“Non-Official Cover” – Respected German Journalist Blows Whistle on How the CIA Controls the Media

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“I was bribed by billionaires, I was bribed by the Americans to report…not exactly the truth.”

– Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of one of Germany’s main daily publications, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Some readers will see this and immediately dismiss it as Russian propaganda since the interview appeared on RT. This would be a serious mistake.

Whether you want to admit it or not, CIA control of the media in the U.S. and abroad is not conspiracy theory, it is conspiracy fact.

Carl Bernstein, who is best known for his reporting on Watergate, penned a 25,000 word article in Rolling Stone after spending six months looking at the relationship of the CIA and the press during the Cold War years. Below is an excerpt, but you can read the entire thing here.

In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.

Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.

Like any good intelligence agency, the CIA learned from its mistakes upon being exposed, and has since adjusted tactics. This is where the concept of “non-official cover” comes into play. The term was recently described by German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, in a blistering RT interview. Mr. Ulfkotte was previously a respected journalist for one of Germany’s main dailies, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), so he is no small fry.

“Non-official cover” occurs when a journalist is essentially working for the CIA, but it’s not in an official capacity. This allows both parties to reap the rewards of the partnership, while at the same time giving both sides plausible deniability. The CIA will find young journalists and mentor them. Suddenly doors will open up, rewards will be given, and before you know it, you owe your entire career to them. That’s essentially how it works. But don’t take it from me…

If this piqued your curiosity, read about Operation Mockingbird.

Also see my post: How Hollywood Became “Propagandist in Chief” by John Pilger

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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  1. All our realities have been carefully constructed for us, not just by media, but by “the machine”. Nothing that we know as truth is. Our belief systems have been comprised and our brains rotted since before birth. The Intelligence community has a black budget of around $52bb, at least that’s what we are told by that cornucopia of truth, the Washington Post:


    The total amount is much more if you add in narco banking, war profiteering, fixing the markets, etc., etc.

    Hey, can someone pass the chips and get me another beer and turn up the volume on the TV?

  2. For sure for over sixty years the abusive application of the state secrets privilege and related doctrine, act, executive order, regulation and policy abuses have gone on. At the very least to improve transparency and accountability we need Senator Pat Leahy’s USA FREEDOM Act passed into law.

  3. mike i saw this and i knew you would post it. my man mike.

    check this…curiousity about ebola. this man claims a rockefeller report released in 2010 essentially lays out the ebola plan like clockwork.

  4. People need to learn how to vet information and discard propaganda. RT has a lot of good reporting. Obviously they’re going to be biased in favor of their own country so take that into consideration when they’re reporting on themselves. I go to many different sites and examine all sides in order to come to a conclusion. Those that would dismiss a source simply because it comes from a rival country is doing themselves a disservice. Breaking the Set is a really good show for instance.

  5. So what exactly are you expecting,Dr Uno,for all the damage your lies and conniving have caused ?

  6. “piqued your curiosity”, not “peaked your curiosity”

  7. The powers that be at long last seem to have reacted: the German Publisters’ Association issued a statement denying Ulfkotte’s charges. Of course no German journalist is for sale. They only offer rental agreements.

  8. It takes an effort to get the real facts. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.
    Thank you, Ulf Kotte.

  9. This phrase from the article is right on regarding any career path: “The CIA will find young journalists and mentor them. Suddenly doors will open up, rewards will be given, and before you know it, you owe your entire career to them. That’s essentially how it works.” I can’t say that any better.

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