MEDIA MANIPULATION
PERSONAL C.Y.A.


By: Geoff Metcalf

"I’m not talking about confusion and inefficiency, which to a certain extent are products of all wars, but about muddle-headed thinking, cover-your-ass orders, lies and outright foolishness on the very highest levels."

---Cdr James Meacham, 1968

The fact that the Pentagon is overtly moving toward monitoring media is no real surprise. That they will spend $20-million for a public relations contract is kinda odd. Government has gotten good results with far less cost.

Peter Lance is a best selling author. His third 9/11 investigative work, ‘Triple Cross’, is due out in October. Lance recently had his work ‘spun’ and manipulated by National Geographic and feds attempting to rewrite history

The venerable National Geographic wanted to do a documentary on Lance’s book. However, ‘something’ happened mid production. The author was dealt out and his work edited with a cleaver. They then replaced Lance with Jack Cloonan, one of the very Feds that Lance’s research had found grossly negligent…very ‘fox guarding hen house’ stuff.

Viewers of the ‘documentary’ "never saw any of this evidence critical of the Feds because Nat Geo Channel, allowed the story of FBI failures in the Ali Mohamed case to be told from the Bureau's point of view." Huh?!?

According to Lance, "It was like doing Schindler's List from Hitler's perspective."

Several years ago the temporary outplacement of U.S. Army psyops personnel was confirmed.  " The assignment durations have been short-term up to one full year, depending on the mission." When asked, "What were the missions?" responses varied from "No comment.", "... need to know," to smiles, and, in one case, an obscene recommendation.

Meanwhile in a recent government solicitation, companies are being asked to demonstrate how they will "provide continuous monitoring and near-real time reporting of Iraqi, pan-Arabic, international, and U.S. media,".

This latest efforts comes in the wake of a White House effort to get more offensive against critics of Iraq policy. It isn’t a stretch to suggest similar efforts against critics of ‘other’ policies could occur.

Control of the news media isn’t exactly a new concept. From ‘Tokyo Rose’ to Pravda, the dissemination of news, information and propaganda has been a robust concern. The Catholic Church, Islam, Communist regimes, and American administrations (not to mention our infamous ‘yellow journalism’ phases) have all attempted to control what was reported and how…perception becomes reality, and the first draft of history is written in the news.

A few years ago I wrote TO KILL OR FEED A MOCKINGBIRD in which I addressed "two mutually exclusive and under reported stories". One was the obvious penchant for political operatives to leak classified information. The other was a generational control of information dissemination by powerful ‘controllers’.

The left leaning mainstream media cabal ‘enabled’ the Clinton administration big time with spin, cover, and obfuscation. It may have been "more ubiquitous, and at times even clumsy, but it was not unique."…and it was successful.

Operation ‘Mockingbird’ was a program reportedly hatched by State Department official, Frank Wisner.  Wisner selected Philip Graham, then publisher of the Washington Post to manage the program.  According to Deborah Davis, author of ‘Katharine the Great’, "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles, plus stringers, four to six hundred in all, according to a former CIA analyst."

Investigators digging into MOCKINGBIRD were flabbergasted to discover FOIA documents in which agents boast (in CIA office memos) of pride in having placed "important assets" inside every major news publication in the country.

This may sound like the stuff of Ludlum novels and conspiracy wackos, but not until 1982 did the ‘Company’ finally concede that reporters on the CIA payroll have been case officers to field agents.

The entire Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson fiasco (please read Christopher Hitchens) reveals the sausage making aspect of political spin.

Peter Lance had years of work editorially bastardized by National Geographic and a small gang of C.Y.A. federal officials. The ‘rest of the story’ will come out when his book is published in October. Those who read the book, ‘Triple Cross’, or read the reportage of the book, will discover a far different story from the whitewashed, sanitized, ‘government approved’ version National Geographic aired.

The late Reed Irvine (a dear and missed friend) routinely took on America's biggest and most influential journalists and media companies to account for their errors, and stick to the facts.

Ben Bradlee, when still at the Washington Post, called Reed (in a letter) a "miserable, carping retromingent vigilante." I called Reed a hero…(I had to look up ‘retromingent’.)

Peter Lance’s righteous indignation will be validated as facts are revealed. However, don’t hold your breath waiting for the FBI to throw themselves on their sword and admit to eschewing ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ for personal C.Y.A.


Geoff is an author and talk show host. He is a ninth generation commissioned officer in the U.S. Armed services, a former Green Beret, and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel. Geoff hunts down the stories the rest of the media ignores and exposes them for public scrutiny. He is also Editor of CalNews.com.   He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

We invite you to visit his website at: geoffmetcalf.com

Geoff Metcalf can be reached at: geoff@geoffmetcalf.com

Published in the September 5, 2006 issue of  Ether Zone.
Copyright 1997 - 2006 Ether Zone.

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