John Kiriakou Unwittingly Exposes Brian Ross as an ABC News “Mockingbird”

by Scott Creighton

The other day I posted an article about why I think Brian Ross should be fired from ABC News.

Time and time again Brian Ross has not only ended up on the wrong side of every single important issue since 9/11, but he also has a disturbing tendency to rely almost exclusively on unnamed sources to support his arguments (arguments that are almost always on the side of the CIA backed imperialist agenda). 1. The Iraq connection with the anthrax attacks (wrong, Mr. Ross), 2.  illegal use of torture as a justifiable and “useful” practice (wrong again, Mr. Ross), 3.  Iran having enough material to make a nuclear weapon by 2009 (so, so wrong, Mr. Ross), and finally what I pointed out as his latest forray into his imperialist collaborations… 4. the president  and possibly the CIA has the right to kill U.S. citizens at will (apparently this is a “law” that George W. Bush just made up after 9/11… but Mr. Ross fails to point out the root of this assumed presidential authority in his recent article).

You might start to think that Brian Ross is nothing more than the CIA’s man at ABC with all these pro-imperialist agenda positions Mr. Ross has been taking over the years. You think that might be possible? Is Brian Ross nothing more than a well-dressed over-paid Mockingbird? Inquiring minds want to know.

The following is an excert from the 1975 “Church Committee” or the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. It should be pointed out that Paul Harvey at the time of the committee’s investigations came out strongly against the committee and even claimed what they were doing was “treasonous activity”. It has since been revealed that Paul Harvey was very close to J. E. Hoover and even submitted his show scripts to Hoover in advance so that he could “review’ them. Paul Harvey, as it turns out, was just worried that he would be exposed as a CIA Mockingbird asset.

The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets.” 

Previously confidential files show that Harvey, who died last February at 90, enjoyed a 20-year friendship with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, often submitting advance copies of his radio script for comment and approvalWashington Post

Well, guess what?  Back in 2007, when there was a huge call to investigate illegal torture conducted by the CIA, out came Brian Ross to repeatedly lie about the torture of certain high level detainees, grossly underestimating the duration of the abuses they endured (one of them, KSM, had been waterboarded more than 180 times in a month, to which Mr. Ross went around and reported he had only been tortured for 2 and a half minutes). His sources for this misinformation went unnamed.

But it turns out that not all of Brian Ross’s sources hid behind a veil of secrecy. One, John Kiriakou, was actually interviewed on the air by… Brian Ross in a prime-time ABC News special. And guess what? Kiriakou was lying. Totally, completely, lying. It was all bullshit. Who says so? Kiriakou does.

What I told Brian Ross in late 2007 was wrong on a couple counts,” he writes. “I suggested that Abu Zubaydah had lasted only thirty or thirty-five seconds during his waterboarding before he begged his interrogators to stop; after that, I said he opened up and gave the agency actionable intelligence.” Foreign Policy

I wasn’t there when the interrogation took place; instead, I relied on what I’d heard and read inside the agency at the time,” Kiriakou reportedly said.

But after his one-paragraph confession, Kiriakou adds that he didn’t have any first hand knowledge of anything relating to CIA torture routines, and still doesn’t,”Stein continued. “And he claims that the disinformation he helped spread was a CIA dirty trick: “In retrospect, it was a valuable lesson in how the CIA uses the fine arts of deception even among its own.”

The CIA has since destroyed all videotapes of Abu Zubaydah’s interrogations. He was allegedly subjected to waterboarding at least 83 timesRaw Story

A couple months ago, an investigative journalist found out that Kiriakou wasn’t even in the same country when Zubaydah was detained and tortured and you would think that ABC News and Brian Ross would immediately retract the bullshit story for the good of the integrity of their prized “investigative journalist”.

But you you would be wrong.

Instead, they simply added a footnote to the Brian Ross article and removed the video of the phony interview. They did all this very quietly so as to allow most people who hadn’t seen the real story to continue with the fiction that Brian Ross helped establish.

Kiriakou’s insistence, however vague, that Zubaydah “revealed information related to a planned terrorist attack” has to be taken with a soupçon of salt.

As Brian Stelter, a New York Times media reporter, wrote last April, Kiriakou “was not actually in the secret prison in Thailand where Mr. Zubaydah had been interrogated but in the C.I.A. headquarters in Northern Virginia. He learned about it only by reading accounts from the field.”

ABC’s Ross had glossed over the glaring fact in its broadcast, saying only that Kiriakou himself “never carried out any of the waterboarding” — which got lost in the telling, in light of the main story line picked up by the rest of the media.

ABC has now removed the video of its Kiriakou interview from its site. But the headline, large photo of the CIA man, and story remain, with its opening paragraph, “A leader of the CIA team that captured the first major al Qaeda figure, Abu Zubaydah, says subjecting him to waterboarding was torture but necessary.” You have to dig deep to find that none of it is trueForeign Policy

There is no excuse for what Kiriakou has done. The damage to America’s national identity irreperable.  No one will believe that CIA shill anymore (though he did go to work for John Kerry afterward). And though his revelation is important for the historical accuracy of that period, perhaps the most important aspect of this story is Brian Ross.

The fact that Ross always seems to end up with “secret sources” or those that lie outright while he is defending CIA positions in the left-wing branch of the media is something that cannot be ignored.

And he claims that the disinformation he helped spread was a CIA dirty trick: “In retrospect, it was a valuable lesson in how the CIA uses the fine arts of deception even among its own.”

It’s called Project Mockingbird and it was exposed many years ago. Mockingbird was the name of the program the CIA operated using respected journalists in the main stream media to spread their lies and misinformation to the public in order to garner support for whatever imperialist agenda they happen to be working on at the time.

Starting in the early days of the Cold War (late 40’s), the CIA began a secret project called Operation Mockingbird, with the intent of buying influence behind the scenes at major media outlets and putting reporters on the CIA payroll, which has proven to be a stunning ongoing success.  The CIA effort to recruit American news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators of propaganda… M. Louise

They first developed the tactic in other nations as they would pay reporters and other media figures to spread lies and disinformation in order to help create an atmosphere of regime change among the population; regime change that would always favor U.S. corporations and banks. Many dictators and fascist regimes have been put in place this way all across the world and many innocent civilians have paid the ultimate price. Our man in Iran, the Shah, was instilled in this fashion in 1953 and there are many other examples.

I don’t think we need much more evidence that Brian Ross of ABC News is a modern day version of a Mockingbird asset on the CIA payroll so I stand by my original conclusion; Brian Ross should be fired by ABC News and then forced to turn over every single source he has ever used to promote CIA backed falsehoods to the people of America.

The people who succeeded and did well were those who didn’t stand up, who didn’t write the big stories, who looked the other way when history was happening in front of them, and went along either consciously or just by cowardice with the deception of the American people.” Robert Parry 

If it is found through his emails or other private communications that Brian Ross was aware of this misinformation he was selling to the people of America and subsequently took pay-offs for services rendered, then he should be arrested and put on trial. For treason.

You see, Mockingbird is a tactic used by the CIA to covertly undermine targeted democracies. If in fact, Project Mockingbird is still being used in the U.S. and I don’t think there is any question of this, that means they are doing it in order to undermine our democracy. That’s treason.

We should make an example of Brian Ross. If you want to get your country back, you first need to take some control of the media. The best way to do that is to show these talking heads that there is a downside to promoting misinformation to the public. If the investigation goes well and it bears fruit, perhaps we should take it one step further and bring charges against ABC News. If corporations have the same rights as people now, they should also face the same penalties for committing crimes. Imagine using the recent Supreme Court ruling against them; turning the table on them. Expose ABC News as a CIA Project Mockingbird asset and then charge the corporation with treason. Just a thought.

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4 Responses

  1. O/T
    Please sign the petition to amend the constitution concerning corporate personhood . I believe this petition does not go far enough but it is a good start to the process .
    Pass this around anywhere you can !

    http://site.pfaw.org/site/MessageViewer?dlv_id=14741&em_id=12301.0

  2. Good article, Willy, and yes… Ross has committed treason.

  3. Thanks for reporting on this and for the petition link. Even though I’m afraid we’re completely sunk and on our way to becoming a Mussolini style fascist corpocracy.

    Thought you might want to correct the quote attributed to “Robert Perry” – should be Robert Parry. http://www.consortiumnews.com/

  4. I wonder if Pat Robertson might not be part of this Mockingbird thing. His comment about Haiti making a deal with the devil sounds like it might be something straight out of CIA thinking–to prepare some of the People for our take-over of the place.

    Speaking of deals with the devil, and take-overs, I listened live on the BBC to part of Tony Blair answering to their Inquiry into Iraq this AM. “Was it really all about WMD, or was it more about regime change?” they were asking him.

    “9/11 changed everything,” was his answer to almost everything.

    R Ap

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