIA hack is Anthony Lewis, liberal poseur, of the New York Times, who declared upon publication of the Warren Commission Report in 1964 that all of its conclusions were accurate. Lane, who spent nearly a year of 18 hour days poring over the report, asked Lewis how had managed to read and process it all within a matter of hours. Lewis did not respond.
When bald assertions fail to reach their goals, Lewis resorts to ad hominem attacks in the New York Times, calling Lane a “ghoul” and “creature” among other epithets. The disreputable Columbia University of Journalism endorses Lewis with a teaching position.
Lewis is not the only hack in the New York Times stable of CIA “assets.” Lane documents another egregious example, Pranay Gupte, but we think you get the idea of how the newspaper operates and the repertoire of its columnists. Having said all of that, Lane still reads the paper, which is a far more generous usage of its news pulp than we have in mind.
Lane reports his discovery of a secret memo, freed through a Freedom of Information Act request, from the CIA directing its assets to destroy Mark Lane, what language to use, what arguments to make, and what modes to use in achieving that end. It speaks of its “assets”, a reference which corroborates Colby’s boast presented at the top of this posting.
Another CIA asset is Max Holland who has made a career of attacking the “conspiracy theorists.” Yet Holland accused a team of four lawyers of a conspiracy to place the Warren Commission Report in ill repute. He should have added the House Select Committee on Assassinatiosn since it did precisely the same thing in concluding that a conspiracy had murdered the president.
Some of the directions provided by the CIA on discrediting conspiracy historians include accusing them of Communist propaganda, asserting the reputation of the Warren Commission members, and use of top secret background information supplied by the CIA against such advocates .
Lane enumerates three specific CIA memos distributed to its media assets instructing them how to refute various “conspiracy theories.” They were dated January 4, 1967; April 21, 1967; and August 2, 1966. The memos identify specific authors with means to smear and discredit them and talking points and specific language to use in counter-argument. We suppose that the recipients of the memos were of so weak a brain and the reasoning of the Warren Commission so preposterous that highly structured and pre-fabricated arguments were required in order to keep the various editorials, articles, and essays from becoming a jumbled mess of logic porn.
This set of revelations skims just the top layer of snowflakes on the iceberg of CIA lies and intimidation. When friendly persuasion fails, the CIA resorts to murder, as we are sure they did with reporter and celebrity Dorothy Kilgallen, a story which we will have to save for another day.
The main point to consider from the information presented is that the CIA controls the news writers and media organizations - not just for the perpetuation of the Warren Commission Report, but for other issues as well. Its methods are both subtle and ham fisted. It gives lie to the idea that America's journalists, especially in its marquee publications, are independent.
Last Word, Mark Lane
Last Word, Mark Lane
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