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The KGB Operation Mockingbird


Tim Gratz
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It is interesting and probably telling that despite the hundreds of pages John has written on the CIA's supposed "Operation Mockingbird" I do not see a single thread concerning the Eastern bloc "dezinformatsiya" war against the US and its allies. Not exactly "fair and balanced" history.

Below is from a piece in the August 7, 2007 "Wall Street Journal" by Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking Eastern bloc intelligence officer ever to defect to the United States. He knows whereof he speaks for he participated in the Soviet version of "Operation Mockingbird":

"During the Vietnam War we spread vitriolic stories around the world, pretending that America's presidents sent Genghis Khan-style barbarian soldiers to Vietnam who raped at random, taped electrical wires to human genitals, cut off limbs, blew up bodies and razed entire villages. Those weren't facts. They were our tales, but some seven million Americans ended up being convinced their own president, not communism, was the enemy. As Yuri Andropov, who conceived this dezinformatsiya war against the U.S., used to tell me, people are more willing to believe smut than holiness.

The final goal of our anti-American offensive was to discourage the U.S. from protecting the world against communist terrorism and expansion. Sadly, we succeeded. After U.S. forces precipitously pulled out of Vietnam, the victorious communists massacred some two million people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Another million tried to escape, but many died in the attempt. This tragedy also created a credibility gap between America and the rest of the world, damaged the cohesion of American foreign policy, and poisoned domestic debate in the U.S."

John, my question to you is simple: Do you agree there was a KGB-sponsored disinformation campaign against the West that deserves censure? As Lt Gen Pacepa notes, the success of the Soviet "Operation Mockingbird" had tragic results.

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John, my question to you is simple: Do you agree there was a KGB-sponsored disinformation campaign against the West that deserves censure? As Lt Gen Pacepa notes, the success of the Soviet "Operation Mockingbird" had tragic results.

Operation Mockingbird was about controlling the media in the United States and its allies. The KGB was not in a position to do this. The fact that the state-capitalist regime in the Soviet Union controlled the media in Eastern Europe is not in dispute. As I live in the West I am far more interested in how my government lied to me and my fellow citizens. If I lived in the Soviet Union my concerns would be different.

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It is interesting and probably telling that despite the hundreds of pages John has written on the CIA's supposed "Operation Mockingbird" I do not see a single thread concerning the Eastern bloc "dezinformatsiya" war against the US and its allies. Not exactly "fair and balanced" history.

Below is from a piece in the August 7, 2007 "Wall Street Journal" by Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking Eastern bloc intelligence officer ever to defect to the United States. He knows whereof he speaks for he participated in the Soviet version of "Operation Mockingbird":

"During the Vietnam War we spread vitriolic stories around the world, pretending that America's presidents sent Genghis Khan-style barbarian soldiers to Vietnam who raped at random, taped electrical wires to human genitals, cut off limbs, blew up bodies and razed entire villages. Those weren't facts. They were our tales, but some seven million Americans ended up being convinced their own president, not communism, was the enemy. As Yuri Andropov, who conceived this dezinformatsiya war against the U.S., used to tell me, people are more willing to believe smut than holiness.

The final goal of our anti-American offensive was to discourage the U.S. from protecting the world against communist terrorism and expansion. Sadly, we succeeded. After U.S. forces precipitously pulled out of Vietnam, the victorious communists massacred some two million people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Another million tried to escape, but many died in the attempt. This tragedy also created a credibility gap between America and the rest of the world, damaged the cohesion of American foreign policy, and poisoned domestic debate in the U.S."

John, my question to you is simple: Do you agree there was a KGB-sponsored disinformation campaign against the West that deserves censure? As Lt Gen Pacepa notes, the success of the Soviet "Operation Mockingbird" had tragic results.

Tim,

I asked that very question, in a backhanded way, to Max Holland. How come he was only interested in KGB propaganda on the assassination, and not the more blatent and directly related (to the assassination) CIA black prop ops?

Of course determining the bonifides of defectors on both sides plays into each other's hands.

BK

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John, it was the point of Lt. Gen. Pacepa, who knew and worked with the head of the KGB, that the Soviet disinformation campaign was directed at the Western media.

In another part of the article, by the way, he says the Soviets spread the story that LBJ was behind the assassination.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Peter, I think the CIA used the media to get out the truth about the U.S. and democracy, and about what was happening behind the "Iron Curtain".

That is far different from the KGB disinformation campaign.

So no the CIA was not trying to emulate the KGB.

As pointed out earlier, propaganda can advance the truth or lies. I think the term itself can be considered morally neutral.

But I should have known tha most members of the Forum will not even listen to information coming directly from a high-level participant in the KGB disinformation campaign because it conflicts with their world view (thus disproving the Oscar Wilde quotation used in James Richards' posts). I wasted my time even posting Lt. Gen. Pacepa's article, I guess.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Tim, It is always a little confusing to me [http://www.phoenix5.org/humor/WhoOnFirstTEXT.html] the thrust of your statements at times. I was serious while being funny about the Who's On FIrst 'role'. Mix things up; make them repeat; no forward progress; non-existant errors of logic made 'evident'. Etc. Is it your thrust here that the noble CIA and their minions were only trying to be more like their 'betters' the KGB? Both systems were and are about control by a few of the many - they just used different means. And NO it is not choose the lesser of evils. There are an infinite number of possible ways to set up a polity and society and while the USSR was, yes, repugnant, I sadly find 'Western Democracies' also guilty of great crimes.....which we try to discuss here to stop them from being repeated......One Evil Empire down...one to go......

....third base.....third base...

Several members have complained about Tim's behaviour the last few days. As you say, he definitely tries to change the direction of threads. I suppose the best way of dealing with him is to ignore him. If you try to respond to him he is being successful.

Only a few weeks ago he said he was too busy to defend his views on the Iraq War. For some reason he now has a lot of time on his hands (he does not appear to take off time for sleeping). Maybe he is between jobs. Maybe he has signed a new contract that pays him by the word.

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What Americans have such trouble understanding is that the same country can have

a]considerable more freedom than the Soviet Union

AND

b] possess a better system of propaganda than the Soviet Union. Better in what sense? Better in the sense that it is harder for a majority

to "recognize their own stregnth" and galvanize in opositon to the government. This in spite of and because of the greater amount of freedom--

though this freedom is also very limited.

Or maybe they do understand it, each alone in thier livingrooms; its just that Larry King and Bill O'Reily haven't gotten around to discussing it.

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
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John, it was the point of Lt. Gen. Pacepa, who knew and worked with the head of the KGB, that the Soviet disinformation campaign was directed at the Western media.

That is not the same as "controlling" the Western media. Operation Mockingbird was not about trying to influence the Western media, it was about controlling it. No doubt the KGB did the same in the Soviet Union. However, everybody accepted that the Soviet Union was a dictatorship. During this period the USA was trying to portray itself as a democracy that valued freedom of expression. As the Frank Church committee, who first revealed details of Operation Mockingbird, argued, its existence undermined the case that the US was a free and democratic society.

In another part of the article, by the way, he says the Soviets spread the story that LBJ was behind the assassination.

As the published reports of bugged Soviet officials discussions in 1963 and 1964 show, the really did believe that LBJ was behind the assassination. These documents were only released as a result of the JFK Act. Doug Horne posted background details of some of these documents and I posted the actual documents here on 6th June, 2006:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...=6849&st=15

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John wrote:

As the published reports of bugged Soviet officials discussions in 1963 and 1964 show, the really did believe that LBJ was behind the assassination. These documents were only released as a result of the JFK Act. Doug Horne posted background details of some of these documents and I posted the actual documents here on 6th June, 2006:

Sorry, John, that is NOT what the documents say. You need to be a more discriminmating reader. The documents say that the KGB told its staff that LBJ was behind the assassination. That is not to say that that is what the KGB "really believed" as you put it. All that says is what the KGB leadership told its staff. Maybe the KGB leadership really believed that, maybe it was only disseminating the "line" it wanted the party apparatus to take. Now I understand that Doug Horne puts the same spin on the document. But let us analogize it to something else: if you had tape recordings of George Bush privately telling his staff that Sadam Hussein had WMD, the fact that GB said that "behind closed doors" is insufficient to prove that is what he really believed.

Lt. Gen Pacepa clearly indicates that the KGB knew it was spreading a lie when it disseminated the story that LBJ was behind the assassination. Lt. Gen. Pacepa was in a position to know the actual thinking of the KGB leadership.

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Peter, glad to add a bright spot to your day!

And the source for your assertion that US policymakers were not concerned about bringing human rights to totalitarian countries is?

I also hate to say this but your writing is rather sloppy (you write "its lack there" when you clearly mean "its lack thereof", for instance, and misspell heroes) and I wonder if this is indicative of something deeper.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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