Although CIA: The Pike Report of a House Committee found that the largest officially approved covert action category of the CIA between 1965 and 1975 was its “Election Support” category, the same report also stated that “It is believed that if the correct number of all media and propaganda projects could be determined it would exceed Election Support as the largest single category of covert action projects undertaken by the CIA.” Among the secret actions utilized by the CIA to manipulate public opinion through mass media manipulation, according to CIA: The Pike Report, were “support of friendly media, major propaganda efforts, insertion of articles into the local press, and distribution of books and leaflets.”
In its CIA: The Pike Report, a House Committee also concluded that:
“The free flow of information…has been threatened as a result of CIA’s use of the world media for cover and for clandestine information-gathering.
“There are disturbing indications that the accuracy of many news stories has been undermined as well. Information supplied to the Committee suggests that some planted, falsified articles have reached readers in the U.S.”
CIA: The Pike Report also observed that “The CIA’s Cover and Commercial staff files show that in 1975, 11 CIA employees used media cover with 15 news field companies—TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines” and “The CIA had fiduciary relations with 5 full-time correspondents of major American news organizations.”
In their 1970s book, The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence, Victor Marchetti and John Marks estimated that “as late as November 1973…there were still about 40 fulltime reporters and free-lancers on the CIA payroll” and “Under [former CIA Director] Helms, the CIA also continued its practice of intervening with editors and publishers to try to stop publication of books either too descriptive or too critical of the agency.”
The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence also noted that “Many…anti-communist publishing concerns in Germany, Italy, and France were also supported and encouraged by the agency during the post-WW II years.” Ironically, in support of its anticommunist political goals, the CIA also “subsidized the New York communist paper, the Daily Worker,…in the form of several thousand secretly purchased prepaid subscriptions,” according to The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence. According to the same book, by subsidizing the U.S. Communist Party’s daily newspaper after World War II, “The CIA apparently hoped to demonstrate by this means to the American public that the threat of communism in this country was real.”
Marchetti and Marks’ book also pointed out that “only about 20 percent of the CIA’s career employees (spending less than 10 percent of the budget) work on intelligence analysis and information processing,” but “about 2/3” of all CIA funds and manpower are spent on its “covert operations,” such as its manipulation of public opinion and elections and its mass media manipulation activity. The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence also reminded its readers that:
“The CIA is big, very big. Officially, it has authorized manpower of 16,500…The 16,500 figure does not reflect the tens of thousands who serve under contract (mercenaries, agents, consultants, etc.) or who work for the agency’s proprietary companies.”
During the early 1990s, the CIA still had authorized manpower of about 25,000, according to the 1990s book Games of Intelligence by Nigel West a/k/a British Tory MP Rupert Allason. [Yet what happened on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center was apparently not stopped by any of the CIA’s 25,000 employees].
Next: CIA Countered Critics of Warren Report