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Walter Raymond Jr.


John Simkin
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I am trying to find out more information about Walter Raymond. He joined the Central Intelligence Agency in the early 1950s. According to Robert Parry (Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq) Raymond worked for the CIA's propoganda office.

George H. W. Bush and William Casey recruited Raymond to the National Security Council staff in April, 1982. Raymond later told an Iran-Contra committee that he resigned from the CIA so “there would be no question of any contamination of this.”

The following year President Reagan established its own propaganda campaign within the United States called "Project Truth." It later merged with a broader program that combined domestic and international propaganda under the umbrella of "Project Democracy." Raymond was placed in charge of this project.

I believe that Raymond was an important figure in Operation Mockingbird and would have been closely involved in the cover-up of the JFK assassination. It is highly significant that Raymond was chosen by Bush to do the same job for Reagan's illegal activities.

Here is a passage from John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton excellent Toxic Sludge is Good for You (2004)

The most pressing concern of all for the Reagan administration was the need to win the support of the US people for its policies in Central America. "I think the most critical special operations mission we have today is to persuade the American people that the communists are out to get us. If we can win this war of ideas, we can win everywhere else," explained Michael Kelly, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Air Force. "Psychological operations, ranging from public affairs on the one end, through black propaganda on the other end is the advertising and marketing of our product."

Public affairs" is the government's term for "public relations"- a rather pointless change in terminology adopted to get around a law which specifically enjoins federal government agencies against engaging in public relations activities. The law also forbids the White House from using ads telegrams, letters, printed matter or other media outside "official channels" to influence members of Congress regarding legislation. Rules against CIA involvement in domestic US politics are even more severe. It is against the law for the CIA to operate domestically, except in narrowly-defined circumstances such as cooperating with an FBI investigation. In 1982 however, reports of the secret CIA war in Nicaragua led Congress to pass the Boland Amendment, ending military aid to the contras and barring the Reagan administration from any further attempts to overthrow the Sandinistas.

In response, Reagan dispatched CLA Director William Casey in January 1983 to set up a "public diplomacy' machine that journalists Robert Parry and Peter Kornbluh describe as "America's first peace time propaganda ministry . . . a set of domestic political operations comparable to what the CIA conducts against hostile forces abroad. Only this time they were turned against the three key institutions of American democracy: Congress, the press, and an informed electorate.... Employing the scientific methods of modern public relations and the war-tested techniques of psychological operations, the administration built an unprecedented bureaucracy in the [National Security Council] and the State Department designed to keep the news media in line and to restrict conflicting information from reaching the American public."

As head of the operation, Casey appointed Walter Raymond, Jr. a 20-year veteran of the CIA's clandestine overseas media operations-described by one US government source as the CIA's leading propaganda expert. According to Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, Raymond's involvement in the campaign symbolized "the wholesale integration of intelligence and PR at the National Security Council." During the Iran/Contra scandal, Congress investigated the Reagan administration's domestic propaganda operations and found that Raymond's name appeared on Oliver North's calendar more than that of any other White House staff member or government employee. A chapter detailing these domestic activities was drafted for the investigating committee's Iran/Contra report, but House and Senate Republicans successfully blocked even a paragraph of the draft from being included in the committee's final report. As a result the CIA's domestic propaganda activities in violation of its charter have received almost no public scrutiny.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKraymondW.htm

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Obit:

Walter Raymond Jr., a former government intelligence and media operations official who did consulting work in the field of emerging democracies, and who lived McLean, Virginia, died of cancer April 16, 2003, at Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington, Virginia, at the age of 73.

Mr. Raymond was a founder and president emeritus of the Council for a Community of Democracies, a nongovernmental group that helps organize conferences to promote democracy around the world.

He began his government career in 1954 doing intelligence work for the Defense Department with a specialty in Soviet bloc and Western European affairs. Starting in 1960, he was a political and information officer in Europe with the State Department.

From 1970 to 1982, he worked for the CIA, becoming an authority on clandestine overseas media operations. His honors included the CIA Intelligence Medal of Merit.

From 1982 to 1987, he served with the National Security Council as special assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director of international communications and information.

From 1987 to 1992, he was assistant director of the U.S. Information Agency and senior coordinator for an initiative to promote democracy in Eastern Europe.

After leaving the government, he held posts with groups that promoted democracy abroad. He was a senior adviser to the Association of Former Members of Congress and served on the board of advisers of the American Bar Association's Central East European Law Initiative.

He was a native of Brooklyn, New York, and a 1950 government graduate of the College of William and Mary. He received a master's degree in international relations from Yale University and was a 1975 graduate of the National War College. He was an Army veteran of the Korean War.

His memberships included Immanuel Presbyterian Church in McLean, Virginia.

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Obit:

Walter Raymond Jr., a former government intelligence and media operations official who did consulting work in the field of emerging democracies, and who lived McLean, Virginia, died of cancer April 16, 2003, at Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington, Virginia, at the age of 73.

Mr. Raymond was a founder and president emeritus of the Council for a Community of Democracies, a nongovernmental group that helps organize conferences to promote democracy around the world.

He began his government career in 1954 doing intelligence work for the Defense Department with a specialty in Soviet bloc and Western European affairs. Starting in 1960, he was a political and information officer in Europe with the State Department.

From 1970 to 1982, he worked for the CIA, becoming an authority on clandestine overseas media operations. His honors included the CIA Intelligence Medal of Merit.

From 1982 to 1987, he served with the National Security Council as special assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director of international communications and information.

From 1987 to 1992, he was assistant director of the U.S. Information Agency and senior coordinator for an initiative to promote democracy in Eastern Europe.

After leaving the government, he held posts with groups that promoted democracy abroad. He was a senior adviser to the Association of Former Members of Congress and served on the board of advisers of the American Bar Association's Central East European Law Initiative.

He was a native of Brooklyn, New York, and a 1950 government graduate of the College of William and Mary. He received a master's degree in international relations from Yale University and was a 1975 graduate of the National War College. He was an Army veteran of the Korean War.

His memberships included Immanuel Presbyterian Church in McLean, Virginia.

Thank you Greg. Do you have a source or URL for this biography? According to Robert Parry, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq John Dean (2004) Raymond joined the CIA in 1952. This is supported by the Council for a Community of Democracies website when it claims that he had an extensive career in the United States Government beginning in 1952.

http://www.ccd21.org/staff/bios_raymond.htm

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John, the obit was posted to an obituraries newsgroup. Unfortunately the poster did not provide a source. However, a couple of books which mention him in regard to Iran-Contra talk about a 30 year career as at the time he transferred to NSC in 1982, so I would think that the obit itself is in error, or the poster erred in typing it.

Apart from control of the media through Mockingbird, what also was employed was the covert funding of quasi-private institutions which in turn gave overt support, or in other ways gave assistance to policy objectives.

This included the Council on International Educational Exchange, the body which helped oversee the AFSC (Ruth Paine's) Soviet student exchange activites ( I note that Raymond became involved with this program as Asst Director of USIA). Given the top level government connection to the Albert Schweitzer College (Percival Brundage) I believe it too, was a part of some related program dealing with the spreading of Democracy US style (which is not a quest for democracy at all, but one for a polyarchy).

Lastly, a check the JFK NARA data base shows HSCA requests for files on Teresa Proenza went through Raymond, if that is of any interest at all.

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  • 5 years later...

yeah this guy as well as Donald Gregg have my attention right now as well. wish someone could connect the dots between Mr. Raymond and Cord Meyer, the Mockingbird reference in Secrecy And Privelege being the tip off.

sorry I don't have anything to add to the conversation other than saying I think it merits discussion.

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  • 5 years later...

CA/B3 Walter Raymond was a CIA officer active in Mexico City in Oct 1963.  State was apparently cover for him in the 60s.

He wrote a memo on 10/16/63 setting up meetings  with David Phillips and two officers (including one who was a propaganda specialist (known as KUWOLF) to discuss QKOPERA operations (Congress of Cutural Freedom).  The goal was to shift the tenor of Mexican intellectual life to a more pro American stance- should they start their own publication or take another one over?

http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=45135&relPageId=2&search="Walter_Raymond"

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