CIA Manufacturing News, Jeopardizing Journalism

March 27, 2001


Yesterday we reported that a newly declassified document exposed the CIA’s secret weapon at the 1961 Bay of Pigsinvasion.

Today, we will talk to journalist Jon Elliston, the reporter who unearthed the document in which the CIA boasted thatit had "the capability of placing items directly on the wire service tickers" as part of its "regular propagandaapparatus."

It has been long known that during the Cold War the CIA had a handful of "assets," or agents, in place at newsorganizations including The Associated Press and United Press International, particularly in foreign bureaus. Thenewly declassified document says flatly that the intelligence agency could essentially dictate articles and have themsent around the world.

But the CIA used journalists in previously undisclosed ways. We are also joined by Jeremy Bigwood who discovered thatthe CIA was pouring through news photos that he took in Latin America for a major photo agency and using them asfodder for its intelligence activities.


  • Jon Elliston, author of ??Psywar on Cuba: The Declassified History of U.S. Anti-Castro Propaganda,published by the Ocean Press, 1999.
  • Jeremy Bigwood, journalist, researcher and recipient MacArthur fellowship who was a photojournalist inLatin America.