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Jazon Panther. Ph.D.

Well-known Member
Jan 13, 2021
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Atlantis & the Endless Isles
C.Y.A. NEWS.

There is next to no meaningful coverage ever of the CIA in the mainstream media, let alone analysis. The few exceptions prove the rule. In 1984, I was involved in one such exception. ABC hired me to help produce a story about an investment firm in Hawaii that was heavily involved with the CIA. I had earlier provided the same story to BBC's Newsnight, which aired it. The story was fully documented, and nobody, including the CIA, was able to disprove the charges. Part of the report charged that the CIA had plotted to assassinate an American, Ron Rewald, the president of [the investment firm]. The ABC report provoked a brutal response from the CIA. The CIA demanded a full retraction without providing any counterproof other than their denial. (pp. 130, 131)

At the center of the uproar was Scott Barnes who said on camera that the CIA had asked him to kill Rewald. After the show aired, CIA officials met with ABC News executive David Burke. They presented no evidence to counter the charges made in the program. Nonetheless, Burke was sufficiently impressed "by the vigor with which they made their case" to order an on-air "clarification" in which Peter Jennings acknowledged the CIA's position but stood by the story. But that was not good enough. [CIA Director William] Casey called ABC Chairman Leonard H. Goldenson. The call led to three meetings between ABC officials and Stanley Sporkin, CIA general counsel. On November 21, 1984, despite all the documented evidence presented in the program, Peter Jennings reported that ABC could no longer substantiate the charges, and that "We have no reason to doubt the CIA's denial." He presented no evidence supporting the CIA's position. (pp. 131, 132)

That same day, the CIA filed a formal complaint with the FCC, written by Sporkin and signed by [CIA Director] Casey, charging that ABC had "deliberately distorted" the news. Casey asked that ABC be stripped of its TV and radio licenses. This was the first time in the history of the country that a government agency had formally attacked the press. Yet, there was no uproar. (p. 132)

During this time, Capital Cities Communications was maneuvering to buy ABC. [CIA Director] Casey was one of the founders of Cap Cities. Cap Cities bought ABC for $3.5 billion, which was called a "bargain rate" by the trade media. Besides Casey, two other founders of Cap Cities had extensive ties to the intelligence community. Within months, the entire investigative unit [of ABC] was dispersed, and the commentator on the Rewald program was assigned to covering beauty pageants. Needless to say, my contract was not renewed.

 

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