A contradiction in terms, or a non-sequitur, perhaps? No no no, a great
deal of intelligence goes into your media diet, just not
the kind you suppose:
As Roy Greenslade, media specialist at the Telegraph (formerly the Guardian),
commented: "Most tabloid newspapers - or even newspapers in general -
are playthings of MI5." Bloch and Fitzgerald, in their examination of
covert UK warfare, report the editor of "one of Britain's most distinguished
journals" as believing that more than half its foreign correspondents
were on the MI6 payroll. And in 1991, Richard Norton-Taylor revealed in the
Guardian that 500 prominent Britons paid by the CIA and the now defunct Bank
of Commerce and Credit International, included 90 journalists.
In their analysis of the contemporary secret state, Dorril and Ramsay gave
the media a crucial role. The heart of the secret state they identified as
the security services, the cabinet office and upper echelons of the Home and
Commonwealth Offices, the armed forces and Ministry of Defence, the nuclear
power industry and its satellite ministries together a network of senior civil
servants. As "satellites" of the secret state, their list included
"agents of influence in the media, ranging from actual agents of the
security services, conduits of official leaks, to senior journalists merely
lusting after official praise and, perhaps, a knighthood at the end of their
Phillip Knightley, author of a seminal history of the intelligence services,
has even claimed that at least one intelligence agent is working on every
Fleet Street newspaper.
In 1975, following Senate hearings on the CIA, the reports of the Senate's
Church Committee and the House of Representatives' Pike Committee highlighted
the extent of agency recruitment of both British and US journalists. And sources
revealed that half the foreign staff of a British daily were on the MI6 payroll.
David Leigh, in The Wilson Plot, his seminal study of the way in which the
secret service smeared through the mainstream media and destabilised the Government
of Harold Wilson before his sudden resignation in 1976, quotes an MI5 officer:
"We have somebody in every office in Fleet Street"
And the most famous whistleblower of all, Peter (Spycatcher) Wright, revealed
that MI5 had agents in newspapers and publishing companies whose main role
was to warn them of any forthcoming "embarrassing publications".
Wright also disclosed that the Daily Mirror tycoon, Cecil King, "was
a longstanding agent of ours" who "made it clear he would publish
anything MI5 might care to leak in his direction".
Mossad, MI6, Miners & Maxwell:
According to Stephen Dorril, intelligence gathering during the miners' strike
of 1984-85 was helped by the fact that during the 1970s MI5's F Branch had
made a special effort to recruit industrial correspondents - with great success.
In 1991, just before his mysterious death, Mirror proprietor Robert Maxwell
was accused by the US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh of acting for
Mossad, the Israeli secret service, though Dorril suggests his links with
MI6 were equally as strong.
9/11, MI6 and Operation Rockingham:
Since September 11 all of Fleet Street has been awash in warnings by anonymous
intelligence sources of terrorist threats. According to former Labour minister
Michael Meacher, much of this disinformation was spread via sympathetic journalists
by the Rockingham
within the MoD. A parallel exercise, through the office of Special Plans,
was set up by Donald Rumsfeld in the US.
Of course, they wouldn't go to such efforts to deceive us if they were in the
right, or if people couldn't tell right from wrong, or if we didn't have the
power to do anything about it. Our perception of what is happening in the world
is extremely important to our governments and capitalists alike.
By the way, and this is heart-warming: Coca-Cola
cares a hell of a lot what you think.
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