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Allegations regarding "Butch" Merritt, Watergate, Intelligence Agencies and "Crimson Rose," Vol.XIII PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kris Millegan   
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 21:04

Allegations regarding "Butch" Merritt, Watergate, Intelligence Agencies and "Crimson Rose," Vol. XIII

By Kris Millegan

The Dynamics of Sophistication – Part Four

Many of the scandals that have occurred in the United States since 1963 have been fundamentally interrelated; that is, the same people and institutions have been involved in a number of scandals (e.g., the Kennedy assassination and Watergate).

– David R. Simon, Elite Deviance (Fifth Edition)


The Asphalt Jungle was made in the middle of the “code” era, when the rules were strictly enforced:

“All criminal action had to be punished, and neither the crime nor the criminal could elicit sympathy from the audience. Authority figures had to be treated with respect, and the clergy could not be portrayed as comic characters or villains. Under some circumstances, politicians, police officers and judges could be villains, as long as it was clear they were the exception to the rule.”

You could show a crooked lawyer, but he must in the end reap his just desserts – the obligatory death by suicide. The aberration of corruption stopped with the flawed character, who with their noble last gesture, blotted out the stain on the family name. Cut, print, distribute and everyone goes home happy … and deluded.

Crooked lawyers, if they are good enough, die in their beds after a successful career in law, politics and finance. They advance their clients’ agendas, using devious and dubious measures. They like information. The ability to know and make secrets. It is amazing what can be hid behind the shield of “intelligence activity,” and/or “psychological warfare.”

Watergate and much of our contemporary “history” is replete with hoodwink, psy-ops, psychological warfare.

An excerpt from Christopher Simpson ‘s Science of Coercion:

What, then, is " psychological warfare"? According to William Daugherty , the term first appeared in English in a 1941 text on the Nazis' use of propaganda, fifth column activities, and terror in the early stages of the European war. U.S . military and intelligence organizations stretched the definition during World War II to cover a broader range of applications of psychology and social psychology to wartime problems, including battlefront propaganda, ideological training of friendly forces, and ensuring morale and discipline on the home front.

Since World War II, U.S. military and NATO manuals have typically defined " psychological warfare" or "psychological operations" as tactics as varied as propaganda, covert operations, guerrilla warfare, and, more recently, public diplomacy. Communist theoreticians have often referred to somewhat similar activities as "agitation and propaganda" and regarded them as a component of the related, yet broader concepts known as class struggle and peoples ' war. British and Nazi German strategies and tactics in the field have historically been termed "political warfare, and Weltanschauungskrieg ("worldview warfare"), respectively. Each of these conceptualizations of psychological warfare explicitly links mass communication with selective application of violence (murder, sabotage, assassination, insurrection, counter-insurrection , etc.) as a means of achieving ideological, political, or military goals. These overlapping conceptual systems often contributed to one another's development, while retaining characteristics of the political and cultural assumptions of the social system that generated it.

Within the present context, psychological warfare can best be understood as a group of strategies and tactics designed to achieve the ideological, political, or military objectives of the sponsoring organization (typically a government or political movement) through exploitation of a target audience's cultural-psychological attributes and its communication system. Put another way, psychological warfare is the application of mass communication to modem social conflict: it focus on the combined use of violence and more conventional forms of communication to achieve politico-military goals. [emphasis added]

A more complete illustration of the U.S. government's view of psychological warfare can be found in the definition used by the U.S. Army in war planning during the early cold war years. The army's definition was classified as top secret at the time it was promulgated (early 1948) and remained officially secret until the late 1980s, when I obtained a collection of early psychological warfare planning records through a Freedom of Information Act request. One of these documents reads:

Psychological warfare employs all moral and physical means, other than orthodox military operations, which tend to:

a. destroy the will and the ability of the enemy to fight.

b. deprive him of the support of his allies and neutrals.

c. increase in our own troops and allies the will to victory.

Psychological warfare employs any weapon to influence the mind of the enemy. The weapons are psychological only-in the effect they produce and not because of the nature of the weapons themselves. In this light, overt (white), covert (black), and gray propaganda; subversion; sabotage; special operations; guerrilla warfare; espionage; political, cultural, economic, and racial pressures are all effective weapons. They are effective because they produce dissension, distrust, fear and hopelessness in the minds of the enemy, not because they originate in the psyche of propaganda or psychological warfare agencies.

The phrase "special operations," as used here, is defined in a second document as:

those activities against the enemy which are conducted by allied or friendly forces behind enemy lines .... [They] include psychological warfare (black), clandestine warfare, subversion, sabotage, and miscellaneous operations such as assassination, target capture and rescue of downed airmen.

The army study goes on to summarize several of the tactics of persuasion just outlined, the three most basic of which are known as "white," "black," and" gray" propaganda. "White propaganda," the army states, "stress[es] simplicity, clarity and repetition." It is designed to be perceived by its audience as truthful, balanced, and factual, and the United States publicly acknowledged its promotion of this type of information through outlets such as the Voice of America. "Black" propaganda, in contrast, "stresses trouble, confusion, … and terror'. A variation of black propaganda tactics involves forging enemy documents and distributing them to target audiences as a means of discrediting rival powers. The U. S. government officially denies that it employs black propaganda, but in fact it has long been an integral aspect of U.S. foreign and domestic policy . "Gray" propaganda, as its name suggests, exists somewhere between " white" and " black" and typically involves planting false information about rivals in news outlets that claim to be independent of the U. S. government.

Other U.S. Army and National Security Council documents from the same period stress three additional attributes of the U.S. psychological warfare strategy of the day: the use of "plausible deniability" to permit the government to deny responsibility for "black" operations that were in truth originated by the United States; a conscious policy of polarizing neutral nations into either "pro-" or "anti-U .S. " camps; and the clandestine targeting of the U. S. population, in addition to that of foreign countries , for psychological operations.

Throughout this book, psychological warfare and psychological operations encompass this range of activities, as specified by the Army and the National Security Council. Several points should be underlined. First, psychological warfare in the U.S. conception has consistently made use of a wide range of violence, including guerrilla warfare, assassination, sabotage, and, more fundamentally, the maintenance of manifestly brutal regimes in client states abroad . Second, it also has involved a variety of propaganda or media work, ranging from overt (white) newscasting to covert (black) propaganda. Third, the targets of U.S. psychological warfare were not only the "enemy," but also the people of the United States and its allies. [emphasis added]

The “Watergating” of President Nixon was accomplished through psychological warfare, a controlled scandal orchestrated by past participants in other psy-ops. Watergate a was a gathering of knives for both Nixon and the Office of the President of the United States. Neither would ever be quite the same again.

We learned before that Allen Dulles recommended Ed Lansdale for the make-war machine in Vietnam, here we learn who were overseeing Lansdale in the Phillipines. From Science of Coercion:

… Philippines project of the early 1950s also demonstrated the ease with which ostensibly pluralistic, democratic conceptions of communication behavior and communication studies could be put to use in U. S. -sponsored counterinsurgency campaigns and in the management of authoritarian client regimes. Paul Linebarger, a leading U.S . psychological warfare expert specializing in Southeast Asia, bragged that the CIA had "invented" the Philippines' president Raymon Magsaysay and installed him in office. Once there, "the CIA wrote [Magsaysay's] speeches, carefully guided his foreign policy and used its press assets (paid editors and journalists) to provide him with a constant claque of support," according to historian and CIA critic William Blum.

The CIA's idea at the time was to transform the Philippines into a "showplace of democracy" in Asia, recalled CIA operative Joseph B. Smith, who was active in the campaign. In reality, though, Magsaysay's U.S.-financed counterinsurgency war against the Huk guerrillas became a bloody proving ground for a series of psychological warfare techniques developed by the CIA's Edward Landsdale, not least of which was the exploitation of the USIA's intelligence on Filipino culture and native superstitions. Tactics (and rhetoric) such as "search-and destroy" and "pacification" that were later to become familiar during the failed U.S. invasion of Vietnam were first elaborated under Landsdale's tutelage in the Philippines.

The relationship between the USIA and the CIA in the Philippines can be best understood as a division of labor. The two groups are separate agencies, and the USIA insists that it does not provide cover to the CIA's officers abroad. 56 But intelligence gathered by the USIA, such as that obtained through Bigman's surveys of Filipino "opinion leaders," is regularly provided to the CIA, according to a report by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. 57 USIA and CIA work was first coordinated through "country plans" monitored by area specialists at President Truman's secretive Psychological Strategy Board (established in 1951) and, later, at the National Security Council under President Eisenhower. 58 By the time the Philippines project was in high gear during the mid-1950s, Eisenhower had placed policy oversight of combined CIA-USIA-U .S. military country plans in the hands of senior aides with direct presidential access – C. D. Jackson and later Nelson Rockefeller – who personally monitored developments and formulated strategy. [emphasis added] 

At the time, the implicit claim of BSSR's work for the government was that application of "scientific" psychological warfare and counterinsurgency techniques in the Philippines would lead to more democracy and less violence overall than had, say, the crude massacres of 1898-1902, when a U.S. expeditionary force suppressed an earlier rebellion by Philippine nationalist leader Emilio Aguinaldo. But looking back today, there is little evidence that such claims ever were true. More than forty years has passed since BSSR and the USIA's work in the Philippines began. The Huks were defeated; a relatively stable, pro-Western government was established in the country; and a handful of Filipinos have prospered. Yet by almost every indicator – infant mortality, life expectancy, nutrition, land ownership, education, venereal disease rates, even the right to publish or to vote – life for the substantial majority of Filipinos has remained static or gotten worse over those four decades.

BSSR's academics did not set U.S. policy in the Philippines, of course. But they did provide U.S . military and intelligence agencies with detailed knowledge of the social structure, psychology, and mood of the Philippines population, upon which modem anti-guerrilla tactics depend . Despite its claims, U.S . psychological warfare campaigns in the Philippines and throughout the developing world have generally increased the prevailing levels of violence and misery, not reduced them.


RockGeneralBrownsto be continued:
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 March 2011 21:07
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