“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.”
When the CIA’s connections to the Paris Review and two dozen other magazines were revealed in 1966, the backlash was swift but uneven. Some publications crumbled, taking their editors down with them, while other publishers and writers emerged relatively unscathed, chalking it up to youthful indiscretion or else defending the CIA as a “nonviolent and honorable” force for good. But in an illuminating new book Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers, writer Joel Whitney debunks the myth of a once-moral intelligence agency, revealing an extensive list of writers involved in transforming America’s image in countries we destabilized with coups, assassinations, and other all-American interventions.
The CIA developed several guises to throw money at young, burgeoning writers, creating a cultural propaganda strategy with literary outposts around the world, from Lebanon to Uganda, India to Latin America. The same agency that occasionally undermined democracies for the sake of fighting Communism also launched the Congress for Cultural Freedoms (CCF). The CCF built editorial strategies for each of these literary outposts, allowing them to control the conversation in countries where readers might otherwise resist the American perspective. The Paris Review, whose co-founder Peter Matthiessen was a CIA agent, would sell its commissioned interviews to the magazine’s counterparts in Germany, Japan, and elsewhere. Mundo Nuevo was created to offer a moderate-left perspective to earn trust among Latin American readers, effectively muting more radical perspectives during the Cuban Revolution. Sometimes the agency would provide editors with funding and content; other times it would work directly with writers to shape the discourse. Through these acts, the CCF weaponized the era’s most progressive intellectuals as the American answer to the Soviet spin machine.
While the CIA’s involvement in anti-Communist propaganda has been long known, the extent of its influence—particularly in the early careers of the left’s most beloved writers—is shocking. Whitney, the co-founder and editor at large of the literary magazine Guernica, spent four years digging through archives, yielding an exhaustive list—James Baldwin, Gabriel García Márquez, Richard Wright, and Ernest Hemingway all served varying levels of utility to Uncle Sam. (Not that the CIA’s interest were only in letters: Expressionists Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko were also championed by arms of the agency.)
But don’t let that ruin Love in the Time of Cholera. Whitney explains with methodical clarity how each writer became a tool for the CIA. This nuance not only salvages many of the classics from being junked as solely propaganda, but it serves as a cautionary tale for those trying to navigate today’s “post-truth” media landscape. In an era where Facebook algorithms dictate the national discourse, even the most well-meaning journalist is prone to stories that distract on behalf of the US government.
“It was often a way to change the subject from the civil rights fight at home,” Whitney said of the CIA’s content strategy during the Cold War. We can easily draw parallels to today, where the nation’s most dire issues are rarely our viral subjects. With Donald Trump’s presidency just weeks away, Finks arrives at a crucial time, exposing the political machinery that can affect which stories are shared and which are silenced.
VICE: So why did you have to ruin all my favorite authors?
Joel Whitney: You want to know the truth about the writers and publications you love and what their aims might have been, but that shouldn’t mean they’re ruined. For somebody like Richard Wright or James Baldwin or even Peter Matthiessen, I feel like there were a lot of people who joined or participated through professors. They were in their early 20s, and when you’re young and your professors have national reputations, you take their attention seriously. I was a little bit more interested in where people ended up once the truth was known.
And the excuses varied. You mentioned Gabriel Garcia Márquez’s advice that “when you write, it’s you who informs the publication.” If that’s true, why did the CIA work with so many left-leaning Latin American authors, whose writing would give voice and credibility to the idea of autonomy in the region? Can we measure how successful the CIA really was in working with these artists?
That’s the thing about secrecy: Without any public discussion about what the actual goals were, there was no accountability, and you could keep moving the target. They found that with the early magazines of Latin America—the first one was Cuadernos [del Congreso por la Libertad de la Cultura]—they had their politics too much on their sleeve, and they weren’t getting the readers they wanted. Cuadernos could speak to the hardliners who were already convinced that the US did some good stuff in Latin America. It helped prop up the rich, and it helped knock down purportedly Communist-influenced leftists who often turned out not to have much communism in their leftism. But during the Cuban Revolution, we see a shifting target. Rather than enabling hardliners, “soft-liners” could reach more people.
Basically, they enacted something that I had stumbled into as an idea behind Guernica‘s political coverage, which is somebody needs to referee, at all times it seems, a debate between the anti-war progressive left and the interventionist left. I was always curious why the interventionist left always was heard and the anti-war progressive left always seemed like it was marginalized.
“The CIA’s influence in publishing was on the covert ops side, and it was done as propaganda. It was a control of how intellectuals thought about the US.”
So the CCF published writers who were just left enough to win an audience’s trust?
The way that they went about it was to use a cultural leftist like Garcia Márquez with their creative work and put their names on the cover in a sort of Trojan Horse style, so that they had a hand in the conversation during the Cuban Revolution. There was something democratic behind that, but there was also something unaccountable and not so democratic about it.
For example, the scholar Patrick Iber pointed out a moment where Emir Rodríguez Monegal admitted that he published an anti-Vietnam war op-ed just to reestablish the idea that it wasn’t a CIA instrument. It gets super complicated, but that’s where I got interested. Because once I got to that level of complexity I kind of had to throw out my maybe sweet naïve tendency to sort of morally judge all that stuff. After a while, I was just sort of more interested when people changed their mind or when people had a breakdown or when somebody was so instrumentalized and weaponized that they realized it and it crushed them for a moment.
When the CIA’s connections to the Paris Review and other publications were revealed, the backlash was starkly uneven. The Beirut-based Hiwar—as well as the life and career of its editor Tawfiq Sayigh— were destroyed. Why was the Paris Review left unscathed?
Your question just points to a central aim of the book. I think a lot of the writing that deals with this issue never looks at it next to all the coups and assassinations and interventions that made Americans so unpopular. Once Hiwar and other magazines were exposed, they were folded into all the interventions that people hate in the postcolonial world.
The CIA’s influence in publishing was on the covert ops side and it was done as propaganda. It might have been conceived by some of the participants as an altruistic funding of culture, but it was actually a control of journalism, a control of the fourth estate. It was a control of how intellectuals thought about the US. But once it was exposed, it was completely useless.
But not only did the Paris Review solicit this kind of propaganda literature, a lot of their editors were also monitoring writers and expats and the going-ons in France. How did they casually just replace their editors and move on?
This “joint employ” is important because it shows a sort of soft collusion. Peter Matthiessen admitted that we were spying but he resigned when he saw how ugly it was. I think there are some conspiracies out there that he didn’t but I’ve tried to stick with what I could find. Were Nelson Aldrich and Frances Fitzgerald spying on their friends while they were working for the Congress for Cultural Freedom? I don’t think so. They were basically doing magazine work and PR work, disguising it as innocent cultural work while doing sort of PR for the American Way. It’s not totally inconceivable that you could imagine yourself in the way that García Márquez did, taking that money and sort of affecting its outcome more than the paymasters would. That’s the conundrum, I think, and the problem with patronage in secret: It lets you tell yourself, “I don’t think I was tainted” and justifying your own behavior. But as soon as you say that, you’re talking against the basic journalistic principle of transparency.
The CIA turned writers into cultural weapons even when they weren’t saying anything explicitly pro-America, by simply advertising for the “American alternative.” How is that different today? American writers still have a monopoly in the literature scene—are they not conveying the same narrative?
That’s a huge question, and a good question. It reminds me of the mission for Guernica during the Bush Administration. The US was committing an ugly war, and I was horrified, ashamed, but I was a lit guy who did an MFA, so what could I do to help? I feel like a lot of writers feel that way now—what can we do? I needed to be instrumentalized. There is a shame in being represented by Bush or Donald Trump and the assholes only who often cheat their way into government. I will say, I don’t think positive propaganda is quite as nasty as disinformation and negative propaganda, which are almost always the same thing.
Once you start doing negative propaganda, I think it quickly turns into disinformation. You’re willing to entertain any argument that makes your enemy look bad. In the moment The Paris Review started to chase the Boris Pasternak interview, its implicit propaganda mission changed from something like: “We need the American and Western writers to be known overseas” to a more negative one that tells Americans how unfree “they” are, without explaining much in terms of context. I can almost agree with the first gesture of wanting Americans to be known by our writers rather than our Republicans. But this is more equitable when we’re willing to say, “We need Americans to know about work in translation.”
Pasternak is in many ways a native informant, in that he was a foreign writer who gave testimony to a narrative that the US wanted, and so became a CIA darling.
That’s what the Pasternak story is. He wrote Doctor Zhivago as an independent dissident, but the CIA wanted to control that, and so Pasternak became a symbol of why Western democracies “were better than that” culturally.
You have to hear his criticism not as a one-way thing that only criticizes his system. You have to listen to these dissidents and think about your own dissidence. Who is your Pasternak, and how are you treating him while you’re propping up Pasternak? That was one impetus behind the book: the question of whether we have a Pasternak now. What is Snowden compared to Pasternak? I don’t know that you can make huge comparisons to one creative writer making critique versus a leaker and whistleblower. But I wanted people to see in Pasternak not just the symbol that we try to make him into as Cold Warriors. These people are now symbols, but before that, they were independent thinkers. In some cases, they were just trying to tell their stories.
Where can we draw the line today? If writers want to avoid the blurred lines between honest expression and propaganda, should we simply swear off any sort of government funding or is it possible to be more nuanced?
No. It’s way more nuanced. We should have a wall of separation, and we have the principle in government in the separation of powers. It’s not that we don’t want government funding, it just can’t be secret. Some principles that point back to some of our finest big principles need to be re-articulated and restated. We’re in a messy, impure world, and as journalists, we’ll take whatever funding we can get. [But] we have be smart about it, like what García Márquez was trying to do.
Social media has dethroned editors as the gatekeepers of information. Do you think that makes it easier for the CIA to control the conversation?
I feel like some of these platforms withstood the government pressure better than others. I know that Facebook constantly is changing its algorithm for ad-related purposes, but they withstood some of the pressure a little differently than Twitter, who faced pressure to reveal identities in the wake of Arab Spring and other movements.
But there are other ways to leverage these cultural markets. If you look at the film industry— Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, etc.—we’re paying billions of dollars to lie to ourselves. I feel like at some point in the early war on terror, the Bush administration met with filmmakers, and they said, “We need to enlist you in this mission.” That’s not a new thing, but it felt new at the time, if you didn’t know how often that kind of thing happened during the cultural Cold War.
Follow Mary von Aue on Twitter.
Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers by Joel Whitney is available in bookstores and online from OR Books.
Rabbi Yaacov Perrin: “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”
MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan himself declared that Palestinians “are beasts, they are not human.” MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan added: “A Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he is a homosexual.”
Source: Kill Them All | Veterans Today
With permission from
Jan 4, 2017
Long before Netanyahu came on the political scene, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir compared the Palestinians to “grasshoppers.”
Human Rights Watch has just condemned Israel’s shoot-to-kill policy. The policy is pretty simple. If the Israeli Defense Force and police officers perceive or think that a Palestinian is about to commit a crime, then Israeli officials encourage the IDF to take that Palestinian down immediately and without hesitation.
Any Israeli officer should be able to “shoot to kill” the Palestinian “without thinking twice…no attacker male or female should make it out of any attack alive.”
The evidence doesn’t matter at all. What matters is that if the IDF and the police want to kill a Palestinian, they can do so. The IDF and the police themselves are the evidence. All they have to do to defense their case is just say that the Palestinian was about to do something bad. Sari Bashi, Israel advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, declared that this clearly violates international law.
The question is simply this: Has the Israeli regime gunned down Palestinians in the past based on this ridiculous policy? The answer is yes.
This should not be a surprise at all. We know for a fact that Israeli politician and Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked has unequivocally and ontologically declared that the Palestinians are Israel’s enemies.
“Who is the enemy?,” she asked. “The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started…” Shaked’s political ideology with respect to the Palestinians is worth quoting in full:
“The Palestinian people has declared war on us, and we must respond with war. Not an operation, not a slow-moving one, not low-intensity, not controlled escalation, no destruction of terror infrastructure, no targeted killings. Enough with the oblique references. This is a war. Words have meanings. This is a war.
“It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started…
“Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. Actors in the war are those who incite in mosques, who write the murderous curricula for schools, who give shelter, who provide vehicles, and all those who honor and give them their moral support.
“They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”
Shaked declares that she intends to “promote advanced processes of democratization in Israel,” but how does that line up with the idea that all Palestinians are the enemy? Does Shaked really think that democracy can even exist without what Kant would call the categorical imperative or practical reason? Can Israel’s laws with respect to the Palestinians be really universalized?
Shaked’s ideology is not democracy at all. It is actually a perversion of democracy. And if you think this is far-fetched, perhaps we need to bring in Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, who said unequivocally:
“Any trial based on the assumption that Jews and goyim are equal is a total travesty of justice.”
The million-dollar question is this: Was Shaked ever challenged by the Zionist Mafia and Neocon puppets for saying disgusting things about the Palestinians? Did any US politician reprimand her for her essentially diabolical plan?
Of course not.
The fact is that Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials (both past and present) have said similar things about the Palestinians. “In our neighborhood,” said King Bibi, “we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts.” If an Israeli soldier is convicted of manslaughter, says Netanyahu, he should be released immediately.
Long before Netanyahu came on the political scene, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir compared the Palestinians to “grasshoppers.” Former IDF Chief of Staff Raphael Eitan declared way back in the 1980s:
“We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel….Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours.”
Rabbi Yaacov Perrin: “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”
MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan himself declared that Palestinians “are beasts, they are not human.” MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan added: “A Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he is a homosexual.”
Shouldn’t homosexuals in America and much of the West be upset about Ben-Dahan degrading them here? Doesn’t organized Jewry in America tell us ad nauseam that homosexuality is a great thing? Why doesn’t the same organization reprimand Ben-Dahan for his racist views?
 “‘Israeli shoot-to-kill policy belongs to western movie laws’ – HRW official to RT,” Russia Today, January 4, 2017.
 Harriet Agerholm, “Israeli officials back shoot-to-kill policy of Palestinian suspects, says Human Rights Watch,” Independent, January 3, 2017.
 Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel’s new justice minister considers all Palestinians to be ‘the enemy,’” Washington Post, May 7, 2015.
 Quoted in Alan Cowell, “An Israeli Mayor Is Under Scrutiny,” NY Times, June 6, 1989.
 Ron Kampeas, “Andrew Sullivan owes Yitzhak Shamir an apology,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 6, 2015.
 Quoted in Clyde Haberman, “West Bank Massacre; Israel Orders Tough Measures Against Militant Settlers,” NY Times, February 28, 1994.
The perpetual war that the so-called US-led coalition is waging is now almost universally synonymous mass murder, and this is just another not propaganda claim, and that’s rather unfortunate. By the end of the twentieth century the United States employed military force abroad more than two hundred times. In Barack Obama’s two terms in office alone the US Army was conducting military operations in five countries in the Middle East and Africa, where the weapons of the US-led coalition claimed thousands of civilian lives.
Since 2004, the Pentagon has been targeting Islamists in Somalia, while the White House provides support to the government forces in the unraveling civil war in that country. However, American bombs are killing civilians just as effectively as they kill radicals, therefore the former became hostages of the military ambitions of Washington.
In 2011, Barack Obama approved air and rocket strikes against Libya, marking the start of the criminal US intervention in the country. This intervention resulted in the overthrow and consequent murder of the head of the Libyan state – Muammar al-Gaddafi. This resulted in the devastation of the most prosperous and stable African country.
On 23 September 2014, the US-led coalition began bombing the positions of the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. While those strikes have yielded no results, they’ve resulted in thousands of civilian deaths.
In 2015 Washington launched first US missile strikes on the positions of Yemeni rebels – the Houthis, while providing active support for the Saudi military intervention in Yemen. As a result, Saudi Arabia got embroiled in a US supported war in Yemen.
The Islamic State terrorist group remains a threat in Iraq, Syria and around the world. In once-peaceful Libya things have also gone to hell, we got more problems with terrorist networks and yet another wave of refugees flooding Europe.
As it’s been noted by the French edition of the Huffington Post, the fight against ISIS is no longer a top priority for the US, the ultimate is and to contain China, while preventing Russia’s rise to international prominence. According to this approach, under the guise of carrying on the war on terror, the United States, despite the decline of its influence, is trying to get back into the regional game.
While being a big patchwork of various states, the US-led has completely discredited itself and lost any legitimacy that it could have. The unnatural alliance of the Europeans, Anglo-Saxons, the Persian Gulf monarchies, as well as other states, ranging from Pakistan to Turkey can hardly be labeled as “the Western coalition”, it is rather “a coalition against Assad” or “anti-Russian coalition.”
Moreover, there are doubts that ISIS has been an enemy of this coalition at all, which becomes obvious if you take a look at the recent statements of the US Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Philip M. Breedlove who has been telling the world time and time again that Russia is a long-term threat to the existence of the US and its European allies.
According to the USA Today, things are also awful for Washington in Asia. The Philippines have long been the cornerstone of American dominance in the Pacific. Now Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, having pronounced the United States a “loser,” has decided to side with China. He is clearly not satisfied with the attempts of the Obama administration by force to dictate its will to the world, while hiding from any sort of retribution under the facade of the US-led coalition, while bringing nothing but death, hunger and poverty to the people of the world.
Therefore, the US president to be – Donald Trump inherits a pretty ugly situation that can get dangerous situation fast. And this situation is bound to be changed once the Obama administration leaves office.
Oh great, now you know some of the sites I quote from. That’s OK, I am not here for click bait posts but I am here to release what I perceive to be information close to the truth.
by: Mike Adams
January 04, 2017
(NaturalNews) SHARE EVERYWHERE: The Censored.news beta is now live, delivering a super clean, ad-free interface that brings you (near) real-time news headlines from the top independent news websites currently being targeted for censorship by the globalist regime of fascist info-monopolists and corporate journo-terrorists.
Go to Censored.news right now to see it. It’s also mobile friendly and refreshed many times throughout the day. Because it’s in beta, you may experience glitches from time to time.
The purpose of Censored.news is to connect freedom-loving citizens of the world to the most important independent sources of news on the internet today. More sources are being added soon.
As one of the tech pioneers in independent media publishing, I launched this site as a public service to help make sure that informed citizens of the world have a portal to find all the censored news that’s being blacklisted at Fakebook, Google News, Twitter and other internet gatekeepers (all of which are beholden to the NSA and the deep state).
More publishing sites will be added to Censored.news throughout 2017, including SHTFplan.com, SGTreport.com, The Anti Media, Alt Market and many others. To be considered for inclusion on Censored.news, publishers must meet three criteria:
1) They must be engaged in independent journalism and not beholden to government or corporate interests.
2) They must be targeted for censorship.
3) They must publish content that seeks to set people free rather than enslave them.
My aim is to help independent journalism continue to rapidly expand while the old media collapses from its own self-induced “fake news” epidemic. CNN, WashPost, NYT, MSNBC and USA Today are all extinct. They have zero credibility remaining. No informed person believes anything that appears in the fakestream media anymore.
Instead, people are turning to independent media in record numbers. To try to destroy the independent media, Google, Facebook and other internet gatekeepers are engaging in communist-style (red China) censorship of those sites, in exactly the same way the Chinese government censors websites about Falun Gong.
We will not let the communist-style censorship succeed in silencing the real voices of reason and truth in the western world. Censored.news connects you with the real patriots, visionaries and revolutionaries of our time.
It’s easy to remember, too: If you want to read the censored news, just go to Censored.news.
Last year, I launched GoodGopher.com, the anonymous search engine for independent media. Updated daily, GoodGopher.com allows you to search for censored news stories across thousands of censored websites and blogs. It also doesn’t track your searches or record your search history.
Use both Censored.news and GoodGopher.com to stay informed as globalist-funded journo-terrorists try and fail to maintain a stranglehold on information. Remember: Everything you read in the Washington Post is bulls##t. Get the real story on unfolding events at Censored.news or GoodGopher.com.
Information wants to be free. And people like us are willing to help promote and defend that freedom at all costs.
Prayers and blessings to Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, G. Edward Griffin, Aaron Swartz (murdered by the deep state in 2013), Andrew Breitbart (murdered by the Obama regime in 2012) and all the other champions of truth and transparency. In an age of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Welcome to the revolution.
With permission from Shepard
(INTELLIHUB) — For the first time ever, astronomers have pinpointed the home galaxy where numerous “fast radio bursts” have originated from. The bursts have puzzled scientists since their discovery a decade ago, with at least 18 of the bursts being recorded since 2007.
Interestingly, only one such fast radio burst, discovered in Puerto Rico, has actually repeated itself and now astronomers have confirmed that it comes from a galaxy billions of light-years away.
“By using telescopes from around the world, “we now know that this particular burst comes from a dwarf galaxy more than 3 billion light-years from Earth,” astronomer Shami Chatterjee of Cornell University told USA Today.
The radio bursts are “highly energetic” while lasting just a few thousandths of a second. Many within the UFO research community as well as some mainstream observers believe that the bursts could easily be from alien life.
The USA Today report continued, “Prior to this discovery, astronomers had lacked the definitive proof that the bursts come from far outside our Milky Way galaxy.”
“The dwarf galaxy itself, which is less than 1% of the mass of our Milky Way galaxy, is rather unremarkable. “It is surprising that such an exotic source is hosted by such an unimpressive galaxy,” said Joan Schmelz of the Arecibo Observatory.”
The findings were presented at an American Astronomical Society meeting as well as published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Imagine that, them devious Chinese are using water to hide their submarines. Sneaky.