CIA Culture in Cold War Germany-JosephCasparWitsch

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CIA Culture in Cold War Germany-JosephCasparWitsch

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Wed May 27, 2009 2:28 am

...the CIA had a hand in German television and general culture.
It also influenced the awarding of Nobel Prizes...

Heinrich Boell and Co: "Drinking CIA Brandies"

(Own report) –

At the beginning of their careers, several top correspondents of German television's prominent First (ARD) and Second (ZDF) channels were in contact with CIA front organizations. The meeting place was a "mansion close to the Rhine, financed by the secret service", says the author of a documentary film broadcast by the French-German channel, ARTE, in a discussion with The key journalists were appointed to Washington. Their reports from the US capital influenced the millions of viewers of the public television channels. Heinrich Boell, the future literature Nobel Prize laureate, was also a member of the CIA front organization. Assignments were issued by CIA case officers stationed in Paris, who, at regular intervals, went to inspect their cultural subsidiary stations (in Cologne, Hamburg, West Berlin, Munich and elsewhere). The CIA activities, that verifiably lasted into the late sixties, encompassed also activities in Switzerland, Austria and Italy. The documentation substantiates with prominent examples, that this included also cooperation with ex-agents and high officials of the Nazi regime and Mussolini's dictatorship. The CIA had an influence even on the Nobel Prize Committee.

Among the group of "high-ranking journalists in the German broadcast and TV organizations, who were, consciously or unconsciously, of use to the CIA were" [1], Gerd Ruge (ARD) and Klaus Harpprecht (ZDF), who later was named main correspondent in the USA for the ARD and ZDF Television. Klaus Harpprecht played "a not insignificant role" in the CIA front organization in Cologne, says the author of the ARTE documentation, upon demand of[2] Also Gerd Ruge, "up to today, one of the most popular TV personalities", socialized in the secret service financed mansion in Cologne. "With the money from the CIA center in Paris (...) garden parties were thrown or Soirées were given, around fastidious topics of the period. There was a large dragnet laid out" – and careers were made.

Agent Provocateur

Alongside Klaus Harpprecht, who later became an advisor of German Chancellor, Willy Brandt [3], obscure personalities with Nazi backgrounds, were also active at the CIA base in Cologne. According to the documentary commentary, an earlier Gestapo agent provocateur – who is a namesake of the founding director of the German international broadcaster, the "Deutsche Welle" (DW) – was also active at the base in Cologne. This link is left unmentioned in the ARTE film. Also implicated was the former Nazi foreign espionage agent of the Reich Security Central Office (RSHA), Berend von Nottbeck. Nottbeck emerges as a publisher of works from the "Publicist Center for German Unity" (PZ-Archiv) – a dubious address, with direct terrorist and CIA ties.[4] Boell's friend and publisher, Joseph Caspar Witsch ("Kiepenheuer and Witsch"), the former Nazi cultural functionary, was the head of the Cologne group. The future Nobel Prize laureate, Boell, participated in the political activities of the group.

Financial Account

Similarly bizarre connections, between ambitious publicists, who saw themselves as liberals, and heavily implicated Nazi veterans, was typical also for other CIA subsidiaries. Thus the documentary reveals that the Italian police informer of the CIA branch (of the "Congress of Cultural Freedom"), the well-known writer, Ignazio Silone, was for many years an informer of Mussolini's secret police, before taking up secret service activities for the USA. Silone socialized in the entourage around Boell and the Witsch publishers in Cologne, which published Silone's works in Germany. The CIA network extended also into Switzerland, where the prominent political scholar, Denis de Rougemont, initiated a "Centre Européen de la Culture". The CIA transferred substantial sums of dollars by way of Switzerland. As the CIA's financial accounts show, the US secret service transferred about 40,000 DM monthly to Germany – to the Cologne group – where Boell was active – and elsewhere.

Nobel Prize

In view of the Nobel Prize, later awarded to Heinrich Boell, it is particularly revealing that the CIA operations, using agents acquainted with Boell, extended to within the Stockholm Nobel Prize Committee. In the 60s, the CIA headquarters in Paris launched a subversive campaign to prevent from having the Nobel Prize awarded to the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. As divulged in an internal document, quoted in the ARTE documentary, use was made of assistance from within the Stockholm Nobel Prize secretariat. The members of the Nobel Prize Committee were sent dossiers and articles, developed on instructions of the CIA, to portray Pablo Neruda as ridiculous. It is unknown, whether the CIA was able not only to prevent a Nobel Prize award, but also to initiate one.

Persisting Interests

Even though the documents, forming the basis of information for the film, have been publicly accessible for several years, the entanglement of prominent German scholars, journalists and artists implicated, are, still today, shrouded in silence. This could be due to the persisting interests of influential media organs. In the TV documentation, the legal advisor to Hamburg's Bucerius publishing house reminisced about "some of the 'CIA brandies'", he drank in the CIA's cultural base in Hamburg, with "numerous other TIME and SPIEGEL journalists".[5]

Please read also Interview mit dem Filmautor, Heinrich Boell: "State Directed", Diamant in der Sammlung der CIA and Heinrich Böll: Im Geheimdienstgestrüpp

[1] Beliebte TV-Persönlichkeiten; Interview, 29.11.2006
[2] Den ersten Teil des Interviews brachte am 24.11.2006: Diamant in der Sammlung der CIA
[3] Klaus Harpprecht: Im Kanzleramt. Tagebuch der Jahre mit Willy Brandt. Ohne Ortsangabe, 2000
[4] Zur "Kampfgruppe gegen Unmenschlichkeit", die als Mitherausgeberin der PZ-Publikationen ausgewiesen wird.
[5] Beliebte TV-Persönlichkeiten; Interview, 29.11.2006

CIA runs mainstream media since WWII:
news rooms, movies/TV, publishing
Disney is CIA for kidz!
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Hugh Manatee Wins
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Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Wed May 27, 2009 2:39 am ... lture.html

The CIA did not falsify and undermine the intentions of innocent artists,
no, the USA just "played" with foreign countries.

The CIA paid millions to subvert and undermine the aspirations of whole
nations and the mind-manipulation of the citizens of other countries was
not valuable by itself.

Artists in the trap of the CIA, a documentary directed by Hans-Rüdiger
Minow, produced by Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (second german people-owned
TV channel) in 2006, 52 Minutes, premiered on german-french people-owned
co-operation TV channel Arte TV ( on Wednesday the 29.
Novembre 2006, 20:40 CET. ... 027/1.html

German artists and journalists as informants for the USA? by Wolf
Dieter Roth 26.11.2006

Even Heinrich Boell worked for many years - possibly unknowingly - the CIA

Each large enterprise pays today its spin Doctors and lobbyists, in order
to implement its interests. The US-American secret service CIA was into
the late 50ern of its time already far ahead, as a Second Channel of
German Television documentation occupies: whether man of letters,
musicians, coworkers of publishing houses or the public broadcast - all
became remote controlled from Washington.

The fact that in the east no liberty prevailed is sufficiently well-known:
in the GDR a ever larger part of the population was busy to supervise the
remainder and the large brother in Moscow had with the KGB its fingers
anyway everywhere in it. Dissidenten expected in the west, now from the
adjustments of the secret services to be safe - and were nevertheless
again faster in their catches, than they could introduce themselves, only
this time those the other side in the cold war.

The Italian historian Dr. Sergio Biocca found numerous vouchers for the
secretofficial activity of the well-known man of letters Ignazio Silone
with searches in US archives. Silone applies in Italy until today as moral
institution “like Boell in Germany”, says Sergio Biocca. (Picture: Second
German television/Guy Mertin)

Several hundred million dollar the US foreign secret service CIA invested,
in order to attach in one of the largest postwar operations a world-wide
culture net. Center of the CIA activities was the until recently still
high-praised “congress for cultural liberty” - US agents transacted an
organization with seat in Paris under complete control that there. The
“congress” maintained national branch organizations and those in all
states of Western Europe Paris center financed on a large scale “congress”
- magazines for the employment in Africa, Latin America and the Arab
countries. A goal was the fight for American values in forming art,
literature and music. In particular socialcritical intellectual ones and
artist from the left camp were for the “congress” from interest. With
secretofficial means they should be extracted from Marxist influences and
be ready-made for the employment at the US culture front.

When Alexander Solschenizyn was expatriated 1974 from the Soviet Union and
with Heinrich Boell refuge found, was this no coincidence: Boell was
supervised by the CIA and all meetings of the man of letters with literary
and political personalities of the Eastern Bloc landed in confidential
western secret service minutes. The “congress for cultural liberty”
practiced to material Orwell new speech: Culturally the man of letters
were probably free - otherwise however not.

Under the slogan “free culture into free world” met the association among
other things three days in Berlin under the radio tower and to the
conclusion said the English writer Arthur Köstler in a speech in very
militaristischer language choice finally, it is at the time to say to the
neutrality living well-being and betrayed thereby more almost over the
meeting, than liked to their initiators.

The intellectual ones of the west left their defensive positions.
Friends, whom liberty has the offensive seized!
Arthur Köstler

Secret head of the Cologne group of the CIA organization was Josef Caspar
Witsch, a former National Socialist culture functionary and SA-Mann, so
the Second Channel of German Television documentation, which Kiepenheuer &
Witsch had created the literature publishing house. Reinhold Neven you
Mont, which entered 1963 with Kiepenheuer & Witsch and 1969 it took over
the publishing house states for this that there was a whole row just as
more respectablly, from the USA coming works in the Kiepenheuer & Witsch
Fundus beside the respectable, literary works in the program of
Kiepenheuer & Witsch also, with which one asked oneself however
nevertheless, how these fastidious translations were probably financed.

One already at that time assumed the CIA as a secret backer, thus you
Mont. As far Boell of its publisher Witsch background over “congress for
cultural liberty” was cleared up, is open. However it delivered the
reports over its attendance in the Eastern Bloc at Witsch, that it to the
CIA continued to give and emerged there also in particular on the lists
with financial transfers.

That Hamburg literature scientist Klaus grains: “In particular in the left
and social-democratic spectrum of the culture scene the CIA looked for its
informers”. (Picture: Second German television/Guy Mertin)

Also in Cologne circle were beside broadcast and television people of the
West German broadcast the former agent of the LV foreign espionage and the
SS-Untersturmführer Behrend of Nottbeck and the earlier Gestapo
Lockspitzel and USA enemy Hans Otto Wesemann, so the Second Channel of
German Television documentation. Only in the middle of the 60's oozes that
the money comes for the activities of the CIA - the Ford donation the
sponsor was official. The involved ones accept this, “well finally give
them their money once for somewhat correctly property out”, thus Sabine
Brandt, Kongress-Geschäftsführerin in Cologne from 1959 to 1961.

As French platform the magazine “Preuves” served the influencing control
under the sociologist Raymond Aron. In Germany the “congress” collected
its notionless culture carrier in the periphery of the sheet “the month”.
In England it was the “Encounter”. The financing took over the CIA
starting from approximately 1958. Like Tom Braden, ex-CIA-agent, reported,
addressed the CIA rich US citizens that it wanted to create donations in
their name. A “o.k.” of the name giver, a hotel room as postal address, a
letterhead - and finished was the donation, which could finance now the
Literatenvereine, without the CIA had to go directly in particular into

A goal of the infiltration were left intellectual circles. These were
allowed criticism at the USA to quite express, should not however to
become not communist active - the fear of the red danger was large, it was
the age of McCarthy. One wanted the moderate left, which engaged
intellectual ones without their knowledge as allied one won, so Erich
Schmidt Eenboom. Carola star, which worked earlier US-Agentin in the GDR,
later television lady journalist of the West German broadcast and
occasional friend of Heinrich Boell, as a lector at Kiepenheuer & Witsch.

Thomas Mann was for example unwanted at the “congress for cultural
liberty”. Likewise Jean Paul Sarte and Simone de Beauvoir, who is attacked
after expressions over the underestimation of the Hitler regime by the
then French government of Raymond Aron in the magazine “Preuves” also
concerning its dear relationship with Sartre without marriage certificate.
Reason for these by CIA funds financed personal attacks was a sympathy
Sartres for the “third way” from Fidel Castro.

Heinrich Senfft is an attorney and over many decades those Hamburg
pictorial “star” represented. In the periphery of “star”, “time” and
“mirror” those worked Hamburg CIA address of the “congress for cultural
liberty”. (Picture: Second German television/Guy Mertin)

“1984”, its descriptions of monströser buildings to the buildings of east
monsters for example in Berlin center quite remind the filming of George
Orwells and with the farm of the animals (“all animals are alike, but some
are more alike! ”) actually communism criticized, which however in that
today admitted form also on interferences of the CIA was based, on working
the CIA opposite the book still clearly one intensified and to a
communism-critical communist manifesto.

When the conductors William Furtwängler and Herbert of Karajan because of
their LV past into the criticism came, the “congress regarded the
protecting hand as cultural liberty” after an obligation over them.

With the painting abstract expressionism was desired, which was considered
as modern. Günter Grass was against it, it preferential gegenständliche
painting. Likewise as Nobelpreiskandidat acted Chilean poets Pablo Neruda
was discredited purposefully with CIA means, in order to prevent this.

(Neruda discredited to stop him getting the literature Nobel Price)



Dr. Ekkehart Krippendorf (crib village) was until recently a professor at
the free University of Berlin and already as a student author of the
literature magazine DER MONAT “the month”. It was CO-financed of the CIA.
“We ran into a trap”, say Krippendorff today. (Picture: Second German
television/Guy Mertin)


On 27 April 1966 the New York Time reported congress for cultural liberty”
on the CIA financing “. Thus it was with all the literature magazines
carried by it past. The US contacts remained however, likewise the
financings. The “time” bought up the “month”.

For the first time the documentation radiated on Arte TV “uses and steered
- artist in the net of the CIA” developed after three-year search work in
numerous documents, which store in US archives and give over the working
centers at that time in the Federal Republic of information. It gives
cause for the re-valuation to the culture scene in postwar Europe.

Used and steered, artists in the net of the CIA, documentation,
direction: Hans Ruediger Minow, second German television, Germany 2006, 52
minutes. First broadcast on Arte TV, Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 20:40

Article URL:


Saturday, March 18, 2000 in the New York Times

How the Central Intelligence Agency Played Dirty Tricks With Our Culture

by Laurence Zuckerman

Many people remember reading George Orwell's "Animal Farm" in high school
or college, with its chilling finale in which the farm animals looked back
and forth at the tyrannical pigs and the exploitative human farmers but
found it "impossible to say which was which."

That ending was altered in the 1955 animated version, which removed the
humans, leaving only the nasty pigs. Another example of Hollywood
butchering great literature? Yes, but in this case the film's secret
producer was the Central Intelligence Agency.

The C.I.A., it seems, was worried that the public might be too influenced
by Orwell's pox-on-both-their-houses critique of the capitalist humans and
Communist pigs. So after his death in 1950, agents were dispatched (by
none other than E. Howard Hunt, later of Watergate fame) to buy the film
rights to "Animal Farm" from his widow to make its message more overtly

Rewriting the end of "Animal Farm" is just one example of the often absurd
lengths to which the C.I.A. went, as recounted in a new book, "The
Cultural Cold War: The C.I.A. and the World of Arts and Letters" (The New
Press) by Frances Stonor Saunders, a British journalist. Published in
Britain last summer, the book will appear here next month.

Much of what Ms. Stonor Saunders writes about, including the C.I.A.'s
covert sponsorship of the Paris-based Congress for Cultural Freedom and
the British opinion magazine Encounter, was exposed in the late 1960's,
generating a wave of indignation. But by combing through archives and
unpublished manuscripts and interviewing several of the principal actors,
Ms. Stonor Saunders has uncovered many new details and gives the most
comprehensive account yet of the agency's activities between 1947 and 1967.

This picture of the C.I.A.'s secret war of ideas has cameo appearances by
scores of intellectual celebrities like the critics Dwight Macdonald and
Lionel Trilling, the poets Ted Hughes and Derek Walcott and the novelists
James Michener and Mary McCarthy, all of whom directly or indirectly
benefited from the C.I.A.'s largesse. There are also bundles of cash that
were funneled through C.I.A. fronts and several hilarious schemes that
resemble a "Spy vs. Spy" cartoon more than a serious defense against

Traveling first class all the way, the C.I.A. and its counterparts in
other Western European nations sponsored art exhibitions, intellectual
conferences, concerts and magazines to press their larger anti-Soviet
agenda. Ms. Stonor Saunders provides ample evidence, for example, that the
editors at Encounter and other agency-sponsored magazines were ordered not
to publish articles directly critical of Washington's foreign policy. She
also shows how the C.I.A. bankrolled some of the earliest exhibitions of
Abstract Expressionist painting outside of the United States to counter
the Socialist Realism being advanced by Moscow.

In one memorable episode, the British Foreign Office subsidized the
distribution of 50,000 copies of "Darkness at Noon," Arthur Koestler's
anti-Communist classic. But at the same time, the French Communist Party
ordered its operatives to buy up every copy of the book. Koestler received
a windfall in royalties courtesy of his Communist adversaries.

As it turns out, "Animal Farm" was not the only instance of the C.I.A.'s
dabbling in Hollywood. Ms. Stonor Saunders reports that one operative who
was a producer and talent agent slipped affluent-looking African-Americans
into several films as extras to try to counter Soviet criticism of the
American race problem.

The agency also changed the ending of the movie version of "1984,"
disregarding Orwell's specific instructions that the story not be altered.
In the book, the protagonist, Winston Smith, is entirely defeated by the
nightmarish totalitarian regime. In the very last line, Orwell writes of
Winston, "He loved Big Brother." In the movie, Winston and his lover,
Julia, are gunned down after Winston defiantly shouts: "Down with Big

Such changes came from the agency's obsession with snuffing out a notion
then popular among many European intellectuals: that East and West were
morally equivalent. But instead of illustrating the differences between
the two competing systems by taking the high road, the agency justified
its covert activities by referring to the unethical tactics of the Soviets.

"If the other side can use ideas that are camouflaged as being local
rather than Soviet-supported or -stimulated, then we ought to be able to
use ideas camouflaged as local ideas," Tom Braden, who ran the C.I.A.'s
covert cultural division in the early 1950's, explained years later. (In
one of the book's many amusing codas, Mr. Braden goes on in the 1980's to
become the leftist foil to Patrick Buchanan on the CNN program

The cultural cold war began in postwar Europe, with the fraying of the
wartime alliance between Washington and Moscow. Officials in the West
believed they had to counter Soviet propaganda and undermine the wide
sympathy for Communism in France and Italy.

An odd alliance was struck between the C.I.A. leaders, most of them
wealthy Ivy League veterans of the wartime Office of Strategic Services
and a corps of largely Jewish ex-Communists who had broken with Moscow to
become virulently anti-Communist. Acting as intermediaries between the
agency and the intellectual community were three colorful agents who
included Vladimir Nabokov's much less talented cousin, Nicholas, a

The C.I.A. recognized from the beginning that it could not openly sponsor
artists and intellectuals in Europe because there was so much
anti-American feeling there. Instead, it decided to woo intellectuals out
of the Soviet orbit by secretly promoting a non-Communist left of
democratic socialists disillusioned with Moscow.

Ms. Stonor Saunders describes how the C.I.A. cleverly skimmed hundreds of
millions of dollars from the Marshall Plan to finance its activities,
funneling the money through fake philanthropies it created or real ones
like the Ford Foundation.

"We couldn't spend it all," Gilbert Greenway, a former C.I.A. agent,
recalled. "There were no limits, and nobody had to account for it. It was

When some of the C.I.A.'s activities were exposed in the late 1960's, many
artists and intellectuals claimed ignorance. But Ms. Stonor Saunders makes
a strong case that several people, including the philosopher Isaiah Berlin
and the poet Stephen Spender, who was co-editor of Encounter, knew about
the C.I.A.'s role.

"She has made it very difficult now to deny that some of these things
happened," said Norman Birnbaum, a professor at the Georgetown University
Law School who was a university professor in Europe in the 1950's and
early 1960's. "And she has placed a lot of people living and dead in
embarrassing situations."

Still unresolved is what impact the campaign had and whether it was worth
it. Some of the participants, like Arthur M.

Schlesinger Jr., who was in the O.S.S. and knew about some of the C.I.A.'s
cultural activities, argue that the agency's role was benign, even
necessary. Compared with the coups the C.I.A. sponsored in Guatemala, Iran
and elsewhere, he said, its support of the arts was some of its best work.
"It enabled people to publish what they already believed," he added. "It
didn't change anyone's course of action or thought."

But Diana Josselson, whose husband, Michael, ran the Congress for Cultural
Freedom, told Ms. Stonor Saunders that there were real human costs among
those around the world who innocently cooperated with the agency's front
organizations only to be tarred with a C.I.A. affiliation when the truth
came out. The author and other critics argue that by using government
money covertly to promote such American ideals as democracy and freedom of
expression, the agency ultimately stepped on its own message.

"Obviously it was an error, and a rather serious error, to allow
intellectuals to be subsidized by the government," said Alan Brinkley, a
history professor at Columbia University. "And when it was revealed, it
did undermine their credibility seriously."


The CIA and the Cultural Cold War Revisited

by James Petras ... November 1999 .. Monthly Review

Frances Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold
War (London: Granta Books), £20.

This book provides a detailed account of the ways in which the CIA
penetrated and influenced a vast array of cultural organizations, through
its front groups and via friendly philanthropic organizations like the
Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. The author, Frances Stonor Saunders,
details how and why the CIA ran cultural congresses, mounted exhibits, and
organized concerts. The CIA also published and translated well-known
authors who toed the Washington line, sponsored abstract art to counteract
art with any social content and, throughout the world, subsidized journals
that criticized Marxism, communism, and revolutionary politics and
apologized for, or ignored, violent and destructive imperialist U.S.
policies. The CIA was able to harness some of the most vocal exponents of
intellectual freedom in the West in service of these policies, to the
extent that some intellectuals were directly on the CIA payroll. Many were
knowingly involved with CIA "projects," and others drifted in and out of
its orbit, claiming ignorance of the CIA connection after their CIA
sponsors were publicly exposed during the late 1960s and the Vietnam war,
after the turn of the political tide to the left.

U.S. and European anticommunist publications receiving direct or indirect
funding included Partisan Review, Kenyon Review, New Leader, Encounter and
many others. Among the intellectuals who were funded and promoted by the
CIA were Irving Kristol, Melvin Lasky, Isaiah Berlin, Stephen Spender,
Sidney Hook, Daniel Bell, Dwight MacDonald, Robert Lowell, Hannah Arendt,
Mary McCarthy, and numerous others in the United States and Europe. In
Europe, the CIA was particularly interested in and promoted the
"Democratic Left" and ex-leftists, including Ignacio Silone, Stephen
Spender, Arthur Koestler, Raymond Aron, Anthony Crosland, Michael
Josselson, and George Orwell.

The CIA, under the prodding of Sidney Hook and Melvin Lasky, was
instrumental in funding the Congress for Cultural Freedom, a kind of
cultural NATO that grouped together all sorts of "anti-Stalinist" leftists
and rightists. They were completely free to defend Western cultural and
political values, attack "Stalinist totalitarianism" and to tiptoe gently
around U.S. racism and imperialism. Occasionally, a piece marginally
critical of U.S. mass society was printed in the CIA-subsidized journals.
What was particularly bizarre about this collection of CIA-funded
intellectuals was not only their political partisanship, but their
pretense that they were disinterested seekers of truth, iconoclastic
humanists, freespirited intellectuals, or artists for art's sake, who
counterposed themselves to the corrupted "committed" house "hacks" of the
Stalinist apparatus. It is impossible to believe their claims of ignorance
of CIA ties. How could they ignore the absence in the journals of any
basic criticism of the numerous lynchings throughout the southern United
States during the whole period? How could they ignore the absence, during
their cultural congresses, of criticism of U.S. imperialist intervention
in Guatemala, Iran, Greece, and Korea that led to millions of deaths? How
could they ignore the gross apologies of every imperialist crime of their
day in the journals in which they wrote? They were all soldiers: some
glib, vitriolic, crude, and polemical, like Hook and Lasky; others elegant
essayists like Stephen Spender or self-righteous informers like George
Orwell. Saunders portrays the WASP Ivy League elite at the CIA holding the
strings, and the vitriolic Jewish ex-leftists snarling at leftist
dissidents. When the truth came out in the late 1960s and New York, Paris,
and London "intellectuals" feigned indignation at having been used, the
CIA retaliated. Tom Braden, who directed the International Organizations
Branch of the CIA, blew their cover by detailing how they all had to have
known who paid their salaries and stipends (397-404). According to Braden,
the CIA financed their "literary froth," as CIA hardliner Cord Meyer
called the anti-Stalinist intellectual exercises of Hook, Kristol, and
Lasky. Regarding the most prestigious and best-known publications of the
self-styled "Democratic Left" (Encounter, New Leader, Partisan Review),
Braden wrote that the money for them came from the CIA and that "an agent
became the editor of Encounter" (398). By 1953, Braden wrote, "we were
operating or influencing international organizations in every field" (398).

Saunders' book provides useful information about several important
questions regarding the ways in which CIA intellectual operatives defended
U.S. imperialist interests on cultural fronts. It also initiates an
important discussion of the long-term consequences of the ideological and
artistic positions defended by CIA intellectuals. Saunders refutes the
claims (made by Hook, Kristol, and Lasky) that the CIA and its friendly
foundations provided aid with no strings attached. She demonstrates that
"the individuals and institutions subsidized by the CIA were expected to
perform as part ... of a propaganda war." The most effective propaganda
was defined by the CIA as the kind where "the subject moves in the
direction you desire for reasons which he believes to be his own." While
the CIA allowed their assets on the "Democratic Left" to prattle
occasionally about social reform, it was the "anti-Stalinist" polemics and
literary diatribes against Western Marxists and Soviet writers and artists
that they were most interested in, funded most generously, and promoted
with the greatest visibility. Braden referred to this as the "convergence"
between the CIA and the European "Democratic Left" in the fight against
communism. The collaboration between the "Democratic Left" and the CIA
included strike-breaking in France, informing on Stalinists (Orwell and
Hook), and covert smear campaigns to prevent leftist artists from
receiving recognition (including Pablo Neruda's bid for a Nobel Prize in
1964 [351]). The CIA, as the arm of the U.S. government most concerned
with fighting the cultural Cold War, focused on Europe in the period
immediately following the Second World War. Having experienced almost two
decades of capitalist war, depression, and postwar occupation, the
overwhelming majority of European intellectuals and trade unionists were
anticapitalist and particularly critical of the hegemonic pretensions of
the United States. To counter the appeal of communism and the growth of
the European Communist Parties (particularly in France and Italy), the CIA
devised a two-tier program. On the one hand, as Saunders argues, certain
European authors were promoted as part of an explicitly "anticommunist
program." The CIA cultural commissar's criteria for "suitable texts"
included "whatever critiques of Soviet foreign policy and Communism as a
form of government we find to be objective (sic) and convincingly written
and timely." The CIA was especially keen on publishing disillusioned
ex-communists like Silone, Koestler, and Gide. The CIA promoted
anticommunist writers by funding lavish conferences in Paris, Berlin, and
Bellagio (overlooking Lake Como), where objective social scientists and
philosophers like Isaiah Berlin, Daniel Bell, and Czeslow Milosz preached
their values (and the virtues of Western freedom and intellectual
independence, within the anticommunist and pro-Washington parameters
defined by their CIA paymasters). None of these prestigious intellectuals
dared to raise any doubts or questions regarding U.S. support of the mass
killing in colonial Indochina and Algeria, the witch hunt of U.S.
intellectuals or the paramilitary (Ku Klux Klan) lynchings in the southern
United States. Such banal concerns would only "play into the hands of the
Communists," according to Sidney Hook, Melvin Lasky, and the Partisan
Review crowd, who eagerly sought funds for their quasi-bankrupt literary
operation. Many of the so-called prestigious anticommunist literary and
political journals would long have gone out of business were it not for
CIA subsidies, which bought thousands of copies that it later distributed

The second cultural track on which the CIA operated was much more subtle.
Here, it promoted symphonies, art exhibits, ballet, theater groups, and
well-known jazz and opera performers with the explicit aim of neutralizing
anti-imperialist sentiment in Europe and creating an appreciation of U.S.
culture and government. The idea behind this policy was to showcase U.S.
culture, in order to gain cultural hegemony to support its
military-economic empire. The CIA was especially keen on sending black
artists to Europe -- particularly singers (like Marion Anderson), writers,
and musicians (such as Louis Armstrong) -- to neutralize European
hostility toward Washington's racist domestic policies. If black
intellectuals didn't stick to the U.S. artistic script and wandered into
explicit criticism, they were banished from the list, as was the case with
writer Richard Wright. The degree of CIA political control over the
intellectual agenda of these seemingly nonpolitical artistic activities
was clearly demonstrated by the reaction of the editors of Encounter
(Lasky and Kristol, among others) with regard to an article submitted by
Dwight MacDonald. MacDonald, a maverick anarchist intellectual, was a
long-time collaborator with the CIA-run Congress for Cultural Freedom and
Encounter. In 1958, he wrote an article for Encounter entitled "America
America," in which he expressed his revulsion for U.S. mass culture, its
crude materialism, and lack of civility. It was a rebuttal of the American
values that were prime propaganda material in the CIA's and Encounter's
cultural war against communism. MacDonald's attack of the "decadent
American imperium" was too much for the CIA and its intellectual
operatives in Encounter. As Braden, in his guidelines to the
intellectuals, stated "organizations receiving CIA funds should not be
required to support every aspect of U.S. policy," but invariably there was
a cut-off point -- particularly where U.S. foreign policy was concerned
(314). Despite the fact that MacDonald was a former editor of Encounter,
the article was rejected. The pious claims of Cold War writers like Nicola
Chiaromonte, writing in the second issue of Encounter, that "[t]he duty
that no intellectual can shirk without degrading himself is the duty to
expose fictions and to refuse to call `useful lies,' truths," certainly
did not apply to Encounter and its distinguished list of contributors when
it came to dealing with the `useful lies' of the West.

One of the most important and fascinating discussions in Saunders' book is
about the fact that CIA and its allies in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
poured vast sums of money into promoting Abstract Expressionist (AE)
painting and painters as an antidote to art with a social content. In
promoting AE, the CIA fought off the right-wing in Congress. What the CIA
saw in AE was an "anti-Communist ideology, the ideology of freedom, of
free enterprise. Non-figurative and politically silent it was the very
antithesis of socialist realism" (254). They viewed AE as the true
expression of the national will. To bypass right-wing criticism, the CIA
turned to the private sector (namely MOMA and its co-founder, Nelson
Rockefeller, who referred to AE as "free enterprise painting.") Many
directors at MOMA had longstanding links to the CIA and were more than
willing to lend a hand in promoting AE as a weapon in the cultural Cold
War. Heavily funded exhibits of AE were organized all over Europe; art
critics were mobilized, and art magazines churned out articles full of
lavish praise. The combined economic resources of MOMA and the CIA-run
Fairfield Foundation ensured the collaboration of Europe's most
prestigious galleries which, in turn, were able to influence aesthetics
across Europe. AE as "free art" ideology (George Kennan, 272) was used to
attack politically committed artists in Europe. The Congress for Cultural
Freedom (the CIA front) threw its weight behind abstract painting, over
representational or realist aesthetics, in an explicit political act.
Commenting on the political role of AE, Saunders points out: "One of the
extraordinary features of the role that American painting played in the
cultural Cold War is not the fact that it became part of the enterprise,
but that a movement which so deliberately declared itself to be apolitical
could become so intensely politicized" (275). The CIA associated
apolitical artists and art with freedom. This was directed toward
neutralizing the artists on the European left. The irony, of course, was
that the apolitical posturing was only for left-wing consumption.
Nevertheless, the CIA and its cultural organizations were able to
profoundly shape the postwar view of art. Many prestigious writers, poets,
artists, and musicians proclaimed their independence from politics and
declared their belief in art for art's sake. The dogma of the free artist
or intellectual, as someone disconnected from political engagement, gained
ascendancy and is pervasive to this day. While Saunders has presented a
superbly detailed account of the links between the CIA and Western artists
and intellectuals, she leaves unexplored the structural reasons for the
necessity of CIA deception and control over dissent. Her discussion is
framed largely in the context of political competition and conflict with
Soviet communism. There is no serious attempt to locate the CIA's cultural
Cold War in the context of class warfare, indigenous third world
revolutions, and independent Marxist challenges to U.S. imperialist
economic domination. This leads Saunders to selectively praise some CIA
ventures at the expense of others, some operatives over others. Rather
than see the CIA's cultural war as part of an imperialist system, Saunders
tends to be critical of its deceptive and distinct reactive nature. The
U.S.-NATO cultural conquest of Eastern Europe and the ex-USSR should
quickly dispel any notion that the cultural war was a defensive action.
The very origins of the cultural Cold War were rooted in class warfare.
Early on, the CIA and its U.S. AFL-CIO operatives Irving Brown and Jay
Lovestone (ex-communists) poured millions of dollars into subverting
militant trade unions and breaking strikes through the funding of social
democratic unions (94). The Congress for Cultural Freedom and its
enlightened intellectuals were funded by the same CIA operatives who hired
Marseilles gangsters to break the dockworkers' strikes in 1948. After the
Second World War, with the discrediting in Western Europe of the old right
(compromised by its links to the fascists and a weak capitalist system),
the CIA realized that, in order to undermine the anti-NATO trade unionists
and intellectuals, it needed to find (or invent) a Democratic Left to
engage in ideological warfare. A special sector of the CIA was set up to
circumvent right-wing Congressional objections. The Democratic Left was
essentially used to combat the radical left and to provide an ideological
gloss on U.S. hegemony in Europe. At no point were the ideological
pugilists of the democratic left in any position to shape the strategic
policies and interests of the United States. Their job was not to question
or demand, but to serve the empire in the name of "Western democratic
values." Only when massive opposition to the Vietnam War surfaced in the
United States and Europe, and their CIA covers were blown, did many of the
CIA-promoted and -financed intellectuals jump ship and begin to criticize
U.S. foreign policy. For example, after spending most of his career on the
CIA payroll, Stephen Spender became a critic of U.S. Vietnam policy, as
did some of the editors of Partisan Review. They all claimed innocence,
but few critics believed that a love affair with so many journals and
convention junkets, so long and deeply involved, could transpire without
some degree of knowledge. The CIA's involvement in the cultural life of
the United States, Europe, and elsewhere had important long-term
consequences. Many intellectuals were rewarded with prestige, public
recognition, and research funds precisely for operating within the
ideological blinders set by the Agency. Some of the biggest names in
philosophy, political ethics, sociology, and art, who gained visibility
from CIA-funded conferences and journals, went on to establish the norms
and standards for promotion of the new generation, based on the political
parameters established by the CIA. Not merit nor skill, but politics --
the Washington line -- defined "truth" and "excellence" and future chairs
in prestigious academic settings, foundations, and museums. The U.S. and
European Democratic Left's anti-Stalinist rhetorical ejaculations, and
their proclamations of faith in democratic values and freedom, were a
useful ideological cover for the heinous crimes of the West. Once again,
in NATO's recent war against Yugoslavia, many Democratic Left
intellectuals have lined up with the West and the KLA in its bloody purge
of tens of thousands of Serbs and the murder of scores of innocent
civilians. If anti-Stalinism was the opium of the Democratic Left during
the Cold War, human rights interventionism has the same narcotizing effect
today, and deludes contemporary Democratic Leftists. The CIA's cultural
campaigns created the prototype for today's seemingly apolitical
intellectuals, academics, and artists who are divorced from popular
struggles and whose worth rises with their distance from the working
classes and their proximity to prestigious foundations. The CIA role model
of the successful professional is the ideological gatekeeper, excluding
critical intellectuals who write about class struggle, class exploitation
and U.S. imperialism -- "ideological" not "objective" categories, or so
they are told. The singular lasting, damaging influence of the CIA's
Congress of Cultural Freedom crowd was not their specific defenses of U.S.
imperialist policies, but their success in imposing on subsequent
generations of intellectuals the idea of excluding any sustained
discussion of U.S. imperialism from the influential cultural and political
media. The issue is not that today's intellectuals or artists may or may
not take a progressive position on this or that issue. The problem is the
pervasive belief among writers and artists that anti-imperialist social
and political expressions should not appear in their music, paintings, and
serious writing if they want their work to be considered of substantial
artistic merit. The enduring political victory of the CIA was to convince
intellectuals that serious and sustained political engagement on the left
is incompatible with serious art and scholarship. Today at the opera,
theater, and art galleries, as well as in the professional meetings of
academics, the Cold War values of the CIA are visible and pervasive: who
dares to undress the emperor?

James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghampton
University, New York, and author of:

Globalization Unmasked: Imperialism in the 21st Century with Henry
Veltmeyer (Zed Books, 2001),
The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America with Henry Veltmeyer
(McMillan, 2000),
Empire or Republic: Global Power or Domestic Decay in the US with Morris
Morley (Routledge, 1995),
Latin America in the Time of Cholera: Electoral Politics, Market
Economics, and Permanent Crisis with Morris Morley (Routledge, 1992),
Latin America: Bankers, Generals and the Struggle for Social Justice
(Rowman & Littlefield, 1986),
Class, State, and Power in the Third World, With Case Studies on Class
Conflict in Latin America (Rowman & Littlefield, 1981)
The Nationalization of Venezuelan Oil (Holt Rinehart & Winston, 1978),
The United States and Chile: Imperialism and the Overthrow of the Allende
Government (Monthly Review Press, 1975),
Latin America: From Dependence to Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 1973),
Peasants in Revolt; A Chilean Case Study, 1965-1971 (Univ of Texas, 1973),
How Allende fell: a study in U.S.-Chilean relations (Spokesman Books),
Cultivating revolution; the United States and agrarian reform in Latin
America (Random House, 1971)
Politics and Social Forces in Chilean Development (University of
California Press, 1969).

James Petras' web site in english is at:

A superset list of his articles in Spanish is at:


Circle A Radio is aired on KBOO Wednesdays from 6-7 pm. The show is
excellently crafted, well researched and has an incredible political
analysis. The best part: no corporate sponsorship.

Start broadcasting some of the shows currently only available over the
interent. Meria Heller is great and Fintan Dunne often has insightful
things to say. Both are truly independant from corporate funding and it's
strings. And both are able to discuss the events of 9/11 realistically,
unlike Goodman. With radio shows already up and running they should be
agreeable to some sort of braodcast deal.

I've read the Tyranny of Structurelessness, and I couldn't agree more with
it. There is still a "star system" and it needs to be challenged. But it
seems to me that that is quite different from the recent noise raised
regarding so-called "Left gatekeepers." Incidentally, when I say "Left" I
mean it in a non-institutional sense.

The very notion of a "Left gatekeeper" is erroneous, or at least easily
dealt with on a personal level. All the information on why the world's
fucked up is everywhere around you, from countless sources. Also, on how
to help fix it. Only if you let someone else do the thinking and analysis
for you can you claim manipulation by "gatekeepers."

People like Goodman and Chomsky have done remarkable work and research.
But if you need them to figure out shit's fucked up, if you need them and
only them to tell you what's what, you don't really belong on the Left,
now do you? The whole point of the Left is free thought and that isn't
something you are awarded, allowed, or granted... it's something you DO.
Anytime, hopefully most of the time. Anything short of that is only
superficially and accidentally "Leftist."

I'm sorry if this offends certain members of the so-called "Truth"
movement, but it just seems to me that, in contrast to the needed and
cogent criticism of star systems (which, please note, I readily accept the
possibility of Goodman, et al, as qualifying for), the cry of "Left
gatekeeper" is largely a euphemism for "someone who disagrees with me."
And again, if that's true, such voices, despite all appearances and
associations, aren't really of the Left, are they?

OK, so these groups that lots of activists think are good are getting
money from groups that lots of people think are bad. I can see how this
could lead organizations astray. But I'm not convinced that bad dollars
automatically turns a good organization bad. I believe that people and
organizations of principle can take money from Ford or whoever, and then
decide if they will let it determine their work. Some organizations might
change their work in order to chase grant money, but good organizations
don't. This may not be the best example, but I remember hearing about the
anarchist band Chumbawumba deciding to take money from Coke or GM or some
evil corporation and giving it to groups working against that same evil
corporation. Does that make Chumbawumba "compromised" like Amy Goodman and
Noam Chomsky are accused of being, or does it make them more effective?
Call these people sell-outs, but I applaud them for getting out the
information that they do.

I believe that these big foundations have connections to some pretty slimy
folks, and that the "left" media gets money from Ford and Rockefeller and
the rest, but I still want to see evidence (besides the oft-mentioned 911
truth movement stuff) that all of the groups and individuals at the bottom
of the fancy gatekeeper flowchart are controlled by the folks at the top.

What do other people think? Is it OK to get money from questionable
sources to do good work, or is it impossible to remain true to your goals
if you do so?

To be clear, 9/11 is NOT the only important issue today. However it is the
most convenient, widely known litmus test to see who can address facts
dispassionately, let alone honestly. DN! has been presented, in person,
with plenty of evidence relating facts at which most of the public hasn't
taken the tome to look. They should know better by now. The continued
hostility expressed towards any manifestation of the 9/11 Truth movement
shows a certain level of dishonesty.

If a news source won't report when your government is trying to kill you,
who interesets do they represent? Can they be trusted on other issues?
Stop settling for the lesser of multiple evils. Try Meria Heller (see
above), she unconditionally rocks!

alienating everyone 27.May.2005 10:26

This seems a little bit extreme. Lots and lots of people don't believe
that 911 was a government plot. Are you going to discount all of them
because they don't pass your "litmus test". This seems like a good way to
further paint yourself into a conspiracy theorist isolationist bubble,
rather than reach out to the non-believers.

"What's at stake here is integrity and credibility. You cannot receive
money from the Ford Foundation and hope to maintain either."

This may be true, but I need to see some proof. This is the kind of
blanket statement, like the "litmus test" argument that makes
activists/leftists/whatever look bad, in my opinion.

I challenge anyone to give some good hard evidence of how Amy Goodman is
controlled by the CIA and the Ford Foundation. Or Noam Chomsky, or anyone
on that list.

Here's a scenario I can see: Amy Goodman gets money from Ford. Everything
is OK so far (unless you believe that the money automatically compromises
everything). Amy does her thing for a while, everything's cool, until one
day she is leaned on by someone at Ford to back off a little on whatever
story it is that they don't like. I'm not saying that this would happen,
but if it does, doesn't Amy have the choice to tell them to fuck off? Yes,
the grant might not come through next time around, but it's up to her, how
to deal with the situation.

I've met Amy Goodman. She seems pretty stand up to me. Her and Alan Nairn
just about got killed in East Timor a while back. I have never seen her
pull any punches. If she can get money from Ford, and get her excellent
show out there a little further into mainstream America, I have no problem
with here doing so.

27.May.2005 16:33

i submit to all of you critical thinkers , this premise :
the events leading up to and including that day , are the most dangerously
important and critical for anyone who is going to be alive for the next 50
it is painfully obvious that this event was a huge enabler for the greed
mongers and the PNAC crowd , and will allow them to exercise their will
well into the near future. it was just too perfect a construct for their
agenda , and keep in mind also that overnight it took the focus off bush
and cheney's dirty dealings in the corpo energy world.
for these reasons and several others , i say NO it is not time to move on
! a ligitimate and hard hitting investigation must not be abandoned before
very troubling questions are answered .


Whoa!!! I certainly didn't expect my initial posting would cause such a
firestorm of activity!

But it certainly has been very educational for me.

After doing more indepth research into the isues, it appears that
Democracy Now! isn't QUITE as bad as it had initially seemed. The lack of
information about anomolous events at the Oklahoma City bombing of 1994
and the TWA Flight 800 shootdown of 1996 are obvious by omission, but even
most other independent news shows also ignore or are unaware of such

HOWEVER, the part that Democracy Now! HAS BEEN bad about (i.e., muddying
the 9/11 truth exposure waters) is more than enough to make me suggest
Flashpoints Radio to KBOO for broadcast in lieu of Democracy Now!.

Flashpoints Radio appears to have less direct Ford Foundation ties;
according to staff at Flashpoints, all funding comes from Pacifica and
KPFA. Although the Ford Foundation gives grants directly to both Pacifica
and KPFA, Flashpoints seems to be removed enough from Ford Foundation
monies to be apparently much more independent, including regarding 9/11
truth exposure. (See )

However, even Flashpoints Radio shouldn't be given a free ride due to past
performance. Eternal vigilance is crucial in these bizarre times of total
media manipulation.

The phrase chosen by a previous poster, "litmus test," was definitely a
button-pusher for a lot of readers. However, Amy Goodman's deliberately
attacking the message and messenger of 9/11 truth (in this case, David Ray
Griffin during the May 26, 2004 broadcast) should raise a VERY BIG RED
FLAG in anyone's mind as to the actual agenda of Democracy Now! and Amy
Goodman regarding exposing crucial information about obvious
government/corporate complicities in the events of 9/11/2001.

While I certainly don't claim to know, it COULD be a fairly subtle form of
being told in so many words something along the lines of, "Okay, you can
expose the government about ANYTHING else, but, if you value your funding,
when it comes to exposing 9/11 truth, you 'dis' the message and the
messengers. Got it??" Again, in so many words, politely said, not at all
necessarily directly said.

To conclude, here is an eye-opening excerpt from Frances Stonor Saunders'
book, Paying the Piper, regarding the Ford Foundation's CIA connections.
(And if it was this bad back in the '50s and '60s, God only knows what
it's like today in 2005!)

Forewarned is forearmed.

[excerpt (pp 139-145) from "Who Paid the Piper" by Frances Stonor
Saunders. Granta Books (London, 1999)]

Incorporated in 1936, the Ford Foundation was the tax-exempt cream of the
vast Ford fortune, with assets totaling over $3 billion by the late 1950s.
Dwight Macdonald described it memorably as 'a large body of money
completely surrounded by people who want some'. The architects of the
foundation's cultural policy in the aftermath of the Second World War were
perfectly attuned to the political imperatives that supported America's
looming presence on the world stage.

At times, it seemed as if the Ford Foundation was simply an extension of
government in the area of international cultural propaganda. The
foundation had a record of close involvement in covert actions in Europe,
working closely with Marshall Plan and CIA officials on specific projects.
This reciprocity was further extended when Marshall planner Richard
Bissell, under whose signature counterpart funds were signed over to Frank
Wisner, came to the Ford Foundation in 1952, accurately predicting there
was 'nothing to prevent an individual from exerting as much influence
through his work in a private foundation as he could through work in the
government' (1).

During his tenure at Ford, Bissell met often with Allen Dulles and other
CIA officials, including former Groton classmate Tracy Barnes, in a
'mutual search' for new ideas. He left suddenly to join the CIA as a
special assistant to Allen Dulles in January 1954, but not before he had
helped steer the foundation to the vanguard of Cold War thinking.

Bissell had worked directly under Paul Hoffman, who became president of
the Ford Foundation in 1950. Arriving straight from his job as
administrator of the Marshall Plan, Hoffman had received a full immersion
course in the problems of Europe, and in the power of ideas to address
those problems. He was fluent in the language of psychological warfare
and, echoing Arthur Koestler's cry of 1950 ("Friends, freedom has seized
the offensive!'), he talked of 'waging peace'. He also shared the view of
Ford Foundation spokesman Robert Maynard Hutchins that the State
Department was 'subjected to so much domestic political interference that
it can no longer present a rounded picture of American culture'.

One of the Ford Foundation's first post-war ventures into international
cultural diplomacy was the launch in 1952 of the Intercultural
Publications programme under James Laughlin, the publisher of the New
Directions series (which published George Orwell and Henry Miller), and a
revered custodian of the interests of the avant-garde. With an initial
grant of $500,000, Laughlin launched the magazine Perspectives, which was
targeted at the non-Communist Left in France, England, Italy, and Germany
(and published in all those languages). Its aim, he emphasized, was not
'so much to defeat the leftist intellectuals in dialectical combat as to
lure them away from their positions by aesthetic and rational persuasion'.
Further, it would 'promote peace by increasing respect for America's
non-materialistic achievements among intellectuals abroad' (2).

Its board packed with cultural Cold Warriors, the Intercultural
Publications programme also targeted those American intellectuals who felt
their work was 'undermined by the prevailing stereotype of America as a
mass-cult hell'. Malcolm Cowley was an early supporter of Perspectives,
which offered a version of America far removed from 'movies, hardboiled
detective stories, comic books, and magazines in which there is more
advertising than text'. One academic, Perry Miller, argued that 'no
propaganda on the American way should be included; that omission will, in
itself, become the most important element of propaganda, in the best
sense' (3).

Perspectives never lived up to these expectations. Irving Kristol referred
to it as 'that miserable Ford Foundation journal' (4). In the wake of its
failure, the Ford Foundation was easily persuaded to take over sponsorship
of Lasky's Der Monat. Set up under Lucius Clay's backing in October 1948,
and financed through the 'Confidential Fund' of the American High
Commission, Der Monat's official auspices strained its claims to be
independent. Lasky longed to replace this subsidy and, with the help of
Shepard Stone, a foundation executive who had worked under Clay in
Germany, he finally secured a grant from the Ford Foundation, declaring in
the October 1954 issue, 'From now on we are absolutely and completely free
and independent.'

On 21 January 1953, Allen Dulles, insecure about his future in the CIA
under the newly elected Eisenhower, had met his friend David Rockefeller
for lunch. Rockefeller hinted heavily that if Dulles decided to leave the
Agency, he could reasonably expect to be invited to become president of
the Ford Foundation. Dulles need not have feared for his future. Two days
after this lunch, the New York Times broke the story that Allen Dulles was
to become Director of Central Intelligence.

The new president of the Ford Foundation was announced shortly after. He
was John McCloy, the archetype of twentieth century American power and
influence. By the time he came to the Ford Foundation, he had been
Assistant Secretary of War, president of the World Bank, and High
Commissioner of Germany. In 1953 he also became chairman of the
Rockefellers' Chase Manhattan Bank, and chairman of the Council on Foreign
Relations. After John F. Kennedy's assassination, he was a Warren
Commission appointee. Throughout, he maintained his career as a Wall
Street attorney for the seven big oil companies and as director of
numerous corporations.

As High Commissioner in Germany, McCloy had agreed to provide cover for
scores of CIA agents, including Lawrence de Neufville. Although officially
employees in his administration, unofficially they were accountable to
their chiefs in Washington, who were under few obligations to tell McCloy
what they were really up to. A political sophisticate, McCloy took a
pragmatic view of the CIA's inevitable interest in the Ford Foundation
when he assumed its presidency. Addressing the concerns of some of the
foundation's executives, who felt that its reputation for integrity and
independence was being undermined by involvement with the CIA, McCloy
argued that if they failed to cooperate, the CIA would simply penetrate
the foundation quietly by recruiting or inserting staff at the lower

McCloy's answer to this problem was to create an administrative unit
within the Ford Foundation specifically to deal with the CIA. Headed by
McCloy and two foundation officers, this three-man committee had to be
consulted every time the Agency wanted to use the foundation, either as a
pass-through or as cover. 'They would check in with this particular
committee, and if it was felt that this was a reasonable thing and would
not be against the foundation's long-term interests, then the project
would be passed along to the internal staff and other foundation officers
[without them] knowing the origins of the proposal,' explained McCloy's
biographer, Kai Bird (5).

With this arrangement in place, the Ford Foundation became officially
engaged as one of those organizations the CIA was able to mobilize for
political warfare against Communism. The foundation's archives reveal a
raft of joint projects. The East European Fund, a CIA front in which
George Kerman played a prominent role, got most of its money from the Ford
Foundation. The fund forged close links with the Chekhov Publishing House,
which received $523,000 from the Ford Foundation for the purchase of
proscribed Russian works, and translations into Russian of western
classics. The foundation gave $500,000 to Bill Casey's International
Rescue Committee, and substantial giants to another CIA front, the World
Assembly of Youth. It was also one of the single largest donors to the
Council on Foreign Relations, an independent think-tank which exerted
enormous influence on American foreign policy, and which operated (and
continues to operate) according to strict confidentiality rules which
include a twenty five-year embargo on the release of its records.

Under a major grant from the Ford Foundation, the Institute of
Contemporary Arts, founded in Washington in 1947, expanded its
international programme in 1958. On the ICA's board of trustees sat
William Bundy, a member of the CIA's Board of National Estimate, and
son-in-law of former Secretary of State Dean Acheson. His brother,
McGeorge Bundy, became president of the Ford Foundation in 1966 coming
straight from his job as Special Assistant to the President in Charge of
National Security (which meant, among other things, monitoring the CIA).
Benefiting from the foundation's largesse were Herbert Read, Salvador de
Madariaga, Stephen Spender, Aaron Copland, Isak Dinesen, Naum Gabo, Martha
Graham, Robert Lowell, Robert Penn Warren and Robert Richman, who were all
Fellows of the ICA's Congress of Cultural Leaders. This was in effect an
extension of the work of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, which itself
was one of Ford Foundation's largest grantees, receiving $7 million by the
early 1960s.

One of the earliest CIA supporters of the Congress for Cultural Freedom
was Frank Lindsay, to whom de Neufville was reporting in the build-up to
the 1950 Berlin conclave. Lindsay was an OSS veteran who in 1947 had
written one of the first memos recommending that the US create a covert
action force to fight the Cold War. The paper attracted the attention of
Frank Wisner, who asked him to come on board and run his European
operations at OPC. As Deputy Chief of OPC (1949-51), Lindsay was
responsible for setting up the 'stay-behind' groups in western Europe. In
1953, he joined the Ford Foundation, and from there he maintained close
contact with his confreres in the intelligence community.

Lindsay was later joined at the foundation by Waldemar Nielsen, who became
its staff director. Throughout his tenure there, Nielsen was a CIA agent.
In 1960, he became Executive Director of the President's Committee on
Information Activities Abroad. In his various guises, Nielsen worked
closely with C.D. Jackson, with whom he shared a contempt for the
'fundamental disregard for psychological factors among a good many of the
hautes functionnaires in this town'. Nielsen was also a close friend of
the Congress for Cultural Freedom, whose efforts he wholeheartedly

The key link between the Congress and the Ford Foundation was Shepard
Stone, who had established a reputation as an expert in the structure and
procedures by which the American government and private groups
participated in world affairs. The Sunday editor of the New York Times
before the war, he went on to serve with G-2 (Army Intelligence), before
becoming Director of Public Affairs under John McCloy in Germany, in which
guise he had secured government sponsorship for Der Monat. An old hand at
psychological warfare, John McCloy thought highly enough of Stone to
recommend him as a worthy successor to the outgoing director of the
Psychological Strategy Board in 1951. Stone did not get the job, and
instead joined the Ford Foundation. Throughout his career, he was so
closely connected to the CIA that many believed he was an Agency man.
'Shep was not a CIA man, though he may have fished in those waters', one
agent commented vaguely (6). In 1953, he spent a month in Europe, at
Josselson's invitation, visiting key Congress people. As director of the
Ford Foundation's International Affairs division from 1954, Stone's value
to the Congress was further enhanced.


1 Richard Bissell, Reflections of a Cold Warrior.

2 James Laughlin, quoted in Kathleen D. McCarthy, 'From Cold War to
Cultural Development: The International Cultural Activities of the Ford
Foundation 1950-1980', Daedalus, vol.116/1, Winter 1987.

3 Quoted in Kathleen D. McCarthy, ibid.

4 Irving Kristol to Stephen Spender, 25 March 1953 (CCF/CHI).

5 Kai Bird, interview, Washington, June 1994.

6 John Hunt, interview, Uzes, July 1997. ... rs1999.htm
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