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His 25,word cover story, published in Rolling Stone on October 20,is reprinted below. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.
There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Most were less exalted: Many journalists were used by the CIA to assist in this process and they had the reputation of being among the best in the business.
The peculiar nature of the job of the foreign correspondent is ideal for such work: If, for instance, a journalist was based in Austria, he ordinarily would be under the general direction of the Vienna station chief and report to a case officer.
Some, particularly roving correspondents or U. On other occasions, their assignments were more complex: An Agency official might then offer a favor—for example, a trip to a country difficult to reach; in return, he would seek nothing more than the opportunity to debrief the reporter afterward.
And after you get to know him, can you assess him?
And then, can you put him in touch with us—would you mind us using your apartment? The actual approach might even be made by a deputy director or division chief. On some occasions, no discussion would he entered into until the journalist had signed a pledge of secrecy. A foreign correspondent with ties to the Company [the CIA] stood a much better chance than his competitors of getting the good stories.
The most valued of these lent themselves for reasons of national service, not money. In the s and s journalists were used as intermediaries—spotting, paying, passing instructions—to members of the Christian Democratic party in Italy and the Social Democrats in Germany, both of which covertly received millions of dollars from the CIA.
CIA officials insist that they make no attempt to influence the content of American newspapers, but some fallout is inevitable: According to CIA officials, the Agency has been particularly sparing in its use of journalist agents in Eastern Europe on grounds that exposure might result in diplomatic sanctions against the United States or in permanent prohibitions against American correspondents serving in some countries.
The same officials claim that their use of journalists in the Soviet Union has been even more limited, but they remain extremely guarded in discussing the subject.
CIA officials acknowledge, however, that such charges will persist as long as the CIA continues to use journalistic cover and maintain covert affiliations with individuals in the profession. But even an absolute prohibition against Agency use of journalists would not free reporters from suspicion, according to many Agency officials.
The general outlines of what happened are indisputable; the specifics are harder to come by. CIA sources hint that a particular journalist was trafficking all over Eastern Europe for the Agency; the journalist says no, he just had lunch with the station chief.
In most instances, Agency files show, officials at the highest levels of the CIA usually director or deputy director dealt personally with a single designated individual in the top management of the cooperating news organization.
The aid furnished often took two forms: In the field, journalists were used to help recruit and handle foreigners as agents; to acquire and evaluate information, and to plant false information with officials of foreign governments.
Many signed secrecy agreements, pledging never to divulge anything about their dealings with the Agency; some signed employment contracts. Others had less structured relationships with the Agency, even though they performed similar tasks: Have they paved all the streets?
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