Editorial
April 8, 2022
© Photo: REUTERS/Handout

This week saw reports in U.S. media openly admitting that American intelligence services have been knowingly sowing disinformation in the media.

Former CIA director William J. Casey once candidly told U.S. President Ronald Reagan and other aides during a meeting in the White House, “We’ll know when our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false”.

Some have viewed that observation to be a flippant aside not meant to signify actual consequence. Others, however, have contended it had far more deliberate sinister connotations whose scale of public thought-control is a conscious objective.

When one looks at how the conflict in Ukraine and Western relations with Russia are unfolding and the way Western news media are reporting on it, Casey’s words seem to be a grim forewarning.

This week saw lurid claims amplified across the U.S. and Western media of a massacre in the Ukrainian city of Bucha allegedly carried out by Russian troops. The source of those claims was the partisan Ukrainian military associated with the Nazi-infested Azov Battalion. The Azov Battalion whose members openly display Waffen-SS insignia has been trained and weaponized by the United States and other NATO military over the past decade.

There was no attempt by Western media to verify the sensational claims leveled against Russia. They were printed and broadcast with gusto leading to more Western sanctions and weapons supply to Ukraine in support of the Kiev regime. What’s all the more disturbing is that the information purporting to incriminate Russian troops is questionable. The alleged atrocities appear to have occurred several days after Russian forces withdrew from the area.

Moscow claimed that the killings were carried out by the Western-backed Azov regiments in a false-flag provocation to blame Russia. However, Western media have reflexively branded Russian claims as “Kremlin propaganda”. Even Western analysts and alternative media sources have been vilified or censored for daring to challenge the narrative of alleged Russian atrocities. One such independent voice is that of Scott Ritter, the former U.S. Marine Corps officer, who was temporarily banned from social media this week for doing so.

A bitter irony is that this week also saw reports in U.S. media openly admitting that American intelligence services have been knowingly sowing disinformation in the media. Far from feeling shame or contrition, the U.S. intelligence agencies and media are exulting in the practice of “getting ahead” of Russia in “information warfare”.

Some of the disinformation stories admitted include claims that Russia was planning to use chemical weapons in Ukraine; that Russian President Vladimir Putin was being misled by his military generals about the lack of progress in the war; and that Moscow was seeking to obtain weapons supply from China for the war in Ukraine. All the stories are now acknowledged as false. The U.S. media is lying to the public and openly admitting it. But, supposedly, that’s okay because it’s in the name of information warfare against Russia.

Another disinformation story was the claim made in February by the State Department that Russia was preparing to stage false-flag attacks to serve as a pretext for invading Ukraine. When State Department spokesman Ned Price was challenged by reporters at the time to provide hard evidence, he snidely implied they were pushing Russian propaganda. Turns out now though that the State Department was peddling lies planted by its intelligence services.

None of this shocking collusion between supposedly independent news services and the secret intelligence apparatus should be surprising. After all, former CIA director Mike Pompeo bragged in public about how the agency “lied and cheated all the time” like a badge of honor.

We know from decades ago how Operation Mockingbird was an ambitious CIA program to infiltrate all U.S. news media with dutiful editors and reporters as assets.

Frank Wisner, a leading CIA intelligence officer, once marveled at what he referred to as the agency’s influence over media as the “Mighty Wurlitzer”, an apt image of an organ-grinder calling the tune for public discourse and perception.

In a 1977 investigative study by the Washington Post’s Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame, it was reported that hundreds of newspapers and broadcasters across the U.S. were recruited in the service of the CIA. The outlets included the supposedly august New York Times down to the provincial newspapers in dusty rural states. Amusingly enough given Bernstein’s earlier insights on public thought-control by the intel apparatus, he later became an advocate of the “Russiagate” hoax concocted by U.S. intel implicating former President Donald Trump as a Russian stooge.

Another formidable source of truth is former senior CIA operative John Stockwell who has given copious testimonies and authored books on how the CIA runs media disinformation campaigns on a massive, worldwide scale.

In Europe, former German newspaper editor Udo Ulfkotte wrote a tell-all exposé of how the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies recruit staff in all major European media outlets to act as their eyes, ears, and mouths. It is also known that the British state-owned broadcaster, the BBC, was, and perhaps still is, vetted by its national intelligence service, MI5.

While such revelations were known and publicized, it was always a quiet conversation to avoid amplifying scandal for a profession that preens itself as a guardian of independent public interest, freedom of speech and thought, critical of political power, and all sorts of other noble accolades.

It was always a Western conceit to denigrate state propaganda as something that was done in the Soviet Union and in today’s Russia, China, and other alleged “autocratic” states.

How the pot calls the kettle black! The Western media have long been far more guilty of peddling outrageous disinformation in the service of their military-security establishments. The WMD hoax that led to the genocidal war in Iraq in 2003 was perhaps the nadir among countless other disreputable episodes. Further back there was the bogus Gulf of Tonkin incident leading to the Vietnam War. More recently there was the alleged but bogus raping campaign by soldiers under Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that led to the NATO bombing of Libya and the murder of Gaddafi in 2011. The NATO bombing of Syria was presaged by widespread false Western media claims of chemical weapons atrocities that were actually carried out by NATO-backed regime-change proxies.

In Ukraine, the war was precipitated by NATO weaponizing a Nazi regime that was attacking ethnic Russian people in the Donbass. Since the war erupted on February 24 after eight years of provocations, the Western media have accused the Russian military of bombing hospitals and theatres and now of executing civilians in cold blood.

This is from the same media who now openly admit to being operatives for disinformation and who appear to have no shame about it. Indeed, they are proudly boasting of their role of deception as somehow noble. Such media are complicit in fueling conflict and war. Their function is to fill the public with ignorance and jingoism in order to bolster the cause of warmongering industries and economies. In this twisted Orwellian climate, to speak the truth is to commit thought-crime and be vilified by those who exalt in lying.

U.S. Media Boast of Waging Information War Against Russia

This week saw reports in U.S. media openly admitting that American intelligence services have been knowingly sowing disinformation in the media.

Former CIA director William J. Casey once candidly told U.S. President Ronald Reagan and other aides during a meeting in the White House, “We’ll know when our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false”.

Some have viewed that observation to be a flippant aside not meant to signify actual consequence. Others, however, have contended it had far more deliberate sinister connotations whose scale of public thought-control is a conscious objective.

When one looks at how the conflict in Ukraine and Western relations with Russia are unfolding and the way Western news media are reporting on it, Casey’s words seem to be a grim forewarning.

This week saw lurid claims amplified across the U.S. and Western media of a massacre in the Ukrainian city of Bucha allegedly carried out by Russian troops. The source of those claims was the partisan Ukrainian military associated with the Nazi-infested Azov Battalion. The Azov Battalion whose members openly display Waffen-SS insignia has been trained and weaponized by the United States and other NATO military over the past decade.

There was no attempt by Western media to verify the sensational claims leveled against Russia. They were printed and broadcast with gusto leading to more Western sanctions and weapons supply to Ukraine in support of the Kiev regime. What’s all the more disturbing is that the information purporting to incriminate Russian troops is questionable. The alleged atrocities appear to have occurred several days after Russian forces withdrew from the area.

Moscow claimed that the killings were carried out by the Western-backed Azov regiments in a false-flag provocation to blame Russia. However, Western media have reflexively branded Russian claims as “Kremlin propaganda”. Even Western analysts and alternative media sources have been vilified or censored for daring to challenge the narrative of alleged Russian atrocities. One such independent voice is that of Scott Ritter, the former U.S. Marine Corps officer, who was temporarily banned from social media this week for doing so.

A bitter irony is that this week also saw reports in U.S. media openly admitting that American intelligence services have been knowingly sowing disinformation in the media. Far from feeling shame or contrition, the U.S. intelligence agencies and media are exulting in the practice of “getting ahead” of Russia in “information warfare”.

Some of the disinformation stories admitted include claims that Russia was planning to use chemical weapons in Ukraine; that Russian President Vladimir Putin was being misled by his military generals about the lack of progress in the war; and that Moscow was seeking to obtain weapons supply from China for the war in Ukraine. All the stories are now acknowledged as false. The U.S. media is lying to the public and openly admitting it. But, supposedly, that’s okay because it’s in the name of information warfare against Russia.

Another disinformation story was the claim made in February by the State Department that Russia was preparing to stage false-flag attacks to serve as a pretext for invading Ukraine. When State Department spokesman Ned Price was challenged by reporters at the time to provide hard evidence, he snidely implied they were pushing Russian propaganda. Turns out now though that the State Department was peddling lies planted by its intelligence services.

None of this shocking collusion between supposedly independent news services and the secret intelligence apparatus should be surprising. After all, former CIA director Mike Pompeo bragged in public about how the agency “lied and cheated all the time” like a badge of honor.

We know from decades ago how Operation Mockingbird was an ambitious CIA program to infiltrate all U.S. news media with dutiful editors and reporters as assets.

Frank Wisner, a leading CIA intelligence officer, once marveled at what he referred to as the agency’s influence over media as the “Mighty Wurlitzer”, an apt image of an organ-grinder calling the tune for public discourse and perception.

In a 1977 investigative study by the Washington Post’s Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame, it was reported that hundreds of newspapers and broadcasters across the U.S. were recruited in the service of the CIA. The outlets included the supposedly august New York Times down to the provincial newspapers in dusty rural states. Amusingly enough given Bernstein’s earlier insights on public thought-control by the intel apparatus, he later became an advocate of the “Russiagate” hoax concocted by U.S. intel implicating former President Donald Trump as a Russian stooge.

Another formidable source of truth is former senior CIA operative John Stockwell who has given copious testimonies and authored books on how the CIA runs media disinformation campaigns on a massive, worldwide scale.

In Europe, former German newspaper editor Udo Ulfkotte wrote a tell-all exposé of how the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies recruit staff in all major European media outlets to act as their eyes, ears, and mouths. It is also known that the British state-owned broadcaster, the BBC, was, and perhaps still is, vetted by its national intelligence service, MI5.

While such revelations were known and publicized, it was always a quiet conversation to avoid amplifying scandal for a profession that preens itself as a guardian of independent public interest, freedom of speech and thought, critical of political power, and all sorts of other noble accolades.

It was always a Western conceit to denigrate state propaganda as something that was done in the Soviet Union and in today’s Russia, China, and other alleged “autocratic” states.

How the pot calls the kettle black! The Western media have long been far more guilty of peddling outrageous disinformation in the service of their military-security establishments. The WMD hoax that led to the genocidal war in Iraq in 2003 was perhaps the nadir among countless other disreputable episodes. Further back there was the bogus Gulf of Tonkin incident leading to the Vietnam War. More recently there was the alleged but bogus raping campaign by soldiers under Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that led to the NATO bombing of Libya and the murder of Gaddafi in 2011. The NATO bombing of Syria was presaged by widespread false Western media claims of chemical weapons atrocities that were actually carried out by NATO-backed regime-change proxies.

In Ukraine, the war was precipitated by NATO weaponizing a Nazi regime that was attacking ethnic Russian people in the Donbass. Since the war erupted on February 24 after eight years of provocations, the Western media have accused the Russian military of bombing hospitals and theatres and now of executing civilians in cold blood.

This is from the same media who now openly admit to being operatives for disinformation and who appear to have no shame about it. Indeed, they are proudly boasting of their role of deception as somehow noble. Such media are complicit in fueling conflict and war. Their function is to fill the public with ignorance and jingoism in order to bolster the cause of warmongering industries and economies. In this twisted Orwellian climate, to speak the truth is to commit thought-crime and be vilified by those who exalt in lying.

This week saw reports in U.S. media openly admitting that American intelligence services have been knowingly sowing disinformation in the media.

Former CIA director William J. Casey once candidly told U.S. President Ronald Reagan and other aides during a meeting in the White House, “We’ll know when our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false”.

Some have viewed that observation to be a flippant aside not meant to signify actual consequence. Others, however, have contended it had far more deliberate sinister connotations whose scale of public thought-control is a conscious objective.

When one looks at how the conflict in Ukraine and Western relations with Russia are unfolding and the way Western news media are reporting on it, Casey’s words seem to be a grim forewarning.

This week saw lurid claims amplified across the U.S. and Western media of a massacre in the Ukrainian city of Bucha allegedly carried out by Russian troops. The source of those claims was the partisan Ukrainian military associated with the Nazi-infested Azov Battalion. The Azov Battalion whose members openly display Waffen-SS insignia has been trained and weaponized by the United States and other NATO military over the past decade.

There was no attempt by Western media to verify the sensational claims leveled against Russia. They were printed and broadcast with gusto leading to more Western sanctions and weapons supply to Ukraine in support of the Kiev regime. What’s all the more disturbing is that the information purporting to incriminate Russian troops is questionable. The alleged atrocities appear to have occurred several days after Russian forces withdrew from the area.

Moscow claimed that the killings were carried out by the Western-backed Azov regiments in a false-flag provocation to blame Russia. However, Western media have reflexively branded Russian claims as “Kremlin propaganda”. Even Western analysts and alternative media sources have been vilified or censored for daring to challenge the narrative of alleged Russian atrocities. One such independent voice is that of Scott Ritter, the former U.S. Marine Corps officer, who was temporarily banned from social media this week for doing so.

A bitter irony is that this week also saw reports in U.S. media openly admitting that American intelligence services have been knowingly sowing disinformation in the media. Far from feeling shame or contrition, the U.S. intelligence agencies and media are exulting in the practice of “getting ahead” of Russia in “information warfare”.

Some of the disinformation stories admitted include claims that Russia was planning to use chemical weapons in Ukraine; that Russian President Vladimir Putin was being misled by his military generals about the lack of progress in the war; and that Moscow was seeking to obtain weapons supply from China for the war in Ukraine. All the stories are now acknowledged as false. The U.S. media is lying to the public and openly admitting it. But, supposedly, that’s okay because it’s in the name of information warfare against Russia.

Another disinformation story was the claim made in February by the State Department that Russia was preparing to stage false-flag attacks to serve as a pretext for invading Ukraine. When State Department spokesman Ned Price was challenged by reporters at the time to provide hard evidence, he snidely implied they were pushing Russian propaganda. Turns out now though that the State Department was peddling lies planted by its intelligence services.

None of this shocking collusion between supposedly independent news services and the secret intelligence apparatus should be surprising. After all, former CIA director Mike Pompeo bragged in public about how the agency “lied and cheated all the time” like a badge of honor.

We know from decades ago how Operation Mockingbird was an ambitious CIA program to infiltrate all U.S. news media with dutiful editors and reporters as assets.

Frank Wisner, a leading CIA intelligence officer, once marveled at what he referred to as the agency’s influence over media as the “Mighty Wurlitzer”, an apt image of an organ-grinder calling the tune for public discourse and perception.

In a 1977 investigative study by the Washington Post’s Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame, it was reported that hundreds of newspapers and broadcasters across the U.S. were recruited in the service of the CIA. The outlets included the supposedly august New York Times down to the provincial newspapers in dusty rural states. Amusingly enough given Bernstein’s earlier insights on public thought-control by the intel apparatus, he later became an advocate of the “Russiagate” hoax concocted by U.S. intel implicating former President Donald Trump as a Russian stooge.

Another formidable source of truth is former senior CIA operative John Stockwell who has given copious testimonies and authored books on how the CIA runs media disinformation campaigns on a massive, worldwide scale.

In Europe, former German newspaper editor Udo Ulfkotte wrote a tell-all exposé of how the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies recruit staff in all major European media outlets to act as their eyes, ears, and mouths. It is also known that the British state-owned broadcaster, the BBC, was, and perhaps still is, vetted by its national intelligence service, MI5.

While such revelations were known and publicized, it was always a quiet conversation to avoid amplifying scandal for a profession that preens itself as a guardian of independent public interest, freedom of speech and thought, critical of political power, and all sorts of other noble accolades.

It was always a Western conceit to denigrate state propaganda as something that was done in the Soviet Union and in today’s Russia, China, and other alleged “autocratic” states.

How the pot calls the kettle black! The Western media have long been far more guilty of peddling outrageous disinformation in the service of their military-security establishments. The WMD hoax that led to the genocidal war in Iraq in 2003 was perhaps the nadir among countless other disreputable episodes. Further back there was the bogus Gulf of Tonkin incident leading to the Vietnam War. More recently there was the alleged but bogus raping campaign by soldiers under Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that led to the NATO bombing of Libya and the murder of Gaddafi in 2011. The NATO bombing of Syria was presaged by widespread false Western media claims of chemical weapons atrocities that were actually carried out by NATO-backed regime-change proxies.

In Ukraine, the war was precipitated by NATO weaponizing a Nazi regime that was attacking ethnic Russian people in the Donbass. Since the war erupted on February 24 after eight years of provocations, the Western media have accused the Russian military of bombing hospitals and theatres and now of executing civilians in cold blood.

This is from the same media who now openly admit to being operatives for disinformation and who appear to have no shame about it. Indeed, they are proudly boasting of their role of deception as somehow noble. Such media are complicit in fueling conflict and war. Their function is to fill the public with ignorance and jingoism in order to bolster the cause of warmongering industries and economies. In this twisted Orwellian climate, to speak the truth is to commit thought-crime and be vilified by those who exalt in lying.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

See also

November 23, 2022
November 27, 2022
June 8, 2022
November 21, 2022
September 21, 2022
September 4, 2022

See also

November 23, 2022
November 27, 2022
June 8, 2022
November 21, 2022
September 21, 2022
September 4, 2022
The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.