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Document Creation Date: 
November 11, 2016
Document Release Date: 
February 8, 1999
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Publication Date: 
March 3, 1967
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FOIAb3 Sanitized - Approved For Release : CIA- SUBJECT: Foreign Press Reactions to Revelations about CIA Note: In any public discussion of these reactions, there is some danger of appearing to accept certain allegations as fact, either by the method of presenta- tion or by the denial of some charges (thereby indi- cating that others are true). 1. The reaction in the U. S. has been far more hysterical and vocal than is the case anywhere overseas. 2. The most damaging media treatment has come from the U. S. press and wire services going abroad which have been picked up and reprinted in foreign newspapers. 3. Certain nuances in the foreign press treatment are worth noting. 25X1 C4c 25X1 C4c a. AFP (France) has been treating the subject in the most aggressive and hostile way of any Western wire service. b. The Communist press, such as that of the USSR, at first very largely picked up and played the American news service reporting, emphasizing the scandal and Hysteria in the U. S. More recently, however, the Communists appear to have gotten their line squared away, and they are now taking advantage of the considerable interest in this subject by focusing on specific youth and student mechanisms that have been compromised, including, of course, anti-youth festival activities. c. The Communists also are now tailoring their overseas foreign language broadcasts to s iic audiences. citing anything that has been exposed that would have a particular impact in a given area. For example. for African audiences the Communists jjjjjjjjonjjjjjjd CIA support of the d. Media treatment in the UAR is also worth singling out. UAR media came out very early and strongly against CIA., citing 25X1 C4c alleged CIA support to 25X1 C4c a subject of immediate local interest. Subsequently. treatment has been considerably broadened to include anything in the past which could be linked to CIA, such as the Iranian coup of 1953. Sanitized - Approved For Release : CIA-RDP75-00001 R000100060032-6 Sanitized - Approved For Release : CIA-RDP75-00001 R000100060032-6 e. A very considerable number of moderate press media abroad have been reporting on CIA with objectivity and, perhaps surprising to some Americans. with little censure. Some foreign newspapers have. in fact, noted Mr. Katzenbach's report that CIA has enabled "farsighted and courageous Americans" to serve their country. Leftist, anti-American outlets have. of course, elabor- ated on any flamboyant and far-fetched angle: that CIA is seeking to ruin the economies of developing countries in order to keep these countries dependent on the U. S. ; that CIA is not reluctant to engineer political assignations; that CIA is over ready to sub- vert, subsidise. corrupt. buy or rent. Where there is anti-U. S. sentiment. the U. S. press exposures of CIA have provided an undreamed of club. In one country, a leftist politician whose patty was bestcn in an election has now charged that CIA money enabled the winning political party to b*At him. f. There has been embarrassment expressed by some student groups; others have hardly commented at all. 4. Looking at the overall prase coverage abroad, there has been considerable reporting, based on U. S. press services going abroad, but the foreign press has engaged in very little editorialiaia-t? Certain countries of special significance can be noted, however. a. Chile (The U. S. Ambassador in this country is a former presi- dent of the U. S. National Student Association. There have been allegations that CIA was involved in the recent election of Presi- dent Frei. The Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs (FYSA), which has figured prominently in news stories, has a represenerta- tive in Chile.) As far as press coverage in Chile is concerned, however. only the Communist newspaper El Sfgl? mounted a campaign against CIA and focused heavily on Ambassador Dungan. charging that he has past CIA connections and that he is manipulating CIA strings in Chile. Except for the Communist press, other papers maintained a pointed silence until the influential non-Communist El Mercurio, on t7 February, snapped back at the Communist press, noting: "it is natural that the Communist publicity machine has mobilised all over the world to take maximum advantage of the facts recently revealed about the activities of the CIA. " El Mercurio io went on to outline Communist activities in student organizations, wars of liberation and other movements Sanitized - Approved For Release : CIA-RDP75-00001 R000100060032-6 Sanitized - Approved For Release : CIA-RDP75-00001 R000100060032-6 alongside of which CIA activities appear a "simple antidote". The editorial concluded . . . "the Communists have no call to criticise the CIA for acting defensively against subversion and guerrillas. "" in a later editorial. El Mercurio hit at Communist sub- version. saying that CIA actions may be questionable in the American society. but . . . "the programs of the CIA are small scale in comparison to the tasks the Communists carry out with enormous means and + cellent organisations. " The editorial concluded . . . "that the Communists feign themselves to be scandalised by the surreptitious financial help (the CIA has given) to aleutral organisations is just another proof of their fantastic audacity. "" b. Igal a Govermmnent controlled media in Spain have focused on the allegations of funding of student activities in Spain, and the travel by USNSA and International Student Conference representa- tives to Spain to work with Spanish students who are in opposition to the S sh government. U. S. columnist Drew Pearson reported on CIA funding of the Christian Democratic Party in elections some 18 years ago. This particular allegation has, of course, received atten- tion in Italian media. d. South Africa Of all countries in Africa, the media in South. Africa have devoted the most coverage, in both radio and newspaper outlets, to the subject of CIA. Coverage has emphasized CIA funding of the American Society for African Culture (AMSAC) and the American African Institute (AAI), two organisations which South African media note as opposing the domestic policies (apartheid) of the South African government. In this vsin. South Africa has also linked CIA to the American Committee on Africa, an organization which even the U. S. pro** has not alleged to have CIA connections. S. There are clearly a number of reasons why foreign (I. e.. non- Communist) reactions have been so madvrate. They are worth noting. 3 Sanitized - Approved For Release : CIA-RDP75-00001 R000100060032-6 Sanitized - Approved For Release : CIA-RDP75-00001 R000100060032-6 a. In many countries, other local issues have been of much more overriding importance -- such as the elections in India, or Fern's sudden involvement in a quarrel with the U. S. over fishing rights. b. There has been a certain reaction to the over-reaction in the U. S. In many countries there is no desire to embarrass local U. S. diplomatic personnel over what I. viewed largely as a domestic U. S. issue. c. In many countries, there is a sophisticated cynicism among the country's elite (including, in some cases, students). These are people who t that CIA to doing some of the things it is charged with doing. It is not surprising to them. They believe that the U.S. Government is doing these things for they believe that all big powers do so. The fact that CIA is acting as the arm of the U. S. Government holds no sinister application. d. And finally, foreign observers have expressed amaae nt at the details which continue to flow throughout the world via the U. S. press. They are astonished that such irresponsibility would be displayed by U. S. commentators and newspapers in a matter that could be so damaging to U. S. national interests. 4 Sanitized - Approved For Release : CIA-RDP75-00001 R000100060032-6