Selling Opinions - Making Policy

The CIA and the Public

In February, 1967 the New York Times published an article about the CIA's involvement in the National Students' Association, breaking the story before the original article could be published in the March issue of Ramparts Magazine. The exposee about the CIA funding private organizations lead to a series of investigative reports which revealed connections to numerous other organizations.

CIA Involvement in National Students' Association

New York Times, February 14 1967

Later in 1967, Ramparts Magazine published a series of investigative stories linking the CIA to private organizations including NFCE. The ad campaign "Crusade for Freedom" was revealed to be a cover for CIA funding. Mike Wallace moderated CBS's 60 Minutes episode In the Pay of the CIA: An American Dilemma uncovering CIA funding in private organizations.


"An Exposé: The CIA and the National Students Association"

A CIA memorandum to the 303 Committee (previously known as the covert actions oversight group) verified the investigators' findings and stated that the CIA, and not the public, was the major financer of Radio Free Europe.

 "For nearly 20 years, the two radios have used the cover of privately financed, non-profit American corporations. But during that time the funds have come largely from the CIA"

-Memorandum for the 303 Committee

The CIA: Has it Gone Too Far?

As the CIA media links were revealed, Time magazine printed a cover with an image of Director William E. Colby that asked "The CIA: Has It Gone Too Far?"

In 1977, journal Carl Bernstein uncovered the CIA's contacts in the American media. He found that the CIA had infiltrated major print media sources such as the Washington Post and Time, as well as network stations like ABC, NBC, and CBS under the operation name "mockingbird". He claimed to have found links between the CIA and 400 American journalists over the previous 25 years.

Carl Bernstein, 'The CIA and the Media'

"Carl Bernstein: The CIA and the Press"