Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News
a book by Udo Ulfkotte
(our site's book review)
Dr. Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor for the German main daily newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), has first hand knowledge of how the CIA and German Intelligence (BND) bribe journalists to write articles free of truth, facts, and with a decidedly pro-Western, pro-NATO bent or, in other words, propaganda. In his bestselling book Bought Journalists ("Gekaufte Journalisten"), Dr. Ulfkotte explains in great detail the workings of the US and NATO’s propaganda campaign and how a lack of compliance with it, on the part of a journalist, can cost a career. Dr. Ulfkotte also provides a wealth of names! Journalist for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News is the English translation of Dr. Ulfkotte’s bestselling book.
Dr. Ulfkotte says the corruption of journalists and major news outlets by the CIA is routine, accepted, and widespread in the western media, and that journalists who do not comply either cannot get jobs at any news organization, or find their careers cut short. We've established this claim as fact in many places. See Conspiracy Theory in America (Discovering America), Mass Control: Engineering Human Consciousness, Propaganda, Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World's Best Writers, and Freedom of the Press—an American Delusion.
Ulfkotte, now deceased from “heart failure,” said in an interview that he allegedly accepted news stories written and given to him by the CIA and published them under his own name. Ulfkotte said he gathered the aim of much of the deception was to drive nations toward war. Acknowledging that his life was under threat, Ulfkotte explained that he was in a better position than most journalists to expose the truth because he didn’t have any children who could be threatened. Ulfkotte said: “No German mainstream journalist is allowed to report about [my] book. Otherwise he or she will be sacked. So we have a bestseller now that no German journalist is allowed to write or talk about.” (Source: Former Newspaper Editor Who Exposed CIA Found Dead, Baxter Dmitry)
"Let's see: I pretend to write these CIA propaganda pieces and they make me rich—what's not to like?!"
Ulfkotte detailed the pattern of cajolery and outright bribery used by the CIA and other US-allied intelligence agencies, for the purpose of advancing political agendas. Ulfkotte said: "once you're connected, you make friends with selected Americans. You think they are your friends and you start cooperating. They work on your ego, make you feel like you're important. And one day one of them will ask you 'Will you do me this favor'..."
Ulfkotte noted that a journalists on international press trips paid for by organizations close to the government are unlikely to submit a storyline not favorable to the sponsor. (Source: Editor of major newspaper says he planted stories for CIA, Ralph Lopez)
Ulfkotte's claims have been confirmed by a lot of journalists. For example, Carl Bernstein quotes William B. Bader, former CIA intelligence officer, in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Baeder said: "There is quite an incredible spread of relationships. You don’t need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are [Central Intelligence] Agency people at the management level."
Joel Whitney is another writer confirming Ulfkotte's claims—in Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World's Best Writers. It is an established fact: the CIA had colluded with literary magazines to produce cultural propaganda throughout the Cold War, a debate began that has never been resolved. The story continues to unfold, with the reputations of some of America’s best-loved literary figures—including Peter Matthiessen, George Plimpton, and Richard Wright—tarnished as their work for the intelligence agency has come to light.
CIA Director William Casey even confirmed Ulfkotte's claims—by saying "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." And he also said "The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." —William Colby, former CIA Director, cited by Dave Mcgowan, in Derailing Democracy
The CIA was bent on turning the works of great writers into propaganda (or at least getting writers to pretend they wrote CIA-written propaganda pieces)
“'Non-official cover' occurs when a journalist is essentially working for the CIA, but it’s not in an official capacity. This allows both parties to reap the rewards of the partnership, while at the same time giving both sides plausible deniability. The CIA will find young journalists and mentor them. Suddenly doors will open up, rewards will be given, and before you know it, you owe your entire career to them. That’s essentially how it works," says Mr. Ulfkotte—previously a respected journalist for one of Germany’s main daily papers. (Source: German Journalist Blows Whistle On How The CIA Controls The Media, Tyler Durden)
The CIA finds young journalists and mentors them; suddenly doors open up, rewards are given, and before you know it, they owe their entire careers to the CIA
"Sometimes the intelligence agencies, they come to your office, and want you to write an article. … I just remember [for example] that the German foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst — it is just a sister organization of the Central Intelligence Agency, see it was founded by the American intelligence agency — … came to my office, and they wanted me to write an article about Libya and about Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. … They gave me all these secret informations, and they just wanted me to sign the article with my name. I did that. It was published in the Frankfurter Algemeine, … it was about how he secretly tried to build a poison gas factory, … it was a story that was printed worldwide days later, but I had no information on that [the CIA wrote it]. (Source: Leading German Journalist Admits CIA ‘Bribed’ Him and Other Leaders of the Western ‘Press’, Eric Zuesse.)"
"Ulfkotte reveals that there are many quid pro quo exchanges between news correspondents and intelligence agencies. Large sums of money, gifts, public recognition and significant career advancement go to those journalists who provide useful information on people they meet or know, or on places to which they travel. Many times, the reporter, like Ulfkotte, need only put his name on an article written for him by some spy agency or financial institution. Money and gifts change hands; doors open to elitist groups, like the Trilateral Commission, Atlantik-Brücke, the Aspen Institute and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Those who do not cooperate are fired." (Source: Reporter Admits Most Media Work for CIA, MI6, Mossad, Ronald L. Ray)
'Wowie! I sure love being a famous journalist!'
"Newly-declassified documents show that a senior CIA agent and Deputy Director of the Directorate of Intelligence worked closely with the owners and journalists of many of the largest media outlets. . . The United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities found in 1975 that the CIA submitted stories to the American press. After 1953, the network was overseen by Allen W. Dulles, director of the CIA. By this time, Operation Mockingbird had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. The usual methodology was placing reports developed from intelligence provided by the CIA to witting or unwitting reporters. Those reports would then be repeated or cited by the preceding reporters which in turn would then be cited throughout the media wire services. The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) was funded by siphoning off funds intended for the Marshall Plan [i.e. the rebuilding of Europe by the U.S. after WWII]. Some of this money was used to bribe journalists and publishers. . . . During the early years of the cold war, [prominent writers and artists, from Arthur Schlesinger Jr. to Jackson Pollock] were supported, sometimes lavishly, always secretly, by the C.I.A. as part of its propaganda war against the Soviet Union. It was perhaps the most successful use of 'soft power' in American history." (Source: Newly-Declassified Documents Show that CIA Worked Closely with Owners and Journalists with Many of the Largest Media Outlets, George Washington)
Operation Mockingbird has a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies by attributing reports developed from intelligence provided by the CIA to witting or unwitting reporters
The article CIA influence on public opinion is probably ghostwritten by CIA writers since it downplays the corrupt and illegal roles that the CIA has played in influencing people, opinions, drug pushing, elections, and countries over the years.
National Endowment for Democracy Investigative reporter and editor of Consortiumnews Robert Parry has characterized NED as a "neocon slush fund," whose founding was the brainchild of Reagan Administration CIA Director William Casey and its leading propagandist Walter Raymond Jr., then on the staff of the National Security Council. The idea was to set up an organization funded by the U.S. Congress to take over CIA programs that attempted to influence foreign elections by promoting the selection of candidates who supported U.S. policy and would "do what the U.S. government tells them to do."
Latin America: the U.S. killed leaders or toppled governments and usually both, but then these countries wised up and threw us out
In other words, since the CIA was under fire from many quarters for its especially nefarious deeds, why not create yet another organization to help the CIA cover its ass and to take some of the heat? Said organization could push propaganda and influence peddling in ways that was outside of the mandate of the CIA's bylaws, but broader NED bylaws could allow such activities without causing the Congressional oversight committees to get their knickers in a twist. We hate to be pessimistic, but we cannot help but think that as more and more people were learning about U.S. toppling of democratic governments and installing dictators supporting the greedy U.S. corporatocracy, organizations like NED, and others, were created as damage control and ass covering so the U.S. could maintain an appearance of actually supporting democracy in the world. This is similar to the U.S.'s war on drugs that the CIA participated in at the same time it was mainly managing and even controlling much of the illegal drug production and distribution in the world.
NED—why not create yet another organization to help the CIA cover its ass and to take some of the heat?
"When you [foreign journalists] fly to the US again and again and never have to pay for anything there, and you’re invited to interview American politicians, you’re moving closer and closer to the circles of power. And you want to remain within this circle of the elite, so you write to please them. Everyone wants to be a celebrity journalist who gets exclusive access to famous politicians. But one wrong sentence and your career as a celebrity journalist is over. Everyone knows it. And everyone’s in on it." (Source: German Journalist Who Exposed CIA Buying News Stories Drops Dead, Tim Brown)
Paul Craig Roberts notes that Ulfkotte published a courageous book in which he said that the CIA had a hand on every significant journalist in Europe, which gave Washington control over European opinion and reduced knowledge of and opposition to Washington’s control over European heads of state. Essentially, there are no European governments independent of Washington. (Source: Udo Ulfkotte: Europe’s Courageous Journalism Voice Has Passed Away, Paul Craig Roberts)