("Quid coniuratio est?")
GLORIA IN EXCELSIS
From his corporate law work at Sullivan & Cromwell, the pre-eminent foreign policy law firm in America, Dulles was close to [Washington] Post company attorney Frederick S. Beeb(sp?) at Kravith, Swayne & Moore(sp?), another foreign policy firm. A quiet, thoughtful man, Beeb had been recruited out of Yale 1938 by Kravith senior partner Roswell Kilpatrick(sp?), later the Assistant Secretary of Defense under Robert McNamara during the Vietnam War. At Kravith, Beeb had been assigned to handle estate planning and other legal affairs for the Meyer family
(That's the family from which Katherine Graham came, by the way.)
and eventually became their chief corporate as well as personal counsel, representing their interests in every significant transaction over three decades, including the legally complex, monopolistic acquisition of the Times-Herald in '54. The merger was critical for Katherine [Graham's] family, confirming their power and influence in Washington and making the paper financially "safe enough for her son Donny."
It was also critical to Hayes, Phil Graham, Beeb, Wisner, and Dulles -- men who had a political interest in her family's newspaper -- because the Times-Herald maintained a bank of dossiers routinely made available to the FBI, the CIA's rival in domestic Cold War intelligence. When Col. McCormick decided to sell his nearly bankrupt Washington newspaper, he asked Eugene Meyer the price of $8.5 million for it, about three times its worth. John Hayes went to Chicago in March of 1954 to make the initial payment in cash. The merger drove up the value of the Post's stock and made the executives richer. It also increased the CIA's access to information, news sources, and co-operative newsmen, to the benefit of [Operation] Mockingbird, which Frank Wisner had been expanding throughout the Cold War.
So, reviewing that section very briefly, not only in its acquisition of radio station WTOP, but also the McCormick newspaper the Washington Times-Herald, basically the CIA was intimately involved in assisting the [Washington] Post and thereby, obviously, also assisting itself, in cementing its relationship with one of this country's major papers.
Now the next element of the Washington Post/CIA association we're going to be looking at concerns Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, his brother-in-law (a man named Cord Meyer, a CIA counter-intelligence official operating under James Jesus Angleton), and also, a fellow named Richard Ober.
Now Richard Ober is a close friend and old buddy of Ben Bradlee. Richard Ober also went to work for CIA. And Richard Ober was to become "Deep Throat" himself. We're gonna talk about that in a minute. The point is, here, Cord Meyer is another CIA counter-intelligence official. He is the brother-in-law of Ben Bradlee.
In 1956, Ben and Toni Bradlee are part of a community of Americans who have remained in Paris after having been trained in intelligence during the war or in propaganda at the Economic Cooperation Administration. Many have now addressed themselves to fighting Communism, a less visible but more insidious enemy than Nazi-ism had been. Some of them, like Bradlee, are journalists who write from the Cold War point of view. Some are intelligence operatives who travel between Washington and Paris, London and Rome. In Washington, at Phillip Graham's salon, they plan and philosophize. In foreign cities, they do the work of keeping European Communism in check.
Bradlee's childhood friend, Richard Helms, is part of this group. He has written portions of the National Security Act of 1947, a set of laws creating a Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, the latter to support the CIA with research into codes and electronic communications. Helms is the Agency's chief expert on espionage. His agents penetrate the government of the Soviet Union and leftist political parties throughout Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. Angleton and Ober are counter-intelligence and run agents from Washington to Paris who do exactly the opposite: they prevent spies from penetrating American embassies, the State Department, the CIA itself.
Head of the third activity, covert operations, is Phil Graham's compatriot, Frank Wisner, the father of [Operation] Mockingbird, whose principal operative is a man named Cord Meyer, Jr. Meyer was a literature and philosophy major at Yale, and is consequently well-liked by Angleton who, when at Yale, thought of himself as a poet and edited a literary magazine. Meyer is married to Toni Bradlee's sister, Mary Pinchot Meyer, the woman who later became [John F.] Kennedy's lover and was murdered in 1964.
Among the fascinating and glamourous Americans of Paris, London and Rome, the Meyers are more fascinating and glamourous than the rest. Mary was the most brilliant and beautiful girl in her class at Vassar and is now a painter beginning to be critically recognized. Cord is an attractive and articulate figure whose evolution as an anti-Communist has given him a unique understanding of Communist trends in European trade union and Third World liberation movements. Because of this specialized knowledge, he is, as few men are, considered within the Agency to be indispensable.
The point is here that, not only was Ben Bradlee, the editor of the Washington Post, himself trained in intelligence, very close not only to Richard Helms (who was CIA Director at the time of Watergate), but also to Cord Meyer, his brother-in-law, a key CIA counter-intelligence official, and also [to] a man named Richard Ober. We're gonna talk about Richard Ober a little later.
But again, the point here is that the Washington Post is really (like many other newspapers in this country) inextricable from the U.S. intelligence establishment. And that very relationship was indispensable in helping the Washington Post to grow as an institution.
Now although Phillip Graham was one of the people who helped set up the working relationship between the [Washington] Post (and other news media) with the CIA, he eventually, for a reason or reasons unknown, began to disintegrate mentally. One of the interesting "symptoms" (if one could call it that) of his mental disintegration is that he became very vocal and critical about the CIA relationship with the news media. (Which, of course, he had helped to set up in the first place.)
Again, reading from Katherine the Great, of Phillip Graham, [Debra Davis] writes,
He had begun to talk, after his second breakdown, about the CIA's manipulation of journalists. He said it disturbed him. He said it to the CIA. His enchantment with journalism, it seemed, was fading. "Newspapers are the rough drafts of history," he now thought. "Media politics do not become history until the moral judgements are in."
As he became more desperate, unable to control the forces that controlled him (one of the manic-depressive's greatest fears), he turned against the newsmen and politicians whose code was mutual trust and, strangely, silence.
So it's worth noting here that, upon the eve of his death, which in turn was a few months before President Kennedy was to be killed (and obviously, the whole thing was very much in the workings at that time. People can check our archive tapes for that. [415-346-1840]). But it's interesting that Phillip Graham had become disenchanted, and vocally so, about the very relationship between CIA and the media that he had helped to set up in the first place.
Now eventually, as a result of this mental disintegration, Phillip Graham was interred in a very well-known mental institution called "Chestnut Lodge." Many people have suggested that Chestnut Lodge is one of the many CIA mind-control institutions or ones that have been affiliated with it. I can't document that. It's something I've heard said. But it is interesting in light of the longstanding and successful effort of the CIA to not only use mind-control techniques -- hypnosis, psycho-surgery, and psycho-pharmacology -- to get people to commit assassinations, but then to commit suicide themselves later, thereby sealing their lips.
[...to be continued...]
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