Everything you know is … suspect

Amy Goodman, a shaft of dour gloom on alternative media
Amy Goodman, a shaft of dour gloom on alternative media
During the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq there was a controversy swirling about the head of Judith Miller, then employed by the New York Times. She apparently was acting as a conduit for government propaganda and disinformation. But anyone who follows American news coverage in-depth was not troubled by supposed “controversy” in such matters. It was easy to see that Miller was a CIA mole. Easy, that is, if one has any inkling at all of how American news is fashioned, filtered, even created for our consumption.

Woodward and Bernstein are famous for supposedly uncovering the Watergate story in the 1970’s, a Piltdown-like hoax where evidence planted in advance was waiting to be discovered by the intrepid American news media. Bernstein went on to explore CIA infiltration of American news media, and lives now on the margins. His colleague, Bob Woodward, has enjoyed enormous success. Oddly, a man who undermined an administration and forced the resignation of a president enjoys easy access to power.

Shorthand: Woodward is a CIA mole. Bernstein not. Or maybe not. Who ever knows who to trust?

Bernstein summarized what had been discovered by the Church Committee* in a Rolling Stone article** published October 20, 1977 about the degree of CIA penetration of the media.

The Senate committee’s investigation into the use of journalists was supervised by William B. Bader, a former CIA intelligence officer who returned briefly to the Agency this year as deputy to CIA director Stansfield Turner and is now a high level intelligence official at the Defense Department. Bader was assisted by David Aaron, who now serves as the deputy to Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s national security adviser.

The committee came up with over 400 connections between CIA and news outlets, but read the above paragraph closely – the investigation was supervised by an “ex” CIA agent along with a protegé of Zbig – that is, the CIA investigated itself. Given that defect, it is easy to forget it other than to say that it allowed a little smoke to escape, but missed the fire. (Also worth noting, the CIA director at the time was George H.W. Bush, himself a CIA agent and who went on to become president even as the law prohibits such dual roles.)

It might help the reader to understand American news by use of the concept of the “Mighty Wurlitzer.” Frank Wisner, head of the CIA’s Office of Special Projects in the late 1940’s coined the term to describe the propaganda power of the CIA. Oh, yeah – more:

“The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”
– William Colby, former CIA director

“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”
– William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting, 1981)

I wonder now if Casey’s dream has come true.

People who come in contact with lefties like me often assume that I can be pigeonholed – I must be a reader of The Nation, Harper’s, Atlantic, or even, God forbid, Z. (None of the above.) But there is always Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!, right? Goodman is the author of several books, but I find her unreadable and unwatchable. But she is merely the face of the organization, and I’ve often relied in the past on DN!’s work.

Just out of curiosity, however, I looked up DN’s Form 990 at GuideStar, and found that this little “alternative” outlet had revenues of over $6 million each year in 2011, the last year on record. That is not incriminating, of course, as it could be many sources of goodwill have pulled together. The 990 should tell. But in its 28 pages is not a word about funding sources. So I wrote to them to find out more, and got no response. That too is not incriminating, as large organizations are often understaffed, and must ignore petty requests like mine.

The following is preserved from a now-dead link, and must be taken with a grain of salt, but is the only information I’ve run across on DN’s funding:

“… in 1996, the Carnegie Corporation of New York gave Pacifica a $25,000 grant to launch its DEMOCRACY NOW show. In 1997 came a $13,000 grant from the J.M. Kaplan Fund to Pacifica to provide support for DEMOCRACY NOW. And in 1998 came a $25,000 grant to Pacifica from the Public Welfare Foundation “to report on hate crimes and related issues as part of its `DEMOCRACY NOW!” public-affairs radio program and an additional $10,000 grant to support DEMOCRACY NOW from the J.M. Kaplan Fund. That same year the Ford Foundation gave a $75,000 grant to Pacifica “toward marketing consultancy, promotional campaign and program development activities for radio program, DEMOCRACY NOW.” In 1998 and 1999, two grants, totalling $22,500, were also given to Pacifica by the Boehm Foundation, to support its DEMOCRACY NOW show.

In early 2002, an additional Ford Foundation grant of $75,000 was given to Deep Dish TV “for the television news series, DEMOCRACY NOW, to continue incorporating the aftermath of the September 11th attack into future broadcasts.” Besides being presently subsidized by the Ford Foundation to air Pacifica’s DEMOCRACY NOW show, Deep Dish TV, with an annual income of $158,000 in 2000, was also subsidized by the MacArthur Foundation in the 1990s.”

Also: “The former finance committee chairperson of the Ford Foundation-sponsored Astraea Foundation recently signed a $2 million “golden handshake / sweetheart contract” with the Ford Foundation-sponsored, soon-to-be-privatized DEMOCRACY NOW producer (who has apparently been receiving a $90,000/year salary from Pacifica in recent years for her alternative journalism work).”

“Her” (Goodman’s) salary was more than like $140,000 in 2011 – again, not incriminating. It costs that much to survive in New York City. I would guess she lives in a two-room apartment. Anderson Cooper, CIA mole, probably makes that much in a month.

But honestly, Ford Foundation is behind DN!? They should tell us that, if only to be transparent. In the era of the Mighty Wurlitzer where CIA owns every major asset and wants to be sure that everything we know is wrong, buyer beware.

From Yale Professor Carroll Quigley, 1965:

More than fifty years ago the [JP] Morgan firm decided to infiltrate the Left-wing political movements in the United States. This was relatively easy to do, since these groups were starved for funds and eager for a voice to reach the people. Wall Street supplied both. The purpose was not to destroy, dominate, or take over but was really threefold: (1) to keep informed about the thinking of Left-wing or liberal groups (2) to provide them with a mouthpiece so that they could “blow off steam,” and (3) to have final veto on their publicity and possibly on their actions, if they ever went “radical.” …The best example of this alliance of Wall Street and Left-wing publication was The New Republic, a magazine founded by Willard Straight, using Payne Whitney money, in 1914. … The original purpose for establishing the paper was to provide an outlet for the progressive Left and to guide it quietly in an Anglophile direction. This latter task was entrusted to a young man, only four years out of Harvard, but already a member of the mysterious Round Table group, which has played a major role in directing England’s foreign policy since its formal establishment in 1909. The new recruit, Walter Lippmann, had been, from 1914 to the present, the authentic spokesman in American journalism for the Establishments on both sides of the Atlantic in international affairs.

(“An Anglophile direction” refers to a small matter virtually written out of American history: For much of the Twentieth Century, the British were detested, most Americans isolationist. Much of that sentiment came from the Left, leading to the JP Morgan urge to infiltrate and control that opinion.)

I have never subscribed to the The New Republic, but wonder if the Nation Magazine, for instance, has a similar background. Such outlets usually promote a “this far, no further” stance, allowing the left to stay within the respectable boundaries of the American margins and carefully avoiding the critical issues of our age.

It’s a hall of mirrors, and difficult to stay of top of anything. Who to trust? No one. I currently start my computer day each day skimming Russian Times, thinking that an anti-American source might have good reporting at least on the US, though certainly not Russia. But RT has entered the “alternative” mainstream with ease – perhaps too much ease. Is it part of the Mighty Wurliztzer, a backstop for Americans who see through American news? Consider this, however: An American propaganda outlet, the “Washington Post” called RT a “Russian propaganda outlet.” That’s kind of funny, actually.

Never assume anything, never trust anyone. Truth is a rare commodity. We live in a rich propaganda environment where all information is suspect, even the back channels. All we can do is try to connect dots, construct a plausible narrative that explains all variables. Never be satisfied with the result. When new information messes everything up, throw out old assumptions and start over. Rinse and repeat.
*The link provided is to Wikipedia, a somewhat reliable source when it comes to commodities like music, TV and movies, but usually heavily filtered in matters of news and politics.
**An excerpt here suffices, as the original at 25,000 words is buried in Rolling Stone archives.

23 thoughts on “Everything you know is … suspect

    1. I’m sorry Craig, but everything you know to be true is wrong, and I can debate both you and Saletan with plenty of hard, cold evidence. Further, I can trace back the origins of the meme “conspiracy theory” to its origin in the late 60’s. I will put my mental health up against anyone’s – I am not paranoid, depressed, anxious, overly suspicious of anyone. I know about confirmation bias. I am not a liberal, progressive, and my intellectual makeup is more in line with true conservatism than anything.

      I do understand propaganda, how people get and absorb information, and how the type of information offered in your link gives you comfort, in fact, is essential to your own mental health. For that reason, you are unreachable. But don’t hang your problems on me.

      Come here some time and give me reason to believe that you have actually exposed yourself to evidence about any of the things I write about. What you give me here has no value, as you don’t deal in evidence, but rather belief in authority figures.

      [PS: Lumping skepticism about offical truth about JFK and 9/11 together with flying saucers is a persuasion technique, lumping all together as one. Dirty trick, in my view.]


        1. Again, you’ve not taken time to look at the evidence and mindlessly accept official truth, placing your faith in authority figures.

          And then you have the balls to ridicule me. Good grief, Craig. That’s disgusting.


          1. Mark, I’m not ridiculing you. I don’t wish to debate the existence of William Parcher that you find so real.


          2. Craig, the ability that you demonstrate to witness events, to see physically impossible evidence and yet uncritically accept it as real, and then to turn about-face and ridicule those who see through the evidence and live in a more solidly grounded reality, speaks of a man deep in Crimestop, and not a man of wisdom and reason.


          3. When your son tried to point out your delusions about 9/11, you didn’t listen to him either. You take counsel from your demons who you find in every dark closet and corner of your mind. Saletan hit the nail on the head. You constantly write about the dark omnipotence of elites and act incredulous when others don’t share those delusions.


          4. My son, like you, has never taken trouble to examine the evidence of that day close up. Instead, he spent his time answering my critiques by visiting debunking sites designed to comfort those upset by unsettling evidence. Am I to be troubled by his being my son and his disagreeing with me? I’m not. He’s a grown man. Am I to be troubled that he, like you, is afraid of the evidence and studiously avoids it? I’m not. That’s human nature.

            Since you don’t even know what my “delusions” are (the buildings were not brought down by controlled demolition, for example), I see you as a mirror image of opinions of authority figures, nothing more. And it is interesting to me that more than twelve years have passed, and in that entire time you have not taken time or trouble to examine all of the research that has been done that contradicts the evidence of guilt by 19 supposed hijackers, an explanation that the media, without one moment’s investigation, arrived at on 9/11/2001.

            Craig, you don’t have any substance. You don’t have any depth, have not studied anything, have only absorbed the culture around you. I have no respect for that position even as I understand it.


          5. Mark, I purposely reveal little about myself to you or anyone else. Your grand arrogance blinds you to your shortcomings in that regard and leads you to take counsel of your demons. You play one person chess and gloat over your victory.


    1. Too funny, Kurtz. You easily recognize propaganda from a foreign source, but not a domestic one.

      You do know that propaganda is harmless when you are aware of its existence, right? Alex Carey said that the greatest achievement of American propaganda is to convince Americans that there is no American propaganda. I should have put for photo up there with Goodman’s.


  1. You’re on to something Mark.

    Even KSM says don’t believe the media.

    “The mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks now says that the use of violence to spread Islam is forbidden by the Quran, a major shift away from the more militaristic view he had put forward previously.

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s thinking is detailed in a first-of-its-kind 36-page manifesto obtained by The Huffington Post. In a departure from his previous stance, which led the Guantanamo Bay prisoner to tell a military commission, “it would have been the greatest religious duty to fight you over your infidelity,” KSM, as he’s known in intelligence circles, instead seeks to convert the court to Islam through persuasion and theological reflection, going so far as to argue that “The Holy Quran forbids us to use force as a means of converting” and that reaching “truth and reality never comes by muscles and force but by using the mind and wisdom.”

    “Don’t believe the media that the Mujahedeen believe that Islam spread in the past and will prevail in the future with the sword,” writes KSM, who has previously admitted to his role in the 9/11 attacks that killed thousands of Americans. He uses the bulk of the manifesto to put his newfound principle into practice, attempting to persuade his captors, prosecutors and lawyers that the path to true happiness lies in Islam.”-Huffpo.


    1. Swede, unless you have something substantive to offer, I suggest you refrain from commenting here. That comment opens a new can of worms, and requires a depth of knowledge in the evidence that you do not possess. So debating with you is pointless.


      1. You’re looking a gift horse right there in the mouth.

        KSM doesn’t believe the media (last paragraph) which is rich because KSM wasn’t the mastermind of the attacks, he’s just some poor Muzzie they pulled of the streets of Baghdad to substantiate the story. Or, to put into your words a “conduit for govt. propaganda and disinformation”.


        1. The man was tortured into a state of permanent psychosis, and now will say anything his captors wish for him to say. Since his personality has been destroyed along with any reputation he might have had, he can say anything he wants and will automatically be disbelieved. I personally doubt he has any grip on reality left given his state of mind in the wake of his special handling by your buddies at Torture Central.

          This is the “substance” you bring to the debate – you want his words to be taken serious by me so that you can use his psychosis as a way to justify your own views and dismiss mine. Was KSM involved in 9/11? No. But then, neither was OBL. And at that point, you are unable to continue. So leave, now. Please.


        2. But it gets even more entrenched.

          The Huffington Post is going to publish his manifesto. Any guesses on the real author Mark?

          Washington Post? New Republic? The Nation? Russian Times?

          Skeptic city.


          1. I would guess CIA. They’re pretty good at that stuff. I don’t much care. They are still struggling, 12 years later, to bolster their case, and now they are using a man they tortured into insanity as their prime witness. Rich. And I know, you’ll eat it up. You’re kinda gullible, you know.


          2. You have a good rest of the day. Afterwards have a cocktail with William Parcher and asking him what you should write about tomorrow.


          3. He pulled his punch.

            How ’bout this one?

            Paranoid schizophrenia is a subtype of schizophrenia in which the patient has delusions (false beliefs) that a person or some individuals are plotting against them or members of their family.

            Check your meds Mark.


          4. You’ve been reading again, haven’t you Swede. You devil!

            Figure this into your thinking (sic): No one is plotting against me or members of my family. I am interested in the workings of the larger world, where treachery, deceit and violence are normal.


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