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December 16, 2016
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September 21, 2004
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January 16, 1976
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t Approved For Release 2004/10/13 : CIA-RDP88-01315ROO0300220003-5 WASHINGTON POST ByWalterPincus -"'Murcurio, an anhi : llende wast,crroron Post Staff Writar. Santiago newspaper, The Central Intelligence in September, 1970, -Agency secretly created over Edwards came to WFasihington 25 years and still finances a to generate U.S. support for a vast journalistic network halt Allende?s election. outside the United States that is available to carry out covert propaganda campaigns. Made up of journalist agents, , subsidized newspapers, radio stations and international wire and news services, the network is one of the less-publicized tools in theagency's covert arsenal. Its purpose, according to a former top CIA official, "is to disseminate data about the foreign world, particularly the Soviet Union, that is being suppressed . ? . and to do it in a way favorable to U.S. strategic interests." A glimpse of how the CIA network operates was con- tained in a recent report of the Senate intelligence com- mittee. r..On Sept. 14, 1970, according t' according to the Senate report. the "Forty Committee" of the National Security Council authorized a covert CIA propaganda operation to focus attention on "the damage that would befall Chile under an Allende government." Salvador Allende, a leftist, was then a candidate for president of Chile. Less than one week later, an Inter-American Press Association news release was issued in Washington charging that freedom of the press was -being jeopardized in Chile by "the Communists and their Marxist allies." The release, according to On Sept. 15, the day after the Forty Committee.approval.of the propaganda campaign, Edwards met with then CIA Director Richard 1I. Helms. On Sept. 22, Edwards' El Mercurio carried an editorial arguing that "retention of individual freedom" was the most important matter facing. the Chilean people. Twelve days after the Forty Committee action, the Spanish government-owned -wire service. EFE, carried a report throughout Latin America from Santiago on an anti. Allende rally by a right-wing group called Patria yLibertat: which was described in the story as "a growing. movement." The same day, a Santiago radio station carried a political commentary on the Patria rally. The com- mentator mentioned the rally favorably while criticizing the Christian Democratic- party which that clay had offered to ? make an agreement with Allende. According to the Senate committee report, Patria y Libertad and its rally received some money in an "indirect subsidy" from the CIA. The radio station in Santiago and the commentator also received CIA funds. EFF, which transmits in Spanish, at the time received a CIA subsidy for its Latin' American newswire . product "through its covert operations, according to a action resources." r former intelligence offi at. Jim Canel, - executive Within a month of the Forty secretary of the association Committee decision, 18 journalists from outside Chile who usually writes such under direct or indirect releases, said recently he first agency control had art ived in learned of the release when he Santiago. Some were paid CIA was called about it by the agents working for Associated Press. newspapers in other Coun- Canel at the time tries: a few were a;;ti-Allende "assumed" the release was and had received their bassy in 1968 at the time of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. A riot took place. It was then.covered by a CIA-subsidized wire service which carried the story around the world. After 1969, a CIA agent at El Mercurio "exerted substantial control over the content of that paper's international news section," according to the Senate committee report. News "harmfui? to the United States, particularly about Vietnam" was "sup- pressed," the report says, while other CIA-paid jour- nalists "wrote articles or editorials favorable to U.S. interests in the world." Former CIA top officials say similar activities were un dertaken in countries throughout the world. Justifying such operations, one former official said recently, "if we give up this program, we lose a network of agents of influence." ;publisher aA(kft}"69bdfF & F k 1 ase 2004/10/13 : CIA- M2 f 003-5 Others were jour had been ordered their bosses s described by L. committee report level (CIA) ages managerial capac media field." One interview v was written by a dent of Latin, in Spanish-language vice. Latin purpi established and ru of 13 Latin newspapers whic the British ne Reuters to in operation. According to a telligence agent, l CIA subsidized L intermediaries i; same manner money to El Mt Francisco Ba general mama ei Buenos Aires telephone inter was "absolutely 11 mil? rc (` /. U US'%-/Ai Ile- lk"_5 pl_e4i sO c ca i. l R ~'~' ,~ his service w__ . subsidized by the CIA. A spokesman for Reuters in Washington said he had never heard it alleged that CIA money had gone into Latin. Reuters, he said, had con- tracted to manage the Spanish-language service, but had nothing to do with its financing. - Despite CIA's covert action and propaganda efforts, :Allende was elected president of Chile ~n Qctober. 1970. According to the Senate committee report, the CIA claimed its six-week propaganda blitz resulted in "726 articles, broadcasts, editorials and similar items" in Latin American and European media. After Allende took office, the CIA covert propaganda operation continued. Some S1.5 million went directly.toEl ? Mercurio. Mali vial was developed and phi red in ali newspapers that opposed Aiiendeand radio and television stations as well. the Senate report was a CIA 'A I