Operation Mockingbird is Alive and Well in Central Asia
The internal situation in those countries where Washington tested its “color revolutions” tactics is clearly showing that there’s a direct correlation between the message that local media sources would try to push and the level of “revolutionary sentiments” that could result in a coup d’etat largely detrimental to the country targeted and advantageous to the United States. It’s clear that Washington has been aware of this fact for a long while, that is precisely why the task of manipulating the media has always been a top priority of the CIA.
In his book The Secret History of the CIA , Joseph J. Trento would describe in much detail how the Special Projects Division (SPD) of the CIA, developed a particular passion for propaganda ever since 1948. It’s curious that it was the same SPD that was largely responsible for the planning and conducting of Operation Mockingbird.
The main objective of Operation Mockingbird was to exert influence on both the American and foreign media sources through recruiting journalists and dispatching regular CIA operatives for infiltrating various editorial boards across the globe. From 1953 onwards, the absolute majority of American newspapers and news agencies fell victims of Operation Mockingbird, as they were swarming with CIA agents that were busy spreading propaganda and disinformation. A number of publications of the 60s and 70s reveal the true scale of Operation Mockingbird, with the reporting of such media sources as the ABC, NBC, CBS, The Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International (UPI), Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps Howard getting affected by this operation. The masterminds behind Operation Mockingbird were going to influence foreign media and overseas political events, and it seems that they’ve succeeded in their quest.
In 1975, Dem senator Frank Church, who chaired the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities that was later nicknamed the Church Committee made certain details of Operation Mockingbird public.
Yet, he failed to put an end to this operation, which means that little has changed in ways CIA conducts its secret operations aimed at deceiving the general public. It’s clear that Operation Mockingbird is still alive and well, as it represents a convenient tool through which Washington controls both the domestic and international agenda. It’s also clear that a considerable number of American and European media personalities continue receiving considerable funds for doing Washington’s bidding in their line of work. Through the media controlled by the CIA, it would spread misinformation about promising politicians, advance propaganda and erase any narrative that could harm the profits of Western special interests.
The fact that American intelligence agencies would manipulate the media has recently received a lot of attention in Europe, when it became known that the CIA and Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service have the ability to shape the narrative of the German media through bribing top media personalities and threatening those who wouldn’t take the money.
A few years ago, a renowned German journalist, Udo Ulfcotte published a book under the title Bought Journalists that described in much detail how the CIA would be able to order around most of the leading German media sources.
The poisonous tentacles of this operation transpire if one is to take a closer look at the Ukrainian crisis, when virtually all of European or American sources would straight-out ignore Russia’s position on the issue.
But the worst part about all this is that Operation Mockingbird is being advanced forward, this conclusion can be drawn from two Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings that took part in 2016. Back then the yet to be approved US ambassador to Lithuania, Ann Hall and the nominated US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch revealed that Lithuanian and Ukrainian journalists were undergoing training to “counter Russian propaganda.” In August 2015, the Lithuanian Courier wrote that the first of Eastern European countries where Washington would be providing training to journalists would be Lithuania. Back then, the US Embassy in Lithuania offered a training program in investigative journalism for both aspiring and experienced Russian-speaking reporters. This program that was dubbed the Investigative Journalism Training in the Baltics received a hefty grant of 500 thousand dollars from the US government. Although the program was designed for all three Baltic countries and all three US embassies participated in the planning and coordination of the training activities, yet the US Embassy in Vilnius oversaw funds allocation.
There’s one more confirmation that Operation Mockingbird is alive and well, and it is the successful conclusion of the search for anchors and media managers loyal to the United States that was conducted by by the US Central Command across Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Those hand-picked by Uncle Sam will now receive training in the United States next month.
The US State Department has already sent appropriate invitations to various media personalities from across the Central Asia, while all of the US embassies across the region are tasked with making sure that everything would go smooth. Unsurprisingly, the funding of this “internship” program is going to be provided by the US Central Command.
Officially, this program is designed to train Central Asian journalists for working with new media formats and modern broadcast equipment. It is expected that those media managers hand-picked in far-away lands will be attending meetings with representatives of leading American media corporations. Those recruits are also going to be interviewed by employees of the State Department, and experts in the field of psychological operations. During such meetings, Uncle Sam will try to learn just how loyal those media personalities will be to the United States before instructing them further.
That is the true price that the world is paying for the American-style democracy, that is the death of truthful journalism.
Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”