Cord Meyer, Jr., 1948

More on Meyer

Steamshovel Press has in its files videotape from 1982 of the late, great Timothy Leary sitting in the "Crossfire" between Patrick Buchanan and Tom Braden, the original talking heads on that still popular CNN debate program. In the end they agree that Dr. Leary had led a "wasted life" (Braden's phrase). Years later Leary would complain that the full spectrum of political views on the program ran from left-wing of the CIA to the right wing.

The behind-the-scenes connections were more interesting than the program. Leary had been a friend of Mary Pinchot Meyer, JFK's last lover and the one who turned him on to psychedelic drugs. Braden had been in the same business as Cord Meyer, Jr., Mary's ex-husband. Cord Meyer succeeded Braden as the chief of International Organizations Division. IOD was a CIA sponsored front for manipulating international groups. It served as part of the covert arsenal to engineer the New World Order.

Meyer's name has come up several times recently. According to J. Orlin Grabbe, Meyer recruited Bill Clinton for covert work while stationed in London. Lobster presented some new information on Meyer in its latest issue, and that led to some correspondence on this web site (see "Cord Meyer and the New World Order" in Previous Latest Words page.) This provides the opportunity below to direct Steamshovel reader attention to a new Feral House book by Alex Constantine, Virtual Government. The book is a remarkable study of CIA psyops and mind control and comes highly recommended. It includes discussion of Cord Meyer's role in a mass mind control program called Operation Mockingbird.

Meyer's work for the "liberal" cause to create a world government is everywhere tinged with "conservative" cause of the covert world. In a conversation with Burton Hersh about Cord Meyer's relationship with the infamous James Jesus Angleton, Tom Braden once said "Jim sucked Cord Meyer in, in my view. Cord Meyer became not only a great admirerer, but also believer." (The Old Boys, 1992) Hersh also had this to say about Mary Pinchot Meyer's murder:

Angleton's obsession with nurturing his friends started people referring to him quite openly as "Mother." "When Cord Meyer's ex-wife Mary was murdered while exercising on the path next to the Potomac canal," one bystander alleges, "Angleton had already let himself into her house with a key he kept to the place even before the cops turned up. I think he was after paper he knew she kept in her bedroom which had to do with her affair with John Kennedy."

For a more in-depth view of both Cord Meyer, Jr. and Tom Braden, Steamshovel presents an excerpt from U. S. Foreign Intelligence by Charles D. Ameringer (Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books, 1990.)


From U.S. Intelligence Foreign Intelligence: The Secret Side of American History by Charles Ameringer, Lexington Books: Lexington, Massachusetts, 1990.

In much the same way, the International Organizations Divi- sion used private international organizations-a number of them based in the United States-as instruments of covert action in foreign policy. These organizations, representing such diverse interests as students and youth, labor unions, community development, health care, and freedom of the press and human rights, were rarely aware of CIA sponsorship. In fact, many of them were part of the non-Communist Left and strongly opposed certain foreign governments that were considered U.S. allies at the time. The contradiction between official U.S. foreign policy and the one being carried out by the IOD caused consternation and controversy when the American public became aware of it in the mid-1960s.

The IOD provided funding to organizations that were outspoken in their criticism of U.S. foreign policy and that would have been outraged to know that they were receiving CIA support (although in some cases insiders knew what was going on). In order to conceal its involvement, the IOD devised the "pass-through," a means of channeling money through several conduits before it reached the intended beneficiary. The CIA would create a phony foundation that was little more than a post office box; it would contribute funds for a particular purpose to a legitimate foundation that was known to support certain causes and to have the necessary connections; the legitimate foundation finally passed the money to the organizations that the CIA wanted to favor in the first place.

Since the IOD seemed to be fomenting change in countries where the United States was officially supporting the status quo, the purported split between "DDI liberalism" and "DDP/DDO conservativism" was not really that clean. From 1950 to 1954, the chief of the IOD was Tom Braden, a former OSS operative and liberal journalist. (Thirty years later, Braden sat "on the left" in the Cable News Network program Crossfire.) His successor for the rest of the 1950s and into the 1960s was Cord Meyer, who had lost an eye in World War II combat and came out of the war dedicated to the cause of world federalism. Ray Cline, who became DDI in 1961, had earlier been station chief in Taiwan.

But there was less doubt about where the Special Operations Division stood politically.


In Albania, Kim Philby betrayed the U.S.-British infiltration teams even before they left their base in Malta, resulting in the ambushing and killing of many brave men. Yet if Philby was a monster of sorts, the CIA's Eastern European programs themselves had particularly malodorous features. Frank Wisner, who was in charge of the Office of Policy Coordination (the forerunner of the DDP), ran the programs with the collaboration of General Reinhard Gehlen. Gehlen was a German officer who had been responsible for Soviet intelligence during the war; he had planned his own capture by American forces in the closing days of the war and had brought his files with him. Gehlen aided Wisner in assembling "a cadre of German specialists on the Soviets [but] without regard for their pasts; some of his best experts were in fact former Nazis. This and similar Army connections with Nazis would prove embarrassing for the United States many years later."

Conducting guerrilla operations behind the iron curtain was infeasible, and the situation in Western Europe was improving in any case through conventional diplomacy. So Clandestine Services shifted its attention to parts of the globe where there was unrest. Events in China and Korea helped focus attention beyond Europe and broadened the cold war to the world arena. Some foreign affairs specialists questioned whether every coup or insurgency in Asia or Latin America was Moscow-inspired, but the American president did not have to worry about public debate in using his new secret weapon. Employing covert action, the CIA replaced the marines as the instrument of "Yankee interventionism."

The chart in figure 19-1 lists the places-where the CIA has intervened since its beginning. It is not exhaustive and has been compiled exclusively from published sources and public documents, but it serves to indicate the extent of the "new interventionism" and to identify the various covert action tactics used.

In the rich variety and broad extent of its deployment, covert action produced a new American personality: the "swashbucklers of secret wars," such as Edward Lansdale, Kermit "Kim" Roosevelt, John Peurifoy, Cord Meyer, William Colby, and Oliver North. Though there have been many others, these persons are


Baltic states 1948-54; the Ukraine 1948-54; Albania 1949-1954; the Philippines 1949-53; Korea 1950; Vietnam 1954, 1955, 1963; China/Taiwan 1951-54, 1967; Burma 1952-61; Tibet 1959-69; Thailand 1960-73; Laos 1962-71; Indonesia 1958; Iran 1953; Guatemala 1954; Costa Rica 1955, 1959-61; Hungary 1956; Cambodia 1958-59; the Dominican Republic 1960-61; Cuba 1960-65; British Guiana (Guyana) 1963-64; Chile 1962-73; Ecuador 1960-63; Uruguay 1964-66; Mexico 1967-68; Bolivia 1967; the Congo/Zaire 1964; Ghana 1966; Angola 1965/1975; West Germany 1963; the United States 1952-67; Iraq (Kurds) 1972-75; Afghanistan 1979-89; Libya 1981/1984; El Salvador 1980; Nicaragua 1981-87;

Figure 19-1. CIA Covert Operations


associated with some of the CIA's most sensational episodes. Marchetti and Marks suggested that Lansdale's work was the "proto-type" for CIA covert operations during the 1950s: "His exploits under agency auspices, first in the Philippines and then in Vietnam, became so well known that he served as the model for characters in two best-selling novels, The Ugly American by William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick, and The Quiet American by Graham Greene. In the former, he was a heroic figure; in the latter, a bumbling fool."

In the list of covert operations, Lansdale figured in the very first episode outside Europe, which occurred in the Philippines in 1949. Lansdale, an air force colonel, assisted Philippine leader Ramon Magsaysay in putting down the rebellion of the Communist Hukbalahaps, or "Huks." He was one of the earliest advocates of counterinsurgency warfare, or the use of guerrilla tactics to defeat guerrillas. Lansdale's mission enabled Magsaysay to win popular support by providing effective propaganda and by secretly providing funding for economic and social reforms. It ended when Magsaysay was elected president in 1953.

Lansdale's success in the Philippines inspired President Eisenhower to have him try the same tactics in Vietnam. Although Eisenhower warned against getting involved in a "land war" in Asia, the CIA's proprietary airline CAT airlifted supplies to the beleaguered French at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. After the French were defeated and Indochina was divided in compliance with the Geneva Accords, the Eisenhower administration concentrated on South Vietnam as the place to stop "the dominoes from falling." Lansdale gave his support to Ngo Dinh Diem, an anti-Communist leader who had also opposed the French and Japanese, and engineered his election to the presidency in 1955. But Diem was no Magsaysay. He and his brother, Ngo Dihn Nhu, proved to be corrupt and repressive. This led to Lansdale's departure and created in time a made-to-order situation for the Communist Viet Cong and the North. Moreover, the usually astute Lansdale had intervened in favor of a Roman Catholic in a predominantly Buddhist nation. On November 1, 1963, as U.S. involvement in Vietnam was deepening, Diem and his brother were overthrown and subsequently assassinated. The CIA had put Diem in power and had now removed him after secretly conspiring with a group of army generals.


The CIA intervention in Guatemala stirred up a great deal of ill will toward the United States in Latin America. Even moderate, pro-United States leaders in the region, who had shunned the Arbenz regime, now complained about a Yankee double standard that used "free world" rhetoric against communism but that ignored the transgressions of right-wing tyrants. President Jose Figueres of Costa Rica, for one, urged the United States to stop arming dictators and to fight communism by eradicating poverty and injustice in Latin America. His urgings led to his becoming involved with the CIA as a target of intervention himself and, then, as an "agent of influence."

In the mid-1950s, Figueres was one of the Caribbean's few progressive leaders to hold office. He condemned the region's dictators and permitted political exiles to engage in conspiratorial activities on Costa Rican soil. Figueres's policy riled Nicaragua's Somoza, who, encouraged by the events in Guatemala, decided it was time to get rid of his annoying neighbor. Citing evidence that Figueres had abetted an assassination attempt against him in April 1954, Somoza helped Figueres's enemies launch an invasion of Costa Rica from Nicaragua in January 1955. Figueres had played a dangerous game, but he had also abolished the Costa Rican army, which forced him to appeal to the Organization of American States to protect his country from Somoza's aggression. The OAS, with the concurrence of the U.S. representative, ordered a cease-fire and sent a delegation to Costa Rica for an on-site investigation.

At that point, Somoza realized that he had to act quickly. He called in his IOU from the CIA. He had permitted the CIA to use Las Mercedes Airport, outside Managua, as a base for its P-47s during the Guatemalan intervention. Now he wanted the planes that were parked there to help him in his feud with Figueres. On January 15, three days after the OAS action, a P-47 Thunderbolt violated Costa Rican airspace and bombed and strafed a number of Costa Rican towns. Figueres, alarmed by this escalation, pointed out that Costa Rica had no defense against "modern weapons" of this kind and again appealed to the OAS. The council of the organization immediately authorized the United States to sell four F-51 Mustang fighters to Costa Rica for a dollar apiece. The State Department, responding to pressure from certain U.S. congressmen and sensing an opportunity to improve America's image in Latin America after Guatemala, came to the rescue and preserved the Caribbean's "lone democrat." Its gesture ended the "invasion," and the State Department scored one over the CIA.

But the roles were soon reversed. Within the State Department, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Henry F. Holland considered Figueres a "troublemaker." He rebuked him for his interventionism and refused to take seriously his warning of "reform now, or revolution later." Meanwhile, the CIA acting covertly hedged its bets when Latin American dictators started to slip toward the end of the 1950s and after the rise of Fidel Castro. Cord Meyer, chief of the DDP's International Organizations Division, was already intervening in behalf of the non-Communist left and extended CIA support to Figueres in the wake of the so-called Nixon riots in the spring of 1958.

Americans were shocked by that series of hostile demonstrations during Nixon's "goodwill" tour of Latin America. They climaxed in May in Caracas, where a mob stoned and spat upon the vice president's motorcade and threatened his life. At the invitation of Representative Charles Porter of Oregon, Figueres (at the time, just out of office) came to Washington to explain what had caused these events. "People cannot spit on a foreign policy," Figueres told a House committee, "which is what they meant to do." Figueres insisted that Latin America supported the United States in the cold war, but he asked, "If you talk human dignity to Russia, why do you hesitate so much to talk human dignity to the Dominican Republic?" He testified that the United States must change its policy in Latin America and that it could not sacrifice human rights for "investments."

But the best that Figueres could do was to induce the CIA to help Latin America's liberals secretly. The CIA gave him money to publish a political journal, Combate, and to sponsor the founding meeting of the Institute of Political Education in Costa Rica in November 1959. The institute was organized as a training school and a center for political collaboration for political parties of the democratic left, principally from Costa Rica, Cuba (in exile), the Dominican Republic (in exile), Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua (in exile), Panama, Peru, and Venezuela. The CIA concealed its role from most of the participants except Figueres. Its funds passed first to a shell foundation, then to the Kaplan Fund of New York, next to the Institute for International Labor Research (IILR) located in New York, and finally to San Jose. Socialist leader Norman Thomas headed the IILR. After the CIA connection was revealed, Thomas maintained that he had been unaware of it, but the IILR's treasurer, Sacha Volman, who also became treasurer of the institute in San Jose, was a CIA agent. The CIA used Volman to monitor the institute, and Meyer collaborated directly with Figueres.

Meyer came to San Jose sometime in the summer of 1960. He and Figueres created the Inter-American Democratic Social Movement (INADESMO), which was nothing more than a front. A flier describing the idealistic purpose of INADESMO carried the same post office box as Figueres's personal letterhead. The INADESMO setup enabled Meyer to disperse funds more directly, without having to bother with conduits or the accounting procedures of the institute. For example, INADESMO contributed $10,000 to help finance the First Conference of Popular Parties of Latin America in Lima, Peru, in August 1960.

The following May, Meyer returned to San Jose for a more urgent purpose. In the wake of the Bay of Pigs failure, he provided Figueres with INADESMO funds to sponsor a meeting at his farm (May 12-20) between the leaders of the principal Dominican exile movements, Juan Bosch and Horacio Ornes. With Figueres as sponsor, Bosch and Ornes agreed to form a coalition government in anticipation of the overthrow of dictator Rafael Trujillo. As the United States moved to rally the hemisphere against Fidel Castro, Trujillo had become expendable, because the United States needed to demonstrate that it opposed all dictators, not just those on the left.

For over a year, the CIA had been in contact also with dissidents inside the Dominican Republic who argued that assassination was the only certain way to remove Trujillo. The CIA station in Ciudad Trujillo (now Santo Domingo) had encouraged the dissidents and actually delivered to them three pistols and three carbines "attendant to their projected efforts to neutralize Trujillo." Because the Bay of Pigs failure created an uncertain situation, the United States tried to put the brakes on this operation and refused to pass along additional weapons to the dissidents which the Dominican station already had, specifically M-3 machine guns. The National Security Council, meeting on May 5, "noted the President's view that the United States should not initiate the overthrow of Trujillo before [knowing] what government would succeed him."

On May 30, Trujillo was ambushed and assassinated. The same "action group" with whom the CIA had been in contact and to whom it had delivered pistols and carbines carried out the attack. According to the 1975 report of the Church Committee, there was "no direct evidence" that CIA weapons had been used in the assassinations and the effect of the Bosch-Ornes pact upon the events that transpired remains a matter for speculation. Nonetheless, the CIA described its role in "changing" the government of the Dominican Republic "as a 'success' in that it assisted in moving the Dominican Republic from a totalitarian dictatorship to a Western-style democracy." Bosch himself was elected president of the Dominican Republic. Sacha Volman followed him there, establishing a new "research and publication center" and taking with him the CIA funding that used to go to Figueres in Costa Rica. Though one cannot prove that there was a coordinated link between the external and internal opposition groups, Meyer was in a position to know what both elements were doing. In March 1962, Meyer's IOD was merged with the Covert Action staff, and Meyer became chief of the new and enlarged unit.

In this review of Meyer's activities in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, there have been repeated references to Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution. In fact, most of the CIA's clandestine operations in Latin America during the 1960s occurred in the context of Cuban developments.

Elsewhere in the hemisphere, too, CIA actions had the objective, "No more Cubas." In British Guiana (which became independent Guyana in 1966), the CIA worked through its assets in the international trade union movement to topple the pro-Communist government of Prime Minister Cheddi Jagan. In the early 1960s, Jagan had made friendly overtures toward Castro and had chosen to make the labor unions a factor in his bid for absolute power. In 1963 and 1964, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and its international allies, the Inter-American Regional Labor Organization (ORIT) and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), helped stage an eighty-day general strike that prevented Jagan's takeover of the unions and led to his eventual political defeat.

Tom Braden later revealed that when he was head of the IOD, he had passed money to American labor leaders to fight Communist labor unions in Italy and Germany. Columnist Drew Pearson wrote, "Jay Lovestone, sometimes called [AFL-CIO president George] Meany's minister of foreign affairs . . . takes orders from Cord Meyer [Braden's successor] of the CIA." Lovestone, who was appointed executive secretary of the AFL Free Trade Union Committee after World War II and a dedicated cold warrior, needed little prodding from Braden and Meyer in opposing Communist influence in the international labor movement. At about the time that Meyer took charge of expanded operations in international organizations as chief of the Covert Action staff, Lovestone helped create the American Institute of Free Labor Development (AIFLD) for the purpose of training labor leaders in Latin America in labor organizing techniques and tactics. The AIFLD was one of several AFL-CIO entities that received covert funding from the CIA; Philip Agee alleged that its collaboration with CIA stations abroad was extremely close, amounting to a "country-team effort."

In the British Guiana case, Jagan accused the AIFLD of intervening in the general strike and denounced its executive director, Serafino Romualdi. Romualdi, the AFL's long-time "roving ambassador" in Latin America, did not deny the charge but showed only nonchalance: "I simply put at the disposal of the strike committee the services of six graduates of [AIFLD]. . . . who were working as interns with various local unions. They performed so well that one of them, David Persaud, later was elected President of the BGTUC [British Guiana Trade Union Congress]."" In reality, the operation had not been simple. The strike became very violent and had taken a toll of 160 lives and required huge sums of money to sustain. Jagan insisted that there were eleven, not six, AIFLD graduates active in the strike, and one critic claimed there were "more visitors to that tiny country in the name of 'labor solidarity' in 18 months than in the previous 18 years." Romualdi charged that Cuba and Russia had acted as "strikebreakers" by shipping food and fuel to Jagan, but, in the end, before British Guiana became independent, Jagan was out as premier.

Jagan's defeat paralleled another CIA initiative, at the other end of South America in Chile. The CIA's intervention in Chile began in 1962, with a $50,000 covert contribution to the Christian Democratic party; it lasted through 1970-73, when it made an $8 million expenditure to oppose the government of Salvador Allende. Chile, a nation with a democratic tradition and chronic economic ills, troubled the United States because its leftist political parties appeared to be capable of achieving electoral victory. During the period 1962-69, the United States provided Chile with more than a billion dollars in direct, overt economic assistance to improve economic and social conditions. During the same period, the CIA acted covertly to strengthen the Christian Democratic party as the most viable reformist movement. It expended during a fifteen-year period of discreet cooperation...was based on a shared commitment to a common purpose. The NSA leadership wanted to cooperate with democratic and representative university student groups abroad and to oppose the attempt of the Communists to dominate the international student community. The Agency shared that objective and was prepared to help them achieve what they had already decided to do. "II The students had been denied open support by the State Department and Congress because "they were considered too far to the left in the general climate of McCarthyism and anti-intellectualism of the 1950s. They had then turned to the CIA and accepted its secret funding. Under the arrangement, "CIA funds would support only the international division of the National Student Association; only the NSA President and the International Affairs Vice President would be witting of the CIA connection. Each year, after the election of new student leaders, the CIA held a secret briefing for the new officers, and elicited from them a secrecy agreement."

Despite the seeming "blank check" relationship between the CIA and the NSA, the Agency in fact made "operational use" of individual students. Students attending world youth congresses were asked to report on "Soviet and Third World personalities" and to observe "Soviet security practices." In 1957, a U.S. student delegate to the Sixth World Youth Festival in Moscow "was instructed to report on Soviet counterintelligence measures and to purchase a piece of Soviet-manufactured equipment. Besides these actions pertaining to the international sphere, the CIA intruded upon the functioning of NSA itself by influencing the selection of officers, spotting sympathetic leaders and promoting their candidacies. It was this latter aspect that created the greatest furor.

Immediately after the publication of the Ramparts article about the NSA, the New York Times and the Washington Post published lists of private American organizations and foundations that had received CIA secret funding. The presence of educational and private voluntary organizations, labor unions, elements of the media, and religious groups on the list aroused grave concerns about the effects of CIA operations upon the "independence and to insist upon human rights compliance and unload associations with dictators without developing viable alternatives. However, such policy decisions could be firmly pursued through open diplomacy (without returning to the days of Cord Meyer and the covert funding of the non-Communist left, as much to deceive the Congress and the American people as to protect secrets). Carter's failure to force Anastasio Somoza to leave Nicaragua in January 1979 was a policy error and had no relationship to the status of Clandestine Services.

That Clandestine Services had declined, there was little doubt. Even the Carter administration tried "to resurrect covert action" in 1980 '41 after events brought President Carter around to George Kennan's thinking of thirty years earlier. The idea of a contingency force was updated, as stated by Stansfield Turner: "the talent necessary for covert action is available in the CIA and it must be preserved. Carter extended covert support "to opponents of the Sandinistas," including "newsprint and funds to keep the [opposition] newspaper La Prensa alive,"50 and he responded to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 with covert arms shipments to Afghan rebels. U.S. intelligence was not caught unawares by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, as Carter's critics charged, but Carter, shocked by Soviet recklessness, resorted to covert action to "punish the Soviets," since going to war "wasn't feasible."" The. tragic clandestine rescue mission that was aborted in the Iranian desert in April 1980 was a failure, but it was no more a failure than the Bay of Pigs in the heyday of Allen Dulles.

If Carter's "failures" were also "intelligence failures," the problem was in the function of clandestine intelligence collection (HUMINT). In reforming Clandestine Services, no one had made clear the distinction between foreign intelligence or espionage and covert action. When Ranelagh affirmed that the CIA under Carter and Turner had "lost the quality of being special,"51 he overlooked the fact that the FI people had lost out a long time before (to say nothing of the DDI analysts). Turner's purge of two hundred covert operators did not ruin the CIA, and Carter's problems in foreign affairs were more complex than his obvious disdain for covert action.

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Virtual Government by Alex Constantine available from Feral House.

I . M 0 C K I N G B I R D G A T E

So the muckrakers were suppressed, the newspapers were reduced, brought into safe hands, writers were controlled, books privately censored, publishing houses bought into and influenced, peace societies and philanthropic and educational foundations linked up with financial houses and the universities by interlocking directorates, our university teachers kept looking forward to pensions, young recalcitrants dismissed or set in their places ...

-Porter Sargent, "What Makes Lives"

The seeding of public opinion, often explained (when the straining dams of secrecy leak) as a necessary reaction to Communism, has since served to conceal the criminalization of the intelligence agencies. The CIA's early forays into mind control experimentation on unconsenting subjects, for example, were justified by an ersatz cover story that POWs of the Korean War had been "brainwashed" by their captors. In fact, the Army investigation was unable to document a single case of "brainwashing' among the prisoners released by the North Koreans. The word was coined by Edward Hunter, a veteran OSS propagandist recruited by Dulles, the Nazi-collaborating oligarch who, in fact, conceived of MOCKINGBIRD as a mass mind control operation.

The Korean War itself was urged along by propaganda oozing from the front pages of the country's leading newspapers. A detailed study of the disinformation assault, I. F. Stone's Hidden History of the Korean War, first appeared in 1952. The book sold well overseas, but in the States, as explained in a note from the publisher in later editions, it "met with an almost complete press blackout and boycott. The book has almost entirely disappeared, even from public libraries, and it rare turns up in the second-hand book market."

The muckracking era was yesterday's coffee grounds--corporate franchising of the print media saw to it. "When it began," lamented George Seldes in 1000 Americans, a survey of American corporate power published in 1947, muckraking journalism had advocates in "A people who had the general welfare at heart, but as the probes went deeper and further, and seemed to spare none of the hidden powers, the politicians as well as other spokesmen for money, business and profiteering turned savagely upon the really free press and destroyed it... Trash may indeed be the opium of the people, but it was not the real aim of the magazines to stupefy the public, merely to suppress the facts, merely to pullify, to create a wasteland."

A Niagara of pro-American propaganda sponsored by the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), a CIA symbiont, shaped domestic and foreign political sensibilities beginning in the early 1950s. In this period, a niagara of books with USIA funding were disseminated by Praeger, Inc., the Franklin Press and other publishing houses bearing, of course, no indication of their actual origin.

By the mid-Reagan era, the USIA would spend nearly a billion dollars per anum to export propagandizing magazines, books (an average of three million a year) and exhibitions. The Agency sponsored ten magazines and commercial bulletins in twenty languages, including Topic (South Africa) and a radio teletype network that disseminated propaganda to 159 outlets overseas. Some 200 films acquired from private domestic studios were distributed, and a television program entitled Worldnet.

The CIA came to dominate the Monopoly board of the corporate press, and drew a card from the stack marked with that monocled millionaire in the top hat (bearing a curious resemblance to Allen Dulles) calling for a strategy of psychological warfare, the art of calculated deceit, often with catastrophic results.

Cord Meyer, Jr., the ranking Mockingbird in Europe, then a Newsweek correspondent, swung widely throughout Europe inciting student and union protests. "This localized psychological warfare is ultimately, of course, warfare against the Russians," Davis emphasized, "who are presumed to be the source of every leftist political sentiment in Italy, France, the entire theater of Meyer's operations. In Eastern Europe his aim [was] to foment rebellion. (Steamshovel Debris: Click here for a Portland Free Press report on Gloria Steinem's early connection to this operation.)


Gloria Steinem and the CIA by Daniel Brandt

excerpted from Portland Free Press March/April 1997

If you don't know who John McCoy was, suffice it to say that he was chairman of Rockefeller's Chase Manhattan Bank and was a key figure in U.S. cold war strategy. Other names mentioned below, C.D. Jackson and Cord Meyer, were top figures in U.S. intelligence. Since there are only several paragraphs that mention Steinem - on two pages from the text and one from the footnotes - I will quote them in full. The source is Kai Bird, The Chairman: John J. McCloy and the Mak- ing of the American Establish- ment (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), pp. 483-84, 727. Note that Bird's documentation includes a letter from Steinem to Jackson while she was getting money from the CIA:

"In the summer of 1959, just before McCloy took his family for an extended trip to Europe, C.D. Jackson wrote to remind McCloy that later that sunnner a World Youth Festival was scheduled to take place in Vienna. Jackson asked McCloy to contribute an article, perhaps on the "benign and constructive aspects" of the U.S. occupation of Germany. The piece would appear in a daily newspaper to be published in Vienna in conjunction with the festival. McCloy agreed, and the article was published (in five languages) in a newspaper distributed by a twenty-five- year-old Smith graduate named Gloria Steinem.

"McCloy's connection to Steinem went beyond contributing an article to the propaganda operation of which she was an editor in Vienna. Late in 1958, he and Jackson had discussed how the United States should respond to the expected Soviet propaganda blitz in Vienna. Previous gatherings of this kind had always been held in Moscow, East Berlin, or other cities in Eastern Europe. These events were major propaganda circuses, and the CIA was determined, in the words of Cord Meyer, a career CIA officer, 'to compete more effectively with this obviously successftil Communist apparatus.'

"Washington expected some twenty thousand students and young scholars from all over the world to converge on Vienna that summer for the three weel festival. Consequently, the CIA wanted an organized student presence in Vienna in order to counter Soviet propaganda.

"C.D. Jackson recognized the Vienna Youth Festival as 'an extremely important event in the Great Game.' He explained, 'This is the first time commies have held one of these shindigs on our side of the iron curtain; and what goes on, how it goes on, and what the follow-up will be is, I think, extremely important.'

"By the time Jackson first approached McCloy, in the autumn of 1958, he and Cord Meyer, head of the CIA's International Organizations division (I0), had a plan. The Agency would provide discreet funding to an 'informal group of activists' who would constitute themselves as an alternative American delegation to the festival. The CIA would not only pay their way but also assist them to distribute books and publish a newspaper in Vienna. Among other individuals, Jackson and Meyer hired Gloria Steinem to work with them. Steinem had recently returned from a two-year stint in India, where she had been a Chester Bowles Asian Fellow.

"'I came home in 1958,' Steinem later explained, 'full of idealism and activism, to discover that very little was being done. ... Private money receded at the mention of a Communist youth festival.' Convinced that a contingent of liberal but anticommunist American students should go to Vienna, she heard through her con- tacts at the National Student Association that there might be funding available to finance American participation in the festival. Working through C.D. Jackson and Cord Meyer, Steinem then set up an organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts called the Independent Service for Information on the Vienna Youth Festival. She obtained tax-exempt status, and Jackson helped her raise contributions from various American corporations, including the American Express Company. But most of the money came from the CIA, to be managed by Jackson in a 'special account.' The entire operation cost in the range of $85,000, a not inconsiderable sum in those years. (Steinem's organization, later renamed the Independent Research Service, continued to receive support from the CIA through 1962, when it financed an American delegation to the Helsinki Youth Festival.) Steinem ended up working closely with Samuel S. Walker, Jr., vice-president of the CIA- funded Free Europe Committee. Because the Austrians did not want to be associated with the Free Europe Committee, the Agency set up a commercial front called the Publications Development Corporation (PDC). Walker was made president of this dummy corporation, funded in part by 'a confidential one-year contract' worth $273,000 from the Free Europe Committee. His job was to supervise the book-and-newspaper operation at the Youth Festival. . .

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In 1956, "the CIA learns that the Soviets will indeed kill 60,000 MOCKINGBIRD-roused Hungarians with armored ranks."' Nevertheless, Radio Free Europe urged the people of Hungary to resist the Kremlin, the conclusion of an investigative committee of the UN: Many Hungarians "had the feeling that Radio Free Europe promised help." They believed military aid from the West would arrive to back an uprising. On November 5, a year later, a dry, unsteady voice crackled through the static of a Hungarian radio station:

Attention: Radio Free Europe, hello. Attention. This is Roka speaking. The radio of revolutionary youth Continual bombing. Help. help. help Radio Free Europe forward our request. Forward our news. Help...

And on November 6, another broadcast:

We appeal to the conscience of the world. Why cannot you hear the call for help of our murdered women and children? Have you received our transmission?

Attention! Attention! Munich! Munich! Take immediate action. In the Dunapentele area we urgently need medicine, bandages, arms, food and ammunition.

The final transmission, 24 hours later:

Must we appeal once again? We have wounded ... who have given their blood for the sacred cause of liberty, but we have no bandages ... no medicine. The last piece of bread has been eaten.

Those who have died for liberty ... accuse you who are able to help and who have not helped. We have read an appeal to the UN and every honest man. Radio Free Europe, Munich! Radio Free Europe, Munich ...

Operation MOCKINGBIRD was an immense financial undertaking. Funds flowed from the CIA largely through the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF), founded by Tom Braden, a "liberal" who would make his mark as a syndicated columnist and co-host of CNN's Crossfire opposite Ultracon Pat Buchanan. The CCF was founded in June, 1950 by prominent academics assembled in Berlin's U.S. zone at the Titania Palace Theater. The CCF, directed by Denis de Rougemont, was formed to "defend freedom and democracy against the new tyranny sweeping the world." About 20 periodicals were financed by the front, including Encounter in the UK, The New Leader, Africa Report and El Mundo Nuevo in Latin America.

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