Why, in the context of a clear Iranian threat to Israel, would the New York Times not share with its readers that PLO/Fatah (i.e. the ‘Palestinian Authority’), the government of any future ‘Palestinian State,’ has an intimate relationship with the judeophobic and genocidal ayatollahs (Part 0)? We will answer this question here.
The question is important because the New York Times cannot plead ignorance: this information was on its front page in 1979, when Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas essentially created the Iranian regime and installed Ayatollah Khomeini in power (Part 0).
But this is not just about the New York Times; other media, as they typically do, have followed this newspaper’s lead. So is the New York Times a symptom of a system problem? Are the media, as a system, tools of psychological warfare? This is our question.
To explore this question we must first grasp the concept.
In war, if your morale is high and the enemy has lost the will to fight, then—other things equal—you’ve won the war. How to achieve this? By manipulating information. Hence, psychological warfare.
The principle is as old as war. In his Art of War the ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu emphasized: “All warfare is based on deception.” Whenever possible, he counseled, defeat through deceit before the battle even begins: “supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
Sun Tzu’s insights have myriad applications to situations of ‘conflict,’ broadly understood. Many of his principles and recommendations are useful to power elites making geopolitical moves in times of ‘peace,’ and even when dealing with domestic rather than foreign ‘enemies.’
To wit, undemocratic power elites, meaning to stay in power, will sometimes open fire on their own civilians, but this is messy (and may backfire), so they often prefer deception: they manipulate meanings and distort the perception of reality. After all, you don’t need (so much) violence—and you run fewer risks—if people can be made to believe and desire what you decide. Psychological warfare is therefore sometimes called political warfare.
There is an interesting science here. How can power elites harness the structure of human cognition and information flows to influence masses of people? Enter: communication research.
Historian Christopher Simpson explains that,
“This relatively new specialty crystallized into a distinct discipline within sociology—complete with colleges, curricula, the authority to grant doctorates, and so forth—between about 1950 and 1955.”
Remarkable. In just five years ‘communication research’ established itself in the US academic scene—as if out of nothing. But a closer inspection dispels that appearance.
As Simpson documents in Science of Coercion: Communication Research and Psychological Warfare, 1945-1960, those quickly setting up ‘civilian’ communication research after WWII had been responsible for wartime psychological warfare. And these
“government psychological warfare programs helped shape mass communication research into a distinct scholarly field, strongly influencing the choice of leaders and determining which of the competing scientific paradigms of communication would be funded, elaborated, and encouraged to prosper.”
Huge rivers of US taxpayer money were diverted, often clandestinely and illegally.
[Quote from Simpson starts here]
“At least six of the most important U.S. centers of postwar communication studies grew up as de facto adjuncts of government psychological warfare programs. For years, government money—frequently with no public acknowledgment—made up more than 75 percent of the annual budgets of Paul Lazarsfeld’s Bureau of Applied Social Research (BASR) at Columbia University, Hadley Cantril’s Institute for International Social Research (IISR) at Princeton, Ithiel de Sola Pool’s Center for International Studies (CENIS) program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and similar institutions.
The U.S. State Department secretly (and apparently illegally) financed studies by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) of U.S. popular opinion as part of the department’s cold war lobbying campaigns on Capitol Hill, thus making NORC’s ostensibly private, independent surveys financially viable for the first time.
In another case the CIA clandestinely underwrote the Bureau of Social Science Research (BSSR) studies of torture—there is no other word for it—of prisoners of war, reasoning that interrogation of captives could be understood as simply another application of the social-psychological principles articulated in communication studies.
Taken as a whole, it is unlikely that communication research could have emerged in anything like its present form without regular transfusions of money for the leading lights in the field from U.S. military, intelligence, and propaganda agencies.”
[Quote from Simpson ends here]
Academics who tried to be independent or—worse—critical of the power-elite paradigm were called ‘communists’ and hauled before McCarthyite tribunals or otherwise harassed and persecuted. The well-behaved advanced their careers within a tightly controlled network of ‘communications research’ professionals steered by Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ), the main academic vehicle.
It was not just POQ that was compromised, however.
“The American Sociological Review (ASR), published by the American Sociological Society, overlapped so frequently in its officers and editorial panels with those of Public Opinion Quarterly and its publisher, the American Association for Public Opinion Research, that board members sometimes joked that they were unsure which meetings they were attending.”
Simpson remarks upon the “unusually close liaison that some of the journal’s authors and editors maintained with clandestine psychological warfare projects at the CIA, the armed services, and the Department of State.” Several of these people “were largely dependent on government funding for their livelihood.”
John Stuart Mill once explained that to coin a name is almost irresistibly to reify a ‘thing’—you imagine that something (some thing) is really ‘there’ merely because you have a name for ‘it.’ This trap waits in ambush for any political analyst who invokes ‘the government.’ Careful.
Is it really very helpful to say that ‘the government’ set up ‘communication research’? The phrase ‘the government’ refers to a massive bureaucracy, a gigantic set of functionally articulated positions and roles filled by people who are rotated in routine fashion—they come and go. But according to whose influence are those positions and roles filled? Who pulls the strings?
Consider who funded communication research before ‘the government’ got involved:
“During the second half of the 1930s, the Rockefeller Foundation underwrote much of the most innovative communication research then under way in the United States. There was virtually no federal support for the social sciences at the time...
The [Rockefeller] foundation’s administrators believed, however, that mass media constituted a uniquely powerful force in modern society, reports Brett Gary, and financed a new project on content analysis for Harold Lasswell at the Library of Congress, Hadley Cantril’s Public Opinion Research Project at Princeton University, the establishment of Public Opinion Quarterly at Princeton, Douglas Waples’ newspaper and reading studies at the University of Chicago, Paul Lazarsfeld’s Office of Radio Research at Columbia University, and other important programs.”
We see, then, that ‘communication research’ beneficiaries of US government largesse after the war had been Rockefeller beneficiaries before the war. Had Rockefeller covertly turned the US government into an extension of self?
Consider just one postwar example. In the 1950s,
“the Rockefeller organization appears to have been used as a public front to conceal the source of at least $1 million in CIA funds for Hadley Cantril’s Institute for International Social Research.”
In the Carnegie and Ford networks we find the same pattern:
“The major foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation and the Ford Foundation, which were the principal secondary source of large-scale communication research funding of the day, usually operated in close coordination with government propaganda and intelligence programs in allocation of money for mass communication research.”
US Intelligence could easily coordinate itself in secret with the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller networks because the US Congress, in the National Security Act of 1947, had authorized US spies basically to do as they pleased.
Now, there is no need to speculate as to the point of all this, because the people who set it up did us the favor of explaining their purposes.
Edward Bernays—famous ‘father of public relations,’ ‘father of spin,’ and a main designer of US psychological warfare operations in WWI—opened his 1928 book Propaganda with the following lines:
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”
According to Bernays, propaganda is good for you: “the orderly function of group life” is simply impossible unless we have “our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” These men, a “trifling fraction,” says Bernays, are the select few “who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses…, who pull the wires which control the public mind, …[and] harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.”
As an important hired gun for that “trifling faction,” Bernays was busy spinning “the engineering of consent” (as he called it) as a wholesome and necessary thing for democracy. His book Propaganda was the ultimate recursive achievement: propaganda on behalf of propaganda (no doubt he chuckled on every line.)
Right around the time that Propaganda was published, the Rockefeller Foundation was supporting the early efforts of theorists Harold Lasswell and Walter Lippmann. Echoing Bernays, they argued that you and I cannot govern ourselves, so ‘democratic’ power elites should, via ‘communication research,’ manage and steer us.
“Persuasive communication aimed at largely disenfranchised masses became central to Lippmann’s strategy for domestic government and international relations. He saw mass communication as a major source of the modern crisis and as a necessary instrument for any managing elite... Lasswell extended the idea, giving it a Machiavellian twist. He emphasized employing persuasive media and selectively using assassinations, violence, and other coercion as a means of ‘communicating’ with and managing disenfranchised people. He advocated what he regarded as ‘scientific’ application of persuasion and precise violence, in contrast to bludgeon tactics.” 
At a Rockefeller-sponsored seminar, Lasswell argued that “The elite of U.S. society (‘those who have money to support research,’ as Lasswell bluntly put it) should systematically manipulate mass sentiment.” They should, in other words, control the representation of reality, and of its meaning, in order to force people indirectly without seeming to. This would be “ ‘the establishment of dictatorship-by-manipulation,’ ” as one lonely seminar outlier, Donald Slesinger, bitterly protested.
This “dictatorship-by-manipulation” is what I call ‘sloppy totalitarianism’ (see Appendix A).
Such a dictatorship, of course, cannot be established without considerable direct tutelage and supervision over the people who work in the media, writ large; accordingly, the ‘communication research’ infrastructure created with Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller backing
“underlies most college- and graduate-level training for print and broadcast journalists, public relations and advertising personnel, and the related craftspeople who might be called the ‘ideological workers’ of contemporary U.S. society.”
By such means the majority of media workers can be made docile, educated to avoid certain taboo questions (see Part 2).
The small handful at the top is different. They must be full members of Bernays’ “trifling fraction” or else directly in their thrall or pay. This was explained by Udo Ulfkotte, editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany’s largest newspapers, in a recent confession to clear his conscience, as he does not expect to live much longer. Those responsible for content in the major Western media, Ulfkotte claims, knowingly and routinely publish CIA propaganda.[16a]
Possibly you will find Ulfkotte’s confession surprising. But he is saying that the CIA does what the 1947 National Security Act authorized it to do: corrupt the foreign media.
From a formal perspective, it all has a certain beauty: the proud citizens make the bosses kneel before their demands, the inception of which is a media-based education controlled by the same bosses. Ever so ‘democratically,’ the system is managed. Some have called this ‘directed history.’
Can it be resisted? Yes, so long as you can sniff the ‘news’ for the direction that the power elites are nudging us into. But can that be done? Yes, provided you can put together a good general model of power-elite values and intentions.
That’s easier than you may suspect.
Consider: Who created the system that trains the media? The Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller networks. So the question is this: What do these wire-pullers want? To answer we must consider their most expensive behaviors, because, as economists never tire of pointing out, people’s real preferences are revealed in what they pay for.
So notice: at the same time that Rockefeller was sponsoring the first ‘communication research’ efforts, the Carnegie and Rockefeller networks spent—quite literally—billions financing American eugenics, easily the most consequential social and political movement of the first half of the 20th c. Why so important? Because American eugenics became German Nazism.
As historian Edwin Black documents in War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, overseas Carnegie and Rockefeller funding for key institutes, individuals, and organizations in Germany was crucial to the rise of German eugenics, which in turn became Nazism (Part 5). The German Nazis copied legal precedents and strategies first pioneered by Carnegie- and Rockefeller-funded American eugenicists (Part 5). Henry Ford, for his part, published on his own dime so much explicit antisemitic and pro-Hitler propaganda that in 1938 the Third Reich famously awarded him its highest medal for non-Germans.
A terse statement of the above worldview is ‘pro-Nazi.’
But did this worldview survive into the postwar, when the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller networks created the training infrastructure for media personnel? And if it did, wouldn’t the cooperative media moguls—certainly included in Bernays’ “trifling fraction”—have to share it?
A well-chosen anecdote is worth a thousand demonstrations:
“There are some things the general public does not need to know, and shouldn’t.”
—Katherine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post,
What shouldn’t you know? In 1988, right as Graham celebrated with the CIA the principle of cover-up, her own Washington Post was busy making sure that US citizens didn’t learn about the CIA’s postwar recruitment of vast hordes of Nazi war criminals—at the very least tens of thousands—into its ranks (see Part 6). That’s what.
Now, the test of any scientific model is whether it can solve important outstanding riddles better than existing models. So let us ask: do we have one such riddle handy—one that dissolves if only we attribute a ‘pro-Nazi’ worldview to the US power-elite?
Jump back to our introductory example (Part 0). As we saw, PLO/Fatah—poised to build a ‘Palestinian State’ on strategic Israeli territory—led the creation of the genocidal Iranian regime that openly threatens to exterminate the Israeli Jews. Thus, if US bosses mean to protect Israel, as the dominant model alleges, then their support for a ‘Two State Solution’ appears totally ‘ungrammatical.’ Paradox.
And here’s another riddle.
Most Westerners, despite their prejudices, would not abide that the Jewish State be compelled to cede strategic territory to Iranian leaders, who announce their ambition to repeat the Holocaust. Therefore, if the media is really controlled by ‘the Jews’ (as so many believe), the NYT should—‘grammatically’—be replaying for everybody what it splashed on its front page in 1979: that PLO/Fatah created the judeophobic and genocidal Iranian regime (Part 0). But the NYT is now studiously silent on this. Again: paradox.
Both paradoxes dissolve, however, if those in power, and in control of mainstream media content, are the same US power-elite networks that helped produce the Nazis. For lovers of Nazis are not lovers of Jews—that would be ‘ungrammatical.’
Political grammar—as we shall see—is the key to unlocking the logical operations of psychological warfare, and therefore of modern geopolitics. We explain it next.
 Simpson, C. (1994). Science of Coercion: Communication Research and Psychological Warfare. New York: Oxford University Press. (p.3)
 ibid. (p.4)
 ibid. (pp.101-02, 106)
 ibid. (p.50)
 ibid. (pp.48-49)
 ibid. (p.22)
 ibid. (pp.60-61)
 ibid. (p.9)
“Did the National Security Act of 1947 destroy freedom of the press?: The red
pill...”; Historical and Investigative Research; 3 Jan 2006; by Francisco
 Bernays, E. L. (1928). Propaganda. New York: Horace Liveright. (pp.1-2)
 Simpson, C. (1994). Science of Coercion: Communication Research and Psychological Warfare. New York: Oxford University Press. (pp.13, 15-17)
 ibid. (p.17)
 ibid. (p.23)
 ibid. (p.3)
[16a] “Editor of major newspaper says he
planted stories for CIA”; Digital
Journal; 26 Jan 2015; by Ralph Lopez
journo: European media writing pro-US stories under CIA pressure (VIDEO)”; Russia Today; 18 Oct 2015.
 “Directed History? Hey, We Told You
So”; The Daily Bell; December 05,
2015; by Anthony Wile
 Linda Steiner writes in the Encyclopedia of American Journalism:
“In her autobiography, Katharine Graham described how her husband [Philip L. Graham, who inherited the mantle of Washington Post publisher from his father-in-law, Katherine’s father] worked overtime during the [CIA] Bay of Pigs operation to protect the reputations of some Yale friends who had backed the venture. But in a 1979 book called Katherine the Great, Deborah Davis went further to allege, among other things, that [Post Executive Editor Ben] Bradlee and Philip Graham had collaborated with the Central Intelligence Agency, and that Philip Graham was the main contact in a CIA project to infiltrate US media. Davis also identified—wrongly, it turns out—a Harvard classmate of Bradlee as A CIA agent and as the Watergate reporters’ source Deep Throat. After a number of people criticized the book and Bradlee documented thirty-nine errors, [publisher] Harcourt Brace Jovanovich disavowed the book and shredded twenty thousand copies. A small company, National Press in Bethesda, Maryland, republished the book, however, in 1987.
After Graham died, the liberal commentator Norman Solomon wrote in a widely republished column that the Post had mainly functioned as a ‘helpmate to the war-makers’ in the White House, State Department, and Pentagon. He said it used classic propaganda techniques to accomplish this: evasion, confusion, misdirection, targeted emphasis, disinformation, secrecy, omission of important facts, and selective leaks. This more conservative side of Graham emerged, for example, in a well-publicized speech she gave at CIA headquarters in 1988: ‘We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.’ ”
SOURCE: Steiner, L. (2008). Graham, Katherine. In S. L. Vaugh (Ed.), Encyclopedia of American Journalism. New York: Routledge.
Notice that Graham claims that “democracy flourishes” when power elites manage this ‘flourishing’ by deciding what the masses get to know. This corresponds rather exactly to Lippmann’s and Laswell’s model of ‘democracy.’
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