RFK Jr: “The CIA Is the Biggest Funder of Journalism around the World”

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RFK Jr The CIA Is the Biggest Funder of Journalism around the World

Robert F Kennedy Jr (RFK) let rip on his battle against the mainstream media and how the CIA funds journalism during an interview with podcast host Lex Fridman on Thursday.

RFK Jr said modern journalism and media are a continuation of the CIA “Operation Mockingbird” and anti-competitive and pro-censorship Trusted News Initiative.

“They believe that they’re doing the right thing by suppressing information that may challenge government proclamations on Covid. But there is a danger to that,” RFK Jr said.

“The danger is that once you appoint yourself an arbiter of what is true and what is not true, then there is really no end to the power that you have now assumed for yourself because now your job is no longer to inform the public, your job is to manipulate the public,” Kennedy added.

“If you end up manipulating the public in collusion with powerful entities, then you become the instrument of authoritarian rule rather than the opponent of it. It becomes the inverse of journalism in a democracy.”

Kennedy also said about the CIA:

“Nobody knows what the budget is, plus it has its own investment fund, In-Q-Tel, which has invested and made 2,000 investments in Silicon Valley, ” HE SAID,

“So it has ownership of a lot of these tech companies and a lot of the CEOs of those tech companies have signed state secrecy agreements with the CIA, which if they even reveal that they have signed that, they can go to jail for 20 years and have their assets removed, etc.”

“So the influence that the agency has, the capacity to influence events at every level in our country, is really frightening,” Kennedy said.

Below is the transcript of the interview:

LEX FRIDMAN: To what degree was the CIA involved, or the various bureaucracy, involved in [JFK’s] death?

ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR.: The evidence that the CIA was involved in my uncle’s murder, and subsequently involved in the coverup, and continue to be involved in the coverup — there are still 5,000 documents they won’t release 60 years later — is so insurmountable and mountainous and overwhelming that it is beyond any reasonable doubt…

It came as a surprise recently to most Americans, the release of these documents in which the press, when the American media finally acknowledged that Lee Harvey Oswald was a CIA asset… Even though it had been known for decades, it never percolated into the mainstream media because they have such an allergy to anything that challenges the Warren report. When Congress investigated my uncle’s murder in the 1970s, the Church Committee did a two-year investigation, and they had many more documents and testimony than did the Warren Commission; this was a decade later, they came to the conclusion that my uncle was killed by a conspiracy… I’ve talked to much of the staff from that committee, and they said the CIA was stonewalling us the whole way through…

It’s impossible to even talk about a fraction of the evidence here, but I suggest… the best book for me for people to read is James Douglas’ book JFK and the Unspeakable. He’s an extraordinary scholar, and he does this amazing job of digesting and mobilizing probably a million documents… into a coherent story. I recommend people do not take my word for it…

FRIDMAN: So if it is true that the CIA had a hand in this assassination, how is it possible for them to amass so much power? How was it possible for them to become so corrupt? Is it individuals or the entire institution?

KENNEDY: No, it is not the entire institution; my daughter-in-law, who is helping run my campaign, was in CIA clandestine services all of her career; she was a spy on the weapons of mass destruction program in the Mideast and China. And there are 22,000 people who work for the CIA. Probably 20,000 of those are patriotic Americans and really good public servants doing important work for our country.

But the institution is corrupt at the high ranks of the institution. In fact, Mike Pompeo said something to me the other day; he was the director of the CIA [under Trump], and he said, “When I was there, I didn’t do a good job of cleaning up that agency.” He said the entire upper bureaucracy of that agency are people who do not believe in the institutions of democracy. That’s what he said to me… He’s a smart person, and he ran the agency and he was secretary of state.

It’s no mystery how that happened. We know the history. First of all, there was great reluctance in 1947. For the first time, we had a spy agency in this country during World War Two called the OSS. That was disbanded after the war because Congress said having a secret spy agency is incompatible with democracy. Secret spy agencies are things like the KGB and the Stasi… all over the world; they have to do with totalitarian governments. They’re not something that you can have; it is antithetical to democracy to have that.

But in 1947, Truman signed it in; it was initially an espionage agency, which means information gathering, which is important. To gather and consolidate information from many different sources all over the world and put them in reports for the White House so the president can make good decisions based upon valid, evidence-based information. But Allen Dulles, who was essentially the first head of the agency, made a series of legislative and political machinations that gave additional powers to the agency and opened up what they called then the “Plans Division,” the dirty tricks and black ops, fixing elections, murdering what they call “executive action,” which means killing foreign leaders, and making small wars and bribing and blackmailing people, stealing elections, that kind of thing.

The reason, at that time, we were in the middle of the Cold War, and Truman and then Eisenhower did not want to go to war; they didn’t want to commit troops. It seemed to them this was a way of kind of fighting the Cold War secretly, at minimal cost, by changing events invisibly. And so, it was seductive to them.

Everybody in Congress, when they voted it into place, both political parties, said if we create this thing, it could turn into a monster and undermine our values. And today, it is so powerful. Nobody knows what the budget is, plus it has its own investment fund, In-Q-Tel, which has invested and made 2,000 investments in Silicon Valley, so it has ownership of a lot of these tech companies. And a lot of the CEOs of those tech companies have signed state secrecy agreements with the CIA, which, if they even reveal that they have signed that, they can go to jail for 20 years and have their assets removed. So the influence that the agency has, the capacity to influence events at every level in our country, is really frightening.

And then, for most of its life, the CIA was banned from propagandizing Americans. But we learned they were doing it anyway. So, in 1973 during the Church Committee hearings, we learned that the CIA had a program called Operation Mockingbird, where they had at least 400 leading members of the United States press corps, in the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc., who were secretly working for the agency and steering news coverage to support CIA priorities. And they agreed at that time to disband Operation Mockingbird in 1973, but there are indications they didn’t do that. Still today, the CIA is the biggest funder of journalism around the world through USAID.

The United States funds journalism in almost every country in the world; it owns newspapers, and it has thousands and thousands of journalists on its payroll. They’re not supposed to be doing that in the United States, but you know, in 2016, President Obama changed the law to make it legal now for the CIA to propagandize Americans. I think we can’t look at the Ukraine War and how the narrative has been formed in the minds of Americans and say that the CIA had nothing to do with that.

FRIDMAN: What is the mechanism by which the CIA influences the narrative?

KENNEDY: Through the press.

FRIDMAN: Indirectly or directly or by funding the press?

KENNEDY: Directly through key members — there are certain press organs that have been linked to the agency, the people who run those organs, things like the Daily Beast and Rolling Stone… have deep relationships with the intelligence community. Salon, Daily Kos.

FRIDMAN: But I wonder why they would do it. From my perspective, it seems like the job of a journalist is to have an integrity where your opinion can not be influenced or bought.

KENNEDY: I agree. But I actually think the entire field of journalism has really shamed itself in recent years. It has become the principal newspaper in this country, and the television stations and the legacy media have abandoned their tradition. When I was a kid, my house was filled with the greatest journalists alive at that time… after my father died, they started the RFK Journalism Awards to recognize integrity and courage. And for that generation of journalism, they believed that the function of journalists was to maintain this posture of fierce skepticism toward any aggregation of power, including government authority. That people in authority always lie and always have to be questioned, and that their job was to speak truth to power and be guardians of the first amendment right to free expression.

But if you look at what happened during the pandemic, it was the inverse of that kind of journalism, where the major press organs in this country were, instead of speaking truth to power, they were doing the opposite. They were broadcasting propaganda; they became propaganda organs for the government agencies. They were actually censoring the speech of anybody who dissented, of the powerless.

In fact, it was an organized conspiracy. The name of it was the Trusted News Initiative. Some of the major press organizations in our country signed onto it. They agreed not to print stories or facts that departed from government orthodox. The Washington Post was a signatory of the TPI, the AP, and the four social media groups, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, and Google all signed on to the Trusted News Initiative. It was started by the BBC, organized by them, and the purpose of it was to make sure nobody could print anything that departed from government orthodoxy.

The way it worked is the UPI and the AP, which are the news services that provide most of the news around the country, and the Washington Post, would decide what news was permissible to print, and a lot of it was about Covid, but also Hunter Biden’s laptop. It was impermissible to suggest that those were real or that they had stuff on there that was compromising.

And by the way, what I’m telling you is all well documented. I’m litigating it right now, I’m part of a lawsuit against the TNI, and so I know a lot about what happened, and I know all this is documented. People can go to our website, there is a letter on my substack now to Michael Shear of the Washington Post that outlines all this and gives all my sources. Because Michael Shear accused me of being a conspiracy theorist when he was actually part of a true conspiracy to suppress anybody who was departing from government orthodoxies by either censoring them completely or labeling them “conspiracy theorists.”

FRIDMAN: You can understand the intention of such a thing being good, that during a time of catastrophe and a time of pandemic, there is a lot of risk to saying untrue things. But that is a slippery slope that leads to a place where the journalistic integrity we talked about is completely sacrificed, and then you can deviate from the truth.

KENNEDY: If you read their internal memorandum, including the statements of the leader of the Trusted New Initiative, I think her name is Jennifer Cecil, you can go on her website and see her statement, she says the purpose of this is that we are now — she says when people look at us, they think we’re competitors, but we’re not. The real competitors are coming from all these alternative news sources. They are hurting public trust in us, and they’re hurting our economic model, and they have to be choked off and crushed. And the way that we’re going to do that is to make an agreement with the social media sites that if we label their information “misinformation,” the social media sites will de-platform it, they’ll throttle it, or shadow-ban it, which destroys the economic model of those alternative competitive sources of information.

But the point you make is important that the journalists themselves, who probably didn’t know about the TNI agreement, certainly I’m sure they didn’t, believe that they’re doing the right thing by suppressing information that may challenge government proclamations on Covid. But there is a danger to that. The danger is that once you appoint yourself an arbiter of what is true and what is not true, then there is really no end to the power that you have now assumed for yourself because now your job is no longer to inform the public, your job is to manipulate the public.

And if you end up manipulating the public in collusion with powerful entities, then you become the instrument of authoritarian rule rather than the opponent of it. It becomes the inverse of journalism in a democracy.

READ: RFK Jr Blasts Biden For Transfer of ‘Horrific’ Cluster Munitions To Ukraine

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