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Part 4: The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence...Propaganda and Disinformation..Espionage and Counterespionage

Posted By: oldmaninthedesert
Date: Friday, 8-May-2020 18:16:25
www.rumormill.news/146348

Continuing with The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence By Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks...

...Washington Post November 15, 1965 By the mid-1960s most of the professionals in the CIA's Clandestine Services thought that the day of the balloon as an effective delivery vehicle in propaganda operations had long since passed. Years before, in the early rough-and-tumble era of the Cold War, agency operators in West Germany had often used balloons to carry anti-communist literature into the denied areas behind the Iron Curtain. These operations, although lacking in plausible deniability, normally a prerequisite in covert propaganda efforts, had scored high—judging from the numerous angry protests issued by the Soviet Union and its East European satellites.

Since then the propaganda game had evolved into a subtle contest of wits, and the agency's Covert Action Staff had developed far more sophisticated methods for spreading ideological messages. Thus, there was a sense of "deja vu" among the covert-action staffers when officers of the Far East Division suggested in 1967 that a new balloon operation be undertaken. The target this time was to be mainland China.

The People's Republic was at that time in the midst of the Cultural Revolution. Youthful Red Guards were rampaging throughout the country, shattering customs and laws alike; confusion, near chaos, engulfed the nation. But the CIA's China watchers in Hong Kong and elsewhere on the periphery of the mainland had detected that a reaction was setting in, especially in southern China around Canton and Foochow in the provinces of Kwangtung and Fukien. They believed that a kind of backlash to the excesses of the Red Guards was building, for increasingly groups within the military and among the workers were beginning to resist the Red Guards and to call for a return to traditional law and order.

To the agency's operators, these were conditions worth exploiting. No one really believed that communism could be eliminated from the mainland, but the short-term political objectives which might be achieved through covert propaganda were too tempting to pass up.

China was an avowed enemy of the United States, and the CIA felt that each bit of additional domestic turmoil that could be stirred up made the world's most populous country—already experimenting with long-range ballistic missiles—that much less of a threat to American national security.
https://exploringrealhistory.blogspot.com/2020/05/part-4-cia-and-cult-of.html





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