Newly Unearthed CIA Memo: Media Are The "Principal Villains"

Tyler Durden's picture

A new declassifed CIA report unearthed by the FOIA investigive cooperative MuckRock contains some shocking commentary on how the intelligence community views and interacts with the media. The 1984 series of internal memos, part of the CIA’s recent CREST release (CIA Records Search Tool) of over 900,000 newly declassified documents, were drafted in response to a study on unathorized leaks and disclosures written by legendary CIA officer Eloise Page.

The CIA Inspector General [IG] was tasked by CIA Director Bill Casey to investigate and review CIA vulnerabilities to media scrutiny. One of Eloise Page's suggestions involved CIA and agency friendly individuals gaining influence at universities and journalism schools in order to change and shape curriculum. As MuckRock explains:

The IG passed the task onto someone on his staff, who produced a four page SECRET memo for IG James Taylor, who passed it onto Director Casey. The IG specifically endorsed the proposal for a program where the Agency would intervene with journalism schools, which is discussed further below.

The most startling sections from the CIA memos - all marked "SECRET" - reveal how CIA views the first ammendment and journalistic freedoms: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the power of the media to publish in this country is nearly absolute."

Below are among the most significant sections from the 1984 formerly Secret report.

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely": Ironically enough these are actual words coming out of the CIA applied not to itself - a secretive spy agency which frequently operates above and outside of the law (Iran-Contra, COINTELPRO, Operation Mockingbird, Church Committee findings... to name a few examples) - but these are words applied to the media. The CIA further likens investigative journalism with enemy foreign espionage: "we can cite precise parallels in methods and results, if not in motivations, between the media's attempts to penetrate us and our opposition's attempts to do the same."

"Maybe it's time for an offense [against the media]": The 1980's was a time when the CIA continued to be on the defensive in the face of startling findings by the 1975-1976 Church Committee. The Congressional committee, chaired by Frank Church, uncovered rank and pervasive lawlessness by the CIA and other government agencies like the FBI and NSA, including foreign assassination plots, illegal wiretaps, widespread domestic spying and post office infiltrations, planting fake media stories, and embedding spies and agency-friendly journalists in American and foreign newsrooms. Many of these programs had been reportedly rolled back or eliminated by the 80's. The 1984 document perhaps represents a period of CIA internal regrouping or restrategizing for a new offensive in shaping public perceptions.


Watch: "CIA Admits Using News To Manipulate the USA (1975)"

"Remember that the organization has official contacts with inluenctial people outside... We have periodic sessions with college and university presidents, some of them undoubtedly with schools of journalism." This is the section Director Casey got excited about, which he called attention to as the brief was circulated among departments. The idea of direct campus influence is aimed at shaping the end media product, and to have some influence very early on in young journalists' careers, resulting in a "challenge to the practice of publishing indiscriminately" - that is, ensuring CIA consultation prior to news being published. Perhaps the most sinister line in the below passages is "given some curriculum changes, the next generation of reporters might show some elevation of ethics."

CIA Do's and Don'ts - "direct CIA sponsporship [of media influence campaigns] would be pilloried": The CIA prepared a practical guide on how to subtly combat the media while avoiding Congressional oversight, including providing the public with a "sanitized list of examples" of media disclosures the CIA sees as hurting its mission, as well as setting up proxy organizations to shape the media indirectly in order to conceal the CIA's role. Another section of the full document, which can be accessed here, speaks of a hoped-for chilling effect that prosecution of a prominent journalist might induce: "A single well-publicized, high-level conviction would do a lot." 

We are of course reminded of today's war on WikiLeaks and whistleblowers. Current CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently declared WikiLeaks "a non-state hostile intelligence service".The CIA is now actively working to destroy the media and whistleblowing organization which has broken endless stories while partnering with news outlets around the world.

CIA to its staff of intelligence officers: Don't announce a program to curb the media's excesses... Don't forget that public confidence in the press is low.

Later CIA documents and historical studies confirm that much of the strategy laid out in these memos was carefully implemented and developed. One example among many can be seen in a 1997 classified internal CIA study called, Managing a Nightmare: CIA Public Affairs and the Drug Conspiracy Story. The now declassified paper was authored by the agency's Center for the Study of Intelligence, which is a kind of inhouse think tank which also works closely with CIA Public Affairs - the official media relations wing. 

"Managing a Nightmare" details the steps the CIA went through to crush California journalist Gary Webb's investigative series exposing CIA-Nicaraguan Contra drug running. The CIA report boasted of "a ground base of already productive relations with journalists" which was levereged to quell "a genuine public relations crisis." It also admitted to using proxies and friendly journalists in major news rooms to attack both Gary Webb and his investigative story.

Similar to the 1984 memos advising on the public relations importance of avoiding "frontal attack" of either the press or Constitutional protections like free speech, the 1997 study admits of subtle behind the scenes maneuvering to bring about the desired end: "In the world of public relations, as in war, avoiding a rout in the face of hostile multitudes can be considered a success." And added further that, "We live in somewhat coarse and emotional times–when large numbers of Americans do not adhere to the same standards of logic, evidence, or even civil discourse as those practiced by members of the CIA community."

Likely, such declassified papers constitute the tip of the iceburg in terms of revealing the depths that US intelligence agencies have gone to in studying how to manipulate public perception and opinion. No doubt the more extensive content still remains classified and hidden.

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Mena Arkansas's picture

"which was levereged to quell "a genuine public relations crisis." It also admitted to using proxies and friendly journalists in major news rooms to attack both Gary Webb and his investigative story."

And by quell, they mean cover-up their arms-for-drugs pipeline.

I guess Gary Webb shooting himself twice in the head was just collateral damage.

Uninvited's picture

CIA Memo: (((Media))) Are The "Principal Villains"... along with the (((banksters))) and the (((handlers))) of our governments.


TeaClipper's picture

Lessons in Ethics from the CIA? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

logicalman's picture

Lessons in empathy from Ted Bundy.


LOL123's picture

Abuse works both ways- former editor of german magazine Frankfurter Allgemeine ( Spegiel magzine definately one).

ISI ( Pakistan intelligence agency- always number one or two on list of top agencies).

  • Media ( wikipedia)
International media centres can easily absorb ISI operatives and provide freedom of movement.
Dualisim- the way of life- depends which side you're on that's all.
learnofjesuits's picture

CIA = Catholic Intelligence Agency

NWO is jesuits vatican agenda

Illuminati are jesuit masonic order from vatican

vatican rule - every politician, business leader, important person, bow to pope and bishops

get a clue already noobs

Escapegoat's picture


barysenter's picture

Left hand jealous of right hand getting all fat and hairy?

Rebelrebel7's picture


The truth and reality will destroy you! We will not relent or back down! 

Stop the lying! Stop the campaign of lies and slanderous campaigns against the innocent!, Wikileaks, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Zero Hedge!

The more you fight this, the more it will blow up in your face! For every action, is an opposite and equal reaction! 

MuffDiver69's picture

Brennan joined in 1980 I think...All lies all the time...

Totally_Disillusioned's picture

And Gary Webb's suicide was one of those did he do that?...suicides

messystateofaffairs's picture

CIA doing its part to poison the freedom well of the American Constitution.

medium giraffe's picture
Media Are The "Principal Villains"

well it wasn't going to say CIA are the "Principal Villains",  was it now?

francis scott falseflag's picture


But you can't expect the CIA to say that the Wolfowitzian Neocons are the principal villains.

So they blame it on the media, who are greatly responsible for this shitstorm, but hardly

the originators of it.


"given some curriculum changes, the next generation of reporters might show some

elevation of ethics."

I doubt it.  Anybody interviewing for a media job out of college who exhibits any ethical tendencies 


DuneCreature's picture

You mean to tell me, ALL of these people are SCUMBAGS?!?

Well, Hector Festus, after a careful review of that chart I'm thinking you may be on to something, fsff.

Do you think they are evilly conspiring against all of humanity at once or are they just going to pick off one country at a time?

Live Hard, They All Seem To Be Reporting To The Same Greedy Lying Cut-Throat Satanic Pirate Bosses, That's Pretty Obvious, Die Free

~ DC v7.4

DuneCreature's picture

Now this is where the NDAA snake turns around and bites the Low Intelligence Community in the face.

Full Spazztec Rules are now in affect all over Langley VA.

Live Hard, Truth Is Easier To Keep Track Of And Document Than Trying To Keep Up With Which Lie You Are Using On Every Other Humpday, Die Free

~ DC v7.4

wisebastard's picture

just look at Max Keiser. he is on RT but also work for Al Jezzera and the BBC around the time the BBC had that huge child sex scandal. Max also brags about how bankers like him never go to prison. He also has connections to the attacks on Sept 11th 2001. I could write an entire book on how corrupt he is and why he should be put in prison the rest of his life....


HowdyDoody's picture

Write away and let us know when you have finished.


El_Puerco's picture

HEY!..People!..This is NEWS!...


Facebook was forced to shut down one of its artificial intelligence systems after researchers discovered that it had started communicating in a language that they could not understand. The incident evokes images of the rise of Skynet in the iconic Terminator series. Perhaps Tesla CEO Elon Musk is right about AI being the “biggest risk we face.”







El_Puerco's picture

That is not accurate. The AI developed it's own language (probably more efficient) to interact with other computers.

Take the time to read up on AI. It is advancing faster than you can imagine. It is reaching levels of intelligence that are scary.

Flibbertigibbet's picture




Is-ra-hell is a crusader kingdom. Da-Joos are unwitting dupes. Footsoldiers.

YouPi's picture

Wesley Clark discusses his book "A Time to Lead." October 3, 2007

Wes Clark - America's Foreign Policy "Coup"

Any questions?

StephenHopkins's picture

Went back to University to take some communications classes after a 20 year absence. It's not the same. Questions about Tesla were completely shut down. This 'professor' is a small woman from Louisiana that had just taken her position. She is a militant Nazi that never let questions that challenged a court decision, especially when it came to Tesla.

Bush clinton bush obama was one administration.

zen0's picture

"Bush clinton bush obama was one administration. "

She is correct about that.

tool's picture

Public confidence in the press is low.

Public confidence in Wikileaks is high.


gregga777's picture

Telling the TRUTH is an extreme threat to the Empire of Lies and US CIA (Criminally Insane Agency).

sauldaddy's picture

Be careful when buying Ass, the bitches might be on the CIA payroll.

The project consisted of a web of CIA-run safehouses in San FranciscoMarin, and New York City. It was established in order to study the effects of LSD on unconsentingindividuals. Prostitutes on the CIA payroll were instructed to lure clients back to the safehouses, where they were surreptitiously plied with a wide range of substances, including LSD, and monitored behind one-way glass. Several significant operational techniques were developed in this theater, including extensive research into sexual blackmail, surveillance technology, and the possible use of mind-altering drugs in field operations.[2]

passerby's picture

CIA - protecting global corporations from national governments.

Rick Cerone's picture

Media is infiltrated with CIA filth.

VWAndy's picture

 Look around. See all this stupid? Its all very well funded by the same people. Banksters.

East Indian's picture

Banksters and oligarchs want to destory nation states and democracy; it will be back to feudalism. Ever wondered why the feudal lords were globalistic? 

King of Ruperts Land's picture

CIA we don't trust you.
CIA we don't like you.

otschelnik's picture

Let's face it, today you can only trust Wikileaks, Ed Snowden, and maybe just a little bit, ZH.


40MikeMike's picture

So start assainating them.


Who would care if a few thousand of the lying scum were to be mysteriously buried alive, with their children?