How US Flooded the World with Psyops

Special Report: The mainstream U.S. media obsesses over Russian “propaganda” yet the U.S. government created a “psyops” bureaucracy three decades ago to flood the world with dubious information, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Newly declassified documents from the Reagan presidential library help explain how the U.S. government developed its sophisticated psychological operations capabilities that – over the past three decades – have created an alternative reality both for people in targeted countries and for American citizens, a structure that expanded U.S. influence abroad and quieted dissent at home.

Walter Raymond Jr., a CIA propaganda and disinformation specialist who oversaw President Reagan’s “perception management” and psyops projects at the National Security Council. Raymond is partially obscured by President Reagan and is sitting next to National Security Adviser John Poindexter.. (Photo credit: Reagan presidential library)

The documents reveal the formation of a psyops bureaucracy under the direction of Walter Raymond Jr., a senior CIA covert operations specialist who was assigned to President Reagan’s National Security Council staff to enhance the importance of propaganda and psyops in undermining U.S. adversaries around the world and ensuring sufficient public support for foreign policies inside the United States.

Raymond, who has been compared to a character from a John LeCarré novel slipping easily into the woodwork, spent his years inside Reagan’s White House as a shadowy puppet master who tried his best to avoid public attention or – it seems – even having his picture taken. From the tens of thousands of photographs from meetings at Reagan’s White House, I found only a couple showing Raymond – and he is seated in groups, partially concealed by other officials.

But Raymond appears to have grasped his true importance. In his NSC files, I found a doodle of an organizational chart that had Raymond at the top holding what looks like the crossed handles used by puppeteers to control the puppets below them. Although it’s impossible to know exactly what the doodler had in mind, the drawing fits the reality of Raymond as the behind-the-curtains operative who was controlling the various inter-agency task forces that were responsible for implementing various propaganda and psyops strategies.

Until the 1980s, psyops were normally regarded as a military technique for undermining the will of an enemy force by spreading lies, confusion and terror. A classic case was Gen. Edward Lansdale — considered the father of modern psyops — draining the blood from a dead Filipino rebel in such a way so the dead rebel’s superstitious comrades would think that a vampire-like creature was on the prowl. In Vietnam, Lansdale’s psyops team supplied fake and dire astrological predictions for the fate of North Vietnamese and Vietcong leaders.

Essentially, the psyops idea was to play on the cultural weaknesses of a target population so they could be more easily manipulated and controlled. But the challenges facing the Reagan administration in the 1980s led to its determination that peacetime psyops were also needed and that the target populations had to include the American public.

The Reagan administration was obsessed with the problems left behind by the 1970s’ disclosures of government lying about the Vietnam War and revelations about CIA abuses both in overthrowing democratically elected governments and spying on American dissidents. This so-called “Vietnam Syndrome” produced profound skepticism from regular American citizens as well as journalists and politicians when President Reagan tried to sell his plans for intervention in the civil wars then underway in Central America, Africa and elsewhere.

While Reagan saw Central America as a “Soviet beachhead,” many Americans saw brutal Central American oligarchs and their bloody security forces slaughtering priests, nuns, labor activists, students, peasants and indigenous populations. Reagan and his advisers realized that they had to turn those perceptions around if they hoped to get sustained funding for the militaries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras as well as for the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, the CIA-organized paramilitary force marauding around leftist-ruled Nicaragua.

So, it became a high priority to reshape public perceptions to gain support for Reagan’s Central American military operations both inside those targeted countries and among Americans.

A ‘Psyops Totality’

As Col. Alfred R. Paddock Jr. wrote in an influential November 1983 paper, entitled “Military Psychological Operations and US Strategy,” “the planned use of communications to influence attitudes or behavior should, if properly used, precede, accompany, and follow all applications of force. Put another way, psychological operations is the one weapons system which has an important role to play in peacetime, throughout the spectrum of conflict, and during the aftermath of conflict.”

President Ronald Reagan leading a meeting on terrorism on Jan. 26, 1981, with National Security Advisor Richard Allen, Secretary of State Alexander Haig, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and White House counselor Edwin Meese. (photo credit: Reagan library)

Paddock continued, “Military psychological operations are an important part of the ‘PSYOP Totality,’ both in peace and war. … We need a program of psychological operations as an integral part of our national security policies and programs. … The continuity of a standing interagency board or committee to provide the necessary coordinating mechanism for development of a coherent, worldwide psychological operations strategy is badly needed.”

Some of Raymond’s recently available handwritten notes show a focus on El Salvador with the implementation of “Nation wide multi-media psyops” spread through rallies and electronic media. “Radio + TV also carried Psyops messages,” Raymond wrote. (Emphasis in original.) Though Raymond’s crimped handwriting is often hard to decipher, the notes make clear that psyops programs also were directed at Honduras, Guatemala and Peru.

One declassified “top secret” document in Raymond’s file – dated Feb. 4, 1985, from Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger – urged the fuller implementation of President Reagan’s National Security Decision Directive 130, which was signed on March 6, 1984, and which authorized peacetime psyops by expanding psyops beyond its traditional boundaries of active military operations into peacetime situations in which the U.S. government could claim some threat to national interests.

“This approval can provide the impetus to the rebuilding of a necessary strategic capability, focus attention on psychological operations as a national – not solely military – instrument, and ensure that psychological operations are fully coordinated with public diplomacy and other international information activities,” Weinberger’s document said.

This broader commitment to psyops led to the creation of a Psychological Operations Committee (POC) that was to be chaired by a representative of Reagan’s National Security Council with a vice chairman from the Pentagon and with representatives from the Central Intelligence Agency, the State Department and the U.S. Information Agency.

“This group will be responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing psychological operations activities in support of United States policies and interests relative to national security,” according to a “secret” addendum to a memo, dated March 25, 1986, from Col. Paddock, the psyops advocate who had become the U.S. Army’s Director for Psychological Operations.

“The committee will provide the focal point for interagency coordination of detailed contingency planning for the management of national information assets during war, and for the transition from peace to war,” the addendum added. “The POC shall seek to ensure that in wartime or during crises (which may be defined as periods of acute tension involving a threat to the lives of American citizens or the imminence of war between the U.S. and other nations), U.S. international information elements are ready to initiate special procedures to ensure policy consistency, timely response and rapid feedback from the intended audience.”

Taking Shape

The Psychological Operations Committee took formal shape with a “secret” memo from Reagan’s National Security Advisor John Poindexter on July 31, 1986. Its first meeting was called on Sept. 2, 1986, with an agenda that focused on Central America and “How can other POC agencies support and complement DOD programs in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama.” The POC was also tasked with “Developing National PSYOPS Guidelines” for “formulating and implementing a national PSYOPS program.” (Underlining in original)

Then-Vice President George H.W. Bush with CIA Director William Casey at the White House on Feb. 11, 1981. (Photo credit: Reagan Library)

Raymond was named a co-chair of the POC along with CIA officer Vincent Cannistraro, who was then Deputy Director for Intelligence Programs on the NSC staff, according to a “secret” memo from Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Craig Alderman Jr. The memo also noted that future POC meetings would be briefed on psyops projects for the Philippines and Nicaragua, with the latter project codenamed “Niagara Falls.” The memo also references a “Project Touchstone,” but it is unclear where that psyops program was targeted.

Another “secret” memo dated Oct. 1, 1986, co-authored by Raymond, reported on the POC’s first meeting on Sept. 10, 1986, and noted that “The POC will, at each meeting, focus on an area of operations (e.g., Central America, Afghanistan, Philippines).”

The POC’s second meeting on Oct. 24, 1986, concentrated on the Philippines, according to a Nov. 4, 1986 memo also co-authored by Raymond. “The next step will be a tightly drafted outline for a PSYOPS Plan which we will send to that Embassy for its comment,” the memo said. The plan “largely focused on a range of civic actions supportive of the overall effort to overcome the insurgency,” an addendum noted. “There is considerable concern about the sensitivities of any type of a PSYOPS program given the political situation in the Philippines today.”

Earlier in 1986, the Philippines had undergone the so-called “People Power Revolution,” which drove longtime dictator Ferdinand Marcos into exile, and the Reagan administration, which belatedly pulled its support from Marcos, was trying to stabilize the political situation to prevent more populist elements from gaining the upper hand.

But the Reagan administration’s primary attention continued to go back to Central America, including “Project Niagara Falls,” the psyops program aimed at Nicaragua. A “secret” Pentagon memo from Deputy Under Secretary Alderman on Nov. 20, 1986, outlined the work of the 4th Psychological Operations Group on this psyops plan “to help bring about democratization of Nicaragua,” by which the Reagan administration meant a “regime change.” The precise details of “Project Niagara Falls” were not disclosed in the declassified documents but the choice of codename suggested a cascade of psyops.

Other documents from Raymond’s NSC file shed light on who other key operatives in the psyops and propaganda programs were. For instance, in undated notes on efforts to influence the Socialist International, including securing support for U.S. foreign policies from Socialist and Social Democratic parties in Europe, Raymond cited the efforts of “Ledeen, Gershman,” a reference to neoconservative operative Michael Ledeen and Carl Gershman, another neocon who has served as president of the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), from 1983 to the present. (Underlining in original.)

Although NED is technically independent of the U.S. government, it receives the bulk of its funding (now about $100 million a year) from Congress. Documents from the Reagan archives also make clear that NED was organized as a way to replace some of the CIA’s political and propaganda covert operations, which had fallen into disrepute in the 1970s. Earlier released documents from Raymond’s file show CIA Director William Casey pushing for NED’s creation and Raymond, Casey’s handpicked man on the NSC, giving frequent advice and direction to Gershman. [See’s “CIA’s Hidden Hand in ‘Democracy’ Groups.”]

Another figure in Raymond’s constellation of propaganda assets was media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who was viewed as both a key political ally of President Reagan and a valuable source of funding for private groups that were coordinating with White House propaganda operations. [See’s “Rupert Murdoch: Propaganda Recruit.”]

In a Nov. 1, 1985 letter to Raymond, Charles R. Tanguy of the “Committees for a Community of Democracies – USA” asked Raymond to intervene in efforts to secure Murdoch’s funding for the group. “We would be grateful … if you could find the time to telephone Mr. Murdoch and encourage him to give us a positive response,” the letter said.

Another document, entitled “Project Truth Enhancement,” described how $24 million would be spent on upgrading the telecommunications infrastructure to arm “Project Truth, with the technical capability to provide the most efficient and productive media support for major USG policy initiatives like Political Democracy.” Project Truth was the overarching name of the Reagan administration’s propaganda operation. For the outside world, the program was billed as “public diplomacy,” but administration insiders privately called it “perception management.” [See’s “The Victory of Perception Management.”]

The Early Years

The original priority of “Project Truth” was to clean up the images of the Guatemalan and Salvadoran security forces and the Nicaraguan Contras, who were led by ousted dictator Anastasio Somoza’s ex-National Guard officers. To ensure steady military funding for these notorious forces, Reagan’s team knew it had to defuse the negative publicity and somehow rally the American people’s support.

President Ronald Reagan meeting with Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt, who was later charged with genocide against indigenous populations in Guatemala’s highlands.

At first, the effort focused on weeding out American reporters who uncovered facts that undercut the desired public images. As part of that effort, the administration denounced New York Times correspondent Raymond Bonner for disclosing the Salvadoran regime’s massacre of about 800 men, women and children in the village of El Mozote in northeast El Salvador in December 1981. Accuracy in Media and conservative news organizations, such as The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, joined in pummeling Bonner, who was soon ousted from his job. But such efforts were largely ad hoc and disorganized.

CIA Director Casey, from his years crisscrossing the interlocking worlds of business and intelligence, had important contacts for creating a more systematic propaganda network. He recognized the value of using established groups known for advocating “human rights,” such as Freedom House.

One document from the Reagan library showed senior Freedom House official Leo Cherne running a draft manuscript on political conditions in El Salvador past Casey and promising that Freedom House would make requested editorial “corrections and changes” – and even send over the editor for consultation with whomever Casey assigned to review the paper.

In a “Dear Bill” letter dated June 24, 1981, Cherne, who was chairman of the Freedom House’s executive committee, wrote: “I am enclosing a copy of the draft manuscript by Bruce McColm, Freedom House’s resident specialist on Central America and the Caribbean. This manuscript on El Salvador was the one I had urged be prepared and in the haste to do so as rapidly as possible, it is quite rough. You had mentioned that the facts could be checked for meticulous accuracy within the government and this would be very helpful. …

“If there are any questions about the McColm manuscript, I suggest that whomever is working on it contact Richard Salzmann at the Research Institute [an organization where Cherne was executive director]. He is Editor-in-Chief at the Institute and the Chairman of the Freedom House’s Salvador Committee. He will make sure that the corrections and changes get to Rita Freedman who will also be working with him. If there is any benefit to be gained from Salzmann’s coming down at any point to talk to that person, he is available to do so.”

By 1982, Casey also was lining up some powerful right-wing ideologues to help fund the “perception management” project both with money and their own media outlets. Richard Mellon Scaife was the scion of the Mellon banking, oil and aluminum fortune who financed a variety of right-wing family foundations – such as Sarah Scaife and Carthage – that were financial benefactors to right-wing journalists and think tanks. Scaife also published the Tribune Review in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

A more comprehensive “public diplomacy” operation began to take shape in 1982 when Raymond, a 30-year veteran of CIA clandestine services, was transferred to the NSC. Raymond became the sparkplug for this high-powered propaganda network, according to an unpublished draft chapter of the congressional Iran-Contra investigation that was suppressed as part of the deal to get three moderate Republican senators to sign on to the final report and give the inquiry a patina of bipartisanship.

Though the draft chapter didn’t use Raymond’s name in its opening pages, apparently because some of the information came from classified depositions, Raymond’s name was used later in the chapter and the earlier citations matched Raymond’s known role. According to the draft report, the CIA officer who was recruited for the NSC job had served as Director of the Covert Action Staff at the CIA from 1978 to 1982 and was a “specialist in propaganda and disinformation.”

“The CIA official [Raymond] discussed the transfer with [CIA Director] Casey and NSC Advisor William Clark that he be assigned to the NSC as [Donald] Gregg’s successor [as coordinator of intelligence operations in June 1982] and received approval for his involvement in setting up the public diplomacy program along with his intelligence responsibilities,” the chapter said. Gregg was another senior CIA official who was assigned to the NSC before becoming Vice President George H.W. Bush’s national security adviser.

“In the early part of 1983, documents obtained by the Select [Iran-Contra] Committees indicate that the Director of the Intelligence Staff of the NSC [Raymond] successfully recommended the establishment of an inter-governmental network to promote and manage a public diplomacy plan designed to create support for Reagan Administration policies at home and abroad.”

War of Ideas

During his Iran-Contra deposition, Raymond explained the need for this propaganda structure, saying: “We were not configured effectively to deal with the war of ideas.”

President Reagan meets with publisher Rupert Murdoch, U.S. Information Agency Director Charles Wick, lawyers Roy Cohn and Thomas Bolan in the Oval Office on Jan. 18, 1983. (Photo credit: Reagan presidential library)

One reason for this shortcoming was that federal law forbade taxpayers’ money from being spent on domestic propaganda or grassroots lobbying to pressure congressional representatives. Of course, every president and his team had vast resources to make their case in public, but by tradition and law, they were restricted to speeches, testimony and one-on-one persuasion of lawmakers. But President Reagan saw the American public’s “Vietnam Syndrome” as an obstacle to his more aggressive policies.

Along with Raymond’s government-based organization, there were outside groups eager to cooperate and cash in. Back at Freedom House, Cherne and his associates were angling for financial support.

In an Aug. 9, 1982 letter to Raymond, Freedom House executive director Leonard R. Sussman wrote that “Leo Cherne has asked me to send these copies of Freedom Appeals. He has probably told you we have had to cut back this project to meet financial realities. … We would, of course, want to expand the project once again when, as and if the funds become available. Offshoots of that project appear in newspapers, magazines, books and on broadcast services here and abroad. It’s a significant, unique channel of communication” – precisely the focus of Raymond’s work.

On Nov. 4, 1982, Raymond, after his transfer from the CIA to the NSC staff but while still a CIA officer, wrote to NSC Advisor Clark about the “Democracy Initiative and Information Programs,” stating that “Bill Casey asked me to pass on the following thought concerning your meeting with [right-wing billionaire] Dick Scaife, Dave Abshire [then a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board], and Co. Casey had lunch with them today and discussed the need to get moving in the general area of supporting our friends around the world.

“By this definition he is including both ‘building democracy’ … and helping invigorate international media programs. The DCI [Casey] is also concerned about strengthening public information organizations in the United States such as Freedom House. … A critical piece of the puzzle is a serious effort to raise private funds to generate momentum. Casey’s talk with Scaife and Co. suggests they would be very willing to cooperate. … Suggest that you note White House interest in private support for the Democracy initiative.”

The importance of the CIA and White House secretly arranging private funds was that these supposedly independent voices would then reinforce and validate the administration’s foreign policy arguments with a public that would assume the endorsements were based on the merits of the White House positions, not influenced by money changing hands. Like snake-oil salesmen who plant a few cohorts in the crowd to whip up excitement for the cure-all elixir, Reagan administration propagandists salted some well-paid “private” individuals around Washington to echo White House propaganda “themes.”

The role of the CIA in these initiatives was concealed but never far from the surface. A Dec. 2, 1982 note addressed to “Bud,” a reference to senior NSC official Robert “Bud” McFarlane, described a request from Raymond for a brief meeting. “When he [Raymond] returned from Langley [CIA headquarters], he had a proposed draft letter … re $100 M democ[racy]  proj[ect],” the note said.

While Casey pulled the strings on this project, the CIA director instructed White House officials to hide the CIA’s hand. “Obviously we here [at CIA] should not get out front in the development of such an organization, nor should we appear to be a sponsor or advocate,” Casey said in one undated letter to then-White House counselor Edwin Meese III as Casey urged creation of a “National Endowment.”

But the formation of the National Endowment for Democracy, with its hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. government money, was still months down the road. In the meantime, the Reagan administration would have to line up private donors to advance the propaganda cause.

“We will develop a scenario for obtaining private funding,” NSC Advisor Clark wrote to Reagan in a Jan. 13, 1983 memo, adding that U.S. Information Agency Director “Charlie Wick has offered to take the lead. We may have to call on you to meet with a group of potential donors.”

Despite Casey’s and Raymond’s success in bringing onboard wealthy conservatives to provide private funding for the propaganda operations, Raymond worried about whether a scandal could erupt over the CIA’s involvement. Raymond formally resigned from the CIA in April 1983, so, he said, “there would be no question whatsoever of any contamination of this.” But Raymond continued to act toward the U.S. public much like a CIA officer would in directing a propaganda operation in a hostile foreign country.

Raymond fretted, too, about the legality of Casey’s ongoing role. Raymond confided in one memo that it was important “to get [Casey] out of the loop,” but Casey never backed off and Raymond continued to send progress reports to his old boss well into 1986.

It was “the kind of thing which [Casey] had a broad catholic interest in,” Raymond shrugged during his Iran-Contra deposition. He then offered the excuse that Casey undertook this apparently illegal interference in domestic politics “not so much in his CIA hat, but in his adviser to the president hat.”

Peacetime Propaganda

Meanwhile, Reagan began laying out the formal authority for this unprecedented peacetime propaganda bureaucracy. On Jan. 14, 1983, Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 77, entitled “Management of Public Diplomacy Relative to National Security.” In NSDD-77, Reagan deemed it “necessary to strengthen the organization, planning and coordination of the various aspects of public diplomacy of the United States Government.”

President Reagan meeting with Charles Wick on March 7, 1986, in the Oval Office. Also present: Stephen Rhinesmith, Don Regan, John Poindexter, George Bush, Jack Matlock and Walter Raymond (seated next to Regan on the left side of the photo). (Photo credit: Reagan library)

Reagan ordered the creation of a special planning group within the National Security Council to direct these “public diplomacy” campaigns. The planning group would be headed by Walter Raymond and one of its principal outposts would be a new Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America, housed at the State Department but under the control of the NSC. (One of the directors of the Latin American public diplomacy office was neoconservative Robert Kagan, who would later co-found the Project for the New American Century in 1998 and become a chief promoter of President George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq.)

On May 20, 1983, Raymond recounted in a memo that $400,000 had been raised from private donors brought to the White House Situation Room by U.S. Information Agency Director Charles Wick. According to that memo, the money was divided among several organizations, including Freedom House and Accuracy in Media, a right-wing media attack organization.

When I wrote about that memo in my 1992 book, Fooling America, Freedom House denied receiving any White House money or collaborating with any CIA/NSC propaganda campaign. In a letter, Freedom House’s Sussman called Raymond “a second-hand source” and insisted that “this organization did not need any special funding to take positions … on any foreign-policy issues.”

But it made little sense that Raymond would have lied to a superior in an internal memo. And clearly, Freedom House remained central to the Reagan administration’s schemes for aiding groups supportive of its Central American policies, particularly the CIA-organized Contra war against the leftist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. Plus, White House documents released later revealed that Freedom House kept its hand out for funding.

On Sept. 15, 1984, Bruce McColm – writing from Freedom House’s Center for Caribbean and Central American Studies – sent Raymond “a short proposal for the Center’s Nicaragua project 1984-85. The project combines elements of the oral history proposal with the publication of The Nicaraguan Papers,” a book that would disparage Sandinista ideology and practices.

“Maintaining the oral history part of the project adds to the overall costs; but preliminary discussions with film makers have given me the idea that an Improper Conduct-type of documentary could be made based on these materials,” McColm wrote, referring to a 1984 film that offered a scathing critique of Fidel Castro’s Cuba. “Such a film would have to be the work of a respected Latin American filmmaker or a European. American-made films on Central America are simply too abrasive ideologically and artistically poor.”

McColm’s three-page letter reads much like a book or movie pitch, trying to interest Raymond in financing the project: “The Nicaraguan Papers will also be readily accessible to the general reader, the journalist, opinion-maker, the academic and the like. The book would be distributed fairly broadly to these sectors and I am sure will be extremely useful. They already constitute a form of Freedom House samizdat, since I’ve been distributing them to journalists for the past two years as I’ve received them from disaffected Nicaraguans.”

McColm proposed a face-to-face meeting with Raymond in Washington and attached a six-page grant proposal seeking $134,100. According to the grant proposal, the project would include “free distribution to members of Congress and key public officials; distribution of galleys in advance of publication for maximum publicity and timely reviews in newspapers and current affairs magazines; press conferences at Freedom House in New York and at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.; op-ed circulation to more than 100 newspapers …; distribution of a Spanish-language edition through Hispanic organizations in the United States and in Latin America; arrangement of European distribution through Freedom House contacts.”

The documents that I found at the Reagan library did not indicate what subsequently happened to this specific proposal. McColm did not respond to an email request for comment about the Nicaraguan Papers plan or the earlier letter from Cherne (who died in 1999) to Casey about editing McComb’s manuscript. Freedom House did emerge as a leading critic of Nicaragua’s Sandinista government and also became a major recipient of money from the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy, which was founded in 1983 under the umbrella of the Casey-Raymond project.

The more recently released documents – declassified between 2013 and 2017 – show how these earlier Casey-Raymond efforts merged with the creation of a formal psyop bureaucracy in 1986 also under the control of Raymond’s NSC operation. The combination of the propaganda and psyop programs underscored the powerful capability that the U.S. government developed more than three decades ago for planting slanted, distorted or fake news. (Casey died in 1987; Raymond died in 2003.)

Over those several decades, even as the White House changed hands from Republicans to Democrats to Republicans to Democrats, the momentum created by William Casey and Walter Raymond continued to push these “perception management/psyops” strategies forward. In more recent years, the wording has changed, giving way to more pleasing euphemisms, like “smart power” and “strategic communications.” But the idea is still the same: how you can use propaganda to sell U.S. government policies abroad and at home.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

84 comments for “How US Flooded the World with Psyops

  1. max
    March 29, 2017 at 18:57
    March 29, 2017 at 15:30

    “”Newly declassified documents from the Reagan presidential library help explain how the U.S. government developed its sophisticated psychological operations capabilities that – over the past three decades – have created an alternative reality both for people in targeted countries and for American citizens, a structure that expanded U.S. influence abroad and quieted dissent at home…..

    “”The more recently released documents – declassified between 2013 and 2017 – show how these earlier Casey-Raymond efforts merged with the creation of a formal psyop bureaucracy in 1986 also under the control of Raymond’s NSC operation. The combination of the propaganda and psyop programs underscored the powerful capability that the U.S. government developed more than three decades ago for planting slanted, distorted or fake news. (Casey died in 1987; Raymond died in 2003.)

    “”Over those several decades, even as the White House changed hands from Republicans to Democrats to Republicans to Democrats, the momentum created by William Casey and Walter Raymond continued to push these “perception management/psyops” strategies forward. In more recent years, the wording has changed, giving way to more pleasing euphemisms, like “smart power” and “strategic communications.” But the idea is still the same: how you can use propaganda to sell U.S. government policies abroad and at home.””

    Excellent article, thank you—Dr. Bart Gruzalski, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy (ethics and public policy) and Religion(books: On the Buddha; On Gandhi; Why Christians and World-Peace Advocates Voted for Trump); the only academic philosopher of Ph.D. or higher status that anyone knows who supported and continues to support Trump—check out my three Trump books on Amazon (soon will be kindle if not already).

  3. HLT
    March 27, 2017 at 17:32

    Robert and all Consortium-News supporters, you have to read this, the Kremlin is really taking the pi** of the West big time: Russia shortens its military by more than 25 percent! This is not a joke, this is serious and has been reported by various military websites such as FortRuss commented: “NATO is now gravely concerned whether Russia can still maintain the “Russian threat” to Finland, Sweden, and the whole of the Baltic States at all. Not to mention Montenegro!” LOL!

    • Kiza
      March 27, 2017 at 23:09

      Since the price of oil started tumbling, Putin has been talking about decreasing the military budget, but not only the military budget then all government budgets. Such approach is truly unbelievable!!!!! Could you even imagine a government which lives within its means? If its income drops, its expenditures are forced down too, no exceptions, no too big to fail or too important to save. What kind of horrible example such a government gives to its citizens – to live within their means instead of borrowing, borrowing, borrowing and waiting for a hidden inflation, a crash or a war to wipe off the debt?

      What about tens of billions of dollars in verifiable gold reserves of the same state? They could borrow hundreds of billions based on assets, but they do not touch debt to become the mightiest military on the planet.

      Do you see now why US can never defeat Russia, only self-destruct and take the whole World down with it?

  4. March 27, 2017 at 12:48

    The CIA is a vast State-within-a-State organization which makes its own policies under people like Allen Dulles and Richard Helms, who are completely indistinguishable from the Nazis they helped since the 1940s.

  5. John Hawk
    March 27, 2017 at 04:39

    Nothing is as it appears. Traitors, the whole rotten bunch of them, politicians and bureaucrats alike.

  6. Dennis Gothermann
    March 27, 2017 at 02:41

    We call tell how durable and effective these ongoing deep state psyops are when considering that a large number of Americans still believe that 9/11 was the handiwork of a few Islamic terrorists. In the 85 sovereign countries that the US has tried to manipulate in the last century to meet the “American interests” of global hegemony, many millions of people have been killed by the consequences of psyops and wet ops, and yet the deliberate deaths of a few thousand Americans to achieve the geopolitical goals of PNAC and the Zionists are simply impossible for most Americans to accept.

    • D5-5
      March 27, 2017 at 11:27

      Psyops surely also works on what most people will automatically deny, because otherwise is too painful, let alone too stupefying. You’re probably right.

  7. liam
    March 27, 2017 at 00:59

    Highly Revealing New Doc on US Psy Op on Syria – Tapestry of Terror – White Helmets Exposed As FSA Terrorists Linked With ISIS

  8. jfl
    March 26, 2017 at 23:04

    very good post. thanks very much.

  9. jfl
    March 26, 2017 at 21:24

    ‘On Sept. 15, 1984, Bruce McColm – writing from Freedom House’s Center for Caribbean and Central American Studies – sent …’

    link at ‘sent’ above yields the same letter linked at

    ‘In an Aug. 9, 1982 letter to Raymond [#]_, Freedom House executive director Leonard R. Sussman wrote that …’

  10. jfl
    March 26, 2017 at 21:11

    ‘Casey said in one undated letter …’

    link at letter above – – 404

  11. jfl
    March 26, 2017 at 21:08

    ‘The role of the CIA in these initiatives was concealed but never far from the surface. A Dec. 2, 1982 note …’

    link at note above –,82.pdf?55ac53 – also 404

  12. jfl
    March 26, 2017 at 21:05

    ‘On Nov. 4, 1982, Raymond, after his transfer from the CIA to the NSC staff but while still a CIA officer, wrote …’

    link at ‘wrote’ above –,82.pdf?55ac53 – returns 404

  13. Stiv
    March 26, 2017 at 20:49

    Brilliant investigative reporting.

  14. March 26, 2017 at 20:18

    And what is really sad is that all tiny impoverished Nicaragua wanted was to be free of the dictator and help its people get enough to eat….they wanted a democratic society and their Sandinista government was dully elected in elections far more democratic and inclusive than US elections.

    And this was a Soviet beachhead? Bullshit.

    Now, the burning question is, what role did this psyop bureacracy play in the 9/11 false flag attacks? Well, Hollywood put out movies about Pearl Harbor that summer and Rumsfeldgave away thousands of copies of a book about the same topic in the weeks leading up to the event. Within hours, the msm had convincedbillions of people around the world that Osama did it. Now that entire fairy tale has unraveled bc of the Internet. So what will they do now?

    • D5-5
      March 27, 2017 at 11:19

      Good observation and question, I agree, and I wonder, as with late 02-03 and the drumbeat on WMD. I mean all this Russia bashing is toward what new conflict, with psyops stirring new hatreds. As to 9/11 my feeling now is that as with the JFK assassination MOST people do not believe the official story whatever (but I could be way off on this as Dennis indicates the opposite, below).

  15. March 26, 2017 at 18:21

    I suppose much of the current ills of the USA could be attributed to, amongst other things, the current generation of ‘leaders’ having grown up under this psyops régime. It’s never a good thing when you believe your own bullshit, makes for severe errors of judgement.

  16. Gregory Herr
    March 26, 2017 at 17:24

    Douglas Valentine has written a book that takes a good look at Phoenix, a CIA psyop (and assassination program) “designed and implemented in Vietnam for the political control of people” from an updated and broader context which shows that the “similarities between systematic repression in Vietnam and what’s happpening in the War on Terror and its domestic flipside, Homeland Security, are not limited to policies and procedures, but include the psychological warfare campaigns that create fear, and thus public support, for the policies and procedures.”

    Valentine pivots some of his discussion around infringement of human rights and Constitutional protections through DHS “administrative procedures” that are “justified” by appeals to “security” … procedures that include indefinite internment and other abhorrencies that can be shrouded in secrecy. In doing so he brought up William F. Schultz, former head of Amnesty International who made waves in 2005 with his critique of “the orchestrated destruction by the United States of the very basis…upon which international human rights have been built…”

    An interesting follow-up is a talk about “Tainted Legacy” found on youtube.

  17. D5-5
    March 26, 2017 at 16:26

    In response to the nothing new here comments–

    Robert’s history here is not focused on a general discussion of psyops through the ages, but how it became a strategy directed at this country’s own citizens.

    Once not allowed, it became allowed under Reagan, and was given the Orwellian title “perception management,” or in Orwell’s terms “ignorance is strength.”

    Relevance: this is the gateway to what we have now in today’s spinning psyops prop machines so that everything enters a blue-tinted maze of rodents with little red eyes.

    But what these sanctimonious psyops engineers must have worried slightly about could have been this–

    What if the psyops ops drum up competing versions, which lead to a renewed “Vietnam Syndrome”–a nation of skeptics?

    What if all the Russia interference baloney was a competing narrative up against the narrative there was illegal surveillance of Trump and his team.

    This second realm of smoke is as difficult to dispel as the first.

    Is JQ Skeptic having trouble on what to believe and being happy with having his/her perception managed?

    What if, further (see today’s Moon of Alabama Mar 26) the Flynn story as secretly dealing with the Russians was cover for the real story—

    Flynn was doing secret deals (and payoff) with Israel-Turkey that the CIA did not approve of?

    The high priests of psyops back in Reagan’s time must be muttering and rolling over in their graves at what a travesty the whole stinkin’ perception game has become!

    • Kiza
      March 27, 2017 at 08:31

      The moonofalabama story about Flynn is quite interesting, most of all because of its major implication: that Israeli and neocon interests do not always align and that when a lot of money is at stake then they may even fight each other. Money first, Israel second, US third is the order of loyalties in the “intelligence” community. Further, the moonofalabama story missed to mention the elephant in the room – Mossad. Was the case of Flynn perhaps a clash of interests between Mossad and CIA, where Flynn, through “Israeli-Turkish gas interests”, started working for Mossad and the CIA and Trump got rid of him? Delivering Gulen to Erdogan is a big no-no for CIA, because it would have made Erdogan irreplaceable, that is totally out of control.

      Overall, Flynn & Son, a little upstart military intelligence general and his son, may have tried to interfere with the game of the much bigger and better established old boys.

      Another implication of Flynn firing is that Trump may be closer to CIA than Mossad.

      • D5-5
        March 27, 2017 at 11:07

        Good points: “money first, Israel second, US third.” Devotion to self and greed is not going to be good for harmony.

  18. Drew Hunkins
    March 26, 2017 at 15:48

    Oh the effrontery: this evening (March 26, 2017), after the two excellent Elite Eight college basketball games, the ’60 Minutes’ television news program will be running a big expose on what they deem to be “fake news.”

    This coming from a news magazine show that said virtually nothing in 2002/03 when all the lies and deceit were constantly being peddled by the Washington militarists and the Zionist power configuration during the run-up to the Iraq war. ’60 Minutes’ offered very little resistance to the group think inevitability about Saddam’s WMDs and the absolute necessity of an all-out war on a sovereign state.

    Moreover, this from a news magazine show that said virtually nothing in 2011 about the certain catastrophe to follow from a NATO (read: Washington militarists and Zio fanatics) regime change war on Tripoli. Folks of my persuasion – and of course other CNers and critical thinkers everywhere – well knew the debacle that was imminent, but not ’60 Minutes’, no, they lifted nary a finger to vehemently and vociferously question all the Western lies and deceit against Tripoli; a nation that had been Africa’s most prosperous for decades, sharing petro wealth with millions of the common Libyan citizens.

    So tonight be sure to enjoy ’60 Minutes’ lesson in honest and truthful journalism and scholarship. Their hard hitting analyses and reports may bring on nuclear Armageddon with the manner in which they offer up “real news” regarding the Kremlin and Russia.

  19. Kalen
    March 26, 2017 at 15:40

    Great history of black ops, but as usual in this short format incomplete.

    In fact the US itself was created as a result of “false flag op” concocted by British aristocrats as a part of ongoing at that time struggle between English King and Parliament. It had nothing to do with freedom and liberty or revolution of equal people, as a cover story of American Revolution had it, but instead it was about land grab, that belonged to Indian nations, by British aristocrats, land formally owned by British crown as well as to dump British treaties with Indians and expand West in America.

    The so-called American dream propaganda was also concocted at that time to entice land hungry Europeans (unwilling/uninterested by the authorities to enact necessary land reform themselves in their) to come en mass to be unpaid soldiers for British aristocrats in their genocide against native people.

    Nothing in history is what it seems.

  20. Bob In Portland
    March 26, 2017 at 13:03

    Christopher Simpson’s book THE SCIENCE OF COERCION, available for free online in pdf. form here: provides the bones of the postwar psychological warfare against the world and American citizens.

    I’m guessing whoever paid the town crier in the Middle Ages was pretty specific on how it wanted its news reported.

    It’s always gone on. Parry’s story here just shows more recent work.

    • backwardsevolution
      March 27, 2017 at 18:15

      Bob – good link. Thanks. Interesting comment re the town crier; I had never really thought about that! Of course he would have cried what the king wanted cried, otherwise he’d be crying no more. I can just hear the townsfolk, “Isn’t that the tenth town crier we’ve had this year? What happened to the others?”

  21. Bill Bodden
    March 26, 2017 at 12:51

    So, is this how the United States became so exceptional?

    • March 26, 2017 at 13:03

      KRANK. C’est bien le cas de le dire. Jeu de mots. Dommage vous comprennez rien, car non seulement le reve a ete vole, mais tout le reste aussi.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 26, 2017 at 17:25

        Ne comprenez-vous pas que le commentaire est ironique.

        • Bill Bodden
          March 26, 2017 at 19:00

          Merci, Joe.

        • Bill Bodden
          March 26, 2017 at 21:01

          Joe: I presume our friend was trying to impress us with his facility in French. I’m reminded of Peter Ustinov, who was fluent in several languages, talking about an acquaintance of his who spoke four or five languages. Ustinov said he never heard this acquaintance say anything that made sense in any of the languages he knew..

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 26, 2017 at 21:39

            It’s like the assumption that the quiet guy is no doubt smart. I had a quiet friend like that once, and when I asked him if he fit that description he looked at me and said, ‘not really I just never know what to say’. With that I bought him another beer.

            Thank goodness for google translator. If we ever meet you can buy me a coffee (a cheat coffee).

  22. March 26, 2017 at 12:49

    Edward Bernays: “Now that’s progressive!” And ALL OF THE REST OF AMERICAN TELEVISION. “Qui a vole le reve de l’enfant?” Victoria Nuland et la nation des enfants perdus.Reagan and his good buddy Joe McCarthy, and all the beautiful people for whom it must be a nightmare of a trip: No mushroom in your head, no: We shall have mushroom clouds instead!

  23. Donald
    March 26, 2017 at 10:23

    So you are telling everyone that I am somehow responsible for Vladimir, perhaps a friend, to have stayed in power all these years because of some “intelligence” operation….Sad!

  24. Bruce Dickson
    March 26, 2017 at 10:07

    The lineage of all this power-mongering and perception management stretches back so far and has, by now, become so tightly enmeshed in Western politics and and institutions that there exists no identifiable, sufficiently informed, committed, skillful and courageous cadre of individuals remotely capable of countering its present hold. Regrettably, that’s a stark reality which tends to go distinctly unrecognized or remarked upon in what are, otherwise, earnest alt reportage and commentaries.

    As such, it’s quite understandable: it’s bad enough to accept the depth and the darkness of the well into which we’ve been so craftily tipped without also having to admit that the tippers seem to have sealed it good and shut. Unfortunately, such is our condition, at present, one made worse, still, by the fact that all of the skills and the paraphernalia we would need to scale the well-walls, force open the lid and overcome the architects and perpetrators of our confinement reside only among the latter, who for generations have nurtured and bestowed them exclusively among those beholden – be that by coercion or by choice – solely to themselves.

    As Mr. Parry’s work so clearly recounts, all resistance and resistors to the overarching plan have been carefully detected, defused, demonized and defenestrated over many, many relentless years. Simulataneously, potential sources of new opposition, such as universities and their student-idealists, have been wholly co-opted, while the channels and organs of public discourse have, along with the political party system, been appropriated by those whose project this has always been.

    So, that leaves us here, wet, cold and all but entombed with no memory of how to escape these confines, no tools for the task, no courage to defy the odds and few, if any, able allies above.

    If we think that wielding a ballot in scandalously corrupted election processes presided over by their operatives is our sufficient ticket out of this hole, then our own delusions will have become even greater adversaries than those who have tipped us down this well.

    Nevertheless, I, for one, don’t fancy despair as my preoccupation. Despite the immense odds and the sadness of our situation, I prefer to direct my energies towards getting us all the hell out of here.

    The how of it will become clearer with concerted, collective effort sustained over time. But only if we are sober enough to see really where we are and brave enough to do the needful, come what may.

    The question is, are we?

    How be we find out, lest we slip into forever having abandoned our loved ones’ good faith and never knowing what truly lay within our saving grasp.

  25. March 26, 2017 at 08:13

    America has been creating problems all over the World for the past 70 years. Idiotic Reagan was the most anti-social president America has ever had, helped on that purpose by criminal Kessinger and several ex-nazis. Now he must be in Hell with his buddy:
    Jean-Paul 2 (The CIA’s pope)…

  26. Josh Stern
    March 25, 2017 at 21:36

    Thanks for the article. My feeling about the hand-drawn sketch, in context, is that the author is thinking about how to exploit the difficulty people have with combining multiple sources of correlated evidence -e.g.stories in multiple newspapers which are really triggered by the same anonymous leak, perhaps through intermediaries, will seem a lot more credible than a story in just one newspaper. Judea Pearl, in his book “Probabilistic Reasoning…” called it the “Chernobyl Disaster Example” of correlated evidence. Search for Niagara Falls in the CIA database brought up a lot of misc. false hits. But, perhaps accidentally, I ran across the following document showing the huge magnitude of historical psyops programs and the integration between CIA and State Dept in 1950: PSYCHOLOGICAL OFFENSIVE – CIA-RDP80R01731R003500150018-3 Elsewhere, I found a link to some kind of CIA fort in Buffalo NY:

  27. Michael Eremia
    March 25, 2017 at 21:03

    The arrogant imbeciles in Washington, D.C., who invited their neocon overlords to craft America’s Foreign Policy highway of endless chaos and death the Middle East, now can step back and face reality: The world views American government officials and mainstream media as handmaidens of profiteers in the miltary/ industrial complex. This threesome is responsible for war-crimes against the Arab Middle East nations which surround Israel. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and Syria function as “the gift that keeps on giving”. It’s the gift based on neocon lies. Mountains of money rewards are reaped by those who are skilled in fooling the sleep-walking American public. How? Their “endless war on terror” racket, under the smokescreen of “spreading democracy abroad”, has enriched these ghouls beyond the dreams of avarice. Those dreams will turn to into nightmares, if Americans persist in following fools like Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham. These clueless men broadcast fake news fed to them by the neocon lobbyists who fund their re-elections. They forgot to remember what they never learned: Russia is a one-thousand year-old civilization. Every would-be conqueror of Russia eventually was forced to retreat, when Russia was a weak, 3rd-World agricultural country. Now, Russia has nuclear weapons equal to ours. Napoleon and Hitler are laughing their graves at the supreme idiocy of the now retired Director of Risk Assessment in the Pentagon. He persuaded the neocon puppet, Hillary Clinton, that a land war against Russia was “doable” ( winnable). Hillary proceeded to demonize Putin, in exchange for the millions which she recieved from Wall Street Banksters, and neocon lobbyists. Their collective dreams to satisfy their money-lust, by capturing the trillions of dollars imbedded in Russia’s vast natural resources, will evaporate. When ? When the complicit media sells the lie that evil Russia is now preparing for war (Fact: Russia cut its miltary budget for 2017 by 25 %). If and when the miltary morons in the Pentagon activate a “pre-emptive strike” against Russia, everyone’s dreams will disapear. The demonic vaporization of civilization in nuclear war will punctuate the last “gift” bestowed upon us by nefarious neocons. Not to worry, these nasty war-planners will have met their match: There will be no “where” in “nowhere to go”.

  28. Lin Cleveland
    March 25, 2017 at 20:07

    Thanks Robert! I’ve conducted some searches for Walter Raymond, Jr and must say the details of his work don’t get much notice–even today. I’ll try to write more tomorrow,

  29. March 25, 2017 at 19:54

    Mr. Robert Parry does an outstanding public service here by detailing this important history, and deserves a great measure of gratitude.

    Men and women can only imagine the unique skills, knowledge and abilities required to become one of the individuals on that original Reagan-era “Psychological Operations Committee” (POC), or its subsequent, name-changed future version(s). Writers on this topic might carry out a similar, perhaps even greater public service by compiling biographies of the original POC members and future equivalents until today in 2017, then publishing a book. Possible titles might be: “Mind War Warriors”, “The Psyop Soulless”, “Wars Based On Lies”, or such…

    Such a book could very well have the effect of blowing the lid off the entire covert deception business, hugely essential for herding populations into favoring illegal, destructive and horrific wars. Such a comprehensive book revealing or exposing the main individuals starting in 1980 up to 2017, profoundly revealing yet simple in construction, might just change world history in an extraordinarily welcomed, appreciated positive way. Such an historical expose could have the result of literally improving living conditions – establishing a far more peaceful world – for humanity today, as well as future generations.

  30. Gary
    March 25, 2017 at 18:57

    Excellent article. This rot is bi-partisan and institutional. If our American oligarchs didn’t have the CIA available to employ their psychopathic offspring decade after corrupt decade, said offspring would instead be causing trouble in the family business instead of doing the bidding of Wall Street in the world at large. This is what happens when elite corruption trumps all law and ethics. Confidence in the State and its institutions, including MSM, is in total free fall whether elites realize it or not. Trump will likely only facilitate this decades long decent into our societal collapse. America will lose, but the world at large will gain.

  31. March 25, 2017 at 18:56

    Thanks for that, Kiza. You always have sharp observations. I wonder about the deaths of so many Russian diplomats within a short period of time in December and January, I believe, something like 7, culminating in the New York death of Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s incredibly talented UN Ambassador. Something smells fishy. Americans really need to wake up about their own country.

    • Kiza
      March 25, 2017 at 21:33

      The knocking off of the Russian diplomats like clay pigeons, is highly suspicious but it is not accompanied by the usual propaganda campaign. It has been announced by ex-CIA administrator Michael Morell during the US Presidential Elections. The announcement was that the Russians should be coming back in body bags, but it was not specific to diplomats:

      Morell: “We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price.”
      Rose: “We make them pay the price by killing Russians and killing Iranians?”
      Morell: “ Yes,covertly…”

      The same story of the Russians “coming back to motherland in body bags” was echoed by senator John McCain and spokesman John Kirby:

      But, the most impressive is Putin’s cool despite this highly suspicious and deadly activity – no statements, no threats, no talk of revenge. Yet, somehow we know that if the Russians prove to themselves that US Deep State or US Shallow State were involved in knocking off Russian diplomats, there will be more body bags coming home and not only to Russia.

      • Kiza
        March 25, 2017 at 22:11

        Firstly, it is virtually impossible to physically protect your diplomats because you are not allowed to have a large own security – the security of diplomats largely rests with the security forces of the home countries. Secondly, if the home country security forces have been compromised by some foreign power, there is not much the diplomat’s country can do except withdraw diplomats. Finally, making your diplomats perfectly secure would largely defeat their purpose – to be a bridge between two nations. Therefore, being killed in some dark plot is an inherent risk of diplomacy.

        The attack on Russian diplomats, should be viewed in the context of the attacks on Russia through all the international institutions controlled by US and its puppets. The Russian olympic athletes doping “scandal”, the banning of the Russian paralympians from the Paralympic Games, the smearing of the awarding of the 2018 Soccer World Cup to Russia, the disqualifications of the Russian tennis players and so on, show wide-spectrum attacks on Russia.

        It appears that Putin is playing a long game. In a long game it is very important not to react to short-term losses. Shooting down of a Russian bomber and killing of a pilot, the knocking off of a few diplomats, smearing of the Russian athletes are like pin-pricks in the long game. Perhaps Putin is playing a Waiting Long Game – waiting for US to implode without causing a thermonuclear war because of a few pin-pricks.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 25, 2017 at 22:52

        Kiza I posted my comment before I saw what you posted here, but I left a link to the Morell interview.

      • Sam F
        March 26, 2017 at 15:08

        This sounds like the usual warmonger bully-boy provocation: the US conducting a one-sided Cold War to provoke a similar response so as to pretend an unprovoked attack. So Russia should expose what can be exposed, act moderately, and respond appropriately. If the bully boy is unstable, wait for him to fall. If he has enemies, ally with them and support them.

        Those US bully boys are also the enemies of the US, and we must respond appropriately. We need third parties that truly represent their members, and form coalitions to oppose the crooked duopoly of the one percent. We need true patriots in the police and National Guard and Army, who will not defend Washington against riots and insurgencies when called to do so. Only then will the rich tyrants flee in fear, and only by that means will democracy be restored. Make America Great by getting rid of Washington altogether. We can easily write a better Constitution, now that we have seen how it has been abused.

        • backwardsevolution
          March 27, 2017 at 16:40

          Sam F – good comments. As for the current protestations, I saw an interesting comment on how the Deep State does not feel threatened by these protesters:

          “…the track record of non-issue-oriented marches, no matter how large scale, is poor, and the status of this march as officially sanctioned (blanket media coverage when other marches of hundreds of thousands of people have been minimized, police not tricked out in their usual riot gear) also indicates that the officialdom does not see it as a threat to the status quo.”

          Lots of media coverage (they usually ignore or give no air time to what threatens them) AND the absence of a menacing police presence (like we saw during the Occupy protests where police were pepper-spraying anything that moved and were dressed in riot gear).

          So we have a left that’s essentially being given free reign to protest, a left who think that the elite actually care what they’re saying. They’re completely oblivious to the fact that they are being used by the elite in order to get rid of Trump, or at least seriously curtail his agenda. A left who are, in essence, fighting FOR the loss of their own jobs due to globalization, more wars, lower wages, fragmentation of their own country, etc.

          We need to add “the media” to your above list. Where are they? Everywhere they shouldn’t be, and nowhere they should be. If the media were actually impartial, if they were actually informing and educating the public, it might be a whole new ball game.

          • Sam F
            March 28, 2017 at 07:57

            Yes, the oligarchy mass media are a major part of the problem, and one hopes that they will be supplanted by honest websites, the primary reason that the MSM must denounce them as “fake news” which is their own specialty.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 25, 2017 at 22:50

      Jessica & KIza, everytime the subject comes up about these mysterious Russian deaths I keep going back to Mike Morell’s 8/8/16 interview with Charlie Rose. If you hit on the link in and around the 30 minute mark of the interview you can listen to Morell who speaks for himself by his suggesting we use convert means to scare Assasd and Putin. Morell wants to make this personal, so as to bring peace to the Syrian people. The whole interview has some interesting stuff. Morell talks about then presidential candidate Trump. Morell speaks highly of Hillary knowing how to get respect by using force. Sometimes going back in time is very telling, and if you listen to the whole interview, and you read the headlines of today it is as though Morell was scripting the future of today back in August of 2016. Oh and KIza Morell does speak to the downing of MH17… I will warn you that you will not like any of Morell’s versions of anything regarding Ukraine or Putin, but this interview does speak to a lot of what we are now seeing unfold today.

      • Kiza
        March 25, 2017 at 23:13

        Morell is a typical party appointee to CIA (former acting director), because he does not come across as a very intelligent person and his colleagues and underlings have not described him as capable. But this is not unusual for a CIA boss (I have a gallery in my mind, in which only George Bush Sr showed signs of intelligence). Therefore, what Morell says should be studied for its behind-the-words value, not taken literally. In other words, he is not intelligent enough to successfully hide what is really on his mind and he is prone to bluster, therefore his statements can be useful material for understanding what is really going on in the bowels of the CIA.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 26, 2017 at 01:19

          During the time Morell did that episode on Charlie Rose Hillary was ahead in the polls. That was in an atmosphere of when those 51 Anonymous State Dept. diplomats did there opposition op-Ed in the Washington Post, or not long after to be certain. Yes Hillary was on her way into the Oval Office, and Mike there with the excitement so high even did some promote commercials for Hillary’s campaign. With all of that I thought Morell between his gestures and tone was remarkably candid with his ‘covert Charlie, covert’ man right there I saw that Nazi guy from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Morell out did all those hawkish generals who pop up on Fox.

          You and I among a few others here know that the media is doing psychological operations on us all the time, and when is it not that the story is far from the real news. Putin didn’t invade Crimea, MH17 was probably spotted by the NazoKiev crew and shot down by a NazoKiev fighter jet, Viktor Yanukovych was democratically elected and agreed to hold elections, etc., etc.. The problem is in America the news is owned by big corporate interest. This isn’t just CNN types, but local news stations are owned by the very same people. After a while the public starts believing the lies, or some just go along with it not knowing how to prove anything otherwise.

          Everything in America is too big, and big isn’t always better. Try that out on a air balloon and see how that works….I would rather unravel than have a bombastic burst!

        • Bill Bodden
          March 26, 2017 at 18:48

          But this is not unusual for a CIA boss (I have a gallery in my mind, in which only George Bush Sr showed signs of intelligence).

          Former Admiral Stansfield Turner may have been the only director at the CIA with any integrity. He served under Jimmy Carter.

      • Sunset
        March 27, 2017 at 11:10

        Just to add, does anyone remember Joe Biden saying when interviewed by PBS that there would be secret measures taken against the Russians that he hoped would remain secret? Couldn’t find the interview, but here are two links that reference his remarks: See last three paragraphs here: And,

        To quote the latter, Jan 5, quoting Biden: “When the question over a month ago was whether we will respond to hacker attacks, I said we’ll do it when (and how) we want to. Some things that we had done, you already know – other things you will never know,” – he said, stressing that Washington had two options to respond to Russia for alleged interference in the presidential election, overt and covert.
        “We did both,” – said Biden.

  32. Kiza
    March 25, 2017 at 18:33

    “…the planned use of communications to influence attitudes or behavior should, if properly used, precede, accompany, and follow all applications of force…”

    Is there a better case example of this than the false-flag shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines MH17. In the two-three weeks preceding this crime, the Western media were plastering every shootdown of the Ukrainian military plane by the East Ukrainian rebels on the evening news and on the press front-pages. Naively, I used to wonder why would they be promoting such losses of their Ukrainian puppets. Well, it became clear why when a passenger plane got shot-down, with the primary goal to force European countries (whose nationals where on board this plane) to introduce the self-punishing country-on-country economic sanctions on Russia (till then almost all sanctions were on Russian individuals only). The immediate follow up to the shootdown was extremely emotional anti-Russia and anti-Putin propaganda, the press titles such as “Putin’s missile killed my baby!” in Britain.

    After milking the propaganda value of the shootdown for almost three years, it appears that the reality is finally catching up. The US agency appears to be ready to cut its Ukrainian puppets loose and blame them for the passenger plane shootdown. The latest unofficial story is that the Ukrainian forces deliberately did not re-route the civilian airline corridor over the war-zone to use civilian airliners as human shields for its airforce against the Russian speaking and Russia-supported rebels: But I bet that this human-shield story is not the end of it.

    I do not have any hard proof that the usual US agency was involved in the MH17 shootdown, but the whole affair fits perfectly into the pattern described in this article.

  33. Erik G
    March 25, 2017 at 18:22

    An excellent article.

    Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:

    He may prefer to be independent, and there may be better polling websites, but pressure on the NYT to recognize the superior reporting of their opposition is a good thing. I will repeat this post from time to time.

    • Bill Bodden
      March 26, 2017 at 18:23

      Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor …

      A nice theory, but Robert Parry would become like Jimmy Carter as president with the oligarchs of both corrupt parties ganging up on him. In the case of Robert Parry at the NYT he would have the corrupted scriveners trying to undermine him in any way possible. It would be like trying to clean up the Democratic (?) party from within when the only solution is to exterminate it.

      • Erik G
        March 27, 2017 at 11:51

        I agree, but the petition makes sense as a statement against the NYT that will go directly to them. We have about 50 signatures, and 100 would tell them that many recognize the defects of the NYT.

        • Bill Bodden
          March 27, 2017 at 12:53


  34. cmp
    March 25, 2017 at 18:16

    From 64 to 78, there was a prize fighter by the name of Chuck Wepner. During his career, he became affectionately known as the “Bayonne Bleeder,” because he had a real susceptibility to take cuts. .. After one particular fight with Sonny Liston, he was duly administered 72 stitches to his face.

    .. Now, just like Perot in 92, the Donald isn’t quite following the script from “Today’s Talking Points Memo.” .. No, his actions aren’t good enough. His words matter too. … Until then, either he will either be shown the door, or it looks like he just might be known as the “Queens Bleeder.”

    I can’t help but think that last June, the Western Owners, they were really “rocked” by the Brexit. .. Within the EU, England was the largest military spender. (..and, within NATO, 73% funded by Uncle Sam.)

    And, Western Europe is far and away paying a much heavier price for the sanctions with RU, than the US. .. And, for the last 15 years especially, they have been more than embarrassed time and again, by Uncle Sam’s shotgun ways. These facts are leaving their leaders in very compromising positions with their voters. (..and, a sincere “thank you” goes out to WikiLeaks and Snowden)

    But, when it comes to following the bouncing ball in our “Un-Leadership’s” perennial game of “Fear The New Black Bart,” somehow, I get the feeling that the French election of April 23rd, and the German election of September 24th, these events may have as much to do with today’s noise of masking the stench of income inequality over there; as it does here.

    iow: Who is influencing whose election? .. Do they need a little guidance with the priorities of conversation within their elections?

    • Realist
      March 25, 2017 at 20:38

      I doubt that Trump will be over there trying to influence the outcome of the elections as Obama tried (and was ridiculed for in Britain). Now, idiots like John McCain and Lindsey Graham are another matter. They interfere in the internal affairs of foreign countries as if it is a duty of their office or their rights as American citizens. No doubt the CIA will attempt a smear against Le Penn if it looks like she is ahead in the polls. And, if necessary, they’ll probably manipulate the vote in favor of Merkel as they did for Yeltsin. Europe is only as free and democratic as Washington allows.

      • cmp
        March 25, 2017 at 23:37

        That’s exactly right Realist.

        And, that’s my point about the Hearings with no evidence to offer up. It’s to shut his mouth about weakening with the likings of the campaign rhetoric he had about NATO, etc.. .. Even though he is currently acting on a $54 billion upgrade.

        Apparently the democratic wishes of the people of South Ossetia, Transnistria and Abkhazia didn’t matter much to the outside world. .. So, the people of Crimea and Donetsk, knew exactly what they were up against and getting into.

        But the IMF decided that funding wars of Slavs killing Slavs was now good business. .. They probably didn’t care much about what the pesky people living there had to say about it. .. In fact, the IMF probably looked at the shale fields under the Donetsk citizens feet, as their own collateral. .. As well as, the Skifska fields off the coast of Crimea.

        Whether we are talking illegal wars, desperate refugees, melting down banks or tapping their leaders, I know if I was a constituent in W Europe just what my issues would be. .. ex: “Is my leader going to continue to be a “Poodle?”” .. And, as you say, the CIA sure knows this too.

        We could be talking about how in 2007, 215 individuals had as much wealth as half the world’s population. .. And, how in 2010, that number had dropped to 43; or that today the figure is now down to 8 people who are equal in wealth to half of humanity. .. But, we are not.

        .. Or, we could be talking about the Panama Papers and the Pay For Play Foundations. .. But, we are not.

        .. Or, we be talking about how in 2016, more than $160 million was spent on the Pennsylvania Senate race alone ($118 million by outside groups), and more than $120 million in tiny New Hampshire ($90 million by outside groups). .. But, we are not…

        Now, we all know, that none of this, is by mistake.

        As I understand it, there is 6 more releases to be made from the whistleblower ‘WikiLeaks’ with their latest material. I wonder if some of these are to be targeted with the European events calendar?

  35. Randal Marlin
    March 25, 2017 at 18:13

    Thanks, Robert, for this valuable bit of perception-management history. There are lots of missing pieces of the jig-saw puzzle, but you’ve provided a very helpful framework of connections, to which my own store of news clippings can be usefully pegged.

  36. mike k
    March 25, 2017 at 18:13

    The Ministry of Truth eh? (1984) Wake up America – you’ve been had! The awakening to the real deep evil of this government and many of it’s deluded citizens, is a necessary step if we are to avoid the looming extinction events that are hanging by a thread over us this very moment. We are playing Russian roulette (with American bullets). Admission of our awful crimes may not be in the cards for a population trained in avoidance and fantasies of superiority, but is the price of real change, and survival.

  37. March 25, 2017 at 18:02

    Our current threat is a system that has led to this ruling class which serves only the wealthy. Putin is not the threat the propagandists are pushing daily. Many articles here in CN in past few weeks since this whole Russia demonization began go into detail on this. There is a vast journalistic literature on what happened to Russia in the 90s and the US had a big hand in it, some info on CN, plenty more available for anyone who cares to dive beneath the surface of the corporate media narratives. As for Trump, he’s the result of a system that does not work for democracy, only moneyed interests. We can thank the Supreme Court for nailing that one in place, s mattes. And corporate media.

    • Bill Bodden
      March 26, 2017 at 20:38

      Our current threat is a system that has led to this ruling class which serves only the wealthy.

      Aided and abetted by our “good Americans” who remain silent just like the “good Germans” of the 1930s.

      • Libby
        March 28, 2017 at 13:05


      • Bobo
        March 29, 2017 at 11:03

        Until peple in the West actually learn something about the Second World War that wasn’t cooked up by a massive propaganda machine, it’s probably best to leave allusions to Nazi Germany alone. WW2 was a manifestation of Anglo/British elites playing a game that began decades before. The moronic Nazis were simply tools that put the Empire astride the whole shootin’ match after 1945. Germany destroyed as an economic rival and completely subjugated. The USSR razed to the ground, and the rest of Europe either locked inside the USSR armed stand-off or owned by US financial elites. Hitler wanted a short war in order to shore up his Eurasian empire and instead he got a phoney war with France and the UK that eventually allowed the US to gain it’s empire. The Nazis were foul, deluded and with their horse-drawn army, a long-term threat to nothing outside of their immediate borders. So your “good germans” were not the problem, it was always “good Englishmen” and “good Americans”. Qui bono, qui bono!

  38. S mattes
    March 25, 2017 at 17:43

    OK so?
    The Putin/Trump team is our current threat and we must deal with that now

    • Sam F
      March 25, 2017 at 18:28

      No one here is fooled. Are you from NED, CIA or DNC? Promoting democracy, are you?

    • Pablo Diablo
      March 25, 2017 at 18:28

      S mattes— I think working WITH Putin or anybody is better than bombing anybody that doesn’t cave in to USA. We have serious problems win the environment, the economy, and currently 96 MILLION refugees. Bombing seven countries hasn’t helped (except for the voracious WAR MACHINE), which is probably the only reason we have 1% growth in the GDP. How well has it worked out in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Honduras, etc.? Putin is NOT “the problem/threat”.

    • Dr. Ip
      March 25, 2017 at 18:49

      Time for True Believers like you to watch and understand Manufacturing Consent:

    • Marie Lee
      March 25, 2017 at 19:17

      So, all of the propaganda has contributed to keeping the brutal US foreign policy going forward –
      This is a huge part of the problem – the elephant in the room so to speak and most importantly, the interference in countries around the world has devastated nations and been responsible for millions of deaths, 20 million or more SINCE WW2. And now in the Middle East, US policy is responsible for violent conflagrations & terror across the region and now into Western Nations. So….looking into all this on a public / transparent scale and holding war criminals to account in our own country and withdrawing from interfering in other countries affairs in these destructive & disastrous ways will help all of us! This article gives a good framework of where this all came from and it has grown much worse and more integrated in the Military-Industrial – Intelligence Complex. If we keep avoiding the cause, it will come up again with all subsequent administrations whether democratic or republican. As it stands now, it’s our major business in the US – ie war, weapons, spying etc. This is beyond Orwellian!

    • Skip Scott
      March 26, 2017 at 07:45

      S Mattes, our current threat is the institutionalized deep state that makes it not matter who is president. If you buy into “the evil Ruskies” MSM agenda, you are a victim of the forces this article describes. Just as likely, you are a paid troll from the Stratcom people.

    • March 26, 2017 at 10:24

      “Our threat”? What exactly are the Russians doing to threaten me or us? Is Putin going to order his hordes to march over the Bering Straight to what? To conquer the U.S., the most armed and violent country in the world? With a military that spends 11 times what Russia spends. Is Russia going to dissolve the Empire–if so, good, we need to get out from under the counted and the countless trillions being spend on a protection racket, You have nothing but slogans.

      • Bill Bodden
        March 26, 2017 at 20:36

        With a military that spends 11 times what Russia spends.

        A similar or greater imbalance didn’t phase General Giap in Vietnam who trounced Generals Westmoreland and LeMay, et al.

    • Bobo
      March 29, 2017 at 10:54

      Complete rubbish. The over-arching geo-strategic problem facing the elites that run the US Empire is the emergence of an economic super-state on the Eurasian continent. Nothing works better for the US Empire than a splintered EU and a(n) ultra(?) nationalist government in Russia. If certain sectors in Europe are flipping out over Mooslims, displaced by the Imperial Arc of Chaos strategy in Eurasia, it is far less likely that this multi-national super-state will emerge. There is no Trump/Putin team. That notion is utter fantasy. Trump is just a particularly odious sack of garbage in a long line of odious sacks of garbage as US Executives.

  39. March 25, 2017 at 17:41

    This has been going on even earlier, Allen Dulles even under Eisenhower was originating and perfecting dirty tricks of the CIA. Now it’s so embedded, as Mr Parry’s article shows, that the CIA is running the country (along with the NSA).

    • Bill Bodden
      March 26, 2017 at 18:13

      This has been going on even earlier, Allen Dulles even under Eisenhower

      And before the Dulles Brothers there was the Yellow Journalism of William Randolph Hearst. And before that there was/were … well, you get the message all the way back to getting the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans going.

  40. March 25, 2017 at 17:26

    Excellent article so many familiar names from the dirty tricks gang. And of course the Kagans my favourite American family. Plus good old Rupert. You all have a nice peaceful day.

  41. Jules m
    March 25, 2017 at 17:05

    Mr. Parry,
    Welcome to the new world of US political psyops courtesy of weird belief driven Robert and Rebekah Mercer, Renaissance Technologies, Cambridge Analytica, Media Research Center, Heartland Institute, et al, and co-consipirator Steve Bannon. The Big Data, bot assisted AI tools were very effective in the last election and are conditioning the future of American thought. Perhaps Russia is assisting but the rot is concentrated in the heart of the Trump team.

    • Realist
      March 25, 2017 at 17:14

      The Murcer’s were initially vehemently anti-Trump and solidly in the Ted Cruz camp. They were simply opportunists who shifted allegiances when faced with a losing hand. They have no real allegiance to Trump, rather they think they (especially Rebekah) are entitled to micro-manage his policy because they gave his campaign some money. They will flip to Pence when the opportunity presents. Trump is not the problem, Trump is just a weak barrier forestalling the real problem. And, yes, those people are dangerous.

      • John Doe II
        March 26, 2017 at 12:44

        We witness, in this refugee crisis, another amalgamation/assimilation of diverse cultures.

        Is this a form of evolution or of dissolution/distillation of People Groups?

        Are Western Ethnic States being subsumed by “foreign ethnicities”?

        (The decline of European command & control of The World?)

        Majority humanity on earth are people of color, yet

        European birthed Cruel Colonial Authority

        maintains political, military and economic control over vast billions of Human Lives.

        With that, they’ve Never shown any law abiding compunction to honor Life

        over the accumulation of wealth – even at the cost of Lives.

        and so it goes, to the victor goes the spoils (of Conquest).

        Five Hundred Years beyond

        Magellan’s circumnavigation established

        European Authority (superiority) over the earth

        and there has never been essential peace.

        “The heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?”

        Time Marches On…

      • Stiv
        March 26, 2017 at 20:55


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