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Bob Woodward and Operation Mockingbird

Douglas Caddy

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Operation Mockingbird was a secret Central Intelligence Agency campaign to influence domestic and foreign media than began in the 1950s. Its public exposure came with the publication in 1964 of Invisible Government by David Wise and Thomas Ross. As disclosed in excerpts from Wikipedia:

“The activities, extent and even the existence of the CIA project remain in dispute: the operation was first called Mockingbird in Deborah Davis' book, KatherinetheGreat: Katherine Graham and her Washington Post Empire.

“Further details of Operation Mockingbird were revealed as a result of the Frank Church investigations (Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Agencies) in 1975. According to the Committee report published in 1976:

"The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets."

“In February 1976, George H.W. Bush, the recently appointed Director of the CIA, announced a new policy: ‘Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station.’ However, he added that the CIA would continue to ‘welcome’ the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists.’”

The Bush announcement came four years after the Washington Post published its series of articles by Bob Woodward and his colleague, Carl Bernstein, on the Watergate scandal, which began with the arrests of the burglars at Watergate on June 17, 1972.

Jump forward to the present time. In an article titled, “Obama’s Wars: The Real Story Bob Woodward Won’t Tell,” by Russ Baker published on www.whowhatwhy.com on October 6, 2010, Baker reports that:

“Woodward's signature achievement – bringing down Richard Nixon – turns out not to be what we all thought. If that comes as a surprise, you have missed a few books, including bestsellers, that put pieces of this puzzle together. (Family of Secrets has several chapters on the real Watergate story, but there are others that present detailed information, including those by Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin, James Rosen, Jim Hougan and others.)

“Here's the deal: Bob, top secret Naval officer, gets sent to work in the Nixon White House while still on military duty. Then, with no journalistic credentials to speak of, and with a boost from White House staffers, he lands a job at the Washington Post. Not long thereafter he starts to take down Richard Nixon. Meanwhile, Woodward's military bosses are running a spy ring inside the White House that is monitoring Nixon and Kissinger's secret negotiations with America's enemies (China, Soviet Union, etc), stealing documents and funneling them back to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They then give what they stole to columnist Jack Anderson and others in the press.”

So the question must be asked as to whether Bob Woodward at the Washington Post was a tool used by an ongoing, sub-rosa CIA Operation Mockingbird to bring down President Nixon, who had been set-up by the Intelligence Community?

Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Detective Carl Shoffler, who arrested the burglars, was a Military Intelligence agent assigned to the police department. As reported by Jim Hougan in his 1984 best-seller Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA, Shoffler “had assisted the CIA in the past, and was personally acquainted with General Paul Gaynor.” Within hours of the arrests Shoffler telephoned the Washington Post and informed the newspaper of what had transpired. In the months that followed he continued to provide tips to the paper, information gleaned from his illegal wiretaps. Shoffler was a graduate of the National Security Agency’s Vint Hill Farm Station where wiretapping and electronic surveillance was taught.

In the new book, Watergate Exposed: How the President of the United States and the Watergate Burglars Were Set-up, Robert Merritt, the nation’s #1 Confidential Informant to law enforcement, discloses that he told Shoffler about the planned break-in at Watergate two weeks in advance. Merritt had obtained the information from a highly unusual source. Shoffler swore Merritt to secrecy and then devised a wiretapping triangulation scheme to set up President Nixon, which led to Shoffler’s arrest of the burglars on June 17, 1972.

This brings us to Woodward recent book, Obama’s Wars. As Russ Baker concludes in his article on WhoWhatWhy.Com, “…It’s no surprise that when it comes to Woodward’s latest work, the myth-making machine is on autopilot. The public, of course, will end up confused and manipulated as they ever were. Endless war, no substantive reforms. Unless we wake up to our own victimhood.”

Shades of Operation Mockingbird.

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