The next year, (Edwin) Wilson jumped to the Special Operations Division, which was in charge of covert actions. First, he served as an advance man for Hubert Humphrey's vice-presidential campaign, allowing the Agency to keep tabs on Johnson's running mate. After the election, Wilson opened a front business: Maritime Consulting Associates, an ocean freight forwarder that handled sea logistics for CIA programs. The Agency man in charge of Maritime was Tom Clines, deputy chief of the division's maritime branch.
Wilson ran Maritime Consulting as if it were a regular company. He recruited a figurehead president and worked hard: weapons to Angola, communications equipment to Morocco, materiel to Laos.He also found non-Agency business to conduct-activity that put cash in his pockets. For Langley's fronts, profits meant better cover. Wilson had a golden gig. There was little auditing of his books. No one noticed when he padded his costs. He could be both a secret agent and a wealthy man.
In their 2004 book with a lengthy title (All is Clouded by Desire; Global Banking, Money Laundering, and International Organized Crime) authors Alan Block and Constance Weaver wrote that Wilson's Maritime Consulting Associates "was also a front for a polling firm established in the Philippines in collaboration with George Gallup to influence Philippine politics." ...
After leaving The Washington Post in 1977, Carl Bernstein spent six months looking at the relationship of the CIA and the press during the Cold War years. His 25,000-word cover story, published in Rolling Stone on October 20, 1977, is reprinted below.
THE CIA AND THE MEDIA
How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up
BY CARL BERNSTEIN
In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.
Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations...
In 1959 John F. Kennedy recruited Harris to do all his polling for the forthcoming presidential campaign. At the time George Gallup dominated this industry but was believed to be a strong Republican Party supporter. (In fact it later emerged he had been fiddling the results in order to get Republicans elected). Harris was a Democrat and was on record as saying: "For this poll-taker's part, he will never undertake to work for any candidate he believes will set back human progress."
Kennedy paid Harris $400,000 for his surveys, much more than a political pollster had ever received before. Harris argued in his autobiography, The Anguish of Change (1973): "I don't think any poll-taker before or since has sat on a strategy committee. Joe Kennedy, Bobby and Jack Kennedy, and I - we were the inner strategy committee. So I was part of and privy to the whole bloody campaign. The only people who got the polls were Jack and Bobby, nobody else." Elmo Roper attacked those "so-called public opinion researchers," who allow their polls to be exploited "rather openly for propaganda purposes."
After his victory in the 1960 Presidential Election, Kennedy apparently told Harris that "maybe next to me you've got more power than anybody else in this country." Harris agreed and he told the New York Times: "When polls figure largely in the outcome of a major victory, such as... President Kennedy's in Virginia in May, 1960, the poll-taker becomes a kind of political miracle worker." One former Kennedy aide commented: "Face it, politicians have big egos, bigger than anybody's. Harris was smart. He'd come in with these polls that showed that everybody adored Kennedy, and Kennedy ate it up." Ted Sorensen disagreed with this assessment and claimed that Kennedy "felt that a pollster's desire to please a client and influence strategy sometimes unintentionally coloured his analysis."
Michael Wheeler, the author of Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: The Manipulation of Public Opinion in America (2007), has pointed out: "During the campaign he would sometimes engage in flights of fancy about his future after the election... some people close to Harris at the time say he would wistfully imagine himself as director of the CIA one day and secretary of commerce the next... Having supposedly masterminded a presidential campaign, Harris became the number one political pollster. Democrats who wanted to win came to him, and they paid top dollar for what they got."
Mitt Romney’s “Pinochet Moment”
Posted on September 20, 2012 by Daniel Hopsicker
...Speaking about US policy towards Honduras, Romney accused President Obama of backing a "pro-Marxist" leader in Honduras, faulting him for not more quickly and enthusiastically supporting the military coup in 2009 that deposed the elected President of a fledgling democracy.
That Romney chose to say anything at all about a small nation in Central America was somewhat surprising, especially since he hasn't been specific about much else.
But, as he must know, Honduras is important to US foreign policy for only one reason: Controlling Hondurus is important to controlling the drug trade.
Romney was signaling that in a Republican Administration, a return to the good old days when death squads could just "disappear" inconvenient people would be A-OK with him...
Shades of Jennifer Harbury
Central figure in election-rigging scandal goes missing as FBI probes Republican Rep.
By David Edwards
Monday, September 10, 2012 15:53 EDT
A political strategist is thought to be on the lam after she failed to show up for an interview with prosecutors about a campaign scandal involving Rep. David Rivera (R-FL).
Authorities last week raided Ana Alliegro’s apartment and seized her computer and cell phone. She was scheduled to speak to prosecutors on Thursday, but now not even her lawyer knows where she is, according to The Miami Herald.
Prosecutors believe that Alliegro may be involved in shadow campaign, in which Justin Lamar Sternad ran as a Democrat “ringer” in the 26th District primary in order to help defeat fellow Democrat Joe Garcia. Authorities are probing Rivera, the Republican incumbent, to find out if he was behind the scheme as effort to weaken or defeat Garcia before they faced off in the general election.
DOJ Gallup lawsuit came after Axelrod criticized pollsters | The Daily Caller
Internal emails between senior officials at The Gallup Organization, obtained by The Daily Caller, show senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod attempting to subtly intimidate the respected polling firm when its numbers were unfavorable to the president.
After Gallup declined to change its polling methodology, Obama’s Department of Justice hit it with an unrelated lawsuit that appears damning on its face.
TheDC is withholding the identities of the Gallup officials to protect them from potential retaliation from Obama’s campaign and his administration.
In April, Axelrod tweeted that a poll showing Mitt Romney with a 48-43 percent lead over Obama was “saddled with some methodological problems,” directing his Twitter followers to read a National Journal story criticizing Gallup polls showing a Romney lead...
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/06/justice-...
...the polling firm Mitchell Research has been consistently giving Romney the advantage in Michigan.
Personally, I think Gallup and Rasmussen offer the most accurate polling -- in this sense: The degree to which the conservative polls differs from other polls represents the percentage of fraud that the Republican vote-riggers would dare to attempt. That difference equals, if you will, the weight of the thumb on the scale...
Read more » http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2012/08/tho...
Four-time Academy Award ® Winner Charles Guggenheim
ROBERT KENNEDY REMEMBERED
TRT 29 minutes Black & White
Shown on all television networks simultaneously and at the Democratic National Convention in August of 1968, this film biography evokes the spirit, quality and commitment Robert Kennedy brought to his life and work.
Professor James F. Tracy, at Global Research on 10 August 2012
Professor Tracy quotes Bugs Raplin:
"The reason Iran-Contra happened is because no one did anything substantial about Watergate."
"And the reason Watergate happened is because there were no consequences from the Bay of Pigs."
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Paul Ryan has Dick behind him
I support Rob Zerban, who is running against Paul Ryan in Wisconsin. (Yes, Ryan can legally run for re-election to Congress while also running for veep.) While I normally don't run campaign spots in this blog, you may want to look at this one -- if only for that brief, jaw-dropping clip of Dick Cheney.
Majority Of Americans Want NBC To Air Olympics Live: Gallup
The Huffington Post | By Katherine Fung Posted: 08/09/2012 12:54 pm Updated: 08/09/2012 1:00 pm
The majority of Americans want to see changes in NBC's coverage of the Olympics, according to a new poll by Gallup.
The survey, which polled over 1,000 adults, showed that most Americans want NBC to air the Olympics live and again on tape delay in prime time.
A vast majority of those who report watching the Olympics "a lot" prefer that approach (71%). Even those who are watching "a little" and "none" of the games prefer both live broadcasts and tape delayed coverage (57% and 43% respectively).
The results should come as no surprise. NBC has come under fire for airing the Olympics on tape delay, and for numerous editing decisions. The network was hit for cutting out a tribute to the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks from its broadcast of the opening ceremony, spoiling Missy Franklin's gold win and missing another huge moment. The heavy barrage of criticism has even produced the Twitter hashtag #NBCfail.
Still, NBC has defended televising the Olympics on tape delay, citing research that shows people who know the results ahead of time are even more likely to watch the events. The 2012 games have done very well for the network, bringing in huge ratings and the most advertising sales ever for an Olympics.
Although NBC's ratings, as the story concedes, would tend to refute this.
HBO documentary called 'Sing Your Song' about the life of Harry Belafonte.
It covers his life especially during the early Civil Rights movement.
I never knew this, but he goes onto saying in the documtary that in 1960, MLK was arrested in Atlanta for a traffic stop but they trumped up charges and were going to sentence him to work on the chain gang.
Belafonte and others in the movement went to the 2 running Presidential candidates and Nixon ignored them, while the Kennedys did something. JFK made RFK go down to Atlanta and got MLK out of jail.
Nate Silver pooh pooh's Fox and CNN polls
Two new polls show Obama opening a nice lead, as you may know; but Gallup remains steady and Rasmussen shows a Romney lead; plus people have been watching the olympics. Therefore, Obama's lead has increased just a tiny bit or none at all; that basically the weak argument Nate Silver just made.
Romney "shouldn't panic" because he's down by 7 and 9 in these two polls, Nate concludes.
I'd like to add that people can watch the olympics AND read a newspaper or watch something else such as the news that Romney is hiding something on his taxes and outsourced jobs.
Another piece of the argument crumbles when once realizes that Rasmussen has a a vested intersest in the outcome of this race: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/03/30/in...
Read Nate's piece here:
A little history on Polls...
...Hadley Cantril, a member of the faculty of Princeton University Department of Psychology, had used a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to establish the Office of Public Opinion Research. A supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and intervention in the Second World War he was also an agent for the British Security Coordination and did work for the anti-isolationist group, Fight for Freedom. Cantril was of the opinion that Roosevelt needed "an improving body of public opinion to sustain him in each measure of assistance to Britain and the USSR." Cantril was also an advisor to George H. Gallup and worked closely with David Ogilvy, who was employed by Gallup and was also an agent for BSC.
Another BSC agent, Sanford Griffith, established a company Market Analysts Incorporated and was initially commissioned to carry out polls for the anti-isolationist Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies. Griffith's assistant, Francis Adams Henson, a long time activist against the Nazi Germany government, later recalled: "My job was to use the results of our polls, taken among their constituents, to convince on-the-fence Congressmen and Senators that they should favor more aid to Britain."
As Richard W. Steele has pointed out: "public opinion polls had become a political weapon that could be used to inform the views of the doubtful, weaken the commitment of opponents, and strengthen the conviction of supporters." William Stephenson later admitted: "Great care was taken beforehand to make certain the poll results would turn out as desired. The questions were to steer opinion toward the support of Britain and the war... Public Opinion was manipulated through what seemed an objective poll."
Michael Wheeler, the author of Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: The Manipulation of Public Opinion in America (2007) has pointed out how this could have been done: "Proving that a given poll is rigged is difficult because there are so many subtle ways to fake data... a clever pollster can just as easily favor one candidate or the other by making less conspicuous adjustments, such as allocating the undecided voters as suits his needs, throwing out certain interviews on the grounds that they were non-voters, or manipulating the sequence and context within which the questions are asked... Polls can even be rigged without the pollster knowing it.... Most major polling organizations keep their sampling lists under lock and key."
The main target of these polls concerned the political views of leading politicians opposed to Lend-Lease. This included Hamilton Fish. In February 1941, a poll of Fish's constituents said that 70 percent of them favored the passage of Lend-Lease. James H. Causey, president of the Foundation for the Advancement of Social Sciences, was highly suspicious of this poll and called for a congressional investigation.
It has been argued that both Arthur Vandenberg and Thomas Connally were targeted by British Security Coordination in order to persuade the Senate to pass the Lend-Lease proposal. Mary S. Lovell, the author of Cast No Shadow (1992) believes that the spy, Elizabeth Thorpe Pack (codename "Cynthia") who was working for the BSC, played an important role in this: "Cynthia's second mission for British Security Coordination was to try and convert the opinions of senators Connally and Vandenberg into, if not support, a less heated opposition to the Lend Lease bill which literally meant the difference between survival and defeat for the British. Other agents of both sexes were given similar missions with other politicians... with Vandenberg she was successful; with Senator Connally, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, she was not."
During the Lend-Lease debate Vandenberg announced on the floor of the Senate that he had finally decided to support the loan. He warned his colleagues: "If we do not lead some other great and powerful nation will capitalize our failure and we shall pay the price of our default." Richard N. Gardner, the author of Sterling Dollar Diplomacy in Current Perspective (1980), has argued that Vandenberg's speech was the "turning point in the Senate Debate" with sixteen other Republicans voting in favour of the bill.
On 11th March 1941, Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act. The legislation gave President Franklin D. Roosevelt the powers to sell, transfer, exchange, lend equipment to any country to help it defend itself against the Axis powers. A sum of $50 billion was appropriated by Congress for Lend-Lease. The money went to 38 different countries with Britain receiving over $31 billion.
When David Ogilvy read an early draft of The Quiet Canadian (1962) he requested that William Stephenson put pressure on H. Montgomery Hyde to remove all references to Hadley Cantril and George H. Gallup: "I beg you to remove all references to Hadley Cantril and Dr. Gallup... Dr. Gallup was and still is, a great friend of England. What you have written would cause him anguish - and damage. One does not want to damage one's friends... In subsequently years Hadley Cantril has done a vast amount of secret polling for the United States Government. What you have written would compromise him - and SIS (MI6) does not make a practice of compromising its friends."
Hat tip to DUer Marzupialis and EFer John Simkin.
Adam Davidson’s Journalistic Corruption: NPR Host Boosts for Wall Street, While Taking Undisclosed Banking Money
By Yasha Levine and Mark Ames • S.H.A.M.E. • August 8, 2012
“I feel like the voice of business journalism is sort of, it’s an authoritative voice of God.”
Adam Davidson is the co-creator and host of the popular economic news radio program Planet Money. On air, Davidson plays the role of an earnest, brainy reporter who’s doing his best to make sense of the complicated, jargon-filled world of finance to report business news in a way that NPR listeners can understand. However, behind the dweeby, faux-naive facade Adam Davidson presents to his listeners, is a shrewd propagandist with a long, consistent history of shilling for powerful and destructive interests—and failing to disclose his financial ties to the companies and industries he reports on.
Over the years, Davidson has boosted for the Iraq War and whitewashed the occupation of Iraq, praised sweatshop labor and “experimenting on the poor,” attacked the idea of regulating Wall Street, parroted libertarian propaganda about the government’s inability to directly create jobs, argued for “squeezing the middle class,” and shamelessly fawned over Wall Street for allegedly blessing Americans with “just about anything that makes you happy.” (Read Adam Davidson’s full S.H.A.M.E. profile.)
While Adam Davidson has recently come under increasing scrutiny for using his NPR platform to promote the narrow interests of the super-wealthy in this country, little attention has thus far been given to Davidson’s corruption—his numerous financial conflicts of interest that seriously undermine his claims to being a journalist, and instead reveal Davidson as a glorified product spokesman for his Wall Street sponsors.
Adam Davidson gained national media recognition as an on-air personality in 2008, after co-producing an episode for This American Life called “The Giant Pool of Money” about the implosion of subprime lending. Although Davidson’s segment was praised for making the murky world of finance easier to understand, his framing of the subprime housing debacle served another purpose: It let Wall Street off the hook for its role in rampant criminal mortgage fraud and predatory lending...
Frontline’s Astonishing Whitewash of the Crisis
Battling Wall Street: The Kennedy Presidency
Wednesday, August 1,2012
How 'Spartacus' broke the blacklist
Kirk Douglas recalls a watershed epic
by Lawrence Cosentino
One morning in junior high school, I walked into class and saw a film-noir scene chalked in painful detail on the blackboard. I was stumbling down an alley, bleeding and clutching my stomach, with a huge smile on my face. The caption read:
“I’ve just been shot by Kirk Douglas … sigh!”
So I’m not an impartial critic when it comes to “I Am Spartacus,” Douglas’ new book about the most conflict-ridden, talent-heavy, controversial films to come out of mid-20th-century Hollywood.
For decades, I’ve tried to persuade condescending friends that Douglas is much more than a chiseled chin and a vehement voice. In the most transcendent moments of “Spartacus,” he gazes abstractedly, even tenderly, beyond his brutal world. He’s a poet with biceps, the only actor who could embody both the muscle and metaphor of Spartacus.
At 95, Douglas is still helping me make my case. This taut little book is full of humor, frankness and class.
The subtitle —“Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist” — refers to producer-star Douglas’ decision to give the writer of “Spartacus,” Dalton Trumbo, on-screen credit, breaking the insidious Hollywood ban on openly hiring alleged Communist sympathizers.
In 2012, Douglas feels a new urgency to set the record straight about Trumbo and other victims of the McCarthy era. Right-wing revisionists have recast the blacklist as a self-pitying Hollywood melodrama fabricated over martinis at poolside. Douglas counters with first-hand testimony of colleagues who lost jobs and committed suicide over the blacklist. He describes what it was like to live and work on a daily diet of corrosive lies, half-truths and silences...
Kirk & Kubrick
So, what's next for CNN?
CNN founder Ted Turner in 1996, shortly before he was forced out. Photograph: Adam Nadel/AP
Even CNN's outgoing chief Jim Walton isn't sure about its future. What, if anything, could possibly put the channel back on track?
After way too many years, last week CNN got rid of its long time CEO Jim Walton. Even Walton – who bills the leave-taking as his own decision – seemed to acknowledge in his departing remarks CNN's lack of direction, and his own failure to alter that course. Actually, it would be hard to offer a more dismal appraisal of one's own tenure. Walton's message: you really, really need someone else.
But the problem with CNN is not just uninspired leadership and lack of vision. In fact, what Walton is really saying is: good riddance, nobody can fix it.
Because what's wrong with CNN is what's wrong with Time Warner, its owner. And what's wrong with CNN is what's wrong with television news. And even if you acknowledge what's wrong with it, that does not mean that there is any real upside in fixing it.
When it agreed to be acquired by Time Warner in 1995, Turner Broadcasting, the parent of CNN, was arguably the most innovative company in the media business. It was the revolution in cable television and in 24-hour news. CNN was the Twitter of its day, reinventing the culture, methods and expectations of news. I'm not sure it is possible to overstate how much Ted Turner and his satellite delivery system, plus his non-network style, up-ended the business.
Time Warner, for its part, was the Apple of 1995 – at least in terms of reach, influence, power and relative oppressiveness. The 1989 merger of the cut-throat Ivy Leaguers at Time, Inc and the killer Hollywood quasi-mobsters at Warner Communications had produced the biggest, fiercest, hungriest media company on earth – a mega-organism of considerable brains and even greater ferocity (they were even more ferocious with each other than they were with outsiders)...
Could Keith Olbermann save CNN » could CNN save Keith Olbermann?
The ten most recent threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums.
A Giant Union Is Planning to Protest the Oscars
Happy Valentines Day, old friends!
NEVER trust government. nt
By No Elephants
Shirley Temple-talented phenom and more, gone at 86
By No Elephants
Asian markets okay with recent disappointing American jobs report and Yellen's appointment.
By No Elephants
Another kind of Cold War
By No Elephants
The ten most recommended threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums in the last 24 hours.
Use the tools below to keep track of updates to this Journal.