Sunday, November 4, 2007

The `New York Times' ' Historical CIA Connection

At the New York Times, according to Carl Bernstein’s Oct. 20, 1977 Rolling Stone magazine article (“The CIA And The Media”, the “major” individual in top management whom former CIA Director Allen Dulles dealt with in the 1950s was its then-publisher, former Columbia University Trustee Arthur Hays Sulzberger--who actually signed a “secrecy agreement” with the CIA, vowing to keep the Times’ collaborative relationship to the CIA a secret. Bernstein was told by “a high-level CIA official with a prodigious memory” that “the New York Times provided cover for about 10 CIA operatives between 1950 and 1966.”

The now-deceased former Columbia University Trustee Arthur Hays Sulzberger was the Times’ publisher from 1935 to 1961 and he also served as a Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation between 1948 and 1967. The Dec. 8, 1990 issue of the Irish People weekly newspaper also reported that “the senior Sulzberger allowed members of the Times staff to be used for covert CIA operations in the 1950s and 1960s.”

Arthur Hays Sulzberger’s nephew, Cyrus Sulzberger, also was reported to have ties to the CIA while he worked as the Times’ chief European reporter in the late 1940s and the 1950s, and as a columnist in the 1960s. According to the Dec. 8, 1990 issue of the Irish People: “Cy owned a villa on the Greek Island of Spatsais, and his connections with the CIA—he was a close friend of [now-deceased former CIA Director] Richard Helms—caused many to believe that he himself was an asset of the covert group.” The same newspaper also noted that former Times columnist Cyrus Sulzberger “was also a close friend of Frank Wisner, CIA chief of clandestine operations” and that “there were many persons who publicly and privately said Cy was a CIA man using the Times as a cover.”

From the late 1940s until 1979, according to the Irish People, “Times reporters were routinely debriefed by the CIA after coming back from European assignments” and this policy “may very well continue today [in 1990], if not with the approval of the present publisher, then less formally by agreement of the reporter and his CIA handler.”

Coincidentally, the Times published an article about CIA Operations in 1966. But, according to the Irish People, “the article did not touch on any relationship of the CIA and the media despite the many questions already raised about the Times’ own connection to the Agency.”

(Downtown 6/24/92)

Next: CBS’s Historical CIA Connection

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